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Author: patricia

How To Enjoy the Beach This Summer

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Since Summer is near our doorsteps, it is that time of the season when we start to plan for beach trips. With the scorching sun, it is important to stay protected and of course, to look fashionable at the same time.

There are so many things that you need to wear and bring for your beach trip. If you are not too sure on what to bring, here is a checklist that might help you out to stay fashionable and comfortable at the same time.

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits. Of course, this will never be absent in your tote bags! Aside from wearing a cute two-piece bikini or a sophisticated one piece, you need to make sure that you stay comfortable from the environment and from the sun. Wearing a tankini is also a good option.

Now, when we talk about environment, there are a couple of things that you need protection from. First, from the sun. If you are dark skinned that has enough melatonin to protect you from the scorching rays, you are one lucky gal!

But if you are fair skinned, you will need some more protection. You can bring a huge beach hat to protect your face, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and of course, a cover up. This will not only protect your skin from the sun, but this will also make you feel a bit more at ease if you are not too comfortable with people looking at your body.

We all know the harmful things UV rays can bring. For you to protect your skin, bring some sunscreen or sunblock should never be forgotten. It is a must for you to bring at least the SPF 50+ kind.

Water. There is no harm in buying bottled water. But if you want to save some bucks, you can simply bring your own water jug and stay hydrated all day. Staying under the heat of the sun can really make everybody thirsty. For you to enjoy your beach trip, you should drink plenty of water.

Bring playing cards. Cards are one of the most convenient games anyone can play outdoors. If you want to take a break from the sun, you can gather your friends up and play some cards under a shade.

Always bring extra clothes. Unless you live next to the beach, some extra clothes will keep you dry after enjoying your beach trip. Always make sure that you are dry if you need to travel afterwards. Wearing wet clothes for a particular time can make you sick. So make sure you have this inside your bag.

Do not forget your mobile phone. Of course how could you forget your i-phone when you go to the beach? It is a must as you can take selfies and show your social friends online how beautiful and happy your are.

Extra cash is also needed. In case of an emergency, you can use your extra cash to buy more water. Or you can use your extra cash to buy some snacks on your beach trip.

Last but not least if may be a good idea to use some fruit and light snacks before you hit the hot sand. If your sexy silhouette is flawless by nature, make sure to bring some of these items in order to not gain a few pounds by eating the ice cream offered by local vendors, refreshing but fattening too.

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Eye Problems Caused By Diabetes

Diabetes refers to the metabolic disease in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or the body simply cannot use this hormone efficiently.

The body needs sugar for energy but it also needs the hormone insulin to break down and deliver the sugar to the cells all throughout your body.

When your blood sugar levels go too high, your body gets in a state of hyperglycemia. This negatively affects many parts of the body, including your eyesight.

Blurred vision is often one of the earliest signs of diabetes. The blurry eyesight is caused by the leaking fluids in the lens of your eyes. This makes the lens swell up and change its shape, making it hard for your eyes to determine a focal point.

The term used to call this disorder is diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes, this disorder causes proliferative retinopathy, macular edema and even glaucoma.

Proliferative Retinopathy

This is when the blood vessels leak into the center of the eyes and causes blurry visions. This is also characterized by experiencing eye spots or floaters. You may also experience some problem seeing at night.

Macular Edema

Macula is the part of your eyes that gives you the sharpness of your vision. Macular edema is when the macula swells up due to the leaking fluids from your lens. Other symptoms include color shifts and wavy vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve gets damaged due to the pressure in your eyes. Blurry vision is also a symptom of this condition. The National Eye Institute also says that the risk of glaucoma doubles for adults who are suffering from diabetes.

Other symptoms of glaucoma are reddening of the eyes, tunnel visions, halos around lights, ocular pain, nausea and vomiting.

In this article, we will be focusing more on proliferative retinopathy.

Proliferative Retinopathy

Diabetes causes changes in the small blood vessels that nourish your eyes. In the early stages of retinopathy, the arteries in the retina starts to weaken and leak out. This forms dot-like hemorrhages and can often lead to swelling and decreased vision. About one out of four diabetics experience this problem.

As retinopathy progresses, the circulation in the blood vessels decreases. This deprives your eyes, particularly the retina the oxygen it needs. Eventually, the blood vessels become blocked or closed, and parts of the retina die.

New but abnormal blood vessels will grow to replace the old ones. But the new blood vessels tend to grow along the surface of the vitreous, a space in the eyeball that is filled with transparent gel.

Unfortunately, these vessels are delicate and can easily hemorrhage. Just like the last time, fluids may leak into the retina and vitreous causing more spots and decrease the quality of your vision. This is now proliferative retinopathy and it affects about one in twenty diabetics.

In the later phases, abnormal blood vessels will continue to grow and rupture, causing more scar tissues and eventually lead to retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Symptoms

Early stages do not show any symptoms. This is why it is important that you take regular eye checkups if you are diabetic. But for a more progressed retinopathy the symptoms include the following:

  • Sudden vision loss
  • Light flashes in the field of vision
  • Blotches or spots constructing the eyesight
  • Blurry vision

Treatments

For the early stages of retinopathy, there are no treatments needed unless macular edema is present. But the recommended treatments for proliferative retinopathy is laser therapy. This helps shrink down the abnormal vessels that grew due to the high glucose levels in your blood.

The treatment often works better before the new and fragile blood vessels start to bleed. But if bleeding has already started, you can still get some treatment for it.

Vitrectomy is another process that helps give you back your eyesight. It is a procedure wherein blood is removed from the center of the eyes and gets replaced by saline solution.

See Your Doctor

If you are diabetic, this only means that you are at a high risk for a variety of eye problems. It is therefore crucial that you see your doctor and ask if you need an eye exam. Be sure that you inform your doctor about your health symptoms and the medications you are currently taking for it.

Blurred vision can usually be fixed by eye drops. But if the problem comes back, it can be an indicative of a more serious eye problem. It could perhaps be an underlying condition caused by diabetes.

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Internet Marketing Advice Everyone Should Know About

Internet Marketing

It is quite common for beginners to fail after approaching internet marketing the wrong way. If you know someone who did not do well with online marketing or it has happened to you, do not give up away and try again.

With enough research, patience, and hard work, you can build a successful online empire whether you want to sell goods and services, or you want to carve a name for yourself in the niche that you have chosen.

If you have been working for a while now and still has not achieved success, it is likely that you have not received the right information. Below are some of the knowledge you need to acknowledge to establish a flourishing online career.

Feedback Is Crucial

Solicit feedback whenever possible. It is a critical aspect in garnering success as how you comprehend materials may not always be the same as how other people regard them. You can collect feedback from your potential clients, peers, friends or even from experts.

By offering polls and surveys throughout your site, you can request for feedback from the users with ease. This can give you great ideas for new content, and help you populate your site with information your readers really want. Use the advice you have gathered to help you decide what to change in your marketing campaign.

Do Not Neglect Site Tags

Think about the tags you are going to use as they define what your business and website is all about to the users. These are huge factors in how your viewers see your site since it is visible on the window of the user’s browser. One of the quickest ways to drive users away from your site is when your tags do not coincide with the title and the information on your post.

Utilize Photos

One method to invite people to your website is to include images with links that carry a text about the item that you wish to promote or even sell. Have it blend nicely with the text on your page by using the same font.

Structure Your Site Well

You can add sections or pages to your website where your visitors can easily come and view products. It is also essential that these sections site maintain a fluid structure to avoid the users from becoming confused. Your main page should sum up what the readers can find on your site.

Records Site Stats

Detailed statistics or any information about your traffic and sales over time is valuable for creating a marketing plan and adapting to changing trends. Since they allow you to trace what is working and what isn’t, detailed stats can help you to tweak your marketing approaches.

Your hosting provider should keep records of all your visitors, including details such as country, time spent on site, browser, IP and many more. Make sure to back up such data, which is essential for you to understand your traffic sources.

Follow A Niche

Sticking to your business goals and plans can be terrifying, it can even be more frightening when you are incredibly prepared. Narrow down your interests until an obvious winner is on top. You should be interested in what you will be marketing.

Creating a tangible goal will make it much easier to market your website. For people who are aspiring to become influential bloggers, using a specific niche will draw a stable audience.

Consider Email Protection

Emails are necessary as these are used in communicating with potential clients and customers. This is the reason why you need to focus a lot on your emails and keep them protected. Avoid using free email services that lack functionalities that you need, such as the ability to store emails indefinitely.

Think about making your own email-archiving protocol, particularly if you collect sensitive information from the customers and consultants via email.

Use Less Banners

You can opt fewer banners to achieve a more pleasing web design. Though it is useful in online marketing, many visitors avoid them. One trick you can do is to disguise them as a link that the user can click to get more content.

Add Videos

Help your marketing strategies become successful by adding videos with viral potential, and be sure to include tags, description and a link to your page or site. Doing so can boost your stats and traffic your site receives.

When it comes to online marketing, there is not one right way to do thins. If it were that easy, everybody who attempted to do this would have been wealthy by now. But the truth of the matter is, as long as you stay updated and follow the correct online marketing techniques, you will find great success.

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Google Android Explained


There are two main mobile operating systems in the market today. The first is Apple’s iOS, which has become very popular and is found on every single Apple device. The second is Android, which is used on Google phones and has become extremely popular in the past few years.

Initially, Android was created by Android Inc., which Google backed financially when it was first being developed, and then which they bought in 2005. In 2007, Android was officially unveiled and the HTC Dream became the first phone to have the Android operating system on it, debuting on Oct. 22, 2008.

What is it?

The Google Android system uses direct manipulation, with touch inputs that correspond with real-world actions. These include swiping, tapping and pinching on the screen. Within the hardware of the system, there are accelerometers, proximity sensors and gyroscopes for various apps in the Play Store that use those items.

On the home screen, Android users can customize their home screens with shortcuts to applications and widgets. This allows the user to display live content, including e-mails and weather information, on the home screen itself. Applications can also send notifications to the user.

While it is found mostly on tablets and phones, it has also been integrated on game consoles, digital cameras, various electronics and televisions.

Is it popular?

Today, the Android operating system is by far the most popular mobile OS system on the market.

Android operating systems are sold more than the Windows, iOS and Mac OS devices combined. In the third quarter of 2013, the share of the market of smartphones that Android controlled was 81.3 per cent. This is the highest ever for the operating system. That same year, there were over one million apps in the Google Play store, and there were 50 billion apps downloaded. For mobile developers, 71 per cent stated in a survey in 2013 that they use the Android Operating system.

In total, one billion Android devices have been activated.

What makes it better?

Why has Android taken over so much of the market? What makes it more popular than every single mobile OS combined on the market? Why do the vast majority of users use Android? There are several reasons:

1. First of all, with Android you can share content endlessly. With iOS, you can only share content via basic choices but in Android, you can share content through any installed application with sharing capabilities.

2. While the iOS keyboard is good, you get many more keyboard options with Android. There are several different types of keyboards that you can use, so they match any sort of typing style.
3. Android is highly customizable and you can customize it any way you like. You can even download any form of iOS 7 theme that you want, so you get the exact look that you want. So no more hair loss issues because of unavailable features.
4. When you put your Android system into a computer, as in plugging it in through a USB drive, you see a file system just like the one that you see with your computer. This is not found with an iOS system, which doesn’t allow you to do that.
5. iOS does have good notifications, but Android is much better in terms of how it notifies you of things. You can see everything you need in the notification drawer and you can take action and determine what you want to do with that application ahead of time.
6. Your contact list allows you to import photos of your contacts so that you can have your photos set the way you want them. Again, you have full customizability.
7. One great feature is that you can have multiple users on one Android tablet. You can share your tablet with others in your office or your home. You cannot do that with an iPad.
8. With Google Now, you get a much better version of Siri. Siri only searches on Bing, while Google Now of course searches on Google.
9. For Google’s Android system, it doesn’t matter where your music came from. You can play the music you want, no matter what.
10. There are more free applications available through Google’s Play Store, many more than compared to what you find with iOS and the App Store.
11. You can unlock your phone any number of ways including through slide, a face unlock, pattern, PIN or password.

With so many great features with Google Android, you are getting a greater bang for your buck when you compare it with any other operating system.

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5 Worst Kitchen Staples You Should Throw Away


Living an active lifestyle is important if you want to stay fit. However, it does not just stop there. Believe it or not, your diet has a lot more to contribute to your physical and mental fitness than just exercising alone.

Though it is quite easy to mess up healthy food choices, a balanced diet should always be your number one priority when preparing meals. For some people who have never struggled with their weight, they can easily pick up any food or snack in the grocery store without thinking about its impact on their health.

What is in your kitchen that is putting you at risk of the most detrimental diseases known to mankind? Here are five of the unhealthiest foods that you are probably consuming at a daily basis.

Potato Chips

This is perhaps the most enjoyed snack in the entire country and one of the unhealthiest foods that you can pick up in a grocery store. Potato chips are fat-filled bad carbs that do nothing but add numbers to your scale and waistline.

In fact, you can consider potato chips as “cancer in a bag” as they contain the chemical acrylamide – a carcinogen that is formed when foods are baked or fried at high heat.

According to Prof. Dale Hattis of Clark University, several thousand of cancer cases per year in America are most likely from acrylamide consumption.

Processed Meats

The American Institute for Cancer Research states that smoked, salted, cured and chemically preserved meats are linked to colon cancer. As these products tend to contain too much fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol, they also contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other lifestyle-related diseases.

Processed meats are delicious and inexpensive. But as much as you enjoy them, you have to throw them out and source your meats from lean unprocessed sources.

Microwave Dinners

For people who cannot seem to find the time to prepare their own meals, microwave dinners are a God-sent blessing. However, do not be fooled by their size. Frozen dinners may be tiny but they are loaded with calories.

According to Livestrong.com, there is a popular brand of chicken pot pie sold in grocery stores that has 1,020 calories per serving and has 64 grams of fat. Although there are low-fat versions of microwave dinners, they are still heavily seasoned with sodium and are highly processed.

Instead of buying microwave dinners, you can meal prep once a week and cook healthier meals. It is a lot like eating a microwave dinner but only better and healthier.

Soft Drinks

The easiest way to gain weight is to drink soda regularly. As delicious and refreshing as they are, soft drinks can actually double your risk of getting pancreatic cancer by simply drinking a few glasses a week.

Aside from pancreatic cancer, you ultimately increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as developing diabetes by simply consuming two and a half glasses of soda every day. If you are a daily soda-drinker, it is best to completely get rid of them from your diet and start living a more healthy life.

You can create your own refreshing and fizzy drink by mixing carbonized water and healthy fruit juices. They are healthier for you and your family and you will lose weight fast.

Margarine

Margarine has many uses for many different dishes. But regardless of its reputation as the cholesterol-free and healthy alternative to butter, it is still a source of trans fats. Trans fats can damage your blood vessels, elevate cholesterol and cause coronary diseases.

Olive oil and other monounsaturated fat sources are better alternatives to butter and margarine.

If you have any plans for staying active and fit, it is only vital that you throw away any food from your fridge that contributes to the downfall of your health. If you do not make this change as soon as possible, your family’s state of health might be at risk.

By studying about clean and healthy eating, you can help restock your kitchen with nutrient-dense foods that will supercharge your health. Keeping wholefoods and fresh produce in sight will help you stay determined in preparing healthy meals for you and your family’s benefit.

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Why Women Want Flat Bellies So Bad

lean belly
Why do women dream of a flat belly and how can they get one? Does it cost money to get a nice belly and body in general? If you want to know the answer to these questions and more, you can continue reading.

If you look all around at the media and things of that nature, women all seem to have a flat belly. No matter what you see in advertising or music videos, the women look healthy and like they are not large at all.

Did you know a lot of what you see is edited and that’s not a very realistic standard to hold yourself up against? But, some famous women do a lot of work to stay healthy, so it’s still not a bad idea to look up to these women that try their best to be in good shape.

A good way to get a flat belly is to exercise. When you exercise, you don’t just want to stick with the areas related to the belly fat you want to lose. You have to work your whole body out if you want to look your best.

There are all kinds of gyms spread around cities that you can go to if you want to get into better shape. If you don’t want other people to see you quite yet, you can start working out at home until you get to a point where you’re comfortable exercising in public.

Another big part of getting a flat belly is eating the right kinds of food. People get carried away when it comes to what they eat because they go for snacks all the time and rarely eat what is good for them.

If you want to get the flat belly you’re dreaming of, you need to get junk out of your diet. You need to get all of the healthy nutrients from fruits, veggies, and meals that are made without a lot of extra ingredients that are known to be bad for you.

Make a list of goals that you can work on. You can, for instance, make it a point to do 20 minutes of working out every day after you get off work. Maybe you can go on a walk for a while every few days, too.

Staying active is a good idea, because if you don’t, then it won’t matter what you eat. You have to give your body fuel, and then you have to use that fuel. Once you start to eat right and exercise, you’ll be able to exercise more and more without getting all that tired when you’re done.

There are also ways to get a flat belly that include plastic surgery. They can laser away fat or they may do some other kind of procedure. This is a last resort for most people, because looking your best is usually as easy as eating the proper diet.

Speaking of eating a proper diet, you also have to watch out for what you are drinking when it comes to your daily beverages. You may be able to cut a lot of calories if you don’t drink soda or things like sugary coffee drinks since they add to a weight problem.

When women want to get healthy and have a flat belly, a mix of diet and exercise is the best way to get there. You are now familiar with what you can do to get your belly to look the way you want it to. You’ll be very happy with the results you get if you work hard at it.

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Main London Universities

London is a world-class city with a history that goes back 2,000 years. It also has some of the oldest universities in the world, and some of the most prestigious as well. So, what are the top universities in London? There are several, but these are some of the best. They offer a wide range of courses, perfect for anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge with a post-secondary education.

University College London

Usually ranked in the top 10 universities in the entire world, including as high as fourth, this university is incredibly popular with international students who make up 33 per cent of the body of students.

The UCL university offers 10 faculties, and its campuses and teaching hospitals are located right in the middle of central London. Easily one of the best universities to enroll in.

Imperial College London

Another university that often ranks high in the QS World University Rankings, Imperial College placed fifth in 2014, this science-focused institution puts extra importance on laboratory work to go with the excellent research and teaching that can be found at the school.

International students make up about 33 per cent of the student population, and it is located near the centre of London, close to Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall, Harrods and some of the best museums in the entire city.

London School of Economics and Political Science

The UK’s only university that specializes in social sciences. Ranking 68th in the world, it does much better in subject rankings and it is seen as a world-leading university in subjects such as politics, sociology, accounting and law. Students from over 150 countries come to this school to learn from their extremely qualified instructors.

King’s College London

Ranking 19th in the world, this college is a leader in academics and scholarship opportunities. It has five London campuses, with four sitting on the banks of the Thames, right near the middle of London. This university excels in a number of subjects.

Queen Mary, University of London

Offering teaching and research in several subjects including medicine and dentistry, 10 per cent of the students are from other EU countries, and 30 per cent come from elsewhere in the world. It is located near several important landmarks and it is an important university within London in a number of subjects.

Royal Holloway University of London

Considered to be one of the most beautiful universities in the world, it is a global university with 100 students coming from other countries, offering a wide variety of degrees and courses in a number of areas including arts, humanities, social sciences, economics, management and science. It is located about an hour away from central London via public transit.

City University London

Located within the historic financial and commercial district of London, it offers many different classes and features some world-renown universities including the Sir John Cass Business School, the School of Health Sciences and City Law School. A total of 17,000 students are enrolled here, with 16 per cent coming from elsewhere in the European Union and 28 per cent coming from elsewhere in the world.

Brunel University

Named after Kingdom Brunel, one of the greatest players in engineering in history, it is one of the top engineering and design schools in the entire world. In the eighteenth century visionary Kingdom Brunel took a number of gambles with innovative engineering designs and this often paid off with projects such as tunnels and bridges.

Brunel University offers several other courses as well, including business, law, information systems, sport and health sciences. It has 15,000 students, many of whom come from over 100 other countries in the world. It is located in West London, about an hour away from the city center via public transit.

Birkbeck College University of London

This is the only university in London that allows students to complete full three-year degrees through evening courses, while providing all the benefits of daytime study. Located in the Bloomsbury area, students are able to complete a day’s work before they attend class. Birkbeck teaches many different students ranging in ages and abilities. The average age of students is 34, and students come from 100 other countries to enrol.

University of East London

Tracing its roots back to 1892, this university offers classes in psychology, arts and digital industries, bioscience, law, business, engineering and much more. With three campuses, it boasts 28,000 students coming from 120 countries around the world.

University of Greenwich

Established in 1890, the subjects taught here range from architecture and business, to humanities and natural sciences. There is a strong research focus at the university, with well-established links to the scientific community. It features a total of three campuses, with 27,723 students attending.

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Lessons from Shark Tank: Stupid Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

shark tankShark Tank as is common knowledge is a TV show where inventors try to promote their product to potential investors in front of a live TV audience. While most of us will never pitch to investors on television, the pressure we feel in the investment “shark tank” can feel just as intense.

While some entrepreneurs can get things off the ground without investors, many can’t. They need to persuade investors to take them seriously in order to get their endeavor going. Unfortunately, all too often, stupid mistakes prevent that from happening.

Let’s look at 3 mistakes wannabe entrepreneurs made while presenting their case to the investors, and how you can avoid making these with the judicious use of common sense, paperwork, tools and partners.

1. Have Clear Plans (and Present Them Clearly)

During episode 24 of season 4, a stuntman named James LaVitola, along with his friend Brian Pitt, pitched the Shark Tank investors on a movie they had planned, called Track Days. They were asking for just $5 million: not much at all as far as movies go, really.

They didn’t get very far either.

In fact, they set a record nobody would ever want to have: the fastest “I’m out,” ever. Mark Cuban simply couldn’t convince himself to put up any cash for the movie.

Why?

Simple. James and Brian had barely introduced themselves before it became clear that the “movie” had no script, no producer, and no actors signed. With nothing more than stuntman James to bring any kind of expertise to the table, the Sharks had absolutely no reason to open up their wallets for a single dollar.

The logic behind their pitch was laughable. James and Brian were asking for $5 million so that they could get the talent they would need in order to get a good script and actors involved to make the movie.

Here’s the thing: James and Brian probably didn’t need to be filmmakers or have a script in hand in order to get money from investors. All they needed was a clear plan. Even if it’s all for fun, sticking to the basics helps give direction and legitimacy to the project (all the more because of the investment involved).

For example, they could have:

  • Spoken with several screenwriters who had written profitable movies in the past.
  • Got in touch with independent directors who had directed at least one profitable movie.
  • Contacted several independent actors who had played parts in profitable movies.
  • Spoken with a producer who could get involved and who could estimate the cost of the special effects, equipment, taxes, and other unexpected costs.
  • Negotiate signed payment agreements with the parties discussed above.
  • Add another 50% or so for good measure.
  • Design an in-depth project plan using a multi-device collaboration app like WorkZone or Asana that all parties involved can actively put to use until project completion.

Then they could have approached the Sharks with a clear plan regarding what the money was going to be used for, who it was going to, and why the talent that they had on the books was going to turn a profit.

These lessons aren’t limited to Shark Tank. They’re valuable insights that you can carry with you when you approach investors, talk to banks, or even launch a crowdfunding initiative on a platform like Kickstarter.

As the entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily need to be the “product expert” or have a specific skill relevant to the product you’re producing. In fact, sometimes product experts make the worst entrepreneurs.

What you do need to have is a clear plan and proven talent. When you ask for money, you need to be extremely unambiguous about what it’s going to be used for, preferably with written agreements backing up where the money is going to be spent, and a track record of profitability.

2. If You Are the Product Expert, Find a Business Expert

This lesson doesn’t necessarily apply to everybody, but the uncomfortable truth is that most product experts are not business experts, and haven’t learned the skills to lead a team, market a product, talk to investors, or turn a profit. And while you certainly can learn those skills, it’s generally not worth the effort.

The division of labor is the hallmark of capitalism’s success, allowing us to focus our efforts on the skills we’re good at, and contract out the ones we aren’t so great with.

This is a lesson that Donna McCue of “Fat Ass Fudge” could have used when she went on Shark Tank.

Donna is a former comedian who has been making gluten-free fudge based on her grandmother’s recipe since 2008. She’s had experience making it in several restaurant kitchens in her area. Made with organic goat’s milk and butter, the fudge is a good choice for people with both gluten and lactose intolerances, and those who have a preference for organic foods.

She’s also been selling the fudge from her “Fudgemobile” as well as online, and she seems to be making a profit.

But when she asked the Sharks for $250k in order to get a 5% share in Fat Ass Fudge, she fell flat on her face.

Why?

The Sharks loved her fudge, it was apparent that she is making a good product; it was obvious that it had a market, and with $60,000 in sales, she was profitable. Why would the investors turn her down?

Her personality was just a little bit too colorful.

Donna’s background as a comedian shines through during her presentation in front of the Sharks. The Sharks liked Donna. Mark Cuban was the last to say he was out, and said he felt she would probably do fine without his investment. But, at the end of the day, the investors simply weren’t willing to trust their money with somebody who had so little business experience, and such an outrageous, if enjoyable, personality.

Her appearance on the show has helped business, and as Cuban said, she probably will do just fine. But if she ever wants to scale, she’s going to need to partner up with somebody who isn’t a product expert. Somebody who can talk to investors, market a product, and grow a business.

3. Patent Your Tech (and Have Some Humility)

Ben Wood pitched his apparel company called Viewsport to the Sharks during Season 3. His company sells shirts with sweat-activated technology. When the wearer sweats in the shirt, a motivational saying like “No one has ever drowned in their own sweat” appears on the shirt.

While Barbara Corcoran found the idea of the shirt disgusting, the guys were interested at first. Unfortunately, Ben made two decisions that killed it for the investors.

For starters, the technology was not patented.

This is a big problem for products whose primary selling point is innovation. Obviously, not every product idea should be patented and many can’t. But when the idea can be patented, and it’s your product’s entire unique selling proposition, you obviously need to just get it done.

At bare minimum, you need to be in patent-pending status.

In Ben’s case, he was patent-pending. This was a good step and it might have been enough for the Sharks if he hadn’t made another crucial error that left them skeptical.

He asked for too much.

Way too much! Ben asked for a $500k investment in exchange for a 20% stake in the company. In other words, we was valuing his company at $2.5 million. When he went on Shark Tank, he only had $140k in sales. While most of the sales had taken place in just the 3 months prior, this was simply asking for the moon from the investors.

Both errors were fundamentally the same. Ben Wood was asking for too much, too soon. If he had given himself the time to reach a fully patented status, and demonstrated enough revenue to justify his asking price, he probably would have succeeded.

Like “Fat Ass Fudge,” Viewsport will probably be a successful company, but it will struggle with scaling until Ben can get his tech patented and his asking price under control.

Master the Basics

While all three of these mistakes might seem obvious in retrospect, it’s surprisingly common for entrepreneurs to make them when they talk to investors (or try to run a business in general). Most entrepreneurs fail not because they failed to learn some crucial piece of expert advice, but because they failed to master the basics.

To recap:

  • Know exactly where the money is going to go, preferably with written agreements in place, and present those plans clearly.
  • If you’re a product expert, you’re probably not a business expert, and you need to partner up with somebody who is.
  • Don’t pitch too much too soon. If you’re in an innovative space, get your product patented. Ask for reasonable investments and value your company based on existing revenue or conservative projections.

So there you have it. Stick to the fundamentals and you will put yourself ahead of many of the entrepreneurs competing for attention in the investment shark tank.

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The American Presidential Election

January 2017 marks a big change for America. The country will have a new head of the state and the planet’s largest military force will have a new commander-in-chief. It is a big role and the race is becoming bitter as the 8th of November, Election Day, is fast approaching.

The latest poll published in the Telegraph shows Clinton leading the presidential race by 3.6%. An article from New York Times, however, shows that final election result can still differ by about four percentage points. With the numbers between Clinton and Trump being too close, it is reasonable to assume that this election is still far from over.

In other words, it is now, more than ever, that Americans need to vote. How does this work?

America’s 50 states award a candidate Electoral College votes, which depends on the state’s number of Congressional members. This also means it is roughly based on the population of a certain state. This Electoral College vote is more important than the popular vote. So this means that if, for example, Clinton’s campaign wins in big Democratic States such as California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, these populous states could elect her as the new President of America.

To put this in context, Obama, in 2008, received 68% of Electoral College vote. This means the outgoing president was backed by the most highly populated states of the country.

What are swing states?

We always hear about the swing states in discussions about the elections. But, what is it? The Telegraph defines swing states as the battlegrounds where a presidential candidate wins over the other. These areas are identified based on the thin margin between the two candidates. In other words, the result can still go either way.

This makes the Electoral College in these swing states crucial to the final election result especially since they make up 270 votes, a significant number to win the election. There are no fixed swing states for every election. They vary depending on the most debated or controversial topics during the election. Regardless, these states are definitely the target areas for a presidential political campaign.

An interesting trivia is that Ohio has always been mentioned in campaigns as an important area. This is because the candidate who wins in Ohio wins the election. This has been true since the 1964 elections. This makes Ohio a busy state during the campaign season especially since the average margin of victory here is only 3%. With the current poll results however, any state is a swing state at this point.

Why are the polls neck-and-neck?

Both Trump and Clinton are unpopular both to the public and even to their own parties. There are Republicans who refuse to endorse Trump, while Clinton is suffering the same lack of endorsement from the Democrats.

Surveys from CBS News and New York Times reflect the public’s lack of trust to both candidates. For example, when it comes to honesty and trustworthiness, Clinton received 33% while Trump received 35%. When it comes to values, 57% of Americans say that they do not have the same values as Clinton, while Trump received 62% in the same category.

This election is also an interesting time as far as the division of demographics in America is concerned. More whites and men support Republicans, while ethnic minorities and women support Clinton.

Race is one of the biggest demographics that could dictate the result of this election. Trump is not very popular with Hispanics and black people, who account for a considerable percentage in key swing states. On the other hand, education, another big demographic, is more in favor of Trump than Clinton.

Under the US constitution, the new president will be inaugurated on the 20th of January, 2017. After the election, given the vote is decisive, the winning candidate will begin crafting a policy agenda as well as assembling a cabinet. This is when the real work starts. At the moment, however, the world is focused on who the US electorate decides to put in the Whitehouse.

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