Business Money Software Technology

An Update on Enrichr, Software, Investing etc.

Enrichr - Pursuing Success

A few things have happened lately. One is that the Daily Press is running an article on bloggers and apparently I’m going to be featured. I had a phone interview and the photographer came over and took pictures of me standing by my computer :).

We decided to change the name of the Community of Success (mentioned below) to Enrichr – Pursuing Success. The main reason for the change is that we (there are three of us running the site) decided that Community of Success sounds, for lack of a better word, nerdy. Enrichr is a play on Flickr (obviously) and is a pretty good representation of the purpose of the site–to enrich people’s lives through providing knowledge and motivation.

I’ve also started documenting my efforts to find an investment property on that website.

I’ll take this chance to write about some good software I’ve found lately too:

1. MediaCentral – a program similar to Front Row but in my opinion better. It uses Spotlight to find media anywhere on your hard drive.

2. MP3 Trimmer – fully featured shareware with nag screens to merge mp3’s (or spilt them). I sometimes end up with audiobooks I’ve ripped from CD that are in a million files. This program rejoins them nicely. I also recently discovered you can join them in iTunes before importing them by going to Advanced > Join CD Tracks if you have them all selected.

3. Colibri – The real Quicksilver for Windows? Doubtful, but at least it looks similar. Free.

4. Loudblog – Very cool PHP software for podcasting. With Loudbot it can also be integrated with other blog software.

5. MODx – An interesting looking CMS that is “Web 2.0 buzzword compliant.” One of the few CMS’s that has looked interesting to me lately.

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Business Knowledge Money Web Services

How to Find a Great Domain Name

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Good domain names are out there, but they can be hard to find. Here are some tools to help you in your search.

  1. Dislexicon – Takes common words and adds suffixes and prefixes. It even gives you the meaning. This site is great for finding short domain names that look like they could be real words.
  2. JustDropped – This site lets you search for domain names that have recently expired. You get a few searches for free with limited results. I’ve found that the free searches are usually adequate for my needs.
  3. Word Mixer – This one lets you enter up to five words which are mixed up into new, semi-pronouncable words. The same website also has a couple other tools that are useful such as the random words tool which is hit or miss, and the mixer seeds page.
  4. WordFinder – This is actually a tool for crossword puzzles, but it can also be very useful for finding a domain name.
  5. DomainsBot – This search engine is geared specifically towards finding a domain name. It works best if you’re looking for a compound-word domain rather than an invented word.
  6. Online Generators – If all else fails, sometimes you’ll find a gem using one of these online generators. This is usually a last resort for me though, they tend to suck up your time without out producing much.

If you find a great one that you can’t use, but want to make some cash on, this is the place to sell it.

Once you’ve found one, there are about a million places to purchase it. I personally like – good price and easy to use. Good luck… there are a ton of great names left!

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What I learned today:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, known as SOX, has caused some major changes in the way public companies must do their accounting. This act imposes strict regulations on companies in the wake of Enron and other accounting catastrophes of recent years. Audits are now much more time consuming and expensive. Many businesses have been “fired” by their Big Four accountants (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Price Waterhouse Cooper) since there is so much more work available. These displaced businesses are now forced to find accountants elsewhere and have turned to smaller (and less expensive) auditors.

Exciting stuff, huh? Maybe not, but what it means is that accountants are more in demand now than ever. If you (or someone you know) is looking for a career, maybe they should consider going into accounting.

Source – INC Magazine, August 2005 Page 19

I also found XPize today, which makes Windows XP look a lot like Windows Media Center–a nice change. I found Crimson Editor also for Windows–it’s a free text editor with tabs, file browsing, projects and syntax highlighting. I really it like so far. I came across Temptation, software that tries to prevent you from web-browsing when you should be working. Finally, StrongSpace, basically a glorified SFTP server with a web GUI, by TextDrive opened today and looks really nice. It’s nice to see another real-world implementation of Ruby on Rails (which I’m learning).

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Ten Things You Can Do Today to Jump-start Success

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  1. Read or listen to something that motivates you every single day. If you don’t read another item on this list, take this to heart. Don’t let a single day go by without providing yourself external motivation.

  2. Keep a journal of your daily progress and carry it with you wherever you go. Change and progress will happen, but in order to recognize it, you have to record it. An example of a journal entry might be “Started tracking all expenses today, woke up 15 minutes earlier, set goal to read one book a month.” Some days you’ll do more than others, but the important thing is to do something every day and write down what you do.

  3. Make goals and re-write them every day. Your goals will change, don’t worry about making goals that right now feel unattainable or baseless. The hardest part of making big goals is starting. Start by recording between 5 and 10 changes you’d like to make or milestones you’d like to reach within the next three years and re-write the goals, along with a brief note of your current progress every day. Save the lists of goals as you go so you can see how they evolve and you progress. This idea is by no means unique to me, but I do it and I know it works.

  4. Keep track of every person you meet. If you don’t feel like you will remember their name, write it down, along with details of the conversations you had with them. Microsoft Outlook or almost any Personal Information Manager is great for storing this type of information. Keep it in a simple, but comprehensive system.

  5. Begin investing a portion of your income today. A great place to start is a high-yield savings account, an IRA or a 401k plan. Do not put off investing until you’ve found the ‘perfect’ investment. If you’re already investing some of your money, bump up the amount you invest a notch.

  6. Begin looking for opportunities to build passive income (money that you don’t have to work for once you’ve done the initial work) and write down or begin working on your ideas. The most important thing you can do is be aware of the ideas you already have. Focus on building assets, not more work for yourself.

  7. Only sleep as much as you need to. Sleep is obviously important, but don’t use the most important hours of your day dreaming. If you wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11, begin to wake up at 5:30 and go to bed at 10:30. Chances are there is an hour each day that you could use doing the above things that will make you more happy and successful.

  8. Look for opportunities to serve. If you are willing to help others, others will be more willing to help you. The benefits of service are real–you will find more happiness and peace through serving than through any amount of time or money.

  9. Keep track of every penny that you spend or save. Record every transaction in the back of your checkbook, in a spiral notebook or in accounting software. By doing it, you’ll begin to discover patterns you never would have found otherwise.

  10. Stop being a victim. Focus on what YOU can DO. Stop assigning blame, don’t look for excuses. Take the attitude of ownership. Don’t try to change others, make a decision then take action.


Free Taxes through H&R Block

This offer is too good not to share. If you use the link from the IRS website, you can file your taxes for free through H&R Block. If you’re not an H&R Block fan, don’t worry, the same link leads to about a dozen other places you can file for free.


Keeping the File Cabinet Empty

One of the things I least enjoy doing is keeping up with the file cabinet. We save bills, check stubs, warranty documentation, school papers, loan info and pretty much everything else that could come back to haunt us if someone makes an accounting error. The problem we have (like I imagine most everyone has) is that the papers add up quickly and we run out of space in the filing cabinet. Our garage ends up cluttered with boxes of old bills that in all likelihood we’ll never see again, but are a pain to move around.

To remedy this problem, I’m devising a plan where we scan everything that we possibly can–that is anything that doesn’t require us to retain the original document. That way we can hang on the everything for a year then throw it away and still having a copy backed up on the hard drive and on CD.

This will add a little time scanning, but it will make documents easier to find, archived for longer periods of time and take up a lot less space in the garage. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to doing it (in a strange way) and plan on documenting the process here. I bet you just can’t wait.


E-Commerce Sites – How to Lose a Customer in 5 Days

Today, five days after placing an order on, I got this email:

Hello Marcus,

Thank you for shopping at

At we strive to provide the widest assortment of high-quality products at the lowest prices on earth. However, sometimes circumstances beyond our control affect our selection.

We were recently informed that the item listed below from order #55555 is no longer available from that supplier. Please accept our sincere apologies for this inconvenience.

Your order for this product has been automatically cancelled and you will not be charged.


Customer Support Team

I can see getting an email a day after I placed the order, or maybe even two, but a week later? Sorry, I’ll go elsewhere to avoid waiting a week for something then, about the time it’s supposed to arrive at my house, find out it’s been cancelled.


The Google Ad Experiment

Maybe I’m a little late to jump on this ship but I’ve never had ads on any of my sites. Finally (with server expenses being what they are) I decided to try Google ads. I put them on Silverfish Longboarding, a site I created a few years back that now gets about half a million page views a month.

As much as I’d like to make a little cash off it, I’m also curious as to how people react to them and how much the bother me after they’ve been there for awhile. I’m also really curious to see if anyone actually clicks them. Personally in my entire Internet career I’ve probably clicked fewer than 20 ads. Updates to come.


Cash – Here to Stay

Saturday I heard a talk show host, rather unsuccessfully, trying to defend his position that a society where there was no cash, only credit cards would be used. I find the idea that this could happen interesting, but I really doubt it would ever happen for the following reasons:

1. Peer transactions. Yesterday I bought a couple bikes off some friends. Unless they had a credit card reader in their house, this transaction would have been much more difficult in a cashless society. How would kids pay for things? Can you imagine a 10 year old with a credit card?

2. Anonymity. People are skeptical of how much the government (or any organization) knows about them. There will always be a legal way to purchase things anonymously– at least there should always be a legal way.

3. Responsibility. Too many people dissociate real money with plastic. Cash is the only way many people actually realize they’re spending their money. Without cash, the amount of consumer debt would probably skyrocket (if that’s possible from how high it is already).

4. Tradition. All other reasons aside, I don’t ever see the day when people outgrow the natural desire to have cold hard cash. It makes you feel like what you worked for is real. It’s what people have done since the end of bartering and old habits die hard.

While technology has taken an obvious foothold in many areas of life and lots things are changing, don’t count on the day that cash will disappear for good.


The Money Pit

Before we bought this home, one of the home insurance reps we talked to on the phone mentioned the movie “Money Pit” and said “why did you buy an old house?” Well… there are a lot of reasons we bought an old house, the charm, the neighborhood that actually has TREES in it (imagine that), not every house on the block is the same as ours, we could afford more buying old–there are dozens of reasons. I’ve also discovered right away (and I knew this to an extent in the beginning) that we will definitely be putting money into the home.

At this point, I’m still excited to learn about home improvement and I feel that any amount of money that goes into this house will likely come out–it’s an investment. If the housing market continues on its current trend around here, it should be a very good investment. In any case, I feel the home is a great investment, and being a homeowner feels great.