Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

9 Common Mistakes Website Owners Make

There’s a lot that goes into making a website. You need to have the initial idea, the time to make it happen, an idea of how to make the site profitable, and so on. Even if you do all of these things, however, it’s always possible that you won’t quite hit the heights that you expect to hit, purely because of some fundamental errors that hold the website back from reaching its full potential. If you’re not quite reaching the number of visitors that you’d like to reach, then take a read below, where we outline some of the common mistakes that website owners make. 

Source: Pexels.com

Overcomplicating the Text

You know what your website is about and why it’s there, what it should provide for your visitors, and so on. But your visitors don’t. They’re just turning up. In their quest to fill their visitors in on all the necessary information, some website owners go overboard, and try to explain everything. The text on your website should be readable, succinct, and to the point. People online have short attention spans, and they’re not going to sit through a convoluted essay that explains your website. If you find the art of writing too difficult, then hire a third party to do the job for you.  

No Focus on SEO

You could have the single greatest website in the world, yet it wouldn’t count for anything if you’re not also focusing on the SEO side of things. Building and curating the website is one half of your job; the other is in the marketing. As such, it’s recommended that you spend some time reading up on the best modern ways of spreading the word about your site. Without it, there’ll be an upper limit to how much success you will find. 

Too Much Social Media

Some website owners don’t spend enough time marketing their site; others spend too much time, and especially so when it comes to their social media channels. Now, let’s not make any mistake: your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages are important. But they are not the end goal — your website should be the end goal. You should essentially be using your social media pages as a vehicle to drive visitors to your website. Don’t make the mistake of putting all your best content on those channels — all you’ll be doing is boosting the other website’s revenue. Save it for your own site. 

Understanding the User

It’s your website, sure, but it’s not for you — it’s for your visitors. As such, you should be looking at all the site decisions through the lens of “what is best for your visitor?” One way to do this is to make the most of UX research software. With that, you’ll be able to create your website with the user experience at the forefront of your mind. They’re the ones who will be interacting with the front facing aspect of your website, so it’s in your — and their — best interests to make it as enjoyable an experience for them as possible. 

Trust Issues

The internet has done a lot of good for humanity, but it would be wrong to pretend that there are no issues. Cybercrime, for example, is increasingly common, and it’s rightly making people less trusting when it comes to the online world, and the websites that they choose to interact with. When it comes to your website, it’s important that you’re not allowing your visitors to have any doubts about your overall credibility and trustworthiness. To begin with, make sure you have all the latest security certificates (this is non-optional if you’re selling items/handling sensitive data). Another way to build trust is to have as much contact information listed on your site as possible. People will feel much more relaxed about using your site if they know that they can get in touch with you via email, live chat, phone, and so on. 

Source: Pexels.com

Lack of Value

We said earlier that your website doesn’t exist for your benefit; it’s for your visitors. So take a look at the type of things you’re putting on there, and ask yourself who it benefits. If it’s all for you, then it’s time to mix things up. You have to provide value to your visitors, otherwise, why would they come? Things like blogs, tutorials, and interesting content will all give them a reason to visit your site. You shouldn’t only be asking strangers to grow your site or business — you should give something back. 

Checking Out Processes

It takes a lot of effort to make a sale online. If you have someone who is interested in buying from you, then please, please, please, make it easy for them to complete the process. Some websites take for granted that if someone puts something in their virtual shopping cart, then they’re going to check out — in actual fact, this isn’t true. Shopping cart abandonment rates are high. Can you really afford to lose business for something as silly as a complicated checking out process? Your goal is to make it streamlined and fluid. If there are multiple steps and only one payment option, then you run the risk of them changing their mind. Don’t let it happen.

Lack of Updates

It’s always important to remember that a website owner’s work is never really done. You can sit back and admire your good work, but not for long! To stay relevant, you need to keep things updated. There’s always something questionable — and a little sad — about visiting a website that hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. Once you’ve got the fundamentals of your website in place, it’ll just be about tweaking things here and there, and also adding a regular blog — it makes a big difference!

Simple Mistakes

Finally, take the time to ensure that you’re not making any simple errors that undermine your site. Spelling and grammatical errors, as well as low-quality videos and photographs, bring down the quality of your website more than you might think. 

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Why a Sense of Purpose Can Extend Your Life

Originally posted by Silvernest Team on Mar 12, 2017 11:33:13 PM


For many baby boomers, retirees and seniors, winding down a career, or having an empty nest can be a shock. The quiet, and lack of daily demands can take some getting used to; and it is common to feel a lack of purpose. Studies show that NOT having a purpose in life can increase illness and reduce longevity.

With 10,000 people turning 65 per day, the aging population is growing, and with greater health and vitality, a new era of “active aging” is underway. The “Third Age” of life can be one of renewed purpose via encore careers, volunteering, caring for children or meaningful travel. Science shows the best gift we can give ourselves is to have an upbeat and positive attitude about the future- whatever comes.

“It is time to expand our perceptions of aging,” said Paul Irving, president of the Milken Institute. “Having a sense of purpose literally changes everything.”

Irving went on to offer four astounding statistics on the power of positive perceptions of aging and having a purpose:

  • Yale University research has shown that older individuals with positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer.
  • Rush University Medical Center found individuals with a high level of purpose were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Older adults with positive perceptions of aging were 44% more likely to recover from severe disability than those with a negative perception of aging.
  • Having a sense of purpose in life was associated with a 19% reduced risk for both heart disease and stroke.

“Having a sense of purpose is not just ‘nice,’ it is as important to our society as good nutrition, smoking cessation or exercise and should be a public health mandate.”

At Silvernest, we have found that active aging extends into our perceptions of our homes. An empty house is a lonely house; and bringing in a roommate creates a positive vibe. Many homeowners say they are more motivated to take on little projects, cook meals, turn the music up and actually look forward to coming home seeing the lights on for a change!

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

3 Common Ways That Construction Companies Waste Money

Setting up your own construction business can be very lucrative but the overheads are very high and a lot of businesses struggle to get off the ground. If you can’t manage costs effectively, you won’t be able to afford to pay for all of the equipment and materials that you need to complete jobs and the business is likely to go under.

Image Source

There are a lot of costs that you simply can’t avoid in construction so regardless of how good you are with your money, you’re always going to have high overheads. However, a lot of construction companies, particularly ones that are just starting out, waste a lot of money unnecessarily and that’s when they find themselves in a bad position. If you can avoid that waste, you stand a far better chance of surviving and thriving. These are the most common ways that construction companies waste money that you should be aware of.

Inaccurate Quotes

When you’re pricing up a job and giving a customer a quote, it’s so important that you do it accurately. A good quote should outline all of the materials costs and labor costs, accounting for any potential problems along the way. But so many new businesses end up making mistakes and it can cost them a lot of money. If you suddenly realize that the job is going to cost a lot more than you originally thought it would to complete, you can’t exactly turn around to the customer and start asking for more money. You agreed on a price and you’ll have to complete the job for that price. That means that all of the extra money is going to have to come out of your profits so if you make a mistake with the quote, you’ll be making hardly any money on the job at all. If you get it very wrong, you might even end up losing money on jobs and that’s when you’re going to be in real trouble.

The important thing is that you don’t rush it. Don’t go to look at the job and feel that you need to come back with a price right away. If you tell a customer that you need some time to consider the work and look into the material costs, that won’t put them off. In fact, they’ll be more comfortable with a company that is being thorough than they will with a company that just throws a price out there straight away because it seems unprofessional. As long as you are thorough with your quote and you make sure that it’s accurate, you should be ok. Don’t try to overprice jobs because customers may compare it with their own independent estimation. It’s also important that you don’t underprice jobs just to get customers to start with. You should try to be competitive and you can knock prices down a little, but don’t offer to do the job for half the price that everybody else will because you just won’t be making any money.

Machine Costs

Image Source

If you’re doing larger jobs and you need some heavy machinery, that will require a big investment. But a lot of construction companies waste money here as well, often by going for brand new machines all of the time. At this stage, you can’t afford to do that and you’ll be far better off buying second hand. You can still get good quality machines second hand and you’ll save yourself a lot of money. Fuel costs are a big problem as well because they fluctuate a lot and you’ll be wasting money if you buy fuel when prices are high. If you want to save money on your fuel, you need to buy a storage system from a petrol tank supplier and start buying in bulk. If you keep an eye on prices and wait until they’re low, you can save yourself so much money if you buy in bulk and store it. That way, you won’t be spending lots of money on fuel when the prices skyrocket again.

Buying machines at all might not be the best option when you’re first starting out. It may be more cost effective to just hire them out instead. If you’re doing mainly residential jobs and you don’t use heavy machinery that often, buying them is a waste. Hiring them isn’t that cost effective if you use them on every single job but if you only use them now and again, it’s easier and cheaper. You don’t have to worry about any of the maintenance costs either so you’ll save money there too.

Injuries On Site

Image Source

The construction industry is a dangerous one and health and safety is a big deal, but if you’re not following proper procedure, you going to cost yourself a lot of money. If somebody is injured on site and it is found to be a result of you not following health and safety procedures properly, you’re likely to get a big fine. If you have the right insurance, that will hopefully cover the costs but in some cases, it won’t, and you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket.

An injury that puts somebody out of action is also going to slow progress on the job. There is a chance that you’ll be forced to close the site for a while and you’ll be a man down so the job will take longer than you initially planned for it to. But you won’t be getting paid any more money and you’ll have to pay subcontractors for longer so you’re not likely to make that much profit on the job after an injury.

Even though it sometimes seems a bit excessive, you need to make sure that you’re looking after your employees properly and always follow health and safety rules to the letter. It’s also important that you check that people are properly trained and certified before you hire them because some people may exaggerate their qualifications to get the job.

If you’re going to make your construction company a success, it’s important that you avoid these common areas of waste.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Small Town, Big Benefit: Making Simple Changes In Your Hometown


On our home turf, we can make significant changes so that we benefit. These changes could be environmentally-friendly or could be quick ways to save money. But when we want to spread this out further, and make changes to our community or our hometown, therein lies more of a challenge. But are there ways for us to make significant changes, turning our small town into somewhere with huge benefit?

Inspire Non-Digital Literacy

Everybody has an abundance of used books lying around, and while the modern approach to reading is very much on a device, if we can collate all of our used and unwanted books, and create a free library, it becomes a fantastic way to inspire and improve literacy. It can also be part of a wider literacy project that can get people off the streets and into a welcoming environment.

Redesigning The Streets

If you live in an area that’s not particularly attractive, it doesn’t take much to completely make over the small areas so that passers-by can feel the inclination to stop and wander around. While there are many places prone to vandalism, if we can take positive steps to look at the more unattractive aspects of our town, whether it’s a bus shelter that’s been vandalized too much or a local park that desperately needs a new set of swings, by redesigning the street by fixing the smaller parts, rather than tackling the massive projects first, it will serve to improve the overall aesthetics of the place.

Embracing Sustainability

Everybody’s trying to do their bit for the planet now, and one of the easiest things that we can all do is plant a tree. So, you need to check your local rules before you start being trigger happy with your trees, but see if there are any initiatives near you that give away free trees to plant. In addition to this, there could be planting services around. As well as planting trees, you could start to make the most of one unused area of land and turn it into an allotment where people can congregate to grow their own fruits and vegetables. For those people that don’t have much money, this could be a lifesaver, as well as being a fantastic way to fight mental health issues in a small community.

Encourage More Conversation

It can be argued that we live in areas that don’t have a community spirit anymore. Perhaps we need to encourage more social aspects of our locale, and as much as we can encourage community-oriented events, if people don’t necessarily have the inclination to go into these, perhaps we can work on it in other, less obvious ways. A bench is a very simple thing, but when people sit down, a conversation may or may not begin, but over time, this will encourage people to be a bit more sociable and to share. But you don’t have to purchase metallic benches to get the most out of this, but rather, you could upcycle pallets and turn them into makeshift street furniture. You can then put these on the corners of streets near bus stops, and hopefully, there will be a little bit more in the way of community interaction.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

5 Reasons Why a Career in the Armed Forces Could be Perfect For You

Image credit Pixabay

Thinking about what you want to do for a job can be a tricky thing to decide upon, as there are just so many career options out there, and an endless list of job titles. You may be wondering whether to go to college, travel the world, or to start working and earning money straight away; you may not have realized that you can actually do all of these things at the same time.

One job that you may have never considered before is a career in the armed forces. Did you know that by joining the United States Military you will be working for the Department of Defense, which is, in fact, one of the world’s biggest employers?

Aside from the benefits that come from working in a large government organization, there are many other reasons why a career in the military could be right for you. Read on to find out more…

A Wide Choice of Roles

A career in the US military provides a vast array of opportunities, as many of the roles that civilians do, are also available in the services too, offering endless chances to find a position that you love.

There are plenty of branches of the military to choose from; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Within each of these branches, there is a vast choice of roles available and chances to progress your career.

If you immediately associate being in the armed forces with serving on the front line, you will be surprised to hear about all the other types of career available. From medics to engineers, mechanics to chefs, all of these roles also form a vital part of the armed forces. Many other desk job positions are also available, so the career possibilities really are endless and far-reaching.

A Worthwhile Job

If you are after a career that brings you a sense of purpose, then a military career could be ideal for you. Doing a job that matters and is able to help others all while representing your country can bring a massive sense of pride.

Service personnel are held in high esteem by society; you only need to think of war veterans to see this demonstrated. Think about How Many WW2 Veterans are Still Alive? And how important they are considered to be, as well as how their service helped shape the future of the country and each of our lives.

Skills That Will Last a Lifetime

As the armed forces require so many skilled personnel, it provides an excellent opportunity to learn a trade that you will be able to use in the future when you leave the services. This enables you to learn skills such as engineering and mechanics while you are earning money serving your country that will last you for a lifetime.

Aside from practical hands-on skills, a number of essential transferable skills will be learnt when serving. The types of skills that you will learn include teamwork, time management, leadership, staying calm under pressure and many more. These skills will be a valuable asset not only in your personal life but also when you leave the military too. Whether you decide to seek an employed position or run your own business once your military career ends, you will find that your skill set is in high demand, and your experience of being in the services benefits you.

Signing up to join the armed forces does not need to mean waving goodbye to your studies. In fact, you may find that you have even more opportunity to study as a result of signing up. This is because It is possible to get the best of everything and to leave school, sign up, and attend college at the same time. The great thing about studying while you are also in the services is that you can keep on earning money, while at the same time furthering your education and working toward your degree.

As an added bonus, the armed forces often cover the cost of your college education too, either wholly, or in part, which is ideal if college wasn’t an option for you previously due to financial circumstances. You will need to check with the specific branch of the armed services that you intend to join in order to find out what percentage of your study costs they will be prepared to pay.

Travel the World

If you have often dreamed of traveling the world, but never had the opportunity to do it, then joining the armed services could be your chance. The US Armed Services have bases all over the world, meaning that you could visit countries that you would never have imagined visiting previously.

If you love the idea of meeting new people, visiting different countries and discovering new things, you will find that a military career could help to provide this.

Be Part of Something

Joining the armed forces brings with it a rare kind of camaraderie that is not found in other careers. It is a unique career that sees new recruits forming bonds as they are continually training together and living together. A military career typically comes with housing provided for you. Unmarried service personnel without families are usually housed on the military base and have their food and board provided for them.

If you have a family of your own, suitable housing will be provided on the base for you. The type of accommodation you receive depends on your rank. Life on the base offers a community feel, where you will usually find all the amenities that you need within the base. Libraries, schools, shops and other facilities are typically found on the base, making it a community in its own right.

Of course, life in the armed services brings with it many changes, one of the most obvious ones being the fact that you will move location frequently. When you change locations, the armed services cover the cost of relocation for you and your family.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

How to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

A business that keeps things running smoothly is more likely to achieve long-term success and sustainability. If you run the kind of business that’s always going through turbulence and there are ups and downs every day of the week, you’ll run into even bigger problems before long. You should aim to keep things smooth and steady as far as you possibly can. Here are some ways in which you can do that.

Organize Your Workplace Better

Having a better organized workplace could be really helpful to you and your employees. When everyone feels settled and able to work in a calm and supportive environment, they’ll be more productive and better able to offer the kind of performance levels you want. In turn, that will help the business massively and help it to push on to the next level. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

Build a Team with Purpose

It’s up to you to build a team that has real purpose. It doesn’t always happen the way you want it to and team building can be tough. But start out by taking a more proactive and careful approach to the hiring process. Know what you’re looking for and what kind of fit the candidate’s personality needs to offer. These things all matter when it comes to building a team that’s ready for success.

Image Source

Outsource Certain Tasks and Responsibilities

By outsourcing certain tasks, you will be able to run your business smoothly because you’ll have less on your plate to deal with. You can click here for more info about outsourcing certain tasks. But it’s up to you to decide exactly which tasks should be outsourced and which aren’t so problematic for you. It’s something that will be different for each business out there, so give it some careful thought.

Communicate Effectively

Good communication is vital in any working scenario. You need to know that everyone is communicating and understand what’s required on a particular project or task. If you’re going to improve the way in which your business is run, you’ve definitely got to look at communication. Without that, you’re going to consistently run into problems and you’ll cause needless issues for yourself and everyone else trying to push the business towards success.

Offer Real Leadership

Offering genuine leadership to your team is really important and it’s something that you definitely need to work on. Without strong leadership, the business can become rudderless and people won’t know what to do or what’s expected of them. That’s obviously something you’ll want to avoid, so work on your own leadership skills and ensure you have a second in command you can call on too.

If you get these things right, you’ll soon start to see and feel the difference they make to how your business grows. There are lots of things that can go wrong with your business, but there’s no need for you to bring them on yourself by running it in a haphazard or careless way.

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂

Serious About Saving Money? Three Drastic Ways to Go About It

Image: Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/money-pink-coins-pig-9660/ch/saving%20money/

Money really does matter in life. Whether you like it or not, we need it to be able to keep a roof over our head, to feed ourselves and to get the things we want and need. It tends to be a pretty taboo subject and isn’t something we can always speak openly about with friends and family, and so whether we’re aiming to save for something or struggling with cash it can often be a lonely journey. Maybe you’re saving up for a house deposit, or perhaps you’re just trying to pay down debts and get your finances straight- if you’re serious about saving some money then here are three ways to go about it.

Move house

The most drastic change of all but something that could save you hundreds, even thousands a year is by moving house. If you’re paying hundreds on rent each month it’s essentially dead money and cash you could be saving. You could move to a smaller property that’s cheaper to run with rent and bills, or you could move in with a kind friend or family member for a while and pay them a set amount in order to save cash. Renting a room with other house sharers is another option, bills and rent tend to be combined and it will be much cheaper than living alone. A great option for the short term.

Give up your car

If you own a car then a large part of your budget every month will be going towards this. Fuel, breakdown cover, repair costs, MOTs, insurance, tax and so on. Giving up your car, at least for a while again will free up money for you to save, pay down debts or whatever you need to do. Start walking everywhere or cycling, it’s good for you and you’ll save £’s while losing lbs. You could look into buying a motorcycle instead, they tend to be much cheaper to run but would still enable you to get around if you need to do longer trips. Just be aware of the risk, any accident attorney like https://www.braininjurylawofseattle.com/seattle-motorcycle-accident-attorney/ will tell you that will motorcycling is less dangerous than you might think, accidents that do occur are more likely to be life changing or fatal.

Start cooking at home

One place that most of us tend to spend too much is on, is food and drink. We buy cold drinks or coffees throughout the day, we order takeaways or go out to restautants to see friends. We buy bottles of wine to enjoy at home, and purchase too many groceries that end up getting wasted. Get a handle on your spending on food and drink and you’ll save yourself a fortune. Buy supermarket cheap brands, and create recipes in bulk that can be frozen and eaten again later on. Big pasta or rice dishes can be combined with any meat, vegetables or sauces that are on offer for example- they cost next to nothing but can be healthy and filling. Start bringing your own drinks and coffee to work and on days out, and stop dining out for a while. Watch the savings start adding up!

Contributed Post.

If you like what you’ve read here, please let others know of this post, blog, and site.

And thanks for reading!  🙂