All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

The Water Experiment

Many of the regular readers of this blog know I’m diabetic. What a lot of folks don’t really know is that I run a group on Facebook for the support of Type 2 diabetics, which used to be called Adult Onset. It’s not called that anymore because unfortunately many kids that aren’t born diabetic are going that way as obesity figures around the world are increasing.

Last Sunday myself and another participant in the group decided we were going to try an experiment. The experiment was the brainchild of another member of the group who I’m not sure is diabetic or not, but he’s one of those health foods guys who loves, well, weird foods; yeah, I called it out. lol Anyway, he stated that if we drank only water for a week and didn’t change any of our other habits that we’d lose our cravings for sweets and desserts. He also said we could still eat whatever we wanted to, including desserts, but that by the end of the week we wouldn’t be craving it anymore.

By the way, to flesh this out, he said that diet sodas and any drinks with artificial sweeteners make us crave desserts because they make us think we’re having sugar without having sugar and suddenly our bodies want real sugar. I’m not really sure I go along with this theory, though I’d read it somewhere else, as studies are conflicting about it; aren’t studies always conflicting?

Y’all know I love my sweets. I’ve talked about my chocolate and love for my Doubletree cookies and peanut butter desserts and such. And of course I’ve talked about my love for cake and the way I must eat it properly.

I also love my diet drinks. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve always liked diet soda, except for Tab; did anyone besides Bobcat Goldthwait really like Tab? The day I was diagnosed as a diabetic I gave up regular soda and started drinking diet soda and other non-sugar drinks and never looked backwards except for the super-very-occasional grape soda; no one’s ever made a good diet grape soda.

It is with this in mind, as well as a mindset that’s always seen certain drinks going with certain foods, that I entered into this experiment. I’m always up for a good experiment as you know.

The first day went well. I actually like water, as cold as possible mind you, and I transitioned into it well. After all, like much of the rest of the country it’s been pretty hot here, and very cold water felt right.

The second day I ran into my first challenge, and it wasn’t a dessert craving but a mismatch of food and drink. I had a salad, and in my mind, salad and salad dressing and water don’t mix. I absolutely hated my salad so I only ate a little bit of it. However, though I always prefer diet soda with my pizza, that went fine. I still had dessert, but I wasn’t craving it.

Truthfully, that’s how the pattern went for the next three days. I was drinking a lot of water because I drink lots of liquids anyway. The guy who came up with the challenge, named Dave, started wondering if I was drinking too much water. You know this deal about drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or at least consuming that much because we get water from some of our foods? Phooey! I drink close to 128 oz with each meal, no matter what I’m drinking, and then I’m a casual drinker during the rest of my day. I always have been, even when I was a kid. He started worrying that I was washing nutrients out of my body and that it might affect the experiment. Hey, the experiment said drink water, not how much, so it was what it was.

The sixth day was problematic, and I know it was really mental. I had my first true dessert craving in a week and I knew what I wanted; yeah, that’s it to the left. lol I was also starting to really want to get done with the water thing, and I determined that I wasn’t going to fully hold myself to it on the seventh day. After all, what would one more day change things anyway, right?

On day seven I drank water up until around 7PM, when I ordered Chinese food. I broke down at that point and had 4 cans of Diet Pepsi Vanilla that my friend Scott had brought me; yeah, that was nice, and it totally enhanced my food. For me, the experiment was over, and I quit with only 5 hours to go. Earlier in the day I went to an outdoor tweetup with the heat around 90° and thus water was feeling really good because it was ice cold.

How did the experiment go overall? Well, not totally according to plan.

One, I really did only have cravings on one day, but I also knew I could eat dessert whenever I wanted so I’m not sure if my feelings were muted because of that.

Two, I gained 4 pounds, and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I didn’t work out all week, though, because of injuries I suffered the day the experiment started during a nature walk I partook of.

Three, I almost started to hate water, and that’s not good. At this point I’ve struck a nice balance between my diet soda, Wylers drink mix and water that I can live with. And I’m going back to the gym, having healed sufficiently to work out again. I need to drop what I gained and then drop even more.

Believe it or not we’re going to try the experiment again next week starting Sunday, but we’ll change up some of the parameters. One of those will be no dessert for 5 days; yeah, that’s all I’m promising for now. Another will be certain foods that we promise to give up; no potatoes, grits (that one’s for me), rice or pasta. I don’t have a problem with the pasta but rice… ugh. And for the 5 days no regular wheat, only whole wheat bread; there goes my favorite bread. We’re still debating on the Ritz crackers with peanut butter for my evening snack; I might lose that one as well, which means I’ll have to get creative on what I can snack on.

I’m wondering what Evelyn is going to have to say about this one; heck, I’m wondering what the rest of you think about experimenting like this and if any of you want to try this experiment with Greg and I; Greg’s the other guy who went along with me on this journey. Any takers?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Why I Left Firefox For Chrome And Why I Came Back

Last weekend I finally had it with Firefox. After one more crash because it was blowing up my resources I decided it was time to give up the ghost and I switched to Chrome.

I had two other alternatives, of course. I could have gone to Opera, which has always been pretty fast, but it just seems so sparse. True, one should probably only think about using a browser to browse the internet, but many of us are looking for certain things from our browsers to enhance the user experience, if you will. I also could have gone to IE8 but decided I just don’t want to go backwards, even though I’ve heard good things about IE9, which I haven’t loaded yet.

Anyway, Firefox had suddenly decided to go nuts on me. It was using some major league resources on my computer, once to the tune of 1.8GB; that’s a lot. It was regularly going over a gigabyte, and that was way too much. Then it started crashing all the time, asking me to send crash reports to Mozilla. Last Sunday it crashed the 7th time in one day and that was that.

So I made Chrome my default browser. I had been thinking about it anyway, but not without some reservation. It’s a Google product, as you know, and almost anything related to Google wants to track you. I wrote a post in 2010 telling people that if you use Google Toolbar it tracks your searches and then you start getting targeted advertising. I know they try to tell us it’s for our benefit but I just don’t feel the benefit if you know what I mean. At least you can turn it off for Google Desktop.

I used Chrome for about 4 days and started to feel that, though it had been running better than Firefox, it had issues as well. For instance, every once in awhile it just hangs for a little bit. I went to check the resources and found that it was using a gigabyte of memory as well; what the hey? It seemed to handle that much memory a little better than Firefox but not entirely; that was shocking.

Then I started missing some of my customization. For instance, I was able to modify the look of Firefox to what I was used to in the past; you can’t do that with Chrome. Also, certain plugins that make using a browser that I’ve come to like aren’t available on Chrome. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t figure out how to get anything onto Chrome whatsoever. Well, I did finally get one thing to work, but that was it.

Yup, I started missing Firefox, but I had to do something to help it stop crashing. I decided to take a look at all the plugins I was running, along with other things, to see what I really didn’t need anymore. I ended up disabling, then removing, a lot of things that I noticed didn’t even work anymore. Firefox 5 automatically disabled some thing it said it wasn’t compatible with, but I use both Stylish and Greasemonkey and it turns out some scripts with each of those weren’t working anymore either, and could have been causing a conflict.

The verdict is pretty good so far. The highest recorded memory since I made the changes is 525MB, which is easily more manageable. The browser hasn’t crashed since I started using it again and I’m happy about that as well. Maybe it’s finally going to behave; one can only hope, right?

But customization is really what puts Firefox ahead of every other browser, and in the end that’s really why it’s my favorite. That’s my story; what’s yours?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2019 Mitch Mitchell

Why People Unsubscribe From Your Lists – The Answers

Our buddy Sire recently wrote a post titled Why Do People Unsubscribe From Your List. It was an intriguing little post that asked the question more than attempted to answer it. He’s fairly new to the list game; I only have one email list, and that’s for my own leadership newsletter.


by Bàrbara Bessa via Flickr

Still, I’ve had it for about 8 years now (man, no wonder I’m tired), and I’ve been on many other lists. Initially I thought that maybe he asked the question wrong. My thinking was that people don’t unsubscribe from lists, per se, but from newsletters or blogs or other types of things. Then I thought about it and using “list” or “lists” covers all of these things, so I came back to it.

Back to the topic; why do people unsubscribe from lists. It’s an intriguing question; let’s come up with some answers:

1. Too many emails. This is probably the biggest reason people unsubscribe; I know it’s the biggest reason I’ll drop out of something, usually pretty quickly. We don’t mind information, but we don’t want to be overwhelmed since it’s almost always some kind of sales pitch that we’re receiving at that point.

2. Subscribed to get something and now we’re satisfied. This is kind of disingenuous but it happens all the time. Many people that offer something if a person signs up for a list know this is going to happen, but since by that time most of those lists are automated anyway they really don’t care.

3. Subscribed then realized it’s not what we thought it was going to be. I’ve subscribed to some things and then noticed that I wasn’t getting what was promised so I drop out.

4. You run out of time. This could be for many reasons, such as getting too much other email, not enough time to read what you’re being sent, you’re participating in other things now that you weren’t before… time can be a killer, especially if you’re subscribed to a lot of things.

5. The frequency isn’t what you want it to be. Do you want weekly newsletters? Maybe something every two weeks or so? When you’re putting out a newsletter, it’s hard to figure out sometimes just how often you should be doing anything. If you’re the reader, it’s possible that every time a newsletter or whatever comes to you it’s more irksome because you weren’t expecting it and eventually you decide it’s time to leave.

6. You’re tired of it. Maybe you’ve been subscribed to something for a few years and now you’re just tired of it. It’s not that you don’t like it but you’re ready for something new, something from someone else.

7. You’re on too many lists. Many years ago I subscribed to a lot of things. I eventually created a new email address so I could shunt everything there instead of my regular email address. Then I realized that I just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, keep up with it all and I started cutting a bunch of them. At this point I only subscribe to two email lists, and it’s eased my load a lot.

8. The other person dropped your list. This one might seem petty, but it happens often. Heck, I know I’ve done it; people leave me and then I leave them because the only reason I was a part of their list was because they were receiving what I was sending out. That was years ago; I don’t do that anymore.

9. You didn’t subscribe to begin with. Man, is this irksome. I meet someone and they just add me to their list that I didn’t ask for. Or suddenly I’m receiving stuff from people I don’t even know, and I figure someone bought a list with my email address on it and just started pumping stuff my way. Some folks say you shouldn’t unsubscribe to these things because all you’re doing is proving that email address is accurate. Heck, spam’s coming anyway, so you might as well unsubscribe because it’s possible the person sending you something will have some ethics and remove you from that list.

10. You’ve irked the reader in some fashion. I had this happen to me where this guy reacted to a newsletter I wrote about my dad’s time in the military with a rant against the American military and government. Eventually, after I tried to have a conversation with them because that wasn’t what the newsletter was about, he threw out a parting shot and left. Frankly, I wasn’t unhappy he left.

There’s 10 reasons for you and Sire; do you have anything more to add?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2018 Mitch Mitchell

The Sales Seminar That Wasn’t

I preface this with a warning. This is a long story, a very long story. It’s more than 2,000 words. If you’re not into long stories then leave now and forget you ever heard of it. But if long stories don’t bother you, then I hope you enjoy it and learn from it because there are always lessons to learn from stories, right?

I tell this tale because there’s more than one lesson to learn from it, and because it’s true. It’s a story about murder, intrigue, sex… okay, no it’s not. But it is a story about misinformation, misdirection, and redemption.

A few weeks ago a young friend of mine named Mandee sent out a link on Facebook indicating that there was a sales training that was going to take place that Saturday; it was Wednesday night when she sent the link. That’s pretty quick for me to usually make that kind of decision because I kind of value my Saturdays, but I decided I would check out the link.

The person who was going to be doing the sales training was named Jeffery Combs. By the way, turns out there’s two Jeffrey Combs, first names spelled differently, and the other one is an actor who’s been on two versions of Star Trek and was also on a show called The 4400; it wasn’t him. lol

Anyway, I saw that he’s a guy who’s been all over the country giving all kinds of seminars. It also looked like there were a lot of people who enjoyed his seminars, as I saw a lot of nice things written about him, so I figured this might be okay. I saw the things he said he was going to be talking about, and I was interested in learning those things.

It was supposed to be a sales training seminar, and as I have mentioned many times on this blog over the years sales is the worst thing I have to deal with in my business. I’m a horrible sales guy; I’ll just put that out front. Yet, I’ve been able to make it this far, and anytime I can get some pretty good sales training I’m going to take advantage of it.

I will have to say this though; the Spidey senses were tingling. They were tingling because this was going to be a six hour sales training seminar yet the cost was only $30. Trust me, if you’re going to a seminar by a nationally recognized speaker and it’s only $30 you’re probably going to be skeptical as well. After all, I charged $150 for my 4 1/2 hour seminars last year on social media. But I couldn’t figure out what I could be missing, and I trusted Mandee so I figured let’s do this thing.

Now it’s Saturday morning and I’ve driven across town to the Doubletree Hotel. I think I’ve mentioned in the past how much I love going to the Doubletree Hotel because I believe they have the best cookies in the world. I looked at the schedule of events for the hotel that day and I didn’t see the sales training. I thought that was odd, but I’m familiar with the hotel so I walked through all the different training areas and office space areas, but I couldn’t find the seminar.

I walked back to the front of the hotel and went to the front desk and asked them where the sales training was. The woman behind the desk pointed to an area and said “it’s right over there”. I looked over there and saw sign that said Isagenix and asked if she was sure about it; she was.

I walked over to that area and there was no one sitting at the desk, and there was no information on the desk about the sales training, but there were people in the room and there was someone already speaking. I was still confused because it was about five minutes before 10, when the presentation was supposed to be starting, and I couldn’t believe there would be someone already speaking, and it was a woman instead of a man, which is what I was expecting.

Almost immediately someone came out of one of the doors, saw me there and asked if I was there for the sales presentation. I said yes, and he introduced himself as Jeffery Combs. I have to admit I was expecting a bigger guy based on the pictures online, but he was very warm and friendly and shook my hand. He said I was in the right place and he wrote a name tag for me and encouraged me to go inside. I opened the door and looked into the room and saw that it was packed with people, and an absolutely stunning woman was at the front talking. I stepped back and looked at him and he told me this was the right place and to go on inside and find a seat.

I slowly walked up the side and I saw where there were three seats available, one of them being on the end. I’m usually a back row guy, but if I can’t get the back row I always try to sit on the end. I sat down, took a look to my left and saw Mandee was sitting two seats away. She had her legs crossed, and her hands were holding onto her notebook, which was closed. She looked as confused as I felt. I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote a note asking “What’s going on? I’m confused.” She wrote back “I’m confused as well.”

Let me tell you about the woman at the front of the room that was talking. I did mention she was absolutely stunning, didn’t I? She was wearing a pink wraparound dress that fit her body like a glove. And she was in great shape I must say. Her hair was long and straight just about down to her shoulders. The dress itself was about midway between knees and hip, so she was showing a lot of leg. And she was wearing these shoes… well, they’re hard to describe, but I’ll just say that they were definitely modern, something I’d never seen before, and were a cross between those high-heeled short boots that you see some women wear and open sandals. Very sexy shoes indeed.

After a few minutes I realized I couldn’t see through my glasses all that well, which meant I needed to clean them off. I got up and walked to the back of the room to try to find a napkin. Jeffery saw me and stood up and came to greet me again. He shook my hand again and then he hugged me… yes, you read that right, he hugged me. I know my eyes went wide because there was another woman who was sitting in the back who looked at me and gave me a very big smile, and I pretty much figured he had hugged her as well. I told him what I was looking for, and he looked and couldn’t find a napkin but he had a towel which worked just fine. I cleaned off my glasses and sat back down.

After about 10 minutes the lady who was speaking said that they were going to take a 10 minute break and when they came out of the break Jeffery would be speaking to the group. While she was talking I started to realize that what we were participating in was actually a pep talk for people that either sold Isagenix products, which are basically health supplements and health food items (Isagenix is a MLM company), or were being recruited to become salespeople for the products. It made me wonder if they were sponsoring Jeffery’s presentation.

During the break Mandee and I talked about how confused we were, and Jeffery came over once again to shake both of our hands again and gave me another half hug and told us what was going on. The story was that he had been invited to come speak to this group because the woman who we had been watching was a coaching client of his, and she was his most successful client. So I guess she asked him to come to give a presentation to the Isagenix people to help them learn how to make sales. Thing is, he drove in from Wisconsin and he brought about 5 people with him that also all drove in from Wisconsin; I’m not even going to try to figure out how long that drive must have been.

After about 15 minutes everybody was requested to take their seats so that Jeffery could begin his presentation. At this point I knew that we were not getting the sales presentation that I expected, but I still wanted to hear him speak to see what he was going to say. Overall, he was a very good speaker, and I loved his delivery. He also told us a little bit about his history, which helped to explain how come he had hugged me and kept shaking my hand; that’s all I’m going to say about that.

He talked for almost 2 hours, which wasn’t bad except he did go over the time that they had allotted for him. He talked about a lot of concepts, but since it wasn’t the type of sales presentation I was expecting, I have to admit that as good as he was it just wasn’t what I was expecting or looking for. I also have to say that some of the sales techniques he was teaching the people in the room were things that I myself would probably never do to anybody; let me clarify that, I wouldn’t do to anybody. In my mind, they’re the kind of techniques to take advantage of a person’s weakness when they’re not ready to make a decision, and that’s probably one of the biggest things that has always kept me from even wanting to think about participating in a MLM organization and why we often don’t trust salespeople.

There was one thing he said that kind of threw me off a bit. He said that he believes every person should belong to one MLM so they can be bringing in residual income on the back end that will always take care of those the essentials while you’re making your other money. I tend not to believe that, thinking instead that if one can make some money through affiliate or internet sales that it might be just as good without all the, well, “effort” otherwise; I’ll leave it at that.

When the group finally broke for lunch I knew that I wasn’t coming back for the afternoon; Mandee agreed. So we had some time to talk to each other for a couple of hours and I learned a lot about her and her business acumen that I liked.

The next night I found Jeffery Combs on Facebook and I contacted him. I told him that while I enjoyed his presentation, overall the event wasn’t what I expected it to be. I felt that the sales flyer that I’d seen online represented something totally different than what he did and that the entire event was misleading. But I did make sure to let him know that I thought he was good. He wrote back to tell me that he was sorry for the miscommunication, that his assistant had put something up and he hadn’t checked behind her.

What he did next was unexpected; he refunded my money. I thought that was very kind of him because he really didn’t have to do that, especially since I did sit through his entire presentation and overall I enjoyed what he had to say, even if there was some things said that I would never do. To me that showed a great level of class, and is the type of thing where I would never have any problem in recommending him to someone who was looking for a sales presenter or speaker in general.

To me, there were many lessons to be learned from this event.

One, if the Spidey senses are tingling you probably know already that there’s something not right. I went anyway because it didn’t cost that much, and though I didn’t get out of it what I expected to get out of it, I did get this story.

Two, even when things aren’t great you just might find something positive coming out of it. In this case it was my having an opportunity to talk to Mandee for a while as well as to hear how another professional speaker conducts himself with a live audience.

And three, how going the extra step when you know someone feels as though they didn’t get what was expected from something you did and trying to make it right can help to instill positivity towards you and your organization. Of course, if I had spent two hours talking to somebody I don’t know that I would’ve given the money back, but he could see how the flyer might have misrepresented exactly what was going to take place.

I know this was long, but stories are sometimes like that, especially true ones. I hope you check out the link to Jeffery’s site. And of course I hope you tell me what you think of this story, and how you would’ve reacted to everything that happened.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2013 Mitch Mitchell

Always Like The First Time – A Book Review

I don’t do a lot of book reviews on this site, though I’ve done a couple. I’m going to start sharing more of them because I’ve read a lot of books, and I know some of them will help folks that come to this blog. Some are just enjoyable as well. This book I’m highlighting today is a bit of both.

Always Like The First Time

A disclaimer up front. The author of this book, Kathryn Pape, is one of my web clients. I also helped edit this book before she sent it to the publishers. I mentioned her in February when I wrote a post about some new blogs I wanted to share that I’d helped to create. Still, this is an unbiased opinion of the book; that’s just how I roll.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what I was going to be reading when I started out. Kathryn talks mainly about color therapy, something I’ve learned more about since I manage her site and actually created the page, but something I didn’t really know as much about when I started helping with the book; it’s not a brand new book by the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book as I was going through it, even though it was also sad. Kathryn tells the story about going through both the treatments and eventual passing of her 3-year old son from cancer, and how she came up with her beliefs in color and how they could make people feel better both mentally and physically.

She talks about how we all have the choice of feeling better and being positive or negative in our lives based on how we view the word “like” and when we decide to “like”; no, this has nothing to do with Facebook. lol In general, she talks about these 5 principles, in order in the book as:

No one tapes/thinks in your mind but you;

Your thoughts drive and direct your energy;

You feel your thoughts;

Positive thoughts create patience and time;

Influence is an opportunity; you are your cause

This isn’t a long book to read, and after she sent the book to the publishers I got a regular copy of it as well. I think a few people could benefit from this book as it’s a feel good book handling a tough issue. You can visit her site, see what she’s about, and buy it from her products page.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2018 Mitch Mitchell