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How to Cure Impulse Buying

Few will help you cure impulse buying, without selling you something else to impulse buy. Someone’s livelihood depends on you buying their product or service.

I would like to consider myself a wise buyer, but upon reflection I realize that I too have made some silly purchase decisions.

In recent years, I’ve made an effort to curb some of my impulse buys by leaving items in my online shopping cart and procrastinating on the checkout process. This gives me time to really consider if I need what I was about to buy.

For large purchases, I put off buying the item for months. The delay gives me time to weigh all other product options. After a long cooling-off period, sometimes I am glad I did not purchase, because it was just a phase I was going through. Other times I end up purchasing, and because I took so long to come to a decision, I have the peace knowing I put some real thought into it.

Even after all that, I sometimes realize how dumb that purchase was. Perhaps we are meant to make some silly purchases. It helps the seller out. And it gives us momentary glee when we receive our purchase.

Hoarding money does not offer value in itself. Unless our joy is derived by achieving a certain level, say becoming a millionaire. I could reasonably understand someone living impoverished just to not drop below the $1,000,000 mark to maintain their status. So for the person who has $1,000,100, they live like they only have $100, because the million is the bottom.

As humans, we are governed by psychology. We are not exempt from well-studied thought patterns. Marketers use BUY NOW for one of two reasons, one because that’s what all other ads look like, and two, it is a way to push the impulsive buyer over the tipping point.

I’ll admit my day job is a marketer. Most of the tactics I use are what I’ve seen used. It’s my job to attract people, but there isn’t much thought beyond that. When I do apply thinking, I ask myself what would reach me as a customer? And I realize that the BUY NOW with seven exclamation points doesn’t work on me. Instead, it’s the subtle techniques that I only later realize were used.

Gamification and the “smart buyer” techniques have worked on me. I went to college to be an elite. I have my car serviced at the dealership because I believe that’s what smart people do.

Others go to hole in the wall shops or attempt to fix their vehicles themselves, which, in my mind, is inferior. The one who does that in my mind is missing a lot of critical details. Sure they may have changed the oil, but what about the other important fluid exchanges? Tire rotations? Computer diagnostics?

In a quest to find the truth, I am slowly discovering that known reality is probable but rarely certain. I believed that Mac was better than PC, that a college degree was very important, that new construction is better than an old home, and the list goes on.

When I buy, I try to find the tricks the seller is feeding me. But my day job is selling, so when there are no customers in front of you, you try what other sellers do. BUY NOW!!! There is no malevolent intent. I do genuinely believe the products I sell are great that is why I bought them myself, before entering the business.

I do not want to mislead anyone, and I certainly do not wish to be deceived. But, there appears to be some element of that in all transactions. The tomatoes look reader because the grocery store puts light on them. We want to believe we are buying fresh vegetables. And they are, but a dimly lit store is less appealing. Unless you believe the dimly lit store is trying to fool you less.

To understand the seller, the buyer must sell. To understand the buyer, the seller must buy. Furthermore, both must consider their experiences when on the other side. It is easy to copy other sellers’ or buyers’ mindsets instead of considering the other party’s mindset.

If you found this post interesting, let me know in the comment section below. What are your thoughts?

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Blog

You Didn’t Ask, But I’m Telling You Anyway

You didn’t ask, but I’m telling you anyway: I’m writing a book. The book will be about anything interesting that I have discovered.

For example, the best way to determine how to price your book on Amazon is to offer it for free the first week. The following week provide your work for 99¢, then $1.99 the week after that. Each week increase your price by a dollar. When your book stops selling, decrease by $1, and that is your price.

By having such a unique title, I have given myself the creative license to write about any topic at will. My book will be ideal for anyone who is bored out of their mind and wants something interesting to read but is not exactly sure about what. Sometimes the most notable finds are discovered by accident, and this book will throw every random fact that I’ve learned at you, and perhaps it will impact your life forever!

You didn’t ask, but I’m telling you anyway… there is no ¢ (cents sign) on your computer keyboard, but if you are using a Windows 10 PC, hold down the ALT key and then type 0162 – presto you’ll have: ¢. That was more difficult than it needed to be.

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Blog

Simple Motivations Drive Big Consequences

Human Psychology governs us all. Our motivations can be predictable and straightforward. Our whole life can be directed by something insignificant that is buried in our personal history. We can forget what that insignificant moment or thought was, but it set off a chain of events that seem larger than life.

When Ferruccio Lamborghini, the owner of a tractor manufacturing company, experienced continuous problems with the gearshift of his Ferrari, he decided to confront the founder, Enzo Ferrari. Lamborghini suggested that Ferrari replace their gearshift with the ones used in his tractors. This insulted Enzo Ferrari, who had become a very proud man from his racing accomplishments and humble origins. Enzo told Ferruccio that Ferrari automobiles are the finest in the world and that he should stick to driving tractors. At that moment, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to make a better sports car than Ferrari.

Pride and frustration lead to the birth of a new sports car company. That was it. Decisions to conquer cities, pursue careers, and purchase certain products stem from simple reasons. A motivation that is sometimes not immediately obvious even to oneself.

“The twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.” A proverb from the 18th century, meaning that early influences have a permanent effect. These influences are slight and hardly noticeable, but they shape who we are and what we do.

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Food

Food Delivery Apps and Discount Codes

COVID-19 has suddenly changed our lives, forcing us to stay home and avoid contact with other people. Fortunately, several food apps arrived a few years ago, making at-home food delivery possible.

Below are major Food Delivery Apps and their discount codes.

Caviar

Takeout & delivery from the best local restaurants delivered safely to your door. Now offering pickup & no-contact delivery.

ChowNow

ChowNow is a commission-free online ordering system and food ordering app helping restaurants feed their hungry customers.

DoorDash

DoorDash is a great way to support local restaurants with safe, no-contact delivery. Get $15 OFF ($5 OFF each of your first 3 orders) when you sign up with this link.

Favor

Get anything delivered with Favor! Use my code AAROG5CW95 when you sign up for $5 OFF your first delivery.

Grubhub

Hungry? Try Grubhub! Use my link on your first order and we’ll both get $5 OFF.

Postmates

Want $100 in delivery fee credit? Sign up with code TISG1J or just tap the link below!

Seamless

Hungry? Try Seamless! Use my link on your first order and we’ll both get $5 OFF.

Uber Eats

Hungry? Get $7 OFF your first Uber Eats order. Terms apply. Use my code at checkout: eats-aarong23706ui

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Blog

How the Government Could Fix the Economy

During this global COVID-19 crisis, most of us have two concerns on our minds; the first one should be our safety, but for many, it’s the economy. With businesses closed, our economy will suffer.

In simple terms, our economy is merely numbers circulated. These numbers are what enable us to buy what we need and want. Maslow’s Law of Hierarchical Needs teaches us that there are levels to what each of us needs and wishes. The basic needs are food, water, and shelter. These expand to love and community to self-actualization.

With the economy in danger, our core needs and expenses are food, water, electricity, home, and medical care. When you reflect on your core expenses and the ordinary expenses of everyone else, our needs are simple. Businesses need to pay for their building, employees, and vendors. The cycle is redundant.

If the government ensured that the basic needs of its citizens, businesses would not need to carry that burden. Companies would also not need to charge each other because the “need to eat” would be satisfied.

I believe our economy is overcomplicated, and this is because everyone needs to justify their existence—job security. But most of what we do the efforts that we make are entirely unnecessary. Our economy could be streamlined and ensure that no one goes hungry again.

Is that Communism? Is that socialism? Maybe elements resemble those “dirty words.” But for all the bias in American culture, we have areas we could improve. There is a lot of wasted effort.

Yes, many would like to be artists. I am not saying to end this. I am saying that we need to leverage technology and efficient processes to ensure that no American sleeps on a sidewalk. We should also ensure that Americans have time to themselves.

How is it fitting that some Americans are always at work while others are not. Yet the ones who do not work have more than the ones who do.

I know the common rebuttal already, but I’m asking you to think differently. I’m asking you to reflect on the way we currently operate our economy, and I’m asking you to come up with a more efficient and equal one. I’m asking you to consider what it would take to ensure that the economy is resilient instead of fragile.

Progress is an improvement. Let’s fix the economy so that it is a second or third concern to our health. The economy should not be our first concern. The economy is numbers in a spreadsheet. It’s a line of code. Fix the program, so it does not crash.

If one does not work, they do not eat. This logic justifies letting our fellow Americans suffer. Work is defined very loosely. Please think about that.

Charities exist because we failed to fix the root of the problem for so many. Yet fixing the economic inequality for good is somehow wrong? Please consider the contradiction.

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Blog

Unboxing MOTILE 14 Performance Laptop Walmart

If you’re stuck at home and need an affordable laptop to get your work done, the Motile 14 made by Walmart will surprise you!

Kara needed a laptop to complete her required courses at her new hospital job but did not want to spend the price of a new MacBook. Luckily, I had just watched a glowing review on the Motile 14.

The Motile 14 is available in three colors: silver, black, and rose gold. For Kara, the choice was clear.

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Blog

Thoughts on Dreams and Dreamers

Do you remember what it was like to dream?

Maybe you wanted to be a singer, or an artist, or perhaps even the owner of your own business? Some dreams are silly. Impractical even.

As children, many of us wanted to be rich and famous. And while some of these desires appeal to our vanity, some are noble.

For the Wright Brothers, their dream was to fly. For Nikola Tesla, he wanted to provide free wireless electricity for the world.

Some dreams are simply goals.

Goals can originate from a variety of motivations. For Ferruccio Lamborghini, an insult from Enzo Ferrari egged him on to developing his supercar. Pride, anger, passion, or frustration with the status quo motivate many to pursue an idea.

Just as there are negative motivations, joy, and a charitable spirit can also drive someone to achieve greatness. This joy comes from doing something worth doing, usually for the good society. A caring heart and benevolent soul leads some people to solve pain points for those around them.

Creativity and achievement are also motivations. For me, I enjoy creating something new and crave the thrill of achieving another level.

The appeal of achievement is that it cannot be bought or given; one must earn the victory. Once obtained, no one can take away your success. It is a distinct honor to achieve something.

Many look to those who have achieved great success with envy. Others idolize these individuals. But, the proper way to view those who have received notoriety is to recognize their equality with yourself.

There was a time when Shakespeare was learning his ABCs. There was a time when Einstein was learning to count. There was a time when Steve Jobs was nervous in front of the TV cameras. And now is your time before your next success.

Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, remember that the journey begins at the bottom, not at the top.

Dreams dare to exist before their path to their obtainment is made clear. Dreamers are fragile at first, cowering when the first failure or critic pokes a hole in their glowing vision. But the path to success is filled with failures. Failure makes us stronger. We learn from them.

It is challenging to include all people in the same category without allowing for exceptions, but in this instance, I would say that all people share the same core feelings. There’s a canon of desires, fears, and needs that make us human. Regardless of what languages you may speak or period you are born into, a few characteristics tie us together.

We are all on the same chassis with a different body.

If you dream about world peace, there is your answer. Summon that which connects us all, and we will all fall in line. Find what unites us. While we may have many differences, it is challenging to be wholly unique.

So when we dream, we develop. These push us forward. Dreams are promises to future generations. What we have now is inherited from dreamers who chose to pursue them to fruition.

Those who have developed a vision to realization appreciate those who are beginning their journey. Those on the journey find comfort in the knowledge that others have made it; the success stories cheer us onward.

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Blog

People Before Profit

In this challenging economic time, our priorities are tested. And while we would think and hope we would make the right choice, usually it’s material things that we care about most.

One can always reclaim wealth, but a life once lost is lost forever. The time that you have with those you love and the time of your existence slips away never replaced.

I know this concept is a struggle. Like everyone else, I struggle with the love of money too. I worry about it, stress over it, and fight for it. But if there is a lesson echoing through the ages, it is this to let your love of money go.

All the riches of the Kings end up in wills. Nothing lasts forever.

Switchfoot

Love people, appreciate your limited time of being alive, and let go of your obsession with material possessions. Either you possess your possessions, or they possess you.

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Blog

Remote Work Obstacles

In 2010, I opened up my laptop by a pool in Corpus Christi. I was on vacation, and my geeky personality could not be without a computer. Using a Clear WiMax USB stick, I was able to remain connected to the Internet my entire trip. It was at this moment that I dreamed of working from anywhere in the world using a laptop.

Later I discovered that was called Remote Work and that many were doing this already. With my idea validated, I began to dream of one day working by a pool for companies around the world.

It takes a particular employer to let you work from anywhere. The Digital Nomad lifestyle is only possible if your job trusts you enough to be reached by phone and your computer only.

The coronavirus seemed to push many employers to open up to the idea of working from home. With a computer, one can accomplish most meetings and tasks, and that computer could be anywhere.

There is a small problem, though.

One reason for bringing people physically together for a face to face meeting could be due to the limited attention spans many naturally have. You have to get in front of people and direct their attention. One can ignore an email or not be able to visualize a concept over the phone.

Communication and the ability to draw attention to particular topics become challenging remotely. One can no longer walk across the hall and explain, pointing on screens and communicate via body language, how important something is. For this reason, screen sharing is vital to a thriving remote work environment.

But screen sharing is technical. That means that all parties need to complete all their work on the screen—no handwritten side notes or off-screen tasks. Also, all parties must be comfortable navigating the user interface to use the video chat successfully. How many times have you witnessed someone struggle to log in or be unable to find the icons needed to initiate the conference call?

And then there’s fragmentation—the fragmentation of people working in different time zones on different schedules within those time zones. Mutual availability becomes limited, and phone tag delays a project’s progress. One team member may prefer phone calls. Another team member may prefer emails. And another team member may prefer instant messaging. Multiple communication tools fragment communication across mediums and creates the opportunity to overlook messages further delaying the project.

Another form of fragmentation is the plethora of apps that are separate but achieve the same result. Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, just to name a few. At least all phones can communicate with all other phones, but these apps are exclusive to themselves. Most businesses are not likely to pay for these, so freemium models are needed to encourage adoption.

So mutual availability, scattered attention, varying computer literacy, and delayed communication can make remote work ineffective—any tasks or information off-screen can impede discussion.

And if a job must be completed by several team members simultaneously because each holds exclusive access or knowledge, mutual availability and choosing a universal communication medium can become debilitating factors.

So there are certainly challenges to remote work. I had envisioned a perfect world where my laptop untethered me from an office desk. But there is a reason for environments like this to exist.

When working away from your office, there are many distractions. For those with kids barricading yourself into a bedroom to concentrate can be difficult. And if your home is messy, clearing a space to work can be challenging. At the office, one has a designated area to work. Using the kitchen table to both work and eat is a disaster.

I believe many are coming to these conclusions while working from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Blog

How the Coronavirus Changed Our World

The Coronavirus came suddenly. It felt like just a week ago; we were not concerned about anything. After we became conscious of the pandemic, it consumed our attention.

There was a part of me that recognized immediately how serious the situation could become, and another part of me that believed it would pass quickly without much consequence. The advice to purchase groceries came a week ago. I questioned the advice believing that if I had bought groceries, they would all spoil before I needed them if I needed them at all.

Then came the shelf hoarders who bought all my local store’s inventory. Photos of empty shelves trickled into my social media feeds. Still, I did not feel alarmed. I believed that it would pass, just like the gas crisis—maybe three weeks of inconvenience tops.

Now I find myself glued to my news apps, foraging for any updates that I can find. I see the map the world light up in red. I can foresee the virus spreading to those I love in my community.

I’m ready for this melodrama to be over! Tell me that this is sensationalism at work! The situation is becoming too real and lasting too long.

Unfortunately, this is real. And while this crisis has not fully engulfed my community, which I hope it never does, I know real people who I may never meet have been affected by this forever. That’s a heavy thought. I can never go back to not knowing the pain others are facing right now.

And then there is the economy. With so many closures and lockdowns, consequences are indeed looming. I have never witnessed anything of this scale before; I do not know what to expect. These new realities are unsettling.

But even in the darkest of times, the sunrise is over the next horizon. We will recover, and we will benefit from the advancements inspired by this crisis. Even in tragedy, improvements result. Wars brought us jets and drones. Tragedies inspire research.

Terrible tragedies occur, but our victory comes when we squeeze something good from them.