Tag Archives: Without

How to Find a Mentor Without Bothering Everybody You Respect
January 26, 2019 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

“Find a mentor” leads any checklist for career success. But if you don’t know how to treat the relationship, you can easily turn a potential mentor into a de facto career coach you don’t pay (and instead just annoy).

My mentors have taken me far already in my career — and I’ve never asked anyone for their time. Here are a few simple tricks I’ve learned to find mentors without ever uttering the words “pick your brain” or embarrassing myself by offering coffee as compensation.

Find the right person.

Like most of my peers, I followed a lot of bloggers when I started writing. Many had useful tips to share about the craft or business of writing, and a few had careers I could learn from.

One writer, Alexis Grant, had a career I loved, a mix of traditional journalism and online media experience that was unusual in the space at the time. The clincher? She was just a few years ahead of me in that career path, so I could actually see myself in her shoes one day — not so easy when you try to emulate the best-known players in your field as an amateur.

Learn from a distance.

I gobbled up every career and writing tip Grant shared. And I watched what she was doing that she wasn’t writing about: What kind of work did she take on? How did she promote herself? Who was she connected to?

It wasn’t as obsessive as it sounds. (Probably a little, though.)

I didn’t follow her path exactly. That wouldn’t have done me any good. Instead, from what she did, I learned how my career could possibly look. Especially when you’re not following a well-beaten career path, that’s invaluable.

Lead with your value.

When you’re ready to connect, don’t simply by ask for someone’s time. Figure out what you can offer to earn it.

When Grant was editing a new site, I pitched stories. When I ran an interview series on my blog, I invited her. When she launched a new site, The Write Life, I contributed posts. When her budding content management firm needed freelancers, I was available.

“When I see someone with potential,” Grant told me when I asked for her perspective on our mentoring history, “I get personal satisfaction by watching or helping them succeed — which serves as an incentive for me to send more opportunities their way.”

I offered my value in exchange for the effort she’d spend telling me about her work or editing my stories, so I could connect — and, therefore, learn — directly without wasting her time.

Know their value, and don’t miss out.

I never thought of Grant explicitly as a mentor, because I’d never sought one. I just admired her work and enjoyed working with her, so I paid attention and learned without blatantly asking her to teach me anything or open any doors for me.

When she joined The Penny Hoarder in 2015, as always, I jumped at the open writer positions. I landed a job and moved from Wisconsin to St. Petersburg, Florida, to join the company as hire No. 10.

I’d never been to Florida or worked in an office, and I was only vaguely aware of The Penny Hoarder — but I knew Grant surrounded herself with smart people and took on exciting challenges, and I wanted to be part of it.

Three and a half years later, the company has grown to more than 100 people and landed three times on the Inc. 5000 — and I’ve grown from a staff writer to an editor managing five people.

Learn to love saying ‘yes.’

I’ve admired and learned from many people in my career besides Grant (I told you: not that obsessive). She’s just had the greatest impact thus far and has represented the myriad types of mentors I might have sought in my career if I’d paid attention to those checklists.

For finding all my best learning opportunities, my best tool has simply been a willingness to say “yes.”

As I’ve shown my value, Grant has invited me to work on projects well outside my comfort zone: social media, design, video, staff training, developing editorial processes, launching a daily newsletter, speaking at a conference and even reorganizing the company’s Slack channels.

“The real test is whether someone maximizes those opportunities,” Grant said. “If they do, it motivates me to help them even more. If they don’t follow through, I wouldn’t put my energy into them the next time.”

Every opportunity is intimidating, but I never say no. Each one comes with a chance to learn from her and other innovative leaders — and I’ve never had to offer to buy anyone a cup of coffee.


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Facebook Used Games to Make Money off Kids Without Their Parents’ Permission, Unsealed Documents Show
January 26, 2019 12:37 am|Comments (0)

Facebook knew children were spending money in games without getting parental consent and the company did nothing about it, according to newly unsealed court documents from a 2012 lawsuit.

More than 100 pages of private Facebook documents were released following a request by the Center for Investigative Reporting and shed light on Facebook’s tactics. For years, the company was aware that children were playing games on accounts tied to a credit card and were, in some cases, unknowingly racking up thousands of dollars in bills by simply clicking within a game to get new abilities or upgrades.

The company ignored a plan developed by an employee in 2011 that would curb children from spending money without a parent’s permission.

The more games children played, the more Facebook’s revenue grew. When angry parents saw their credit card bills and in some cases reported not even receiving a receipt, they found it difficult to get their money back from Facebook, so they turned to credit card companies, the Better Business Bureau and finally, a lawsuit.

While the documents are old, they shed light on Facebook’s past business practices as the company continues to be under immense scrutiny for its numerous privacy breaches. Facebook changed its refund policy around games in 2016 and now has a detailed site about how to handle payment disputes with developers. Additionally, a Parents Portal offers tips for parents about how their kids can stay safe online.

“Facebook works with parents and experts to offer tools for families navigating Facebook and the web. As part of that work, we routinely examine our own practices, and in 2016 agreed to update our terms and provide dedicated resources for refund requests related to purchases made by minors on Facebook,” the company said in a statement.


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Apple Pulled the Tumblr App Without Explanation. Now We Know It Was Due to Child Sex Abuse Photos
November 20, 2018 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

Late last week, Tumblr’s app disappeared from Apple’s App Store with no explanation of why. Now we know.

As first reported by CNET late Monday, the cause was the fact that people were able to upload photos of child sexual abuse to the image-sharing service. The publication noted that the lack of explanation at the time of Tumblr’s removal was likely due to necessary coordination with law enforcement.

Tumblr has now updated its issue page for the iOS app’s removal with a statement saying it has “a zero tolerance policy when it comes to media featuring child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

The service, which is owned by Verizon subsidiary Oath, said it works with industry peers and authorities to actively monitor the images uploaded to it.

“Every image uploaded to Tumblr is scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material, and images that are detected never reach the platform,” it said. “A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database. We immediately removed this content.”

At the time of writing, Apple was yet to restore Tumblr’s app to its iPhone and iPad repository.

Tumblr has been involved in several cases of child sexual abuse material being posted online. A recent example included an Ohio police sergeant who used the service to share an image of a naked boy.


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Spotify says about two million users blocked ads without paying
March 23, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) said on Friday it uncovered 2 million users of its free service who had blocked advertising without paying, highlighting a potential revenue risk for the soon-to-be public company.

FILE PHOTO: Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify, February 18, 2014 REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

In an amended version of the share prospectus filed last month, the Swedish company said it continues to be impacted by third-party attempts to gain unauthorized access to its premium service.

The music-streaming company previously included the 2 million users in calculations for some of its key performance indicators, including MAUs, ad-supported users, content hours, and content hours per MAU. More here

Spotify said it currently does not have the data to adjust previously provided key performance indicators, and as a result certain metrics may be ‘overstated’ in its prospectus.

The company had 157 million active users as of Dec. 31, of which about 71 million were paid subscribers who access ad-free versions of the service, according to its website.

Spotify had filed this week for a direct listing of its shares, instead of a traditional IPO.

The direct listing will let investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite the offering.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta


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How to Watch Thanksgiving Football Online for Free Without Cable
November 23, 2017 12:05 am|Comments (0)

Thanksgiving’s three NFL matchups might be some of the most-watched games all year. But there’s a catch—the games between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m., and New York Giants and Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m., could have fewer viewers than years past, because of an increasing amount of cable subscribers who are cutting the cord.

But you don’t need cable to catch these games. If you’ve got a high-speed internet connection, there’s a lineup of live streaming television services that have put in a lot of practice for Thursday’s big games, which will air on FOX (fox), CBS (cbs), and NBC, respectively.

Since those are major, over-the-air networks, the easiest way to catch the games is to plug a digital, over-the-air antenna—if you have one—into the back of your television and change the channel to your local affiliate. But if you don’t have that hardware, catching the game could be as simple as downloading a smartphone app and setting up an account. Here are the live streaming television services that offer free trials that include FOX, CBS, and NBC.

DirecTV Now

You can watch games on Thanksgiving using DirecTV Now‘s seven-day free trial. After that time, the service costs $ 35 per month for a package with at least 60 live channels. That basic-level plan includes CBS, FOX, and NBC, but beware—not every subscriber is guaranteed to get those local channels (a problem that plagues all these streaming services). So, before the opening snap, check your local channel availability here.

Fubo TV

A streaming television service geared towards sport fans, Fubo TV has a seven-day free trial which offers 70 channels. After the trial is up, the service costs $ 19 per month for the first two months, and $ 39 per month after that. Packing all sorts of sports networks like Fox Sports 1, CBS Sports, and NBC Sports Network—as well as the NFL Network—it’s made for fans of the gridiron, and not just on Thanksgiving. For an extra $ 9 per month, you can get NFL Red Zone and six different PAC12 channels, which turn this streaming service from a turkey day side dish into a season-long, all-you-can-eat football buffet.

Hulu with Live TV

Like DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV also offers CBS, FOX, and NBC, but it also comes with its deep library of on-demand shows, which may be good if one of the games turns into a blowout. The service is free for a week, after which it runs $ 39 per month. There’s also an option to add on a cloud DVR service, which might be a smart investment if you’ve got a house full of people distracting you from the game, or if you want to watch the halftime show again.

Sling TV

Sling TV offers a seven-day free preview as well as FOX and NBC, but you can only get those channels in select markets and on its higher-tiered “Blue” plan, which costs $ 25 per month after the trial. (Sling’s lower tiered “Orange” plan costs just $ 20 per month, but doesn’t have those networks.) But while Sling TV Blue also offers the NFL Network, so it might be worth keeping after Thanksgiving, if you’re a big football fan. But there is one downside to going with Sling TV: No CBS, which means no Chargers versus Cowboys game.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is a dicey proposition for football plans, but if you’ve got a PlayStation 4, it might be the streaming service for you. The service has a five-day free trial and costs as little as $ 39 per month after the promotional period ends, but you’ll want to go for either the $ 45 “Core” or $ 55 “Elite” plan, because they both pack NFL Network. Also, from Sony’s description of PlayStation Vue’s services, it’s unclear what networks the plans include, and not just because of channel availability by zip code. For instance, some pages on Vue’s website say that CBS, FOX, and NBC are included, but others only list FOX. Inconsistencies like this might cause a fumble on Thanksgiving, so beware.

YouTube TV

Google’s take on live, streaming television, YouTube TV, has a seven-day free trial, 40 channels and an infinitely large cloud DVR capability for $ 35 per month. It’s got all the major networks, including CBS, FOX, and NBC, but the catch is that it’s only available in select markets (though, there are quite a few). YouTube TV subscriptions also give viewers access to YouTube Red, which has all sorts of original content.


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5 Ways to Build a Consulting Business Without a Website 
August 26, 2017 7:55 pm|Comments (0)

Websites are famous for being your storefront in the digital age. Every expert will tell you you must have a website to capture leads. And that’s true…if you’re building an e-commerce or online business. For other types of service based business, having a website can be a distraction from the real work you need to be doing: getting clients.

Below I explain how you get clients without a website in order to create a successful service-based business.

1. Build your network before you quit your day job.

Like many people in 2010, I drank the lifestyle design Kool-Aid and got wasted. Freedom over my schedule? Flexibility to travel? Working for myself??! Sign me up. High off Four Hour Work Week, I resolved to leave my job. I had a rough idea of my next steps when my friend and author Vanessa Van Edwards said to me, “Don’t do that.”

Confused, since she herself was already a successful lifestyle entrepreneur, I said, “What? Why?!”

“Don’t quit your job. You’re about to make a lot of mistakes. Trust me. Make mistakes while you still have a salary.”

Turned out, she was right. I had no idea how to prospect, write proposals, package up services, or price things properly. I spent the next 6 months building up a side-hustle that let me make those mistakes with a safety net (my day job).

In that time, I attended as many events as I could, listened to every podcast on sales and entrepreneurship, wrote a ton of terrible proposals, got rejected by prospects I shouldn’t have been rejected by, and made a lot of bad cold sales calls and cold email pitches.

Listening to Vanessa’s advice saved me tens of thousands of dollars in burnt runway cash and a lot of mental anguish. By the time I was ready to go full time, I was confident in my skills as a consultant and sales person – and even had some glowing testimonials under my belt.

2. Get out of ‘transactional’ thinking.

You know the daunting 3% completion rate on online courses? I’m the 3%. I love learning, reading, and homework; So when I discovered the MOOC world, I couldn’t get enough.

One of the best courses I took was Earn1K, by the author Ramit Sethi.

With a Bachelor’s in Literature and a Master’s in Psychology, I’d had zero business training in my life, save for some memorable conversations with my dad who is an entrepreneur. Until that point, I believed business wasn’t “for people like me.” In my mind, business was for people who were “numbers people,” money hungry, and didn’t care about changing the world or doing good.

Turns out, none of those things is true.

In Sethi’s course, he taught us to think about business in terms of “solving problems.” It wasn’t transactional, like I’d thought. Business was about “adding value” to others.

This was an enormous mindset shift for me.

Sethi taught me to stop thinking about what I can do and start thinking about what people need.

That changed everything.

In the academic world, I’d been trained to think about myself. My interests, my research, my goals, my credentials, my my my….In the real world, I needed to learn how to make a case as to why anyone should care.

From that point on, every interaction I had changed from “Here’s what I can do!” to “What do you need help with?

3. Learn to shut up and listen.

When I implemented the “What do you need help with?” approach, everything changed. I wasn’t pushing my services onto anyone. I was pulling their problems out and offering to help them solve them.

Before I took Sethi’s course, I’d sit down with prospects and spend 30 minutes talking about myself – what I could do and why I have the answers. It was annoying at best, unprofessional at worst.

Learning to shut up was one of the most effective sales tools I’ve learned to date. My close rate shot up exponentially because I learned the subtle art of asking questions.

I made prospects do the talking instead of me. Then, I’d restate what I heard. “It sounds like you’re struggling with XYZ. And you need help with ABC, does that sound right?”

Prospects eyes would light up, “YES! That’s exactly it. Can you help me?”

Because when you articulate someone’s problem, they credit you with the solution.

In those initial consults, the goal wasn’t to sell my service – it was to get the prospect to trust me. Listening and asking questions gets people to trust you.

And when people trust you, they buy from you.

4. Focus on sales generating activities instead of ego-boosting ones.

There was a technique Sethi advocated called “Direct to the source” and I used that almost exclusively for my 3+ years in business.

The idea was to go directly to the people who had a problem that you could solve instead of focusing on things like “building your brand.”

As someone who worked in branding and marketing, this was sacrilege.

Still, the idea made sense to me: first, see if you can get someone to say “yes” to hiring you; then, worry about having business cards.

I gave myself a 3-month deadline to test out this approach before I threw it out. My plan was to focus exclusively on getting clients by finding out what problems people had and selling them a solution.

No business cards, no logos, no stationary, no case studies, and no website. All of those things would be a distraction from what I needed to do: Get paying clients.

Three months turned into three years of going directly to clients. That turned into a steady stream of referrals and eventually having to tell people no.

In all that time, only one person ever asked for case studies or my website. And that person had no money to hire me. Go figure.

5. Remember that everyone is a prospect.

If you’re reading this thinking, “But how did you get people to sit down with you in the first place?!” I will tell you: It was that 6-months of learning to endure the discomfort of doing a bad job. Of failing. Miserably.

I got used to pitching myself and doing it wrong (really, really wrong). And doing it again. And again. And again. Until eventually, I sucked a little bit less.

In that time I discovered the key: everyone is a potential prospect or referral source. Everyone.

And when you combine that insight with the “How can I help you?” approach, you begin to see business opportunities everywhere.

For the next three years, I focused all my attention on getting clients, until I finally hit a point where two things happened.

First, I was commanding higher rates and started to need more credibility indicators to bolster my trustworthiness. Second, a good friend told me she wouldn’t refer me anyone until my online presence was “less sketchy.”

That’s when I knew it was time for a website.


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Check Out These 6 Handy Apps That Wouldn’t Exist Without Government Open Data
April 30, 2017 10:25 pm|Comments (0)

We might imagine apps are created by some clever geek building a startup out of a garage, and that might even be true. But those shoestring operations would not have resources needed to create these useful applications without data provided by government agencies.

Cloud Computing


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Bandai Brings Back The Dougram, Without Which There Would Be No ‘BattleTech’ Or ‘MechWarrior’
December 11, 2016 7:15 am|Comments (0)

Bandai has announced that it will be releasing a new Dougram toy as part of its Hi-Metal R range next February.

Cloud Computing

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This Drone Can Fly Forever Without a Battery
December 7, 2016 11:50 pm|Comments (0)

Want a drone to fly longer and farther? Give it a bigger battery. But that adds weight, which in turn reduces the drone’s flight time. It’s quite a conundrum. It seems like an unresolvable catch-twenty-two, except that someone has finally found a way to use wireless power to keep a drone flying.

Read more…

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Usher And David Guetta ‘Proud’ Of ‘Without You’
April 11, 2016 1:00 pm|Comments (0)

‘When you see R&B and pop and house, as well as electronic, come together, that’s the reality of what music is,’ Usher tells MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena, with additional reporting by Jim Cantiello

<P>When <a href=”/music/artist/usher/artist.jhtml”>Usher</a> and <a href=”/music/artist/guetta_david/artist.jhtml”>David Guetta</a> hooked up for the French DJ’s latest album, <i>Nothing but the Beat,</i> the two superstars created a chart-topping smash, <a href=”/news/articles/1670301/usher-david-guetta-without-you.jhtml”>”Without You,”</a> that combines Guetta’s ear for house beats and Usher’s ability to convey a range of emotions with his voice. It’s a song that has really stuck with fans of all genres of music. </P><P> </P><P></p><div class=”player-placeholder right” title=”David Guetta, Usher Found An ‘Incredible’ Song To Collab On” id=”vid:713197″ width=”240″ height=”211″></div><p> </P><P> </P><P>The track &#8212; a swirling pop ode to not giving up on love in the face of adversity &#8212; struck Usher with its emotional core. </P><P> </P><P>”David Guetta is an amazing artist,” he told MTV News last week at a <a href=”/news/articles/1674705/justin-bieber-usher-advice.jhtml”>Pencils of Promise charity event</a>. “We talked for many years about working together, and we found a record that was incredible.” </P><P> </P><P>Usher said it was a song that resonated with him personally. “I think the world wanted a record like that. That [song] really spoke to the journey that I’ve actually been on in the last three years,” he said. “Traveling all around the world, music sounds different. There’s many different genres, and when you see R&B and pop and house, as well as electronic, come together, that’s the reality of what music is.” </P><P> </P><P></p><div class=”player-placeholder right” title=”Usher Gave David Guetta A Chance Before Anyone” id=”vid:688619″ width=”240″ height=”211″></div><p> </P><P> </P><P>When MTV News talked to Guetta on the <a href=”/news/articles/1674728/ama-taylor-swift-nicki-minaj-katy-perry.jhtml”>American Music Awards</a> red carpet Sunday, he said “Without You” is a standout track on the album. The LP dropped earlier this year and also includes <a href=”/news/articles/1674756/american-music-awards-nicki-minaj-david-guetta.jhtml”>Nicki Minaj, who performed with Guetta at the AMAs</a>. </P><P> </P><P>”It’s one of my favorite songs,” he said. “It’s just, I’m a DJ, so I want to make people dance always, but I also want to give emotions. When it comes to that, ‘Without You’ is probably one of the most emotional songs that I’ve done, and yes, I’m very proud of that record.” </P><P> </P><P><i>What do you think about “Without You”? Share your reviews in the comments!</i></p>

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