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Saturday, March 31, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
This is a classic perception by artists, whether writers, actors, or whatever, although their work is inspirational. Their work uplifts. Their work is more spiritual to us than themselves.
Sometimes we artists are too close to our own works and dreams.
I felt his song was perfect because, yes, it's a love song; but, love is not just for the heart or the body and only for romantic relationships. Love is...
...for the body and how one body fits close to another, dovetailing together, but remaining separate.
Love is how one heart moves closer together than bodies ever can; emotions overlapping and swirling within one another; as families, friends, and communities do.
Love is how many minds meld together in love and work as one, to uplift lives for one or many lives all over the world, and beyond.
Love ascends within us, becoming more refined, distilled and clear; from body, to heart, to mind, and beyond us to God, to the creation of us all; like a "Ribbon in the Sky," which promises, like a Rainbow in the Sky the promise of perfected unity.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Dating costs plenty of dough, no doubt about it. But when it comes to spending your hard-earned cash, where should you invest it in order to get the most mileage when it comes to dating? In other words, before hitting the meet-and-greet scene next weekend, what’s really going to make you more attractive to the opposite sex — and what’s a waste of your dating dollars?
Before you max out a credit card trying to win your date’s affections (or convince someone you’re hot), check out these interesting tidbits we dug up for more budget-conscious men and women. Because when it comes to putting your best flirting foot forward, it doesn’t always have to be about your shoes!
1. Men say that having gorgeous hair trumps a curvy figure. Trying to decide between a pre-date trip to the salon or Victoria’s Secret, ladies? Go for the fab hair option. According to a recent survey conducted by Pantene, 60% of men surveyed would rather date a woman with great hair than noticeable curves — and 74% of them said they notice a woman because of her hair.
In fact, a full 44% of male respondents said that hair was the first thing they notice about a woman… even before her clothes (26%), legs (25%) and makeup (4%). Most of the men who took Pantene’s poll also said they’d be more likely to approach a woman at a bar with great hair than one who was wearing a low-cut shirt.
This is great news, since monthly hair upkeep is more of a necessity than sexy lingerie if you’re a woman who’s on a budget. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear sassy underwear if you’ve got it — but when change is tight (like in this tanked economy), it’s good to know that a well-timed mane flip can still make you a main attraction.
Add a pop of red to that smiling and laughing mouth, and your attractiveness spikes even more, according to a study from the University of Manchester published in the UK’s Daily Mail.
Researchers tracked the eye movements of 50 men and discovered that that in the 10 seconds after meeting a woman for the first time, the average guy will spend more than half of his time gazing at her mouth. If she’s applied lipstick, he’ll find it even more difficult to look away: a dash of pink can hold his attention for 6.7 seconds, while red keeps him fixated for 7.3 seconds.
According to the study, fuller pouts were the overall preference, though the appeal of thin-lipped women increased by 40% when lipstick was applied — but when the ladies went completely bare, men tired of looking at their mouths after only 2.2 seconds. So regardless of your lip type, it pays to paint your pucker on date night.
3. Women looking for real relationships are more impressed by traditional love tokens than an expensive ride. Guys like cars, sure — but are women equally impressed by them? It seems that if you’re a man who’s looking for the real thing, then you’re ultimately better off sinking your cash into thoughtful gestures (i.e., dinners, flowers, etc.) than those flashy wheels to get the girl of your dreams.
A study of over 1,000 men conducted by researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), and the University of Minnesota revealed that being in possession of a Porsche did make a man more desirable to women than owning a non-luxury car, such as a Honda Civic. However, the attraction ended there.
While women found men showing off a flashy product (like a brightly colored sports car) to be more attractive when it came to dating, that same trait didn’t make men more desirable as marriage partners or for long-term committed relationships, the study’s authors explained.
In fact, they found that women inferred from men’s flashy spending that they were only interested in having casual hook-ups with their dates. So if you’re looking for something more than a fling, don’t worry what you’re chauffeuring your cutie around in — focus on making her feel special instead.
4. Men and women agree: being physically fit makes someone more attractive and relationship-worthy to them. If you’re looking to up your sex appeal on you next date, what will serve you better: looking hot, or getting the two of you intoxicated? This may be a no-brainer, but if you’re thinking of having something more than just a fling, spend your dollars getting rid of your doughy middle and strive for six-pack abs instead.
According to the 2011 Great Male Survey by AskMen.com, 38% of men think that great abs are appreciated the most by women (and most of us gals would agree).
This gym expenditure goes for women, too: having a fit figure is definitely going to get you more long-term action than a martini ever could. In fact, 47% of men surveyed by AskMen.com said they’d dump their girlfriend for getting fat (OK, to give some men credit, 53% said they wouldn’t), and that’s some good motivation to hit the cardio circuit.
If that’s still not enough to convince you, keep in mind that working out will also increase your prowess in the bedroom. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology indicated that treadmill exercise duration predicted sexual activity duration (specifically, a 2.3-minute increase in sexual activity duration for each minute of treadmill time).
So the next time you’re tempted by the hottie who’s running on the gym treadmill next to you, why not ask that person out?
5. Bad hygiene is a universal turn-off, regardless of what you’re wearing. While Mark Twain famously said that “clothes make the man” (or woman, as the case may be), all the designer duds in the world won’t impress your date if you haven’t had a shower first. In fact, a recent Match.com poll asked nearly 35,000 men and women to name their biggest turn-off on a date. The responses included bad breath (11%), dirty fingernails (1%), body odor (16%) or all of the above (72%). Not surprisingly, bad hygiene is a mood killer for romance.
In terms of dating economics, it doesn’t matter if you’re dressed in Prada, Armani or something from Old Navy (just make sure to wear whatever fits well and makes you feel confident).
What absolutely, unequivocally matters is that you’re clean and smell good before you arrive. Brush your teeth, wash your hands, and use deodorant; for maximum marketability, always put your money where your mouth is!
Kimberly Dawn Neumann (www.KDNeumann.com) is a popular New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Redbook, Maxim and frequently online. A certified dating/relationship coach, she’s published two books: The Real Reasons Men Commit and Sex Comes First and is the founder of www.DatingDivaDaily.com.
Article courtesy of Happen magazine, www.happenmag.com.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
For reader acceptance, your main character has to come alive, seem real, and be vulnerable in some respect. What is difficult for new fiction writers is to give their main players negative characteristics such as aggression, impatience, selfish or rude behavior, being bossy, and so on. You can still give them an important positive characteristic such as intelligence, politeness, kindness, etc.
Error #2: Coming Up With a Plot and Then Putting in the Characters
[A MAJOR game story creation error, sometimes done as create visual characters with no insides who must go to this locale we drew and use these weapons we made or find stuff we lumped together. Oh, really, why...? _NS]
Your plot should come out of some deep thought about what your main character wants badly. Every distinguished creative writing teacher in the country will tell you that characters come first and plots should be derived from what your main character wants.
Error #3: Telling the Reader What Happened Off Stage
We call that "narrative summary." In the 19th century, fiction was full of narrative summary. What changed everything was the advent of movies and television early in the 20th century. Readers are now used to seeing what's happening in front of their eyes. We call that "immediate scene." The ideal novel today has immediate scenes and little else.
Error #4: Avoiding Scenes of Conflict
Most writers are nice people who avoid conflict in their private lives. But conflict is the essence of drama in every medium. Readers become involved in personal conflict and rivalry more than in the melodrama that infects action movies.
Error #5: Using Flashbacks
Barnaby Conrad, the one-time director of the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference and the author of many books including the three-million-copy novel Matador, worked for Sinclair Lewis as a young man. He once asked Lewis about the use of flashbacks. Lewis answered, "Don't." Techniques have been developed over the years for bringing flashback material into the present.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
The highly controversial ending to the episode, which has since been referenced and parodied many times, prompted an estimated 1,000-plus letters to series producers Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart, and drew fire from both CBS and 20th Century Fox. After the production of this episode, both Stevenson and Wayne Rogers, who played the character of Trapper John McIntyre, left the series to pursue other interests. These combined departures and their subsequent replacements signaled the beginning of a major shift in focus of the M*A*S*H series as a whole. (more...)
Thursday, March 15, 2012
It was the feel-good story of the year: a Little League about to cancel its season due to lack of funds, until a local strip club rode to the rescue with a large cash donation. I’m thinking Keanu Reeves and Julia Roberts in the movie version. That was the story as of Monday afternoon, but now the president of Lennox Little League says he is shocked, shocked to learn that the money is from a strip club. So he’s turning down the donation.
“This morning we found out exactly where the check came from,” league president Roberto Aguirre told KTLA Monday night. “It was a shocker to us.”
According to Aguirre, the Lennox School District will return the check to the strip club, keeping baseball’s image clean.
“We do not want the money from the strip club. I think, for us, we do need the money, but we will go some other avenue,” Aguirre said.
Just the previous day, Aguirre was quoted by the Daily Breeze thusly:
“It feels good to be from Lennox when people do stuff like that. At the same time, the future is very scary for us, because (the donation) is a one-time deal.”
What part of “Jet Strip Cabaret” was confusing to Mr. Aguirre when he first accepted the donation?
The league was in trouble because the school district, which owns and maintains the baseball fields, was doubling its rates to use the fields. The district is also preventing the league from selling hot dogs, hamburgers and other snacks at games, because those foods are deemed unhealthy according to new government nutrition guidelines. That had been a large part of the league’s revenue.
The league also plans to reach out to other businesses in the community that they feel are more appropriate.
Their long-term goal is to raise $65,000 to build a hot dog stand that can help keep the league going.
The Jet Strip Cabaret has raised money for the community in the past, including an annual family festival to raise money for school supplies for underage children.
Your move, Chico’s Bail Bonds.
So, if the money had come from soldiers or cops, who carry and use weapons on people, would they have kept the money? And felt it was "clean," "appropriate," whatever...? Of course they would've. And, baseball's not clean, anything that gets gambled over isn't all that sweet; especially, with all the spitting and crotch-scratching. Roseanne Barr was right on pitch._NS
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print. [NO!! I LOVE EB!! But...._NS]
Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.
In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.
“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”
In the 1950s, having the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the bookshelf was akin to a station wagon in the garage or a black-and-white Zenith in the den, a possession coveted for its usefulness and as a goalpost for an aspirational middle class. Buying a set was often a financial stretch, and many families had to pay for it in monthly installments.
But in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely overtaken by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, including specialized Web sites and the hugely popular — and free — online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Since it was started 11 years ago, Wikipedia has moved a long way toward replacing the authority of experts with the wisdom of the crowds. The site is now written and edited by tens of thousands of contributors around the world, and it has been gradually accepted as a largely accurate and comprehensive source, even by many scholars and academics.
Wikipedia also regularly meets the 21st-century mandate of providing instantly updated material. And it has nearly four million articles in English, including some on pop culture topics that would not be considered worthy of a mention in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Mr. Cauz said that he believed Britannica’s competitive advantage with Wikipedia came from its prestigious sources, its carefully edited entries and the trust that was tied to the brand.
“We have very different value propositions,” Mr. Cauz said. “Britannica is going to be smaller. We cannot deal with every single cartoon character, we cannot deal with every love life of every celebrity. But we need to have an alternative where facts really matter. Britannica won’t be able to be as large, but it will always be factually correct.”
But one widely publicized study, published in 2005 by Nature, called into question Britannica’s presumed accuracy advantage over Wikipedia. The study said that out of 42 competing entries, Wikipedia made an average of four errors in each article, and Britannica three. Britannica responded with a lengthy rebuttal saying the study was error-laden and “completely without merit.”
The Britannica, the oldest continuously published encyclopedia in the English language, has become a luxury item with a $1,395 price tag. It is frequently bought by embassies, libraries and research institutions, and by well-educated, upscale consumers who felt an attachment to the set of bound volumes. Only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition have been sold, and the remaining 4,000 have been stored in a warehouse until they are bought.
Room for Debate
“I spent many hundreds of hours with those gold-embossed Britannica volumes on my lap, with pages you could actually turn, not click or swipe.”
The 2010 edition had more than 4,000 contributors, including Arnold Palmer (who wrote the entry on the Masters tournament) and Panthea Reid, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University and author of the biography “Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf” (who wrote about Virginia Woolf).
Sales of the Britannica peaked in 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold in the United States. But now print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of the Britannica’s revenue. About 85 percent of revenue comes from selling curriculum products in subjects like math, science and the English language; 15 percent comes from subscriptions to the Web site, the company said.
About half a million households pay a $70 annual fee for the online subscription, which includes access to the full database of articles, videos, original documents and to the company’s mobile applications. At least one other general-interest encyclopedia in the United States, the World Book, is still printing a 22-volume yearly edition, said Jennifer Parello, a spokeswoman for World Book Inc. She declined to provide sales figures but said the encyclopedia was bought primarily by schools and libraries.
Gary Marchionini, the dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the fading of print encyclopedias was “an inexorable trend that will continue.”
“There’s more comprehensive material available on the Web,” Mr. Marchionini said. “The thing that you get from an encyclopedia is one of the best scholars in the world writing a description of that phenomenon or that object, but you’re still getting just one point of view. Anything worth discussing in life is worth getting more than one point of view.”
Many librarians say that while they have rapidly shifted money and resources to digital materials, print still has a place. Academic libraries tend to keep many sets of specialized encyclopedias on their shelves, like volumes on Judaica, folklore, music or philosophy, or encyclopedias that are written in foreign languages and unavailable online.
At the Portland Public Library in Maine, there are still many encyclopedias that the library orders on a regular basis, sometimes every year, said Sonya Durney, a reference librarian. General-interest encyclopedias are often used by students whose teachers require them to occasionally cite print sources, just to practice using print.
“They’re used by anyone who’s learning, anyone who’s new to the country, older patrons, people who aren’t comfortable online,” Ms. Durney said. “There’s a whole demographic of people who are more comfortable with print.”
But many people are discovering that the books have outlived their usefulness. Used editions of encyclopedias are widely available on Craigslist and eBay: more than 1,400 listings for Britannica products were posted on eBay this week.
Charles Fuller, a geography professor who lives in the Chicago suburbs, put his 1992 edition on sale on Craigslist last Sunday. For years, he has neglected the print encyclopedias, he said in an interview, and now prefers to use his iPhone to look up facts quickly. He and his wife are downsizing and relocating to California, he said, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica will not be coming with them, a loss he acknowledges with a hint of wistfulness.
“They’re not obsolete,” Mr. Fuller said. “When I’m doing serious research, I still use the print books. And they look really beautiful on the bookshelves.”
PayPal Revises Policies to Allow Legal Fiction_Posted by Mark Coker (by erotica writers and such, curtailing their mercantile censorship)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I met with PayPal at their offices yesterday in San Jose. They outlined their proposed policy changes for me. I was impressed.
This is a victory for all writers and readers. It removes credit card companies, banks and payment processors from the business of censoring legal fiction. It creates a new precedent that should allow other payment processors who have previously discriminated against legal fiction to relax their policies.
It will make more fiction more available to more readers. It gives writers greater freedom to express themselves. It gives readers more freedom to decide what they want to experience in the privacy of their own imagination.
If you haven't followed the Paypal censorship saga, you can see how the campaign developed by reading my email dispatches to Smashwords authors, publishers and customers. They're archived in the Smashwords Press Room (see PayPal #1, #2, #3, #4, #5).
When I received the first email from PayPal February 18 with the ultimatum to remove certain erotica content or face loss of PayPal services at Smashwords, my first inclination was to try to limit the damage so we could protect mainstream erotica from further censorship incursion. Thanks to the outpouring of opposition to these policies, I saw an opportunity to make PayPal our partner in a greater campaign to protect all legal fiction from censorship.
Credit for this breakthrough goes to the indie author community who made phone calls, wrote letters and emails, blogged and tweeted; bloggers who raised visibility of the issue; advocacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) who were the first to stand up for our authors; mainstream media who raised visibility of the story to greater levels; and last but not least, PayPal. PayPal worked with us in the spirit of partnership to understand the issues, understand Smashwords and how we represent a new model for publishing outside the traditional gatekeeping system, and to understand that fiction is fiction and literary merit should be determined by readers.
I'm sending out an email today to all Smashwords authors and publishers with more details and thanks. An archived version is in the Smashwords press room here._Posted by Mark Coker
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
If you can relate, help is here. We’re going to teach you how to overcome this common problem. We’ve rounded up advice from experts who teach people how to stay calm in nerve-wracking situations. Try their tips below for putting your best dating foot forward.
Tip #1: Keep a healthy perspective about what first dates are really for
“The first and most important step in overcoming the fear is to put your first date in perspective: this is not an appointment with the dentist or brain surgeon who may inflict pain on you; rather, it is a conversation with another person. The worst thing that can happen is that you won’t connect with the person sitting across from you — it’s hardly the end of the world!
"Second, think of this date as a two-way process. You are interviewing a potential partner as much as your date is interviewing you. Is there a good fit here? What looks good on the surface or on paper may not be what it appears to be for either party. Investigate whether this person is a good match for you and whether you want to invest a significant part of your life and energy in future dates.”
— Troy Saviola, recruiter for NBC Universal
“Here is a simple (but amazingly powerful) breathing technique you can easily do to manage stress while sitting in the car or on the train before a date. While breathing through the nose only, inhale to the count of three and exhale to the count of six. It only takes about two or three minutes to experience a noticeable, full-body calming effect.
"Deep breathing triggers your parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the ‘[freeze,] fight-or-flight’ response[s] underl[y] your jitters and results in shallower breathing. And if, during the date, you feel yourself getting nervous again, ask an open-ended question, like: ‘So, what’s working at a college really like?’ and then put a soft smile on your face while you breathe the shakes away!”
— Jonathan Fields, founder of Sonic Yoga
Tip #3: Concentrate on the present moment instead of worrying about the future
“Dating is like auditioning — the stakes are high, so nerves will undoubtedly come into play. I would tell daters the same thing I tell my actors: When you get nervous, put your concentration into the present moment instead of the outcome. Every time you start to think about the future — 'Will this person ask me out on a second date?' — force yourself to focus on the conversation at hand.
"You stand a better chance of booking another date if you can let someone see the type of person you really are, and that you’d be easy to get along with. You can’t do that if you’re draining your own energy trying to figure out what your date wants and what the result might be.”
— Andy Gale, Broadway acting coach
Tip #4: Release pre-date tension by working up a sweat in the gym
“Work out first! You’ll have a positive feeling from all the endorphins, you’ll feel more confident about your appearance, and you’ll have released the tension from your muscles. Or, instead of going right to the date from your office or home, socialize a bit first — either by meeting a friend somewhere or otherwise putting yourself in a situation where you’re turning on your most positive personality for others.
"Doing this will make you walk into the date already feeling engaged and ‘up.’ Just do not talk about the upcoming date while you’re socializing, because that will put your mind back on the subject... and could make you nervous all over again.”
— Ron Geraci, New York City-based online dating coach
Tip #5: Put any negative thoughts in writing, then put a positive spin on them before leaving for your date
“Divide a sheet of paper in half. On the left side of the page, write down how your critical inner voices or negative thoughts are undermining your self-confidence. Write them down as though you are talking to yourself; for example, ‘Don’t get too excited about this date. He/she is not going to find you attractive enough.’
"Next, on the right-hand side of the page, write down a more realistic or congenial statement about yourself. Like, ‘I may not be a supermodel, but I have good features and a sense of humor.’ Decide which of these more positive, realistic statements you will act on before your date begins. They reflect the real you.”
— Robert Firestone, Ph.D., co-author of The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a writer in New York City who calms her first-date jitters by dancing around her apartment to passionate Latin music in heels.
Article courtesy of Happen magazine, www.happenmag.com.
I recall a suggesting, which I believe came from an Ask Jake section of Glamour Magazine. Masturbate BEFORE your date, to chill and take the edge off, and release these pent up energies and mellow out with the after satisfaction hormones. _Neale Sourna
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Ordinary soldiers have sometimes shown a battlefield sixth sense that has saved lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the U.S. military wants to better understand that "spidey sense" and train troops to tap their inner superhero instincts.
The U.S. Office of Naval Research pointed to sixth sense research about how "humans can detect and act on unique patterns without consciously and intentionally analyzing them," according to a special notice posted on Feb. 29. It hopes to encourage such intuition in the brains of new soldiers, Marines and other troops with little or no battlefield experience.
Having intuition allows for split-second detection of patterns in the midst of uncertain scenarios — a possibly life-saving action in the face of an ambush or area rigged with roadside bombs.
But intuition stands apart from step-by-step, time-consuming analytical thinking because it happens both rapidly and subconsciously. A soldier may see, smell or hear something that gets subconsciously organized within hundreds of milliseconds to create the "feeling or impression of a solution" leading up to a sudden insight about the battlefield situation.
The U.S. military also pointed to studies suggesting a sixth sense can arise from "implicit learning" — absorbing information without being aware of the learning process — rather than building up expertise through years of practice. Ordinary examples of implicit learning include bike riding, learning new languages or developing intuition about how other people may act.
First, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) plans to measure the workings of both intuition and implicit learning. Next, it would create a working model of such thinking that could also reflect individual soldiers' differences, adapt to new situations, and account for the influence of battlefield stress or fatigue.
In the end, virtual battlefield simulations could help train soldiers' intuitions as well as collect information about their performance, ONR explained in its special notice. The U.S. military already uses game-like simulators to prepare soldiers for battlefield scenarios or even to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sunday, March 04, 2012
Neale Sourna is a Midwest USA author/publisher with a strong preference for and aptitude for great characters that generate unique stories with a powerful interpersonal and erotic nature.
Neale is an individual owner of three overlapping companies: writing for others as Neale Sourna’s Writing-Naked.com as a freelancer with worldwide clients (ghostwriting, creative writing, and editing of screenplays, game stories, short stories, novels, and more); publishing and marketing ebooks and print books (fiction and nonfiction) through PIE: Perception Is Everything [pie-percept.com]; and as Neale Sourna the writer, editor, design layout artist, marketer, publisher.
MO: What influenced your decision to get into the publishing and marketing aspect of the writing industry?
Neale: The interminable slowness, from months to year(s) each, of finding an agent, then finding an editor, then finding a publishing company for film and/or literature or separate ones for both paths; hoping they don’t move to another job or fold and have your projects locked in contract and unavailable to readers. I spent a solid year or so just absorbing from every avenue and searching online the kinds of publishing avenues there were: “traditional,” online, electronic, author publishing. I printed contracts to see what was “really” offered, what their costs and legal strengths and hamstrings, like a super long contract versus an open and easy to end one. Only one company survived my search: InfinityPublishing.com.Watching how Infinity handled my print on demand (POD) needs and then watching the ebook company I chose, Overdrive.com, work on my books both showed me....[more]
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Tony Lee always dreamed of owning his own business and sending his kids to college. Today, he's co-owner of Ring Masters, a company that makes engine rings for industrial use, and his daughter is heading to college next fall. Tony is hoping she'll be the first college graduate in the family.
Tony has achieved some of the biggest goals he set out for himself and his family, which are impressive, given he grew up in a low-income neighborhood with limited opportunities and never went to college. But what's even more inspiring is Tony Lee's journey to get there.
After leaving the Army in 1997, and a short stint at American Steel, Tony took the only decent job he could find. Tony accepted a janitorial job at an Eaton Corp. factory in Massillon, Ohio in the heart of the rust belt. Like a lot of U.S. manufacturing centers, Massillon has suffered from closed factories and thousands of lost jobs. Tony was grateful for the opportunity and made the most of it, rising from janitor to foreman in four years.
But Tony was just getting started.
In 2002, Eaton started shutting down divisions of the factory, one by one. Soon over 1000 workers were down to just 35 in Tony's division, which was slated to be closed at the end of 2002.
But Tony refused to let the factory die. He spent hours at night in the local public library studying. Despite never going to college, much less business school, Tony wrote a business plan detailing how his factory could survive and prosper.
Against all odds, he convinced a group of investors to buy the factory and keep it running. Members of the investor group and Tony's co-workers all say they were inspired by Tony's leadership, passion for the business and drive to keep it alive. Everyone, it seemed, was rooting for Tony to succeed.
But there was one big catch: The investors wanted Tony to have some "skin in the game," so he had to raise $25,000 to purchase a stake in the factory.
For Tony, this was just one more obstacle to overcome. After taking a second mortgage on his house, selling his motorcycle and literally scrounging for loose change, Tony had the money and was in on the deal. Actually he was "all in;" failure was not an option for Tony.
Now, 9 years later, Ring Masters is a thriving business with over $4 million in annual sales. From 15 workers at the start, the company now has over 20 employees, a growing list of clients and plans for further expansion.
Tony says he's recouped his $25,000 investment "several times over" and is now a co-owner of a growing business. For anyone who's ever thought 'I can run the company better than my boss', Tony Lee is an inspiration. And he's still inspiring his co-workers and employees by working side-by-side with them on the factory floor. Tony says he "leads by example" and would never ask an employee to do a job he wasn't willing to do.
Tony has already beaten the odds and accomplished more than most people would even dare to attempt. Yet Tony is still driven to reach his ultimate goal of owning several businesses.
RingMasters is a "stepping stone", Tony says. Given his track record so far, there's no reach to doubt he'll reach his ultimate goal.
The Driven Team is on a nationwide search for the next entrepreneur to be featured in an upcoming episode! Share your story with us at Driven@yahoo-inc.com or follow us on twitter @aarontask #drivenstories.