Saving money on your electric bill, Part 1.

Everybody loves to save money. One of the easy areas to cut your monthly expenses is on your electric bill. There are multiple products on the market today that can cut your electric bill and still deliver the same quality service you’re accustomed to.

When my sons were young, they had a propensity to enter a room, turn on a light and leave with the light still on. Initially, it was irritating, but over time, rather than get frustrated with them I did something to make sure that it was no longer an issue. I installed a motion sensing light switch in the area where the lights were the most likely to be left on by unconscious boys (and adults).

The motion sensing switches are reasonably inexpensive too (approximately $20). The way they work is that when you enter a room the swtich senses your presence and the lights come on. When you leave the room, the lights will stay on at a predetermined time (mine is set for 5 minutes), and then they automatically cut off. There is no flipping switches. You just walk in, and you walk out. The motion sensing switch does all the work for you. No more lights left on.

The second cost cutting device I incorporated into my home was a digitial timer switch. In my case, this switch is used for exterior lights. The switch will only allow the lights to be on during predetermined times. I use this one on a rental property that I rent out for weekend retreats. Those who use the property have been notorious for leaving a high intensity fixture on for days (and weeks) on end. So, I installed a timed switch. This switch allows me to have it come on automatically at a specific time (typically dusk), and then it turns itself off at a specific time.

These switches can be installed by a homeowner. They have good instructions, but if you feel uncomfortable dealing with electricity, by all means call us to have them installed. If you do decide to install them yourself, please turn the power off on the circuits associated with the switches, read the instructions well and install the device. Reinstall the device into the box, turn the power back on and test. If everything is done correctly, you will be on the path to saving money.



You don’t need to be afraid . .


My morning routine is pretty simple.  I get up, turn on the coffee, read Active Rain, scan the national news on TV, shower and head to the office or somewhere.  When I was scanning the news this morning I heard the exact same statement twice.  The commercials said, “You don’t need to be afraid . . .”

That made me wonder.  Why would multiple commercials for different Fear can paralyze you, or fear can motivate you.products use that line?  Are we a nation that is becoming afraid?  Or, has the marketing industry seized upon an undercurrent of concern that is in our national psyche?  Politicians use fear to get your vote. One side swears the other side is going to take your Medicare, and the other side says the other guys are going to take more taxes.  “Vote for me and I will protect you!”  It’s marketing, and in the political scene it’s buffalo biscuits designed to control you.  It’s fear.

Fear can be a great motivator.  This morning, I watched a surveillance video of a pharmacist pepper spray a robber.  The small female pharmacist took out the would-be robber and put him in the hospital because of the bear repellent pepper spray she used against him.  Good for her.  She should have banged him on the head in the process.

Fear can paralyze you, or fear can motivate you.  What you do with it will determine how it affects you.  It can make you cautious.  Or, it can make you bold.  Watch a mother when her child is in danger.  Suddenly, she has supernatural strength and courage.  She will go through fire to rescue her child in distress.

Fear can awaken your senses and make you alert, or it can make you make you cower and hide.  The commercial is correct.  You don’t need to Fear can paralyze you, or fear can motivate afraid, but you do need to assess the source of the fear and determine if it is something you are willing to confront.

Starting a new business might cause one type of fear.  Jumping off a bridge with a bungee cord attached to your ankle generates another type of fear.  When you have determined the source of the fear, you can determine your response.  You don’t need to be afraid.


You don’t need to be afraid . . 

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a . . .”

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven”, John Milton.  Milton may have struck upon one of the greatest dichotomies of the human experience.  A man with great talent may become a great failure.  Or, a woman of unequaled beauty may spend a lifetime trying to be beautiful. Why? The disconnect with reality in the mind.

One of the greatest battles we face in life is the battle that rages between our ears. All men are born equal, but not all men will have equal outcomes of life. There will always be those who will excel and accomplish things that amaze, but why do equally gifted and talented individuals never accomplish much of anything?

There is an old Henry Ford quote that says, “If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, either way you’re right.” Starting a successful business begins when you believe you can create a successful business. You may, and probably will, need to learn the mechanics of business, the pitfalls to avoid and the shortcuts that others have found, but the ability to be successful is inside you. It’s in the incubator of the mind. If you can overcome the doubts that try to rob you of courage to start, you’ve taken the first to success.

One of the great feeders of doubt to a great idea comes from those who know and love you. They may be family, friends or co-workers who don’t have the vision you have. They can’t see what you see, so they can only offer input from their limited resources. I would encourage you to create and lock in your plan before you seek input from those who are not going to be an integral part of your business plan. You don’t want someone who will not be a primary asset in your idea to be a primary discourager to your success.

Milton is right, “The mind is its own place and in itself . . .” is greatness or failure. There is the ability to create and the ability to destroy. There is unlimited resources for success, and there are the demons of your own demise. You, and only you, have the power to create Hell of Heaven, or Heaven of Hell.


Lafayette, we are here – July 4, 1917

July 4, 1917 – “Lafayette, we are here.” 

On July 4, 1917, General John J. Pershing marched American dough-boys into Paris in the first public display of American troops as the United States officially entered WWI.  The American troops continued their march through Paris until they reached the tomb of Marquise de Lafayette.

As the Parisians looked on, Colonel Charles Stanton stopped at Lafayette’s tomb and declared, “Lafayette, we are here.”  General Pershing announced that the Americans were there to return the favor.  The independence of America has aided many in their own independence.  God bless this great country, and happy Independence Day!

General Pershing also brought a layer of American soil which he placed on Lafayette’s grave.  At the completion, he said, “Now Lafayette is buried under American soil.”