Don’t Get too Comfortable

Week 3

Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies…and how to use thempost office boxes

Did you know that the post office does not let you file a change of address form with them if you are using a CMRA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency) to receive your mail? The postal regulations state that the CMRA is solely responsible for forwarding your mail and must do so for six months and they have to apply new postage to it.

What is a CMRA?  That’s your Postal Annex, UPS Store, etc.  anywhere that has boxes for rent that isn’t the post office. To sign up with one is easy, you rent a box and then use their street address and your box number for your address.  It’s a great system if you need someone to handle your mail for you, are worried about theft, can’t get to the actual post office, etc.  It’s a terrible system when they lock their doors with no notice.

That’s what we’ve been dealing with for the last month.  Our postal service we had grown very comfortable with over the last nine years dropped their UPS franchise about a year ago, then the primary employee, who was awesome, left.  In April sometime, they locked their doors with no notice to anyone.  My mail was stuck on the inside, which wasn’t near as big a problem as the mail I can’t get now.  The post office won’t help us because it isn’t their responsibility, I’ve read the regulations, the CMRA is responsible for forwarding mail for the next six months.  After that, everything gets stamped with a big NON-DELIVERABLE to CMRA stamp and returned to sender.

Lesson learned, don’t get too comfortable with a process that could come to a screeching halt.

Slow Motion multi-tasking.

There is a movement afoot that talks about being multi-passionate or multi-potentialite, it’s just a fancy way of saying “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” Lately, the scientific community is starting to embrace the thought and suggesting that scientists work on more than one research project at a time.  The theory being that when you get stuck in one, you can move to another one deliberately.  Changing your thinking along the way may help you get unstuck.  It’s like reconciling a bank account or any other tedious task, when you get stuck, it is recommended you walk away and come back to it.  Or put it away until you’re fresh.  The same concept applies to those with multiple businesses or projects that may not flow down the same path, this isn’t multi-tasking in the traditional way of “I’m trying to do 15 things at one time.” This is multi-tasking in slow motion where you can deliberately move from one unrelated project to another and the work you do on one, may translate to another.  It’s the crossroads, the place where real breakthroughs are made.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of TBI (traumatic brain injury) caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, or a hit to the body that causes the head and neck to whiplash. Symptoms are typically headache, nausea, balance problems. The patient might report just feeling bad immediately following a blow to the head. They sometimes can’t remember what happened.

There are different grades of concussions, a grade 3 is loss of consciousness; grade 2 is no loss of consciousness but symptoms last more than 15 minutes; grade 1 is symptoms last less than 15 minutes.  Concussions can happen to anyone but are more likely to happen in children through sports activities.  Having had a concussion increases your risks of more severe TBI with the next one, it is why the conversation focuses on preventing them.  The best treatment for a concussion (diagnosed by a doctor) is rest, both physical and cognitive.  The concussion itself causes the brain to be confused, so rest allows it to rebalance itself to the proper settings for you.

To prevent a concussion, think prevention.  Wear protective equipment, in our sport, helmets and harnesses will keep you in your place and away from items that can hurt you.  We’ve gone so far as to put cushioning around the rollcage that our heads could connect with, but that won’t always prevent a minor concussion.

Did you know that golf holes get moved?

golf courseNow if you golf, I’m sure you knew, but do you know how it’s done?  I’m not much of a golfer, not to say I can’t play, but I don’t.  It seems to take too much of a block of time for me and my extra time doesn’t often come in blocks, so imagine sitting next to the golf course last Friday night when the tournament director came around to hole 2 and moved the hole.  I was fascinated.

Here’s what you need to know.  Holes are moved regularly to insure wear patterns on the greens get moved around.  The hole is generally moved at least 3 feet away from the current hole to a level-ish area on the green.  A hole cutter is applied as vertically as possible to the ground and the new hole is dug, the hole cutter holds on to the plug  and a lever is used to release it and put it back in the hole being replaced.  Next the liner is removed from the first hole and the plug is inserted, add a little water and the old hole becomes almost invisible.  With a little care, it will heal on its own.  The new hole will have the sleeve replaced and the flag pole inserted.  I had never even thought about this, although if I had spent more time on a golf course, I might have noticed they moved the hole.

Let’s talk barcodes.Trail Naturals deodorant

To sell anything in a retail store you have to have a barcode attached to it, but where do these come from?  Like everything in life, you get to buy them.  I didn’t know a thing about barcodes until we bought The Healing Hippy.  Now, there are places that will sell you one-off barcodes, but that probably isn’t in your best interest to purchase one like that.  Barcodes are an investment, but if you plan to develop products for sale, it makes sense to invest in your brand.  This is just one more part of that.

Barcodes can be purchased on gs1us.org – they are required to be a specific size and need to be printed on a laser printer, because they need to be read by a scanner.  The barcode listing is also then placed in a searchable database so that others can find your product and your barcode number.  My recommendation, always buy from the official gs1 site, all others are resellers, and after having done some, it really is an easy DIY project.

PayPal. What is it, is it safe?

I’ve been using PayPal for years, it’s as good as most money services products and often less of a hassle. The pricing is consistent with the other markets at around 3%.  Things to remember, when signing up for an account, be sure to answer the questions honestly.  Because PayPal is a money services business, they must follow the federal regulation that require them to not be a part of terrorist activities.  If the questions seem weird, that would be why.

What I like about PayPal is that it will hold your money for you, now that seems counterintuitive to most of my advice about money, but when you haven’t earned the funds yet, that is a safe place to keep it.  An example is with my hotel reservations.  They may be for nights in the future, and since the guest can request a refund, I always want to be sure I have the funds available for that refund, so I leave them in PayPal until they’ve been earned.  Because I have a strong account with them, they’ve elevated me to their Funds Now program.  While I’m not going to avail myself of taking my funds out immediately, because they charge a 1% fee and other transfers are free, I do love that they elevate my level of customer service.  They don’t hold funds, even if there is a dispute.  Set this as your goal, get to the level that PayPal thinks you are a valuable customer, it hasn’t mattered yet, but it could.  If you are looking for other recommendations for ways to accept money, I would recommend either Stripe, WePay, Amazon payments.  They all seem to work consistently well.

As a consumer, I like PayPal because I don’t need to drop my credit card number in to every e-commerce platform out there, it provides me an added level of protection in that PayPal already has the numbers, no one else needs them.  Something to remember though, it’s easy to set up a recurring payment on PayPal, think magazine subscription.  So if that is something you don’t want, you have the ability to go in and manage that right on your PayPal account, you can cancel subscriptions, that’s useful if you don’t want to continue something, or better yet, don’t want to be surprised by a renewal you forgot about.

My final topic of the seven this week is Facebook groups and how to be a good community member there.  There ended up being so many, it’s going to get its own post.

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