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THIS is How To Pay for College

pickuoguitarclubBy Guest Blogger Jack Ross
Co-Founder, PickupGuitarClub.com
Like many, Jack Ross, a high school student from Washington D.C., falls in financial aid no man’s land. With most colleges topping $45,000 a year, his chance of leaving school in four years without a crippling amount of debt is bleak. Despite his near perfect test scores and GPA, scholarships are few and far between. So, he decided to fund his own schooling by teaching others.

Jack and his best friend, Brian Abod, recently launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding effort for their music education website PickupGuitarClub.com.

Jack is a self-taught software developer who built his first tablet computer at age 12, and Brian is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. Together they developed a learning environment that is the first of its kind.

Centered on gamification and popular songs, their website turns learning guitar into an enjoyable experience. Jack developed polyphonic note-recognition software that listens to the guitar as it is played, rewarding players’ improvement and demonstrating how to improve where needed. The intuitive user interface breaks down every part of guitar from notes and rhythm to technique and chord shapes, making it easier than ever to follow along.

Brian taught himself guitar through songs and designed the curriculum in the same way. Songs like Sweet Home Alabama, Wagon Wheel, and Hey There Delilah teach all the skills needed to play guitar – picking, fretting, scales, chords, and more.

It is like Guitar Hero for real guitar.

With the funding from Kickstarter, they will finish the development and launch their company. Profits from the company will go towards funding their college education.

Here is their video describing their project:
Embed: <iframe width=”480″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pickupguitarclub/pickup-guitar-club-finally-a-fun-way-to-learn-guit/widget/video.html” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”> </iframe>
If you want to support these young men and their endeavors, visit their Kickstarter campaign page – bit.ly/PickupGuitarClub

A few words from DollarDays:
Jack Ross contacted Marc Joseph, CEO of DollarDays.com about an article Marc wrote last October for the Huffington Post, titled “It’s Too Expensive to go to College Anymore.” Jack asked us to take a look at his story to see if we would publish it, since Marc and Jack are basically coming from the same place about getting an education today: it’s hard to get money to pay for college.

DollarDays hopes you’ll take a look at their project and possibly donate a buck or two. We think these two young men are rising stars to watch!

 

April 14, 2014   No Comments

March 29th was National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day!

apr14contest_160x300 (1)National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners, much like the business owners DollarDays serves every day. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands coupled with the lack of a hired staff, often translate into late hours and long days. There are missed family and personal events, but they love what they do because they are their own bosses.

New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products. According to the US Small Business Association, there are more than 27 million small businesses in the US today.

Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, every day, by showing your support…shop their stores!

Nominate your favorite Mom & Pop store here and we’ll enter them into a drawing for $5,000 in Merchandise from DollarDays!!

April 2, 2014   No Comments

Marc Joseph interviewed in Success Magazine!

marc joseph success magazineSome of you know that DollarDays’ CEO, Marc Joseph, authored the book, The Secrets of Retailing or How to Beat Wal-Mart! to help small businesses compete in the world of big box stores. In fact, DollarDays.com has a wealth of Marc Joseph’s business and entrepreneurial articles, focusing on small businesses for you to enjoy.

But this time, Marc didn’t do the writing; he was interviewed by Success Magazine for an article they titled “Want to write a book? Our step by step guide.”  Marc gave his candid advice for wannabe authors including how writing a book can ultimately help your business. You can read the article here.

March 24, 2014   No Comments

Old World Egg Nog will Spice Up your Holidays!

 

Josh Froelichby Josh Froelich

I love finding simple old world recipes and bringing them back to life. And this old world egg nog recipe is so delicious, after one sip, even egg nog nay sayers will have a glass! Or two!

This recipe is a delicious trip back in time. There are several origins of the word “nog.” One is a block of wood or a cup carved from a block of wood. I like to use a handmade palm wood cup from Thailand to sip my egg nog.  An alternate definition is “a strong beer” from Norfolk, England.

For this recipe I prefer using an Oatmeal Stout.  The history of Oatmeal Stout dates back to the mid to late 1800s, with the discovery that adding oats to beer made it healthier. This new creation was often considered a table beer and prescribed to nursing mothers and ailing children and believed to be a remedy for sickness in general.

Now that you know a little egg nog history, are you ready to try the best egg nog on the planet?

eggnog

Ingredients

10 oz of oatmeal stout

4 oz bourbon (optional)

4 large organic farm fresh eggs separated

2/3 cup pure organic cane sugar

1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 pinch of cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.

Hand beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In the other bowl, beat the yolks, sugar and vanilla until light in color and creamy.

Add the milk, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon, mix until well combined.

Gently fold the egg whites back into mixture with the beer and bourbon.

 

Enjoy your egg nog! Happy holidays from Josh Froelich, DollarDays’ resident purveyor of fine food, drink and other random finds (he even makes his own wine). And of course, happy holidays, merry egg nog and good health from all of us at DollarDays.

 

 

December 14, 2013   No Comments

Employee Holiday Gifts on the Cheap

Your employees love to be recognized during the holiday season (actually any time of the year!). How ever you reward your employees—bonuses, gift cards or gifts—they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

But what mugsdo you do when you have 24 employees and have a small budget? If you bought 24 $25 gift cards, you’d spend $600. That’s too much for a small business! Here is how to save lots of money AND give a qaulity gift that will put a smile on each employee’s face.

Do it on the cheap at DollarDays.com. Order a case (24) of high quality travel mugs at wholesale pricing, pick up 24 $5 Starbucks gift cards and put them in festive gift bags (sold by the case of 24)! No one but you will know you only spent $253 ($10.55 per employee) on 24 high quality coffee travel mugs, each with a $5 gift card to Starbucks inside, all in festive holiday bags. It’s a clever way to save money and it’s a gift that will be appreciated.

See the high quality coffee travel mugs here.

See the festive gift bags here.

Easy, right? You don’t have waste precious time driving all over town for the perfect gift. Order it wholesale and online at DollarDays.com. We’ll ship it to your door! Plus, you’ll save a ton of money! Who knows…once you start browsing at all we have to offer, you might come up with a different gift idea!

Happy holidays!

November 25, 2013   No Comments

Facebook brings people together during life’s milestones

by guest blogger, Jackie Eldridge

The last thing I want to sound like is an advertisement for Facebook. (That’s my caveat for this post.)

I know I’ve said many times that Facebook and Google are taking over the world. Maybe I should say they’re changing the world instead. Despite all the push-back each giant receives regarding privacy, I believe the ability to share our lives to many usurps the threat of privacy. (Hmmm. There used to be  a mega giant called the yellow pages who had all of our private information and published it in a book!! Then they distributed to everyone!! Hope this puts Facebook in perspective.)

My cousin Patrick and his partner Tabatha had their first child last week. Facebook kept me in the loop to the point that I almost felt like I was in Ohio with them. I read updates, enjoyed videos and chatted with family. Pretty amazing that technology can bring people together during a major life event. The photos and videos meant everything to me.

Then there’s my friend Lindsay. Her father has had stage IV cancer for a year now. I read her posts, and those of her siblings, as her dad transitioned from hospital to hospice. Reading the posts not only kept me connected, but I couldn’t help but feel that Facebook was serving a much larger purpose for Lindsay and her three siblings. They were posting their feelings, talking to God, praying, reminiscing, sharing photos—truly commemorating their lives with their father. This morning, when their dad passed, I read their posts and felt connected to them, and most of all, they were connected to each other. I cried for them. Today, on his death, I know his life was full—as full as a parent’s could be—because he, too, got to witness how his kids and grandkids expressed their feelings and love for him, with some thanks to Facebook. When a loved one is passing,  we often break that stubborn dam of intimacy and flood them with last words and pent-up emotions. While I have no doubt that Linds and family did their share of “flooding” with their dad, I know that being able to emote on Facebook for the past three weeks has been a great release for them. And it’s made them a closer family.

Despite the privacy issues (that we need to constantly monitor) Facebook’s ability to bring people together during life’s milestones is a gift.

November 15, 2013   1 Comment

DollarDays Featured on DailyLounge.com

DollarDays has a huge arts and crafts customer base. With thousands of creative products and rare finds to choose from, our customers can get their craft fixes by logging in, browsing and buying. It’s that easy!

Because of our large following of crafters, we were selected to choose a question to ask a panel of professional crafters on the very popular DailyLounge.com’s live chat today. Our question was, “Being crafty, nuture or nature?” Hands down, the four panelists agreed it was a combination of each! We had fun being a part of their chat! View the chat here.

dailyloungeSM

November 7, 2013   No Comments

Converse, Don’t Complain

by Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO, Rakuten Inc., from LinkedIn

ballSometime today, you may take a break from your work and walk around the office. Perhaps you will talk to a colleague. What will you say? Will you complain about the boss? About the workload? About the weather?

That is common. But it’s not helpful. If you work in a big company, chances are this kind of complaining is what usually goes on in the hallways. But if you look at small companies – at venture start-ups – there is a different buzz in the halls. That’s the sound of conversation.

The best part about being an up-and-coming company was always having someone to play verbal “catch” with. Starting a company is an experiment of trial and error, and when something happens you always end up discussing it with those around you. When Rakuten was in its early stages, there were not many employees, and the office was small. It was as if we were playing verbal “catch” 24 hours a day, all year long. It is no exaggeration to say that Rakuten today was born out of the conversations of that period.

In bigger companies, that natural ongoing conversation may fall off. When that happens, the company loses a critical tool.

In the same way that pro baseball players use a game of catch to warm up and check their form, you can use conversation to verify whether your own way of thinking and judgment are correct or not.

Try raising an issue – “throwing a ball around” – with those nearest to you. People are strange creatures. In most instances, if you throw a ball to someone, they will throw it back. And from there you can start playing catch. This is much more constructive than just approaching other people to complain about your boss or coworkers, or to gossip. And more than just helping you to find a good conversation partner, it is fun.

October 30, 2013   No Comments

Helping others is what we’re all about

Pinelake IndiaIf you know anything at all about DollarDays, then you know we always like to help others in need.  And we love to hear about others doing the same and thought we’d share a story of a customer who is devoted to helping others.

Pinelake Church, with several locations in Mississippi, is helping people in Punjab, India who are in need.  Teams from Pinelake Church travel to India and offer a Compassion Kit that is a good-sized box filled with practical living items like soap, toothpaste, t-shirts and other basic items.  The Kit is a gift that also shares the story of Jesus and gives the opportunity for a person to begin their own story of knowing Jesus.

DollarDays feels fortunate to be Pinelake Church’s wholesale connection for the contents of the Compassion Kits. It’s projects like these that make us feel like we are making a difference too.

Keep up the good work, Pinelake Church!

October 9, 2013   No Comments

Should You Open Your Own Online Store?

By Marc Joseph

storeThe economic recovery for most is much slower than the news would lead you to believe. Many people ask themselves, “How can I supplement my income so I can provide more for my family?” The perceived hot trend to accomplish this goal is doing business on the Internet—but it is not as easy as it looks. Before you go off and open an online store, you need to fully understand what online stores are all about.

Online stores are not much different than physical stores except you don’t have to worry about paying the rent or having a lot of money tied up in inventory. In online stores you still need to present the right product at the right time at the right price. You still need to be very clear about what you are selling and project stellar customer service.

The first obstacle to overcome is deciding what to sell. It is always much easier and much more fun to sell something you have a passion for. That way the long hours you spend with your online store become more engaging and less work. Many products are more conducive to selling online, such as jewelry, clothing or school supplies, while other products are more difficult to sell when they can’t be seen in person, such as refrigerators or leather sofas. So, the questions you need to ask yourself about what to sell in your online store include:

  • Can I sell a digital product that can be sent right over the Internet (like an e-book) or should I sell a physical product that needs to be shipped?
  • Will you specialize in one category of goods like pets or party supplies or will you offer a wide selection of products?
  • Do you have to house inventory or can you find a company to drop ship for you?
  • Will you be creating your own product to sell? If so, are you going to make it yourself or do you need to form a relationship with a vendor who will manufacture it for you?
  • How are you going to ship your product? From your home, a storage facility or drop shipper from a third party warehouse?

The second obstacle to overcome is finding the customer niche who will buy from you. You need to list what differentiates your site from all the other similar sites (and don’t kid yourself, they are out there) found online. So, to find the right niche:

  • Study the competition and if you can’t beat them with product or price or customer service, find another niche. Go to the main marketplaces like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Sears, Rakuten, Tiger Direct or Newegg to see who is already selling and make sure you can do it better or faster or cheaper
  • Become the expert on what you sell. Show your passion for your products through original content that differentiates you from others. The more originality you add to the site, the more you stand out
  • Make sure it is easy to purchase from your site. Even if the products are similar to other sites online, you will set your site apart by making shopping easy. The quicker you can get customers from liking the products to finalizing the sale, the more you will stand out from all the competition

There are plenty of places on the Internet that can help you open up your dream store. Yahoo stores, Go Daddy, Volusion, Big Commerce, Doba, 1&1, Web.com and a whole slew of other sites can be your partner. “Build it and they will come” sounds good in movies, but it does not work the same with online stores. Marketing your site with search engine optimization, paid search, emails, affiliates, etc., will be the topic of another article.

At DollarDays.com, we have partnered with Lucrazon to offer an easy and fast way to get a site up and running. There are several website templates to choose from and you can sell as many products as you like. In fact, the DollarDays products are already uploaded to your site, so you can decide if you want to sell them all or just a few departments. There is no limit to the amount of pages you can create and the site is integrated into a shopping cart so you can begin selling in less than an hour.

We come back to the original question of should you open your own online store. It is inexpensive to get started if you find the right store-building partner and the right drop shipper of products for you. It can become a black hole if you start to throw money at every marketing scheme that comes along. So like any business, it takes time to build. If you are an entrepreneur, an optimist and a hard worker, then you should be in the online store business. If you believe that if you pay for a site and all you have to do is sit back and watch for an income stream, then the online store is not for you. The Internet is still the Wild West. Learn how to do guerilla marketing on the Internet with your online store, show your customers you are passionate about what you sell and this could be a fun way to make a living.

August 22, 2013   No Comments