Don’t Compare, We’re Not All The Same

Important Notice:  I have been guilty of exactly what I mention in this post.

With that said, I hope this message serves as a point of self reflection and not something to make anyone feel bad.

This is a social world and often, before we think about it, we comment on a topic, a story, or a current event without considering the digital or non-digital footprints we leave behind. 

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Win a Free Copy of My Latest Book

We are just two days away from Thanksgiving Day 2013. Where has the time gone?  

As I reflect back on this year, I feel very grateful for my family and friends and I am also thankful to have supporters who have read my blog posts and books.

As a way of saying thanks to everyone, I would like to offer my readers a chance to win one of 3 free copies of my latest book, 20 Ways to Earn an Extra $1,000 For the Holidays.  

1kbook

To get a chance at picking up a free copy, simply take the following three actions:

1.  Leave a comment below.  Tell me what you are thankful for and what you would do if you had an extra $1,000 for the holidays.

2.  Subscribe to my email list using the box on the right side of this page.  If you're already subscribed, don't worry about it.

3.  Tweet/Post a link to the book pagewww.devindabney.com/20ways, and include the hashtag #20waysto1k

On Friday, November 29, 2013, I will select 3 people at random.  If you are one of those selected, I will notify you via email and send you a download link to pick up your FREE copy.

Thanks again for your support.

My Wife Makes Me Proud

I am blessed beyond measure to be married to my wife, Shayla.  Many people get to experience what she contributes as a friend, relative, or writer, but I get to see her as a wife, mother, friend, and my greatest supporter.  

Yesterday, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, This is Your Life, from Michael Hyatt.  During the past couple of episodes, he had his wife Gail on and they shared some of their wisdom from 35 years of marriage.  As I listened, I couldn't help but smile because many of the great things Michael shared about his wife were some of the same great things that my bride has offered in our relationship.

She is a gift to me and to everyone who she meets so I decided to honor that and express how proud I am of her today.

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Lessons From Starting a Podcast

Over the past few years, I've become an extreme fan of podcasts.  I listen to podcasts while I'm doing mundane tasks throughout the day or night and it gives me an opportunity to actually learn something or to do something effective with my time while I'm doing something like washing dishes or cutting grass or walking around at work.

I can learn so many different things and learn about so many tools through listening to podcasts.

One of the formats that I've come to enjoy is the "interview" format where the host does a phone or Skype interview with someone who is respected or has something to offer to their audience.

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Guest Posting on Blogs is Like Being a Guest Preacher

I'm seriously planning to do more posting on guest blogs in the near future.  I've had at least one offer and so has my wife.  Think about it this way:  A lot of times people may be familiar with your message or they have heard you speak in your own platform.  They recognize your jokes and know the quirkiness that may define you at times.

When you step out and go into another venue with a different audience, a lot of it appears very fresh and new to them.

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A Good Reason for a Hiatus

Sometimes in life, we have desires and passions that lead us toward goals that we really want to reach and we'll do what it takes in order to reach those goals.

One of the goals that I had recently was to launch a podcast and to actually learn from people who are successfully podcast and also to study what it takes to have a podcast.  I wanted it to be available on iTunes, Stitcher, and some of the apps that I use to listen to podcasts.

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Cool Ways We Get Food

People often ask us about some of the creative and interesting things we do in our effort to feed our growing family.  In this post, I plan to share two of the things we do.

One of those things has gotten a lot of attention lately since our local newspaper, The Advocate, did a feature article on it and my picture was at the top of the page.

During our pick-up last month, a photographer from the paper came out and talked to several of us and I was pictured on the truck helping the driver unload boxes to the other customers.

Azure Standard

We're a part of a local food co-op that allows us to pick up our orders once a month from a company called Azure Standard.

The way it works is pretty simple.  It involves the following steps

1)  Go to AzureStandard.com and create an account.

2)  Add items to your cart and place an order by the deadline

3)  Pick up items on the drop date and help unload the truck

There are thousands of items. Not just food items, but household items as well.  Some are better priced, some are better quality, and some of the same quality that you would get at a local store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or something along those lines.

Some of the food comes from a farm in Oregon and the trucking company actually picks up our orders and delivers them once a month.

The picture from the paper (and above on this post) is actually a picture of us picking up our food from the truck.

There are produce items, household items, and you can also get frozen items.  The truck is refrigerated to help transport perishable items and there is a freezer area for the frozen items.

During the pickup, the way it works is we each have a sheet with our name on it and we use clipboards that are laid out in alphabetical order (usually it's close but some are out of order).  After the clipboards are down, everyone lines up at the back of the truck and each person grabs a box that is labeled with the customer's name.  You find the clipboard with the person's name and then place the box behind the person's name.  After that, you get back in line.

Given the number of people and families who participate in our co-op, it really doesn't take long to unload the truck, maybe 30-45 minutes.  After that, you can pack up your boxes and leave.

You have the option of paying for your items online when you place the order or you can do Cash-On-Delivery and pay the driver when you pick up the order or you can call them before the pick-up to pay by phone.

The best part is if something is wrong with your order (moldy produce/damaged product), you can call the company and they will promptly give you credit for the bad items and make it right.  We have had to do it a couple of times and it wasn't a problem.  It was an inconvenience because we didn't get the items, but at least we were credited.

 

Zaycon Foods

In addition to our food co-op, we also order our chicken from a company called Zaycon Foods.  They actually come to this area around twice a year and they also go to nearly all 50 states as well.  They make delivery of things like chicken, ground beef, bacon, pork sausage, pulled pork, and other items like wings and fish filets.

Mostly in this area, we're able to get the chicken breasts and meat items.  You're able to buy this in bulk (chicken comes in 40lb boxes) and you're getting a great price with no preservatives or harmful chemicals in the food.  You get something of high quality but it's actually not bad on the price. I've seen the price of the chicken breasts range from $1.69/lb to $1.89lb (the price for the current pick up)

You can go to www.devindabney.com/zaycon to sign up.  It doesn't cost you anything sign up and you can get points toward orders if you use a referral link to notify other people about the company.

They'll notify you when an event is coming to your area and all you have to do is place an order at the most convenient location that is listed.  On the pick up date, you simply pull up to the truck, pop your trunk, and let them load the food and you're done in about 2 minutes.

Since it comes in cases of 40lbs, you might want to split it with someone or, in our case, we freeze it and use it for lots of different recipes.  It lasts us until the next time they come, which is about 6 months.  That helps you avoid getting chicken from the store for a long time and you can have it on hand when you need it.  

Sign up and you'll find all the information you need.

7 Free Places to Store Your Files

Computers and technology can provide us with great convenience every day (when it's all working right).  These days, there are so many ways to use technology — from desktops to laptops, phones to media players and tablets.

When we want our technology, we want it right then and there. 

But, what happens when there is hardware/software failure or you get a virus?  Would you lose your most important files?  The papers you're working on for school.  The pictures from last year's vacation.  The copies of your tax returns. The video of little Johnny's first steps.  Your client's contracts.

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How to Easily Create Blog Posts Throughout the Day

If you have a smartphone that has a voice recorder, it's pretty easy to create blog posts throughout the day.

Being an "ideas" person, I always have a ton of ideas for blog posts and if you're the same way, it's a good idea to get those ideas out of your head and into a digital format.

Whenever you get a free second during the day, you can take out your phone, start your voice recorder or recording app and talk about the topic for a few minutes. 

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