Displaying All Posts by Jason Finnerty

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek

Unless you are running on a different clock than the rest of us, you only have 168 hours to do what you need to do each week.  Figure at least 29% of that has to be used for sleep, and another 6% just for eating.  So that leaves you about 108 hours per week to split between work and fun.  If you’re like most folks, it’s not unusual to see over 60 hours per week spent on commuting to and from work, as well as on work itself.

And why do you work this many hours?  Oh, right – it’s so you can retire and not do any more work. Click Here to Read Article …

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Who Is Your Mentor?

There are some things that you knew how to do from the moment you arrived on this planet.  Eating – yup, sleeping – yup, and a few other related “projects”.  But for everything else you do, you had to learn by watching or listening to someone else.  You might have done this as a child, watching your parents make funny noises until you realized it was their own language.  Or you might have learned this as a teenager, learning how to drive a car with the help of a very patient parent or a professional instructor. Click Here to Read Article …

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Are You Getting Paid Enough? Do a Salary Comparison

Sure, it sounds like the start of a hokey pyramid scheme – but unless your office is very transparent about salaries, it’s hard to know if you are in the top, middle, or bottom of what you should be earning.

Money isn’t everything, and you’ve been able to help your company through the economic downturn.  Are you curious to find out if you are being valued appropriately by your current employer?

Here’s a list of salary comparison links that might help you get an idea of what you are, or should be, earning:
Click Here to Read Article …

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How Do You Handle Layoff Rumors?

You’re at work and you accidentally overhear a conversation between your boss and his boss.  You learn that they need to lay off one person in your division in order for the company to stay viable.  They’ve got to decide between laying you off or laying off your teammate.

Your teammate is good – very good – and you are one of the few in the office that knows that he’s about to be a father for the first time.

Do you:

  • Let your teammate know what you’ve heard?
  • “Accidentally” let your boss know about the coming child, and remark about how work quality can decrease in proportion with lost sleep?
  • Sabotage your teammates current project?
  • Update your resume, contact a recruiter and/or your competitors in your industry to start your new role on a new team?
  • Talk to your boss about taking a leave of absence while business is slow and work on your own freelance projects or take the vacation you’ve always wanted?
  • Provide your boss with an alternative to layoffs altogether (your department takes a 5% cut in pay, but everyone gets to keep working)?
  • Wait and see – let the best man win?

Though the economy is starting to stabilize, this question isn’t outlandish right now.

How would you handle it? Click Here to Read Article …

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Fast Recipes for Work #2: Cup o’ Chocolate Cake

Here’s another of my favorite fast recipes. How many times have you been slaving away at the computer, trying to squeeze in that last bit of code, those final tweaks to the copy, or the final lines in your design when you were struck with an overwhelming urge for chocolate cake?

Sadly, this happens way too often here in my house. While I feel a bit guilty when I “forget” to tell my wife that I made a chocolate cake – I feel more so when there isn’t any left to share with her.

So I was delighted to come across this recipe – as it’s a personal-sized cake (well, really – what cake isn’t personal sized?).  And the best part is it will probably take you longer to eat it than it will to cook it!

This is a “Freelance Favorite” called Cup o’ Cake – but you don’t have to be a freelancer to enjoy it.  If you’ve got a microwave at work, you can bring the ingredients and mix them up for your afternoon coffee.  Why buy a $5 cupcake when you can make something like this?


  • 4 tbsp flour (all purpose is ok, cake flour is better)
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar (haven’t tried it yet – but you could probably use your fav. flavor Quik and skip the cocoa)
  • 1 med egg
  • 3 tbsp milk (evaporated milk might be pretty good, too)
  • 3 tbsp oil (or melted butter if you want to be decadent)
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 large mug

Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips to the mug

Add egg, then milk and oil.  Mix very well. (A large mug is handy here, or this might be a bit messy)

Put the mug in the microwave, and cook on high for 3 minutes

Take out of the microwave, empty mug into a bowl.  Smother cake with canned chocolate sauce, ice cream, whipped cream or all of the above

Hide bathroom scale.

Enjoy! Click Here to Read Article …

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What Are You Doing to Impress Your Customers?

What do you do to show your current clients the difference between you and your competition?

There seem to be two schools of thought on this topic:

  • Do an excellent job on exactly what the client is looking for;
  • Do a good job on the project, and provide additional value as a bonus.

I got to thinking about this after reading about optimizing your freelance career, especially the reference to “undepromise and overdeliver.”

Do people try and compensate for a perceived shortcoming – maybe they are concerned about their grammar or the originality of their concepts – by adding in additional value?  Does a client look at the job and think, “Well, the concept is ok, but we’ve got three pages of web copy that we weren’t expecting – hooray!” or “Wow – brilliant concept, I know we didn’t ask for more, but it would have been nice to get a few more pages of copy”?

Have you found that it is better to deliver “excellence” to your customers and nothing else, or provide” acceptable” with bonus material?

Click Here to Read Article …

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Is This an Invasion of Privacy?

You’re searching for something you need in the company database.  You stumble across a folder that looks interesting and when you get in, you’re floored.  This folder contains the salary information, performance reviews and management concerns corresponding to all of the people in the company.  You know you shouldn’t have access to this folder, but apparently you do.

What do you do with this information?

  • Close out of the folder without reading any further.  Inform your manager and your IT team that you have access, and suggest they fix that.
  • Make copies of all of the files, and read them at home when you have time.
  • Share the link with your work-buddies.
  • Share the link with everyone in the office – the ultimate in transparency.
  • Hold onto the information for a rainy day – you never know when you might need to play that card.

With security systems less than secure and passwords either known office-wide or easy enough to figure out, being presented with this situation is far from abnormal.

What would you do? Click Here to Read Article …

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EpicWin Combines an iPhone To-Do List with a Role Playing Game

Do you need a bit more motivation to get your daily tasks done?

Do you fantasize about role-playing while you do your household chores?

Does your real world keep you away from your virtual world?

Now you can bring them closer together, thanks to the brilliant folks at EpicWin.

EpicWin puts the adventure back into your life by providing you with an iPhone app that rewards you for completing your household chores; from washing the car, sending birthday cards, doing the dishes or going to the gym.  Gain experience points for doing your menial tasks, and maybe even find some loot.  Develop your character and stats based on the chores you complete, and if you’re lucky, your character might even develop into a CEO of Pain – or a Mage of Paperwork Mountain!

“Doing the laundry is an epic feat of stamina…”


EpicWin isn’t the first to try and merge a to-do list manager with a role playing game (RPG), and it’s not quite available yet.  If the hype about EpicWin has got you wondering why you aren’t getting experience points for doing your daily chores, you can check out Chore Wars or Booyah Society and then decide if EpicWin is truly an epic win once it finally arrives on an iPhone near you. Click Here to Read Article …

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