A Soldier Commitment Phobe

I’m doing work in Iraq for the State Department and intending to get home for my second leave block. A week just before coming back, I find out that my girlfriend had kissed somebody else in between my last leave block and now. I ask her if perhaps she still wishes me to keep coming back or we just go our separate ways. She tearfully says she really wants me to come again and we’ll sort it out. On the way of coming back, I’m delayed over a day in Kuwait City and then find myself arriving the sunrise before we are set to travel 16 hours from D.C. to southern Florida. After few days of getting a little bit of a lukewarm reaction from her, I finally ask what’s wrong. She proceeds to let me know that she can’t do the long distance relationship anymore as well as isn’t certain she is prepared to settle down. I do think to myself, “We drove 16 hours to Florida, are not even 4 days into my vacation, and perhaps assume now is the most suitable time to tell me this ?”

To make things a whole lot worse, we still have 4 days left and I’m not going to have a young woman drive straight back up the eastern seaboard by herself therefore I have to grit it out. Despite the fact that we get back together, I have absolutely no place to stay therefore I crash at her place until I take a flight returning to Iraq. Along the way of staying with her, I come to find out that she was seeing the guy she kissed for a month and to this day, they really are still together. It took me roughly a year to get all my things back even though I have gladly moved on. I do wonder, however, is this is cosmic returns for the breakup with a girl a month before I was returning home on deployment leave after being gone for 9 months.

4 Critical Steps to Power Your Product Funnel Development to Success

For those who sell their own products and services, product funnel development can be the critical step leading to true internet marketing success. The product funnel can help you draw prospective customers. It can be instrumental in motivating purchasing clients to return time and again. The bottom line is that it can be a means to develop a steady stream of income for you and your internet marketing business. In this article we will disclose 4 steps that are critical in powering your product funnel development efforts to success.

1. You must know your targeted customer well. Establishing a clear understanding of your exact targeted customer base is critical in product funnel development. Having a clear understanding enables you to develop the right products and services to meet their most compelling problems, questions and needs. It also enables you to create laser focused marketing plans. Be sure to interact with your targeted customer base on a regular basis. This simple step will allow you to become aware of the most gripping problems, issues, and needs they face. It is also a means of understanding exactly the products and services they seek.

2. Your status as a knowledgeable expert must be recognized. Your targeted customers must have faith in you and your knowledge for them to develop respect and trust in you and what you say. Since respect and trust are required for prospective customers to become actual buyers, this is vital to your online success. Create that respect and trust by creating articles and sharing them with others through article directories and submission sites. Be sure to write and submit only high-quality articles that are content-rich with the information targeted readers are seeking.

3. Invest the time and energy to create a thorough marketing plan. Your product funnel development efforts aren’t complete until sales are made. Get your products and services noticed by aggressively advertising them. Cover the gamut of proven internet marketing advertising and promotion options including article marketing, banner advertising, Pay Per Click advertising, blogging, email marketing, and paid links. Don’t forget to create a high converting salesletter before you start those campaigns.

4. Your products and services must be of the highest quality. Just as all of your articles must be high-quality and content-rich, so must all other products and services you create. Customers expect high-quality, information filled products. Don’t sacrifice their satisfaction by releasing and selling sub-par products. Provide products that meet their needs, problems and questions head-on. Deliver products that function exactly as advertised. Make it your goal to over-deliver to buyer expectations each and every time. Satisfied customers will return time and again to purchase from you whenever they have a need.

To your product funnel development success!

Interesting in learning more about this topic? visit

Five Commercial Landscape Design Ideas to enhance your property

As we head into spring, now is the time to consider landscape enhancements for your commercial property—ways to improve safety, sustainability and the overall experience for guests. What projects have you put on the back burner? Do you need to address plants that have outgrown their spaces, or replace tired shrubs with young natives that have low-water requirements?


As you consider the possibilities for your landscape, ask yourself : How do people spend time outdoors on your grounds, and what could you add to make landscaped spaces more comfortable? ( We’re seeing modern seating and work-play focused projects like patio spaces equipped for cooking—even bocce ball courts for blowing off steam mid-day or staging team-building activities at the office.)


So take a moment now to tour your property and look at the landscape as if you were the guest, employee, pedestrian, shopper or even passer-by. Our free 2017 Commercial Landscaping Trends Report will inspire you. And, so will the five commercial landscape design ideas here. And you can Visit


#1 Update Signage to Improve Appearance and Way finding

When is the last time you addressed signage on your commercial property? Weather can take a toll on even high-quality signage—and styles evolve over time. Crisp, modern signage that is easy to read day and night is an asset because it guides people to your commercial property. Entry signage can be spruced up with tiered landscaping. Think : hardscape elements and mix of plant sizes and textures. Color draws attention.


Signage should not only look attractive and updated, it must be functional so people can find their way on your property. Consider auditing the existing signage and determining if additional directional signs are necessary to improve the guest experience.


#2 Add Seating That Says, ‘Stay Awhile’

Outdoor seating is a benefit for businesses. Seating in the landscape allows employees to take breaks to refresh and re-energize ( this improves productivity, mood and morale). Outdoor seating areas can be used for meetings, entertaining and …


Pair of flat benches on campus of community college


#3 Replacing Tired Plants With Alabama Natives

Mature landscaping can outgrow spaces and the result is a messy-looking bed and compromised plant health. Sometimes, the best way to tame a bed is to start from scratch—especially if the existing plants are consuming valuable maintenance time and resources. With the watering restrictions we often experience in Atlanta, it makes sense to replace tired plants with drought-tolerant Alabama natives that will thrive on your property with less water, fertilizer and general maintenance. Some examples are Viburnum, Rhododendron, Dogwood and even azaleas.


Garden arrangement of ornamental foliage in spring

#4 Adding Pops of Color With Containers

Containers come in a range of styles and sizes—and they’re a fast way to update and add color to entrances and other high-visibility spaces. Plant annuals for spring, summer and fall in containers. Or, even plant trees and shrubs in large containers to provide shade in a full-sun seating area on your commercial property. (If the plant doesn’t add the color pop, the vibrant container will !) We love how containers are versatile and give property owners a way to keep their landscapes relevant without investing in replanting entire beds.


#5 Addressing Safety And Lighting

Examine your property’s surfaces. Do you see uneven surfaces that could cause pedestrians to trip and fall? Roots of mature trees will grow through most any surface. They’ll push up pavers and concrete, cause buckling at sidewalk joints. Also, weather naturally takes a toll on even the toughest surfaces. Pavers can settle, asphalt can crack, concrete can heave. Addressing these trip-and-fall hazards should be a priority so you can ensure the safety of people who visit your Atlanta commercial property.


And, speaking of safety, are walkways, parking lots, entrances and other pedestrian and vehicular passages well lit at night? Lighting enhances safety, improve appearance and can actually attract more people to your property. (Some might avoid visiting if they feel uncomfortable there at nighttime.)


Plan Now For Landscape Enhancements

Investing in landscape projects like seating, lighting and plants can boost property value, increase tenant occupancy rates, invite more guests, and enhance the experience people have on your property. Be sure to earmark some budget dollars for enhancements—otherwise, landscape maintenance needs will consume your attention and these projects could get pushed to the back burner.


Now is a great time to walk your property with a commercial landscape professional that can offer design ideas and suggest where you’ll get the most return on investment. It’s best to tackle these projects before summer kicks in and everyone wants to be out enjoying the landscape.


We look forward to showing exactly what working with an expert contractor needs to be like. Expect us to do the small things well : return phone calls and emails immediately, appear on time for meetings, and make you and your project the focus when we are together.

With regards to our work, we are going to provide your property the respect it deserves, not treat it like a jobsite, constructing a landscape that beckons you outside for years of pleasure.

Let’s talk more. Call us anytime at 256-201-7757 or you can visit

Creating Better Leaders and Citizens After Serving in Military

For those who have spent their adult lives serving their country as troops or military family members, moving into a life of nonprofit service after leaving the fighting force just makes sense.

However it isn’t usually that easy.

Beginning a successful nonprofit requires more than just a love of service or interest in philanthropy, said a trio of those who have done it. It takes dedication, savvy, looking to others for help and being able to fill a need without accidentally duplicating services that already exist, they said.

Therefore what’s the top secret to which makes it in the nonprofit world?

Read this personal stories, and just how they’ve discovered success with their organizations.

Army Veteran Jeremy Hysell : Creating Better Leaders and Citizens

the nonprofit experience started while he was still on active duty, going to graduate school at the University of Michigan after a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. He attended a class on positive psychology — and everything changed.

The research of how people and organizations thrive, positive psychology targets 24 character strengths — traits such as leadership, integrity and bravery. Since he worked through the class, he saw mirrored in those qualities core Army values such as honor, duty and respect. He also saw an opportunity to make a dynamic difference in the lives of 2 completely different groups : his fellow veterans and schoolchildren.

Jeremy’s name has become synonymous with Team Red, White & Blue, the veterans’ nonprofit he founded throughout his studies. The organization spread first to the U.S. Army’s academy at West Point, where he taught in the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department between 2011 and 2014, and then, like wildfire, to the world.

Connecting veterans with their groups through fitness and social activities, Team RWB ( as it’s known ) and its familiar eagle logo have exploded to a lot more than 115,000 members in more than 200 chapters worldwide. Although positive psychology is not Team RWB’s lone mission, its members concentrate on living by what is known as the “Eagle Ethos,” a set of guiding principles that reflects many of the character traits which positive psychology focuses.

Jeremy, who still sits on the Team RWB board, is not involved in the organization’s day-to-day activities and has since left active duty. Now he has launched a brand new organization aimed at bringing the importance of positive character that he discovered through the Army to the next generation.

Started as a simple Facebook page focused on positive character, The Positivity Project has developed a set of curriculum to teach positive qualities in elementary school classrooms. This year, the Positivity Project is in 33 schools nationwide and has impacted 12,000 kids. During the 2017 to 2018 school year, the program is expected to be in 200 schools.

“We’re trying to produce better leaders and better citizens for our world and our country,” Jeremy said. “For democracy to work, you have to trust in a society that you and someone else are driving. We need to trust that our citizens are going to look out for each other and support each other — that’s what democracy requires.”

The most important takeaway is that nonprofit success does not happen in a vacuum. Every veteran nonprofit organization that gains notice can inspire other veterans, which leads to positive ripple effects for military and civilian communities at large. It’s that knowledge that inspires Jeremy, along with many others, to continue giving back


Transitioning From The Navy To Civilian Career

navy to civilian

I come from a long line of military family on both my mum’s and dad’s side of the family. At present there are at least 6 of my extended family in the service and one thing we have often discussed is how to best transition a military career for a civilian one. For this post I would like to talk about one of my nephews who has spent 6 years in the Navy with 3 deployments to his name.

It goes without saying that the entire family is very proud of his accomplishments, but he really took a fantastic approach to the transition. Many service men and women use their military career as a stepping stone into an otherwise unaffordable college course. For Jason, my nephew, that didn’t sound all that appealing and he had seen many of his fellow sailors return home, go to college and just not like it.

Jason especially was concerned about the mundanity of going to college, so he spent the last 2 and half years in the Navy making preparations. First of all signed up for welding courses and got all the possible certifications going. This gave him a fantastic insight into a trade with a huge amount of work experience.

Then he underwent extended diving courses which set everything up for him to eventually be accepted into the Navy’s underwater welding program. It is a hugely important role and he gained a lot of work experience as there is never a shortage of repair work beneath the waves. There is similar underwater welding training available for civilians, but you can expect to pay over $15,000 just for the commercial diving license part of it.

When he eventually retired from the Navy he was 25 years old with full underwater welding certification and 12 months of intense work experience. This essentially meant that job offers came flooding in from all over the country.

In the last 9 months he has travelled from Maine to Texas and all along the West Coast where he has been mainly working for oil and gas companies. At present he has at least 12 months’ work queued up and he has started his own business looking to recruit some of his former fellow sailors.

This has now allowed him to be in a position where he earns in excess of $150,000 per year. Had he gone to college he would be waiting for 4 years with no income, with a hope of probably earning half that when he finished. However, his business idea is excellent and his current clients have already voiced interest in extending their orders for more former Navy divers.

His plan now is to hire at least two more retired Navy sailors with the full certifications needed. He will then be able to clear his backlog of projects in about 5 months and then spend a lot more time on the sales side of things. The main thing he is focusing on is the flexibility of being able to take on projects throughout the US, but he already has his eyes on international expansion.

There are numerous welding job prospects with very good income potential, so you should not shy away from this choice of career transition if you do not like the idea of spending a lot of time in and underwater.

How Paleo Compass Diet Contributes to Good Health

Image of Paleo DietSome of the experts of Health and fitness are happy to know that there is a new diet that is available in several shops for those people who are health conscious. The Paleo compass offers a comprehensive list of organic food for anyone interested in the paleo diet.

This method is just one of the many types of paleo diet that exists among dieting experts. The paleo diet is considered and recognised to help people with their nutrition especially in losing weight. One of the source where I get information would be from The paleo diet is a type of diet where people are following the eating habits of the hunter-gatherer cavemen. In short, it is a diet regimen where food should be 100% all natural and organic. A lot of people believed that the hunter-gatherer ancestors did not suffer the same diseases that modern humans have today. This diet encourages people to consume organic plants and animals. This includes meat, eggs, vegetables, fish and fruits. There are a few things to check before starting a paleo diet.

Things You Need to Know About the Paleo Compass Diet

1. Consult With Doctor’s Medical Advice

Like all diets, a proper examination is needed in order to determine that a person is suitable for the paleo diet. Check-ups for food allergy is important because a large percentage of the diet itself revolves around meat, poultry, and fish. The paleo diet is not for people with food allergies. People should always check if they have food allergies before starting the diet.

2. How To Get Paleo Diet

The paleo diet involves eating fresh meat, poultry, fish and vegetables that are organically grown. This means no chemicals should be used that may affect the growth and nutrition of the plant and/or animal. Organically grown vegetables and organic meat are expensive, especially when consumed on a daily basis.

3. Benefits

People who will start Paleo diet will help them reach an optimum level of health. It can help them lower food contents that are not nutritious and it can lower down their cholesterol levels of the their body. In this way, it will cut down the risk of having heart illnesses that will later cause death if not treated well. The goal of this diet is to set aside too much cholesterol and calorie intake of a person. The food choices for this diet are comprehensive and all of the choices are full of nutrients.

4. Success in the DietImage of Healthy Food

There are several ways to achieve your goal in getting the benefits of the diet. One way is to focus on doing the diet and follow the diet with consistency. It is important to set your mind that you will benefit from regularly following the diet. Another way is to appreciate every food in the diet because you will later then see the importance of it and how effective this diet is for you. Nowadays, different soldiers in the army are using the paleo diet, and they succeeded in getting the benefits of it.

New Kind of Travel: Helping People

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

I was just out on an adventure as a volunteer for a relief operation. I saw an ad put up by an organization that focuses on going around places that needed distribution of reliefs. They usually go to places that have been struck by calamities like typhoons, earthquakes, landslides, and the likes. The ex-military that I am, and now that I have started on my adventure as a traveller, I decided to sign up for just 1 relief operation.

Nothing makes travelling more fun than making it more exciting through helping others in need.

As it happens, the group not only supports calamity stricken places, but also those places where living is very difficult and people are really poor and hungry. They also support and visit places where indigenous people live.

When I joined, the team was headed for a rural part of the Africa. We were met with faces of both young and old, whose faces lit up the moment they saw our van. They knew they were going to get the help they deserved.

Being the new guy, I followed orders and started helping the others give out the relief materials. I was happy to see that they covered the essentials: food, clothes, shoes and slippers, blankets, mosquito repellents, baby formula milk, soap, etc.

While others wait in line for their turn, the children were also gathered and the volunteers put up a mini-show for them. They did basic magic tricks and had games where the children gladly joined in. Seeing the joy in the children’s eyes as they watch the simple show makes you see how important and life-fulfilling the experience is for them. For the man that I am, I could not help but shed a tear.

They also had doctor volunteers who gave free medical and dental check-ups. Throughout the entire trip, I was really touched at the wonderful cause that the organization has decided to pursue. At that time, I could compare their heroism to the soldiers of the country, except that they do these with their own group’s efforts.

Like soldiers, they conquer unknown lands and battle their fears and their doubts about what could happen to them on their relief operations. They focus on their goal, which is to help those in need; to give to those who have none.

I was really glad that I came to participate in that outreach program. Even if it was just a short term experience, it was very inspiring. It made my second escapade very meaningful and heart-warming.