Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New Blog Soon!

I will soon be launching my new blog at JulietEaston.com.  Please come visit!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Behind the Wheel of a Ton of Steel

Sometimes life shakes you to the core. Things happen that wake you up so much that all your senses are heightened and you savor every breath, every moment, the magnitude of the beauty of a sunrise in the fog, the crispness of the morning air. You truly appreciate the people you love in a very real way. You realize that at any second, any one of them could no longer be here. That has just happened to me.

Yesterday I found out that my former step-son, my kids' half-brother, Thomas, who I helped raise since he was three, had been in a car accident the night before. It was about 20 hours later before anyone in our family, his family even knew this had happened. He had two hospital bracelets on when I saw him, one with his name, one with John Doe. That is who he was when he arrived at the hospital. He had been drinking. He thought he could drive just fine when he was drinking. He was wrong.

He has some bruises, a black eye, a few scrapes, and a contusion in his brain. He got lucky. His best friend, Matt, who was in the car with him is not so lucky. His back is broken in two places, he has two concussions, a broken shoulder, and a broken wrist. No one knows the long-term impact of his injuries right now or whether he will walk again.

Thomas remembers leaving the house. He remembers standing in the middle of the road, his car totaled in a ditch, his best friend lying on the road crying for him to go get help. He remembers nothing in between. Matt said that he drove around the corner too sharply and the car rolled. They weren't wearing seat belts, they were drinking, and they thought they were invincible. They now know they are not.

As I drove my daughter, Grace, to school this morning, I realized that she could have been behind the wheel of a car on the very same road where this happened, very near our house, at the same time. She could have had a head on collision with her own brother.

Last week, Grace learned how important each second in a car can be. She was leaving our neighborhood and as she turned, her iPod Touch fell down near the pedals. She thought it would be safer to pick it up without braking, afraid that if she did it might get jammed under the pedals. In that few seconds, she swerved off the road, hit a mailbox which shattered part of the windshield and knocked off the side mirror. She got lucky. It could have been much worse.

We can have a tendency to be too causal about decisions made behind the wheel of a ton of steel. Decisions that can have a huge impact on our lives, on the lives of people we care about, on the lives of total strangers who have family and friends that love them dearly.

I want to create a video to give voice to people who have made decisions they regretted behind the wheel, who wish that they had taken a few seconds to make a different decision. I know how powerful video can be online and how it can impact many people. I am hoping that this video will touch some people and help them take a few seconds to make different decisions behind the wheel.

If you know of anyone in the Athens, GA area who might want to contribute their story to this project, please contact me at julieteaston at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Micro Continuity inside a Dove Dark Chocolate Promises wrapper - "Go ahead, have another :-)" ...and it worked. I did!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Worked on 3 songs last night - "Numb", "Pull", & "The Magical Axe" - recording soon...yeah! :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Stomping the Search Engines 2.0

I joined SMARTS from StomperNet in January, attended LIVE 5 in Atlanta in April, and upgraded to a full StomperNet member at that event. That is a one of the best business decisions I have ever made! I just went to LIVE 6 almost two weeks ago and it was amazing. It is going to take me months to implement all the items on my to do list from that event! BUT...not everyone can afford $800 per month to be a member of StomperNet and it is not even open to new members right now anyhow.

So here is some great news for you... StomperNet is releasing Stomping the Search Engines 2.0 today and it is at a price ANYONE can afford! It was created to be a $497 product (and you can buy it for that much if you really want to), but there is a way you can get it for FREE! You can also get The Net Effect - an incredible print journal loaded with amazing content from StomperNet faculty - I got a press copy at LIVE 6 and was blown away by how much actionable content is in this SEO journal!

Clay Cotton, who has been working with me on eBiz4Youth, has used SEO exclusively for his business for the past 10 years. Clay has multiple sclerosis and makes his living full-time on line from a few websites in consumer niches - none are in internet marketing. I talked to him last night about Stomping the Search Engines 2.0 and what he thought I should tell you in this post. This was his response, "Ask "Are you nuts? If not then, DUH, it's free!'" Yes, that is what Clay said!

Look I'm not going to tell you every single thing that is in Stomping the Search Engines 2.0 - the website does a great job of that. Go to the website and watch the video (yes these people are real - I met many of them and had long conversations about their businesses with several of them. The guy with the top nine listings on Google selling his horse farm, Miami Phillips, came as my guest.) Then read about everything in Stomping the Search Engines 2.0 below the video and decide if you want to pay $497 or get it for free!

If you want to learn SEO the right way from people who know their stuff so you can get high rankings on Google for your website, then my question for you is this - why are you still reading this - go get STSE 2.0 now!

Monday, September 01, 2008

It’s My Birthday & I’ll Smile If I Want To!

Today is my birthday and I am giving myself some great presents today & I have some wonderful things to celebrate!

I am celebrating that the pilot program for eBiz4Youth – Nonprofit Program for At-Risk Youth will be starting in a couple of weeks in a middle school in Athens, GA! This is my big passion, dream and it is finally happening! I’m super stoked about this!

I am celebrating my friendships and business relationships I am building. I met some incredible people last weekend at StomperNet Live 6. And I am going to Orlando in a few weeks where I know I will meet some more great people at a one day workshop and then a three-day conference and reconnect with some of the Program Advisors for eBiz4Youth.

I am also giving myself some presents, not things, but gifts that cannot be bought in a store. I am making time for me in my life. If you are a parent (or even a workaholic entrepreneur), then you know how important a present this is!

I am going making some changes in my life for ME! Is this selfish? I don’t think so! If I am happier, I will be more productive with eBiz4Youth and a better mom to my three kids.

I started last week on a plan to make time to take care of my health and my body. This is not just for vanity – I have lupus and have had chronic pain for years, which was worsened by a car accident a few years ago. Taking care of health is critical for my productivity, my health, and for being a good mom to my kids. I have lost four pounds already and can feel my muscles getting stronger. This is a great present!

I am also doing some fun stuff for me. I am also a songwriter, but I have put that on the back burner for years. I recorded one song about seven years ago, but I have a lot of other songs I have written that I want to record in the future. I took the first step toward that goal by setting up a page this weekend with some of my songs on a new site I found through Twitter, Start My Song. If you want to check any of them out and rate them, I would love the feedback!

After eBiz4Youth gets going really well, I will be starting a side project, a simple review site in an area that is fun! I’m looking at it as a hobby that will also happen to make money.

Today my kids’ dad is helping my son Elijah move all of his stuff out of the room that will eventually become a dance/recording studio & back to his room downstairs. That is a way cool present for me!

I am going out later with my family to celebrate my birthday this evening. And I’ll be going out with some friends to celebrate next weekend since a lot of them are out of town for Labor Day.

Thanks to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who has been wishing me a happy birthday! This is going to be my best year ever!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New York State Internet Sales Tax & Effect on Affiliates

If you have been keeping up with the news recently, you probably have heard about New York State forcing online retailers to collect sales tax on residents. Did you know they are also requiring the same online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made to residents that do not reside in NY State, but who were referred by an affiliate who is located in NY State! (If this is news to you, you can catch by reading this NY Times Article.)

This is problematic in many different ways! According to this scenario, if an affiliate lives in New York and refers a customer to a website based in Kansas that sells product(s) to a customer in California, then the customer pays sales tax on the online order to NY state. The same customer is also required to pay sales taxes again on the same purchase to the state of CA when they file their CA tax return! Double sales taxation for the customer is not logical (doesn't seem legal either) and does NOT happen in the Brick and Mortar or Mail Order world.

Even more confusing, is this based on the residence of the affiliate, the mailing address of the affiliate, the location where the affiliate's site is hosted or what? What a confusing mess!

Here is my perception: an affiliate receives a referral fee as does an independent contractor. Affiliates will receive an 1099 form for referral income like an independent contractor. The affiliate will pay income taxes based on where they live for that revenue received. This has nothing to do with sales tax. The affiliate is providing a service, they are not buying anything - the customer is doing the purchasing.

If NY is going to force Internet businesses to collect sales tax for NY residents, then they should only do that. This has NOTHING to do with the location of the affiliate, only the location of the customer. Anything else is absurd!

Please add to this discussion by commenting to this post.