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Best Shark Tank Products That Could Have Made You a Millionaire
by Roger On May 31, 2017

Sometimes you get the idea of the century and make a million dollars. Sometimes, well, you don’t. That’s the premise of the TV show Shark Tank. People bring their ideas to a panel of professionals and hope one of them will financially back the idea. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the top 5 ideas ever pitched on Shark Tank that will make you think “I should’ve thought of that!”

5. Baker’s Edge: This genius invention is here to give us everything we’ve ever wanted: and endless supply of edge piece brownies. Though they did not get the investment they hoped for on Shark Tank, the inventors of the Baker’s Edge continue to sell products to those of us who unabashedly lust for the corner pieces. They have since released a muffin pan and are still selling the killer creation that is the Baker’s Edge.

4. BetterBack: Sitting in front of a computer all day can be bad for posture and health. That’s why the inventor of BetterBack made a type of sling for your back which connects to the knees and corrects posture. The show aired recently but sales seem steady and there is a new Kickstarter campaign for a larger version.

3. Squatty Potty: Something everyone has to do and doesn’t think much about is using the bathroom. The inventor of the Squatty Potty did some digging and discovered that the human body is not actually built to make sitting on a toilet a comfortable or effective way to relieve yourself. The Squatty Potty elevates the feet so that going to the bathroom is done the way it was meant to be. The item has been heavily advertised on social media, most likely due to the frivolous nature of the product, which could be a direct cause of its success.

2. Groovebook: Everyone has a bunch of pictures on their phone just taking up space. No one wants to get rid of them because they help to remember some really great times, but people are making photo albums less and less. This is where Groovebook comes in handy. For just $2.99/month, Groovebook takes your phone’s pictures and turns them into a photo book which gets sent directly to your door. The product has an app for iPhone and Android and sales are on the rise as people figure out how much easier it is to have someone else make photo albums!

1. Drop Stop: Driving in the car is all fine and good until your phone gets stuck between the seats. You’re trying to use Google Maps and now have one hand driving and one searching for the phone but instead an old french fry and a nickel surface. It’s frustrating. That’s where Drop Stop comes in handy. It sits in the crack between your seat and the center console to keep your items out of the abyss. With a hole to fit the piece around the seatbelt, its the perfect “if I thought about that I’d be a millionaire” product.

Any one of these products is a million-dollar idea thought up by an every day person. Every person can develop their brand, even if that brand is helping people use the restroom! But be sure to look out next week when we look at the Shark Tank flops and what went wrong!

Tools and Tricks for Memory Retention
by Roger On May 24, 2017

So, your memory is no good. At least that’s what you learned last week, anyway. But, as promised, there are some helpful tools to improve your memory that we’ll go over this week. So put your thinking caps on, and get reading.

Not to beat a dead horse, but we know by now that rote memorization is an imperfect system. Simply going over information repeatedly isn’t going to help anybody in the long run. But what does work? Most people have an easier time remembering information if they associate images with that information. That’s because your brain processes an image much better than repetition.

Imagery and Memorization

Last week we did a little exercise by giving you a list and telling you to memorize all the things on it. Taking that same list, we’re going to split it up into four lists of five items, and number them.

| 1. a unicorn | 6. beer | 11. chopsticks | 16. candles
| 2. electrical outlet | 7. hockey stick | 12. roses | 17. wizard
| 3. tricycle | 8. spider | 13. black cat | 18. golf green
| 4. truck | 9. baseball | 14. gold | 19. sauna
| 5. hand | 10. dime | 15. dollar sign | 20. dartboard
Now, we’re going to do something a little different than last time. With each item, we are going to really focus on an image in our mind. Don’t just skim over these things, really take your time and you’ll get the best outcome. However, make sure not to study the list for more than 3 minutes.

1. See a brilliant white unicorn with his 1 horn.
2. See the beige electrical outlet with its 2 slots.
3. See the red tricycle with its 3 black rubber wheels and a 3 year old kid on it.
4. See the truck with its 4 wheels, its 4 doors, and the for sale sign in the window.
5. See your hand with its 5 fingers.
6. See that 6-pack of beer (you choose your favorite brand).
7. See the wooden hockey stick shaped like a 7.
8. See that big black spider with its 8 legs.
9. See that round baseball being tossed around by the 9 players on the field for 9 innings.
10. See that 10 cents, the thin, silver, shiny dime.

Now that we’re halfway through the list, take a little break. Refresh each of the images in your mind once more before moving on.

11. See those thin chopsticks that look like the number 11 being pulled out of their wrapper.
12. See those 12 beautiful red roses in a bouquet.
13. See that black cat on Friday the 13th.
14. Vividly see that 14-carat gold coin (or bar or nugget or ring; you choose).
15. Take the two digits of number 15 and squeeze them together into a dollar sign.
16. See 16 flaming candles on a birthday cake. Maybe even sing the song…
17. See that young wizard with the round glasses graduating from Hogwarts at age 17.
18. See that golf green with its perfectly cropped green grass on the 18th hole.
19. See 19 sweaty guys in that sauna.
20. See that round, light-up dartboard with the 20 scoring stripes and the number 20 on the top.

Now that you’re through the whole list, just take a minute to review. Now make a list 1-20 and see how much of the list you can remember. Better than before? It’s amazing how well your mind can retain information when you do it the right way! Even though some of the images weren’t directly related to the number, you were still able to remember them. For many more exercises just like this, check out my book Train Your Brain For Success.

Evaluating Your Memory
by Roger On May 17, 2017

Last week we talked about how we learn, and why it’s wrong. If you think your memory is bad and there’s no way to improve it, think again. Most of us have been taught to retain information by repetition. Looking at the information over and over again until we think it’s been memorized. But now we know, rote memorization is a faulty way to learn. Sure, the information you “memorized” will stick in your brain long enough to pass a test. Long term, you can kiss that information goodbye. There is a better way!

In this week’s blog, let’s really evaluate the way that our mind works. That way, you’ll really understand how your brain stores information. Plus, when we get around to new ways to memorize information it will make much more sense.

The Starting Point

To properly evaluate your memory, think about where you’re starting from. If you had a list of 20 different items, how well do you think you could remember everything on the list? Go ahead, try it out. Write out a list or use ours:

| a unicorn | chopsticks
| an electrical outlet | a rose>
| a tricycle | a black cat
| a truck | gold
| a hand | a dollar sign
| a can of beer | a candle
| a hockey stick | a wizard
| a spider | a golf green
| a baseball | a sauna
| a dime | a dartboard

Take about 5 minutes to slowly look over this list. Really study it and try to memorize all the things on the list. Don’t cheat, no writing things down. Use only your mind and take no longer than the 5 minute time span. Now, without looking at the list can you write everything down that you just studied? Probably not. Even if you didn’t do so well, don’t worry. This is simply a test to see where you started from.

The Rule of 7

Most people don’t have a specific system for remembering things. As a result, our brains can only remember about 7 things, (plus or minus 2). Sometimes, that number is even less than 7, around 3 to 5. When trying to memorize the list above, you may have noticed that you struggled around the 7th item or so. If you were able to memorize more, it’s likely that you were using a system other than rote memorization.

Primacy and Recency

When dealing with large lists of information, the brain tends to commit the top of the list and the bottom of the list to memory the best. The middle, however, doesn’t have the same luck. This isn’t a bad thing, primacy and recency are just the way that our brains naturally work. Knowing this we can manipulate it to work better for us. For example, take the list above and break the items into lists of five items. If you were to try and memorize the four lists of five items, I bet you’d have better luck this time around.

Now that you understand a little bit about how the mind stores information, it will be easier to do the exercises in the coming weeks.

How to Improve Memory Part 1
by Roger On May 10, 2017

Basically, everybody wishes they had the tools to improve memory. Think about it, we rely on our memory in various different ways every single day. Everything we know how to do is learned, even tiny tasks like eating a meal. As a species, we’d be nothing without our memory. How many times have you wished for a better memory? However, it’s not actually your memory that’s the problem but your ability to recall certain memories. Your brain records everything that happens to you, from books you’ve read to movies you’ve watched. The trouble is, sometimes it’s hard to tap into those memories.

But, there are ways to improve memory by training your brain to store information in the most efficient way. This week we’ll talk about the way in which most of us learn things and why it’s wrong. Also, we’ll go into depth about the teachability index and how to get your score.

Old School Learning

In order to better the way we process and store information, we need to be aware of how our brains currently do those things. The majority of the world remembers things by using what’s called rote memorization. This means that things are learned using repetition, aka going over information over and over again. The problem with rote memorization is that you retain information just long enough to take a test if you know it’s coming up. Eventually, you won’t be able to recall that information because that’s a faulty way of learning. Unfortunately, most of us have been using rote memorization since grade school.

Teachability Index

The information we provide on how to improve memory is great, as long as you are ready to learn and apply it. The teachability index is the way we measure how ready you are to learn. There are two parts of the teachability index, each ranked with a score of 1 through 10, with 10 being the highest. First, you rank your desire to learn which is fairly easy. Assuming you are interested in improving your memory, your score will likely be pretty high.

The second part of the teachability index is more difficult. This component is called your willingness to change and can be difficult to gauge. For the most part, we get into our zones of comfort and therefore don’t necessarily have a strong desire to change. But if you make a conscious effort to boost your number, you’ll get there. Rate your willingness to change on a scale of 1 through 10.

In order to get your teachability index, you simply take the two numbers and multiply them together. If either your desire to learn or willingness to change scores are low, your overall teachability index will be low.

Charge It. Small Businesses Benefit From Credit Cards
by Roger On May 3, 2017

Having a separate credit card for your small business has many advantages. There is often a higher credit limit, many credit cards offer reward programs, and small business credit cards generally have lower interest rates than personal ones. With a credit card specifically for your small business, you can give employees a company credit card with preset spending limits. Separate accounts keep your business expenses completely detached from your personal expenses, which makes life easier during tax season. It also protects your personal assets, like your house and your car, if your business gets sued. Having a company credit card establishes proof that your business and your personal finances operate separately. Before you commit to a company credit card, understand what to look for and check out our recommendations.

Tiered or flat rate rewards systems

Tiered rewards systems offer cash back, points or miles at different rates that are determined by how the cardholder spends money. The more you spend, the more rewards you can receive. Flat rate rewards are becoming more common because they typically have better long-term benefits. With these programs, cardholders receive rewards at a standard rate. Additional cash back can be earned from making purchases in a certain category or paying your bill on time.

The Importance of APR

Another important part of a credit card is the annual percentage rate (APR). When cardholders don’t pay off their credit cards, they are charged interest that’s based on a percentage of the remaining balance. If you have a low APR, you will be charged less interest on the money in your credit card balance that you don’t pay off. In order to qualify for a low APR credit card, you have to maintain a high credit score. People with lower credit scores tend to have higher APRs. In addition to an APR, credit cards typically have other fees.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card offers customers flat-rate rewards. To qualify, you must have a good to excellent credit score. There are no foreign transaction fees and it offers a flexible rewards system. Since the rewards program doesn’t have an expiration date, you can redeem them for cash back at any time. The $59 annual fee is waived for the first year and there’s an opportunity to earn a one-time cash bonus of $500.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase provides a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. There’s no annual fee and 0% APR during the first 12 months. With this credit card, you can add employee cards with no additional cost. The tiered reward system is best for companies that regularly spend a lot on business expenses.

The Enhanced Business Platinum Card

American Express offers The Enhanced Business Platinum Card for small businesses that require a lot of travel. There is no spending limit and there are no foreign transactions fees. Cardholders benefit from premium travel perks on qualified airline purchases. With this credit card, travels have access to airport lounges worldwide. The $450 annual fee is intimidating but it can be written off as a business expense in your taxes. The Enhanced Business Platinum Card is a charge card, not a credit card. This means you have to pay the full balance each month.

Choosing a credit card for your small business can be intimidating but it’s an important tool to further develop your company. If you read the fine print and understand what you’re looking for, a company credit card will have many advantages for your small business.