Motivation, creating iOS and Android Apps, and creating better content

Time for a serious update on articles published on the static part of the site:

(In reverse order by date of publication):

1. “The Motivational Manager’s Toolbox — Motivational Listening.” This is a first article in my new series for managers and small business owners who have employees. It’s called the Motivational Manager’s Toolbox. I describe what Carl Rogers and others call “active listening” as “motivational listening.” I think that many folks don’t understand the value and power of active listening in management until they get the idea that using it is one of the most motivational practices in the manager’s toolbox.

2. “Creating Products — Make iOS and Android Apps With Drag-and-Drops Ease.” How many people want to create apps for iPhone, iPad and Android phones/tablets? Without having to program? Without having to hire a programmer? Perhaps you’d like to make some iOS or web games? Here are two free products that will help you do that with a visual interface and a lot of drag-and-drop components. There’s still plenty of learning you’ll have to do. But there are a lot of free tutorials.

3. “First You Have To Feel Good — A Key To Performance Motivation.” Too many people think that motivation is about the reward you’ll get after you do what they want you to do. And it’s true that reward is part of motivation. But there’s a lot more. Motivation is about feeling. You have to feel up to getting started and you have to feel good enough to get through to the end of the task. Sure, you know that you have to feel physically well enough. But you also have to feel good enough emotionally.

4. “Productivity Top 10 Websites.” Like the title says, my 10 favorite websites/blogs related to productivity and performance.

5. “Create Better Content — Keep It Short.” Here’s a principle I flagrantly violate almost every day. Make your content easy and quick to scan. Don’t do as I do and write 700-1000 word articles. I know better. I just can’t seem to stop.

O.K., I’ll stop now before this post gets too long.

Three new articles for fun and profit

I’ve written and published three articles since I last posted here. Two you’ll find on, and one has been published on

In “Gestures Don’t Have To Be Grand To Be Impressive — Or Profitable,” I talk about the ways in which you can do kind, generous, thoughtful things that deeply touch others. These are actions that are intended to benefit the other person without any strings attached. Yet, despite the fact that you do it without any particular expectation of return — that is, the primary reward is in the action — you almost always get other valuable returns. And if you do it as part of your business practices, you always profit in amazing, unplanned ways.

“Human Performance — The Three Essential Issues Made Easy for Business,” describes the critical factors in the study of human performance. They are actually quite easy to understand and simple to apply. They are necessary to the successful functioning of your organization.

How many confusing presentations you’ve heard on theories of human performance, performance management or human performance technology? Do you really get all the complicated terminology and convoluted details?

Here’s the short, sweet, untangled version of the basic, practical ideas.

The article I sent to “Image-Based Products – Easy and Consistent Profit Makers,” gives an overview of the business opportunities in creating such products.

By image-based products, I mean physical products that are based on photography, graphics and artwork. Such products might include printed tee-shirts, cards, stationery, journals, notebooks, ornaments, mugs — anything you might see on customized printing sites — and more. I’ve recommended specific image-based products to you several times in this blog and in other articles on

I like to recommend them for solo entrepreneurs and micro businesses because they are so easy to get started with and for one person to produce, market and ship. Not to mention that there are so many outlets for selling them both online and off.

Product Creation/Development: Journals and Blank Books Are Popular, Profitable and Fast

Journals and blank books have been popular sellers since paper became affordable to the average guy. Just think of the value of DaVinci’s notebooks. Or Anne Frank’s diary. Almost everyone gets the urge at one time or another to keep writings and/or drawings from their deepest selves. And they want to keep them together in a handy place. When we see what the famous journal and notebook keepers have produced, we’re glad they answered the urge.

If you’ve never experienced the kind of need to physically record self-expression, you’ll just have to take the word of people who do have that experience. Because of them, booksellers have made endless profits from selling books full of blank paper. Or books with inspirational quotes at the tops of pages, with blank lines below. Or books with dated pages and otherwise blank plain or lined paper.

Just look at the variety available in any bookstore, stationery store,,, and so forth.

You can easily and quickly make these profitable items. You can make them so easily and quickly that if you are reading this in the morning, you can be in business with a few items this very afternoon.

That’s because the only thing you have to do that requires much time is produce cover images. Putting those cover images on blank pages is a snap.

Then you can sell them at places like CafePress, Lulu and CreateSpace, as well as for sale at craft fairs, through your websites, or on places like and even All depending on how much of the work you want to do yourself.

As I’ve said in my other articles about image-based products, you can create your own images from scratch, you can get free images from the public domain, you can buy images that are commercially licensed and you can modify images to fit your niche.

You don’t have to be an artist or fine photographer. You just have to have a good eye for images and a sense of what makes a good one. You don’t have to have expensive software. The GIMP is a perfectly good substitute for Photoshop.

You don’t have to produce the items yourself. You can go to and get a template for the journal, plop your image into the guides, modify it until it looks right and upload it to your CafePress Shop. They take care of everything else.

Of course, you do have to know how to use an image manipulation program.

You do have to know how to set up and run a CafePress Shop.

You do have to know how to market products on vendors like CafePress, Lulu and CreateSpace etc. (All of those are great for book products.)

If you do want to physically produce the books yourself, you can do it with a good quality printer, a hole punch for spiral binding and a supply of binding spirals. All you have to do for a quick production is buy a bunch of spiral bound notebooks and replace the covers.

Then, you can set up your listings on and send your books off for fulfillment by Amazon. Or you can opt to do your own packing and shipping and sell them through, and (Yes, any one or all three at the same time.)

However, I’d opt for the easiest way: pay the commissions and let the experienced vendors take care of the advertising, handling and shipping.