Tag Archives: Commerce

Sand castle Boracay

NoTonight I was discovering Boracay by just walking up the beach north towards what I thought was the end of the island. Unfortunately I was not able to continue my tour around the island, as somewhere near the northern tip the beach stops, at least during high tide. And I guess I could have continued, but there is a restaurant or something at the end that blocks the way to some kind of path along the shore, but I decided not to pass through the terrace, mainly because it was dark and also pretty quiet where I wanted to go, even though there were people there as I saw some flash lights.

But I don’t want to write about my small expedition on the island, no, I wanted to talk about some amazing thing I encountered during my trip. And the thing I encountered was a sand castle type of Boracay logo that drew my attention. And at first I could not really make something of the thing that caught my eye, as normally only small children build sand castles, even though of course many grown up people also like things like building sand castles, including me.

To be continued…


I got myself again into something I completely don’t understand. Or maybe I understand, but I have no clue how to get out of it.

So I got myself this job on oDesk a few days ago. And I was amazed as, and I think I wrote about that before, I don’t have good experience with sites like that. And the start was kind of weird, as I just wanted to do something, something simple, so I applied for a job that mentioned, among other things, The Philippines. And I put an, in my opinion, low rate, as to just build ‘something’ on oDesk, as it helps to build e.g. a reputation with good feedback.

And to my amazement shortly after I got an e-mail and found myself having an interview with a customer, someone who wanted my services. And it was a bit a weird conversation, as he was looking for someone for longer term. But the hourly rate was a big issue for him, and also for me. But anyhow, I needed the money, and somehow he was interested and needed some work done, so we decided on some small test, where I put somewhere in the comments of oDesk something like ‘test project to get to know each other’.

And while this all was happening I found myself working on a mini-project already, which was about some, according to me, non-issue in programming. So I found myself spending like two hours figuring out what the client wanted, where in the end the real issue was a ‘one minute’ program change that I had also kind of done in the first minute. And to my amazement the customer was very happy, where I felt very awkward, as in my feeling we just spend two hours on a ‘non-issue’. But somehow it made me very happy, as I know this is exactly the thing I often makes mistakes with, don’t understand. How other people can be happy with something that is ‘nothing’ for me.

And I need to think now what happened after, but yes, it came back, as it was late in the evening for me (and somewhere afternoon for him) and he wanted something else done, so we agreed I would continue with another project the next morning. So he we discussed what he wanted to be done and we agreed I would work on it the next morning.

So the next morning I was very happy to have work and first opened my e-mail to see if there were further instructions, which there weren’t. So the next morning, yesterday, I just started to work, only to find out shortly after that there was indeed an e-mail indicating that the work already had been started by someone else, so that my services were not needed. Of course this made me very disappointed, as I could really use the work and also just liked having a paid job again, since quite some time. Anyhow, there was nothing I could do, so I just stopped the work and went on with other things, including helping a friend in the afternoon with preparing for hanging speakers and paintings on the wall, as she just has a new house. And after a meeting about my current own project DoctorsConnect and a meeting with another client.

And to my amazement I received a phone call from my oDesk client around six pm indicating that there was work available and if I would be able and willing to work. So again, as I could really use the money, I indicated I expected to be home about four hours later and could work for him.

And the four hours became something like six hours, but around midnight I turned on my computer and was ready to work. And the first assignment was to make final changes to the stuff that another, the other, oDesk employee apparently had made. And I didn’t fully get it, as it appeared the page was almost finished, as letting someone else make changes in a design and html code didn’t make any sense to me, as working on someone else’s code is often very time consuming, which in this case it really was, as the other person had used quite a weird way to create that page, a way that I guess most web developers wouldn’t understand straight away. But as my client was very happy with the other employee, as he had been very happy with my earlier work and as, for me, it was a cheap, hourly contract, I decided just to follow, to do what was asked without complaining or giving any advice or whatever. Just do the best I could within the limits that were given. And of course reporting very faithful my activities in the oDesk tool for hourly jobs, as I just felt a ‘stupid’ worker being hired for programming and html skills. Especially I didn’t want to comment on the other person’s work, as my client appeared very, very happy with him, even though I thought his solution was very bad. But the client had indicated that he didn’t mind about code quality, as long as it looked as he wanted. So again, no reason for me to complain, as especially this kind of situation, maintaining very bad code from another person, where I didn’t even have access to part of it, can make even the simplest change very time consuming.

So I started making the requested changes, only to find out that also the instructions for the changes were giving in a way that took me quite some checking and reading and re-checking to try to figure out what my client exactly wanted. And of course I was very tired, which I indicated to the client, including a remark that this meant that things would take more time than usual. And which he agreed with, as he made clear he really wanted it done right now.

So I decided to give up even my daily posts and the sending of my daily quote and my hours of sleep, where you may know that not doing my daily tasks related to Inspiration for Success is a big thing for me. But I need the money and I was very happy that God had sent me this job and I wanted to satisfy the customer and show that I was really determined to make it work, so I decided to keep working until my client appeared offline and didn’t respond anymore and my colleague indicated he was going to sleep. And as I got more and more sleepy and the instructions were less clear than I thought they were I decided also it was enough around four am, I think it may even have been four thirty am.

And then the whole thing also kind of didn’t make sense anymore, as what was the use continuing working on something nobody would see or use before the next afternoon, this afternoon, as my client is located in Europe. And I was just tired and I guess mainly because of that lost and confused, so the whole thing didn’t make sense, as it hadn’t done anyhow, as even when I began the whole thing it could have never been finished anyhow, unless I would have worked without sleep until noon or this afternoon today. So I also still didn’t understand the client, as I could have done the whole thing last Friday, or I could have done it today, fully rested and much more efficient. But, as I had decided to follow the client and as he also didn’t respond anymore I didn’t see any reason not to go to sleep, also as continuing didn’t make any sense anyhow, as the assignment was not clear enough.

So this morning I woke up very late and very stressed. And I felt very bad, as last night I basically hadn’t delivered anything, but, as I was working on an hourly contract and the client had asked me to spend the time, I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong.

Anyhow, after a while I decided to go to work and during my break I had decided to continue with another assignment the client had given me. An assignment I could do fully on my own, creating clean code as I am used to, also presuming I could do that much faster. And of course showing to the client that my way of creating stuff is good and more efficient. One of the reasons I wanted the job, also to challenge myself, testing if I am really that good.

And it took me more time than expected to create the basic thing, but as usual I just pushed through, even though the client also seemed to be a bit impatient. And I thought I kept the client updated of what I was doing, including samples of the work, and I presumed that the oDesk time tracking system was my ‘safety’ for the worked hours, only to find out that the client became more and more impatient and seemed to be more and more unhappy with what I had been doing.

So after finishing my initial draft of the second assignment, which I was very satisfied with, things started to feel more and more wrong. And the main issue seemed to be the assignment from last night, the work I did because the client had asked me to, even though it didn’t make much sense to me. My ‘following orders’, following the client, trying to satisfy the client on an hourly contract. Where I thought I had indicated that I was tired and that things probably would take longer. And where I had to deal with bad code of which the client had indicated he didn’t care about that. And where I had sacrificed my nightly hours, where I basically wanted to relax and sleep as I had had a very busy day.

So the situation got from bad to worse, where the client demanded me to refund the time from last night, the time that had cost me so much, even before, as I felt very pressured to go home when I was still in the city. And he demanded me to finish both assignments in one and a half hour, something I didn’t feel comfortable about anymore, as it was not clear to me anymore what he exactly wanted, especially related to the first assignment. And the whole thing had made me careful about the second assignment, as if he wanted  multiple iterations for that page it might take hours, regardless how efficient I would be with the code, something I believe I am. So finishing an unclear assignment being tired, my Saturday coming to an end and the client not even willing to cooperate anymore giving feedback, where I became unsure of being paid anyhow for anything. No, that didn’t feel good, especially when the client started demanding a decision from me, choices between ‘bad’, ‘worse’ or ‘very bad’. Like finishing all the work, which would certainly take hours, meaning my weekend would probably be fully gone. A client not willing to cooperate like giving proper feedback, or things like refunding hours, like half the time I spent for the whole assignment where I already agreed on a rate I consider very low.

So it became later and later, also as I needed time to think and relax, and the client started pushing and pushing more, finally even calling me on my mobile, which I felt really offended about, as it is still my Saturday evening which I consider private. Or actually I consider all my time mine, as we didn’t make any agreements on which times to work. He only indicated 20 hours in the contract. So it appeared that I was actually working on a project basis and not on an hourly basis.

So after the phone call I found that he had called me on Skype. And it seems he felt offended I was not replying. But I was just away and I might have just replied when I would have been at my computer.

And keep in mind that this all happened on a Saturday, the latest part even Saturday evening. Where the client had indicated he didn’t want to pay me anymore, so I had also stopped the time registration. And he had indicated all my work was bad. And finally it seemed he wanted me to deliver the bad work. Which was basically available to him online. But he didn’t want to pay me (anymore).

So yes, I felt and feel lost. And yes, while writing the above I also realize a bit more how this must be for my client. But I think I also offered him fair solutions. And to me we are just not finalized with our negotiation. And yes, I understand he is under time pressure. But if he wants my time, especially in the weekend and especially in this situation, I think it is just fair to pay me. Keep in mind I didn’t commit my time. As to me 20 hours per week would normally be working days, unless agreed otherwise. But he also didn’t want to give ma a planning. And if my work is so bad, then why does he want it? Why doesn’t he just hire someone else.

Anyhow, I guess you get the point, or not. And you may think the main reason for writing this post and publishing it here is to just vent my feelings and explain how ‘right’ I am. And I guess of course that is part of it. But the main reason to start writing here about this is that the client appears to be Sunil Tulsiani. And his Private Investment Club. So apparently  this is about someone who is very successful, very rich. Or at least pretends to be.

So that made me think something like if this is the way to become rich, to be rich, to be successful, complaining about five hours of work at USD 10.00 per hour, so USD 50.00, where I on receive USD 9.00 per hour, so USD 45.00, I don’t fully get it.

And yes, of course I understand that becoming rich is also, or may be, about being careful with USD 50.00. And that he wants ‘results’. And that it needs to be perfect. But I don’t understand why someone like Sunil Tulsiani, a millionaire, would make such a fuzz about USD 50.00 where to me there is just a misunderstanding between parties, where the supplier may have made a mistake or mistakes, but where I believe the client also has made mistakes.

So well, I was already starting to doubt all those ‘success sites’. And all those people claiming to be millionaires. And I am starting to doubt more now, about all those stories, all those millionaires. So should I believe Sunil Tulsiani? Would you?


Marketing, yeah, everything seems to be marketing. And I just don’t like it. At least that’s what I feel, that’s what I believe. And I still don’t know why I don’t like it, as somehow I am proud of the things I make, the things I do. Like this site, it may not have the best content in the world and sometimes or often I’m complaining, but I am proud that I am writing every day. My Google index graph is still going up slowly and that is very satisfying to see. The traffic to the site however is going down at the moment. And I have no clue why, except maybe that there are no new links to the site. And I guess Google still ranks sites mainly or at least party based on the number of links towards it. But I was thinking about how to get links to this site and I don’t really know what would be an appropriate way to do so.

Yes, of course I can write comments in other sites and add a link to this site there. And I did several times in the beginning, but right now it feels too artificial, too cheap. Another option, a good one, is writing a guest post in another site, another blog. And that is what I tried to do also when I just started here, mainly to beat the site Under 30 CEO. As their page 44 success quotes to inspire and motivate you was the highest scoring site for ‘inspiration for success’, the name of this site. So of course I wanted to beat them by adding a post on their site linking to this site, so this site would benefit from their ranking.

And strange, looking back, as of course now this site is always in the top 3 or so in Google for ‘inspiration for success’. And somewhere in the future I am quite sure it will be stable on number one. and the page 44 success quotes to inspire and motivate you is now somewhere at the bottom of the first page, so basically ‘nowhere to be found’ as only the top 3 or maximum the top 5 is important as most people don’t look any further. And at the time the problem was that I was not successful. And that site is about success. And of course they wanted a useful article about success. Which I was not able to make in the time I wanted to spend on that article for that purpose at the time. And I was, and I guess still am, not that good in writing ‘good articles’. So in the end I decided not to push through as it was too much effort or whatever.

But of course with my new habit of finishing things and writing this post right now I am thinking of indeed finishing that article. Or another article. And have it posted. And this time I guess for the right reasons, as I just want to finish it. And not for some kind of SEO reason, although of course it might still help, especially related to what I stated at the start of this article, that this site needs more links towards it to become successful.

So well, marketing. The thing I don’t like. The thing I always hated. And the thing I always bumped into, the things people, bosses, ‘society’ (for earning my daily bread and butter) want me to do. And yeah, I know it’s a bit different than the idea I have about ‘sales’ (and marketing). As with me, and I guess most people, ‘sales’ has a very bad image, like the car salesman wanting to sell you a car that you don’t really want or need for too much money. But slowly I also know that sales, good sales, is something different. Good sales is providing a solution for a need or a want of another human being. And yes, being paid for it, getting something in return for it. So a good salesman would not sell you something you don’t want or need. But then again, what if you think someone else needs something and he or she doesn’t know it’s a need. Like today I was just looking for the hospitals in Cagayan de Oro City to put them in the DoctorsConnect beta site and found many of them don’t have a website. Or not a website that is somewhere on the top in Google for the phrase ‘hospitals in cagayan de oro city’. And apparently the did not register their hospital properly in Google Places, as I saw many weird things in the list Google displayed for this type of search. And then my business partner and I ended up in some discussion like what’s the (financial) benefit for them to have a website and/or to show up properly in Google. And then I am still Dutch and a web developer, an internet marketer, as to me it is kind of logical, kind of a necessity that a hospital (or a hotel or something like that) shows up properly in Google, has a website. Just as service to the customers (or patients) so they could easily get information about that institution or business fully owned and managed by that business itself.

But yes, Cagayan de Oro City is Cagayan de Oro City and business is business (profit), so maybe I am wrong and should a website always have some financial return. But I am not convinced, so I will think about it a bit more.

And yes, that is ‘marketing’ (and sales) again.

Looking forward to your ideas and comments about this.

Reality or addiction?

In my quest for inspiration and success I signed up to quite some sites, meaning I get quite some e-mails with ‘inspirational stuff’. I keep wondering though what is the real story behind it, like are the people behind those sites really into helping people or is it (in the end) all about sales?

Like today I got a very long e-mail from Ed Lester from The Abundance Index pointing to an even longer web page. And the style of the e-mail as well as the webpage is very familiar. As it is written in the style of something that I want. And it is written very well, as I kept on reading, even though I started thinking if it was worth my time reading it all. As it felt like it would lead me to one thing: buying something, which it did. Or clicking on the link if we talk about the e-mail.

And with these type of self help sites, organizations, people, I always see someone very successful or rich or whatever. And they always want to help me. And it seems they always want money for that. And it seems all the people who signed up for their stuff, paid for it, became richer or more successful or whatever.

And I am starting to doubt if it is all true, if you can become successful or rich by buying the stuff on offer.

So maybe worth some more investigation.



3D WordcraftWell, I was a bit confused yesterday. As John Pitkin from 3dWordCraft e-mailed me about advertising on this site (or in the e-mail) related to the daily inspirational quote. As he is selling 3D objects with words. And of course that would be perfect for quotes. So someone liking one of the quotes I send, might want to have a physical object with that quote.

So this is a great idea and I believe would certainly benefit people, but, the business model I chose is about ‘give and receive’ and not about ‘selling’, getting money directly for services or products, in this case advertising.

And wow, I just checked his site and I am laughing, as it appears to be a one page very simple site and it is built with Drupal. That’s like renting a super crane to move a small bench or something. But that’s not what this post is about, although it is a bit as of course I also would like to share my knowledge about websites and sell my services related to that.

Anyhow, the last is of course applicable as this is about selling through the internet and this page is certainly intended for promoting 3dWordCraft by e.g. putting some links to his site and to the shop.

The main issue is here that I am confronted with an idea that is very good, where I often see ‘selling’ and ‘advertising’ as bad. And the problem I am encountering a bit is that if I ‘give’ without ‘receiving’ (money) means I am the one in charge of what is going to happen, what is being displayed or posted or sent or whatever. Where it is also logical that a person advertising, selling his or her services, would want to have (full?) control over how the advertising is going to happen.

So somehow my chosen business model is about control as it implies I want full control over how this site looks like and what the functionality is. Which has a good side, but apparently also a (possible?) bad side.

So very well worth rethinking the business model I have in mind and how that would or could or should work in the real world. As John Pitkin really threw me off balance with his request. Which is a good thing. Thank you, John.