Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reed diffusers for long lasting home fragrances

For the past few years, I have grown quite fond of aromatherapy home fragrance. We have a few stocks of reed diffuser (usually in the form of bamboo stick or aroma oil) at home and this I look forward to whenever I get to visit the family in Australia. What I like about these scents is the relaxation they bring. Some can even make you nostalgic and remember special past events.

As I spend most of my time in the Philippines taking care of family and business concerns, I get my taste of aromatherapy using hair care products infused by them such as Palmolive shampoo and conditioner aromatherapy series (I prefer the Lavander fragrance). When the occassion arises to visit a spa, I prefer those that has abundant fragrances available such as The Spa and Blue Water.

Self-publishing trial & error

Last year, I made a blog post about lessons learned in self-publishing. It was made before the release of Blogging from Home (my 11th published work composed of books and research reports).

Holly Jahangiri just posted a three-part series on this topic tackling a prospective author's desire to write a book, avoiding scams aimed at writers, and to self-publish or not. As I am now working on 2 books, the said blog posts are more than timely.

The benefits of publishing a book
It will depend on the field you are in. Publishing a book helps in documenting what you know and being able to position yourself. It can become a powerful resume or body of work. In my case, I also use my book as a perk or benefit to those joining the DigitalFilipino Club where active members get a free copy.
It can help boost your credibility as well especially if the completed work is done well enough and reaches the hands of people who makes decisions.

Be realistic
It depends on the subject you are tackling, the number of people eager in buying a copy of your book can be easily miscalculated. With information explosion online, it is tougher to sell a book now than before. Some models you can consider:
  • Sell at an affordable price and go for volume sales
  • Sell at an upper price range and recover your investment within a year

Self-publishing or not
It depends. Had past experiences where two of my works were published by others but the whole dissemination was entirely left to me. If you can find one who can do the cover, layout, registration, sales, and promotion, then you got a great deal.

However, not many had that kind of opportunity and are mostly left in taking care most parts on their own.

Self-publishing is a worthy exercise as long as you are realistic on the returns and not relying solely on book sales.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jupiter Suites: Internet-access friendly Makati hotel

One of the things I regularly do is conduct workshops. These are often done in Makati and commuting back-and-forth to Quezon City can be quite expensive since I prefer taking a taxi and sleep along the way.

In my e-commerce workshop last August 10 to 12, I decided to stay at Jupiter Suites in Makati City (club member Leo Fuentes of AIE College who attended my workshop also did the same). What I like about the hotel are the following services:

  • Free Internet access in the room
    This is a big deal for me as most of my travels often require me to go at the lobby area just to gain access to free Internet or visit a nearby Internet cafe or use my mobile phone just to go online.

  • Free breakfast
    It is a challenge though if you are on a diet as the choices are pretty limited. However, if you want to enjoy Filipino breakfast, it is a nice treat.

  • Spacious room
    This is most useful if you have a lot of stuff with you.

If you are staying for more than 2 nights, they can arrange for your airport pick-up as well.

Another nice thing about being in Makati is that you can just step outside and visit the cosmopolitan restaurants, entertainment spots (bars, karaoke, videoke, etc.), spas, and the like in the area.

View Jupiter Suites Hotel Makati City Manila Philippines in a larger map

Jupiter Suites (also formerly known as Jupiter Arms Hotel) is located at Jupiter Street corner Makati Avenue (beside Mercury Drug), Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You can also call (632) 8905044 to 50 for further inquiries.


Friday, August 21, 2009

E-Commerce Consulting & Services

I have been part of the e-commerce industry since 1997 and fortunate enough to meet a lot of people in this field. Saw some of them grow, flourish, and some closed shop. Some I got the chance to feature in my e-commerce writings and others became part of my e-commerce club.

I also noticed that a lot of the e-commerce entrepreneurs that I know of have began offering e commerce consulting and have their own suite of ecommerce services ranging from e-commerce strategy planning to full execution.
I am glad that e-commerce is continuously flourishing even though in a slow and gradual manner. Those who really know what they are doing and doesn't hesitate to innovate are the ones that last and remain standing to date.
Hopefully, my next book on e-commerce will be able to feature all the lessons learned on these e-commerce pioneers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Group facial & diamond peel at Clarity

Last July 31, I posted a shout-out on Facebook inviting two lady bloggers to join me for a facial and diamond peel session at Clarity.

Lace and Nika responded and had our taste of Clarity's beauty through expert care service at its Shangri-la EDSA Mall Mandaluyong branch last August 3.

Upon arrival, we were given a briefing of the various services offered by Clarity and its facilities. Afterwards, we started our facial and diamond peel session in our respective treatment rooms.
During the facial session, I like being told when an area might hurt before it gets prick. I know that is not a big deal but at least I get to be prepared than be caught by surprise.

For a person like me with freckles, an option that I can take in the future, in conjunction with a diamond peel, is their intense pulsed light laser treatment or IPL. I was told it reverses age spots, freckles, broken veins, and large pores so that the skin looks tight.

As I've tried several facial centers in the past, I am always observant on how my face feels after a session. Despite not having a facial cleaning session for a long time, liked the way how my skin was taken cared of. It had a very smooth and blushing finish that just awed me.
I have been a loyal customer of Healthway, especially for dental maintenance and other multi-specialty medical services. When I signed up as a Healthway cardholder back then, was able to try out a session at Clarity and tried its diamond peel.

Great to know that the service was still as good and look forward in trying it again soon. Budget for a facial with diamond peel session is one thousand five hundred pesos (P1500). They also have promotional discounts. Make sure you inquire about them when booking an appointment.

I was happy to find out that Clarity has pediatric dental services as well where parents with special kids can bring their child for proper consultation.

By the way, you might want to become a fan of Clarity's Facebook page. They will have promotions there soon where you might be able to get a free facial and diamond peel session.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Credit cards, financial planning, & living within your means

One of the biggest challenges of being a freelancer is sustaining your income, lifestyle, and keep up by investing in the business you are in. Last June 27, I catched up with Carlo Ople by accepting his invite to attend a financial planning briefing by Randell Tiongson.

Everything that he discussed there about savings, credit, among others, I wish were taught earlier during my younger days. Usually, when you are in your mid to late 20s, you'll get and experience a lot of stuff for the first time. One of them is access to credit and credit cards.

Today, I use credit cards as a tool in the conduct of my business and in situations where cash is not enough or accepted. But in the past, I had my share of carelessness and its consequences leave a permanent scar.

The limit in a credit card tends to blind you on the stuff that you "like", although "not urgently needed", and you start buying things that you thought can be paid off easily. Then your account becomes delinquent which you may eventually settle and in some cases forgotten.

But in this day and age, there's no forgotten credit and with search technologies online, you may just receive a phone call one day and there goes your collector who threatens you with an overbloated amount, a lawsuit, and an amnesty offer. Those of us who have been there knows how traumatic can those phone calls get as they tend to shaken you and even break you down.

When I encounter friends who need to borrow money to pay off another debt, my advise always boils down to negotiation for a reasonable amount as allowing yourself to be harassed may make you do more stupid things and further bury yourself into debt.

With those experiences, I have learned to live within reasonable means.