Networking Works for You

Interacting with others and sharing concepts and perspectives can infuse your ideas with power and light.  How? Networking can help you uncover NEW ideas. That doesn’t mean that you are just learning from others.  You are also learning from yourself. Ideas make connections. One idea sparks another which sparks another – and somehow several minds can come up with a whole new outlook.  When you add the element of having a common interest – your business or profession – you can cultivate new ideas and develop productive relationships with others. How can you make networking work for you?  Let’s look at some of those ways.

Talk to Others

We all have a circle of friends and family.  We know each other well, and we’re comfortable with the give-and-take of these relationships.  That’s not enough. To come up with new ideas, it’s essential to connect with new people. How do you meet these folks?  Visit local business clubs or professional organizations. Travel to conventions which focus on your business or profession.  Join groups online to banter about current concerns and effective strategies. Go to a workshop or take a class at the local community college.  Expand your social circles and learn more about what others know about. Ask for business cards for future contact. Make networking work FOR you.

Talk to Yourself

As odd as it may seem, once you’ve networked with others, it’s best to spend time sorting through the details by yourself.  Jot down notes about the points that were made. Consider making changes to your usual way of doing things. Write down a checklist of action items for you to consider.  Make a list of questions you have. Do all of this fancy footwork as a solo act. Once your pen runs dry, look over your notes and get in touch with someone you recently met.  Plan on getting together for lunch, so that you can discuss what you’ve learned along the way. Make networking work IN you.

Talk to Newcomers

Once you’ve put these ideas into place, share them with others.  Those new to the scene are eager to learn from more seasoned folks.  Choose one of those to mentor, sharing your ideas and explaining your rationale.  Seek out other venues where business-minded folks meet. Be friendly, shake a lot of hands, and smile.  Push away any hesitations you have and reach out. Call the local high schools that offer business classes and let them know you are available to talk to a class about running a business.  Express yourself and share your experience and expertise. Make networking work BEYOND you. 

There’s always something new to learn about business.  Networking is like getting a walk-around MBA. By learning from others, you can add some spark to your own ventures.  If you want to turbo-charge your business, come join all of the friendly folks here at Online Sales Pro.  We’ll show you how you can network with new online customers and build your business with digital marketing.  Join our Facebook group and network with others who are putting OSP to work for them. Connections made. Bottom line improved.  Make networking work AROUND you.  We can tell you:  there’s nothing like it!

From Lead to Lead: Building a List

Do you get the sense that you are going around in circles trying to find leads?  You’ve got all sorts of ideas about how to market your product or service. All you need now to make it work is to find the right people!  Building a customer base is essential for a business to succeed, so let’s take a look at how you can get more leads.

WHO Are They?

The right people – your potential customers – need to be described. Think of your product or service and then picture the ideal customer for it.  That’s who you want to meet and greet.

Sure, it’s nice to welcome other people to your website and introduce what you sell to them, but if they are not the ones who will reach for their wallets, then it’s a waste of your time and energy.  Once you know WHO, then you are ready for HOW.

HOW Do You Connect With These Folks?

Get out there.  Talk to people. If you are catering to a local market, join clubs, make business cards, get yourself known.  Make business cards to share with local folks with your opt-in link printed on them to let them know how to reach you.  If you are seeking online traffic, join Facebook Groups and make comments. Include your opt-in link in your signature when you post comments on Facebook. 

Post links to blogs – and if you don’t feel comfortable as a wordsmith, hire someone to write them for you. Focus on all sorts of topics in your informative and interesting blogs and then provide your link at the very end of it.  Just remember the 80/20 rule – 80% information, 20% sales. Let people get to know and trust you, and then you can tell them about your business. Give these folks a way to connect with you and your business. Once you know HOW, then you are ready for WHERE.

WHERE Do You Send Them?

Your opt-in form will capture their essential contact information – name, email address, and phone number (if you need that).  Once they click on that link to send their information to you, they’ve become a lead. The opt-in page sends them to your sales page so that they can learn more about your business and what it has to offer. 

Make sure that your sales page looks spiffy. Provide the details and benefits of your product and service. Give them a link to make the purchase. Remember that your website needs to be an active “showroom.”  Spruce it up with color and graphics and fun things to look at. Plus, put different links on it so people can tell you that they are interested. Give something away – a coupon or a short eBook on tips or a ticket to a special sales event.  Encourage comments from your customers. Once you know WHERE, then you are ready for WHAT.

WHAT Do They Want or Need?

As for your sales page, that’s where you advertise your product or service and turn leads into customers.  What is it about what you are selling that has instant appeal? Focus on those elements. What do others say about your product or service?  What features do you like best about what you sell?

Now think of some colorful ways to describe those and don’t just use words. The eyes have it when it comes to online marketing, so be sure to capture all of this in graphics – photographs, drawings, and videos, too. Include the most stellar comments from satisfied customers.

Not too long ago, you had to market your business one person at a time.  How arduous! How time-consuming! Now you can reach many with little effort.  In fact, you can automate your online marketing with our tool – Online Sales Pro.  With this tool, you can send broadcast messages to your list, updating your customers with anything new or information about a sales event. 

You can also send leads a follow-up series of messages, letting them know more about your product or service in each one. Space them out every couple of days to pique their interest.  As for us here at Online Sales Pro. We’re here to help you connect with your leads and to build your list. And know this – we’re always glad to help!   

Your Choice: Gratitude is an Attitude

In the U.S., we assign one day specifically for gratitude.  And what do they serve us at dinner? Turkey! Some people may be grateful for that, but others might prefer another dish.  No matter – but that is really the essence of gratitude. It’s a choice. People choose to be happy . . . or not. Let’s take a look at this attitude of gratitude and see what fits.

Gratitude for Me

How happy are you with your own personal details?  Too often we have an internal voice yammering and complaining about this or that.  If only my hair would stay glued on. If only my legs looked like I ran marathons. If only my car were a brand new sports car.  If only there were no weeds in my yard. And on and on it goes. Quick! Make a list. Write down 10 things about yourself that you are grateful for.  Need help? Ask someone who loves you. Do that right before you ask for more mashed potatoes and gravy.

Gratitude for You

You’ve got people in your inner circle.  They are often the ones who see the worst of you while trying to focus on the best of you.  What do we do in return? Since we spend so much time with these folks, after awhile, we may start stewing.  She drives me crazy when she [fill in the blank]. Why in the world can’t he [fill in the blank]. It doesn’t matter who she or he might be – sister, son, brother, daughter, mother, father, or spouse or other.  Too much can be too much! Quick! Make a list! Write down 10 things about them that you are grateful for. Need help? Ask them. They’ll know exactly what could be on that list. Do that right before you ask for more cranberry relish.

Gratitude for All the Rest of It

Your life has many more details.  Sometimes we compare those with the details other people have.  Guess what? Things may look hunky-dory with our colleagues, neighbors, and friends – but we don’t know the whole story.  Sure – maybe their house is bigger, their salary is larger, their car is faster – but the monthly payment they make on their credit card might be four times what you pay.  Everyone has something that isn’t quite right. Something they’d trade with you in a heartbeat. You guessed it. Quick! Make a list. Write down 10 things about your life’s details that you are grateful for.  Need help? Open your eyes. Look around. Do that right before you ask for another slice of pumpkin pie.  

Gratitude really is just an attitude.  Here are some things all of us at Online Sales Pro are grateful for.  We love what we do. We love working with each other. And we love working with our customers.  Talk about an attitude of gratitude. We wish the same for you and the folks in your inner circle.  Take this one day to be grateful and look around – whether you eat turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, or not.  Reflect on your life and see it sunny-side-up. 

And while you’re at it – if you’d be even more grateful if business were better, give digital marketing with Online Sales Pro a try.  More than 78,000 folks have done that – and primed their own economy.  Nothing like success to boost the attitude of gratitude!

Being Mindful

People talk about being mindful as an ideal state of consciousness.  What is it? Those in the know call it the basic ability we all have to live in the present tense.  To be aware of where we are and what we’re doing. To be in the moment with a mild approach to the details – not overreacting or perhaps not reacting at all.  Because of that, this practice sounds like it would also be good for business, so let’s find out more about it.

What is the Goal of Mindfulness?

Our waking hours place us right in the thick of our world.  Mindfulness allows us time to regroup, to steer clear of the angst and anxiety of daily life, and to connect with what is around us.  Evidence shows that the benefits of practicing mindfulness can help with stress, pain, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. We take a break from those thoughts which drain us:  the bombardment of plans, problems, and negative thoughts which create chaotic mental cycles. Mindfulness helps us observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment, directing our attention to other things.  It might be as simple as following the path of a dandelion’s wispy seeds that allows us to marvel in the moment.

Focusing on what is outside of us instead of the thoughts and feelings rushing around inside us can help us to improve our attention span and our ability to relax.  Most importantly, it allows the mind time to relax, to spend what may seem like an idle moment, but one that rests and recuperates our state of being.

How Does One Tune into Mindfulness?

First of all, make time for it.  Without time and space, other events will crowd out the practice of mindfulness.  Stop time and focus on letting go of your focus. Pay attention. Observe. Take deep and measured breaths.

Take note of any thoughts that contain judgment.  You can always return to those after your mindfulness session.  Your mind may wander to thoughts that surface. That’s normal. Don’t react to those or even to the fact that your mind is wandering.  Instead, coax your thoughts back to the present moment. Just pause and breathe. Once your perspective has been refreshed and your thinking renewed, lift up your gaze to end the session.

Practice mindfulness whenever you have a chance to pause.  Perhaps you have just completed a phone call. Before you go on to the next task on your checklist, just stop and allow your senses to make you aware of what is around you and what is going on inside you.  Take the pulse of how you are feeling right then and there and acknowledge that. Practice mindfulness on a daily basis for the maximum benefit.

Are There Any Mindfulness Exercises to Practice?

The list may seem simple.  Pay attention.  When you are having a meal, use all five senses to experience a bite.  Accept yourself.  Talk to yourself as you would a close friend.  Focus on what you do well rather than where improvement is needed.  Focus on your breathing. Take deep refreshing breaths.  Pay attention to the rhythm of your body.  Use any of these three techniques when a negative thought has your mind’s microphone.  Chase it away with a minute of mindfulness.

For longer sessions, here are a few that will help you slip out of the monkey-mindedness of the moment and relax you into a better presence of mind.  Total Body Relaxation.  Elevate your focus on each part of your body starting with your toes and moving up to the top of your head.  Consciously relax any tight muscles you find along the way. Guided Meditation.  Videos found online will soften your circumstances with calming photography or soothing sound.  Start with a 10-minute meditation and move toward 30 or more minutes.  Ambulatory Session.  Walk through a nearby park or woods and use all five senses to experience your surroundings.  Or keep a consistent pace while taking the turns through a local labyrinth. When stray thoughts disturb your meditation, take note and refocus.

Being mindful gets us in better touch with ourselves and what is around us.  We’ve got software that will get you in better touch with your business and everything associated with it.  Online Sales Pro offers a mindful way to boost your business to the next level.  Check out this complete system that helps you be mindful of your leads, inbound marketing, and sales.  Using Online Sales Pro and all that it offers will exercise mindfulness for your digital marketing business!

What’s the Big Deal about CRM Software?

Your work is dramatically increased when your business grows if you are trying to manage all of the details manually.  Think of the important stats about your customers you need quick access to – their contact information, their interests, their status, and other details.  Managing all of that data could become a full-time job on its own!

So, is that what needs to be done?  To hire a full-time person to take care of all of that?  Sort of. It’s not a person, though – it’s CRM software. Customer Relationship Management. So how will it work for you?  Let’s use the life cycle of the whale as a way of showing how CRM software can become a big deal for your business.

The Baby Stage: First Encounter

With most species of whales, the calf doesn’t make an appearance for a year and more.   As you can imagine, much needs to be done in quick fashion upon its arrival. Same thing goes with potential customers. Once they have announced – Hey, I’m here! – it’s essential to welcome them soon after.  Studies emphasize this: customers who are left in the lurch without timely contact will often wander away.  And it doesn’t take much time before they’ll do that!  

CRM software tells you exactly when customers sign up, and in fact, some will start a series of nudges reminding you to get in touch.  That’s right. You’ll receive push notifications alerting you first that you’ve got a lead, and then the potential customer can be sent one of several Quick Replies that are provided for you.

The Adolescent Stage:  Learning the Ropes

The whale at birth is roughly a third to a fourth as long as Mama and stays close by for a year and more.  After weaned, the calf may be free to go and explore but is not considered to be fully mature for 6 to 13 years.  For whales to live as long as the average life expectancy, this stage is crucial for survival by learning all the facts of life.

The same is true with your customers.  After information is initially gleaned with their opt-in, this data is added to your CRM’s database – these are the facts about the lead.  That may include name, email, phone number, and more – depending on how detailed your web page or funnel is. Gone are the days of scribbling a name or phone number on a napkin or other scrap of paper.  The CRM software will keep track of all the information for you and not lose any of the details.

Also, the software keeps track of the time and date the customer submitted the opt-in form.  Your CRM virtual assistant does not stop there. Your response is also filed away. How soon after opt-in was contact made – and how?  By email? By text? By phone? You can also log in the customer’s response, too. The best response, of course, is Cha-Ching! Purchase made.

The Adult Stage:  Staying Alive

The average whale can enjoy life in the ocean anywhere from 30 to 70 years. Depending on wise decisions, a whale can steer clear of danger and also know where the food is plentiful.  So much goes into survival for the adult whale.

Likewise, you want your customers to have longevity, too, and to be loyal to your product or service.  The initial contact by the customer is when life begins, but the rest is up to you – and your team, if you have one.

Guess what?  We have just the software for you that will help you and your team stay on the satisfied side of customer support!  Online Sales Pro, a leading-edge digital marketing software, sends out push notifications as soon as you get a new lead.  Better yet, OSP is a smart phone and web app so you can manage all of this from the palm of your hand.   

Using a CRM allows you to provide leading-edge service to your customers.   Click on this link to see how OSP can take your digital marketing to the next level.  Give it a try and use this simple CRM and mobile app to do all the grunt work for you!  With the time saved, you’ll be able to do other things….

Stay Calm

We all deal with challenges, misadventures, and backfires in our walk through life.  Sometimes the stress and strain of it all can veer us off course, so that we say and do things that would be better not said and done.  In order to think beyond the details of life, some suggest meditation as a way to quiet the mind. Once considered as only a practice for yogis and religious leaders, meditation has become a popular way to engage in reflection and contemplation.  Let’s take a closer look at the use of concentrated focus to achieve mental clarity and emotional balance.


Seldom do we sit and just BE.  We are called human BEINGS, but with the rat-race and frenzy of today’s world, perhaps we should be called human DOINGS.  While it is true that our body and mind rest and recuperate when we sleep, it’s just as important to recharge one’s mind when we are awake.  During meditation, focus is shifted from external to internal so that one may only be somewhat aware of what is around him or her and more in tune with what is going on inside.

Meditation is certainly an ancient technique. Some report that the practice began in India – with wall art dating back to 5000 BCE depicting people in lotus-like positions with their eyes half-closed.  Written records go back as far as 1500 BCE. Back in 500 BCE, Buddha’s teachings described meditation as we know it today.


The surroundings need to be quiet and peaceful so that an individual can focus on transforming the mind, overturning negative thoughts, removing anxiety and stress, and becoming mentally and emotionally clear.  It’s not normally recommended that one sit on top of the roof of a high rise as the preferred location, but distractions and interruptions ought to be at a minimum.

For those who are inspired by sound, they may listen to gentle instrumental music or ambient background sounds.  For those who are more visual, finding a video to view during the session for a guided meditation with inspirational photographs can be relaxing. 


Deep meditation affects the brain in nine key brain areas.  So what are the results? Some people who practice it indicate that they have less stress in their lives and more success and happiness.  Others claim to sleep better, and when they are awake, they think more deeply and remember more. Some even claim that meditation increases IQ points.  Those who meditate tend to look younger and live longer. Even weight loss has been attributed to the practice of meditation.

This practice can be tailored to each person so that one looks forward to a daily pause to reflect and refresh.  By taking the time to chill in such a way, we can get to know our own mind. This ancient practice is used to train the mind, similar to how exercise is used to train the body.  That doesn’t mean that meditation will change us to become a different person or a new person or even a better person. Instead, it’s a way for us to become more calm and mindful and to focus on the links between our brain with our mind and body and behavior. 

Meditation helps to take the stress and strain out of daily living.  We’ve got a way to take the stress and strain out of running an online business.  Check out this complete system that’s intuitive, elegant, and loaded with features that help you get leads, inbound marketing, and sales. The Six Figure Mentors helps to build your business in a cool, calm, and relaxing way.  As a business owner, SFM will help you keep cool, calm, and relaxed!

Current Info

We all base our decisions on information we have on hand.  What if that information is not current? We could make some wrong turns with our business if the information we have is ROT – Redundant, Out-of-date, or Trivial.  Of the three, the one that is the most detrimental to wise decision-making is when information is out-of-date. How can we find the most current information, especially when our search is on the Internet?

Check the Date

How often do you go through your fridge or cupboard to check expiration dates on products?  We’ve probably all been guilty – at least once – of eating something that had gone beyond usefulness only for us to end up with a sour tummy.  That may also be the case online. We do a quick search using the Internet to verify a point, only later to discover that 77% of the companies out there have “expired” information on their sites.

The proof of currency on a website is often in teeny-tiny print at the bottom of the page, so be sure to check that.  Put on a Journalist’s Beret and make a serious search to uncover the most relevant and up-to-date information. Most of the time, we are not interested in history when it comes to finding information – so seek currency first.

Check the Source

Not all sources are created equal.  If you type some keywords about a topic of interest, the first sources are often commercial ventures.  In other words, they want to sell you something. Should you just be looking for facts, dig down through the layers and pay closer attention to those sites which end in .org or .gov rather than .com.  Not to say that sales ventures are anchored in duplicity or the stretching of facts. Not so at all.

But if you want just the cold, hard facts, get out the Inspector’s Magnifying Glass and get as close to the source as possible.  Most of the time, we are not interested in a purchase when it comes to finding information – so seek details first.

Check the Rationale

Perhaps the easier check is your rationale.  Why do you need this information? Is it a simple search just to win an argument – or do you need an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of a topic?  The answer will determine the depth and breadth of your search for an answer.

Now for the more complicated rationale:  why is this information available to you in the form its in?  Determine who it would be benefitting and why. Rationale is carefully linked with what information is included and what is not.  Rationale also reveals the bias of the presenter. No matter the site, there’s always some sort of bias. Put on a Judge’s Robes to determine the motive.  Most of the time, we so easily believe what we read when it comes to finding information – so seek accuracy first.

The good news is that the information about SFM is neither Redundant, Out-of-date, or Trivial!  You can base your decision to launch your business to the online world knowing that you can generate leads and build an email list through this web. No sense struggling with dinosaur techniques. Check out SFM to build your business with just a computer or a phone. 

Working from Home

One of the luxuries and benefits of having your own business is that you often can work outside of a stereotypical business office.  Some entrepreneurs rent a space working alongside people who work for various companies. Others may save the rent money and camp out at a favorite coffee shop.  Still others may opt to work from home. What steps can be taken so that when you are working from home, you are not living at work? Let’s see.

Designate a Place

Find an area of your house that is free from distractions and provides a quiet place to do your work.  A window into your yard might add a special touch. Use furniture that is functional and aesthetically pleasing – plus comfortable when used for a day’s work.  Have shelves to stash books and resources you might need, but avoid clutter. If possible, your workspace should not be in a high-trafficked area in your home. Instead, find a spot that is not a focal point during your non-working hours.  Otherwise, you might feel as though you are never away from work.

Set Your Hours

It’s critical not to let your day get away from you.  There’s always something to do. If you don’t put a cap on your task list, the day will quickly become evening.  Because you are your own boss, you might be able to flex your hours. If you work with those in another time zone, you might want to set your work hours based on their clocks.  If you prefer to work early in the morning, then start your day early and call it a day mid-afternoon. Keep track of your hours so you can see trends. If possible, make medical and dental appointments during lunch or on either side of your workday.  Honor your workday like you would if you were clocking in at a traditional job. Otherwise, you might feel as though you are never away from work.

Get Out and About

It’s easy to get cemented into your chair.  Be sure to take a stretch break once an hour and longer breaks every couple of hours throughout your day.  For a more refreshing break, do a quick workout in another room or take the dog for a walk around the block.  Take an hour for lunch and avoid eating at the keyboard. Humans are social beings, so it’s best not to spend all of your day confined to quarters.  Even though your work might include connecting with people so you can see their lips move on a computer screen, it’s still advantageous to leave the workplace at some point during your day.  Otherwise, you might feel as though you are never away from work.

The good news is that you can run your business from home and still connect with the world out there.  In fact, you can build an online business with just a computer or a phone.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

When people know that you have your own business, they often get curious.  They want to know the facts about it. They want to know how well you are doing.  Perhaps they’d like to leave their dead-end job or stop wearing their suit and tie with corporate America.  You can tell them your facts, or you can divert their attention by telling them these unusual facts about other businesses out there.  Just remind them that all businesses started with one person and a compelling idea. Here are some facts you can tell.

Specifics about Businesses

Considering that each week you’ll find nearly 1/3rd of the population in the U.S. shopping at Walmart, it’s no wonder their average profit is $1.8 billion an hour! Now that’s Profit with a capital P! — The name “Yahoo” wasn’t based on the typical I-just-won-the-jackpot response.  It’s an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. Fancy that! — Speaking of names, did you know the name for Google was originally BackRub! Hmm. What a switch! — Everyone has heard of UPS with their package delivery trucks all over the place. Few know, though, that UPS was founded by two teenagers with a bicycle and $100 of borrowed money.  Talk about wise entrepreneurs! 

Talk about entrepreneurs, were you aware the 70% of small businesses are still in operation for two years, 50% celebrate their 5th anniversary, 33% are hard at work after 10 years, and 25% after 15 years?  Not only that, but since 1990, 4 million people working for large companies got a pink slip and had to look elsewhere for work. Small businesses, though, have created 8 million new jobs.  Now that’s a fact worth sharing!

Specifics about Products

White writing on a red background – Coca Cola’s logo is known by 94% of this planet’s population.  Talk about brand recognition! — Did you know that cereal – breakfast cereal! – is the second only to automobiles when it comes to advertising on TV?  — Have you sung “Happy Birthday” to anyone lately?  Warner Music actually owns the copyright to that song, so perhaps we ought to pay royalties every time we sing that song.  Thankfully they aren’t out to collect the royalties! — What do you think the best-selling product of all time?  Hint: the iPhone is second. If you guessed Rubrik’s cube, you were right! 

This may be hard for you to believe.  It’s the Volkswagen group that owns the posh cars:  Bentley, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche! Ha! Literally the “car for the people” – go Beetle Bug go! —   Now that’s a fact worth sharing!

Specifics about People

First of all, did you know that Tuesday is the most productive work day?  If that’s the case, too bad we didn’t just start the work week with Tuesday! — This will amaze you. If Bill Gates happened to be a country – he’d be the 37th richest country in the world! — In Albuquerque, New Mexico, there’s a popular restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch and hugs.  Hugs? The owner of Tim’s Place has Down’s Syndrome, and he thinks hugs should be served with every meal. — Speaking of breakfast, Robert Chesebrough not only invented Vaseline, but he ate a spoonful of it every day. Eyuk! He lived to be 96.  Hmm….

Before his death, Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish founder of furniture store IKEA, was one of the top 10 richest in the world.  What’s surprising is that with all of that money earned, he lived in a small home, rode the bus, and ate at the local IKEA Restaurant. Wonder what IKEA means?  The word is formed by these initials: Ingvar – Kamprad – Elmtaryd (the family farm) – and, Agunnaryd (the village of his boyhood).  

Now here’s a fact that you might find sobering – or encouraging.  If you have $10 in your pocket and no debts, you are wealthier than 25% of the folks around you.  Now that’s a fact worth sharing!

So when people ask you for specifics about your business, you have three options:  you can tell them facts about yours, you can tell them facts about others, or you can switch the topic to the weather.  

Getting Spooked

People certainly enjoy this spooky holiday.  They’ll dress up their houses with skeletons and spider webs and lights.  Why? To scare off the little trick-or-treaters? Or perhaps everyone – way down deep – likes to get a little spooked.  This holiday has become the 2nd highest profit-making day in the United States and perhaps beyond, because guess what? Rumor has it that this holiday’s roots are in Ireland.  Let’s find out more about Halloween.

Odd Facts

In 1927, a newspaper in Albert, Canada, mentioned trick-or-treating – and the term and the custom stuck.  Boston competed with the moon by lighting 30,000 jack-o-lanterns simultaneously. Back when all this started, jack-o-lanterns were carved out of turnips.  (Huh? What does a turnip even look like?) Potatoes and beets were also used. New York City launches the largest Halloween parade with over 5000 participants and two million bystanders. 

Halloween is big business – over $6 billion dollars are spent on costumes, candy, and decorations.  Guess why Daylight Savings Time starts on the first weekend in November? Yep. Candy manufacturers lobbied hard to make that come true.  This rarely happens, but next year, astronomers predict that we may just have a full moon on Halloween. Won’t that worry those who have Samhainophobia (a fear of Halloween) even more?

Odd Fictions

If you knew the sinister fables that sparked this invented holiday, you might decide to stay in your house on Halloween, lock the doors, and turn off the lights.  For instance, why do we carve jack-o-lanterns? (By the way, the largest pumpkin on record weighed in at 2,323 pounds!) As fable has it, a man named Jack in Ireland was relegated to roaming this world after doing some mischief.  He supposedly uses a lantern to warn others to right their wrongs. Hence – Jack “of the” Lantern.

Want to see a witch?  According to mystery and myth, the recipe is simple – just wear your clothes inside-out and walk backward.  (I better warn my grandsons. They do stuff like that all the time.) Apparently when you do both, a witch will appear at the strike of midnight.  No, thank you.

Odd Practices

Nowadays children are told not to talk to strangers, but on Halloween night in the United States, we encourage them to go door-to-door and take candy from strangers. In Scotland, a popular ritual on this day is called dooking – one must be blindfolded and try to find and eat a piece of pastry hanging from a string.  In Japan, October 31st is a time to think of those who have passed – visiting gravesites and cleaning the areas around them. A lighted lantern released into a river or a lake represents the return of their loved ones to whatever is beyond. 

Many full of mischief emphasized the word “trick” on this holiday – so much so that some places considered banning Halloween.  Not to give any of you ideas, but one such prank would be setting a cabbage stalk on fire and stuffing it into the keyhole in someone’s front door releasing an odiferous scent.  The unsuspecting homeowner would return to plug his nose and exclaim, “P U!” Some pranks went well beyond toilet papering a house or smashing a pumpkin – actually causing damage to people and buildings. 

Maybe it’s best not to pull any pranks during this holiday.  That’s what we think. We would like to treat you, though, to a software that will launch your business to the world of the Internet out there.  Visit us at SFM and see for yourself.  Sometimes we folks here at SFM will be full of mischief, but not when it comes to helping you promote your products or services.  We’d rather unmask our software so you can see it for what it truly is!