I always thought that changing your own oil was a normal part of owning a car. Then I moved to California and discovered that this is, in fact, weird.

Image by c_badeja via Pixabay

Power tools are super fun. They offer you the keys to self-sufficiency. If your car doesn’t start, you can figure it out. If your idiot dog slams his butt into the wall while doing zoomies in the house, you can fix the drywall dent. (Dog is fine.) If the plug on your new super-discounted humidifier doesn’t fit quite right, you can take it apart, fix it, then put it back together…


Animal Crossing: New Horizons is here to trick you financial literacy. Relax on your very own tropical island. Plant tons of flowers. Own a house! Plus, through all of this fun, learn how to escape the fate (in real life or IRL) of becoming an indentured servant to your credit card company.

Here in the US, there aren’t any “nudges” from schools, popular media, or acceptable social situations to teach financial literacy. (Although there are enough get-rich-quick schemes to fill a lifetime.)

If you have the extreme good fortune to be born into a family with financial skills, you can…


NaNoWriMo is coming up! If you’re a planner, it’s time to develop your characters and get your plot in order. Even if you’re a pantser, you probably have a rough idea of the main character come November 1st.

Here’s a wild idea. Let’s refuse to create heroines in the Everygirl archetype that has seeped into novels across all genres — but is particularly pervasive in romance, YA, and fantasy.

Who Is Everygirl?

Everygirl is the starting point of every heroine at the beginning of the novel. Normal. The hero’s journey hasn’t yet begun. …


Being contrary and right is the way to wealth, so says Warren Buffet. But being contrarian at the right time with the right people is just plain, old fun.

Image by Prettysleepy via Pixabay

Any book or piece of writing that gets people worked up can’t help but be interesting. The topic doesn’t matter so long as it elicits strong opinions. Checking the 1-star reviews is a good way to distinguish between polarizing books and useless books.

“[Author] is a [noun insult from the opposite end of the political spectrum] who spends 150 pages trying to convince you that their naive opinion on [topic] will…


It turns out that being smart doesn’t matter much. It’s helpful, sure. But it’s not relevant when the only thing you have to do is be persistent for 40+ years.

Image from hbieser via Pixabay

Okay, not the only thing. But Daniel Pink makes a good argument for persistence trumping talent every time.

The key to outshining that moron two cubes over boils down to stubbornness and grinding. (Videogame disambiguation, not dancing at the club.)

First, we dive into mindset, and then we’ll journey through strategic actions.

Law 30 — Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

From Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, make a super-suave power play by making your efforts seem effortless.


Even the worst webinars can have useful information. It’s just harder to identify when you’re slogging through boring or hard-sell presentations.

It’s a shame as the presenter to have a valuable gift for your audience, then bury it under an awful presentation. Most people don’t start out as terrific public speakers. Yet everyone can be good enough with practice and the right strategy going in.

Image by Robbin Higgins from Pixabay

We Speak and Write Differently

You don’t have to be a writing/speaking/presentation professional to instantly know when someone is reading a typed script.

When speaking to another person, sometimes the sentences aren’t grammatically correct, run long, or end up overly…


Up until recently, Jim Harbaugh was the highest-paid college football coach. Now he’s top 3. But it’s not just because of his generous salary. The genius part is how his life insurance creates income at a level many times what Michigan is paying for it.

Photo by OliverCardall via Pixabay

We’re going to dive into the mechanics behind this. Specifically, what they did if they were smart and how you can take advantage of the same principles.

Basic Mechanics & What We Know

We know Michigan is paying $2 million a year for seven years. It’s a $14 million loan to pay for Harbaugh’s life insurance.

We know that he will…


Maybe it was stir-craziness, who knows.

This DIY fitness program promised me a bikini body in 90 days. I don’t wear them anymore after that one time I went boogie boarding, but let’s not talk about that. Suffice to say there is something to be said for one-piece swimsuits and rashguards.

Image from KlaRoFotodesign on Pixabay

I wanted to know if it worked. Are they all scams, like I assume 94% of miracle cures/transformations on the internet are?

Here’s the gist of what I got for my $20 plus tax

  • workout schedule
  • eating recommendation
  • macro nutrition explanation
  • calorie recommendations for a variety of starting weights
  • access to a Facebook group for moral support
  • a respectable amount of…


Back in April, I panic-purchased a composter. You know, one of those big black plastic barrels on a stand. Irrational, I know. But I’d been looking at getting one for a while then the prices started doubling as lockdowns initiated across the country.

Picture by Ben_Kerckx on Pixabay

At the time, the math seemed to make sense. Throw veggie peels into the compost, turn it into dirt, stop buying fertilizer. Now that I’m a little farther into it, the math isn’t working out as planned.

(I probably should have done the math first. Whoops.)

Set-Up Costs

The 35-gallon compost tumbler was $85, including tax.

Fun fact, aside…


Here’s the middle-class female life plan in 39 words. Get good grades. Go to college. Marry. Pay your dues to prove you’re worthy of a non-miserable job. Birth 2.5 children. Teach said children the life plan. Retire. Figure out what you actually want to do with your life.

Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay

None of this required financial education for women 70 years ago. There were crazy things then, like pensions. Home-ownership was possible on a single income. A minimum wage job could pay for college. Unfathomable.

But nowadays, in spite of traditional gender roles, there are some excellent reasons to teach your daughter a…

Caitlin Taylor

Ghostwriter and blogger for businesses all over the world.

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