Entries for May, 2009

How To Buy a Diamond- The Most Important C

Cookies ring

What is the most important factor when you decide its time to buy an engagement ring?

You might be told one of the “4 C’s” of Color, Clarity, Cut or Carat Weight by the clerk serving you or the web site you found surfing. None are right!

Actually the most important factor is COST.

Your budget is where you should start, especially in today’s economy. But when it comes to a Diamond- as the ads say, “It is Forever.” Therefore, size does matter.

First determine what you can comfortably handle from a cost range. Don’t forget to consider the wedding band and man’s wedding ring also.

(BUYER BEWARE- These settings are where jewelry stores and Internet companies make huge margins!!!! Typically they use up to 3X their cost to set their retail price, that is a 200% mark up!

A typical starting point for your budget is around 2X your monthly income. Please, try to save this before you buy so you are not charging the cost and running up big interest bills which just further detracts from what should be a very joyous time.

Forever Diamond Service has a FREE 4 volume Whitepaper to empower you to be wise in making this important decision.

You can sign up HERE.

These 4 volumes disclose all the secrets only an Insider would know about how you can get the best deal possible, so you get a BIGGER and BETTER diamond for LESSS.

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So what made me think I would be any different?

I spent 10 years as CFO and COO of a publishing company in the Futures Industry. I can remember vividly sitting across from our founder owner in important meetings only to have his eyes dart over to his trading screen to monitor his positions. Of course I heard around the office whenever any of the editors had a good trade, but never seemed to hear about the “Other trades that were losses.”

But based on the recommendation of a good friend, I started looking at a trading system and liked a lot the emphasis on managing money and time. Money management, I knew to be the downfall of a large portion of the traders losing money. So after months of research, training, and more research, I took the plunge and was able to make pretty consistent daily wins on the trading simulator on my Tradestation trading platform.

Then came real money. Again, starting with one contract. Pretty good results. BUT…. The market began to change and become more volatile with bigger short market swings.

Over several months our trading account sprung a slow leak. More on WHY and the LESSONS I LEARNED coming soon….

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Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim



What would it be worth to your business to:

“Create Uncontested Market Spaces and Make Your Competition Irrelevant?”

That is the promise of this international best seller of over 1 million copies.

This book is based on obsessive research and gives a precise actionable plan for changing the way companies do business. I ate this book up because it talks about strategies. Strategies are sorely lacking in business today. We hear a lot about vision and tactics, but the missing link is the compelling strategies that creatively give competitive advantage.

The beginning premise is that the best seller business books that come out about once per decade such as In Search of Excellence and Built To Last form opinions based on a set of companies and research but the list of companies of excellence and built to last change every decade. The great companies keep changing! If the principles worked, why does this happen. The obvious answer is the principles developed from the research worked for a season, but what really was happening was the back testing of principles was a self fulfilling prophecy of what had already happened. Its kind of like a day trader testing a new trading system and it works based on the date fed into it for the last 10 years, then when used in real life the trader loses money.

What happened?

Finance, the economy, people, life all change and never are the same again. So how can any SYSTEM work?

Good question, and this is exactly what Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on. It makes a very compelling argument for value innovation to disrupt markets and that there are repeatable constructs that can be followed to achieve these disruptive strategies- or BLUE OCEANS. One way is a strategy canvas regarding the state of the current market and the factors the new strategies will use to create disruption.

Well worth the few hours it takes to read. My book is full of notes and underlines!

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A Life God Rewards by Bruce Wilkinson



This little devotional offers a surprising conclusion to many sitting in our pews today.

Heaven will not be the same for all who accept Jesus gift of eternal life. Nor will Hell be the same for all who do not.

This little mentoring piece packs a powerful wallop to help us achieve the lasting life- change many of us long for. Bruce carefully backs up his premis with sound theology from God’s word.

The bottom line is the quality of our life for all eternity is directly related to the stuff we do during our stay on the earth. Not our place of eternal residence, but the quality of the life we live in that residence.

This book is well worth the few minutes daily it will take you to read over the next month.

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Yankees In First- Life Is Normal Again

Finally, after how long- years! Yanks stand atop the Eastern Division of the American League.

Thought I better get this in since it may not last and may be awhile before it happens again.

Just 2 weeks ago many Yankee diehards, myself including thought perhaps Joe Girardi didn’t have what it takes to manage our precious team. What a difference getting A Rod back is making. Who would have thought.

I can see a principle at work here.

Plan, Prepare, Practice, Perform. Then measure and do it again, and again until perfect.The strategy I used to drill into Josh and Mat in sports. Looks Like the Yanks had a Plan with their acquisition of players, Prepare by moving players in and out of starting and relief roles and through rehab and minor league games, Practice and then Performing. Of course having the best player in baseball back in the lineup helps everyone else perform at a higher level.

Like the A Team used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together!

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Holy Spirit Power- Charles Spurgeon



Spurgeon is one of the great reformed preachers of all time. The book is updated for today’s language.

Over 200 years ago, this preacher tells us about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a manner as contemporary and useful as tomorrow’s headlines.

I found Spurgeon’s use of the English language to be refreshingly powerful in explaining the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.

The Holy Spirit is my comforter, teacher, advocate, gives me power to live a life pleasing to God and to attest to God’s glorious gospel, will transform me into future glory, will show me truth, will flood me with grace, transforms me into new life, and helps me transform every place I go into God’s Kingdom.

As i read this book, I could see that this is not a list to Spurgeon but rather an expose of the experience he was having with his friend the Holy Spirit.

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Made To Stick- Chip & Dan Heath



This is a must read.

I am convinced the principles disclosed in the book can supercharge ideas and concepts that anyone needs pass on to others.

What makes an idea last and pass from person to person virally. How does, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” last for thousands of years and exist in every major culture around the world? And no one has a big PR or ad budget being spent on it!

Are you a pastor that needs to pass on life changing concepts to a congregation?

Are you an entrepreneur with a new business to sell to investors?

Are you an Internet publisher/ blogger who needs to find an audience for your product or service?

Whatever group or individual you are targeting, these principles can multiply the effectiveness of your communication. How much is that worth? It’s Priceless!

Pastor/ Teacher– What if the way you were taught to prepare your sermons or lessons is not just ineffective in communicating your important message, but actually the reverse of the way people process information and remember key concepts?

Entrepreneur– What if your business plan presentation made it improbable that any investor would take the time to understand your compelling new business concept?

Blogger/ Writer– What if a key reason 97% of Internet publishers make very little was how you are presenting your message to your prospects?

All guilty on all counts!

The good news is that simple concepts can be used in all these cases to guarantee SUCCESS in passing on key ideas and concepts to others.

This book clearly lays out the 2 Steps and 6 Principles necessary to form ideas that will stick with your target audiences.

Read the BOOK! That is an order- It will change your life!

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Going Live

The Blog theme is installed and I am live – now blogging.

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A new and disruptive way to buy diamonds

For over 25 years I have used my Insider status to buy diamonds and diamond jewelry for friends and family.

How did I become an insider in this very closed, family oriented business?

30 years ago, my boss at a business we would grow to over $300 million in sales, mentored me into Insider status. Sam Schwartz is a charismatic, literally, messianic Jew. Our sales included over $100 million per year of jewelry sales. Sam included me in trips and shows and introduced me into the Inside of the top companies in the industry.

Today I work closely with the sons and nephews of the company founders that were Sam’s friends.

So Forever Diamond Service was born to offer the new way to buy diamonds and designer jewelry that I invented. This Unique Buying Methodology includes Full Disclosure Pricing. Our clients are provided copies of all our invoices and they pay this invoice cost (the same that a big jewelry store would pay) plus our small add on fee, saving them thousands of dollars.

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Building a new small business from the ground up- First steps

I had coffee this morning with a friend starting a new community services project for the Christian business community called Marketplace Christianity. I will be one of his founding advisers and its contract CFO/ COO.

Our discussion centered on our target clients and what that target client has as  felt needs that we can use social networking technology to satisfy. We have partnered with a technology partner who will help us provide an integrated social networking platform with CRM, Web 2.0 Community, and web page all fully integrated. The platform will allow small businesses and associations to create communities and viral membership while also providing an infrastructure to manage the relationships and monetization of the their communities. It will have both publishing and unit characteristics.

Marketplace Christianity will also offfer content that supports and encourages all the members in all the communities to integrate their faith into their daily lives, and involve their friends and family in their own private and public communities.

These strategies are critical to fulfilling the vision of MC (Transforming Societies Through Kingdom Businesses) and a necessary link between the vision and day to day operations.

Many small businesses have a defined vision and go right into daily operations without the necessary strategies that tie the two together.

Current strategies we are working on include determining the felt needs related to community building of our target market, the technology necessary to fulfill the community building needs of our target market, and the resources needed to reach the market and expand the services offered.

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