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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Turning Fear into Joy

Fear drives me. I fear feeling like I did in April 2006, when I realized that I wasn’t able to pay my bills any more. I fear feeling like I did in November 2005, when I felt like I had to make a choice between my child and my career, and without the career I would be unable to support my child. I fear returning to a state where I just view my own future as a complete unknown and hope that se

Ask FreelanceSwitch: Building Portfolios and Teaching Students

In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at building portfolios and teaching students. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing.

Ask the Readers: Should We Buy Our Dream House?

What happens when a great opportunity comes along, but you don’t quite have the resources to take advantage of it? That’s what Greg wants to know. He and his wife have found their Dream House. They think they can buy the place — but only if they’re willing to take on some short-term debt in addition to the mortgage. Greg wants to know is this is a smart move.

7 Lies You’re Wired To Believe

Why do we believe the things we believe? From the time we’re born, our beliefs are formed with each new experience.

Spare Change: The King is Dead Edition

O, happy day! The FedEx man brought me a package this morning containing The King is Dead, the new record album from The Decemberists. The Decemberists are a Portland band, and have been my favorite group for several years. I love that they put their new music out on vinyl, so that I can listen to it on my ancient phonograph player. The King is Dead is mellower than much of their past stuff.

"It's Not Whether the Ends Justify the Means; Instead, It's that the Means ARE the Ends."

Happiness interview: Russell Bishop. A few years ago, I was on a panel with Russell Bishop, and we've crossed path with a few times since, so I was very interested to see that he has a new book coming out: Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work. One of the main happiness challenges I face is how to work more productively, more creatively, and more harmoni

Scam Alert! Ten Signs to Avoid

Imagine if you had little or no ethics or morality at all. You live under the belief that if you lie and misrepresent right to a person’s face and they believe it, they deserve to have their money taken from them for being so stupid. There are a lot of people out there that fall into this category.

Live in Toronto? I'll Be Speaking on January 17.

Hey Toronto! I'm doing an event on Monday, and I'd love to see you there. January 17 7:00 p.m. Indigo Manulife Centre -- 55 Bloor Street West No tickets or reservations necessary. Please come, tell your friends! * Join the discussion on Facebook -- lots of interesting conversation there.

50 Very Simple Ways to Be Romantic

Ok, so maybe Valentine's Day isn't for another month, but that doesn't mean you can't show your partner some special attention now. In fact, I invite you to join me in this experiment. The plan is to show your love for your partner in a small and different way each day for a whole month and see what magic happens.Here are a list of 50 things you can do to express your love.

Warning: Is Your Plan B Holding You Back?

In most cases, having a Plan B is a good thing. It’s the fallback option for when your plans fall apart. They are life’s little safety nets and can be great to have. It’s one thing to have a Plan B for an outdoor party when it might rain.

An Introduction to Off-Roading

A special thanks to the folks at Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, and Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, MO for bringing me out for an off road adventure behind the wheel of Toyota’s new off road lineup. If you are in the market for a capable off road machine, Toyota is legendary in the off road world and a good place to start looking.

What I have to remember

Yesterday, President Obama, speaking in Tucson, Arizona in the wake of the recent shootings, said: “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other

Reader Mailbag: Thanks

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Selling jewelry 2. Auto loan refinancing 3. Rolling over a 403(b) 4. Next generation’s big mistake 5. Gift for newborn 6. Handling personal injury settlement 7. Not caring about future 8. Off-topic topics 9.

The Power of Asking for What You Want

Getting what you want out of life isn’t always easy. You can spend weeks, months or even years working on your goals. That’s a lot of effort and planning just to get from point A to point B. Worse still are the people who do nothing but wait around hoping that what they want will just appear in front of them.There’s a better way to get what you want, just ask for it.

5 Mistakes to End Your Freelance Career

Credit: doobybrain on Flickr Please learn from my mistakes. First, who is this guy? I’m Allan and I started as freelance designer six years ago. After a few months I started hired developers because I started taking increasingly larger web projects. Within two years of starting freelancing I took on a business partner and we started to build web applications.