Woodford Reserve Rye

We’re coming straight out of Kentucky with this one. Woodford Reserve is a grand slam, and one of the most potent rye whiskeys I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. When you pop open that top and get punches in the nose by the musk of real man’s whiskey, there’s no going back.

I’m a fan of whiskey on the rocks. Tossing four ounces of this over an ice ball hit the spot like nothing else. I can see Jack Daniels tearing up from the liquor cabinet shelf, and I think “Baby Come Back” is playing somewhere in the background. It’s hard to put Woodford down, but so easy to throw back.

 


 

Springbank 10

What’s better than a ten-year long marriage? A ten-year long marriage with Springbank 10 on your shelf for those special occasions. Each shot worth contained within this bottle is preset for a special moment in your life—you just don’t know what that is. Not yet.

 

When you sit back and watch your daughter go on her first date—Springbank’s celebratory shot is there. When your last mortgage payment gets mailed out—you guessed it: Springbank. It’s a premier whiskey that’s already got a spot on your top shelf (you just have to move the other ones over). Whiskey is one of those spirits that people love to overanalyze. If you’re a regular reader here at Fourteen Robots, then you know that’s not how we do it.

 

It goes down hard, leave the most delectable burn on the back of your throat for about thirty seconds, and settles into the spots that need it the most. Melt in your chair with the one-shot unwinder, and save the next shot for the next special occasion in your life.

 


 

Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto Cigar

If you need to lean back in your chair, and just enjoy a clean stack of smoke rising to the ceiling, dissipating in the air, then you’re looking at an Oliva Serie to get the job done. This company was recently acquired by J. Cortez Cigars N.V. back in 2016, who is most noted for their Calvano brand, among four other brands of exquisite cigars.

 

The biggest concern was maintaining Oliva’s premier standard, which thus far, Cortez has managed to do with flying colors. You get a perfect blend of cedar, and silky, smooth smoke that leaves your lips feeling dried like a winter campfire, and your lungs feeling relaxed and smoky. Straight from Nicaragua, this recipe—which has been around in Cuba since the early 1800s—remains to be a favorite among anyone who has the pleasure of lighting one up, and settling on down.

 


 

Yellow Spot

We’ve been without Yellow Spot in this crazy, mixed-up world since the 1950s. Almost sixty full years later, back in 2010, they brought it back out in full swing. This UK-based Irish whiskey is aged for twelve years, triple-distilled, and gets you buzzed after the first shot.

 

This is a dry, raspy whiskey that’s going to be best served warm. Grab it from the cabinet and pour away. In the US, we’ve been able to enjoy it since 2015, and it’s absolutely flying off the shelves. While it’s not going to make your wallet very happy, how can you say no to a whiskey like that?

 

Get it here to get 5% discount using 14RVICES at checkout


 

UV Vodka

UV has become the go-to vodka for college students. It’s inexpensive, blends well into just about any beverage, and comes in a plethora of flavors. In my freezer right now, is a bottle of blueberry UV vodka that’s coated in ice, and blends perfectly with your favorite lemon-lime soda.

 

UV Vodka has an excellent strength to it, while also tasting clear and clean. You get the exact burn you’d expect on the back of your throat from an inexpensive vodka, and it burns so well.

 

You can click UV Vodka to see all the different flavors and styles that UV offers. If you grab a bottle tonight, you won’t be disappointed. It delivers on all the flavor you want, and your wallet will thank you.

 


 

 

Teaching Your Kids to Drive: The Positive Effects

Do you remember the first time you were able to drive with your buddies in the car, and how that felt? One of the best things in life is hitting the open road, and just gunning it. Going wherever it takes you. To a parent, that sounds terrifying, but there are a bunch of excellent benefits to teaching your children to drive. Let’s get into it:

 

  1. Viva La Freedom

 Not all parents are perfect. With teenagers, sometimes we end up yelling, saying things we regret, and the fights get out of hand. Nobody likes to hear it like that, but it’s true, and it’s part of the process of growing up. They’ll rebel, even in their own tiny ways. When they can go cool off with their friends or go for a relaxing drive, everyone gets a clearer head before the verbal warfare escalates. Let them hit the road for a few hours if they really want to; everyone is a lot calmer after some downtime.

 

  1. Teaching Responsibility

 It’s an exciting thing, but as we all know, cars are weapons in the wrong hands. Making this point clear without scaring your kid can help them come down from the adrenaline rush of learning to drive, and really see this for what it is: a privilege, not a right. This is your chance to teach them right so they don’t make mistakes that can cost accidents.

 

  1. Help When You Need It

We don’t want to use our kids as a package delivery service, but wouldn’t it be insanely helpful if they were able to drive the younger one to and from soccer practice? If you ran out of an ingredient while cooking; let them take the keys. It’s the start of letting go, piece by piece, and it builds on their responsibilities and skills.

 

  1. Turning It Into a Lesson

 I homeschool all four of my kids. They’re young enough that they don’t understand what money is yet, just that I need it if we’re going to do a lot of things. Teach them about the financial aspects: what does gas cost? What’s the wear-and-tear on the vehicle itself? How do you properly maintain your car? Use this as an opportunity to let them financially plan ahead for when they own their own ride.

 

  1. Bonding

 We’re in a day and age where a lot of us are working crazy workweeks, where everyone has their eyes glued to their mobile screen, so bonding time is at an all-time low. There’s a constant need to bond with our children, yet it’s an era where it happens far less. Take the time to build that connection with them, and blare your favorite tunes as you stroll through the parking lot, learning to parallel park. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing; make those memories last just as long.

 

When did you first learn to drive? Think back and remember what that felt like, and tell your son or daughter that you’re going to teach them from your library of wisdom.

 


 

 

Three Things You Always Need in Your Desk

Whether it’s to pay the bills or read one of the three most imperative books to your success, your desk is the throne of your home. Even if you’re not one of those “Dad’s Recliner” guys, you still have a proverbial roosting point. It’s the place your wife sees you when you’re managing the household and finances, where your kids see when you’re providing for their future. As such a seat of power in your home, there are three essentials that you should have in your desk at all times

 

  1. A Safe-Locked Loaded Gun

We can get into semantics all day long, but here’s the point: you need to protect your family, and you can’t dig out a safe from the top of your closet. One locked box in the top right drawer of your desk, or a gun in a drawer with a lock on the outside of it. Children won’t be able to reach it, and should an intruder break into your home, you’ll be able to defend yourself quickly, and effectively.

 

  1. A Plan

Not having a future plan for your family is like giving up. When you’re able to map out the money spent, steps taken, and battle scars you’ll be earning, it makes the path ahead more clearly. A notebook that hosts your information that a loved one may need should something happen to you, as well as a plan for what your family should do financially if you should pass, will be the best parting gift you can give to your loved ones.

 

  1. One Memento

 What drove you to pursue your career? What made you decide to walk up to your now-wife and ask her on a date? What made you want to be a father in the first place? We all have a handful of sentimental items. Whether it’s a prayer card, or a significant item that just resonates with us, having a memento in your desk—a reflective pool to grab and just hold when you need a moment of clarity—helps you stay grounded and focused.

 


 

 

Mulligan’s Bar and Grill

Deep in the roots of Farmingdale, there’s one of the best bars on the planet. Users on TripAdvisor agree; they have the best beer and the best wings in all of Jersey. It’s located conveniently near a few golf courses, making it the ultimate weekend retreat for the traveling businessman. Play around, peel off the singular glove and plop down in a booth.

 

I had the pleasure of stopping here on the way down from Boston to Miami. (I hate flying, you know? Seen too many Bruce Willis movies.) I’m not so much a wing fan as I am a steak fan, and I met my match.

 

Their garlic steak was probably the greatest steak I’ve had in recent years. I’ve been to a lot of steakhouses, I’ve been to a lot of bars, but I’ve never been to steak heaven like this. Just writing about it has me feeling nostalgic, and a bit hungry.

 

You land in that perfect atmosphere that’s certain to leave you feeling full, buzzed, and without lightening your wallet too much.

 

Price. Food. Booze. Check!

 


 

 

Empower Your Family With These Five Silent Rules

Media overload, exposure to violent news, the constant stream of negative information—does this all sound familiar? It’s new America. When we live in a world that’s constantly trying to bring us down, it’s up to you to bring your family up and empower them in this sea of uncertainty. Fourteen Robots are here to help.

 

  1. Keep It Positive

Silent rules are all about unspoken agreements. When you bring each other up, and you stay positive about everything, you’re going to see a rippling effect take place. Using positive words and staying away from negative tones will set your family on the right path, and help them keep their heads up even when they want to lean them down.

 

  1. Prioritize

 If you have a heap on your plate, prioritize tasks before you do anything else. Show your children and your wife that you’re able to handle things, do it in an orderly fashion, and maintain your family while doing so. Not everything can be done at the drop of a hat, and not everything should. This is also a silent lesson to show your family how it’s done.

 

  1. Pay Forward

 For no other reason than being a good person and following your moral compass, you should always pay it forward. Never do it in a way that shows your family, “Look at me, I’m paying it forward,” but just do it even when nobody’s looking. It pays off in the end (no pun intended).

 

  1. Take Care of Family First

 You can’t give everything away; you need to care for your wife and children before anything else. This shows them that you’re not only prioritizing properly but that you’ll do anything for them, as is your position as patriarch of the family.

 

  1. Settling Things Your Way

 That doesn’t mean “Highway or my way.” I can’t stand those guys. What it does mean is compromising appropriately, and showing your family that you can handle things in a non-aggressive, calm tone. Yelling and negative behavior damages your family’s psyche, piece by piece, brick by brick. When you resolve things calmly, it’s helpful for everyone.

The Best Apps for Android and iOS That Are Here To Stay

Apps come and go, but the best ones are forever (or about as permanent as you can affirm yourself in the media landscape). If you’re going to bench on a certain app to help you with your business, you don’t want the rug being pulled out from under your feet. That’s why you should go with the ones that are going to be around in a few years, and we’ve dug up the best ones for you. Some will be obvious, others won’t, but they’re all indispensable; we’d be shocked if any bad their plug pulled. Here are the best apps that strengthen your business.

 

  1. Microsoft Office Mobile

 This directly relates to every single app that Microsoft gives us. From Word to Excel, PowerPoint to OneNote, there’s an app for everyone. You may be wondering, “How are these organizational?” My friend, take a moment and look at fifteen seconds of a YouTube video regarding organizing your Excel or OneNote account; it’s mental, really. One of our writers (yes, I’m referring to myself in an obscure third-person perspective), uses Microsoft for everything, and so far, no broken bones.

 

  1. Google Suite

Sheets, Docs, the whole bit—Google’s a great competitor when it comes to Microsoft’s mobile office apps. One of the best things about using Google is the automatic cloud storage. Want to download a sheet to your phone or laptop? Fine, no worries—but, they are more shareable and collaborative than using Microsoft Online apps, so they win there. Google’s apps are perfect to get yourself organized and easily collaborate with others; a well-done sheet or doc is the key difference between your day going smoothly, or you mopping up a mess.

 

  1. Wunderlist

 You may have read our review on Wunderlist, and you may be wondering how it’s that effective. Well, once you hop into the interface, you’re going to be amazed. Unlike a lot of apps that have gone ahead and complicated things, forgetting why people loved them in the first place, Wunderlist has stayed true to their original design: a simplistic tool to help you manage your crazy, hectic, everyday life. It achieves it with flying colors.

 

  1. Evernote

So Evernote can be one of those tricky apps. It’s available for iOS and Android, but the apps are slightly different. You get a lot of the same functions as Wunderlist, but it’s more about collaboration than it is simple lists. You can stay organized and engaged with your fellow coworkers or employees, and you can even send updates, comment, and make annotations or edits on the run. It’s the perfect app to check in with progress and keep your tasks organized, and your business running efficiently.

 

  1. Asana

 Looking to manage content? If you’re running a digital business, like a digital marketing company, or you’re a content writer, you may have heard the name Asana tossed around quite a lot. It’s not just about the function of managing writing tasks, attachments, and so on, but everything is saved and recorded properly. You get to manage everything from a calendar, and just about every function is time stamped. Even if you have trouble with organizing yourself, Asana is going to help you stay on track.

 


 

 

Jefferson’s Reserve

Get ready to fall in love with the highest class of bourbon. Jefferson’s isn’t the first name when it comes to bourbon, but it’s certainly carved a path into my liquor cabinet.

 

Jefferson’s Groth Cask Finish Bourbon comes with a surprisingly full-bodied flavor for only being aged nine months inside of French oak barrels. You’re going to apologize to your wallet when you pick up a bottle, and you’ll pamper your taste buds later.

 

You know that perfect level of burn? Three to five seconds after swallowing one gulp, you’ll get those fiery fumes tingling the back of your throat, ensuring your next breath sends shockwaves all across the back of your tongue. To put it simply: Jefferson’s Reserve is kick-ass, and knocks every flavor out of the park.

 


 

 

Three Ways to Encourage and Lift Up Your Children’s Confidence

One of the biggest things that kids struggle with is finding their place in the world, or whatever their rendition of that “special place in the universe” is. Truth is, we still feel like that at certain intervals well into adulthood, but children, from the minute they can form a complete thought, and well on through their teenage years, are self-conscious, angsty, and nervous on a constant basis, even when they don’t show it. You have to encourage their confidence; it’s the building block of success.

 

  1. Support Them No Matter What

 When you support your kids in anything they do, they know one certainty in life: Dad’s got my back, and that’s enough. Don’t expect it to be a complete shield for them against the world, but when the day comes to a close and the dust settles, they know that someone believes in them, and that’s a confidence boost. Even if their interests aren’t your cup of tea, invest your time in them so that they can see how much you support them.

 

  1. Don’t Embarrass Them

 As parents, it’s heartbreaking to hear, “Dad, you don’t have to walk me to the door anymore,” from our kids. However, we’re not raising kids—we’re raising the next generation’s adults. You have to remember that your child, whether you like it or not, will take small baby steps towards independence, and this is one of them. It’s something you’ve been teaching them, and it’s paying off, but it’s always bittersweet. Embarrassment is hard to get over. Don’t be stubborn and insist on keeping to things that they find embarrassing now (within reason, of course). You have to give and take, pick and choose your battles with this one.

 

  1. Show Them That They Don’t Have to Stand For Everything

It’s a tricky, slippery slope here because, on one hand, you want them to respect the authority in your home. That’s not unreasonable. On another hand, you also want to raise someone who’s going to stand up for themselves (and others, should they need it) along the way. Show your children when to speak up, when to stay a gentleman/lady, and what shouldn’t be tolerated as normal human behavior. None of us would go back to being children—remember that, and teach them right from wrong to better distinguish when they should stand, and when they should open the door.

 

Being a dad isn’t easy. It’s a whole new level of difficulty, especially as you’re watching your oldest start growing up and taking shape as a full-fledged, independent man-in-the-making or woman-in-the-making. Foster their confidence, and you’ll be raising tomorrow’s adults that go boldly where their peers do not, who stand against the wind instead of going with the current.

 


 

 

 


 

 

To Get a Loan, or Not – That Is The Question

Don’t dock me for the cheesy title, you know it works. One of the biggest issues with taking your business to the next level is funding. Investors have turned their noses up (much like they did to Steve Jobs, and the original publishers who Rowling submitted to are still crying a river), and you’re planning on funding it yourself and growing at a slower rate, but keeping it steady. Slow and steady wins the race for a reason, you know—there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe, especially when you’ve got a family to feed, and a lifestyle to maintain.

 

But you don’t have the cash, so you need a loan. You don’t want to be locked-in to a loan, so you pay yourself. My head’s spinning just writing about it, so let’s look at a few pros and cons of doing it on your own, versus going through the bank and getting a loan to fund your venture.

 

Funding It Yourself

 You’ve been tucking away capital, or you’ve been using your own personal profits and rolling them in your account. You’ve been eating Ramen noodles every day and you haven’t bought a latte in a year—at least you have your shit together. Going at it on your own has its perks, and it’s drawbacks, mainly being…

 

Pros

It goes well, and you did great—fortunately for you, your likelihood of getting an SBA loan or credit union loan in the future has tripled. Your business is making money, and they love seeing you put your own cash, especially large amounts, into your business. Not only that but if you’re happy with where it’s scaled to, you don’t owe anything to anybody. The success is yours; the profits are yours.

 

Cons

There’s no loan insurance. No way to bail yourself out. You can’t pay back a loan because it simply doesn’t exist. There are a lot of failed business ventures (mostly restaurants) where the owner ends up working two jobs when it goes down in flames—one to live off of (yeah, you’re still going to be eating Ramen every night) and one to pay back the loan. You have zero umbrellas.

 

Getting a Loan

You either qualify for an SBA loan, or you’re able to get one through your local bank or credit union. Either is fine. But what are the terms and conditions? It’s not like the Apple Updates page, where we just click the little box, ignore the ever-accruing list of terms, and skip on our merry way—this is a big deal.

 

Pros

Even if you’re going for a microloan for a small one-man army shop, you’ll still be able to qualify, so long as you have some collateral and you can show your lenders that you’re making money. It’s actually fairly simple, so long as you’re not a fresh-out-of-the-gates business.

 

Cons

The higher you scale, the more you have to give as collateral. This can be in the form of a real estate piece, inventory, or anything that’s going to be worth money to these guys. It gets slippery, and you could be risking it all.

 

Resource To Manage Your Money Either Way

We’ve loved this excellent resource by Rachel Richards to get into the financial mindset, no matter which angle you choose.

 


 

 

Highlands Bar and Grill

Looking to grab a bite and get a fantastic selection of wines and draft beers? You’ve found the absolute perfect spot: Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL. Just when you thought nobody could seamlessly blend French and old-fashioned southern atmosphere and food together—they pull it off with superiority.

 

Don’t let the posh waiters fool you; any casual gent can stroll on through and plop themselves along the bar. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been in Highlands before—it’s the perfect ambiance for every occasion. Taking the wife out for your anniversary? Getting off work after a long day? Highlands is where you belong.

 

Highlands Bar and Grill. Photo from Instagram: @highlandsbarandgrill

 


 

 

How to Budget For Your Family Vacation Without Bleeding the Bank Dry

Family vacations—they’re extremely necessary, but we never remember that until after we come home from one. You take a step back and tell yourself, “We really need to make this a thing.” Maybe you only go once a year. Maybe you splurge and go twice a year. The point is, it’s expensive every single time, and you have to know where you’re getting the money from. There are two models here that we recommend, so take a look and decide which is right for you.

 

The “Ante Up” Method

This is a more aggressive approach that involves taking your lifestyle, and making it a more minimalistic mantra. You’re probably going for two decent vacations per year if you select this method.

“Josh, I thought this was about keeping the bank in the green,” you may be thinking. It is, but if you want two vacations per year, and you’re making the median income (is there even a middle class anymore?) then you’re going to want to pay close attention to your finances. If you want this bad enough, you’ll be able to do it.

The first thing is this: cut back on your cell phone plan. Go for the most minimal option available. Most providers usually have talk, text, and unlimited data (slows down after X amount of GB), but it’s a surefire way to cut out, on average, about $360-$600 per year. That’s a few nights in a hotel and some road food depending on where you’re going.

Next thing, you’re going to take a closer look at your food budget. You want to keep the house stocked, but could you skim $10 worth of items from your list without it killing you? See what you can’t live without, cut back on those foods that aren’t necessary (even if you love them) and stick to meal staples and hearty ingredients. You can usually skim about $10-$25 per week off of this method, averaging a total of $520-$1,300 per year, which can account for a good amount of spending money and some travel expenses.

The big thing to remember is that you’re not going to auction off your stuff, no matter how bad you want that vacation. Don’t let the desire for it rip away the possessions and the lifestyle you currently have. You’re trying to add vacations to your lifestyle; not make a deal with the devil for them.

How many other things in your current budget can you think of that could be lowered? Do you have a monthly free-spending amount? Can you trim that? Assess your budget and really trim it back. All meat, no filler.

 

The “Micro Wager” Method

One stellar vacation per year for you. Doesn’t have to be too long, doesn’t have to be extravagant, but you need that time with the family. If you’re all about the bonding time and less about the destination and the amenities, you’re probably looking for a once-yearly trip that you don’t have to budget for.

In just about every household in America, we can think of one to five things, in the last week alone, that we shouldn’t have bought. Whether it’s a few $2 cups of coffee or take-out when we didn’t feel like cooking a meal, it’s important to take those moments, stow away the cash you would have spent, and call it a day. Distract yourself so you don’t reach into your back pocket and make that unnecessary transaction anyway.

If you’re usually seeing about $200 or more in free-spending per month, you’re going to restrict that number. Divide the average cost of your ideal vacation by twelve, and stash away one-twelfth every month. This won’t be enough alone, because you may just want to make that purchase from time to time, the one that will put you over. That’s why, on average, you’re stashing away those $2 blocks of money, to account for buffer room.

This method is all about being stress-free and making it work inline with your lifestyle so you can take a much-needed vacation without worrying all year long on how to achieve it. Calm mind, calm life.

 

Either Way, Enjoy Your Time

Family vacations aren’t supposed to be about work or devices—enjoy the time you have with your wife and children, because those days of fun in the sun are only around for so long before they start leading their own lives, or your other prospects start taking up most of your time. Enjoy it now, or you’ll miss it later.

 


 

Top 5 Books To Read Before Launching Your Startup

There’s nothing quite like launching your new business: there’s adrenaline, there’s honeymoon-style love, there’s… there’s… a whole lot to do. Even the tasks that you really, really don’t like are going to be crucial to starting up your business. There’s going to be hurdles, leaps, and bounds that all need to be met, and met quickly. These are the best books to go through and study before you actually take step one when launching your startup.

 

  1. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

Author Reid Hoffman brings us a collaboration with co-author, Ben Casnocha, all about the ultimate core value of yourself in your startup. No matter how many entrepreneurs have come before you, ride with you, or will come after you, nobody can have your exact idea. Investing in yourself, as corny as it may sound, is the number one step you have to take. You need to know what you’re looking to accomplish, what you hope to achieve, and how you’re going to get there. Reading this title is going to help you get to a mental state of clarity, and ask yourself the tough questions.

 

  1. The Startup Club

 Boasting a well-rounded overview of what it takes to commit to your startup, author JJ Ramberg achieves a level of excellent explanation that rivals any public speaker you’ve ever heard, no matter how many years of Dreamforce you attended. If you’ve ever wanted honest insight into what it takes to really grab your startup by the horns and push it on through the muck and the mud, Ramberg’s going to teach you in a brief novel that goes from the starting line all the way to your first day. The best part? It’s designed for children, and don’t worry—us adults can all learn quite a bit from it.

 

  1. The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business

 Far more than a simple checklist, David S. Rose brings us the fundamentals that you need in place before you launch your startup business. The aim of the game isn’t the same as the rest of the flock: David is giving you concrete steps that abide by the necessities of just about every startup model you can think of. There are just certain ins and outs that require your attention, no matter what industry you’re hoping to break into.

 

  1. Startup Evolution Curve From Idea to Profitable and Scalable Business: Startup Marketing Manual

 Take the research of 1,400+ business startups, and let Dr. Donatas Jonikas show you the rights, the wrongs, and explain why over thirty international startup experts look towards this as the businessman bible that they recommend to other new startups. As Dr. Jonikas states, this isn’t a one-time read, but a manual that you should consult the whole way to success, (and, admittedly, during your success, too). While most entrepreneur books on startups come through the door like a coffee table guide, this thick book is one of the best investments you’ll ever decide on.

 

  1. The Start-Up J Curve: The Six Steps to Entrepreneurial Success

 Author Howard Love couldn’t be any more dead-on about startup success and failure. There’s a sense of dizziness we all feel in the startup phase, even when you’re just planning it all out, and no money has been spent, and no pen has been put to paper. With more than thirty-five years of experience in the startup world, Love’s got the goods and the know-how when it comes to getting your startup moving along like a freight train, and mentally grounding yourself in the process so you don’t freak out the entire time. Don’t worry; we all do.

 

Are your fellow LinkedIn connections startup champions, too? Share this one on your LinkedIn feed and tag your mates. (The ones who aren’t competing against you, anyway.)

 


 

 

Dead Guy Ale

Two legends—both named John—meet in the middle to create a hybrid ale of their very own designs. What we received out of their cumulative efforts was Dead Guy Ale. If you’re into whiskey (and who isn’t?) you’ll get some familiarities in the texture and flavors of your favorite middle-shelf whiskey, all in an inexpensive, delicious package.

 

Avid testers agree that it’s sourer than it is sweet; I say it smacks you in the taste buds and says “Wake up; this is real beer.” It’s something you can enjoy on tap at the local pub. It accompanies spicy foods exceptionally well, so if you sit by with a basket of hot wings at the bar, you’re sure to be in for one hell of an evening.

 


 

 

Setup a Lemonade Stand Like a Real Dad

Okay, so it’s your child’s first attempt at their own small business. We know you’re teeming with delight, but it’s also a tricky situation to be in. Lemonade stands aren’t exactly great business ventures, considering most people only buy the lemonade to make the kid happy. Not only that, but we all remember that fiasco about a lemonade stand getting shut down years ago, even though it was just some little girl. That’s right—your kid’s hopes of that lemonade stand are dwindling, but as Dad of the Year, you can handle it. You’ll be doing all the behind-the-curtain work while teaching them how business, money, and responsibility works—it’s a big day, so do it right.

 

Step 1: Check With the Law

 Avoid having your kids getting their hopes shot down. Contacting your local town hall or an authority’s office is the quick way to know if there are any regulations in your area regarding lemonade stands, and sometimes, there are. Last I checked, there’s something like 500 cities and towns that have restrictions on lemonade stands, ranging from light to heavy. You may need a license to operate, a license for selling food, and you’ll have to make sure your kitchen is top-notch if the health department rolls through, so they can see where you make it, and deem it food safe. Sounds excessive? It is. Handle all that crap so your kids can get on with their excitement.

 

Step 2: Teaching Them Business

 You should take a week to set up the lemonade stand. Teach your kids about debt and loans, and have them choose whether they want to purchase a banner for their stand, or make one on their own. Teach them the difference between craftsmanship and cost, but also that making something on your own still costs money. Where’s the construction paper coming from? Where are the markers coming from?

 

You can also buy a lemonade stand base model, or, safely scour the internet for local listings on free pallets, buy some paint, bring out your tool bag, and show them how to make it on their own. Every business comes from the ground up—make it a learning experience.

 

Step 3: Recipes

 Not every lemonade recipe is going to win the gold. Now, base this on your children’s age and their enthusiasm, but teach them that they need to get a good recipe, and not to follow the exact recipe on the package of mix, or the first thing they find online. Teach them about going the angle all on their own, and making something new.

 

Step 4: Cash Management

 As a gift for opening day, buy them a cashbox and a calculator. When they need to give change or track spending, also supply them with a legal pad and a few pens. This is also a great time to implement charity, as not a lot of businesses do anymore. Tell customers that 5% of every donation goes to the local food pantry, or your charity of choice (but also check the legal ramifications in your area, you may need a permit for that, too).

 

At the end of the venture (they may do this all summer long, and I’d say go for it) get some learning material. Teach them what scaling a business is. If you take a look at our five books that help your success—some are designed for kids.

Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

Captain Morgan gives us a tropical twist on traditional rum, and it’s called Parrot Bay. It’s a totally different flavor than we’re used to when you think of Captain Morgan. It’s personally my favorite rum out there for drinking straight. Pop a bottle of this in the freezer, pop the top, and throw it on back right out of the b0ottleneck; you’re good to go.

 

Parrot Bay is a lot sweeter than you’d expect from Captain Morgan. You definitely get that calm, numbing burn in the back of your throat, but it’s flavorful as can be. Parrot Bay, when mixed with a shot of orange juice, makes the perfect drink to serve at a cookout this summer. If your goal is to get as drunk as possible, make like Jack Sparrow and drink it straight.

 

Get 5% off when purchasing here with code 14RVICES

 


 

The Benefits of Having More Than One Child

When you have a singleton, you’re going to hear one phrase at least once: “Can I have a little brother/sister?” Instead of panicking, approach the topic with care. In fact, consider it. If you’ve established yourself, transmogrified into a parent, and you love your children with all your heart, why not fulfill their wish? It isn’t just about four-year-old children wanting something beyond their control or understanding, but for you and your wife—consider it like this:

 

Playmates

Look, I have four children. All boys. They’re ages five and down (twins in the middle). I’m not saying it’s a seamless lifestyle choice, but I love my boys very much. That being said, there’s something about seeing your kids play together that just lights a fire in your heart, and makes you feel like you’re fostering positive relationships. I mean, five minutes later they could be whipping LEGOs at one another. There’s chaos time, and then, there’s playtime. Both are equally treasurable.

 

When They’ve Grown

When they’re teenagers, who are they going to call when they get drunk at a party? It may be you, and you may have my golden rule: “If you call me for help, for no reason whatsoever will I speak about it get mad at you. I want you to be safe more than anything else.” That, of course, will be outfitted with no words being exchanged, and as promised, never speaking of it again.

 

Teenagers are also less likely to tell their parents things that are bothering them. That’s just a fact of life; we’ve all been down that road. They can tell their friends, but they can also tell their siblings. Fostering a healthy sibling lifestyle is difficult from the parent’s end. I’ve already had to talk with the eldest about tattling/ratting on his younger brothers. They don’t get in trouble for it, and I tell the eldest that it’s okay not to tell me every little thing they do. It’s helped him differentiate what is tell-worthy, and what isn’t, and it boils down to this: If it’s going to hurt someone, or it’s dangerous in any means, tell me.

 

Family Gatherings

If you’re a father who’s going to be proud of his children no matter what, who’s going to be there for them for anything, then you’re going the right direction. Kids need that sense of structure more than anything. I’ll tell you one thing, having multiple children is definitely going to make family gatherings that much more fun. However many children you have X how many hours you have to stay at one of those things = the total outcome of your fun.

 

Whether it’s having two or more, you have to know your limits. We’ve maxed-out at four. Don’t have so many children that their quality of life is affected; you need to be able to give them the time they need individually, and, I hate to say it, money is a big factor. Don’t be the dad who works eighty hours a week just to be broke; this is the time to make the best memories, so get on out there, and do it.

Solar Powered Windows: Business Investment, or a Pitfall?

We’re seeing an abundance of solar-powered technology sweeping the nation, all in the nick of time (we hope). Solar farms are popping up all across Africa and North America; Germany has become the most energy independent nation on Earth, rivaling America nearly fourfold. It’s an amazing time, and with innovative energy solutions, we get the startups and the pitfalls. Solar powered windows—it sounds crazy, but it just might work.

 

How Solar Panels Work

 Solar panels are actually photovoltaic slabs that are made out of silicon cells—an entire network of them—and through those, solar power can be extracted and turned into kinetic energy, or electric energy. The same thing is being done to windows, but is it a wise investment?

 

Solar Powered Windows

 It sounds a bit redundant to call them “solar-powered windows,” since windows are the ones being run by solar energy—however, they are absorbing solar energy in small batches. Much like the first development of photovoltaic panels back in 1954, solar windows are slow moving. Back when Chapin, Fuller, and Pearson developed solar cell energy, the effectivity range was within, or less than 1%. That’s how these windows are operating in their infancy.

 

They undergo a certain type of adhesive, which applies micro-thin layers of silicon cells to the windows, while still making them appear clear and bright. You get a small amount of tint to them with most models, roughly between 3%-5%. That energy is then sapped into the cells, and when all the cells fill up (which can happen fairly quickly), the energy moves to the base of the windows to bleed into thin lines that feed into the energy supply of the building. It’s as if you’re slowly sapping the sun for small bits of energy.

 

It’s Not Worth It… Yet

 This is definitely a breakthrough. Thousands of years ago, when glassmakers were crafting imperfect windows, they were just trying to keep the wind and the bugs out. Now, we have the power in our modern day and age to have our windows work for us. As of right now, though, it’s not really worth it. Not yet.

 

These solar windows end up running an extra $370.00 per window panel (on average, based on statistics gathered from the few startup companies that exist for this type of business model), and after enough time, those silicon cells that are essentially painted onto your windows will burn up. As about ten or twenty years stretch on, sun bleaching will strip the silicon cells of most of their usefulness, meaning that your energy absorption rate will diminish.

 

The tech is still there, and it shows great promise. Ten years from now, you could see solar-powered windows and windshields on cars aiding in extending the life of your battery, or windows that can charge your cell phone. The possibility is out there—it all depends on what we do with it.

 


 

 

The Original Cheers Bar in Boston: It’s Still Alive

Perhaps the most legendary bar in all of American history, though primarily due to the television show, Cheers in Boston is actually still operating today, and they may have the sitcom’s success in the early 80s to thank for it.

 

The show ran until 1993, which greatly boosted the bar’s popularity, but it’s more than a sexually-charged sitcom with a volley of jokes that has kept them alive and running. The bar still opens at 11:00 AM and closes at midnight, and it’s been running since 1895. They even have a second location, still located in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

So How Did This Bar Stay Open So Long?

 As with any business, you have to understand: it comes down to management. But there’s a lesson to be taken away from all of this. Boston is a prideful city. I’m originally from a Boston suburb, and spent most of my life there; I had the opportunity to go into cheers slowly after turning twenty-one, and it’s an experience. The employees are happy and loyal to the brand. It’s a phenomenon; even the patrons love being a part of one of the oldest bars in Boston. It’s a time-tested strain of factual evidence: you don’t stay open for 122 years (give or take the dry years,) providing the same exact services the whole way through, unless you have persistent, diehard brand loyalty.

 

Prohibition

 We know that bars were basically all shut down during the prohibition. But alas, speakeasies were born! While there’s nothing concrete, Cheers was one of the most revered pubs in all of Boston, and during prohibition, Papa Joe was known to smuggle booze into Boston. Where do you congregate to gather future campaign donators? What better way to a man’s liver than illicit alcohol? So, there’s nothing saying that Cheers was shelling out bottles during prohibition, but it didn’t transform into another business like many bars and pubs did during this period. I’ll let your imagination connect the pieces on this one.

 

How Is It Doing Today?

It’s 2017 at the time of writing this, and Cheers is doing better than ever. While most of the alcohol industry sees spikes in business when there are dips in the economy, Cheers has seen consistent clientele through everything. This would be the perfect time to be cheesy and insert the famous tagline for the Cheers sitcom, but by bringing it up, I’ve already put it in your head. You sang the theme in your head, didn’t you? (So did I.)

 

Visit the original Cheers.

 


 

 

Advice From Billionaires On How To Get Rich and Retain Your Wealth

Last time I checked, there were 503 billionaires in the world. That’s pretty insane, and it’s even crazier to think that most of these men and women built their own wealth. That’s right: rags to riches. It’s even plausible to recognize the fact that you could be number 504. Here’s some advice from the world’s leading financial wizards on what to do, and how to upkeep your empire.

 

  1. Larry Ellison

The man who revolutionized the CIA with innovative databases is possibly the most aggressive when it comes to acquisitions. He’s the founder of Oracle, one of the most-used software pieces to date, and believes that when you go for a big acquisition, you need to have the cash-on-hand.

 

“We use our money for a variety of things. We buy back stock, we pay dividends. We haven’t made any large acquisitions for a while. You know? We’re kind of saving our nickels and dimes. We might do something interesting, one of these days.” – Larry Ellison

 

  1. Michael Bloomberg

 Long before running for mayor of New York City, Bloomberg was already a thriving businessman. His investments in his own company, after leaving Salomon Brothers in 1972, proves to be one of the most well-used implementations of knowledge gained from your initial career venture.

 

“I’ve never met a Nobel Prize winner who didn’t think they had an awful lot more to learn and wasn’t studying every single day. So, when a parent says, ‘How much does my kid have to learn before they can stop studying?’ I don’t know how to break this to you, lady or sir: there is no answer to that.” – Michael Bloomberg

 

  1. Warren Buffet

 The most legendary investor of all-time—Warren Buffet has been the authority on money and putting your chickens in the right basket, and with a net worth rising by millions of dollars per day, how can you deny that? He loves what he does, and balances the raw corporate side of things with his own beliefs in what will or will not work.

 

“Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffet

 

  1. Mark Zuckerberg

In all of history, nobody has accumulated their own wealth as quickly and shaped the world as rapidly as Mark Zuckerberg. While Steve Jobs definitely competes, Mark made his billions before he could even spend a penny of it on alcohol, and continues to do so through his trademark design: “Think like a hacker.”

 

“In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

 

  1. Bill Gates

Did you really expect anything less? Bill Gates is living testament to both believing in what you do, and making a fortune doing it. Businessmen who head out into the world and only care about making money—as in not believing how they make it—are destined to fail. Bill Gates has focused on the innovative side of things.

 

“You know, development sometimes is viewed as a project in which you give people things and nothing much happens, which is perfectly valid, but if you just focus on that, then you’d also have to say that venture capital is pretty stupid, too. Its hit rate is pathetic. But occasionally, you get successes, you fund a Google or something…” – Bill Gates

 

Information for this article has been provided in part by Business Insider.

Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

In 2016, one of the grandest malt scotch whiskeys ever to grace the earth descended upon the masses. Aged in multiple casks and packaged like a dream, Laphroaig brings elegance and insane flavor to your scotch glass. This is one malt scotch whiskey you’ll want to season the edges of your glass for years to come.

Laphroaig comes in strong, goes down smooth, and leaves a sweet aftertaste on the back of your tongue. This bottle is worth every penny.

Get 5% off from here by typing 14RVICES at checkout

Not a fan of malts? Try Gentleman Jack instead.

 


 

 

A Man Can Cook For His Family

It’s about to become the second coming of the roaring twenties. Men can cook, plain and simple. I don’t know exactly what it was, but reaching back into history by the decades, it was something that men just didn’t do. Was it considered to be non-masculine? Were you made a mockery by your boys? It doesn’t matter now. Today, there’s nothing better than hearing your little one beg for dad to make the pancakes, because he’s the king of breakfast, or to have dad make his famous (stretching the word a bit here) American chop suey. So let’s get on with it, and throw a few recipes your way that your kids—and your wife—are going to love.

 

  1. Slow Cooked Beef Stew

 If you’re not keen on cooking, and you want to be, there’s one magical kitchen appliance that’s going to be your best friend at all times: the Crock-Pot. It was a big deal when women started working full-time, but the kicker was, they were still expected to make dinner. Voila! The slow-cooker took care of it all. Throw in ingredients, sufficient liquids, and you had a meal by the time you got home. They’re safe to leave on the counter all day, and they even come with a warmer setting so that when you serve, it stays hot without cooking any further. Paradise, right?

 

Some of us are stay-at-home dads, and that’s rockin’, but you have to own it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a hearty beef stew; it’s comfort food. (Sorry, vegetarians.) This is actually a personal recipe that our head writer uses to feed to his four picky sons, and they love it.

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb of stewing meat
  • 1.5lbs of red potatoes
  • 0.5lbs of yellow onions
  • 0.5lbs of carrots
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups of water
  • Onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon

 

Instructions

  1. Stewing meat is more expensive than buying a roast and cutting it yourself, but the pieces tend to cook more thoroughly, and at the same time. Toss your stewing meat into your Crock-Pot, keep it off. 
  1. Scrub your potatoes; most of the flavor comes from the skins. Dice them up to be about the same size as your stewing meat chunks. Carve your onions and carrots to be the same size. 
  1. Add all the fillings to the Crock-Pot, pour water over. At this time, add in ¼ tsp. of onion powder, and a dash of salt, papper, and a half-dash of cinnamon. (Not cinnamon sugar; two totally different things.) 
  1. Put on low heat for 8 hours; stir occasionally, 30 minutes before serving, add in your flour to thicken up the mixture. If necessary, add in more flour bit by bit until you get the desired consistency. ¼ a cup is usually all that’s needed. 
  1. Put on high for the last 30 minutes; flip it to warm, serve, and you’re done. For bonus points, make sure to have some biscuits coming out of the oven—they go great with beef stew.

 

 

  1. Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese

 This may sound like a copout meal, but this is a dish that even adults like. In my opinion, everybody likes a little bit of macaroni and cheese, but as we get older, that boxed junk doesn’t cut it anymore. Nothing beats homemade, real mac ‘n cheese. It’s easy to make; you’re only going to need to prep this about an hour beforehand, and it requires little-to-no maintenance.

 

Ingredients

  •  1lb of your preferred small pasta; shells, elbows, bowties, etc.
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tube of Ritz crackers

 

Instructions 

  1. Get your water boiling and cook up your pasta; this is only going to take five minutes, you only want to half-cook it, since we’re popping it into the oven shortly. 
  1. Pour your half-cooked macaroni into the 9X13 pan, and get another pot ready to make the cheese sauce. 
  1. Drop your half-stick of butter into the pan, and the second it’s melted, gently drop in your two cups of milk. Right after that, drop ion your two cups of cheddar cheese. Some recipes say to gently wean it in; nope, no time for that. 
  1. Keep stirring. Seriously, don’t stop. When you get the texture of a gooey cheese sauce, which takes about 5-6 minutes, you’re ready. Remove this from the heat, and keep on moving. 
  1. Pour your cheese sauce over the macaroni in the pan. Use your utensil to mix it all around, and get ready for the touchdown. Open a pack of Ritz crackers, put them into a Ziploc bag, and crush them up until they’re really small chunks. Sprinkle it over the top of the macaroni blend. Trust me on this one. 
  1. Pop this into the oven for 22-30 minutes on 350F, and when it’s done, you’re done. Serve and sit down, dad, you did good.

 

 

  1. Salmonsparagus

 Maybe not the most attractive title, but here’s one that you’ll know your wife will like. The others are comfort foods, but here’s where it gets sophisticated. Don’t worry; you can’t mess this one up.

 

Ingredients

  • 1lb of salmon (whatever’s cheapest; salmon tastes the same no matter what type)
  • ¾lb of fresh asparagus
  • 1/8 stick of butter
  • Salt, pepper
  • One whole lemon
  • Non-stick cooking spray

 

Instructions

 

  1. This one’s going to be real easy. You don’t have to skin the salmon or anything like that. Put it down on a piece of tinfoil that’s been coated with a generous amount of non-stick spray. 
  1. Pop it into the oven on 400F for 18 minutes (check to ensure the thickness of your salmon; adjust times accordingly) 
  1. You have a few minutes to get the asparagus right. Fortunately, it’s going into the oven, too. Cut the soft and browned ends off of your asparagus stocks. Melt your 1/8 stick of butter in a bowl in the microwave, and roll the asparagus in the butter. Apply a few pinches of salt and pepper, and pop them onto a cookie sheet. 
  1. When your salmon has 12 minutes left, put the asparagus in the oven on another rack, and set a timer. 
  1. You can literally plate these up now. Cut the salmon in half, pop both pieces on the respective plates (be careful when getting it off of the tinfoil; fish oils make the pan a pain to clean if they leaked onto it, as a heads-up) and place your asparagus next to them. Classy, and she won’t complain about carbs because we didn’t bring any to the table.

 

It Really Is That Easy

 Three simple recipes to get you going. A crowd pleaser, a kid-friendly dish, and a date night dish. You’re ready to rock and roll as dad and husband of the year. Don’t worry; FR’s your secret weapon, and we’ll keep the ammunition coming.

 


 

Effectively Working From Home With Children: How It’s Done

There’s somewhat of a personal memoir in here, so be prepared, FR reader. When I started working from home in May of 2017, there was a great deal of confusion. How do I do this right? What’s the perfect workday? Realizing that you’ll have to treat your at-home business like a nine-to-five, well, it sucks. You try working only at night to appease the children, but then you either nod off at the desk, or your quality slips in a matter of a couple days. It’s not easy, and it’s taxing. This is what I did (keep in mind, I have four children, ages five and under), to get the gears moving, and reel in the income.

 

Don’t Expect a Miracle

 I had to learn this early on. I still have four or more years until the youngest one is going to stop throwing stuffed animals at me and trying to flip over my desk (it’s adorable when he thinks he can do it, though). Even in what I would now consider perfect conditions for working from home, not everything is what it should be. Don’t expect the world from a band of children; stop and play with them, head out for doughnuts or ice cream—enjoy the perks of working from home, and the flow will be a lot more relaxed.

 

Don’t Get Aggravated

 This is practically impossible, right? Wrong. I’m not saying it’s simple, but when you follow the step above, everything gets a little bit easier. You’ll be able to get your work done, but seriously—enjoy the perk of being home with your kids. Most parents would kill for that opportunity. You know, those of us who actually wanted to be parents and enjoy being around our children. Enjoy them, but now we get into the difficult part: getting work done.

 

Pen to Paper

 Now it comes time to actually get everything done. If you’re working from home, chances are, your wife was also staying home with the kids. Long workweeks, like eighty hours outside of the house, plus commuting, don’t just put a strain on your fatherhood—it puts pressure on your marriage. You’ll be able to enjoy these perks with your wife, too, but establish a line in the sand.

 

Ensure that she is still carrying on as if you weren’t home. It’s convenient in an emergency, or to step away when it’s stressful and return later—not everyone can do that, and it’s the best upkeep to your morale and performance. Set hours to keep the office door closed, and keep a clickable timesheet program. I personally use Tsheets; between their versatility to their Chrome plugin, and Apple/Android devices, you’ll be able to use it on the go and in a pinch. Forgot to clock out? Just tap on it. I use their premium service but to each their own. The point is, you need something that’s going to work for you. Treat it like a day job, enjoy the perks when you can, and enjoy your family.

 


 

 

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select

That’s right—Frank Sinatra was a fan of Jack Daniels whiskey. In honor of a lifelong friendship, Jack Daniels went ahead and made this in honor of Sinatra. You can pop on a timeless Sinatra vinyl and sip the night away to the same smooth whiskey Frank enjoyed back in the day.

 

This is a customized version of No. 7, aged in specific barrels that give more exposure to the wood, and brought to perfection. It goes down smooth, stays light on your palate, and packs all the boldness that we know Jack Daniels for.

 

Raise a glass for the smoothest voice in history.

Keep The Family Budget In the Black Through the Rough Time

Everybody goes through spiels of financial hardship. Maybe it’s because we were spending too much on playthings and stuff we wanted, or perhaps it’s been a demotion or an industry switch. Whatever the case may be, it’s your job to maintain the family savings plan, and keep your head above water until you find the perfect raft to sail on through the calmer waters.

 

Cut The Junk

The biggest thing to do is look at your debit and credit card expenses. If you pay cash for stuff, stop doing that. Everywhere in the world manages debit and credit cards now, and it’s easier to see what you spent, penny for penny when you can look at your online rap sheet. If you went unhinged for a week and reviewing your spending on a Sunday morning, you’d cringe at yourself. It’s a habit we all get into because we all want a higher quality of life whether that’s more alcohol in the house each week, taking the family out to eat, or what have you. Keep the lights on, the roof above your head, and food in your stomachs. Cut out all the junk. Right now.

 

Managing Your Grocery Bill

If you’re not keen on maintaining a low grocery budget, you’re about to learn what a grocery haul is. Head over to YouTube, spend an hour or two looking up short grocery haul videos, and sit back in shock and awe. It’s like TLC’s Extreme Couponers, except it’s not garbage. It’s real mothers and fathers, sometimes with a boatload of kids, living on the fly without breaking the bank. It can be done, it just takes some practice. One good thing to remember is to never buy unnecessary foods; when it’s rough, buy what you know you’re going to eat for the week, and stick to it. No snacking, no second helpings at lunch.

 

Start Saving Again

 When the job is great and the expenses seem low, we’re all loose on our savings plan. But that’s when we stumble, fall, and getting back up again can be difficult as all holy hell. If you look back at that list of debit and credit card spendings, I want you to count every individual purchase that made you cringe, or think, I really didn’t need that. That’s the money you could have been saving every single week. Even if that only amounts to $25.00 per week, guess what? That’s $1,300.00 per year. It’s an extra mortgage payment or two, it’s a new bike for the seven-year-old. It’s money you blew.

 

Tough Love

 If you’ve felt a tiny bit of FR’s notorious positive vibe fleeting on this read, well, you’re not wrong. It’s a serious matter, and when it comes to your family, there’s nobody that cares more than the crew at Fourteen Robots—we’re all dads. We all have kids, and we know how tough it can be. Learn from some wisdom, from some falls, and dust yourself off. You’re not out of the race. Not by a longshot.

 


 

Business Cards Are More Important Than Your Logo

We all know a logo when we see one, and immediately associate it with its proper brand name without thinking about it. It’s like seeing the golden arches; you just know, right? However, your logo isn’t going to mean jack in a world where we’re slapped in the face with media and advertisements every day, especially when we’re subjecting ourselves to more phone and screen time. It gets overwhelming and lost in the static. There is one way you can get your name, business, and your services or products across with a stern message—business cards.

 

What’s Next, Sherlock?

 Now then, don’t lose faith. We all know the importance of business cards, but you’d be surprised to find out how much of an impact they actually make. You can pay for a billboard, and expect to reach every driver on I-93. However, that’s unlikely. You’re putting yourself on a stage of 20,000 people, let’s say, hoping that every single one of them is going to use your service, call, or click on your website. The point is, they’re not.

 

Now, if you can somehow personally put 20,000 business cards into the hands of possible clients or customers, then I applaud you. If you don’t have the time, you know what I say? You’re a businessman: you know that you couldn’t possibly achieve that. Your time is valuable. But I can guarantee you this: you didn’t get to where you are without making some sales, and making some connections. 1 out of every 100 times (and even that’s a stretch), your billboard conversions are going to be leads. When you feel someone out, and you hand them your business card, what do you think the odds are going to be? I’m going to bet that it’s at least half, and that’s low-balling.

 

The Power of Paper

A business card that you designed on Vistaprint vs. your professionally-designed billboard: I’ll bet the billboard will win that round. It’s not just about having it on paper, it’s about the thickness of the paper, it’s about the gloss or matte finish, and most importantly, it’s about the design. If they can’t clearly read who you are, what your business is, or even so much as a damn phone number, then I bid you a fond farewell from the business world.

 

Getting your name and company on paper is invaluable, but doing it right is even more of a hassle. That is, unless you know a professional, and toss an extra chip down on your ante. Paying for a cheap design and using an automated service has become the norm, but even then, you cross your fingers and say a Hail Mary when you’re waiting on your cards in the mail. That is unless you go with a graphic designer who also handles print. Our publisher? Yeah. He does that, too.

 

One piece of advice I would share with anyone creating a business card with a professional designer is this: Trust your designer to design the best possible business card for your venture. Paper and business go together. Choosing your material for your business representation is just as important as your services or products you provide.

Prime design and power that packs a punch. I’d take 100 connections through natural means over an expensive, 20,000 viewer-guaranteed billboard any day.

 


 

 

What Your Bar Cabinet Is Missing

If you don’t have a designated liquor cabinet, you should get on that. It’s not just a great place to reach into for a great night, it’s a centerpiece in your home that’s going to supply many good times—and bad times—throughout the ages to come. What do you do when you celebrate a life-changing event? You down a shot. When you mourn a loss? You down a shot. You can see how these play into each other. Alcohol is almost ceremonious; it’s the first drink your kid has on their 21st birthday (hopefully it’s their first). It’s the cabinet that turns Thanksgiving into a long night of lengthy anecdotes. Here’s what’s missing from it:

 

  1. Engraved Shot Glasses

 It’s all about celebration, so why not make the most out of your minute? Without spending all too much, you can either get it as a gift for dad or grandpa or get a few for your own. There’s nothing like the trophy shot glass that you only use for really special occasions.

 

  1. Travel Flask

 If it’s missing, then we know that someone went out to the ballgame. This is a flask with a collapsible shot glass that folds right into it. Pour one for the home team when they make your day; I’d drink to that, wouldn’t you?

 

  1. Italian Decanter and Whiskey Glass Set

Most of our bar cabinets are going to have a hodgepodge of different glasses settled all amongst it, but that’s what gives it character. Depending on what the occasion calls for, pouring a round into the same glasses, from the same decanter, just feels right. It also looks excellent on the shelf when not in use.

 

  1. Ice Sphere Crafter

This is how scotch was intended to be savored, with a great big ball of solid ice in the center. When you’re not using this silicone ice tray, it’s something that you can angle appropriately in your bar cabinet to showcase that you’re ready for any night of drinking, no matter what it calls for.

 

  1. A Glass Ashtray

 Sounds simple, right? Nothing goes together better than smoking and drinking. If you’re reaching for your friend Jack and his buddy Morgan, you’re probably not having the best day. Don’t flick ashes on the carpet or scorch up the dining room table; if you shop right, you can find one that’s elegant enough to look like a real talking piece, even for non-smokers.