After several years of dormancy, I dusted off my old copy of ScrapeBox today. I was trying to relearn it and realized that I forgot all about the cool custom footprints I used to come up with and how it helped me dig deep to scrape some of those...read more
I’m excited to announce our newest BPO service offering, Architectural Outsourcing from the Philippines! One of my first jobs was working as a labor hand on a framing crew in North Carolina, building houses for $4.25 per hour back in 1995 (damn I sound like my grandpa). I hadn’t quite turned 16 years old yet so for my first few months, I was paid under the table. The days were long and the work was tough. As the lowest man on the totem pole, I mostly carried lumber, built corners, Ts, headers and nailed down plywood. I had to do all the hardest and crappiest jobs on the site but I did it with enthusiasm, in hopes of learning the trade. Every chance I got, I asked how to use a speed-square, how to cut risers for stairs or read blueprints. Three years later, I had become one of the top guys on the crew and I decided to take up night classes at Cape Fear Community College doing Drafting and AutoCAD as I wanted to become an architect or engineer.
I ended up dropping out as my life-path took me in a different direction. I ended up running my own companies, becoming a real estate agent and then traveling the world doing business consulting and BPO services under my Filipino corporation ClarkOutsourcing.com. 20 years later, I have been given the opportunity to marry my old passion of architecture to my current business of international outsourcing.
Outsourcing architectural services is nothing new, many large firms have had remote teams of designers, engineers and AutoCAD operators for over a decade now. Having remote staff to handle these tasks enables firms to scale up or down as their projects demand. This has provided great cost savings, scalability and flexibility. I knew there was a great demand for this industry but I had no way to break into the market. That is until I met Terrence Hannam through a mutual friend in the Philippines. Terrence has been working in the industry for over 35 years with very successful projects in New Zealand, Australia and most notably, in the beautiful archipelago islands of Vanuatu.
Having been in the BPO industry for over 14 years, with a well establish company and a state-of-the-art outsourcing facility in the Philippines, it seemed like a no-brainer to team up with Terrence to offer these new services. While, we are still very new to offering these services remotely and still have a lot to learn, we have already started work on our first project and have brought on 3 highly skilled AutoCAD operators working for an architecture firm in America. Some of the bugs and challenges of offering these services are project management, providing communications that allow for efficient collaboration and the transferring and hosting of the data on the cloud.
We are tackling these challenges with grace because we are very excited at the prospect of expanding our team and offerings in this field. Our goals are to increase our business development efforts in 2018 and building out new space for this department while continuing to slowly growing our team. These efforts include trips to Australia, New Zealand and America to meet with potential clients, continued recruiting and head hunting of the best architectural staff the Philippines has to offer as well as expanding our facility with a new creative floor plan that allows for collaboration as well as stimulates innovation and design. Please check out our new website ArchitectOutsourcing.com and check back with us from time to time so you can see our rapid development into this exciting new space!
I’ve been a long-time fan of the MegaBoom Bluetooth speakers from Logitech Ultimate Ears (the gray speaker on the right in the picture). I have the travel bug and therefore, have brought it though dozens of countries and always enjoyed that I could bring such a powerful speaker in such a small package. I can easily fit not one but two of them in my backpack and have a party ready to unpack at the perfect time in some random village in the Himalayan mountains or a picturesque beach on a small island in the Philippines.
Small, low quality Bluetooth speakers are horrible and make the most annoying noises. So much in fact that I’d rather just sit in silence than to have my ears raped with such poor sound quality. That being said, the MegaBoom really delivers quality sounds that could fill a large room or even your own little section of the open beach.
They have the best battery life (15 to 20 hours) and the clearest and largest sound of any speaker anywhere near it’s size and weight. Even though I paid $300 each, I’ve never had one ounce of buyer’s remorse and now 4 years later, through thick and thin at boat parties, pool parties, BBQs, camping, RVing, backpacking, kayaking, dropped on the ground, underwater, tumbled down the side of a mountain and and halfway around the world, I’ve even grown more fond and appreciative of my purchase over the years.
Ok, enough sucking up to UE because this time, they really let me down on the new MegaBlast. Its heavier, just a little bit bigger, has sharp edges that don’t pack as well but the biggest beef I have is that it only works in the US, UK and Germany because many of the features and controls for the speaker are only available through Alexa. This disables about 90% of the speaker’s features!
Even worse, they seem to have done away with the tap gestures to skip to the next track, play/pause, battery life checker and more which, disables it even further. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it won’t pair up with other UE speakers like the WonderBoom, Roll 2, Boom and MegaBoom can.
Needless to say, I am not happy with my purchase but I hope corrections will fix these issues in the next update and I hope that doesn’t take several months.
I’ve been doing Jujitsu off and on for about 4 years now but only started doing yoga about 9 months ago and I can honestly say it has had a profound impact on my jits practice and performance. I do yoga almost everyday now and I can’t imagine how I ever made it this far without it.
Here’s how Yoga has improved my Jiu-Jitsu practice…
1. Spinal health- Jujitsu is hard on the spine. Thrashing around, trying to rip each other’s limbs off and choking each other out can destroy the spine but yoga seems to safely and comfortably put my vertebra back in line while strengthening, massaging and smoothing out the supporting muscles and tendons. More importantly, yoga actually lubricates and replenishes the discs and can even help to rebuild damaged or deteriorated discs. I used to have the worst back problems, muscle spasms, knots and even pinched nerves that would completely decapacitate me for days. Yoga has also been helping to restore the natural curves of my spine as well as pelvic tilt which, both of these problems left untreated, can lead to chronic disabilities.
2. Core strength- Jits requires serious core strength, from sprawling to bridging to shrimping and other tactical ground movements, your core will be fired up and I have found no better way to condition the core muscles for jiu-jitsu than yoga.
3. Stabilizers- Many body builders and athletes from various disciplines are shocked to find out how physically taxing yoga is for them despite being strong, fit and well conditioned. They sometimes think just because they are good at lifting weights or football or Muay Thai they will be able to keep up with your average yogi but the problem is, they are not well rounded enough and usually their stabilizers are not prepared to handle the strain. Sometimes certain muscles can become disproportionately stronger than their surrounding counterparts like stabilizing muscles, tendons and ligaments; And this is where most sports injuries occur.
4. Balance- Good balance and a strong base will give you a superb advantage on the mats. Usually, when a struggle ensues between two fighters, the one with the better balance is going to end up exerting less energy and end up in a more dominant position.
5. Mobility- Having a good reach, flexibility and increased mobility while grappling is key. Not only can you pull off more attacks that may be hard to obtain or hard to reach from certain positions but you can also defend better and have a much higher tolerance to withstand and fight off submission attempts.
6. Breathing- The higher belts will tell you that the way you breathe during a fight can determine your fate. You must be able to regulate your breath during explosive moves but more importantly, when in a compromising position where you’re gassing out but you’re also being crushed and you can’t breathe well. If you can learn diaphragmatic breathing through challenging yoga flows, you’ll reap the benefits in your jujitsu as well.
7. Mitigate injuries- After becoming proficient in yoga, you move and exert your body differently and in more ergonomic ways. Knowing the healthy range as well as the strengths and weaknesses of shoulders, hips, knees and other joints will help you naturally prevent contorting your body in ways that could lead to injury. Having a a stronger foundation of core and stabilizing muscles along with the increased flexibility also helps to prevent injuries.
8. Rehabilitation- Yoga doesn’t make you invincible or bulletproof so you’re still bound to get injured at least once on your path from white to black belt. And when this happens you can bet that yoga will be the best way to rehabilitate and recover from your injuries. So far, I have been able to strengthen a partially torn MCL and ACL in my knee, repair rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, straighten out my crooked fingers and much more. I refused knee surgery after having 3 different doctors tell me its the only way I’ll be able to train again. I’m really starting to think Yoga can cure anything!
Thanks for reading, OSS and Namaste!
I’m very happy to announce my newest business venture, Gaano.com. After years of being frustrated with the local rental companies and paying exorbitant prices, Russell Meiselman and myself, decided to partner up to open a new rental company located inside the Clark Freeport Zone of Angeles City, Philippines!
According to the Angels City Department of Tourism, foreign tourist arrivals are up 17% in 2016 to reach 2.56 million tourist per year. That being said, there’s only a few, poorly managed car rental companies in the area and they are usually fully booked and often charge unreasonable prices for sub-par vehicles.
What Make us Different?
When starting a new company, you must always ask yourself what sets you apart from the competition. The answer is simple… Better wheels, better price and better customer service.
Better Wheels- We invested heavily in brand new cars fresh off the lot. We started with 2 new Kia Picanto compact cars, 1 new Hyundai Eon compact, 1 new Ford Ecosport and 1 slightly used E-350 Ford passenger van. We have plans to add 1 brand new car to the fleet every two months and we will choose which class of vehicle to buy based on our customer’s demand.
In addition to the cars, we also have a nice fleet of motorcycles that include a Suzuki GSXR-1000, Suzuki TL-1000, Husqvarna TR-650, KTM SRM-450, Yamaha WR-250f, two Yamaha Mio scooters and more.
Better Price- We’re about 30% to 50% cheaper than anyone in town! While the competition charges from 1,200php to 2,000php for a used beat up houptie, our rates start off at 990php for a fresh brand new ride. Big bikes can go for as much as 1,800php per day for a (Thailand built) 650cc Ninja, while we rent our 1000cc Suzuki or Husqvarna (authentic imports) for only 990php.
Better Service- We go above and beyond the competition in the customer service department. Not only do we offer free pickup and delivery anywhere in Angeles City or Clark but more importantly, we do so with a smile. When you go to one of the other car rental companies in town, they act like you are bothering them by using their services and wouldn’t dare smile or go out of their way to make sure you have a friendly experience. Here at Gaano we are always friendly and strive to make the customer feel welcome, important and well attended to and the best part is we do it with a pleasant attitude and big ol’ smile!
What’s the Next for us?
Once we have a solid base of clientele, we want to expand to offer various Gaano Adventure Tours like helicopters, sailboats, Jetskis, off-road 4x4s, limousines and maybe even an RV or two. Gaano is a tourist and travel based company so we want to cater to the industry and make sure our customers get the most out of their visit to the Philippines!
I hate to start this article with such a provocative title but it seemed like the best way to summarize my thesis in the simplest of terms while, getting your attention. Now if you’re finished being offended, please allow me to explain.
Growing up in politically correct America, I was told the reason people in 3rd world countries were so poor is because Westerners (The White Man) exploited and oppressed them while stealing what little resources they had. I’ve spent over a decade traveling to dozens of underdeveloped countries, engaging in charity, learning about their cultures and in some cases, even speaking their languages and I have found absolutely no truth to this dogma.
It took years of traveling with an open heart and an open mind to look past the cultural Marxist indoctrination that the West was responsible for all the suffering in the world and realize the truth about the situation. 3rd world countries are 3rd world not because of the West but under their own accord. They’ve been that way for hundreds (in some cases, thousands) of years before any Westerner ever showed up and as far as I can tell, it could take hundreds of years more before they catch up.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some great friends in underdeveloped countries who are extremely kindhearted and very intelligent but they are a minority and herein lies the problem.”
In all my travels, I have noticed the same patterns regardless of race, religion or geography. In every impoverished country I’ve been to, I have found these same two main causes. Although I listed them in my title, I will lay them out once more in a more diplomatic manner…
Catalyst # 1. Culture
From my experience, the overwhelming majority of people in 3rd world countries lie, cheat, steal and treat each other so bad to the extent that it stifles everything, everywhere in every day life, all the way from public and business interactions to domestic relations between friends and family and of course the biggest perpetrator of them all, the government.
Even after spending over a decade in 3rd world countries, I still find myself appalled almost daily with the occurrences of barbarity and great disregard to fellow human beings not to mention, animals and the environment. Integrity, honesty, empathy, common courtesy, individual rights and even altruism are all very critical to build a society where the people can prosper and flourish but those characteristics are just not common in the 3rd world.
How to Fix it
The solution is cultivation of a healthy society through advocacy. This must be taught starting at home at a very young age and then reinforced throughout everyday society on all levels and it must be backed by a fair justice system. Unfortunately, the changes are gradual and can require several generations to really take hold.
Thousands of years of Western history is riddled with periods of turbulent times followed by reformations and revolutions where these lessons were learned, deteriorated, reinforced again and then finally became fully ingrained in every aspect of our culture all the way from kids fairy tales, to basic Western morals, to forms of laws and governments. Its all around us and some even say Western brains are now hardwired with it already built in from generations of selective breeding.
Catalyst # 2. Intelligence or IQ
Not to be mistaken with education, intelligence is almost entirely hereditary but many claim that it can be improved by good nutrition and early childhood development. That being said, if you have a 70 IQ score (which is below what we consider mentally disabled in the West) not even the best diet, child rearing nor even the fanciest private school in the world is going to get you anywhere near the Western average of around 107. Rancid inbreeding which is common in the 3rd world, doesn’t help this situation either.
Before the industrial age, usually only the smartest and wealthiest people out bred the poor and stupid. Even then, people used to have 10 or more children in hopes that just a few of them would survive to adult age. Now people with the lowest IQs are out breeding the smart 10 to 1 and due to modern technology, all 10 survive to adult age. To make matters even worse, many higher IQ individuals escape their impoverished countries which creates brain-drain while many of the other smart people left behind choose not to reproduce at all.
This was much easier for the West in the past because the West cultivated it’s peoples at a time before modern technology and at a time when social Darwinism was not taboo but perfectly normal. This created an environment of selective breeding and survival of the fittest in which, the fittest were the smartest, most well behaved and most productive. War and famine also played a role in thinning out the population from the bottom up leaving only the cream on the top.
How to Fix it
The IQ of a country can be gradually increased from one generation to the next through selective breeding, good nutrition and stimulating child rearing. The solution is simple; Cut support and make it socially unacceptable.
Most people agree that its inhumane to limit breeding rights as is done in China and its especially inhumane to force sterilization on people who don’t have the means to support their own offspring. That being said, it isn’t a human rights violation to NOT support them and encourage and enable their rampant breeding, nor does it make you a bad person. I actually argue the contrary, that you are indeed a bad person if you knowingly provide support enabling neglectful and delinquent child rearing. Especially, if the motives are to raise charity money, for cheap labor, votes or tax revenues as is the case with most international aid and welfare.
In addition to cutting this enabling support, the society as a whole must discourage and stigmatize people who are too lazy or stupid to support their offspring from having children in the first place. If you can’t afford kids, don’t have any, that simple and if you do, expect to fall on hard times and become an outcast in society!
Do you Agree?
Whether you agree with my statements or not, I can assure you that many people living in the 3rd world are well aware of these problems and strongly agree. That being said, they feel powerless to do anything about it and end up accepting it and even help to perpetuate it.
Will the West Follow?
The West is now in decline for similar reasons. The welfare state, ultra-liberalism and in the influx of hundreds of millions of migrants from 3rd world countries seems to be having a regressive impact on Western culture. I’ll address each separately.
First, the welfare state allows and even encourages the poorest and most unintelligent people to breed at much higher rates than the rest of the population. While in an impoverished neighborhood in America, I once overheard a young teenage girl who was griping about her mom say, “I can’t wait until I have a baby so I get my own welfare check and then she can’t tell me what to do anymore.”
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Next, ultra-liberalism prevents the truth about our situation to come out and punishes and censors people like me for talking about it openly and honestly. I know the liberals mean well but as they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And as I have outlined here, their polices are often hurting more than they are helping.
Lastly, immigration. If a country takes so many immigrants from 3rd world countries at a rate so fast that the local population cannot absorb and at a rate that makes the local population a minority, then you can expect that country to decline and become more 3rd world as well.
There’s over 7 billion people in the world and an estimated 5.7 billion live in utter poverty. If we continue to allow political correctness to blind us from truth, we are doomed. We can’t change the past nor the present but if we confront the problems that got us here today, we can build a better future for tomorrow.
I started building websites and doing SEO in 2007, working out of my home office at a time when working from home and hiring freelancers was common in the industry. Since then, my work has brought me all over the world and even spawned two other companies. A lead generation firm, The Lead Tree, LLC and a full service BPO company in the Philippines called Clark Outsourcing International Inc.
Now that a decade has past, I can easily say one of the things that held me back the most and caused me the most grief, was working with freelancers. I’m convinced that I could have achieved more in less time had I stayed away from the freelancer sites and just hired dedicated staff instead. This is why I am happy to announce our new White Label Digital Media Services from Clark Outsourcing!
Trying to build a digital media company is hard enough but even harder when you have to rely on freelancers and remote staff to achieve stability. I have seen well established agencies fall apart because of the liability caused by not having full-time employees under one roof. Project management, time tracking, collaborating and handling secure information becomes exponentially more difficult when relying on freelancers.
Furthermore, finding good programmers started feeling like I was picking from the bottom of the barrel. Even when I was able to find the occasional rock star, they had inherent problems like quirky personality traits, reliability problems, didn’t work well with others and of course integrity. It started making me think that all the good programmers must have already been hired to work full-time with other companies.
In 2012, I promised myself I would get off the freelancer roller coaster and I started building my own in-house team while using a fulfillment center overseas. Hindsight is always 20/20 and now it makes perfect sense. Career minded, responsible coders will sacrifice the freedoms of freelancing in exchange for full-time employment with full benefits like paid holidays, health care, team outings, withholding taxes and social security. They also perform much better and feel better working in a proper office environment.
If you own a digital media agency and you are still using freelancers, it might be time to give us a try. At Clark Outsourcing, you can pay per hour, per project or we can even assign dedicated coders and SEM agents to work exclusively on your projects. And the best part is, we can still offer the same competitive pricing that you will find on freelancer sites without all the hassle and instability.
You can get started small by giving us just a few hours of work to see what a difference an in-house team makes over your freelancers!
Check here for White Label Web Dev Services
Check here for White Label SEM Services
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