What $150.69 will get you at Starbucks

It seemed like an unsuspecting morning at the Starbucks at my office. I was greeted in the early morning by our regular barista, Val. We exchanged a little bit if chit chat and then I asked her the question. No, not “the” question, just a question if she was willing to help me out with an experiment; a view into human reaction and interaction. Thankfully, she said yes.

History

So that brings me to this experiment I’m dubbing “Starbucks Pay It Forward” or SPIF (not to be confused with a sales promotion incentive fund). Let me begin with a little history. About three years ago I was going through the drive through at a Kelowna Starbucks location. When it was my turn to pay, the barista smiled and said it had already been taken care of. I was beside myself. Who would do such a thing? And then, almost like it smacked me in the head, I turned back to her and said I would pay for the person behind me in line. I have no clue if the person behind me paid for the next person or not and honestly I don’t care. Every now and then it’s simply nice to get something for nothing. And today, on February 2, 2011 just happened to be one of those days.

Around 8:00 I walked up to the counter and handed over a pre-paid Starbucks Card – registered of course to ensure I get the extra benefits – and took a seat nearby to watch the reactions and activity unfold. The entire staff already knew what was going on. Apparently Val had explained it in advance to ensure it was as smooth a process as possible.

Reactions

“people were shocked so much they didn’t even say thank you”

In the first few minutes I managed to catch a few reactions. Most people, had none, but some appeared to be shocked. I couldn’t sit around forever, so headed back up to my desk to get to work. About 45 minutes later I logged in to my Starbucks account to view the balance of the card – and it was $0.

I headed back downstairs to claim the empty card and some reactions. Apparently it didn’t even take 20 minutes to use up the entire card balance. Speaking with Adrian, the guy who essentially manages the location, he said it went quick and that most people were surprised. “A lot of people were shocked so much they didn’t even say thank you,” he told me. “But everyone seemed grateful.”

Insight

The interesting thing is that I can easily estimate the crazy amount of revenue this Starbucks location does. As the amount on the card was $150.69 – the $0.69 was left over from previous transactions. Based on the fact it took 20 minutes to rip through the funds and the location is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm I would conservatively estimate they do $4000 in revenue a day ($1M based on 250 days a year). I had to reduce it a little because it was clearly a peak time for coffee goers.

Conclusions

Most people are grateful when they get something for nothing, but overall just don’t know how to show it. Remember sometimes that a “thank you” can go a long way to the person on the other side of the counter. These people are serving us, the consumer and more often than not, help to add a certain level of pleasure to your day. Be nice to them.

I did this experiment without the need or hope of recognition, I honestly did. If you happened to receive one of these free drinks, there’s no need to thank me or anyone else – I simply hope you enjoyed it. The SPIF was an experiment in social behaviors that I felt like doing funded by my Calgary Web Design & Marketing company. If you feel like thanking me, check out my stuff and like the Facebook Group for it.

With or without money you can have a positive effect on others around you. Even as simple as holding open a door. Be sure to recognize those who help you or give you a hand, even with a simple thank you. Now I’m curious to know, how will you pay it forward today?

Thanks to Carla from Carla’s Funky Art for the awesome Starbucks picture.

1 Comment | Filed under Life

The @ShoeMoney System & me

I’ve been meaning to write this review and insight of the ShoeMoney System for quite some time, but have felt as though I’ve been too busy to actually put any thought into a quality post. Something I’m trying to do more of. Quality over quantity (which goes somewhat against my 2010 goals). There’s no doubt that you’re probably wondering “what is the ShoeMoney System” and more importantly, why do I care.

Let me backup a little bit and give you some history. Just over a year ago I joined Twitter and began adding friends and just getting lost in various users through other peoples tweets. I stumbled across this guy who went by the name “ShoeMoney” and was intrigued. I read his bio (always something good to have if you want Twitter followers), and clicked through to his website. Well it was at this point in seeing his Google Adsense check for $132,994.97 that I realized I’d seen this bum guy before when doing some research. I started reading his blog and found out a little bit more about him. I got so lost and mezmerized that I almost forgot to follow @ShoeMoney on Twitter.

It all made sense on the “ShoeMoney” name. Jeremy Shoemaker, who coincidentally doesn’t make shoes, was a money making machine. Jeremy Schoemaker (the correct spelling of his last name) and I had several conversations on Twitter about a few things here and there. If he only knew how excited I was that an “online celebrity” was tweeting with me in conversation (kind of like what just happened with Lisa Barone & Rae Hoffman).

Well I’ve followed him ever since and in November of 2009 had the privilege to meet him and have a quick chat at DK‘s Purpose Inc. poker tournament at PubCon Las Vegas. (I really actually need to thank my friends Lyndsay Walker & Lyndon Reid for making that trip happen). It was a quick, but friendly chat. Shoe, as his friends apparently refer to him (not sure I can get away with it—yet), was friendly and approachable. I’m glad that my gut instinct was right through only some select tweets.

Fast forward to a few months ago and Jeremy was getting ready to launch the ShoeMoney System. The teaser videos were awesome and because I had the chance to chat with Jeremy in person, I knew that any content he would produce would be first rate. I was hooked. I watched the previews, signed up on the mailing list, joined a webinar and even signed up as an affiliate to promote the ShoeMoney System. YES, I was sure it was going to be that good. The price came down and calculating it with incentives and bonus gifts, Jeremy was actually going to be paying me to take the ShoeMoney System. Only 500 students were going to be accepted so I was going to act fast. Alas I had to cough up some cash up front, which makes perfect sense, but I wasn’t in a position to do so. It’s not that expensive—just $197USD a month for twelve months. That’s a screaming deal…but I just wasn’t there.

A couple of weeks ago some clients of SPRY had finally paid up their account and to my surprise the unthinkable happened. The ShoeMoney System was re-opened to new students. NOW was my chance to get in on the content the ShoeMoney System could offer. I didn’t hesitate and signed up right away. There was no chance the system was going to fill up and close without me being in it for a second time.

It was one week ago today that I got on board. I blew through the first couple of videos as I’d seen one as the teaser and the other was fairly high-level. I was eager to get more videos and they seemed quite slow. That is until now that I realized it’s only been one week and I’ve had an extra two. The pace seems good with a “real job” going on, family life, travel, etc. I’ve got a bunch of experience in the web design/development area and have briefly touched on some affiliate marketing concepts (yes, the site is about winning blackjack strategies) and even a bit of SEO (again, thanks Lyndsay). I eagerly await a new video and email from the ShoeMoney System every day so that I can work towards my goal to generate $80,000 online by September 15.

I’ll be keeping you posted with my progress and any information that I feel like sharing. I know that with Shoemoney and his team creating and testing the content, that there’s no better course out there for a beginner or advanced user or anywhere in between. My recommendation to you is to figure it out, get the cash and just enroll in the ShoeMoney System TODAY! Tomorrow, you can thank me for it.

No Comments | Filed under Affiliate Marketing

Implementing multi-domains with #WordPress

I’m busy working on an idea, and it keeps growing and evolving each day. I’ll essentially be creating a portal of information, for lack of a better term. For this example lets go with running only 2 TLD domains. Something along the lines of region.com & city.com should work. These are not my domains, but illustrate the example I’m going after.

When the visitor goes to region.com they will be presented with a landing page that has information for that particular region. I live in the province of Alberta, so let’s use that as a reference point. Some of the information will be aggregated information from the city.com category. I live in Calgary, so think of it that way. Now I do say category because I’m that this will all be one WordPress install, with multiple domains. The URL structure would be region.com/city/another_category/article.html on the main site. ( alberta.com/calgary/events/event-1.html) What I want to do is have someone that goes to city.com be directed to the /city/another_category/article.html portion, however the resulting URL would appear as city.com/another_category/article.html (calgary.com/events/event-1.html)- as it’s own domain.

I’ve explored WordPressMU and I’m not completely sold on it as the solution. I know that it can do domain forwarding with it’s sub-domain settings, but I still don’t believe it will populate correctly.

The other option would be to still have region.com with links to categories, but it would then link off to city.com, city2.com, city3.com, etc as needed.

The other issue is that each city might not have a domain. So city2 (let’s use Airdrie) might not have a domain. Without airdrie.com it would then be alberta.com/airdrie/events/event-1.html but if they decided to get a domain at some point, I’d want to be able to utilize that. I was initially thinking of simple domain forwarding (i.e. calgary.com would just resolve to alberta.com/calgary/) but don’t really feel that’s the best solution for branding and definitely SEO.

Thoughts on this? Am I clear? Am I off my rocker on what I’m trying to do? Does this make any sense at all? Oh, and of course I need a solution basically yesterday. Thanks in advance for your input.

Edit: I just came across Examiner and it’s similar to what I’m looking to do…but NOT what I’m doing, so I still need a solution.

1 Comment | Filed under wordpress

My 2010 goals

As I have mentioned many times, including just the other day, I need to write some goals. Some personal goals for me to focus on and for you to police me on. I’ve determined that goal setting works for me when I’m passionate about it and when I have something to prove…usually to those who don’t think I can. It didn’t take me long to write out my goals. In fact I wrote them down on January 15 in about 10 minutes but I’ve been sick, so haven’t had a chance to post them. But today I’m feeling better. At least good enough to sit down in front of a computer and type out some words, so here goes.

My 2010 personal goals are:

  • Raise $20,000 for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre & Alberta Cancer Foundation through the 2nd Annual Tight ‘n Bright event to be held March 20, 2010.
  • Generate $80,000 through legal online activities like affiliate sales, products & services by September 15, 2010. Roughly 236 days remain, so that would equate to $338.98 per day…if I start making cash NOW!
  • Run a full marathon under 4 hours by December 15, 2010.
  • Launch BlueBinder by March 1, 2010 with full e-comm capabilities.
  • Launch Phase 1 of OoberScoop by February 1, 2010.
  • Launch Workshops Everywhere by February 1, 2010 to the Calgary market as detailed in Phase 1 of the plan.
  • Travel to three new destinations by December 31, 2010.
  • Speak at a minimum of one conference by November 30, 2010.
  • Support and love Monica, Ava and the other members of my family on a daily basis.
  • Help Monica launch her site to the best of my abilities around her timeline.
  • Blog a minimum of five times per week through to June 30, 2010.
  • Live everyday and enjoy and appreciate what I have.

So as you can see I’ve no doubt got to get some things going. Couple the above goals with daily life and there’s not a lot of time left to actually do things…but the goal in the end is to free myself from the day-to-day to allow me to have the time to do those things. All of this will be completed in full by December 31, 2010. I look forward to sharing my success, and no doubt failures, with you along the way.

Is there anything I’ve missed? Do you think I’m completely crazy? Wanna know more about something I’ve put in the list? It’s easy, just leave me a comment below.

Thanks to Lyndon for the inspiration and the graphic.

2 Comments | Filed under Blue Binder, Code Development, Fitness, Life, Travel

Shoemoney System Gives Away FREE Money

OK, so if you’ve been wondering about different systems available online to help you out with making some extra cash, then you’ll definitely want to checkout the Shoemoney System which is set to launch on January 26 around 2:00 PM ET (that’s noon where I live in MT timezone). I had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Shoemaker at a poker tournament at PubCon in Las Vegas this past November (along with that Lyndon Reid guy) and immediately realized he’s the real deal. I respect him and the information he’s put out there so naturally, I had signed up for his email list a long time ago. It was because of this I got a special sneak look at some of the amazing things included. Not only does the Shoemoney System take you from the ground up, but it is scheduled to include some amazing bonuses.

The single greatest bonus included is over $2000 in FREE advertising. Advertisers like Google, Facebook, MySpace and AOL and that’s just the start. Jeremy announced live on his UStream channel that as an example you’d get $250 from AOL. Or how about $50 from Facebook? Not only can you learn some awesome affiliate marketing and online money making tips from the Shoemoney System, but you’ll be able to actually TRY OUT ADVERTISING NETWORKS–FREE!

I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Go watch the first video, and then the others and signup for the Shoemoney System NOW!

No Comments | Filed under Life