My new obsession LEDs

I have found my new obsession Xlights and LEDS aka blinky lights!! Love these things. Hobbies can be something needed in our life and escape of sorts. For me my excape is bliniy lights. Blinky lights come in many shapes and sizes. There is 2811 at their core or 2812. They come in strings and strips.

Where do you start? Well you start by picking somethings. Maybe something simple like a d1mini and a string of ws2811. Of course you will need a power brick. Figure it all out from there.


How to Use WordPress.Com as a podcast feed

Today I would like to write about a question that I get frequently on my podcast and blog.  What is a feed, do I have to use a Libsyn feed? Do I have to use my Soundcloud feed?  Can I have multiple podcasts on my Soundcloud/Libsyn/Blubrry accounts?

The answer is yes!  Here in this blog post, I am going to show how to setup a feed independent of all of these media host services and for free using!

For those of you who don’t know first we have to define “what is a podcast?”.  Well to put it in simple terms a podcast is a collection of recordings that are tied together through a rss feed.  Through this feed we are able to subscribe to them using software (podcatcher) on our computers and mobile devices.  This enables us to listen to them in a serial manner and keep track of what we have listened to.

This being said what does it mean to you and how does help us.  In the prior blogpost ***Soundcloud media host, we found that we are going to upload our files to Soundcloud to store them.  Also, we learned that Soundcloud will create a perfectly acceptable feed for us.  However, if you choose to customize your feed or host multiple podcasts this is where can help.  Following this “How To” guide and you will see all the steps required to create a feed independent of your media(define) host.  Lets get started:


  1. Open an account with a media host — sc / lb /blb
  2. Upload your files when you are done recording to media host
  3. Obtain your feed from the media host **if it generates one
  4. Obtain the filename from the feed for the file you just uploaded
  5. Open a account
  6. write a blog post on make sure to create a category(**link on for the podcast
  7. Some where in the content for you blog post you will need to insert [audo src=http://linktofile] **this will embed a player and the file to the blog post
  8. Obtain the feed from by going to ** define


Next two steps are preferred but optional.  They are preferred when using as some encoding is left out and these steps will take care of embedding things that iTunes requires.

  1.  Open a Feedburner account
  2. upload logo and input iTunes information
  3. Obtain feed from Feedburner
  4. upload either feed to iTunes.  If you use Feedburner this will be the one that goes to iTunes, otherwise use your feed.


This is all that is takes, I have setup an example on my blog.  You can subscribe using a podcatcher by entering a custom feed.  I have not placed these in iTunes at the time of publishing this article.  *****Links here.

Words of caution using this method.

  • If you use the feed directly.  Your iTunes image could changed from time to time as I am not sure what image gets attached to the feed exactly.  So if the image on the podcast in the podcatcher is important to you I highly recommend using Feedburner.  Feedburner seems to be more consistent in this imaging.
  • Remember you are using free services that could change anytime.  So there is some risk that something could change and break things.  I believe the risk is very low, but be aware it is there.  The solution to eliminate the risk would be to setup a self hosted podcast you can follow my guide here:
  • Be sure to read the policies of all the companies that I have sited in these post.  I have sited ways you can do things, but just because it works does not mean it is in their policies.
  • If you plan to register a domain and grow your podcast further this is just the beginning stages, I highly recommend Feedburner as it should make moving your feed a little easier later.

Now that you are an expert I highly recommend you go and try to set something up!  I do highly recommend using this free option using paired with something like Soundcloud (free at the time of writing this post).  I truly recommend this free service with and Soundcloud when you are doing a daily short audio log of your life for kids, or maybe you have a non-profit and want an audio newsletter for your crowd.  Anything that is not specifically business related and not intended to grow.  If you believe you will grow in the future I encourage you to setup a self hosted WordPress with a domain name or at a minimum register a domain through  You will be much happier and the cost is very minimal to the tune of $49 / year or less.  ***reference post.

Now go off and get recording!!!



Does drive-thru food make you lazy? This is not what your thinking…

This morning I had a choice to make bacon and egg breakfast tacos or hop in the car and go purchase them. Well for once in my life I chose to make them myself. Clearly I was already awake and comfortable so why would one do this? Well it is for 3 reasons! I got to Move, Move, Move!

“We don’t realize that convenience can make us lazy”-Danny Mullen

As a society, we don’t realize that convenience can make us lazy.  On a day to day basis, we have to do things that will give our mind the chance to be creative and get the blood flowing through our brains.  Yes, I know most of you would say that driving gets it flowing, especially if there is plenty of traffic.  Well I agree, but this is the wrong type of flow!

So back to our topic the 3 reasons why making your own tacos will keep you from being lazy.


You are doing what is good for you by standing. We often don’t realize but as people we tend to sit down more during our day then we think. Cooking breakfast tacos will have you standing for about 30mins in front of the stove cooking and cleaning. Standing helps us get the blood flowing to all the correct places in our body!

* 90% higher risk of death cause in part by a sedentary lifestyle- A study provided by the American Cancer Society in 2010

A sense of accomplishment!

Yes I realize we may think our real goal in life was to get food in our belly, well it somewhat is. However, the “how” actually can matter and make us more healthy in the process.  Making your own tacos reduces the stress in many ways.  First, you are not over paying for something that is of lower quality.  This reduces the stress of wondering, if you are eating good quality food or not.  Second, because you didn’t pay you don’t have to worry about feeling a sense of wasting the food in your refrigerator that you spent hard earned money on.  Third, and most important of all you achieved a goal that was deeper then just putting food in your belly!  You activated the creative side of your brain, something we don’t do very often in todays society.

“Cooking the tacos is what enabled my brain to come up with this post, it activated my creative side!”-Danny Mullen

Self discipline:

Reduction of distractions that will keep you on task(aka procrastination.)  Upon entering the kitchen this morning to make my daily coffee, I found a few dishes in the sink, they were there from late last night.  I immediately wanted to just hop in the car drive to the local taco hut and make a purchase.  However, I used the discipline that I have been working on the last few weeks and refrained.  I made my tacos and coffee which got my blood flowing.  After which, I had no choice in my mind but to just suck it up and clean the dishes. I mean after all I was now standing in front of the sink wide awake and with a full belly, what else was there to do!

Now after all of this, I sit here on my laptop with my creative brain and a sense of accomplishment writing this article!  An article that is meant to inspire you and lead by example as your coach.  For how could I train people to be more productive and not practice what I preach.  In fact, following these beliefs is why I can come to you today.  For the last several months I have had plenty of free time and have changed my perspective on life.  It is amazing!

I have heard people suggest this for years, but never thought it was for me.  Now I do.  In this change I now go to the gym 4 times per week, plus a bonus 5th for a gymnastics class.  Something I always wanted to do!  Now at 42 years old, I am leaning how to connect my roundoff back hand spring!  It is amazing we don’t realize what our bodies and minds are capable of until we try.


I encourage you go out and make some tacos!  Get out of the drive-thru line and turn off those Facebook notifications!  Move, Move, Move! You will see a difference and be more successful.

Leave a comment, let me know a time when you chose the more creative path!


Why downtime is important for creative types!

I woke up this morning and needed to go to a routine doctors appointment, I knew I would be there for quite some time. Sitting here in the doctor’s office made me realize I had something on my mind, I just had to get out. Something that I have learned from personal experience, it is why downtime is important for creative types!!

Downtime is defined as quiet time, it is the time we sit in quiet and just think!

While here in the doctor’s office, I could have watched Netflix or played Facebook but instead I just sat! Suddenly within minutes the thoughts in my head started flowing and I had to get them out. Don’t worry I am not at the psychiatrist, that’s next week. All kidding aside sitting in a quiet place should be a required part of everyone’s day, especially those that engage in producing creative content. The creative types as I call them.

As your coach, here are some exercises that will encourage creative types to focus on their thought’s and ideas to produce a more focused person. I suggest practicing these simple exercises multiple times per week until you find a method and rhythm of thought that works for you. Find your happy spot, turn off your electronic notifications and follow this routine. For example, my routine is 45 minutes, sitting outside on the balcony at the public library listening to the sounds of nature including a flowing creek.. I can’t think of a better place to be editing and publishing a blog post. Doing this 3 times a week gives me the break I need from the demanding corporate job and some well needed time to think.

Make sure you have several sheets of paper, my favorite, or a digital device to write down the thoughts in your head. Why is writing down these ideas important? Well quite frankly it is so that you can fill the empty space in your head with further thoughts!! I know from my experience of doing these exercises, every thought I write down, another comes to mind! The moral of the story get it out! It doesn’t matter if you ever do anything with it. But get it out make room for fresh thoughts with absolutely no judgment!

I have always asked myself, why have I not focused like this sooner? Why have I not allowed myself to be creative? This knowledge is not new to me, so why am I not doing it? Well the answer is: FEAR!
It is fear that people will think I am not productive! Fear of publishing my thoughts as they might not be good enough! Well all of this is quite silly thinking.

“Get it out, it doesn’t matter if you do anything with it” -Danny Mullen

How do I know this, well over the last 6 months I have been practicing these methods and I have created more then I have in many years. My 6th grade teacher knew this, why did I not listen? We used to go to the park from time to time and take our notebooks for creative thought hour. How is it that something a grade school teacher knew did not stick as part of a habit in my life?

Recently, I realized that I was very creative in life. College was a time that truly stands out and I can say things were truly on my time. I relate college to being able to have the freedom of time! Time to think on my terms. This is why I think most corporate jobs are creating less creative people. It is because we always have to do things on their timeline not ours. I promise you, take a look around your company at the people that you believe are the most creative, I think you will see at trend of significant downtime they have. It is actually quite amazing if you think about it.

How do we improve, well in addition to doing the exercises sited above.
We must learn good time management skills. Try to focus on something until completion and stop the constant distractions.

I leave you with one last piece of advice today, don’t make excuses and say I don’t have time… you do ! Constantly saying this will make you believe it! So starting NOW, stop!


How to eBay like a pro and save 50% or more!!

I love eBay!!  I buy phones all the time on eBay.  It has saved me hundreds of $$, how can you pass this up?  I became an eBay fan in 2009 when I needed to purchase an iPod for parts to repair my screen.  In doing so I found hundreds of opportunities to make purchases and most important make profit!  Do you like making purchases up to 50% below market value? Do you own a smart device or computer?  Then you have what it takes to follow my tips and eBay like a pro.

To get started a few setup details:
  1. Sign up for an eBay account
  2. Sign up for a paypal account
  3. Download the app on your smart device if using one.
I highly suggest the eBay app be used on your phone or iPad as you primary means for bidding.  This is because notifications are easy to setup.  In addition when searching you see only the listings, so you mind is not cluttered by other things on the page.  Lastly, well I find it just easier to navigate.  Keep in mind there are times you may need to use the full desktop version, but for me this is about once every 100 transactions and it is typically for some obscure reason.  In these cases I am sure the app can be used, but the email request from eBay directs me otherwise.


 The key to saving money is using eBay like a pro.  Here are my tips on How To do that:
  1. Use the app!!
    • Not much more to say, this is almost a requirement to eBay!
    • The app is very friendly compact and easy to use.
  2. Use the search and follow function.
    • This allows you to create custom searches that will find your exact criteria you are searching for.
    • The follow function will notify you of new finds.
  3. Use the alert features!
    •  Outbid alerts
    •  New items alerts
    •  Auction Ending alert
  4. Use smart hunting techniques!  **This is the key one.
    • Depending on what you are looking for will depend on the exact strategy, however my strategy will definitely work for most popular products.
    • First thing you have to know your market.
    • Set up searches for auctions in a specific price range.  The max value should be 15% less then the max you are willing to pay. 
      • Doing this allows you to see only auctions in your price range and not over pay.
      • This strategy has enabled me to get several iPhones for 60+% of current market value.
    • Next sort the search results by “ending soonest.”
      • Don’t look at auctions more then 24hrs out.  The reason being is that in 24hrs the item could be above your price.
      • Don’t make a big effort to research the items either until you are in the 24 hour window as this can be wasted time.
  5. Don’t get caught in auction madness!! Well unless you are bidding on rare one of a kind items.
  6. Be will to buy grade b products
    • Do a little research sometime grade b products are just a good a grade A.
  7. Be willing to do minor repairs
    • Sometime people sell their things because they don’t want to do the repair.  If you know where to get the item repaired add the cost into you max bid.
  8. Be willing to buy a “lot .”
    1.   Some times lots are cheaper.  And then you instantly get spare parts.  So shop for a friend…..  I many times have bought a lot of phones or iPods and received working ones that I could resell or use to fix broken ones.
Go out and happy eBaying!!
Leave a comment and tell me about your best eBay deal!

Always sanitize your device before, putting it in someone else’s hands!

Have you ever received a smart phone from someone and couldn’t do anything because it was locked?  Have you ever had an iphone keep popping up a dialogue asking you to input a password to an icloud account you don’t own?  These are the types of things that happen when you don’t fully sanitize a device.  In this article I will give you the steps to make sure that you never have egg on your face when handing a device off to someone.

Lets start with a little history.  This holds true for most of the phone/tablet operating systems out there whether it be Android, iOS, windows, or blackberry.  When devices were first manufactured like all things in their infancy there is a learning curve, not all problems can be anticipated by the manufacturer.  So smart phones made it to the market and on them we linked many of our accounts things like gmail, icloud, contacts, and password databases.  In fact with the original android platform it was very difficult to use the device unless you input a gmail account.  New to this technology many of us input all the required things and were happy with life.

Within a few revisions, manufacturers like apple realized that doing this was perfectly fine but we really needed to make sure that there was a method to clear all of these settings.  This was done via factory reset.  A factory reset would now clear all data on the phone and make it look like a new phone from the factory.  This was an excellent plan.  Until it was realized this really didn’t protect the consumer against theft.  If a phone was factory reset now all the traces of ownership were erased.
So where we are now recognizing how insecure some of the reset parameters were manufactures added additional security.  In today’s modern smart device you have to enter passwords and/or passcodes to reset devices.  This security is what plagues us from time to time when you receive second hand devices that have not been properly sanitized.  It was a great step against theft and a few other problems, but created a secondary problem.

Security — Why should you factory reset?

Well to summarize you should factory reset any device primarily for security and privacy.  Remember that handing a smart device to anyone and simply giving them your passcode is the same as writing you password publicly on the internet.  The reason for this is that void of a factory reset things like your Netflix, Amazon, Gmail, and app store are all still logged in.  Netflix is not really a big problem, but if you are into privacy well people can see what you have watched.  Amazon and app store, these are an issue because many people will link a credit card setup 1-click purchases.  Again, not really a big issue unless you value your pocket book.

The largest and biggest risk is access to your email services.  In today’s world almost every app requires a verification/reset email to be linked.  So lets picture this example.  You leave your gmail tied to an Android phone.  The person that receives this phone runs out to social media and resets your password.  Now even though you logged out of your favorite social media app, this person now has the capability to take it over.  Before you even know, they now own your facebook and twitter account.  In addition depending on how other app store like things were setup they could have the possibility to take those over.  This is a huge problem as your credit card is linked and they now own all of your past and future digital purchases.


So what is the solution:  Well simply put sanitize, sanitize, and sanitize!  This is easy to do on an iPhone and android device.      – iOS: All you need to do is go to Settings —> General —> Reset —> Erase all Content and Settings.  Now remove your sim card and you will be done when the phone reboots.
– Android: Remove your sim card and SD card then navigate to Settings —> Backup & Reset —> Factory Reset.   ***Note: DO NOT install your sim or sd card when the phone reboots.  You must leave these out.
– Windows/Blackberry/Other: Consult your owners manual from the manufacturer.
Now you will be ready to hand the smart device off with reasonable confidence that you didn’t create a security risk for yourself.

Wrapping this up, there is no reason not to hand devices off to someone else.  But we must remember to reset them properly.  A proper reset will not only secure our data, but will reduce any headaches associated with a handoff.

Have you ever received a device that was not reset?  Please leave a comment and tell me your story.


Why your small business needs Social Media!

In today’s world social media is everywhere.  As business owners we need to be conscience of this and use it to our advantage.  In this post, I will give you 5 reasons why social media should be a vital part of your small business.  Remember all publicity helps!  Only a minimal effort is needed each week to make your business stand out on social media.

Reasons:Facebook smartphone social media tiles

  1. Social Proof
  2. Build an Audience
  3. Advertising
  4. Reviews
  5. Platform


Social Proof

What is social proof you ask?  Simply put it is – someone who has thousands of followers on Twitter will appear more trustworthy then someone that has only 100 followers. Definition of social proof.This may or may not be an accurate assumption but it is how we as humans perceive the situation so lets try to use that to our advantage and build a following.  The second way that social proof can exhibit itself is word of mouth.  Remember people like to talk and social media is their platform to do so, so let them and encourage them.  Be engaged!  Also, remember the more people that like and share your content the more credibility you have and the more chance you have of picking up new followers.

Build an Audience

Social media is our modern word of mouth.  It is the beauty salon of today.  Most people have an internet linked device in their hand for several hours each day, remember this allows us to harness social media’s power and use this word of mouth to build a bigger audience.  Our reach can be endless, but keep in mind that most people have a large portion of their connections on a local level.  Once you have an audience that trusts you, you can make request of them.


I know most of you have invested plenty of time and money in building a website for your business, social media can be an extension of this.  In addition, some businesses find it easier to post frequently on social media vs their more static website.  This is because social media is expected to be a short and quick read vs a long article on your website.  This allows for plenty of engagement between you and your audience.  Here are some ways you can engage:

  1. Publish community service tips
  2. “How to” documents to maximize the value of services you provide
  3. Links to content on your website
  4. Place for your audience to publish photos and other media to your page
  5. Staff Introductions
  6. Answer customer questions



Having an audience that trusts you is important.  Social media is a method to build this trust.  Remembering this key idea allows us to make requests of our audience.  These could be writing reviews or sharing our products/services with friends.  Most people, use reviews as a method to determine if they would like to purchase a product or service.  So lets harness this to our benefit!  Keep in mind lack of reviews does not prove anything positive or negative for your business, but several positive reviews are priceless!


I know most of us don’t like ads in our faces when we are browsing social media and/or websites.  However, they are a reality and they can direct new customers to our business.  We should investigate what options are available online for advertising.  A good example of these types of ads would be Facebook ads or Snapchat filters.  These can easily target to certain demographics including location, allowing us to get our business name out.  Both of these advertising methods are inexpensive so a large budget is not required.


Probably one of the most important ways social media can help is Google !  Lets not forget social media is indexed by Google.  It is critical when you create your social media accounts that you are fully utilizing the “About” and “Public Profile” pages.  In addition when publishing content to your social media page always do your best to include your business name and/or location in the posts.  Below is an example of a good post and a bad post to demonstrate what I mean.

Bad post — Come see us at the Comal county fair for lots of fun food and games!

Good post — Come see at the Comal county fair in New Braunfels, Texas for lots of fun food and games.

Notice in the bad example, I used only the county and not the city.  Also, I used the word “us” vs the business name “”

Review the tips I have provided and get your social media strategy together.  After fully digesting, you will see that really these methods are simple and can help your business prosper.  To get started I suggest spending 3 hours this week building your strategy and 15 minutes every week after that executing it!

Leave a comment and let me know how these strategies worked for you!  Tip:“Comments are a good way to get a link to your site!”  Please feel free to share any tips that you have.




Custom email for $15 or less per year

Have you ever received a business card and the contact info has an email that is not personalized?  In my mind this should never happen because of how easy and inexpensive it is to have a custom branded email.  If they can’t invest effort in themselves will they invest their effort in me?
Having a custom email means, you register any domain name that is available at the time and it is personalized to you.  This allows you to have your [email protected].  Once you purchase the domain you own it and no one can take it away.
Here are 5 reasons you should own a domain name:
  • Simple and short
  • Easy to remember
  • Brand recognition
  • Looks professional
  • Limitless potential for growth
Sticking with a generic service like gmail, yahoo, or MSN.  You can only pick what is available as a name as well as it will alway be or  Your options become limited and if you are like me, I never remember if the person said @yahoo or @gmail.  Also, in some cases there is and are they the same or not?  How am I supposed to remember this?  Having this type of email is definitely not always simple and sometimes they can become very long.  An example would be [email protected], in case you are wondering, I have seen this!
For brand recognition, I suggest purchasing a domain name.  The email would simply be [email protected] i.e. [email protected], this is much easier to remember.  Using a domain provides brand recognition that can be tied into your Facebook page or other means of sales communication.  An example would be  When you encounter someone with an email [email protected], how does one know his Facebook page is  Having a domain name can help clarify this confusion and will allow customers to easily find your service.
A tip on looking professional, when given the choice as a consumer to hire with an email of [email protected] and a Facebook page  Vs  Bills lawn care that had no domain name, the email was [email protected], and the Facebook page was  Who would you hire, do you see the connection?
The last reason would be limitless growth.  Here is a story about a woman named Susie.  Susie is the owner of Susie’s sugar scrubs.  Now Susie followed my advice and in advance invested a small amount of money in her business.  She purchased a domain name and had business cards printed that cited it.  Her initial goal was to make some extra money selling sugar scrubs to other moms in her town’s mothers with kids group.  She was very successful at this and mothers from around town would gift these to friends and family that were out of town.  Conveniently Susie also put her domain name and branding on the jars of sugar scrubs.   It was not very long before Susie started received orders from out of town.  Before she knew it her business had grown significantly, would this have happened if she had only an email for contact?

My latest dilemma

Well I have just encountered my latest smart phone problem.  I have googled for hours countlessly and found nothing.  It seems that most peoples solutions are either to live with it or install outlook.  I would like to do neither. I always find it funny how I seem to have problems that eithers others don’t, or problems that others don’t know are problems unitil I fix them.  My latest encounter involves contacts!

Although I say it is my latest encounter it really goes back to my first phone, my first email account, well basically my first digital address book.  You see I have found that going back well as long as 15 years I have collected some contacts many of which have duplicated or changed throughout the years.  The problem is that it was never noticed until recently when I obtained my iPhone.

You see when I got my iPhone I had to sync contacts from many different places. Google, iCloud, yahoo, old phone etc. in addition I wanted to upload a list of contacts on a regular basis that were contained in a vcf file.

Never before had I had such a diverse set of contacts that all needed to be loaded in one ace. The issue I had duplicates across all of the input data.
My first contacts went back to 1995 or further and I had been adding email addresses since then. When mobile phone became the norm I started a collection of phone numbers greater than anything I had seen in the past. Somewhere around 2005 my worlds started colliding as I got my first smart phone. The collision was not that severe due to it really not being that smart, but in my first switch to an android phone an explosion happened. I went many years living fat dumb and happy that all my info transitioned and existed somewhere in cyber space only to wake up today with three iPhones in hand and an uncontrollable mess!

Cloud computing was it a benefit or a downfall for out society!

Basically now I had multiple phones hundreds of contacts and many duplicates. How did this happen? How had I never noticed before? What am I to do?

The answer write a perl script. I find that anytime I get stressed in life hiding in a room and writing a perl script solves the problem. Now in have not written it yet, but it sparked the inspiration for me to write this blog post and I am sure my audience will keep me honest and make sure I finish.

Now that I have expressed my problems off to start coding! Hopefully I surface in time to take a breath.


Gmail email address tip

Gmail doesn’t offer traditional aliases, but you can receive messages sent to [email protected] For example, messages sent to [email protected] are delivered to [email protected]  You can set up filters to automatically direct these messages to Trash, apply a label or star, skip the inbox, or forward to another email account.