It’s time to rethink MLA format in papers

It’s a format of college papers that your professor will claim is widely used, when they say widely they mean “only in college” and it’s going to be a huge shit test.

Unless you are going to be a researcher, an English teacher or other profession, what reason is there to continue to penalize English students with writing papers in a format that nobody else uses.

It would be like the electric company asking you to write a three page paper in MLA format on why you should get Electricity.

The car dealer could use them when applying for credit, a three page paper on why you deserve credit.
We could go on, grocery stores, laundromat, your boss could ask for one when you want time off or when you are leading a project. A weekly three page report on Whose methodology you are using to organize your team, what systems and metrics you are using.

All of this is lacking a central thought, the world has evolved with communication other than written word letters.

We text, we email, we use slack and a dozen other platforms to reduce wasted time spent… yet in college we drag kids through the MLA death march to learn a way of writing that they can only use for college?

Time to rethink MLA.

The Art and Science of feeling good.

If you get into work early in the morning and your main project is ahead of schedule and under budget you tend to feel good.

Girls, if you are wearing a cute skirt and your hair is not only behaving yourself but looks fabulous, you tend to feel good and smile more often.

Guys how great is it to have something tastes for breakfast, have a couple cute girls look your way in the morning but you are.

When I am alert and on top of my game, a cup of something delicious at hand and some good music in the background… that to me is a great feeling.

This is the mental state where I want to spend most of my life because it puts me in a state of mine where I feel generous and want to give to others.

There are enough problems in the world, we need to get our shit together so we can add value to the lives of our fellow man.

So that is what I have for now, let me know what you enjoy.

One more idea on this, you can’t give away what you don’t have extra in.

Time, that’s volunteering hours in your life towards a cause you believe in.

Money, it’s something that you can almost always make more of.

You can rarely improve the life of others unless you also spend time on improving the quality of life for yourself.

What else is there?

This is my blog and most of these are my ideas.

Email me your thoughts on what you liked below.

I’m writing a piece on how to increase your income, let me know if you want me to discuss a special area.

Michaelvanmarco@gmail.com

2 little known Secrets to attract more customers

Attracting customers is easy but it is a skill that can be learned.

It is one of many skills that business owners need to know but since most businesses fail… how do you know what works.

I’ve spent years interviewing some of the fastest growing business owners, entrepreneurs and executives in business to find out a few secrets that work so Amazing its almost a crime.

To attract a customer you need to have a special set of skills that are not taught in any college, school or business in America.

These are things that only the best in the business do, they do these things so well that if you asked them they would reply “well its obvious, how do you not know”

They have practiced these skills for so many years because who they are at a deep level is congruent with their outer life that it becomes a habit.

As time rolls on you start to forget how to play the piano… and you just “let the music flow”

Make Sense Yet?

If not, then read on.

A racecar driver can’t tell you how to drive the car at the same time he is driving the car… you are asking him to step out of the moment, to stop and think when he was “in the zone” or “in the moment” and you ask him to think… BAD IDEA.

If you ask a championship fighter like Manny Paquio about his fight jab by jab he could probably tell you a bit but after a while he starts to revert to instinct and “A certain part of him takes over”

When you practice a skill so many times, at some point you can do it without thinking that you are doing it.

its a reflex, an instinct, its now part of his muscle memory and it becomes difficult to describe.

Ok so, what does Boxing and Driving Race cars have to do with business… if you are asking this there are deeper issues we need to address but I will go on for those of you still with me.

The two secrets to Attracting Customers are not going to be obvious or everybody would do it.

They are going to be a bit like reverse Psychology… are you ready for #1?

Secret #1 You Don’t Need Customers – You “Fulfill” Their need or want.

When a customer feels like they are valued, when they get something from you that they can’t get elsewhere your value goes up. 

Anybody can sell a product, can you give them something that is unique and specialized… personally tailored to them?

There are often deep specific needs that they have that they want and may not know what it is.

So they bounce from company to company trying to find it, sometimes they get lucky with a salesrep who gives it to them in a fun interaction or they pay attention to the customer… but the unresolved issue still remains.

If you as the business owner can find people who are the best fit for your company, you will get dozens and dozens of referrals because you solve that specific need so well.

What needs do you solve, what needs do you want to help your customers with?

Do you even know what needs your current have, do you know how to ask?

If not then you need to take a look at my book.

Simple Secrets to Success – coming later this year.

Click here to be added to the free preview before anybody else gets to see it.

This book is a collection of the most controversial, most influential tips and tactics to keep your customers raving about you that I have found from the experts over the last 20 years.

This book is a quick read on deep drivers inside people that beg to be fulfilled… if you can speak to that need you will always have more customer than you need.

Customers have problems, issues, needs, and how are you solving them?

Interesting concept huh…!

Onto secret number #2

Success Secret #2 – Ask them questions about what they think, wish or want.

ITS NOT ABOUT YOU… its about them.

THIS IS SO HUGE I SHOULD WRITE THIS IN BLINKING LIGHTS

Most companies do almost all of the talking and forget the sage advice “Questions are the Answers”

Customers can buy from thousands of different companies… so why should they buy from you?

What do you know about your top tier customers?

What do they all have in common?

Do you know your customers at least 4 levels deep?

Do you even know what that means?

What about their frustrations about your company?

How will you know unless you ask them?

You would be AMAZED to know what people will tell you when you ask and listen.

Simple Secret #3 – In the weeks to come I will give you more. Stay tuned

If you ask a

John Wick is a slight of hand shooter with so much to enjoy

John Wick

  1. Review of John Wick
  2. Its Friday night & instead of hanging out with my girl friend I decided to enjoy a night in watching a few movies.
  3. This started with a promising viewing of Seventh Son that left this Son sick to my stomach at how good it Could Have been.
  4. So I hit the eject button after 19 minutes to watch a bit of Gone Girl… which in True Fincher Form was disturbingly good for 30 minutes. Ben seemed to play the apathetic nice guy to a T but that’s not what I am in the mood for tonight.
  5. Save that for another night when I noticed John Wick at the bottom of my pile.
  6. Ever since he Played Neo, there has been a part of me that enjoys watching Keanu work a gun & when I watched the samurai movie there was a let down so I was hopeful for a story with a little more passion, guns & butter.
  7. Lets just say that I am 20:42 in & with John Leguzamo with phone in hand… things just got more interesting.
  8. A few scenes earlier you see the despondent husband whose wife just died, as he is leaning against the window while the wake guests talk amongst themselves.
  9. It was a good shot having the time lapse & change of lights to have him appear from another angle, then he gets a dog.
  10. One item of continuity that struck me was his umbrella at the funeral, the first one had something like 20 segments when he goes to talk to “an old friend” then afterwards its more of a standard 8 segment? FSH?
  11. When his car gets stolen he somehow finds the exact shop the first try?
  12. I would rather the director threw a little dog hunt into the story rather than lead us down the path.
  13. Aurielo punches the mob boss son after learning who he stole the car from & when his cronies point a gun at him… he brass balls the scene by pulling the gun against his forehead.
  14. “Yeah you come into my shop, pull a gun on me? Yeah pull the trigger”
  15. The moron kid insults the chop shop owner who soon after gets a call from the Viggo dude who learns…
  16. Your son stole john wicks car & killed his dog.
  17. Now I was expecting a little yakuza moment, you stole my sons honor but the mob boss who is calling from what can only be described as a palatial penthouse replies to the grease monkey chop shop mechanic with an
  18. Oh…
  19. Its then that I started writing to say you need to rent, borrow or buy this movie… its going to be good.
  20. Cinematographic note, Leguzamo uses an old push button phone with a cord… not a new cell phone like the Russian mob boss does… helps to set the tone of the movie.
  21. So I put the movie up on my plasma to see the mob boss get good word on some “negotiation” that they won & his answer is “have you seen my son”
  22. The dude is worried… so let me paint a little picture for you.
  23. When you are in the mob, your family is supposed to be protected but when you are a Mob Boss… nobody fucking touches your kids
  24. **at least that’s what the genre & movies tells us right?**
  25. Then it cuts to the son, who has a goofy yet stupid look on his face… who is brilliantly cast as Alfie Allen.
  26. So far we are off to a Great start & I want to give credit where its due. Not knowing all the details of who cast who I am pulling names from the movies wikipedia page. Directors; Chad Stahelski & David Leitch, Producers; Basil Iwanyk, David Leitch, Eva Longoria & Michael Witherill
  27. The scene cuts showing this huge building then an inside shot of the dad standing behind this minibar & side note here. Thank you for not picking alexi from bad boys 2 or Rade_Šerbedžija but instead you cast Michael Nyqvist who does a good job!
  28. So back to the dad explaining “that fuckin nobody was john wick”
  29. Where they cut to a new scene with john wick opening a door to his basement (metaphorical hell) in Johns hand is a Sledgehammer… not a key to open some lock or a thumbprint scanner… no
  30. John wick is being revealed as a dude with a dark past & if you managed to somehow not see the trailer you wouldn’t know he has a past steeped in blood.
  31. So John Wick knew that some day ( he hopes not ) but someday he may need to open Pandora’s box & grab a gun to defend or go fight another day… so he buries his past & then pours concrete over it to seal the past underground where no one can see it…
  32. Now things have changed, john goes down stairs with a sledgehammer & there is no yelling, just hate filled rage & thoughts of vengeance.
  33. I should also note that John is still wearing the bloody V-neck t-shirt that he woke up in that morning… he hasn’t even bothered to change shirts.
  34. While this might be a small thing I think its an example of a good job maintaining the 4th wall by the producers.
  35. So the dad is explaining that they used to Hire john wick as an “associate” that they would affectionately call Mr Wick Bobo Yaga or the boogeyman.
  36. The father watched John kill three men with a pencil, now as you hear the father tell his son about how John killed 3 men in a bar with “A Fuckin Pencil” you hear John pounding his basement floor with a sledgehammer to foreshadow the shear weight of how much the son screwed up. Great Scene guys
  37. So the father calls John to try & talk him out of revenge & in the fathers words “John said enough” ;}
  38. Cut to men in black with suppressed pistols surrounding Johns house at night… why invade a guys home & bring suppressors? I guess you don’t want to wake the neighbors or hurt John’s ears? Not sure.
  39. While the MIB surround the house an almost FIGHT CLUB or Tarentino series of emphasized subtitles shows up under the dad as he sips a drink & sings a song…
  40. I won’t spoil much but a great couple of shots later *Let the bodies hit the floor*
  41. You see John using a handgun with an integrated suppressor while the Mr Baddy Henchmen are using a screw on type… telling me a little that his character was a bit more integrated & the precision at which you see them kind of provisionally shot this it didn’t look scripted but was precision fun killing.
  42. When the Hooded Henchman begin attacking John after the initial firefight you can see him have this kind of almost calm angry rage that you don’t see much any more.
  43. When I watched a few behind the scenes footage you could see Keanu rolling his sleeve up to show it covered in bruises… which harkens back to his Matrix days… so you know he can handle actual action & take the bruises that come with really being hit & working an action scene that audiences love. Thanks Keanu!
  44. Ok so that was funny.
  45. John finishes this guy off with a knife when you hear the Ding Dong of the door bell. He walks up pistol in hand then puts it behind his back as he cracks the door open.
  46. Hi John… we um…
  47. Oh hi Jimmy… John interrupts him “noise complaint?”
  48. Yeah… John.
  49. So John & Jimmy both look down the hallway to see a man in black laying in a pool of his own blood.
    Jimmmy – “Are you working again” Non plussed to see a a dead man in Johns hallway as if he knocked over a lamp or had the tv on too loud. Nice !
  50. John – “Naw, just working some stuff out”.
  51. Jimmy – nods his head and walks away… completely ignoring the dead man… er dead men in his house. As if to say to his fellow officers “ok boys we are gonna leave Mr Wick be… false alarm”
  52. Mr Wick goes downstairs to make a dinner reservation for 12… which we are lead to believe is for 12midnight or noon.
  53. Um No, it’s a “ive got 12 men dead in my house & I need them cleaned up”
  54. Mr Old creepy Joe Pecie lookin dude shows up as the laundry man… Nice.
  55. Que up the contract to kill him.
  56. Change scene to William Defoe… who my last big loved movie with him was the EPIC Boondock Saints “What happened next was a fire fight!!!”
  57. Who else could pull off drag & kill dozens of men while making homophobic jokes as a gay man in the Boston police force & make it entertaining & classy!
  58. William Fuckin Defoe!
  59. Marcus is offered & accepts a 7 figure bounty to kill Mr Wick.
  60. Ok this is another twist, john drives into new york in the SS Shelby while Mr Marcus opens a false hatch behind the stairs, pulls out a Scoped & Silenced Rem 700 & Begins to clean the gun… yeah this isn’t the “bad guy in a box going to kill someone” You can tell there is more than a little craftsman ship being parlayed with this directors lense.
  61. There is also what sounds like Marilyn Manson… Nice
  62. Ok so Wick pulls his SS around front of some triangle hotel with a C on the awning, with 2 bell boys out-front.
  63. Backup the lense to see Mr Dafoe wearing a hitman turtleneck-watching Wick enter the Hitman Hotel?
  64. Wick enters the hotel in a behind the shoulder shot when you see this Brunette bombshell in some kind of black wool draping over her… Perkins he addresses her as she walks back?
  65. A stately black man gives him room 818 & john pays with a Golden Coin? WTF is going on here… The Hitman Hotel pays in gold & nobody is worried because they have given the old girl a facelift… but its ok because they have the same owner?
  66. Next scene is a slow move in where you hear Bridget asking “what are you doing john” a mantra bringing us back to the focus of his visit & showing it on an iphone… keeping this a modern focus which brings me to the costume designer.
  67. John has been wearing classic clothing, jeans & t-shirt with a leather jacket. Nothing that says “hey I have a motorcycle or this is my biker jacket”
  68. Since he grabbed his gun it’s a black jacket, over black shirt, with a black vest & black tie to match the black in his soul. It’s a simple, very simple foreshadowing of the reaper, the boogeyman, a man of death & its not as cliché as you would think but it works so well.
  69. Apparently at the Continental there are bylaws for bad guys, no killing on the grounds or “incur stiff penalties’” they speak of Parlance of a talk with Yosef badguy with the same elegance of a stock broker telling you not to pull $ from your 401k to pay for a new car. LOL
  70. You see Wick come up behind the silver haired 7 foot doorman badguy with a gun pointed at his temple… where they have a pedantic quip “Evening Francis… it looks like you’ve lost weight”
  71. “Mr wick, yes 60 kilograms” in Russian
  72. Wick replies “sixty is a lot”
  73. Wick… “Take the night off” instead of me killing you.
  74. Francis, thank you sir how kind.
  75. Wick practically forgets to say hi to Franci’s wife. Rather gentlemanly of him not to kill the bouncer but not give his best to his girl… how rude. LOL
  76. After a few minutes of South Miami fluorescent subtitles & all of the dial-a-henchmen in black suits / red shirts getting shot with a rather precision style of shooting, john is becoming a likeable guy with how focused he is on his target only to dispatch bullets into those who attack him.
  77. Then he pulls the trigger on a guy in the columns to have the gun go click, he fumbles with a clip, regathers his shooting stance and pop goes the gun into the red shirt bad guy.
  78. Whoever came up with the subtitle theme did a great job, they are visually syncopated with the theme & visual cinematophaphic shots, along the beam… all positions stay ready. White text against a darker color, aligned & easy to see but you have to keep your eyes peeled
  79. They keep using time of day shots with an HDR filter? Over them, at night the streetlights look highlighted
  80. As they cut back to the dad who rolls a joint at his desk while a hitman hunts down his son at an address he gave him… laughing.
  81. I don’t know who did all the night photography, but they look gorgeous!!!
  82. William Defoe deserves another medal…
  83. Your membership in the continental has been revoked…
  84. I’m not telling you that a certain someone…
  85. What’s wrong with this guy?
  86. Who’s got a gun…
  87. Oooh, that was a good one.
  88. Lighting strike.
  89. Go kill him… oh is that what you were trying to do for the last 86 minutes? I thought we were baking him a cake.
  90. John gives the Allstate fucker a bullet
  91. Be seing you john.
  92. So this movie easily gets 4-3/4 stars. The visual roller coaster & clever dialog combined with the great casting of a shootem up film that got me laughing… but most importantly we need more movies like John Wick.
  93. Eva Longoria?
  94. My Name is Michael VanMarco & this is my blog. This is another movie that I like.
  95. I blog while I watch the movie, I publish after very light edits, including spelling or trying to get the actors names spelled somewhat correct.
  96. These are my thoughts but this was a great movie.
  97. Click Here for Michaelvanmarcos Blog

3 Things Karate Kid teaches us about dealing with Life & Bullies.

Nothing you have been thru will be wasted.

I was looking for a hobby as a kid when I came across the Karate Kid (1984), seeing Mr. Miyagi work on his Bonsai, attempting to catch a fly with chopsticks & being asked to teach Daniel the art of Karate was a simple story that captivated me & with bullies back in the news its time for a refresher course on John G. Avildsen great movie.

Mr Miyagi & Daniel forge a relationship after Daniel is getting bullied from kids at school so they agree to be Teacher & Student… Daniel apparently begins learning the Ancient art of Karate with the hard manual labor of washing cars, painting fences & sanding the deck in Miyagi’s backyard. This counter intuitive plot twist turns out to be a clever way of integrating the 80’s Training Montage as a subtle plot line but it forever moved something within me. You’ve learned plenty… not everything is as it seems.

A moment of clarity comes where Daniel confronts Miyagi about “being his slave”

One of the most interesting aspects of life is not knowing what is going to come next, trusting your judgement & having great mentors in your life who will help you to develop habits that lead you to your own goals.

By the way if you can’t name at least 3 people who you consider personal mentors, you will need to get this part of your life covered ASAP. Fear not as I will cover this in a Future Post. Finding Great Mentors.

Back to this weeks post.

Daniel learned to protect himself, forged an appreciation of hard work which increased his sense of Self Confidence, he got the girl & found a valuable Ally by having patience in dealing with what seemed to be a Weird old Man. Turns out he found what he was really looking for…

So the lessons I promised you.

1. Learn to find & develop mentors in your life. These people will act as a sounding board for your challenges, finding these people who you can lean on for advice when life pitches you a curveball.

2. Learning that you need to keep developing as a person. Earl Nightingale says… he believes the purpose of our life is “The Progressive Realization of a Worthy Ideal”

3. Not everything is as it seems. Sometimes the lesson is so deeply woven into the challenge that you can’t see the rewards until you look back at your time to find your character was shaped & skills were sharpened by the adversity you faced.

Whats your Ideal, whats your Dream?

Who do you want to be come, what inspires you, what are your passions?

I help mentor people to Develop their lives & pursue their Passions.

The Business Owner who started the company years ago & now doesn’t “Have Time” to attend his Daughters dance recital.

The young professional who wants to climb the ranks within his company but doesn’t know how.

The Single Parent who wants to be a better example for their kids.

My name is Michael Van Marco, this is my blog & these are great ideas.

Michaelvanmarco@gmail.com

This One Trick From Steve Jobs can improve most every part of your life..

Working long hours at the office to serve someone else’s dream, so you can come home tired to netflix & pint of ice cream… isn’t the dream I had working full time while putting myself thru College.

I had dreams of improving the world around me to increase the quality of life for myself & my fellow man… why must those two things be exclusive?

A few years ago I was surfing the internet when I found a video of an icon of innovation; Steve Jobs. This rare video shows Steve with a beard… its also funny to note that a guy who was so obsessed with design would wear the same clothes everyday, that part of his genius is a subject for a future post.

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Thanks to Santa Clara Historical Association & Next Computers for saving this Gem.

So we have an icon of our time telling us that we can influence the world… whats your plan for that?

When Henry Ford invented the “Moving Assembly Line” he reshaped our idea of how to assemble a car, the way he found to reduce expenses was to change the way they thought… & keep the mechanical part moving so people could focus on a smaller area.

In the 1970’s we were still using Carburetor technology to put gasoline into our cars engine, there was a new technology called Fuel Injectors that a Major Car Company was offered & they had just spend some huge sum like $20 million into this new Feedback Carburetor line. So they said no to the injector technology so the inventor went overseas to a company who saw his vision, implemented the technology & was soon taking market share from American Car Companies.

What technology or ideas have you overlooked in your company, your life because you “thought” it wasn’t the right thing or it wasn’t at the right time… regardless of how helpful it may have been.

My name is Michael Van Marco, this is my blog & these are my ideas.

MichaelVanMarco@Gmail.com

Getting Everything You Ever Wanted

It is possible…

As you mature in life you begin to look for a better way, a way to get more, achieve balance… feeding the mind/body appetite for different needs & wants with your time.

As our scientific knowledge of the human brain continues to unfold & giving us the knowledge that while there is currently no known limit to our human potential… there is a limit to the time we are given each day.

If we are to maximize the results of our life to create X result, pass on our genetics & culture to our children, we must learn to increase our mind’s ability to focus our time between what we want to have & what we need to accomplish.

We need to develop certain skills that allow us to increase the quality of our Life.

We want PIZZA, our body needs nutrients.

Short Term Fun is often at the expense of Long Term Gain.

We want to sleep in but we need to listen to our bodies desire to get up, exercise & move.

If you have children you understand how they want to stay up, One more Book, watch them testing their limits, seeing them poking things with sticks, keeping a eye on them while they play with & put anything in their mouth as they experiment with the world around them.

At some point you started putting the brakes on your own potential to shield or protect yourself from your potential failures when what we should be doing is emphasizing the trials we face each day & what we learned if we made a mistake.

When you attempt to do something for the First Time your success rate will depend upon your knowledge of the subject, wisdom of those who know more than you & your desire to achieve your goal despite temporary setbacks as you begin Mastery of Your Craft.

Allowing yourself the Freedom to Focus your life in the pursuit of ( Insert your Goal ) can be the single most rewarding passion you ever have.

While you are in pursuit of your life, it’s often helpful to establish a baseline.

When you go into the doctor they need to know your history to understand how healthy you are.

Once your doctor understands what you want (living till your 95) he can help teach you a few things to get better… like cutting down on the fudge or fewer slices of pizza & eating more vegies.

Olympic Athletes have Coaches
Students have Teachers
Who do you have?

What are your minimum standards for life?
What do you want to accomplish with your Life?

1500 years ago we knew the Earth was the Center of the Universe
100 years ago we knew man Couldn’t Fly
60 years ago we knew man Couldn’t run a mile under 4 minutes & with 59 seconds to go Roger Bannister was still in 2nd place.

Imagine what you will know tomorrow.

I once thought I needed to live a long life.

I now know I NEED to Enjoy Each Day.

Are you focusing on what you don’t know… or what you could learn?
Imagine being able to learn how to Add Joy into your day.

Imagine being able to Change your Life
Get Exactly What you Want

Is there a part of you that only wants to keep things just as they are… or can you imagine something better & then raise your standards to improve the Quality of your Craft

Learn to balance the time you put into your day with the Joy you get out of Each Day

There is a certain art in knowing how to balance your time working to get your Needs with the enjoyment of the Wants is a balancing act that will likely last most of your life.

There are a few people in this world who it could be said may have mastered this “Art & Science” Benjamin Franklin is the first person that comes to mind for me.

As we grow, each of us defines their own purpose (or lack thereof) in life we could probably spend a little more time each month understanding & clarifying our purpose so that when we reach our twilight years we can look back to see a string of events that define us & amaze us… this is Your Life.

Can you define how you want your life to look?

1. Who do you want in your life

2. What do you want your life to mean?

3. Where do you want to start improving your life?

4. When do you want to see results?

5. Why is this important?

This will lead you to How…

Once you can answer the previous 5 questions the final piece should begin to show itself & you need to be honest with yourself that it will take time… seeing as how you have the rest of your life to accomplish this goal enjoy the process of Being Human.

This will take time & study but you must understand that this is your life… ending one minute at a time. Use this time wisely, discover, cultivate & share your passion with those around you.

My name is Michael Van Marco & this is my Blog.