StoreFour: Continuous Enhancement


Launching an online store requires a great deal of planning and attention to detail. From selecting the theme, to designing the logo. What will be the static content? How about navigation, payment processing, shipping rules, taxes, and a lot more.

Then once that’s been taken care of, comes one of the most important decisions to make at this point of store building: What exactly are we selling here? Is this going to be a general merchandise or a niche-oriented online experience? Who are the customers, and why would they buy from us?

Down the line from that is product strategy: What products should this store showcase and for how much?

As you move from one stage to the next you realize new understandings and, of course, learn new things.

The final ‘product’ just before the launch will never be perfect, and you know it. But does that mean you keep improving while delaying the launch? No! Continuous enhancement must hold a permanent place-holder on your project plan, just as sales and marketing. Failing to do so means choosing to fail in this fiercely competitive landscape.

Since the launch back in May, StoreFour has gone through several reviews, the last being just very recently. The depth and breadth of each review vary, but they all keep asking some essential questions:

  • In exchange for revenue, what value does this store offer?
  • Do current products serve that value?
  • Is there a clear line of sight between the products and the vision/mission of the business?
  • Are customers satisfied? How can we measure that, then improve it?
  • What products to keep, modify and/or delete?
  • What products to add?
  • Are marketing and sales efforts fruitful so far, and if not, why? How can they be enhanced?
  • What are the short and long-term objectives of this store?
  • Are the store’s design, look and feel expressive of its message and brand?
  • Is it easy to navigate and find information?

As you you can see, the questions do not follow a specific order. In these reviews, you capture questions as they arise, randomly. I like to use a large poster and a bunch of colored markers to write down whatever comes to mind. Then gradually move to a mind-map, before finally creating an action plan on a digital tool.

Casually writing down thoughts, questions and ideas allows something interesting to emerge: Clarity!

While just before you’d started your mind was processing everything simultaneously, and rapidly, now it can observe patterns and priorities, reasons and results. It’s much easier now to find answers and chart a new course, or adjust an existing one.

During the last review, which concluded around mid October, I realized that we need to have more focus on our brand, which means redefining or resharpening the concept behind that brand.

While the message has been to ‘Be, Love, Create and Live’, the products didn’t clearly trace back to it. The four dimensions sit on the titles of four product collections. However, when reviewing individual products, it wasn’t very obvious how each one would serve that message.

We finally came to an interesting conclusion: Let’s not try to find ‘Love’, or ‘Create’ products per say, but rather look a bit deeper and ask: Can a ring, for example, help the customer promote love in her or his life? How about a wallet or a bag? does any have a link to ‘Live’ or ‘Create’? And isn’t ‘Be’ a common thread underlying all others?

Of course, another concern is: What is the market pulse for any product we offer? On the one hand, we definitely want to provide true, authentic value. Yet on the other, the business must meet its financial objectives in order to continue serving that value and progressing to even higher levels of success.

From that understanding, and to bring more focus to the product offering, we decided to keep the main theme, but rename the collections: Rings, Bags, Wallets and Digital.

With few specs about what products to choose for every collection, including high-quality, trendiness, and usefulness, we did an extensive research and decided to have only nine products under each collection. This is a major shift from 30 or so products, some didn’t clearly reflect the theme. Now when a customer clicks ‘Rings’, she or he will only see rings under that collection. The same applies to Wallets, Bags, and Digital.

It’s logical and natural after feeling that comfortable with the content of your store to turn to marketing with a renewed will and a fresh determination.

On that, StoreFour now has its Twitter and Pinterest storefronts up and running, with new content and interaction on a daily basis. Facebook already showcases StoreFour, and all are ready from another round of ad campaigns.

We are very pleased to share these exciting developments with our readers, and as always, happy to hear your questions and comments.

Till the next post, be open to new, enriching ideas!

The Wealth Maker

© Image Credit: StoreFour, https://storefour.ca All Rights Reserved

How Can an Investor Read The Future?


Investing is not only an intellectual enterprise. It challenges all dimensions of an investor’s personality and character. That’s why it is an inner job, before it manifests in the outer.

Nonetheless, an investor is not a fortuneteller, a speculator, or a gambler. He or she sees the activity as a business, which is prone to loss and profit, rise and demise.

Human beings are bound by the laws of cause and effect, and governed by the flow of time. Is that so? We tend to “like” to surrender to such determinism because our minds need to find closure on everything. Without such “unconscious” obedience to these laws, without time, the mind gets lost.

Within each and every one of us is a potential greater than the mind. Tapping into that potential requires awareness and inner work. You may start by paying attention to the mind’s ceaseless thinking, and train yourself to be an observer, not a participant in the thousands of thoughts the mind conjures up everyday! You can reach a stage where you “choose” what serves you and add value to your life, while releasing that which confuses or troubles you.

The mind can’t stop working. This is a blessing. Nevertheless, it could turn into a curse when the mind starts using us to “entertain” itself, especially as it finds itself “free”. Keep it busy with something suitable to its nature, and useful to you and to the world around you. Apart from that, practice the art of “un-participation”. You are not your mind!

Here you might say: I’m confused! Are you telling me to be mindless?

Not at all. I’m asking you to be “mindful”. To be the master of your mind not its slave. There is a huge difference between the two worlds.

How is all of that related to investing? Surprisingly a lot!

When you become in command of your mind, and hence your life, all your activities start flowing effortlessly. You bypass the mind’s resistance to the new in favor of the old and familiar.

That leads to a very important fact, which sets the stage for the rest of this discussion: History does not repeat itself! Each and every moment is independent and new, and it may surprise you.

Does that make me read the future? You might ask.

Not literally. However, it advances you light years ahead in your ability to engage the moments while they unfold, which is, in my humble opinion, better than reading the future.

As you rid yourself of a troubling past, and be fully present here and now, you become “aligned” with true universal principles. Time becomes your friend. Cause and effect your servants. You are no longer asleep, spiritually. You start to “see”. You begin to “know” without thinking. You step into a new realm that has already been within you, but now you’re “awake” to its existence and brilliance.

From this new foundation, your investment decisions (and all your decisions) will change, for the better. You have on your side the best advisor ever, you! The real you…

This can only be proven through direct experience. Do not believe any of the above, but try it and practice it, honestly.

After all, whose life and whose money are we talking about? Doesn’t that deserve exploring something new? Haven’t we had enough of resigning to the old, only because it is familiar? And we all know, too well, that “familiar” does not equate to “successful”. Most of the time, it leads to the opposite.

Any breakthrough, throughout human history, has come about by challenging habitual thinking and exploring the frontiers that laid dormant behind the mind.

Gravity isn’t only physical!

The Wealth Maker

Beware of Binary Options (BO) Trading!


Despite its newness, BO trading has almost gone mainstream. The promise of fast and easy attainment of riches fuels its overwhelming proliferation.

People with no experience whatsoever embark on this adventure. After all, opening an account takes seconds. Placing a trade is swift and instant, and so is losing money!

The business model of the so-called binary options brokers (many of them are regulated by gambling authorities, if at all) is an old-fashion scheme, where the winners take part of the losers’ money, and the house keeps the rest. Does that remind you of any other business model?!

New brokers are popping up everywhere. The only region that doesn’t welcome them as much is North America. None of them is recognized or regulated by financial authorities in either Canada or The US.

The platforms, the graphs, the glamour, and even the so-called “rules” play on the psychology of the users, who soon become losers of hard-earned funds.

What is the split? Probably one winner in every 100 or more members. So let’s run a quick calculation. The winner is so good, he/she nets $1000 a day. The losers, on the other hand, give up an average of 50/member. Total loss: 50 *100 = 5000. The winner gets a grand, and the house keeps four; not bad at all! Keep in mind that this example assumes a very low-end of the game. Usually, the split is one winner out of at least 500. And the losers let go of more than 50 a piece.

Is that business, investment, or even trading?

No. It is not, by any measure. It’s a new form of online gambling. People talk about using technical analysis to “predict” the closing price of an asset, when the trade expires. What’s that called? Betting, right. Fighting the odds, with eyes less than half-oppened.

Financial markets are unpredictable on the long-term, let alone for minutes and/or seconds. A price graph may decide to have a “hiccup” right before expiry, costing you all the money you’ve put on that price closing higher (or lower) than the entry point. The reason could be a piece of news, High Frequency Trading (HFT), or any other unpredictable event that may have taken place momentarily, causing a trend to change direction, wiping out your “investment.”

Is that fair? Well, first, no one forces you to do it. And second, which is more important, this is an emotional rollercoaster. Very few people can maintain their composure in the face of such rapid changes. Those are the few winners, exactly as in poker, or any other money game.

Money is a vehicle to exchange real value. Playing with it isn’t healthy, both for the individual and the economy.

Please notice that nothing is being exchanged, not even futures (for example, commodities or stocks). The whole deal is about prediction and speculation. The “trader” buys the “right” to put money on a probability, which is affected by factors that are entirely outside the reach and control of the trader. Can you buy and sell probabilities? You can utilize statistical data to make an informed investment decision. Here, that piece of information has become the asset!

We need to know the traps so we wouldn’t step on them.

Go back to the articles on this blog, or any other source you trust. Gain the knowledge of real investment, real work. Know your options, and never commit money to buying fish in the ocean!

The Wealth Maker

Intelligent Wealth Making


With the advent of the Internet, creating and maintaining wealth has become accessible to more people all over the globe. Throughout the posts of this blog, I have covered several methods, techniques, and concepts that, if followed properly, would lead to making, growing, and maintaining wealth.

Nevertheless, the explosive proliferation of “money making” tools, especially online, has not replaced the need for intelligence! On the contrary, it has made losing money much easier and faster than ever before…

What does it entail to be an intelligent wealth maker? Knowledge? Hard work? Yes, but on top of that, one should realize that this business starts within. It has so much to do with knowing who you are and what you want, with ultimate clarity.

Coming from a solid foundation like that would make you use your awareness to identify the right opportunity, and avoid everything else.

Does that require a 160+ IQ? Not at all. A decent IQ, supported by a good EQ would suffice.

Start by spending time and energy exploring your innermost orientations, motives, tendencies. Discover your values. Revisit your roles and mend your essential relationships. Know where you are going, and then set intelligent objectives and action plans on how to get there. Be flexible enough to learn and adjust as you go.

However, be aware that some things are changeable, while others are changeless!

The Wealth Maker