Category Archive 'Blogging'

Handling unexpected change


Sorry for the delay in updating this site. My mother-in-law passed away last week from cancer, and our family is still recovering from the loss.

More pertinent posts will be forthcoming, but I happened across this recently at work and found parts of it somewhat comforting, so I thought I’d share, in case anyone else has recently experienced loss. Titled “How to Deal with Change”, it’s from wikiHow.


Being prepared for change involves flexibility, strength of self-purpose and belief in one’s own worth.

  1. Be prepared. Life is full of unexpected surprises; don’t let this be a lesson you refuse to learn. Death, loss and strange situations will be a part of your life, no matter how much you may try to cocoon yourself with reasoning, savings and assets. The major key to coping with change is to accept the reality of change and its inevitability.
  2. Realize there’s only one thing you can control – yourself. Once you cotton on to the reality that you cannot change others and that the only way they can change you is if you let them, then you suddenly find yourself empowered. Empowerment is a key element of change acceptance and change management. When you feel empowered, you will roll with changes as a whale rolls through the ocean waves, commanding and unbothered by events but conscious of a need to roll with the surrounding effects to lessen their impacts.
  3. Take time to recoup. If you are grieving after a death, be it a person or a pet, do not let anyone tell you how long to grieve for. That decision is yours. It does make sense to make a decision in your own mind about what grieving you need to do, as your life cannot meander in sorrow forever. However, it is most clear that those who avoid grieving end up worse off and can experience break-downs and inability to cope at unexpected times. With grief for death, there will always be a piece of your heart missing but if you accept this and you are willing to carry the memories as lively as can be for the rest of your life, this will help you reach some acceptance of what has happened. If it is a job loss or some other personal loss that is not death, you still need mourning time to assuage your sadness and grief over a loss of something that once filled a large part of your life. Perhaps a small ending ceremony of some sort will help to give you a sense of closure and allow you to move forward.
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THIS is why I post boring Excel tutorials :)

Blogging, Excel function tutorials

I received the following email today:

    Hello Ricemutt

    My name is John D. [name edited to protect privacy] and I am a tutor in the School of Engineering and Computing at Blackpool & Fylde College in England. I found one of your tutorials on the internet and find it to be superior to the material I currently use when teaching my students this aspect of spreadsheets. I would like to ask your permission to use the content for the purpose of a student excersize. In this regard, I have taken the liberty of creating a PDF from your content, and editing as I felt was appropriate for the students (adverts etc.). In addition, I have accredited yourself as the creator of the document. I have attached the PDF for your inspection. If you would be so kind as to allow me to use your material, I would be grateful. If not, I will of course delete the PDF and it will not be used.

    Kind Regards

    John D.

So yes, I have ads on my blog, and yes, I do make money from them, but it’s really emails like these that always make me feel good about the time it takes to do all these , which require screen captures and writing detailed steps. (I’ve been meaning to write a simple one on pivot tables, but having a 3-month old to take care of has delayed this.)

I’m also pleasantly surprised that there are still people out there on the Internet who do the right thing and take time to ask for permission first before using other people’s work.

I sometimes get requests to work on actual spreadsheet problems people are dealing with for their business or job. I’ve honored a couple of these, usually asking them to just make a donation to a local charity. I’m considering setting up a donation button on this site for things like that, or when people find the information on here useful enough to donate a small amount, which I’d then collect and donate to a different charity each month. Any opinions on this?

And…we’re back!


Seems my site was hacked into a couple of days ago. Thanks to the fine fellow personal finance bloggers at the , I was able to restore my site with a few hours of work and a database backup from my host. Yay!

Sorry to everyone for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience. I’ve since upgraded WordPress so that, hopefully, security is a bit better, though it never goes away entirely…..

Interview with creator of Uncommon Business

Blogging, Business & entrepreneurship

I’ve enjoyed being a regular reader of a blog called (tagline “Unusual Business Ideas That Work”) for about a year now. Recently, the blog’s author, Dmitry Davydov, offered to provide an interview to bloggers who were interested in learning more about him and his commercial blogging business. He’s been able to pay off two mortgages and support his family through his portfolio of blogs and sites that include (a site where you can earn money by suggesting domain names), , among several others.

Thanks very much for conducting this interview. I’m curious on how you first got the idea to start a blog about unusual business ideas?

Well, I am sort of addicted to such stories and I wanted to keep them all in one place. That’s how this blog started. And then the blog took off.

Where do you get the content/material for this blog? Do you write everything yourself? If you do, how do you find the time? If not, where do you find the content?

99% of content is not mine. I think I have a few posts that werewritten by me, but most are reprints. Most of them come from magazines (Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business 2.0, Startup Journal) plus

One of the toughest things about maintaining multiple blogs as you do is scalability. How do you manage to keep on top of all of your sites?

Well, you can’t if you have to write all the content yourself. But if you reprint content, it’s not a problem. There is a lot of fuss about printing other people’s content – both moral and legal. However, all my blogs are about topics that interest me personally. For instance, I love documentaries – so I have a blog about that (called ). I get e-mails every day about that blog. People thank me about starting it – because they come to one place and it’s all there. Every day there is a new documentary. You can go to Google Video yourself and enter ‘documentaries’ in search. But you’ll get good videos and bad videos. The ‘this is a documentary me and my buddy Mike did for a school project kind’.

So it does pay to collect all the good stuff and post it in one place. And since I do read about weird businesses daily and browse Google Video daily, having so many blogs isn’t a problem for me.

Bloggers span the spectrum when it comes to the question of monetization and commercial blogging. You mentioned that you gave AdSense a shot, which didn’t pan out as well as you hoped, but ultimately you were very successful. I’m sure many readers are interested in how you managed to become a successful commercial blogger. Can you give us a glimpse?

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Back from the dead (hopefully)


Bet you’ve been wondering what happened to this site? The simple answer: work. My new job takes up an inordinate amount of time (I worked most of this weekend), but I’m hoping that now that I’m into my 3rd week, I’ll have enough discipline to keep this site up and refreshed a couple of times a week while maintaining a full-time job.

So….the new job. It’s really different from my previous one in many ways. There’s one big downside, the time it requires, but that’s about it. I never thought I’d say this about a corporate job, but I work with some incredibly efficient and capable people in my group. (Not to mention that their Excel skills are downright scary.) The good thing about this is that things get done really quickly, and surprisingly, I find there’s no need to nag, remind, and micromanage projects or people. You ask for information via email, and people respond almost immediately with exactly what you asked for. But the downside is that there’s not much room for improvement in terms of just “working smarter”.

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