Making The Best Of Bad

Making The Best Of Bad

Okay. So.

 

No one wants to talk about divorce. It’s about as exciting as discussing payment plans or leasing agreements. They’re long, messy, boring, and involve all sorts of legality nonsense that no one wants to deal with.

But let’s say you’re in a situation where you just really, really need a divorce lawyer — or at least someone who can seal the deal so both parties can get some closure? Where do you even start? Just Google it and wait for the ones who charge the most to come up first?

 

This is the conundrum that Ben Greenheld had, the drummer for an up-and-coming rock band in Southern California. The life of a touring musician doesn’t exactly facilitate the separation process, especially when funds must be so carefully handled. This is when Michael Rena, the band’s lead singer, came to the rescue.

 

“The separation with my ex-wife was painful enough, but not being able to find someone affordable enough to give both of us some closure? That was the really cruel thing. All we wanted was someone who would make the process go as smoothly as possible.”

 

Luckily, a referral from a friend solved Rena’s problem. This referral pointed to a lesser-known alternative to pricey lawyers: divorce mediation.

 

“It literally accomplishes the same task, it’s just like a fraction of the price,” Greenheld explained. “When Mike told me about this, I was dumbfounded. I had never even heard of a mediator. Why wasn’t this option more discussed?”

 

Divorce mediation is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry of family law. Why? Because they don’t have the huge price tags of divorce lawyers that allow them widespread advertising. Think about how both of these men were referred to mediation — through word of mouth.

“Without having a mediator for divorce specifically, I’m not sure how we could have done it. I kept thinking there would be some sort of catch — but it was the exact same result for a tenth of the price. I would give it my highest recommendation.”

 

Not only is it more affordable, but a mediator can make the divorce process significantly shorter than a divorce lawyer could. Since neither Greenheld nor Rena had children, the typical process could last up to a year. However, when they used a mediator, it took a little over 90 days for everything to become finalized. But, if you do have kids and are going through a divorce, they have amazing support for that as well!

 

“They certainly don’t rush you by any means,” Rena clarified. “They make sure it’s not one those “on-a-whim” or “power play” things. Just like a divorce lawyer, these guys really have seen everything. And they’re completely professional about all of it.

 

At the end of the day, most mediators have the same goal: to take something that is already unpleasant in nature, and to make the process as smooth as possible (while not setting fire to your savings account). Rena and Greenheld were shocked that more people weren’t aware of this resource, and I wanted to make sure the word got out. If you have been a reader of this blog for a while, you may remember my own divorce dealings which I wrote about here.

If you are looking for a great divorce mediator, you can check out:

McNamee Mediations
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 223-3836

The Rock Star & The Millennials

The Rock Star & The Millennials

Arthur Duvall is 55 years old. He’s been playing in a 70s themed rock band for about thirteen years, but he’s been running to same old pitfall as almost any marketing campaign:

 

Those dang millennials.

 

No matter what he does, he can’t seem to connect with this group of people who were born between 1981 and 1996. It should have been so easy; they love vintage things, especially music. Why was playing 70s music not adding young people to his steadily growing fanbase?

This is where Dr. Larry Schimmer came in. Dr. Schimmer, or Schimm as we like to call him, is the bands business coach and has been studying millennials inadvertently ever since the birth of his daughters in 1986 and 1992, long before he thought about becoming a psychologist for adolescents. His background led to some groundbreaking discoveries on the lost connection between marketers and this “stubborn generation.” I had the privilege of recording one of their converstations about how to connect with millennials and this is how that went down:

 

Duvall: Why don’t millennials like us old guys?

 

Schimmer: The first thing you must understand about millennials is that they’re not a fan of the title. More often than not, their generation is associated with laziness, lack of ambition and attention span, when they might be one of the hardest working generations this country has ever seen. They are also a lot smarter than people pin them as, so they can see through many  “millennial-catered campaigns” in a heartbeat.

 

Duvall: What do you mean by “millennial-catered campaigns”?

 

Schimmer: Have you ever seen a commercial that ends abruptly with a “hashtag” or uses outdated Instagram terms non-ironically? These campaigns essentially communicating the following message to millennials: “we know you don’t understand or care about anything unless we make it ‘shareable,’ so here’s our attempt to reach out to your poor forsaken generation.” It’s essentially calling someone vain and stupid at the same time.

 

Duvall: Okay, so avoid tech talk. But phones are how millennials are getting all their information — it’s how they even find out if something is trending. How do I even show up on their radar if I am not active on the internet?

 

Schimmer: Oh, please don’t misunderstand me — your business will definitely not grow without building an internet presence. I merely suggest that you hire a social media manager who matches the age of your target audience. Modern day marketers often think that age=experience, especially in the area of social media. You need someone who has grown up with it, someone who has seen how quickly internet trends come and go, and how ineffective it is to use a trend that will become outdated so quickly.

 

Duvall: What’s a good example?

Schimmer: My sister used to write for an online magazine that was targeted to women significantly younger than her. There is no problem with this, but she ran into trouble when writing about Snapchat. She constructed this beautiful article about teaching one’s grandmother how to use it, thus creating more consistent connections between extended family. However, the article became defunct within a month when Snapchat updated its entire platform, rendering all her information incorrect.

 

Duvall: And a younger person wouldn’t have written it?

 

Schimmer: A younger person probably wouldn’t have spent their time, and your money, working on a campaign that does not have “evergreen” value (by “evergreen” I mean content that usually stays relevant no matter how much time passes).

 

If I could leave you with anything, it would be this: if you want to connect with millennials, hire a millennial who is experienced in social media work. They usually know to choose good content over trending topics, as well as finding the niche within the huge “millennial group” on which to build your foundation. If you start there, you’re in a good place to start building your reputation with them.”

If you are in the southern California area and could use similar consulting, you can check out:

PerSynergy Consulting
5 Somerset Dove Canyon, CA 92679
(949) 543-0415

The Best Contractor in Orange County

The Best Contractor in Orange County

Hey there! I hope everything is doing rockalicious this Christmas season!

I just got back from an amazing tour around Southeast Asia. Wonderful people there.

While I was gone, I was having my home remodeled. We had it all planned out so that the work would be done when I was on tour and it would be ready to go when I got home for the holidays. And let me tell you, the guys I worked with did not disappoint!

These guys are seriously the best remodeling contractors in Orange County!

I’ll just show you what I’m talking about with some pictures of my freshly remodeled home.

First up, here’s my kitchen:

I love the overhead lights and the tile backsplash along the wall. The tile flooring also looks amazing. You should have seen this place beforehand!

Next, check out my bathroom:

That sliding door is so sick and the bathroom looks amazing, my wife loves the white countertops and sinks. And that is just the guest bathroom, here is the one in the master:

I love tile, you can probably tell. I was so excited to get these pictures up I haven’t even had a chance to use the shower! Next up, check out this iron railing they did by my stairs:

I think this looks so cool. It’s fresh and modern. And you have to check out this, it was a dream of mine. It is a fireplace bathroom!

The fireplace is right next to the tub! How awesome is that! And then the TV above it. I will spend hours in that tub!

Alright, the last one for the home tour, check out my remodeled fireplace:

The stone wall all the up to the ceiling is exactly what I wanted! Not only does it all look amazing, but they got it done just in time for the holidays. This is going to be the perfect place to host Christmas with my family!

Now I just need to get all of my decorations up!

So thankful for these guys, if you are looking to get your own remodeling done you can find them here:

Inspired Remodels, Inc.
20992 Bake Parkway, Suite 108, Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 716-1938

Rock and Roll and Taxes

Rock and Roll and Taxes

When was the last time I had checked the mail? It was a valid question that my manager, Stacy was repeating to me. “Um, yeah what?” was my reply. Smart.

“Alex, I said when was the last time you checked your mail? You know the place you get letters from grandma, bills, important tax documents sent to,” she replied, she seemed agitated.

“Oh yeah, the mail. Yeah, I haven’t got one of those,” I replied.

“Alex everyone has “one of those”!” Stacy was yelling now. That was never a good sign. “How can a famous, professional musician not know this?!”

She is infuriated now I can tell. “You have millions of fans, a hit song, and are on the shortlist for standout Rockstar of the year and you won’t be able to attend the ceremony because where will you be? In jail, that’s where all because you haven’t paid taxes, like ever!” Stacy took a long breath and rubbed her temples.

“Could I, like, pay them now?” I asked. Her face turned red.

“I will set up a meeting with a bookkeeper and we will try to get in front of this,” she replied. “I’m serious though you might be going to jail.”

 

A day past and then my alarm went off at eight. I don’t mean eight PM, I was actually up at eight AM. It was a first for me. I rolled out of bed and got ready. Stacy was waiting outside and we drove to the meeting.

As we walked in the air seemed to drop ten degrees. Two men sat behind a desk with very serious looks on their faces. I could tell they meant business so I thought I’d let Stacy do the talking. Supposedly, this was the best bookkeeping company in the area. We introduced ourselves and they all started talking. I swear I tried to pay attention but my eyes glossed over and honestly, I spaced out. About an hour later I recognized the agent with the bald head was speaking to me. I almost giggled because I realized he looked like Mr. Clean but I held it together.

“Mr. Starfield? Can you agree to these terms?” Crap what… I looked at Stacy. She had her say yes or I’ll kill you face on.

“Yes sir, of course. I’m sincerely sorry again for the hassle and inconvenience I may have caused,” I replied glancing at Stacy. Yay, I thought, now she was wearing her “good boy” face which was way better than the killing me face.

“Alright, we will have the documents drawn up and sent over,” muscular agent was talking now. He looked like Hulk Hogan, but again I didn’t laugh. Go me!

“Ahh, yes,” I replied, “You mean by mail of course.” I smiled.

“Um yes… I mean by mail Alex,” the agent replied.

Stacy looked ready to slap me. “On that note,” she chimed in, “thank you gentleman so much for your time. We will be in touch soon.”

We all shook hands again and Stacy and I exited. “I think that went well!” I said, “So what exactly did I just agree to?” Stacy rolled her eyes and got in the car. I reached for the passenger side door but it was locked. “Um, Stac? The car door is,” and off she went. Geez well, I guess I’ll have to check my mail from now on.

These were the guys we were working with if you were curious:

Smart Bean Inc
17291 Irvine Blvd #104
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 503-8108

Rock For The Cause

Rock For The Cause

ArrowSith Presents Green Is The Safest Color Benefit Concert

While the wild humdrum of anti-war sentiment may be settling, activism is a far cry from over. New band, ArrowSith, takes the stage this Friday in support of environmental causes for their benefit concert Green Is The Safest Color. Tickets are $3 at the door with a table for further donations. The raised funds will go to a myriad of causes including clean water, less plastic, and natural pest control.

ArrowSith recently took off, hitting #1 on the charts with their new hit single “Before You There Was Me.” The band formed earlier this year lead by frontman Steve Miller (not of Steve Miller Band notoriety), drummer Gary Woodworth, bassist Ernie Hamsterdamn, and keys/percussionist Lillian Farly. Brought together by their mutual appreciation for archery and George Lucas’ revolutionary Star Wars film, ArrowSith brings a spirited angst in their music to illustrate their passion for change.

ArrowSith preaches a message of action through both song and interview. “I can inspire change with just my guitar and a few powerful lyrics. I can multiply that with the addition of each of my bandmates.” Steve Miller explains, “We are young. We are dreamers. We see a world full of chaos and injustice and we still believe something can be done. We have talent and a platform and we intend on using them. We don’t think it’s foolish to try and stop the corporate greed. We think it’s foolish to sit back and do nothing.”

Green Is The Safest Color intends on bringing validity to ArrowSith’s message. Alongside the benefit concert, all profits from merchandise sold at the event will go toward funding a new initiative for environmental education. ArrowSith plans on debuting three new t-shirt designs at the event: one advocating clean water, one advising less plastic, and one supporting natural termite control.

Lillian Farly, who spearheaded both the benefit concert and the new initiative, further describes ArrowSith’s aim. “We have all these activist songs and catchy phrases but that only goes so far. I noticed a lot of issues root from not knowing. If a farmer doesn’t know the pesticides they’re using are harmful, how can they be expected to stop? I didn’t want ArrowSith to be all talk and no action so I went to the band with my concerns. They agreed and we got to talking and I proposed the idea for the initiative. I had no idea how we would pull it off, but together we came up with the idea for Green Is The Safest Color to raise money and awareness. Now that we have some success we can finally maybe pull it off.”

ArrowSith is only in the early stages of actualizing their education initiative. However, supporting Green Is The Safest Color on Friday with attendance or donations is an immediate way to pledge support for their cause. It is never too late to make a change. The environment may be suffering, but ArrowSith and likeminded groups won’t let it happen for long.

Natural Science Exterminating
11642 Knott Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841
(800) 246-7378