Good Day to You,
A Tough Post
I’m going to start right off by telling you that this is a very difficult post for me.
This Redirection in my online activities is coming about due to my need to “make a buck”, plain and simple.
I’m not a “Sales Man”
If you take the time to look at this project, you will clearly NOT SEE ANY promotions or other means to try and get you to BUY ANYTHING.
I am basically a “Helper” and plan to continue being.
Why Supplementing my Retirement Income Needs to Happen.
I’m quite sure that many of you can relate to the fact that our pay checks just don’t support ourselves or our loved ones, as they once did.
In my thirty (30) years as a Maine State Employee, we have continuously been forced to make concessions in many ways.
To those of you who are under the impression that your local government employees “have it made”, this may well be somewhat of a shock to you.
Government employees are subject to the whims of every change in political agenda, after each election and/or when the next fiscal year budget is on the legislative agenda.
Every time someone has “good intentions” to “cut the budget”, “reallocate funds”, or in some other way “balance the budget”, the first thing that is considered is the “Pay Check” or “Benefit Package” of your local government employee.
More Disturbing Facts:
In my thirty (30) years of service, the eligibility age for retirement was changed from the age of fifty five (55) to sixty two (62), with suggestions that the minimum retirement age may even rise to become still older for newer employees.
Nearly every time we have gotten a significant raise in pay, we have been forced to suffer through State “Shutdown Days” or “Furlough” days (without pay). This happens when suddenly, the state is “out of money”.
Our employee benefits have suffered greatly in other ways as well.
A Disturbing Trend
All of the above issues are not only affecting government employees, but the greater majority of us “working class” citizens as well.
It seems less and less of us can afford to retire any more. Things have gotten even worse than just faced with not being able to afford retirement when we reach “retirement age”.
More of us are realizing that we MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO RETIRE, no matter how much longer we work.
This is in no way intended to be a “political statement” and has absolutely NOTHING to do with politics. I will not disclose my political preferences publically EVER.
Why I choose to Retire – Part 1:
Up until the last year or so of my state employment, I had a substantial amount of sick leave and vacation built up. I even had some comp time on the books.
Last November 2014, my wife became ill. Her disabled brother lives with us. He is the person who is also responsible for my online name of “Arth”.
I was forced to take an extended “Family Medical Leave”, in order to take care of my family. My paid leave time was all but depleted.
After returning to work, the “Family Medical Leave” continued to cover me for taking my wife and her brother to doctor appointments.
Just so you know, being approved for the “Family Medical Leave” program, allows us to be able to keep medical appointments, without being restrained by the “needs of the office”. We are still required to use any paid sick, vacation, or comp time we have on the books.
Should you find yourself in a similar position, remember to contact your employer’s personnel office, and ask them to approve it for you. If you meet the guidelines, your employer must comply with this Federal Law.
The continuous doctor appointments, forced me to continue to deplete my paid sick leave, vacation and comp time.
In fact, if I had not retired, the “Family Medical Leave” approval would now be expired, along with all my remaining paid time off.
Why I choose to Retire – Part 2:
The single most devastating change in our state employee benefits is something I’m sure we all can relate to.
We have gone through many changes in coverage, dealing with copays, subscription medication and more.
The DECIDING FACTOR that just put me “over the edge” in deciding to retire regardless of if I COULD AFFORD TO OR NOT, came when we were forced to accept our Health Insurance Company requiring an Annual Deductible increase to FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS “$4,000” A YEAR.
Frankly, I couldn’t afford to pay that amount of money, before my health insurance company decides to start paying the bills, EVEN IF I KEPT WORKING FULL TIME.
THIS IS AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE???
Even worse, if we don’t pay for this SO CALLED Health Insurance, we are penalized with having to PAY HIGHER TAXES.
Where is our FREEDOM OF CHOICE?
Not Politics, just Frustration:
Before I explain just how I plan to “Redirect” my efforts, I need to express this as an American Citizen and Veteran.
I am going to quote the U.S. Constitution, by reminding everyone of the very first words in the original document:
“WE THE PEOPLE”
How long are we as American Citizens going to allow the above three (3) words to be so corrupted by the very people who are supposed to have our “best interest” in mind?
Yes, I’m talking about the very people, who are charged with creating laws and policies that affect all of us.
You know, the ones who are supposed to be supporting “WE THE PEOPLE”?
Now, instead of Health Care being “affordable”, we have OUTRAGOUS conditions, where our doctor is governed by what our HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY will cover.
How often have you been in a situation when you or a family member, or even a close friend, had to pay for something “out of pocket”, because the Health Insurance Company, wouldn’t cover the cost?
How many times have you or someone you know had to go without NECESSARY TREATMENT OR SUPPLIES, because the “Experts” (who are paid by the INSURANCE COMPANY), decide that “best” or “accepted” practice didn’t dictate it?
Did your doctor agree, or even have a choice in the decision?
A Serious Threat to our Freedom of Choice
How is it that some company can overrule or impede our personal and private treatment plans between ourselves and our doctor?
Why is this being allowed?
Because “We the PEOPLE” are being overruled by “We the SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP”; “We the CORPORATION” and “We with the DEEPEST POCKETS”.
So, now you understand why I need to “redirect” my efforts into a new direction in order to generate income to supplement my retirement.
I am not abandoning Professional Licensing Helper, just focusing my efforts on income generation for now.
The New Direction, is still as a Helper
I’m sure most of you know what Affiliate Marketing is.
Generally, an Affiliate Marketer is paid a commission, when a product or service they promote, is sold.
The most prevalent advice given for becoming a successful Affiliate Marketer, is to find a niche you are interested in (hopefully a popular one). Find a special need in that niche and fill it.
The above explanation is an over simplification, but serves our purpose here.
My Affiliate Process Checklist
I want to take the concept of Affiliate Marketing, and do something special with it by Learning about and Sharing:
- What’s Trending
- What’s getting the fewest returns (refunds)
- Finding Independent Online Product Reviews
- Linking to independent findings when possible, rather than just “testimonials” provided by the seller.
- Sharing the Refund Policy and Return Policy of the affiliate whose product I’m promoting (and link to it if possible).
- Encouraging you to leave your own comments, expressing your own experiences, product suggestions, or any other recommendations.
- Providing purchasing opportunities for the Affiliate Products and Services, found to be of quality.
Staying Compliant with the Policies of my Affiliates
I’m going to have to be very careful to stay within the policies established by my affiliates.
It may not be possible for me to promote like products from different affiliate programs.
Other restrictions may also exist.
Hopefully, the end result will be an online market place you will have confidence in, because you can find the tools you need to make your own informed choices.
Customer First Focus
Not all the successful Affiliate Marketers agree that concentrating only on products and services we are personally interested in and use is a requirement.
Having to “purchase and test” a product first is also not a necessary requirement, provided we can ensure the quality of the products we promote, through research.
Nothing says I can’t share my research results with you, in a non-biased way, when testing is possible.
I want to provide you with Resource Links to the Results of my own Independent Research, to help insure a realistic degree of Quality Control that you can access for yourself.
Of course, when possible, I may test a product or service myself and share my own experience with you as well.
Continuing to be a Helper on Both this site and the new Marketing one.
- By providing “Resource Links”, to the information you need to make an INFORMED choice, when considering the products offered, or relating to Professional Licensing as my priority.
- By Linking to Information that has no connection to my affiliates or myself.
- By allowing you to provide your own comments and suggestions.
- By providing you with a Contact Form, so that you can get a personal response from me.
An “Almost” Apology
I apologize for having to redirect my attention to sales.
Not so much for “telling it like it is” and being transparent about the circumstances involved in making these changes.
About the New Site
Site creation and development will begin, after doing some more preliminary research and planning. I’m “learning as I go” with this, so bear with me.
This will be an interesting learning experience for me, and a wonderful resource for you to learn about some product research resources as well.
All the little details are not worked out yet, but I will share with you the site title and domain name I’m considering.
The most promising name being considered for the site right now is:
“Customer First Marketer”
Do you think the name fits my concept for the site?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or by using the Contact Form.
LEARN – HELP – GROW
Staying true to this concept is still very important to me.
“Don’t be afraid” to see the value you can share with those around you.
Sometimes believing in ourselves means we just have to “GO FOR IT!!!”
I believe that keeping YOU FIRST, is the best way to proceed with integrity, while maintaining our MUTUAL RESPECT and TRUST.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and start a conversation in the comments.
Let me know how you feel this redirection can best be used to provide the kind of informed and reliable “freedom of choice” in selecting the products or services you see on the new site.
I am only now, beginning to fully develop this concept. It will take some time to turn it into a reality.
Thank You, to those of you still reading this rather long and complicated post. I appreciate your understanding and hope to continue to earn your trust.
My Best to You