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Scenario: "Dude, you gotta be your harshest critic. Blast yo' self. You'll do better and make billions. Yay!" But if you're just blasting yourself for every itty-bitty thing that happens to you, you're destroying your self-esteem. And, once you lose your self-esteem, you'll lose all hope of building a ridiculously awesome company that rocks the world. So how should you really talk to yourself? Dump negativity, and get your booty thinking: "I'm already a badass." When you use that as a foundation to everything you tell yourself, you start fighting every struggle fiercely. Instead of whimpering about some certain flaw, you start seeking ways to overcome it.

Trash Negative Mumbo-Jumbo

You know those filthy-sucky phrases that depressingly drag you down:

  • "I suck."
  • "My customers want to hurt me."
  • "My employees hate me."
  • "I can't ever do anything right."
  • "My nose = too big."

For every negative thing you tell yourself, you're chewing away at your self-esteem. Think of it this way:

You = Born a Badass.

Imagine when you still floated in mommy's tummy. Mommy's tummy injected you fully with badass-juice. So when you were a toddler, you believed you could do anything and everything. "I'm a one sexy badass," you told your tiny-self. Your self-esteem was sky-mutha-$@^@!$-high. No one could touch you. You dreamed the impossible, and knew you could achieve it. Yet, enter the bastards when you got older -- those who told you:

  • "You're too small."
  • "You're too stupid."
  • "You're too slow."
  • "Your nose = too big."

So, you started believing them. You started questioning yourself. You started shredding yourself with your flaws. Worse: You started depleting a portion of your badass-juice every instance you criticized yourself. Then the inevitable: you drained the entire badass-juice from your body. Your self-esteem: squashed. The next thing you know:

  1. You're losing customers to competitors.
  2. Your veteran employees leave you for smaller firms.
  3. Your intellectual property suffers.
  4. Your vendors sue.
  5. You file for bankruptcy.

Uh-oh. But, lucky for your cool-self, it doesn't have to end that way.

Your Body's Like a Big-Freakin' Coke Bottle

That bottle contains your badass-juice. You could empty the bottle with incessant criticisms. Or, you could fill it up -- and keep it filled -- with sweet encouragement: Every positive reinforcement adds more badass-juice to your bottle. Each makes you more resilient, determined, and driven to imprint your mark on the crazy world. Instead of whining about how the world's so full of hostility, you instead get yourself thinking:

  • "I'm the fiercest fighter in my industry."
  • "I overcome trivial obstacles that impede my path to stardom."
  • "People who don't believe in me drive me to prove their ineptitude."

You're already a badass. No one can take that away from you. The template to get you filling your bottle:

"Ten reasons why I'm the baddest mutha-$%^!^@ around: _____________."

 

Posted on January 03

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Scenario: "Dude, just set one big-freakin' goal. Then strive for it. Strive because you believe in yourself. Strive. You-can-do-it. Yay!" It all sounds fine-and-dandy: Set a big goal, then strive for it like the mutha $@!$% that you know you are. But, there's a reason most people don't achieve their New Year goals: It's too freakin' big to achieve in one sitting. That gets you procrastinating, with your subconscious telling yourself:

  • "Hey, I can't achieve my big goal now. Maybe I'll start seeking it in the near future when I feel ready. Right now, I'm not ready. Yay!"

That statement becomes a viciously cruel cycle that gets you doing: Nothing.

Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Goals

Pop-quiz for ya: Which goal would people more likely achieve:

  • a) "Bake a cake tomorrow."
  • b) "Grow revenues 100% by 2008."

If you answered (a): Ding! Ding! Mutha Ding! Ring! Your badass is correct-a-mundo. Why?

Deadlines Control How Fast You Work

Subconsciously, you determine the amount work you do by the amount of time you think you have for that work. For a one-day goal, you tell yourself: "Dude, I only have 1 day to do this sucka. I better do it by today!" But, for a 365-day goal: "Dude, I have all year to achieve it. I don't have to really do anything tomorrow, because hey -- it's only one day. I have 99.73% of the year remaining. No worries."

What typically happens with a long-term goal with no short-term-goals?

You wait, wait, and oh-mutha-$@!% wait to start. Another day passes, and another, and another -- until you discover you have to get your butt in gear. At that point, two scenarios happen:

  1. You try to accomplish the big juicy goal, but still fall miserably short of it; or
  2. You determine you have absolutely no time to accomplish the goal because of time-constraints, so you drop it completely.

Ouch. There's a better way to achieve that big juicy goal, and we'll let you in on the secret.

How to Set Your Goals

Since humans thrive according to deadlines, here's the process we'd recommend for your badass: First, define your one-sexy-big-juicy goal. Now, divide your that into as many mini-ones as you can. The more mini-ones you set, the more likely you'll achieve them. We'll demonstrate:

  1. Eddie wants to increase revenues by $1,000,000 before 2008.
  2. He tells his bad-self: "I know I'll need to set mini ones that lead up to that $1 million goal. That will give me a higher chance of achieving that goal by the end of the year." So, he sets them.
  3. He has a goal of $50,000 by January, $125,000 by February, $225,000 by March, and so on -- with each month leading up to that $1 million goal.
  4. "But!" he exclaims. "I'll need to set smaller ones because 30 days is still a lot!"
  5. So, he sets weekly goals that lead up to each of his monthly goals.
  6. "But, hey!" he screams. "I can set daily ones too!"
  7. He does.
  8. He soars.

Remember: Set Measurable Goals

Remember back when you were yay-high, and your teacher told you: "Be good." -- they still yelled at you for: _________? Yeah, blame that one on your teacher. We encourage you to go back there, and explain yo-self: "Mrs. Williams, if you just told me to keep quiet during reading time before you yelled at me, I would've done it!" Humans want specificity. Vague goals keep people short of their fabulous potential.

Common Mistake for Business Goals

Consider these two business goals:

  1. Grow revenues.
  2. Grow revenues by 100%.

One gets you complacent; the other drives you to chase down that goal, and beat it like a mutha ^@!$%! badass you know you are. You could grow revenues by $1, and you'll still achieve the first goal. Yay. That won't get you moving, however. You have no destination point to viciously drive you to achieve the big goals you want. A more specific goal however gives you a vision of Everest's summit: a clear destination point that motivates you to get there, increasing your productivity to rock.

"But, dudes: do I have to have only one-juicy goal?"

Nope. You could have several, and we'd encourage it. Our point: the more mini-goals you set for each of your juicy-big-goals for the year, the likelier you'll achieve it. For instance: if you have five big-sexy goals, set separate mini-goals for each of those five. To rock, remember:

Set several specific mini-goals that construct a big-sexy-juicy goal. Then, watch your badass rock.

 

Posted on January 02

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Have an amazingly-awesome holiday! Enjoy the delicious food, the college Bowl games, the crazy gifts, and of course: the super-awesome, totally badass, and ridiculously super cool people around you. Don't work too hard. Tell your fabulous family we said wassup. We'll be taking a nice, hearty break until the first few days of January. We'll see you then. Have an awesome New Year, and a great start to your fabulous 2007. We love y'all!
Posted on December 22

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Scenario: "Dude, just exploit some opportunity whether you love it or not. You'll make billions. Yay!" It's Fabulous Friday, and most of you fabulous readers are heading into your long Christmas weekend. So we thought we'd send you out with a short and sweet thing to ask yourself during the break: "Is my badass seriously doing what I absolutely love?" You know, we could get caught up in the whole..."You have one life to live...," or "Follow your hearts...," and all the other mumbo-jumbo motivational phrases that are associated with doing what you love. And yes, we admit: most are true. But -- as the smartest, wittiest, and sexiest business readers on the face of this mutha $^@%^^ planet, you're not influenced by just motivational-speak. You want more. You want hard facts. You want empirical evidence. Otherwise, you're not receptive to it. We hear ya. With that said:

Why Doing What You Love Rocks

You take two people:

  • a) Fabio who absolutely loves French food, and starts a French food restaurant.
  • b) Mikey who's exploiting the hot "social networking opportunity" by building a MySpace clone with wiki functionality.

Who's going to have more money in ten years? If you answered (a) Fabio: Ding, ding, mutha ding, ding! You're one correct badass.

Fabio vs. Mikey

Fabio will likely start with a modest French restaurant, building on top of that success by growing it into a mini-chain to spread his love of French cuisine. Then before you know it: he'll have a French food empire that spans the globe. Meanwhile, Mikey will be jumping from opportunity-to-opportunity thinking: "Ohhhhh! There's THE market where I'll make my billions!" And when another hot opportunity arises, Mikey will jump ship again, and again, and again -- never fully establishing his business to build on top of his past successes.

Why Hot Opportunities Suck

"Hot" opportunities comes in waves; when those "hot" opportunities dry out in five years, you'll be left with blah. It's happened to personal computers, biotechnology, compact disks, ERPs, terminals, and any other "hot" opportunity that magazines heralded more than a couple years ago. Doing what you love instead keeps you doing that sucka no matter what market conditions present themselves. That sustains you, and drives you to build one success brick on top of another -- until you construct one monstrous business force that rocks the world like it ain't no thang but a chicken wing on a string.

It's in the Mutha ^%$^@ study

According to a study by Wharton and Stanford professors, "doing what you love" drove the super-successful:

Whether you are Jack Welch or the Dalai Lama, it is dangerous not to do what you love. If you don't have a level of passion that drives your thinking about what you're doing day in and day out, there will be others out there who are passionate who will overtake and outrun you. People who care will take the initiative away from those who are half-hearted. So loving what you do is a competitive imperative, not simply a nice thing to have.

What it Takes

You can't build Rome in a day by jumping from city-to-city exploiting "what's hot." Likewise, you can't build something that rocks for ages by jumping ship the next time some whacked-out business magazine declares: "Oooooh! Hot opportunities for 2007! Buy now!" Building a kick-ass business instead takes persistence, discipline, and heartfelt dedication in staying real to what makes you tick. Your badass deserves it.

Love. Work.


Have a Happy Holiday, y'all!

Posted on December 22

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Scenario: "Dude, I gotta find the perfect idea. Then, I'll start my business. Yay!" You know those people: your bubbly buddies, your cool colleagues, and the "popular" people you meet who's "just-this-close" to being an entrepreneur. But, they tell you: "I'm just waiting to perfect my idea." You wait two months later, and ask again how's it's going. "I'm still perfecting it," they say. About a year flies by: "Almost, sucka! Almost." Three years. "It's not perfect yet! Get off my case, bizzatchi." All throughout that time, those good-hearted folks are revising their ideas -- endlessly exclaiming: "I'm accounting for what the market needs." And so, what happens next? Nothing.

  1. They won't start in 2007, because "I'm still perfecting the idea for 2007."
  2. They won't start in 2008, because "I'm still perfecting the idea for 2008."
  3. Yadda, yadda, yada.

Remember folks: Ideas without execution = Useless. If you're waiting to find that next jillion-dollar idea, know this: You won't. So, just choose something; then, do that something. You'll start accumulating ideas that ultimately produce ridiculously-awesome-idea after ridiculously-awesome-idea. We promise.

Why Action Now is Super Sexy

You'll find a vast amount of profitable ideas when you do something -- anything! Yes, even if it's super-blah. "Oh-fo-sheezy?!" You betcha. "Doing anything" stands as your your best bet to finding profitable ideas because you're constantly experimenting with a dynamic market. We'll demonstrate how easy that sucka is.

Say you're selling something simple: custom t-shirts.

  1. You: "Yo! Your name on a t-shirt. $15."
    Buyer Bobby: "Oh-MY-gosh. NO WAY. Fo' sho!"
  2. Second sweet idea pops-up: "Hey, I can sell these custom t-shirts at Little League games to parents for their kids."
    Ring, ring, ring: You're making good profits for several months.
  3. Third sweet idea pops-up: "Wait, I can boost this business even further by selling customized t-shirts in bulk to the parents' businesses."
    Ring, ring, ring: Another awesome quarter for your fabulous business.
  4. Fourth sweet idea pops-up: "Those businesses use my t-shirts mainly for conferences. We'll also provide them with a fully-fleshed-out, customized branding for their conferences -- including custom-printed brochures, materials, and promotional items."
    Ring, ring, ring. Ringling, ring.
  5. Fifth sweet idea pops-up: "Eureka! We'll handle their entire conference, ensuring its super-dope success through a pay-for-performance policy. We'll boost clients' ROI by creating a super efficient 2-day scratch-to-ready cycle; attract the industry's super influential few through free event tickets, hotel stays, and airfare; and most importantly: creating themed-conference packages that leverage the entire network."

And, that sucka started with a $15 t-shirt.

You do one thing; an idea pops-up; you implement that; another idea pops-up; then another; and, another -- as the sweet cycle continues, endlessly. So, what can you expect next after you get that fifth sweet idea above? That sixth one will come knocking on your door. It's been waiting for you, where the kisses are hers and hers and his, three's company too.

That's How Great Businesses Generate their Ideas

Think Apple. Think 3M. Think Google. Think Proctor & Gamble. Most would think: "Hey, they just had their Eureka moments! We have to wait for the moment like they did." Uh-oh. Here's a secret among those great-idea discoverers: Instead of gunning for homers, they aimed for singles. Those small wins represented:

  1. Faster response.

    No red tape. No bureaucracy. Small teams. Faster communication. And ultimately, faster response times to market conditions.
  2. Less risk.

    Instead of plowing everything onto the table, they used 'a little resources here, a little resources there, and a little resources there.' That helped them understand which ideas needed more investment, and which they needed to drop.
    • If they needed to fund employee overtime:
      No cash = business done.
    • If they needed to pay unforeseen rental fees:
      No cash = business done.
    • If they needed to fund Q&A per federal guidelines:
      No cash = business done.
  3. Healthy cash-flow.

    Throwing all of your eggs in one basket drains cash they needed for the unexpected. For instance:
  4. Build-up of ideas spawns of kick-ass ideas.

    Here's the kicker: once you generate a profitable idea within your frugal budget, you'll start noticing ideas 'popping up from here, from there, from every-mutha-freakin-where.' It's the power of a domino effect. An idea, built on top of an idea, built on top of an idea = one sexy idea. One sexy idea, built on another sexy idea, built on another sexy idea = Ahh!

"So when do I know I have the most amazingly perfect idea in the world?!"

Keep this in check: You'll never find the "perfect" idea. "Perfection" doesn't exist. Anything and their mamas can improve. But, that doesn't mean you can't strive for perfection. So, the minute you think you have one super-dope idea, know that you've gotta find another one to eclipse it. According to a research study by two Stanford professors, businesses that fail rest on their laurels thinking they've "arrived." You know better. You're a badass. Of course, the hard part's just starting. The template to get you started -- sing it altogether now:

"I will do any-mutha-freakin'-thing, right now. Today. Oh, yes my badass will!"

 

Posted on December 21

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Scenario: "Dude, we just got to tell them: 'We love you!' That will excite them. Yay!" Or, you can do this: Tony, we're building a new rocket ship. You're in charge. Have fun. Your superstars want super challenges. When you give it to them, you excite the begeebees out of them. Yet, what do most well-intentioned-but-very-sucky managers do?

"Let's do the trivial, all day, everyday!"

Common themes:

  • "Go resolve that customer's complaint."
  • "Call Bobby, and schedule a meeting."
  • "Keep an inventory of oranges."
  • Blah. Blah. Blah.

Doing trivial tasks gradually kills each and every single one of your superstars' burning desires to kick ass for your company.

How Wrong Managers Are

A recent Iowa State study showed that children -- whose parents expected them to be alcoholics -- drank more. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Set low expectations, and you get low results. When you give your superstars trivial tasks, you implicitly tell them: "This is all I believe you can do." Their spirits = major drainage. If society expects you to fall, unless you consciously combat it -- you'll likely fall. The killer way to destroying a superstar then? Low expectations.

"So what in the mutha do I freakin' do?!"

First know: "Trivial tasks" and "superstars" don't mix. So, trash those tasks or hand them off to somebody sucky. Remember, your superstars want super challenges. Anything else will de-motivate them. With that said, here's how we'd empower your superstars:

  1. Think of one-big-freakin'-enormous task that your superstars have a 60% chance of achieving.
  2. Challenge them to it.

Provide the necessary resources, then watch them surprise you with their super-amazingly-awesome talents. That's one of our secret sauces to getting out-of-this-world productivity. It's fantab. And more important, super challenges keep your superstars happy and rockin'.

See Everest. Your Tools. Have fun.

 

Posted on December 20

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Scenario: "Dude, you gotta buy our CRM software. You'll make kabillions. Yay!" Most software firms from sea to shining seas promise you riches if you buy their software. They tell you their stuff will make your bottom line super happy; and if you don't buy it, you'll lose lots and lots of future money. Yet, what they don't tell you: the dark side of business software. An overwhelming majority of software tech investments ultimately lose businesses money. A primary reason? Tech companies peddling their wares as one-size-fits-all business tools to unsuspecting businesspeople. Think hard about adopting any software for your business; in most cases, you won't need it. Instead, get software that will only complement your already-thriving business. Rule of thumb: If you can get by without software, you're doing super excellent.

"What's the problem with business software?"

Think back to the days of Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Sam Walton, and David Packard. The dudes started with zero computers -- much less software for their businesses. Some of you badasses now might be asking: "How in the mutha could they cope?" Simple. They ran their businesses by focusing on the basics:
  • Driving sales.
  • Keeping employee morale up.
  • Boosting team performance.
  • Strengthening customer relationships.
  • Building a factory of innovation.
  • Reducing/eliminating debt.
  • Investing ahead of the curve.
  • Providing healthy work environments.
Business software? Non-existent. The boom in software happened in the 70s. Those companies had already been thriving for decades. Why? Software played absolutely no role to creating those successful businesses. So, people peddling pricey software like it's some magic pill are probably tricking you into fattening their own bottom lines -- not yours. Keep in mind: You can live without software, and still build a really kick-ass business by focusing on the basics. Software's role then? Think of it this way:

Software can't start your car. It can only accelerate it.

Most businesses spend recklessly when approaching software products. The common theme:
  1. Bossy Barbie: Yo! We're starting our business. What do we need?
  2. Manager Mikey: I think we'll need a CRM system.
  3. Bossy Barbie: And a contact database system. And a project management system. Then a customer feedback application.
  4. Manager Mikey: And, something to send Christmas cards. And, something to keep track of customer birthdays. Yay!
  5. Bossy Barbie: Done! Let's buy, buy, buy! Yay!
So what do they do? Two scenarios could happen:
  1. They wait, and wait, and wait, until: "We're ready with everything in place so we can soar higher than an eagle!"

    That prevents them from doing anything -- like building a customer base, driving sales, fattening cash flow to live another month.
  2. They start their businesses while the software programmers develop their applications.

    And when the applications finish, what happens? "Dang. We didn't need that thing after all, huh?" Money = drainage = sucky.
Not to mention: complexity getting in the way of core features. The minute you speculate what software you need, that's the minute you slap yourself. So how do I approach business software? Do this sucka:

Imagine You're Stuck in the 1920s.

Your ancient butt has no computers, software, yadda, yadda, yadda. All you have is: [whatever sweet products/services you're providing]. So, instead of worrying about what software products you need, you focus on the business basics: Hiring, managing, leading, selling, innovating, etc. You use paper and index cards to organize your information. You start building a system by hand to handle your information. "I'll track customer orders using this form, and ordering it with this bin," you tell your badass. "And over in that bin, I'll track my inventory of apples and oranges." Soon, you start building one-freakin'-rocking-sweet and efficient system that empowers your organization with information on-demand. And, that's where technology finally comes in: creating a faster system to handle that sweet information. Remember: if your business can live without software, you're doing amazingly awesome. To boost your business even further, get software that accelerates your already-thriving business.

Most software = blah. Super-totally-customized software that speaks-to-my-company's oh-so-fabulous-heart = thumbs up.


Posted on December 19

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Scenario: "Dude, we gotta hire Jimmy. He had a kick-booty interview. Yay! Yay! Yay!" Two types of people exist in this world:
  1. Those who interview well.
  2. Those who suck at interviews.
Often, it's the former that end up with sweet jobs. Yet, consider this sucka: No correlation exists between:
  • (1) those who interview well, and:
  • (2) those super-rock-star-in-the-making who-eventually-kick-butt-if-given-the-chance people.
So, hiring employees based on their interviews -- and other bull-crapola like "resumes" that 43127939153271 people embellish anyway -- is one-huge-freakin' risk. (Think turnovers, culture corruption, intellectual property, tremendous costs, resources, yadda, yadda, yadda.) How do you mitigate that risk? Trash conventional hiring techniques; instead, do what we do:

Use the "Test-See-Decide" Hiring Method

We affectionately it TSD. (When it comes to hiring, TSD's our drug of choice. Yes, we're pretty clever around here, huh?) That is, give Jimmy a trial period -- and if Jimmy kicks butt, offer him a sweet full-time position. During most trial periods, you won't need to cover his health benefits, payroll expenses, social security, worker's comp, and all the other tremendously costly expenses associated with hiring a full-time employee. That strips the fat, and lets you focus on what matters: seeing if they can kick some major booty for your company. Who adopts TSD? Oh, just some of the most talented workforces in the world: including Google, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and Bain.

"So, how do I freakin' give them freakin' test periods?"

Giving test periods could mean:
  • You hire them as contractors/consultants.
  • You recruit them as interns.
  • You hire them as temp-to-perm workers.
  • You "test" them during the job process (e.g. "Bake the best cake you can.")
If they shine during their test periods, proceed accordingly.

"So, do I give everyone a trial period?!"

Not quite, unless you want to drain time, resources, and your crazy business. For us: Instead of focusing on who to hire, we focus on who not to hire. For instance:
  • If their values don't match ours, we don't go any further.
  • If their resumes raises big questions, we don't go any further.
  • If they're answering our questions unfavorably, we don't go any further.
  • If their references can't make them shine, we don't go any further.
Of course, that's our way of eliminating potential hires; please customize the process to your kick-ass business. Eliminating as many people as we can lets leaves us with people "who-we're-not-sure-will-rock-but-could-rock." So, we'll proceed by using TSD on them. The take-away from all of this:

Hiring is Like Dating

Unless you're some crazy desperate whacko who likes blue pie, you won't ask the first attractive person you see to marry you. Instead, you go through initial test periods -- culminating in something permanent:
  1. "Yo! You = fine. You blow my mind. Let's date."
  2. "Whoa. Wow. Dating you is so sweeeeeet! Be my current_entity.official [boy|girl]friend."
  3. "Oh-mutha! Will you marry me?"
Test periods rock. It ensures you recruit amazingly awesome people who will rock your company.

TSD's a helluva drug.


Posted on December 18

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Scenario: "Dude, we gotta get nose surgeries, and facelifts. Yay!" People have plastic surgery because society has deemed their face fugly. But, that won't make them feel any younger. If you want to stay young, live longer, and feel like a sexy $@!% that you are, focus on your blood vessels. According to Dr. Thomas Lee, you can slow down and even reverse aging blood vessels by doing the following:

Exercise as much as possible

A reasonable goal is 30 minutes or so at least three days a week, but ideally every day.

Control your cholesterol

Reducing elevated LDL cholesterol has been shown to help restore flexibility to arteries.

Control your blood pressure

Constant exposure of blood vessels to pressures above normal takes its toll.

No smoking

The chemicals in cigarette smoke are killers of blood-vessel health.
To stay young and hot, trash plastic surgeons; instead:

Think sexy blood.


Posted on December 17

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Scenario: "Hey, we gotta ask how Sally's doing every hour of every single day. The best manager check up on their workers, constantly. Yay!" Sure, checking up on workers might seem beneficial -- but doing too much of it, and you'll drain their productivity like a mofo. Most "check-ups" add no value to the employee's work, and instead end up hindering their performance. According to recent research on such interruptions:
U.S. office workers get interrupted on the job as often as 11 times an hour, costing as much as $588 billion to U.S. business each year.

"But what if my workers need me every second of every day of every freakin' year?!"

Two things could happen:
  1. You haven't tried "letting go."

    People -- that is, good people -- want independence to discover the best route to a destination you/your-company/your-client has set. When you dictate that route, you trash their creativity -- and in turn: drain their productivity.
  2. You hired the wrong person.

    If the person needs constant hand-holding, you probably need somebody else. A person that needs babysitting will drain your time, resources, and hurt company-wide results.
So when you're trying to improve the kick-booty rate of your company, use the following template to get your badass started:

"I will let go."


Posted on December 16

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