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VICKSBURG, Miss. — Slavery, Gordon Cotton explains, “did some good for some people.”
A white retired journalist, Mr. Cotton is propped on a stool in his cluttered kitchen, holding court before me and another black reporter. We showed up unannounced at his home just off a dirt road in a heavily wooded area on the outskirts of this city in the Deep South.
His great-great-grandmother owned about 30 slaves and “she provided nice little homes for them,” he says. “She provided clothing and food and medical care. She had one who made baskets, and she always bought his baskets.”
However society feels about slavery now, Mr. Cotton says, he won’t let it diminish his admiration for ancestors like his great-great-grandmother or spiritual forebears like Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president whom Mr. Cotton, 82, calls his hero.
“Looking back 150, 200 years ago, it was a way of life,” he says. “It may not have been right, but it was the way of life at the time.”
That personal connection to, and quick empathy for, the Old South has shaped Mr. Cotton’s view that Confederate monuments belong in the public square; that the Davises and Robert E. Lees of the world deserve to be honored, not shamed.
That belief, of course, is the source of a fierce debate, one that reached a violent climax a year ago when white supremacists, rallying against a proposal to remove a statue of General Lee from a public park in Charlottesville, Va., clashed with counterdemonstrators. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd.
The ugly episode aggravated the country’s frayed racial dynamic — even more so after President Trump equated the counterprotesters with the white supremacists by blaming “many sides” for the violence.
A year later, public debate over Confederate iconography has quieted down. But have feelings really evolved? Are we any closer as a country to coming to terms with how to confront our shameful history, or are we quietly hurtling toward another eruption of violence?
I recently traveled through the South with Trymaine Lee, an NBC correspondent. Our trip took us through Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama.
We found that the legacy of the Confederacy has become so embedded in daily life that it will take more than the removal of a statue here, or a plaque there, to address it. That it has become too easy to look past the atrocities that occurred on the serene plantations where you take prom pictures, or walks with your family amid stone sculptures and bright flowers.
What’s left is a complicated calculus when it comes to finding common ground on the monument debate.
In some cases, the structures are simply too massive to remove — take the 351-foot obelisk honoring Jefferson Davis in his birthplace of Fairview, Ky. In others, as in Alabama, a law has been established to prohibit the removal of Confederate monuments.
But in many instances, Confederate memorials are not physical. They are better understood as emotional, spiritual and familial connections.
Mr. Cotton is a historian whose ancestors owned slaves and fought for the Confederacy. His house is decorated like a shrine to the rebellion. He has Confederate flags and Treasury notes alongside portraits of Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader. He also has racist iconography amid the clutter: a book of sheet music titled “Pickaninny Rag” with a caricature of a black boy on the cover; a CD of a white comedian who performs in blackface.
As we sit down for the interview, we ask him to spell his name. “C-O-T-T-O-N,” he says, then adds, matter-of-factly, “Cotton, just like you pick.”
Mr. Cotton lives near Brierfield, Jefferson Davis’s former estate. He also went to a school named for the Confederacy’s only president. Like many pro-Confederates in the South, Mr. Cotton plays down the role of slavery in the Civil War. He believes it had more to do with the North trying to control, and eventually invade, the South than anything else.
“He’s one of my heroes, and nobody will ever take that away from me,” he says of Davis. “You can take his statues down if you want to. They can destroy what they can, but they’ll never destroy the legend of the man.”
For Mr. Cotton and other Davis supporters, much of that legend was built on what Davis did before he became the president of the Confederacy. They see him as a heroic West Point graduate who served in the Mexican-American War, and as a United States senator representing Mississippi.
What they don’t highlight are his beliefs about slavery. Davis thought that the institution should be expanded and that black people were an inferior race. These white supremacist beliefs continued to shape American society long after the Civil War was over and efforts to integrate freed slaves gave way to an era of racially motivated killings.
That violence touched a generation of Southerners for whom the legacy of the Confederacy is also poignant, only for reasons very different from pro-Confederates like Mr. Cotton.
As Susie Jones browses an exhibit at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., she stops in her tracks when she comes across a name etched onto a gray wall: Milton Russell.
“This is my daddy’s cousin,” she says.
Mr. Russell was one of several dozen people who died from racially motivated violence to be honored in the exhibit, put together by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was killed on Jan. 21, 1956, in an arson attack at his home in Belzoni, Miss.
The exhibit featured another person from Belzoni who was killed: the Rev. George Lee, murdered on May 7, 1955, for registering black voters.
“Reverend Lee used to be my neighbor,” Ms. Jones, who is black, adds.
He lived across the street and owned a store and “kind of took care of all of the black people in the area.”
Ms. Jones, 66, now lives in Jacksonville, Fla. She is in Montgomery on a trip through the South with her granddaughters, ages 12 and 9. Her goal is to teach them about their African-American heritage, plenty of which can be found in Montgomery: from the bus stop where Rosa Parks boarded for her fateful ride, to the church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher.
But it also is a place steeped in Confederate lore.
The State Capitol features a gold star on its steps marking where Jefferson Davis took his oath of office and a tall column celebrating Confederate soldiers. There is a statue of Davis nearby, next to one of James Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology” who experimented on enslaved women without using anesthesia.
“It’s a reminder of hatred and all the wrongdoings that’s been done against African-Americans,” Ms. Jones says of Confederate symbols. “I do believe they have a right to their history, but not at the sake of ours. If you’re going to write part of the story, write the whole story. Tell what you did.”
For many black people, Confederate symbols often read like Do Not Enter signs. We felt this in the pits of our stomachs as we rolled up to Mr. Cotton’s home and were greeted by two cars with Confederate flags on the bumpers. The angst quickly subsided when Mr. Cotton, referred to us by a local resident, appeared from behind a green door and welcomed us into his home.
Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, if you live in the South, Confederate symbols come with the territory. You can barely walk without stubbing your toe on one.
My first two hotels were on thoroughfares named for Davis. Trymaine and I stayed at Anchuca, a bed-and-breakfast in Vicksburg, where Davis’s older brother Joseph once lived. Jefferson Davis State Park, at the obelisk site in Fairview, is one of the nicest places to have a cookout in the area, and indeed black people visit regularly.
Kitty Calhoun, who is white and a partner at a restaurant in Hopkinsville, Ky., says that she appreciates monuments like the obelisk for their artistic beauty, not their negative symbolism.
“I don’t try to think about the representation,” says Ms. Calhoun, 68. Rather, she adds, it is “the history that’s behind it, as far as it being there, how long it’s been there, is more what I’m into.”
But ignoring the misdeeds of Confederate leaders — seeing Jefferson Davis the statesman without seeing Jefferson Davis the slave owner — is not a luxury available to black people.
At the same time, the pride that descendants of the Confederacy have in their ancestors is very real and isn’t going to go away any time soon.
“We have to understand him from a very broad perspective,” Bertram Hayes-Davis says of his great-great-grandfather, Jefferson Davis.
Mr. Hayes-Davis, 69, is a living, breathing monument to his great-great-grandfather. When I met him at his home in Vicksburg, he was loose and inviting. He sometimes nestles into a chair once owned by Davis while channeling his great-great-grandfather’s thoughts on uniting the country after the war. He keeps a well-worn book of the United States Constitution signed by Davis in a glass-encased bookshelf and a letter written by Davis over the fireplace mantel.
Mr. Hayes-Davis, who grew up in Colorado, knows full well the admiration that his name draws among certain communities in the South. But in a strange way, he may also be the conduit that we need to bridge the divide on Confederate monuments.
Mr. Hayes-Davis’s life’s mission is to prevent people — whether pro- or anti-Confederate — from reducing his great-great-grandfather’s legacy to his time as president of the Confederacy. He believes that racists have hijacked Confederate symbols in an effort to deepen the country’s racial divide.
While he says that people who support the removal of monuments are often misguided, Mr. Hayes-Davis also agrees that, if a statue offends someone, it should be moved to a private area where it could be used for teaching.
He is unafraid to point out Davis’s flaws — “Was he a white supremacist? Yes he was,” Mr. Hayes-Davis says, always adding that he was so much more.
Mr. Hayes-Davis’s moderated stance has put him at odds with staunch Confederate groups. Some of them, he says, cling to the past so tightly that they are willing to deny certain realities about the Confederacy and the war.
“They’re holding on to that one small piece of history,” he says. “Their ancestor’s legacy as a soldier in the Confederate States of America.”
Susan Beachy contributed research.
John Eligon covers race for The Times. He speaks three languages fluently: English, German and Trinidadian slang. Watch the video of his journey through the South below and follow him on Twitter: @jeligon.
It has happened over and over again this summer: White people calling the police on black people who are doing nothing wrong. But what happens when white people intervene to try to stop such discriminatory behavior?
Watch our live chat with Michelle Snider, the white woman behind the viral #BBQBecky video, and Debbie Irving, the author of “Waking Up White.” And be sure to join our live conversations every week at 9 p.m. Eastern on Wednesdays as we examine topics related to race and culture on The Times’s Facebook page.
If you have experienced, witnessed or read about a hate crime or incident of bias or harassment, you can use this form to send information about the incident to Race/Related and other partners in the Documenting Hate project.
Hoping to reflect a broader range of visitors, museums are diversifying their staffs, welcoming a more inclusive generation of future leaders.
Two Southern cooks chew on questions of culture, identity and cuisine.
In Darnell L. Moore’s memoir, “No Ashes in the Fire,” he describes a brutal childhood in Camden, N.J., and the struggle to fully accept his identity.
Robyn Price Pierre looked to her family, classmates and friends to create personal photos exploring black fatherhood.
For more coverage of race, see our archive and sign up here to have our Race/Related newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.
Five Great Dominican Republic Vacation Visits
Dominican Republic vacations are some of the most gorgeous and fun-filled you’ll find anywhere. But don’t take our word for it: check out the following five awesome options for your next Dominican Republic trip.
Looking for golden sands and summer sunshine straight out of a movie? Trick question. Of course you are, which is fortunate because the Dominican Republic’s Playa Minitas is gorgeous.
Perfect for a lovely, quiet swim, Playa Minitas is home to various summertime activities. From young children to adults, there’s something for everyone.
This is easily one of the most famous beaches in the Dominican Republic, and it’s easy to see why. Located in the north of the island, this is a luxury resort with direct access to the Caribbean from the hotel. Enjoy the water, perfect for enjoying the free public beaches, soft sand and sports activities of Playa Dorada. For example, swimming, catching fish, snorkeling, windsurfing are all options, here. Most resorts in the area will rent equipment to guests.
For the perfect peaceful getaway, Playa Rincon is an ideal option. Isolated in the best way on the northern peninsula of Samana province, Playa Rincon is only accessible via boat ride from nearby Ras Al Galeras. The island is wonderfully untouched and ideal for your beach holiday, with its shimmering blue waters, soft white sands, and charming local restaurants.
Situated on the opposite end of the peninsula across from Playa Rincon, Cayo Levantado is a complete treasure. This small island, known to some as Bacardi Island, is also only available by boat, this time from nearby Samana town. From end to end, the island is less than a square big and covered in beautiful clean beaches.
Check out Cayo Levantado’s two main beaches, one with various authentic bars and restaurants, and another private beach for Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Hotel guests.
This is, quite easily, one of the most popular beaches in the entire country. And it’s easy to see why, with many of the best beaches anywhere around and a plethora of unique places to visit, ‘Playa Bavaro’ is where beachgoers go in Punta Cana.
Check out any of the awesome bars, hotels, and restaurants, go shopping and kick back in style for your next vacation. On offer are snorkeling trips to nearby coral reefs, boat parties, and envy-worthy kayaking adventures.
Get out to the Dominican Republic for your next vacation, and experience it for yourself!
What is the difference between AK-47 and AR-15?
The AR-15 rifles are lighter and statistically, have better accuracy than the AK-47. However, the AK-47 are considerably cheaper and reliable. Both are used extensively by the police and military forces. They are also used as hunting rifles and there are even those who acquire them for personal defence purposes.
The AK-47 is an assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union, during 1940. On the other hand, the AR-15 is an assault rifle that was designed by Eugene Stoner in the United States, during 1950.
Check Out Some Awesome: AR-15 Kits
AK-47 vs. AR-15
The AK-47 is not as accurate as the AR-15. The accuracy of an AK-47 (with a 16 “cannon) is between 2 and 5 MOAs while that of an AR-15 (equal, with a 16” cannon) is between 1 and 3 MOAs. It depends a lot on the cannon that each weapon has installed, as well as the provisions of the front end that eliminate possible deviations caused by the operator.
According to the world bank, there are 500 million firearms around the world. It is estimated that about 100 million of them belong to the Kalashnikov family, of which 75 million are of the AK-47 type. The popularity of these rifles is partly due to the lack of regulations in their already economic production. The Soviet Union never controlled the manufacture of the AK-47s, no measures were taken as copyright laws or the registration of patents, which ended in an excessive production of these assault rifles.
Both the AK-47 and the AR-15 are available in the United States. However, there are states in which their sale and use are restricted. For example, New York, California, Maryland and Connecticut have laws that regulate the possession of AR-15 by restricting some characteristics or prohibiting some models. For example, Tactical Carbine A3 is legal in the United States however, its sale is prohibited in California.
Comparison of designs
The AK-47 uses 7.62 x 39 mm M45 cartridges, while the AR-15 uses .233 cartridges from Remington or 5.56 from NATO.
The barrel of the AK-47 measures 455 mm, that of the AR-15 has a standard 508 mm.
The AK-47’s charger has a sharp curve that allows it to be easily loaded. It also has a solid steel construction that makes it very resistant to damage.
The AR-15 on the other hand is lighter but less durable than the AK-47 in general. Its charger is made of aluminum, which makes it a not so resistant weapon.
The AR-15 usually weighs between 2.27 and 3.39 kilos, while the AK-47 is usually heavier: 4.3 kilos.
The safety of the AK-47 is designed to be pressed with the index finger while the middle finger remains on the trigger. The cartridges are inserted and removed with a single movement. In addition, the AK-47 is friendly to left-handed users in terms of control and ejection.
On the other hand, the insurance of the AR-15 can be handled easily without losing sight. Its relatively small size makes it more difficult to use in stressful situations. It should be mentioned that this gun is harder to use for left-handed users than the AK-47.
An automatic AK-47 has an effective range of 300 meters, a semi-automatic 400 meters. In contrast, the AR-15 semiautomatic has a range that varies between 400 and 600 meters.
The recoil in the Ak-47 is fully automatic, so it is light and predictable. As for the recoil in an AR-15, this is usually controllable but a bit unpredictable.
The AK-47 was specifically designed to operate in extreme conditions. Therefore it is considered more reliable than the AR-15, which can fail if exposed to non-ideal conditions, such as dust, dirt and mud. To maintain it in optimal conditions, the AR-15 needs to be cleaned after being used.
Although the prices vary a lot, usually the AK-47 is cheaper than the AR-15. Russian rifles are usually between $ 350 and $ 600, while the AR-15 has a price ranging between $ 750 and $ 1,500.
The AR-15 is known as the “American rifle” because of its popularity in the United States. It is estimated, in fact, that there are 10 million of these weapons currently in this country. Sadly, this same rifle is famous for being the most used in shootings, such as San Bernardino and Sandy Hook.
How To Increase Your Affiliate Sales!
Parts of a successful Affiliate Marketing System The Merchant Is Mostly known as the seller or the brand, this is the party that creates/owns the product. From small enterprises to massive Fortune 500 companies, anyone could be the merchant in Affiliate marketing system. The Affiliate Is Also known as the publisher. They can range from entire companies to single individuals.
Their job is to attract and convince the potential customers for the merchant’s product so that they actually buy them! The Consumer Well, a consumer has to be the one around whom the affiliate system goes. If there are no sales, there will not be any commission and revenue in hand. The affiliate tries to reach out to the customers on social networks, digital billboards, content marketing for a blog, etc. The Network People involved in Affiliate Marketing Not very popular part of the affiliate marketing system, a network is an intermediary between a merchant and an affiliate. They handle the product delivery and the payment. They also serve as a database of lots of products, out of which the affiliate can choose which to promote.
Also Read: How To Create Some Awesome SEO Reports
How Affiliate Marketing Works? Affiliate marketing is a popular money-making practice conducted on the web. Talking about affiliate product sales, the publishers are rewarded for promoting the products and services of a business. Affiliate Marketing is a process where each party receives a share of the revenue as per their contribution. Steps Involved In Affiliate Marketing A tracking URL is assigned to an affiliate. This can be used to track which affiliates are driving traffic to your website. Affiliate markets your website. Affiliates promote your company via several different ways like YouTube video, blog post, paid traffic, reviewing products, email blast etc.
Customers are acquired. Visitor purchases the product or signs up. The affiliate receives a commission If an affiliate drives you a lead, you pay them an amount. How affiliating marketing works (Source: Create and Publish For Free) That said, let us see how we can increase affiliate sales with simple tips. 5 Quick And Simple Tips To Increase Affiliate Sales If you are an affiliate, you might have questions like how can I maximize profits by promoting others’ products and services? Or what can I do to make my audience loyal?! You could be an affiliate for anything. It could be an actual affiliate product, for instance, a car, or anything. Or maybe if you are in network marketing then you are an affiliate for that company’s product but the compensation is just different. If you are in direct sales, then you are an affiliate marketer. Even being an insurance seller makes you an affiliate marketer because you are an affiliate for that particular insurance company’s policies.
1. Create an In-Between
Well, to be honest, most affiliates are lazy. All they focus on is sending traffic to the merchant’s website or to the replicated website. The only work they do is just send the traffic to the seller’s website. This just doesn’t work very well as almost all affiliates are doing the exact same thing. What exceptional are you doing that sets you apart from others? When you create an in-between like a blog post, youtube video or an article where you answer some questions, solve their problems, and provide some value to the visitor as to why they should take the next step. You should be basically connecting the dots! Most affiliates rely on product creator to do the heavy lifting. And of course, these merchants are doing all the heavy lifting. They are creating the product, taking care of the legal problems, money refunds, delivery processes, take care of money handling, customer service, and more. Therefore, you could do more than just sending traffic to their website by creating an in between.
like a blog post, youtube video or an article where you answer some questions, solve their problems, and provide some value to the visitor as to why they should take the next step. You should be basically connecting the dots! Most affiliates rely on product creator to do the heavy lifting. And of course, these merchants are doing all the heavy lifting. They are creating the product, taking care of the legal problems, money refunds, delivery processes, take care of money handling, customer service, and more. Therefore, you could do more than just sending traffic to their website by creating an in between.
2. Buy The Product Yourself and Review It
Why not do a product review of the product you are promoting? How about a behind the screen scene like screen sharing view? That would be a good idea if the product you are promoting is an informational product. Record the scene and just show a little sneak peek to what customers will be having in a product if they buy it. This gives them the credibility that you actually own the product. How many affiliates might be doing that? If you don’t own the product you are promoting, how will the visitors be ready to buy these products? As an affiliate, you are going to be way more effective if you buy the product yourself, believe in it, review it, and promote it.
3. Do a Comparison Video Between Your Product and a Similar Product
Well, sometimes you could be an affiliate for both. For instance, if you are selling if a really popular weight loss training program then you can compare it with some similar type of training program. However, it is important to remember that you can’t cut down on another product and it should be a true, genuine review. It can’t be skewed because people will find it.
4. Have Your Own Bonuses
You could give people incentives and that could be the reason why they would choose your product over others. The bonuses you provide could be as simple as having a 30-minute meeting with you or a webinar with you. Or it could some recording/ blog post that you could give them for free which will be of some value to them. The main motive of having your own bonuses is to provide extra incentives to people who have bought your product over others.
5. Build an audience Finally
The fifth point is to build your audience. This is by far the most important point that you should consider. Most affiliates are sending the traffic directly to the seller’s website and thereby passing them without retaining any. The traffic you are attracting is not getting to know you and your business. Hey, become a little possessive here! Your business is not those affiliate products but it is you and the audience. Your business is you and the relationship with your audience. So you need to be focused on building your own list first. This makes sense because if they don’t buy this particular affiliate product today, they may buy another one from you down the road. You can do this by pitching them on your website by a webinar or a subscriber list for instance.
Are You an Entrepreneur? Take The Test to Find Out!
If you want to know if you are, or could be, a good entrepreneur, here I will leave this test for you to solve, so that you evaluate yourself based on your own performance, or discover what you can improve on within yourself. Get some paper and a pencil and get ready to get rolling!
You have a business idea but you do not know what to do:
A: I keep it in a drawer “for later”.
B: I ask my friends to give me a hand to develop it.
C: I investigate how is the market with respect to the idea I want to develop: competitors, opportunities …
Choose among the three options that best define your ability to adapt.
A: I hate the changes. I like that everything is measured and controlled.
B: I am quite flexible, but I try to escape the changes.
C: I adapt to the changes and redo the plans without too many qualms.
You want to be autonomous and you pose …
A: I do not want to take risks, I am more than working for others assuring me a fixed earnings per month.
B: What if in the end I do not?
C: I’m afraid to take the leap, but I think my idea is worth the risk.
When choosing self-employment, you value:
A: I do not value anything, I think it has fewer advantages than opportunities.
B: The possibility of being my own boss and establishing my schedules.
C: The flexibility of schedules, creativity in the projects to develop and the ability to see my own company grow.
In business you define yourself as a person …
A: Traditional and passive. I do not leave my comfort zone.
B: I keep my schedules. I only go to events that are totally necessary.
C: I like to be in “all the sauces” and I sign up for all the fairs, events, meetings …
At the time of undertaking you choose a sector determined by …
A: I maintain the family business.
B: I prefer an affordable sector that does not require a lot of investment.
C: I prefer what I have knowledge and training for. I invest in something for which I take preparing time.
You think about training …
A: I think I already have enough training.
B: It never hurts to keep training.
C: It is essential to train to evolve with the growth of the market.
When looking for a training course …
A: I have never considered looking for courses that make my business grow.
B: Although I value the training, I do not even know where to start to locate courses of interest.
C: I take advantage of the free courses offered by the different institutions. I sign up to the bulletins to be informed promptly of everything.
To establish the price of your product (good or service):
A: I put the one that I think it deserves.
B: I analyze the competition to adjust the price of my product to the market.
C: I put the price that is profitable after analyzing the production costs. If it deserves it, I do not mind being above the market.
Once you fix the price of your product (good or service):
A: For selling I am able to modify it.
B: I am able to modify it by not losing certain clients.
C: The value of my product is not negotiated, I do not give in to the blackmail of potential clients.
In relationships with your clients …
A: Anyone is worth me. The case is to enter.
B: My clients are my family, although I know that it is not the most convenient, I accept them all.
C: I am critical of my clients, not everything goes. I inform myself and work only for those who can provide me an economic return.
Once your business has consolidated, what fitness do you maintain?
A: I enjoy it, I let myself go.
B: Not under guard.
C: Now that I’ve managed to consolidate myself, I think it’s time to invest and keep growing.
You have achieved that your business stabilizes and your income grows. At that time they offer you a job as an employee, what do you do?
A: I take the job they offer me. The stability and the fixed salary compensate me.
B: I consult with my pillow because I’m not sure.
C: I have already passed the worst moment so now I want to enjoy my business and keep growing with it so I would reject the offer.
Imagine that you are given a prize for the evolution of your business, what option do you choose to celebrate it?
A: With a wine among friends.
B: Announcing it by word of mouth to my clients.
C: I put an image of the prize with a text thanking it on my social networks and I take advantage of the brand image of my product.
If something does not go as you expect …
A: I’ll leave it and something else, butterfly!
B: I try to correct my mistakes, but my enthusiasm diminishes.
C: I think that mistakes are necessary to learn and grow.
What would you say to someone who has just failed?
A: “Manolete, if you do not know how to fight, what are you going for?”
B: Nothing happens, the failures are normal. Forget this.
C: Think about what you have done wrong and try again.
If you have chosen more A answers , your entrepreneurial capacity leaves much to be desired. You should consider yourself looking for a job as an employee. You need the security of having a fixed salary and you value stability above anything else. You do not like to take risks. The phrase that defines you is: “better a bird in hand than a hundred flying”.
If you have chosen more answers, you are on the right track. You keep reasonable doubts and fears, but there is light at the end of your tunnel. You have ideas and you value the work on your own. You would be able to invest, train and take forward an entrepreneurial project. The phrase you define is: “the greatest risk is not to risk”.
If you have chosen more answers CYou are the perfect entrepreneur. You are creative and you prefer to take risks to pass up the opportunities. You understand the values that self-employment brings: time flexibility, being your own boss … Which does not mean that you are not critical and measure the consequences of your actions within your business. You learn from your mistakes and see in your failures an opportunity for growth. You are aware that entrepreneurship is not a path of roses and yet you are willing to continue investing time and money to continue growing. You have the capacity to develop a marketing idea that accompanies and enhances the image of your business. The phrase that defines you is: “Feet so I want you if I have wings to fly”.
4 Reasons Why You Need an Advisor For Your 2019 Income
It is the most important tax of the year. All citizens are obliged to present Income 2019 in order to render an account of the income that we have obtained throughout the past year and there are many issues to be taken into account so that the result is the most favorable.
Making use of the service of a consultant to present your 2018 Income can save you some good money . And is that knowing the latest legislative changes, deductible expenses or new deductions, is not something that is available to anyone.
Read this article, know the reasons and analyze the 4 reasons why it is worth hiring an advisor to make the Income 2018 statement for you.
1. The Treasury requests the revision of the 2019 Income data
If there is a circumstance that should make us think about the need to hire an adviser, the Ministry of Finance has declared, by active and passive, that the information presented in the draft: “will be as up-to-date as possible, but , in any case, the Agency may not have all the data with significance in the declaration, data that the taxpayer may have to include in the proposed declaration “.
Therefore, if there have been changes in the family unit, with respect to the patrimony, or any other of importance for the declaration of Income 2018, you must include it. So that draft should be “looked at with a magnifying glass”.
In fact, you should pay special attention to:
- Real estate and its cadastral references.
- Personal and family circumstances (if changed in 2018).
- Leases of real estate.
- Contributions to pension plans.
- Union dues.
- Perceptions for subsidies.
- Family and maternity deductions.
- Deduction for investment in residence.
- Autonomous deductions.
And, analyzing this list we realize that several deductions appear, but do you know what you can deduct?
2. An advisor knows the new deductions applicable to the 2019 Income
Let’s be honest, the normal thing is that you are not up to date with the new deductions that apply to you. And if you do not know them, how do you know you can benefit from them? This is something that never happens to an advisor. It is up to date with the tax news that may affect you.
What’s more, this is one of the circumstances that can save you a lot of money when it comes to making your Income Tax Return 2018. The last known is the income tax deduction for maternity and paternity or the famous daycare check. But they are not the only ones.
The list is swelled, among others, deductions for:
- living place
- Persons with disabilities in charge
- Large family, etc.
3. An advisor knows the deductible expenses of Income 2019
For a freelancer it is vital to know what expenses are deductible and what are not. The first thing to do is to err on the deduction of something that does not correspond to you, which will imply a revision of your 2018 Income Tax return that could result in an economic sanction. And second, because they can save you a lot of money.
Deductible expenses are considered investments that you make in purchases of goods or services to develop your economic activity. And you will say, and what does this have to do with the IRPF?
To understand it in a simple way … Personal Income Tax is a progressive tax , you pay more the more you enter, therefore, if your expenses reduce that income, as a direct consequence, you will pay less in Income 2018.
4. An adviser gives you savings and tranquility
And, for that reason, because it is an expense that can be deducted in the Income , you must think seriously if it is not better to let a specialist make the statement for you and you stay calm.
Because if there is something that an adviser provides you, it is tranquility . Having done things well and knowing that you are getting the most profitability.
Saving. We talk about saving. Something that only someone who knows the new legislation, the normative changes, can do.
Especially the hiring of a consultant is recommended for those who are new self-employed, those who have had changes in your heritage by inheritance, sale of real estate … and those who invest in the stock market, work with cryptocurrencies, etc.
In Infoautónomos we make your 2020 income for you from 55 euros. Click here to know the details and request a quote without commitment. Think of it as a deductible expense that can save you a lot.
Premium Collagen Peptides Vs. Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Collagen Peptides are known as one of the best sports nutrition post workout and recovery products. After
In today’s article, we are comparing Sports Research – Premium Collagen Peptides Vs. Physician’s CHOICE Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides. These are the two best collagen supplements for women in the world, having innovated a specific formula that helps athletes recover faster.
Physician’s Choice Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Non-GMO, 100% Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides Powder has been specially formulated with digestive enzymes for enhanced absorption and concentrated delivery of the beneficial amino acids collagen is known for.
Their collagen is not generic collagen that gets thrown in a tub and put up on a shelf without thinking. Rather, they have worked with real medical doctors and formulators to develop a superior collagen product.
The Big Problem With Collagen
Interestingly, Physician’s Choice team has examined the bioavailability of collagen with research and studies behind what makes collagen effective. They ran many tests, performed their own research, and found that nobody else was addressing the absorption issue associated with collagen supplements.
Collagen suffers from a big absorption problem. When taken without a bioavailability agent (like most collagen products on the market), it actually isn’t effectively absorbed into the bloodstream or intestinal walls. This leaves large portions of the collagen sitting in your gut or excreted from the body.
Physician’s Choice: Solution
They have formulated a 100% pure, twice-hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplement with a naturally occurring bioavailability agent to improve absorption.
By adding targeted digestive enzymes to break down the peptide chains, they ensure nearly all of the active tripeptides, dipeptides, and free amino acids are quickly released and absorbed.
Without the science: They have created a double hydrolyzed collagen peptides powder with digestive enzymes for enhanced absorption.
The digestive enzymes and double hydrolysis they use quickly break down collagen peptides into beneficial amino acids. Thus, you get the true benefits of collagen without having to buy pounds of ineffective powder.
The double hydrolysis of this collagen not only enhances absorption into your bloodstream but also easily mixes more easily with liquids.
Their collagen is double hydrolized, using an enzymatic process which completely breaks down the peptide chain.
This double hydrolysis wasn’t enough for them. They wanted more absorption from this collagen, so they took it a step further and introduced a proven bioavailability agent.
Collagen increases concentrations of beneficial amino acids that are effectively absorbed into the intestinal wall and bloodstream. These amino acids are what provide the many benefits collagen is known for.
Collagen Peptides Benefits :
- Improved Skin Elasticity
- Supports Bones, Joints, and Ligaments
- Aids in Reduction of Wrinkles and Facial Expression Lines
- Supports Digestive Health
- Improved Body Composition
- Can Aid in Decrease of Cellulite
Collagen Peptides Powder contains hydrolyzed type 1 & 3 collagen sourced from grass-fed cows. Collagen is one of the most important nutrients needed to ensure the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints.
- Helps to support healthy joints and skin*
- Gut-friendly formula; hydrolyzed for easy digestion*
- Stir, shake or blend into hot or room temperature liquids
- Non-GMO Verified, Dairy & Gluten Free
- Goes great with Coffee & Shakes
What Does Digital Marketing Agency Do For Businesses?
Now that I’ve made digital marketing agencies sound like teams of superheroes, you’re probably wondering what it is that they typically do. Let’s review the top three areas digital agencies focus on.
Digital Marketing Agencies Improve your Business
A great digital marketing agency has the means take over your marketing from top to bottom. For starters, their business expertise allows them to evaluate your brand’s needs and develop a powerful strategy that maximizes profits.
They’ll work with your company to improve efficiency and productivity. With their help you’ll better define your objectives and set measurable goals.
Moreover, the focus on data and targeting requires a clear definition of your target buyer, which is typically more specific than companies currently have in place. When working with a digital marketing agency you’ll determine exactly who your ideal buyer is and analyze their buying journey. Like I said, digital marketing is highly targeted.
When you know your target well, you’ll determine what your messaging and benefits should be to speak directly with your ideal buyer. Your unique selling proposition as it aligns to your ideal buyer is what forms a connection with the people who buy from your company.
Digital Marketing Agencies Master Your Brand Online
As digital marketing revolves around your online presence, a digital marketing agency will work extensively on developing your online hub. This can, and usually does, take many forms.
A highly effective, buyer-focused website allows you to showcase your brand online. From there a digital marketing agency will help you determine which platforms and channels should be used to reach your ideal buyers.
A skilled digital marketing agency will position your company as a market leader by creating content that allows you to establish your brand authority and expertise online. As true experts, an agency team will execute the most modern and effective content strategies in order to provide the best possible organic search rankings.
They will create and implement expert social media marketing strategies that deliver a marketing ROI beyond anything traditional marketing could ever hope to deliver. Social media, when done well, will be focused on the context of the channel and yet fit into the overall marketing strategy.
No matter how or where you’re currently marketing your business, one thing is for sure: A skilled digital marketing agency will take your marketing, brand awareness, ROI, and overall profitability to new levels.
How to Grow Your Instagram Following: A Strategic Plan
Want to quickly grow your Instagram audience? Looking for a strategy that attracts the right kind of connections?
In this article, you’ll discover how to combine an Instagram growth strategy with an ad sequence that can turn followers into customers.
How This Instagram Growth Strategy Works
On average, Instagram users share “more than 95 million photos and videos every single day,” according to Reuters. That amounts to a lot of noise for Instagram marketers to break through to get their message in front of potential customers.
Simply focusing on run-of-the-mill Instagram growth tactics that you hear regurgitated time and again won’t help you set yourself apart. You’ll just be adding to the noise on the platform instead of building important assets for your brand.
A better approach is the $1.80 Instagram strategy for custom audience growth. Gary Vaynerchuk’s $1.80 Instagram growth strategy to grow your business or brand is all about creating micro-connections that gradually accumulate into an active and engaged community on the platform.
Even though it’s called the $1.80 strategy, it’s completely free to implement. The only resource costs are your time and attention. Once a day, you’ll:
- Start by searching 10 relevant hashtags.
- Locate the top 9 posts for each hashtag.
- Leave a meaningful comment (your two cents [$0.02]).
The $1.80 Instagram growth strategy boils down to this equation: 10 hashtags multiplied by 9 posts where you leave your $0.02 = $1.80 in community-building effort.
Getting 2x, 5x, or 10x growth results with this strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It requires you to stay consistent and make community-building a regular action for your brand.
As Gary states, “The number of Instagram followers you have means nothing if you can’t build a community of like-minded people who care and engage.” It’s those people who then go on to become customers, brand evangelists, and significantly drive your brand goals forward. Finding this pocket of people is as simple as becoming part of the conversation.
In 2018, we used this strategy at The Ad Strategist to double the size of our Instagram following. More importantly, by implementing the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy, our Instagram engagement custom audience grew to almost 3x larger than our follower count.
Why is this important? The size of your warm custom audiences represents the number of users who’ve had a meaningful interaction with your brand. This includes everyone who liked, commented on, sent, and saved your content; DM’ed you; or clicked the link in your bio. Of course, just because someone interacts with you doesn’t mean they follow you on Instagram. And if they’re not following you, it’s unlikely they’ll see your organic content and posts in the future.
That doesn’t mean those users are gone forever, though. You can create a dynamic Instagram ad sequence targeting your Instagram engagement custom audience that converts those non-followers into followers and then customers.
Running ads to this engagement custom audience resulted in 50%–100% cheaper lead costs in an ad spend study of over $45,000 with 349 ad set variations. So targeting this Instagram engagement custom audience creates costs per result that are significantly lower than if you were to target cold traffic.
#1: Create Your Instagram Engagement Custom Audience
To create an Instagram engagement custom audience, navigate to the Audience dashboard in Ads Manager.
Then click Create Audience and select Custom Audience.
In the Create a Custom Audience window, choose Instagram Business Profile.
Next, select the correct Instagram profile and ensure Everyone Who Engaged With Your Business in the Past 365 Days is selected.
Choose a name for this audience that will be easily identifiable to you in the future and then click Create Audience. Remember that it takes up to 24 hours to reveal the size of your current Instagram engagement audience.
Now write down the current size of this audience to determine your starting point. I recommend that you track the growth of this custom audience weekly as you implement the rest of the $1.80 strategy consistently to assess your measurable growth.
Set Up a Spreadsheet to Track Instagram Growth
For fellow spreadsheet connoisseurs: Tracking this data in a notebook can feel like poking your eyes out, so here’s how to structure your results tracking spreadsheet.
Set up your spreadsheet to track the total Instagram engagement custom audience with a separate column for each week.
Then use the formula =sum(D5-C5)/C5 to calculate your weekly growth rate.
Now expand the weekly growth rate calculation across all weeks.
The result is the growth rate of your retargetable custom audiences using the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy over time. Once you have this information for a larger range of weeks, you can assess what is and isn’t working for you and then tailor the rest of your Instagram marketing strategy accordingly.
#2: Research and Incorporate Relevant Hashtags
Now that you’re tracking your retargetable engagement, the next step is to find relevant hashtags for your business.
Open Instagram and navigate to the Search & Explore tab.
Start by searching for one hashtag such as #facebookads.
You likely have a core group of hashtags you’re already using in your own posts. Because it’s best to search and engage daily, I recommend that you set up a spreadsheet to track all of the relevant hashtags you’re using because the list will quickly grow.
If you’re a digital marketing agency, you might start with hashtags like these:
Here’s the most surprising part of implementing this strategy: truly understanding the quality of a hashtag. As a Facebook advertising strategist, I’d assume that #facebookads would be an ideal hashtag for posts. However, upon closer inspection, the type of content being tagged with this particular hashtag is:
- Extremely promotional (often for get-rich-quick–type schemes)
- Unrelated to digital strategy
- Entirely misleading
- Often extremely spammy
This leads me to the conclusion that we won’t use #facebookads in our own Instagram efforts going forward.
As you research hashtags and carry out your daily $1.80 growth strategy, make note of the highest-quality hashtags you find. Then use those in your organic content’s written captions to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get in the Search & Explore tab of your ideal customers.
#3: Identify and Engage With 9 Relevant Instagram Posts
After you’ve found your Instagram hashtags, it’s time to filter through the content you’ve found to determine whether it’s relevant and valuable for you to leave your $0.02. Not every post is created equally—especially in a world full of spam bots and automation.
Take a few seconds to analyze each Instagram post you come across. I recommend clicking the full post to:
- Read the caption.
- Quickly measure the engagement rate (likes and comments vs. total followers).
- Click the account profile image to check out their bio and the rest of their profile.
Remember, this strategy works across any vertical: B2B, B2C, SMB, etc. It’s the process of culling through the noise to find the gems that most of your competitors aren’t setting aside enough time to do.
Here’s what to look for when analyzing accounts.
How Much Effort Is Being Put Into Writing an Informative Caption?
A lot of low-quality accounts tend to ‘phone in’ the caption description and jam as many hashtags into the caption as humanly possible—in the hopes that it will help them rank on the Search & Explore tab.
Well-written captions crafted with meaningful thought aren’t an easy feat. The Instagram users who are putting in the time and effort to write their own story-driven captions tend to be active community members outside of their own profiles as well. They’re invested in their own Instagram success and your $0.02 interaction helps them signal to the algorithm that their content is also relevant.
What Is the Engagement Rate?
In my algorithmic experience, engagement is king. If an account has 200,000 followers but barely hits 500 likes and comments on a post (0.2% engagement), what does that say about the quality of their community?
On the flipside, never discount an account for having a low follower count. If they have 200 followers and still have 30 likes and comments per post (a 15% engagement rate!), it shows they’re building a small but mighty community. Engage away!
Is This Profile Something You Would Naturally Engage With?
Yes, you’ll be deploying this strategy for your social media growth efforts. However, it’s important to make sure the comments you’re leaving have the potential to create strategic and long-term value for your brand and for your potential future community. Otherwise, as with anything, you’ll be wasting your time and getting lost in the weeds.
The Anatomy of a Great Instagram Post
Most people want to skip this step (and the time it takes to properly assess the quality of the Instagram account where you’re leaving your $0.02) and go straight to the end result—revenue growth. Taking your time to build relationships with the right profiles and people can help expedite your growth.
On the left:
- The post engagement is lower than the one on the right (total number of likes aside).
- The caption is stuffed with hashtags in an attempt to rank content vs. writing quality content to engage your audience.
- The account has no bio or any other qualifying details.
On the right:
- The content is relevant and educational.
- The caption is well-written and informative.
- The bio clearly states what they do and allows you to identify whether they belong in your community.
Now onto the fun stuff! This one’s simple: Be social on social media. At this point in your efforts, all that’s left is to leave your $0.02 on these newfound pieces of content.
Let’s talk about leaving your $0.02 for a moment. There’s a difference between crafting a meaningful comment that shows you want to be a part of the larger conversation vs. leaving a comment of three emoji hearts and then bouncing.
If all you do is leave emojis, don’t use the $1.80 strategy. Spend your time elsewhere on actions/tasks that move the needle in your marketing.
Here are some best practices for being a human on social media:
- Share your own experiences. Is there something in your life (or behind the scenes in your business) that’s relatable to the original caption? Share that!
- Ask open-ended questions. The goal here is to get people to come back to your Instagram profile and engage. If you only talk about yourself and your own experiences, it lessens your chance of developing a meaningful conversation with the other person.
- Don’t be a know-it-all. Let other people share their perspective and worldview. We, as humans, love to share about ourselves often. Remember that this exercise is not about YOU. It’s about the incredible humans you serve in your marketing.
#4: Monetize Your Efforts With an Ad Sequence
After going through these steps, you’ve started to build two powerful marketing assets:
- A captive community of current and future customers who drive real revenue
- An engaged custom audience available for retargeting with paid advertising
The first of these two assets, a captive community, will fuel your organic Instagram efforts again and again. Next time you publish a post, these followers will be hungry for your new content. Because you’ve now engaged in conversations with these users, they’re more ready to engage and respond than total strangers.
The second asset is an engaged custom audience that’s retargetable by building a $5/day Instagram ad campaign.
When you pair a $5/day Instagram ad sequence with the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy, every image you post, DM you send, and heart you tap is automatically and effortlessly leading people toward becoming your customers. Having a low-cost Instagram ad sequence that’s always running in the background is a simple way to turn followers into fanatical (read: paying!) customers.
Set aside time each day to execute this strategy. For me, it’s only 15 minutes a day when I’m in an Uber or waiting for a meeting to begin. For you, it might be a consistent hour from 3–4 PM daily.
Your Instagram growth won’t happen unless you put in the time and effort daily, track your results, tweak what isn’t working, and continuously and relentlessly improve upon your efforts. A year from now, imagine your account at 2x, 10x, 100x growth and what that could mean for your business goals.
With a simple $1.80 Instagram growth strategy paired with a $5/day Facebook advertising strategy, you can rapidly grow your Instagram account with followers who turn into customers.
What do you think? Have you tried the $1.80 Instagram growth strategy? What were your results? Share your results and questions in the comments below.
Why You Should Go To Title Boxing Club Winter Park | Review
Out of all the work out regiments, personal fitness center’s, and gyms, there is no other like Title Boxing Club in Winter Park. With an atmosphere that promotes high-energy and fun, staff that pushes you to your limits, and a work out that will kick your @ss, Title Boxing Club is the best way to keep you and your family in shape! Here is everything great about this amazing Boxing Club.
Walking into Title Boxing Club for the first time is like walking into a new world. It does not have the same feel or aesthetic as a normal gym, which I suppose for some, can be a reason for going.
Upon entry you are immediately met by the staff, who are understanding and calm. Though with their great attitudes and knowledge of all things boxing, it is not hard to tell these are professionals.
All these things come together to create an atmosphere that is truly welcoming. Although you may not feel truly comfortable until you find yourself sweating at the bags, just like everyone else.
The workout regiment cultivated at Title Boxing Club is one of high intensity, high cardio, and high ferocity as you let everything out on the bag in front of you.
The workout is set in 8 rounds. It is like a boxing match, except the opponent is yourself. You start with the warm up which is no understatement. It is like preheating an oven to 450 and then cooking a raw egg.
The staff are constantly watching out for participants, making sure punches are being done correctly. Or they may be there to single you out, and make you hit your bag harder and faster. This Title Boxing work out is designed to push your limits. We really don’t know what we are capable of until we are pushed to the edge.
Title Boxing Shop
At Title Boxing Winter Park, there is a shop with all the necessary components. Wraps, gloves,a and bags are all there and made in very high quality. However, if you are not apt to buying gear, they do have gear that you can borrow for the class.
In an environment like Title Boxing Club Winter Park, A welcoming atmosphere with a staff that wants its participants to succeed, that is nothing but achievable. Make your way to Title Boxing Club Winter Park!
Why Choose an AR 80 Lower Receiver?
An AR 80 Lower is an incomplete receiver. This means that crucial work still needs to be done on it, but the parts can be sold for personal use to individuals without the hassle of purchasing a normal rifle. By ATF standards, it cannot be considered a functioning rifle if the main fire control group pocket is not manufactured already onto the receiver. This also leads to buyers need the proper tools and knowledge on how to properly assemble the AR 80 Lower. Why do people choose AR 80 Lowers rather than AR completes?
A Blank Canvas
Purchasing an AR 80 Lower can be like beginning a new art project. Since the rifle kit does not come assembled, individuals must build it themselves. This is not only a learning experience, but a personal one as well. Given that many other customization options are available to an AR 80 Lower receiver, this makes the buyer ultimately the manufacturer. And as the manufacturer, any serial number combination, any color, any finishes can be made possible.
However, buying an AR 80 Lower does not offer much in terms of monetary saving. Usually they can be as much as or more expensive than completes. So really the only reasons to choose the lower would be the value of craftsmanship or a valid reason depending on state regulations. In California, purchasing any AR receiver is treated as a rifle which then prevents buyers from being able to create an AR pistol due to the law that prohibits rifle receivers being made into pistol receivers. However, the ability to create an AR 80 Lower pistol is possible with the AR 80 Lower Receiver.
Even though the price is the same, the AR 80 Lower is chosen not because of its cost, but because of dedicated buyers who want to increase their collections and take part in creating something unique.