Cookie Cutter Consulting [CCC] is dedicated to assisting aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting a business. We offer exceptional one-on-one coaching to make sure that our clients get the best and efficient service when starting a business.


20 Ways To Be Stress Free!!!

I HATE STRESS! I think the worse part of stress is the fact that once you’re done stressing over something, the situation didn’t seem so bad in the first place. I’m an extremist and I tend to stress over the dumbest things, and here are just some techniques I use to get rid of all of the MADNESS in my life!

Identify Stressors: This is the most important step of all, as identifying the things that stress you out in your life is the first step towards eliminating them; take 10 minutes to think about what stresses you out during the day. What weekly occurrences stress you out? What people, activities, things cause stress in your life? Make a Top 10 list, and see which of them can be eliminated, and start to weed them out.

Procrastination: We all do this, of course. But allowing stuff to pile up will stress us out. Find ways to take care of stuff now (form a Do It Now habit) and keep your inbox and desk clear.

Disorganization: We’re all disorganized to some extent. Even if we’ve organized something, and created a great system for keeping it that way, things tend to move towards chaos over time. But disorganization stresses us out, in terms of visual clutter, and in making it difficult to find stuff we need. Take time to get things in your life organized, starting with your desk and the papers in your home, and moving on to other areas.

Late: Being late always stresses us out. We have to rush to get ready, rush to get there, and stress out the whole time about looking bad and being late. Learn the habit of being early, and this stress disappears. Make a conscious effort to start getting ready earlier, and to leave earlier. This also makes driving less stressful. Time yourself to see how long it actually takes to get ready, and how long it actually takes to get somewhere. You’ve probably been underestimating these times. Once you know these times, you can plan backwards so that you show up 10 minutes early each time. It’s a good feeling.

Controlling: We are not the Master of this Universe. I know we sometimes wish we were, but acting as if we are is a sure way to get stressed out. Trying to control situations and people cannot work, and only serves to increase our anxiety when it doesn’t work. Learn to let go, and accept the way that other people do things, and accept what happens in different situations. The only thing you can control is yourself — work on that before you consider trying to control the world. Also learn to separate yourself from tasks and to delegate them. Learning to let go of our need to control others and the situations around us is a major step towards eliminating stress.

Multitasking: Having multiple tasks going on at the same time might seem productive, but in actuality it slows us down from actually focusing on a task and completing it — and it stresses us out in the meantime. Learn to single-task.

Eliminate Energy Drains: If you’ve analyzed your life (in Step 1) and found things that stress you out, you might have also noticed things that drain your energy. Certain things in our life just cause us to be more exhausted than others, with less value. Identify them, and cut them out. You’ll have much more energy and much less stress. Happiness ensues.

Avoid Difficult people: You know who they are. If you take a minute to think about it, you can identify all the people in your life — bosses, coworkers, customers, friends, family, etc. — who make your life more difficult. Now, you could confront them and do battle with them, but that will most certainly be difficult. Just cut them out of your life.

Simplify Life: Simplifying, of course, is a major theme of Zen Habits. Simplify your routines, your commitments, your information intake, your cluttered rooms, the mass of stuff going on in your life … and have less stress as a result.

Unschedule: Create more open periods of time in your life. It’s not necessary to schedule every minute of our lives. Learn to avoid meetings, keep wide open blocks of time where we either work on our important tasks or batch process the smaller ones. When someone asks to schedule a meeting, first try to get it done through email or phone … if that doesn’t work, avoid having it scheduled. Ask them to call you and see if you’re free at that time. You will love having an open schedule.

Slow Down: Instead of rushing through life, learn to take things slow. Enjoy your food, enjoy the people around you, enjoy nature. This step alone can save tons of stress.

Help Others: It may sound contradictory to add more tasks to your life by trying to help other people (you’ve got enough to do), but if you were to add anything to your life, this should be it. Helping others, whether volunteering for a charity organization or just making an effort to be compassionate towards people you meet, not only gives you a very good feeling, it somehow lowers your stress level. Of course, this doesn’t work if you try to control others, or help others in a very rushed and frenetic way — learn to take it easy, enjoy yourself, and let things happen, as you work to make the lives of others better.

Relax Throughout The Day: It’s important to take mini-breaks during your work day. Stop what you’re doing, massage your shoulders and neck and head and hands and arms, get up and stretch, walk around, drink some water. Go outside and appreciate the fresh air and the beautiful sky. Talk to someone you like. Life doesn’t have to be all about productivity. You should also avoid using online activity too much as your de-stressing activity — get away from the computer to relax.

Quit Work: This one’s drastic, and probably too drastic for most. But in most likelihood, your work is your absolute biggest stressor. Getting out of your 9-to-5, automating your income, and finding something you truly love to do, that you’re passionate about, will create a positive life and much less stressful one at that. Give it a little thought before dismissing it — there might be possibilities here you haven’t considered.

Simplify Your To-Do List: I’ve written about this before, but attempting to do everything on your long to-do list will definitely stress you out. Learn to simplify your to-do list down to the few essential tasks, and you will enjoy the process much more.

Exercise: This is common advice for stress relief, and that’s because it works … but it’s also a stress prevention method. Exercising helps relieve the stress buildup, it gives you some quiet time to contemplate and relax, and just as importantly, it makes you more fit. A fitter person is better equipped to handle stress. Another important factor: being unhealthy can be a major stressor (especially once you have to go to the hospital), and exercise can help prevent that.

Eat Healthy: This goes hand-in-hand with exercise as a stress prevention method, of course. Become healthier and a major source of stress will disappear. Also, I’ve found that greasy food, for me, puts me in a worse mood and can contribute to stress levels immediately.

Be Grateful: This might not be as obvious as some of the others, but developing an attitude of gratitude (I sound like a preacher with that rhyme!) is a way of thinking positive, eliminating negative thinking from your life, and thereby reducing stress. Learn to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up. That’s a winning formula.

Zen-like Environment: Take time to declutter your desk (as mentioned above) and even once you do that, continually edit your desk and working space, and the things in your home, until you’ve created a simple, peaceful, Zen-like environment. It will be much less stressful to work in an environment like that than a more cluttered and distracting one.

PRAY: I cannot stress enough how importatnt this exercise is, sometimes it’s as easy as talking to GOD…trust me…he’ll calm you down and sho you the way!


Best iPad Business Apps

Even though I don’t own an iPad as of yet anyways, I recently took a poll form various websites, entrepreneurs, and small businesses that own an iPad and this is their take in the best iPad applications that help them assist in their businesses:

The iPad for business use is possible with the right apps and tools.  Your iPad can be used for business in multiple ways and here is how to make it the ultimate business tool.

There have been multiple posts (hundreds of them) in regards to the iPad and it’s usefulness as a business tool.  It was introduced at a time when people really wanted Apple to come out with a netbook-type device.  So even though the announcement made no mention of the iPad being a laptop or netbook replacement, people quickly tried to use it this way and ran into its limitations.

The strength of the iPad as a business tool lies not in it’s ability to replace your current business mobility solution, but in the business apps that you can download and use.  For now, this is the closest the iPad will get to being a business productivity tool.  We went on a search for some of the best and/or most useful business apps for that help you stay productive.  This list is in no means the end of the story – as new apps are released each day. However, if you want to stay productive and use your iPad as a business tool the read on and discover some ways to do just that!

Staying Organized

Evernote (Free)

Evernote is invaluable for busy people. It is a top business app and helps you remember anything and everything that happens in your day-to-day activities.  You can use it to take notes about ideas, snapshots, or recordings and then watch it synchronize with your iPhone and/or your Mac or Windows desktop.  Here are some of the ways to use Evernote for your professional or personal life:

  • Capture blog ideas
  • Write down quick ideas
  • Save web clips
  • Snap photos of labels, whiteboards, etc.
  • Record voice memos

DropBox (Free)

Dropbox is a highly valuable business app to have with you. It is one of the easiest ways to sync and share files online and across computers.  Once you sign up for Dropbox online (you get 2GB Free), you can begin storing all your files there instead of worrying about hard disks that crash.  Here are some the ways this is a great business productivity tool:

  • Export documents into third-party iPad apps
  • Share files via email, text message, or copy/paste
  • View documents, spreadsheets, videos, and photos

MindNode ($5.99)

MindNode is the ultimate in collecting and organizing thought and ideas into mind maps.  There are many reasons people use mind maps (to-do lists, planning, charts, meetings, research, writing, project management), and this app makes creating mind maps an invaluable business tool.  Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Freely arrange your thoughts
  • Search and view nodes in outline view
  • Export maps
  • Cut, Copy & Paste

Business Communication

Business communication is definitely possible on the iPad. There are some great applications that allow you to write, save time, and read documents of all kinds.

Pages ($9.99)

Pages is an incredible word processing tool for the mac.  It is simple, powerful and as a business tool, it gets the job done.  There are multiple built-in templates or you can see our post that shows you some really amazing templates to download. Check them out.  Here are a few things you can do with Pages on the iPad:

  • Create letters, cards, flyers, and reports
  • Create and edit documents in Widescreen
  • Add photos and videos
  • Add intelligent charts and tables
  • Documents are saved each time you make a change
  • Export to Pages ’09, Word, or PDF (via Email)

Tip: If you are are going to be doing any serious word processing on the iPad then i would recommend getting a stand and a keyboard (see below)

Tip: Switch to Full-Screen mode for the least amount of distractions while typing up documents

TextExpander ($4.99)

If you haven’t use TextExpander you are going to love this ultimate productivity tool.  TextExpander lets you create abbreviations that expand into long snippets of text.  You can even expand abbreviations directly in other apps which support TextExpander.  Once you have built up an arsenal of abbreviations, composing is fast and efficient.  You can use it for Twitter, Email, and other apps.

Quick Office Connect Mobile Suite ($9.99)

For taking mobile business productivity to the next level this app is pretty darn close.  This app allows you to have full control of creating, editing, formatting, accessing and sharing Word and Excel documents/spreadsheets.  The ‘Connected Filemanager’ enables remote access to MobileMe, Dropbox, GoogleDocs, and  Here are just a few of the features:

  • Create, Open & Edit Microsoft Office Files (Doc, Docx, Xls, Xlsx)
  • Access & View Powerpoint
  • Remotely access via multiple online services
  • Share files via Email or Remote Storage Providers
  • Transfer files via WiFi or iTunes (USB)

Simplenote (Free)

As it’s name might suggest, simplenote is a note taking tool that is fast, clean, and simple. When you download it, it lets you access their free web app which syncs with your notes so you always have them available.  You can even import notes from Evernote and it works great with Text Expander.  For the price of free, this is a great note-taking business productivity enhancement!

GoDocs ($3.99)

If you don’t need to work with Word/Excel documents and you use Google Docs this is the app for you.  GoDocs is your business center in one app.  It access your Google Docs with full sync and it can open pdf’s, videos, audio, spreadsheets, and documents.  You can also send any doc via email and delete or rename any document.

Simple Job Proposal ($4.99)

This app really helps make the iPad a true business tool.  Simple Job Proposal is for companies that want to make it easy to write up a job proposal on the go.  This is great for anyone that does contract-type work.  To sign a proposal you simply use your finger and you can even load your company logo.  Once you are done, it will load up in an email for you to send off.

PrintCentral ($9.99)

PrintCentral is the newest print solution for the iPad.  It has an impressive set of features that will let you print anything from anywhere. You can print to a wireless printer or to a Mac/PC and even over 3G.  This app has the following features you may want to check out:

  • Full functional printing
  • Full iPad app integration
  • WiFi Hard Drive
  • Documents on the iPad
  • iDisk, Dropbox, and Google doc support
  • Full featured Email app built-in
  • Web browser
  • Print Photos

The iPad for Meetings

One of the great things about the iPad is it’s portability.  Hands down it is a great meeting tool.  You can use it to join meetings, host meetings or present your ideas.

Webex (Free)

Want to really make your iPad a top-notch business tool? Grab this app and then join a webex meeting.  It is a great experience.  You don’t need a webex license to join meetings but you will need one to host a meeting.  Cisco has a 14-day trial, however, if you want to try hosting one.  You can learn a lot more about webex on the ipad here.

GoToMeeting (Free)

Another meeting app, GoToMeeting is very similar to webex in that you can join meetings for free and view presentations, connect to audio and switch between landscape or portrait mode. As with Webex, if you want to host meetings you have to have a subscription but they do offer a 30-day trial.

Note: With both cisco and gotomeeting there were no prices listed for subscriptions and it required that you email for info so I have done so and will update this post once I know.

Notes+ ($4.99)

Want a great way to take notes in meetings?  This is a handwriting tool with palm detection, a magnifier glass for various text sizes and allows for PDF exporting and Google Docs uploading.  It looks and feels just like a notepad.

Prompster ($9.99)

Apps like this one really do make the iPad a good business productivity tool. This is a teleprompter app.  It smoothly scrolls easily readable text for audible presentations.  This is perfect for business presentations and public speaking.  It even lets you copy and paste text from Pages, Email or any other app that contains text.

Webshow ($.99)

This is a very simplified version of 2screens.  It simply allows you to show your web browsing on a screen using the VGA-out connector (see the link above) and a projector. It also supports mirroring so you can see the page on the iPad as well as the screen.


The iPad for business use would not be complete without some good reading.  There are a ton of options here and you won’t be disappointed.  Whatever business you are in, there are books, readers, apps and magazines.

Instapaper ($4.99/Free)

If you really want to make your iPad the perfect business tool then you’ll want to grab the Instapaper app. One of the top best business apps,  it allows you to save web pages for later offline reading.  This is great for news stories or blog posts that you find during the day and would like to read later.  Instapaper has the following features:

  • Folders
  • Dictionary Lookups
  • Adjustable fonts and text sizes
  • Dark mode for night reading
  • Send to Tumblr and Twitter

iBooks (Free)

iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books.  It includes the iBookstore which has thousands of books organized by category, best sellers, classics, and it keeps them all organized on a nice bookshelf. You can also add PDF documents to iBook.

Kindle (Free)

This app gives you the ability to read all your Kindle books from Amazon.  There are over 600,000 books in the Kindle store so you won’t be without good choices here.  The latest Kindle updates include video and new page turning animations.

Wired Magazine (Free)

Here is an example of a digital magazine done right.  If you like to read Wired then you will really appreciate this version for the iPad.  The magazine editions are $3.99 and you can save all your issues.

WSJ (Free)

This app shows off the iPad as a great newspaper reader.  As a subscriber to the WSJ you get your daily newspaper delivered as well as stories updated throughout the day.  When you open up the application, it feels like you are reading the print version (but better).

Dictionary Of Investment Terms ($4.99)

These dictionaries are a must for anyone in business that wants to refresh their knowledge of investments, finance, accounting, taxes, or economics.


All of these business uses of the iPad will help you be productive each day but some of these apps are better used with a few accessories.  Here are some that will make the iPad a better business tool.

Apple Keyboard Dock

This is an accessory from Apple that has a dock (stand) as well as an attached keyboard.  Some people really like this but others complain that they would rather it allow you to tilt for various viewing angles.

Apple Bluetooth Keyboard

This is a great keyboard that pairs quickly with your iPad, is light and small, and very portable.

iPad Stand

A stand is necessary if you are going to be doing any work on the iPad.  Even for reading and especially for typing these are an invaluable accessory to have. Here is one in our store from Griffin that I use and it works great.

iPad Case

An iPad case helps protect your investment and makes it a lot easier to carry around. There are sleeves, cases, bags and all sorts of ways to transport it.  Here are some in our store and here’s a review of a backpack from BRENTHAVEN that works really well for carrying multiple electronic gadgets.

So how are you using your iPad for business use?

Fasting in 2011!

Okay, so it’s a new year and a NEW YOU! Like most of you many people bring in the NEW YEAR different ways because it gives everyone a chance to start over with a clear mind, clear conscience, and a clear spirit.

This year for the fourth year in a row I will be participating in the Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast a great way to bring in the NEW YEAR!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Daniel Fast:

Answer: The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

The background of the Daniel fast is that Daniel and his three friends had been deported to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).

So, a Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Some people use a Daniel fast as a dieting method. Some people use a Daniel fast instead of fasting from food entirely. The Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast

ALL FRUITS; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

ALL VEGETABLES; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

ALL whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

ALL nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

ALL legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

ALL quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

BEVERAGES: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to AVOID on the Daniel Fast

ALL meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

ALL dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

ALL sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

ALL leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

ALL refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

ALL deep-fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

ALL solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

BEVERAGES including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.