How Bad Business Reviews Affect Our Society and Our Conscience

A businesswoman shouting at the world through a megaphone

I’m late. It’s mid-December and tax “busy season” is dawning. To get my rear in gear, I started my day by doing a little research.

I was performing a competitor analysis and I noted that a nearby accounting firm had a poor review online. Now, I am naturally curious, and I am all for freedom of information (clearly!). However, I would like to take a moment to discuss a few of the ways reviews impact small businesses. This comes from me not just as a small business owner, but as a neighboring community member, and as an understanding, benefit-of-the-doubt-giving human being.

The Particulars

After reading this review, I concluded that it was not due to lousy service or negligence or an unfriendly reception, etc. The reviewer was clearly not an accountant, as most people aren’t, but the low review questioned a rumor the person had heard about particular price paid by a particular client. Specifically, it was a division of the town government that willingly chose to contract with this firm and pay a set price for payroll for only one person, and the reviewer did not like the price. Again, this was a rumor that got the only accounting firm in my area a review, and it was a low one from a non-client.  Now in my professional opinion, the actual client got quite a deal! I was shocked to read that someone else thought it was a poor deal, poor enough to take the time to look up the firm and write a review, especially as they seemed unaffiliated with either party.

In Defense of Payroll

Payroll is a very touchy subject. Not only is it is huge, throbbing pain in the ass, but the laws are always changing, and it is risky to start up an in-house payroll. You need someone, or a team or people who are very experienced and know what to look for and how to correct mistakes timely, people who are beyond dedicated and reliable and unfortunately, put their jobs first. Unfortunately in the sense that, if a check got cut for the wrong amount, they are willing to cease sleeping or nursing their baby or what have you to run to the office at 4am to re-cut that check and redo multiple journal entries and possibly have to be on the phone with the bank or banks for goodness knows how long to correct it. Otherwise, the company will suffer. Law suits can arise from employees whose withholdings were incorrect, company morale will be low if payroll can’t even figure out how much to pay them, reputation will be ruined, and this is before all the fines, audits, and scrutiny from the government agencies. Payroll can get very bad, quickly.

It is worlds cheaper and much, much less risky to outsource payroll to a competent accountant. Accountants have annual, required professional education. Not all accountants will offer payroll services. I definitely don’t. You would have to pay me a pretty penny to convince me to take on that kind of monster. I’ve done it before, so now: no thank you. Chances are, if the accountant does in fact perform payroll services, they have many payroll clients, enough to make the trouble worth it. If they still have clients, they must be successful, otherwise their clients would quickly go elsewhere in a matter of two weeks. Since payroll is chosen specialty in the accounting profession, these accountants are current on all the laws and related breaking news briefings, since accountants get this information in multiple ways: in industry newsletters, immediate email notifications, educational seminars, reference websites they review daily, and through networking with other accountants.

Most firms have  tiered payroll fees. Between 1-5 employees is $X, 6-25 is $XX, 25-100 is $XXX, and so on. Some firms have minimums (must have 100 employees on payroll or you still must pay $XXX), and maximums, too. A one-person firm probably won’t be doing payroll for a company of 2,500 people.

Lack of knowledge led this person to publicly draw conclusions that I feel, are quite unfounded. If this citizen had such a pounding question about fees willingly paid by one party to another rendering a typically torturous professional service, why couldn’t they just call the firm and ask what their prices were?

five Yellowish-orange stars in a line from small to large signifying rating optionsIn Defense of Competitors

If you haven’t read my article about competitors, in short, I believe that competitors should be thought of as your brothers and sisters. They are in many ways like you. Think of them as being on your team.

When thinking of competitors, I imagine running track and field in the Olympics, lined up with two or three other American women who are on my team. On one level, we all want to win first place, but on another level, we don’t care as long as we win together. Yes, we all work hard individually, but we also should work hard together, to cast an honorable light on our team and our profession, to garner sponsors, to attract new talent, and to increase interest in the Olympics and our chosen sport.

Other local people who share your line of work? These are community member and neighbors of yours.  They could help you someday. They can refer extra business to you. You will see them at the grocery store, at the traffic light, at a work seminar. You will hear good things and maybe not so good things about them. There is enough work to go around. If you work together and make it attractive for outsiders or first timers to try out dance lessons or chiropractic treatment or Zumba or an accountant or teeth whitening, believe me, there will be more than enough customers for all of you. It’s not about you and your business. It’s about attracting people to need you or want you as an industry professional.

People like choices, they like what is in vogue, what is popular. If you are the only clock and watch shop for miles, well great, I guess you’ll get all the local business as long as Walmart doesn’t undercut your prices (because that will never happen, right?!?). But if there are three or four or five clock and watch shops, all downtown, holy shit, your town becomes the mecca for time-telling fanciers. Clock lovers will vacation from overseas to your town to browse and buy from your store, from the grandfather and antique clock store next door, from the cuckoo clock store across the street, and from the wholesale clock parts store around the corner. Locals will get interested in clocks, your chamber of commerce and town counsel will advertise your area as the Clock Capital of wherever, and money will trickle in to your local economy. One business is good, but many are better.

So really, where is the camaraderie? Where is the brotherly and sisterly love we show to others who work hard in our community toward similar goals?

Sticks and Stones

Now, I will be the first to admit I am the queen of Class versus Sass. We can keep it classy, or things can get really, really sassy. Just like the United States: in my book, you are innocent until proven guilty. In my mind, every person I meet starts out as innocent as a newborn. And I will be patient with you and nurture you and listen to you and put myself in your shoes and try to understand your points of view. But when you are guilty, once you have done me wrong,  may your God try and help you.

I am a consumer. Just like the rest of us, I am a patron of businesses. Many times I have walked out fuming and furious. Many more times I have walked out thrilled with the product or service I received.

During my angry times, and boy those can get angry, I may stop around with smoke coming out of my ears for a few minutes. I will be the first to tell you I can be nothing short of a tyrant. Really! But in minutes, it subsides. I don’t think I have ever written a poor review of a business. I am pretty positive I never have. If I have years and years ago and don’t remember, strike me down, because I didn’t and don’t mean it! I don’t have enough hate in my heart to forcibly and viciously attack another person’s livelihood because I wasn’t happy with their business that day.

When I am annoyed, the first person I tell is the one who is making me annoyed. “You are taking too long.” “You need to keep my water-glass full.” “I can’t taste the vodka.” “You forgot my change.” If that persists, or more commonly, if I am getting patronized by an employee, I use the old “I need to speak with your manager.” This is usually where everything smooths out. Typically, the employees you deal with first, face to face, purposely don’t have certain authorities, like taking that fee off your account, or comp-ing the wrong sushi order.  The employees know this, the managers know this, and they know they got you stressed and under their thumb; this is how the game works and this is how the conversation is going to go. This is OK.

Now when I have a favorable experience, Oh, will I write a review! Even for people I don’t know, like what happened today, I will stick up for you, I will always ferret out something good to say. This makes me feel good about myself, and even more about the cool places I have been, businesses I have experienced, and good will I have bestowed.It makes me feel good that someone else will feel good about their business, and a person looking for that type of business will feel confident and helped in choosing one.

I have found only one problem with writing outstanding reviews for businesses, and this information is from 2009, so I am not sure if it is still pertinent. As of 2009 or so, some online business listing and review sites like Yelp! have a formula for how much weight each registered reviewer’s reviews carry. So if you are like me and watched Bambi as a kid and “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all,” and give only five star reviews, Yelp! and similar sites will discount you, and your ratings won’t factor in to that business’s score. I guess they want each registered reviewer to submit both good and bad reviews. But if you don’t have any bad reviews to give, should you write an exaggeratedly bad one on a business that was mediocre, so your good reviews can help your favorite businesses?  That seems a little cynical, don’t you think? What do you do to get your positive voice heard?

Take it or leave it, come on people: stress is a killer. If you go home holding a snooty attitude and write some nasty catty review because your waitress “Wendy” swore at your kids and charged you double for your drinks, can you just think before you type, for once?

“Wendy” dug her own grave. Screw her, karma is a bitch, and I’m sure her manager is already well aware of “Wendy’s” inappropriate behavior and she is on her way out as soon as the weekend rush subsides. But when you stamp home in your little tiff and write a bad review online, even if it specifically mentions “Wendy” and all the horrifying details, you are not giving “Wendy” a bad review and only one star, you are giving it to, let’s say, “Janice and Dave’s Restaurant”. The restaurant you loved for so many years (because you apparently go there, or at least it looked attractive enough for you to try it). The restaurant that they worked hard to build and the business they rely on to feed and house their family. “Janice and Dave” are real people who probably love each other, who have feelings including the feelings of hurt and worthlessness and sadness when they read your bitchy online review, and “Janice and Dave” are doing their best, because that is what you do when you own a business.

Just think, for a minute, about how you would go about opening a business. You. From scratch. Your new baby that consumes money you don’t have, energy you didn’t know you have, and nothing short of your heart and soul. It’s a huge, scary plunge to take. Can’t we all just stand up and slow-clap for our friends who grew the balls to actually give their dream a chance? Whether if succeeds or not? Can’t we acknowledge that there are people out there who are doing their  best, their best towards something productive and helpful and of value?

I remember working as an employee. Yeah, I did my best: my best to make sure my boss didn’t catch me on Facebook half the day (shamefully and blatantly via a proxy server, no less) and did my best to remember what department had a birthday that day so I could go bottom-feed off the leftover cupcakes. So yeah, if you don’t own a business, I know exactly what your best is. Granted, yes, am being playfully facetious to make a point, and anyone who has actually worked with me knows I’ve always done my work with quality, triple checked, finished early before deadlines, helped others who were still working til they were done, with no problems (which was the problem because my speed and accuracy left me all this time to dick around unproductively, but I’ll save that for another story).

Before you rant and rave publicly, especially if it wasn’t even you with the issue, especially if you didn’t bring up your grievance privately with no one short of the direct service provider/employee you dealt with, and their manager and the business owner, and issues still weren’t resolved, who the hell do you think you are to be such a troll and trash someone’s small business online? Really! Don’t even say you believe in God, and you better not be vegetarian or anything else high and mighty if you have done such a thing, because what a load of crap your righteous little “label” you’ve given yourself is: “Loving Vegetarian Christian mom of Four! ; D” writes evil things and destroys lives online )8-) har har har!

Are you with me on how absolutely silly this is? This is the legacy you want to leave behind? Because even if you write something anonymously, and tell no one, and go as far as to condemn such behavior publicly, you are going to die with that poison in your blood. You are going to die with that on your conscience. How shitty.

To quote the book and movie The Secret, “Thoughts Become Things.” If you want to live a happy, positive life, you have to stop the negative thoughts. All together. Does that seem ludicrous or impossible? It’s not. You think it will be too hard to control all your thoughts? Like working a muscle, yes, it takes a little practice most days, then more practice every day, and so on. What? If you never speak another bad word you won’t have anything to gossip and complain to your friends about, so you’ll grow apart or not be on the same level? Hmm…did you really just think that? Hmm…

Do I never have a cynical thought? Do I never say anything snarky? Of course I do. Rarely, but when I do, usually it’s about a general idea and not a person, place, animal, creation, or specific thing made, owned, desired or loved by anyone. I have worked on myself over the past few years, and it really does take effort, but I have put so much thought into thinking positive, that before I speak something less than, spinning red lights go off in my brain and that little voice in my head starts talking. For real.

The little voice goes, “Hey. Lady. Do you really want to make that comment to your girlfriends about the way that guy’s house smells like cat pee even though he doesn’t own a cat? What can be gained from this? A laugh? A feeling of mutual agreement? Increased camaraderie? A way to fill the silence? Is that really the type of condescending comment and judgmental-ness you want people to remember when they think of you? How many other questionable things have you said today in front of this audience? One? Well, you’re allowed one  every other time you see them, so keep your trap shut on the cat pee. Next time…next time you can be witty, but try to turn on the rainbows and unicorns for a while!”

six caucasians hands that are plain clean hands from the forearm up giving thumbs up

Blurting out words is bad. My mom calls it “Diarrhea of the Mouth”. The movie Mean Girls describes it as “Word Vomit”. Mental health professionals call it “Impulsive Speech” (yes, this is an actual symptom of poor mental health, aka mental illness, if you didn’t catch it the first time). But what is it when called when you brew and stew on it, and plot it out before eloquently writing your nasty review online? If it was murder, the cops would call it “Premeditated”. And this is the worst type of murder.

What would our world be like if just one in ten people participated in the positive philosophies I described above? Would we have a raised level of consciousness for each other? Would the economy turn around because more people are getting stellar reviews online and citizens are inspired and enthusiastic about trickling down their dollars to local business owners? Would business owners take greater pride in their service and strive even harder to give consumers a better value? Would we all live happier lives? Could we love each other more?

Could we all just love each other more.

How to use People-first Language

Glamour shot of African woman, pretty woman in a wheelchair, brunette, blone, with a distinguished gentleman sitting on a box. There is a shaded white background and they are dressed in coordinating black, red, and gray

During my schoolgirl days I had briefly learned about People-first language through some of the student mentoring programs I was involved in. It wasn’t until I got trained as a volunteer at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding that People-first language came back into my life and meant so much more.

Basically, People-first is a method of speaking about others without labeling them.

Because I was being trained to work with riders of different abilities, some with medical issues, it was not only important that we not spew out our best guess of a diagnosis as that is harmful not only to the rider and their family’s feelings, but also potentially illegal, implying medical records were not kept confidential.

We learned if there is a specific facet of a rider that the other volunteers need to know about, to use People-first language. The example given to us in training was, “Instead of saying “the blind boy”, you can say, “the boy who is blind”.”

This separates the need-to-know medical information from the actual person. In the example, being blind isn’t who the boy is, it’s not the main part of him, it is simply one attribute which may be necessary to point out. The reason being, so we can count out strides or give an auditory signal when it’s time for him to steer the horse around a corner in the rectangular riding arena to prevent an accident.

It is human nature to categorize everything in order to make sense of our world. It speeds up processing and helps us make quicker decisions and anticipate what to expect. Still, as humans, it is significantly important to be sensitive about labeling others who may be different.

The most obvious examples are people who are dis- or differently-abled, people of  different skin hues, people with various sexual preferences, and so on.

But how about our acquaintances, neighbors, and community members we are inclined to know a little more about? Like the slut who works at the bank, or the hobo at the intersection, or the cop’s daughter on the hackey-sack team? Hmm, with labels like those, good luck making friends.

Some labels are great, if you’re beautiful, brilliant, and rich. But most people aren’t, and even the most innocuous descriptor can feel back-handed if it hits you just right. Sometimes even seemingly positive labels can really suck the wind out of a person’s sails.

For example, perhaps you are labeled as smart. Normally, this is desirable! But that is the only label you hear. “Get ready to use big words, I’m inviting my smart friend!” “Here comes my smart son; ask him about school.” “You’re too smart for me.” “You’re too smart to do that job.”  “Ha, I thought you were smart!” You just may be so sick of people assuming you have no friends, and if you do they are weird and nerdy and play the trombone and World of Warcraft and plan their next Model UN speech, and all you do is study and you make no mistakes and you know you are perfect and you’ve  never been kissed and you dress a certain way and have your head up your ass with snobbery, snootery, elitism, meritism, no real grasp of the real world or real people, etc…Isn’t being smart just one part of who you are? Maybe you even appreciate being smart,  but you also like dirt biking, reptiles, and tap dancing. You’re a whole person; why does only one facet have to shine through?

Everyone wants to be included and feel a connection to other people. Even the woman with green hair and tattoos on her face. She probably has other friends with vibrantly colored hair and visible tattoos, but I bet she has a lot of friends and family without them. Can’t we have friends who are both alike to us (vegans, blondes, Trekkies) and friends who are different? But can’t we also try a little harder not to make our different friends feel that much more different? Don’t we owe it to our fellow human beings to do our best to make them feel included and similar to us in some way?

Now, I’m not saying let’s stop calling everyone anything and to temper our tongues and walk on eggshells and censor every word we speak. I’m just trying to give extreme examples and say, hey, that slut is actually a girl with family members who care about her, who works an honest job, who walks her dog regularly, and deserves some decency. Next time, try calling her a girl or woman, and use your discretion before adding that she is reportedly generous with her erotic charms.

Consider trying out People-first language, not just with the “typical” groups of people you might think of, but with every person. Put the person first, then, if you must, their most significant attribute per the context. I think that by being aware of People-first language, we can make everyone feel more welcomed, more comfortable, and give those with differences hope that they can change if they want to, or if they can’t, that they will be accepted as none other than a human being.

It is interesting to note, however, that certain advocacy groups actually reject People-first language.

From what I understand, in mainstream Deaf culture, people prefer to be called Deaf, because being Deaf is just another way to experience life and is not considered a disability. It is not considered a negative label, and therefore Deaf culture doesn’t feel that they are being labeled, or labeled potentially negatively in the first place. Calling someone Deaf in this sense seems to simply raise awareness and make it known that hey, there are Deaf people all over the place and they lead totally normal and fulfilling lives. It’s just another way. I can agree with this logic; it’s kind of like saying “that man” rather than “that person who is male”. Makes sense.

Members of a different life experience, the autism rights movement, also share this outlook. To them, being autistic, or being called autistic, is appropriate. They reject People-first language on the basis that it implies that the autism is separate from the person, or the person’s personality. I get this. I think autism is simply another way to experience our world, and it’s not bad or a disease, especially in the case of high-functioning autistic people.

Revered autistic author Temple Grandin said, “If I could snap my fingers and be nonautistic, I would not. Autism is part of what I am…I am different, but not less.”

However, because the spectrum is so wide, and every person determined to have autism is different, with some people, but of course not with everyone who is autistic, there can be a pattern of co-morbid disorders and/or negative differences that I think un-enlightened non-autistic people might think all autistic people have that could make autism seem negative. It is for this reason, I believe if high-functioning autistic people want to be called autistic, they can help non-autistics by making their preference known. However, if you are encountering the family of a low-functioning person with autism (or autistic person), I’d say wait and see what wordage they drop, or just be very sensitive and ask! I think families would rather have someone ask than say something disagreeable to their preference.

Obviously, I’m sure there are many Deaf people and autistic people who do prefer People-first language. I suppose all you can do is your best and get to know them and how they would like their life experience referred to, if the topic arises.

Basically, I believe all people should have the right to label or not label themselves, and accept or reject labels, as they feel fit. This just goes to show how important individual preferences are, but that we should err on the side of being respectful and sensitive to those we categorize as different from ourselves.

If you are being labeled or not labeled and it makes you angry or uncomfortable, make the labeler aware of your preference. Users of People-first language are doing our best here, people!

It is with this that we must scrutinize the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and perhaps trade up for the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

If you want to learn more, the most unbiased resource I can recommend is Wikipedia: People First Language.

13 Ways I’ve Tried to Make This Site Friendly to Readers With Dyslexia

Young brunette woman smiling with her hands behind her head sitting at desk in front of a computer

Something that was very important to me when designing this website was that I made it as helpful as possible to people with dyslexia. There are a few people who are very close to my heart that have dyslexia, therefore I want to be able to share my articles with them in the most convenient method possible.

1. The first thing I did was change the background color of my posts from the default color pure white, which is coded as the hexidecimal color #FFFFFF, to a pleasant creamy shade. I use #FDFFED.

2. Supplementary to that, I changed my default font color from true black #000000 to a charcoal gray, #333333. Yes! The letters you are reading are actually gray! But isn’t it easy on the eyes? These first two changes probably benefit all readers since they are so much less strenuous to look at.

3. I then made my font sizes larger. For titles, I changed the size from 18 to 28, and made them bold. I changed my regular-use font from 12 to 16. Another great option I took advantage of was to make the spacing between lines a tiny bit bigger; not too much, but just enough to reduce glare and make each line of text a little more refined.

4. Because I have heard that serifs, or those little fancy things on the edges of some fonts like Times New Roman, are not helpful to readers, I chose the font Arial font family for its clarity. Not to mention, I like it so much better! So sans serif fonts, it is.

As a quick offshoot, Dutch company tested fonts for their efficiency of ink and found that Century Gothic topped the list as using the least amount of ink. Times New Roman was second, but only because the letters are smaller and finer than fonts without serifs. Arial was next, as well as Calibri and Verdana. So I would use Century Gothic because it is just so clear AND earth and wallet friendly, but it’s not as widely supported on the web as Arial.

Back to my main point…

5. I try to keep paragraphs brief. Again, I believe this benefits all readers in keeping their place and being convenient to read.

6. I only use one space after each sentence. Growing up I had a friend who learned to put two spaces between each sentence, and it drove me nuts. That seemed to me a terrible and unnecessary waste of space, time, and effort. Too much wear and tear on that poor space bar and your thumbs! That habit harkens back to the typewriter days when letters were set very close so that pressing the space bar twice after each sentence did in fact help define the sentence.

7. I stick with left-alignment. I don’t justify my text. However, once in a while you will see me center something. I am very conscientious when I do this, but sometimes it just must be done for balance and Feng-shui purposes.

8. I use all real, full words. I try not to use shorthand or Short Message Service (SMS) abbreviations or slang.

9. If I feel I must really stress a word, I make it bold. I don’t use italics or underlines, nor do I use all capital letters or have my site in all lowercase. Some people actually use all lower case letters for style, but personally, I think it reflect submissiveness and low self-esteem, but I’ll save that for another article.

10. I refrain from using textured text or backgrounds.

11.Behind the scenes on my web design, I don’t use frames, because as I understand it frames can mess up the flow of an article for people who use an audio reader.

12. Likewise, I really, really try hard not to use graphics with text in them since audio readers miss them. This is really hard since I love funny animal memes, however, usually the text is so brief or the picture is so cute that the meaning of the text takes a back seat.

13. If I write very long articles, I plan to put a topic list at the beginning, so people can scroll through to the sections they are most interested in.

My Header breaks quite a few of my rules: the text is against a gradient, my Trajan Pro font has serifs, and it’s an image file containing text so most audio readers won’t pick it up. However, if you’re reading my site, chances are you know where you are. Because the header is there for style rather than content, I went with it because I found it visually pleasing.

I am aware that everyone who has dyslexia has different preferences and are dyslexic to different degrees and in different ways, however I tried to make this site as user-friendly as possible. I’m thinking of you, guys!

If you have any suggestions or improvements I should make, please shoot me an email or use my contact form and let me know. Again, what works for you may not work for someone else, so I may or may not change it, but I would love your input and your help. Thank you, and enjoy the site!

The Uncopyright or Open Copyright Philosophy

Red henna drawing on a cream background of a sitting hindu god with four arms and an ornate hat, playing a sitar and smiling.

So much of our mainstream, capitalistic society requires that we pay, in money and time, for everything. We work our lives away and piddle away our hard-earned pennies on things like Starbucks and Post-Its and overdraft fees and light sabers for our Angry Birds.

I believe in living free, don’t you? Free to charge a price if we care to, and also free to not charge.

By claiming a work Uncopyrighted or Open Copyrighted, the creator gives permission to the world to use the work as they see fit. For profit or not for profit. clearly states the philosophy I share:

“Copyright stems from a protective mindset, one that believes the creator owns his or her work, and must protect that ownership in order to profit from said work. The creator will share his or her work with others, but only at a price, and anyone who takes without paying, or uses it as a basis for further creations, is stealing.

That’s the copyright mindset.

The uncopyright mindset is that of someone who gives without any guarantee of profit, who lets go of ownership and believes the world owns his or her creation. He or she hopes to contribute to the world in a small way, and if others benefit from this contribution, that’s a good thing. And if others use his or her contribution to create something new and beautiful, that’s a wonderful thing.

The uncopyright creator lets go of ownership, because to hold on to ownership hurts the world, and to try to protect that ownership leads to unnecessary stress.

The minimalist also eschews ownership, at least to some degree, and believes owning things doesn’t make him or her happy. Doing things makes him or her happy. Helping others makes him  or her happy. Creating makes him or her happy.”

Since this site is geared to being intellectual, motivational, and (hopefully) entertaining, I feel uncopyrighting my site is one way I can be of service to the public and offer the content written directly on this website for free. Sharing and giving to others is just one of the ways I lead a meaningful life.

If you need to use my content on this site for a report, go for it. If you think a lesson or thought I talk about here could benefit your peers, students, or company, then use my materials to train them. If you think its good enough to include on your own site, go for it.

While not necessary, Credit is greatly, greatly appreciated.  The more people who visit this site help shoot it to the top of Google, they help get my name out there for the benefit of my businesses, and most of all they encourage me to keep producing quality content.

If you’d like to share this site, but like my mom, don’t know how, an easy way would be to copy this link:

and paste it where ever it is you want to share: an email, your Facebook, Twitter, etc.

If you don’t edit the meaning of the content but want to copy it or use it, you are welcome to credit me, Melissa M. Miko as the author, but it is not required.

My hope is to improve your life, give you a helping hand or tidbit of advice if you need it. It would be cool, that if a small percentage of readers like my writing so much that they eventually buy a book, or come to hear me speak, or become one of my clients or even friends someday. Again, not required, but that would be very encouraging and pleasing for me!

Additionally, if you are reading through one of my posts very carefully because you plan on using it and find a mistake: be it factual, grammatical, spelling, formatting or whatnot, please let me know so I can correct it by emailing me at And by all means, please correct or edit it to fit your own usage!

Remember, I am only human and there is only one of me, so it’s not like I have a huge staff of editors and machines and robots and Nazis to make sure every pixel on this site is perfect. But, I aim to be close.

I do have other websites that are copyrighted, since they link to my various for-profit businesses. Also, any products, i.e. e-books, offered on this website that you pay for or download that say Copyright, are. I have to comply with my suppliers regulations so I don’t get in trouble, and hey, I have bills to pay too!

Please enjoy I hope that the liberty I bestow upon you here helps you in some aspect of your life.

Uncopyright for

Blue copyright letter "C" crossed out with a blue circle and line which is the uncopyright symbol

This blog is Uncopyrighted.

Its author, Melissa M. Miko, has released all claims on copyright and has put all the content of this blog into the public domain.

No permission is needed to copy, distribute, or modify the content of this site.

Credit is greatly appreciated but not required.


Terms and Conditions for Copying, Distribution and Modification

0. Go for it. Enjoy.


Read more at The Uncopyright or Open Copyright Philosophy.


The WordPress theme “CleanResponse” also available for free from ThemeFurnace.


A million thanks to my inspirations, Steve Pavlina and