Your chances of success in life can be manipulated with a bit of sweat equity!

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels defines “luck” as;

A combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person:

It is a notable definition because it does not describe luck as a magical force that some people are blessed with and others aren’t. Lucky people are benefiting from circumstance and chances, whereas unlucky people aren’t.

Of course, lucky people are only lucky in some things. …

Social media keeps us in touch with the things we love, but what it excludes could do us harm.

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Photo by Cristian Dina from Pexels

Social media is great at keeping us in touch with the people and things we love, especially as it allows us to set our own rules. These rules form social media bubbles around us, into which we only let in the things we like.

If we don’t like the views of someone or a business, we simply unfollow or unfriend them. …

The Asylum, the maker of Sharknado and 300+ other b-movies, churn out a profit-making film every month. How do they do it?

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Sharknado from

The Asylum takes a film idea, a budget of “well under a million dollars”, and turns it into a film in under 2 months! They release movies exclusively on a “straight to video” basis, starring actors no one has ever heard of. Yet they are one of the most profitable film companies going.

Their unique low budget, low risk, fast turnover business model has created a film producing machine that Hollywood can’t replicate.

Cutting costs and reducing risk to produce low, but easily repeatable, profit margins is not a new business concept. …

Networking events have significant benefits for some, but for others, they can be full of hidden dangers and costs.

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Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Few of us are attending networking events during this global pandemic, so it is an ideal opportunity to review their effectiveness for your business.

Networking events can be a cost-effective marketing channel for small businesses, start-ups, and freelancers. But like most market channels, networking events don’t work for everyone and it can become a financial black hole that sneaks up on them.

If networking is working for you and generating lots of business for you, keep on networking — you would be foolish not to. …

They say you should never meet your heroes, perhaps we should say the same about revisiting our old video games?

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Photo by Kevin Bidwell from Pexels

I’ve been a big gamer since the 1970s and like most gamers, my fondest memories are of the games I played as a kid. I even have sequences of actions and button presses from those games ingrained into my muscle memory.

So, why wouldn’t I jump at a chance of replaying those brilliant childhood memories?

Thanks to my studies, I had a Raspberry Pi 4 and a spare USB drive lying around my office — an ideal setup to install RetroPie on. …

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Photo by JÉSHOOTS from Pexels

Microsoft and Sony are ushering a new exciting generation of gaming, but could it cost us our traditional brick and mortar gaming shops?

I have been a gamer since the late 70s (yes, I’m that old) and I have never been this excited about the future of gaming before. We have a fresh wave of consoles on the immediate horizon capable of 4k and even 8k graphics. The days of waiting for games to load are over, which is one I didn’t foresee, even with SSDs becoming so common.

Then we have the new wave of gaming streaming and subscription services. For less than a third of the price of a physical game, you can get instant access to hundreds of games. …

The Coronavirus is forcing cinemas around the world to close. Could video gamers come to the rescue?

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Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Coronavirus has forced cinemas around the world to close their doors. Sadly, some will never reopen again. But could cinemas ride out the storm by temporarily repurposing themselves for video games, weddings, funerals, and other functions?

Cinemas can’t function in a Coronavirus world because social distancing and other measures make it near impossible. This, coupled with no one wanting to risk sitting in a packed cinema, has placed the cinema sector in a very precarious position. Many have simply opted to close their doors and hope they have enough cash left to reopen when things return to normal.

But what if they could serve a smaller, easier to manage audience? …

Self-help books can be full of advice that can have a positive impact on our lives. However, there can also be hidden negative impacts.

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

As a freelancer for 20 years, I have read more than my fair share of self-help books. Some have genuinely helped me along the way, and some have left me feeling worse off after reading them. So, I asked myself, what are the major differences between these books?

Quality wise there is nothing to separate the books I read that had a positive impact on me, and those that had a negative impact on me. They were equally well written and going by their Amazon reviews; they were equally well received by other readers.

Which left me feeling the problem was me. Perhaps I was incapable of taking on board these ideas and I was lacking in some way. …

A spreadsheet error by Public Health England (PHE) resulted in 16,000 Coronavirus cases being unreported to track and trace departments.

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Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Over the years I have written many times about spreadsheet errors causing business catastrophes or even resulting in 10,000 people being wrongly bugged by MI5. This is the first time I have ever written about a spreadsheet error potentially resulting in deaths.

One of Public Health England’s (PHE) key tasks is monitoring the number of Coronavirus cases in England and assisting in a track and trace system. As a part of that process, they were to pass the details of all positive cases to the track and trace department so they could notify any contacts to self-isolate.

This system failed, and will probably fail again because this massive task was tackled with nothing more than a humble Excel spreadsheet. This resulted in the track and trace department being unaware of 16,000 positive cases. …

Spreadsheet errors have cost companies millions, but these simple management steps could protect your business from the same costly mistakes.

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Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

In the 20 years I have spent as a freelance spreadsheet developer, I have discovered businesses using shockingly unsafe spreadsheets. They were full of errors, constantly fell over, and were very difficult to fix or update. The effects of these problems constantly compounded on the business and presented enormous risks to them.

There was one thing in common with all of these cases. Not one of the companies using these toxic spreadsheets had any form of spreadsheet management in place.

It is not just small businesses that fall foul of these problems, Bigger companies also fall foul of simple spreadsheet errors. …


Carl Nixon

Carl Nixon is the oldest computer geek in town! Big gamer and freelance Excel VBA / Python Programmer. See for more details

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