How to Make Shrimp Parm (i.e. Parmesan)

How to Make Shrimp Parm (i.e. Parmesan)

When we think of Italian dishes, shrimp parm is one that stands out. The ooey, gooey cheese, the rich sauce and the light, fresh taste of shrimp comes together to make a mouth-watering combination. If you’d like to learn how to make shrimp parm, read on!

Why Love Shrimp Parm?

Shrimp parm contains shrimp, which is notoriously healthy. It’s low in calories and fat and high in protein and essential fatty acids. It is also rich in astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that gives shrimp their pink color. It is packed with antioxidants and may support health aging, especially in the heart and muscles. It can also protect the body from toxins and stressors.

If you would like to make a delicious and healthy shrimp parm dish, here is a recipe we recommend.

Shrimp Parm Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs. extra-large shrimp peeled and butterflied
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Olive oil to protect bottom of pan while frying
  • 1 lb grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3 ½ cups tomato sauce
  • 1 lb pasta
  • Olive oil drizzle throughout pasta
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Open the shrimp up like a book and remove the dark vein.
  • In a zip lock bag, place flour seasoned with salt and Old Bay. Toss in shrimp and shake to coat.
  • Remove shrimp; add panko, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese to the same bag.
  • In a small bowl whisk eggs and mayonnaise.
  • Dip floured shrimp into egg mixture and then into bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan.
  •  Brown shrimp in batches and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Spread 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  • Spread cooked pasta on top of sauce.
  • Spoon another 1/3 sauce on pasta.
  • Layer shrimp over the pasta
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  • Top with the rest of the sauce.
  • Top with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in 350-degree oven till cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes.

Of course, not everyone has the time to cook a shrimp parm dish. Fortunately for them, there are other ways to enjoy the benefits astaxanthin has to offer. The easiest way to take it is in supplemental form.

Don’t Like Seafood But Want Nutrition? Try These Healthy Supplements!

There are plenty of health care companies that carry astaxanthin supplements, but here are two we recommend.

Pure Encapsulations: Pure Encapsulations carries a wide range of products that are vegetarian, hypoallergenic, and all natural. Every ingredient they use gets tested for purity and potency. Their astaxanthin supplements are just one of the many they provide to ensure optimal health.

Solgar: With close to 75 years in the healthcare industry, Solgar has built a reputation for themselves as a leading provider of natural supplements. They are known for providing top quality, science-based products. Their product line includes astaxanthin supplements which are available in different strengths.

Eating shrimp parm is a delicious way to take advantage of the benefits astaxanthin has to offer, but those who would rather not spend a lot of time in the kitchen can still experience optimal health by taking this carotenoid in supplemental form. Cook or dose? Which one is right for you?

Stop Chafing Before It Starts…Naturally

You may not know what “chub” is, but it is a very real thing.  Chub is the skin that hangs off the thighs – or the arms as well.  It is very hard to get rid of, requiring lots of toning and weight-bearing exercise.  Chub is also something that women, especially, are very self-conscious of. And if that isn’t enough, chub rubs, causing painful chafing, red bumps, rashes, and more.  Both men and women get chub, but in this case, we are focusing on how women handle it. 

Many products on the market claim to help with chafing, but few are made for chub rub specifically; even fewer were designed with women and their bodies in mind.  Imagine my surprise when I got a call asking me to try, and honestly review, a product called ChubRub. With my doubtful demeanor in check, I agreed to try this product.  And try it I did!

So, let’s start at the very beginning.  I’m not small but I’m not overly large either.  I have chub and it rubs. I get rashes and I am constantly trying to hide them.  The summer is the worst time for me because the heat of the day, plus the heat my body produces, plus the chub itself, equals a very nasty combination.  If you’ve ever had waxing and gotten those red, prickly bumps that hurt? That’s about what my chub rub looks like. And I shouldn’t forget to tell you that in sharing this, I do feel exposed.  It’s the part of my body I hate the most and am also the most uncomfortable about.    

When the package of ChubRub arrived around Thanksgiving, I thought, this won’t work so I’ll give it some time.  I had Thanksgiving with all the trimmings, forgetting about the package sitting on my desk for a bit. Then, I realized that what I was enjoying about the holiday was likely making my chub worse.  So, I decided to open the package and try the product. For those that don’t know, by the way, the product is a deodorant-sized and shaped product that goes on very much the same way. It isn’t greasy or smelly, which gives my clothes a break.  (Having tried other products and ruined clothes, this was actually two big points in ChubRub’s favor.)

After applying ChubRub, I was almost concerned it wasn’t on, but after a careful check, it realized it was.  For me it was kind of like that old “As Seen On TV” quote “set it and forget it,” although in this case it was more like “apply it and forget it”.  That first trial day I was actually busier than usual. I ran through malls getting gifts, I volunteered to help at a shelter, and I used a treadmill for the first time in a very long time.  I tried to come up with each and every scenario I could to see how the ChubRub worked. 

My expectations were not only met, but ChubRub overdelivered for me.  At the end of a crazy, busy 18-hour day walking, running, shopping and so much more, there was no rub.  No rash. No red bumps. Nothing to hide (except my own chub, of course). It was miraculous. I didn’t smell, and I didn’t stain my clothing from this product.  In fact, to be perfectly honest, I totally forgot about my chub, or the ChubRub, in the hullabaloo of the day. And what does that tell me? This product not only works well, but it does what it says.  

The packaging is white and pink, and the product is reasonably priced.  The problem of physical chub rub, however, is a much costlier one. It can impact your self-confidence.  It can impact you socially (it has done that to me), and it can impact how you carry yourself. And those are things I never thought I would break free of – until now.

As one who never believed a product would help to significantly solve this problem, (let’s face it – it is only really solved when the chub is actually gone for good), I can tell you that ChubRub is the closest thing I have ever seen, or tried, for that matter, that not only gets rid of my chub-based rashes, but also prevents them from starting in the first place.  Never did I think I would say that. Honestly. My chub rub had far-reaching impacts – from my dating life to changing to go to a doctor’s office – to purchasing clothing primarily because it might reduce the rubbing and not necessarily because it was what I wanted. And that’s a lot to say – and even more to live with.

After using ChubRub for over a month, I’m totally convinced it is a life-changing product.  I am comfortable recommending it to anyone and everyone, and I can’t wait to see what’s next from this insightful company.  While I have a long way to go with myself personally, I have certainly tamed what used to a very self-conscious problem with this product.  And last, but certainly not least, you can find ChubRub on Amazon or at www.zonenaturals.com.  Even more exciting is the news that beginning in March you will be able to purchase ChubRub in Walmart stores nationwide.   Just think, you can go to Walmart to purchase your ChubRub, while you spend time shopping and even, just maybe, working a dab of it off.  Now that’s a win/win to me!   

The Probable Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Selling

The Probable Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Selling




We’re currently in the middle of one of the most sustained periods of economic growth this country has experienced over the last century. Stocks are up, interest rates are low, unemployment is close to zero, wages are increasing, and houses are selling like hot cakes.

So if your house is listed for sale, but nobody is making any reasonable offers, you have to wonder what the problem is.

The 6 Most Common Reasons Why Houses Don’t Sell

If your house has been on the market for a few weeks or months without any serious traction, there’s almost certainly a justifiable reason. Here are some common culprits:

1. It’s Overpriced

There’s nothing wrong with pricing your home at a premium. However, if it’s too far above the real price, you’ll turn people away. Buyers simply won’t make an offer, even if they like the house. The obvious solution is to lower the price.

“When lowering the price, the key is to only do it once,” Green Residential advises. “Avoid creeping down and down over many months – taking off $500 here or $2,000 there. Bite the bullet and make a significant enough price change to pique the interest of buyers. This might look like lowering the price from $548,000 to $529,000 (even if it’s worth at least $535,000). Significant drops like this mean your property now fits the criteria of people who previously weren’t looking at your listing.”

2. It’s an Oddball

Quite frankly, your house might be a little weird.

There’s nothing wrong with having a quirky house with a unique style. (Obviously you liked it enough to build or buy the house.) However, it does limit your pool of potential buyers.

If your house has strange architecture or style, you can still find a buyer. You’ll simply have to be patient, or you’ll need to lower your asking price.

3. No Curb Appeal

Beautiful curb appeal can make a powerful first impression – even before buyers see the property for the first time. Likewise, unattractive curb appeal can intimidate prospective buyers and convince them to move on before scheduling a showing.

While you’re somewhat restricted by your home, the property, and the neighborhood, there are always little improvements you can make to beautify what’s already there. Professional landscaping, for example, goes a long way.

4. Too Many Problems

Does your house have a long to-do list of repairs and issues that need to be fixed? The average buyer wants something turnkey. Your lack of traction could be due to its condition. If your property has a long history of needing plumbing and heating service repairs, then that can majorly play a huge factor as to why you can’t seem to sell it easily.

“Not everyone wants to take on a project, so if your home is in poor condition and in obvious need of some repairs or a good cleaning, it’s not going to be attractive to buyers, even if the bones are good,” Moving.com explains. “The same goes for if your home is decorated boldly, in a style that says “niche” more than widespread appeal.”

5. Your Listing is Terrible

Very few buyers drive around looking for for-sale signs these days. Most showings are scheduled after a buyer or agent sees a property online. This is why your online listing is so critically important.

If you aren’t getting showings, consider switching up your listing to include more effective descriptions, better photography, and all pertinent details. This is basically an ad for your house – go all out!

6. No Promotional Strategy

Even if you have a great listing, it’s possible that nobody is seeing it. In order to schedule showings that eventually yield offers, you need a promotional strategy that pushes your listing out to as many people as possible. This includes online and via word of mouth.

On a related note, a poor or non-existent promotional strategy is likely a sign of a poor agent. If you don’t like the service you’re getting, you have every right to fire your agent and hire another one.

Set Yourself Up for Success

When selling a house, there are dozens of uncontrollable external factors in play. But there are also plenty of factors that you can control. The key is to understand your situation so that you can make educated choices that positively influence your ability to sell your home at maximum value.




Primary Rhinoplasty vs. Revision Rhinoplasty: What You Need to Know

Individuals who are considering nose surgery can pursue a primary rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty. However, not all nose jobs are created equal. To determine which nose surgery option is the best choice, it is important to understand the similarities and differences between primary and revision rhinoplasty procedures. That way, an individual can make an informed decision about whether to undergo a primary or revision rhinoplasty treatment. 

What Is a Primary Rhinoplasty?

A primary rhinoplasty is used to enhance the facial appearance. People sometimes undergo rhinoplasty surgery to correct nasal asymmetry and ensure that the nose appears in perfect harmony relative to the cheeks, chin and other facial features. Or, individuals can receive a primary rhinoplasty surgery to treat malformations of the nose. Some people also choose primary rhinoplasty surgery to improve breathing through the nose. 

The ideal candidate for a primary rhinoplasty varies. Oftentimes, an individual qualifies for rhinoplasty surgery if he or she has a droopy, crooked or long nose, wide or flaring nostrils or other nose issues that impact the facial appearance. If an individual has experienced nose trauma, he or she could qualify for a rhinoplasty, too. 

Different types of rhinoplasty surgery are available, including teen rhinoplasty and ethnic rhinoplasty options. To determine which type of rhinoplasty surgery — if any — that an individual can receive, a consultation with a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon is critical. This consultation allows a surgeon to analyze a patient’s facial appearance and review his or her medical history. It also enables a surgeon to explore ways to help a patient achieve a nose that results in a balanced, natural-looking facial appearance. 

Many facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons are available to perform rhinoplasty procedures. Yet it is essential to work with a surgeon who possesses comprehensive facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and head and neck surgery expertise. By doing so, an individual can receive extensive support throughout rhinoplasty surgery. 

Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon with in-depth nose surgery expertise. If Dr. Azizzadeh believes a patient can benefit from rhinoplasty surgery and the procedure can be performed safely, he recommends a nose job. 

Additionally, Dr. Azizzadeh understands that each nose surgery patient requires personalized care, and he crafts a custom rhinoplasty treatment plan for each patient accordingly. With this plan in place, Dr. Azizzadeh and his patient can work together to achieve the best-possible nose surgery results. 

What Is a Revision Rhinoplasty? 

A revision rhinoplasty is used to address unwanted results following a primary rhinoplasty. Also, revision nose surgery is sometimes used to repair functional or aesthetic problems of the nose after a primary rhinoplasty procedure. 

Revision rhinoplasty is more complex than a primary nose job, and it generally requires more time to complete than a primary rhinoplasty. Plus, a revision nose surgery must be performed by a facial plastic and reconstructive surgery expert who tailors a treatment plan to his or her patient’s facial appearance. 

Dr. Azizzadeh is a top revision rhinoplasty surgeon, and he is Harvard-trained and dual board-certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and head and neck surgery. His unique expertise allows him to customize each revision rhinoplasty treatment to his patient. 

Before revision rhinoplasty surgery is performed, Dr. Azizzadeh evaluates the structures in a patient’s face and head. If a patient qualifies for a revision rhinoplasty, Dr. Azizzadeh then creates a custom revision nose surgery treatment plan for him or her. Dr. Azizzadeh next executes this plan, ensuring his patient can undergo a revision nose job to simultaneously improve the facial appearance and maintain the integrity of the nasal function. 

Which Nose Surgery Option Is Better: Primary or Revision Rhinoplasty?

For people who are considering a primary or revision rhinoplasty surgery, meeting with facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Azizzadeh is key. Dr. Azizzadeh evaluates a nose surgery candidate and offers a personalized treatment recommendation. He even helps a patient weigh the pros and cons of different types of rhinoplasty surgery and determine which option can help this individual accomplish his or her nose job treatment goals. 

Dr. Azizzadeh is available to meet with an individual to explore rhinoplasty surgery options. To schedule a free rhinoplasty surgery consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact the CENTER online or call us today at 310-657-2203.

Sources:

Natural Acne Solution for Blackheads Near Lips

Natural Acne Solution for Blackheads Near Lips

Ugh, acne! It can really work to reduce your self confidence and no matter how many times your friends and family tell you it’s not that bad, when you have a pimple, you feel like it’s the focal point of your entire face.

One common acne problem is blackheads near lips. Blackheads are tiny bumps on the skin that form when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells clog pores. The pores stay open, so the substances are exposed to air. This causes them to darken and appear as small black dots.

Blackheads usually appear on the face and forehead, but they can also develop on the back, neck, shoulders, chest, and around the lip area. Fortunately, there are natural treatments available that can minimize and even eliminate blackheads.

Read on to find out more about how to treat blackheads near lips and other parts of the face and body.

6 Ways to Treat Blackheads Near Lips

Acne Essentials: Terry Naturally is a company that is known for the innovative, natural supplements and health products they provide. Their Acne Essentials capsules are dietary supplements that contain vitamins and herbal ingredients designed to reduce breakouts. Rich in antioxidants, they fight the toxins and stress that can contribute to the appearance of acne.

Acne Spot Treatment: The Derma E company produces products rich in vitamin E and other essentials that can get skin looking its best. Their Acne Spot Treatment cream utilizes a blend of all-natural ingredients including tea tree, willow bark, rosewood, lavender and chamomile. These work together to minimize redness and irritation and prevent blemishes and breakouts.   

Witch Hazel: Witch hazel can be used to minimize oil in skin and keep pores from becoming clogged. It contains plant compounds called tannins which have astringent properties that can reduce oil in skin. To use it, simply apply the liquid to a cotton ball and apply it to affected areas.

Honey: Honey is an antibiotic that can fight bacteria that clogs pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness. Honey can be used as a mask. Apply it to your face and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Tea Tree Oil: This powerful antimicrobial can kill the bacteria that causes blackheads. It is very powerful, but it is also quite potent so it’s a good idea to dilute it before using it. It can be combined with a carrier oil like grapeseed oil and then applied directly to the skin.

Lip Balm: Lip balm that contains ingredients like honey or tea tree oil can be effective at treating blackheads near lips. Be sure the product you are buying is marked “acne safe” so it doesn’t worsen acne or cause irritation.

If you are bummed out about blackheads near lips, these all-natural products can help clear up your skin to get you feeling more attractive and more confident. What products do you use to keep your skin looking its best? 

Looking Ahead: 2020’s Home Tech Trends

Looking Ahead: 2020’s Home Tech Trends




CES 2020 is around the corner, which means all the tech specialists are launching their predictions, while companies are teasing their wares, and home tech brands are no different. Reports suggest that these 5 trends will dominate the smart home sector in 2020, reshaping how we all live and bringing upgrades to already popular devices.

Cameras Everywhere

Connected cameras have gained substantial market share over recent years, primarily as part of wireless home security systems, but that’s hardly the only place we’ll see cameras next year. No, in addition to more conventional surveillance, Digital Trends reports that we’re likely to see video-equipped robotic vacuums next year. The idea is that they may act as an extension of the home security system, but at a more practical level, camera-equipped vacuums will be better able to deal with obstacles in the home environment, such as wires, pets, and furniture.

Energy Enhancements

Today’s consumers are deeply concerned about reducing energy consumption and moving toward more sustainable practices, and smart home technology plays an important role in this shift. Advances are also making it easier to combine discrete appliances and devices in new ways. For example, homeowners can opt for an energy efficient gas fireplace and then pair them with smart thermostats and voice assistant technology, controlling when the heat runs. As long as the home is wired properly, it’s fairly easy to connect any appliance to the larger home network.

Outdoor Upgrades

As with energy waste, modern homeowners also want to cut back on water waste – and in some parts of the country, like California where droughts are common, reducing water waste is actually a legal mandate. Next year, expect to see a shift from the old standard automatic sprinklers that run on a baseline schedule to more sensitive smart sprinklers. These sprinklers will use weather analysis and moisture sensing to recalibrate the watering schedule so that the sprinklers don’t run just after that big storm.

Health Comes Home

Most of the major health tech innovations in recent years have centered on wearables or professional applications, but in 2020, connected health will come home. In particular, Humana plans to demonstrate some of its Studio H projects, its in-house technology and design arm, alongside connected devices that will help seniors live independently in their own homes. Looking even further ahead, Studio H hopes machine learning technology will transform health for all Humana’s members, linking the individual, home, and clinician.

A Smart Sous Chef

Kitchen appliances have been slowly moving online, but most of what we’ve seen so far are things like networked ovens users can preheat from their phones or refrigerators with touch screens in the doors. In the next few years, expect the emergence of fully connected kitchens, allowing home chefs to plan out meals, remotely operate smaller appliances, and generally prepare multi-course meals with minimal labor.

We’re not quite living like the Jetsons, but today’s smart homes are starting to reflect our visions of the future and the underlying technology is only getting better. As sensors continue to improve and basic networked devices start coming standard on new construction, we’ll start to understand just how much these devices can do.




Why Reality TV Changed The Entertainment Industry Forever

Why Reality TV Changed The Entertainment Industry Forever

Do you remember when MTV release its series titled The Real World back in the day? Seven strangers, picked to live in a house, and have their lives taped.

It changed television and the entertainment industry forever.

Some of the most popular reality series exclusive to Satellite TV channels, just had the participants pack carry on luggage and show up at the destination for filming with no information or warning. This added to the element of surprise.

The producers realized that if they combined personalities that could clash and cause drama they had a hit series on their hand. The public couldn’t get enough. It was like watching a real life circus. The personalities the grouped together for reality tv was like mixing fire and gas — and the outcome was the same. A total explosion.

There are three main reasons why reality tv made such an impact on the entertainment industry.

It Drove Production Costs Down Significantly

Before reality tv the producers would have to sign big name actors to contracts that paid them a lot of money per episode. When you consider all of the cast members that contributed to a large number.

Well, with reality tv, the cast was essentially free. They were not compensated, and later down the line, those that were, it was a very small number. There wasn’t a lot of editing and production time needed either, as the footage was mostly raw. That is why is was so appealing — it was new and different.

Made Producers See That There is Endless Talent Available (Cheap)

As reality tv took off in popularity the producers noticed that they were creating super stars out of people who prior were unknowns. They were regular people with regular lives and jobs.

Then, they got on a reality tv show and their lives changed overnight. They were instantly famous for doing nothing.

“The ‘stars’ didn’t need to be paid. There was always a mile long line of people willing to let the wold watch them for free. They just wanted the exposure,” says Chris Dziak of Pure Nootropics. And that line continues to be long to this day.

Now there are reality programming on almost all of the major networks. Why? Because it’s popular and it’s so cheap to produce.

Showcased The Power of Personality

“People became addicted to reality tv because they put the craziest personalities together under the same roof,” says Darryl Howard the o-shot specialist. “It’s the reason it took off like it did.”

Talent was thrown out the window, because they were reality stars. They were not expected to have any acting or performance talent.

The only thing they were expected to do was be themselves and if the producers picked correctly that alone would be the recipe for a hit tv show.

Now these reality stars are getting huge endorsement deals, from local spots, such as recording a PlayUp review, to national deals from clothing and lifestyle brands.

This recipe has been duplicated over and over, and applied to different concepts and by different networks. And it continues to work very well. There is no sign of reality tv slowing down. The studios love it cost-wise and the viewers love it entertainment-wise.

How to Leverage Celebrity Partnerships to Market Your Brand

How to Leverage Celebrity Partnerships to Market Your Brand

Celebrities have such a loyal following that their audience is almost priceless when it comes to brand partnership agreements. If they post something and hint that their followers should buy it, you can almost guarantee a sellout.

Before, you had to go through agents and it was a battle to even have the chance to talk to a celebrity about marketing your company. Now, all it takes is a DM and a CBD tincture company can be in touch with any influencer or celebrity they want directly.

Sometimes you will work with them directly and sometimes an assistant will be the point of contact. The point is that the communication barrier is down. You can get in touch with almost any celebrity you can imagine.

Now, you have to have realistic goals and be aware of how expensive it can be. To have Kylie Jenner post your product on Instagram it will cost you a cool $750,000 or more. Here are some tips to consider in the event you are able to find a great celebrity partner.

Have Them Promote to Their Social Following

This is the main goal of any celebrity partnership. You want access to their huge audience. The best approach is to have them post your product naturally. The less it appears to be an advertisement the better it will perform.

“The right celebrity partner that also has a massive social following can instantly drives sales,” says Chris Moberg of Slumber Search. “Look for celebrities that have an audience that matches your target demographic.”

Create Blog Content with Their Likeness

If your website and blog receives a good amount of traffic already you can boost conversion rates significantly by including images of your celebrity partner on your website and within the blog content.

When you are making blog content featuring a celebrity partnership keep it simple and let them be the main focus. You will want to use a very simplistic blog theme like the one used here.

You want someone to land on your website and realize “so and so” is a brand partner. That builds instant credibility and trust, which translates into sales.

From little subtle images of them with your product in the sidebar or including their likeness on your checkout page, it’s an instant conversion booster that will skyrocket your sales.

Run Paid Ads Featuring Them

Just as a celebrity partnership can help you generate sales by having them organically post your product, using their image in your paid media campaigns will also create a buzz that leads to more sales.

“Make sure to work out an agreement that allows you to use the content they create on social media in your paid campaigns,” suggests Tony Rush of truck sub box company HiFi Sound Connection.

You can re-post what they post and you can also do a one time photo shoot and use it as an opportunity to take several different images that can be used in campaigns throughout the year. You will have to plan in advance as their time is very limited (and expensive).

What The Hit TV Show Shark Tank Teaches Us About Business

What The Hit TV Show Shark Tank Teaches Us About Business

You have probably watched the hit TV show Shark tank, or at least seen it being advertised. It’s been on the air for 10+ seasons and it really helped to bring the world of entrepreneurship mainstream.

It made people understand that they could do anything they dreamed of, as long as they were willing to work hard (and it was a good viable idea). There is a lot you can learn about business just by watching the show. The way the guests pitch and conduct themselves, to how the sharks respond and what questions they ask — it’s a great business lesson every episode.

Actually, there are many valuable business lessons brought to light each episode, so let’s go over a few of the most important ones right now.

You Have to Always Be Prepared

Preparation is key — in the shark tank and in real life — and when someone who is pitching in not prepared it becomes very obvious and very quickly. The sharks have no problem calling them out on the spot and letting them know that they made a huge mistake by entering the tank unprepared.

“One way to fail is to never be prepared,” says Lisa Rush of phone support outsourcing company Staff Outsourcing. “You have to always be prepared for every aspect of your business — every day.”

The minute you aren’t prepared you let your guard down and you become every vulnerable. This is when little costly mistakes are made that can ruin your business and have a negative impact on your future growth potential.

Always Know Your Numbers

I can’t tell you how many times I have watched this show and when the sharks ask a question like, “What does it cost to make?” or “How much does it cost you to acquire a customer?” — and the person has a deer in the headlights look on their face.

“Not knowing what your customer acquisition cost is for example, just shows how unprepared you are,” says Henk Schipper of Jaloezieen Fabriek. It’s impossible to run a successful business without knowing the numbers inside and out.

This goes without saying, but if you are ever talking to potential investors and you don’t know your numbers, how do you think they are going to react?

There is no way they will part with their money and give it to someone that doesn’t even know what a customer costs to acquire. From online resources that help find contractors to hire, to e-commerce beauty brands — every customer has a cost tied to them.

Understand The Value of Partners and VC Money

Bringing on a parter or an investor is going to end up costing you money. You have to fully understand this. If you take on an investment you are giving up a part of your company.

“Funding is not easy to come by, no matter what Silicon Valley makes you believe,” says the owner of National Pool Fences. “When you do have the opportunity, understand fully what that means.”

Are you prepared to give up 25%? 30%? If the business takes off and becomes successful you never regain that stake. Be 100% certain that you can live with all of the possible outcomes before you sign on the dotted line.

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The Cheeky Bilal Alaji Tells All

The fun, inspirational and multi-talented Bilal Alaji has written his own memoir to share with the world. With it he hopes to help those struggling to find their path, give guidance and reassurance that any situation can be changed by declaring “This Ain’t My Life”. Bilal’s story keeps the page turning, find out how he manages all of life’s obstacles.

Q. If you could give your book to one celebrity, who would it be and why?

     I would give my book to Iyanla Vanzant because she deals with therapeutic methods to heal people who have experienced trauma’s in their lives. My book This Ain’t My Life would be a great compliment to her show “Fix My Life”. It would be amazing for me to work with her helping people by sharing from a males perspective.

Q. Who is your biggest writing inspiration?

     I have been moved by many books and authors throughout the years but I think the book that had the biggest impact on me in my impressionable years was the Autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley. This book was my introduction to a fascinating world of literary exposition.  This book melted into the fiber of my being, giving me purpose to define my destiny.

Q. If could give your book to one singer/musician, who would it be and why?

     I would give it to Alicia Keys. She has amazing vocal talent and the ability to see beyond the words. With her musical talent she would transform the book into a musical right away allowing me to see and understand my story in a completely different context.

Q. If your book was turned into a film/TV show, who would you tap to play the lead(s)? Why?

     I’m not sure there is anyone who could play the lead as good as I can. So, I’m going to have to nominate myself for the lead on this role. Eminem played the lead in his movie debut Eight Mile, centered around his life. My religious and musical background makes me a unique character to play, a challenge I’d rather take on myself.

Q. What’s one secret about you that you’ll share with the world?

Bilal Alaji

     My left butt cheek is larger than my right— just kidding. I have a great sense of humor. Those closest to me state that I should have been a stand up comedian. My humor has been my saving grace throughout the years. It has also acted as a buffer when tensions are running high. I now know that the humorous side of me is a skill set that I don’t take for granted.

Q. What is the core message you want to deliver to the world through your writing/books/stories?

     I want those who read my book to know that there is something great lying dormant inside of them. Never give up on yourself, never give up on your dreams, and never give up on your ambitions. It is through your darkest moments that you will find victory. Keep believing in YOU.

Q. Give us the scoop on your book.

      The book chronicles my life as a Black Muslim who was lead down an arduous path by my father. I had aspirations of being a recording artist that was shattered by life altering events. I remained diligent in my passion to pursue my dreams, however, I became a husband and parent at a young age. This would lead me through a web of drama, betrayal, depression, and confusion. As I try to shake to web to find some sort of normalcy, I was too deep entangled, losing myself, my dreams, and my ambition. I found hope through my faith. I began the process of transformation for the life that I’ve always dreamed of. I continued to remind myself that, This Ain’t My Life. It was because of this mantra that I was able to redefine who I was and find my divine purpose.

Rapid Fire Questions and Answers

Q. Morning person or night owl?

A. Most definitely a night owl. I have no problem burning the midnight oil. During late hours are when I receive the most inspiration

Q. Reading or writing?

A. Both. This is a tie. I love to read just as much as I love writing.

Q. Kittens or puppies?

A. I’m a cat lover. Actually, I’m an animal lover, so tie again.

Q. The beach or the mountains?

A. I love the beach. I do mountains too but beach wins this one.

Q. Road trip or Cruise ship?

A. Cruise ship. I have done several cruises as well as road trips. I think I enjoy being pampered and not having to work at all.

Q. Tea or coffee?

A. I’m a tea man. Tea all the way baby!

Q. Karaoke or bowling?

A. Both. I love being active and I’m also extremely competitive.

Q. The ability to fly or mind reading?

A. Mind reading. This will make for such a powerful weapon— I mean skill set.

Q. Selfie or group photo?

A. Group photo. I guess I have all the time in the world to take pics of myself.

Q. E.L. James or J.K. Rowling?

A. J.K. Rowling. She is an absolute beast with her imagination.