Archive Tag:business

Typing After Shoulder Surgery? I have found the Way?

[text_block text=”‹¨›div‹˜›‹¨›p‹˜›‹º›caption id‹´›‹²›attachment_4014‹²› align‹´›‹²›alignleft‹²› width‹´›‹²›300‹²›‹¹›‹¨›img class‹´›‹²›size-medium wp-image-4014‹²› src‹´›‹²›×240.jpg‹²› alt‹´›‹²›kitty with a cast – shoulder surgery makes it very hard to type‹²› width‹´›‹²›300‹²› height‹´›‹²›240‹²› /‹˜› ‹²›Waiting at the door‹²› – I am as helpless as this kitty with a cast‹º›/caption‹¹›‹¨›/p‹˜›‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›span style‹´›‹²›font-size: 1.5em;‹²›‹˜›LOL I am in a bind. ‹¯›nbsp;I am like this poor kitty with a cast‹¯›nbsp;but instead of a cast on my leg, I have a splint on my arm. Last week I had surgery on my shoulder.‹¯›nbsp;‹¯›nbsp;And I am looking for a way to do my typing after shoulder surgery.‹¨›/span‹˜›‹¨›/div‹˜›” __fw_editor_shortcodes_id=”3b78adadae78a91f6a0ad53a2a417f51″ _fw_coder=”aggressive”][/text_block] 

I don’t work in an office, but I do post a lot of articles on the internet and answer a lot of emails — so I need to be able to type. Prepared myself for the surgery by researching on what to expect and how to prepare for shoulder surgery. What clothes I should have available, what to expect that I should be able to do and not do, etc. For this information, please click on my article here.

One thing I should mention is that I used a wide board over the arms of the recliner.  What I really needed was something like this:


Table that will go over the arms of your recliner so you have a table to eat, write, or work on your computer while you are recovering from shoulder surgery - Four Aces Mercantile

This deluxe tilt-top table by Drive Medical tilts 33 degrees in either direction, giving you the ability to adjust it to suit your needs. With the slightest upward pressure, the table can be raised or lowered in infinite settings between 26.5″-39″, and the top locks securely when the height adjustment handle is released.

Product Specifications

  • Actual Product Weight: 21 lbs
  • Primary Product Color: Walnut
  • Primary Product Material: Steel
  • Product Weight Capacity: 50 lbs


For more information click here or click on the table photo.



Typing after shoulder surgery can be difficult - here's some voice software that may help Four Aces Mercantile



Work Prep for Surgery

My “work” is mostly done on a computer.  I am either typing an article, or doing research before typing an article. Keyword research, product reviews, etc. all require an internet connection and the use of a search engine.

All of this requires typing.  And from my research on shoulder surgery, that’s one thing I would NOT be doing after surgery for either a short or an extended period of time.  At least the traditional two handed typing method.

So I before surgery, I started researching alternatives to traditional typing.  I needed to find a way to continue typing after shoulder surgery.


Cortana and Windows 10

When I bought my latest laptop, I had to disable Cortana and speech recognition because they kept turning on at different times and interfering with my work.  It required me to completely disable the system.cortana was not the answer for me typing after shoulder surgery

Now a few short years later, I need it.  LOL it was much easier turning it off then turning it on again.  I initially tried to turn it back on by creating a new profile.  Because apparently, when I deleted Cortana previously, I corrupted its dll.

I successfully created a new profile but discovered i couldn’t access my old file folders with my new profile. That’s not helpful.


Previously Unused Software Now Needed

Over the next few weeks, I kept playing with installing / uninstalling the files needed by Cortana.  I also found a link to a demo for another software – Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium version 13.  I thought of that as a possible backup.

Finally a day before surgery I got speech recognition from Windows 10 re-installed so I could access my folders. Yeah !?

Did I Get it to Work?

Nope. No typing after shoulder surgery – just frustration.

When I tried to use it after my surgery, I was very disappointed.  I tried dictating a few paragraphs and 90% of the words came out wrong.  I spent many hours dictating the same paragraphs over & over.  It never “learned.” I don’t know if Cortana works as I was so disgusted, I gave up completely on Microsoft.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

So the next day I downloaded the trial copy from Nuance’s website.  I then took Nuance’s online tutorial which excited me because it went very well.

That was the end of my excitement. Nuance has a very long consumer guidebook. It is very detailed. However, it fails to state what you do when the software does not do what the guide says it is supposed to do.  I clicked on Nuance’s support page link at the bottom of the consumer articles page – got a 404 error.  Eventually, I found a page where you could submit a support request. But it was the weekend and the auto reply stated I had a 48 hour wait.

Demo Did Not work Out of the Box

dragonsoftware did not help with my typing after shoulder surgerySo over the next 48 hours I tried to get the software to work, but it acted like virus ware.  Things kept popping up and down. Windows closed and opened. Even when I turned off the software, the pops up and down continued.  I had documents that I wasn’t even working on, get edited and parts of them were deleted. It even interfered with my ability to manually access my files and folders.

The response I got back from Nuance? Buy the program – and take 30 days to get it working (that’s when the “guarantee” runs out).  Ummm I need software that works now, and in this case the software is pricy – $175 to $300 and up.  That’s a lot of $ to spend on the chance it might work.  So I uninstalled the demo software (this was not downloaded from a 3rd party site but from Nuance’s own site).

I also want to point out that Amazon & others have this same software much cheaper. However, Nuance stated in their email to me that a lot of people have problems getting their money back when the software is purchased other than from them.  Just for information, I then checked Nuance’s forums to see if anyone else had trouble with their software.

Other People Also have Problems With this Software

I posted a Facebook review of the software yesterday.  Today, 6/13,  I could not view that specific Nuance Forum. Click the link yourself and read about problems Nuance customers have with even the updated software and obtaining refunds.

Nuance Community Forum
Nuance Community Forum

So now my prime software and my backup software was out. I did a quick google search and found a list by Capterra on the Best Speech Recognition Software.  The top 5 software they list is:

  • Braina
  • LilySpeech
  • SmartAction Speech IVR System
  • Speech Assistant
  • Speechlogger

Braina Software

I am still on the hunt for speech recognition software.  I can’t get this one to work either. But I am going to keep working on the situation and hopefully I can give you information that can help you if you happen to be in the same situation that I am in.Unable to tell from their lite version if this is the software that allows typing after surgery

I started typing this article at 9:30 AM and it is now 12:15 PM.  I typed this totally with my left hand.  Right now it is 808 words so I am typing 4.8 words per minute.  Yikes!

Ok after several hours rest, I am back. I looked at the Braina software again.  This is what I discovered and what I wrote to the company:

The lite version [is so] scaled down I couldn’t use the features that were supposedly there to test it. For example I was supposed to be able to use verbal commands to search the internet. But to customize the software so it recognizes my voice is a pro feature.


This is the one I am trying currently. They offer a free 30 day trial. Just let me install it and tell you what I think. This one requires registration & a credit card to begin.  I set myself a reminder in google calendar for the trial expiration.lilyspeech is helpful but still isn't the software to get me typing after shoulder surgery

I am now dictating using the software. Hopefully this new software will work for what I needed to which is to allow me to dictate emails toast and other items so they can be posted online and faster than the 4.8 words per minute that I did using my left hand for typing

OK  Above is the unedited version of my first attempt at using the LilySpeech software.  Now I am going to go back and edit and see how it works with hand editing.

I am now dictating using the LilySpeech. Hopefully this new software will work for what I need which is to allow me to dictate emails, posts and other items so they can be added online and faster than the 4.8 words per minute that I did using my left hand for typing.

Now I’m going to see how it does on internet searches.

It works on doing internet searches. However it is awkward. You have to hit Ctrl D then dictate what you want to search in the search window. Hitting Ctrl d is somewhat awkward when you are only one handed, so this would be a feature I would look to change.

You also have to the click the transfer button to transfer your dictated stuff to your search window from a temporary window.  But it is better than what I got out of the previous three software speech packages.

More Information about Lily – It’s an Advanced Cut n Paste Program

Lily is an advanced cut and paste program.  You cannot edit the dictated text using speech recognition. You cannot manually edit the dictated text until it’s been transferred (pasted) into the desired location.

It won’t operate your programs using voice commands, in fact you have to hit “ctrl d” in order to turn the program on and for each time you want to dictate (it turns itself off after a few moments of silence from you).  There is an option to change the specific hot key.

If you are interested tn this software, please click here and Use Promo Code 1542043 to save 25%. You get a free 30 day trial of the program and if you buy, you get it for less than the normal $2.49 / mo. This is an affiliate link for me.

But, although this program does work, it doesn’t have the features I need – so continuing on —

SmartAction Speech IVR System

This isn’t appropriate at all.  This is software for a call center or an auto mated customer service support.   — NEXT —

Speech Assistant from Mobisco

Another wrong software .  This is for a company who wants employee telephone numbers to be available by verbally stating their name. — NEXT —


Just doing research on this sofware.


photo credit: Tom Clifton Waiting by the Door via photopin (license)

Overview & Request for Comments !

So what do you think of the software I listed above?  Did you get some of the software to work that I couldn’t?

Do you have any suggestions of software that will help me go back to typing? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


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P.S. Some of the above links are affiliate links.



You CAN Learn How to Sell Avon Online

The Issue — How to Sell Avon Online

Are you wanting to know how to sell Avon online? Have you tried selling Avon online but didn’t have any luck? Did you try blogging and talking on social media about Avon but gave up in frustration? Did you start with Avon cause you clicked on an ad asking “How can I Make Money Online?”

Are you wanting to know how to sell Avon online? Need a flexible job ? Varied hours? Overtime interfering with family life? Find out about selling Avon from Gato.Yep, I hear you.  Two years ago, I clicked on a local Ad on Facebook that talked about selling Avon online.  For those of you that don’t know what Avon is – they are a cosmetics company.  A very long-lived company that now sells skin care, jewelry, clothing and much more.

I have been selling Avon 2 years now, and though I have had a few online sales and met some customers online through social media, the majority of my Avon business has been through the traditional Avon model of face-to-face sales. Not through online sales.

Traditional Avon Business Techniques

Big Basket Example - Are you wanting to know how to sell Avon online? Need a flexible job ?; varied hours? Overtime interfering with family life? Find out about selling Avon from Gato.
Big Basket Example

For many months after starting our Avon business, at the direction of our leader, we tried different ways to increase our traditional Avon business.  We did not do the “ding,dong” Avon calling as we could not afford the $300 a year peddler’s license that our city required. The traditional selling kept us so busy that we did not do much to learn how to sell Avon online.

We increased every month the number of brochures we sold and passed out.  That worked so well that we usually ended up getting a new customer every campaign.

We set up tables at various local events.  Those worked as we made a few sales and sometimes got at least one new customer.

We made up some baskets for Christmas and also put them out when we were setting up.  We also advertised them for sale on our local Facebook Buy Sell Trade.  The baskets did not go over well in our area. However, we did end up with a few local customers who contacted us through Facebook.

We went into several businesses in the area, particularly physician and dentist offices.  Not only did we gain clients from brochures left in the offices, but we also gained clients from employees of the businesses.You Can Learn how to Sell Avon Online - Gato

However,  our expenses often exceeded our sales.  We spent more on brochures and gas than and other expenses than what we earned.  Why?  Because of where our clients were located.  And because of my physical inability to scale up our business.


Traditional Avon Techniques Didn’t Work for Us

They didn’t work not because they weren’t good techniques.  They didn’t work because I have health issues that severely limit my physical ability to scale up my business to profitable levels.  For example, I cannot tolerate heat or cold so that means sitting up tables at fairs are out.  I cannot be upright in a chair for more than an hour or two so that means sitting up tables at indoor fairs are out.

The way we usually sold Avon was by taking the brochures with us as we went about going to doctor’s offices and restaurants (afterwards).  In that way, I have had a lot of success selling Avon (person-to-person), with the help of my husband (who is also an Avon Representative).


Even Though You Want to Help People, You Have to at Least “Break Even”

Yet in order for your business to be profitable, your income has to outweigh your expenses.

So in order to increase your income, you have to:

  • increase your customers,
  • increase the amount of each of your customers’ orders,
  • or find a way to decrease your expenditures.

By building our Avon business the way we did – we have a lot of out-of-town clients who I have to service and the gas ends up costing me more money than what I make on the sales.

You Can Sell Avon - just watch your expenses. Gato http://fouracesmercantile.comI have attempted to change my clients over to online ones.  So far they have resisted my efforts to change them into online Avon customers.  However, after filing taxes with another year’s loss, we had to do something different.

Thus, I have recently ended my person-to-person Avon business and have switched totally to online.  Now I have to rebuild my Avon business.  And I have been looking for more specific ways on how to sell Avon online.

Traditional Avon Techniques Do Work for a Lot of Representatives

I can see how the person-to-person Avon business could be a tremendous business if I could limit it to just my local area.  People are constantly looking for a RELIABLE Avon Lady.  You just have to find these people; Avon usually sells itself.  Your experience and salesmanship and customer service bring them back again and again.

Another Tip for Your Avon Business -- If Your Delivery Day Falls on Halloween, dress Up ! Gato
Here’s How I Scared my Avon Clients – delivering Avon to clients on Halloween

But it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to build up your clientele.  This business is like any type of real business, it takes time (and a bit of money) to grow.  Plus a whole lot of effort on your part and creative thinking (if you are growing it on a budget).

Avon itself has a lot of training modules to help you in building a traditional Avon business.  And there are a lot of Facebook groups and well-known Avon gurus out there to help you as well.

However, If you have an illness that impacts your stamina, then you might have problems with building a traditional Avon business. Not every [Avon] customer orders in every campaign; so you have to build a big enough client database so that you have a profitable order every campaign.

And that means you constantly (at least in the beginning) have to be building your customer base.


Selling Avon Online

Avon provides you with your own EStore when you sign up to sell Avon.  There is NO EXTRA charge for having or maintaining this website.  In fact, except for certain customization areas, Avon will maintain this  EStore for you as long as you remain an Avon Representative.  The EStore is where you sell all your Avon products when you sell online.  The place where your customers check out and pay for their products.

HOWEVER, unlike all the instructions you get for building your “Traditional Avon” person to person business you get very little instruction on online selling. And what you do get, well, is less than helpful.

Avon website backoffice - Are you wanting to know how to sell Avon online? Need a flexible job ?; varied hours? Overtime interfering with family life? Find out about selling Avon from Gato.There is training on:

  • How to Customize Your Estore
  • How to Post to Social Media

There are tools to:

  • Automatically send out Emails to Your Customers
  • Manage the Customers You Have

But except for one new training that was just posted, there has been a lack of detailed “Avon” training about how to sell Avon online.

There is one gal who teaches a lot about how to sell Avon online. Her name is Emily Seagren and she runs Makeup Marketing Online.  I have taken many of her free classes and they have been very helpful.  She also has paid courses for selling online.  I have not taken them, but hope to in the future.


No “Avon” Courses Explained the Actual Practical “HOW to” Build an Online Business

However, none of these courses that I have seen from Avon or experienced from Emily got into the nitty gritty of HOW you get traffic (massive amounts) to your website.  The practical of do “x” and you get “y”.Your tomorrows can be better with Avon

The only nitty gritty “HOW” courses I took was from a couple of ladies who were not involved with Avon.  And the courses were on Pinterest.  However, those courses did not teach the nitty gritty of how to get the traffic from Pinterest to your website, but I digress.

Most of the Avon trainings I have seen —  just say build the online content and they (your customers) will come. . .

Nothing about what content, how to structure your content, what are key words, why they are important.

How to build a relationship with your online audience.

What is an online audience?

And the many, many other details you must know in order to know how to sell Avon online, successfully.

Two Years of Effort

Making the wrong click on a computer - can lead no where. Are you wanting to know how to sell Avon online? Need a flexible job ?; varied hours? Overtime interfering with family life? Find out about selling Avon from Gato.
Dreamstime Stock Photos

Now I have been at this (selling Avon online) for two years.  I have been reading and trying to educate myself on these issues on and off during that two years.  I like to think of myself as being intelligent (I have a few college degrees), but the knowledge I gained from reading various articles and taking various courses, well . . . it wasn’t sticking.

There is too much to know and absorb.  I mean since I am doing this on a budget (building my business), I can’t hire out a web designer, a graphic artist, a programmer, an advertising person, and a SEO (search engine optimization) expert.

These are all full-time jobs in and of themselves.

I know you’ve seen the ads on Facebook for courses that will teach you how to start an online business for $2500. Or more recently there have been courses that will teach you to build a course so you can teach others how to build a business.  And for only $5000.  Sheesh!

I was just about to give up in defeat when a Pastor (who I had met on the internet), pointed out a program that he belonged to.  It’s called, “Wealthy Affiliate”.

Wealthy Affiliate

Don’t let the name put you off.  My friend warned me that the name itself was offputting and I must admit I let it do so for me for a while.  But then I got a link that advised me it was FREE to try out the training.  I even googled the name (and saw some disturbing reviews).  But I thought that at least by getting in FREE, I could check out what the fuss was about.  So I did — I Jumped In.


At Wealthy Affiliate, we can help you learn HOW to sell and make money online. Gato


I’m Glad I Did !

I got access to new training – that was geared at my level of learning (newbie level).  It has practical information that can be used to build your online Avon business.  After the FREE intro, there is a membership fee but you also get (in addition to the ongoing teaching), state of the art hosting for a Avon Fan page where you can blog about Avon’s products thus driving more traffic to your EStore.

WA tells & shows you how to build an online business,  step by step.  Practical tips & tricks.  Support as you go along in your journey.  And there’s a network of knowledgeable people that you can reach out to.

They can also show you how to build several different online businesses – not just Avon.  At no extra cost.  Their advice is to diversify so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.  Right now I am reworking my Avon Fan website based on the information I have learned.  I am learning and understanding SEO (that crazy google analytics stuff).

And now I have people to reach out to ask a “tech” question if something breaks.

How can WA help you?  Join for free and find out for yourself. Do you have any questions about Wealthy Affiliate? Please check my FAQ page about WA [in progress] for more information or drop me a line.


Your Comments & Thanks for Reading !

I know I have been long -winded here.  Thank you for reading to the end.  What have your experiences been in learning how to sell Avon online?  Do you have any tips for selling Avon online?  Let me know below in the comments section.


Avon E-Store | Contact Us | My Blog | Follow My Blog with Bloglovin’ | Home

P.S. The WA links are affiliate links but this does not affect my recommendation of this program.