Motorsports Addiction Leads to Printful Solution

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As you are probably well aware… I have a huge affinity for motorsports and the cool stuff that surrounds it. And, as you may also be aware, I am a tech guy that makes a living helping others find solutions to digital needs. So, I have been thinking of ways to blend both worlds and came up with a solution. Use Printful and WooCommerce to make an online store.

A little background – for whatever reason, I have always felt that a passive income stream selling swag via the Internet would be a great path to venture down. Well, I’ve meandered down that moss covered path. I pulled together a WordPress website, acquired a domain name, and set up an e-commerce solution to sell t-shirts. Yes, it is in place and working now. (Look at the bottom of the post for deets)

Here is a step-by-step overview of the process with links so you can put together a solution similar to this if desired. Full disclosure, the links are affiliate links but they benefit you as much as me. For example, some of the links will get a free month of service for both you and me. If that doesn’t float your boat, then just head to the resource by typing in the main part of the link address and hitting “go”.

Steps to Get Started with WooCommerce and Printful

  1. Register a domain name. Go to someplace like Hover, or GoDaddy, or your usual domain registrar. Get a name that describes what you want to sell but doesn’t make it too keyword stuffed.
  2. Get some web hosting space so the new e-commerce website has a home. I use InMotionHosting because they have excellent support and provide fantastic up-times.
  3. Download and install WordPress.
  4. Install WooCommerce.
  5. Register at Printful.com and configure an account to connect to the WooCommerce platform.
  6. Create some products via Printful and push them to WooCommerce on the WordPress website.
  7. Promote the store via some online ads on Facebook or Google.
  8. Manage the website sales.
  9. Enjoy the added income.

This is the video I watched that got me the biggest push for setting things up. Chris Lema is a guru in the digital world and a guy that knows his stuff. Besides, he likes smoking cigars.

My Printful.com Store with WooCommerce
Addicted to Motorsports Printful t-shirt mockup

Here is the store I started to sell motorsports related t-shirts to racing fans. It is called Cool Race Swag and I strongly encourage anyone that likes cars and racing to pay it a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

I highly encourage you to go down this same path if you want to do something like setting up a Printful account and creating an e-commerce store. Feel free to contact me if you start down the digital road and have questions. I’m happy to help!

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BMWCCA National Board Meeting in Los Angeles

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The BMWCCA National Board met in Los Angeles recently. I am not on the National Board (personal club aspirations possibly?), but an open invite went out to all members of the BMWCCA. Being a long-term member with a great BMW story, I jumped at the chance to meet everyone. Also, I am the webmaster for the LA Chapter’s website and I want to be more involved with the Club.

Getting Involved with the BMWCCA

A large portion of the new involvement will involve a full revamp of the LA Chapter website. Soon it will have the look and feel of the National BMWCCA website. This will add more continuity to the Club digital properties. In addition, it will make the regular updating and maintenance of the website much easier. All good things for my chapter of the BMWCCA.

A smaller portion of my involvement is attending more events that are not necessarily driving events. Don’t get me wrong however, I want to attend more of those also. Events where Board members and leaders in the Chapters are events that I’m looking to attend. I feel confident that there will be lots of overlap and I’ll be able to meet-n-greet the movers-n-shakers of the Club.

BMWCCA National Board Meeting dinner

My first opportunity to meet and mingle with decision makers within the BMWCCA came shortly into the new year. The Club’s National Board met in Los Angeles and all Club members were invited to a meet-n-greet dinner after the day’s meetings. It was a delightful time where I got to see and speak with LA Chapter President Kurt Helm and also see “Always Active Member” Delight Lucas.

Stephen Harvey with BMWCCA Board membersThe Board had a moment of recognition and I snapped a quick pic…

BMWCCA National board 2018A definite highlight for me was meeting a person that I hold in very high regard in the BMW world. He has entertained and wowed with his magnificent work as Editor-in-chief of Roundel magazine. I was honored to get the autograph of Satch Carlson on a piece of cool BMW swag. You can see from my extreme grin that I am elated!

Stephen Harvey with Satch Carlson

So, this year is going to be active for me and the BMWCCA. The LA Chapter website is getting a facelift under my care. Also looking forward to attending many more BMW events, like O’fest and Thermal club outings. If you are a part of the BMWCCA I’d love to meet ya and have a chat about BMdubyahs.

I highly encourage anyone that has the Bimmer bug to go by and look at the BMWCCA website. Learn more about what we do, why we are so passionate, and then join up!

 

 

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BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Santa Anita Park Ca

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The BMW Ultimate Driving Experience never fails to thrill and impress me. Santa Anita Park in California, with a backdrop of beautiful mountains and horse track, was a fantastic mini proving grounds. I certainly felt like an ultimate driver when I left there with a huge smile on my face.

BMW’s UDE didn’t make the rounds in 2016 because of the Olympic focus that BMW had being the official car of the games. So, seeing it again in 2017 after a year hiatus made the driving all that much better.

I went solo because of schedule conflicts, but others there had the same issues and arrived solo too. This worked out well because I was able to make friends quickly and get some pictures taken.

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience driver w Stephen Harvey

The staff, all the way from check-in to the instructors, were the utmost of professionals and always made you feel comfortable and welcome. They gave me the impression that their purpose was to ensure I had a great driving experience behind the wheel of a BMW. Just listen to the expert instructions from my UDE driving coach in the video… he was super patient and very helpful!

 

Posted by Stephen Harvey on Thursday, May 18, 2017

And, they showed me gracious hospitality with on-site food truck dining and a gourmet coffee stand manned with a barista making coffees to order. They even had a photo booth. https://www.thebosco.com/m/7331-B32QXF

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience Stephen Harvey

A personal highlight for me was placing 6th fastest in my group of 21 drivers. I am far from a race car driver so actually going faster than the majority of the group made my BMW experience even better.

All in all, BMW once again crushed it with innovative marketing and getting people into cars. The best way to sell a car is to get someone to drive it. Being able to take an expensive performance vehicle around an autocross track in anger, that will seal a deal. If you want to have a whole lot of fun and potentially purchase a new BMW, then look for the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience when it comes to your neighborhood.

Here’s some more eye candy for ya…

So much fun playing with #BMW today. Thanks @bmwusa for an #ultimatedrivingexperience

A post shared by Stephen (@havarino) on

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Why I’m Ditching LYFT and Going Back to Uber!

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DO NOT USE Lyft. Uber is better.I’m ditching LYFT. I used to be a fan of the service and used it regularly. I even wrote a post about using LYFT over other services like Uber. Now that has all changed and I will never use LYFT again if I can help it.

Here’s Why I’m Ditching Lyft…

In October 2015, I went to Austin, Texas for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It rained for three straight days and central Texas recorded some of the most rain they’d ever seen. We’re talking feet of rain dumped in a matter of 72 hours, all driven by the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, Patricia. Things were soggy to say the least but that didn’t deter me from a day at Circuit of the Americas.

When the rainy race day was over, I called a LYFT to get me and my wife home from COTA. Uber even had a special arrangement with COTA and a designated pick up and drop off area, but we still chose LYFT. Being a bit rain drenched from hurricane style weather all day, I knew the hot shower in my hotel room was going to feel great. That’s when the first signs of a not so pleasant experience should have been recognized by me.

The first issue with the LYFT ride back to the hotel was that the driver wasn’t familiar with Circuit of the Americas and I had to guide him to my location while talking to him on the phone. I was patient and understood the difficulties of finding my wife and me given the circumstances of rain, dusk, and post race mayhem after the USGP. Plus, I didn’t want the LYFT driver to waste his time and gas driving to COTA and that’s what would have happened if I cancelled the ride. So, I persevered and guided him to my location.

Well he finally found us in a gravel and dirt parking lot near the entrance to COTA. He was approximately 30 minutes after the estimated arrival time. Regardless, we were thankful that he made it and that he was going to give us a ride back to the hotel.

My wife and I hopped into the LYFT and immediately the driver threw a green towel at us followed by “Don’t get it dirty back there. Use the towel for your shoes.” We did our best working with the towel in the dark and kept our shoes on the towel. Granted we both had to step into the car from the dirt parking lot before the towel was tossed over the seat and the instructions barked.

The actual ride back to the hotel was pleasant and we even gifted our last brand new camp chair to the driver as a thank you. And, the driver was given a good tip for the time and distance from the track to our hotel. The driver put the gifted camp chair in the trunk of his car, then inspected the back seat of his car. I asked if it looked OK and even offered to clean up any mess if the driver felt it warranted additional cleaning. The LYFT driver said all was good and we wished him a good, safe evening.

I felt everything was good with the ride until the email from LYFT saying there will be a $35 cleaning fee added to the LYFT ride. The driver even provided pics of the backseat. I felt like this was an experience ripped from an Uber headline, but no. Take a look…

LYFT nightmare in Austin. Why I'm switching back to Uber.LYFT nightmare in Austin. Why I'm switching back to Uber.To me it appears the majority of dirt is on the floor mats which are designed to collect and hold dirt. From the driver’s pictures, it looks like the mats worked as designed.

I replied to the charges and offered to pay a reasonable sum, $5 – $10, the cost of taking the mats to a spray-n-wash car wash and rinsing them off. That offer was rejected by LYFT and I was forced to pay the $35 fee. It makes me wonder how many other rides our LYFT driver gave that weekend with all the rain and upcharged people with a “cleaning fee”.

Seemingly unwilling to negotiate and unwilling to work with the customer (which is what I thought Uber was famous for doing), LYFT has turned someone who was once a big advocate FOR the LYFT ride service, into someone who WILL NOT knowingly promote LYFT in any manner… a person who will write posts like this and use social media to let as many people as possible know why LYFT is NOT a good ride service… a person that will go back to using Uber because I haven’t had a disaster story with them.

So please, when you need to get your happy behind somewhere for whatever reason, please DO NOT USE LYFT. Use Uber, or Metro, or a cab, but for whatever reason DO NOT USE LYFT. Thanks.

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Tooting My Own WordPress Developer Horn with the New SMCLA Website

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I want to share a personal success story. Or, at least, I really feel that it is a personal success. First, I’ll give a bit of supporting details so this story will sound even more impressive.

The SMCLA Website Story

Stephen smiley faceDigital media and social media happen to be BIG parts of my life. I run a digital consulting company (Harvester Solutions) and I help SMB size companies figure out how to utilize the Internet to make business life better. To stay on top of all things in my industry, I am a member of Social Media Club LA. This is a group of digital marketing, social media, Internet folks here in Los Angeles that have monthly events ranging from panel discussions with industry experts to super-fun networking happy hours. The “Club” has lots of regular events and is a talented group of helpful professionals.

SMCLA, like most organizations that want to promote themselves on the Internet, has a website. The site when I joined the “Club” was extremely dated and in dire need of a facelift. After all, it is called “social media” club and the image needs to reflect latest trends. The updating conversation around the website ebbed and flowed for about two year until I was re-elected to the Social Media Club LA Board of Directors in 2015 as a Communications Associate Director. Having WordPress love and experience, I was instantly tasked with the SMCLA website update, revamp, facelift, reconstruction.

That job seemed a bit daunting because I love and preach the greatness of WordPress, but I am by no means a code wrangling, Mello-Yello drinking, WordPress developer. I consider myself a full-blown evangelist, but not a coder. However, I knew the benefits of a fresh, updated website since I work with digital concepts everyday and took on the SMCLA website revamp with only slight apprehension coupled with a huge desire to make the site BETTER.

Along with a new look and feel, added functionality was requested by the Board. Being able to post and search for social media and digital marketing jobs was something that the Board felt would be a great value-add to SMCLA members and to others in the marketing community. So, I made it happen.

Turning to the fabulous WordPress community (Gregg Franklin and Adam Silver in particular), I found a WordPress plugin that would enable the ability to upload, search, and manage job listings on the SMCLA website. I’ll give a quick shoutout to the plugin because it is such a great fit for my needs: WP Job Manager. After some valuable information from Gregg and Adam I was able to install the plugin, get it configured for the Club’s website, get it tested, and finally live on the new SMCLA website by the Board imposed deadline. Yay! – because that meant good times and praise from the Board for me.

The site has been live for three weeks at the time of this post and things are going well. Please take a look at the new SMCLA website and dig into the “Jobs” tab. This is where you have the ability to upload a job opportunity and/or search for a social media position. Feel free to explore other areas of the website to learn more about what Social Media Club LA does in the Los Angeles area. And, leave comments about the new site below in the comments or send SMCLA an email.

If you feel that I can help you get a WordPress website updated and functioning the way you need it to, then please feel free to contact me. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the Internet and helping others understand how to leverage them too.

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