What’s so “niche” about the MacBook Air?

Since switching to Mac OS X in 2004, I’ve been a fan of Apple’s products. Prior to OS X, I wasn’t completely sold on the performance, interoperability, or “tweakability” of the operating system, with the latter elements being particularly important to individuals who are technically demanding and, not to sugar-coat it, a bit geeky regarding their electronic toys. With the advent of OS X, Apple reinvented itself with a product which accommodates both ends of the user spectrum: an operating system with the stability, performance, and development integrity offered by the open-source community (being UNIX-based) combined with the elegance, simplicity, and user-friendly experience which appeals to non-technical users. Couple this software with the slick industrial design which belies the entire Apple product line, and I was defenseless to Apple’s lure. I purchased the 12″ Powerbook model, appreciating its reasonable amount of power, beautiful simplicity, ergonomic comfort (in the form of a kinesthetically pleasing, full-size keyboard) and relatively compact size.

As newer laptop models began to emerge from the talented team in Cupertino, however, I was a bit disenchanted in not seeing an updated version of my 12″ Powerbook. I began dreaming of an ultra-lightweight, yet fully featured, version of this laptop to come about with greater power in a similar, if not even more portable, version. I knew I certainly wasn’t alone in this desire, as there had been many speculative posts on rumor boards indicating the same desire and/or anticipation of such a product.

Naturally, when I saw the announcement of Apple’s MacBook Air (MBA), I was elated. In watching Steve Jobs’s keynote address introducing the product, it seemed that Apple had been listening to all of my telepathic messages indicating exactly what I wanted in my dream 12″-Powerbook replacement: full-sized keyboard, improved display, reasonable power for the package, good battery life, and very light weight (i.e. backpack friendly–a must for me, as I use a motorcycle as my preferred form of transportation). What has surprised me since I had preordered my machine in January is the number of bloggers/reviewers who have regarded the MacBook Air only to serve a “niche” market and to be unsuitable as a sole or primary computer. While I am fortunate enough to make use of several computers at home, I fail to see why the MacBook Air would not be sufficient for most people even as a primary computer. As such, I’m providing my own hands-on review here, being a very satisfied owner after 3 months of daily usage. Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in promoting the MacBook Air or any other Apple products, but as a self-admitted technophile I derive great pleasure from using tools which increase the fun and efficiency with which I build and operate my businesses.

Why I love the MacBook Air

Before I begin addressing the commonly cited compromises of the computer, it seems appropriate to mention a bit about why I consider this to be my favorite laptop to date (my fourth, in total, and my second Apple laptop). First, it’s obviously thin and lightweight. Who wouldn’t enjoy a lightweight laptop? People buy laptops because they are portable (as opposed to springing for a larger-display wielding desktop models), so making a laptop as lightweight and thin as possible most capably meets this need.


One of my personal favorite uses of the MacBook Air is to enjoy my outdoor home office instead of being relegated to my indoor home office. The beautiful LED-backlit, “instant-on” display is crisp and clear with great visibility outdoors–far superior to that of my old Powerbook. The full-size keyboard is a must, for me, to spend any reasonable amount of time at the keys. Battery life is reasonable (I get 4-5 hours on a charge depending on backlight intensity, radio usage, etc.) and the Wi-fi antenna/radio performance offers great improvement in range and the higher bandwidth of 802.11n. From a mechanical and industrial design perspective, I am thoroughly impressed with the robust hinge and clasp-less closure… as simple and beautiful to view as it is functional. Last but not least is the large multi-touch trackpad, which has me so spoiled that when I transfer to work on either of my desktops I find myself yearning for the 3-finger page-turn or back/forward gesture frequently.

OK, enough with the obvious “coolness” which is expected of the MacBook Air. That alone does not justify the $1,800+ cost of the machine, especially for pragmatic small-business owners and other professionals. Business utility comes first, which is the reason I am still holding onto my Blackberry Curve until the iPhone (v2.0?) incorporates its business and high-end phone functionality, and I’m not referring to “push-email”… but that topic is another post all to itself. So what exactly are all of these compromises or “lacking features” in the MBA which the average person cannot live without? Continue reading

The power of personal connection

I recently attended an event in Long Beach, CA, where I had the privilege of personally connecting with a highly venerated mentor, Tim Sales. Over the past couple of years, his training materials have been tremendously helpful to me as I have worked not only to build my businesses but also to focus on continually improving and nurturing the quality of relationships with my clients, associates, and customers.

Many times I’ve heard Tim speak of being focused on your prospect (or one could easily substitute your client, customer, spouse, etc. here–basically anyone with whom you are engaged in conversation), and I’ve always consciously held this in my mind not to be distracted by other people or events in my surrounding when communicating one-on-one. Despite my intellectual understanding of this, however, I gained an even greater understanding of this simply by being in Tim’s presence.


For the mere 3 to 4 minutes in which we spoke while a line of other eager fans of Tim’s stood nearby awaiting him to sign a book or CD, his attention was focused 100% on me for the entire duration of our conversation. It seemed as if there were a cocoon-like environment created around just the two of us in what was an otherwise VERY noisy entryway to a ballroom filled with people, booths, and activities. I felt as if Tim had all the time in the world to really listen to, understand, process, and give a response to my questions. I know this sounds like a very simple process (and is one he speaks of time and again in his own training materials), but to have experienced his embodiment of this in-person has truly deepened my appreciation of and sensitivity to the profound impact this has on another human being. Thanks again, Tim, for helping me to gain yet another level of understanding through your example… one which serves to enrich both my professional and personal life.

Multivitamins and healthy immune function

Adequate intakes of micronutrients are required for the immune system to function efficiently. A good multivitamin/mineral can enhance the immune system by supporting the body’s natural defenses on both structural and cellular levels.

A recent article published in the British Journal of Nutrition summarizes the roles of selected vitamins and trace elements in immune function. Continue reading

Junk food makes up nearly one-third of calories in American diet

According to a large national survey, nutrient-poor food, or “junk food,” contributes nearly 30% of all the energy (calories) consumed in the US population. Efforts to reduce obesity should focus on both individual and policy actions to reduce the importance of nutrient-poor foods in the US diet. Continue reading

Leveraging tax benefits through a home-based business

One of my favorite subjects on which I lecture in a business class which I teach to holistic health practitioners is an overview to taxes, or as I title the lecture, “Playing with Taxes.” Specifically, I provide an overview of the benefits of our tax system which rewards entrepreneurs, even those utilizing the most simple form of business, a sole proprietorship.

The savings in personal income tax are particularly profound when a portion of one’s home also functions as a place business, since the overhead of having a roof over one’s head is an expense which all must incur anyway, and having a means to legitimately convert a portion of these living/operating costs as deductible business expenses can really add up to significant tax savings.

There are a number of different industries and business models which may be reasonably run from home, especially in today’s age of ubiquitous e-commerce and efficient delivery systems. A few of the benefits in running a business from home include:

  • Little to no overhead cost
  • Zero travel/commute time to one’s home office
  • Increased time flexibility
  • Ability to employ children tax-free up to the standard deduction amount
  • Reduction of personal tax liability through migrating a percentage of personal expenses to legitimate business deductions

The latter is an extremely valuable benefit of which many are unaware and is available to all home-business entrepreneurs. The key requirement is having a sufficient system of recordkeeping (tax journal) which must be maintained regularly in the course of running one’s home business. One of my favorite authors and speakers on the subject is Sandy Botkin of the Tax Reduction Institute.

So, how does one select an appropriate business model, particularly if one is only looking to run his or her business part-time? Continue reading


This site is offered to empower and support entrepreneurs who desire to create their best lives through sound, sustainable business and marketing practices, primarily within the industry of network marketing. It is intended to serve as a forum for networking, to cultivate an environment of collective learning, and ultimately to foster an esprit de corps among fellow professionals who are either considering, or who already have chosen, to participate in this industry.

As with any undertaking of value, this industry is not unique from others in the sense that a learning curve is involved with acquiring new skills. This aspect is accompanied by its own set of challenges, frustrations, and hard work––just as with any other endeavor which yields great rewards. The resulting financial, interpersonal, and self-development benefits which are achieved through this process, however, are second to none.

May you experience prosperity in all aspects of your life as you encourage others to share in the same.