Tzviatko’s blog

August 26, 2008

Microfinancing Made Easy!

Filed under: Philanthropy — tzviatko @ 6:39 pm

A friend just told me about the other day – a website that lets you lend money to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

I thought the idea was incredible! By lending less than what I would spend going out on a Friday night I can make a true difference in someone’s life and help improve their standard of living. The best thing about this is that all of these small business owners already have an idea of what they want and need to do to lift themselves out of poverty; they just need a little extra help.

After doing some research I found that Kiva has apparently been talked about a lot lately. Here are some articles from reputable sources where Kiva has been mentioned:

I feel very comfortable with the website and the idea it stands for – I have given two loans already 🙂
I helped a Nigerian entrepreneur who sells and repairs electrical appliances raise money to expand his business. I also contributed to a loan for a farmer from Cambodia who will use the money to ensure higher yield from her crops, diversify her income sources and support her children’s education.

When my loans are repaid I could use the same money to help someone else! How cool is that?!

Check out the website – – and research it on your own, it’s pretty amazing!
I loan because I care and I want to share, how about you?


June 23, 2008

Inspirational Quotes

Filed under: Misc. — tzviatko @ 4:48 pm

Many leaders inspire me in different ways.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Tell me. I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me and I’ll understand.
–Chinese Proverb

Find your passion. Be Fearless. Live your dreams.
–Dove chocolate candy wrappers 🙂

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
–Abraham Lincoln

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Imagination is more important than knowledge…
–Albert Einstein

As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.

Where you live should no longer determine whether you live.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.
–Elizabeth Andrew

A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty;
an optimist sees the same glass as half full.
But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty.

–G. Donald Gale

He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself

You will find as you look back upon your life, that the moments that stand out are the moments when you have done things for others.
–Henry Drummond

The highest reward for a person’s work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it.
–John Ruskin

Extraordinary things are accomplished by a healing heart.
–Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Do every act of your life as if it were your last.
–Marcus Aurelius

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
–Margaret Mead

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.
–Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
–Mother Teresa

Imagination rules the world.
–Napoleon Bonaparte

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.
–Napoleon Hill

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
–Robert Frost

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
–Robert Frost

You’re happiest while you’re making the greatest contribution.
–Robert F. Kennedy

No joy can equal the joy serving others.
–Sai Baba

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
–Vince Lombardi

Fortune favors the brave.

They can because they think they can.

We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.
–Sir Winston Churchill

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
–Sir Winston Churchill

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
–Sir Winston Churchill

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life
–Sir Winston Churchill

Never, never, never give up.
–Sir Winston Churchill

Be great in act, as you have been in thought.
–William Shakespeare

February 5, 2008

(product) RED Wallpapers

Filed under: Philanthropy — tzviatko @ 11:54 pm

(product) RED is one of the philanthropy initiatives that I support. It is a business model which ensures that a percentage of the profits made from selling (product) RED merchandise helps save lives of AIDS victims in Africa.

Here are a few wallpapers that you could use to show your support for (RED). I currently have (product) RED wallpapers on my computer at home, at work and on my iPhone.

January 13, 2008

Minnesota Facts and Trivia :)

Filed under: Misc. — tzviatko @ 5:03 pm

So, I’ve lived in Minnesota for a little over six months now… and I love it! Here are some interesting MN facts and trivia 🙂 that I found online:

– The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields — 9.5 million square feet.

– Minneapolis is home to the oldest continuously running theater (Old Log Theater) and the largest dinner theater (Chanhassan Dinner Theater) in the country.

– The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country.

– The Guthrie Theater is the largest regional playhouse in the country.

– Minneapolis’ famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside.

– Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country.

– The climate-controlled Metrodome is the only facility in the country to host a Super Bowl, a World Series and a NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.

– Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.

– The stapler was invented in Spring Valley, MN.

– The first Children’s department in a Library is said to be that of the Minneapolis Public Library, which separated children’s books from the rest of the collection in Dec. 1889.

– Rollerblades were the first commercially successful in-line Roller Skates. Minnesota students Scott and Brennan Olson invented them in 1980, when they were looking for a way to practice Hockey during the off-season. Their design was an ice hockey boot with 3 inline wheels instead of a blade.

– The first Intercollegiate Basketball game was played in Minnesota on February 9,1895.

– Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Mars marketed the Snickers bar in 1930 and introduced the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.

– Minnesota has one recreational boat per every six people, more than any other state.

– Minnesota’s waters flow outward in three directions: north to Hudson Bay in Canada, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.

– Polaris Industries of Roseau, MN invented the snowmobile.

– Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines was the first major airline to ban smoking on international flights.

October 3, 2007

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Filed under: Philanthropy — tzviatko @ 11:05 pm

For those of you who didn’t know – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month… so support it… every year!

All of us have special women in our lives – mothers, grandmothers, friends – but did you know that 1 of every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Did you know that in 2007, breast cancer is expected to cause 40,910 deaths in the U.S. alone

…so what do we do to protect the special women in our lives?

  • Create breast cancer awareness
  • Donate to help find cure
  • Research it and take action

I went “Pink for October”. I changed my website header to pink and added a banner to create awareness. The banner links to – it is a website that donates money to ensure women have access to regular mammograms for every person who clicks on a button on their home page. So go ahead and make your contribution today – help one more woman get access to the most effective early breast cancer detection test.

Dear Boss…

Filed under: Misc. — tzviatko @ 10:39 pm

I got the following message forwarded to me today:

Dear Boss,

To help me do my best as an employee…

  • Take time to notice what I’m doing right. You’re busy but I still want you to notice and appreciate what I’m doing.
  • Care about me as a person. Ask me about myself, my interests, even how my day is going.
  • Empower me to make decisions in my area. Give me the information I need and trust me to make good choices.
  • Let me run with my ideas. When I have a good idea, encourage me to go for it.
  • Allow me to learn from my mistakes. When I make a mistake, don’t hang me out to dry. Help me learn from both my successes and my failures
  • Tell me what I do well. Don’t assume I know. Help me see where my talents add value.
  • Give me candid feedback. You know when I’m off track. Please share your perspectives with me. I benefit from your insights and advice.
  • Tell me what you want. Don’t assume I can read your mind. Clarify your expectations.
  • Greet me. It’s the simple things that count. When you walk by my desk, look at me and say hello.
  • Keep me up-to-date. Don’t wait until you have all the answers. Tell me what you know.
  • Avoid surprises. Don’t spring change on me at the last minute. Think ahead and let me know what’s happening in a timely way.
  • Ask, don’t tell. Instead of telling me what to do, help me clarify my thinking and best course of action.

If you really think about it, your level of happiness with your job is greatly dependent on whether you like your boss (and the other people that you work with) or not. By following just those few, simple, almost common sense tips, I think nearly anyone can turn into a “likable boss”.

In my opinion people with authority tend to sometimes act a little arrogant, and selfish. They don’t seem to pay too much attention to what their employees really need and how they feel. That kind of attitude can negatively affects employees, deteriorating morale and desire to perform.

Don’t be that kind of boss! Be approachable, pay attention to your employees’ needs and talk to them, be genuinely interested in what their concerns are and do something about it… that, I think, really makes a difference.

September 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

Filed under: Misc. — tzviatko @ 9:51 am

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
– Robert Frost

I have this Quote of the Day gadget on my Google homepage and this was one of the quotes for today… I like it, so I thought I would share it here.

September 27, 2007

“Green Flavored” Email Signature

Filed under: Philanthropy — tzviatko @ 9:50 am

P Before printing, please think about the environment

I saw this at the bottom of a colleague’s email signature and I thought it was really cool. I put it on mine too, and now I am kind of helping the environment… with every message I send 🙂

Make a difference! Put this in your email signature (just Copy and Paste it from here)… and print less, of course!

September 26, 2007

Story of the Mexican Fisherman and the Harvard MBA

Filed under: Stories — tzviatko @ 10:57 pm

While visiting a small Mexican fishing village, an American saw a fisherman dock his boat and complimented him on the quality of his fish. When the American asked how long he fished every day, the Mexican answered, “Not very long.” He went on to explain that a small catch was sufficient for the needs of his family. “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” asked the American. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.” Rather impatiently the American responded, “Look, I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should fish longer every day and sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.” “How long would that take?” asked the Mexican. “Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American. “And then when your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!” “Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman. “Well,” responded the American, “After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying visiting with your friends.”

I have read this story a few times at different places on the internet, and I think it is quite interesting.
It makes you think about what is really important for you in life, what your long term goals are, and in a way it almost makes it seem like you might have already achieved what you are striving for… I don’t know if I completely agree with that, but it is an interesting way to look at things.

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