Sunday, March 17, 2019

When Picking a Degree Follow Your Heart, Skills and Finance

Do you know what degree you want?  Many students have no idea what to study! They aren't always sure where they are going or how they are going to get there! The sheer volume of options at colleges can be confusing and the inexperience of the student makes picking an academic path that could have serious consequences for rest of their lives. Your heart, personal skills and your financial ability should guide students as they determine which degree to select.

First, let us understand that the process of picking a particular degree should not be taken lightly or without sufficient thought. While some students switch their degrees in college it can still cost them wasted money, time and opportunity. Before entering college students should try and gain as much awareness about their personal needs as they can.

Heart: What do you want to do in life? Some of us would love to be an artist or performer but at the end of the day we must pay the bills! If your heart tells you to do something then you will want to spend some time thinking about what particular fields mean to you. Use your heart to determine where you should first start looking. If you "hate" your line of work you are going to be miserable.

Skills: Most people come with some level of innate skills they can enhance throughout their lifetime. Because maximizing ones value means capitalizing on existing skills it is helpful to first understand what those skills are. Choosing a degree that helps you in those skills is important for career growth and development over one's lifetime.

Finance: Not all degrees are financially worth the same on the market. That doesn't mean that not all degrees have value but not all degrees are appreciated by the market through successful gainful employment. Look at the cost of education and the need (compensation) of certain degrees. Engineers, Marketing and Medical Degrees are in greater demand then say ancient literature even though both contribute to society in their own way.

There is no perfect life or perfect expect bumps and a possible career shifts within a normal life! The goal is to help students pick a career that suits them better than others. Some may make lots of money but be limited in their enjoyment while others do something more meaningful and don't make much money. Don't make money your only goal but learn to balance your financial needs with your personal need of life and then just take a leap of faith!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Practical Tips for Research Projects-Time and Creativity

Researchers sometimes feel pressure to return results and generate them quickly to satisfy interested parties. This pressure becomes ever so apparent in businesses, universities, and organizations that want and need results in a way that sometimes leads to sub-optimum research results.  Studies that rely on the "human element" of thinking abilities in the analytical and creative domains might need a cushion built into their resource and time projections.

In other words, "Don't promise the world!" Go for something a little less to make your stakeholders happen. It is a little like sales...if you offer customers three weeks to completion you should be able to do it reasonably in two. Promise lower than your capable of delivering!

Science and creativity thrive when you work at a pace that allows you to stop and ponder potential solutions. If you can go faster in some areas without impacting research quality there isn't a strong reason why a researcher can't create additional efficiency. The results suffer when time and resource pressures push researchers to cut corners and make mistakes. Set your deadline and work at a consistent pace but don't rush anything critical to the study's outcome and don't be afraid to take a break if you need to ensure that your creativity is recharged.

Often we start with lofty needs and desires and then find out that things get delayed, results take time, there are administrative road blocks, funding issues, and much more. We have the best intentions but the end of the day things are very different. A few missed deadlines and you turn into someone who is sinking fast by shortcoming your long-term results for short-term gains.

There are a few tips that may help you consider the truer time for time allocation purposes.

1. Overestimate the Time it Takes: Research takes time, lots of time, and more time than you think. Once you have a good idea of what it will take you add 20-30%. That way a delay in processing, activity, or late discovery don't disappoint the stakeholders.

2. Build a Cushion in Financing: One of the worst things that can happen while conducting research is to run out of money. To avoid this it makes sense to have some additional funds available you can tap if expenditures run over.

3. Build in off time and alternative activities: Creativity takes time and effort. You should consider that no human can run 100% all the time. Researchers know they can devote themselves to a research cause. This OCD nature of researchers also means they need to build in down town to maintain maximum creativity and productivity.

4. Understand the Human Element: The human being is complex so it is important to understand that creativity and performance are based on internal dynamics and understanding. Research should explore ideas through mental play called creativity. Understand how the brain solves problems keep the human element part of the process.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Want More Referrals and Sales-Get Involved in Relationship Building

Running a business off referrals is the gold standard of having an established name. You do such great work and have such a great product that people share you as a resource! This is when advertising for new customers takes less time and maintaining relationships takes a little more. Referrals is where you want to be in the long run.

When you can run your business on referrals everything becomes easier. People see you as a credible business and are actively passing your name. These referrals indicate that your business is working well within its social networks.

What is a social network? It is a system in which people act and interact on each other. They share information and resources. They defend each other and look out for each other's needs. In essence, they are system of people.

Getting in with the right people makes a difference in your business. If groups of people see you as credible and like what you have to offer they will naturally want to share that resource with others. For example, if you need estate planning then why not go to someone everyone knows?

Get involved in relationships building. That means get involved in your local business community. Join associations, do charity work, connect with people and be seen. The more you can put yourself in front of the right people with your card the better off you will be! Make sure you brush up on your elevator speech because you may only get once chance to sell. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

3 Tips on How to Put Your Best Foot Forward in Interviews

Your resume gets you the call but  the interview gets you the job! Its true...we as a people want to see, talk to and determine if we relate to someone before we hire them. It is a little like a marriage in the sense that we must be stuck in that relationship for some time. When you walk into that room here are a few tips that might help you earn that job!

1. Look and Dress Neat: People judge...that is what many people do. They judge you from your very first appearance. Make sure you look great with tie and suit. Don't get fancy and dress neat.

2. Research Their Business: Make sure you research their business. If you know about their sales, revenue, markets, your job, etc... you are prepared to put your answers in context. They will know this!

3. Be Confident but Not Cocky: Be confident in your knowledge and skill but don't be cocky. The minute you get cocky is when you start looking more like a liability as a hire.

Don't Waste Your Marketing Time on Social Media Sites that Don't Generate Leads

Marketing is about spending your time wisely and reaching those people who are most likely to need your product. We can waste a great amount of time marketing on the wrong channels and getting very little return. This is one of the reasons why it is beneficial to include ROI calculations for each channel.  When you are marketing wisely you will often find....

1. Lower amount of time spent attracting clients.

2. Higher return on investment of monies spent.

3. More motivated customers that are willing to make a purchase.

Not all sites are build the same. Social media is a growing method of reaching people. The Internet offers opportunities for people to connect and share information and knowledge. It is that sharing capacity that is currently driving marketing.

Consider a number of different social media sites....

Facebook-You can do a lot of stuff with Facebook that is easy to use and ready made.

Twitter-A lot of people watch twitter everyday. I get most of my hits from there.

Instagram-Put up a picture or flyer and people share it.

YouTube-Create a video that people want to watch and this can lead to influence.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rainbow Over the Military Base-Thank you for your service!

Very nice rainbow overlooking the Navy Base. I guess the "pot of gold" is our military!!!! Thank your for your service!

Bullies Spread Rumors to Gain Flying Monkey Supporters (Proxies)-A2

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Bullies are a menace to the people they create conflicts with but it is us as a society that have tolerated them. Without a supportive network of people bullies are just plain "angry, disgruntled people" who don't know how to engage in appropriate conflict management. They are sort of just...well.....inconsequential! Add a network of people and the bully turns into a little "Hitler" running around and punishing those who shake their false sense of security.

I'm spending some time raising awareness of bullies and their devastating impact on communities, people, and victims. I will also post a link to an organization that you can volunteer and support if you desire. Stopping bullying requires people to raise the standard of behavior and discouraging poor behavior. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that far to often such behavior is consider fun, exciting, and gossipy which allows such behavior to continue.

This makes such organization such as the National Bullying Prevention Center so important. They not only try and prevent bullying they also advocate for victims of bullying. We have such organizations because we as a people have not yet taken responsibility for ourselves!

Cindy as an Example of Toxic Behavior That Leads to Group Aggression

Let me give you a hypothetical but also for some people a very real example before we move into the motivations and reasons. Proxy, or flying monkeys, are a term used to describe people who act on behalf of an abuser. It actually comes from the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz that worked on the behalf of the witch. Cindy seems like a normal person but hides some deeper secrets that have happened to her and actions she has done to others. She tries to gain supporters in her abuse so she can control and manipulate a person into silence.

Cindy starts by making negative comments about the target and seeing who is supportive or indifferent to her beliefs. Its starts small but over many months others start to listen. She begins to weave a web in the truest sense of social psychological manipulation by trying to create a wedge between the target victim and potential supporters. She gets others emotional involved by highlighting differences and making up stories to encourage others to lie, snub, attack or hurt the victim.

In this case Cindy is has so little boundaries for the victim that she gets her husband, kids, siblings or anyone else she can involved. Vaknin 2010 believes such flying monkeys can be....

1. Friends & Family
2. Associates
3. Authority Figures

She turns normally reasonable people into co-conspirators in the abuse. Almost none of them have the capacity to step above the rhetoric to see that perhaps it is they who are now guilty of the same behaviors. As they begin to act on the victim they also blame the victim for defending him/herself. This is where things can begin to escalate without taking direct action. The reaction of the victim now becomes a reason for more abuse because the context has been distorted. Even shielding one's kids from potential abuse, or setting up appropriate boundaries can misconstrued as another reason to show more aggression.

Cindy doesn't have normal constraints on her behavior and without being discouraged by her social group can turn into hate crimes, violence, and criminal activity (Think of Nazi Germany, Gangs, Radicalism, and other activities that lead to victimization of others). The victim may not be at fault for anything Cindy says, but no one from her social circle cares. Flying monkeys are more concerned about maintaining their social networks than being responsible adults. Mature people use their critical thinking skills to determine that such aggression is not appropriate. Proxies don't often have the moral backbone to avoid getting sucked into the drama that makes abuse possible (i.e. there were only a few people in Nazi Germany that protected Jews).

According to psychologist George K. Simon manipulation of others occurs when...

1. There is a form of social aggression to damage and ostracize a person. 
2. A chance to exploit others vulnerabilities. 
3. Enough ruthlessness to cause others harm.

Bully Motivations to Find Proxy Help in Abuse

1. Rumors to Manipulate and Proxy Others: Add a word, take a word, share only part of the information, expand things, tell people "juicy" information nuggets that get them upset. Rumors and lies are designed to do damage and are a form of aggression. Bullies spread rumors to get people to "gang" up on someone and punish them for perceived wrong doings. The actual wrong doings may have nothing to do with what the bully says. The inflammatory and often delusional stories are designed to excite and anger others to get them to act. 

2. Covers Feelings of Powerlessness: Bullies feel powerless. Somewhere in their life they were left damaged and traumatized. Lying, bullying, and manipulating others seeks to create a sense of power. That power comes from influencing others through manufactured crisis. You can tell the passive-aggressive powerlessness by watching how they have made a habit talking negatively about others. There is constant comparisons. Its a pattern of feeling powerless and then trying to control others through anti-social behavior (clinical definition).

3. It Lowers Feelings of Guilt: When you have friends and people agree with you, even if they were provided with lies, you don't feel as guilty. The inner turmoil the bully feels is mitigated by their support network who doesn't question the logic being offered. Most of us know from experience that people just sort of agree with us if we don't give all of the information or are not making it explicitly clear that we want "honest" feedback. Thus our friends and family members help us feel as though we are "right" thereby reducing the cognitive dissonance associated with guilt.

4. Groups Take Less Responsibility: We have all watched shocking videos on YouTube, News, or the Web where groups have brutalized someone; even killing victims in plain sight. Sometimes that person has done nothing wrong except try and avoid being in a conflict. If you are a police officer, or sheriff, much of their job is dealing with issues related to the inability of people to take responsibility. Even criminals that have been convicted through evidence and a court of law scream it wasn't their fault all the way to prison! The more people a bully can get involved, the more damage they cause and the less responsibility the bully takes. Sometimes groups become so destructive they openly attack people in public in front of a crowd of bystanders.

5. It Hides Painful Secrets: Bullies are all about hiding their pain. Bullying is a form of aggression based on trauma. This is one of the reasons why aggression is so pathological. As the bully projects onto a target, he/she takes the spotlight off of themselves and puts it on the victim. The bully no longer needs to deal with their issues because the target is forced to take responsibility for them. This is one reason why much of what bullies say are more a reflection of the bully's issues. Targets are not chosen randomly. Usually they are people the bully envies and often are intelligent, sensitive, and caring.

6.) Bullies Need Validation: Bullies need validation that they are important. Somewhere in their life they were made to feel unwanted. This is the tragedy that bullying creates more bullies. Their boundaries were often violated by parents, uncles, and others. When they get people to support their behavior they feel a sense of validation that they are important. Attacking others puts them somewhere above the victim. Proxies help validate the "worthiness" of the bully and the "worthlessness" of the victim.

Vaknin S (2010) Abuse By Proxy: From Smear Campaigns to 3rd-party Stalking and Abuse

Simon, George K (1996). In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. ISBN 978-1-935166-30-6.

Why You Should Encourage Bullies to Get Help? Life Long Disruption A1

Monday, February 18, 2019

Focus on Solving Customer Problems For More Sales

Your customer should be your #1 priority! Selling isn't so much about making a sale as it is about helping your clients achieve their goals. Your job is to fulfill those needs and entice them with solutions a way that motivates them to seek more information. If you focus on the customer's goals, needs, and problems you are going to improve your sales through providing greater value.

Customers Are Goal Directed

Customers don't often just walk into a store randomly. Most customers having something in mind when they are shopping. These ideas many not be fully formed such as "looking for a great deal" but could include "I want socks on sale but will consider other items as well".

Understanding what the customer is looking for helps in directing them to things they may want. Sometimes it is beneficial to just ask what they are looking for while at others times you should intuitively understand and help them form an opinion of what they want.

Customers Have Needs and Wants

Customers also have needs and wants beyond their goals. Most of the time they may not even be aware of those needs. For example, a customer may want to fit in and be appreciated and therefore buys certain status symbols that help feel positive about their self-image.

Sometimes it isn't always apparent what those needs are. You sort of have to listen, watch, look at evaluate their clothing, see how they act, and get a "feel" for who they are. We often can pick up on these needs when we are more in tune with the subconscious signals they are giving.

Stay Focused on The Customer

Your here to serve your customers and not yourself! As soon as your customer gets a whiff your trying to sell to them then they are gone! Make sure you always relate to their needs and solve their problems. Focus on what they want and keep the conversation moving in the right direction.

Marketing help that will put your business on the next level!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Water Helps You Lose Weight

I didn't know just drinking more water will help me lose weight but apparently that is true! I'm not talking only about burning calories by swimming but also drinking! Something as simple as drinking water helps you get into better shape and get rid of that layer of fat. Last night I was talking with a soon to be doctor that is also heavily into fitness. I talked about that layer of fat that I can't get rid of around of my stomach and she said drink more water because.....

Water is an Appetite Suppressant- A natural suppressant of appetite when you have sufficient water in your stomach. Have some water a little before you eat.

Water Burns Calories-Water will actually burn calories as it metabolizes fat.

Water to Remove Waste-As your body gets sore it needs to remove toxins. Water will flush your body.

Water Weight Removed-Too little water forces your body to retain what it got.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

How to Use Guerrilla Marketing to Increase Sales Revenue

Mastering Guerrilla marketing can make all the difference in whether or not you gain a new client or you don't!. The term indicates some type of combat attack on clients occurs which doesn't really do the process any justice. It more accurately entails using multiple methods of reaching a client through uniqueness. You don't just introduce them once, you introduce them multiple ways with something that doesn't cost much and is personalized to them.

You can create a guerrilla marketing process that you can operate with potential customers. The type of business you run will determine precisely how you want to do this. Creating a plan on how you are going to guerrilla market to your customers can create the highest impact.

Here is a great generic process.....
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1. Introduction and elevator speech.

2. Follow Up

3. Send them a personalized email

4. Offer them something unique to their business.

That is a process but you also need to do something unique that attracts them. So think about how each of these sections can be slightly adjusted to make it more memorable. For example, if you are sending them something unique, offering a special discount, or be willing to go above and beyond.

Make each point of interaction catered, fun and special. If you want business owners to take the time to look at what you are offering then you should keep them engaged through positive and fun interaction.