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As Canada’s largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre, The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. Here they have provided an exemplary guide for patients and families experiencing the transplant process.
There are some Facebook statuses that simply don’t warrant a ‘like’ even though you may empathize with them. It seems uncouth to ‘like’ a status about the passing of a relative or a friend’s recent heartbreak, and as a result, Facebook has been working on a solution for the moments when clicking the ‘like’ button is simply socially unacceptable. Enter the ‘sympathize’ button.
Facebook engineers were introduced to the idea at a recent hackathon event and were taken with the idea. It’s not the first innovative idea to come from such an event – both the original ‘like’ button and the Timeline layout were spawned at these creative gatherings.
Many people have campaigned for a ‘dislike’ button to be integrated into the social media site, but the company has dismissed the idea time and again. While disliking a status is negative, a sympathize option is soothing and much friendlier.
When can we expect to see a sympathize button? Not immediately, but sometime down the road.
“We made a decision that it was not exactly the right time to launch that product,” said Facebook engineer Dan Muriello. “Yet.”
Calling relatives who live in other countries or getting in touch with loved ones on business trips can be expensive. Many people turn to FaceTime or Skype to cut back on their wireless bill. But T-Mobile MVNO Ultra Mobile has introduced a new initiative to expand its international calling plan to 70 countries.
In August, Ultra Mobile released a feature called Ultra Zero, which gave its customers 1,000 free minutes to be used to call Canada, China, Mexico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. It has now extended that list to include 70 destinations including Australia and Vietnam.
The countries included in the expanded plan cover about 70 percent of the world’s population.
We trust websites with our personal information knowing a secure password makes it inaccessible to the rest of the world. But what if that information wasn’t so private? Authorities in the Netherlands have recently discovered nearly two million passwords have been stolen from websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.
The attack that turned infected computers into information collecting “zombies” is far-reaching, targeting 93,000 websites across 92 different countries.
Trustwave, the security firm that discovered the scam revealed how many passwords were stolen, and from which sites. The list is frightening:
If you are a Floridian who subscribes to Bright House services, you may want to take a second look at bank account balance. News broke this morning that customers who pay by check have been billed more than once, resulting in multiple withdrawals being taken from bank accounts.
One customer told the Orlando Business Journal his monthly bill was taken out of his account four times. Though banks have been in contact with Bright House, there is no timeline as to when the issue may be resolved.
All of us have dreamed of becoming a millionaire, but aside from a lucky lottery win many people have no idea how to achieve such status. What do accomplished business people do differently than the rest of us? Do they have higher IQs? Is it because they’ve received the best education? Did they spend all their money in the pursuit of success?
For six years author and consultant Lewis Schiff pondered just that, leading a study of millionaires who came from middle-class families. He’s compiled his findings in a new book, Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons. And what he discovered may surprise you.
Schiff found the wealthy subscribe to a different set of guidelines, effectively becoming “Business Brilliant” while others continue to struggle. He identified the Top 7 traits to explain their success, offering a snapshot of what sets them apart.
Let’s take a look at seven attributes of the ultra wealthy.
1. Passion. It is widely believed if you love what you do, you will reap the financial benefits. However, many millionaires in the study didn’t agree with this concept. Schiff uses the example of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who realized there was a niche in the market for circus-as-a-theater and then exploited it to his advantage. Though he lost much of his original team, he pushed on, positioned himself well, and today Cirque is one of the most profitable entertainment brands in the world. Sometimes it’s not about doing what you love, it’s about satisfying a demand and ensuring you benefit from it.
2. Opportunities. Make opportunities count, not pennies, advises Schiff. Instead of saving your way to wealth, focus on earning more money. Don’t be afraid to exploit weaknesses in others along the way. Too often we fear rejection and don’t negotiate aggressively, something reflected in our wages. Nine out of 10 hiring managers are willing to pay more, but most candidates accept their first offer with a handshake and a smile.
3. Innovation. You don’t have to create an original product or service to make it big. Consider Bill Gates who bought operating software from a company for $25,000, turned it into MS-DOS, flipped it to IBM and made billions. A Harvard study of the fastest growing firms in the U.S. found only six percent attribute their growth to unique products or services, but a whopping 88 percent credit “exceptional execution of an ordinary idea” as the reason for their success.
4. Risk. Don’t invest your own money – find other people who are willing to invest in your ideas. Warren Buffet learned this lesson early on when he lost $2,000 he invested in a gas station with a friend. He contributed only $100 of his own money to his next venture while raising $70,000 from others. That investment partnership was the start of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the world’s most successful investment companies.
5. Making Deals. It may seem counterintuitive, but to negotiate your way to the top you must convince the other person you don’t need the deal. Basically, the weaker your interest, the stronger your leverage, states Schiff. Use the Wish-Want-Walk system: Set your goal, determine what information you need and go about finding it, and establish when you’ll walk away if things do not come together as planned.
6. Delegation. Did you know about 35 percent of American small business owners are dyslexic? Some speculate their success is a direct result of their ability to ask for assistance. Famous dyslexics include Sir Richard Branson, Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea and investor Charles Schwab. Self-made millionaires tend to delegate more than others. They also focus on exploiting their strengths rather than obsessing over their weaknesses.
7. Learning. Most of us are terrified of failure, yet it is something embraced by the majority of self-made millionaires. Instead of backing off when things don’t go your way, attack it with tenacity and learn from each failure. The greatest return comes from risky projects, and failure can sometimes produce unexpectedly positive results.
Schiff also points out the wealthy practice the LEAP Methodology effectively and consistently. Learn what you do best, earn some dollars with it, get assistance when needed and persist to overcome.
“Business Brilliance and making your own luck are really the same thing,” wrote Schiff. “They both draw upon the ordinary, mundane practices laid out by LEAP: Learning, Earning, Assistance and Persistence. LEAP, at long last, is just another way to spell LUCK.”
According to the American Psychological Association, 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Nearly 50 percent report it has negative effects on their personal and professional lives.
Whether it’s pressure at work or money issues – the Top 2 causes of stress in the U.S. – stress can take its toll physically. It triggers the body’s emergency response, releasing a flood of hormones to prepare us for action. Our heart pounds and muscles tighten, while our strength and stamina increase.
But wait – those symptoms don’t sound all bad, do they? What if we could change the way we think of stress, and in turn, alter its impact on our bodies and minds? Being energized and hyper-focused on the task at hand could be a real benefit instead of a negative. There’s a good reason why endocrinologist Hans Selye, who spent his entire career studying the human stress response, said, “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”
In this issue of The Pulse, we share a TED Talk by psychologist Kelly McGonigal, who explains the importance of embracing stress and the benefits it can bring to other areas of our life. Changing your mindset could literally save your life.
American novelist Daniel Handler, under his pen name Lemony Snicket, once wrote “Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Nothing could be closer to the truth. We all know from experience that starting the day on the wrong foot can kick start a disastrous chain reaction. On the flip side, starting your day off right can lead to increased productivity, greater focus, and overall happiness and well-being.
And if you’re not a morning person, you may want to consider becoming one. A study by German biology professor Christoph Randler found that early risers are more proactive than nighthawks, a quality that can pave the path to success.
“When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards,” Randler told the Harvard Business Review. “My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities.
“Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them, my survey showed. They’re proactive. A number of studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”
There are other ways to maximize our mornings besides following the early to bed, early to rise model. In fact, getting up early is merely the start. Let’s take a look at seven best practices that everyone can adopt to accomplish more in the a.m.
Bad days are bound to happen, but you don’t have to drag them out. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed will only make the situation worse. No matter what happened yesterday, wipe the slate clean by focusing on the present and casting out negativity. Start fresh, get organized and hit the ground running for the best results.
Map It Out
Making a schedule and sticking to it is one of the easiest ways to properly manage our time. We often pencil in projects that must be completed but forget to include other aspects of our day, such as breaks. Put the tasks that boost your well-being and productivity, like a quick walk or meditation time, on your to-do list. Having your day planned gives you an overview of what needs to be accomplished, and allows you to easily delegate important items to others if an unplanned meeting or emergency derails your day.
Deal With Distractions
Too often we let technology dictate the start to our day. For some people, checking email first thing can lead them down a rabbit hole of distraction that starts with messages, moves onto jokes forwarded by coworkers and ends an hour later with news headlines and sports scores. Experts suggest scanning your inbox and responding to urgent messages, leaving the rest to be dealt with at regular intervals throughout the day.
Clean Your Workspace
A tidy desk can lead to a clear mind. Keeping only essential items on your desk can help to reduce anxiety and maximize productivity – there is no time wasted hunting for that important file when items are kept in order. In fact, a University of Minnesota study found those with uncluttered workspaces were more likely to do the job expected of them. As an added bonus, a clean desk helps prevent information theft and security breaches, and presents a professional image when clients drop by the office.
There are several different schools of thought when it comes to which projects should be tackled first in a workday. Some suggest tending to the least desirable task first, which ensures the most tedious or unpleasant of tasks are taken care of while your energy levels are still high. Others recommend you pinpoint the two activities that will earn you the most money and devote your attention to them right out of the gate. No matter which path you choose, it’s important that you don’t put these tasks off – procrastination can lead to incomplete, rushed work and increased stress.
Awaken Your Brain
It may sound cliché, but a good breakfast is an essential part of your day. Avoid the high-sugar treats at the coffee shop and the heavy, high-calorie sandwiches available at fast food joints. A balanced meal that includes all food groups will help you avoid the mid-morning slump by keeping energy levels up. And when it comes to energy, watch out you don’t consume too many caffeinated beverages. It can cause nervousness, restlessness, irritability and insomnia, none of which will help you get the job done in the long run.
Shake It Up
Variety is the spice of life, and regular, subtle changes to your morning routine can energize you and help you see your business through a different lens. It can be as simple as starting the day with a new task, or completing your morning routine while sitting at a different desk. Deviating from your set routine can be refreshing, but make sure you remain focused.
Just because you’ve never been a fan of mornings doesn’t mean you are stuck in that mindset forever. By adopting new routines we can form habits that will make us more alert and productive in the early hours, and can translate to success.
Technology is changing at the speed of light. Consider how it has transformed our daily lives over the last few decades. Now think of how it has altered the face of business. From gadgets and gizmos, to software that helps you expand or shrink, things are constantly changing around us. All that change can throw us through a loop and be downright disruptive to our workflow and processes.
If there was a way to harness that disruption and use it as a launching point for success, would you take the plunge? According to management consultant and author Bill Jensen, it’s all about creating the right habits. In his new book Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic., Jensen shares the personal habits of world-class performers, allowing you to take advantage of disarray, disorder and disruption that surrounds us every day. Let’s examine some of those habits, which fall into three categories: The Do’s, The Don’ts, and the Guiding Principles.
Challenging the status quo can be a delicate dance of effecting change positively without coming off as negative or cynical. The following habits will help you do great work in a disruptive world:
• Question Everything. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat or redefine success.
• Be Audacious. Dream up bold ideas to change the game. Don’t be satisfied with incremental improvement.
• Kill What You Cherish Most. Embrace our current state of disruption by building in obsolescence from Day One. Disrupt yourself now, before someone or something else does it for you.
• Become Adept at Triage. Assess your task, iron out a strategy and then take action.
• Go Ahead and Make a Mess. In our disruptive economy, it’s OK to fail. In fact, the fastest way to learn is through failure. Kill ideas that don’t work, then experiment and explore more options.
• Simplify Again and Again. Complexity adds 15 to 30 percent to the cost of goods and services and chews up two to four hours of your day. Save time and money by simplifying your process.
• Get Back to the Future. Have two mentors – one who is half your age and one who is twice your age. Tap both for advice.
There are times to leap without a net and times when restraint is needed. The following habits will keep you from heading down the wrong path:
• Don’t Fight Stupid. Organizational and leadership stupidity can run rampant. If your organization isn’t able to embrace change, it’s time to move on to something new.
• Don’t Hesitate. Acknowledge your fears and make the conscious decision to move forward regardless. Start by doing one small thing each day that scares you, and move up to bigger challenges.
• Don’t Use Weak Tools. Make sure workplace infrastructure doesn’t hold you back and don’t handicap yourself with inferior resources. Demand the tools you need to enhance personal productivity.
• Don’t Knock Down. Find talent who are able to regularly change the way they think and actions they take. Then make their position so appealing they never have reason to leave.
The Guiding Principles
Guiding principles direct a company through all circumstances. It’s important to know what you stand for and where you’re heading. Never lose sight by adopting these habits:
• Know Thyself Deep Down. Understand your underlying motivations and clarify what you want to do instead of worrying about getting things done. It will free up time for you to complete the task rather than fretting over it.
• Follow Your Passions. Pick the career path that will make you happy and spring into action. The marketplace rewards those who follow their passions. As an added bonus, you’ll be content and comfortable in your own skin. Others will even follow your lead.
• Your Network is Your Power. Become a power-user of social media to build your network, then take it offline. Determine which 20 percent of your network will generate 80 percent of the value and take those contacts out for lunch.
• It’s Never About You. Instead of defining yourself by your quirks and differences, define yourself by commonalities. Remember that while disruption is great, it needn’t happen all the time. Too much disruption can overwhelm all the people involved. There always needs to be someone acting as the anchor to provide a calming voice of reason and make the right things happen right now.
“We are in the midst of a massively disruptive era, where almost every system or rule for how we do things has been, and will continue to be, up for grabs,” writes Jensen. “Every business is trying to get things to run smarter, faster, stronger and cheaper.
“And the holy grail of the current age of disruption is getting all those digital things to talk to each other so everything you use and interact with is smarter – creating constant feedback loops and even better ways of doing things.”
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Schooley Mitchell is the largest independent telecom consulting company in North America, with offices from coast to coast. Our Telecom Consultants deliver telecommunications expertise to companies large and small from all industries. We offer a broad range of services that include analysis of existing and future telecommunications needs, assessment of best alternatives and implementation of cost-effective telecommunications solutions.