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Monday, September 21, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Futurepoint Calendar

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9 Phrases That Make You Sound Less Experienced Than You Are



By Adrian Granzella Larssen
When I started my first job, I was the youngest person in my organization. No, really. Although I could legally drink (barely), every single one of my 300-or-so co-workers was older and more experienced than I was.
I felt like the low woman on the totem pole—and worse, I probably acted like it. (Exhibit A: My email signature was hot pink and in Lucida Calligraphy font.)
But looking back, I shouldn’t have let it affect me so much. Here’s what I know now: It doesn’t matter how much experience (or grey hair) you have compared to everyone else. You were hired to do a job and to work together with the people around you. So, the more you can position yourself as an equal, the more you’ll be treated like one. While you shouldn’t go to the other end of the spectrum and act like you’re more important than the rest of your team, you should never feel afraid to present yourself confidently as a peer. (Oh, and this is true whether you’re in your first job or joining the ranks of upper management.)
How do you do that? Here are a few commonly used words and phrases you want to avoid since they instantly make you sound more inexperienced—plus what to say instead to ensure you come across as the capable, competent professional you are.

1. “I Don’t Know”
You certainly don’t need to have all the answers all the time. None of us do. But answering your co-workers’ questions with “I don’t know” (and a blank stare) can make you look like you’re not up to the job.
Muse writer Sara McCord offers some great alternatives in this article, such as offering up what youdo know (“Well, I can tell you that the report went to the printer on Friday”) or responding, “That’s exactly the question I’m looking to answer.” Or, if you know you can get the information from someone else, try “Let’s loop Devante in to confirm.”

2. “I Have to Ask my Boss”
It doesn’t matter what level you’re at in your career, there are certain things you’re going to have to run by your boss. (Even CEOs have to ask the board for approval on important matters.) But that doesn’t mean you have to end every conversation letting others know that you’re not the one who can make the final decision.
Instead, try, “This all sounds great—let me just run our conversation by a couple people on the team before moving ahead.” You’ll sound like a thoughtful collaborator, rather than the lowly subordinate.

3. “Is That OK?”
When you do have to run something by your boss? Skip this line, which sounds like you have no idea if your recommendation is a good one or not, and use something like: “Let me know by Friday whether I should proceed.”

4. “I Am the [Insert Junior-Level Job Title Here]”
Here’s a secret—if you have a not-so-impressive job title (and we’ve all had ’em), you don’t have to broadcast it to everyone you work with, particularly if you’re reaching out to potential clients or partners who are higher up than you are.
In your next cold outreach email, trade “I’m the Jr. Marketing Assistant at Monster Co,” for, “I work in Marketing at Monster Co, and I’m reaching out because…” It’s still honest, but it makes you sound a bit more experienced.

5. “Very,” “Insanely,” “Extremely”
It’s Professional Writing 101 to remove unnecessary adverbs from your language, not only because we all want shorter emails, but because these additional words tend to add emotion into what should be straightforward, fact-based communication. Quick: Which sounds like it came from a calm, cool professional: “I’m incredibly eager to get started, but I’m insanely busy this week—could we aim for next week when things will be way calmer?” or, “I’m eager to get started, but booked this week. Could we aim for next?”

6. “Hi, I’m Julie”
In a social setting, it’s perfectly fine (in fact, expected) that you’ll introduce yourself by first name only. But in a professional or networking setting, it can make you sound unsure of yourself, like you’re someone who just happened to walk into the room, rather than someone who was invited to be there. Instead, share your full name and why you’re there: “I’m Julie Walker, from the Marketing team.”

7. “I” and “Me”
As Aja Frost reported in this article: “Reducing your use of the word ‘I’ can actually make people view you as more powerful and confident… a psychologist from the University of Texas who analyzes how people talk for hidden insight, found that whoever uses the word ‘I’ more in a conversation usually has a lower social status.”
Consider these two statements: “I would be so grateful if you would consider meeting with me next month. I’m very interested in your work, and I would love to meet you in person,” and “Would you be available for a meeting next month? It would be great to learn more about your work and meet in person.” The former veers into fangirl territory; the latter sounds like one accomplished professional addressing another.
8. “I’m Available at Whatever Time Is Convenient for You”
Really, are you? If the person you’d like to meet with wrote back and said that 5:30 AM on a Tuesday morning was convenient, I’m pretty sure you’d disagree. (And even if you didn’t, you’d look like you have nothing going on in your professional life.)
Try “Tuesday and Thursday afternoons work well, though I’m happy to be flexible,” which sounds similarly agreeable, but also shows that you have an important schedule of your own.

9. “I Hope to Hear From You Soon!”
Ending your emails hoping and praying that you’ll hear from your recipient makes it sound like you think there’s a good chance you won’t. Instead, project confidence that the conversation will continue, with something like, “I look forward to discussing,” or “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Email Blows Social Media Out The Door!

A new study from McKinsey cites email's dominance over Facebook and Twitter, saying email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers.

Surely you have seen or read a story about the recent McKinsey study that cited email's dominance over its cooler, younger cousins Facebook and Twitter. Most pieces on the study said (erroneously) that email marketing was 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter. The consultancy actually is saying email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers. This is in reality even more impressive in my opinion, as new customer acquisition has been somewhat of an Achilles' heel for email marketing (assuming you are the type who understands renting a list is a Hail Mary not a strategic plan).
Email's bread and butter have been and always will be customer retention and monetization. Email is incredible at keeping your brand and products/services in front of prospects and customers and building loyalty and growing revenue over the long term. The fact that email crushes social is pretty impressive.
Considering the combined market cap (as of February 3 pre-market open) of the two social behemoths was more than $188 billion, does that mean email marketing is a trillion-dollar juggernaut? Well, maybe or maybe not, but I digress. It isn't a surprise to see search outpacing email and social, but just like in McKinsey's study, that is not the real news here.
The actual study, in typical fashion of any story addressing email marketing (well, not this one I am writing), begins with an almost passive-aggressive pat on the back: "Why marketers should keep sending you e-mails." Do your best to not let the use of the hyphen impact your evaluation of the report. Nothing else is really news except that it is coming from the respected high-end consultancy that so many Fortune 500 brands use to guide them. So that is a big part of why this is a telling win for the email industry and one that is needed to be used to continue to drive momentum and make some noise.
So has social drowned in its own hype or is this more a realistic market situation where what makes companies money will always reign supreme? I don't know, but it is apparent that the wind has been knocked out of social's sails as it relates to acquiring customers and driving measurable business impact. I think social is certainly here to stay in terms of building deeper customer relationships and engaging in dialog (it's a fancy way to say customer service) with customers in a public forum.
We know mobile is likely driving half of your opens these days and this is the golden flag that email marketers should be holding high on their white horse of permission. Email has become so sticky and more indispensable than ever. We use email more than making phone calls on our smartphones and brands can reach us with their special offers and VIP content anytime and anywhere.
Heck, they are even spending more than during the old way of checking email on their desktop, which of course has generated significant return on investment (ROI) over the past decade. A new Yesmail study shows revenues per click on mobile marketing emails exceeded those on desktop, at $7.14 vs. $3.26. That's real money folks, and another game-changer since many of us viewed mobile email 12 months ago as a great extension of your brand into the subscriber's palm but not necessarily a huge conversion and sales machine. But it is.
If you are wondering what to keep your eye on for email big picture trends and where to focus in 2014, you can read my last article, "5 Must-Do New Year's Resolutions for Email Marketers" but here are some other big trends that I spoke about and/or heard at the recent Email Evolution conference.
Customer and subscriber acquisition is a big opportunity (and hopefully this McKinsey study further supports that). Try out the many new tools, vendors, and tactics to move your list from the stalemate that plagues so many email marketers.
Creative is the new secret sauce in email. Sure, we love our big data, cloud computing targeted and segmented campaigns, but as the Email Experience Council's Stefan Pollard Marketer of the Year Award winner Zack Notes of UncommonGoods noted in his acceptance speech, so much of the credit for successful email marketing should go to the creative team. They are the bridge to the subscriber and the back of the house. Good emails almost always have good creative (my big exception is President Obama's re-election email efforts, but that is a different story).
Automation isn't a luxury item any more -- it's a present must-have and required for a well-rounded email program. Whether it is a true marketing automation program or triggered emails, any ambitious brand worth its digital salt should have a killer welcome series, re-engagement campaigns, abandoned cart emails (the list can go on and on). Don't wait. Your chief financial officer (CFO) will thank you later.
M&A, fundraising, and IPOs have been the norm for the email marketing industry over the past five years. With the two big dogs ExactTarget and Responsys gobbled up, the waiting game (or is it dating game?) for the top remaining software-as-a-service (SaaS) independents may not last through the end of Q1. Look for at least one or two big acquisitions and a possible IPO filing sooner rather than later. Fred Tabsharani of Port 25 outlines the playing field here. Lastly, you have fast-growing email-focused vendors, agencies, and software companies that could make for nice bait for companies (I wrote about "The Fastest Growing and Most Valuable Email Marketing Companies") looking to get into this space -- one that if you buy into the McKinsey study is only going to get more dollars to chase new customers.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Personal Insolvency Manual

INSOLVENCY MANUAL - REVENUE IRELAND

20 Common Phrases Even The Smartest People Misuse!

When you hear someone using grammar incorrectly, do you make an assumption about his or her intelligence or education? There’s no doubt that words are powerful things that can leave a lasting impression on those with whom you interact.

1. Prostrate Cancer
It’s an easy misspelling to make—just add an extra r and “prostate cancer” becomes “prostrate cancer,” which suggests “a cancer of lying face-down on the ground.” Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mayo Clinic websites include this misspelling.

2. First-Come, First-Serve
This suggests that the first person to arrive has to serve all who follow. The actual phrase is “first-come, first-served,” to indicate that the participants will be served in the order in which they arrive. Both Harvard and Yale got this one wrong.

3. Sneak Peak
A “peak” is a mountain top. A “peek” is a quick look. The correct expression is “sneak peek,” meaning a secret or early look at something. This error appeared on Oxford University’s site as well as that of the National Park Service.

4. Deep-Seeded
This should be “deep-seated,” to indicate that something is firmly established. Though “deep-seeded” might seem to make sense, indicating that something is planted deep in the ground, this is not the correct expression. Correctica found this error on the Washington Post and the White House websites.

5. Extract Revenge
To “extract” something is to remove it, like a tooth. The correct expression is “exact revenge,” meaning to achieve revenge. Both The New York Times and the BBC have made this error.

6. I Could Care Less
“I couldn't care less” is what you would say to express maximum apathy toward a situation. Basically you’re saying, “It’s impossible for me to care less about this because I have no more care to give. I've run out of care.” Using the incorrect “I could care less” indicates that “I still have care left to give—would you like some?”

7. Shoe-In
“Shoo-in” is a common idiom that means a sure winner. To “shoo” something is to urge it in a direction. As you would shoo a fly out of your house, you could also shoo someone toward victory. The expression started in the early 20th century, relating to horse racing and broadened to politics soon after. It’s easy to see why the “shoe-in” version is so common, as it suggests the door-to-door sales practice of moving a foot into the doorway to make it more difficult for a prospective client to close the door. But “foot in the door” is an entirely different idiom.

8. Emigrated To
With this one there is no debate. The verb “emigrate” is always used with the preposition “from,” whereas immigrate is always used with the preposition “to.” To emigrate is to come from somewhere, and to immigrate is to go to somewhere. “Jimmy emigrated from Ireland to the United States” means the same thing as “Jimmy immigrated to the United States from Ireland.” It’s just a matter of what you’re emphasizing—the coming or the going.

9. Slight of Hand
“Sleight of hand” is a common phrase in the world of magic and illusion, because “sleight” means dexterity or cunning, usually to deceive. On the other hand, as a noun, a “slight” is an insult.

10. Honed In
First, it’s important to note that this particular expression is hotly debated. Many references now consider “hone in” a proper alternate version of “home in.” That said, it is still generally accepted that “home in” is the more correct phrase. To home in on something means to move toward a goal, such as “The missile homed in on its target.” To “hone” means to sharpen. You would say, “I honed my résumé writing skills.” But you would likely not say, “The missile honed in on its target.” When followed by the preposition “in,” the word “hone” just doesn’t make sense.

11. Baited Breath
The term “bated” is an adjective meaning suspense. It originated from the verb “abate,” meaning to stop or lessen. Therefore, “to wait with bated breath” essentially means to hold your breath with anticipation. The verb “bait,” on the other hand, means to taunt, often to taunt a predator with its prey. A fisherman baits his line in hopes of a big catch. Considering the meaning of the two words, it’s clear which is correct, but the word “bated” is mostly obsolete today, leading to ever-increasing mistakes in this expression.

12. Piece of Mind
This should be “peace” of mind, meaning calmness and tranquility. The expression “piece of mind” actually would suggest doling out sections of brain.

13. Wet Your Appetite
This expression is more often used incorrectly than correctly—56% of the time it appears online, it’s wrong. The correct idiom is “whet your appetite.” “Whet” means to sharpen or stimulate, so to “whet your appetite” means to awaken your desire for something.

14. For All Intensive Purposes
The correct phrase is “for all intents and purposes.” It originates from English law dating back to the 1500s, which used the phrase “to all intents, constructions, and purposes” to mean “officially” or “effectively.”

15. One in the Same
“One in the same” would literally mean that the “one” is inside the same thing as itself, which makes no sense at all. The proper phrase is “one and the same,” meaning the same thing or the same person. For example, “When Melissa was home schooled, her teacher and her mother were one and the same.”

16. Make Due
When something is due, it is owed. To “make due” would mean to “make owed,” but the phrase to “make do” is short for “to make something do well” or “to make something sufficient.” When life gives you lemons, you make do and make lemonade.

17. By in Large
The phrase “by and large” was first used in 1706 to mean “in general.” It was a nautical phrase derived from the sailing terms “by” and “large.” While it doesn’t have a literal meaning that makes sense, “by and large” is the correct version of this phrase.

18. Do Diligence
While it may be easy to surmise that “do diligence” translates to doing something diligently, it does not. “Due diligence” is a business and legal term that means you will investigate a person or business before signing a contract with them or before formally engaging in a business deal together. You should do your due diligence and investigate business deals fully before committing to them.

19. Peaked My Interest
To “pique” means to arouse, so the correct phrase here is “piqued my interest,” meaning that my interest was awakened. To say that something “peaked my interest” might suggest that my interest was taken to the highest possible level, but this is not what the idiom is meant to convey.

20. Case and Point
The correct phrase in this case is “case in point,” which derives its meaning from a dialect of Old French. While it may not make any logical sense today, it is a fixed idiom.
 

CPD Notes Legal Research

Click below.

CPD NOTES LEGAL RESEARCH

Thursday, April 2, 2015

25 Inspiring Quotes From the World's Most Successful Billionaires

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” —Bill Gates

“You know, once you’ve stood up to cancer, everything else feels like a pretty easy fight.” —David Koch

“I learned from my dad that change and experimentation are constants and important. You have to keep trying new things.” —S. Robson Walton

“Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.” —George Soros

“To do what you wanna do, to leave a mark—in a way that you think is important and lasting—that’s a life well-lived.” —Laurene Powell Jobs

“America, for me, is the country where, if you have something great to offer, you’ll be valued highly.” —Tadashi Yanai

“Vision is perhaps our greatest strength...it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.” —Li Ka-shing

“If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.” —Larry Page

“I don’t like paying taxes, but I like sleeping at night.” —Leonardo Del Vecchio

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you’ll drift in that direction.” —Warren Buffett

“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.” —Phil Knight
“I enjoy the hunt much more than the good life after the victory.” —Carl Icahn

“I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” —Jeff Bezos

“One of the great responsibilities that I have is to manage my assets wisely, so that they create value.” —Alice Walton

“When you deal with change, you have a couple choices: You can lead it and make the rules, or you can be a fast follower, or you can be a slow follower.” —Charles Ergen

“All of us, in a sense, struggle continuously all the time, because we never get what we want. The important thing which I’ve really learned is, how do you not give up, because you never succeed in the first attempt.” —Mukesh Ambaniz

“Don’t ally your personal interests with the development of the company.” —Wang Jianlin

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk.... In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” —Mark Zuckerberg

“Great companies, in the way they work, start with great leaders.” —Steve Ballmer

“I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.” —Larry Ellison

“When you are on the management side, you still have to understand the artistic sensibility so that there is a dialogue with the creative side.” —Bernard Arnault

“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical, and ultimately making a big difference in the world.” —Sergey Brin

“And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.” —Michael Bloomberg

“Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.” —Jack Ma

“The three short years I spent at Harvard, where I lived with excellent people, taught me not only that I must know how to choose my partners but also that choosing excellent partners is a skill you can learn. Obviously, when you spend time with the best, you learn how to choose among them.” —Jorge Paulo Lemann

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Booking on Futurepoint using a discount voucher

Here is the simple five step method explained in screen grabs.

Step one -  click the book here button to open booking page. This ticket price option appears half way down page..





Step two - choose the ticket you wish to buy and enter quantity




Step three - You will then proceed to click " Add a discount code" above the continue bar.
Enter the discount code and press " Apply"


Step four - the new price including the value of the discount will now appear. You are now ready to continue. Press continue to make payment.



Step five - You may now make your payment by adding your name, email, and card details. 




Friday, March 27, 2015

Better late than never!


By Bill Murphy Jr

.
How old is too old to do something new? If you want to launch a business, become a great leader, change careers, or just do something different with your life, at what point is it just too late to be successful? Short answer: Never.

In case you need a little inspiration to show you that it can be done no matter what age you've reached, here are 14 amazing people who never saw real success until well after age 40.


1. Martha Stewart

Stewart had worked on Wall Street and owned a Connecticut catering firm, but her real success came after age 41 with the publication of her first book, Entertaining, and the launch of Martha Stewart Living seven years later. (Of course, she weathered some pitfalls later, before rebounding once more.)



2. Joy Behar

Known today as a former co-host on The View, Behar was a high school English teacher who didn’t launch her show business career until after age 40.



3. Vera Wang

Wang was first known as an accomplished figure skater and a fashion editor before deciding before her 1989 wedding, at age 40, that she wanted to be a designer. She commissioned her own wedding dress for $10,000 and opened her first bridal boutique the following year.



4. Tim and Nina Zagat

This husband and wife team had each turned 42 before they gave up their legal careers to write their first restaurant guides. Their eponymous company is part of Google now.



5. Robin Chase

The founder and former CEO of Zipcar had left her 40th birthday in the rearview mirror and was taking time off from work to be with her children when she and a friend, Antje Danielson, came up with the idea for the car-sharing company in 2000.



6. Harland Sanders

Sanders was “a failure who got fired from a dozen jobs before starting his restaurant, and then failed at that when he went out of business and found himself broke at the age of 65,” according to one account. But then things worked out when he sold the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in 1952.



7. Rodney Dangerfield

The late, great comedic actor was best known for his roles in 1980s movies like Caddyshack and Back to School, but he was 46 before he got his first big break—on the Ed Sullivan Show.



8. Duncan Hines

At age 55, he wrote his first food and hotel guides (including one that mentioned Sanders Court and Caf, the original restaurant owned by Harlan Sanders, above). At age 73, he licensed the right to use his name to the company that developed Duncan Hines cake mixes; unfortunately he died six years later.



9. Charles Darwin

He was 50 years old before he published On the Origin of the Species in 1859, the book that espoused the theory for which he best known today. (The Darwin Awards came much later.)



10. Samuel Jackson

Jackson was 46 years old (and in recovery from addiction to cocaine and heroin) before he starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.



11. Donald Fisher

At age 41, after a series of entrepreneurial ventures, Fisher and his wife Doris Fisher founded The Gap. It’s now a $16 billion a year company with more than 3,200 locations worldwide.



12. Ray Kroc

Kroc had passed his 50th birthday before he bought the first McDonald’s in 1961, which he ultimately expanded into a worldwide conglomerate.



13. Sam Walton

Although he’d owned a small chain of discount stores, Walton opened the first true Wal-Mart in 1962, when he was 44.



14. Julia Child

Her first cookbook was published when she was 39; she made her television debut in The French Chef at age 51.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

5 Signs of a Bad Manager


Image result for bad managerBy Larry Alton

Think you have a bad manager hovering over your shoulder? Or—worse—do you suspect that you might not be the best manager you could be? The reality is that no manager is perfect, and it’s a skill that will take a lifetime of practice in order to get better. In some cases, a bad or good manager is subjective, but in other cases it’s pretty clear when a leader isn’t up to par.

Here are some of the biggest signs that you or your boss might need some major improvement. It’s never too late to get better at management—unless of course those poor skills have already tanked the company. Take the action action that needs to happen, whether it’s you who needs an overhaul or you need to start looking for another job with a better leader at the helm:


1. Micromanaging is the go-to approach
Nothing kills a business and employees’ spirit like micromanaging, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves. Many people think they’re genuinely “helping” or that nobody else can do the job quite as well as them. If you spot this in yourself, it’s kind of like being an addict—you probably won’t get better on your own.

2. They embrace “do as I say, not as I do”
A great manager leads by example, so if they’re always late, don’t follow the dress code, aren’t sure where the team is on a project or otherwise drops the ball on the regular, watch out. There will of course be times when even great managers slip up, but if this is the MO of a manager, then their heart isn’t in it. And if theirs isn’t, why should anyone else’s be?


3. They’re not qualified
Whether it was nepotism that put them in this role or the hiring manager had a crush on them during interviews, not all managers deserve their position—yet. If you think that’s you, then it’s time to buckle down and earn that spot no matter how you got it. Of course, this is assuming that you think it’s a feasible goal. If it seems too challenging or you’re in over your head, it might be better for everyone if you sought a transfer to another position lower down the totem pole while you hone your skills.

4. They’re a meeting addict
There are many ways to foster a successful company, but being addicted to meetings just for the sake of it isn't one of them. Meetings are often big time wasters, they can be expensive and time consuming to pull off, and some people always tend to hog these precious minutes (or even hours). It’s a sign of poor time management and a symptom of a manager who’s using fluff to make it seem like something important is happening.

Related Article: Are Technical Skills More Important than Leadership Qualities?
5. They don’t treat everyone fairly or equally
Whether it’s rampant racism or sexism, or simply the fact that the manager seems to have a “pet,” this is one of the toughest management issues to deal with. If it’s clear to you that a manager doesn't see everyone as equals, it’s probably obvious to everyone else. This destroys company morale, makes the manager look unprofessional and will slowly poison the company. If you spot this tendency in yourself, it’s time to consider how to handle it.

There are many ways to become a better manager, but fixing what you're not doing well can go a long way.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

20 Common Phrases Even The Smartest People Misuse


Image result for WRONGBy Christina Desmarais
When you hear someone using grammar incorrectly, do you make an assumption about his or her intelligence or education? There’s no doubt that words are powerful things that can leave a lasting impression on those with whom you interact.
In fact, using an idiom incorrectly or screwing up your grammar is akin to walking into a meeting with messy hair. That’s according to Byron Reese, CEO of the venture-backed internet start up Knowingly. The company recently launched Correctica, a tool that scans websites looking for errors that spell checkers miss. And the business world is no exception. “When I look for these errors on LinkedIn profiles, they’re all over the place—tens of thousands,” he says.
Correctica recently scanned a handful of prominent websites, and you might be surprised at how many errors it found. Here is Reese’s list of the some of the most commonly misused phrases on the web.

1. Prostrate Cancer
It’s an easy misspelling to make—just add an extra r and “prostate cancer” becomes “prostrate cancer,” which suggests “a cancer of lying face-down on the ground.” Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mayo Clinic websites include this misspelling.

2. First-Come, First-Serve
This suggests that the first person to arrive has to serve all who follow. The actual phrase is “first-come, first-served,” to indicate that the participants will be served in the order in which they arrive. Both Harvard and Yale got this one wrong.

3. Sneak Peak
A “peak” is a mountain top. A “peek” is a quick look. The correct expression is “sneak peek,” meaning a secret or early look at something. This error appeared on Oxford University’s site as well as that of the National Park Service.

4. Deep-Seeded
This should be “deep-seated,” to indicate that something is firmly established. Though “deep-seeded” might seem to make sense, indicating that something is planted deep in the ground, this is not the correct expression. Correctica found this error on the Washington Post and the White House websites.

5. Extract Revenge
To “extract” something is to remove it, like a tooth. The correct expression is “exact revenge,” meaning to achieve revenge. Both The New York Times and the BBC have made this error.

6. I Could Care Less
“I couldn't care less” is what you would say to express maximum apathy toward a situation. Basically you’re saying, “It’s impossible for me to care less about this because I have no more care to give. I've run out of care.” Using the incorrect “I could care less” indicates that “I still have care left to give—would you like some?”

7. Shoe-In
“Shoo-in” is a common idiom that means a sure winner. To “shoo” something is to urge it in a direction. As you would shoo a fly out of your house, you could also shoo someone toward victory. The expression started in the early 20th century, relating to horse racing and broadened to politics soon after. It’s easy to see why the “shoe-in” version is so common, as it suggests the door-to-door sales practice of moving a foot into the doorway to make it more difficult for a prospective client to close the door. But “foot in the door” is an entirely different idiom.

8. Emigrated To
With this one there is no debate. The verb “emigrate” is always used with the preposition “from,” whereas immigrate is always used with the preposition “to.” To emigrate is to come from somewhere, and to immigrate is to go to somewhere. “Jimmy emigrated from Ireland to the United States” means the same thing as “Jimmy immigrated to the United States from Ireland.” It’s just a matter of what you’re emphasizing—the coming or the going.

9. Slight of Hand
“Sleight of hand” is a common phrase in the world of magic and illusion, because “sleight” means dexterity or cunning, usually to deceive. On the other hand, as a noun, a “slight” is an insult.

10. Honed In
First, it’s important to note that this particular expression is hotly debated. Many references now consider “hone in” a proper alternate version of “home in.” That said, it is still generally accepted that “home in” is the more correct phrase. To home in on something means to move toward a goal, such as “The missile homed in on its target.” To “hone” means to sharpen. You would say, “I honed my résumé writing skills.” But you would likely not say, “The missile honed in on its target.” When followed by the preposition “in,” the word “hone” just doesn’t make sense.

11. Baited Breath
The term “bated” is an adjective meaning suspense. It originated from the verb “abate,” meaning to stop or lessen. Therefore, “to wait with bated breath” essentially means to hold your breath with anticipation. The verb “bait,” on the other hand, means to taunt, often to taunt a predator with its prey. A fisherman baits his line in hopes of a big catch. Considering the meaning of the two words, it’s clear which is correct, but the word “bated” is mostly obsolete today, leading to ever-increasing mistakes in this expression.

12. Piece of Mind
This should be “peace” of mind, meaning calmness and tranquility. The expression “piece of mind” actually would suggest doling out sections of brain.

13. Wet Your Appetite
This expression is more often used incorrectly than correctly—56% of the time it appears online, it’s wrong. The correct idiom is “whet your appetite.” “Whet” means to sharpen or stimulate, so to “whet your appetite” means to awaken your desire for something.

14. For All Intensive Purposes
The correct phrase is “for all intents and purposes.” It originates from English law dating back to the 1500s, which used the phrase “to all intents, constructions, and purposes” to mean “officially” or “effectively.”

15. One in the Same
“One in the same” would literally mean that the “one” is inside the same thing as itself, which makes no sense at all. The proper phrase is “one and the same,” meaning the same thing or the same person. For example, “When Melissa was home schooled, her teacher and her mother were one and the same.”

16. Make Due
When something is due, it is owed. To “make due” would mean to “make owed,” but the phrase to “make do” is short for “to make something do well” or “to make something sufficient.” When life gives you lemons, you make do and make lemonade.

17. By in Large
The phrase “by and large” was first used in 1706 to mean “in general.” It was a nautical phrase derived from the sailing terms “by” and “large.” While it doesn’t have a literal meaning that makes sense, “by and large” is the correct version of this phrase.

18. Do Diligence
While it may be easy to surmise that “do diligence” translates to doing something diligently, it does not. “Due diligence” is a business and legal term that means you will investigate a person or business before signing a contract with them or before formally engaging in a business deal together. You should do your due diligence and investigate business deals fully before committing to them.

19. Peaked My Interest
To “pique” means to arouse, so the correct phrase here is “piqued my interest,” meaning that my interest was awakened. To say that something “peaked my interest” might suggest that my interest was taken to the highest possible level, but this is not what the idiom is meant to convey.

20. Case and Point
The correct phrase in this case is “case in point,” which derives its meaning from a dialect of Old French. While it may not make any logical sense today, it is a fixed idiom.


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Friday, March 6, 2015

12 Ways Successful People Stay Focused, Productive, and in Control

Image result for success full peopleTalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control—a skill that unleashes massive productivity by keeping you focused and on track.
Unfortunately, self-control is a difficult skill to rely on. Self-control is so fleeting for most people that when Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed two million people and asked them to rank order their strengths in 24 different skills, self-control ended up in the very bottom slot.
And when your self-control leaves something to be desired, so does your productivity.
When it comes to self-control, it is so easy to focus on your failures that your successes tend to pale in comparison. And why shouldn’t they? Self-control is an effort that’s intended to help achieve a goal. Failing to control yourself is just that—a failure. If you’re trying to avoid digging into that bag of chips after dinner because you want to lose a few pounds and you succeed Monday and Tuesday nights only to succumb to temptation on Wednesday by eating four servings’ worth of the empty calories, your failure outweighs your success. You’ve taken two steps forward and four steps back.
Since self-control is something we could all use a little help with, I went back to the data to uncover the kinds of things that emotionally intelligent people do to keep themselves productive and in control. They consciously apply these 12 behaviors because they know they work. Some are obvious, others counter-intuitive, but all will help you minimize those pesky failures to boost your productivity.

1. They Forgive Themselves
A vicious cycle of failing to control oneself followed by feeling intense self-hatred and disgust is common in attempts at self-control. These emotions typically lead to over-indulging in the offending behavior. When you slip up, it is critical that you forgive yourself and move on. Don’t ignore how the mistake makes you feel; just don’t wallow in it. Instead, shift your attention to what you’re going to do to improve yourself in the future.
Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve something that isn’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this when they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require you to take some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens, and your past becomes your present, preventing you from moving forward.

2. They Don’t Say Yes Unless They Really Want To
Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression, all of which erode self-control. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. Just remind yourself that saying no is an act of self-control now that will increase your future self-control by preventing the negative effects of overcommitment.

3. They Don’t Seek Perfection
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

4. They Focus on Solutions
Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions that hinder self-control. When you focus on the actions you’ll take to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and improves performance. Emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on problems because they know they’re most effective when they focus on solutions.

5. They Avoid Asking “What If?”
“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry, which are detrimental to self-control. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend taking action and staying productive (staying productive also happens to calm you down and keep you focused). Productive people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go. Of course, scenario planning is a necessary and effective strategic planning technique. The key distinction here is to recognize the difference between worry and strategic thinking.

6. They Stay Positive
Positive thoughts help you exercise self-control by focusing your brain’s attention onto the rewards you will receive for your effort. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, self-control is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, self-control is a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, or will happen, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the past and look to the future. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative, so that you don’t lose focus.

7. They Eat
File this one in the counter-intuitive category, especially if you’re having trouble controlling your eating. Your brain burns heavily into your stores of glucose when attempting to exert self-control. If your blood sugar is low, you are far more likely to succumb to destructive impulses. Sugary foods spike your sugar levels quickly and leave you drained and vulnerable to impulsive behavior shortly thereafter. Eating something that provides a slow burn for your body, such as whole grain rice or meat, will give you a longer window of self-control. So, if you’re having trouble keeping yourself out of the company candy bin when you’re hungry, make sure you eat something else if you want to have a fighting chance.

8. They Sleep
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and maintaining your focus and self-control. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present, which are a major productivity killer. Being busy often makes you feel as if you must sacrifice sleep to stay productive, but sleep deprivation diminishes your productivity so much throughout the day that you’re better off sleeping.
When you’re tired, your brain’s ability to absorb glucose is greatly diminished. This makes it difficult to control the impulses that derail your focus. What’s more, without enough sleep you are more likely to crave sugary snacks to compensate for low glucose levels. So, if you’re trying to exert self-control over your eating, getting a good night’s sleep—every night—is one of the best moves you can make.

9. They Exercise
Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. If you’re having trouble resisting the impulse to walk over to the office next door to let somebody have it, just keep on walking. You should have the impulse under control by the time you get back.

10. They Meditate
Meditation actually trains your brain to become a self-control machine. Even simple techniques like mindfulness, which involves taking as little as five minutes a day to focus on nothing more than your breathing and your senses, improves your self-awareness and your brain’s ability to resist destructive impulses. Buddhist monks appear calm and in control for a reason. Give it a try.

11. They Ride the Wave
Desire and distraction have the tendency to ebb and flow like the tide. When the impulse you need to control is strong, waiting out this wave of desire is usually enough to keep yourself in control. When you feel as if you must give in, the rule of thumb here is to wait at least 10 minutes before succumbing to temptation. You’ll often find that the great wave of desire is now little more than a ripple that you have the power to step right over.

12. They Squash Negative Self-Talk
A big final step in exercising self-control involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it’s time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.
You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” and the like. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

Putting These Strategies to Work
The important thing to remember is you have to give these strategies the opportunity to work. This means recognizing the moments where you are struggling with self-control and, rather than giving in to impulse, taking a look at these strategies and giving them a go before you give in.

By Travis Bradberry

Thursday, February 26, 2015

10 Secrets to Getting 90% of Your Work Done Before Noon


Image result for being productiveBy Murray Newlands  February  2015

Many successful people have developed methods that allow them to get as much as 90% of their work done before they take their lunch break. That doesn't mean they are up before dawn or that they lock themselves in an office every morning to get things accomplished. They have simply found ways to streamline their tasks and get more done in a shorter period.

1. Do All Your Writing in the Morning
There are studies that say writing helps focus your brain and increase your productivity. That’s why many time-management experts suggest writing things down in order to remember them. If writing reports, memos, or contracts is part of your daily routine, consider doing all your writing in the morning. Your quality of writing will improve, and you’ll find that the rest of your day flows much better as well.

2. Set an Alarm to Take Breaks
It may seem counterproductive to take a break in order to be more productive, but the fact is that stopping periodically is the best way to recharge and create better focus for the task at hand. Set an alarm, either on a clock in your office, on your watch, or on your cell phone, for the same time each day. When the alarm goes off, stop, stretch, walk around the office, or go get a cup of coffee. Limit your break to only five or 10 minutes to avoid getting distracted, but even that short break will improve your attention span.

3. Plan Your Day the Night Before
Every night, before you go to bed, list all the tasks you want to do the next day and what time you plan to work on them. Be sure to allow adequate time for each task, and don’t overload the schedule if at all possible. As you finish a task the next day, cross it off to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment. If you don’t complete a task, make it the first item on your list for the next day and do nothing else until it is done.

4. Don’t Linger Over Decisions
When you are faced with a decision during the course of a normal workday, make it within 60 seconds and then don’t second-guess it. The majority of the time, your initial reaction to a problem that must be solved is the correct response, but we tend to over think decisions until no decision is made, or it takes much longer than necessary to reach one.

5. Use the 80/20 Rule
Research has shown that only 20% of what you do each day produces 80% of the results. Therefore, eliminating the tasks that don’t matter can increase your productivity. For your next project, break it down into steps, removing tasks that won’t be productive until you end up with the minimal tasks required to get the project completed. More than likely, you will eliminate 80% of the tasks but achieve much more productivity from your team.

6. Ignore Email and Voice Mail Until After Lunch
By checking your email and voice mail first thing each day, you allow others to dictate what you accomplish in the morning. Instead, eat a healthy breakfast, and read the newspaper or work out during the time you would normally be checking email. If possible, remove your phone’s connections for email and only check it at work or at a computer. This forces you to focus on the information in the email when you have the files, documents, and information you need at hand. In addition, improving email etiquette can help improve productivity. Instead of copying multiple people in an email, use the blind copy function when you reply to an email with multiple recipients. If an email chain goes beyond two replies, pick up the phone.

7. Stop Multitasking
Instead of trying to do 10 things at once, focus on one task at a time. Changing tasks more than 10 times in one day actually lowers your productivity rate. When you are working on a task, focus on getting it done before moving on to another. The same applies to things that need to be done at home. If you are dusting the bedroom, don’t get distracted by the dirty dishes in the sink when you carry something to the kitchen. Finish one task before starting another.

8. Keep Your Desk Clutter-Free
Clutter leads to distraction. If you arrive at the office to the sticky note you left the day before that reminds you to call a co-worker, that sticky note is going to draw your attention, not the task you scheduled when you planned your day the night before. Each night, before leaving the office, organize your desk, placing items in bins, baskets, or files in the order you hope to tackle them. Take that sticky note with you, add it to your to-do list for the next day, and then toss it in the trash. A clean working environment helps you think more clearly.

9. Get Up Early
Although many people will argue that they are not “morning people” and simply can’t get up any earlier, the fact is they can. If you currently get up at seven and are finding yourself scurrying around in the morning to get everything done, back the alarm up to six. It may mean an earlier bedtime, but most people find that they are more productive getting up earlier than working later.

10. Eliminate Distractions
There are many ways to eliminate distractions, both at home and the office. Purchase a set of noise-canceling headphones. Inform co-workers that at certain times in the morning you are not to be disturbed, by phone or in person. Shut your office door. Turn off the radio or television. Although you may not think these are distractions, they can make it easy for your mind to wander and take your focus off the tasks at hand.


These 10 suggestions will help you be more productive and get the majority of your work done before you leave for lunch. Although taking the afternoon off every day may not be an option, at least you know you will leave the office feeling less stressed and more in control.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Write a letter and build your career!

On January 1, I made an unusual resolution. I committed to sending one hand-written letter per week—and not to relatives, or friends, or former teachers, but to other professionals. What would these letters say? That would depend on the week and the person. (Basically, I’d wing it.) My only rule was the letter wouldn't include any requests; I didn't want it to come off as a polite way of asking for something.
At the end of the first week, I actually had the perfect reason to write a letter. I’d been working with a PR rep on a story and wanted to thank her for her helpfulness, responsiveness, and all-around great attitude. Not only did she give me everything I needed for the article, but she also took the time to answer my questions about the public relations industry and her career. I’m interested in PR, so getting an entry-level employee’s perspective was super helpful.
I dropped a letter saying all that in the mail. A week later, I got a happy email.
“I almost never get mail at work, so I was super excited!” it read. “By the way, did you have any luck finding a summer internship? If you forward me your resume, I’ll pass it along to our VP!”
I’d mentioned I was looking for a summer position during one of our conversations, but we’d never brought it up again, and I certainly hadn’t mentioned it in the letter. While my gesture wasn’t done out of self-interest, it may end up transforming my career—and even if I don’t get the internship, I’ll have turned a casual professional relationship into a stronger connection.
The second week rolled around. I decided to send a letter to my mentor; we’re always talking over email, Skype, and phone, but this would be a nice change of pace. I updated her on my current projects, asked her how her startup was doing, and described how I was incorporating the feedback she’d recently given me.
My mentor sent a text thanking me “for the wonderful note.” I figured that was that. Then I got a package from her, containing a book she’d loved and her own hand-written letter. Now we regularly communicate by snail mail. It’s a great tradition, and it’s brought another dimension to our relationship.
I decided to write my third letter to a writer who contributes to one of the same websites as I do. Not only did she inspire me to apply for the job, but I love the honesty, humor, and charm of her pieces. I sent the letter to the magazine headquarters so they could forward it to her.
She sent me an email in response, saying my words had made her day, she’d checked out some of my work, and she’d give my name to a couple editors she knew who were looking for writers.
Sending someone a hand-written letter shows effort and gratitude. If you don’t have an ask—especially if you don’t have an ask!—it turns out it’s a gesture people really, really want to reward you for. Even without the tangible benefits of my letter campaign, I’d definitely keep it up. It’s one of the simplest ways you can strengthen a professional tie.
Starting is simple: Buy yourself a nice pack of cards and some stamps. Then, look for opportunities to send a letter to other people you've worked with or (like the case of the writer I admired) want to work with. Almost anyone is fair game—a person in the office next to you, a person in the office across the world from you, a former co-worker, your current boss, an intern who’s been extra helpful, someone who’s doing great things in your industry, an inspiring speaker or author; I could go on and on.
If you don’t know someone’s address, you can always ask him or her. Just say, “Hey! I’m sending you something in the mail, can I get your address?” However, if you want to make your letters a surprise, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. For people working in the same space, leave your note on their desks. For others, send it to their workplace (finding the address should only take two seconds on Google).
The only rules are you can’t ask for anything, the person can’t be from your personal life, and you have to send one letter a week.

Aja Frost


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

That Mindset Shift That Will Improve Your Performance!

Image result for mindset


What sets those who accomplish great things apart from those who fail to realize their ambitions? You might guess intelligence, appetite for risk, or even creativity. Those are all sensible-sounding suggestions, but that’s not what science has found.
According to work by pioneering Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and others, the best predictor of success in life is none of these usual suspects—it’s your mindset. Those who achieve great things generally believe they can improve and grow as people. This is called a “growth mindset.” Those who are frustrated in their attempts to realize their dreams tend to believe their abilities and talents are static, a.k.a., they have a “fixed mindset.” (Read more about the science behind this insight here.)
All of which is fine and good, but raises one essential question. If up to now you’ve tended to view your abilities through the prism of the fixed mindset, is there anything you can do to change? Absolutely, according to a post on Dweck’s website, which lays out steps for fighting back and learning to view your abilities as works in progress. Here they are in brief to get you started.

1. Think of Your Mindset as a Voice
How does a mindset manifest itself? It controls the ways you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Recognizing this fact is the first step to achieving a growth mindset. “As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you, ‘Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent’ or ‘What if you fail—you’ll be a failure,’” the post explains, adding that, “As you hit a setback, the voice might say, ‘This would have been a snap if you really had talent.’”
Pay attention to your thoughts and see if you frequently tell yourself anything similar. If so, you’ve spotted the fixed mindset at work, undermining your potentialfor success.

2. Choose Growth
Now that you know what you’re up against, the next step, according to Dweck, is recognizing that you aren’t stuck with the thoughts you currently have. “How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice,” the post points out. “You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities.”

3. Talk Back
When it comes to that limiting voice in your head, feel free to be as sassy as you like in response. Tell that voice exactly what’s wrong with how it’s framing situations, and actively reformulate your approach to challenges and setbacks to reflect a belief in personal growth. The post offers examples:
The fixed mindset says, “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”
The growth mindset answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”
Fixed mindset: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure.”
Growth mindset: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

4. Act
Changing the script in your head is a huge step, but Dweck’s site ends with a healthy reminder that the whole point of doing so is to change not just your thoughts, but your actions as well. Don’t content yourself with a remodeled inner voice. Get out there and practice what you’re preaching to yourself.

5. Add This 3-Letter Word
For a bonus fifth idea for creating the mindset necessary for success, you can check out this video of Dweck posted on the Brainwaves YouTube channel and recently featured on New York Magazine’s Science of Us blog. In the video, Dweck suggests that just three little letters can have a huge impact on your mindset.
“We’ve found that putting in certain phrases, like ‘not yet’ or ‘yet,’ can really boost students’ motivation. So if a student says, ‘I’m not a math person—yet’ or ‘I can’t do this—yet,’” she explains, “it puts their fixed mindset statement into a growth mindset context of learning over time.”

By Jessica Stillman  2015


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