Category Archives: Business

Making Dreams a Reality

Day Dreaming

Shaping Your World by Thought

There’s no end to the number of motivational speakers and self-help “gurus” who make a name for themselves by re-hashing old ideas. But there is truth to these ideas, and I especially wanted to share one of the ideas from the great-grandfather of self-help, James Allen.
Shaping Your World by Thought

Allen’s treatise, As A Man Thinketh, was first published at the turn of the twentieth century. His central notion is that our thoughts are under our control, and that they in turn determine our emotions, our health, and even our circumstances.

“Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations, or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations… 

“And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the Vision (not the idle wish) of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate toward that which you secretly most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts; you will receive that which you earn, no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.” 

This goes hand-in-hand with Henry Ford’s wise saying, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t – you are right.” And there is no end to the number of sources that make the same claim – that by dedicated thought and action, you can achieve anything.

Movies like “Rudy” and “Miracle” show us the true stories of sports legends who made their dreams come true. “Homeless to Harvard” details the true story of Liz Murray, who went from living on the streets to getting a scholarship to Harvard. “October Sky” follows Homer Hickam’s ascent from poor boy in a West Virginia mining town to NASA engineer.

I’m grateful for inspirational films and books that remind me of the unlimited potential each of us shares. I hope you’ll continue to mentally construct the world you want to live in, and the successes you want to see.

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Communication – Proactive Methods to Improve Business

I once heard the expression, “Communication is the lubrication in your organization.” That couldn’t be truer, especially in the world of business. You simply can’t over-communicate when dealing with clients. I find that the best way to eliminate the constant state of reactivity in which most of us work is to employ proactive communication strategies, such as the following:

Make a list of the people with whom you correspond regularly.
Take note of all the recurring questions that you have to answer time and time again. Then ask yourself how you can provide the information to these individuals in advance. For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent, and you know that during every transaction you are going to receive a telephone call from the buyer regarding the home inspection report. Instead of being at your client’s beck and call, why not create a document that provides the answers to these frequently asked questions? This would cut these questions off at the pass, save you time, and allow you to provide better overall customer service.

Have your team give you status on important events at the end of each day. 
This frees you from having to interrupt them during the course of the business day to ask numerous questions. It also creates peace of mind for both you and them, and encourages accountability on their part. This can also be accomplished via daily or weekly email updates. They simply begin an email at the beginning of each day or week, and continue adding notes as things come up. Then, at the end of the day or week, they simply hit “Send,” and you’re completely up to date on what they are working on.

Encourage your clients to depend on you by providing a level of communication that is unparalleled. 
One example would be to create an audio CD for clients to listen to in their car. For a real estate agent, this CD may highlight the top ten questions that a prospective homebuyer typically asks when shopping for a home. After meeting with a client for the first time, the real estate agent can send the CD and ask them to listen to it before their next meeting. The clients will be amazed at the agent’s ability to address their most pressing questions, including a few questions they hadn’t even thought of! Best of all, the agent wouldn’t waste time answering the same questions over and over again.

Continue to think of ways that you can communicate at a higher level, and take control of your activities instead of letting them control you. Be proactive to avoid reactivity. Let’s get together and share these ideas over a cup of coffee some time in the near future

Keyboard Shortcuts – Improve Your Efficiency

PCs are an integral part of our lives. We use them extensively at the office and usually end up logging on in the evening as well, to read email and catch up on the day’s news.

Since we spend so much of our time in front of the computer, it makes sense to find ways to improve our efficiency. This is where shortcuts come in. By using combinations of keystrokes, you can quickly access several tools without ever having to use your mouse. Most Windows shortcuts may be used for any Microsoft program (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) as well as selected products from other manufacturers.

If you would like to incorporate these shortcuts into your repertoire, try keeping a copy of this list at work and at home. Refer to it daily until the keystrokes become second nature. You’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll save!

Habits For Easy Email

email-inbox

If you’re like me, every morning you wake up to a large amount of email in your inbox. I’ve had the same email for 19 years now and get more spam than I care to count. I’ve just gotten used to deleting them and moving on.

One thing I’ve seen most friends and colleagues do is make folders in their inbox. I see these long lists of folders of different topics ranging from departments, projects to names and companies. I can’t do that. Everything that comes to me comes to my inbox.

I say forget the use of folders. Searching your inbox is an average of 42 seconds according to IBM research. I like knowing that everything is in one folder. It’s like having one physical inbox on your desk. Have you ever seen more than one inbox on someones desk let alone over a hundred?

Simple makes e-communication more efficient.  Keep your inbox simple.

Here’s 4 items that will help you streamline some issues you may have.

  1. Your email gets lost in the shuffle. Consider Boomerang. Say you want to write an email on Friday but it gets lost in the shuffle by Monday morning. Boomerang let’s you set the time and date for delivery. Cost is FREE for up to 10 messages a month, then $30 for Outlook or $5 for gmail.
  2. Need a quick response to work contacts. If you don’t have time for lengthy responses, with a tap Zoomin will respond “I agree” or any other preset reply. This is a Outlook plugin and app that doesn’t require you to open your email. Cost is Free for now but I heard they’re going to start charging an annual fee of $75.
  3. Missed a message from the boss. Inky is a downloadable service analysis that categorizes your incoming email and filters them so that the most important are at the top. This works with Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo and other email programs on Mac and PC. Cost is FREE
  4. Staying on top of social media and email. Download Rapportive. This tool is an easy way to keep tabs on friends and associates on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. When you receive emails Rapportive compiles links to the sender’s online profiles on the side of the message. It will also display their latest updates and tweets. This is a Free app owned by LinkedIn.

These are my picks for keeping you inbox in line.

[Video] Creating TOC with Evernote

If you’re a Evernote user as I am, this is a useful video from Evernote on creating a Table Of Contents.

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Green Screen Production for HammerHouse

I did this video back in Jan of 2012. This particular video does not have a intro. I will post that one soon.

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Simple Keyboard Shortcut Tips

[tweetmeme]

[For Windows Users]

Cut, Copy and Paste. Most people know that when you ‘right-click’ on text or an image and drop down menu appears and you pick your cut, copy or paste option from that menu. I prefer keyboard short cuts. The next time you’re going to cut copy or paste, try these.

  • Z to undo
  • X to cut
  • C to copy
  • V to paste

Getting used to these keyboard short cuts can reduce your time spent on projects and you find that it’s just a easier way around.

History:

The term “cut and paste” comes from the traditional practice in manuscript-editings whereby people would literally cut paragraphs from a page with scissors and physically paste them onto another page. This practice remained standard as late as the 1970s. Stationery stores formerly sold “editing scissors” with blades long enough to cut an 8½”-wide page. The advent of photocopiers made the practice easier and more flexible.

The act of copying/transferring text from one part of a computer-based document (“buffer”) to a different location within the same or different computer-based document was a part of the earliest on-line computer editors. As soon as computer data entry moved from punch-cards to online files (in the mid/late 1960s) there were “commands” for accomplishing this operation. This mechanism was often used to transfer frequently-used commands or text snippets from additional buffers into the document, as was the case with the QED editor.

The earliest editors, since they were designed for “hard-copy” terminals, provided keyboard commands to delineate contiguous regions of text, remove such regions, or move them to some other location in the file. Since moving a region of text required first removing it from its initial location and then inserting it into its new location various schemes had to be invented to allow for this multi-step process to be specified by the user.

Often this was done by the provision of a ‘move’ command, but some text editors required that the text be first put into some temporary location (AKA, “the clipboard”) for later retrieval/placement.

Although the mechanism was already in widespread use in early line and character editors, Lawrence G. Tesler (Larry Tesler) popularized “cut and paste” in the context of computer-based text-editing while working at Xerox Corporation Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1974–1975.

Apple Computer widely popularized the computer-based cut-and-paste paradigm through the Lisa (1981) and Macintosh (1984) operating systems and applications. Apple mapped the functionalities to key-combinations consisting of the Command key (a special modifier key) held down while typing the letters X (for cut), C (for copy), and V (for paste), choosing a handful of keyboard sequences to control basic editing operations. The keys involved all cluster together at the left end of the bottom row of the standard QWERTY keyboard, and each key is combined with a special modifier key to perform the desired operation:

  • Z to undo
  • X to cut
  • C to copy
  • V to paste

Control-V was first used for paste in the QED editor.

CUA (for OS/2) also uses combinations of the Insert, Del, Shift and Control keys. Early versions of Windows used the IBM standard. Microsoft later adopted the Apple style key-combinations with the introduction of Windows, choosing the control key as their modifier key which had previously been reserved for sending control characters.

Similar patterns of key combinations, later borrowed by others, remain widely available today in most GUI text editors, word processors, and file system browsers.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Green Screen Production

This is my latest green screen project. This is Dan Manginelli introducing Irvine CA based South Pacific Financial for recruiting purposes.

Email Etiquette

I work for a small community bank here in Costa Mesa CA and recently there have been a few people using poor judgement on how they send email. First of all, I’m not much of an email person, I’d rather talk face to face or just pick up the phone. We’ve gotten so reliant on email that we’ve really been disabled to talking. I work in sales and most of sales requires talking. I’m amazed how many sales people don’t use their vocal chords to sell. There is one particular salesman who sits close to my office and I might here him say two words the whole day, “Hello” and “Goodbye”.

But this topic is about email etiquette. Why do some people think that the more people on the email, the faster their issues are resolved? I don’t know the answer to this. What I do know is that it wastes the time of a lot of people who don’t need to be involved. So today one of the managers sent out this email entitled, “TOP TEN LIST”.

    Here’s the top 10 things that we HAVE TO do when sending or receiving emails:

    1. In “To” section put the 1 person (at most 2) that you want to respond to you, use “CC” for others
    2. Use the “CC” line sparingly
    3. Answer in complete concise sentences whenever possible (creates clarity)
    4. Answer all questions on first response (if there are 3 questions don’t address just two)
    5. Use proper structure & layout (Don’t use all Caps – UNLESS YOU’RE REALLY YELLING…)
    6. Don’t leave out the message thread (if someone doesn’t answer you timely and you need to escalate – forward that original email that didn’t get a response – to the person you are escalating.
    7. Read the email before you send it
    8. Do not overuse Reply to All (that “Thanks” to everyone is nice but usually not needed)
    9. Avoid long run-on sentences (we all have short attention spans)
    10 If it takes more than two emails to get your point across (it happens) pick up the phone and discuss.

    Gang, one of the biggest time wasters is poorly constructed emails …that either don’t ask the right questions, don’t answer the questions completely, convey something that was unintended or gets multiple people involved in the same issue at the same time. We’re all guilty of it – but as we continue to grow we all have to all get better at it.

Immediately after this email, one person thanked him for sending this email. It was “REPLIED TO ALL”.

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