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Blazing a Path All theWay to 2020
I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t wait around until the new year to start pursuing your goals. I learned early on that it’s essential to have a concrete idea of where I want to be in life and to make consistent efforts to get there. That being said, I know that many New Year’s resolutions actually succeed, despite the odds. New Year’s resolutions provide a crash course in goal setting, and they’re an ideal starting point to make a change. But for me, big goals have pretty much always been a central guiding force. Every three years, I take a few weeks to construct an array of objectives for the following three years. I carefully outline my objectives and try to paint a realistic picture of what I want my surroundings to look
keep the same plan for the entire three years, tweaking it here and there, updating, and focusing on the nitty-gritty details.
Dec. 31, 2017 signaled the close of my last set of objectives. It encompassed everything from saving for the fast-approaching time when my kids head off to college to maintaining my physical and mental health to spending more time with my wife and kids. It’s always eye- opening to look back and see where I’ve succeeded and where I still need improvement. While I think I did well getting into shape, sleeping well, eating healthy, and engaging in some regular prayer and meditation, I didn’t do so well making one on one time for my family. Though I know I’m far from neglectful or anything like that, it’s just so difficult to find family time in the midst of a growing business, a bajillion activities the kids are always involved in, homework, and all the other things that get in the way. As we move into 2018, I’m a little late on the draw, as I’m still setting up the three-year plan that will carry me into 2020. But for sure, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to spend individual time with the people who matter most to me. Professionally, I also hope to drive MicroTech forward, and not just in terms of numbers, clientele, and revenue. I hope to improve how it feels for each of us to come to work and to change the culture of IT for the better.
like when the plan is finished. An important step is writing everything down. When you put pen to paper and really consider
“I hope to improve how it feels for each of us to come to work and to change the culture of IT for the better.”
what matters to you, it becomes more real and it sticks in your mind
Then, I break that broad vision down into manageable
It’s clear that there’s a lot to anticipate in the coming years, but there’s also a lot of work to be done. Right now, I’m looking forward to it all.
components, separated into yearly, quarterly, and monthly chunks. It all comes down to those precise things I’ll need to do in order to realize that three-year plan to the best of my ability. Then, once I start on that path, I’ll
The modern office has changed. Gone are the days of musty cubicle wastelands and domineering bosses. In their stead, we have in-office mixers and peppy startup cultures. In fact, 20 percent of American companies either allow employees to bring in their pets or adopt a furry friend of their own, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. If you’re on the fence about whether to let a literal animal into your workplace, you should know the data firmly supports it. In 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who brought their dogs to work showed reduced levels of cortisol, a hormone commonly associated with heightened stress levels. The Centers for Disease Control has also released several studies that show the connections between pet contact, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and heightened happiness — all of which would benefit no place more than the office. When a disgruntled client goes off on your star employee, there are few better cures than the attention of a friendly dog or cat. Not only that, but pets can serve as conversation starters. They even foster trust between teams, as reported in a 2010 study from Central Michigan University. A common gripe among managers is that, though regular breaks have been empirically proven to increase
worker productivity and health, too many employees simply skip them to keep working. Allowing office dogs gives your worn-out employees a valid excuse to take a quick walk.
Why Dogs and Cats May Be Good for Business
If the increased happiness of your team still isn’t enough to convince you, you might want to consider your customers. A potential client or customer’s interest is piqued when they see a dog ambling around your office. It’s just one more way you can connect with them, and the presence of an animal lends your company a relaxed and personable atmosphere.
Pets in the office might seem a little millennial, but even a cursory glance at the research reveals it’s worth mulling over. Although, you might want to stick to dogs and cats — we’re not sure an office snake would be received quite as well.
See What Our Customers Are Saying
“Mike Biggs, our IT rep at K2 Construction, does an outstanding job. Not only is he able to solve all the issues but he takes the time to explain what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening. He is also very responsive when it comes to emergencies, and to contact through both phone calls and emails. He also is very pleasant and easy to work with.” –Walter W.
“We have been using MicroTech for six months, and I wish we would have made the change earlier. They respond to tickets in a timely manner and have helped us ensure that our systems are running as efficiently as possible. Staff is friendly and professional. I would highly recommend MicroTech to anyone looking for a new IT Company.” –Jason S.
it’s important to note that EDP centers around physical damage and the associated costs — not just the intangible impacts of hacking. The next option may be more suited to companies that store a large amount of customer data. Cyber Liability Insurance In contrast, cyber liability insurance usually protects businesses from the costs associated with data breach due to cyberattacks, like viruses or ransomware. In addition, most policies cover any resultant lawsuits following a data breach or failure to protect sensitive data belonging to a third party (like a customer’s credit card information), costs associated with digital crisis management, and data restoration expenses. Like EDP insurance, cyber liability is usually recommended for any company that uses the internet for basic operations. But it’s especially important for companies that store data belonging to others on their computer network, sell a lot of products and services, or have a well- established web advertising presence. Before you go hunting for the best policy, though, be aware: Both EDP and cyber liability insurance vary widely depending on the policy, and they sometimes overlap in their coverage. Work with your agent or broker and your IT service provider to determine your specific needs. Slow Cooker Raspberry WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE Looking for a way to prepare a warm treat for the kids while they’re out building snowmen? Break out the slow cooker and enjoy the best hot cocoa you’ve ever had! Insurance Policies for the Digital Age EDP and Cyber Liability:
The modern business is more intimately intertwined with technology than ever before. However, this dependency leaves us vulnerable to digital and hardware-related crises. With millions of dollars being lost each year to data breaches and hardware damage, it’s no wonder many businesses are turning to two new safety nets to secure their futures: electronic data processing insurance and cyber liability insurance. Both are designed to protect technological assets, but they differ in a few important ways. Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Insurance Though they vary widely, EDP policies typically cover damage to your business’ hardware as well as the data contained within. This usually includes equipment like personal workstations, servers, and modems, but it also extends to software and many types of data and media. While EDP policies are usually used to fill holes left by the exceptions in standard commercial property policies, it’s important to note that they only sometimes cover damage resulting from unauthorized access or malware. Instead, most cover electrical disturbances, mechanical breakdowns (a bigger problem than many business owners realize), service interruptions, floods, earthquakes, and other disastrous events. In addition, most cover costs associated with data recovery.
EDP insurance often comes highly recommended to businesses of all sizes that depend heavily on computers for their day-to-day work. But
Have a Laugh!
1. In a slow cooker, combine white chocolate chips, condensed milk, 1 cup cream, and milk. Cover and heat on low about 2 hours. 2. In a large bowl, mix remaining 1 cup cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. • 1 cup white chocolate chips • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk • 2 cups heavy cream, divided • 3 cups milk (any variety will do) Directions
• 2 tablespoons
powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 4 tablespoons raspberry liqueur or syrup
3. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip until stiff peaks form. 4. Serve mugs of hot chocolate
with about 1 tablespoon of raspberry liqueur or syrup to taste and a dollop of whipped cream.
(Recipe inspired by SlowCookerGourmet.net.)
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A 3-Year Plan for the Future
The Boons of a Pet-Friendly Workplace
Why You Should Consider EDP or Cyber Liability Insurance
Warm Up With Some Hot Cocoa
Books to Inspire You in the New Year YOUR READING LIST FOR
Can you believe 2017 is behind us? Elections, weather, and just about everything on the news left us feeling uncertain. We could all use a dose of optimism in the new year. Here are some books that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit, even in the most
Station. From sharing everyday space adventures to letting us in on the physical toll space takes on the body, Kelly helps us understand what it’s really like to be in the great unknown. If you’re looking for inspiration in the new year, reading about Kelly’s harrowing year of challenges will surely give you the courage to overcome your own. IF YOU LOVED THE ‘DIVERGENT’ SERIES Veronica Roth brings us a new sci-fi/fantasy series with “Carve the Mark.” Roth whisks us to a planet where each person has a “currentgift,” a special power they develop. But for heroes Cyra and Akos, currentgifts are more of a curse. The two must work to overcome their distinctly different pasts and unite to save their world — or die trying. WHEN YOU NEED A HERO School is tough, and no one knows it better than George Heffley. In installment 12 of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, titled “The Getaway,” Jeff Kinney takes us on a tropical vacation with the Heffleys as they attempt to escape the cold weather and frenzy of the holidays. But the island isn’t the relaxing sanctuary it’s supposed to be. The suggested reading age is 8–12 years old, but this book would make an excellent listen for the whole family during a road trip of your own.
challenging situations. FINDING FORREST
When an actor tries their hand at other creative mediums, the results are varied, but the buzz about Tom Hanks’ new book, “Uncommon Type,” has been largely positive. His literary debut is a collection of 17 short stories, all featuring, in some way, a typewriter. At their heart, though, the stories are about human relationships, and Hanks manages to inject his most memorable character’s charm into his writing. As NPR reviewer Heller McAlpin puts it, “In a world where the news is unrelentingly bleak and much fiction tends toward the dystopian, postapocalyptic, dark, or edgy, this is a gentler, sweeter kind of storytelling than we’ve come to expect.” OVERCOME A HARROWING YEAR Few have done more to earn the title of modern-day hero than Scott Kelly, who has served as a military fighter pilot, an engineer, an astronaut, and now, an author. “Endurance” is Kelly’s memoir, and it recounts the year he spent on the International Space
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