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Spring and Awe in Arkansas
Each year, I feel really blessed to witness the spectacle of spring in Arkansas. The skeletal, bare trees begin to light up with shimmering leaves, stubby bushes grow and burst into hundreds of different shades, and flowers reach up to greet the clear rays of sunshine suddenly peeking out from behind the dreary winter clouds. In the midst of Easter season, everywhere you look, you’ll see dead or dormant things exploding back to life. Every time I step outside during this incredible time, I’m moved and almost overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s creation. This season is a constant reminder that the gorgeous complexity of the natural world is far beyond anything we could ever come up with on our own. Back when I was growing up in Iowa and spring was planting season, this point was even more tangible to me. To enjoy the woods and the crops and the verdant foliage sweeping the landscape, we don’t have to do much. Even on those Iowa farms, all it took was a few seeds planted by a farmer and a little maintenance, and God took care of the rest. It’s
Easter traditions is to attend an outdoors sunrise service whenever possible. There’s almost nothing more inspiring than watching the sun peek out over the horizon during one of the most meaningful church services of the year.
a reflection of Easter itself, and it’s astounding that we can form a relationship with our creator with such little effort. It’s all just so interconnected and self- sustaining. The trees go dormant in the cold,
burst into life with the first warmth of spring, drop their acorns, and the whole cycle begins again. We don’t have to do anything for nature to thrive. For the entire
To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.”
In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon said, “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” To me, spring is the time to heal, plant, build, love, live, laugh, and be reborn. It’s a time of grace-inspired optimism, when the natural gifts of this world are laid out for everyone to see, without any merit of our own. It reminds me that, in many ways, God gives us our own personal Easter each and every day — a chance to take off our old selves and start anew.
season of spring, I chase that sense of awe I get when I consider the beauty and enormity of the natural world. As the temperatures climb, I absolutely love getting out in the woods, running the trails by myself, or riding the trails with my wife. From the top of a tall hill, body charged with post-exercise endorphins, the view really puts everything into perspective for me. Of course, one of my favorite days in spring is Easter Sunday. Though I was never one for the Easter Bunny or hiding eggs, one of my favorite
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Expanding Beyond Your Logo
If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights — baby turtles scuttling toward water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you need to be to catch these natural wonders? Sea Turtles Hatching in Hawaii On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch at night and make their way to the water by the light of the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography). Eco tip: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii. Bioluminescent Plankton in Jamaica Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to at Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. Eco tip: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they’re easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. Eco tip: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy. beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. Northern Lights in Scandinavia
When you think of visual brands, an iconic logo might pop into your mind. But logos are only the beginning of visual branding. While a strong logo is a terrific start, there are many other aspects that you should dedicate your time and money to. Here are a couple of tips you can follow to ensure successful visual branding. THE LOGO Start with your logo. You want your customers to notice you, and one way to do that is with a simple yet eye-catching logo. It’s usually the first interaction someone has with your company, so make it memorable. However, it’s important not to let your logo carry everything else. Saul Bass, logo designer for United Airlines and the Girl Scouts of the USA, states, “Logos are a great extension of the internal realities of a company.” A logo is representative and gives your customers something easy to remember, but it doesn’t encapsulate your whole business. THEMES When you make promotional materials or certain merchandise, such as business cards or gift cards, the design should relate to your company. This doesn’t mean you should slap the logo on every item. The theme or design that you chose to represent in your logo should be present in your merchandise and promotional media. Keep the same color schemes and style for everything, but vary the imagery and design. This helps associate the product with your company without printing the same thing over and over. When your visual brands match, it creates a bridge to your company. CONSISTENCY When your theme is inconsistent, you create mistrust between you and your customers. A changing logo or style will create a sense of uneasiness or suspicion that your company might not be authentic or reputable. Any visual element that you design to represent your company should remain the same. If it’s unavoidable, change it as minimally as possible. Consistency in visual branding builds trust and helps customers recognize you. Incorporating visual branding beyond your logo will bring more positive recognition to your company. Follow these tips to create great visual branding.
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After 2017, Will Insurance Rates Rise?
THE MARKET RESPONDS TO LAST YEAR’S DISASTERS
Last year, an unprecedented rash of natural catastrophes ripped through the United States and beyond. Between Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey devastating cities and leveling Caribbean islands, vicious firestorms scorching the California landscape, catastrophic Mexican earthquakes, and a slew of other extreme weather events, the U.S. alone racked up record-breaking weather-related damages last year. These disasters tore apart homes, reduced cities’ infrastructure to rubble, and tragically ended hundreds of lives throughout the world. Certainly, the shockwaves of these terrible events aren’t likely to subside anytime soon. But there’s one consequence of the late- 2017 devastation that many Americans haven’t considered: rising insurance rates.
growth for the vast majority of insurance companies in 2017. As a result, analysts expect carriers to raise prices in order to offset losses. Starting in the property market, these price hikes are likely to spread throughout the insurance landscape over the coming months, with projections in industries like construction expected to rise as much as 5–10 percent. The question is whether these increases will last. Barring an onslaught of catastrophic events that reach the unprecedented costs of 2017, USI writes, “Sustaining the magnitude of these increases will be a challenge [for insurance companies].” The future of the insurance industry remains to be seen, and it’s largely dependent on whether these massive disasters are the new norm or an isolated anomaly. One thing’s for sure, though: As the insurance world changes, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted, experienced insurance advisor by your side.
According to USI’s “2018 Insurance Market Outlook” report published last February, losses and expenses began to outpace
Have a Laugh!
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INSIDE This Issue
Easter, Spring, and the Beauty of Rebirth page 1
Your Logo Shouldn’t Run Your Business 3 Places to View Natural Wonders page 2 Natural Disasters Are Changing the Insurance Landscape Sudoku page 3
Entrepreneurship Library: ‘Thinking in Bets’ page 4
ANNIE DUKE’S ‘THINKING IN BETS’ What a Poker Pro Can Teach You About Risk
Poker provides a fertile analogy for this concept. It’s a game of imperfect information. No matter
Annie Duke may seem an unlikely business consultant given that she’s best known as a professional poker player. But the lessons in her new book, “Thinking in Bets,” extend far beyond the felt. Duke, who studied psychology at UPenn and has consulted for a number of companies, takes the decision-making lessons she learned at the poker table and applies them to the hard choices we have to make in business. To emphasize the nature of her work, Duke begins with an introduction called “WhyThis Isn’t a Poker Book.” She writes that the process of thinking in bets “starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck.” When you make a decision, you rarely have perfect clarity regarding all the factors at play. This imperfect picture is what makes every business decision risky. Duke argues that ignoring inherent risk results in dangerous outcome- based thinking. As an alternative, she proposes that you acknowledge that not every decision will be the right one. This way, you can investigate the nature of your decision-making process and improve it without being blinded by lucky (or unlucky) results.
howmuch poker you’ve played, you never know which cards the other players hold. You can make educated inferences based on the information you gather, but there is always going to be a risk in calling a bet. The process parallels how we decide what’s best for a company. We analyze all the information we have at hand and make a projection about the best option. Until the decision plays out, we won’t know the outcome. Though Duke knows more about poker than just about anyone, she doesn’t limit her examples to gambling. She writes with equal skill and depth about everything from CEOs to football coaches. “Thinking in Bets” is a comprehensive overview of risk assessment that provides countless tips on how to improve your decision-making. Even if you have no idea whether a flush beats a straight, you’ll find “Thinking in Bets” a valuable addition to your leadership library. Entrepreneurship requires making millions of decisions. Don’t you want to make them better?
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