Dan’s Letter TM My communiqué
“Please ... let me introduce you to my mind...one article at a time.”
FROM THE DESK OF Dan Anderson
THE DESIRE TO KEEP GOING
If you’re looking for inspiration that will keep you working on your fitness goals this year, remember the name Jeannie Rice.
She’s an avid runner at age 70.
She started running several years ago to lose weight. She soon discovered that she enjoyed running, so she started training seriously. She runs each morning at 5:30 a.m. with a group of younger runners. She says training with them makes her a stronger, faster runner. She also runs shorter races such as 5Ks and 10Ks to work on her speed. Her love of running and commitment to training has paid off. In October 2018, Rice ran the Chicago marathon. When she reached the finish line, she’d set a new world record for her age group. Jeannie Rice knows she may not be running at her current speeds when she’s 80, but she’ll keep going for as long as she can.
Cybersecurity is a notorious boogeyman for small-business owners. The problem is that many entrepreneurs either believe that cyberattacks are not a direct threat to their livelihood, or they cannot afford to put robust network security in place. In a time when digital threats exist in unprecedented abundance, this kind of thinking couldn’t be more dangerous — or irresponsible. After all, underinvesting in IT doesn’t just put you at a disadvantage to your tech-savvy competitors; it also calls the very future of your organization into question. When a Fortune 500 company gets hacked, they shell out millions of dollars and make headlines. But when an unprotected small business comes under serious fire by cybercriminals, it often collapses quickly —without fanfare or much of a fight. This is why poor cybersecurity “represents an especially pernicious threat to smaller businesses,” SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar said in 2015. “The reason is simple:” he wrote, “small and midsize businesses are not just targets of cybercrime; they are its principal target.” With that in mind, it’s essential that you do everything you can to protect yourself and your employees from cyberattacks. Here are three things you can do today to strengthen your network security and prevent a crisis. 2WAYSTO IMPROVEYOUR CYBERSECURITYNOW, NOT LATER B atten D own the H atches — or F ace the C onsequences
The lesson is clear:
There are no excuses regarding fitness goals. Just a burning desire that always leads to success.
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1. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR
in an outside IT consulting firm, as they’ll give you the hard truth and let you know exactly where your weaknesses lie. This might be a tall order for your small business, but it might save
To this end, it’s a good idea to hold regular education sessions on cybersecurity. You might be able to easily recognize a phishing email; many of your team members may not. Again, it’s a good idea to bring in an outside company whose specialty is training teams on digital threats. Sometimes all it takes is a single session for everyone to understand just what they’re up against. Cybercrime is a bigger problem now than it ever has been, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But if you take responsibility for defending your network before it’s too late, you can bat away these threats and drastically reduce the danger to your operation. All it takes is a little
CYBERSECURITY BUDGET (OR SET ONE).
It can be overwhelming to set a firm budget for any aspect of your business, but this is especially true of IT, because many business owners aren’t often sure what type of security their company needs or how much it will cost. According to CIO magazine, you should spend around 4–6 percent of your annual revenue on cybersecurity. If your current cybersecurity budget falls under this range, it’s time to re-evaluate. Will your current IT system protect your business should a cybercriminal target it? If the tech you use every day gets hacked for hours or even days, will your company survive? Most companies simply cannot afford that much downtime, much less the loss of precious data, due to a single employee’s misguided click. Even if you are already prepared to invest good money into cybersecurity, you must do your research to determine which IT companies are worth your dollars. If you can afford it, bring
your entire operation down the line. 2. LOOK FOR WAYS TO EDUCATE YOUR TEAM (AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE).
According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than two-thirds of cyberattacks occur due to “inadvertent insiders.”These are employees who unknowingly engage in actions that leave the network vulnerable, like clicking on a suspicious link in a phishing email or ignoring a key software patch. Cryptographer Bruce Schneier put it best when he said,“Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people.”Because of this, the best way to boost your cybersecurity isn’t to pile money into a better antivirus or complicated network defense — it’s to get your people up to speed with cybercrime trends and educate them on best practices for avoiding threats.
time, a little savvy, and a willingness to invest in better IT.
3 Questions to Ensure You Obtain the Right Clients AreYou QualifyingYour Prospects?
connection. Just because someone fits what you’re looking for doesn’t mean they are worth the time investment. Some of your ideal prospects will demand excessive time from your team, making the cost of client acquisition even higher. Set a maximum amount of time you’re willing to dedicate to a lead, and as you get closer to that threshold, ask yourself if it’s worth continuing that relationship. DOES THE PROSPECT ALIGNWITH YOUR VALUES? You may attract the right lead, and you might be able to convert that lead efficiently, but that doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company. Above all else, a client needs to match your core values. Your team is a direct reflection of your company, but so are your clients. By qualifying your prospects effectively, you’ll increase client retention, improve client satisfaction, and create rave followers. Rather than trying to find leads under any rock you can turn over, ask these three questions about each prospect, and you’ll find more success in business.
The shotgun lead generation approach is both ineffective and inefficient. For years, businesses put the power of decision-making in the hands of the consumer. Companies chased after any opportunity to put their name in front of a lead, hoping their skills would lead to a conversion. It wasn’t until recently that marketing and lead generation trends flipped the tables. Rather than an organization spraying out strategies across every feasible medium, new tactics implement a more targeted approach to get the right clients. Here are three questions you can ask to qualify your prospects. WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL PROSPECT LOOK LIKE? Rather than taking any client they can get, a smart business owner focuses their attention toward the leads they want. It’s important to focus on candidates in a specific demographic. Doing business with those who match your requirements will result in happier clients and better relationships. HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOUWILLING TO SPEND ON A LEAD? Once you understand the type of client you’re looking for, the next step is to designate how much time you’re willing to spend fostering a
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If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation. Set Sail for Vacation TAKE YOUR NEXT TRIP OFFSHORE For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one-sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16-foot catamarans for rent as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride. If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12-foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply. START SMALL
with the waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter. However, if you are inexperienced or simply don’t want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option.
DO A FULL CHARTER
Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbors is the stuff of real adventure.
TAKE A DAY SAIL
Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar
Take a Break!
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit magazine BEET, MINT, AND RICOTTA HUMMUS Ingredients
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/3 cup tahini, well mixed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 garlic clove, grated
4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dan Anderson PAGE 1 2 Strategies to ImproveYour Cybersecurity Today PAGE 1 3Ways to QualifyYour Prospects PAGE 2 How to MakeYour Sailing Dreams Come True PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus PAGE 3 When ShouldYou Heat or Ice an Injury? PAGE 4 SOLUTION When it comes to relieving pain, everyone has an opinion. Your mom might suggest taking pills and a nap, while your neighbor swears it’s best to walk it off. Meanwhile, yearly advancements offer more options — and opinions — for patients seeking relief. Among the plethora of available treatments, two remain constant — heat and ice. However, many people don’t know which to use, and unfortunately, the wrong decision can make your pain or injury worse. If you are unsure which method is best for you, here’s the answer to your heating or icing dilemma. Heat: These treatments can come in several forms, such as creams, pads, and wraps. Many medical professionals suggest using heat treatment for 30 minutes to four hours, depending on what is needed to fully relax the muscle. Heat often works best for chronic pain because it supports blood flow and loosens your muscles. Heat treatments can also be
Dan’s Letter “Please ... let me introduce you to my mind ... one article at a time.”
Fire and Ice
When Do You Apply Heat or Ice to an Injury?
see improvement, continue icing away your pain. Additionally, some patients find relief while rotating between cooling and heating. Regardless of your preferred method, it’s best to seek professional guidance in order to find a viable long-term solution.
used to relieve stress and tension, but you should never use heat on an open wound or fresh injury. Ice: Cooling treatments can also be found in cream or wrap form, but a bag of peas or ice from your freezer will work just as well. Ice should be used for short periods throughout the day. Icing treatments are best for bruised wounds and minor injuries because the cold can reduce the swelling in your blood vessels — the cause of bruising — and expedite your healing process. However, icing your chronic pain can be detrimental due to the stiffening reaction that decreases swelling. This is the opposite of the muscle relaxation you need for chronic pain relief. Eventually, heating treatments can be worked into a healing plan, but ice is a quick solution to a small problem. As with most treatments, what works for one person may not work for another. If icing an injury feels best for you and you
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