J a n u a r y 2 0 1 9
It is with deep regret that we announce the sudden passing of Ron Cousins on November 29. We appreciate all of the concern and support you have given us. Ron leaves behind a legacy of integrity, consistency, and long-lasting relationships. As those who have been fortunate to know and work with Ron, we all have lost a dear and inspiring friend. No words can adequately express our sadness at Ron’s death or our gratitude to have worked with him. We will honor his memory by continuing to represent the values he loved so much. Our vision and guiding principles remain strong. NowX will continue to provide the highest level of service and support, committed to you and the success of your business. FROM YOUR Now X Team
3 BUSINESS INITIATIVES T o P ropel Y ou T oward Y our B est Y ear E ver
It’s the time of year when business owners and their leadership teams sit down to draft up their plans and goals for the coming year. Some businesses use this exercise as a chance to nail down their trajectory, while others engage in the process simply because they feel they have to. If you fall in the latter camp, you could stand to devote a little more time and energy to determine how the coming year will look. After all, it’s hard to guide your teams forward when you don’t have a destination in mind. As a business owner, it’s up to you to set the tone for how the next 12 months will look for your organization. While every company’s goals will be unique, there are a few universal aims that will affect nearly every business in 2019. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three New Year’s resolutions that you should consider adopting.
In Ron’s honor,
The NowX Team
RESOLVE TO RETAIN EMPLOYEES
According to benefits-consulting company Hodges-Mace, millennial employee turnover costs the American economy upward of $30 billion per year. The number is so big because recruiting, hiring, and training new team members is an expensive and time-intensive process. Holding onto your talent matters regardless of the economic climate, but it’s especially crucial when the job market is strong. When good people walk out your doors during a talent shortage, you’ll struggle to replace them with candidates of equal caliber.
Don’t assume that your staff’s eyes will never wander. According to Fortune magazine, 86 percent of currently employed workers are actively looking for better opportunities. To
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help keep valued staff in place, you need to provide themwith competitive pay, appealing benefits, and a sense of career and personal development. Focus on creating programs that reward tenure and make employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. Otherwise, you can expect to spend large chunks of the year rehiring for roles that have been left vacant. In today’s marketplace, it’s almost impossible for your company to offer something your customers can’t get anywhere else. Every product in the world is just a few clicks away, so articulating what makes your company different is a matter of defining your values. If you haven’t already formulated a unique selling proposition (USP), the time to start is now. RESOLVE TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF
special ingredient your business uses to prevent becoming a ‘me too’ company,” says Brad Sugars, founder of ActionCoach. “It’s something that’s truly unique. It grabs people’s attention. It can’t be easily copied. And it offers a clear-cut, marketable benefit to your customer.” Understanding and communicating
assess where you’re weak when you’re feeling strong is what separates the companies that rise and fall with the market from those that excel no matter the broader economic climate. Here’s a word of caution: When looking for weaknesses, don’t let them overwhelm you or turn you into a pessimist. If your company is doing well, you can fix inefficiencies without making them life-or-death issues. That’s the advantage of proactively solving these problems rather than waiting for them to metastasize. There are countless resolutions that will help spur your business to greater heights in 2019. While these are excellent starting points, they’re by no means a black-and-white guide to the best resolutions. You know better than anyone else what will help your business this year, but you have to take the time to think about it and express it throughout your company if you want maximum results. AND THESE ARE JUST THE START
your USP will increase your chances of attracting new customers this year.
RESOLVE TO LOOK FOR WEAKNESSES
This one is especially important for businesses that are doing well. If you’re struggling, you already know to look for problem areas and attack them before they cause too much damage. But if you can analyze those weaknesses while you’re growing, you could stop a downturn before it starts. Too many business owners use growth as validation that they’re doing everything correctly. The truth is that no business — not Amazon, not Google, nobody — is firing on all cylinders all of the time. Taking the time to
A USP provides customers with a brief, compelling snapshot of what makes your business different than your competitors. “Think of a USP as your secret sauce — the
3 of theWorld’s GreatestWinter Sport Destinations Who’s Ready for Some Powder?
The sound of the first carve through fresh powder is the anthem of all winter sports enthusiasts. Here are three of the world’s best places to experience that powder you’ve been craving all year.
BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO John Denver’s anthem “Rocky Mountain High” is about the freedom he felt here. Where there are great mountains, there’s even better snow. The ski resort boasts five peaks, 187 trails, 34 lifts, four terrain parks, and a renowned cross-country trail. After a day on the slopes, head into the town of Breckenridge for dining and activities that ditch the glitz and glamour of Vail or Aspen and take you straight to the heart of fun.
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA A destination that looks like a cross between a Nordic paradise and Olympic-level runs, Whistler is filled with true magic, winter activities, and a town that captivates the senses. When you see the mountains of British Columbia, you’ll understand why they hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. The location’s beauty is only part of your stimulating experience, because every curve of fresh powder makes your pupils dilate. Once you’re done flying down the hill where Bode Miller took the bronze, head over to the winter wonderland of the old Olympic Village for a cozy night in a picturesque town.
ST. ANTON, AUSTRIA If you want a great location for next year’s Christmas card photo, there’s no better place than the Tyrolean Alps. Nestled in a valley between perfectly molded mountains, the Austrian landscape provides a beautiful backdrop for your winter excursions. The densely wooded areas and the bright reflection of the snow frame the vibrant town that’s just waiting to be explored. When you’re ready for world-class runs, hop in one of the 11 gondolas and zip down the hills that hosted the 2001 Alpine World Ski Championships.
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Putting the ‘Pain’ in Champagne Spontaneously Ejecting Cork Causes Lawsuit
For many people, preparing for the New Year’s countdown is the most exhilarating part of the holiday season. You tune your TV to the Times Square ball drop, hand out party hats, confetti, and noisemakers, and meticulously line up some champagne flutes. What’s left to do? Pop open the champagne! There are many partiers who pop the cork with enthusiastic and careless abandon, while others point the bottle away from their faces and anxiously twist the cork until they hear those bubbles surge to the surface. Turns out, while the latter practice may be slightly less fun, it’s certainly the safer approach. On April 8, 1978, Charles J. Murray was injured when a natural cork stopper spontaneously ejected from a bottle of previously unopened Almaden Blanc de Blancs champagne and struck him in the left eye. He was preparing to serve the bubbly to a party of 40 people, so he placed 12 bottles on a rolling cart and removed the foil and wire retainer from three or four bottles — including the one that eventually injured him. Once he started to roll the cart toward the guests, the cork shot out of the bottle all on its own. Due to the severity of his injury, Murray sued Almaden Vineyards, Inc., National Distillers and Chemical Corporation, and Carbo, Inc., alleging that they were responsible because they failed to include a proper warning label on the bottle. The defendants, however, argued that the cork stopper
did not and could not spontaneously eject unless Murray had handled the bottle improperly. The case was argued by both sides for two years, but eventually, Murray won. Almaden Vineyards now prints the following on its bottles: “WARNING: THIS BOTTLE IS UNDER PRESSURE. THE STOPPER WILL
EJECT SOON AFTER THE WIRE HOOD REMOVAL. TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURY TO FACE AND EYES, POINT AWAY FROM SELF AND OTHERS WHEN OPENING.” When it comes to bubbly-induced mayhem, the greatest potential trouble lies in the eye of the beholder — literally. With an estimated velocity of 60 miles per hour, uncontrolled corks do in fact fly faster than the blink of an eye. To avoid having to explain a not-so- fashionable eye patch at work on Monday, handle those fizzy drinks with care.
Take a Break!
CITRUS AND AVOCADO SALAD Ingredients
1 blood, cara cara, or navel orange, sliced 1/8-inch thick and deseeded 1 Meyer or regular lemon, sliced 1/8-inch-thick and deseeded
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch arugula
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 avocado, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a rimmed baking sheet, toss citrus slices with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus until lightly charred and caramelized, about 10–15 minutes. Let cool. 3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine onion and
lemon juice. Season with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. 4. Add citrus, arugula, and mint to onion mixture. Drizzle with remaining oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly. 5. Add avocado, combing very gently to not crush avocado.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Ron PAGE 1 3 Resolutions Every Business Should Make in 2019 PAGE 1 The Best Skiing Destinations in the World PAGE 2 Watch Out for Rogue Champagne Corks This Year PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Citrus and Avocado Salad PAGE 3 Staying Safe on Social Media PAGE 4 Social media has been making the world smaller than ever. The distance among cross- country relatives and friends shrinks with each post or Skype call. And instant updates from loved ones are particularly valuable during the holidays. That Christmas morning video call means Grandma and Grandpa get to see their grandkids in their new holiday outfits, but so can online predators. According to digital and safety experts, half of the photos filtered onto the darknet are stolen from parents’ social media accounts. If these predators are privy to your photos, they’re also able to snag your location and other sensitive information, putting you and your children at physical risk as well. On a less disturbing note, social media content is permanent. Even after you delete a post or a photo, it leaves a digital footprint that could follow your child throughout their education and could even affect job interviews or future relationships. It’s still possible for you to foster a sense of privacy in the digital age, but it’s
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SOCIALLY SECURE Social Media Reminders for Parents
important to respect what your child deems private information. After all, it’s their future. Consider these rules before you share. 1. Ask your child’s permission. If they can speak, then they can speak for themselves. Children love to see photos of themselves, but they may also be aware of what they are and aren’t comfortable with, even at a young age. 2. Limit the nudity. Everyone loves a beach day, but think twice before posting swimsuit or skinny-dipping pictures. Opt to post safer photos, like the family posing prior to fun in the sun. settings may be exposing your family to more people than you know, and if you feel the need to share every minute of your child’s day online, making these settings airtight will protect your children and their reputations. 3. Check your settings. Your privacy
Consider some of these safe alternatives to regular public posting:
1. Tinybeans.com is a secure photo-sharing website for parents of babies and young children. The digital photo album app allows you to share photos with only the people you choose. 2. Create a separate, secure group on Facebook. Family, friends, or coworkers in closed groups can still fawn over their little ones in a personal, safe setting. Despite the dangers your digital life can elicit, you don’t have to avoid the digital world completely. Social media is still a great tool for families to stay connected, as long as you take precautions. Go ahead and brag about your kids online — just be safe and considerate of your child’s wishes.
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