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When Your Kids Hit the Road THE CHALLENGES OF YOUNG DRIVERS
I n movies, teaching kids to drive is always portrayed as this incredible bonding experience. The dad takes the son out to some deserted parking lot, and as he shows the kid the ropes, they grow closer. Of course, this makes sense; as your teenage kids learn to drive, they’re taking a massive step toward their independence, toward becoming a fully-functioning adult in the real world. But in my experience in teaching my kids to drive, there have been less of those peachy cruises around the parking lot, and more worrying close calls and classic teenage outbursts than I’d care to admit. As proud as I am of my kids for learning to take the wheel, it’s been a bit of a struggle to get them up to snuff. Sometimes I wonder if we unnecessarily invite some challenges into our lives. Though the driving schools have all migrated to automatic transmissions, we insist on our kids learning to drive a stick shift. Don’t get me wrong — I’m no old-timer pining for the days before automatic was the standard. Manual transmissions are a pain in the neck, but we stick to our guns for two reasons. The first is that, when you’re constantly forced to think about shifting, it’s a lot harder to text and drive or otherwise be inattentive on the road, so that brings us some comfort. The other is that you just never know when one of these kids will get in a situation where they have to drive a stick. I always joke that if the zombie apocalypse happens, all these new modern cars and computers aren’t going to be much use — but a stick shift will work through thick and thin. Our oldest has had her license for a couple of years, and our 16-year-old daughter just finally got her license, but man, it’s been a serious battle with the latter. It all comes down to the fact that she absolutely, completely despises driving a stick shift. I guess it basically just stresses her out. I’ve witnessed firsthand the meltdown that occurs when she stalls at a green light or stop sign. She acts as if we’re torturing her by allocating her a car with a manual transmission — it’s one of those truly frustrating parenting moments where you just have to scratch your head and do your best.
My youngest son just started driver’s training this summer, and my fingers are crossed that he’ll be a little easier through the process. But even if he is, it’s difficult to shake off that worry that nags at the back of your mind when your kids are suddenly out alone on the road. You’ve spent hours at their side while they were driving around, and you know they’re not anywhere near the level of an experienced driver, but you have to let them go anyway and just hope that they stay safe. Of course, it’s absolute bliss when you suddenly don’t have to cart them around to practices and hangouts and events every day all over the city, and it really is pretty moving to see them doing things on their own. But still, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise: the path to the driver’s license is fraught with challenges.
• Google+ isn’t the most popular social media platform, but having a Google+ page for your business helps Google generate search results, including maps, reviews, contact information, and photos. Assess Your Situation Before Joining: Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr There are plenty of other popular platforms whose formats aren’t for everyone. Don’t waste your time on a social media platform your business can’t benefit from. • Instagram is the king of visual content. Fashion outlets, restaurants, niche retail establishments, and luxury brands do well on Instagram because they can regularly share eye-catching images. • DIY crowds love Pinterest . This is a visual platform where fashion brands share style tips, foodies show off their recipes, and travel-oriented companies post advice on the best family-friendly cities to visit. • Not just for moody teens, Tumblr is a great platform for fashion brands (thanks to its visual elements) and media platforms (thanks to the site being friendly to long-form articles). While NPR and Rolling Stone do well on Tumblr, small businesses are likely to struggle. The many avenues of social media can be overwhelming, but it gives you plenty of opportunities to find the right platform to connect with your clients. Take some time to look at the pros and cons of a platform you’re considering and ask yourself if it really meets the needs of your business.
Social media has proven to be the most difficult part of digital marketing. A report from GlobalWebIndex found that the average person has around seven active social media accounts, so companies have a lot to lose if they ignore social media. But using a site that’s wrong for your business can be a waste of time and money. Here’s the rundown of popular platforms and what businesses they’re best suited for. Everyone Should Be On: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ These social media platforms are staples of the landscape and can benefit any industry. • Despite the recent privacy issues, Facebook still has an active base of around 1.45 billion daily users. You can’t afford to miss out on that kind of audience. • Twitter is also pretty active, and though this sort of engagement won’t necessarily benefit every business, it’s important to maintain an account on Twitter so you can monitor any mentions of your company.
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3 Reasons You Should Consider a Move to Office 365
Today, 1 in 5 corporate employees uses the Office 365 cloud service, combining many vital applications into a centralized platform. It’s time to catch up to the present and turn your cumbersome on-premises Exchange server into a modern subscription service with Office
email, data loss prevention, mobile device management, and advanced threat analytics to alert you of any suspicious behavior on your network before it becomes an issue. With different features available on different Office 365 plans, you can choose the plan that includes everything you need, and not have to worry about the rest.
365. Here are three reasons why: 1. Email Beyond Your Expectations
3. Big Savings Moving to Office 365 can result in long-term cost savings because of its ability to improve employee productivity. But you don’t have to wait so long to see a return on your investment. Right off the bat, you can lower your office software total cost of ownership because you’re moving from owned hardware to a cloud-subscription model. The cloud pricing flexibility alone increases cost efficiency. If you’re thinking of making the transition from Exchange or Google applications to Office 365, it’s important to hire the right partner to ensure the transition has minimal impact on your business. Call the experts at MicroTech Systems at (208) 345-0054 today, and let us evaluate your business’s organizational needs and provide custom-tailored recommendations so you can adopt the right tools at the right time.
Email is an absolutely vital component of every business. But with your Exchange server, downtime means complete mail flow disruption. Mission- critical messages go unread and unanswered for minutes or hours, waiting in the wings while you struggle to bring the server back up. Office 365 minimizes these issues. Though cloud connectivity problems might cause minor delays in delivery, it’s been years since there’s been a total outage. Thanks to cloud redundancy, you can easily meet a four- nines uptime threshold and ensure employees never see a disruption in email flow. 2. Better Security for Small Business Peace of Mind Many people assume that cloud-based applications are less secure than their on-premises counterparts. But Office 365 is packed with robust security features that keep your data safe, including encrypted
Blue Cheese Buffalo Dogs and Celery Slaw
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4. Top with blue cheese, add another splash of hot sauce if you’re feeling extra spicy, and serve. 4 celery stalks, very thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon olive oil Celery salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste • • • • FOR CELERY SLAW: •
1 package of your favorite hot dogs 1 package hot dog buns
1 bottle Frank’s RedHot sauce
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1. For slaw, toss all ingredients together and season with celery salt and pepper. 2. Grill hot dogs and toast buns. 3. Assemble hot dogs, douse with hot sauce, and top with celery slaw.
Inspired by Bon Appetit magazine
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Randy Teaches His Kids to Drive
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Blue Cheese Buffalo Dogs and Celery Slaw
Kim Scott’s ‘Radical Candor’
LEADERSHIP EXPERT KIM SCOTT’S FANTASTIC NEW BOOK At the outset of our careers, when we’re learning to jockey for a position in the workforce and master the concepts that will carry us to success, many of us immediately begin to absorb the wrong kind of thinking. In the midst of youth, when our egos are paper-thin and we haven’t yet fully developed our personalities, business culture comes along and tells us to “be professional.” about Wall Street may teach us otherwise, it’s difficult to succeed in today’s collaborative business world without genuinely investing yourself in meaningful relationships. How ‘Radical Candor’ Can Guide Your Team to Success
But, as Scott is eager to point out, love alone won’t push your team to new heights. You also need to “Challenge Directly” — to be honest with those who depend on you by letting them know when they’re leaving their potential untapped or shirking their responsibilities. This “brutal honesty” doesn’t have to be brutal at all; instead, it should be direct, clear, and compassionate. At the intersection of “Care Personally” and “Challenge Directly” lies the concept of “Radical Candor,” a framework that allows bosses to build two things: an empowered culture of honest feedback around the office and a team that works well together and is eager to achieve fantastic results. If you’re interested in learning how to be a more effective leader but are uncomfortable with the manipulative strategies espoused in so much of business culture, you can’t do better than Kim Scott’s book. It’s chock-full of actionable advice on how to start treating your team not only as employees, but as people, with all the emotions, aspirations, challenges, and potential that they bring.
“For an awful lot of people, that gets translated to mean ‘leave your emotions, leave your true identity, leave everything that is best about you … and come to work like some kind of robot,’” said Kim Scott, bestselling author of “Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without
Losing Your Humanity,” at a recent Qualtrics X4 event. But to be the best possible asset to your team, she argues that you need to genuinely care about others — you need to “be able to bring your whole self to work and to create the kind of environment in which everyone around you can do the same.” This ability to “Care Personally,” writes Scott in her book, is the first key principle leaders need to understand in order to succeed as bosses. Though movies
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