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Shredding the Slopes My Winter Skiing in the Idaho Mountains
W hen I was a young kid, my mom’s cousin, Terry, was the coolest person I knew. Skiing was a popular hobby for his family, and Terry inherited and perfected the skill to carve a mountain. I remember watching in awe as he went off ramps and performed expert aerial tricks. I wanted to be just like him. I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but my family also took up skiing together. I remember zooming down Bogus Basin as a little kid, and when I got older, regular trips to the mountain were common for my friends and I. My parents would even drop us off at the base of the mountain, and we’d hitchhike our way up to the resort — though I can’t imagine that’d be a popular mode of transportation today. It became a sport that everyone I knew was fond of. Unfortunately, my participation faltered a bit when I got older and made friends with people who knew nothing about skiing. For example, my wife, who grew up in the Midwest nowhere near the mountains, didn’t know how to ski. As an adult, I’ve been able to jump back on the ski lift and take regular rides down our Idaho mountains. I can’t really explain what I like about it so much or why I picked it up again. I’m not sure if it’s the memories of Terry’s talents or the familiarity of a hobby I enjoy, but it would be hard for me to give it up again — even considering some of the injuries I’ve incurred. About five years ago, I had a pretty serious fall that knocked me flat. I’m sure I had harsher wipeouts as a kid since I was braver, a little less destructible, and naive, but this injury left me with some scars. I tore the cartilage on the front and back of my rib cage, sustained a contusion on my liver where my ski pole wrapped around me, and suffered a
concussion. For some enthusiasts, that may be enough to make them hang up the skis and quit, but shredding a mountain is pretty addictive. Since we grew up in vastly different parts of the country, my wife and I disagreed on the age our kids could start skiing. She thought they were too little in early elementary school, despite my insistence that the sport is common for that age group. I saw little kids on the slopes all the time, but skiing seems very dangerous when you look at it from an outsider’s perspective. Finally, when they were older, I got my kids to the mountain late one February, just to try it. Terry, who still lives in Boise, was even able to help teach my family how to ski. By the following season, they were all in lessons. We spent some time as a family learning and practicing, and my wife even adopted the habit. At the time, our country was going through the Great Recession, and since skiing isn’t the cheapest hobby, I jokingly called this “the Amorebieta stimulus plan.” My eldest daughter and my son both enjoy the hobby, but my youngest daughter is a fanatic. She has a passion for shredding the slopes, and she and my son were on Bogus Basin’s race team. I often wonder if my eldest daughter’s college social life will be like mine was or if she will make friends with people who ski. But I know her sister will choose a college that gives her ample time to ski. It’s pretty cool (pun intended) to see my family become involved in an activity I’ve been doing since I was a kid. Even if it’s not a sport they do forever, I’m just glad they got to learn — and that they witnessed Terry shred it on the slopes.
Personal New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t the Only Ones That Fail Why Your Business Goals Won’t Work
At the end of the year, entrepreneurs sit down to develop their goals for the new year. They craft specific objectives based on best practices they learned from other leaders, implementing S.M.A.R.T. goals or strategic plans to give their company a clear path to success. But every year, perfectly crafted benchmarks fall by the wayside and join weight loss on the scrap heap of New Year’s resolutions. Owners scratch their heads wondering why they didn’t reach their target, not understanding the root cause of their failure. You can have the most carefully planned-out goals, but if you haven’t built a foundation on these three concepts, you’ll never achieve them. Organization Nothing derails a goal faster than ineffective systems and processes. Procedures aren’t dynamic, so as your business changes, an audit of processes isn’t just useful; it’s necessary. But as your business
must continue to improve its organization in order to adapt to change, so do your teammembers. At the root of every system is an employee, so without teaching basic principles of time management and prioritization, those systems are limited in their capacity and effectiveness. Communication Negative external and internal relations are surefire goal-killers. Internally, the success of your company is dependent on the dynamics between teammembers, management, and leaders. Complacency and gossip tend to spread like wildfire and can cause a dip in productivity. External communication between partners and potential clients is very similar. Without clear expectations and mutual respect in relationships, your Clients need to feel valued to have a future with your business, and that’s rooted in every interaction. Customer service is a broad term that is often miscategorized. In truth, every role is based on customer service, but many people go about it wrong by taking on the attitude of “It’s not my job.” Lack of ownership and willingness to serve customers in every capacity will undermine any long-term objectives your company may have. The good news is that with proper execution of these three concepts, you can focus on attaining your goals, and in the process, achieve levels of success you previously thought impossible. Don’t let your objectives for the new year fall by the wayside. Achieve those goals by rooting your business in organization, communication, and customer service. business will cease to scale. Customer Service
WIN $5,000! Introducing Our New Referral Contest
There’s always going to be competition in business, but at MicroTech Systems, we see value in helping other businesses succeed, too. In fact, our business keeps other companies in business. We work hard to create a processing system that will help our clients succeed, and in turn, we’re proud of the trust we instill with our customers. In this industry, it’s the confidence our clients have in us and their referrals to their friends that help keep us thriving and growing. We want to thank our valued customers for trusting us with all their technology needs by offering them a chance to win $5,000! So, here’s how it works:
3. Once we have given out 15 raffle tickets to customers who have referred new clients who signed up, we will draw a winner.
4. The winning raffle-ticket owner will get $5,000 in cash!
Since we’re capping participation of this prize at 15 tickets, at the very least, you could have a 1 in 15 chance of winning $5,000. You can’t go wrong with those odds, and if you don’t win the grand prize, you’ll still be hundreds of dollars richer just for referring us to another client! So refer some fellow business owners to us, help them get their servers updated, and start planning how you’ll spend your extra cash! If you’re interested in learning more, visit: microtechboise.com/referral .
1. Refer a new customer to us.
2. If that customer signs up as a client, you get $500 cash and a raffle ticket.
New Year, New Server?
Setting Your Business’s Migration Process and Cost Expectation
Predicting the future is impossible, but preparing for it can be easy — and necessary. You may have protections against a major server failure, but do you have your next steps toward a new server ready?
It’s difficult to pinpoint how much it’s going to cost your company to migrate to a new system without actually doing it, but we can give you an idea based on our expertise. Below is an example of a single-server migration with medium-level switchover.
Be prepared this year, and plan for a server migration long before a system disaster occurs. Here’s what you can expect to get you started.
The Process 1. Audit — before we install a new server, it’s important for us to highlight the services your current server is providing and determine what it’s lacking. This will make the transition and setting goals for your new server a breeze. 2. Plan — together, we organize the server swap. This includes detailing what we learned in the audit. 3. Proposal — we gather all the information and set goals. Then we propose a plan. 4. Migration — this is the fun part. Once we plan a move, we actually do it! The new server is installed and configured in this step. 5. Troubleshooting — this is where all the kinks and issues are ironed out. Soon, you’ll be back to your normal but upgraded operations. 6. Documentation — we’ve arrived at the most important step. Your future self will thank you for documenting the process of transitioning to a new server. 7. Decommissioning — finally, we put your old server out of its misery. Old servers will remain on your premises months after a new one is installed, just in case we need to refer back to them.
Server Hardware: $5,300
• This would be for a simple server handling domain, file, print, and a single line of business application.
• This includes a decent Intel processor and 32 GB of RAM.
RAID 5 with three 2-TB hard drives.
Windows Server 2016 with 10 user licenses.
Server Migration: $3,200
This budget number is for a relatively simple environment with domain, file, print and a single line of business application for about 10 users.
Have a Laugh!
Brussels Sprout Hash
Inspired by Food Republic
4 cups Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
1 sprig fresh rosemary 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper
• • •
1/4 cup onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
1. In a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan, heat oil to medium. 2. Once simmering, add rosemary for 1 minute, then remove sprig. 3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion and garlic, and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. 4. Increase heat to medium-high, add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. 5. Using a large spoon, create 4 wells for eggs. Pour 1 egg into each well and cook until set. 6. Carefully remove eggs and Brussels sprouts from pan and serve.
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Skiing Through Winter
Are Your Business Goals Doomed to Fail?
A Chance to Win $5,000
Establishing a Server Migration Plan
Brussels Sprout Hash
The Philosophy of Bill Walsh
‘The Score Takes Care of Itself ’ Bill Walsh on What It Means to Be a Leader
The term “game changer” gets tossed around so much these days that it no longer seems to hold enough weight to describe a legendary coach like Bill Walsh, someone who quite literally changed the way football is played on the highest level. It takes incredible willpower to defy conventional wisdom and turn a struggling team into a powerhouse.
throughout the book is “expect defeat.” In business and in football, losses are just a fact of life; how you prepare for and respond to these crises will determine your team’s success. But the most valuable element of leadership in Walsh’s eyes is how you treat the members of your team. You need to have the courage
to let them know you believe in them. Using simple but earnest positive reinforcement, this legendary coach turned the 49ers into an incredible team, and the benefits show. Segments of the book contain anecdotes and reflections from players such as Joe Montana and Randy Cross, whose deep admiration for their former leader speak volumes. “The Score Takes Care of Itself” was published posthumously. Walsh’s son, Craig, did much of the legwork to piece this definitive portrait together. What we are left with is a truly insightful read from one of the most innovative, inspiring minds in sports history. It will be a long time before a book like this comes around again.
In Walsh’s memoir on leadership, “The Score Takes Care of Itself,” he explores the philosophy that guided him through his coaching career and led him to success. Working with award-winning author Steve Jamison, the two distill Walsh’s decades of experience into a comprehensive guide that can be used by coaches and CEOs alike. One theme throughout the book is the idea that sound fundamentals trump instincts. As Walsh aptly puts it, “Hearing someone described as being able to ‘fly by the seat of his pants’ always suggests to me a leader who hasn’t prepared properly and whose pants may soon fall down.” For long-term success, you have to have a game plan. For Walsh, preparation for leadership begins with bracing yourself for the worst. A mantra repeated
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