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WHAT MY CHILDREN TAUGHT ME ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT Pruning Our Priorities
With spring fast approaching, many folks are taking a few hours to clean out their garages, trim the bushes, and organize a drawer or two. But as we’re pruning away the clutter in and around our homes, there’s one thing we often neglect: the clutter in our personal lives and businesses. What if, in addition to all the physical spring cleaning we do each year, we took some time to stop and think about our everyday priorities? It’s a lesson I was forced to learn when my life changed abruptly about 20 years ago. From the time I got out of the Army in 1988, I was a borderline workaholic. So I was in my office in Houston five days a week, scrambling through hectic 10–12 hour days, and working for a few hours most Saturday mornings to clear up paperwork. But after going through a complicated personal situation, I suddenly found myself divorced and with primary custody of my children, who were ages 4, 6, and 10. As you can probably imagine, I was forced to drastically reevaluate the way I spent my time. I completely restructured my days and weekends so I could be available for them, get them where they needed to go, and still take care of my business obligations.
pretty difficult and stressful, but I also cherish every moment. I’m well aware how blessed I was to be able to spend so much time with my kids through those growing years. Unfortunately, not many dads have the opportunity I had. The experience taught me a number of things, but perhaps the most important was that ethic of self-discipline, filtering out those trivial tasks and trying to focus on what is important. I received a clever gift last Christmas from an associate, a framed “What NOT to Do List” for managing my business. I now keep it on my credenza. It reminds me of the lesson I learned all those years ago. Working endless hours or overwhelming yourself with tasks is not the key to accomplishing your goals. It’s determining what is truly important to you and cutting out everything else. Though I still could be a lot more disciplined — spending fewer hours in front of the TV watching sports, for example — I think it’s important to be reminded every now and then that we all have the same number of hours in the day. It’s how we use each one that counts.
Every weekday, I needed to drop off the youngest at his Montessori school early in the morning, then be back to pick them all up at their different after-school programs by closing at 6:30 p.m., or there would be big trouble. And if you have any idea what Houston traffic is like between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., this was no simple task. We lived in a suburb about a 30-minute drive from my office, even without traffic issues. So, in order to get there on time, without having a stress-induced heart attack, I’d have to leave my office by 4:45 p.m. sharp in order to get ahead of the 5:00 rush. At first, it was a serious struggle. Tasks were left unfinished, and I began to fall behind at work. But as I caught my stride, I found that the hard 4:45 p.m. deadline was a boon more than an obstacle. I quickly realized I had to be absolutely ruthless with what I chose to focus on. The reason I was having to stay at work 10–12 hours a day before was because I had virtually unlimited time to get things done. But with a hard deadline, I was forced to prioritize and focus my efforts. My discipline and efficiency skyrocketed — as did my ability to say no. Now, my kids are grown and off on their own pursuits. Looking backward through the rearview mirror, I remember those days being
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ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS GOALS?
The first quarter of 2018 is rapidly coming to an end. What steps have you taken to achieve the goals you’ve set for your business this year? How much progress have you made? Have you already logged a string of successes, or are you struggling? Business owners and entrepreneurs set their sights on a number of goals every year. The problem is that a lot of those goals are left unaccomplished due to flaws in the planning stage. Here are some common goal-setting mistakes. Where Many Businesses Fall Short, Here’s How You Can Succeed • Not defining the goals in a way you, and anyone in your organization, can clearly understand • Not having a tracking system in place to monitor and review progress As you work toward your goals, it’s critical to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way. Recognizing achievements keeps your team energized and motivated. As part of the celebration, discuss what still needs to be done to accomplish big-picture goals. If you find yourself or your team falling short of expectations, use this as a learning opportunity. Evaluate your progress and see if you can identify any roadblocks. Did you give yourself and your team enough resources? Were goals miscommunicated? Did changes in your business, your community, or the economy affect your goals? How can you get back on track? If you need to make changes or recalibrate — do it! The longer you wait to adapt to changing circumstances, the longer it will take to find the right course. Even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. It’s up to you and your team to embrace change. It’s not uncommon for marketing strategies to evolve over the course of a year. You may discover that certain aspects of your referral campaign aren’t working. Trimming the fat isn’t necessarily easy, but taking the time to do so will set you up for better results in the long run. Don’t be afraid to make decisive cuts. If a strategy or a goal simply wasn’t a good fit, say goodbye and revisit it later. For now, take some time to review your Q1 progress. What do you need to do to make Q2 — and the rest of 2018 — a smashing success? • • • Setting goals that are too lofty or unrealistic Not taking the proper steps to see goals through Not working together as a team to achieve goals
International Women’s Day, celebrated March 8, is a worldwide event that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, while also calling for gender equality. This day is not affiliated with any one group, but it brings together governments, women’s organizations, corporations, and charities. It’s difficult to say when International Women’s Day began. Its roots can be traced back to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City, demanding voting rights, better pay, and shorter working hours. A year later, the first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States on Feb. 28. Then, in 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day. A conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed with Zetkin, and in 1911, on March 19, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than 1 million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, and hold public office. In 1913, the day of celebration was changed to March 8, and in 1975, the United Nations officially recognized the holiday. In 1996, the United Nations commenced the adoption of an annual theme, the first of which was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future.” In each subsequent year, a new theme was chosen to give the holiday more direction. Recent themes include “Empower Rural Women — End Poverty and Hunger” and “A Promise Is a Promise — Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.” Those who celebrate International Women’s Day aim to achieve full gender equality for women around the world. Because of the recent Hollywood film industry scandals, and because the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report found that gender parity is at least 200 years away, this year’s theme was “Press for Progress.” Events were held in Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and in cities all across the United States. The world has witnessed significant change and a shift in attitude in regard to women’s equality. However, we still have a long way to go. Those who celebrate International Women’s Day strive to make sure girls’ futures are bright, equal, safe, and rewarding.
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HOW CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE Can Protect Contractors
Cyber liability plans vary widely, but coverages usually include the following:
These days, high-profile hacking incidents are almost constantly in the news. From the widespread attack on JP Morgan accounts to the Equifax fiasco to the Shadow Brokers’ digital assault on the U.S. government, it seems that a new multimillion-dollar operation succumbs to a cyberattack every week. Despite this, few business outside of the Fortune 500 range are doing much to protect their precious data. Most small- to mid-sized business owners assume that, with so many massive targets to choose from, a hacker would never bother with their relatively small company. Unfortunately, this is wrong. In fact, the data shows that small- and medium- sized businesses are actually much more likely to fall victim to a cyberattack. The reason is simple: These smaller businesses are low-hanging fruit to professional cybercriminals. In response, contractors of all sizes are beginning to consider cyber liability insurance to protect themselves from the costs of unexpected data breaches and the loss of client information. In the event of a digital crisis, cyber liability can be the difference between closing your business for good or staying afloat. When people think of heart attack symptoms, they often think of stabbing chest pain. However, that’s not always how symptoms manifest, particularly in women. The following are serious symptoms that can indicate an impending heart attack. If any of these symptoms are present, consider seeking medical attention. Chest Discomfort The most common symptom is chest discomfort, including pain, tightness, squeezing, or pressure. In women, chest discomfort is more likely to feel like pressure or tightness. Radiating Pain Pain isn’t necessarily restricted to the center of the chest. It may be felt in your side or even in your upper abdomen or back. It can also radiate into your shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms. Remember, anything above the waist could be related to the heart. Shortness of Breath Sometimes your body will present symptoms well before an attack. For instance, you may experience shortness of breath during normal activities. If you notice this symptom, your doctor may run blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests and administer an EKG. Feeling Faint, Lightheaded, or Dizzy Feeling like you’re going to faint or actually fainting are both warning signs of a heart attack or other cardiac issue. This is especially worrying if it happens during exercise. Sudden Sweating Sudden sweating can easily be confused with night sweats or hot flashes. However, sweating that indicates a heart attack is particularly extreme, doesn’t go away, or can make it difficult to sleep.
The costs of interruption to your business
• A host of services to detect a breach when it has occurred • Crisis management services • Legal fees resulting from the data breach • Data restoration expenses • And much more
For some contractors, it may seem that since they’re not working in an office with dozens of networked computers, they’re at little risk for sensitive data theft. But a ton of digital equipment goes into most modern construction jobs. Phones and tablets on the job site often contain huge amounts of vital data. If a worker clicks on the wrong email or leaves their phone on the table during lunch break, it could potentially cost you thousands. Cyber liability insurance may not be needed by every contracting company, but in today’s world of rampant cybercrime, it’s an important policy to consider. Do your research to ensure you’re not leaving your business open to financial crisis. Nausea or Vomiting Often, women who experience nausea or vomiting think they have food poisoning, gastrointestinal issues, or a bug. However, these are common heart attack symptoms and should be taken very seriously. Unusual Fatigue New, unexplained fatigue may be a warning sign of a heart attack. However, fatigue can also be a symptom of many other issues, including anemia, depression, thyroid conditions, and even cancer. So even if it’s not a heart attack, it’s still important check in with your doctor. Research suggests that women often don’t recognize heart attack symptoms simply because they don’t know what they are experiencing. The best thing a woman can do is make herself aware of heart attack symptoms and get checked out immediately if there is a concern.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
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INSIDE This Issue
Spring Cleaning the Ways We Spend Our Time page 1
Keep Up With Your 2018 Business Goals Do You Know the Origin of International Women’s Day? page 2 Why Contractors Should Consider Cyber Liability Insurance Heart Attack Symptoms in Women page 3
The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers page 4
EARTH’S MOST BEAUTIFUL Flower Displays
during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms. The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colorful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March. Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.
Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add color to your home, but some people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical-themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world. The Netherlands Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens. The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year. This colorful garden is open annually frommid-March to mid-May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips. Washington, D.C. Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travelers who visit the Tidal Basin
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