ReachOutIT March 2019

March 2019

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Why Finding a Work-Life Balance

Is a Bad Idea

Whenever I hear the phrase, “perfecting a work-life balance,” I think of how wrong and stupid that idea is. In my podcast, I talk about this subject in an episode titled, “Balance Is B.S.” The idea of trying to force your work and home life into separate states of being is near impossible because both of them make up who you are. Over the past year my schedule was absolutely crazy. I had to schedule time to travel all across the country to speak at colleges and corporations, and of course I also wanted time to spend with my family. At the beginning of last summer I found myself trying to figure out where I was going to be and for how long so that I could ensure I had time with my wife and children before, between, and after trips. My wife and I are a team, and I didn’t want to be an absent father or husband for even a moment.

school a few days early and spent a few days in Florida. We had a great time, but far sooner than we would have liked, we were back home and I was preparing to travel again. When my kids found out, they asked me, “You’re going away again?” and I had to say, “Of course.” There were a lot of people who wanted time with me, but I still didn’t want to leave my family behind. It just didn’t seem fair. Forcing things into the “balanced” life perspective is a stupid thing to do. It stresses you out far more than it should when there’s an easier solution right in front of you. I’ve done my best to create a close relationship with my kids by including them in the things I do while I’m at home. When I run errands, even if it's simply going to the grocery store to pick up milk, I take one or all of them with me. We’ll get into the car, and even if it’s a store they hate we still end up having a great time together. When my kids asked if I was leaving again, I thought about this activity, and it hit me: Why don’t I just bring them along? When I’m at home, I spend so much energy trying to be home , and I do the exact same when I’m away. It never feels like enough. With this solution, I realized that it would be far easier to integrate my two lives by taking my wife and my kids with me, one at a time, whenever I had the opportunity.

them as well. On a trip to Florida, my wife came up with a brand-new book idea while surrounded by high- caliber people who encouraged her. My daughter was offered a chance to have her very own TV segment on whatever she wanted, and since she loves to make cakes, decided she would enjoy teaching people how to bake. My son was offered to do a segment on bullying, which is something he hates and actively discourages. Rather than trying so desperately to find the mythical “balance” everyone else seeks, look for a way to integrate your two worlds. When you try to balance it out, you’ll knock your head against the wall — no matter where you are, you’ll constantly think you should be somewhere else. It's important while you’re traveling to keep everyone as involved as possible, especially those who are important to you. If you have the opportunity to bring family with you to work or on your travels, take it.

A few days before the school term ended, we took the kids out of

Rather than trying so desperately to find the mythical 'balance' everyone else seeks, look for a way to integrate your two worlds.

Having my family with me on my trips has helped me a lot, and it's helped


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Are You Qualifying Your Prospects? 3 Questions to Ensure You Obtain the Right Clients

4 Steps To Protect Your Business After the Marriott Data Breach Last November, Marriott announced some bad news: The data of up to 500 million customers may have been compromised in an attack. If you travel regularly for business and are a customer of the Marriott branch – including Westin, Sheraton, the Luxury Collection, Four Points, W Hotels, St. Regis, Aloft, Element, Tribute Portfolio, and Design Hotels – there are some things you need to do. First, change your passwords. This should include your potentially compromised account and any accounts that, for some reason, still use the same login or password in 2019. Then, start keeping a close eye on your credit card and bank accounts. You may even want to consider freezing your credit. Finally, be very careful about opening emails. Cybercriminals love piggybacking on actual customer contacts from big corporations to send out phishing emails., Dec. 13, 2018

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. 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 YOU WILLING 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 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. 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. WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL PROSPECT LOOK LIKE? DOES THE PROSPECT ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES?

Apple’s iOS 11 app is full of exciting new tricks, but the most useful one is a little buried and definitely a lot less glamorous than most: the document scanner inside the Notes app. You no longer need to use a third-party app to upload your documents; you can do it inside Apple’s excellent internal solution. Just open up Notes, hit the “+” symbol above the keyboard, and tap “Scan Document.” Then all you need to do is select your settings, point it at whatever document you’re trying to digitize and it’ll do the rest. It’ll optimize the picture as a scan and make the document as readable as possible., Sept. 26, 2017 Scanning Documents Has Never Been Easier — Here’s How


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Get the Most out of Your Digital Home Assistant

More and more people are welcoming in the Amazon Echo or the Google Home into their spaces. Everyone knows they make great Bluetooth speakers and can tell you the weather forecast, but they’re also capable of so much more. Digital assistants can do a variety of tasks depending on how much you want them to do for you. For example, if you want your digital assistant to be heavily involved in your daily life, you can use the Echo or the Home as the core of your “connected home.” You can connect numerous compatible devices to these assistants, including other Bluetooth or networked speakers, lights, thermostats, coffee makers, refrigerators, and even microwaves. Of course, therein lies the challenge — you must have compatible devices to make a connected home efficient. And let’s be honest: Many of us aren’t going to buy a connected fridge or Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs just to get the most out of our digital assistants.

What you can do, however, is make use of what you already have. Here are some ways to put your digital assistants to work without committing to a connected home. Both the Echo and the Home make excellent communication hubs. In the home, they can be used as a local intercom system. Do you have a few Echo Dots or Google Home Minis? If you do, you’re set. You can communicate in any room where another device is present. Your digital assistant can also make outgoing calls. As long as the device has access to your contacts (or the person you’re trying to contact has an Echo or Home), you can easily make the connection. Want to send a text message? No problem! You can dictate a text to anyone in your smartphone’s contact list and send it without ever touching your phone. Aside from communications, the assistants can handle calendars, appointments, emails, and more. You can ask for information relevant to you, like “When is my flight again?” Google Home can recognize your voice, or the voice of anyone in the house, and respond accordingly. There’s no worry that anyone’s calendar or appointments will be mixed up with yours. If you want to learn more, search for tutorials online. We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to what these digital assistants can do for you.

HAVE A Laugh

Shiny New Gadget of the Month

The cold may be winding down, but you’re still likely fatigued by the high heating bills you were forced to shell out extra money for over the last three months. Luckily, heating technology is improving all the time, reducing electricity costs while

keeping your toes from freezing off. However, it’s important that you don’t get roped in by another “as seen on TV” product that overpromises and underdelivers.

Take, for example, the HeatBuddy: a portable, plug-and-play space heater that ostensibly offers revolutionary heating capabilities in a tiny, low-electricity package. However, it’s another case of “too good to be true” — even a cursory glance at customer reviews reveals this to be a run-of-the-mill space heater, if only a little smaller. Unless you need a very small heater for some specific task, it’s best to skip the $29.99 and keep on researching other options to lower your power bill.


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Inside This Edition


4 Steps To Protect Your Business After the Marriott Data Breach Why Finding a Work-Life Balance is a Bad Idea


3 Ways to Qualify Your Prospects


Are You Getting the Most out of Your Digital Home Assistant?

Have a Laugh


Longevity in Your Company’s Practices

How to Make Sure Your Business Is Evergreen Don’t Let Your Productivity Dip From ‘Unforeseen’ Changes


The typewriter, the horse and buggy, dueling to the death for the honor of your lover — some practices just get phased out, often for good reason. Humans are constantly coming up with ways to make our lives as easy as possible. But, as with all progress, that means the old ways are abandoned in lieu of a new fad, and this can happen overnight. Don’t let this happen to your brand. Don’t let “unforeseen” changes in the marketplace sweep your product into the proverbial garbage can. While some things are simply unavoidable, there are certainly some pre-emptive measures a businessperson can take to ensure their innovations stay evergreen. Keeping your product relevant for years to come starts with research. At the beginning of your venture, make sure to look into trademarking, even for trademarks overseas. Nothing can derail your brand faster than having to change a product name after working so hard to gain traction. After you think you’ve found the right name, make sure that appropriate domain names are readily available before making your final decision. STARTING OUT

When planning for your business, you need to consider whether or not there is a market for it in the future — or in the present, for that matter. Conduct research to determine if new technology could emerge that would render your product ineffective. It’s also important to study proposed laws that could potentially compromise your operations. For example, Washington joined about a dozen states earlier this year that required paid sick leave to be awarded to employees. Since it didn’t make headlines, you wouldn’t know unless you made it a mission to be informed. Not complying with laws like these, whether out of defiance or ignorance, could result in penalties and fines. To truly make your business evergreen, you need to be thinking and planning far ahead. Any amount of time spent researching the future of your field is not time wasted. If you don’t plan for inevitable change, your business may fail before it even takes off.


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