Sklar Technology Partners - December 2019


7462 Old Hickory Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 • • 804-730-2628


Asobu Cold Brew Insulated Portable Brewer Not into cocktails? Then help your friends step up their cold brew game. The Asobu portable brewer lets you enjoy fresh cold brew coffee wherever you are. It’s a great gift for someone who travels often for work. Just make sure they have good coffee beans with them. That’s the real secret to an excellent cold brew. Onnit Instant Melatonin Spray We all have that friend or family member who never seems to get enough sleep. No matter how early they go to bed, they still spend hours tossing and turning, just trying to fall asleep. There are a lot of reasons why someone might struggle with sleep, but I’ve found that a good melatonin spray really helps. Melatonin is the hormone your body produces when it’s time to sleep. This spray comes in a refreshing mint flavor that the body can absorb quickly to help get to sleep.

coffee, Laird’s Superfood Coffee Creamer is a great alternative. This is a plant-based creamer with no sugar additives or artificial ingredients that offers a great serving of healthy minerals. This creamer is a great way to start the day with good fatty oils. I buy this for my team at work, and we all really enjoy it. There are plenty of flavors to choose from, but I recommend turmeric for a start. Traeger BBQ Sauce and Spice Rub I’ve gotten really into grilling and smoking meat recently. One thing I’ve learned is that your rub and spices really do make all the difference. I got a Traeger grill and it worked so well that I went ahead and got the Traeger brand barbecue sauce. That stuff is fantastic! It’s a great option to drop in the stocking of your favorite grill master. Scribd If you haven’t gotten into audiobooks yet, you should. Listening to “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins is a much better way to spend a commute than listening to overplayed songs and radio DJs ramble on and on. Audible has the audiobook market cornered, but trust me, Scribd is better. This is a digital reading subscription. For just $9 a month, you can get access to 40 million titles, including audiobooks, e-books, and magazines. To be honest, this one is a gift for yourself. But after finding so many great gifts for everyone else, you’ve earned it! There you have it! The best gifts for 2019. The best part is, you can skip the crowds because these are all available on Amazon.

I win at the holidays.

Not because I get the best gifts — to be honest, I’m pretty hard to shop for. If there’s something I want, I usually get it for myself. No, I win at the holidays because I give the best gifts. It’s a point of pride for me. Even when my friends get together for white elephant gift swaps, I always try to bring the gift that everyone’s going to fight over. This is the opposite of my friend Brad, who always brings nose hair trimmers or plastic bears that roar when you shoot them with a toy gun. If your gifts have ever been met with a less-than- enthusiastic expression, I have bad news for you: You might be a Brad. But the good news is that I have plenty of gift ideas to help you win this holiday season. Whiskey Barrel Lid This might raise a few eyebrows, but hear me out. This is a gift for your friend who would love to make — or drink — the perfect Old-Fashioned. Aged whiskey barrel lids are great for smoking a cocktail glass, which adds layers of dryness to the drink. Basically, you set the lid on fire, then quickly smother the fire by turning a chilled glass upside down over the small flames.When the fire dies, the smoke will cling to the sides of the glass. Once the smoke dissipates, you’re ready to drink the best Old-Fashioned you’ve ever had. Go the extra mile and throw in Woodford Reserve orange bitters,Woodford Reserve bourbon cherries, and Samuelworld large ice cube tray for the ultimate Old Fashioned gift set.

Laird Superfood Coffee Creamer If you’re shopping for someone who likes cream in their

Happy holidays!

–Randy Sklar


Susan Fowler’s ‘Master Your Motivation’

The End of Windows 7 Puts You at Risk

Here’s What to Do

Are you still using Windows 7? If so, you have until Jan. 14, 2020 to call Sklar Technology Partners before your computer becomes a hotspot for hackers.

A Science-Based Approach to Achieving More

Next month, two popular Microsoft operating systems, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, will be entering their end-of-life (EOL). This means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing updates for security patches for either of these systems. If your office is still running on them, you’re running out of time to save yourself from disaster. Will I no longer be able to use Windows 7? Once Windows 7 enters EOL, it will still be fully operational. This is part of the problem. Many users will continue to use Windows 7 after Jan. 14, 2020, unaware of the dangers they face. While Microsoft isn’t shutting down or deleting Windows 7, they will no longer be providing security updates. These updates are crucial to protect against the vulnerabilities exploited by hackers. What’s the worst that could happen? In 2017, over 200,000 computers around the world were targeted in a massive ransomware attack. The WannaCry attack crippled businesses, universities, hospitals, and governments that were still running Windows systems after they entered their EOL. This attack cost billions in damages, and security experts warn that WannaCry won’t be the last major cyberattack to target vulnerable systems that lack crucial security updates. Continuing to use Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 after they enter EOL leaves you open to such attacks. While they’re a little inconvenient, regular security updates could be the only thing standing between your business and worldwide disaster. If you’ve been thinking about switching to Mac, now is a good time to make the leap. If you intend on continuing with PC, your best move is to upgrade to Windows 10. We do not recommend upgrading to Windows 8. Windows 8 enters EOL in 2023, so you’ll find yourself in this situation again sooner rather than later. Upgrading your company’s operating system isn’t a simple process. Fortunately, Sklar Technology Partners has plenty of experience helping businesses across the Richmond area make this change. Call 804-730-2628 now and protect your business before it’s too late. What can I do? Update your system now!

“You have the power to change your behaviors,” says Susan Fowler, “but to be successful in changing, you need an evidenced-based framework for motivation and techniques for applying it.” In her new book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” Fowler synthesizes her decades of research into a guide that provides such a framework. In the process, she overturns countless widely held myths about what motivates us.

Fowler believes the traditional carrot-and- stick approach to motivation (a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior) results from our perception of motivation as being either intrinsic or extrinsic. “Simplifying motivations into two types presents a conundrum when you aren’t intrinsically motivated,” she writes. “Your only fallback position is extrinsic motivation.” In other words, just by thinking about motivation as intrinsic versus extrinsic, you’ve already set yourself up to fail. To really motivate yourself and others, she argues, you need to think about motivation in different terms.

Thankfully for the reader, Fowler defines an alternative framework for motivation. In what amounts to the book’s thesis, she states, “To master your motivation, create choice, connection, and competence.”When you measure motivation across these three factors, which are the result of rigorous academic research rather than folksy conventional wisdom, you unlock the power of motivation. It’s not hard to see how Fowler’s framework is much more actionable than traditional motivational techniques. Creating intrinsic motivation, especially for others, is a mug’s game, but defining choice, connection, and competence is much less ambiguous. If you have team members who you feel lack motivation, ask yourself if their jobs have these three essential traits. Do they have agency (choice) in their work? Do they generate meaning (connection) from what they do? Do they get a sense of accomplishment (competence) from doing something well? If you can’t answer all three of these in the affirmative, you can create a plan for increasing motivation that doesn’t involve empty metrics or meaningless rewards. If you or your team could use a proverbial kick in the pants, the solution might be to ignore those proverbs entirely. “Master Your Motivation” takes a refreshing look at what makes us strive for more. It’s a great addition to any leadership library.

Windows 7 is reaching its end of life phase on Jan. 14, 2020. Will your systems still be protected from ransomware attacks? Call 804-730-2628 to find out!

Don’t Drag Your 2019 Mistakes Into 2020 Enough Ruminating!

by saying, “That’s just my ruminations working overtime.”

negative headspace. HBR provides common example triggers that lead to rumination.

When mistakes happen, it always stings. However, if you can recover and learn from your mistakes, it could prove to be a powerful turning point in your life in the long run. But if you endlessly relive situations, wishing you’d make a different choice, then you’re never going to move forward. That mental replay when fretting over mistakes is called rumination. We’re worrying about something we literally cannot change. As a result, we end up berating ourselves again and again. Rumination isn’t just mentally exhausting; according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), rumination is “closely linked to poor problem- solving, anxiety, and depression.” The good news is that if you’re the kind of person who keeps their mistakes on loop, there are simple strategies for breaking this toxic pattern.

Learn the Difference Between Rumination and Problem Solving

• •

Collaborating with people you don’t yet trust Being around people who seem smarter or more ambitious

People who ruminate tend to be worse at problem-solving. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology found that women who ruminate tended to wait longer to see a doctor after finding a breast lump. Rumination can cause you to put off making important decisions. To break out of rumination, HBR suggests asking yourself, “What’s the best choice right now, given the reality of the situation?” You can’t just forget about your mistakes. How will you learn from them? That being said, you can’t let your mistakes take up space in your head. Breaking the pattern of rumination is the only way to make sure 2019 mistakes don’t become 2020 hang-ups.

• •

Taking a step up in your career Making major money decisions

When you become aware of your triggers, you can catch yourself before you spiral.

Get Some Distance

It’s helpful to get distance from your problems, but rumination will follow you, even if you hop on a plane to some far-off island. Learn to get some psychological distance from your worries. You can do this by reframing your thoughts. If you find yourself thinking, “I’m unworthy,” correct yourself to “I’m feeling unworthy.” Sometimes, when you feel your rumination taking over, it can help to brush off the thoughts

Identify Your Triggers

What causes you to fall into rumination? Look back and make a list of what puts you in that

Inspired by Delish Roasted Cauliflower ‘Steaks’

A Vegan Take on Delicious Holiday Steak

As a vegan at a holiday gathering, it’s hard to find side dishes you can eat without fear. This year, don’t let your vegan loved ones go hungry. Roast these cauliflower “steaks,” delicious enough for even the most ardent carnivore.

Ingredients • 1 large head cauliflower • 2 cups Roma tomatoes • 1 red onion, quartered • 1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed

• Kosher salt • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 cup balsamic vinegar • 1/4 cup brown sugar • Parsley leaves, for garnish

Directions 1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. Trim the leaves and stem from cauliflower, but do not break down further. (It should sit like a dome.) In the center of a large baking dish, place the cauliflower and surround it with tomatoes, onion, and green beans, and season with salt and olive oil. 3. Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan to medium-high, and whisk together vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low simmer, letting sauce reduce for 15 minutes. 4. Coat cauliflower in glaze and reserve extra for basting.

5. Roast for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. 6. Quarter cauliflower and serve with veggies.

7462 Old Hickory Drive Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-730-2628


Inside This Issue

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Are You a Brad? A Better Way to Think About Motivation Still Using Windows 7? Your Business is at Risk! How Old Mistakes Drag Down Your Future


Roasted Cauliflower ‘Steaks’ Running at Witching Hour


A Lovely Night for a Run

Should You Go for a Run After Dark? Have you ever been driving home after dark and seen someone jogging on the side of the road? You might have thought they were crazy for waiting until so late in the day to go for a run, but there is actually research that suggests running in the evening is better than going for a run at any other time of day. Here are a few reasons why you should save your run until you can join all the things that go bump in the night.

evenings, since your muscles have been warming up all day. With improved muscular function and strength, you can push yourself harder and see greater improvement.

You sleep better.

You can hit the snooze button.

You will obviously feel tired after a good run, so why not time it right and use this to your advantage? Research from the University of South Carolina found that people who ran before bedtime enjoyed a better night of sleep and increased energy levels when they woke up, meaning they felt more awake and better rested throughout the following day. The best time to run is honestly whenever you have time to run, but if it works with your schedule, nighttime running might provide your best workout ever. Just remember that if you do decide to save your run for after sunset, you should stay safe by wearing bright, reflective clothing, sticking to the left side of the road, and running only in well-lit, populated areas.

Many people who run first thing in the morning find themselves pressed for time. Hitting the snooze button is not an option, and with so little time, breakfast is usually a banana on the way out the door. Moving your run to the evening means you can enjoy a more leisurely morning. Not feeling stressed out first thing in the morning can also lead to a more relaxed day.

You can push yourself harder.

It can be hard to get a good workout in the morning after your muscles have been still for eight hours during sleep. A study at the University of North Texas found that your body is better prepared to exercise in the

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