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WANNA MOVE THE NEEDLE? Here’s How To Leverage Effective Business Tech Tools

One of my biggest pet peeves in the digital marketing space is the term “all-in-one solution”.

Ya see, I think it’s a misnomer.

Or, actually, I think it’s misleading.

Any tool is an all-in-one solution if it’s the only tool you need, but the reality behind small business is that it’s infinitely complex – and therefore the landscape of tools to support your business is infinitely diverse (and ever expanding).

I have my own robust techstack, and Infusionsoft by Keap, and AccesAlly are at the core of it. I’ve written more about the specific tools that have earned my trust – if that interests you reach out to me and I will be happy to share.

But the reality is that the tools that support each business will be somewhat personal – they’ll likely need to match up with your business needs, priorities, and goals.

So, in this diverse, technical, and tricky landscape, when you could literally spend weeks researching options – how does a business owner choose what tools to depend on?

The answer is ROI.

Like anything in business, the tools you choose are an investment – and it only makes sense to continue investing in those tools if they’re earning an ROI for you.

Now, the typical way people think about “return on investment” is in a financial way, and your tools could certainly work to create new revenue – but they could also pay a return in other ways, like by saving you money, effort, or time.

I highlight that because I think focusing solely on a monetary concern will not only limit the tools you have at your disposal, but it can also be shortsighted in terms of crushing your longer term goals.

The next piece of advice I have for selecting the tools in your techstack is to focus on the role they will play.

You almost want to think of the tools you use as actual employees you’re casting into a role.

This’ll help in a few ways – first, it’ll help you get clear on the expectations you have for that tool.

And second, it’ll serve as a reminder of why that tool is valuable – because there will come a time when you question it, or when there’s a bug of some sort; and it’s important to be able to go back to it and recognize that this tool works around the clock and doesn’t take days off.

And finally, I’ll leave you with what I think is the most important lesson – small business is about crafting journeys.

(What’s a journey?)

The experience you create for your customers is what sets your business apart from others.

So if we recognize that, then the tools we use should be designing and supporting the journey we create for our customers.

And to zoom out one level further – that means that we, as small businesses, or as entrepreneurs need to spend time getting clear on the existing journey our customers are already having.

Then, ask yourself what it should look like. Try and visualize what your perfect customer journey would entail – if you only had one customer, and you could give them all your attention, what would that feel like?

That’s the blueprint.

(Here’s a case study) of how a tech stack can support an end-to-end customer journey.)

Once you have both of those it’s time to go to work narrowing that gap.

The tools you choose are how you build the customer experience blueprint.
———–
Greg Jenkins is the founder of Monkeypod Marketing, where he focuses on empowering entrepreneurs through virtual courses and educational resources.

In addition to small business and marketing automation, Greg is a semi-professional dogsitter; he loves hiking, traveling, watching basketball, and binging netflix. And dogs, did we mention dogs?

Are You an Effective Leader?

 

In today’s flat world so closely interconnected by social media and 24 hour news cycles, leaders are always visible and they come in many shapes and sizes.  Further, because there are so many areas of expertise, even more splintered by demographics and communities it is good to reflect on the values and traits of good leaders as we historically understand or understood them.

Bear in mind that some people lead from behind, while others lead from in front.  Additionally, many people lead very effectively from the middle because they can understand the plight of others and empathize with the experience of  their tribe.  The fact is leaders find solutions, and can be found everywhere!  How do you lead?

Lets evaluate if  or how leadership has changed or been affected by speed to market and a need to quickly close transactions while sustaining a viable business:

  1. Do you make others feel important?
  2. Do you promote and enthusiastically share a vision of business goals and objectives so that others understand and can contribute to them?
  3. Do you set reasonable or unreasonable expectations for team members? Do you make adequate provisions for alternative scenarios?
  4. Do you follow the golden rule, treating others the way you want to be treated?
  5. Do you admit and correct mistakes, even when it is not comfortable to do so?  Can you work with dissension while fostering an environment that allows the truth, or the best resolution to surface organically?
  6. Do you praise others publicly, but are you also willing to communicate criticism or a different perspective when needed?
  7. Do you criticize privately so that you do not embarrass, or lose the opportunity to foster a team member’s chance for personal growth?
  8. Can you resist the temptation to gossip or diminish those who may be wired differently than you?
  9. Are you open and visible to other people and their talents so that they  learn from you and you from them?
  10. Are you curious about nuanced distinctions and opportunities that not only make things work, but could make them perform more effectively and even to competitive business advantage?
  11. Can you collaborate with others while making a game of competition?
  12. Can you set clear team goals, yet be flexible enough to make adjustments, recognizing and rewarding  excellence  when peers exceed preset standards, that is without undermining them?
  13. Do you avoid the temptation to diminish others or put them down because they may excel, or be better at a particular task than you are?
  14. Can you genuinely give and receive a compliment without resentment or sarcasm?

In your view have these values changed or do they still matter?  Let us know what you think.

*** Updated, previously published 2/11/19

Sculpted Turtles Marching In Unison In a Wonderful Way

Sculpted Bronze Turtles Marching in Unison

#Turtle way. Beautifully designed entrance ways and harmonious  environments will inspire and engage co-workers and premium producers into stable, high performance by sending subtle messages about collaboration, steady progress, and collective goals, even when roles and positions contribute differently. This beautifully sculpted entryway of bronze turtles marching in unison does the job in a really Wonderful way.

Is Collaboration A Shield or Sword?

We have heard it said that collaboration is the new competition, but what does that really mean?  Is it no longer survival of the fittest?  Are single silo’d organizations and people outdated?

Maybe the reason is that with data and information exponentially growing, seemingly faster than any one person can process or implement it, there is a compelling need to expand bandwidth (both technology and people), to efficiently and effectively get things done.

So the next question is how do we do this?

There are several technology tools that help us to communicate and collaborate across geographical boundaries and platforms effectively.  But how do we master the people skills to plug and play well within a collaborative system, if for  decades there has been insufficient information to build commonality or create trust?  When at times it may have seemed that distrust is a strategic advantage.

The real question is how do you build warm productive teams in environments competing for excellence?

How do we build team when people are more connected to devices than to each other?

How do you build team when racing against the clock?

How can we prioritize people in all our complexity, so that effective nuanced communications perform and produce a sustainable environment and product that people want and desire.  Products that people want more than cold efficient delivery systems.  Each and every day technology is better at producing cold efficient systems faster than any human can.

The real question is do humans want, or are we willing to pay for a better or different product than cold efficiency?  Is collaboration a better mousetrap?

Will The Keto Diet Make You More Productive?

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

Exhaustion WPThis article is about choosing to burn clean, or dirty fuel … in a way .

So what the heck do I mean by dirty fuel?

Let me explain. There are two significant nutritional choices that will provide most of your energy throughout the day. You can eat carbohydrates or you can eat fat to convert into energy.

This occurs through processes called glycolysis and beta-oxidation both ending in the Kreb’s cycle, or also known as the citric acid cycle.

Let’s keep the explanation simple though.

These processes basically describe the conversion of your nutritional choices into energy.

First let me tell you that you will actually enjoy about six times more energy by converting fat into energy, than relying on the conversion of carbohydrates.

You may remember back in the late 70’s and early 80’s when everybody was focused on “carb loading”?  At that time, we were basically told to eat carbs as your meal prior to major activity.  And you may have been eating things like pasta, grains and flour based products with the thought that you were increasing energy and performance.

Well, the result was quite the opposite, it was in fact leading to energy production, but it was a very inefficient production and conversion to energy. This is what we refer to and call “dirty” energy.

So, back to dirty energy.

Understand that when you convert carbs into energy, your body produces a higher amount of free radical activity and oxidative stress as compared to converting fat into energy.

Fat conversion into energy creates less free radicals and oxidation AND provides you about six times more energy!

Sounds like a win/win for you, right?  Yes, fat conversion into energy makes your body perform more efficiently while burning clean fuel!

What The Keto Diet Means For Burning Clean Fuel and Your Nutritional Choices

Now, I am not telling you to stop eating all carbs and to stop eating your veggies. After all,  vegetables are very important for you from a fiber and nutrient uptake perspective.

I am also not telling you to go Atkin’s and eat all the fat and protein you want.

I am simply suggesting that you learn how to burn fat for fuel to enjoy “clean” energy and MORE energy.

Oh, and by the way, this will also help with:

  • Mitochondria production (the little engine that drives every cell in your body)
  • Help regulate blood sugar
  • Help with weight loss
  • Lowering insulin naturally
  • Helpful anti-cancer strategy
  • Increased energy

So how do you do this?

Guidelines for Burning Clean Energy

Here are some general guidelines:

  • First meal of the day when initially hungry, preferrably 13 – 18 hours after dinner the previous day
  • You can start your day with an appropriate coffee of black tea
  • Add organic butter and MCT oil
  • Eat your second meal approximately 3 hours after your initial meal
  • Eat dinner early
  • Fast until your first meal the following day (approximately 13-18 hours)

Best carbs to eat:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Salad greens
  • Sauté greens
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Berries
  • Grapefruit

Ideal sources of protein:

  • Grass fed beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork (limited amounts)
  • Poultry (free range and organic preferred)
  • Seafood (wild caught preferred)
  • Sardines/anchovies
  • Wild game
  • Eggs (cage free, organic preferred)
  • Organ meats (organic)

Ideal sources of fat:

  • Coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Krill oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Avocados
  • Raw, organic, grass fed butter or ghee
  • Lard or tallow
  • Other saturated animal fats such as duck fat
  • Olives and extra virgin olive oil (third-party certified)
  • Various seeds and nuts
  • Organic pastured eggs
  • Grass fed meats
  • Coconut oil
  • Animal-based omega-3 fats from healthy sources such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and krill

Ideal dairy choices:

  • Cheese (hard or high fat versions)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sour cream
  • Full fat crème cheese
  • Raw organic grass fed butter or ghee

Best nuts and seeds:

  • Macadamias
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Coconut
  • Hazelnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp hearts/seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Black cumin seeds
  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Flax seeds (ground)

Best snack choices:

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Pickles (naturally fermented w/o vinegar)

Limit your sweeteners to these (limited use):

  • Stevia (preferably liquid and organic)
  • Lo han or monk fruit
  • Xylitol
  • Erythritol

Follow these guidelines for meal preparation:

  • Net carbs of approximately 50 grams per day (total carbs minus carbs from fiber)
  • One gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass
  • 70 to 85% of your daily calories from ideal healthy fats

If you are the real go getter and love to take on your new focus head on and both feet in, this may be all you need to enjoy burning clean fuel and enjoy the overall benefits of burning fat for energy and fuel.

Remember, the “clean” energy and fuel!

Click Here to Learn How to Customize Keto for YOU…

If you have any comments or questions regarding this article you may post directly on Glen Depke’s Facebook page or on his Twitter page . He will address them for you personally.

Apply for Your Opportunity to “Feel Young Again” With Depke Wellness

You can reach him directly at (800) 960-2755.

“The products on this page have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

                This article was contributed by Glen Depke,  a Traditional Naturopath with a full time practice in Newport Beach, California.  He has expertise in supporting individuals in maintaining a productive healthy ketosis  lifestyle, while feeling young again.

                Reacting to Overwhelm & How To Quickly Regain Control

                We all get that anxious rush when things are going downhill or differently than expected.
                When deadlines are blown, finances behind and there are too many demands to sit tidily our Inbox. its a horrible feeling!  Overwhelm undermines your true identity and steals your energy.  You are more likely to underperform when overwhelmed, so try to neutralize it and you will recover more quickly.

                Here are a additional suggestions that just might help get you back on your dime and breathing normally 😐

                * Make Quiet Time. Take a couple minutes, or hours even, to physically walk away. Breathe in some clean air.

                * Get a good nights sleep.

                * Rethink your strategy. You may have set unreasonable expectations, or taken on too many tasks in relation to your present
                resources.

                * Learn to say No, nicely. Its one of the hardest things to do.

                * Communicate with your peers, supervisors, direct reports, and explain where you are and why you are behind.

                * Reformulate priorities and try to reset deadlines with doable objectives and expectations.

                * Try to get consensus from your team on what is doable and the order in which things are effectively completed.

                * Bring in additional resources to get the job done on time if necessary.

                * Re-calendar and Block time to complete priority tasks.

                * Set boundaries and limits on additional, or new responsibilities. Limit taking on new tasks until priorities are completed.

                * Limit all outside distractions, including News feeds.

                * Limit multitasking since statistics prove that multitasking dilutes your focus and is inefficient.

                * Listen to your thoughts and your random musings.

                * Commit to documenting your thoughts and feelings so you know which ones you really believe and you can identify when overwhelm lifts.

                * Get your physical space as organized as you can so that you can easily locate tools and recognize a system of order, or disorder.

                * Learn how to know and recognize a true emergency.

                * Set milestones so you know when goals have been accomplished and what tasks remain outstanding.

                * Remember to celebrate when you have made it through to the other side. You will!

                How Your Productivity is Affected By Sleep Apnea (“OSA”)

                Suzette Panton MD.

                Suzette Panton MD

                In recent years, we have become increasingly aware of the vital role sleep plays in daily life and our general feeling of well-being. There are so many factors that influence whether or not we get a good night’s sleep.

                Insufficient Sleep?

                Hw much sleep is enough for you? Insufficient sleep is common in today’s modern society. Busy lifestyles and technology exposure can negatively impact our sleep patterns and habits resulting in inadequate nightly sleep hours.

                Our sleep can also become fragmented for a number of other reasons.

                Sleep fragmentation results in overall decreased quantity and quality of sleep. This in turn will impact how we perform on the job, at home and during our waking hours.

                One condition that can cause fragmented sleep is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (“OSA”).

                OSA is a chronic medical condition characterized by recurrent episodes of shallow or sometimes complete cessation of breathing during sleep. This is caused by the upper airway in the body becoming obstructed.

                Obstruction of the upper airway results in the blockage of airflow and oxygen, these are vital to life. This in turn causes recurrent periods of awakening (body arousal) throughout the night, resulting in sleep fragmentation and tiredness upon awakening. We may not even be aware of these periods of awakening during our sleeping hours!

                OSA Symptoms

                – Low blood oxygen saturation levels, that is low oxygen levels during sleep time.
                – Loud snoring;
                – Irregular breathing patterns during sleep;
                – Daytime fatigue and tiredness upon awakening;
                – A morning headache;
                – Daytime sleepiness and unintended periods of drowsiness;
                – Difficulty completing tasks;
                – Poor concentration;
                – Decreased memory and retention;
                – Irritability, and
                – Depression.

                These symptoms can negatively impact performance and individual function capacity.

                Additionally, some individuals with untreated OSA become at risk for accidents both on the job and on the road.

                Unfortunately untreated OSA also puts us at risk for medical conditions such as:
                stroke, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, irregular heart rhythms and congestive heart failure.

                Inadequate control of these underlying medical conditions will affect your health, quality of life and professional performance.

                Risk Factors For OSA

                Risk factors for OSA include post-menopausal women and women older than forty (40) years;
                Overweight adults with an OSA family history;
                People with certain physiological features such as facial/upper airway indicators for example large tonsils, a large neck, or large tongue, a deviated nasal septum or a small jaw.

                Further, women are at increased risk of developing OSA during specific periods of life. Post menopausal women have an increased prevalence of OSA. This may be a secondary factor to decreasing progesterone levels.

                There is also an increased risk of OSA during pregnancy. Factors contributing to OSA during pregnancy include hormonal changes, increased neck circumference due to weight gain, swelling within the pharyngeal region, and elevation of the diaphragm due to an enlarged uterus.

                It is therefore really important to seek help from your medical provider if you, or your partner become concerned by any of the described symptoms. If you are overweight, significant weight reduction can sometimes helps to minimize the condition.

                Finally, OSA when diagnosed is treatable. Treatment from your medical provider is important for long term success and an improved quality of life.

                This article was contributed to GirlsLovePowerTools by Suzette Panton MD. Dr. Panton is Board Certified in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. She is mom to 3 outstanding sons, ages 21, 19, and 12.  Dr. P is a high performance professional. Click here to get your free Blueprint that will help you Build Your Business for Enterprise.

                Anchoring Agility While Staying Committed to Outcomes

                How to Stay On Track … Even When Stuff You Could Not Imagine Upends You

                It feels that in business as life, the only predictable is the unpredictable!

                Dynamic markets, the internet, information products, bill boards, news cycles, natural disasters, the media influences your every waking moment: it has become near impossible to focus on goals.

                There are just too many distractions competing for your time and money. A lot of sameness!

                So how can you get stuff done?

                How can you respond, instead of react, adapt and adjust without giving in? How can you avoid being derailed?

                The answer seems to lie somewhere in between the following:

                1. Training for short sprints while having the marathon in sight.
                2. Setting and rewarding the achievement of short term implemented goals, without beating yourself up over a delayed long term vision.
                3. A willingness to become agile or flexible as the marketplace stutters, starts, shoots then withdraws.
                4. Having patience with yourself, your vision and most of all with others. I know its easier said than done!

                A search for market congruency with your goals may reveal that timing to move forward on a project is not yet right, but that does not mean you should abandon it. A lack of congruency may be a hint that even a delay will become beneficial. It may suggest that more input from market influencers is needed to get your outcome just right!

                Insight and commitment from team members, stakeholders and other outside groups may shape the ideal or unique path you should trek for goal fulfillment. Their influence will also provide insight on the feasibility and the timing of your results.

                Your access to financial and other resources will determine how quickly you can implement and leverage any short windows of opportunity that exist. Some opportunities may be fleeting at best, but without an agile strategy you will not be able to leverage them to advantage.

                So your basic strategy should be: to be always “in training” becoming action ready for passing opportunities that can leap your outcomes forward while anchoring your intent. Tell us what you think. Click Here to get your Blueprint on Enterprise

                Tracking Your Progress

                 

                Track progress

                Tracking and Measuring Progress

                It is easy to become disoriented in a dynamic, fast paced world where humans are distracted, yet expected to move at the speed of light, digesting and reacting to moving news cycles and events beyond our immediate control.

                Nonetheless, it’s the beginning of a new year so let’s orient as we find our own place and prepare for what’s ahead. For sure there are more unknowns than knowns so its hard to discern if what we see is as it appears, or is even factual.

                Even if cursorily accurate context and time may change meaning. The dynamic nature of current events affect the way we ingest and react to information including the decisions we make in our business. It also impacts our environment and therefore our results. Nevertheless, lets do our best to ensure that next year we can look back knowing we gave 2019 our best.

                As we impatiently try to determine what is ahead, plan to confidently leverage each opportunity as you move ahead.

                We often forget that Rome was not built in a day. Neither was it destroyed in a day. Ideas germinate, develop slowly, then branch and expand before they bloom. Change happens in phases.

                On the other hand, when things begin to unravel it is initially barely noticeable. Much later something dramatic happens and we take notice. That’s when we recognize that had we been tracking it would have been visible earlier.

                It’s the same in your business, you have to notice, pay attention observe and document changes. Learn to manage transitions then observe your progress as you take corrective action. Success will depend on teamwork and having reliable support systems who share your vision and help you to strategically execute it.

                Develop habits that help you to create your structured systems. Ones that document and help you to track. There are automated solutions that measure and evaluate your progress over periods of time helping you to tack and take corrective action. Reach out, identify and get direction and advice from your mentors. Let us know if we can help. Tell us what you think. Click here to get our Blueprint on Enterprise.

                Celebrating With Traditional Caribbean Christmas Rum Cakes

                It is hard to believe that the Christmas holidays are almost done. In fact today is January 1,  2019 and in some cultures it is almost time to put the special ingredients used in the traditional Caribbean rum cake/pudding to soak.

                What do we mean by soaking cake ingredients?   Well, traditional Caribbean holiday cakes that are soooooo… delicious are made from several dried fruits, including currants, raisins, cherries, ground mixed nuts, rum, brandy, spices and other ingredients.

                For this delicious specialty to live up to its reputation the fruits must be marinated in glass jars for at least 6 months before the Season. This year was no exception, and I am already looking forward to next year’s batch.

                This holiday I shared rum cakes as gifts and folks could not get over the smoothness of the taste and the delicate distinctive after flavor.  This is a favorite and is one of the few cakes that the longer it sits on the shelf, the better it gets.  This is because the rum and brandy preserve the ingredients.  The rum cake like good wine gets better with age.

                Next Christmas we will be taking pre-orders starting in October, so stay tuned. The cakes will be made in the traditional Caribbean way by a  family in Cape Coral Florida.  Yum!!! Do you like rum cakes? Click Here to tell us what you think and get out Blueprint on Enterprise.