Hi, AleX:I know you’re dealing with a full plate struggling to acquire network literacy in the midst of daily work demands.Still, I wanted to share another example to illustrate why acquiring literacy is critical to your future. It involves the startling discoveries of a scholar named Sugata Mitra, a world renowned educational technology expert who now works at Newcastle University in England.I can think of nothing that more aptly demonstrates the power of collaborative learning and networking.A few years ago, Mitra wanted to see how children from remote villages throughout India with no previous exposure to networks reacted to embedded Internet-accessible computers.What he uncovered both amazed and startled him: The kids began learning from these computers by themselves with no adult oversight.Video recordings Mitra collected from one village show an 8-year-old boy demonstrating to a 6-year-old girl how to browse the Internet. In another village, children, after only four hours exposure to the Internet, learned how to record their own music and play it back to themselves, sparking a reaction of awed delight.The discoveries inspired Mitra to create even more difficult challenges to see how quickly resourceful children overcame them.His next experiment took place in Hyderabad among children who spoke English with an unusually thick accent. He turned over a computer with an English-to-text interface, casually informing the children that he was leaving and that they were on their own.The children were frustrated because the computer initially responded to their thick accents with gibberish, Mitra recalled later. However, when he returned couple of months later, things had changed radically: The children had learned to speak in a manner remarkably similar to the neutral British accents the computer was designed to detect.Buoyed by these results, Mitra decided to up the ante. In what is now known as his Kalikkuppam Experiment, he wanted to determine if Tamil-speaking children could learn biotechnology on their own and despite all the online instruction being in English.In only two months, he noted that the students increased their scores from zero to 30 percent. After enlisting a volunteer teacher to employ the “granny method” of teaching — merely looking over the children’s shoulders and providing frequent encouragement — Mitra discovered that the children’s average scored increased to 50, which was what children in “posh schools in New Delhi” were earning.Mitra turned up what are arguably the most remarkable results of all in Turn, Italy, in 2010.Only 15 minutes after he walked into a classroom of Italian-speaking children and wrote the English phrase “How did dinosaurs die out?” on the chalkboard, the children secured the answer using Google first to translate and then search the phrase.Mitra followed this with a somewhat more difficult request again phrased in English: “Who was Pythagoras and what did he do?”Twenty minutes later, right-angled triangles began appearing on the screens.“It just sent shivers up my spine,” Mitra later recalled.Nothing I can think of better demonstrates the power of collaborative learning, AleX — the growing ability of ordinary people from diverse backgrounds to find answers on their own.In fact, based on these new discoveries, Mitra believes “learning is now an emergent phenomenon.” In other words, thanks to the Internet and Web 2.0, education is now a self-organizing structure that appears without any intervention from the outside.Think about that for a moment, AleX: Education is now a self-organizing system that is occurring on its own.Back to that theme again: liberation. Your clients are, frankly, no longer clients. With each passing day, more of them are equipping themselves to learn on their own — with or without you.There is still a place, a very valuable place, for you and other trained professionals in this new information landscape, AleX, so long as you step up to the plate.The sooner you understand what’s happening — the sooner you understand how the world is shifting under your feet — the better equipped you will be to think, act and thrive within this new landscape.Author: Jim LangcusterThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This is part of the “Hi, AleX” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLit
This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on August 14, 2013. By Michael GutterYour BS (Balance Sheet) is an important way to track your family’s fiscal health. Having the right records create benchmarks so you can track your progress. Have you ever dieted? Creating and updating your balance sheet is a lot like stepping on a scale. At that moment, you know where we stand. A balance sheet accounts for what we own and what we owe. By thinking about this number one can set a targeted net worth for the end of each year, much the same way we might target a lower weight or BMI score. You can look at how to improve your net worth. We can seek to increase our assets through things like saving and investing some of your income. Your investments should increase over time adding to your wealth. We also can look at whether or not we need to reduce what we owe. Having too much debt lowers your net worth and usually reduces the amount of cash flows available for saving or even for fun.It is important to track your flows as well. We can use an income and expense statement where our money flows; flows in, flows out. Going back to our diet analogy an income and expense statement is like a food diary to see where your calories went for the day. You compare your record to your budget (diet plan) and see whether you are sticking to your plan. If your income is more than our expenses, then make sure you have a plan for saving. If you are losing ground it is important to look for ways to cut back. Helpful suggestions for cutting back can be found here.For more on creating financial statements, check out a helpful web conference. This session includes a case study and great discussion.Once you have these statements, you want to explore what they tell you about your Financial Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.For more on Ratio and SWOT analysis, check out this webinar.
By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDCreative Commons [Flickr, August 15th 2008-Crispy, August 15, 2008]We have highlighted research concluding that secondary traumatic stress (STS) and vicarious trauma (VT) contribute to clinician burnout, but is burnout simply a factor of work-related stressors? In a 2009 study using an Australian sample, researchers Devilly, Wright, and Varker did not find that exposure to a client’s traumatic experiences affected STS, VT, or burnout .A total of 152 participants in the study were selected randomly and included 125 psychologists, 15 psychotherapists, 6 clinical social workers and other mental health clinicians. Participants completed a victimization history, depression, anxiety and stress scales, a burnout inventory, a secondary traumatic stress scale, a vicarious trauma scale, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and a perceived social support scale. Work-related stress included questions measuring 4 dimensions: (1) a supportive workplace; (2) workload demands; (3) conflicting demands; and, (3) clarity of expectations.Using multiple regression analysis, the researchers found that work-related stressors best predicted therapist distress. Predictors for affective distress included:Duration of time as a mental health professional,Beliefs about their safety, andBeliefs about their intimacy with others.The researchers did not find any significant difference in vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress when they compared participants with a history of trauma with participants that did not have a history of trauma. The researchers also noted that participants who reported a high level of exposure to trauma cases also reported a greater history of personal trauma. Unexpectedly, groups that reported low levels of trauma cases reported significantly higher levels of work stress.When experiencing work-related stress as a mental health clinician you can thoughtfully consider the stress that you are experiencing and ask:Do you believe that you are safe in the workplace?Are you developing and maintaining intimate (and supportive) relationships?Whether you have a history personal trauma or not, and whether your work entails exposure to vicarious trauma or not, attending to these factors may reduce the possibility of burnout and increase the quality of your workplace experience.References Devilly, G. J., Wright, R., & Varker, T. (2009). Vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress or simply burnout? Effect of trauma therapy on mental health professionals. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(4), 373-385. doi:10.1080/00048670902721079This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the United States Military have worked hand-in-hand to meet the needs of Texas families since 1987. Currently, Extension staff are at Ft. Bliss and Ft. Hood providing educational programming in multiple areas, providing an excellent example of how Cooperative Extension helps build community capacity to enhance the resilience of service members and their families. Following are a few examples of the excellent programming being done at the Installations.Cooperative extension agents are in the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) at both Ft. Bliss and Ft. Hood. The mission of FAP is the prevention of child and spouse abuse. This goal is met by providing educational programs in awareness to military personnel as required by Army regulation. Agents teach parenting education, couple enrichment, and train all child care providers in identification and prevention of abuse. Promoting awareness of child and spouse abuse through community awareness campaigns is a major focus of the program. FAP also provides education on child safety and life skills training such as stress management, anger control, and dating violence. Fort Bliss has a puppet show that provides educational programs for children and youth on several topics from child abuse to bicycle safety. The Passenger/Car Seat program is also very well received at both installations with regular monthly car seat events for families.Victim Advocacy is also a part of the FAP and assists victims of spouse abuse to access services available to them. They also train a volunteer corps to assist in the program.New Parent Support Program provides in-home visitation, therapeutic support, and resource assistance to Army families with new babies and continuing support for families with children through the age of 5 years. The program attempts to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect and spouse abuse through individual parenting education, roll modeling, and access services.Since the program began at Ft. Hood, awareness classes to soldiers have increased from 40 percent of units being reached to 100 percent or above of all units being reached in a year. In fiscal year 2002 Fort Hood Cooperative Extension Agents briefed 100% of the Units at Fort Hood and over 85% of all military personnel, an all time high. Recently, an Extension Agent reached 100% of individuals assigned to the units he is responsible for. Fort Bliss continues to provide training to the military community with innovative programming. The Extension Agent for Family Violence has also assumed a larger part of the Victim Advocacy program in the absence of the Victim Advocate. Fort Bliss Extension Agents are extensively cross trained in programs due to limited staff in all community service areas. It has been showcased as a model program for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) uses Cooperative Extension agents to provide educational programming to make soldiers and family members aware of the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. Agents take leadership in Army-required military unit training, awareness campaigns, and violence in the workplace training for civilians. A highlight is the Summer Sense campaign held over the summer season to create a heightened awareness not to drink and drive. The program also brings the message to youth in the community througha three-day outing that teaches leadership skills and drug and alcohol abuse prevention. The Fort Hood Substance Abuse Program received the Secretary of Defense 12th Annual Community Drug Awareness Award for the best community drug awareness program in the United States Army back in FY2001, and continues to provide leadership in this area.Military families face many hardships that can create financial burdens. Cooperative Extension provides programming in the Financial Readiness Program by training NCOs to teach fiscal responsibility to soldiers in their units. Agents provide basic financial education as a part of the 1st Termer program, an educational program to help new soldiers and families get started on the right foot financially. Agents also provide educational programming in budgeting, insurance, and protection against scams.The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides services to enhance the quality of life for special needs individuals and their families. This includes family members with learning disabilities, medical needs, or handicaps. Advocacy, education, and recreational activities for the support of families are included.Mobilization and Deployment (MOB/DEP) are the backbone of today’s military. Soldiers must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to anywhere in the world, and their families must also be ready. To meet the challenges caused by military deployment, agents provide extensive training to rear detachment units, family readiness groups, and others. Operation READY, a comprehensive program developed by Family Development and Resource Management specialists, is a vital link in the training curriculum. When rapid deployments occur, agents have worked 24 hours a day. They have been active in providing services to soldiers and families as they prepared to deploy to fight the War on Terrorism.The Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) is another integral service to military families relocating approximately every three to four years. RAP helps families prepare for moving by providing information on the locations to which they have been transferred. Educational programming is provided on financial preparation, making a smooth move for youth, and practical preparation to moving. They also provide a much needed service to newly arriving families through the lending closet. This service allows newly arriving military families temporary use of basic household items until their household goods arrive in shipment from their last duty assignment. Classes and groups are also provided for foreign born spouses to help them learn about the military and life in the United States. Waiting spouses are provided educational program that help them to deal with the situations of having a spouse away on an extended tour of duty.Information and Referral (I&R) is the basic concept of the Army Community Service (ACS). If a military family wants to know the availability or up-to-date information on military and community resources, they call ACS. Staff assistants are at both Fort Bliss and Fort Hood to provide this vital single point of contact service to the military community.The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) provides educational programming and information that can assist participants in finding employment opportunities in the community. Military family members learn skills such as resume writing, interviewing techniques, and working with employers in the community.Volunteering is the backbone of both Cooperative Extension and the Military. Without volunteers, we would never be able to reach many of the soldiers and family members. At Fort Hood, under the Soldier and Family Readiness Branch, a Cooperative Extension Agent is in charge of the Army Family Action Program (AFAP). The AFAP brings volunteer community members together, to include teens, to discuss community concerns which are addressed to the Command Group of the installation. This community capacity building. Volunteer Program is led by Cooperative Extension at Ft. Bliss. Our Extension agent recruits, trains, and places volunteers throughout the Ft. Bliss community. She is responsible for all Post-wide recognition of volunteers, including the Ft. Bliss Volunteer of the Year Award. There is also an extensive youth volunteer initiative at both installations.Bell and Coryell County 4-H Agents give leadership to Child and Youth Services 4-H development on Ft. Hood, which has established 4-H Clubs at Youth Centers across the Installation. Their educational areas covered are Photography, Fine Arts, Citizenship, and Technology.Each of these programs stands alone to provide services to soldiers and military families, but joint programming efforts are continually developed to better meet the needs of servicemembers and their families, and to build community capacity to enhance the resilience of military families. With Cooperative Extension Agents and Staff Assistants working together with their military partners, programming efforts have surpassed all expectations. Whenever a new initiative is introduced in the care of soldiers and families at either Ft. Bliss or Ft. Hood, they look to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to help them meet these emerging needs.
Ready to dive into Final Cut Pro X? We’ve rounded up the best resources online for FREE FCPX tips, tricks and training.From extensive FCPX training classes to active forums and weekly podcasts, we’ve rounded up the the best online FCPX tutorial and training resources for video editors. Pick up new FCPX tips, meet other pro editors and give back to the online post production community by sharing your own FCPX knowledge.Be sure to check out the Premiumbeat blog, as we frequently update it with useful Final Cut Pro X tutorials and news. Our bloggers are all post production professionals whose post production knowledge comes from real-world experience. Among our popular FCPX posts is a list of free effects, filters and templates, as well as 10 handy color correction tutorials for FCPX. See all of our Final Cut Pro X tutorials here.In no particular order, our list of 10 online resources for FCPX tutorials, tips, tricks and training. Start bookmarking…now:1. FCPX.tvWith the tagline “all things Final Cut Pro X”, FCPX.tv really is a one-stop shop for the latest tips and news surrounding the app. The site is run by Washington, DC based professional video editor Richard Taylor. Highlights include an ongoing list of Final Cut Pro X requests (for future versions and updates), FCPX editing tutorials, and documentation of known FCPX bugs. If you’re a FCPX power editor this is one site you’ve got to bookmark.2. FCP.coFCP.co covers all things Mac video, with particular attention on tips and tutorials for Final Cut Pro X video editing. They’re always covering the latest third party plugins and filters for FCPX (including many free effects). The forum is active and constantly updated, rivaling Apple’s own FCPX user forum.3. Apple FCPX SupportCome up against an odd error in Final Cut Pro X? Have questions about graphic cards or video output hardware support? The FCPX support community is active on the official Apple site…a great resource if you have a specific question about the application. The focus here is not so much on editing style and technique, as most of the content favors more technical, FCPX software/hardware issues. It’s worth noting that your editing karma will go up immensely if you contribute to the community by helping other users troubleshoot their issues, and not only posting questions of your own!4. Final Cut KingFinal Cut King is the nom de plume of Zac King, film student and post production wiz. Zach’s page is a home base for his popular YouTube channel where he shares his tips and tutorials for Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Premiere and legacy FCP. He also offers a few paid training packs for FCPX and Premiere that merit a look for anyone looking to dive into video editing. Zach’s got a fresh vibe and makes learning the craft a fun ride.5. Final Cut BasixFor the last few years Connor Crosby has been an active voice online in the field of video editing and post production. Having first started FinalCutWhiz and later EditingWhiz and now, Final Cut Basix (whew, that’s a lot of sites!) he has experience in creating resources for video editing tips and tutorials. Final Cut Basix focuses on core fundamentals and workflows of Final Cut Pro X editing.6. Larry JordanWidely recognized as a leading educator and advocate for Final Cut Pro, Larry Jordan has built a career out of post production training. On his site he shares Final Cut Pro X tutorials and tips aimed at the professional editor. His frequent “Power Up Webinars” take an in-depth look at editing techniques and workflows. His site isn’t exclusive to FCPX, so editors of all NLEs can pick up useful info here. Bonus, subscribe to his weekly newsletter. They’re full of useful ‘real world’ post production advice….one newsletter that’s actually worth a frequent read.7. Ken StoneNo doubt the longest running site on this list, Ken Stone’s Final Cut Pro should be familiar to anyone that has been a longtime FCP video editor. With posts dating back to 2001, the site has been an excellent resource for FCP tutorials and info dating back to the initial release of the legacy version. Articles cover everything from general editing techniques to compression, encoding and tutorials for all the Mac video apps (Motion, Compressor, Quicktime, etc).8. FCPXLandFCPXLand is a newcomer to the online video editing arena, but is already filled with lots of useful info on Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X tutorials, news, plugins and filters. They’ve got an ongoing list of FCPX freebies (filters and effects), as well as a list of projects and films that were cut on the app.9. MacBreak StudioWhile not exclusively FCPX…and not necessarily a website, we’d be remiss not to include this online video podcast in this list of great FCPX resources. Video pros Mark Spencer and Steve Martin discuss and demonstrate a video editing technique or trick each week. These FCPX tutorials are super entertaining and informative…you’re bound to learn something new each week.10. LACPUGThe oldest Final Cut Pro user’s group in the US was recently renamed to better reflect it’s member base of video editors using a variety of apps and tools (Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group). However, it remains a great resource (both online and off) for video editors to share their skills and discuss trends and industry news. FCPX tutorials and tips are covered in-depth on the site and updated often. Bonus, if you’re in the LA, California area check out their monthly meet-ups for some ‘offline’ networking and skill sharing.
Over in Premiere Pro, all you have to do is add the “Lumetri” effect to your clip (or adjustment layer). You’ll be promtped to choose a look. You can find the looks in ~/Documents/Adobe/SpeedGrade/7.0/Settings/Looks: Voilà…there you go! An easy to use vignette filter right in Premiere! Of course you can use this for any look you create, but saving a preset of just a vignette fills a big gap in Premiere’s effects and gives you a tool made exactly to your specifications. Then save the look. You can even give it a custom name (which is probably a good idea): Use the Lumetri Deep Color Engine to create a custom vignette filter in SpeedGrade you can use in Premiere!One of the cool new features of the SpeedGrade and Premiere Pro CC is the ability to save looks in SpeedGrade and use them directly in Premiere. While you can use this for any look you save, it’s particulary handy to fill a gap in your effects toolbox in Premiere: Vignettes.By default, Premiere Pro doesn’t come with a vignette effect, and there’s not really an easy way to create one in Premiere unless you find/buy a third party plugin (or get busy with mattes). But using SpeedGrade, you can create your own custom vignette exactly the way you like it, then use it over and over directly in Premiere!Let’s start off in Adobe SpeedGrade. We’ll be using this shot for the example:Twirl out the mask settings using the disclosure triangle on the right. There is a “vignette” preset, but I prefer a slightly different shape, so we’ll start with the default circle mask preset: I usually adjust the softness and aspect first, using the on-screen widget. I preferred the shape below:After that, scale up the mask using the widget. I wanted the edge of the feather just outside of the image area:Before you make any color color adjustments, you need to set the matte to “outside” the mask:Now just adjust the color settings to taste:
Full frame cameras have been all the rage in independent level film production, but crop sensor cameras offer some huge advantages over their full frame counterparts. With the recently released crop sensor GH4 turning heads all over the indie film world, the issue is now more relevant than ever.Full frame shots undeniably look great: an ultra shallow depth of field, smooth bokeh, and a surreal almost bigger than life feeling. But along with all of these great characteristics comes compromises. For instance, a full frame DSLR has a much larger frame size than Super 35mm film, so technically the full frame look is not as true to traditional cinematography as say an APS-C sized sensor (which is much closer to the 35mm Academy standard). But there are other more practical issues as well: your lens choices on a full frame camera are quite limited and the full frame glass can get very expensive because of the overall size.Image from CaptainKimoThere are crop sensor cameras, like the Lumix GH4 that I mentioned at the top of this post, that have a Micro Four Thirds sized sensor, which is significantly smaller than full frame and will effectively give you a 2x crop. What this means is if you put on a 50mm lens, it will look more like a 100mm lens on your MFT camera.The downside to this is that it can be challenging to get some specific types of shots that are relatively easy on full frame cameras. One example is the extreme wide angle (non-fisheye) shot, which would need a very specific type of wide angle lens. Luckily there are a number of MFT lenses that fit this bill, but many of them are either slow or not particularly great quality.The other issue is that full frame cameras are far better in low light, so you need to be extra picky with your lens selection for crop sensor cameras, always making sure that you choose lenses that have a fast aperture. Personally, I like all my lenses to be an f2 or below, and many of them are an f1.4 or below.Image from 43RumorsSo, clearly there are some challenges associated with both formats, but they also each have their advantages. Full frame, as described above, is great in low light and offers some unique image qualities, while crop sensors (like MFT) open up a huge array of lens choices and are also much smaller which makes them ideal for documentary or guerrilla style shooting. Another plus for crop sensor cameras is that many of them are more video-oriented and feature rich, while their full frame equivalents are often more focused on stills functionality as opposed to video. There are exceptions to this, but using the GH4 as an example, it’s pretty amazing to have a 4K capable HDSLR with focus peaking, zebras, audio monitoring, slow motion, and much more all in such a small package.Ultimately there is no clear cut answer as to which format is better. I personally shoot on both all the time and use them in different situations, as do many other DP’s and directors that I work with regularly. That said, there are specific types of shooters that have different requirements and as such would benefit more from one format over the other.Full Frame vs. Crop – Which To ChooseIf you don’t already own a camera, then this decision can be quite a tricky one. I know that before I purchased one of my first DSLRs (well really a DSLM, the Lumix GH2), I was quite torn as to which format would suit me best. I’m sure many of you that are gearing up to buy your first camera may find yourself in the same predicament.It all comes down to what you are going to use the camera for. There have been absolutely gorgeous images captured with cameras across the board – full frame, MFT, APS-C, you name it. So don’t worry about the image quality too much as part of your decision making process, because at the end of the day if the camera is in the right hands, the images will look good.Instead, focus your attention on what you as a filmmaker need. If you plan on shooting a lot of run and gun material, or documentary content, I would strongly suggest thinking about the MFT format. It’s much easier to pull focus with and the size of the camera lends itself well to a covert shooting situation. There are some mirrorless full frame cameras out now that solve the size issue, but they are still difficult to shoot with in a guerrilla type of setting without a dedicated focus puller, so I would always recommend a more manageable sensor size for these situations.As for full frame, these cameras are excellent for narrative storytelling in controlled environments where you have a dedicated focus puller, or can at least take time to plan your shots more strategically if you will be pulling focus yourself. They are also great if you plan on shooting a lot of low-light/streetlight footage as you can typically bump up your ISO much higher than on crop sensor cameras. Another huge advantage of full frame cameras is their ability to capture amazing stills. Even if you’re not primarily a stills photographer, you never know when you might get asked to shoot some stills, and just about any Full Frame camera will deliver better still photos than crop sensor cameras. After all, that is what they are intended to do.Final ThoughtsChoose the camera that is right for you and your situation and once you’ve made your decision – move on! Focus on lighting, composition, lensing, and all of the other elements that are far more important than your sensor size.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Many people aren’t living the life they really want to live. They aren’t doing what they want to do, and they aren’t being who they really are.Instead, they’re pretending to be someone else. They’re pretending to be the person that other people expect them to be. It’s easier to pretend to be the person that your society and your culture expect you to be. They pretend to be the person their family and friends expect them to be. To be someone different, they’d risk being judged, ridiculed, and ostracized. They would risk disappointing people.So they bury who they really are deep inside them, and they put on a mask. They’re imposters.A Horse of a Different ColorThen there are people who live the life they want to live. They do exactly what they want to do. They are who they are, and to all outward appearances, they are very comfortable in their own skin.These people stop pretending to be someone they’re not. They stop trying to meet other people’s expectations. They stand out like a sore thumb, and they are judged, ridiculed, ostracized—and envied—for becoming who they were born to become.They allow the person they really are to shine through. They take off the mask. And for a while, they feel like impostors. They live with a nagging sense of self-doubt. They still deal with their inner critic. They sometimes wonder how they got to where they are.Until one day, they realize that they’re not impostors. They recognize that they live the fuller expression of their life and they contribute more to others than was ever possible when they were pretending to be someone less than who they really are.You have a choice. You can be an impostor and put on a mask. Or you can take off the mask and share your real gift with a world that is waiting—desperately—for you do so, even if it means you might feel like an impostor for a little while.
Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now If you want to win your dream clients, you have to nurture those relationships over time. You have to make the deposits that make you known and that make you known as a value creator. Here are 5 rules to help you nurture your dream clients without making the mistakes most sales organizations and salespeople make.It must come from you: I love marketing. But if something shows up in your dream client’s inbox from marketing—even if it has your name on it—it is spam. You are the one nurturing the relationship, so any deposit in that relationship must necessarily come from you. Later, you are going to ask for their time, and you are going to be the one they work with. You do the nurturing.It must not be behind the wall: Let’s say you have some killer piece of content your dream client might benefit from reading and implementing in their business. If you send a link to that content that requires them to enter their name, email address, and phone number in order to download it, you are not nurturing the relationship. Send them the white paper, case study, or idea directly.It must contain a personal note: If the note you send was written by marketing and intended to be used on every email, it is not nurturing. You have to send your communication with a personal note from you, and it’s even more powerful if you know something about your dream client that you can include. Without the personal note, we’re back to spam.It must contain an actionable, valuable idea: This is where some people get a little cross with me. If you send something to your dream client with the intention of making a deposit in your relationship, it has to be something of value. You have to be prepared to share a valuable idea, even though your dream client may use that idea without hiring you. If you want to be know as a value creator, you have to have and a share valuable ideas. Nothing less will do.It must not contain an ask: If you are making a deposit in the relationship, make it. But don’t also attempt to make a withdrawal at the same time. It goes like this: Deposit. Deposit. Deposit. Withdrawal. When you are nurturing, nurture. When you are asking, ask! This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.
Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Deal stuck? Here’s why.It’s Still a LeadYou don’t close a lead. You only close opportunities. The reason that you can’t (and won’t) close some of the deal in your pipeline is because they are still only leads. In order to convert a lead to an opportunity, your prospective client has to agree to explore changing. They have to agree there is a reason to change and that they need to change now (or very soon, anyway).If you want to close, do the work necessary to convert a lead into a real opportunity. A sales meeting doesn’t necessarily equal an opportunity.You Haven’t Gained the Necessary CommitmentsSelling is really only two things: conversations and commitments. The reason a lot of opportunities don’t close after they are created is because the salesperson is good at the conversation part, but hasn’t acquired all of the necessary commitments.You need a commitment for time, the commitment to explore, the commitment to change, the commitment to collaborate, the commitment to build consensus, the commitment to invest, a commitment to review your plan, a commitment to resolve concerns, the commitment to decide, and the commitment to execute.If you want to close, gain all of the necessary smaller commitments between target and close.You Haven’t Made a Compelling Enough CaseYour opportunity isn’t going to close unless and until you make a compelling case for change. Change is difficult, messy, and time-consuming. Your dream clients trust their existing problems more than they trust you or the change that you present.You need to help your prospective client understand the high price they will pay if they don’t change. The status quo is comfortable. You have to make uncomfortable and unsustainable. What does your prospective client risk by not changing? Do they lose their competitive position? Do they lose market share? Will they lose clients if they don’t change? How much will it cost them in new opportunities?If you want to close, build the case for change.You Haven’t Got ConsensusLook at the opportunities in your pipeline right now. How many contacts do you have attached to each opportunity? If you have only one contact, you aren’t positioned to win an opportunity. If you have only two contacts, you are doing a little better, but I am skeptical that you can win the opportunity.I used to say, “More and more, decisions are made by consensus.” I no longer say “more and more.” Decisions are made by consensus. Period. If you are going to close an opportunity, you are going to have to help build that consensus. Do you know all of the people on the real buying committee? Do you know the people who get to weigh in, even if they aren’t formally represented in the process?Getting to yes means getting a consensus to change and a consensus to choose you.You Haven’t Resolved Your Client’s ConcernsToo many opportunities end in a “no decision” because the prospective client has unresolved concerns.Your prospective client is worried they’re spending too much money. They’re worried about their credibility should you fail. They’re worried about their team’s ability to execute and how committed they will be. They’re worried about disrupting their organization. At the end of their buying journey, they have to deal with these fears. Either you are there to help them by resolving their concerns or you increase the likelihood of a “no decision.”Your opportunity is risk until you do the work to resolve your dream client’s concerns.
The word entropy means “the unavailability of a systems thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work.” It also means “a gradual decline into disorder.” For our purposes here, let’s start with the second definition.At one point in time, people were held accountable for working, and that work produced results. Things were going along fine, and then the accountability, little by little, was removed. It was an intentional decision not to hold people accountable for the work or the results. Instead, it was the success that was being had that caused the leaders to change their approach.First, the meetings ended. The manager was too busy to have the meeting, and so were the people that worked for him. Everything was working so well, missing a meeting or two wasn’t really going to change their results. And why bother people with interruptions?Then, not too long after that, reporting stopped. No one was required to speak out loud what they did or did not do. Why should they have to? The managers and leaders had a dashboard, and they could see hundred of metrics, and as long as you can count the things that can be counted, all is well. These leaders did not remember that most of what really counts can’t be counted, and the most powerful forces in the Universe are invisible to the human eye.Then, success ended, and what once knew only up, soon knew only down.A change was necessary. Everyone recognized what needed to be done. Doing what needed to be done proved to be much more difficult than recognizing these things. The people who needed to change and produce results were told that it was important. They were provided training, in hopes that it would rekindle inside them what had created success in the past. None of this worked, and no one understood why.One brave leader asked, “Are they being held accountable for the work that they should be doing?” Another leader replied, “I don’t want to be a micromanager. I am not that person. I want my people to take initiative, to figure things out for themselves.”Decay doesn’t happen over night. Accountability once lost, takes more energy to recover than the energy that would have preserved it.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now The likelihood of winning a deal is inversely related to the number of days you have been working it.Your ability to acquire a meeting is a measurement of the imbalance between the time your client gives up in exchange for the value you create.Every “no” moves you closer to a “yes,” to the degree that you are willing to change your approach, learn from the feedback you receive, and persist over time.Your choice of medium for difficult conversations is a projection of how confident you are in your ability to create value for your client.The most difficult clients to win are the easiest to retain.The percentage of the first ten minutes you spend in your first sales conversation focused on providing proof that your company and products are worth buying, the lower the odds of you selling those same products.The greater your client weighs your pricing as the determining factor for a decision to buy from you, the shorter the time they will be your client. When this isn’t true, you will retain the client but regret having acquired them.The more discovery questions you ask on a cold call, the more you eliminate the possibility of obtaining a meeting.Learn Anthony’s core strategies & tactics for sales success at any level with The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedThe worst time to win a client is the first time they make a low frequency, high significance decision. The third time they make the decision is the best time to win them. Having been disappointed and having confronted the reality, they are educated enough to be retained.The prospect who ceaselessly complains about your competitor is likely to be as big a nightmare for you as they are your competitor.A contact that displays low moral intelligence throughout the sales process will expect you to be complicit in their bad decisions after they sign your contract.The longer you effectively nurture a client, the closer you are to an opportunity. The loyalty they show your competitor is the loyalty they will extend to you.The more you perceive the grass being greener somewhere else, the more weeds you will become exposed to once you walk across the street.Your odds of keeping a client after making a mistake is proportional to the time it takes you to respond multiplied by the leadership you exercised multiplied by the time it takes to execute divided by how much you try to blame external factors.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The following is not a true story, even though it may resemble stories you have you heard. No names will be used, to protect the guilty (and the highly sensitive).A kid decides to open a lemonade stand. He sets up shop at a busy corner, and he sells lemonade for $1.50, pocketing $1.00. His net profit is 67 percent, a very nice amount of money for the value he creates for his customers.A serial entrepreneur (read: wants to get rich quick, not run a business) from San Francisco happens upon this kid and his delicious lemonade. Recognizing potential when he sees it, said entrepreneur offers to invest in the business to help the young kid scale up his budding enterprise. The kid agrees, accepts the investment, and brings the entrepreneur on as an advisor.The kid suggests that they open a second lemonade stand on an adjacent street to pick up traffic his location misses. The entrepreneur explains to the kid that he is thinking too small, that when you have something that works, you need to find investors and scale the business as fast as possible, take it public, and exit a billionaire. The kid likes the sound of that, even though he doesn’t understand what any of it means.A Modern Approach to ScaleThe entrepreneur explains the plan. First, they need an investor deck. The business isn’t going to scale fast enough without the money necessary to exploit the lemonade market in the entirety of the United States now, and the rest of the world starting eighteen months from now. After they have the deck, the entrepreneur, the kid, his bicycle, and the lemonade stand will begin a roadshow to get the first $25,000,000 and start scaling the business. Once they have the money, they will begin to acquire additional cash in the form of debt, leveraging the company as collateral.They open the second lemonade stand, but to speed the revenue growth, they hire an agency and begin marketing. The marketing firm suggests that to create buzz, they need t-shirts, wrist bands, and branded cups with the logo that also keep the lemonade cold. Now the cost structure for the cup of lemonade is just over $4.00, leaving the kid with a loss of $3.50 on every cup of lemonade he sells. The next ten lemonade stands open in quick succession, and the losses being to mount. The entrepreneur tells the kid that the problem is that they are not scaling fast enough, that they need to open more lemonade stands.The entrepreneur and his advisors realize the constraint in opening stores faster is real estate, so he tells the kid they are going to need to secure long-term leases on property to ensure they have the best locations. The kid says he doesn’t know what this means, but now he is on the cover of magazines and featured in new stories as the lemonade wunderkind. Caught up in the hype of his success and his lemonade, he agrees to the long term leases.The marketing budget is to property leases what matches are to a flame thrower. Soon, the kid and his advisor need another round of funding. They’re still losing money on every cup of lemonade, but their revenue is doubling every six months. As they are doing their second round of investments, one investor suggests that losing millions of dollars each year and being saddled with debt commitments that exceed their revenue by 3,700% each year might not be sustainable. The entrepreneur and his advisors quickly share a slide that shows the growth and the future profitability of the company. Money pours in.The End GameThe kid says he is worried about what people are saying about the business. The entrepreneur tells him not to worry; he is getting a bonus, a new car, and a private jet. As the CEO, these are things he is entitled to as part of his role and his image. Besides, they are getting ready to take the company public, the company is valued at $4,000,000,000, even though it loses $400,000,000 a year and has a debt of $8,000,000,000.A financial commentator makes the statement that kid was more profitable when he had a single lemonade stand. The kid rings the bell to start trading. The market responds to the opening by driving up the price of a share of the kid’s lemonade stand as institutional investors and people who want into the next big thing. The next day, the price drops by just over 50% as the short sellers start to attack the stock as being insanely over-valued.If you can’t turn a profit, you are not running a good business, no matter the size. A large enterprise that loses money is not better than a smaller one that turns a profit. If a kid with a lemonade stand nets more money than you at the end of the year, the kid is a better entrepreneur. What you are trying to do is something different than entrepreneurship.
Twelve labourers were killed while 30 others injured when a mini truck overturned and fell into a roadside ditch while negotiating a curve, a police official said.Eight persons died on the spot, Jabalpur SP Mahendra Singh Sikarwar told PTI.“Twelve labourers including eight women were killed when the mini truck overturned while heading towards a village in the district and fell into a ditch,” mr. Sikarwar said.The injured persons have been rushed to a hospital.Further details are awaited.
A group of girls of a residential school in Muzaffarnagar were allegedly threatened and forced to strip by the principal. An inquiry has been ordered into the alleged incident.According to a complaint filed by the students’ parents, the junior class students of the residential school in this district were on Thursday forced to strip by the principal.She allegedly threatened the students of dire consequences if they disobeyed her command, district primary education officer Chander Kesh Yadav said. An enquiry has been ordered.“There was no teacher around. We were called downstairs [from the hostel]. Madam made us take off our clothes, saying she will beat us if we did not. We are kids, what could we do? She would have beaten us if we did not obey her,” one of the students said.The principal, however, has denied the allegation.“No one asked them to remove clothes. All this is a conspiracy by the staff because they do not want me to stay here. I had been asked to check whether the staff were performing their duties. I am strict, that is why they hate me,” she said.Meanwhile, 35 out of the total 65 students of the school left after reports of harassment by the principal surfaced.Many students have come forward with similar allegation, Mr. Yadav said, adding the matter was being probed.
Panaji: The Goa Health Services have intensified fever surveillance and other precautionary measures in areas near North Goa’s border, adjacent to Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district, following rise in deaths due to Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or monkey fever, particularly in Banda town of the district.Dr. Utkarsha Betkikar, an Epidermiologist with Goa Health Services, said nine deaths have been reported in Sindhudurg as of now. On Monday evening, he said some KFD cases from Banda, which is adjacent to Pernem (North Goa border), had been admitted at the State-owned Goa Medical College (GMC) Hospital in Bambolim for treatment.He said the patients had to be admitted to the GMC as a tertiary care facility was not available to them, other than the State-owned Goa North District Hospital in Mapusa or the GMC.For Goa, he said, all precautionary measures are in place. “Fever surveillance is on in villages near Goa’s border adjacent to Banda. Tests are being conducted constantly and no [KFD] cases have been detected so far. Health authorities are also conducting tests at North Goa’s Valpoi taluk.” He added that the vaccination programme has been going on for quite some time.Health service authorities said the State has not recorded any deaths due to KDF since last year.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has concluded that a powdered substance recovered from the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on July 12, suspected to have been high-grade explosive PETN, was “quartz,” a material used to make glass and cast metal.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had described the recovery as a “dangerous terror conspiracy” and recommended a probe by the NIA. The Home Ministry received a report from the State that the 150 g of powder wrapped in paperwas PETN (Penta-erythritol tetranitrate), an explosive that could have blown up the building.The suspicious powder was found close to the seat of Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Choudhary.The NIA had sent the samples for forensic examination and the results said the powdered substance was not PETN.“It was quartz or, in common terms, sandstone that is used to make glass. The powdered substance, wrapped in a paper and then a polythene bag, was found stuck under one of the seats,” said a senior NIA official.The official said the polythene bag had been lying there for at least five months. “There was some renovation work undertaken at the Assembly building. It seems the workers who did the renovation, left behind the powdered substance. Since it was stuck under the seat, the cleaners missed it,” the official said.Based on the U.P. government’s request, the NIA had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).A team of experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh, visited the Assembly building on September 2.The ATS had earlier questioned Samajwadi Party MLA Manoj Pandey in connection with the case as the powdered substance was found close to his seat.
Pulwama, home district of slain Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Sameer Bhat, alias Tiger, remained tense for the fifth day on Friday, as the video of Monday’s encounter that led to his death, went viral online.The one-minute video, shot from a vehicle of the security forces, shows the last moments of the operation. Jubilant Army men are seen shouting “Sameer agayee (Sameer has come)” as a person climbs on top of a concrete slab after the house is set on fire. The militant is seen opening fire as the Army retaliates, resulting in his death. Challenge to officerA day ahead of Monday’s operation, Sameer Tiger had released a video daring a Major to take him on in a one-on-one encounter. Within 24 hours, the Major was injured in the operation as his unit zeroed in on the militant at his native village of Drabgam in Pulwama on Monday.Tension gripped Drubgam again on Thursday night after the police picked up nine local youth. The youth, the police said, were planning to stick Bhat’s posters on Friday. A police official said clashes broke out in the night as security forces were looking for “incriminating posters”.Local people said the security forces pulled down posters of Sameer Tiger to prevent any tribute from local youth on the first Friday following his death.DSP’s house ‘attacked’In a separate incident, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Nisar Ahmed Bakshi, alleged his house was “attacked by security forces for the eighth time on Wednesday afternoon following a law and order situation fuelled a gunfight in Shopian on Wednesday”.The officer posted nine photos of broken windows and the shattered windscreen of cars on his Facebook, which went viral in the Valley.Mr. Bakhsi, a resident of Nai Basti in Anantnag, said windows of his house, windscreens of a few cars, a broken scooter and a bike were the result of “security forces’ action”.“Vandalism by the security forces at K.P. Road Anantnag. Property worth lacs including windows and windowpanes of my residential house damaged. Houses, vehicles and shops smashed by rods and rocks. This is for the 8th time since 2008 that my residential house has been damaged in such a way,” reads the post.The police have refused to comment on the issue.
A day after the Karnataka setback, BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday drew flak from his party’s ally in Assam over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) expressed its displeasure over the BJP’s bid to push the Bill, at the third conclave of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a forum of non-Congress parties of the region helmed by the BJP, here on Sunday.Protesters heldThis followed protests by NGOs such as Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti against the Bill before Mr. Shah’s arrival. KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi and others were arrested and whisked away from the conclave venue. “The BJP must scrap this Bill that threatens the existence of the indigenous peoples of Assam besides going against the spirit of the Assam Accord,” AGP president Atul Bora, also a Minister in the BJP-led coalition government in Assam, said at the conclave.The Bill aims at granting citizenship to minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh after six years of residence in India.‘Against Assam accord’The AGP says this will make the Assam Accord of 1985, which seeks deportation of all illegal immigrants entering the State after March 24, 1971, redundant.“If the Citizenship Bill is passed, it will change Assam’s demography. We feel that there should not be any division of people on religious lines. We hope Amit Shahji will realise the gravity of the situation in Assam and do his best to protect the interests of indigenous communities,” Mr. Bora said.Mr. Shah avoided the Bill issue, and urged the NEDA constituents to focus on making Mizoram “Congress-mukt”. NEDA has 13 regional parties including the AGP and Mizo National Front, which wants to wrest Mizoram from the Congress.Mizoram, where Assembly elections are due this year, is the last of the eight States in the Northeast where the Congress is in power.The Chief Ministers of six States attended the meeting. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling skipped the conclave, but the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front party had sent representatives.
Aanchal, the mother’s milk bank established in 18 district government hospitals of Rajasthan, has benefited about 20,000 infants and helped improve their nutrition levels. The bank collects excess breast milk from lactating mothers and provides it to infants deprived of it.Rajasthan is the first State in the country to establish a government-run community milk banking system, following Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s budgetary announcement for it in 2015-16. Infants with mothers who are unable to feed them due to clinical reasons, or those who are orphaned or abandoned, can receive mother’s milk from the bank.Dr. Mamta Gupta, one of two private doctors from the State to bag the Prime Minister’s Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan awards for rendering efficient services to pregnant women, said at a review meeting at the Swasthya Bhavan here that the milk bank system would be strengthened. Over 31,000 lactating mothers have donated their milk to the Aanchal facility so far. The Medical and Health Department has banned the use of dairy and formula milk in hospitals where the milk banking units have been established.