How Veterans Can Leverage Their Communities and Benefits for Success

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How Veterans Can Leverage Their Communities and Benefits for Success

If you’re a veteran, you might be wondering what your options are for moving forward after military life. Maybe you want to start your own business. Perhaps you want to return to school. Maybe you aren’t quite sure what your next step will be. Fortunately, no matter which branch of the military you served in, there are several ways you can leverage your benefits for success. Here’s what you need to know.

Resources for Starting a Business

If you’re interested in starting your own business, but you aren’t quite sure how you can afford it, you might be surprised to learn that the VA does offer business loans to eligible applicants. Consider applying for a loan in order to jump start your new business. This can give you the leverage you need to get started doing what you really want to be doing.

Resources for Furthering Your Education

The VA offers educational benefits through the GI bill, which will enable you to pursue a college degree at the school of your choice. You may use your GI bill benefits for either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Note that this benefit covers the cost of tuition. You will also receive a stipend for housing and for books. The rates for these benefits vary based on your location, the type of school you’re attending (online versus on-campus), and the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in.

Resources for Training

Did you know that much of your military training translates to the civilian world? If you’re an expert at something and received solid training in the military, you may be able to utilize this training to pursue a career in a new field. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things you learned don’t apply in non-military positions. They do! Chances are you’re more qualified for local positions than you think.

While the choice to leave the military can be a tricky one, rest assured that you have many available options for moving forward and succeeding in the world around you. Whether you want to start your own business or simply develop the skills you need to become a business professional, it’s possible to find the help and the assistance you need to get started. Begin by considering your personal goals and then explore what particular options and benefits the VA has to offer you. You might be surprised at just how much you’ll be able to do.

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4 Foundations of a Scalable Business Model

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4 Foundations of a Scalable Business Model

If you have decided that you want to build a scalable business, you’ll need to quickly learn how to lay down the proper foundations to support it. Not all profitable businesses are able to climb up the business ladder quickly. To build up a business, you need a business model that can quickly multiply revenue at a minimal incremental cost. For example, a piece of software takes a lot of labor to develop, but once developed, it can be copied repeatedly with the same minimum cost. However, a family restaurant is vastly different. Labor and fresh ingredients are costly, and while a family business can grow well and be profitable, it would be a poor business model. Here are some ideas on how to lay the proper foundation for a rising enterprise.

Set Your Business Plan

One of the most crucial mistakes when building a scalable business model is not starting with a business plan. Eventually, businesses will need to begin searching for investors and having meetings with bankers. Your business plan should be ready to go. However, a business plan is more than just a description of your product. Your business plan should contain information about the problem you’re solving for your target market, your solution, how your solution will benefit your target market, and the financials and forecasts to back it up.

Automate Wherever Possible

One of the key requirements of a scalable business model is that there is a set system for accomplishing tasks, and everybody follows the same system. Automating as much of your mundane tasks, such as data entry, is one of the first things you should set up so that you can save on hiring additional employees. You can also automate email responses and appointment reminders. At instances where automating is not possible, consider hiring a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee to manage routine tasks. This will save you time and resources so that you and your key team members can focus your attention on the clients, product development, and potential investors.

Intelligent Sales Software

Many software solutions such as CRM and POS can help generate more sales, improve customer experience, and scale your business. When searching for software solutions, try to search for those that have integration functions so that you can integrate as many applications as you need into an application suite. Not only are application bundles usually less expensive, but software from the same family are also usually more powerful when synced together. In addition, adequate training and education on existing software can help about your retail stores

The Corporate Shield

Setting up your business as the right business entity can save you a lot of hassle and headache. While there are many business entities types available to register as LLC and LLP are the main business types that can help protect your business assets in the event of legal proceedings.

Building a scalable business model is a hefty enterprise that requires a lot of preparation beforehand. If you are thinking of building a business or is interested in making your current business profitable, make sure you follow these tips to build with a solid starting foundation.

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6 Ways to Tame Your Farts

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6 Ways to Tame Your Farts

6 Ways to Tame Your Farts

Benjamin Franklin stated that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. However, we think he failed to mention a third: flatulence, farts, gas… you get the idea.

Whatever you call it, we all do it. In fact, the average person farts between 5 and 15 times daily — with the more excessive ones happening after meals.

Yet, for such a normal and frequent act of bodily release, we can still get extremely shy about it.

We’ve all sat at work and desperately tried to hold a fart in or been out with friends and hoped nobody will comment on the sudden dubious smell. But we’re drawing the line at holding in gas to the point of twisting pain.

So, the next time you want to avoid a gas hold up, here are some easy steps you can take. Time to encourage the winds of change, baby.

1. Skip fiber = calm farts

You’ve embraced high-fiber greens — foods that’ve been labeled so-good-you-should-eat-them-everyday. But eating them in excess can often be the biggest culprits for pent-up gas.

Our digestive system has to work a little harder to break down beans, lentils, rye, apples, broccoli… foods high in the FODMAP (short-chain carbs that bypass digestion).

“Fiber is not easily digestible, and we rely on the bacteria in our gut to break it down via fermentation in our large bowel,” explains Dr Anthony Hobson, clinical director at The Functional Gut Clinic. “A bi-product of fermentation is gas; hence why high-fiber foods can cause flatulence.”

Another little-known fact? High-fiber ingredients could be the case behind your constipation, too. Thus, if you’ve got a date or an important meeting, hold off on the loaded bean burrito.

Psst — if you’ve experienced the classic “spicy fart,” we don’t have to tell you what caused it. Just as eating beetroot or rhubarb can turn your urine pink, the naturally hot components of spicy foods can irritate your bowels and anus.

Heads up: Don’t mix these foods!

The combo of fiber with processed sugar, trans fat, refined oils and carbs, alcohol, and processed meats can be potent. Especially for folks with chronic gut conditions, like IBS or other food intolerances. The levels of uncomfortable gas and bloating after eating these foods is going to be high.

If that turns out to be the case for you, check with your doctor to make sure it’s not just a matter of too much fiber.

2. Drink, oh drink, drink

Before you get excited, we’re not talking about alcohol (sorry) but good ole H2O.

Drinking enough water daily has numerous benefits, from helping our kidneys function properly to improving our skin; but, in the case of gas, water is what will show it the door.

As dietician Sejal Jenkins explains: “Dehydration can impact your bowel movement and how food moves in your gut. Sufficient fluid intake will help regulate your bowels, which aids in preventing constipation and excess gas production.”

Sure, when your stomach has expanded to its max, the last thing you feel like doing is filling it more. But do your farts a favor and drink — right now, and every time you’re thirsty — because the long game here is to help your liver.

Hot tip: Adding ginger (1200 mg) to your water may help with getting the gas out faster.

3. Walk before the big date

Yeah, walking boosts heart health, increases immunity and burns calories — but the real reason you’re going for a stroll is to clear the air. Literally.

Studies show that walking helps with keeping the gas at bay, and exercising regularly stifles bloat.

Just think of pebbles trying to make their way through a twisted hosepipe. Move to help untangle that mess and get your gut decomposing before it builds up into a stench house.

Also, as in many cases, a little movement sends a message to your noggin. “Your gut and brain are constantly communicating with each other,” states Jacob. “Exercise like walking helps calm your brain — subsequently helping calm the gut and improving bloating and flatulence.”

4. Knock back some probiotics

A gut on duty is a gut that gets gas out of the way (or at least produces a less offensive smell). And sometimes the gut wants a little assistance when it works.

Fortunately, it’ll accept in the form of probiotics. If you haven’t heard by now, probiotics are the good guys that boost your digestive system.

“The microorganisms in your gut play a very important role in digestion. When there’s an imbalance in your gut bacteria, pathogenic (bad) bacteria can cause issues like bloating and wind,” explains Jacob. “[Probiotics] help balance the good bacteria.”

Including fermented foods into your diet — such as kimchi and kefir — is another great way to boost good bacteria.

While many natural probiotics include sugar, you might want to avoid the added kind because they can slow the army down a little.

5. Take it slooooooow

Unless, like Ross Gellar, you’re trying to beat a teenage Monica to the Thanksgiving turkey, eating and drinking is a marathon — not a sprint.

If you inhale that plate of tacos, you’ll take in more air, which — you guessed it — “can get trapped and increase flatulence,” Dr Hobson says.

Plus, “chewing properly helps us to be mindful of our portion sizes and avoid a full stomach,” adds Jacobs. A stuffed tum puts extra strain on your digestive system, leading to that troublesome foe, gas.

So unless you want to become a resident of Gasville by the time you leave the table, pace yourself.

6. Single out your stress — and relax

Our daily lives can be full of overlapping stressful factors. Stress and anxiety can come in like the worry warts we didn’t invite and, apart from taking a toll on our mental health, these anxious thoughts can impact the gut, too — encouraging a fart party.

“When you experience stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, causing non-essential activities, like digestion, to shut down,” explains Jacobs.

Luckily, life created time-outs, and you’ve earned the right to take one if you need to.

“Meditation, yoga, and keeping your circadian rhythm in check by sleeping and waking at a consistent time, all act as stress reducers,” she adds.

Deep breathing — slowly, into your diaphragm — can quickly reduce feelings of anxiety too. Doing so signals to the brain and body to lower your heart rate and blood pressure and generally take things down a notch.

It’s pretty clear that farting is natural and A-OK.

Flatulence is, most of the time, an indication that your body is doing its job at clearing out crap (pun intended) it doesn’t need. That’s definitely something to be happy about.

But we get that you might not be announcing the presence of a fart in a crowded room anytime soon — so if you feel a bit of bubbling going on, excuse yourself and let loose where only God can hear you.

Chantelle Pattemore is a writer and editor based in London, UK. She focuses on lifestyle, travel, food, health and fitness.

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7 New Tech Devices for Elder Care That Helps seniors live Happier, Healthy Lives

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7 New Tech Devices for Elder Care That Helps seniors live Happier, Healthy Lives

7 new tech devices for elder care that help seniors live happier, healthier lives

KEY POINTS

  • New devices that use VR, robotics and other technologies have hit the market that help the elderly live longer, healthier lives.These innovations include VR headsets for seniors with Alzheimer’s and cloud-enabled fall detection watches.

  • The active-aging industry in the U.S. — which includes safety and smart-living technologies, health and remote care, and wellness and fitness technologies — is expected to triple in the next three years, to nearly $30 billion.

Those ages 50 and older in the U.S. generate $7.6 trillion in economic activity, according to AARP, representing a huge financial force. That trend will grow as the number of older adults more than doubles by 2050, representing over 20% of the population.

As these boomers age, they want to do so actively, gracefully and independently. Technology is being viewed as the big disruptor that will allow them to achieve those goals. And that’s presenting a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs developing these types of products.

“We’re already seeing some really interesting ways technology is being used to help people as they age,” said Ben Jonash, an author of The Future of Aging by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

The broader demographic trends will fuel large growth of these types of companies in the coming years, says Jake Nice, a principal in Nationwide Ventures. “We’re in the early innings of what’s going to be a very large market,” he said.

Thousands of companies are chasing seniors in this market, says John Hopper, chief investment officer at Ziegler Link-Age Funds, which has invested $100 million in 25 companies, including Ally Align, a Medicare Advantage plan provider; Include Health, a designer and manufacturer of exercise and rehab equipment specifically for disabled and aging; and Caremerge, which coordinates care among senior-care providers and families. Higher percentages of older people want to be active longer and age at home. “We view technology as a big part of the puzzle of how we provide those services that the senior demographic is demanding,” he says.

Mary Furlong, a leading consultant in the longevity marketplace, agrees. “There’s a spirit about building not just a business but something for humanity,” she said. At the June Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit that she spearheaded, entrepreneurs unveiled a variety of technology products targeted at allowing seniors to live healthier, active lives.

Here’s a glimpse at some start-ups generating buzz in the industry.

Embodied Labs

When Carrie Shaw was 19, her mother, then 51, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She realized that if she could better understand her mother’s disease and perspective, it could help improve the care she provided her.

So in August 2016 she launched Embodied Labs. Two years later Shaw rolled out an immersive program that uses virtual reality headsets. When worn, these headsets offer simulations in which caregivers to take on the persona of an aging person facing a variety of situations, including macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Shaw says that having real insight into a loved one’s condition will enable caregivers to develop empathy for older adults and in turn improve the way they deliver care. And with a projected shortfall of over 1 million direct-care workers by 2020, Shaw claims the Embodied Labs platform will help train and retain employees and improve difficult conversations with their patients.

Currently sold only to businesses, Embodied Labs has 100 subscribing organizations across the senior care, home health and home-care services for older adults, including The Green House Project, Hospice of Southern Maine, Comfort Keepers, the University of California Irvine School of Medicine and California State University Channel Islands School of Nursing.

Subscribers pay a one-time hardware setup fee starting at $2,500 and an annual subscription fee to the training platform based on the number of physical locations and number of employees or users.

The bottom line: The company has eight full-time employees and has raised $1.5 million of investment capital. It’s also received $400,000 in nondilutive funding from groups including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AARP and the Department of Education. It’s backed by The Ziegler Link-Age Fund as well.

Intuition Robotics

This company was founded in 2016 to help older adults avoid loneliness and social isolation, a common problem among the aging that can contribute to poor health. Intuition Robotics’ debut product is a robot called ElliQ, which Dor Skuler, co-founder and CEO, calls “a sidekick for happier aging.”

The proactive cognitive artificial intelligence product initiates conversation to help the senior stay in touch with family or loved ones, engage in healthy behaviors — including nudges to take medication — and stay connected with the outside world.The so-called active aging industry in the U.S. — which includes safety and smart-living technologies, health and remote care, and wellness and fitness technologies — is expected to triple in the next three years, to nearly $30 billion, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association. While the report finds that health and remote care lead the way, wellness and fitness technologies for seniors is expected to reach $900 million by 2022.

The ElliQ has 117 different ways just to say “good morning,” Skuler says. It may, for example, check the weather, determine it’s pleasant, then ask whether the senior wants to go for a walk. Loved ones can interact with ElliQ as well, sending photos through the app that the senior can see and respond to via a video screen.

The company plans to begin shipping the product in September. It has partnered with companies such as Comfort Keepers, the largest home care provider in the U.S., though individuals will be able to purchase the product. The pre-order cost is $1,500, with the monthly fee waived for the first 12 months; after that the monthly fee is $30.

The bottom line: Intuition Robotics has 74 full-time employees and has raised $22 million in funding, as well as a $500,000 grant from The Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation for a clinical trial with the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living and Baycrest Health Services in Toronto.

Ageless Innovation

While working for Hasbro, Ted Fischer developed a series of robotic pets that were created with the intention of fostering meaningful connections through play. It turned out that their largest customer base came from the older adult market because of the robotic pets’ unique ability to engage, delight, provide companionship, calm, soothe and, most importantly, promote happiness — especially for those living independently or in care communities.

In 2015, realizing now that play has no age limit, the toy company officially launched its brand of companion pets under the name Joy For All.

The robotic cats and pups have sensors that allow them to interact with a human companion as they would with a live pet. The cat responds to touch, rolls over and utters 32 different types of purring sounds. The pup’s heartbeat slows down if a hand is placed on its back.

In April 2018 the Joy for All management team left Hasbro to found Ageless Innovation. A month later they acquired the Joy for All brand, assets and business. Ageless Innovation now runs the brand independently and is completely focused on the older adult market, continuing to create new robotic companions.

“Our purpose is to reimagine how we age positively by unleashing the power of play,” Fischer said. He said that studies have shown the pets to be an effective, nontraditional intervention in addressing loneliness among older adults.

The product is sold both to businesses, including senior living communities, as well as individuals; the cat costs $99, while the pup is $119. Ageless Innovation launched companies in the UK and Australia earlier this year. Since 2016, when Joy For All was under the Hasbro umbrella, 150,000 pets have been sold.

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Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

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Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

With nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population reporting a disability, and that number expected to grow as the population becomes older, there is a significant market aimed at people looking for products to help them maintain their independence. Whether it’s software or hardware, engaging people with disabilities and people across the age spectrum allows for greater opportunities to draw in loyal customers for your products.

Engaging diverse populations provides a range of benefits to the overall design of products. People with disabilities and older adults are underrepresented and bring new ideas and viewpoints to the types of products that can serve these groups.

Accessible technology not only serves seniors and people with disabilities, but also the general public. We can experience a temporary disability — whether it stems from a simple broken bone or an illness — at any time in our lives. Statistically, as we all age, we are likely to experience some type of physical and mental deterioration in vision, hearing, mobility, or cognition. It’s important to realize these issues affect everyone, not just the highlighted groups. 

The U.S. market for solutions provided by smart, connected devices is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2018 to nearly $30 billion in 2022. The largest segment of this market will be safety and smart living technologies, which will triple in size during that time. AARP research finds the spending of 50-plus year old Americans amounts to $5.6 trillion and supports nearly 90 million jobs. The American Institutes for Research finds that after-tax disposable income for working age people with disabilities is about $490 billion. 

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Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

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Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

Engaging Diverse Populations in Design

With nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population reporting a disability, and that number expected to grow as the population becomes older, there is a significant market aimed at people looking for products to help them maintain their independence. Whether it’s software or hardware, engaging people with disabilities and people across the age spectrum allows for greater opportunities to draw in loyal customers for your products.

Engaging diverse populations provides a range of benefits to the overall design of products. People with disabilities and older adults are underrepresented and bring new ideas and viewpoints to the types of products that can serve these groups.

Accessible technology not only serves seniors and people with disabilities, but also the general public. We can experience a temporary disability — whether it stems from a simple broken bone or an illness — at any time in our lives. Statistically, as we all age, we are likely to experience some type of physical and mental deterioration in vision, hearing, mobility, or cognition. It’s important to realize these issues affect everyone, not just the highlighted groups. 

The U.S. market for solutions provided by smart, connected devices is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2018 to nearly $30 billion in 2022. The largest segment of this market will be safety and smart living technologies, which will triple in size during that time. AARP research finds the spending of 50-plus year old Americans amounts to $5.6 trillion and supports nearly 90 million jobs. The American Institutes for Research finds that after-tax disposable income for working age people with disabilities is about $490 billion. 

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Self Promotion is Scarry

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Self Promotion is Scarry

Is the thought of self-promotion and being "out there" making you uncomfortable?

I get it.

That's why I LOVE what P.T Barnum said…

“Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!”

Quiet achievers – this one’s for you!

And entrepreneurs, this especially matters for you.

In an ever competitive, socially vibrant and noisy online world, it’s more acceptable (and important!) than ever to be seen and heard.

Before you recoil, let me share a little secret. Being reserved, being shy, acting cool – or whatever we default to as our reason for not self-promoting – does not equal humility. More often than not, it’s the total opposite...

...It’s our ego.

Yep. Our ego.

We avoid self-promotion because we don’t want to welcome criticism - so we do nothing and mask it with an over modest, “Oh, I’m not a self-promoter”.

Let me share with you why there is nothing brave or beneficial about that.

I was in corporate sales for a 35 years and learned over the years that we are ALL in fact selling something, all the time. Every single one of us. Promotion is not reserved for smooth-talking realtors or people rockin' retail careers. Dentists, nutritionists, hairdressers, make-up artists, coaches, even dog-walkers are all unofficial sales people too.

We all persuade and influence other people every day. And almost all web authorship is a sales tool too – your Instagram bio, blog LinkedIn profile and yep, the profile photo on your dating app.

Here’s why a little self-promotion is important:

1. It’s the new normal

Do you flinch when you see someone sharing a recent career promotion online or an exciting development in their business? I doubt it. We expect to see these posts and when we like the person (and we almost always do if we are following them), we cheer them on. Other people will do the same for you!

2. You can’t assume anyone is aware of your achievements

A former manager of mine said to me over a martini once, “JT – unless you tell me about your wins and how happy your clients are, I am just not going to know. Help me help you get recognized!”

Everyone has his or her own agenda and to-do list. You have to be proactive and tout your expertise to ensure other people are in the know about it. 

3. It’s a necessary part of creative work

Are you a gifted singer, photographer, graphic designer, personal stylist? How do you expect people find out about you and your talent, exactly? Promoting it gives it the light it needs, which will naturally help it flourish and thrive.

4. It motivates you to do better

Self-promotion means that you’ll only want to put your best work out into the world, as you are accountable for it. It opens up opportunities too.

When an executive is looking for a coach or newlyweds are seeking out an interior designer, who will be top of mind? The people they hear about who are doing great things! Don’t let your self-consciousness prevent you from progressing.

5. Most importantly: it helps other people, too!

If you are confident enough to be seen you unofficially make it less scary for other people to do the same thing.

When your personal brand grows, your power allows you to help other people along too.

Acknowledging and taking ownership of your brand (which exists whether you like it or not) is the very first step in claiming your power. There is nothing inspirational about your comfort zone. And there is nothing arrogant about sharing your light.

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Angel Signs - Feathers and Colors

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Angel Signs - Feathers and Colors

Angel Signs - Feathers and Colors

The angels often send us feathers as signs, or perhaps it is because feathers come from wings which we associate with angels. I do often get asked about the meaning colour with the feathers so I thought this was the perfect forum.

Our angels send us signs to let us know they are listening and working on our prayers and requests. Symbols like feathers are most important when they are meaningful to the person who receives them.  The first question I ask a client when we talk about signs, is “What does the sign mean to you?” and “What were you doing or thinking about when you noticed the sign or feather?”. When analyzing anything, ask yourself first, “What does this mean to me?”

Symbology is only as important as it is to the person having it. Meaning, what it means to you is always the most important, not what another teacher tells you it should mean. I did a bit of research when I was first asked this question and found that most meanings went along with the traditional chakra colours along with some of the colour therapy teachings. It works, so why not use it. It is truly about your intentions and what you assign to them. However, here is some generalized meanings for you to begin to work with while you are learning to trust yourself and the signs:

Feather Colours and their Meanings:

White Feathers white is the most common and often considered the symbol for purity, which is very much aligned with the meaning of angels. White feathers can also be a sign from the angels that your loved ones in Heaven are well, and have successfully crossed over into the spirit realms. White is also a symbol of faith and protection, and when you find white feathers in peculiar locations the message is especially significant. This is often just to reassure you that your angels are around you, working with you, and answering your prayers.

In addition to white feathers, here is a quick look at some of the additional meaning the coloured feathers may have.

Pink Feathers Pink is considered by most to be the colour of love.  Pink feathers are a reminder of the unconditional love that your angels have for you, and a reminder that all things are possible when you are tuned into the energy of love.

Red Feathers signify life force energy, physical vitality, stability, strength, passion, and courage. Trust that your base needs are being met.

Orange Feathers carry messages of creativity, listening to your inner voice, and staying positive to attract success. How do you feel?

Yellow Feathers are often a reminder to be cheerful and light-hearted, to be present, alert, and to stay focused on what you desire to magnetize these blessings into your life. Don’t get caught up in the drama of the world, just be present in the world and pay attention to details.

Green Feathers signify abundance and money, a fertile opportunity, as well as vibrant well-being, health, and love. Are you taking care of yourself?

Blue Feathers brings a calming and peaceful energy. Are you  connected to communication, awareness, and are often a reminder to listen.

Gray feathers are a call to return to peace. Gray is also neutral, and can be a sign that the answer to your question is not yes/no or black/white. Time to go within and find your centre and tap into the void to help you to refocus.

Brown Feathers signify grounding, home life, and stability. There is an energy of respect, groundedness, and balance between the physical and spiritual. The importance of connected with the earth and the now.

Black Feathers are a reminder of the protection of your angels, and a signal that spiritual wisdom, and magic are accessible by you so go within. You need a break from the world. A personal retreat.

Feathers with purple on them carry messages of deep spirituality, transmutation, as well as the opening of psychic and spiritual sight. You are on the right spiritual path and continue on with your studies.

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Top 10 New Medical Technologies of 2019

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Top 10 New Medical Technologies of 2019

I from all our Sync Media Network reporting live from many different conventions. I put this together for you to see the latest in Medical Technologies. Sync Media Network on YT.

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Top 10 new medical technologies of 2019

Technology and medicine have gone hand and hand for many years. Consistent advances in pharmaceuticals and the medical field have saved millions of lives and improved many others. As the years pass by and technology continues to improve, there is no telling what advances will come next. Here are the top 10 new medical technologies in 2019:

10. Smart inhalers

Inhalers are the main treatment option for asthma and if taken correctly, will be effective for 90% of patients. However, in reality, research shows that only about 50% of patients have their condition under control and as many as 94% don’t use inhalers properly.

To help asthma sufferers to better manage their condition, Bluetooth-enabled smart inhalers have been developed. A small device is attached to the inhaler which records the date and time of each dose and whether it was correctly administered. This data is then sent to the patients’ smartphones so they can keep track of and control their condition. Clinical trials showed that using the smart inhaler device used less reliever medicine and had more reliever-free days.

9. Robotic surgery

Robotic surgery is used in minimally invasive procedures and helps to aid in precision, control, and flexibility. During robotic surgery, surgeons can perform very complex procedures that are otherwise either highly difficult or impossible. As technology improves, it can be combined with augmented reality to allow surgeons to view important additional information about the patient in real-time while still operating. While the invention raises concerns that it will eventually replace human surgeons, it is likely to be used only to assist and enhance surgeons’ work in the future. Read more about robotic surgery here.

8. Wireless brain sensors

Thanks to plastics, medical advances have allowed scientists and doctors to team up and create bioresorbable electronics that can be placed in the brain and dissolve when they are no longer needed, according to Plasticstoday.com. This medical device will aid doctors in measuring the temperature and pressure within the brain. Since the sensors are able to dissolve, they reduce the need for additional surgeries.

7. 3-D printing

If you haven’t heard, 3-D printers have quickly become one of the hottest technologies on the market. These printers can be used to create implants and even joints to be used during surgery. 3-D-printed prosthetics are increasingly popular as they are entirely bespoke, the digital functionalities enabling them to match an individual’s measurements down to the millimeter. The allows for unprecedently levels of comfort and mobility. The use of printers can create both long-lasting and soluble items. For example, 3-D printing can be used to ‘print’ pills that contain multiple drugs, which will help patients with the organization, timing, and monitoring of multiple medications. This is a true example of technology and medicine working together.

6. Artificial organs

To take 3D printing up another notch, bio-printing is also an emerging medical technology. While it was initially ground-breaking to be able to regenerate skin cells for skin draughts for burn victims, this has slowly given way to even more exciting possibilities. Scientist have been able to create blood vessels, synthetic ovaries, and even a pancreas. These artificial organs then grow within the patient’s body to replace the original faulty one. The ability to supply artificial organs that are not rejected by the body’s immune system could be revolutionary, saving millions of patients that depend on life-saving transplants every year.

5. Health wearables

The demand for wearable devices has grown since their introduction in the past few years, since the release of BlueTooth in 2000. People today use their phone to track everything from their steps, physical fitness, and heartbeat, to their sleeping patterns. The advancement of these wearable technologies is in conjunction with rising chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and aim to combat these by helping patients to monitor and improve their fitness.

In late 2018, Apple made headlines with its groundbreaking Apple Series 4 Watch that has an integrated ECG to monitor the wearer’s heart rhythms. Within days of its release, customers were raving about the life-saving technology, which is able to detect potentially dangerous heart conditions much earlier than usual. The wearable devices market is forecast to reach $67 billion by 2024.

4. Precision medicine

As medical technology advances it is becoming more and more personalized to individual patients. Precision medicine, for example, allows physicians to select medicines and therapies to treat diseases, such as cancer, based on an individual’s genetic make-up. This personalized medicine is far more effective than other types of treatment as it attacks tumors based on the patient’s specific genes and proteins, causing gene mutations and making it more easily destroyed by the cancer meds. Precision medicine can also be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It uses a similar mechanism of attacking the disease’s vulnerable genes to weaken it and reduce symptoms and joint damage.

3. Virtual reality

Virtual reality has been around for some time. However, recently, with medical and technological advances, medical students have been able to get close to real-life experience using technology. Sophisticated tools help them gain the experience they need by rehearsing procedures and providing a visual understanding of how human anatomy is connected. The VR devices will also serve as a great aid for patients, helping with diagnosis, treatment plans and to help prepare them for procedures they are facing. It has also proved very useful in patient rehabilitation and recovery.

2. Telehealth

In a technologically driven world, it’s thought that as many as 60% of customers prefer digitally-led services. Telehealth describes a quickly developing technology that allows patients to receive medical care through their digital devices, instead of waiting for face-to-face appointments with their doctor. For example, highly-personalized mobile apps are being developed which allow patients to speak virtually with physicians and other medical professionals to receive an instant diagnosis and medical advice.

With oversubscribed services, telehealth gives patients different access points to healthcare when and where they need it. It is particularly useful for patients managing chronic conditions as it provides them with consistent, convenient and cost-effective care. The global telemedicine market is expected to be worth $113.1 billion by 2025.

1. CRISPR

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) is the most advanced gene-editing technology yet. It works by harnessing the natural mechanisms of the immune systems of bacterium cells of invading viruses, which is then able to ‘cut out’ infected DNA strands. This cutting of DNA is what has the power to potentially transform the way we treat disease. By modifying genes, some of the biggest threats to our health, like cancer and HIV, could potentially be overcome in a matter of years. However, as with all powerful tools, there are several controversies surrounding its widespread use, mostly over humanity’s right to ‘play God’ and worries over gene-editing being used to produce hordes of designer babies. CRISPR is still a first-generation tool and its full capabilities are not yet understood.

As the years' pass, technology in pharmaceuticals and medicine will continue to improve. People are living longer and fewer diseases are deemed incurable. Jobs in the pharmaceutical industry are in higher demand now than ever. Who knows what the next year will bring in medical advancements!

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A Short Guide to Pricing Your Services as a Consultant or Coach

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A Short Guide to Pricing Your Services as a Consultant or Coach

A Short Guide to Pricing Your Services as a Consultant or Coach

Many executives dream about starting an executive coaching or consulting practice, or launching one after they retire. But a touchy subject soon emerges: what should you charge?

Too much, and you won’t have any clients. Too little, and you’ll work yourself to the bone — and become resentful in the process. How can you strike a balance that enables you to build a thriving practice where you’re helping people and are fairly compensated for it?

Through my experiences building successful coaching and consulting practices, I discovered there are five key pricing strategies you can use. By deploying the right strategy at the right time, you can build a robust and lucrative practice.

Hourly billing. The simplest way to bill your clients is by the hour. At first, you may not have any idea how long a given project or engagement will take, so instead of risking a bad calculation (you think it’ll take 20 hours, but it actually takes 200), this approach may make sense. On the plus side, it’s clean and simple: they agree to (let’s say) $100/hour, and you worked 10 hours, so obviously the fee is $1000. It’s also what many people are familiar with, because their own lawyers and accountants charge that way.

But there are significant drawbacks, including the intensive record keeping this form of billing entails, and the level of scrutiny it invites (clients often feel entitled to ask, “Why did this take two hours, instead of one?”). Additionally, your pay is capped both by the number of hours you work, and clients’ hesitation to pay high hourly rates (many consultants or coaches struggle to get beyond $200-$300 per hour). I suggest moving on from this form of pricing fairly quickly.

Retainer agreements. A better arrangement, once you’ve built trust with a client, is a monthly retainer. In this situation, clients pay you a flat fee each month for access to your services (anywhere from $500/month for newbie coaches without much experience to $20,000/month for elite practitioners). A clear benefit is pricing predictability: you know that you’re getting X amount of money each month, no matter what. The downside is that unless you’re careful, your client may feel they own you, and take advantage of the “all you can eat” pricing by monopolizing your time.

It’s important to be very clear upfront about who can contact you for coaching help (Just the president? Or also his three vice-presidents?), during what hours (24/7? Just work hours?), and in what matter (Is it OK to call you? Text you?). You’ll also want to specify whether they only have access to your advice, or if there are specific deliverables (for instance, you might also agree to facilitate several off-site retreats). As you gain more experience and build your brand, this will be a natural way to offer your services.

Productized services. Another possibility is to develop a standard suite of products (because you’re selling professional services, the term of art is “productized services”). If you have popular offerings, you can often make life simpler for both you and your clients by creating a standard rate sheet. For instance, I often conduct half-day strategy sessions with clients for a flat fee. This is easier for the client because the pricing is transparent, and because the basic format is the same, there’s no concern about “scope creep” or other variables that would impact the time and effort the coach spends.

Value-based pricing. Another approach, popularized is to use “value based fees”. The concept is that prior to suggesting a price, you have a detailed conversation with the prospect to understand and agree upon the value the engagement, if successful, would have on the business. For instance, you can weave in questions such as, “What would be the value to the company if this weren’t a problem?” or “What impact would it have if you could do XYZ better?” This question can actually be a valuable part of the coaching process, because when clients are coached to think about the value of the engagement, they get much clearer on their goals.

It makes sense that if you’re coaching the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it’s completely appropriate for you to charge more than if you were coaching the CEO of a small local non-profit. That’s because in the former case, your coaching can create (let’s say) $100 million in new value if she becomes a better leader, whereas even a dramatic improvement for the local nonprofit CEO would only enhance the bottom line by $100,000. Once the buyer realizes the full value your work will bring, your fee — a tiny percentage of the overall gain — will seem trivial in comparison.

Pay for results. I pioneered the “pay for results” model.  It’s not for everyone, because it’s high stakes: if your client doesn’t improve, you get nothing. But if you succeed, the payday can be substantial). But the model is only risky if you 1) don’t have a solid process and 2) don’t pick your clients well. If you do have a coaching or consulting process that you know works, a way to measure your client’s progress, and a willing and able client, your chances of success are high.

The coaches and consultants that succeed are those whose business lasts long enough to make an impact on their clients’ lives. And you can only do that if you get pricing right. By familiarizing yourself with the pricing strategies above, you’re giving yourself the tools necessary to build a successful, money making practice.


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Get This One Thing Completed

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Get This One Thing Completed

Ending a 5:30pm client call yesterday...

Me: ok, so that’s it. Let’s just work to get “this one thing” completed and dialed. We will push it out this week and I think that will really change the entire game for you.

He paused... looking at me... like he was waiting for more.

I looked back at him.

“That’s it”

He laughed a bit... smiled...

“What’s up?” I said wondering if I missed something.

He quickly replied, “No no nothing... I have just never ended a coaching call with just a single focused action item to complete. Usually, there is a whole stack of things to do... and it’s just overwhelming. This is refreshing.”

Pulling back up the shared folder on screen share... scrolling through his existing list of assets he has been trying to launch over the past year... all about 60% complete.... and 0% launched.

“Well... I can give you more to do... but I would rather focus on what you really NEED. By looking at your current assets, I would say that you have already been loaded down with enough stuff that won't really get you to where you need to go.”

“You’re right. This is why I was excited to work with you. No fluff. Simple, direct and clear approach. I need simplicity."

Guys, building successful and impactful revenue streams doesn't have to be a complicated process.

Most people buy into these courses and coaches that tout their "15 step process that will systematically drive massive sales" etc etc etc...blah blah blah.

With zero support or customized guidance outside of a useless group weekly Zoom call where you spend more time listening to other peoples struggles vs. overcoming yours.

And being pushed week after week into a video library where you have to try and figure out how all that info or approach will really fit into YOUR business.

Listen...

If you are not getting clear, direct, simplified, custom and personal guidance and help...

As you work to create your dream business.... then you are wasting your time, energy and money.

You have been "SOLD". Plain and simple.

You should only be working on just the single simple thing that will get you to your next step....

And someone loading you down with fluff and superfluous action items... just to make it seem like they really are doing something special....

Will ALWAYS do you more harm than good.

That's why only a small percentage of people actually complete and launch those magical processes and methods that they bought inside a group course or coaching group.

It means nothing.... to YOU and YOUR business.

There is NO blanket process or approach that will work for everything for everyone....

Only work on what YOU need for YOUR business when YOUR business needs it.

Simple.

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Jim Carrey commencement Speech

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Jim Carrey commencement Speech

I was taken by a commencement speech Jim Carrey gave during a graduation ceremony at Maharishi University of Management where he spoke about his late father.

Like Jim, his father was a very talented comedian but took a “safe” route in life as an accountant and abandoned comedy altogether. After years of working in this field to provide for his family, he lost his job. As a result, the family struggled for years.

Jim promised himself to follow his dreams because, even if you don’t, you can still fail. So why not make your message your mission and ensure its success by getting “out there” fully?

Here are five reasons you must share your message and work far and wide:

1. It’s fun!

Doing what you love to do is invigorating, a lot of the time doesn’t feel like work and could be the most joy you ever experience. What’s more important than this?

2. The universe supports you

When you reach and serve others with your work, you tap into something greater than you. The universe wants you to use your unique talents and supports you when you do. Opportunities unfold. It’s just your job to keep taking the next step and letting more and more people discover what you have to offer the world.

3. Creativity, ideas and energy FLOW

When we share our important message, we connect with our divine source. And our gifts, even if we have not used them in years, never leave us. We just need to channel them.

For almost 12 years I wrote nothing more than an email.

For the first article I wrote, about scaling back and learning to say no (something I really believe in) the words came.


4. You live an honest life

Nothing is more important than being who you are here to be - it is your only true obligation to yourself and to the world. If you approach it with commitment and an open heart, the rewards will come. In Regrets of The Dying, Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse, says many of the patients she nursed in their final days regretted most that they lived a life other people expected of them and not the life that they truly wanted to live.

When we use our talents and step up in service to more and more people, we don’t leave room for regret.

5. You can take baby steps — every single stride forward counts

Imagine if your favorite musician, author, inventor, chef, athlete or architect didn’t come into your life. Your life wouldn’t be as great, right? When you allow people to discover you who need what you can offer them, you’re improving their lives, too.

You are in fact being selfish when you play small and don’t share your product or service with others.

 

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