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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Know Your Value

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Know Your Value

Whatever your industry or job title — coach, consultant, or employee — earning $1,500+ per hour might seem like a dream that's totally beyond your reach. Well, it doesn't have to be.

In the early days of my coaching and consulting business, I charged as little as I could — for all kinds of reasons — but eventually I realized they were all rooted in fear.

I was afraid if I asked for more money, people would take their business elsewhere; that I didn't really have the experience or the knowledge to merit the paycheck I wanted to earn; and that in a world full of "experts" and "authorities," I didn't stack up. But I was wrong!

The steps laid out here have enabled me to confidently ask for (and get) over 1,000 percent more cash for my time, as well as increasing my visibility in my industry and my confidence.

Here are the keys to pulling in more dollah bills:

1. Know your value

When I started working as a coach, like many others, I suffered from imposter syndrome — the inability to internalize accomplishments and the persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud."

Sound familiar? Here's how to beat it.

Know the facts, because facts kill fear. The simplest way to undermine the fear that you're not good enough is to get a clear understanding of what other people get paid. Seriously.
I researched my competition as often as possible.

I asked myself objectively, "How do I measure up? Are my outcomes as good as theirs? Am I as visible in the industry as they are?"
I did my homework!

Once you do yours, you might just realize you're at the top of the class. If you're not, seeing where you fall short will equip you to make the changes you need to make to get there.

2. Ask and you shall receive

On a wrap-up call after a successful three-month consulting gig, my client said, "JT, you've saved me a year of procrastinating and probably a ton of money."

In the past, I might have just told him how much that meant to me. But this time, I said, "Don't keep me to yourself, Sean! Does anyone else you know need some sales strategy help?" Turns out a former colleague of his needed exactly that. Those two sentences landed me my next three-month contract.

If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

You've seen it yourself: People are never more amenable to giving you what you want than after you've just made their life a whole lot easier. If you do a brilliant job for a few people, you'll end up with more opportunities than you know what to do with.

3. Set clear boundaries from the get-go

Listen to me on this one, because it's really important: Yielding to your clients' demands at the expense of your own wellbeing never works (for long).

The secret to healthy boundaries is clear communication from day one.

At the beginning of a new project, I get a contract signed.

I've come up with a simple set of packages for my services that lay out what I'll give (in terms of time, access, and resources) for what amount of money. Doing this not only makes boundary-setting simple and straightforward; it also makes you look like you have your s--- together.

Emphasis on "simple" here.

Too many business owners try to be everything to everyone by offering an extensive list of elaborate packages that only confuse their prospects and kill their sales.

On top of that, something I refer to as the "over-delivery fallacy" holds many business owners back from their true earning potential. "I'm available by text and email in the evenings and on weekends," is simply code for, "I don't respect my time and abilities enough, and neither should you."

A lack of boundaries will eventually make you resent your work.

4. If you want influence, seize it

This was the game changer for me.

Essentially, people will pay more to work with someone who they deem to be a thought leader.

If you don't believe you're good enough or smart enough or informed enough to have a voice in the conversation, you never will. This is another way imposter syndrome can hold you back.

You might eventually gain success and respect in your field without having a prominent voice in your industry, but it'll be a hell of a lot harder. And it doesn't have to be.

You don't have to be perfect; you just have to be "out there."

You don't have to be everybody's expert to be an expert, you just need to remember that what you know and believe is valuable.

This not only attracts droves of the (right!) people to you, it earns you more inbound leads and an expectation that your services come at a premium.

Whether your goal is to start or grow your own business, move up the ladder within a corporation, or to make a salary or title leap with a different company, positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert is crazy valuable.

Because perception is reality.

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How Good of a Negotiator are You?

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How Good of a Negotiator are You?

How good a negotiator are you? When you negotiate, are you playing chess or checkers? How about the person on the other side?

Being a good negotiator has a lot to do with knowing how to create a fair deal for both sides to get as close to what they both need from the deal as possible.

In addition to mastering negotiating frameworks like those presented in the excellent book, Never Split the Difference it is helpful to consider the documentation side of negotiation as well.

I can think of literally dozens of critical negotiation points that appear in documents that are supposed to just “paper the deal” which are often overlooked by attorneys eager to move on to the next case, or who have no actual real world experience dealing with the consequences the clauses they put into their deal documentation.

Similarly, many entrepreneurs eager to avoid the time and expense of attorneys, may play cut-and-paste lawyer trying to document a deal without knowing the nuances of all the clauses they are including or deleting.

The bottom line is that every single word is important. If you (or your attorney) don’t fully understand why everything that’s in your deal docs is in there, you might very well be setting yourself up for a lot more than you bargained for, literally!

Contracts and Commercial Law take up semesters worth of law school education time, so I can’t begin to scratch the surface of the important specifics here in this post.

Instead, I just want to make you aware of a small slice of what a good negotiator and deal documenter is thinking about while negotiating in every conversation BEFORE anyone even gets to drafting contracts for a deal.

There are several major categories, each of which has several different leverage points.

Here are 25 different deal documentation negotiation categories just to give you an idea of what a smart negotiator is ideally thinking about but not necessarily sharing during the negotiation:

Taxes of all types
Effort reduction
Liability constraint
Liability assignment
Liability segmenting
Contractual damages
Tort damages
IP creation/ownership
Legal defenses available
Indemnification
Performance + time
Disclosure
Exposure
Access
Discovery
Dispute resolution
Interpretation
Modification
Duties+Duty triggers
Rights+rights triggers
Payment
3rd parties
Remedies
Authority
Reps and Warranties

Each of those has many nuances, and there can be huge consequences to each.

Oh, and that’s not an exhaustive list.

Also, knowing the end-runs savvy counsel may try to run on you can help tremendously in building great contracts.

Knowing that all of these things are in play should affect every aspect of your pre-agreement negotiation strategy and deal/term sheet points as well.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve encountered someone on the other side of the table who was clearly aware of and actively working on all of these deal point categories as part of the negotiation.

If there’s a gap, you can often fill it in the manner most favorable to you or your side.

I have found that many attorneys don’t even know why they are using different clauses in the agreements they draft from form books or prior deals or that they inherited from their firm’s forms library.

So, be aware and understand that the next time you are papering a deal or having a conversation about deal points, you need to be acutely aware that this is a game of chess and. Be sure that it is not a game of checkers that you are playing.

In closing, please do remember that no matter what the other side may agree to, if you are truly interested in a long-term deal and a relationship that will last, you won’t let them agree to something stupid. Even if you build in good protections for yourself, you need to create something of value for both sides.

 

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How to Acquire an Ownership Interest in Someone Else's Business when You are Bringing Non Cash Assets

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How to Acquire an Ownership Interest in Someone Else's Business when You are Bringing Non Cash Assets

How can you acquire an ownership interest in someone else’s business when you are bringing non-cash assets like your knowledge or time to the deal?

How do you structure a deal to let someone else into your existing business as an equity owner when they don’t have cash but do have something else that’s valuable to your company that you want?

We have done several deals including a recent one like this, so I thought I would share one approach with you that comprises 7 key deal points to remember.

You can use this to get equity in someone else’s business when you are bringing cash or non-cash assets or skills to the business, or if you own an existing business and want to bring someone in for cash or no cash and other assets or skills you believe are valuable.

The main points to consider are...

1. What are the roles of each party complete with full job titles, descriptions and employment agreements.

2. Detailed compensation package deal points.

3. In our last deal it was a buy-in for immediate equity plus performance based increases of up to 10% additional vesting 2.5% per year for four years (time based component) plus performance milestones based on revenue (performance based component).

4. It is also important to provide for what happens if things do not work out, so you build a breakup clause I to the agreement as well. In our case if they leave the business or are terminated, then we have the right to buy them out on a pre-agreed valuation formula with pre-agreed terms.

5. You need to agree on valuation for the buy-in as well. Usually this is done on an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) basis where valuation equals EBITDA times some industry typical multiple.

So if the business is earning $1 million in profits and you agree on a multiple of 5, then the valuation equals $5 million and a 20% buy-in would be $1 million (20% of $5M).

6. If the buy-in is not for money, but for some additional value they are supposed to be bringing then you need to place a value on the non-cash components you bth expect that they are bringing.

Say they have a book of business like the folks did in our recent deal and that’s the value they bring.

Let’s say you operate at a margin of 30% profit and their book of business or the things they are to contribute are expected to be worth $1 million per year. That would mean the first year value would be 30% of $1 million equals $300k.

If average lifetime customer value (LTV) is 3 years, then the total value they are bringing would be expected to be worth 3 years at $300k equals $900k in LTV.

If your company valuation is $1.8 million, then that would mean the things they are bringing to the deal are worth an estimated increase in value of 33%. $1.8M + $900k = $2.7M divided by $900k = 33%.

So, if all goes as you expect, then they would get 33% of the equity of the agency for bringing these assets/accounts.

7. You also need to have language that adjusts their equity based on any variance between what you both thought the value of what they bring to the table is vs what it ACTUALLY is over the course of the realization of the expected value.

So, let’s say that after 3 years the book of business they contributed only turned out to be worth $720k, which is 20% less than the $900k you expected.

A good and fair agreement would then adjust their 33% equity downward by 20% leaving them with 25.5% of the business instead of 33%.

There are tons of ways to do these deals l, so if you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

There are also lots of tax issues and other deal points so always be sure to get a good attorney and business advisor to help document and negotiate the deal.

What questions or additional adds or pluses do you have about this?

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How to Create Your Marketing Strategy

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How to Create Your Marketing Strategy

Before you can even start to create your marketing strategy, you MUST have a corporate strategy. These are sequential in the design process. Why? If you create your marketing approach without your corporate direction, you could make a lot of mistakes and waste a lot of marketing dollars chasing targets that are not what the company wants.

So, let’s assume that you have a corporate strategy and are asked to create the marketing strategy. Depending on the size of your company, the marketing strategy might change per business unit. Assuming that you are a startup or smaller company, one marketing strategy is most likely sufficient.

Obviously, a marketing strategy will be different from industry to industry so I cannot be too specific about one industry in a general blog post. However, keeping in mind your industry specific needs, the following components must be included in any marketing strategy.

  • Alignment with the corporate strategy and goals – You must show how your plans will align with the overall organization and its desired path. For example, if the company has decided to focus on being the best within a niche market, that gives you very specific marketing targets and buyers. However, if your company’s goals are broader, then you have more complexity to acquire your targets.

  • Go-to-market – This is your plan to deliver your unique value proposition to customer and achieve competitive advantage. The end goal of a Go-to-market is to enhance the overall customer experience.

  • Competitive analysis – An in-depth competitive analysis will help you accomplish 3 things:

    • Understand how your customers and potential customers use and rate the competition

    • Identify your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses

    • Provide you a starting point for developing effective competitive marketing strategies in your target market

  • New products and/or services – As you consider new products and/or services, be sure to conduct thorough market research of the target customers to understand positioning, needs, what value you can provide and what will resonate with them.

  • Market position – Objectively, assess where you stand in the market. This is about the customer’s view of your product and/or services and how they evaluate you against your competition and it has nothing to do with what you internally think about your product.

  • Brand evaluation – Brand evaluation provides an objective measure of your brand’s value and a sense of its valuation. You can also uncover potential problems with your brand during this process.

  • Customer experience – A good customer experience means that the individual’s experience during all points of contact matches their expectations. A company’s ability to deliver an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its customers will increase the amount of consumer spending with the company and inspire loyalty to its brand.

  • Buyer persona – Who is your buyer? This sometimes changes over time as your organization launches new products or services. The more specific you can be about your buyer, you can design marketing approaches that resonate with them. This will also allow you to be more cost effective with the budget that you have because you won’t waste campaigns that don’t produce the exact results you want.

  • Storytelling – The culmination of your strategy is crafting your story. Brands that tell a story that resonates with their target audience outperform their competitors. According to a study by Harvard business review, “making an emotional connection with your audience is much more important then customer satisfaction. In fact, a retailer managed to increase its number of active customers by 15% and boost same-store-sales by 50% by using a customer experience strategy based on an emotional connection.”

Keep these key points in mind when you create your marketing strategy and you’ll have a good foundation. Remember to separate strategy from execution. The execution of the strategy is a separate plan! Although they are integrated, you must start at the top level and then work down. If you want help creating your marketing strategy, book an appointment

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How to Actually Achieve Your Goals ( and Stay Sane)

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How to Actually Achieve Your Goals ( and Stay Sane)

How to Actually Achieve Your Goals (and Stay Sane)

Some time ago, I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine, Kim, at a yoga studio. She looked great, and we marveled at how quickly (we calculated on the spot) three years went by. Three! We remembered sipping sangria together at a friend’s party in the spring of 2015.

I asked how the corporate world was treating her, and she told me she’d be happy to be out of it by the end of this summer.

“How?” I asked with enthusiasm and surprise.

Kim’s side hustle as a sales trainer was taking off. She was getting monthly clients and was about to sign a large corporate internet firm as their go-to sales trainer (on retainer, no less—I’ll admit I was a bit jealous).

I was so impressed.

Why?

Because I’m obsessed with side hustles as a way to use your gifts to the fullest? Yes. But more so because she stayed at it.

She went the full course (she also mentioned she purchased my side hustle program a couple of years ago, which I felt beyond flattered by).

The more we spoke, the more I remembered her interest in my career as a coach back then, and I was delighted that she made it real.

Was it overnight? Nope. It took her a full three years.

It reminded me of one of my favorite Aesop’s Fables, “The Tortoise and the Hare” (found in this sweet collection on page 21). I’ve seen many people go fast and furious into a new project for two or three months, then give up. But slow and steady wins the race, and not just with side hustles—in everything worthwhile in life.

How can you apply this principle to your life too? Here are some ways:

Develop patience

The problem with humans is that we expect immediate results, and we’re disheartened when we don’t get them.

I recently had a Lego race with my 6-year-old nephew, James, who was confident he would win, despite my being faster than him. As I now know, if you make a single mistake, you have to go alllll the way back. He was calm and unhurried, and bingo—won!

As I get older, I realize the magical power of patience (I’m looking for a bracelet with the word on it, in fact)!

But like the impatient, raring-to-go hare, we start fast and furious, and then at some point, hit a roadblock, get tired, and stop. What if you could relax a little, take a bit more pleasure in it, have faith in a great outcome, and take it one day at a time?

Sometimes, if I feel like something is happening a little slowly, I say the word “onward” out loud. Because even if I feel stagnant, I know I’m still moving forward.

Have a system

Instead of just setting a goal — “lose 10 pounds,” “travel to Greece,” “get promoted” —create a system that will ensure you get there.

Can you walk 20 minutes or add something green to your diet every day?

Or sock away some of your paycheck every payday for that travel fund?

Can you take on 1-2 extra projects per month to really assist your boss, then bring it up at review time?

These are not overnight wins, but they work. That’s what systems do. I didn’t get into the weeds of Kim’s system with her (I was sweating!), but I’d betcha my life savings she had one.

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Brand Identity Who are you?  Why do you exist?

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Brand Identity Who are you? Why do you exist?

Brand Identity

Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you exist?

Your brand is your most valuable asset. But it MUST be continually nurtured in order to thrive.

If you don’t know who you are, how can you communicate it to others? In the absence of a strong and clear brand identity, you risk being swayed by every changing tide, and letting circumstances and people completely define you. You risk being outpaced by every competitor and being ignored by your desired audience. Without a strong brand identity, you simply won’t be able to thrive in today’s saturated global marketplace.

Your brand is the perception others have of you. But it’s up to you to shape that perception as much as possible. This is where the process of branding comes in. While there are many aspects to a branding strategy, we focus primarily on visual and voice branding – your core identity — because that’s the foundation that everything else is built upon. We help you to extract your brand’s positioning and purpose in order to craft the perfect identity to reflect your brand’s essence. So you can stand apart from the crowd and connect intuitively with the right audience.

Brand Positioning: Where do you fit in the marketplace?

It’s a crowded marketplace, but brands that establish and clearly convey their uniqueness are the ones that win in the minds and hearts of consumers. We help you communicate what makes you different from competitors so that you can plant your flag and stake your claim!

Your brand positioning also includes defining your target audience. As you know, you can’t be all things to all people, nor should you want to! When you understand what you are, and to whom, you give your brand the freedom to be all that it can be — with the confidence (swagger, even?) that comes with being self-assured in who you are.

Brand Purpose: Why are you here?

Your brand purpose is an important piece of your positioning that you need to be crystal clear on. This includes your motivations, values, and goals. We work with you to define or refine your mission and vision statements and your core values. As these are the driving forces and guiding lights of your day-to-day operations, it’s important to get these right.

Visual Identity: How do people recognize you?

Developing a visual identity is strategic in and of itself, yet also requires the creativity to develop something unique and appropriate to represent your brand and your brand only.

The most common element people think of when it comes to branding is a logo, but a strong visual brand relies on more than just that. We develop your brand style guide that includes your logo variations, typography, special graphic treatments, patterns, icons or symbols, color palette, and guidelines for using it all in order to maintain a consistent visual identity.

Brand Voice: How do you communicate?

Is your brand authoritative? Friendly? Sweet…with a little bit of spice? The tone you adopt and the words you use are key to communicating your brand’s personality and connecting with the right audience. We help you to develop or refine an authentic and engaging brand voice that feels natural to both you and your audience.

In short, we help release the untapped potential of your brand.

A strategic brand identity gives you laser focus so you don't get sidetracked by things that can throw your brand off course. It helps you to make decisions more effectively, as your brand identity serves as a sounding board in all areas: customer service, marketing, sales, what to spend money on, what initiatives to pursue, etc.

Whether you’re creating a new brand or need to revive an existing one, we have a strategic view we follow to infuse life into your brand. feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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The Social PR Guide To Trolls

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The Social PR Guide To Trolls

In the digital marketing world, trolls can be found in search, social and online reviews. According to Pew Research, more than 72% of internet users have witnessed at least one harassing behavior online.

The trolls seem to obsess and relish over instigating, starting quarrels or upsetting people just because.

Whether you are just entering the online space or a pro, it can particularly be disturbing, especially for social advertisers running campaigns, the last thing you want is to pay for PR brain damage. Remember, take a deep breath, they are not a reflection of your work or your client. #HatersGonnaHate 

Tip: Remember, take a deep breath, they are not a reflection of your work or client. #hatersgonnahate

Here are highlights on JT Ippolito’s troll survival guide

📚Getting Started With Trolls📚

You don’t have to put in an order for them, they will come uninvited with their unsolicited attitudes and opinions.

“I have seen cancer campaigns get trolled. I’ve seen at-risk youth charities get trolled. I’ve even seen brilliant and beautiful artists get slammed by trolls,” Howell said.

Heck, if mother Theresa ran ads she would get trolled HARD.

That says something.

They. Are. Everywhere.

And if you are making any sort of impact in this world, you’re going to need to get used to trolls.

In fact, in many ways, trolls should serve as a sign that you are making waves as they have become a staple part of the line ecosystem.

So the first step is to refocus. Trolls ARE NOT a reflection of your self worth and please do not ever base any kind of decision on what a troll may have said to you other than the decision to let it be water off your back!

📚Ways to Mitigate Trolls📚

Possible reality: you can’t truly ever get rid of them. 

“I’ve worked with too many brilliant businesses and soloprenuers to have seen first hand that they are like the barnacles of the internet,” Howell said.

But, there are things you can put in place to protect yourself and or reduce the amount of trolling you get:

✅Run awareness based campaigns before running your direct response

✅Hire community managers to handle your posts and feeds

✅Have fun with them.

Types of Trolls 

Here is a list of the most common types of trolls you will likely encounter:

🤖The Bot Troll🤖

These are basically fake bot farms that essentially are created to leave negative feedback and comments across ads and on blog posts.

How to spot them 👉 The comments seem irrelevant to you or what you’re talking about. When you click on the profile it’s a random logo or a page with no content on their feed

How to handle them 👉 They’re not human, no need to respond. Delete and block. If the issue is persistent and growing have a look at where your traffic is coming from and review your campaign objectives or targeting.

😈 The Sexual Troll 😈

They seek validation through shock factor and sexual gratification. Some are genuinely trying to connect but their approach is less than ideal.

How to spot 👉 “The dick pic in your inbox is usually a good indication,” said Howell. Comments or messages that are generated around sex or sexual acts usually give it away too.

How to handle 👉 Delete and ban the person from your ads. If someone messaged you-you can also delete and ban although I must say my team and I have a bit of fun with these types and will respond with dick pics sent from other trolls.

🤬The Keyboard Warrior Troll 🤬

These trolls are a little bit nastier than the above and will make snarky comments, accusations or leave abuse that can sting like a bitch! 

Some will take things to the next level and start seeking out all of your content to troll, leave negative reviews on your page without ever having bought or worked with you and go so far as to create negative threads about you in forums.

How to spot them 👉 Horrendous use of grammar most of the time. The profile photo is more often than not some stock image or a cat picture. When you check out their profile their feed is mostly shared links. If you check your CRM you’ll see they’ve never purchased or worked with you before.

How to handle 👉 They are rigid in their opposition to something, it stems from a deep fear of change and the uncertainty it could bring.

They must have everything on their terms and feel in control. Can you say control freak? This actually describes every single human being on this planet, however, this type of troll lacks the control in the aspects of their life that most of us as able to draw from and so find power in putting others down. 

If it’s abusive or hate-based comments – delete and ban. Be done with it. If the comments are about your product and integrity then respond in a non triggered manner.

For example: “this is a scam and they’re just ripping people off”

Response: “Hey Fred sorry to hear you think this is a scam, I can see from our records that you have never purchased from us before. Can you clarify why you say this is a scam! We have worked with over xyz customers and pride ourselves on being the best in the market

If the comment is so ludicrous you can’t even answer in a logical way a good response is “you’re right”

There’s not much someone can argue about you after you tell them they’re right but to all others reading they will see how triggered the troll was, to begin with:

Ex: “You’re just an alien trying to scam all the money.”

“You’re full of shit.”

Response: “You’re right”

😡The Angry Customer Troll😡

How to Spot 👉 Them These are customers that either struggled to get any response from your support team or weren’t happy with their purchase.

How to handle 👉  Believe it or not but you should come to LOVE these kinds of trolls as the social proof this will build on your online assets once you respond will be pure fuel to your marketing. 

Use this as a chance to look after the customer, show you care and handle the issue. 

Tip – never ever handle the logistics on the thread, always take it into a DM if possible.

Ex: “I bought my product six weeks ago and still nothing, this is just a big scam!”

Response: “Hey Fred, we’re so very sorry to hear you haven’t received your product yet! We would like to sort this out for you asap! Please send us a DM with the email address you used to purchase and we will resolve this matter for you!”

An ad with this kind of commenting will propel your conversion rate as this is the kind of stuff consumers want to see, a responsive and caring company.

🔪The Psycho Troll🔪

How to Spot them 👉“I’ve only encountered two of these in my life, but boy oh boy – it makes me shudder to still think of those instances,” Howell said. 

These are extremely rare but have a sharp bite when they decide to come after you. They appear to have a personal vendetta against you and will go to great lengths to get a reaction from you and attempt to destroy you.

How to handle 👉 If you have a psycho troll on your hands tread carefully. The key is not to trigger them further whilst putting an end to the madness. 

First, reach out directly to them and leave a voice memo asking to clarify why the sudden attacks. If this leads nowhere involve a lawyer with a restraining order or cease and desist.

“If the troll threat is serious enough – if they threaten your life, please screenshot and do report to local police,” said Page Schneider Vandiver, Facebook ad expert, and owner of Will & Page Vandiver agency.

Trolls can wreak havoc and snowball into larger problems that could cause more of an increase in negative visibility and attention. 

“It’s important to remember NEVER EVER base your success off of what a troll says – you are rocking it if you are getting trolls!” 

🤑Trolls can be a sign of success? 🤑

“Coming from the music industry I always live by the mantra, ‘I need to raise my hater weight.’ They definitely can sting at times, but I always need more haters in my life. If nobody’s hating you aren’t doing anything worth caring about,” said Martin L. Smith, Founder at Overflow Marketing Solutions.

How do you handle online trolls? Remember you run your business, not the trolls. Don’t lose yourself to the culture of hate. 

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Here Are My Top 10 Tips for Those Looking To Starting Your Own Business Over 50

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Here Are My Top 10 Tips for Those Looking To Starting Your Own Business Over 50

Entrepreneurship later in life isn’t as risky as most people think

More older adults have become entrepreneurs in the last decade than younger people. No kidding. Counterintuitive, right? But it’s true. Entrepreneurship in the 50+ age group is on the rise.

When it comes to launching a successful business, youth is not the magic elixir.

Entrepreneurs over 50, who have started businesses either from a passion or hobby, are social entrepreneurs, have launched senior-junior partnerships, or are female entrepreneurs — the fastest-growing demographic globally.

One of the best decisions I ever made was to declare my freedom from my full-time job at IBM and start my own media business. That was my personal independence day, and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve also become an author of numerous books, a frequent public speaker and an expert on career transitions.

Becoming an entrepreneur after 50 is not as risky as you may think (or needn’t be) and the psychic and financial payoffs can be well worth it.

“Successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young,”

A few reasons an older entrepreneur may reap the benefits of startup success over a younger one: greater managing, marketing, and finance know-how, and richer, deeper industry knowledge.

Those who succeed typically set a flexible time horizon for their venture. They don’t make any rash moves. If necessary, they add the vital skills and degrees before they make the leap. They often apprentice or volunteer beforehand. But at the heart of all of their efforts lies a yearning to make a difference in the world, or to pursue a dream, or hone a hobby, to live.

Here are my top 10 tips for those looking to launch their own business:

Take a breath. Entrepreneurship is a process. Soul-search. You will want to begin with a solid MRI of your own passion and personality, talents and inner drive to start a business. The big questions: Why start this business? Why you? And why now? Prepare to get your hands dirty to discover just what it will take to make your dream a reality. That means picking up the phone to ask for help, researching, and getting under the hood of what it will take to really do this in terms of time and money.

Downsize and plan your financial life. Debt is a dream killer. The biggest stumbling block for many midlife entrepreneurs is money. Do a budget. Where can you trim expenses? You may not be able to pay yourself initially as the business gains traction.

Become physically fit. I don’t mean running fast miles or bench-pressing, but walk a mile or two regularly, swim a few times a week perhaps. Eat nutritiously. When you’re fit, you bring positivity to your work and your life.

It gives you the stamina and energy you will need to face new challenges. You’ll be mentally sharper, feel good, and a can-do attitude emerges. People will want to be around you and work with you.

Ramp up your spiritual fitness. I don’t mean a religious practice, per se. Starting your own business is demanding. Find a place to center yourself, and de-stress. You will draw strength from having a ballast, a core of calm, as you head down this path. You might practice yoga, tai chi, or meditation, or walk your dog along quiet pathways, as I do.

Reach out to your networks of social and professional contacts. I can’t overemphasize the importance of networking to help your business get off the ground and grow. Your network, your tribe, your believers are the ones who are going to propel you forward to success. Network with people doing work in the field you are eyeing. Ask how they got there, how they do their jobs, what they love about it. People love to talk about themselves and their work.

Tap into your alumni network. You never know who can bring you clients or help you build your business via an alumni association at your college or university, or even an alumni group at one of your former employers. Your alma mater’s career service center very well may have resources devoted to midlife entrepreneurs such as an incubator on campus, or continuing education classes geared toward career changers and entrepreneurs that are offered online, or via weekend workshops. You might even be able to make a connection to access current students who can lend a hand.

Don’t ignore the big players in the small-business help arena. Your town’s Rotary Club or chamber of commerce can be a wonderful source of mentors and advisers. Find a local chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit association devoted to teaching entrepreneurs the ins and outs of getting under way. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE mentors will advise you for free, in person or online.

If you’re in the exploring stage, you might start with a virtual mentor. One of my favorite sources is PivotPlanet, a service that connects people with expert advisers working in hundreds of professions for affordable one-on-one, one-hour videoconference, phone, or in-person sessions. Most one-hour sessions range from $40 to $125.

Be specific about what help you need. When you do identify someone you want to reach out to, be specific about your goals for the connection. You might have a certain business task at hand, something as simple as advice on the best way to price your product or service. Or perhaps you’re looking for someone who can introduce you to some of the players in the market. Don’t rule out a mentor younger than you, who can offer more experience and direction when it comes to areas like social media where you might not feel quite as confident.

Invest in additional education and training. Add skills and certificates required for your new business. Take a class in salesmanship, or sign up for a course in public speaking at a local community college. You might even join Toastmasters to practice public speaking and improve your communication skills. The ability to sell your idea is essential.

Cruise the web for free resources. Tap into entrepreneurship resources at EIX.org. If you’re seeking an encore venture focused on social impact, visit Encore.org for resources to help you get started.

Finally, the richness you achieve from being your own boss is more than more zeros in your bank account. The key is the inner richness that comes from doing work that energizes you, with people who make your life richer and making an impact in the world in some meaningful fashion. That’s genuine wealth.

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