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Forging the Future The Effect of Globalization and Your Role In It Back To School With or Without an Immune System
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A 8 Globalization: Business Imperative By John Carroll
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Time and Money 21 Save With a Virtual Assistant By Daphne Anderson
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EDITOR’S NOTE Friends,
We’re excited to bring you The OffBeat Business Magazine Special Winter Edition! Did you know our digital version is available on our website and in our app? We’ve had this in the works for some time, and as with all great transitions, time has been a factor. That’s why we’ve combined our latest issues, so you would have access to a greater scope of content and we would have time to produce an excellent product. Thank you for your patience! We want to draw attention to our cover model, USMC Veteran Jeff Parkerson, founder of Lead The Way Homes, his national program to make home purchases easier for civil servants, military, veterans, teachers, pastors and more – wait till you hear his interview! Find the replay on the OffBeat Business app or on our website. You’ll notice a strong voice in the pages ahead. While our business and health contributors continue to bring actionable perspective and direction, we also share Village Tech Schools, what I - and everyone who’s witnessed this brilliant approach - believe is the future of the public school system and the salvation of it. As you are probably aware, American high schools are experiencing an approximate 30% dropout rate across the board. We have an obligation to inspire our youth. Also inside, you’ll learn what’s going on in Sudan, the newest country on the planet, and may even be inspired to get active in this space. Find great perspective from our business coaches, professional services, and OBA (OffBeat Business Alliance) members — all focused on American business lifestyle success and growth!
Editor-in-Chief Susan Hamilton
Art Director Scott Alberts
OffBeat Business Media offbeatbusiness.com
Professional Photography Scott Peek
As always, I encourage you to keep us aware of your suggestions by sending them, along with your comments, to Info@OffBeatBusiness.com. Thank you for stepping up as an entrepreneur and business owner who knows how important business is to our local, national, and international communities. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to you all! May God’s blessings hunt you down and overtake you in the season ahead. — Susan Hamilton
Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 1
Audio, Video and Digital Media Redefining B2B Every Tuesday at 12 & 8 PM CST
The OffBeat Business Show 2016 Podcast
Mick Maloney, Warriors in Heart — Discover what you DON’T know about PTSD and how you can be a part of the solution. Guaranteed to surprise you.
American Trooper — Running a nonprofit is like running a business. Hear what Shanessa Coburn had to do to sustain revenue to continue to serve military veteran families.
Ret. USAF Col. Kim Olson — Grace After Fire founder and owner of 4K River Ranch. You haven’t enjoyed yourself this much in a LONG time!
Jeff Parkerson, Lead The Way Homes — Cover shot, ex-police officer and USMC Veteran shares his national program to give back to civil servants, teachers and more.
David A. Roberts, Richardson/Plano Networking — Networking with micro to small businesses and empowering local communities with REAL relationships; find out how!
Bill Wallace, Success North Dallas — Get the most out of your networking experience. With over 300 monthly attendees and high level speakers, Bill’s doing something RIGHT.
George Hendley, founder of The Speakers Association — The ability to network is a distinction for a savvy business owner who wants to grow through referrals, but speaking is the fastest way to grow your business.
Claudia Herrmann, AMEP — Hispanic women in business networking, learning the ropes while developing relationships for a smarter approach to business.
2 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
Solutions for YOUR Strong Brand “Real American Business Conversation.”
Gabriela Moran — Overcoming the obstacles of immigration and breast cancer, owner of Moran Cleaning Services growing business with integrity and faith. Inspirational!
Bill Bernstein, Human Trafficking Realities — Deputy Director of Mosaic Family Services talks with Susan Hamilton about spotting and addressing danger correctly.
Brittany Byrd and the G.E.M. Program — Incarcerated mothers have many challenges to overcome when they get out of prison, discover why that matters to your business.
Sir Earl Toon, Using Influence To Solve Problems — Kool & The Gang earned him a reputation, but he’s been helping people in DFW for years. Part One - WHY?
Sir Earl Toon, Give A Kid A Coat — Over 5000 kids are reportedly homeless in DISD and Sir Earl of Kool & The Gang fame is doing something about it - and he needs YOU.
Lisa Head, Life By Design Travel — Vacations are a great employee benefit, and many small business owners may not realize how to work out programs that make those vacations a reality for their team.
Scott Schilling, 7 Steps to LIVING Your Legacy — Business Growth Expert Scott Schilling talks with Susan Hamilton about what it means to clearly live out and instill a bigger vision in those who will come after us.
Daphne Anderson, How To Get More Done in 2017 — 2016 has come to a close, so if you have decided you can get more done in 2017 if you work a little smarter, this interview is for YOU! Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 3
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Forging the Future at Village Tech School By David Williams, CEO Village Tech Schools
ne Saturday morning five years ago, I found myself in a meeting with other elementary and secondary teachers. We sipped on Costa Rican coffee and sat in a small room at a local church in Cedar Hill. The room was provided free of charge and we weren’t quite ready for the world to hear what we were talking about. Charter schools. For some, this is a subversive word tied to the deconstruction of public education and the rise of privatization and profiteering. As public school teachers, we did not know this at the time, only the hushed rumors and gossip that charter schools were getting away with something and “stealing” students. What we did know is that we were frustrated by a system of public education tied up in knots. We knew there were schools around the country untangling these knots, but we were unable to gain traction in our circles. So for us, the public charter school proved to be a viable vehicle for educational innovation where any student within our boundary could apply and be admitted without paying tuition. After all, the Texas legislature created public charter schools in 1995 to encourage innovation, increase public options, improve student learning, develop new forms of accountability and attract new talent to the teaching profession. As public school educators, the charter sector gave us an opportunity to bring our vision for education to life.
And on that Saturday morning, we found ourselves finishing each other’s sentences about what makes a great school. We did not yet know it, but that was the beginning of Village Tech. Village Tech is a PK-11 public charter school in Cedar Hill, TX enjoying our fourth year of operation. We will graduate our first senior class in 2018. We believe that the best thing we can do for students is provide them with great teachers who work together to cultivate character, design real challenges and establish authentic community. School should be a place where students learn who they are, learn things that last, and learn they belong. School should be a place where the power to learn is entrusted to students and teachers. Thomas Jefferson said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.” Wise well past his years, Jefferson’s quote acknowledges that the people should be trusted with the powers to govern. Being a student of human nature, he could predict that people would not always live up to this responsibility and we would be faced with a choice — do we take the power from them or do we do a better job instructing them on how to wield their power? Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 5
We face the same dilemma in education. The quote could be rephrased to say, “Those best suited to learn are students, and if we think they do not have the capacity or the discipline to learn, the remedy is not to take learning from them, but to provide them with great teachers who can show them the way.” And yet, in education today, we swing between two extremes where the teacher is left out of both equations. On one side, technology is regarded as the solution. This approach eliminates the teacher by completely empowering the student through online content delivery systems. Technology is a tool for work and learning; not the solution to an educational crisis, but one part of the solution. For some students, these systems provide enough challenge and inspiration to propel them through school, but not for all. On the other side of the spectrum, policy makers and curriculum vendors work to teacher-proof the classroom through scripted lessons and course outlines. Sadly, this takes place in far too many public school classrooms around the state and nation. As we move closer to the center, an approach where students are seen as the primary agents and key contributors to the school experience and educators are seen as the most significant catalyst to student growth and achievement, real school transformation can occur. When we stop short of this center, we often find benevolent dictatorships where students are treated well enough, but the classroom remains an input/ output system and students stay ill-equipped for the adaptability required of adult life. At Village Tech, our students and teachers practice adaptability each and every day. Through Covey’s Leader in Me, our students develop habits of effectiveness to embrace challenges and take initiative for their learning. Through design thinking, our students develop the mindsets necessary not only to solve problems but to identify them and then collaborate with peers and professionals to produce solutions. In the Forge, our multi-disciplinary design studio that is part MakerSpace, part art studio and full-on active learning space, our students design and build proto6 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
types and final products ranging from fully functional trebuchets to bio-mechanically accurate elephant skeletons out of PVC pipe. In addition, they participate in student and teacher designed electives known as X-Classes where they develop passion, play and purpose through courses like Duct Tape Design, Future Engineers, and Robotics. Each week our students also develop deep bonds with one another and their teachers through Leagues and Crews, a multi-grade level gathering to build camaraderie and culture as well as exploring college and career opportunities. Our students have also traveled to China, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Peru, Greece, Italy, and of course, Costa Rica. In high school, our students not only have the opportunity to take college courses, but also participate in business internships as juniors and as seniors, they will complete a Senior Odyssey — the ultimate interdependent study where their technical, academic, professional and social-emotional skills will be put to the test We are creating an educational environment committed to developing self aware, creative, active, empathetic, collaborative, resilient, curious and kind students, and equipping them with the tools necessary for what is shaping up to be a rapidly shifting century. This is not easy work, but it is worth it. Coffee helps and so does a village of students, teachers and parents who believe in doing education better. After all, education should be something that happens for kids; not to them. David Williams is the Superintendent/CEO of Village Tech Schools and one of the founding team members. Village Tech, located in Cedar Hill, TX, is an open-enrollment, public charter school serving approximately 800 students in grades PK-11. His goal for Village Tech is not just to be another school choice, but to re-imagine the possibilities for public education and redefine what school can do for and with kids.
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GLOBALIZATION: A Business Imperative By John Carroll
“Globalization is becoming a business imperative for survival and growth.”
his is a direct quote from my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead published in January, 2011. Back in early 2010, Paul Zane Pilsner, a noted economist, predicted that the U.S. economy would create 10 million new millionaires in the new decade. How’s everyone doing so far? The events of the past few years, and our current national debt burden, demonstrate there is still much work ahead to improve our economy and right the ship here in America. However, I do not believe our economic challenges here at home should diminish the opportunity that globalization represents, particularly for small businesses. The global market potential is just too vast and open to new entrants seeking to expand abroad. 8 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
By John Carroll
International trade makes up 30 percent of the U.S. economy, and U.S. exports of goods and services reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2014. Although the pace of export growth has been slowing in recent years, total exports have grown by 44 percent since 2009. What’s even more remarkable is that small businesses represent 97 percent of all U.S. exporters.
“The survivability of your business may very well hinge on your ability to adapt and make the changes necessary to effectively compete in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.” The proliferation of the Internet and social media have made the world at lot smaller and have made ‘6 degrees of separation’ a reality.
It’s much easier to conduct business on a global scale today than it was just 10-15 short years ago. Making the world smaller via our interconnected society has also enabled global competition to be much more upfront and personal, and much more pervasive. According to research by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) China, India and the rest of the developing nations will eclipse the West in a dramatic shift in economic power over the next several years. If you believe their findings, then differentiation and continued growth cannot be sustained long-term unless you constantly reevaluate, adapt and evolve your business’s footprint.
How does a local small business owner, with limited resources, commit to global expansion? First of all, there is no such thing as a local business in today’s global economy. As I tell clients, if you have an active web site, you have already taken the initial step to globalize your business, whether you acknowledge it or not. You no longer own and operate a ‘local’ business. “You are now the CEO of a global enterprise doing business in selected markets.” You have to make this mental shift in how you view your business to get started. Next, where and how will you invest in global expansion? If your web site is already set-up for Web or e-commerce, or can be, the expansion can be relatively painless. The benefits of Web commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility, and international reach. Its perceived downsides include the limited availability of customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase, and the wait time for product shipping. If your plans include establishing an in-country presence, then global expansion will likely be a more time-consuming and costly venture. Establishing a presence abroad requires finding the right location,
hiring staff or establishing in-country partnerships, and dealing with a host of related issues including cultural and language barriers, business practices, currency exchange rates, tax code and compliance issues, etc. While having an in-country storefront may be just what is needed to fuel your global expansion, do your due-diligence upfront to avoid costly missteps. Why global expansion? The world population hit 7.4 billion in March of this year. 95% of your potential customers live outside the U.S. borders. Do the math; this is a massive approachable market base to explore with virtually no border limitations today. Billions of “eyeballs” around the world have access to your business from your web site, social media, email lists and other sources, and vice versa. So, why not capitalize on this openness to start a conversation with the broader global market and explore its potential for future growth? n John Carroll is a business and leadership strategist who works with business leaders to help them ‘achieve the results to move beyond their vision.’ He is a best-selling author, educator, blogger and speaker. Email John at email@example.com or learn more at http://www.trescoach.com/.
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Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 9
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Grocery Store Style By Andrea Patrick How many times have you stopped in the grocery store to pick up fruit? You walk over to the produce department and start sizing up the apples, pears and bananas. Are there blemishes? Are they ripe enough? You’re looking for the brightest colored, most perfectly shaped piece of fruit you can find, right? As an entrepreneur, whether you know it, believe it, or care about it… you are like that fruit in the produce department. Consumers walk up to what you do and they don’t just see one apple, one pear, one banana. They are looking at an entire bend of fruit that looks just like you. My job with this article is to share with you tips and tricks to help you become the brightest, shiniest, least blemished piece of fruit so you can stand out from the crowd. Just like in produce, shapes and colors matter. These articles are about dressing your body type and complimenting your coloring in a way that optimizes your first impression and improves your chances of success. This information I’m sharing is applicable for both male and female readers, so guys, don’t stop reading just yet. Let’s get started… I’ve been in fashion, beauty and wardrobe management for nearly 20 years and I can tell you with certainty, just because they make it in your size doesn’t always mean you should buy it. Whether you consider it a blessing or a curse, all bodies are not created equal. Some are long and thin, some are petite and round then there are those bodies that appear to be a mix of both. The trick is to decide what your favorite body parts are and balance the rest. In an attempt to shed light on this, I will be issuing a
couple of Produce Warning and Advisory Statements with the first being: “Failure to recognize your natural shape could result in ill-fitting clothing and a propensity for unflattering first impressions”. To avoid complications that could come as a result of not taking heed to this warning, the following suggestions should be considered:
The five most common body types and how to dress them
Apple: This body type is larger in the center creating a round shape. Extremities could be disproportionately smaller giving the torso an apple appearance. When deciding on the desired silhouette, consider creating a waistline and be sure to fit the largest area and alter the other elements of the garment for better fit and a custom look.
Pear: This body type is larger on the lower extremities. The hips, bottom, and thighs are larger while the upper torso (breasts and shoulders) are smaller. This creates a pear-like shape. When deciding on the desired silhouette for this shape, the idea is to balance the top with the bottom. Wearing your prints, cardigans/sports jacket, bright colors, etc. on the torso will draw the eye up and give the illusion of balance.
Banana: The banana represents those with a
thin, vertical body type. Typically, these individuals struggle with fit. For men, the concern could be finding suits and that don’t need altering. Women may find the lack of curves an issue. To overcome these challenges, Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 11
women — consider wearing clothing that adds volume in the right places and use belting techniques to create a waistline. Men, add darting to provide structure and create a more customized appearance. Avoid wearing baggy clothing; it only creates a sloppy impression.
Strawberry: Sometimes the volume isn’t at the
bottom, but at the top. Whether its chest or breast, if this area is larger and your waist and lower body is significantly smaller, you are considered a strawberry. Just as I described with the pear body type, the goal is balance. The difference is you want to minimize the top while drawing attention to the lower body. A good way to achieve this balance is to wear more fitting items on the top and garments that provide volume on the bottom. Here, your prints and texture is best served on the lower half of your body while solids and darker colors should be used on top.
Because balance isn’t your issue, my warning is against doing too much and creating an over-stimulating visual. Please take this warning and advisory statement seriously. Creating a polished look will definitely get you noticed and make you stand out from the crowd. Stay tuned for next month’s article. The second warning and advisory statement will be issued then.
Butternut Squash: In other circles (outside of this grocery store analogy) it is called the hourglass body type. There are far fewer individuals out there with this body type so we probably aren’t talking to a lot of you with this article. Honestly, it’s the model other body types use to achieve the balance we’ve been talking about. There really isn’t anything to say here except, if you have a butternut squash body type decide what area you would like to accentuate and draw attention to that area with your accessories. 12 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
My name is Andrea Patrick and I consider myself a personal branding stylist. Though I am interested in fashion and those that design it, I realize fashion is relative but style is eternal. That is why personal branding is my passion. I educate men and women on how to personifying their brands and elevate their thinking to build the confidence to compete with their competition. I help them realize what makes them fabulous so they can confidently share that with their consumers.
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Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 13
Take 60 Minutes By Brenda Wakefield, MS, LMT, LMTI, CEP
Who would ever think 60 minutes of stillness could add a wealth of renewal for mind, body and spirit? With summer coming to an end, road trips over, and prepping to send the kids go back to school, take 60 minutes and experience the best deep relaxation ever imagined. Many look forward to September each year to celebrate Labor Day - for many a paid holiday to celebrate the American labor force contributions of growth and prosperity in this country, but when do we stop to celebrate self? The holiday is on the calendar, but are you on the calendar? Mark the calendar NOW, “Take 60 Minutes” to rejuvenate and unwind, for the next round of stressors is lurking in the background. Truth be known, many walk around with stress and tension showing up as a headache, neck or back pain, depression, and much more. Trust the process of alternative care as a proactive response to heal from the inside out - in preparation for the stressors to come.
Children And Teens Repair Faster A light gentle touch session may last from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the age of the young client and their ability to tolerate the duration of a session. Infants also benefit from this therapy. Clearly infants cry, but not all crying relate to a wet diaper, hunger, teething or sleep. Birth is traumatic and assistance to help the infant and mother recover after birth is phenomenal. A single to multiple sessions is shown to be life changing regardless of age. Stress starts with conception and continues to build throughout a lifetime. The most common fix for discomfort is over-the-counter medication or a visit to the doctor for a prescription remedy, but if you take nothing else from this article, understand the importance of therapeutic bodywork and the benefits associated with such care. 14 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
Time and time again I ask a potential client, when was the last time they took 60 minutes of therapeutic bodywork? Not a bedtime or a daytime nap, but a therapeutic session that allows the body time to release and let go of internal distress. We are not taught how to naturally take care of the body when something on the inside is out of whack. What I have found is that the response for discomfort is to ignore, medicate, or for the few, alternative relief. I encourage all to take 60 minutes to experience amazing relief through body maintenance not as a treat, but as a necessity to enhance body performance.
The Takeaway The takeaway? A paradigm shift, a proactive choice to feel better in overall health. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to think outside the box and experience terrific relief from pain or discomfort?” Parents, how important is it for the kids to feel great? Kids know how they feel — listen, and help yourself and your child feel better. The therapy I suggest is CranioSacral Therapy (CST). The body has the inherent ability to heal itself and CST allows the body to self-correct with light-touch therapy. The central nervous system, the brain and
will appreciate. Commit to a year of better self-care. Everybody deserves to feel better and benefit through body maintenance. Imagine no discomfort, increased energy, and an amazing “Aha!” moment to feel the best ever. This is a win-win and celebrate every day, your health is your wealth!
spinal cord are the control center of the body. The signals from the nerves communicate to organs to function. Stress and tension create miscommunication between the brain and body most often not favorable for the human body. For those who suffer with allergies, sinus issues or swelling, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT) is another light touch therapy to assist the body’s natural healing ability. Take 60 Minutes of Therapeutic Bodywork and enjoy a relaxed body and inner healing which the body
Brenda Wakefield, MS, LMT, LMTI, CEP offers proactive massage and touch therapies and initiates the body’s natural healing ability after injury. Start feeling better today, call her office at 214-380-9700, or her mobile phone at 469-955-6530. Learn more about the therapies she provides at www.handsofchoice.com. Find her ad in The OffBeat Business Magazine. My goal is to provide services/products that are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. We make no medical claims and make no statements of validation. Always consult with your professional health care provider before beginning any health care regimen.
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Back to School With or Without an Immune System By Julie Williams This is the perfect time to start a new routine. It isn’t an expensive one, however in the long run it will save you plenty of dough. Balancing our bodies now can get all of us achieving at our best, feeling our best, and clear that mental fog, stress and much more. Did you know that our brains are about 1/3 Omega 3s, however, we feed our bodies so little. In fact, all the foods mentioned above contain large sums of Omega 6s which turn on our acute fight or flight immune systems. Omega 3s put that fire out when it is not needed; they provide the balance. There are many studies available that actually show our IQ as a species is going down. They attribute it to nutrition, and mainly the lack of Omega 6 to 3 balance. It’s that time of year again, the hustle and bustle of getting the kids back to school after the holidays with new duds, haircut, and all the germs they’ve been exposed to during family visits! Excitement followed by exhaustion! What about your immune system? Are you going to send that same ‘ole immune system back this year? Kids, as well as many adults, are so busy eating on the run and fitting as much as they can into their day. Fast food, snacks and even semi-prepared dinner hits the table whether they are balanced or not. I know, I’ve been there too!
Balance also affects you at the cellular level. Your cell membranes are made up of Omega 6s and 3s. If your version of the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) is loaded with Omega 6s, your membranes are stiff, not letting nutrition in, and not allowing the waste to exit. Adding Omega 3s makes the membrane permeable and allows for absorption and expelling. Give it a try for 4 months, that is actually how long it takes for red blood cells to regenerate healthy new balanced ones. We have a third party test which is anonymous that you can do at home and send it off in the mail. Results are available to you online. It is never too early to begin being proactive about your immunity and quality of life. Julie Williams, The Accidental Nutritionist, educates the public about the necessities of proper omega balance and issues surrounding our public water supplies, including consumption and external use of those supplies. Julie clarifies commonly misunderstood health issues, and helps business owners improve their quality of life with simple adjustments made to their daily routine. To work with Julie, call 817-894-5311 or email her at TheHealthDepot@yahoo.com.
16 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
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You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know By Diana Spann
ince 2010 I have been traveling to South Sudan, first as a volunteer and now as my job. I feel as if I have one foot, as well as my heart, in each country. This wonderful adventure has changed my life and how I view the world.
know. This mantra helps me to be more gracious and it has helped me focus on my mission here in the United States, to be a voice and advocate for my friends in South Sudan and to help others see what I have seen.
In the beginning, re-entry to the United States was a big shock to my senses. I have learned to navigate the change with much more grace in recent trips. My biggest struggle upon return has been the judgment and anger I can feel toward those that complain about things I now see as luxuries when compared to other parts of the world. My friends have been on the receiving end of my rants when someone complains about a pothole, and then must endure a lecture about how great our roads are, potholes included, compared to dirt roads during rainy season in South Sudan.
So what do I want you to know that you may not know? I want to tell you about my second country, South Sudan: the newest nation on the globe. If you look at a map and can’t find it, you don’t have the most current map. After a civil war with the north that lasted nearly 60 years, they gained independence from Sudan. On July 9, 2011, they celebrated this with great hope for a peaceful future.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” It’s become my mantra. Google says it may have been penned by anyone from Socrates to the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams, but my understanding of it is that we all have blind spots in our knowledge. The information exists, but we just don’t know about it. I am learning that I can’t hold others accountable for what they don’t 18 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
There was hope for peace, hope for education, hope for opportunities to develop businesses and build a nation. Tragically, in December 2013 civil war broke out in this fragile new nation. President Salva Kirr of the Dinka tribe and then Vice-president Riek Machar of the Nuer tribe led the government. These leaders, from the two largest tribes in the nation, have sadly led the nation back into war, devastation, and oppression. I don’t want to flood you with a bunch of statistics, but to give you an idea of the status of this country,
here are a few. South Sudan was number one in 2015 on the Fragile States Index (http:// fsi.fundforpeace.org) and number two in 2016. This study looks at economic, social, and political factors to rank the nations of the world. The July 2016 inflation rate for food was 788.6% and is expected to climb. I asked a friend in South Sudan about prices and he said that a bag of sugar is now approaching $50 USD and flour is $39 USD.
What Does It Look Like? As a woman, I want to give you a more personal glimpse of what life looks like for the women there. As a woman in South Sudan, there is about a 90% chance that you are not able to read and have never been to school, if there is a school in your village. A large chunk of your day is spent carrying 40 pounds of water on your head and it may not even be clean. Actually, youâ€™ll be carrying everything on your head: jugs of water, food, firewood, etc. You will be working in a garden or searching for food. Your family is probably large with many brothers and sisters because your mother might be one of several wives. You will not be valued as much as your brothers. Chances are high that you will be married as a teenager. It is possible that your husband will also have several wives. Chances are good that you will be a victim of rape or spousal abuse. Once you are married, there are few options for birth control. Your first child will likely be born while you are a teenager and if you have the national average of seven pregnancies, it is likely one will die at birth. If you have seven children chances are high that one
will die before they are five and your chance of dying during pregnancy or childbirth is about one in seven. You and your family will live in a mud hut called a tukul where you cook meals over an open fire. You and your family will likely suffer from malaria and/or intestinal worms. With little access to health care or the medicine used to prevent and cure these problems, you will carry out your taxing duties while dealing with these diseases. While I have painted a fairly accurate picture of life for women and their families in South Sudan, I also want you to know that they are like you. They want the same things you want. They want to feed their children, keep them safe, and educate them. They long for them to flourish and excel just like you! And in the midst of great barriers, they exude hope and joy along with their suffering and despair. They have a contentment that we strive for in the United States. Why should you care about the rest of the world? The best way I can explain it is to define the word shalom. Maybe you have heard this word and think of it as a greeting or to mean peace as in lack of conflict. In South Sudan, we use the Arabic translation, Salaam, as a greeting. But, the meaning is much larger and richer than that. Shalom means complete, whole, sound, content, the fullness of God. It means that all is set right in the world. How can we experience Shalom when so much of the world is not set right? NOW you know what you didnâ€™t know about South Sudan. Much of what I have described is happening all over the world. One look at the news or social media and we know that suffering and injustice are happening in our nation, our cities and in our neighborhoods.
Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 19
So Why Does This Matter To You? Why did I tell you and what do I expect you to do with this information? The United States is probably one of the “easiest” countries in the world to live in! Most of us have clean water, sound infrastructure, and access to food and healthcare. We are not a fragile state. I don’t want you to feel guilty; that doesn’t help. What I do want is for you to look outward. Pay attention. Educate yourself. Read “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, where they document the conditions of women around the world. Read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, where he tells the story of his own journey to fight for those who have been oppressed in our own legal system. Google sex-trafficking in your city, and when you realize it is happening in your city then look for and join organizations that are fighting it. Talk with the principal at your local school, see how you can help. Contact me and I’ll take you to coffee and talk about South Sudan. Melinda Gates was interviewed recently at the Global Leadership Summit and said this: “At the end of the day, you have to hear the cries of those in need, let your heart break and act in courage”. My prayer is that you will do that. Let God break your heart, and
then find courage. Find the one thing you were made to do, participate in setting right what is wrong, and healing what is broken. Bring Shalom.
My name is Diana Spann and I am a former CPA who left the cor porate world in March of 2015 to join http://empower-one.org. I am passionate about my work in South Sudan and sharing my story. My desire is to educate others and advocate for the people in South Sudan. I am available to speak for your organization. I am also available for coffee and conversation. For more infor mation you can contact me at Diana@empower-one.org or 214.502.3516. Let’s have coffee.
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Save Time and Money With a Virtual Assistant By Daphne Anderson Amber, an established blogger, who is accustomed to working alone was being asked to speak at events and seminars. She is being recognized for her blogs and in hot demand. Amber is now responsible for writing and posting her blogs, responding to the speaker requests, researching the different events, managing her calendar and posting to her social media channels. After doing it for a few months, she realized she needed help because she was overlooking little things and overwhelmed with all the new tasks. Nervous to just hand over these tasks to anyone, Amber inquired about virtual assistance through her trusted associates to see who they could recommend. She received a few referrals, spoke with them, and found one that she’s been working with ever since. She has now added another VA, creating Amber’s monthly newsletter and occasionally traveling with her as an assistant. In short, a virtual assistant (VA) is a person (or team) that can remotely take on some of the tasks you’re unable to get finished or don’t want to handle. Such tasks can be handled on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule. Virtual assistants have different strengths and niches so consider what tasks you want them to handle for you. Most can handle a few or more of the following:
• • • • • • • •
Administrative Duties Social Media Management Blog Posting Phone Call Management Graphic Design Scheduling and Calendar Management Newsletter Creation Database and Data Entry Management
People often believe that they can’t afford to have a virtual assistant. Trust me, after trying to do it all by yourself, you will begin to wonder why you didn’t get one in the beginning. I’ll tell you why – you were trying
to save money thinking you could handle it all, you didn’t have the space for one in your home office, or thought you couldn’t afford one. All understandable! Now that you know what a virtual assistant is, let me help you understanding how we are a cost saver to you. When utilizing the services of a virtual assistant, you’re only paying for the services and hours that you’ve contracted for. You provide no office space, health benefits, or pause for breaks on your dime. In our opening story, Amber is struggling to get everything done and it’s costing her. You’d never know it looking at her now! Since hiring a virtual assistant, she’s able to focus on bringing more money into her company. After all, that’s the real job of every business owner. Daphne Anderson is the proud Owner & CEO of Always Assisting U!, a Solutions Provider Management Company for more efficient productivity. Reach her at Daphne@AlwaysAssistingU.com or call (214) 310-0360 to discover how a virtual assistant can support your business growth. Find Always Assisting U! on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 21
7 Steps to Finish Writing Your Book This Year By Marshall Mitchell The adage goes, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty-five years ago, the second best time is today.”
and buy 10 copies each when your book comes out. Schedule regular coffee dates.
Imagine with me that tree being planted 25 years ago—it took years for the roots to go deep, for the trunk to grow wide and sturdy, for the branches to grow strong, for the fruit to bear, for saplings to gather at its feet.
Note: Guard your story. Don’t tell all of your friends, as this might distract or discourage you. Not everyone understands you or what you want to tell the world. Some strangers might understand your why better than the people who think they know you.
The same rings true for writing books. Even if you didn’t write your book 25 years ago you can still write it this year. It’s never too late to write the book you’ve always wanted to write. It’s never too late to finish the manuscript you’ve been working on.
At the beginning of every book is a table of contents, which lists the chapters in the book and perhaps any additional information that might be found at the end
Here are 7 steps to get your book written this year:
Mimic this format.
1. Give yourself a publishing date
What is Chapter 1 about? Chapter 2? Chapter 16?
within 6-18 months from today. Put it on your calendar. Congratulations! You’re going be a published author! Pop a cork, bake a cake, run around the neighborhood screaming at the top of your lungs, or whatever suits your fancy. Oh, you don’t have a publisher yet? Don’t get ahead of yourself. Setting the big day is the first step. Note: Don’t compete with a recurring holiday or event in your life. Give the publishing date it’s own gravitational pull.
2. Tell 5 of your closest friends. These 5 close friends are your band of brothers, your fellowship of the ring, your sisterhood of the traveling pantaloons. These friends are there to encourage you, ask you annoying questions about the progress of your book 22 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
3. Outline your book.
What sounds like a good title for each chapter? What information, quotes, stories, plot twists or questions might we find in each chapter? Write them down under each chapter title. Repeat this process to add more depth. What original nuggets of truth do you want the reader to take away in each chapter? Note: This is just an outline, so don’t feel like you have to write the whole book in the first sitting. Come back to this question: What journey am I taking the reader on? What are they discovering?
4. Schedule your writing time. But Marshall, I thought it was time to write! No, it’s time to schedule when you’re writing. If the only time that you write is when inspiration hits then you’ll never meet your publishing date. The muse shows up when you do the work.
Pick a time that is non-negotiable. If someone wants to hang out, get coffee, marry you, hire you or give you a check, tell them you have an appointment. Keep the writing appointment and you’ll write your book. Blow your appointment and you’ll blow your book. Note: Pick a time on your calendar that does not conflict with your regular life schedule. If your find you don’t have time to write then it’s time to cut something out: a friendship, a hobby, TV, entertainment. You’ll know whether it’s a permanent goodbye or a temporary one.
5. Give your manuscript draft a
This is the day when you’ll hand over your book to an editor. Ideally, this is 6 months before the day you set as your publishing date. Your entire writing schedule should be in agreement with this date. Look at your due date and your writing progress regularly. Note: Be realistic with yourself, but push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Tell your friends and schedule more writing sessions.
6. Write for the reader. Print your book outline and take it with you everywhere you go. Use it to write each chapter. You don’t have to start at the beginning of your book. Fill in the blanks as you complete chapters. What does your reader need to hear? What story do you want to read? If writing non-fiction, what action steps might the reader take at the end of each chapter? If writing fiction, does the dialogue and action match the motivations of the character? Note: It’s all about the reader. Give yourself a break on getting it perfect on the first draft.
7. Write multiple drafts. If you’ve completed the first draft of your book then congratulate yourself and get back to writing! “Real writing is rewriting,” William Zinser wrote. And it’s true for every writer. Read what you’ve written and improve it. Add more
nuggets, cut out the dead wood, and read your book aloud to see if it’s easy to read. “Write like a reader. Read like a writer.” Read what you’ve written and improve it. Add more nuggets, cut out the dead wood, and read your book aloud to see if it’s easy to read. Note: Count on your editor to bring out your best. Don’t try to get it perfect. Try to get it complete.
The Legacy of a Book Just remember, there are no microwave successes. You can’t win the race if you never took the first step. It’s never too late to start, but don’t think the roots and the fruit are instantaneous. It takes time for your platform to grow strong and sturdy, for the roots of your story to take root in the consciousness of your niche, for your message to give shade to those who need to hear it, and for your fruit to be picked and your message reproduced in the lives of those who read your book. And just like the oak in the acorn, your book can turn into more than words on a page—a living monument that grows with the seasons and proves the root strength of your undeniable message. © Marshall Mitchell, 2016. All rights reserved Marshall Mitchell is the Publisher at Write Now Publishing House, where perfect endings are just the beginning. He develops books and brands around intentional legacies. He enjoys thrifting the perfect mug and book, and currently lives in Springfield, MO with his wife and young daughter. You can reach Marshall at 817-896-4263 or email Marshall@WriteNowPublishingHouse.com. Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 23
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Challenged to Learn By Melanie Murphy
s kids head back to school, it seems a good time to consider what areas we’re learning and growing in.
Healthy things grow. Growing things change. Changing things challenge us. Challenging things force us to trust God.
Feeling challenged lately? The progression above, written by James Ryle, a true servant, amazing story-teller and super creative artist, is a good boil down of what it is to be a life long learner. Perhaps you have areas in business or personally that need breakthrough and advancement. A new school year seems as good a time as any to grow, make some changes and challenge ourselves in new ways. As business owners, we’re required to be well versed on every aspect of our business and an expert in several specific categories. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I’m only specialized in a few things, mainly voice over related, but that leaves more subjects than I can count for me to learn about. And learning takes time. Like me, you’ve probably taken business classes, jumped online for webinars and attended seminars to fill the gaps of what was breezed over in college
or didn’t even get mentioned. And then there are the areas that are just hard to master or the embarrassment of being the only person on earth that doesn’t know how to do xyz. Because those excuses don’t pay my bills or reward me at the end of the day, the learning goes on. As does the growing, changing and challenging.
Look at Me, I’m Growing! Oh how ugly fear can be. It’s what causes us to think small, say “I can’t” and “I can only do xyz”. It’s what keeps us from healthy growth. Once I realized some of the areas that intimidated me were areas I really wanted to conquer, I decided change was needed. Things like; figuring out how to update my website, writing for publication (feeling brave now!), navigating social media effectively, cold calling my golden client, and taking leadership positions in organizations – were holding me back because I couldn’t do them well, so I said no, paid someone else to do it or just opted out. After concluding those are all lame reasons to stay stalled, I did something about it, something only I can do. I changed my mind and adopted the word “Sure!” Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 25
I’ve always been a positive person. Why say no when you can say yes? Of course there are legitimate reasons to say no in life. However, when it came to business, I was saying a hesitant yes or a flat out no if I didn’t think I could tackle the project with skills I already had. I was convinced that mastering the skills would take too much time, money and energy. Once I changed my mind, chose courage, and started saying sure! to what intimidated me, I found myself embracing new skills, diving into great opportunities and experiencing bigger breakthroughs. Sure! Seems so simple, right? Don’t be fooled. A confident yes to learn does require time, an investment of energy and many times, more money than you expect to spend. But new skills bring change. And a willingness to change your attitude is a great place to start. If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you. — Zig Ziglar Are you willing to learn?
Change and Challenge With the adoption of my Sure! philosophy I have taken brave steps, including:
back into public speaking & rejoin• Stepping ing Toastmasters social media & taking technology • Learning classes industry events I’d hoped someone • Hosting else would take the lead on • Joining associations I deemed off limits to me
Classes on website development, one of my biggest fears in business, is the next step and I’m actually excited about it. I’m also plugged into marketing and peer groups that are stretching me and I’m super excited about an upcoming conference with voice over colleagues I’ve never met. All challenges guaranteed to test my willingness to say “Sure!” The old adage ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,’ holds true for acquiring new skills and trying new things. For me, Sure! means I’m taking a bite. I’m open to learning. I’m stepping toward new goals. 26 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
I’m adding action to plans. And I’m doing it without fear… or doing it anyway, even if I am afraid.
Challenges Test Our Trust When the stress and challenges of life start piling up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Prior to those moments when we’re looking for a phone booth for a super hero costume change so we can then save the world, it’s good to be reminded that it doesn’t fall to me to rescue anyone. Trusting God in crunch times is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Having people close by that can remind us we don’t have to do it all on our own is also helpful. It’s those individuals that keep us grounded, remind us we’re loved, help us choose bravery and encourage us to pull a Mikey once again. You know, “Just try it, you’ll like it.” Much like the kid in the LIFE cereal commercials, many times I DO like it! I like learning and love conquering the things that once had me hesitant to try something for fear of failure. We get to play that supportive role for others as well. Like you, I’m called to great things and have big dreams. To move ahead in life will require more advanced skills and more learning. So I’ve consciously made a choice to say yes to the hard stuff. What about you? Could you benefit from adopting the word Sure! as you grow, change, face challenges, and learn to trust? Could professional voice over benefit your business as you grow, change and face new challenges? Melanie Murphy is a Dallas based voice actor who specializes in commercials, videos for media, corporate projects, eLearning, phone messaging and more. She’d love to hear from you through her website at http://www.MelanieMurphyVO.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram at the handle MelanieMurphyVO.
Yes, And … By Claire Billingsley In the world of improv, we have a term that we call “Yes, And…” This term is the cornerstone of all improvisational comedy, as it is taught to anyone in their first class of improv. The term “Yes, And” means that you agree (or accept) what your partner has given you, and then you add just a little bit more to help the scene move forward. I see this being a great addition to a brainstorming and/ or a problem solving session. Wouldn’t it be great to actually conduct a brainstorming session rather than a barnstorming session? If you just rolled your eyes, you know exactly what I mean! Have you ever noticed at work many times you hear, “No, But” rather than “Yes, And”? It is not anyone’s fault; it is the reptilian response in our brain. According to Dave Gunby, what the reptilian response in our brain tells us is – if it is not food, or it is not a mate, then it is an enemy, and we should kill it. So, our natural instincts make us skeptical of new information. So, how as a leader can you break through that and make your brainstorming session more productive? First, you determine that this is a zone where anything and everything will be considered. No sacred cows. I would also recommend that there not be any senior management in this session …at least at first, because the underlings will most always defer to the senior manager’s ideas. And that isn’t the object of the exercise. If that was the case, why would you gather at this meeting in the first place? You could do that from your office and send out an email! So, the idea is to get everyone excited about being creative, and learning how to listen , accept , and respectfully acknowledge each other’s’ ideas. By the way, there is also a difference between “Yes, And “and Yes, But”. “Yes, But” is just like saying “No, But”… but nicer. You are still trying to control the conversation, or tell the person, yeah, thanks for trying, but I have a better idea. 28 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
You may need to practice the idea of “Yes, And” with your team before you get started with the brainstorming, as this may be new to their experience. You can do this through a “warm up” of storytelling using the “Yes, And” technique. Start with a neutral statement, such as “Today is a beautiful day.” Then, the next person says “Yes, and since it is a beautiful day, I took the top down on my car. Then the next person might say, “Yes, and because you took the top down on your car, your hair got stuck on your lip gloss … .and so on. The idea is to get everyone to accept what the previous person has said, and add one more piece of information to it. At the end of the story, everyone will have had a chance to be heard, validated, and be a contributor to something that had never been created before. That can be your springboard into explaining how “Yes, And” will enhance the brainstorming session. Claire Billingsley is a professional speaker, published author, and edutrainer. She has been seen on CBS Channel 11 and recognized as one of the Top 25 Women to Watch by the Dallas Business Journal. You can reach Claire at 214.289.8802 , at www.billingsleyconsultinggroup.com, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROI Re-Imagined: Focused Time, Focused Mind By Candy Barone
For most organizations, time management (or the lack thereof ) presents a challenge and source of frustration, especially in regards to productivity. So many individuals grumble about how there are “not enough hours in the day” or how they are “just so busy” with all these plates spinning in the air. Many leaders and business owners claim they don’t have the time to be strategic … when, in fact, the irony is that by not taking that time they actually waste even more time and become ineffective and inefficient. With discipline comes greater control over how one chooses to use his or her time, and thus, becoming far more productive overall. The keys to creating a more focused mind are to first create the discipline and framework to implement a more focused and purposeful use of your time. Here are ten strategies to assist you in refocusing your time, and thereby, also your mind:
Strategy #1: Own your calendar — set time aside every morning to plan and align your activities to match the outcomes you desire achieving for that particular day Strategy #2: Prioritize your “must-dos” revenue generators and prior commitments — know what your “needle movers” and big opportunities are and map those out first. Strategy #3: Create space to fill your cup first, every day — take purposeful and intentional breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk, take in fresh air, breathe, or simply pause and be still; we were not designed to go, go, go to the point of burnout. Strategy #4: Allow for flexible time and free space — life happens; don’t allow your calendar to be overrun by unexpected opportunities, allow for flexibility and movement.
30 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
Strategy #5: Set power blocks for strategy and creative think time — these are sacred blocks with designated start and stop times where you will only focus on this activity (no “multi-tasking” or switch-tasking allowed). Strategy #6: Delegate, delegate, delegate — anything that is not allowing you to play and your highest and best level should be moved off your plate.
Time management shouldn’t be this black hole that is the dreaded elephant in the room or the “myth” everyone wishes they could attain. It is a practice, one centered around intention, discipline, and then inspired and purposeful action to carry out. When you make an investment to plan for your success, you create a culture where others desire the same.
Strategy #7: Dedicate time for reflection and reset — at the end of the week, make sure you take time to reflect on how the overall week went, identify any open items or gaps.
Invest in yourself, invest in your team, and invest in the overall growth of your organization by creating more focused time, and ultimately, a more focused mind for all.
Strategy #8: Build the following week’s calendar — get in the habit of building a weekview approach to help you prepare for the upcoming week; address any unresolved issues and plan accordingly so you can walk peacefully away from the work week. Strategy #9: Play! — give yourself significant play time to celebrate a week well-done; give yourself permission to recharge and refresh (again, this is a sacred block of time). Strategy #10: Lead by example — what you set in motion gives others permission to create the same for themselves, as well; demon
strate the power of creating balance and effective time management with your team(s).
Because, remember … ROI is a return on investment, not a return on intention. Candy Barone, CEO & Founder, You Empowered Strong, LLC is a catalyst and change agent who works with what she calls the 3 Es: Executives, Entrepreneurs and Emerging Leaders to help them bring “heart” back to leadership. With nearly 20 years in Corporate America, she is a master at building exceptional, high-performing teams, maximizing and leveraging ROI, growing emerging leaders, and catapulting individuals to achieve explosive growth. Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 31
Killing Cancer with Kindness By Clint Fuqua We all know at least one person that has faced the cancer monster.. Some have beaten it back into the dark hole from which it came and others, sadly, were dragged back to that dark hole never to return. This monster can seem at times to be an unbeatable evil force that is spreading like a zombie apocalypse. We pour countless hours and well counted millions into finding new ways to kill this ever growing thing with radiation, poisons, lasers, and surgeries and yet it has continued to grow. Yes, more are surviving the seemingly random growing attacks due to all the new weapons being created, and yet we are still missing something despite our valiant efforts. Cancer is an evil seed that lives in every cell and much like a weed must be pulled every day as we plant seeds of kindness to starve it out of existence. We must kill cancer with kindness as even the best weapons we create will eventually kill us in the process of winning an ever losing war of destruction. This unrealized truth of mutual destruction may be the scariest thing of all since cancer has no fear of death, as it is death. To win, we must value life more. Be kind to the most amazing living machine in the world, called your body. Move every day by doing some form of exercise to keep everything in it flowing more swiftly. Breathe more deeply by using your diaphragm to draw oxygen fully into your lungs and push carbon dioxide fully out of your system. Touch the things and people around you more softly to feel the real connection between all things. Eat more healthy raw and straight from nature foods to ensure optimal nutritional support. Drink more freshly filtered water and pressed juices to hydrate fully without excess toxins and sugars. Rest more peacefully to allow full recovery from the daily trials and stresses that come with life. Your body is the vehicle you live in every day for the rest of your life and must be treated as such as there is no way to replace it. The amount of care will show just as it does on a car and there are no 32 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
trade-ins on this lifetime lease deal, only repair bills and fees. Be kind to the super computer science can never build or rebuild known as your mind. Think more clearly by staying focused only on the task at hand. Read more purposefully to gain needed information for a better life. See more innocently to enjoy the beautiful wonders that surround you every day. Listen more carefully to fully understand the things being communicated in every word. Speak more sincerely so your words will be understood and accepted with great humility. Sleep more deeply so you can fully process the events of each day. Exercise more briskly to keep your mind and body connected and working in rhythm. Your mind must be challenged everyday to expand its capabilities and your possibilities in life. The amount of
stimulation will show with how far your world expands and how long it will continue to expand.
the kind and they become one for a fulfilled life. Be that kind, my fellow human.
Be kind to the very thing that has filled your body and mind with life, yet will be with you for eternity called your spirit. Believe more truthfully to know the realities that can be hidden through deceit. Trust more willingly so the truth of things can appear more readily. Forgive more freely to remove the burden of hatred from your life. Love more genuinely to accept the love of others into your life. Give more graciously so others will appreciate the gifts they are granted. Create more openly to fill the world with more wonder and joy with the gifts you have been granted. Your spirit is the spark of genius in your mind and the sparkle of life in your eyes from birth, till death, and for the rest of time. The amount of fulfillment is the very thing that will keep you alive every moment of every day and keep you connected to the universe forever..
Cancer is a final death sentence only when you are finished writing your book of life. Many end a chapter to soon while a few start writing again to add an extra chapter or possibly a few. The difference comes with learning to how live and why life matters. Humankind can only be fully realized when the human embraces
1. Be kind to your body. Move more swiftly, breath more deeply, touch more softly, eat more healthy, drink more freshly, and rest more peacefully. Your body is the most amazing machine in the world and it must be treated as such. The amount of care will show every day in every way.
2. Be kind to your mind. Think more clearly, read more purposefully, see more innocently, listen more carefully, speak more sincerely, sleep more deeply, and exercise more briskly. Your mind is the super computer science can never build and must be challenged everyday or it will become as smooth and useless as a rock to be tossed away. The amount of stimulation will show every year in every fear. Visit me at www.ClintFuqua.com and contact me with any questions, comments, request, recommendation, proposals, fan mail, or hate mail at Clint@ClintFuqua.com.
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Oh, That Has To Be Under Warranty … By Dorothy Skinner How many times have you just “known” that something was under warranty — but just couldn’t put your hands on it and so you started digging through all the places it just might be? In our business, people often call with that problem. Now, if they purchased the water heater, faucet, pump whatever - from us, no problem. We have that for them. But when they have purchased elsewhere and need a repair they are usually at a loss to know if their item is still covered by a warranty. I thought it might be helpful to let you know what, in my opinion, is a very easy way to keep track of your important papers. Not just warranties. There are many times throughout your experience as a homeowner that you will want to access paperwork pertaining to your home. Insurance, real and property taxes, selling or refinancing to name a few. I have found that an inexpensive loose-leaf 3 ring binder, with or without a zipper, clear plastic sheet protectors, and some colored, stick-on labels large enough for you to write on with permanent marker, and a pack of manila dividers are all it takes to get control of those documents. When you have a new air conditioning unit installed, you can take the sales receipt and warranty and place it inside one of those sheet protectors with a bright label and it is safely filed under the ‘Repairs’ divider. When you purchase a vacuum cleaner or blender, they get the colored label and go behind the ‘Appliance’ divider. 34 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
You get the idea, right? Depending on your needs, you can break it down to what works for you. Electronics, Yard, Pool, etc. You can also do this with a second binder and punch holes in instruction manuals you want to access in a hurry. But keep the receipt and warranty in the same binder for this to work. Now I know many people, myself included, scan this information into your computer. I have written this before — I keep the paper copy as well. Computers are wonderful and we trust them to keep our lives and records straight. However, we also know we can lose stuff. This simple backup is not on a drive that may become obsolete in the future. Keep the binder with other valuables that can be easily found. You never know when you might need it. Dorothy Skinner is the owner of Gary’s Quality Plumbing, serving the north Dallas area, Wylie, McKinney, and Allen, Texas. Dorothy and her husband, Gary, raised six children in the plumbing service industry and have built their company of almost 50 years on customer service and fair pricing. Find their ad in The OffBeat Business Magazine.
MY KEY TO SUCCESS —
y dance partner and I had the honor of being asked to do a solo, Argentine Tango performance on stage for a big Tango show. Other than dancing in front of a few people a couple of times before, I had no experience with performing. This was a live performance in front of 300 people, a dream come true and I was very excited. We both had worked very hard putting a routine together and I had made the extra effort of practicing at home by myself. I had also rehearsed mentally and visualized countless times performing a perfect routine in front of a packed house. It was the night of our only rehearsal before the big show and I was ready to go with confidence. I had mapped out the easiest and best route to the theatre so I would know exactly where it was located. I gave myself enough driving time to arrive early enough to look over the stage, check out the dance floor and seating for the audience. As it turned out, the route I had chosen was not the best or quickest way – in fact it turned out to be just the opposite. Halfway there, the big, four-lane, 50 MPH road had construction everywhere and became two narrow lanes! I was now forced to creep along at 8 MPH behind a long line of cars. With only 10 minutes before starting time, I was lost and frustrated because I couldn’t find the theatre even with my dance partner guiding me on the cell phone.
By Taylor Kay Stephens
Finally with two minutes to spare, I arrived and was relieved - until I was told to get my shoes on because we were about to go on stage! The producers of this show had never seen us perform so it was important that we dance well. Ha! No pressure here! Waiting to step on the stage, I told myself, “This is just another practice session and you’ve been on that stage many times before.” Walking off stage, I was doing the happy dance our routine was a success and went just as we had practiced. With a big sigh of relief, I was high-fiving myself and thinking, “I’m so glad I worked my tail off because if I hadn’t, I would’ve been so rattled and nervous and not danced well at all.” Once again, I realized how important preparation and hard work are to success! Taylor Kay Stephens, speaker, author and transformational life coach, is no stranger to tragedy, adversity and obstacles. She teaches people how to get out of overwhelm, change their bad habits and stop self-defeating behaviors. What makes Taylor different? She challenges the status quo and thinks outside the box. She’s developed her own easy, practical techniques and systems so simple a child can do them. You may contact her at email@example.com and discover more at TaylorKayStephens.com. Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine 35
Time To Walk The Walk By Susan Hamilton For all the name calling and division going on in the United States over the past year, we have made a choice, and although many behave as though the world has come to an end — it’s time to buck it up and get things done. Did you really think a president was going to fix our ‘great divide’? Friends, it never was up to the highest office to make us shake hands and talk nice. The assumptions have always been that ‘that’s what grown-ups do.’ There will always be those among us who throw fits and behave poorly in an attempt to demand their way, they just used to go to jail for the kind of carousing we’re witnessing today. Seems to me, the way these people are letting themselves get out of control, it was probably a good thing they don’t hold any positions of power. What a nightmare that would be. But don’t think we can just ignore them or simply tell them to grow up. That’s all they know about communication. Well … besides, of course, what the news media has spoon fed all of us over the last several years. I know someone who calls them Thought Police, making sure with every comment that we’re hearing conversational propaganda over everything from the latest health scare in need of a vaccination to a sneered spin on any actual political news coverage we may want to see. Anyone who disagrees is often the butt of a joke, a negative comment, or called out by an ‘expert’. Voice a thought-provoking opinion and you’re likely to be jumped on. Yeah, that’s a sure fire way to engage opposition. Oops, I may have carried on a little, forgive me. What the hell has happened to us? The point is, whether we’re arguing over truth or propaganda disguised as truth, we have to decide to behave and have a conversation. We cannot continue to allow ourselves to be so easily persuaded by Facebook, news media outlets and people who are not ‘solutions-oriented’. Two cases in point. 36 Winter 2016 | OffBeat Business Magazine
I had the opportunity to go to a criminal justice rally in Austin a couple of years ago. We met outside and listened to legislators who are working towards more adequate reform. After they spoke, we were given maps to the capitol building and assistance to find out who represented our districts. One representative told me, “You’re right, you know. But it takes people like you to do something about it. Everyone thinks WE come up with solutions, but we only vote on solutions our constituents provide. We all know what the problems are, what we need are solutions.” Huh … working on that. Another time, very recently, I had lunch with a vibrant, young, well-educated young woman with a very bright future. She mentioned an earnest desire to go to school to learn more law behind her practice so she could better serve her clients. Noble. But when I jokingly mentioned a ridiculous clause I would like to see changed, she very knowingly responded, “That law is in place because it is designed to stop business owners from taking advantage of their large out of state purchases. If it wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be fair to others who purchase and can’t take advantage of the same laws a business owner can use.” Fairness? When you go through everything it takes to own, run and grow a successful business — there ought to be some perks! Other people are not taking the risks
business owners take with every dime of their income, either. For years. But she was second generation in the family business, and as anyone who knows both Perot Sr. and Perot Jr. will tell you — there is a great difference between the way they see the money they now enjoy, depending on whether or not they grew up in it or built it. Exactly what the democrats took for granted with the Hispanic vote. The people who worked hard to make it here as an immigrant resent big government getting in their way of enjoying it. They don’t like the idea that others who don’t put in the effort they did could walk in here and demand to be paid for. Duh. A solutions-oriented person isn’t pointing fingers at who isn’t getting things done or whining about how they deserve some of someone else’s stuff. A solutions-oriented person is provoking thought leadership and perspective it may be very important for another to hear. People willing to be solutions-oriented will seek out others who just may have an experienced point of view. Education? Experience? They both have value. In the first example, I was being educated by someone who had experience I did not have, and he did not have my experience. In the second, she was being educated by someone who had experience she was lacking, and I was learning from her youthful, highly educated perspective exactly
how I needed to approach the issue to be more effective. It’s time to walk the walk. Peace, accepting that others have the right to another point of view. That doesn’t mean I have to AGREE with that point of view, vote with that point of view, change my point of view to their point of view, or otherwise embrace their point of view. It means we need to try harder to understand each other. The nastiness we see may take police intervention (though our officers may decide not to risk it.) What if this situation could be improved? I believe it can, when we’re willing to have open eared conversations, before it gets that far in OUR communities – conversations necessary to truly educate in love, through relatable storytelling and a willingness to gently repeat, as one must do with a tantrum-throwing child when de-escalating their emotional pain. Surely there are those among us who can use the art of persuasion more effectively than we are seeing through social and news media. I think it’s high-time we get better at it, that’s for sure. Susan Hamilton is the Chief Executive Officer at OffBeat Business Media, a business for business digital media resource for strong brand development. Contact Susan at Susan@OffBeatBusiness.com or call 214-714-0495 to discover how an influential brand can improve the world.
“Not having the information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for that information leaves you powerless. In a society where information is king, none of us can afford that.” Lois Horowitz Our nation’s veterans are dying by their own hand at a rate of 22 per day! One of the issues contributing to that factor is the inability to access resources available to assist our military and their families when they are facing a myriad of issues transitioning to civilian life. Our website began as a solution to the problem confronting transitioning military personnel, spouses, and caregivers. Our focus and goal is to “push” out the information on valid and valuable organizations, resources, peer support networks, both locally and nationally, to the community that needs to access them in quick and efficient manner.
What makes Battle-Buddy Info unique among Resource Directories:
Attitudes & Attire: Boots to Battle-Buddy Info resources are teria for assistance, they can link Heels Program pre-vetted for inclusion into the Directory. Our Users have accessed, and/or research the organizations and many have received services from the listed providers and consider them to be viable sources providing assistance DIRECTLY to a service member or their family. We provide eligibility information as listed on the Resource’s website (i.e. Branch of Service, Disability level, seasonal resource, Branch Specific, geographical, etc.) From Battle-Buddy Info, once the User has determined they meet the cri-
to the Application Form from our site, eliminating the need to read through pages of content provided by an organization.
Equest The Equest Hooves for Heroes program offers current service members, honorably-discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and adult military family members the Hooves for Heroes program free of charge. http://equest.org/veterans/
A customized program designed exclusively for female veterans giving them the camaraderie of being with peers who understand the experiences and challenges they face when returning home. We provide a four part program to assist female veterans with their transition from military to civilian life. After participating in our workshops on self-esteem and interview skills, each veteran is invited to select professional attire and accessories from our upscale boutique. http://www.attitudesandattire.org
WE ARE YOUR RESOURCE FOR RESOURCES Stay in Touch on Social Media:
www.linkedin.com/company/Battle-Buddy-Info Copyright© PT88 | Bigstock Photo
Grace After Fire Recovery Resource Council Recovery Resource Council offers FREE and confidential counseling services through the Enduring Women and Enduring Families Veterans’ Services grant. Enduring Women provides group counseling and peer support for various issues including, but not limited to, post traumatic stress, military sexual trauma, reintegration issues, substance abuse or parenting difficulties. http://www.recoverycouncil.org index.php/programs-and-services/ 80-veteran-services-.html
Allies in Service Allies in Service’s mission is to identify and support Dallas area veterans who need assistance in the areas of employment, housing, education, and health care. We partner with veterans, employers, community and other veteran support organizations to educate and enhance the quality of life of our veterans. https://alliesinservice.org
Combat Faith For all warriors needing healing there are some key factors that apply universally. Combat PTSD stems from dangerous situations where their or their comrades’ lives/health were at stake. Most combat veterans with PTSD had multi-traumas rather than just one traumatic incident. The following information on PTSD anecdotes was provided to me by a fellow Vietnam veteran who was wounded in Vietnam as a Navy Corpsman assigned to the Marines. After the case study for each war, there will be suggestions for a spiritual approach to the issues affecting veterans. http://www.combatfaith.com
Grace After Fire was created by women to provide an online resource for women veterans – women helping women. Here you can truly be yourself, laugh, cry, share – and safely gather to identify. You’ll find resources, experts, and fellow women vets around the world that understand where you’re coming from. http://www.graceafterfire.org
Honor Courage and Commitment Honor Courage Commitment is a nonprofit organization that recruits, educates, mentors, and guides transitioning military veterans into becoming socially responsible entrepreneurs and community leaders. https://www.veteran.me
K9s for Freedom and Independence We specialize in PTSD and /or TBI Service Dogs. Our focus is on those persons that have served our country as a US Military Member, Law Enforcement Officer, Fire Fighter, EMS Worker. http://www.k9sforfreedom.org
SUICIDE PREVENTION 22tooMany 22toomany Instagram page is for Veterans in dark places. Call anyone listed on the site 24/7. Committed to being available for ALL before a permanent irreversible step is taken. https://www.instagram.com/ movement22_
Logan’s 5 In December of 2013, a request was made by a retired Marine. “Give me five reasons to live each day.” Author and Battle-Buddy Info Founder, responded with a quick, “I can do
that!” This is the chronicle of those encouragements, inspirations, and facts of friendship. We can all use a little remembrance and recounting of five reasons to fight, five reasons to stay alive, five reasons to make it through another day. http://logansfive.blogspot.com
NATIONAL RESOURCES Hope for the Warriors The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families. http://www.hopeforthewarriors .org
IAVA The mission of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families. Rapid Response Referral Program, assigns a case manager to help IAVA members navigate through a variety of resources available to them. The Career Pathfinder program includes resume builder, military skills translator, and career mapping tool. http://iava.org
Veteran Artist Program (VAP) VAP, a 501c3 nonprofit, takes artists who are also veterans, and propels their works and careers into the mainstream creative arts community through networking, mentorships, collaborations with professional artists, and original productions. Weekly Podcast features veterans in the Arts. http://www.veteranartistprogram .org
Literacy builds safer communities through successful re-entry programs. Discover how you can make a difference, one inmate at a time.