Success Magazine (Liam Neeson)

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Success Magazine (Liam Neeson)





“You’ve Just Got
to Keep Coming
Back to the Plate”

Crush Your
Time Sucks

(and take the
day off!)

February 2015


Get it. Stoke it.
Keep it!

The right way
to outsource

Give Yourself a Little Love
That Lasts a Full Year


Go to subscriptions.SUCCESS or call 800.570.6414.



From his blue-collar roots in Ireland,
Liam Neeson has become a tour de
force in movies ranging from
Schindler’s List to his Taken franchise.
The one-time boxer reflects on his work
ethic, critiques his performances and
tells how he coped after tragedy.

by Shelley Levitt

also on the cover:
143 Tips.................throughout


Taken with
Liam Neeson

Take the High Ground
Find out how to strengthen your
integrity, a key to trustworthiness.
by Robin Amster

Step Away to Do More Today
Allow yourself renewal periods to work
less but accomplish more.
by John H. Ostdick

Let It Go!
Determine which tasks you should
shift to others and how to ensure a
perfect handoff.
by Sophia Dembling


by Chelsea Greenwood

Want a top-performing online store?
Learn the latest steps for crushing it in
by Jim Hopkinson

Now Hear This
Podcasts offer a wealth of educational
and motivational lessons. We suggest
nine to enrich your mind and soul.
by Josh Ellis



Gadgets and websites can be terrific
tools or terrible time sucks, depending
on how you use them.

Online Superselling


Tech and Your Time

In Every Issue

Publisher’s Letter
Editor’s Note
Your Say




These short articles can lead to a better life
and business.

A Healthy You

and its CEO have made great
strides together.
by Jennifer Chang

Edited by Lisa Ocker


Corner Office


Keep your heart strong.

How To

Launch a conference.
by Emma Johnson

by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen




Resist the impulse to fret about the
sad future.

Just Add Hustle

Set your own agenda and weed
out distractions.


by Tory Johnson


Maximum Leadership

Remove obstacles so your team can
surge forward.


by Jason Dorsey


Edited by Josh Ellis



Action Plan
You can use
10  lessons from
this issue right

Use storytelling to keep
your company uppermost in
customers’ minds.

Electronic Etiquette

The Golden Rule will serve you
well in social media.
by Jennifer Chang


Boost your business with these
ideas and products.

Modern Marketing

by Josh Ellis

Maverick Minute

Can wearable technology vault you to new
heights of success?


Recognize and revel
in life’s happy
by Patty Onderko

by John C. Maxwell


Law enforcement experiences
help two men achieve in their
follow-up careers.
by Sophia Dembling

by Melissa Balmain


Personal Best


SUCCESS Foundation

Year after year, a teacher plants
seeds of accomplishment with
SUCCESS for Teens.
by Chelsea Greenwood


Be Productive!

From the

Check out these four article
excerpts to amp up your
productivity (and visit to read the fulllength, advice-packed originals).

1. “We can’t manage time.
Time happens. We can

manage our choices in relation
to the time that we have, what
we choose to do with our time.”


2. “Just as athletes optimize their
bodies, entrepreneurs
should optimize their
minds. Start by recognizing


self-defeating and sabotaging
thought patterns. These are
disruptive to business success.”


3. “Think the grass is
greener on the other side
of your attention? Think
again. The more you tolerate
distractions, the more difficult
it is to deliver timely and
quality output.”

Match Liam’s macho dialogue
to his movies in our quiz.

4. “Assume the attitude that
every minute that does
not work for you works
against you.”



Check it out @

What the most successful people do…
• Before breakfast
• At work
• On the weekends

by Laura Vanderkam
Find yours at


ing More


Access bonus content by scanning
pages showing this logo with the
free Layar app. /SUCCESSmagazine Magazine

SUCCESS magazine (ISSN 0745-2489) is published monthly by SUCCESS Partners, 200 Swisher Road, Lake Dallas, TX 75065.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to SUCCESS magazine, P.O. Box 292144, Kettering, OH 45429. SUBSCRIPTIONS: U.S.A., 12 issues $34.99; Canada, 12 issues $44.99; International, 12 issues $54.99. To subscribe
to SUCCESS magazine or to receive our free monthly Seeds of SUCCESS e-zine and online exclusives, log on to To subscribe to SUCCESS Book Summaries, log on to or call
800-570-6414. CUSTOMER SERVICE: For service on your subscription, including renewal, change of address or other customer service matters, call 800-570-6414, send an e-mail to [email protected] or
write to SUCCESS magazine, P.O. Box 292144, Kettering, OH 45429. Please include your mailing label. ARTICLE REPRINTS: Call 866-SUCCESS (866-782-2377). ARTICLE PROPOSALS and unsolicited articles can be
e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to Editor, SUCCESS magazine, 200 Swisher Road, Lake Dallas, TX 75065. SUCCESS magazine cannot process manuscripts or art material, and we assume no responsibility
for their return.
© 2015 SUCCESS Partners. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without prior written permission. Printed in the U.S.A.


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Publisher’s Letter

The Secret Source Code
of Achievement
answer—not the cutesy ones written on motivational
posters and coffee mugs. Why do some people try so hard,
fight so intensely and strive so vigorously? Where do they
get that passionate drive to achieve?
In truth it’s often because they are insecure, needy
for attention, and overcompensating for feelings of
unworthiness and inadequacy. Many great achievers
grew up in very dysfunctional families. Something
happened to them during an impressionable period that
ignited a deeply personal and passionate ambition to
prove themselves.
How do I know? Because that’s true for me.
On the CD inside our January issue, I was asked what
passions drive me. I wanted to provide the most honest
answer I could muster. The truth is, in the beginning all
I wanted to do was impress my dad—to prove that I was
good enough. Fueled by this motivation, I pushed like a
madman. (I probably was mad!)
I was admired for how long, how
hard and how focused I could
work. That ambition drove me to
produce a six-figure income as a teenager and to become
a millionaire before most of my friends graduated from
college. I had won! (Or so I thought.)
In my latest book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster,
I tell the story of how I finally graduated from that
original productive drive. Certainly my motivations
are very different today. But original motivations aren’t

Not all motivation
is enlightened.
But, hey, rock what
you’ve got.

necessarily bad: They drive you to produce and do well,
maybe even do some good. I say embrace them! Use them
as jet fuel. Then later, once you feel like you have proved
yourself to yourself (because you’re the only person you
need to impress), you can graduate to more virtuous
You can barely name an achiever whose original
motivation wasn’t to overcome an adversity or prove his
worth, including these four who have been on the cover
of this magazine:
Anthony Hopkins said, “My cousins were all brilliant,
so I felt very resentful and rejected by the whole society.
Sometimes a good degree of constructive anger can get
you going. And I was a pretty angry kid.”
As reported in Rolling Stone in 2011, Steve Jobs grew
up “poor, an adopted kid who felt cast aside by his birth
parents, feeling scrawny and teased and out of place, and
he remained deeply insecure for most of his life.”
Find more on his blog @
Connect with him @

Richard Branson, who struggled with dyslexia,
dropped out of high school at age 16 and was told by the
headmaster that he would either end up in prison or
become a millionaire. Billionaire Branson proved the
headmaster wrong on both counts.
Donald Trump had daddy issues like me. It worked for
both of us. His must have been bigger though!
Listen to the CD inside this issue to hear what fueled
“His Airness” Michael Jordan.
Not all motivation is enlightened. But, hey, rock what
you’ve got. Once you climb the pyramid of Abraham
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs a bit, then you can work on
the self-actualization and enlightenment stuff.
Use your adversities to stoke the fire in your belly to
produce great work in the world!

Darren Hardy
SUCCESS Publisher & Founding Editor

Get to the
Heart of True


by Darren Hardy

Map out your own 365-day journey
to higher achievement and greater
success. This extraordinary kit includes
The Compound Effect book and enhanced
audio CD set, Living Your Best Year Ever
achievement management system, plus
exclusive bonus content.


by Jim Rohn

Enrich your life. Increase your lifestyle.
Gain confidence in yourself. In this
celebrated 4-CD program, you’ll learn
the fundamental tools for prosperity
and success and receive
step-by-step direction for
evaluating and elevating
your life.


for many more exceptional success
and achievement resources at
or call 877-243-8383

Editor’s Note

My Kind of Productive
When we first started talking about this
issue’s theme—productivity—I felt uneasy. So
often, people who call themselves “experts” in
this field appear to have hyperactive disorders.
I’m sure you’ve seen the type at business
conferences: They are endlessly enthusiastic
extroverts who exhort you to keep your energy
up, up, up, all day, like aerobics teachers on
steroids. They exhaust me.
I’m a creative person who
works with other creative
people. It’s intense, and I love
it, but I need a lot of downtime.
I head to the ladies’ room
several times a day when there
is no biological necessity. I
literally need to sit, sometimes,
and do nothing but breathe.
And for a long time, I’ve felt
like a wimp. Why can’t I just
bounce from one high-intensity task to the next?
As it turns out, science says I’m more
productive than those bouncers! Note to my
boss: A study of high-performance subjects
(musicians, athletes, chess players) found that
the most they worked each day was 4½ hours.
Any longer and they would just burn out.
Another study showed that the most productive
employees in a company also took the most
breaks—on average, 17 minutes for every hour.
It seems we all need time to renew and refresh
ourselves before diving back into work.
Two great stories in this issue will give you
strategies to get control over your schedule and
your life (“Step Away to Do More Today” on
Page 54 and “Tech and Your Time” on Page 62).
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need the
rest room.

Editor in Chief

Publisher & Founding Editor








PAU L S COT T A DA M O Editorial
K . S H E L BY S K R H A K



Art & Production




Contributing Editors


SUCCESS Partners










M E H M E T OZ , M . D.
M I C H A E L R O I Z E N , M . D.



Susan Kane
Editor in Chief




8 5 7-2 8 4 -747 5
V P I N S K [email protected] S U CC E S S . CO M

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DW I L L I A M S @ S U CC E S S . CO M

9 4 0 - 4 97- 9 9 8 3
G E Z E L L @ S U CC E S S . CO M


SUCCESS Speakers

The Social Buzz

Soul Pancake and Strayer
University placed a giant
megaphone in the middle
of a bustling city and
asked random strangers to
shout out their dreams. We
shared the video (watch it
at SUCCESS. com/ dream)
and asked our Facebook
fans, “What’s your
biggest dream?”
Facebook “f ” Logo

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Jenny Borrelli
To see my small company grow, give
a job to others, and create a fun and
enjoyable workplace.
Facebook “f ” Logo

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Shaelyn Christiansen
To be in a wealthy position
(spiritually, financially, physically,
emotionally) to help others reach
their next level by showing them
how I reached mine... and for those
who feel lost, to have a place to
be found.
Facebook “f ” Logo

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Ho Ba Tang
My dream is being an entrepreneur
and having financial freedom to
do whatever I want. In addition, I
want to inspire people to chase
their own dreams and give back to
the community.
Facebook “f ” Logo

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Amanda Jayne Gough
Inner peace. That’s all.
Find more videos
and clips from our

Blake Shelton [December cover story] is
a bigger star in my eyes after reading this.
This is what leadership looks like—telling
the truth, letting those you lead make
decisions and supporting them whether
they win or lose.
Diane Belz
Via Facebook

I’ve told my kids that I would choose
Blake for my coach if I were a contestant
on The Voice because he reminds me of
my late husband in so many ways.
Chelle West
Via Facebook

Blake Shelton is a kindhearted,
SMART mentor!
Nancy Law
Via Facebook

I love the “16 Rich Habits” that Tom
Corley wrote about in November, and
I have the CD from the issue in my car.
My favorite habit is “Read.” I read all.
The. Time.

and listen to the CD because it has
tremendous value, plus spend 30 minutes
a day reading through the magazine and
its valuable articles.
A few days later she came to me almost
with tears in her eyes and told me that she
was blown away by the information and
that she feels a transformation occurring.
She listens to the CD each night before
she goes to bed on her headphones to
absorb the information even more.
She also said she is so inspired by
the magazine that she is ordering a
subscription so she can start working on a
lasting legacy for her family. I just wanted
you to know your magazine and those
CDs are very powerful!
Bruce Corkhill
Sonoma, Calif.

I am an 18-year-old college basketball
player. Thank you, SUCCESS, for giving
me the push to persevere. I almost quit
after being cut from my last two junior
college teams where I was a walk-on. I
had to take responsibility and improve
my personal performance. Because of
you, I transformed myself and am about
to be on scholarship at a Division I school
when I graduate from junior college. So
thank you for helping me to better myself
and improve; you even inspired me to
write a book about what it takes to not
only achieve success, but also to keep it
when you get it.
Daunte Everett
Via email

Peggy Nolan

Via email

I wanted to take a moment to share
something. I have a work colleague who
is really trying to turn things around for
herself and her family. We have talked
from time to time about the power of
personal development.
Recently I ordered several past issues
of SUCCESS, and one was the Jimmy
Kimmel issue [August 2014] with the
leadership CD inside. I gave her that copy
and told her she should take a moment

I really liked the October issue. I took
away a lot from the Conan O’Brien piece
and Jeff Dyer on the CD. Well done!
Tom Templeton
Via email
Please include the writer’s name, city/state, email address and daytime phone
number. Letters may be edited for clarity or space. MAIL: SUCCESS Letters, 200 Swisher
Road, Lake Dallas, TX 75065. FAX : 940-497-9987 EMAIL: [email protected]
By submitting anything to SUCCESS Media in any format, written or otherwise, you
agree that: (1) your submissions and their contents will automatically become the
property of SUCCESS Media, without any compensation to you; (2) SUCCESS Media
may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in
any way; and (3) there is no obligation to keep any submissions confidential.




Chairman of seven privately held companies, New York Times best-selling author


Nine-time New York Times best-selling author, Founder of

Star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Founder/CEO of FUBU




➽ Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence,
intelligent planning and focused effort. ➽ When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense,
squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with
purpose and productivity, it lives on forever. ➽ Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration; the rest of us
just get up and go to work.

—Paul J. Meyer, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Stephen King

of Mind

Passion and Perseverance
When a novel idea isn’t enough


Necessity is the mother of invention, which was certainly true for ElliptiGO co-founder and
CEO Bryan Pate. When knee and hip pain forced the avid runner to give up his favorite sport at age
32, Pate tried cycling for exercise. But he found the seat and position uncomfortable. An elliptical
trainer might have been a suitable alternative for a low-impact workout, except Pate longed to
exercise  outdoors.
Bryan Pate rides the ElliptiGO.
S o he d re a me d up
his ideal equipment—
a n outdoor el lipt ic a l
bicycle—and built it with
t he help of eng i ne er
friend Brent Teal. “We
both had full-time jobs
and worked on it afterhours, but our prototype
got better and better, and
we began to see an opportunity in it,” Pate says.
Creating a new
product brought peculiar
challenges. “One of our
biggest early mistakes
was underestimating how
hard it was not having
any competition,” Pate
says. “We always saw
that as a good thing, but
there’s value in having
competitors trying to do
the same thing, raising
awareness or legitimizing
the industry.”
But 22 patents,
10 years and many
prototypes later, their
i nve nt ion i s s e r v i ng
a g row ing number of
f itness fa ns, ra ng i ng
from recreational runners to 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb  Keflezighi.
Pate’s advice to others seeking to bring a product to market: “Make sure you really, really
like what you’ve invented and are trying to build a company around, because it’s too hard to
do it otherwise. Regardless of what happens to this company, I’m always going to own these
ElliptiGOs, and I’m going to ride them until I can’t ride them anymore.”
—Jennifer Chang


ing More



Scan this page with the Layar app to see Boston
Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi using ElliptiGO.

How do you stay
A healthy mind/body balance is
imperative for entrepreneurial success.
Poor dietary habits
can contribute to a
lack of focus. I also get
up at random intervals
throughout the day
and take a stroll
around the block. Sunlight stimulates
serotonin [to help maintain mood
balance], so just stepping outside can
make a world of  difference.
—Ben Kusin, co-founder
and CEO, reviver

I rely on my two
favorite apps,
Calendly and, to keep my
day organized, set
meetings, reorganize
projects and stay ahead of deadlines.
I also like to go walking or hiking to
clear my mind.
—Aihui Ong, CEO, Love With Food

I try to schedule most phone calls and
meetings after 2 p.m. so I can devote
the first half of my day
to proactive, valueadding activities. I try
to complete a task I’ve
been avoiding first
thing—[Brian Tracy’s]
“Eat That Frog” technique—and rely
on other rituals throughout the day,
like creating a HIT (high-impact tasks)
list. Last, I make sure to schedule
mental check-ins—like walks or gym
breaks—to avoid fatigue.
—Andrew Josuweit, founder
and CEO, Student Loan Hero

Go Bold, Go Big

Peter Diamandis exhorts entrepreneurs to do well—and do good.
The world’s biggest problems are also the world’s
biggest business opportunities, says tech entrepreneur,
philanthropist and author Peter Diamandis. “Today
anyone who is passionate about solving a problem can
make a dent in it,” he says.
Diamandis’s new book, Bold:
How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and
Impact the World (Simon & Schuster),
co-authored w ith science w riter
Steven Kotler, aims “to offer guidance
and encourage entrepreneurs to
take big swings at the world’s biggest
problems,” he says.
With the democratization
of technolog y, access to capita l
and expertise are just a click away, and this
means that even tech novices can achieve success by
partnering with the right people, says Diamandis,
founder and chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation and
co-founder and chairman of Singularity University.

Going bold and big demands other traits, as
well: “the same qualities that I look for when
I’m interviewing potential hires—curiosity
and passion,” Diamandis says. “Curiosity is
fundamentally what you need to self-educate
because the technology is constantly changing.
Passion is the most important of all. It’s what
drives you to keep going when other people give
up, and it gives you the persistence to develop
the skills you need.”
To prove the point, this self-assured man
who gives hugely popular TED Talks and
speaks all over the world reveals that he once
was afraid of public speaking. “But I knew that
it was important so I forced myself to do it over
and over.”
“Fear shuts you down,” and the best antidotes
are passion and practice, he adds. To learn the rest:
“Read my book.”
—Margaret Jaworski


3 Proven Ways to Make Time
Examine interruptions.
Tr y t o el i m i nat e w hat you
can immediately, screen out or
delegate. And set aside specific
times for certain tasks on your
to-do list. These designated time
blocks might not always work—
emergencies occur. But when
you have a plan for organizing
and investing your time, an extra
hour each day will be available.

Analyze your
e n e r g y c yc l e .
Determine when you are
at your best physically
and mentally. Schedule
challenging tasks during
those times of peak
p er for ma nc e a nd you
will accomplish more in
less  t ime.

Think about time
the way you think
about money. The more
wisely you invest time—just
like money—the greater the
yield. Before you invest time in
a given activity, ask yourself,
Is there something more profitable that I could be  doing?
—Paul J. Meyer, the late
founder of Success Motivation





The amount of keys on your
key ring is directly proportional
to how complicated your life is.

A guy in this bookstore is telling
his girlfriend she has too many
books. Question: Who should this
girl’s new boyfriend be?

I hate when people say “give
110%” because if that were
possible, I would charge my
phone that much.


Pushing Past the Goal Line

In his new book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions (Center Street/Hachette Book Group),
SUCCESS columnist John C. Maxwell discusses ways to help people complete tasks. Maxwell
points out that these people don’t know the joy of finishing, their self-esteem erodes because they
prove inadequate, they sabotage their own success, and they lose the trust and respect of others. To
raise them up, he suggests:

ì Showing them the big picture. Help people see that they will have a more positive future


by completing tasks.


ì Holding them accountable. People who have a habit of quitting often don’t suffer the


consequences of doing so. Change that.

ì Helping them schedule their time. People who don’t
finish are often disorganized or undisciplined. Give them
tools for scheduling tasks.
ì Providing a work partner.

Sometimes pairing non-finishers
with highly motivated people can
help them follow through.

ì Rewarding only finished work. Praise
effort but don’t reward it.

The Weakness in Big Data
Without careful scrutiny, it’s just so much gibberish.

The exponential growth of our computing power has allowed us to make quick, precise and
impactful decisions in any number of fields. The revolution: Big data. It’s everywhere. Big data
shapes how politicians court votes, how companies market their products and even how baseball’s
“sabermetricians” stack their batting orders.

of Mind
Staying focused is key. To stay
productive, I believe in setting strict
routines rather than
simply setting goals.
Setting goals and
reaching milestones
is important;
however, if you wish
to keep an intensely productive
schedule, you’ll need to focus on
implementing a strict routine and
system to help you reach those goals.
—Anisa Mirza, co-founder
and CEO, Giveffect

A great tool that
I acquired from
my years in the
military is the use of
mission statements,
like the acronym
SNAP: Sense of urgency, No
excuses, Attention to Detail, Pride of
ownership. SNAP is the foundation
to everything we do and a disciplined
approach to running a startup.
These qualities are also what we
look for in our hires, and ultimately
it’s the team that allows me to be
more productive.
—Samit Varma, co-founder and CEO,
Pizza Studio

But the speed, efficiency and scale allowed by our newfound analytics are possibly quite
dangerous, says Susan Etlinger, an analyst with the research and advisory firm Altimeter Group,
a consultancy specializing in technological disruption. In a recent talk before a crowd for San
Francisco’s [email protected], Etlinger explained that the data are only valuable if carefully considered
in context. In addition to tech skills, she endorses a newfound appreciation for “the humanities
and sociology, and the social sciences, rhetoric, philosophy, ethics [because] they help us become
better critical thinkers.”
In attempting to draw conclusions from statistics, it’s important to ask if the data really show
something, or allow us to experience confirmation bias or to draw false correlations. Facts,
Etlinger says, are vulnerable to misuse, whether willful or otherwise. As the saying goes, “There
are lies, damned lies and statistics.”
“So as businesspeople, as consumers, as patients, as citizens, we have a responsibility, I think,
to spend more time focusing on our critical thinking skills,” Etlinger says. “Because after all, if
I can spot a problem in an argument, it doesn’t much matter whether it’s expressed in words or
in  numbers.”
—Josh Ellis

Prioritizing tasks based on the goals
and objectives of the company helps
me gauge how much
time should be
allocated to projects
and tasks, as well as
what can wait. I also
surround myself
with talented team
members and play to their strengths in
handling the heavy workload.
—Carol DeNembo, vice president of
marketing, Juice it Up!

Black Girls CODE


Building confidence and tech savvy

Kimberly Bryant wasn’t unaccustomed to being the only
woman of color in the room—whether it was in college science
classes or working as an electrical engineer. When she enrolled
her videogame-obsessed daughter in a
coding summer camp at Stanford
University, she realized things
h a d n’t c h a ng e d muc h . He r
daughter was one of just three
girls and the only non-Caucasian.
“This was discouraging to me
because it was replicating my path
as an engineer, and I didn’t want
that same experience for
my daughter,” Br yant
told an audience at the
recent Big Kansas City
conference sponsored
by Silicon Prairie
News. “I had to create
the opportunity for
my daughter to have a
different opportunity.”
So in 2011, Bryant
created the nonprof it
B l a c k G i r l s C ODE t o
introduce programming
and technology to girls of
color (and now boys, too).
The organization has
seven chapters in the

U.S. and one in Johannesburg, South Africa, serving some 3,000
students. Bryant’s goal is to train 1 m
  illion students by  2040.
For her nonprofit work, Bryant recently won a $25,000 Toyota
Standing O-Vation Award presented by Oprah Winfrey.
Meantime, Bryant has uncovered some startling statistics:
African-American women have the lowest graduation rate of
any group except Native Americans, and while more than half
of middle school-aged girls express interest in computer science,
fewer than 1 percent of them show that interest in high school.


See what Oprah Winfrey has to say
about Bryant and other grant winners

“But the things that really keep me up at night,” she said,
“are the personal stories I hear from young women in
college who are told ‘maybe you’re just not cut out to be a
computer scientist.’ ”
It’s the small victories that keep her going, though. Bryant
told how three students age 10 and 14 developed mobile
apps to address hunger in Oakland, Calif., and presented
their work at the 2013 Lean Startup conference.
“It showed that our program was about teaching
girls to be social changers in their communities
and utilize tech to perform that social change,”
Bryant said. “We don’t want them to just create
the nex t greatest app—we want them to use
computational thinking to work on the big solutions and
the big problems that will change the course of the world
we see today.”
Kimberly Bryant speaks at
Big Kansas City conference.

Put Your
And improve your memory.
Do you have a habit of pulling out
your smartphone to check your Facebook
when you have some
dow ntime? It
could be

hurting your short-term memory. A study
by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology
in Sweden found that overexposure to
social media can actually reduce your
memory  capacity.
Er ik Fransén, K TH computer
science professor, says the brain is easily
overloaded when it browses social
media and subsequently retains less
At any given time, the working or
short-term memory can only carry

three or four items, Fransén says. “When
you are on Facebook, you are making it
harder to keep the things that are ‘online’ in
your brain that you need. You are reducing
your own working memory capacity,”
he  says.
The bottom line? Your brain needs
downtime. When it’s time to relax, then
relax—don’t keep your brain active by
scrolling through your phone. Or as the
late Jim Rohn said, “When you work, work.
When you play, play. Don’t mix the two.”
—Jesus Jimenez


Before You
Ask yourself five questions.
The best way to deal with relationship dissatisfactions is to identify important complaints and
find ways to express them constructively while letting go of less important ones. Before voicing
a complaint, think through how to express it effectively. Your visiting mother-in-law might be
driving you up the wall, but blurting, “Your mother drives me crazy!” while your spouse is rushing
to leave for work is not a wise M.O. So here’s a checklist that should lead to a satisfying result:



What do I want to achieve? Do you want the other person to understand how
you feel about something? Do you want an apology, atonement, a behavior change or
corrective action? The answers will help you express and clarify your goal so you’re more
likely to attain it.
Who should I complain to? If you’re upset about something your in-laws did,
perhaps you should bring it up with them. If you’re angry at your in-laws and want your
spouse to act on your behalf, be clear that you’re asking for help and not blaming him or her.
What’s the best venue or method for my complaint? Some couples
do better when discussing things in person; others do better over the phone or over
email. While talking one-on-one is generally best, if one member of a couple tends to be
explosive or defensive, or if one is more skilled at expressing feelings and debating, email
might keep things calm and give both a chance to carefully consider their r  esponses.
When is the best time to complain? No blindsiding: Start by stating that
you want to discuss something so the other person can be fully attentive. Framing
the conversation this way also helps your complaint to be taken seriously. Assess the
other person’s mood. (When in doubt, ask when you can have
a d  iscussion.)


How should I phrase my
complaint? Ideally, state a positive
sentence, the complaint and another positive
sentence. The first positive sentence defuses
defensiveness; the second is motivational,
communicating that a positive response
to the complaint will prevent lingering
resentment on your part.

of Mind
I honor my process; if I need a break,
I take one. Productivity is really about
making an impact and
getting things done.
If you overextend
yourself, it might be
really hard to catch up.
The 15 minutes of rest
that you keep ignoring throughout the
day might turn into a seven-day illness
from exhaustion. My advice is always
to stay focused and, if not, honor
a break and then get back on track
—Samira Far, founder, Bellacures

Passion fuels my productivity. When
you wake up excited in the morning,
it’s easy to get things
done. My father, who
built this company
from the ground up
in 1961, always used
to say that he never
worked a day in his whole life, because
if you’re doing what you love, it isn’t
work. I am my father’s son and I a  m
driven to succeed.
—J.R. Galardi, chief visionary officer,

—Psychologist Guy Winch, Ph.D., author of
Emotional First Aid and The Squeaky Wheel


“What you’re
supposed to do
when you don’t
like a thing is
change it. If you
can’t change
it, change the
way you think
about it. Don’t
—Maya Angelou

I put every email, task or idea that
comes through my email inbox or brain
through a ruthless
triage. I act upon it
immediately, delete it
forever or put it into
a “maybe I’ll get to it
later” folder. Frankly,
most of them fall into the “deleted
forever” category, which then allows
me to focus on what’s immediate
and important.
—Jared Heyman, founder and CEO,



Is the Glass Half-Empty
or Half-Full?
Plot twist—it doesn’t matter!

is a Harvardtrained researcher
and the author of
Before Happiness.
Get a daily dose of
happy at

If you saw me on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey, you’ll know that Oprah and
I  discussed the age-old question: Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
Even the positive-minded media mogul admitted to wrestling with the question. “I beat
myself up because sometimes I look at it and I go, It’s definitely half-empty, and
sometimes it’s half-full,” she  said.
I would suggest a different way of looking at the metaphorical glass. We get
so focused on ourselves and what’s inside the glass—our physical possessions,
daily moods, failures and triumphs—and we can argue forever about the merits
of being an optimist or a pessimist. Ultimately, however, the contents of the
glass don’t matter; what’s more important is to realize there’s a pitcher of water
nearby. In other words, we have the capacity to refill the glass, or to change
our  outlook.
Instead of asking ourselves whether we see the glass as half-empty or halffull, what if we focus instead on our pitcher? Oprah eloquently put it this way: “I
would say that the world itself is the pitcher. Life is the pitcher.”
Begin building your positive outlook by asking yourself these questions: How
can I reach out and better connect with my co-workers, neighbors or friends?
What are some ways my actions matter to the world? What am I proud of
accomplishing today?

Easing the

Going Viral, Literally

Vitamin D thwarts asthma attacks.

We all know that germs hitchhike on hands, and now we know how far and
how  fast.
Researchers placed the bacteriophage MS-2 virus (it’s similar to cold and intestinal
bugs but doesn’t cause illness) on the door of an office building for 80 workers. Two
hours later, the virus had spread to the coffee pot, microwave and refrigerator handle
in the break room. A bit later, it invaded rest rooms, offices and cubicles; it was
especially concentrated on computers, telephones and desks.
By the four-hour mark, the virus landed on more than half of often-touched
surfaces (doorknobs, for instance) as well as on the hands of about 40
personnel, many of whom didn’t even know one another, so they
hadn’t shaken hands or made other hand-to-hand contact. The
researchers, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, estimated
employees had a 30 percent chance of infection if the germs had
been disease agents.
Later the workers used hand sanitizer and disinfectant
wipes, which reduced viruses on their hands to a negligible
amount. Researchers offer this takeaway: Making
hygiene convenient—whether through sanitizers, wipes
or hand-washing—is key to preventing illness and
reducing the spread of infectious organisms.

Raising your vitamin D level can fend off
asthma, which inf lames and narrows the
airways and in turn makes breathing difficult. A
Tel Aviv University researcher found asthmatics
deficient in vitamin D were 25 percent more
likely to have had one or more recent flare-ups.
The good news: It’s easy enough to fix.
Exposing skin to sunlight can boost your
D  level, but because of the increased risk of
skin cancer, it’s not recommended. Instead,
increase your levels by consuming fatty
fish, eggs, cod liver oil and fortified milk, or
by taking a supplement. U.S. government
g uidelines call for a recommended
dietary allowance of 600 international
units for everyone age 1 to 70; older
than 70, the RDA climbs to 800 IU to
protect bone health.
—Mary Vinnedge

Spread by hands (but not handshakes), germs speed
through an office building.


A Healthy You

Young at Heart
The docs tackle your biggest questions about heart health.
➽ Q: I OFTEN FEEL my heart

pumping when I’m lifting weights.
Does this provide me with adequate
cardiovascular exercise?
A: The only way to really tell if your heart is racing

Oz, M.D., is the
director of the
Institute and
Program at
New York
Medical Center.
Roizen, M.D.,
is the chief
wellness officer
and chair of
the Wellness
Institute at the
Cleveland Clinic.

fast enough for you to get the cardiovascular benefits you
need is to use a heart rate monitor. Let’s remember the
minimum physical activity for maximum health benefit:
walking 10,000 steps each day, 30 minutes a week of
resistance exercise, and 20 minutes three times a week
of movement that puts you at 80 percent of your ageadjusted maximum heart rate. (That’s about 220 minus
your age for men; 206 minus 88 percent of your age for
women.) So if you use a heart rate monitor—the version
with a chest strap tends to be more accurate—see that
you are indeed getting to that target heart rate for at
least 20 continuous minutes, three times a week, and
you’ll be golden. If not, for optimum heart health,
you might want to hop on a cardio machine or step
outside for a brisk walk or jog.

Q: I’ve heard that women and
men show different heart
disease symptoms. As a
woman, what should I be
looking out for?
A : You just asked one very
impor tant question. Hear t
disease is the No. 1 killer of
women in the U.S. One in
two women will die of
heart disease or stroke,
compared with one in
25 women who will die
of breast cancer.
Yet heart problems are
still widely regarded as a
male problem, despite the


fact that of those who have heart attacks, 42 percent of
women will die within a year, compared with 24 percent
of men. Women receive far less preventive care than men,
and, while women are famously intuitive when it comes
to looking out for signs, symptoms and discomfort in the
men in their lives, they often ignore or fail to recognize
warning signs in themselves. Part of the problem: The
signals of heart trouble are slightly different in women
than they are in men—and many of the ones you’d experience may just feel like stress or fatigue. (And who isn’t
stressed or fatigued?)
Men’s heart attack symptoms by and large revolve
around the chest—pain, tightness and pressure. One
study found that only 10 percent of men experienced a heart attack sans chest-related
But while chest pain and discomfort
are statistically the most common
heart attack symptoms for women
as well, women commonly can have
heart attacks without chest pressure—or
where other symptoms are more prominent. They might experience shortness of
breath, tiredness, lightheadedness, or pressure or pain in the neck or upper back,
or even nausea and vomiting. Lots
of women have chalked up
heart attack symptoms
to the f lu, stress,
acid ref lu x or
even just getting
older, and as a
result don’t get
the treatment
they need.
L e t ’s b e
clea r: Don’t
procrastinate. If

you’re putting off checking out these symptoms because
you “don’t have the time,” think of it this way: A couple of
doctor’s visits to figure out the source of these symptoms
will prevent a whole lot more time in medical offices
down the line. (And hey, even if it is just acid reflux,
wouldn’t life be nicer if you could fix it instead of just
living with it?)
If you’ve experienced a heart attack, please put yourself first. Women often don’t and as a result experience
poorer quality of life and more recurring chest pain and
physical limitations during heart attack recovery than
men do. Why? Because women often play caretakers to
their families, so they may not be as good at taking care
of themselves when they need it most.
Research has found that women with heart disease
are less likely to do cardiac rehab than men, which is
a real shame because women respond to heart disease
reversal programs even better than men. Get the treatment you need and be there for your loved ones—and
yourself—for the long haul.

Q: There are so many numbers I need
to keep track of when it comes to
potential heart problems—LDL, HDL,
triglycerides. Can you explain what they
mean and why they’re important?
A: Heart-related stats may seem like alphabet soup,
but they’re a useful way to gauge both your risk and how
well you’re doing at preventive measures. Let’s take a look
at a few of the most important ones:
LDL cholesterol is the bad (“Lousy”) kind—it breaks
apart easily and builds up on the walls of your arteries
wherever there is a nick or hole. High LDL levels can be
the result of eating too many foods laden with simple
sugars, simple carbohydrates, and trans and saturated
fats. LDL can also be high partly due to genetics.
Exercising, losing even 10 pounds of excess weight,
avoiding simple carbs, and restricting your intake of

trans and saturated fats to fewer than 20 grams a day
will all help lower your LDL. You can also add healthy
fats such as omega-3s and omega-7s, or medications
called statins. The payoff is substantial: A 55-year-old
with an LDL of 180 mg/dl who lowers it to 100 will make
himself the equivalent of three years younger.
HDL cholesterol is the good (or “Healthy”) kind—
something we actually want you to increase in your
body (for a change!). You want an HDL level of more
than 40, and the higher, the better. You can increase it
by consuming healthy fats like those in olive oil, fish and
walnuts, or by taking supplements (for example, fish oil,
omega-7 and vitamin B5). Walking or any physical activity
for 30 minutes a day helps, too. If you aren’t at risk for
alcoholism, one drink of alcohol per night (and no, seven
on Saturday night doesn’t count) can be beneficial as well.
Lipoprotein-A (LP-A) is genetically mediated, and
high levels of it correlate directly with your risk of artery
hardening (atherosclerosis), especially in your heart,
and predict premature development of heart disease
independent of your other risk factors. If you do have
increased LP-A, do everything else you can to reduce
your risk of heart disease—exercising, eating healthfully, managing stress—and talk to your physician about
taking baby aspirin every day.
Triglycerides are a type of fat the liver makes when
you eat more calories than you use. Your body converts
those extra calories into fatty triglycerides to store in
your fat cells. High levels of triglycerides are linked with
atherosclerosis, which increases your risk for stroke,
heart attack and heart disease. The same things that
make you healthy overall—losing weight, eating healthfully (including portion control!) and exercising—can
reduce your triglyceride levels. S
Roizen’s new book, This is YOUR Do-Over, hits bookstores
on Feb. 24. Check your local PBS station’s programming
schedule to catch a special about the book.


Present Perfect
Using sad visions for a happier now

➽IT’S A LAME HABIT, all right—one that’s wrecked

Balmain’s work
has appeared
in The New
Yorker, The
New York
Times and
The author
of Walking
in on People,
an awardwinning poetry
she teaches
writing at the
University of

countless moments of my life: Instead of savoring the
happy present, I find myself looking ahead to an unhappy
future. Show me a cute puppy, I’ll picture a crabby
old pooch. Hand me a slice of cake, I’ll see it shrunk
to  crumbs.
Years ago I wrote a poem about this tendency (Déjà
Blue, quoted above), and countless readers have confessed
that they drive themselves nuts in exactly the same way.
Like me, many have found that mindfulness training—
meditation, mantras and so forth—helped but didn’t
cure  them.
So imagine my excitement when I recently learned to
put the déjà blues to life-enhancing use.
My discovery arrived one day last summer, along
with the words that parents of young children dread
above all others: “I need to be sun-blocked.” Oh, the
horrors in store—the whines about “sliminess,” the
gripes that “you’re getting it up my nose.” I reluctantly
started smearing my daughter with Banana Boat. Thank
God, I thought, in a couple of years, I won’t have to do
this  anymore.
And then it happened: In my mind, we were two
years in the future. Lily, no longer the 9-year-old
standing before me, was a self-sun-blocked tween
already swimming with friends. I waved to her. She
winced with embarrassment. What wouldn’t I give to
have her younger self in front of me, just for a minute,
the gap-toothed girl who still thinks fairies are real and
her mom is fun to have around? I blinked. That girl was
in front of me, of course—and as I reminded myself of



While watering a perky row
of daisies on my patio,
I dread October’s freezes
and picture every stem turned brown,
each shriveled leafstalk hanging down,
each petal gone to Jesus...
this, I began for the first time to enjoy finger-painting
her from the neck up: that sharp chin, those soft cheeks,
that still-tiny nose. Lily, perhaps sensing my shift in
mood, quit squirming.
“I love this face,” I said.
“I love your face, too,” she said.
Ta-da: Instead of ruining a pleasant moment with
gloomy visions, I had used them to turn around an
unpleasant moment. I’ve been harnessing that déjà blue
power ever since—often with such supernatural results
that I think of it as déjà voodoo.
When my 15-year-old is late joining me for an errand
(in other words, whenever he and I have an errand),
I fling my brain into his college years. I imagine Davey’s
bedroom, empty, and our house without the sound of him
belting out pop songs. How I’ll pine, then, for a glimpse
of this kid—on time or not. Back in the present, when
Davey finally galumphs downstairs, he sometimes finds
me smiling at him instead of yelling.
My new trick saves countless other moments as well:
When my parents call at inconvenient times, say. (Sure,
I’m up to my eyeballs in work, but one day not too far
from now, I’ll be longing for a chance to hear their voices.)
When my cats wake me up in the wee hours, kickboxing
outside my bedroom door. (Their feistiness will pass
soon enough—along with their adorably bright-eyed
young selves.) When I face tasks that have nothing to
do with other people or pets, and everything to do with
my own laziness. (In a decade or two, I may miss having
knees that could take me to the basement for a roll of
toilet p  aper.)

Is déjà voodoo foolproof? Sadly, no. It’s hard to
imagine the future me, for instance, wishing I had spent
time savoring mammograms. Still, along with improving
the present, I like to think I’m building a pretty good
buffer against regret. Whatever happens down the
road, I’ll be able to tell myself I converted any number
of annoyances into moments of connection, satisfaction
and gratitude.

Build Your Digital
Personal Development
Library and Playlist!

Last October, my perky daisies did indeed turn brown,
along with everything else in my flower beds. Weeding,
and more weeding, was in order. I groaned at the thought.
But then (you guessed it) I looked ahead—to winter, when
those same beds would be thigh-deep in snow, the air much
too cold for me to stand there in the T-shirt and thin pants
I was wearing. And I crouched right down to yank out dead
daisies, grateful for the sun on my back. S

Jim Rohn • John C. Maxwell
Darren Hardy • Les Brown
Stephen Covey • Terri Sjodin
Jack Canfield and more!


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Just Add Hustle

Busyness vs. Business


but not getting anywhere.

What am I doing wrong?

➽Entrepreneurs say that staying focused is a huge

Tory Johnson’s
company, Spark
& Hustle, gives
conferences for
owners of small
She’s also a
contributor on
Good Morning
America and
a best-selling

challenge. So it’s crucial to have an ongoing plan
to keep you on track, a written outline that stays
within reach and states what you intend to
accomplish every day.
I set aside an hour or so every Sunday night
to map out my week ahead. What will I focus on
first thing Monday? Then on to Tuesday, and so
on. Whom do I contact and why? What are my
top priorities—no more than three—for the week,
and what activities could distract me? The more
detailed my calendar, the more prepared and
focused I am. Committing my priorities to words
focuses me mentally.
Despite that, distractions can still derail you. I often
find myself pulled in too many directions—reacting to
phone calls, email and other stuff that pops up. The triage
method below—touching things only once and then
moving on—keeps me from being overwhelmed.
1. Do immediately. If a task feeds my priorities, my
time is justified.
2. Delegate. Someone else can and should do these
to save me time. Even micro-business owners can
benefit from an intern or temp.
3. Drop. I ask myself, Will this make money for me
right now or anytime in the future? Does it fulfill my
current priorities? If the answer is no, I dump it.
4. Defer. Some items might appeal but aren’t timesensitive or high-priority. Delay them to a more
convenient time.
Jenn Lee, an Orlando, Fla.-based small-business
coach, says her biggest time-drain involves dozens of
mini-projects each week. “I used to try and squeeze them
in between phone calls, emails and posting on Facebook,
but there were days when I’d leave my office without
accomplishing anything. Something needed to change.”
So Lee sets aside 25-minute blocks of time each day,
one for each of three key tasks she must accomplish.


“I look at everything I need to do and assign them one of
my blocks of time dedicated to that task. I set up three a
day, usually two in the morning, when my brain works
best on creative things, and one in late afternoon to
finish up. Knowing that I have dedicated time to each
task means I don’t fret all day over them, and I get better
results because I’m focused.”
Another time-sucking aspect of Lee’s business was
trying to help clients who, for whatever reason, couldn’t
be helped. One client “never did what I advised her to
do,” she says. “As a coach, a good part of what drives me
is seeing entrepreneurs succeed after gaining clarity and
guidance from me. But when I work with someone who
isn’t moving forward, it drives me crazy.”
Ultimately Lee told the client she could no longer
work with her. “Since then, I am very careful who I work
with,” she says. “Before I take on clients, I ask a series of
leading questions. Their answers help me see if I will like
working with them. Working with the right client saves
me time, and time is what we all need to get it all done.” S

Experience what Anthony Robbins
is talking about LIVE
“Unleash your

potential and awaken
the entrepreneurial
giant, ready and
waiting, within you.”
—Anthony Robbins
New York Times
best-selling author







Register at

Maximum Leadership

Gathering Momentum
Remove barriers so your team can experience breakthroughs.

John C.
Maxwell is
a leadership
expert, speaker,
a best-selling
author and
founder of
EQUIP and the
John Maxwell
Co., which have
trained more
than 5 million

➽PERHAPS YOU wouldn’t be surprised to know
that a locomotive traveling 55 mph could crash right
through a 5-foot-thick steel-reinforced concrete wall
without stopping. But do you realize that the same
train, starting from a stationary position, wouldn’t be
able to roll over an inch-thick block placed in front of its
driving wheel?
There’s an important lesson here that applies
to your work as a leader: The size of your problem
generally isn’t your problem. Instead it’s a lack of
momentum that’s stalling you at the train yard.
Without momentum, even the smallest obstacle can
prevent you from moving forward. But with it you can
plow through anything.
A couple of years ago I met Alan Mulally, the former
CEO of Ford Motor Co. In 2006 Mulally took over a
company that was $12.7 billion in the red and contemplating a federal bailout request. Only four years later,
profits had jumped to $6.6 billion, the most in a decade.
By the time he left Ford in July 2014, the automaker’s
first-quarter net income was $989 million, marking
the 19th consecutive profitable quarter. With the rest of
Detroit reeling, Mulally had accomplished the turnaround without federal money.
Imagine my excitement when I  got to sit
down with him and ask how he did
it. The answer was actually
pretty simple. He asked
his managers to
file weekly


color-coded status reports: green for good, yellow for
trouble and red for  failing.
Given Ford’s state, you would think Mulally saw all
sorts of red in that conference room. But at his first
meeting, he was inundated with green. Mulally looked
at his team and asked how everything could be so good
in a company that had just lost $12 billion. Surely there
were a few problem areas that needed special attention.
But Mulally’s team refused to budge. No one wanted
to report failure to the new  CEO.
Still, Mulally stuck with the process. Finally, after a
couple of weeks, one manager held up a bright red light,
indicating problems with a new vehicle launch. All of
the managers at the table held their breath, waiting to
see how Mulally would respond.
He began to clap. Vigorously. Mulally knew he’d
broken the culture of fear and blame that
had permeated the company.
He turned to the
a nd

asked what the group could do to help more. The
manager briefly explained his situation, and within
minutes his colleagues had rallied around the problem
to offer solutions and resources to get the launch back
on track.
At the next meeting, the room was a rainbow of
green, yellow and red, and Mulally realized the turnaround had begun—not because the situation had
changed, but because the attitudes had changed.
He later explained in an interview with National
Public Radio’s Marketplace, “The minute that people
don’t feel safe, the minute they get yelled at, or it’s them
[and not the issue] that you’re going after, then everything will always be green and you’ll know nothing.”
I love that story because it highlights an important truth in leadership. Most people walk around
flashing green lights even when they are struggling.
They keep lying to themselves and others, and they
keep failing. That institutional dishonesty prevented
Ford’s momentum. Mulally had the vision, honesty and
commitment to get people on his team. The shift in
attitude and new feeling of corporate safety is what got
the company chugging again.

Remove the Blocks to Momentum
Consider your own corporate culture and scrutinize
your team for signs that people are being less than
straightforward with you. If you need to make breakthroughs with your staff, consider these actions:
Set an expectation of clear accountability. It’s pretty
tough to encourage accountability if no one knows what
he or she is responsible for. Take away any confusing
gaps in responsibility, and your people will adapt to new
roles and grow in their current ones. The entire team will
benefit. People are more likely to own up to a problem
when they know what they own.
Recognize and applaud transparency. The moment
Mulally clapped his hands and offered assistance rather
than punishment to his struggling manager is the
moment everything changed at Ford. In that instant,
Mulally began to develop trust with his people. Without
trust it is impossible to build relationships. Without relationships you cannot inspire change.
Focus on solutions. When your people learn that you
are more concerned about solving problems than casting
blame, you’ll win their confidence. Model a solutionoriented attitude, and your team will follow.
Unleash the resources of your team. Mulally
demonstrated a very important aspect of leadership—getting people to work as a team. Each week
the entire group took a grand view of all projects to
determine what needed special help and who in the
room could supply it. Mulally encouraged his managers
to be generous with their time, expertise, resources
and ideas; in other words, to act like a team. As
the leader, you are in the best position to
encourage this.
In physics, the first law of motion
says that a body at rest will remain
at rest, and a body in motion will
remain at the same uniform speed
unless an external force acts upon it.
Consider your own company. Is it stuck? Is it
inching along? Worse… is it speeding downhill?
You are the external force. Initiate the conversations that can spark a turnaround—discussions of clear
accountability, teamwork, trust and transparency. That’s
how momentum starts. S

Maverick Minute


To wear or beware?
➽WOULD YOU WEAR Google Glass on a first date?

Jason Dorsey
has received
ovations as
a keynote
speaker. Known
as The Gen Y
Guy, he’s been
on 60 Minutes,
20/20, The
Today Show
and more.

I didn’t think so. The idea of wearing eyeglasses that
can record everything going on around you is definitely
awkward for most people—especially for the person on
the other side of those glasses, who is wondering what
you’re finding out about him on social media as you share
your first bite.
But we can all guess that wearable technology in some
form or fashion is here to stay.
People want fast, if not instant, access to information about themselves and the world. Wearable technology offers this increasingly well—and consumers are
responding. Some analysts predict the wearable technology market will exceed $30 billion. Now that’s big.
We already see people wearing their Fitbit activity
trackers all the time to track and encourage healthy
habits. We’ve heard the buzz about the Apple Watch.
And yes, occasionally, we’ll see someone sporting Google
Glass. But is wearable technology really here to stay, or is
it just a fad? Will it help us in our business pursuits?
In a partnership with, The Center for
Generational Kinetics (where I work as chief strategy officer)
completed a survey to determine whether wearable technology is a hyped fad or truly the future for all consumers.
So what did we uncover in our national poll of 1,000
American adults?
FINDING 1: Wearables are not a fad but
a trend that is quickly coming of age. More

than half (54 percent) of Americans already think they’ll
own a wearable device one day. Eighty-eight percent of
Americans said wearable devices are not a fad. As we
look ahead at the fastest-growing segment of customers
and prospects (millennials), we find even more aggressive
adoption. Fifty-four percent of millennials have already
considered purchasing a wearable device.


FINDING 2: Wearable technology will go
high-style. Thirty-three percent of people who consid-

ered buying a smartwatch wanted one by Rolex. Talk
about old school meets new school. I can only imagine
how a Rolex smartwatch would help your golf game!
FINDING 3: Wearable technology can
grow your business. Almost one in five consumers

(19 percent) would trade their personal information for a
reward when they enter a store, and 18 percent would do
the same for recommendations on items they might like.
Looking ahead, it’s likely you’ll one day be notified when
someone in your vicinity would make a great customer,
and your wearable device will tee up an introduction. That
would change the sales experience.
So how can we start benefiting from wearable technology today?
1. Get familiar with it. Find a local store that stocks
wearable technology and test a few devices. This was an
eye-opener for me. I chose to buy a Fitbit.
2. Sync your wearable device with other users to experience the “gamification” aspect of the technology. You
can compete for wellness or fitness goals.
3. For a new way to drive traffic to your website, wear

a GoPro personal camera and shoot a promotional
video. Remember the viral video of the dog wearing a
GoPro? Brilliant.
Those who recognize and act now on the promise
of wearable technology will have a huge advantage
going forward.
I can see it all now: I’ve just completed a run, and
my wearable technology presents me with a coupon for
frozen yogurt at a nearby store. You can guess which
way I’ll run next. And that, my friends, is the power of
wearable technology: improved access to relevant information—and a new customer for you. S

Experience what Daymond John
is talking about LIVE
“It will cut down your

learning curve, accelerate
your success and
change the prosperity of
your future.”
—Daymond John
Star of ABC’s Shark Tank and
Founder/CEO of FUBU







Register at

Corner Office

All in the Family
How the family-owned and its CEO grew together
➽IT’ S

N E VE R AN E ASY ROAD to follow in
your father’s footsteps and take charge of the family
business. But when your father transitioned that
business from a traditional niche publisher to a
booming Internet company, it can be a downright
thorny challenge for any successor.
Founded in 1966, Edmunds published paperback
quarterly pricing guides for new and used cars.
Peter Steinlauf purchased the company in 1988
and launched its first website in 1995. Since then has grown to a website-only car shopping resource with 18 million visitors a month and
approximately 550 employees.
His son, Avi Steinlauf, has been part of
since 1998 and was named CEO in 2011—an unsurprising
appointment, as the younger Steinlauf worked his way up
and became a respected figure in the company. Here, the
44-year-old CEO offers his lessons on fostering a great
company culture and growing a family-run business.

Jennifer Chang
is the associate
editor at
drives a Toyota

some time on the operational side of the business,
ultimately becoming the chief operating officer. Then
I assumed the title of president, and four years ago
I became the CEO. I  think, to a certain extent, I’ve
earned my stripes in many different things, but I’m
most fortunate to have been able to grow along with
the business.

Q: is consistently named

one of the best places to work in the Los
Angeles area. How do you cultivate a
great company culture?
A: We want to give people a great reason to be at

the company. We try to be progressive in terms of some
of our new technologies so that people feel like they’re
advancing their careers—so that it’s not just a great
place to be, but a great place to grow. We understand
that some people will make it a place they want to spend
many years at, but some people won’t. So we want their
time with us to be mutually beneficial.
Learn how TV anchor Chris Wallace followed in his
We also adopted something called a Resultsfather’s footsteps @
Oriented Work Environment (ROWE), where
we got rid of the concept of vacation time. You
can take an unlimited amount of vacation or sick days.
Q: What is it like to work in a family
You no longer have to count the days you take—we’re all
business but also have to “earn” your
about the results. As long as you, in whatever your role
position? Did you ever feel held to a
is at the company, can get your work done, it doesn’t
higher standard?
A: I joined the company right after I graduated matter where or when you get it done. Your team will
from business school, and I’ve been here ever since. define what those results are, so if that means you have
Back then, it was just a handful of employees; we all to be present at a certain meeting every week, then that’s
worked remotely and didn’t have any office space. I part of the result.
But if you need to be home because your kid’s sick or
was working out of New York, moved to Southern
California in 1999, and things really started to grow you want to take a three-week trip, as long as you orgaexponentially since then. It’s a fun story to tell after nize it and are able to contribute accordingly, we’re
the fact, but there were a lot of difficult times along OK with that. It’s a reflection of who we are, and most
folks find it very liberating. One of the things people
the way.
I initially started in the capacity of doing some busi- love most about working at Edmunds is that they’re
ness development and marketing; after that I spent treated like adults.


at the company’s headquarters in
Santa Monica, Calif.

Q: You presented a fascinating
premise at the South by Southwest
V2V conference—the merits of
staying private when so many want
to file an initial public offering. Why
does want to remain
A: When I tell folks that we’re looking to remain
private, if the marketplace is frothy—like it is today
where there have been probably more IPOs in the last
18 months than we’ve seen in the last 10 years—people
will say, “Well, why not? Is there something wrong
with you? Are you idiots?” But there will be other
times, like during the recession in 2008, when people
will say, “Oh, you guys are geniuses!” I don’t think
we’re geniuses or idiots; I think we just have a longterm orientation. We see great growth potential in
this vertical that ought to keep us busy for a long time,
potentially generations to come. Folks who are looking
for quicker hits and don’t want to be rooted in one
thing for too long have a different orientation. Going
public is not about a right or wrong decision, and it’s
not the be-all, end-all for us.
But at the same time, we do things that mature public
companies are doing. So we’ve got a Big Four auditor.
We’ve got a board of directors with a number of outside

directors. From our vantage point, we think that we’ve
got the best of both worlds, and we’re not spending any
time managing Wall Street’s expectations. We’re taking
all of the resources that would otherwise be focused on
what public companies would focus on, and we’ve got
those focused internally, like continually innovating or
improving our company culture.

Q: Is there anything you do on a regular
basis that inspires or recharges you?
A: I try to visit our clients and customers multiple
times a month, and I f ind it hugely recharging.
Oftentimes you can fi nd yourself overwhelmed with
things you need to get done at your desk or with meetings in the office. Those things are important, but
sometimes what’s even more important is to get out,
hear directly from clients or customers, and see the
process for yourself.
I try to get myself out there into different markets
around the country and see how different people
are shopping, how dealers are selling and what’s
going on. We have an initiative at work called Get
Your Boots On, and it encourages everybody to get
out there, myself included. Getting out and seeing,
touching, feeling and bringing back those insights is
hugely beneficial. S

How To

Launch a Conference

Johnson is
a New Yorkbased business
and personal
finance writer.
She hosts
The Emma
Johnson Show,
nationally on
AM radio.

Technology is facilitating and driving this recent trend.
Adrian Segar is a veteran conference-design consultant
and the author of Conferences That Work: Creating Events
That People Love. He says that, more than ever, people
who are glued to their devices and increasingly working
remotely are hungry for face-to-face interaction and
community. Technology also makes the launch phase
of your conference simpler. “It has never been easier to
create your own event and market it,” Segar says. “The
flip side is that a lot of people are doing it. So you have to
really stand out and do it  right.”
Here are five rules of great conference creation:
1. Find a need to fill. Admission fees and sponsorships should make it a break-even endeavor but not
create a giant profit. Focus on finding “something
you’re passionate about, something no one else is


doing where you can really serve your community,”
Segar says.
2. Identify your goals. Conferences can benefit
small-business owners by deepening their networks,
elevating their profiles and industry authority, and
giving their clients added value by offering them
speaking engagements. “There are hundreds of
meeting professionals who have been doing this for
decades. A novice doing this just to make money is



➽SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST, TechCrunch Disrupt,
TEDx—these conferences have grown from wonky
industry events held in hotel expo halls to hip gatherings
infiltrating the popular vernacular. Ever wonder how the
organizers made it happen?
It’s not just that great talks captured on YouTube
mushroomed across the web. The Convention Industry
Council reports that the meetings and conferences
sector generates $28 billion in revenue. That’s more
than the auto industry.

a false premise.” Don’t be afraid of starting small, as
the majority of conferences globally are attended by
fewer than 100 people each, Segar says.
3. Choose the right speakers, but don’t rely
entirely on lectures from big names. You should set
a budget for speakers. Still, don’t be afraid to pursue
people out of your range. “Explain that your budget is
set and then ask if they would be willing to work with
you.” Get creative about adding value, including in
your fee marketing of the expert’s book or promoting
a cause she supports. “Mention compensation in the
initial correspondence. Otherwise you will insult a lot
of people,” Segar  says.
When designing your event, use these expert voices
strategically. The value of conferences has shifted
toward connection and peer learning. “After all,

Frances Mazur

Company: Mazur Group, a Los


100 p  eople in the room collectively know more
than one person presenting,” Segar  says.
Have three keynote speakers present
for 20 minutes each and then lead smaller
roundtable discussions. Also fi nd ways for
attendees to learn quickly about each other.
For example, have everyone at roundtables
introduce themselves brief ly and answer
the question: “What do you want out of
this  event?”

4. Pay attention to all the details of
the event or hire someone to produce it for
you. “People may or may not remember the
keynote speaker, but they will remember if
lunch wasn’t served on time,” Segar says. “It
needs to be logistically smooth for people to
want to return the next year.”
5. Keep it alive year-round. Create
a private Facebook group for attendees.
Maintain a blog or podcast, and update
past attendees via email. “Events shouldn’t
have to begin on the first day and end after
the final dinner,” Segar says. “A successful
event will leave people wanting to connect
afterward. That becomes your core group of
customers eager to come next time.”

Angeles-based executive recruiting
firm for the beauty industry
Conference: Beauty Biz
Benefits: Recruiting, creating added value for clients
in the form of speaking opportunities, elevated
industry presences
I launched my company in 2007 and had a fantastic first
year. Then the economy crashed. My phone was ringing off
the hook with excellent candidates looking for a job, but we
didn’t have much to offer. It was demoralizing for our network
and paralyzing for us. We decided that we needed an event to
build the business back up, and the Beauty Biz Roundtable
was born.
The first conference had just 40 seats and sold out immediately. Since then it has grown to 100 attendees, but the
format is the same: We get top-name speakers, such as the
owners and executives of national salons, as well as out-ofthe-ordinary speakers who really surprise our audience with
amazing information, like a social media analytics  expert.
My firm benefits in several ways. It positions us as the
leaders in our space: At a recent event, one company’s CEO
approached me and said, “We are looking for a new marketing
vice president, and you clearly know everyone in the industry.”
The company became a new client. These events also allow us
to connect with new candidates all the time. They also allow
me to add value to our existing clients. If I am working with
a client, I c  an tap one of its senior executives to be a speaker.
None of our competitors can do that.
We have never paid our speakers a dime, and we are very
selective about bringing in sponsors. They really have to fit
with our brand, elevate the event and stay focused on whom
we want to attract.
Our last event, priced at $90 per ticket, had a 90-person
waiting list and people flying from around the country to
attend. Now we’re raising the fee to $125 and exploring
ways to add our roundtable onto larger industry events. But
we continue to stay focused on offering our attendees ways
to network with top people in their fields, and we give our
speakers the opportunity to connect with their peers, which
is rare in the beauty industry.

How To

Shea Coakley

Chris Dessi



Company: LeanBox, a

Company: Silverback Social, a Chappaqua,

Boston-based food service
that companies can offer their
Conference: Perks Convention, a gathering
of companies supplying workplace perks and
potential buyers
Benefits: New business, positioning as a leader
in the industry
In attending traditional networking events and
conferences aimed at human resources professionals,
I would often find myself explaining my service to one
person, but someone else would be trying to get in on the
conversation to learn about what other companies do in
the corporate-perks space. I realized that my business is
in a new sector where there is a lot of demand, but not a
lot of awareness.
Every company’s leaders are struggling to attract
and retain top talent. They read about the amazing
perks offered by companies like Google and Apple, and
assume that they are too small to offer the same, even
though many perks are affordable or free to the business. Together with my partner, 20/20 Optometry, an
onsite optometry service, we launched the first Perks
Conference in August at the Microsoft Nerd Center in
Cambridge, Mass.
We had 28 vendors, who paid $200 each to set up
booths, and 500 attendees, who were admitted free. The
conference itself made a very small profit, but through
just that one event alone, we secured 15 new accounts. It
really took on a life of its own.
We keep the conversation going with vendors and
customers through Twitter, a LinkedIn group and
an email list. While the first convention focused on
Boston-based services, a second one for the entire New
England region is planned for March, and we have
quarterly meet-ups scheduled for vendors to network. In
addition to growing my own business, I want to be the
go-to expert on corporate perks, and this conference is
helping me to do that.

N.Y.-based marketing agency

Conference: Westchester Digital Summit
Benefits: Positioning as a local leader in

marketing, new clients, increased profits

When I launched my marketing agency in Westchester, N.Y.—just
a hop from New York City—I was talking to very successful entrepreneurs and business owners in the community who didn’t even have
Facebook pages or understand the value of a LinkedIn profile. It was
hard to explain the value of my business. In the past, I had gotten
new business by speaking at conferences, so I Googled “Westchester
digital summit” and was surprised that there was nothing like
it  around.
I said to myself, OK, I guess I have to be the one to do this.
Five months out, I booked a conference center that can seat
3,000 people and started to reverse-engineer the event. I knew
Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media giant. I couldn’t afford his usual
speaking fee, but he agreed to lower it. If you want to do something
big, you have to invite big people. By booking Gary, we’ve been able
to attract speakers from LinkedIn, Facebook, The Huffington Post,
IBM and General Electric. I don’t pay them anything; most of these
speakers don’t even ask for an honorarium. I hosted a private dinner
for them as a way of saying “thank you,” but 90 percent of them didn’t
show up.
The first year we gave away a ton of tickets and had 500 attend.
I lost money on the first event and broke even on the second. Today
sponsorships cover my cost, and ticket sales are the gravy. But the
real value is new business for my agency. Half of my new clients
come through the conference. It is so much easier to send someone
to the summit than to try and convince him why he needs to be on
Twitter. You simply don’t get these kinds of names in Westchester. It’s
a monopoly, frankly.
There is a huge need for this information in smaller communities.
Small-business owners simply cannot afford to travel to New York
or San Francisco for big conferences. I bought 67 URLs for digital
summits in cities around the world. In September we produced
the Baltimore Digital Summit and now have summits planned for
Boston; Las Vegas; Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit; and Dubai in the next
two years. The May 2015 Westchester summit has grown into a
two-day  event. S


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Darren Hardy

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On gain vs. pain tasks

4: Key Ideas

Summary and
Call to Action

Personal Best

Michael Snyders say their training and experiences as
cops prepared them well for new careers as a CEO and an
entrepreneur. Here are their stories.


writer Sophia
Dembling also
wrote the “Let
It Go” feature
that starts on
Page 58.

ong before he was CEO of Scripps Health, a
nonprofit health care system that includes five
hospitals and 26 outpatient treatment facilities worth about $2.6 billion, Chris Van Gorder had to
give up his police career. In his 20s, he had been on the
Monterey Park, Calif., police force about five years when
a woman fleeing police hit his cruiser head-on.
Van Gorder spent a year in and out of the hospital and
rehab. He briefly returned to the force on “permanent light
duty,” which meant no more promotions. For someone
who had hoped to become police chief, this wouldn’t do.
“I  made the decision to retire,” a low point for him.
“I was angry and, in retrospect, felt sorry for myself,”
he admits. On the way home from yet another doctor’s
office visit, “I realized I had to take responsibility….
I started to rebuild my body and my attitude.” And he
sought a meaningful new career.
Before joining the force, Van Gorder had enjoyed
working security at a hospital emergency room, so when
the hospital that cared for him needed a head of security, he applied, despite sketchy qualifications. “I said,
‘I’ll be honest with you: I’m not sure why you should
hire me,’ ” he recalls. “ ‘But you won’t find anyone more
loyal and dedicated.’ ” He offered to work for 90 days at
minimum wage and promised to quit if his supervisors
weren’t satisfied. They agreed (at more than minimum
wage), and he won the job after the probationary period.
“There’s a lot of synergy between law enforcement
and health care. Both are dedicated to helping people,”
says Van Gorder. In his new book, The Front-Line
Leader,, he discusses how the people-first orientation of
his first career informed his success in his second.
From his security job, he “watched what administrators did and thought that looked kind of fun.” Van
Gorder applied for a promotion, knowing that he had no
chance despite his bachelor’s degree in political science/


public administration; his aim was getting on the
CEO’s radar. The CEO suggested he return to school,
so Van Gorder took a full course load on top of his job.
He graduated at the top of his University of Southern
California class with a master’s in public administration specializing in health services administration.
Realizing he was pigeonholed in his security position, Van Gorder left to head national development for
Diamond Benefits Group. But after his oldest son was
born, he wanted to travel less, so he called the encouraging CEO, then at Anaheim Memorial Hospital.
Weeks later he hired Van Gorder as a vice president.
Van Gorder joined Scripps as chief operating officer
in 1999 and became CEO in 2000, when the company
was losing $15 million a year and suffering internal
strife—doctors had voted no-confidence in leadership.
He applied police training to the problem. “People fight
because they don’t understand each other’s position. One
of the first things you do [in domestic disputes] is separate the parties. If you can calm them down, you can fill
the gap of understanding. And if you fill the gap, smart
people generally come up with the same or similar solutions.” Bringing together the squabbling physicians and business
administrators bridged the
gap so Scripps could make
a recovery as robust as
Van  Gorder’s.
He b el ie ve s mo s t
people will face a major
wake-up call when life
throws them a curveball.
“When you do, and you
make the right choice for
yourself, the joy and excitement of the future comes
back. You start looking
forward instead
of  backward.”

Chris Van Gorder


From Badges to Business


n Illinois State Police uniform still hangs
in Michael Snyders’ closet. It’s a souvenir
from a career he loved. Snyders, a colonel
when he retired in 2010, hasn’t stopped protecting the
public,  though.
In 2013, six months after the massacre at Sandy
Hook Elementary School, a law enforcement buddy
approached Snyders: What if they could devise a way to
prevent, or at least lessen, the carnage in school shootings? “It was, literally, an idea tossed out over a sandwich,” Snyders  says.
The resulting products, rolled out in 2013 and 2014,
are the Hero911 and SchoolGuard cellphone apps. Free
for law-enforcement professionals, Hero911 creates a
network that subscriber schools contact for help with
school shooters, potentially bringing assistance more
quickly than a 911 dispatch. “At any given moment,
75 percent of U.S. police officers are off-duty, on vacation or in training,” Snyders says. “We wanted to
leverage off-duty police when seconds save lives.” The
Hero911 app alerts all officers and agencies that are in
a 10- to 15-mile radius. “If I’m on vacation in Florida
and happen to be, say, 5 miles from a school shooting,
I  would be alerted,” Snyders says.
Schools can buy the corresponding SchoolGuard
app, which simultaneously contacts the Hero911
network and calls 911 with the push of a panic button.
The app’s other functions include a teacher assist button,
independent of the other panic button, that provides a
location to responders and alerts other teachers and
staff at the school. By November 2014, more
than 15,000 officers had downloaded
Hero911, and 100 schools had joined
the network.
Thus Snyders moved from
f ront-line to on line law
enforcement, the latest in a
Michael Snyders

series of career adjustments—one being his promotion
to colonel. “Street officer was the best job I ever had,” he
says. “There was a lot of pride in dealing with the public,
and a lot of good front-line police work taking place every
day.” The promotion put him behind a desk dealing with
facility closures, union issues and layoffs. “The fun part of
the job was transitioning away from me.”
Then he retired. “I miss police work. The label retired
is a big deal.” Snyders ultimately eased the disconnect by
joining a monthly get-together with other retired officers.
“We relive the memories, talk politics, stay up on family.
You can’t replace the friendship and trust that grew from
patrolling midnights together 25 years ago.”
While Snyders’ new venture, a nonprofit, continues
his dedication to public safety, it’s also a new world. “As a
colonel, I was always in uniform, on the go, very visible.
It was a life-altering change from being out and about
to working at my desk in a dark basement.” Snyders no
longer has a staff handling administrative details, no
longer has officers saluting him. He went from being the
guy whose calls everyone took to “just another vendor.”
The pace and process are different, too. “In law
enforcement, there are regular think tanks and work
groups and meetings and meetings and meetings. For
this business, our internal team of four kept everything
confidential. In some ways, the
business world moved very
quickly, but it was more
isolated and  contained.”
Snyders’ pride in his
new business parallels what he felt on the
police force because of
similar core values. “Our
decisions are based on
doing what’s right. I’m not
doing this to make  money.”
In fact, to launch the
apps, “I  invested my piggy
bank,” Snyders says. The
investment jeopardized
his f inancial securit y, but he—like
other cops—is no
stranger to  risk. S


And yet Van Gorder returned to his old career, in a
way, by volunteering with the San Diego County Sheriff ’s
Department, overseeing volunteer search-and-rescue
and law-enforcement units. “The woman who hit me
took away a career before I was ready to give it up. The
day I  retire from the sheriff ’s department, it will be
because I  choose to. It will close the circle for me.”



The Science of Savoring

Patty Onderko
writes for
her home in
Brooklyn, N.Y.

➽“JUST BECAUSE you’re not down doesn’t mean
you’re up,” says Fred Bryant, Ph.D., professor of
psychology at Loyola University Chicago. You might
be able to shake off stress and take disappointments in
stride, but, Bryant asks, how do you deal with the good
things that happen to you? He says your ability to cope
with negative experiences isn’t necessarily connected to
the ability to make the most of positive ones. So while
the rain might not bother you, the sun may not warm
your mood either.
Learning to deal with difficulties and tone down
doom-and-gloom thinking is important, but figuring
out how to amplify the good stuff is equally integral
to your satisfaction with life. How do you do that?
Through savoring, the art of “generating, intensifying
or prolonging positive feelings in response to positive
events,” says Bryant, who coined the term as a form
of emotional intelligence in the mid-1980s.
Savoring doesn’t just mean getting orgasmic over
a piece of dark chocolate or luxuriating in a fragrant
bubble bath. It means recognizing happy moments big
and small—catching a fly ball in a Little League game,
maybe, or making the train in the nick of time—and
allowing yourself to fully appreciate and enjoy them.
Doing so will help you reach your maximum happiness
potential, Bryant says.
Not everyone is naturally adept at savoring, though
women tend to be better at it than men and extroverts
better than introverts. Luckily it’s a skill that can be
learned by anyone. Practice these savoring strategies.
Be nostalgic. Nostalgia has taken on negative connotations in the past few decades, with the current
cultural emphasis on living in the moment. But it’s
OK—and necessary, really—to look back fondly. In
fact, savoring your past can help you better enjoy
today, too, Bryant says. In one of his papers, published
in the Journal of Happiness Studies, a group of test
subjects was instructed to spend 10 minutes a day
reminiscing about pleasant memories, while a control
group was asked to think about current concerns
for 10 minutes a day. After a week, the reminiscing


folks reported significantly greater increases in the
percentage of time they felt happy over the course of the
week than the control group.
Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., author of Thinking, Fast
and Slow, challenges his readers with a thought experiment: If you could take an amazing first-class, four-star
free vacation in a tropical paradise, with the catch being
that you wouldn’t remember a second of it once it was
over, would you go? Maybe you would or maybe you
wouldn’t, but the fact that we pause at all in our consideration highlights the importance of memories to our
enjoyment of an experience. The best parts of a vacation, research has shown, are the planning of it and the
looking back on it. So get out all those old photos and
reminisce, whether it’s a past vacation or your eighthgrade dance or the birth of your child.
Find proven techniques for reducing negativity

Take photos. Plenty of critics these days will implore
you to get out from behind your smartphone and experience life rather than just document it. But snapping
photos can be integral to enjoying the moment. Taking
a photograph means that you acknowledge a moment
or place or person as beautiful, special and worth
remembering, and that acknowledgement is a big part
of savoring. Plus the photos can help you appreciate the
moment again later.
Be thankful. Gratitude is a key part of savoring, says
Bryant. Say someone gives you a scarf. You might think
it was thoughtful and genuinely like the color and fabric.
But take it further, he suggests. Imagine your friend
going to the store and picking out the scarf, considering
your taste and eye color as he did so. Think of the time it
took for him to drive to the store, buy the present, wrap
it up and deliver it to you. It’s hard not to appreciate the
gift even more after you’ve considered everything that
went into it. That’s savoring.
A gratitude journal can be great, says Elizabeth
Lombardo, Ph.D., author of Better than Perfect:

7  Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a
Life You Love, as long it doesn’t become just another
item on your to-do list. Really think about and
visualize what you’re grateful for. If you write down
“my spouse,” for example, remember a great meal or
activity you shared together recently. Imagine the
scent of him or the way her hand feels in yours. List
some of the things you appreciate and love about him
or her.
Marvel. Cultivate awe and wonder at the world
around you. You don’t have to be standing in front of
the Grand Canyon to appreciate your surroundings.
The corner of the building you pass by every day may
look striking against the sky. The approaching dark
cloud is dazzlingly ominous. As you drive to the store
or walk to your office, notice the beauty in both the
mundane and the magnificent, Bryant suggests.
Share the good stuf f. So i f you appreciat ed
the silhouette of that building façade against the
clouds, you can extend the pleasure by telling others
about it, whether passersby or your partner. One
study, published in the Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology by the American Psychological
Association, found that communicating personal

positive events—“I had a really great workout today”
or “My colleague told me he thought my idea was
brilliant”—with others was associated with increased
daily well-being. Sharing genuine pleasure and happiness is not the same as showing off, Lombardo says,
especially if you are equally receptive to hearing the
good news of others.
Ruminate on the positive. Say you have a great
conversation with a neighbor in which you opened up
about your hopes and life goals. Later, in bed, will you
think about how lucky you are to have such a friendly
neighbor and how nice it is to be able to share your
feelings with like-minded folk? Or will you worry that
you divulged too much and become embarrassed?
Humans’ natural negativity bias suggests the latter,
but according to Bryant (and the ethos of positive
psychology), we can fl ip that bias. Stop the negative
ruminating (which Lombardo likens to “pressing on
a bruise”) by acknowledging your feelings of embarrassment or shame and moving on. Then allow yourself to really feel good about the exchange. You were
charming and interesting. Your neighbor was gracious
and funny. Together, you shared a moment of connection. That’s worth savoring, no? S

Modern Marketing

Tell Your Story
Your brand is unique. So act like it.

Created by
scientists who
the essential
molecules of
an Associated
Stylebook with
the complete
works of
Homer, Josh
Ellis is the
features editor

➽ THE LABELS, website and social media accounts all
tell the same tale: “Rufus Teague made some sauce. He
put some in a jar and shared it with the boys. They kept
painin’ him ’til he fixed up another batch. Next thing he
knew he’s makin’ sauce all the time. It’s damn good.”
Every day countless grocery shoppers across the
country choose to buy Rufus Teague brand sauce,
never having tasted it, instead of a more familiar (and
cheaper) blend of ketchup-’n’-spices like Kraft Original
Barbecue Sauce. Why would that be?
For most f irst-time buyers, the story of Rufus
Teague and the label’s faded photo of the grizzled old
man himself are emblematic of what good barbecue
sauce should be. The imagery is too enticing to pass
up, especially when compared to the generic offerings of multinational conglomerates. Here’s the thing,
though. There never was a Rufus Teague—or at least
not a Rufus Teague who made Kansas City-style
barbecue sauce. The sauce boss is simply a creation of
J&J Group LLC, a food company started in 2004 in
Shawnee, Kan.
“[The concept] is a little something we came up with,”
J&J founder John McCone told the Sacramento Bee last
year. “[His portrait] is a couple of different pictures put
together and modified. A buddy of mine and I came up
with [Rufus Teague’s backstory], but it does have a bit of
true meaning to it; we just kind of twisted it. I came up
with all the recipes myself and we did [create the sauces]
in a sauce pot….
“There are hundreds of barbecue sauces here in
Kansas, and I thought, How am I going to compete with
that? But it’s moving right along, and we’re doing better
than I ever thought we would.”
No mat ter whether thei r i ndustr y is cond iments or consulting, small businesses and solopreneurs attempting to battle the big boys must
differentiate themselves. One of the smartest ways to
do that is to represent yourself with unique content


that is consistent across all channels. If you’re selling
a product like barbecue sauce, for which quality is a
matter of taste, it’s possible that a fictional background
would work. But if you’re selling yourself or your service,
honesty and authenticity are important.
According to experts in the field, storytelling is the
heart of content marketing, which—with its many
branches—is equal parts art and science. “I think it
comes down to the personality of your business and
what you want your business to represent,” says communications and marketing strategist Martin Waxman.
“For solopreneurs or anyone who is out in front—the
face of a small business, which will usually intersect
with their personality—their personality becomes the
business’s culture.”
Follow these steps to make your narrative one that
people will want to believe in and buy.

1. Know who you are.
When millennial men’s fashion retailer Frank &
Oak was launched in 2012, founders Ethan Song and
Hicham Ratnani had little more than a name, a URL
and a few products to sell in their online store. Song, the
company’s creative director and social strategist, says
it took about three weeks to put together a branding
strategy and a vision for written copy. Frank & Oak’s
materials appeal to smart single guys especially, with
imagery of sharp city dwellers and copy that can appeal
to iconoclastic youths through phrases such as “challenging convention” and “transforming great ideas
into  movements.”
Although the plan has been honed over time, that
initial step was a crucial foundation for the company
that now boasts more than 1.5 million users and loads
of venture capital backing.
“Most people, when they start writing content, they
have absolutely no idea what they stand for,” Song says.
“As a company, you should clearly define the values of


your company and products, and what the people
who work at your company stand for. And then create
content based on that.”
Consistency is vital. The voice of your brand should
be the same in the words on your website, at your
physical location, on social media and in advertisements. A disconnect in your language and tone from
one channel to the next will probably cause your brand
to appear inauthentic.
“What is your personality?” Waxman asks. “You need
to figure out whether you’re playful or joking. Are you
informative or educational? If you’re too dry, people just
aren’t interested. You probably want to educate but also
entertain a little bit.”

2. Know your customer.
After you’ve identified the values of your company,
it’s much easier to know the type of person who is likely
to do business with you—someone with whom your
values  resonate.
“Once those values become understood by the people
consuming your product, they will actually associate
with it,” Song says. “And they will associate with other
people who associate with it. And if you can do that, you

start to build a community…. People can have a product
or project similar to us, but they won’t be able to have
the hearts of our community.”
The branding of Frank & Oak won’t appeal to nine
out of 10 men, Song says. But it will connect on a deep
level with the late-20s, early-30s guy living in Brooklyn’s
Williamsburg neighborhood. “You may think, Oh, look
at that hipster,
hipster but that’s perfect because
that’s our guy,” Song
says. “Because
you st a nd for
something, that
one person who will connect
with you will do it 10 times. That is
more powerful at an early stage than having a shallow
connection with more customers.”

3. Have no fear.
Not everyone is comfortable communicating in
taglines or blog posts or on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t let doubts about your writing ability slow you
down, though.
Take this page from Mark Twain’s playbook: “Write
the way you talk,” says Jean Tang, the founder and
chief copy writing strategist for MarketSmiths, a
content agency headquartered in New York. “I can’t
tell you how many times people will say, ‘When I’m
doing a sales pitch, this is what I say to my prospects.
But I  don’t know how to write it.’ I’m like: ‘Write that!’
Or at least start with that, and then you can work
backward and take a critical eye to it. I get that writing
content is a bit like being a painter. You have to have
a certain level of talent, practice and skill. But I definitely think people can take a crack at it. The important thing is not to psych yourself out. Just write. You
know your stuff. So just write it in a way that will make
a client want to engage with you.”
(Continued on Page 86)

Electronic Etiquette

Digital Decorum
Use Facebook and Twitter marketing with civility.
➽PERK UP YOUR PINKIES and slide your elbows off
the table; it’s time to talk social marketing etiquette—
good manners for when you’re interacting w ith
fans  online.
They can be as obvious as “Don’t take sides in an
Internet argument” (it never ends well) or the more
subtle “Don’t ‘like’ your own posts on Facebook” (it
doesn’t hurt anyone, but it looks vain and desperate). The
key is to act like a decent human being whose real-world
manners translate accordingly to the virtual world.
DON’T ignore comments or questions. If
you were at a networking event and someone struck up
a conversation with you, would you walk away? Don’t let
comments or tweets

the impression of plagiarism. On Facebook use the
“Share” button or clearly give a hat tip to the fan
or business that created the engaging content. On
Twitter use the “Retweet” function or tag the rightful
owner’s Twitter handle.
DON’T hijack threads. Burger King wouldn’t
hand out flyers in front of a Chipotle, so why would you
want to hawk your business on an unrelated Facebook
thread, no matter how virally hot it is? Fans are smart
and can see right through that spam-like behavior.
Likewise, don’t hijack another company’s branded
hashtag on Twitter. “When you see companies create
well-performing hashtags, don’t hop on their hashtag
train to promote irrelevant content,” says Maggie
Hibma, who is HubSpot’s product marketing manager.
“It devalues their hashtag and, as a result, your brand.”
DO shine a light on your fans. It’s not
polite to always talk about yourself, so find
ways to applaud your fans. A CrossFit studio
might give kudos to a client’s weight-loss
journey, or a beauty salon could share
how stunning a loyal customer looks
w ith her new blond highlights. But
regardless of how well you know your
fans, DO ask for permission before you
snap a picture or share  information.
DON’T use disreputable ways to
gain fans. Buying followers or using bots

Jennifer Chang
is the associate
editor at
served as
social media
editor and
continues to do
social media

slip through the
cracks. Thank your
fans for their input, “like” or “favorite”
their comments, and don’t be afraid to engage
in questions, no matter how tough or  critical.
DO give credit where it’s due. If you
see a great image, quote or blog post that you’d like
to post because it’s relevant to your brand, don’t give


or trickery to gain new fans is about as useful and
impressive as paying people to stand around your
brick-and-mortar store to make it look busy. “Instead of
manipulating people, crank up your compelling
content and be proud that those who follow
you have voluntarily chosen to do so,”
Hibma says. “[Fans] who will take
action on your content are much
more valuable to your business’s
bottom line.” S




The timeless wisdom of Jim Rohn in concise, easy-to-read
48-page pocket-size guides. Perfect for sharing with friends,
family, business associates, clients and prospects.
Time Management • Personal Development
Leadership • Goal Setting • Communication
Buy individually or as a complete set.
Quantity discounts available!

SUCCESS Foundation

Five Years and Counting
SUCCESS for Teens is a mainstay in this teacher’s Georgia classroom.

is a freelance
writer and
editor in South
Florida. She
wrote “The
in January.

➽ ON E DAY a colleague suggested that teacher
Rod Hames check out SUCCESS for Teens, a free
personal-development curriculum offered by the
SUCCESS Foundation. That was five years ago. Since
then Hames estimates that the program has impacted
more than 1,000 students at his Lawrenceville, Ga.,
middle  school.
“I know as a 24-plus-year veteran teacher that this
book has the ability to change lives,” he says. “It either
plants seeds or waters gardens for those who already
have the seed planted.”
In 2012, when SUCCESS first reported on Hames, he
was integrating SUCCESS for Teens into his business/
computer education classes. The central component of
the curriculum is the book SUCCESS for Teens: Real
Teens Talk about Using the Slight Edge,, in which teenagers themselves talk about easy, manageable steps for
skills such as goal-setting and resisting peer pressure.
(The SUCCESS Foundation donates hard copies of the
book to qualifying public schools, churches and youthdevelopment programs;
offers free downloads of the book and facilitator’s guide
to everyone.)
Hames still teaches the program, having students
answer the book’s questions in their journals and join
in discussions. He also invites faculty and members of
the community to speak about subjects such as time
management, personal credibility and motivation.
The curriculum has become a key part of Hames’
teaching and in 2014 spawned a popular offshoot: a
mock Shark Tank event in which students create their
own businesses, complete with business plans, mission
statements and goals. “They then have to create a
business pitch and present it to actual business professionals,” Hames says. “Our last event was a huge success.”
He continues to use SUCCESS for Teens for one
reason: “It is extremely effective because it allows
students to do more than just read about life. It allows


Left to right: Ben Collins, Cindy Carrillo, Rod Hames
and Anton Shayakhmetov.

kids to personalize their learning. It allows them to react
and apply truths to themselves.”
Of all the topics that SUCCESS for Teens touches
on, Hames says failure has the biggest impact. “Many
students have tasted failure,” he says. “They love to hear
about how others overcame failure. They say it gives
them courage to face the future.” Student Amanda
Nguyen echoes that sentiment: “From SUCCESS for
Teens, I  learned that there’s no such thing as failure....
Don’t think of it as failure, but as an experience that will
help you to achieve your goals in the future.”
Hames has become a vocal proponent of SUCCESS
for Teens, often discussing it at local, state and national
conferences on education. And he plans to keep
spreading the word about the power of the program.
“I am thrilled to share the truths in this book.” S
To request books, learn about the program, share your story about
it or make a contribution, visit Leaders,
participants and donors can request a profile in SUCCESS by emailing
[email protected]

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From Schindler’s List star to an action hero, Liam Neeson is one of
Hollywood’s most likable and bankable actors. As Taken 3 hits the screen,
he opens up about how he keeps going, even in the face of unbearable loss.


anuary is the dumping month
for movies. Any film with award
aspirations has been released
during November and December
to qualify for Oscar nominations,
while tentpole pics hit screens during the
blockbuster-making holiday season. Those
first few weeks of the year are when movies
that have gotten lousy scores in test screenings or have been gathering dust on studio
shelves get their day, with the expectation
that they’ll hang around theaters no longer
than the popcorn sticking to the  floor.
The box office takes the deepest dive on
Super Bowl weekend, so it was a Hail Mary
pass when on Friday, Jan. 30, 2009—two
days before nearly 100 million Americans

would watch the Pittsburgh Steelers
defeat the A r izona Cardinals—20th
Century Fox released Taken. The action
f lick had a paltry budget of $25 million
and a familiar revenge plot—former CIA
agent Bryan Mills sets out to rescue his
daughter when she’s kidnapped in Paris
by a gang of sex traffickers. “That release
date took guts,” says Paul Dergarabedian,
a box-office analyst for Rentrak, a provider
of viewership data. “It went against the
grain. What you typically see opening on
Super Bowl weekend are romantic comedies that are aimed at a female audience.”
Even the movie’s star, a then 56-yearold Liam Neeson, had thought that the
movie—what he describes as a “very, very

basic, simple storyline”—would stay under
the radar.
It didn’t. Opening on some 3,200
screens, Taken nabbed the No. 1 spot
at the box office, earning a remarkable
$24.7 million. Even Fox Chairman and
CEO Jim Gianopulos was astonished.
“We’d screened the film and went, Wow,
this is really great,” Gianopulos says.
“The release calendar gets very crowded
during the holiday season, and while
we knew what we had, we also knew we
needed word-of-mouth for the movie to get
momentum. So we weren’t surprised that
the movie turned out to be a success, but
we were very surprised by the extent of it
that first  weekend.”



death of his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, after
a 2009 skiing accident. “He’s lived through a lot,”
says Olivier Megaton, who directed Taken 2 and
Taken 3. “You feel his humanity and his struggle.
He knows life can be very hard, bad things happen,
and you just keep on  fighting.”


n real life, Neeson has some traits you’d never
associate with an action hero. He’s afraid of
heights, for one thing. For another, he had to
give up boxing because he blacked out during
bouts. And his idea of a good workout is a
90-minute walk through Central Park or near his
home in upstate New York, a habit he took up as
part of his rehab when he had a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2000. (But make no mistake, these
are power walks. “I’ve done some of those walks
with Liam,” says actor Aidan Quinn, a good friend
and godfather to Neeson’s younger son, Daniel.
“And the man moves; his stride is fast. These are
deep-in-your-adductors, heart-pounding walks.”)


aken would go on to earn $145 million
in domestic box office receipts and
nearly $84 million internationally,
making Liam Neeson an action star
and giving rise to a franchise. Three
years later in Taken 2, protagonist
Bryan Mills and his estranged wife
(Famke Janssen) are kidnapped in
Istanbul. That film would earn $376
million worldwide. And on Jan. 9,
the final Taken installment opens;
this time Mills is on the run after
being framed for the murder of his
ex. Neeson, 62, is one of Hollywood’s
highest-paid stars, on track to earn
a reported $50 million for Taken 3.
“I  laugh at it,” he says. “It’s not that
I  laugh at the franchise itself or the
position I  find myself in. I  just laugh
at the ridiculousness of life.”
At 6 feet 4 inches, with the slightly off-kilter
features of the amateur boxer he once was (he
broke his nose in a match at 15), Neeson
always had the rough-hewn good looks
of an action hero. If it’s improbable
that it took until late middle age
for him to achieve that mantle,
Neeson says that timing is just
right. Had Taken come along in
his 20s or 30s, he says he would
have screwed it up (he uses a
saltier word), and typecasting
might have made it difficult for
him to be believable playing the
towering historical figures that
have defi ned him as one of the
greatest actors of his generation.
“I certainly wouldn’t have been
able to do Schindler’s List or Rob Roy
or Michael Collins,” he says. Besides, he
adds, “I think that what added to the
popularity of Taken was the fact that
I’m an elder guy. I’m a father, so I can
totally empathize with how Bryan Mills
reacts when his kid is in danger. I  think
that comes across.” What’s left unsaid
is that audiences also know Neeson
has dealt with a devastating loss—the

And Neeson is a voracious reader who’s always
juggling a few books. He’s reading The Richard
Burton Diaries and a crime novel by the British
writer John Burdett, plus a thriller by Scandinavian
author Kristina Ohlsson.
Introverted and bookish, Neeson might be a
very different person from Bryan Mills, but, says
Janssen, “If you were in danger, Liam is the person
you’d want to have rescuing you.” Actress Laura
Linney agrees. She and Neeson are close friends—
she starred opposite him in the films Kinsey, The

Opposite, Neeson with Julia Roberts
and Aidan Quinn in Michael Collins. This
page, clockwise from top left: Neeson
with Maggie Grace in Taken 3, with Ben
Kingsley in Schindler’s List, onstage
with Laura Linney in The Crucible, and
as the title character in Rob Roy.


in touch; he’s aware of what you’re going
through. You feel appreciated by him.”
When Linney wed, just four months after
Richardson’s death, Neeson walked her
down the aisle.
Women in large numbers are smitten
with Neeson. A big part of the success of
the Taken movies, says Gianopulos, is that
they draw a far more sizable female audience than is typical of action pictures. But
to paraphrase a sentiment first applied to

film and, she says, “trying to get over a
boy who broke my heart.” Neeson, with
a combination of humor and paternal
concern, called the guy, leaving a version
of the speech he made famous in Taken:
“I have a very particular set of skills, skills
I have acquired over a very long career.
Skills that make me a nightmare for


James Bond, if women want to be around
Neeson, men want to be him. “There are
some leading men who piss other men
off and make them angry, jealous and
uncomfortable,” Linney says. “Liam isn’t
one of them, and I think that’s because
he has an innate modesty and an innate
decency that’s comforting. Everyone—men


Other Man and Love Actually, and on
Broadway in The Crucible. “I always feel
safe when I’m around Liam,” Linney says.
“Some of that is his strength and masculinity and his great looks. But beyond those
superficial reasons are deeper ones, like his
devotion as a friend. It’s not the big heroic
gestures; it’s the little ones. Liam keeps

and women—feel better when he’s around.”
That’s certainly true for Megaton. “The first
time I met Liam,” he recalls, “he said, ‘If you
need me, I’m here to protect you.’ When you
make a movie, you have a million problems
a day, and Liam wanted to be there for me.”
In fact, men’s admiration for Neeson can
undermine his ability to play a convincing
tough guy in real life. Maggie Grace, who
portrays Neeson’s daughter in the Taken
trilogy, was 24 when she made the first

people like you…. I will look for you, I will
find you, and I will kill you.”
“We tailored the speech to scare the
living beejesus out of the guy,” Grace says.
“But it backfired when he figured out it
was really Liam and not an amazing Liam
impersonator. He was so excited. ‘Liam
Neeson called my office! That’s the coolest
thing ever! Do you have a video of it?’ Liam
and I laughed so hard.” Still, even if that
prank call failed to intimidate, “What girl,”
says Grace, “doesn’t want a father figure like
Liam freakin’ Neeson to watch out for her
now and then?”


eeson has made some 70 movies,
15 in the last three years alone. In
April he stars as an aging hit man
in Run All Night, has a small part
in the comedy Ted 2, and then the



That work ethic was forged in Neeson’s
modest upbr ing ing in the Nor thern
Ireland town of Ballymena. “I’m not
going to give you some sob story about
how we were at death’s door because
of poverty,” he says, “but we were very,
very working class. My mother worked

as an assistant cook. My father had,
let’s say, long periods of unemployment
a nd event ua l ly bec a me a g ra m ma r
school custodian. So money was tight.”
Neeson began working on construction
sites when he was 15. “You got paid on a
Thursday, and you came in and handed
your wages to your mom,” he says. “It
was a great feeling of achievement. It
does make you feel grown up. It does
make you feel responsible. You realize
your place in the world when you have a
job, and when you get paid in that little
brown envelope, it connects you to the
rest of working humanity, and that just
felt very, very comforting.”

ago,” Neeson says. “He’d find out where this
gentleman was being buried, and he’d walk
there. He was a fantastic walker. When
I was 6 or 7 or 8, he’d sometimes make
me go with him, and we’d walk for what
seemed like miles. I remember standing
around those graves, just the priest, an altar
boy, my grandfather and me while some
prayers were said. That became my grandfather’s later-life vocation. He believed
every life means something. Like Biff
Loman’s mother says to her son in Arthur
Miller’s Death of a Salesman, ‘Attention
must be paid to such a man. Attention must
be  paid.’ ”

eeson began acting when he was
11, attracted to the stage because
a girl he liked who had “skin of
alabaster and cherry-red lips” was
starring in the school play. He
kept acting in school productions and later
attended Queen’s University in Belfast.



Clockwise from left: Neeson as Sir
Gawain in Excalibur, with Jake Lloyd
and Ewan McGregor in Star Wars:
Episode I—The Phantom Menace,
in The Grey, onstage with Natasha
Richardson in Anna Christie, and as a
single dad in Love Actually.




title role in A Monster Calls, an adaptation of the children’s fantasy novel. Clearly,
even if that reported $50 million Taken 3
windfall is off by a few mil, he’s not doing
back-to-back flicks for the paycheck. Instead
Neeson works nearly nonstop because, he
says, “I absolutely adore the business” and
because people ask him to. “I get a kick out
of complete strangers getting in touch with
my agent or sending me a script that they
want me to be in,” he says. “There’s a part
of me that’s like the little boy in a toy shop
thinking, Oh, I want to have that, I want
to have that, and I want that. Can I do both
those jobs? Can I do all three? And you know,
I also want to please everybody and do it all.”

He lear ned another lesson about
humanity from his grandfather, a steamengine driver. Once he retired, he’d scan
the newspaper every morning to see who
had died. “Inevitably he’d find some name,
say O’Rafferty, and he’d think, I wonder
if that was the guy I worked with 30 years

Interested in becoming a teacher, he took
classes elsewhere, but those studies didn’t
hold his interest, and he dropped out to
pursue acting. He joined the Lyric Players’
Theatre in Belfast and two years later began
performing with Dublin’s famed Abbey
Theatre. At 28 he got his first high-profile

movies as he’s flipping through TV channels,
he winces. In Excalibur, for example, “I’m
chewing up the scenery,” he says, then adds,
“God knows I’ve done some not-very-good
movies. But it’s always a learning curve,
always. I  always try and come away from
the experience having learned something or
some things.” His more recent acting is less
likely to make him cringe. “Overall I think
I’m a much better actor now that I’m older,”
he says. “I feel very comfortable in front of a
lens and nothing throws me off. Be I in a suit
of armor with a false beard, on horseback
being chased by dragons or looking at a
Russian terrorist: It’s OK; this is the story.
This is what I have to do. And I l  ike to think
I’ve minimalized my acting over the years,
meaning I’ve achieved something whereby
less is more.”
Megaton says Neeson is very precise
in his acting. “He likes to go very far into
the realities of his character,” the director
says. “We had an ex-CIA agent consulting
on Taken 3, and Liam would ask lots of
questions, like how he’d walk into a
room when he knew that inside there
were people with weapons.”


There were lots of other high-profile roles:
in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York
and Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives,
in Star Wars: Episode I—the Phantom
Menace and Batman Begins. Straddling
genres, he did Westerns (Seraphim Falls)
and comedies (A Million Ways to Die in the
West and Gun Shy),
battled the bad guys
Do you know Liam’s signature movie lines?
Test yourself @
on a submarine (K-19:
The Widowmaker) and
you’re falling in love with Helen Mirren? It a plane (Non-Stop), and fought off wolves
(The Grey) and deviant drug lords (A
doesn’t get any better than that.”
After that action fantasy, Neeson had Walk Among the Tombstones). Leaving his
supporting roles in movies such as The snarling demeanor aside, he voiced Aslan
Mission, an 18th-century adventure star- the lion in the Narnia movies, and the good
ring Robert De Niro, and played opposite cop and bad cop in The Lego Movie.
Neeson says when he
Cher in Suspect and Diane Keaton in The
catches some
Good Mother. Fans of Sonny Crockett and
of his old
Rico Tubbs might recall Neeson’s
portrayal of a former member
of the Irish Republican
Army in a 1986 Miami
Vice episode.
His first starring
role was the 1990
fanta sy thr iller
Darkman, and in
1993 he was cast as
Oskar Schindler in
the masterful Steven
Spielberg Holocaust
d r a m a S c h i n d l e r’s Li s t ,
which led to an Academy
Award nomination. But his
performance left him dissatisfied.
(“I thought the film was quite
extraordinary except for myself,”
he has said. “I didn’t own the part.
I didn’t see enough of me in there.”)
He would go on to win critical
raves playing an 18th-century
Scottish Highlander in Rob
Roy, the Irish revolutionar y Michael
Collins and sex
researcher A lfred
Kinsey in  Kinsey.
movie role, Sir Gawain in Excalibur. The
1981 film starred Helen Mirren, and the
two began a romance that lasted four years.
“I fell in love with Helen Mirren,” Neeson
recalled on 60 Minutes. “Oh my God. Can
you imagine riding horses in shiny suits of
armor, having sword fights and stuff, and





here’s a favorite Samuel Beckett
quote that Neeson and his late wife
shared: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No
matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail
better.” Neeson and Richardson
met in 1992 after being cast in the Eugene
O’Neill play Anna Christie on Broadway.
“She and I were like Astaire and Rogers,”

Above: Neeson with his late wife,
Natasha Richardson, in 2002.

Neeson told 60 Minutes. “We had just this
wonderful kind of dance, free dance on stage
every night, you know?” They wed in July
1994 at the couple’s farmhouse in upstate
New York; their son Micheál was born in
1995 and Daniel the following year.
“They were a fantastic couple,” Quinn
says. “Natasha was always organizing some
great gathering at their place. The parties
they used to have once or twice a year were

legendary. Natasha would take care of every
detail. She was a great chef; there would
always be great wine and spirits, good music.
She loved bringing people together. Natasha
had her shy side, but she was much more of
an extrovert than Liam, and when it came to
socializing, she was the motor.”
Whenever Neeson or Richardson did
theater, they kept the
Beckett quote in their
dressing room as inspir at ion . “ You’ve c ome
offstage,” Neeson says,
“you’ve done a lousy performance for whatever reason,
and you get a chance to go
on stage the next night and
the night after that for four
or five months. You make
it better, but you have to
be there. You have to come
back to the plate again.
You have to keep always
coming to the plate.”
For Neeson the quote
resonated beyond acting.
“You think all things are
lost, but it’s not lost,” he
says. “There’s always hope.”
It was a belief he needed to
draw upon in March 2009.
Neeson was in Toronto
filming the movie Chloe
when Richardson called
from a Quebec ski resort
where she was on vacation
with Micheál. She’d fallen
and hit her head coming down a beginner
slope. “Oh, darling,” she said to Neeson, “I’ve
taken a tumble in the snow.”
In fact, although she didn’t know it,
Richardson had suffered a traumatic brain
injury. By the time Neeson reached the
hospital in Montreal, X-rays showed she was
The couple had a pact: If either of them
was ever in a vegetative state, the other
would pull the plug. Neeson gave the directive. Richardson’s heart, kidneys and liver
were donated, “so, she’s keeping three people

alive,” Neeson says. “And I think she would
be very thrilled and pleased by  that.”
Days after Richardson’s funeral, he was
back on the set of Chloe. He wanted, he
says, to be a good example to his sons, then
ages 13 and 12. “You just say to yourself, You
can’t fall apart,” Neeson says. “And you just
can’t. You’re responsible for two lives. Of
course, it’s a tragedy, and life throws awful
curveballs at you sometimes, but you have
to cope.” He gained strength, he says, from
his family and from Richardson’s, including
her mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, with
whom he’s very close. “You could ask them to
do anything, and it would be done,” he says.
“They stopped their lives to look after us. I
was very, very lucky.”
The epitaph on Richardson’s tombstone
is “Cast your bread upon the water, and
it will be returned tenfold.” Neeson is,
by the account of his friends, extraordinarily generous. Aidan Quinn says he has
made large contributions to the school that
Quinn’s daughter, who is autistic, attended.
When Maggie Grace made her Broadway
debut in Picnic in 2013, Neeson was there.
It was the same theater where Neeson
and Richardson had performed. If it was
painful for him, he didn’t show it. “He came
backstage, and everyone was so excited to
see him,” Grace says. “He still remembered
funny stories and the names of the folks who
had been there when he and Natasha were in
Anna Christie.”
Jules Daly, who was the producer on
two of Neeson’s films—The Grey and The
A-Team—sums up his appeal. “Liam’s like
the last man on earth,” she says. “He’s chivalrous, but he’s a great supporter of women.
He’s got your back. This is a man who looks
you in the eye when he asks you how you are.
He really, truly cares. He remembers things
about your family, he wants to see pictures
of your kids, and he remembers the names
of everyone on the crew, down to the grips.
Liam defines authentic.” S
Contributing editor Shelley Levitt also
wrote the July 2014 cover story, a profile of
Michael  Douglas.

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Take the
which can be
lays the
for trust.
by Robin Amster



f you ask company executives to reveal their
“core values,” integrity is always one of their
first answers, says Joel C.
Peterson, chairman of the
board of JetBlue Airways
and a Stanford University
professor of management.
The single most important
ingredient to business success
is trust, Peterson says, and
trust starts with integrity.
Entrepreneur and angel
investor Amy Rees Anderson
borrows from C.S. Lewis’s
famous quote, defining integrity as “doing the right thing
all the time, even when no one
is looking—especially when
no one is looking.”
A nderson of fers many
examples of acting without
integrity: CEOs who overstate their projected earnings
because they don’t want to
be replaced by their boards
of directors. Competitors
who lie to customers to seal
a deal. Customer ser v ice
reps covering up mistakes
because they fear clients will
leave. There’s no shortage of
high-profile major lapses,
too: Bernie Madoff ’s longstanding operation of a Ponzi
scheme considered to be the
largest financial fraud in U.S.
history, Michael Milken’s
conviction for violating U.S.
securities laws after being the
one-time toast of Wall Street,
and Major League Baseball

star Alex Rodriguez’ use of
p er for m a nc e - en h a nc i ng
But what does a person
acting with integrity look
like? Positive examples may
be harder to find. Anderson,
who lectures on entrepreneurship at the University of
Utah, believes “there aren’t
enough of us say ing that
sometimes it’s better to lose
than to lose your integrity.”
A plaque in Anderson’s office
reinforces her philosophy:
“Do what is right; let the
consequences  follow.”
That holds true in both
personal and professional
relationships. “If you don’t
have integrity, it bleeds over
into other parts of your life,”
she says. Peterson agrees,
saying that integrity can’t be
“there is a kind of integrity
across all of our behaviors.”

“A Ton of Work”
A c t i ng w it h i nt e g r it y
can be difficult. “There are
plenty of situations that are
not altogether clear,” says
Peterson, who has collected
examples of integrity challenges during his long career
in business and academia.
In one of them, the chief
financial officer of a company
where Peterson served on
the audit committee was
unjustly accused of wrongdoing by a  regulator.

“The dilemma: You are
s p e n d i ng s h a r e h o l d e r s ’
money to protect the CFO,
and if you just fire the guy
it would all go away. On
the other hand, that’s the
wrong thing to do, and it
could destroy this man’s
life,” Peterson explains. So
he asks whether you make
that decision according to
your own standards or the
standards of shareholders
to whom you answer. “We
fought. We said [the regulator’s action] was wrong. We
won’t cave, and we won’t
be bullied.” The outcome:
The regulator dropped the
matter, and the board’s audit
committee sent a message to
the company that “integrity
matters  here.”
The committee’s action
repre sent s t he “or ganizational integrity” that
Peterson deals with in his
own professional life and in
his management and leadership courses at Stanford.
Organizational integrity is “a
broader notion that embraces
the idea of alignment, where
what you do and what you
say are consistent,” Peterson
says. “Think of a bridge or
a structure with integrity;
they’re all bolted together
in a way that can withstand
shocks. This is the stuff of
management and leadership,
and it takes a ton of work
to  build.”

More Integrity,
More Profits
In The Integrity Dividend:
Leading by the Power
of Your Word, author
Tony Simons argues
that integrity affects the
bottom line.
Simons, a Cornell
University professor
and sales management
consultant, drew
that conclusion after
surveying more than
6,800 employees at
76 hotels (all of them
franchises of one hotel
chain). He found that
small differences in
employees’ perceptions
of whether their
managers live by
their word—by their
integrity—translated into
large differences in that
hotel’s profitability.
These differences
were measurable and
significant for the
average employee of
a single hotel: Just a
quarter of a point on the
10-point scale was equal
to about $250,000 a
year, or 2.5 percent of
revenues at one of the
hotels. Simons dubbed
this effect “The Integrity
(Continued on Page 87)

Step Away to
Do More Today
Research shows that frequent
breaks boost energy levels
and increase performance.
by John H. Ostdick



he most effective way to get more
done is to spend less time doing
it, says Tony Schwartz, CEO of
The Energy Project, a New Yorkbased company with a mission to
change the way the world works.
“If you’re not creating space
for renewal and refueling, it’s like driving a
Formula 1 car around a track and thinking
that you’re going to win by being the person
who drove the fastest for the longest the
most continuously,” Schwartz says. “That’s
not even true for a car. If you don’t make
strategic pit stops to deal with the emptiness of your gas tank and the wear done to
your tires, you’re not going to win the race.”
The author of Be Excellent at Anything:
The Four Keys to Tran sfor ming the
Way We Work and Live, Schwartz cites
a grow ing body of multidisciplinar y
research that shows strategic renewal—
including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time
away from the office, and longer, more
frequent vacations—significantly boosts
workplace productivity.
The more-is-better, machine-driven
ma nt r a spaw ne d by t he Indu s t r ia l
Revolution remains prevalent in many
organizations today even as computer
technology has exponentially accelerated
the pace of information and function. But
humans are not machines that can grind
away without renewing the energy they
expend, Schwartz explains.

Changing the Mindset

Schwartz cites the work of Florida
State University’s K. Anders Ericsson as
being a game changer in this subject area.

Ericsson’s research of high-performance
individuals, including musicians, athletes,
actors and chess players, found that elite
performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than
90 minutes.
“To maximize gains from longterm practice, individuals must
avoid exhaustion and must limit
practice to an amount from
which they can completely
recover on a daily or weekly
basis,” Ericsson concluded.
These elite producers begin
in the morning, take a break
between sessions, and rarely
work for more than 4½ hours
in any given day.
Schwar tz notes that the
body regularly sends signals
it needs a break during these intervals,
but a person often overrides those signals,
depending on caffeine, sugar and the
body’s emergency reserves—the stress
hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and
cortisol—to mask the need.
“The key is to prioritize your most
important work and do it when you have
the most energy,” Schwartz says. “You also
must evaluate the value of how you feel
when you’re working even more than how
many hours you put in.”
Recently the Draugiem Group, a social
networking company, used its timetracking productivity app DeskTime
to follow the habits of its employees.
Draugiem found the top 10 percent of its
most productive people didn’t log more
hours than other employees. “The most
productive employees didn’t work full

eight-hour days, and they took 17-minute
breaks for every 52 minutes of work with
intense purpose, allowing their brains
time to rejuvenate and prepare for the next
work period,” the company  reported.
The 52-minute clock time
is not as important as being
self-aware of how much
we can do and when
we need a break, says
Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.,
a Texas psycholog ist and author
of Working in the
Smart Zone: Smart
Strategies to Be
a Top Performer at
Work and at Home.
“We have to pay
attention to our
energy levels just like we have to pay attention to when we’re hungry, when we need to
go to the rest room and so on,” she says. “We
have to have such good self-awareness—
cognitively, physically and emotionally—
that we do what works best for us.”

Nurturing Brain Function

Prevalent research also confirms that
being a multitasker decreases productivity, Fletcher says. “It’s important to
find cognitive emotional white space as
an alternative to being a multitasker. It
increases productivity.”
There’s only so much that a brain
can take in, Schwartz notes. “In fact,
it’s surprisingly little at any given time
that you’re capable of understanding in
the moment, let alone retaining. If you
multiply that by five, 50, 500, you really

Step Away to
Do More Today

are essentially trying to pour water into a
full glass. Whatever is already in there is
going to spill out. You might get something
new in, but you’re going to lose something
in the process. The remedy is not doing
more things for longer, but to the contrary,
and that’s why finding that white space is
important. Manage your energy such that
you occasionally empty the tank so that
there’s room for more stuff to come  in.”
The normal stress of the day is not the
enemy, Schwartz says. “Stress is something
you need to expand functional capacity. If
you want to build the biceps, you stress the
muscle. If you don’t recover after stressing
the biceps and you keep stressing it, then
it breaks down. On the other hand, if
you don’t stress the muscle enough, there
is no increase in strength. At the end of
four weeks, you can be weaker. Too much
stress or too little stress is equally costly.
It’s really this shift to understanding that
we are physiologically designed to pause,
and when we do, we are healthier, and we
don’t get sick.”
People often mistake the productivity
process as merely one of managing time
better. “All these apps we can use, all
the bells and whistles that can go off to
tell us what to do, that really isn’t the
key,” Fletcher says, “I always say that
time management is for rookies. That’s a
place to start. But the place to focus on is
our attention and energy, because some
things give us energy and some things
suck us dry.”

Balancing Our Energy Needs

Schwartz has long advocated that people
are at their best when they move between
expending energ y and intermittently
renewing their four energy needs: physical,
emotional, mental and spiritual.
Stepping away from one task to another
doesn’t buy renewal time, he says. “Working
on a difficult project for an hour and a
half and then answering your email isn’t a
break. What you’re looking for are forms of

renewal that restore you, make
you feel refreshed.”
There isn’t one formula for
that process. “It’s very personal,”
Schwartz says. “All you have to do
is ask yourself the question, How
is it that I feel when I’m at my best?
Most people answer that question, saying,
I feel happy, engaged, excited, focused, in
the zone. Exactly. When you notice that
you’re not feeling that way, you need to be
in renewal.”
It’s critical to learn to be aware of how
you’re feeling because you can’t change
what you don’t notice, he says.
“If you’re sit ting, stand. If you’re
standing, sit. If you’re inside, go outside.
If you’re in artificial light, seek out natural
light. That’s why renewal can be either
active or passive. If you’re sedentary, it’s an
especially good renewal to move, whether
that means taking a walk or going up and
down stairs or doing some sort of more
strenuous physical activity. What the
physical movement does is it quiets the
mind and calms the emotions, and that’s
a very valuable source of renewal. Passive
renewal is you go quiet. You meditate. You
breathe. You make a phone call to somebody you love. You take a nap. You do a
very gentle form of yoga.”
Taking a break in the middle of the
day to do something that gets everything
flowing better increases productivity for a
lot of people, Fletcher says.
“The purpose of your exercise is different
than just getting it in during the morning
or at night,” she notes. “Many people start
to remember things they forgot throughout
the day when they go to bed at night. That’s
because there is less competition for thought at
that point. But if
you work out
in the middle
of the day—
even if it’s
just a walk

by yourself—that allows the
reflection process to happen when it can
be more productive. You also can schedule
creative time or just reading or working on
your to-do list for the week. These things
won’t happen by default.”
The simple task of preparing ahead of
time for meetings instead of waiting until
the last minute can greatly increase how
productive we are, Fletcher notes. “You
need some bullet points. The preparation
determines how successful you’re going to
be.” She also urges arriving a few minutes
early to let your brain settle.
A to-do list can obviously be a valuable
tool, Fletcher says, but “if you have one big
long list—and this is old Stephen Covey
stuff—you’re more reminded of what
you haven’t finished compared to what
you have. Map out your to-do list over a
week’s time. Thursday may be a better
day to return phone calls than trying to
squeeze them in on days where you have
more  activities.”
And although some people take on the
easiest tasks on their list to build momentum
and to start checking things off quickly,
Fletcher notes that research indicates that
tackling the toughest thing first “helps you
feel powerful in a productive way.”
Likewise, she avoids a recap of the day
but instead considers what needs to happen
tomorrow. “Move some unfinished tasks
to tomorrow, but it’s not productive to get
bogged down in what didn’t  happen.”
The idea of a day time nap
m ig ht b e at o dd s w it h t he
prevailing work ethic in most
companies, where downtime is
typically viewed as time wasted,
but University of California,
Riverside, professor Sara C.

“Time management is a place to start. The
place to focus on is our attention and energy.”
Mednick ’s research in the science of
napping shows that a midday shut-eye can
help cognitive functions, problem-solving,
perceptual learning and verbal memory.
Her studies also found that a 60- to
90-minute nap improved memory test
results as fully as did eight hours of  sleep.

Outside the Office Box

There are critical, if not sometimes
obvious, steps in the renewal process
outside the office that can boost performance as well. A Harvard study published
in 2011 estimated that sleep deprivation
costs American companies $63.2 billion a
year in lost productivity.
“If you were going to change one single
behavior in your life to be more productive
for the vast majority of the population, it
would be to sleep more,” Schwartz says.
Fletcher also urges clients to spend some
time alone, whether it’s driving to work
or traveling. “Get rid of all the chatter,”
she says. “Be comfortable with your own
company because that’s when you really get
in tune with what’s important. If we cannot
center ourselves, we start to carry out other
people’s agendas rather than our own.
“We have to unplug big time. We rely too
much on being accessible. As a clinician,
I’ve had to tell people to take Facebook
off the phone, because they will complain
about how they’re not productive but immediately start talking about their Facebook
page. [See “Put Your Phone Down,” Page
15, and “Tech and Your Time,” Page 62]. We
rely too much on that. It gives us a sense
of camaraderie, but it’s at the expense of
[live] camaraderie that’s a lot healthier. It’s
a different part of the brain. We need to be
deliberate about those  things.”
The most important thing we can do for
our well-being is to pursue things we enjoy,
Schwartz says. “That’s emotional renewal.
That’s not physical renewal, although it
sometimes can be. If you think about it,
what is resilience? Resilience is the ability
to bounce back quickly from some form of

adversity. You’re more resilient when you
have more positive emotions in the tank,
so that when something bad happens it
doesn’t put you in a complete abject despair
and emptiness. You have enough in the
tank to bounce  back.”

Take Those Vacation Days

Getting away from the of f ice and
completely disconnecting from it is critical,
both Schwartz and Fletcher note. In 2006
the accounting firm Ernst & Young did an
internal study of its 50,000 employees and
found that for each additional 10 hours of
vacation taken, their year-end performance
ratings from supervisors (on a scale of 1
to 5) improved by 8 percent. Yet a
Harris Interactive survey
found that Americans
lef t a n average of
9.2 vacation days
unused in 2012—
up from 6.2 days in
“I think deferring vacation has
actually gotten
worse, because
in the aftermath
of the last recession, I think
people were terrified to take vacations because they
assumed their jobs
might be gone if they
left,” Schwartz says.
“The digital world has made
people feel that somehow they can’t
disconnect even when they go on vacation,
and that they certainly can’t go away for
very  long.”
The Energy Project keeps pushing the
envelope with its employees to determine
the optimal balance between work and
vacation, Schwartz says. “The company
offers all employees in their first year five
weeks of vacation, in their second year

six weeks of vacation, and in their fifth
year seven weeks of vacation,” he says.
“If we assess it from the bottom line,
we’ve had spectacular growth that’s kept
increasing even as we’ve added more time
off for  people.”
For years The Energ y Project had
worked at the individual level to teach
people strategies and an understanding
of this energ y-versus-time
idea, Schwartz says. “We got
fooled into believing that
because people loved it, it
meant that it was changing
both the way they worked
and, more importantly, the
way organizations worked,”
he says. “What we eventually discovered is
they love it, but they
can’t do it because
the organization
resists. When we
go in today, we tell
organizations right
from the start, if
you only want us
to train individuals
to get better at this,
we’ ll do it, but it
won’t change the
problem. It’s classic:
You are pulling the
weed, but the weed
has still got roots
way deeper; it’s just
going to sprout back
up in no time.”
The big ge s t s t ep i n
taking control of productivity is the
first one. So start your engine: Just know
when to put on the brakes, refuel and find
that checkered  flag. S
Contributing editor John H. Ostdick spent
20 years chained to corporate desks. Today
the Dallas-based writer feeds his brain and
soul at every opportunity.

To do your best work,
you have to outsource.
by Sophia Dembling

ntrepreneurs are can-do people. Do-it-yourselfers. You make it happen; you’re up
for a challenge; you do it your  way.
But sometimes that attitude can backfire. If you’re so do-it-yourself that you get
bogged down in tasks that aren’t part of your expertise, or if you spend too much time on
tasks that don’t directly generate income, you might be doing your business more harm
than good.
That’s when you should outsource.
For some entrepreneurs, turning work over to someone else is no big deal. Bring it on.
But others have a hard time letting go of any tasks, for various reasons (for more
on that, see When Harry Hecht, an Orlando,
Fla.-based mentor with SCORE—originally named the Service Corps of Retired
Executives—encounters business owners who are reluctant to outsource, he has
them track their  t ime. “I have them keep a log for at least two weeks of everything
they do and how they spend each day. Then I have them rate [each activity] as to
how much it’s moving them forward,” Hecht says. This usually opens the eyes of
I’d-rather-do-it-myself types to exactly how their time gets nibbled away on tasks
that others could do just as well or  better.
If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to outsource, the following tips and
examples should be helpful.


Deciding What
to Outsource

Having someone else take care of tasks
that are beyond your expertise—and that
includes tasks that you could muddle
through but would take a lot of precious
time—is a no-brainer.
From the moment she opened Ditto
Boutique, a luxury consignment store
in Dallas, Jane DeNike outsourced the
complex tasks of payroll and paying taxes to
a bookkeeper and accountant.
“Tax laws change. I want to make sure
everything is paid quarterly, and I want all
my W-2s to go out on time,” she says. Now,
after merging her boutique with another,
she and her co-owner plan to upgrade their
website. While they ultimately hope to
maintain the website themselves, DeNike
says, they will hire a designer to get it up
and running.
“You have to pick your battles,” DeNike
says. “Sometimes you need to hire someone
who’s a lot better at the job than you.”
Mary Beth Huffman, a SCORE mentor
based in Carpentersville, Ill., also suggests

that business owners outsource what they
don’t have time to do or never seem to get
started on, chores that take them too long,
what they dislike doing, and time-sucking
tasks that don’t generate income. “Often
owners are so busy running their businesses that they don’t examine their activities closely enough to realize that others can
assist,” Huffman says.
Some tasks are easy to do but also easy
to hand off. While you’re certainly capable
of answering the telephone, filing and
ordering supplies, why waste your time on
drudgery that almost anyone could do?

Outsource them and you’ll have more time
to focus on more important things.
In other cases, outsourcing specific tasks
is simply a shrewd business move.
Cheryl Rosner, CEO of hotel-booking
app, which has headquarters in New York and San Francisco,
works with eight full-time employees
and outsources to four specialists
who are contract workers. She relies
on these four exper ts to keep her
company looped in on the tiny tweaks
and massive overhauls in today’s quickly
e volv i ng t e ch nolog y. For ex a mple ,
any time Apple changes its operating
system or upgrades Siri, her company
needs to adapt. “We want to work with
people who are up to date in the areas
that we’re iterating toward,
so we outsource software development
but keep de sig n,
eng ineers and
product management within
the company.”

Who You Gonna Call?

You uncover outsourcing talent about
the same way you find employees: by
net work ing in person or on line,
a sk i ng for r e c om mend at ion s , a nd
interviewing  carefully.
You c a n a d ver t i s e for f r e el a nc e
help on sit e s such a s Gu r or These sites have
systems in place to protect employers and
freelancers from fraud and other risks,
which makes them a much safer bet than,
for example, a Craigslist ad, says Nick
Loper in The First-Timer’s Guide to Hiring

a Virtual Assistant, a free downloadable
book at
For instance, more or less holds
the freelancer’s pay in escrow: You pay
the website, but it won’t
rele a se t he money
until you pronounce
the work satisfactorily completed.
Another option is
to check the websites
of professional organizations—the American
Society of Journalists and
Authors, for example, or
the American Institute of
Professional Bookkeepers—
which usually provide ways to
connect with their  members.
Virtual assistants, whom you
connect with only online, are an
increasingly popular option. These
can be either independent freelancers
or those who work with companies
such as or,
which have staffs of assistants available
to their clients. has a program
that provides access to office space in 2,000
locations worldwide, with a couple of nice
bonuses: The locations will answer your
phone 24 hours a day as well as accept your
mail and other deliveries. Some companies
hire only United States-based assistants,
while others, such as Worldwide 101. com,
are—a s the name suggest s—globa l. has reviews
and ratings of many virtual assistant
When you start talking to a potential
outsourcing hire, make sure the person
understands your business and your needs
and possesses the necessary skills. If you go
the virtual route, you’ll find virtual bookkeeping services and phone-answering
services, and you could even hire a virtual
assistant to help you outsource, suggests
Paula Rizzo, who covers outsourcing in
her book Listful Thinking: Using Lists to
Be More Productive, Highly Successful,

and Less Stressed. A virtual assistant
who charges per task can help you get
started. For example, “you could have them
research five top-rated web design companies according to your budget and time
line,” the author says.
Rizzo also points out that outsourcing
doesn’t have to be limited to office tasks—
using a firm such as, you
can outsource whatever you don’t want to
spend time on, including errands, buying
gifts or planning a vacation.
You will pay either by the hour or a la
carte for services. Loper suggests that a
fair hourly rate for a U.S.-based virtual
assistant is $10 to $20; an overseas assistant probably will cost less.
You’ll want a virtual assistant with
three to five years of experience and references, Hecht says. “Talk to references in
businesses or industries that are similar
to yours.” Ask about the contract before
you see it: Is there a cancellation clause?

“O ften owners are so
b u s y ru n n in g th eir
bu s in e s se s th a t t h e y
d o n ’t ex a min e th eir
a ctiv i ti e s c lo s e ly
enou g h to reali ze that
oth ers can a ssist.”
—Mary Beth Huffm

What about the confidentiality of your
business  information?
And be sure to check out candidates so
thoroughly that you’re sure they will fit your
company culture, Rosner advises.
“A s a company, we lead w ith our
hearts and are very transparent with our
suppliers,” she says. When an accounting

firm that her company was considering
suggested that delay ing pay ment to
suppliers would benefit her company,
Rosner knew the fit was wrong. “We were
scratching our heads, thinking, Well, no,
we don’t want to do anything that would
delay payment. Why would we do that?”
She took her business needs elsewhere.

Do It Your Way

Before any sort of assistant—virtual or
otherwise—starts work, you want to be
absolutely clear on what must be done and
how. For this reason, Hecht recommends
spending some time documenting exactly,
step by step, how you do things. “You need
to map out the process,” he says. “If it’s
answering the phone, you should have a
script. If it’s data entry, you need to train
them on the program. You should have a
workbook of tasks and how they need to be
done. The more detailed you are, the more
they can be held accountable.”
While some virtual assistant services
will assign you one assistant, with others,
you might work w ith more than one
person, possibly as many as six, Hecht
says. A written workbook will save you
time explaining your processes, and it
will ensure that things are consistently
done the way you want them without your
constant  oversight.
“It does not work if you’re worried
about whether the person is doing it or
not. If you’re micromanaging, it’s just
back on your plate,” Rizzo says. She
recommends using sites like
or for managing projects.
“I’m obsessed with Evernote,” she says in
Listful Thinking. “I use it with my interns
for my blog. We have shared folders,
which we all have access to. Whenever
we have an idea for a blog post or see an
article we like, we add it to Evernote. We
also make to-do lists for each other and
can easily see what tasks still need to be
checked off.”
If the idea of letting go of anything
makes you nervous, start by outsourcing

What should you outsource?
“Take a look at anything that’s
helping you develop your
business that’s not necessarily
productive for you to do as an
owner,” says SCORE mentor
Harry Hecht. Commonly
outsourced tasks include
the following.

• Bookkeeping
• Tax preparation
• Appointment scheduling
• Answering the phone
• Responding to email
• Newsletter writing
and distribution
• Website design
and management
• Social media
• Filing
• Technical support
• Copywriting
• Data entry
• Research
• Travel planning
• Shipping
• Cleaning
• Shopping
• Customer service

one small task such as answering the
telephone. Then bump it up to scheduling.
In time, your assistants will learn your
ways, you’ll trust them to handle your jobs
with care, and you’ll be free to concentrate
on the things you do best and that build
your  business. S
Sophia Dembling is the author of Introverts
in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever
After and wrote “The Introvert’s Guide to
Networking” for SUCCESS in January 2014.
She lives and works in Dallas.

Tech and
Your Time
Today’s technology
can be a boon
or a burden
when it comes to
productivity. It’s all in
how you use it.


by Chelsea Greenwood


e live in a freewheeling carnival
of light and sound. It’s easy to
be seduced by the razzle-dazzle of our
modern wonderland; before you know it,
you’ve spent a whole day immersed in the
time warp of YouTube, Facebook, email
and Google. You emerge dazed, confused
and wondering where your time went and
what you actually accomplished.
“We’ve never lived in a time when it is so
easy to be distracted,” says Peter Bregman,
CEO of Bregman Partners Inc., a global
management consulting firm, and author
of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master
Distraction, and Get the Right Things
Done. “People sit at their computers all
day distracting themselves and getting
nothing done.”
Such is the dilemma of the 21st century.
How do you utilize technology—a necessity
for work and life—without letting technology monopolize your time? According
to experts, balance can be achieved, but we
must mindfully control technology so that
it doesn’t control us.
“You own your space. You own your mind.
You own your interruptions,” says Todd
Duncan, author of the New York Times
best-seller Time Traps: Proven Strategies for
Swamped Salespeople.. “Instead of being
reactive to technology, manage it and
own it and be proactive.”
While there are seemingly endless
ways that technology can pose distractions, there are surprising ways that it can
help your time management, too. There is
a way to get in, get out and move on with
your life. Let’s solve a few of the biggest

Managing the Email Avalanche

and the last 90 minutes of the day,” she
says. “I find that will break the habit. And
In the business world, email is a must.
it’s also a huge benefit for those particular
But reading and responding to emails
two blocks of time.” Use those 90-minute
can be a huge time suck, interrupting
us throughout
the day as we
Productivity experts share philosophies for doing
things digitally @
try to complete
core tasks.
blocks to tackle complex problems, because
According to a recent study by the
it’s easier for your brain to shift from what
McK i nsey Globa l Inst it ut e a nd
Morgenstern calls “legato” (deeper) thinking
International Data Corp., the average
to the “staccato” (shallow, quick) thinking
worker spends 28 percent of his or her
that we use to process email.
workweek managing email. With most
At night, avoiding email—or anything
smartphones offering email access, it
on a screen—is essential for
seems that we’re permanently tethered
to our inboxes, and many people feel
compelled to read and respond to
emails  immediately.
Productiv it y ex per t Julie
Morgenst er n, author
of Ne v e r Ch e c k
E-mail in


the Morning, suggests
weaning off your inbox addiction by
designating the edges of your day as a
no-email zone, using alarms on your phone
as timers and reminders. “Completely avoid
email for the first 90 minutes of the day

quality sleep, she says: “A lot of
our sleep deprivation is because we’re
overloaded with energy from the light and
information of our computers. It’s like
drinking a Red Bull before you go to bed.”


h]aYgacfYY YWh]jYh\Ub
t a l k i ng on the phone,”
h e s a y s . “ Te c h n o l o g y
cannot replace the human

Making Peace with
Your Smartphone
That isn’t to say the
phone is w ithout it s
own set of challenges.
W i t h a le r t s
for emails,
apps, voicemails and tex ts,
not to mention the distractions
of mobile web browsing and plain oldfashioned phone calls, smartphones are
one of the biggest enemies of productivity
today. According to a recent study by
eMarketer, Americans spend more than
Just a s w ith emai l, Morgenster n
suggests determining certain periods of
time throughout the day when you’re “on.”
“In those moments, you’ve got an open
door,” she says. “You can have your alerts
on and your phone out and available,
and you’re there to take whatever comes
at you.” But when you’re “off,” such as
when you want to focus on work, spend
quality time with the family or engage
in an important conversation, put your
phone out of reach and either mute it
or completely turn it off. Some phones
also offer a “do not disturb” mode that
allows only emergency calls
“If you can plan and
sw itch consciously,
then you’re really using
tech to its advantage,
and it’s not leading
you, but you’re i n
control of it as a tool,”
Morgenstern says.

Another idea is to disable all alerts on
your phone and simply check your texts,
emails, apps, etc., when you feel like it. “I
don’t want other people to have control over
my time,” Bregman says. “We’ve allowed
other people to take control over our focus,

Resisting Clickbait
need to use the Internet for a productive
purpose, such as doing research, and you’re
tempted to stray from your task by “clickbait” links, pop-up ads, paid search ads
and more.
In such scenarios, Morgenstern suggests
being very mindful and focused about your
goals. “Before you go online, think of it as
a meeting with an agenda,” she says. “Ask
yourself, What am I going for? How long
is this session going to last? How do I know
when I’ve achieved my results? Predefine
what success is going to look like.” She also
advises using a timer to limit how long
you’re online; use the one on your phone
or use the handy Google timer function
by entering “set timer for X minutes”
into the Google search box.
Breg man recommends online
t ime -tra ck ing tools such a s
RescueTime, which can be very
eye-opening. “At the end of the
day, you look at it and say,
Wow, I spent three hours on
YouTube instead
of doing



After you adjust to these initial
inter vals, you’ ll be able to
create more 90-minute concentration blocks throughout your
day so you can focus on important tasks.
Filter ing email is an
i mpor t a nt but u nder u se d
function, Duncan says. He
suggests creating a priority
inbox for messages from
your most impor tant
c ont a c t s , s uc h a s
your boss, partner
or top clients.
Then you can tend
to the most pressing
needs before the rest. He
also likes the email program SaneBox,
which uses past interactions in your
inbox to determine the importance of
Our experts also observe that many
p e ople wa s t e t i me c om mu n ic at i ng
via text or email when a phone call or
in-person meeting would more quickly
and clearly get the message across.
Morgenstern says to avoid using email
for brainstorming, high-value decisionmaking and when tone really matters in
interpersonal communications. “If the
tone comes across poorly, it’s going to cost
you time on the other side with cleanup,”
she says.
Bregman agrees: “We are in danger
of replacing relationships with transactions. The relationship is very important.
You need to have those relationships in
cfXYfhcY YWh]jY`maUbU[Yh\YhfUbgUW!
tions.” So if you have a healthy relationship with a client, then using email for
simple transactions—setting appointaYbhg WcbÇfa]b[WcbhfUWhg YhW"»]gÇbY"
But don’t rely on email or texting to form
Duncan concurs. Communicating
more effective; meeting in person is 10


my research. That data helps you make smarter decisions
tomorrow,” he says.
If you need to use other programs on your computer but
can’t resist surfing the net and wasting time, check out apps like
Freedom, which blocks Internet access for up to eight hours at a
time so you can focus on the matter at hand.

Tech Shortcuts
One way Bregman stays productive is to designate devices for
distinctive uses. “What I love is a Wi-Fi-only-enabled MacBook
Air with a 12-hour battery life,” he says. “The keyboard is efficient,
and I’m not going to be surfing the web or watching movies on it
because of the battery life.”
Meanwhile, he reserves his iPad only for workout sessions.
“I still sort of want to return it,” he says. “Ultimately it’s so
distracting. Any efficiency I save from using it is not worth the
Another great tech tool for anybody working in an office is
a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. Not only do they
block the sound of chatter and ambient noise, but they also send a
clear signal to co-workers that you’re in the zone.
Morgenstern is a big proponent of the app Eternity Time Log
Lite, which tracks the way you spend your time. “In this world of
tech, we lose track of our time,” she says. “We’re so fragmented;
we don’t know where our time goes.” With the app, a user creates
categories for different activities—work, family time, reading,
etc.—and clocks the amount of time he or she spends on each
activity. “It will give you a report at the end of the day or week on
where your time goes,” she says. “Just timing themselves raises
my clients’ consciousness, and they are less prone to distractions.
They will stick with something longer. And it gives great insights.”

“We’ve never lived in a time when
it is so easy to be distracted.”
Morgenstern also uses the app Sleep Cycle with clients. When
placed on a bed at night, it measures sleep cycles and wakes
you up at the optimal time for feeling rested. It also reports on
your quality and quantity of sleep so that you can improve sleep
patterns. “There’s a vicious cycle, because the less sleep we have,
the worse our judgment is, and the less efficient we are, the longer
our workdays,” she says.
Ultimately, the biggest lesson is to know when to turn technology off and embrace the important things in life.
“You have to make conscious choices of things you do away
from a computer to engage your whole brain,” Morgenstern
says. “Who wants to live in a screen when you can have a full
360-degree human experience?” S


Seeds of

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Chelsea Greenwood is a South Florida writer and editor who
contributes to various regional publications. She wrote “The
SUCCESS 25” article in January.


What small businesses need to know
for e-commerce success today
by Jim Hopkinson



f you’ve been running a successful
retail business for years, eventually
your sales might someday seem to
hit a brick (and mortar) wall. And if you’ve
been attracted by the allure of an online
store—where the rent is cheap and the
selling hours are 24/7—rest assured that it’s
easy to get started and that the rewards can
be  significant.
Online sales crossed $1 trillion for the
first time in 2012. Driving this trend are
purchases via smartphones. The Census
Bureau found that mobile commerce in
the U.S. is growing at three times the
rate of general e-commerce. This means
consumers don’t even need to be sitting in
front of a traditional computer to fatten
your bottom line. Here are more reasons
why online sales are alluring:
Increased sales with flexible hours. Say
you’re running a retail business in Boston.
An online store allows you to sell to your
local customers long after you’ve closed for
the night, as well as bring your product to
someone in Boise, Berlin or Buenos Aires
365 days a year. So go ahead and take that
much-needed day off once in a  while.

online and bring them to brick-and-mortar
retail based on proven popularity.
Your customers demand it. Ne w
Yorkers already live in a world where food
(Seamless), laundry service (Washio),
transportation (Uber), massages (Zeel) and
doctors (Pager) can be summoned to their
doors within an hour, simply by using an
app. If customers can’t get your product
quickly and easily, they’ll simply move on to
the next website.
The following steps can help you either
get started in e-commerce or put a charge
into your existing retail website.

Step 1: Be clear about
your business model.

Whether you’re an established brick-andmortar shop looking to start selling online,
a new venture ready to launch a web-based
business from scratch, or a hybrid, you
need to deal with the business side as your
first  priority.
Nishant Saxena, co-founder of website
a nd e - com merce development f i r m
SAXENA, says, “Too many people put
their immediate focus on the website
itself. The companies that
we’ve helped bring online
Find tips for managing e-commerce
most successfully already
have a clear vision of their
Additional inventory. When you run a business. This includes a deep knowledge
physical shop, space limits the merchandise of the industry and the types of products
on hand. Not so online. You can use your they offer, scouting the competition, clarity
website to offer oversized products that about their ideal customers (and how to
are difficult to display, niche items with attract them), and having a compelling
customized features, or special orders. The marketing message. The technology behind
web even allows you to test new products it is just a tool to get the job  done.”

The socially conscious sunglasses
company Waveborn, similar to TOMS
Shoes or Warby Parker eyeglasses, is a
prime example. “We know that our typical
customer is an urban professional in his 20s
or 30s who values the opportunity to help
others as much as he values durability or
high-quality lenses,” says CEO Mike Malloy.
“Given how loyal consumers are toward a
particular cause, it’s not surprising that 25
percent of our customers buy a second pair
within a year of purchasing their first pair.”, the online shop offering
about 15 products, markets to maximize
its appeal to these core customers—and
to great success. The company has funded
more than 1,000 sight-restoring cataract
surgeries by donating a portion of its
profits to charity partners aligned with
its mission of improving sight, preventing
blindness and creating measurable impact
in the  community.

Step 2: Sketch your
product path.

Map the path that your products will
need to take—literally sketch it out—in
order to follow the flow of your production.
Steps will include:
• Where is it manufactured?
• Where is inventory stored?
• How will sales be handled?
• What is the payment structure?
• Who handles customer service?
• How are rush orders fulfilled?
Fortunately, a lot of the heavy lifting
(both literally and f ig uratively) can
be outsourced. Many manufacturing



Facebook page, or users who typed in your
website name directly.
For more detailed data, check out
companies such as Crazy Egg, Unbounce,
Optimizely, KISSmetrics and Mixpanel.
These websites allow you to view heat maps
(visually highlighting exactly where users
are clicking), scroll maps (showing
how far down users scroll on a long
Learn to amp up your SEO
page), A/B testing (trying multiple
offers to see which results in more
store is about discoverability. Entire indus- sales), and funnel analysis (revealing the
tries have been created around Internet point at which users drop out of your sales
marketing and search engine optimization, process). Each company offers a free trial
or SEO, so make sure you’re up to speed on period followed by tiered pricing ranging
best practices, such as building keyword- from free to $2,000 per month or more for
rich content around your products and sophisticated, high-volume plans.
being active on social media platforms
that are relevant to your customers. For Step 3: Choose your
example, a consumer-facing, design- technology.
centric company might target Pinterest or
Now that you’re ready to start building
Instagram, while a small business looking out your online store, consider these
to engage in direct conversations should options, depending on your situation.
probably focus on Twitter.
DIY—For companies that are beginA huge advantage of selling online ning their e-commerce venture and are
is that just about ever y thing can be comfortable digging into the technology,
measured. At minimum, take advan- do-it-yourself is a possibility. While many
tage of free Google Analy tics, which might still think of WordPress as the
shows audience demographics and top popular and free site for those looking
sources of traffic, such as results returned to start a blog, major companies,
from online searches, clicks from your brands and celebrities—such
companies also handle fulfillment, and
companies such as now
lend their expertise to make your job a
lot  easier.
Once the product side is set, think about
your customer experience. While a retail
store might be all about location, an online


as Best Buy, UPS, NASA, The New York
Times, BBC A mer ica , Har vard Law
School, the Dallas Mavericks, the Rolling
Stones and Beyoncé—are using the platform as well ( Once you
have determined your content and its
placement on a WordPress template, it’s
easy to install an e-commerce plug-in such
as Woo Commerce, a software add-on that
integrates with WordPress to add storefront functionality (free to install but may
require additional  fees).
Sell with the big boys—One easy way
to get started is to set up your store with
websites like Shopify, Amazon, eBay or
Etsy. These sites allow you to integrate
your website with their commerce capabilities such as payment methods, account
login, shopping carts, coupon codes and
suggesting related products that are for
sale (the person buying your custom-made
dresser might also be interested in your
mahogany mirror). Fees vary widely based
on your setup and may include monthly
plans, a cost per item and various transaction fees, so read the fine print carefully and then run
some numbers to
be sure you’ve got
a firm handle on
real costs. The
good news is that
these large sites
prov ide plenty of
guidance, including
wikis, user discussion
forums, resource guides
and video tutorials.
Go custom —The
final option is to hire
a design/development
shop to create a custom
solution for your company.
This path provides a lot
more hand-holding and the
ability to add a higher level of

customization, such as integrating sites
like for customer relationship management (CRM) or specific design
considerations. Costs vary widely, but a
pro might cost a few thousand dollars (or
less); an advanced website for a small business probably will run $10,000 and up.

Evolving and Evaluating
As companies grow and needs change,
they’ll often switch platforms. For instance,
Bread and Badger, a five-employee business that sells sandblasted glass and
ceramic gifts, migrated its online store
from WordPress to Shopify, which helps its
clients manage inventory, orders, price cuts
and customer relationships. In addition,
clients can use the Shopify Payment system
or PayPal for secure transactions. Shopify,
which offers a free 14-day trial, costs from
about $30 to $180 per month, depending
on which plan is chosen; the fees include
hosting as well as the software.
Websites such as, which had
$1.35 billion in sales in 2013, make it easy
for practically anyone to start selling in an
online store. Merchants pay Etsy 20 cents
per item posted plus a 3.5 percent commission on the sale. Deb Myatt took her lifelong
hobby of creating custom quilts and pillows
and set up an online shop called Hattie
Belle Studio—at age 64. “I was looking
for a project as I transitioned from the
corporate world into retirement, and Etsy
helped handle everything… postage, selling,
analytics and promotion tips. What’s
amazed me is that it’s so human—personto-person selling, yet with all the perks of a
big business.”
Regardless of your choice, pay special
attention to both the visual design—the
look and feel—as well as the overall user
experience: Does the site load quickly? Is
it easy to navigate? Is the checkout process
simple? Also make sure your website is
mobile-responsive, which ensures that

users can navigate easily whether they’re
viewing from a 21-inch desktop monitor,
a 9.7-inch tablet or a 4-inch mobile phone.

What about selling services,
not products?
Just because you don’t market something physical doesn’t mean you can’t
generate sales online. In fact, selling your
services avoids the problems
of managing inventory and
resolving complaints about
packages left on doorsteps in
the rain., which
ha s $1 m i l l ion a n nua l
revenue, is a case in point. The

“ allows users to map out
what they want and purchase the services
they need online. It’s really streamlined
the process for us to get an event qualified
and ready for production in a fraction of
the time while reducing overhead by more
than half and increasing our sales exponentially.”

While a retail store might be
all about location, an online
store is about discoverability.
company helps people plan weddings and
events in public places like Central Park
and South Beach, handling all the tedious
logistics while navigating the client almost
effortlessly through the red tape. With
enormous growth in recent years through
the power of online sales, IDoCelebrate
is now working with SAXENA to bring
its event-service offerings online with a
fully customizable sales, management
and production system. Users will be able
to take planning into their own hands
and coordinate everything online, from
selecting the musician to catering. This
allows customers to buy services before and
after office hours, with the company doing
follow-up oversight.
“Our goal is to meet or exceed expectations at the highest level of customer
ser v ice,” says founder Thomas Noel.

The Final Package
Will your online commerce site have
the chance to be a major part of your business or just be a side hobby to generate
extra  revenue?
A major benefit to launching and running
an online store is that companies can start
small and gauge interest, land those first
few customers, and then iterate and expand.
These steps allow an entrepreneur to take
affordable risks and receive extensive feedback in a short amount of time, perhaps
throwing out half the things that were tried
along the way. It’s a process. S
Jim Hopkinson is an author, speaker and
digital media guy living in New York City.
In past issues of SUCCESS, Hopkinson has
written about mobile websites, social video
and business cards.

Downloading these
nine podcasts will keep
you entertained, informed and
motivated to achieve your best life.
by Josh Ellis
Headphones and earbuds ever’where. You see people wearing
them while shopping at the grocery store, driving their cars, walking
down the street, exercising at the gym or even while they’re at work.
It wasn’t this way when the Walkman came out. Why now, when
pop music is worse than ever, must everyone be listening to tunes
24 hours a day, seven days a week?
Actually they’re not. Although plenty of people are streaming
iTunes, Spotify or Pandora from their smartphones as they go about
their days, more and more are plugging into an easier-listening
genre once reserved for ultraconservatives and sports junkies: talk
radio. Except the on-demand revolution has led to a renaissance in
broadcast conversation.
Podcasts are nothing new. They’ve been around since the early
years of the iPod. But slowly over the last decade, the medium has
grown, expanded and improved. By late last year, some 40 million
people were listening to at least one podcast each month. If you
know how to find it, there’s certainly a podcast for whatever your

niche interest might be, from subjects as broad as literature or
international politics to as narrow as remote-controlled airplanes
or Star Wars: Episode VII spoilers.
But since you’re reading this here magazine, it’s a fair bet that one
of your primary passions is to reach your greatest potential in all
aspects of life—like business, relationships or health—while adding
clarity of purpose and motivation to continue chasing your goals.
This being our special productivity issue, we figured February is a
great month to highlight some of the best podcasts for SUCCESS
readers. Now instead of reading your dentist’s 10-year-old copy of
Redbook while you’re sitting in his waiting room, you can expand
your horizons.
So join the earbud-cool-kids club. You’ll be amazed by how many
life-changing lessons you can squeeze into each week while walking
the dog, cooking dinner or at countless other unexpected times.
Once you’re done with this month’s enclosed SUCCESS CD, give
these other great listens a chance.

This Is Your Life

iTunes Rating: 5 stars; 25–45 minutes

Each week host Michael Hyatt records his easily digestible show with the goal of helping you “live
with more passion, work with greater focus and lead with extraordinary influence.” The podcast
includes suggestions on everything from finding a mentor to establishing a personal brand.
In one recent episode, Hyatt offered his top 10 productivity hacks, including “get better at saying
no,” and “use templates for everything.” The idea behind the latter was inspired by Michael Gerber,
author of The E-Myth.
“The e-myth is the entrepreneurial myth, which basically talks about why entrepreneurs fail,” Hyatt says.
“One of the reasons they fail is they don’t construct repeatable processes or workflows or templates.
“So if you’re doing some task and you envision yourself doing it repeatedly, template it. In other words, create it
as if it were a prototype that is going to be repeated over and over again. For example, when I write a blog post, I
don’t just begin from scratch; I have a template for that…. There are hundreds of templates I use in my business to
do tasks I want to be able to repeat and improve upon and optimize. I have
a template for my podcast as well, as you can probably imagine.”
Just want a good listen? Check out

Eventual Millionaire


iTunes Rating: 4.5 stars; 30–90 minutes

NPR: TED Radio
Hour Podcast

iTunes Rating: 4 stars;
50–55 minutes

Each episode of this illuminating weekly listen is based
on the theme inspired by talks
from TED conclaves, large and
small. Predictably, that means
the topics are wide-ranging,
unexpected and always
thought-provoking. Every week
host Guy Raz ties together
several lectures that attempt
to shed light on things like
the future of the millennials,
each individual’s search for
happiness and how to channel
greater  creativity.

Business coach Jaime Tardy has inter v iewed more than
100 millionaires for her book The Eventual Millionaire and this
podcast. To her, it’s obvious what’s keeping the regular working stiff
from reaching the seven-figure milestone.
“They let their excuses and fear stop them,” Tardy says. “Millionaires
have fear and excuses, too, but they don’t let it stop them. They continue to
move forward anyway, even if it’s uncomfortable and even if they don’t know
exactly the right steps to take. They are masters at jumping in and figuring things out. And yes,
they fail a lot doing things that way, too, but they keep moving forward.”

The School of Greatness
with Lewis Howes

iTunes Rating: 4.5 stars; 40–80 minutes

This podcast shares inspiring stories through interviews with
entrepreneurs, athletes and celebs. The School of Greatness with
Lewis Howes is an expression of the host’s passions, including
mental well-being and health, along with productivity and
breaking down fears.
“It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves at all times and embracing where we are and
where we want to go—then the action steps on how to get there,” Howes says. In addition to interviews, Howes shares his perspective on regular “solo round” episodes.
During a recent podcast, for example, he unveiled steps for gaining clarity about what you want
in life. One crucial tactic that Howes explains: On a blank sheet of paper, write down a paragraph
or two of what the perfect day in your life would be like. How does it feel? What does it look like?
Be descriptive. Even if it’s unrealistic, write it down. Next, create the itinerary for that day. Account
for every hour.
“Ask yourself, Am I living in the spirit of this perfect day? Why not? Maybe it’s not going to
happen right away. Maybe it’s going to take a couple years. But at least we can work toward it.”

iTunes Rating: 5 stars; 25–60 minutes
We let two iTunes reviewers vouch for this one.
“I’ve now listened to at least 100 episodes of EOF,
and the content is really awesome. John
is focused, professional and does this
really well, having his guests tell
their stories of success, failure
and inspiration. That is what
makes EOFire great and why
I’m ON FIRE about EOFire!”
—Shawn  Manaher
“Entrepreneur on Fire never fails
to inspire me. I love John’s no-nonsense
but friendly interview style. Plus his guests are not the
usual crop of entrepreneurs, which always makes for
some new and much-needed perspectives in the online
business space.” —Annie DaRussky

Bulletproof Radio

iTunes Rating: 4.5 stars; 35–70 minutes

A podcast born of host Dave Asprey ’s “15-year,
single-minded crusade to upgrade the
human being using every available technolog y,” this show
features multiple downloads
per week. An investor and tech
entrepreneur, Asprey draws
on lessons from biochemists, Olympic nutritionists,
meditation experts and his own
experience to share the tips that will
help listeners reach their own peak performance. One of the most important factors in reaching
our daily potential, Asprey emphasizes, is sleep.
“As a young entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, the pizza
and beer fueled things for me,” he recalled on a recent
episode while interviewing Arianna Huffington.
“I  finally had to reject that…. I just shudder when I see
people who are making the same mistakes I did when
I was in my early 20s because, I mean, your startup
will succeed or it won’t. But there’s a certain badge of
courage, especially among young men, where it’s like,
I beat the crap out of myself, and that’s part of how
I  improved myself.”
As Asprey repeatedly underlines, it doesn’t work
that way.

The Tim Ferriss Show

iTunes Rating: 4.5 stars; 10–120 minutes
The “human guinea pig” host of this podcast,
which includes multiple episodes most weeks,
is one of the giants of modern productivity
instruction. The best-selling author of The 4-Hour
Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the
New Rich, as well as its best-selling follow-ups, Ferriss uses his show to pry
useful tips from big-name guests. Among those who have opened up to him in
recent months are Tony Robbins and Peter Thiel.

The EntreLeadership Podcast

iTunes Rating: 4.5 stars; 25–45 minutes

This podcast, which includes discussions
with business and leadership thinkers such
as Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and
Simon Sinek, is a Dave Ramsey production
hosted by Ken Coleman, the interviewer behind
One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s
Leading Voices. Episode to episode, the interviews
unveil nuggets of wisdom for leaders of all ages, such as the following tidbit
that Cuban aimed at new college graduates.
“You’re not supposed to know [your passion] yet…. You’re not going to know
what you’re going to be when you grow up. You’re only 22 years old. That’s the
time to go out and get paid to learn as much as you can about as many different
things as you can until you find something you can be great at.”

The Broad Experience

iTunes Rating: 5 stars; 15–25 minutes
Brit-born Columbia journalism professor,
writer and radio reporter Ashley MilneTyte hosts this unique semiweekly look at
women, the workplace and how they can achieve
greater  success.
Says one iTunes reviewer: “The repeated takeaway is that the workforce
needs to capitalize on what women have to offer; in fact, doing so may save our
economy. My only complaints are that the podcast isn’t longer, [that] Ashley
doesn’t have a regular segment on a nationally broadcast show and President
Obama hasn’t nominated her to head the Department of Labor.” S
Josh Ellis is the features editor at SUCCESS. He typically burns through four
pairs of earbuds a year.


Entrepreneur on Fire
John Lee Dumas


ing More



Scan this page with the Layar app
to see all of Bluesmart’s features.

This update is the best invention for carry-on bags since the wheel.
It’ll fit in the overhead! You just gotta push it! The gate attendant never listens. Your attempt to travel light and breezy for a
weekend getaway is disrupted. The next thing you know, you’re waiting at the carousel for a bag that may never appear. In the near
future, this scenario may be avoidable, thanks to Bluesmart, the world’s first connected carry-on. It syncs to your phone to perform
all sorts of helpful tricks, allowing you to track your bag’s location and receive updates when you’re leaving it behind, see its exact
weight, and even lock and unlock the bag remotely. Maybe best of all, it packs a battery that can charge all your devices, so you’re not
having to elbow some rando for access to a plug at the terminal. Preorders are underway at
—Josh Ellis


Phones and Phone Doodads
These pocket powerhouses and their accessories deserve your attention.
by Alyson Sheppard

Celluon Epic
Years ago, pop culture predicted that the 21st century would be full of holograms and lasers. While we’ve
mostly given up on holograms, we can still mesmerize ourselves with laser-diode gadgets like this one.
The $150 sci-fi device connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and projects a full-size virtual qwerty
keyboard onto any flat, opaque surface. The 2.7-inch accessory fits in your pocket, which means you can
type more comfortably from anywhere—hopefully somewhere outside of Skynet’s range.

RYOBI Phone Works
Turn your smartphone into the pocket equivalent of
Bob Vila’s garage. Power-tool maker Ryobi has released
a new line of gadgets that attach to your pocket device—a
laser level, stud-finder, infrared thermometer, noisesuppressing headphones and more—that even those of
us challenged by a hammer and nails can handle. Phone
Works instruments ($15–$100 per attachment) are
compatible with iPhone and Samsung Galaxy internal
sensors and display info like how moist your concrete is
alongside your newest text messages.


Google Nexus 6
Motorola and Google have teamed up
to release one of the most anticipated
non-A pple sm a r t phone s i n r e c ent
memory. The aluminum Nexus 6, $650,
has a huge, 6-inch HD screen, two frontfacing speakers and weighs about half
a pound. It is the first smartphone to
incorporate Android’s new operating
system, Lollipop, which can sync your
phone to your PC and TV in real time.
Amazingly the phone can get six hours
of battery life after only 15 minutes
of  charging.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
If you long for the days of your PalmPilot,
the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($600) is
the smartphone for you. It comes with a stylus! A
stylus! Use the e-pen to more precisely click on
links, highlight text and even scribble notes on the
screen. Like a PC, the Note can operate multiple
apps at once, so you can open your email and
calendar in pop-up windows and use them at
the same time. With your stylus! No fingertapping for you, big shot.

These apps are shortcuts for
your shortcomings.

Keeper (Free)

Sony QX30 Lens
No matter how great
smartphone cameras get,
taking photos with them
always feels so amateurish.
The 20.4-megapixel Sony
QX30 Lens looks like an actual semipro lens—and has
the same capabilities as a 35-millimeter one—but attaches to your Android
or iOS device. Your screen becomes the viewfinder, and the lens extends to
accommodate a 30x optical super-zoom, which (along with the price tag) makes
this attachment feel very professional. Say cheese: It’ll set you back $350.

It’s Smartwatch Time
The 2001 Ben Stiller
comedy Zoolander got
cellphones wrong: They
haven’t evolved to be
laughably smaller; they’ve
evolved to be ludicrously
larger. And plus-size
phones like the iPhone 6
Plus are so big that many
users can barely hold
them in one hand.
Most of these phones
become relegated to the
bottoms of briefcases
or the corners of desks,
where texts and calendar
alerts are easily missed.
Enter the smartwatch.
New wrist-toys made


by Apple, Sony and
others now offer nearly
full mobile phone
capabilities, allowing you
to make calls, read emails
and tweet.
While these connected
timepieces seem overthe-top, they fulfill most
necessary functions.
Until consumers rebel
against the growing
“phablet” market
and demand smaller
phones, accessories
like smartwatches will
only become more and
more necessary.

You’ve got to have a password for everything
these days, and if you’re smart, you don’t use
the same one each time. If you’re really smart,
it’s something impossible to remember, like
k7W54s8$3n. This unbreakable vault stores all
your codes.

Procraster ($4.99)
R ather tha n a simple to - do list , this
productivity app will keep you focused and
motivated to whittle away your workload. You’ll
select the reason you’re putting off work (My
task is too big; I don’t know where to start, etc.),
and the app will walk you through the steps to
complete your mission.

Sleep Cycle ($0.99)
Some mornings the snooze button gets the
best of you. Hey, it happens to all of us. This
app will allow your phone to monitor your
movements while you sleep and find the optimal
time in your slumber cycle to wake you.


Reading List
by Margaret Jaworski

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain
for Happiness and Success
by Amy Morin

After a series of personal tragedies threatened to derail her, clinical social worker and
psychotherapist Amy Morin wrote a blog about the things that mentally strong people do not
do and the things that let them sidestep self-defeating attitudes (self-pity, resentment and
dwelling on the past) to overcome obstacles and push through challenges.
Her blog post went viral in a flash, accruing 10 million views worldwide. Now Morin
expands on her post, fleshing out 13 don’ts and illustrating how avoiding these behaviors
improves your mental outlook and your life. Morin suggests that you:
• Avoid comparing yourself to others.
• Develop an awareness of your stereotyping.
• Stop emphasizing your weaknesses.
• Quit magnifying other people’s strengths.
• Don’t shy away from change.
• Don’t worry about pleasing everyone.
Writing with intelligence and clarity, Morin presents concrete strategies to help readers shift
from negativity to positivity. Her advice is crisp, precise and actionable. This is one self-improvement book that
satisfies and delivers surprises. (January; William Morrow; $26.99)

Procrastinate on Purpose
5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time
by Rory Vaden

Everything you know about time management is wrong, writes self-discipline strategist
Rory  Vaden.
OK, why? Because time management hinges on logical factors (checklists and calendars) without
accounting for the emotional underpinnings (wanting to impress or needing to feel valued) that
influence how we choose to spend our time. According to Vaden, the most successful people he’s
observed, studied and worked with find ways to “multiply” time. These Multipliers spend time on
things today that give them more time (and results) tomorrow.
Multipliers also give themselves certain “permissions”—the permission to ignore, to eliminate,
to automate, to delegate, to procrastinate on purpose. While a few of these permissions may sound
counterintuitive, Vaden devotes a chapter to each of the permissions, clarifying and explaining how
each applies in everyday life both at home and in business. He neatly wraps up each chapter with a
handy summary of key points, unexpected findings, startling statistics and action questions.
Despite his sometimes-convoluted analogies, the author offers plenty of solid advice and intriguing alternatives to making the best use
of your time. (January; Perigee Books; $24.95)


The Great
Beanie Baby Bubble
Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute
by Zac Bissonnette

In November 1993, toy tycoon Ty Warner introduced
Beanie Babies at the Smoky Mountain Gift Show in
Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“Always prepared to build hype, Warner had only two
of the Beanies available for sale at that event,” writes
Zac Bissonnette. “Seven more were on display but not
then available for order.” Implying or creating a shortage
by “retiring” certain Beanie Babies was a tactic Warner
employed repeatedly to ratchet up demand. Eventually
his scheme worked. By the mid-1990s, “the children’s toy
transitioned to an adult obsession.” Warner had orchestrated a craze that swept the country
with the help of some Beanie Baby-obsessed Illinois housewives. (At the height of the craze
in 1998, a single Beanie Baby sold for $10,000.) Warner made a fortune and thrived until
the Internal Revenue Service caught up with him.
In 2013 he pleaded guilty in a huge offshore tax-evasion case. Bissonnette has
penned a mesmerizing tale about speculative collectibles, personal demons, love
affairs, greed and gullibility. Full disclosure: The author confesses that Whisper the
Deer, a Beanie Baby released in 1998, sits on his desk. (February; Portfolio; $26.95)



Find great reads @

The Work
My Search for a Life That Matters
by Wes Moore

In this follow-up to his best-selling book The Other
Wes Moore, the author resumes his personal story with
his time as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
He chronicles his deployment to Afghanistan with
the 82nd Airborne Division, followed by his stint as
a White House Fellow working as a special assistant
to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, his time as
an Obama campaigner and also as a Wall Street banker during the financial
crisis, a community activist, a best-selling author and a social entrepreneur. Moore writes
with candor, insight and humility about his good days and bad days, about rising above
doubts, faltering and pushing through, always in search of contentment and comfort with
his life’s  work.
Moore also shares stories about the people who inspire him, such as Daniel Lubetzky, the
CEO of KIND, the company behind the eponymous health bars billed as “the dream snack
of foodies with a conscience.” KIND uses social media to spread its brand philosophy and
inspire followers to participate in its acts of kindness campaigns.
Of the 10 years covered in the book, Moore concludes that “our greatest work comes from
serving others.” Thinking about his life, Moore realizes that “the best decisions I had made…
were the ones where I let go of fear and had confidence in myself.” A natural storyteller,
Moore’s writing style elevates The Work from a good read to a great book. (January;
Spiegel & Grau; $25)

In Brief
Entrepreneur and prolific author
Guy Kawasaki has teamed with social
media strategist Peg Fitzpatrick to help
readers “rock social media.”
To that end, the two divulge
more than 100 of their best
advice and tactics in The Art of

Social Media: Power Tips for
Power Users. The book covers
12 important topics, including
how to get more followers, rock
a Twitter chat (hint: get a speedy typist),
avoid looking clueless, respond to posts
and much more. (December; Portfolio;

In A Year with Peter Drucker: 52
Weeks of Coaching for Leadership
E f fe c t i v e n e s s D r u c k e r ’s
longtime collaborator Joseph
A. Maciariello translates the
management guru’s personal
mentorship program into an
easy-to-follow course, neatly
divided into enough weekly
lessons for one trip around the sun.
Drucker believed that leaders must set
their sights on the most important tasks
rather than simply putting out fires.
Drucker devotees will enjoy reading
previously unpublished materials while
Drucker beginners will find the format
easy to dip into. (December; Harper
Business; $29.99)

In Mind Change: How Digital
Technologies are Leaving their
Mark on our Brains, Oxford
University neuroscientist Susan
Greenfield (The Private Life
of the Brain) investigates and
explains the science behind the
book’s subtitle. Greenfield is
convinced that the profusion
of digital technologies may impact our
brains at a molecular level, altering
how we think and behave. (January;
Random House; $28)



Be an
The secret is service to others.




Guy—is a strategist
and author
advising top
organizations and
high achievers
around the world.

We have all known people who
heavily influenced us and others
to take action. What did they do
differently than the leaders we’ve
known who were not as influential?
Influence matters above all else
in business. Influencers have the
ability to change people’s minds,
get them to buy and conv ince
others to see their point of view.
People with influence have already
built up an arsenal of respect,
trust, credibility and brand
strength. People want to
be around them. Clients,
colleagues and prospects
want to be a part of their
world. Inf luencers make
things happen.

3 Steps
to Better
1. Learn. Become an expert in

your industry. Whether it’s an hour
a week or an hour a day, take time
to  study.

2. Analyze. Pick out the
three or four statistics that are most
important for your success, and
make it a goal to track how your
company is performing.
3. Network. Try to connect
with someone you admire every
week—local leaders or other business
owners. Just invite them to lunch.
—Kevin Cope, author of Seeing the
Big Picture: Business Acumen to
Build Your Credibility, Career,
and Company

A few years ago I wrote the
booklet Inf luence Passport that
lists 25 best practices for gaining
this precious trait. I identified
these over two decades of
research in cultivating
buy-in and driving
people to execute.
A mong t ho s e

are giv ing recognition,
helping others win, building a

value arsenal to share, discovering
what ot her s re a l ly wa nt a nd
them to
people they
want to meet. As
you can see from
this partial list, being
“others-centered ” is
a big part of becoming
inf luential. Knowing how
to best inf luence others will
produce growth, revenue and,
overall, more effective bottom-line
results for you as well as for  others.
Results happen when people
take action. Become a person of
influence and you become a person
who creates results.

Fancy a Franchise?
It’s not as easy as unpacking a starting kit.

Maybe you don’t have an idea for a startup or the stomach to build a business
from scratch. Franchising can offer a sensible path to business ownership. It’s
important that you do your homework before investing in a franchise, though.
Some  suggestions…
Visit a franchise expo. The International Franchise Association usually holds
annual events in each region of the U.S., bringing together representatives from
hundreds of franchises under one roof. Here you can compare and contrast the wide
variety of concepts available for you to invest in, ask questions and get to know the
franchises’ support staffs.
Talk to existing franchisees. Use these interviews as an opportunity to
understand what it’s like to operate the business on a day-to-day basis. Ask about the
strengths and weaknesses of the franchise.
Study satisfaction surveys. Many franchisors conduct these polls among their
franchisees. Ask your contact at the franchises that interest you for the results. This
can help give you a wider perspective.
Read customer reviews. Do customers of existing locations tend to leave
positive comments or negative comments? Analyze satisfaction trends rather than
specific incidents.
Assess the fit with your personality and passions. There are so many different
franchise concepts available that you should take the time to find one that aligns with
your beliefs and personality.
—Gary Sanchez, marketing director, Good Feet Worldwide
(Continued on Page 80)



(Continued from Page 78)

Understanding IP
Patents, trademarks and copyrights are keys to your protection.

A small-business owner faces many unavoidable startup challenges. Keeping your
intellectual property—product ideas, brand logo and business name, for example—from
being stolen is among the avoidable ones.
The process of patenting or trademarking your ideas used to be overwhelming, but today
the government has cut down on red tape in order to foster innovation. The U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office ( has tons of online
tools to help you do a patent or trademark search and apply
for patents, trademarks and copyrights. However, some
entrepreneurs prefer to hire a trademark attorney or sign
up with an online service like Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom or
Traklight to do the legwork for them.
Here are the basics you should know:

ì A trademark protects your brand name, logo and slogan. If you’ve already created a brand, you’ll need to provide examples of
where and how you are using the name, such as on your company letterhead, business cards or website.

ì A patent protects an invention. There are three types of patents: Utility patents are inventions or discoveries of any new and
useful process, machine or article of manufacture; design patents are new, original and ornamental designs for an article of
manufacture; and for you botanists out there, plant patents are new varieties of flora.

ì A copyright, which protects works of authorship, is granted by the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyrights apply to written and
visual works and sound recordings.

—Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media

The Disorganization Quiz
These questions will uncover your organizational weaknesses.

¨ 1. Do you regularly spend five minutes or more looking for

a document? Forty-five to 75 seconds is all it needs to take.
More than that, and you’re stalling productivity.

¨ 2. Are week-old papers and documents

parked on your desk? A desk is not a

filing  cabinet.

¨ 3. Do you have

trouble finding
a particular
item that
you use

Maybe it’s best
left on your
desk, within
arm’s length.


¨ 4. Do you believe you need to see things to easily retrieve
them? Over-reliance on the eyeball system is an invitation for
immense clutter and inefficiency.

¨ 5. Do you believe you could

be organized if you only had
more space? That is seldom the
answer, actually; effective filing
or tossing what’s not needed is
the key.

¨ 6. Do you find things at the

bottom of piles that you didn’t
know were there? Then you
are quite liable to misplace
any thing! Brea k up your
piles  now.
—Jeff Davidson, The
Work-Life Balance Expert
(Continued on Page 82)


If you’ve been in business for more
than 90 days, you may be sitting on a
quick windfall, just waiting for you to
press “send” to collect it.
A recent lead conversion study
found some interesting stats about
people who make contact with a
company for information and what
happens when they do. The study
found that just over half of the people
who inquire about something, will
buy what they inquire about within
the next 18 months. The study found
that only 15% of them will buy in the
rst 90 days, leaving 85% of the
buyers in the “more than 90-days”
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to (480) 568-5677 to get your copy and case studies today.

(Continued from Page 80)

Let’s Make a Deal!
Seven tactics to create a happy ending.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez—author of
Think Like a Negotiator and CEO of
Dynamic Vision International, a
company that helps individuals
hone negotiation skills—points out
these keys to successful bargaining.

4. Don’ t fear rejection. In

business, rejection is merely the
result of not presenting a viable
argument for receiving what
you wanted; the offer is
being rejected, not you, so
stay calm and recalibrate
your approach.

1. Negotiate using the right mindset. Be confident—a

trait you can project only if you’ve done your homework to
learn both the strongest motivations and likeliest objections
of the other party. Show your heart, which can make the
opposition less defensive and more open to your stipulations.

5. Never underestimate the power of silence. Have

you ever been offered a product or service, and the seller kept
talking until she talked you out of the purchase? Get comfortable
with silence, and then your ability to win your argument, sell the
product or gain a concession will greatly increase.

2. Adopt the attitude that everything is negotiable.

A world of opportunity will greet you. Is something against
the rules? Then work to change them. Powerful negotiators
are rule-breakers.

6. Put the fi nal agreement in writing to eliminate
ambiguities. Even better, consult a contracts lawyer to

3. Go beyond networking meet-and-greets to
make real connections. Use casual conversation to

7. Carefully read any agreement or contract in full.

learn what people value in life, what annoys them, their
ethics,  etc.

—Mary Vinnedge

review documents that require signatures.
This will allow you to confirm previously agreed upon terms.


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Modern Marketing

For older generations, the prospect of interacting
with customers and building a company reputation
through social media is particularly daunting. Try to
start simple. When in person, ask your customers how
they would be interested in hearing from  you.
“Just say, ‘Hey, where do you f ind information and
news? What do you like? Would you be interested in seeing
stuff from us on Twitter?’ ” Waxman advises. “Chances are
they’ll say yeah. Or they’ll tell you they’re never on Twitter,
so it’s not worth your trouble. ‘But those email updates you
do? Those are great.’ ”
If you’re still not comfortable putting words onto paper,
Waxman suggests enlisting help. When you’re just starting
out and money is tight, that probably means asking a
word-nerd friend to edit your work or offering a modest
scholarship to a marketing student who will help you on
a volunteer basis. That experience might look good on the
student’s  résumé.

4. Even if you have a budget for outsourcing
your copy, don’t neglect Steps 1–3.
So maybe you want to refresh an established company
with a fancy new website. Maybe you want to hire a content
marketing agency to manage your social media accounts. First
make sure you’re picking a winner. As you decide, keep your
values in mind and remember your target customer.
“You should defi nitely look at the copywriters’ work, the
stuff they’ve done in the past that’s relevant not necessarily
to the same industry you’re in, but to the same format,” Tang
says. “If you’re hiring them to do an email campaign for you,
look at their other email campaigns. If you’re hiring them to do
a website, look at other websites they’ve done. If you’re a B2B
company, look at the B2B websites they’ve  done.”
And just as it’s important to be fearless when writing
your own narrative, don’t be too hesitant to speak up if


(Continued from Page 39)

your outsourced content isn’t quite what you’re looking for.
Constantly refer your out-of-house storytellers to your vision
if they’re not delivering.
“That happens to everyone in copywriting,” Tang says. “For
us, there have definitely been times when a client says, ‘This
isn’t quite right. It’s off-brand.’ But they can’t describe why. So
the clearer the picture your writers have of why things don’t
work for you, the easier it will be to fi x.”

5. Keep it moving.
Just as your company is always evolving, so should you be
tinkering frequently with your content marketing approach to
improve results. Tang suggests A/B testing to see what stories
appeal to more of your customers, and Waxman advises that you
constantly monitor your progress and make necessary changes
as you go.
Be realistic. “After six or eight months of doing the same
thing, if you’re stagnant, you have to ask yourself if what you’re
saying is resonating with people,” Waxman says.
All the while, realize that you’re probably never going
to produce perfect stories and content that last a lifetime.
Although your values may be timeless and the stories you tell are
classic, the work never stops.
Ol’ Rufus could tell you that. S

Take the
High Ground
(Continued from Page 53)

Do you act with
integrity? You can
make an accurate
assessment by asking
yourself these six
questions devised by
Don Phin, a lawyer,
author and vice
president of Strategic
Business Solutions
at the compliance
and training solutions
company ThinkHR.
1. Am I willing to say
what I’m thinking?
2. Am I willing to risk
being wrong?
3. Do I want my child
or someone else
I love to do that?
If not, then why am
I doing it?
4. Does this conduct
make me a better
5. Am I Ieading by
6. Am I taking
100 percent

Building Integrity
“Talk to the people around
you” to get a handle on your
integrity, recommends Tony
Simons, author of The Integrity
Dividend: Leading by the
Power of Your Word. “Find
ways to get honest feedback
from others. You need to find
out if—and that goes double
if you’re a boss—you have the
appropriate level of trust.
Integrity stands as a driver of
trust.” Anderson advises that
you “let those around you call
you out…. Be willing to have
people police you. Your trusted
advisers [should be] people
who will tell you whether
you’re acting with integrity or
whether there’s a better way to
handle  something.”
A s f o r b u i l d i ng y o u r
integrity and modeling it
for others, Simons, Peterson
and Anderson offer these
• Fulfill your promises…
to your staff, your investors,
everyone. If you break a
promise, you must apologize,
but don’t let this become
a  pattern.
• Keep appointments.
Doing so affects you
professionally and personally
(practicing your faith,
staying fit, being present for
family,  etc.).
• Before you make a
commitment, “stop and
soberly reflect on whether you
are 100 percent sure you can
deliver,” says Simons. “You
need to be dispassionate in
that evaluation.”

• Get comfortable
with saying no. No one can
say yes to everything and
follow through on it all.
• Examine how you react
in knee-jerk situations, as
well as how you make longerterm commitments (e.g.,
attending events, completing
projects, etc.). Use this
introspection to become
self-aware, keep score and
improve. (You can also use
this behavioral yardstick for
determining whether others
act with integrity.)
• Polish your
communication skills.
Reread that email or
report before you send it;
plan what you’ll say in oral
presentations and phone
calls. “Fuzzy communication
leads to broken promises,”
says Simons. Ask someone
to proofread written

personal courage (because
fear holds you back from
acting with integrity—
Peterson’s CFO might
have been fired without
others showing courage).
Issue apologies “faster,
simpler and aimed more
at containing the damage
[you may have done] than
at justifying yourself,” says
• Peterson advises to take
great care with the language
you use, especially when
dealing with sensitive issues
such as sexual preference,
racism and religion.
• Avoid people who
lack integrity. “Do not
do business with them,”
Anderson writes in a blog
post. “Do not associate with
them. Do not make excuses
for them. It’s important

Famous folks sound off about integrity

communications and point
out ambiguities before you
distribute them.
• Consider the habits and
skills you need to develop to
enhance your integrity. You
might need to stop certain
actions (e.g., speaking
impulsively or sugarcoating
your responses). And you
might need to improve
on others: building your

to realize that others pay
attention to those you have
chosen to associate with,
and they will inevitably
judge your character by the
character of your friends.” S
Robin Amster is a New Jerseybased freelancer who writes on
business, travel and interior
design. This is her first feature
article for SUCCESS.

10 Actions You Can Take Right Now









Have you reduced
your business mission
into a compelling
message? Practice
your pitch today
and refine it to be
concise—you might
need it for that
proverbial elevator
ride someday.

Have you avoided
speaking up about an
issue that angered
you? Do so right away.
Know what result you
desire and, during a
low-stress time, state
your complaint, ending
on a positive note.

Start reviewing your
intellectual property
today (products,
processes, marketing
catch-phrases, etc.) to
determine what needs
trademarks, copyrights
and patents. Then
follow through.

(PAGE 42)

(PAGE 16)

(PAGE 80)

Nurture a work
environment that
exposes the warts
as well as the wins;
start chatting with
your team now. The
warts, or problems,
must be removed
to build momentum
toward goals.


While you’re filing
paperwork or taking
care of doing other
routine matters today,
educate yourself on
a topic of interest by
listening to a podcast.
(PAGE 70)

(PAGE 24)





Feeling stressed?
Help your heart by
removing yourself
from the situation
immediately, perhaps
by briefly strolling or
gazing out a window.
Timeouts allow you
to face issues calmly
and rationally.
(PAGE 18)

Business anecdotes
are marketing magnets
that your clients will
remember and repeat.
Right now begin
outlining a story that
defines your company.
Then complete it and
publish it online in
a week.
(PAGE 38)



By day’s end, purchase
bottles of hand
sanitizer and place
them at easy-access
locations in your
workplace so everyone
remains healthy
and productive.
(PAGE 17)

9 10

Think of chores to
outsource, maybe
bookkeeping, email
handling, cleaning
or shopping. Before
punching out tonight,
line up a service to
handle one duty so
you can tackle more
valuable pursuits.
(PAGE 58)


Jot this down as
the first entry on
tomorrow’s to-do list:
Reflect on a happy
event of the past. This
simple step can take
the rest of your day in
a happy direction.
(PAGE 36)



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