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    April 2010

    Teacher Appreciation Day Coming Up!

    April 30, 2010 1818 Views

    HOAT_thumbTeacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 4th. Whether you're 6 years old or 60, I'm sure you remember a teacher or two whom have inspired you.

    I remember when I was a sophomore, I was asked to fill in for another actor in the Spring high school musical, Cole Porter's Anything Goes. The practices were long and hard: I was quite shy as a teenager, so it unnerved me to speak on stage. After the last performance of the musical I went up to my director and said, "I never thought I would have enough courage to speak on stage!" Mr. Ruelas encouraged me with a phrase I'll never forget: "Don't you ever limit yourself!" Since then, whenever I think, "I can't do this!" I remember him telling me that phrase.

    Which teachers have inspired you? How have they inspired you? What quotes from them remind you to persevere?

    A Parent's Note to a Teacher Anonymous ?I'm the voice of a grateful parent whose child was in your class... the one who needed help to find his way You've been a special blessing as you helped my child succeed and I'm thankful for the part you had to play You gave him so much more than just the lessons in the books you gave him wings... so he could learn to fly You ignited a flame within his soul a passion to learn and grow... to never give up and always be willing to try Your encouragement inspired him and your kindness was so real but the thing that thrills my heart the most is this... By building his self-confidence you changed his life this year he believes in himself... and a brighter future is his!

    How a Paperclip Can Help You Network

    April 27, 2010 2671 Views

    Recently, I read a comment on our Simple Truths page on Facebook. Someone asked if we have any books on the topic of networking. While we don't have any books specifically about that (though we do have a book that covers the key component of networking), I thought it would make a great blogging topic! I'll really excited to hear from you all about your experiences, too.

    The topic of networking reminds me of Kyle MacDonald. Did you hear the "One Red Paperclip" story on the news? This is how it goes: Kyle dreamed about owning his own home and not paying a cent for it. On July 12th, 2005, when sitting at his desk and looking at a paperclip, he thought to himself, "What could I get for one red paperclip?" He offered it on Craig's List, and found someone willing to trade a pen. After getting the pen, he trades it for a custom doorknob. From there, Kyle's story becomes almost unbelievable. He trades for items like snowmobiles, record contracts, free rent, and more, until he finally traded his last item for his dream...a house in Saskatchewan. Watch the story here:

    So, what does that have to do with networking? The principles are the same:

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    1. Kyle always made sure that the trade was mutually beneficial. Kyle had a recording contract. Jody Gnant aspired to become a singer, and had house. So, Kyle exchanged his recording contract for a free room. Jody's dream came true... and Kyle was one step closer to his dream house. In networking, it's critical to look out for the other party's well being to truly make a connection.

    2. Kyle took objects that were worthless to him, and gave them to others that found value in them. He traded an afternoon of hanging out with Alice Cooper (famous KISS rock star) for a snow globe. Who in their right mind would want a snow globe?! KISS fan and and snow globe collector Mark Herrmann! Something that was useless to Kyle meant the world to Mark. In networking, when you receive an opportunity that you don't want, ask yourself, "who else could I help with this opportunity?"

    3. Everyone has value that they can add somewhere. Who thought that a red paperclip could get a house? Halfway through this project, Kyle realized that he was making dreams come true. You, and everyone around you, have something to offer to this world. Find that place that you're able to make a difference, and do it!

    What can you do with your "red paperclip"? What else other parallels do you see between our story and networking? How can you inspire another person today?

    Guest Post: Happy bEARTHday! by Michael McMillan

    April 24, 2010 2143 Views

    Today, Simple Truths author Michael McMillan would like to share a blog post with you:

    Years ago I met a guy named Noel. Noel was his first name—and he hated it. "Since I was born on Christmas, my parents thought it was an appropriate name," Noel told me. What he hated more than his name was his birth date. "We can never celebrate 'my day,' it's always overshadowed by Christmas," he explained. Noel wasn't a very happy person. It was rare to see him smile. I don't know if it was his name, his birth date or something else… but his attitude did seem to worsen during December.

    My birthday falls on April 22—Earth Day. Because I was in 6th grade when the first Earth Day was celebrated, my parents weren't tempted to name me Eartha, Fern, Gaia, Ocean, Zoe… or some other Earth-related name. But if they had, I don't think I would have minded. What's in a name—right? Unlike Noel, I'm glad my birthday falls on an important date—especially this one. I love the concept of Earth Day and feel honored to share "my day" celebrating it. I consider it my bEARTHday, so to speak.

    We have no control over where and when we are born, or what we're named, for that matter. While we don't control the circumstances we are born into, we do choose our responses, attitudes and actions. In other words, our choices create our lives. Our choices also affect the Earth. Hopefully as we're creating our lives, we are also creating a better world. Think about it—without Earth, we have no place to live. We couldn't exist. Recognizing this fact, can you think of anything more important than caring for our planet? I can't. That's why I'm committed to being a responsible Earth citizen.

    For me, this commitment is easy. Not only is it logical, it's natural, too. It resonates with my soul. I realized long ago when something resonates with your soul, it's important to embrace it. That's why I speak out against corporations that pollute our planet, deplete our resources and mistreat people, animals… and nature. Yes, I believe in capitalism… but not at the expense of our earth and its inhabitants. That's why I support "green" businesses.

    Doing what's right and challenging the status quo takes courage… but when we don't make good choices and don't challenge those who pollute and mistreat our planet, we become part of the problem.

    REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE… but mostly… RESPECT our planet. "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." I agree with Einstein… and the time is NOW. We need to start thinking differently and creating new sustainable Earth-friendly solutions. The status quo has lost its status. Let's make certain future generations can experience this miraculous living planet filled with its endless beauty and wonder. Together, WE can make this world a better place. Happy Earth Day!

    Earth Day: Every Day Matters!

    April 22, 2010 1888 Views

    Today, April 22, is Earth Day. We have a unique opportunity to reflect on what we can do to make our community and world a better place. What can you do?

    Personally, my wife and I have taken some efforts to be more green. There are the little things we do that we hope will make a difference in the long run - riding our bikes to work instead of driving, using our own canteens instead of plastic water bottles, recycling all that we can. However, our biggest (and, strangely, most rewarding) lifestyle change is our vermiculture compost bin.

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    You might be wondering what "vermiculture" means...simply put, it means "worm farm". These little critters, whom we bought from a fellow worm farmer, love eating organic waste and break it down much faster and cleaner than a non-worm compost. Later on, when they've broken down the banana peels, carrot tops, and cardboard boxes into nutrient-rich soil, we'll use the soil to feed our window sill tomato and basil plants.

    Like I said, it's strangely rewarding to have these worms. They've become like pets to us: we feed them, care for their well being, and proudly share them with friends and family. As much as we feel good about giving them a home and food, we know that they're providing us with natural fertilizer and a bit of companionship. Something that started as a side project has turned into a labor of love!

    To celebrate Earth Day, here's a movie to encourage you:

    What can you do to make a difference in your community? How have you changed your habits recently?

    Three Cheers for our Administrative Professionals!

    April 21, 2010 1791 Views

    No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. ~Author Unknown

    As you may know, I normally write my usual "Mondays with Mac" on Mondays. Today, though, I wanted to send out a special blog post to the support staff here at our offices at Simple Truths. It's Administrative Professionals Day...and when I sit back and think about where we would be without our administrative assistants, I realize how much they contribute to the success of our company!

    There's a saying that goes, "The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." Well, I think that saying especially applies to my personal assistant, Darci. Sometimes, we misunderstand how much work she puts into her projects, because she makes it look so easy. Our company meeting always go off without a hitch, our mail is always organized and delivered promptly, and no birthday is ever forgotten. She even sweats the small stuff...the offices are always well stocked with snacks! Therefore, I'm happy to acknowledge her behind-the-scenes work that is just as important as our marketing crew, technical department, accounting, and more.

    I wish I could point out all the ways others in our building keep the wheels turning...but this blog post would be more like a novel. So, I'd like to hear from you: Who do you have to be thankful for where you work? Why are they so crucial to your success?

    To Life,

    Mac Anderson

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