Security Awareness Month

In keeping with my promise about not talking about security I enter this, my once a year, security tinged article.

I was having a discussion with some guys the other day about using the community based wireless available through Xfinity and AT&T.

To my surprise most of the guys said they absolutely refuse to use any of those public networks.

So I asked them why?

They said that they were insecure and that from a security perspective it was completely unsafe to use any form of publicly available Wi-Fi.

Being that I use the community Wi-Fi provided by Xfinity quite often I thought this was a silly stance.

My rebuttal was…

Do you use a condom every time you have sex?

Everyone laughed.

You see, our security views are based largely on fear and ignorance.

It’s fear that makes us afraid of Russian hackers.

On the flipside it’s ignorance that makes government officials set up their own email servers.

Society in general - has no clue about security.

As a result, there is a lot of fear and misinformation around this topic of security.

At best all we can hope for is that people can learn the concept of having common sense. 

Of practicing safe actions when using technology.
Of not clicking on things just because they look interesting.
Of not opening an email because it says free something or whatever.
Of not installing some app on your phone because it looks cool.
Or worse just because it’s free and the one you really want you have to pay for.

It’s things like this that are common sense for some but very uncommon sense for others.

This results in lost productivity.
This results in malware getting onto your computer.
This results in people continuing to not have a clue about security.

 

There’s a big problem with technical literacy in our country.

It causes problems every day.


My role is to help people understand and make good technology decisions.

Helping one business at a time.

Helping one person at a time to make the world a better and safer place.


Happy Security Awareness Month!

Be safe.

The Mall Was The Web

My parents came to visit and we got to talking about shopping.

You see, my neighbor buys pretty much everything online.

There’s a package outside their door practically everyday.

And so we got to talking about why that is.

My mom said she likes to go to the mall and look around.

She searches around until she finds the item she wants and then checks out.

I explained to her the concept of buying stuff online and she said that it just wasn’t for her.

She likes going to the mall.

She’s old skool.

Which got me thinking about how year’s back the mall was the web.

Very much like shopping online today, you’d go to the mall, find the product you were looking for and then check out through their checkout process.

Nowadays, the whole experience of looking around, finding what you need and then buying it has been replicated in a digital medium.

They say the malls are dying.

And so I put the statement to a test.

I went and visited a few malls around and you know what?

The malls are dying.

Fewer and fewer people are going to malls in my neck of the woods.

While there are some that get more traffic than others the experience has definitely gone online.


If malls can die then what does that say for other brick and mortar businesses?

As time changes your business can become a dinosaur.

It’s the people who figure out how to transform their businesses into an online model that will stand the test of time.

Notice I didn’t use the word replicate because that’s not really what going online is all about.

My mom is pushing 80 and so online shopping isn’t going to be a thing for her.

But it’s not too late for you.

I enjoy helping businesses grow into the future.

Transformation is the key.

It’s the route to growth.

It’s the route to the future.

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

It would seem that we’re always waiting on something.

Waiting for someone to call us back.
Waiting for someone to respond to their email.
Waiting to see what’s up?
Waiting for a yes or a no?

But it doesn’t have to be that way.


What if you removed the word waiting from your vocabulary?

What if instead you replaced the word waiting with - my next step is…


So for example if today you’re waiting on someone to call you back then the new newly converted phrase would be - I’m going to call them back in an hour.

The same goes for if you’re waiting for a yes or a no.

Let’s say you’re waiting on a client to buy your services.

The updated version of that would be - I'm picking up the phone, calling the client and saying are you ready to move forward?


The truth is - When most of us use the term I’m waiting it’s a behavior we’ve created to not take action.

Or slightly worse - you’re just making an excuse.

Just think if you were never waiting again?

Imagine that everything in your life is up to you.

It’s up to you to move the ball forward.
It’s up to you to get things done.
It’s up to you to create your own happiness.
It’s up to you to move forward.

Waiting doesn’t help anybody.

Putting the ball in someone else’s court does not mean you’re waiting for them.

You’re merely giving them an opportunity to reflect and decide.

It’s still up to you to get the ball back.

If this is all too heavy.

If it’s too much to deal with.

You might have some other stuff you need to work on.

Bob Marley said - I don’t want to be waiting in vain.
Tom Petty said - The waiting is the hardest part.

And Dr. Seuss said - The waiting place is an awful place.

We are not men of words.

We are men of action.

Strike the word waiting from your vocabulary today.

It doesn’t exist.

It’s up to you to create your own reality.

If you mess up.

That’s okay.

Don’t be hard on yourself.

Pick yourself up and keeping moving forward.

Productivity Producer

I get it.

You’re thinking...

I’m really busy.
I’ve got a million things going on so yeah, I don’t really have time to talk tech.
What’s a tech guy good for anyway?
They cost me money.
And I’ve got other things I’m focused on.

Here it is.

I can help you make more money.

I can help your business scale.

I’m a productivity producer.


But it’s a two-way street.

It’s a 50/50 partnership.


So what do you say?

You in?


Most business owners view technology as an expenditure.

And that’s a very real view.

It’s fair.

Still, some business owners see tech as leverage.

They see it as a way to move their business forward.

They see it as a competitive advantage.

And you know what?

They’re right to.

Still, you know I am not telling you anything you don’t already know.
It comes down to action.

Are you ready to take action?

If you want to improve.

If you want to grow.

Then let’s get the tech right in your business.

Is Task Management Evil?

Wunderlist seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.

It was purchased by Microsoft a little ways back and as a result its life is ending.

Granted we don’t know when but the Wunderlist site says it’s going to happen.

Which means I have to find a new app.

So as I usually do, I made a list of requirements of what I am looking for and then started on my merry way downloading apps, reading reviews, researching and shopping for a new task management app.

In going through the process it became more and more apparent that task-based apps seem to create an undesirable effect.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me, checking off a box every time you do something makes me feel kind of like a lab rat. 

Woke up this morning, check a box.
Ate breakfast, check a box.
Worked out, check a box.
Meditated, check a box.

The more and more I thought about it making lists and checking boxes isn’t really getting me where I want to be.

I have goals and desires and things I want to achieve in business.

Waking up every day and checking boxes isn’t the intended behavior.

I’m trying to get somewhere and the boxes aren’t doing it for me anymore.

While task management is all fine and dandy.

And there are several apps that do a great job.

Don’t get caught up in checking boxes and making lists.

You’re just creating noise in your head space.

The best way to reach your goals is to focus on your goals.

Make sure that your goals are crystal-clear.

Know where you want to go and how you want to get there.

And then and only then.

Take action on what will get you to your goals.


Apps are great.

But goals are greater.

Focus on the goal.

Then take action.


Keep track but don’t caught up in checking boxes.

In the end.  I ended up doing more goal refining and planning.

Still don’t have an app.

But my goals are much clearer to me.

And I know where my focus needs to be.

The Cloud 4 for 4

The Wendy's 4 For $4 is an incredible deal.

You get a burger, fries, drink and chicken nuggets all for four bucks.

A similar incredible deal is available for the tech in your business.

It's called the Cloud 4 for 4.

And whether you live in hurricane land or not it's a great deal.

Having for the following 4 tech items in the cloud dramatically improves your business reliability and recoverability..

Before I give you the 4 let me give you the benefits.

  1. Your physical location is no longer a single point of failure.
  2. You enable the ability for you and your staff to work remote.
  3. You can now work from anywhere on the planet where there's Internet or Wi-Fi.
  4. If someone is sick you can have them work from home and avoid contaminating your office.
  5. You have your company data at your fingertips anytime anywhere.
  6. Updates and upgrades to systems are now built-in.

With all those benefits I guess you could say that the Cloud 4 of 4 is the best deal in town.

So what is the cloud 4 for 4.

Well here it is. 

  1. Email in the cloud. Your options are Office 365 or Google G Suite.
  2. Files in the cloud. Meaning, your data in the cloud. Once again choose one of the above.
  3. Phone system in the cloud.  This is key.  If you choose the right system you can operate from anywhere.
  4. Your line of business app in the cloud. This includes the core application your business runs on as well as your accounting app.

So there you have it.

The cloud 4 for 4.

The brainchild of yours truly.

Implement it in your business today.

You'll be glad you did.

Why Can't I Email My Videos

I have a client that does a lot of online video.

I mean a lot of video.

Recently they did an event where several of the staff captured video on their phones.

This gave them the ability to capture different moments of the event.

It was pretty cool.

After the event staff members began emailing their videos to each other to share.

Now normally this wouldn't be a problem except for that this client uses Google G Suite.

And unfortunately Gmail has a 25 MB per file attachment limit.

So videos had to be sent as Google Drive links which is the recommended method.

This in turn caused more problems with permissions and link access.

Now I understand why you would want to limit attachment sizes but at the same time other platforms like Microsoft Office 365 allow for much larger attachments.

It's little inconveniences like this that can put a damper on your day.

In the tech world there a large problems and there are little problems.

While this issue didn’t bring this business to a grinding halt it was enough of a speed bump to warrant a discussion.

Side note… If you're thinking about making the switch to Google G Suite make sure you consider the attachment limitation if that’s a thing for you.

If you’re open to sending links then Google away!

Distractionbound

We are constantly being bombarded with so many things that it can be really easy to just give into the routine.

It can be super easy to be pacified by the distractions.

I've been thinking about how to manage the distractions lately as I've been updating my own planning and tracking system.

So as an exercise, I tracked all of the tasks that I accomplished in one day.

It was pretty impressive list impressive by any stretch of the imagination.

The sheer sheer volume of tasks that were accomplished in one day was pretty cool to see.

But when reviewing the tasks against my overall goals.

The impressive list quickly became not so impressive.

My mind then jumped to a saying I heard Tony Robbin’s say once that - where focus goes, energy flows.

And so as I upgrade some of my own internal systems it brought me back to getting the tech right in your business.

Where focus goes, energy flows.

If you don't pay attention to something it doesn't mean that it's not there.

You vision and goals are still there.

The attraction to distraction has just caught your attention. 

With that said, you're likely not thinking about or investing in your company's productivity.

Or maybe you are.

If so, that’s awesome!  We should talk.

The tech in your business doesn't require as much attention as you think it does.

But it does require focus.

Where focus goes, energy flows.

A small bucket of time is all it takes to keep your tech on track.

So carve out some time to today to put some brain cells into productivity and improve the tech in your business.

Elaborate On Your Collaborate

Some people just want you to tell them what to do.

Other people want to tell you what to do.

Some people want to do things alone.

While others just want to be left alone.


So where does that leave the collaborators?

The team players?

The consensus builders?


I met with a client the other day regarding their operations.

As part of their on boarding process I'm looking to understand their operations.

And I'm looking to understand their process so that we can make better informed decisions about how they use the tech in their business.

Basically they're using about a dozen apps and we're trying to simplify that.

Our goal is to remove the complexity and gain some operational efficiency.

So I spent some time on the phone with one of the company's operations staff.

It was a great discussion.

It was collaborative and fun.

I enjoy working with others and collaborating on ideas to move businesses forward.

As I meet with new and prospective clients.

I'm looking for clients who want to grow.

Clients who want to build a better mousetrap.

Clients who want to collaborate.

I avoid the dictators.

I avoid those who just want me to tell them what to do.

One of the most important aspects of getting the tech right in your business is being involved. 

Collaboration is king.

If you're looking for a partner give me a shout.

I'll give you the best I can give.

The Assessment Blues

Most of the Blues music we know of today is based on a musical form known as the 12 bar blues.

  • B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone
  • Robert Johnson - Crossroads
  • Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode

The 12 bar blues was created as a simple form of music to present a message.

In its most basic form 12 bar blues is a cycle.

And if you know that cycle and take action on it - you’ll have some great music.

Well at least that's the idea.

So how does the Blues have anything to do with the tech in your business?

Well, I’ll tell ya.

The tech in your business has cycles.

And if you take action when needed.

The tech in your business can sing.

Which brings me to today.

This afternoon I'm delivering a tech assessment to a client.

And there's a common theme to this assessment that’s common in many assessments - and that is…

Their tech fell off the wagon.

Meaning they're not following the cycle or what I call life cycle.

Basically this client hasn’t updated their technology for like eight to nine years depending on the device.

The environment is old and it doesn’t run well anymore.

The pain this client is experiencing is completely based on them not keeping up with the technology in their business.

They let their tech take a backseat in their business and as a result they’re feeling the pain now.

You could say their rhythm is off.

That they’re signing out of tune.

So here were are.

Let’s see if we can get them back on track to making music again.