Archive for January, 2012

THINGS WE CAN’T CONTROL (Allow, Trust) from DailyOM

Posted in "Things We Can’t Control (Allow, Trust)" from DailyOM, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

THINGS WE CAN’T CONTROL (Allow, Trust) from DailyOM

We develop grace as we learn with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should.

The idea of trusting the universe is a popular one these days, but many of us don’t know what this really means and we often have a hard time doing it. This is partly because the story of humankind is most often presented as a story about struggle, control, and survival, instead of one of trust and collaboration with the universe. Yet, in truth, we need to adhere to both ideas in this life.

On the one hand, there is much to be said about exerting control over our environment. We created shelter to protect ourselves from the elements. We hunted for animals and invented agriculture to feed ourselves. We built social infrastructures to protect ourselves and create community. This is how we survive and grow as a civilization. However, it is also clear that there are plenty of things that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try, and we often receive support from an unseen force – a universe that provides us with what we cannot provide for ourselves.

It is a good idea to take responsibility for the things in life that we can control or create. We work so we can feed, clothe, and shelter our loved ones and ourselves. We manifest our dreams and visions in physical form with hard work and forethought. But at a certain point, when we have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should. We are engaged in an ongoing relationship with a universe that responds to our thoughts and actions.

– DailyOM
http://www.DailyOM.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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SIMPLE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY by Ali Brown

Posted in “Simple Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property” by Ali Brown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

SIMPLE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY by Ali Brown

With the online masses crying out against the PIPA/SOPA bills this week (check out my recent blog post on the debate here), it couldn’t be a better time to do an assessment of your business, and make sure you are protecting your intellectual property, and not infringing on anyone else’s!

Let’s define the legal ways that you may protect your creativity:

1. Copyright. According to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), a copyright “protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.” In the United States, copyright is secured automatically when the work is created. Use © on your website, your articles, and elsewhere. Some use the free product Copyscape to help ward off plagiarists who might “borrow” your website content.

2. Trademark/Registered Trademark. The USPTO’s short definition for trademark is, “a brand name.” Use ® if the trademark has been registered, and ™ if it has not. For example, my Ali’s Success Club is a brand that I’d like to protect, so wherever you see these two words together, we add the ™ symbol to protect our brand. You do establish rights by using the trademark symbol, but in some cases, you may want to take it a step further by conducting a trademark search using TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) at the USPTO website. (Check out their Small Business section here.) After determining that your trademark is available, the next possible step is registering it.

3. Patent. Did you know that you can’t patent an idea? The USPTO grants patents for inventions for 20 years, effective only in the United States. Your invention must be “new, useful, and non-obvious.” Patents are more complicated than copyrights or trademarks, and you’ll probably want to involve an attorney with this. You can get more information here.

Now that you have some of the intellectual property terminology down, what other ways can you protect yours?

– Use Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Many workplaces require that you sign an NDA, and it’s smart. You may have already signed one yourself some time, so why not use one to protect your ideas? You can pick one up at a legal publishing company in your state or check out online legal forms on websites like Legal Zoom. Don’t reveal your ideas until you’re protected.

– Tweet carefully. When you tweet on Twitter, anyone can read it, so it becomes part of the public domain. So tweet with care, and don’t share your business ideas there before protecting them.

– Register domains for the long run. More than one big company has been embarrassed by forgetting to renew their domain name and been greeted with a blank webpage one morning. Don’t let that be you! Consider registering your domains for several years and creating a system for keeping the administration information current.

– Defend what you protect. Once you go to the trouble and expense of protecting your intellectual property, you will need to defend against people who encroach on your ideas. This takes time and money, so weigh the pros and cons of doing this. Sometimes a “cease and desist” letter from your attorney is all that it takes to make someone stop, especially if someone is ignorant of the law. Just make sure that you don’t spend more time defending what you’ve done in the past than innovating for the future.

– Consult an attorney. As your small business hits the big time, you’ll need to involve attorneys for a variety of important tasks. Do you homework and know what others in your industry are doing, and bring up your concerns with your attorney to determine your best approach.

Avoid Copyright Infringement

Even though corporations and the U.S. government still battling over how to stop online piracy, YOU as a business owner can make sure you aren’t contributing to the problem. If you pull quotes, statistics, and information for an article on your site, then make sure you give credit where it’s due. A simple, “According to…” to open up a statistic, or “(Source: LINK TO THE SOURCE)” following your quote should suffice.

Also, be weary about posting copyrighted music and images on your site or using them in your information products, logos, etc. Your best bet is to stick with royalty-free sites to grab images, music clips, etc.

Wikipedia defines royalty-free as, “the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.”

The Open Directory Project offers a very comprehensive list of nearly 50 websites where you can find music, many royalty-free. Here’s just a sampling…

AKM Music – Copyright free, Royalty free music and sound effects for television, video production and multimedia soundtracks.

All Music Library – Royalty-free, buyout, and production music tracks available as CDs or instant downloads.

BBM.net – Royalty free music loops for multimedia and web design projects

Crank City Music – Production Music Library, download premium royalty free MP3s or purchase CDs. Free production music downloads.

Cut to the Beat – royalty free music resource for Film, TV & web media producers.

Loopsound.com – Royalty free drum loops, music loops and sound effects, for use only in corporate media.

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© 2012 Ali International, LLC
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

COMPELLED TO CREATE (Embracing Your Muse) from DailyOM

Posted in "Compelled to Create (Embracing Your Muse)" from DailyOM with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

COMPELLED TO CREATE (Embracing Your Muse) from DailyOM

Nearly all creative possibilities are related to the muses that inspire us.

Inspiration is an intangible yet inseparable part of the creative process. Nearly all creative possibilities are related to the muses that inspire us. The ancient Greeks believed that all creation, whether artistic or scientific in nature, was motivated by goddesses who served as the literal embodiment of inspiration. These were the Muses—the givers of the creative spark. We still rely on muses to drive the creative process, though ours may take a diverse range of forms. People we meet, intriguing ideas, movies, books, nature, and cultural ideals all have the potential to awaken our imaginative minds. When we are touched by our muses, we understand viscerally that we are capable of producing our own unique kind of greatness.

Many people move through life unaware of the presence of their muse. This lack of awareness can be compounded by the fact that we may have one muse that remains with us throughout our lives, multiple muses that inspire us concurrently, several muses that come and go as necessary, or a single muse that touches us briefly at specific moments. You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. The presence of this force will erase your self-doubt and motivate you to give your thoughts and feelings form. Should your muse continue to elude you, however, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of falling under its inspired influence. If you surround yourself with people who support you, keep a pen and paper handy, immerse yourself in culture, and brainstorm frequently, you will soon reconnect with your muse.

Once you have identified your muse, embrace it by giving yourself over to the creative inspiration it provides. No matter what you are moved to create, you will find that neither fear nor criticism can penetrate the wonderful bliss that goes hand in hand with the act of taking an idea and turning it into something the whole world can enjoy.

– DailyOM
http://www.DailyOM.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

ONE OPTION IS TO STRUGGLE TO BE HEARD WHENEVER YOU’RE IN THE ROOM… by Seth Godin

Posted in "One Option is to Struggle to be Heard Whenever You're in the Room... " by Seth Godin, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

ONE OPTION IS TO STRUGGLE TO BE HEARD WHENEVER YOU’RE IN THE ROOM… by Seth Godin

Another is to be the sort of person who is missed when you’re not.

The first involves making noise. The second involves making a difference.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

10 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Norman Rosenthal M.D.

Posted in "10 Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence" by Norman Rosenthal with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

10 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Norman Rosenthal M.D.

Everyone’s always talking about Emotional Intelligence (EI) but what exactly is it? One important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions – in oneself and others – and to use that information appropriately. For example, recognizing emotional intelligence in oneself can help you regulate and manage your emotions, while recognizing emotions in others can lead to empathy and success in your relationships, both personal and professional.

Given the importance of emotional intelligence, I thought it might be helpful to give a very brief overview of the topic, as well as 10 ways to enhance your emotional intelligence, originally published in my book “The Emotional Revolution.”

In 1990, Yale psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey originally coined the term emotional intelligence, which some researchers claim that is an inborn characteristic, while others suggest that you can improve it with proper guidance and practice. I agree with both schools and obviously with the latter – or I wouldn’t be giving you tips as to what you can do to improve your EI.

It may not be possible for everyone to have a psychotherapist. But you can become your own therapist. (After all, Freud analyzed himself.) It all starts with learning how to listen to your feelings. While it may not always be easy, developing the ability to tune in to your own emotions is the first and perhaps most important step.

Here are 10 Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence:

1. Don’t interrupt or change the subject. If feelings are uncomfortable, we may want to avoid them by interrupting or distracting ourselves. Sit down at least twice a day and ask, “How am I feeling?” It may take a little time for the feelings to arise. Allow yourself that small space of time, uninterrupted.

2. Don’t judge or edit your feelings too quickly. Try not to dismiss your feelings before you have a chance to think them through. Healthy emotions often rise and fall in a wave, rising, peaking, and fading naturally. Your aim should be not to cut off the wave before it peaks.

3. See if you can find connections between your feelings and other times you have felt the same way. When a difficult feeling arises, ask yourself, “When have I felt this feeling before?” Doing this may help you to realize if your current emotional state is reflective of the current situation, or of another time in your past.

4. Connect your feelings with your thoughts. When you feel something that strikes you as out of the ordinary, it is always useful to ask, “What do I think about that?” Often times, one of our feelings will contradict others. That’s normal. Listening to your feelings is like listening to all the witnesses in a court case. Only by admitting all the evidence will you be able to reach the best verdict.

5. Listen to your body. A knot in your stomach while driving to work may be a clue that your job is a source of stress. A flutter of the heart when you pick up a girl you have just started to date may be a clue that this could be “the real thing.” Listening to these sensations and the underlying feelings that they signal will allow you to process with your powers of reason.

6. If you don’t know how you’re feeling, ask someone else. People seldom realize that others are able to judge how they are feeling. Ask someone who knows you (and whom you trust) how you are coming across. You may find the answer both surprising and illuminating.

7. Tune in to your unconscious feelings.
How can you become more aware of your unconscious feelings? Try free association. While in a relaxed state, allow your thoughts to roam freely and watch where they go. Analyze your dreams. Keep a notebook and pen at the side of your bed and jot down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Pay special attention to dreams that repeat or are charged with powerful emotion.

8. Ask yourself: How do I feel today? Start by rating your overall sense of well-being on a scale of 0 and 100 and write the scores down in a daily log book. If your feelings seem extreme one day, take a minute or two to think about any ideas or associations that seem to be connected with the feeling.

9. Write thoughts and feelings down. Research has shown that writing down your thoughts and feelings can help profoundly. A simple exercise like this could take only a few hours per week.

10. Know when enough is enough. There comes a time to stop looking inward; learn when its time to shift your focus outward. Studies have shown that encouraging people to dwell upon negative feelings can amplify these feelings. Emotional intelligence involves not only the ability to look within, but also to be present in the world around you.

Chapter 5 in my book, The Emotional Revolution: Harnessing the Power of Your Emotions for a More Positive Life, goes into greater detail on emotional intelligence.

Wishing you Light and Transcendence,
Norman Rosenthal M.D.

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.