April 24, 2017

Two sons with Autism – now one an aerospace engineer, the other a honor roll student

Every parent hopes they will have healthy, happy children. Unfortunately today, 1 in 50 children has autism and the number is growing. But an autism diagnosis doesn’t have to mean “GAME OVER!”

Two mothers who had with sons with autism beat the odds. One grew up to be an aerospace engineer. The other is an honor student at Northern Illinois University, majoring in computer science.

LILA’S STORY IN HER OWN WORDS
Lila White, of Elgin Illinois, bore a healthy boy at birth. As he entered his early developmental years, a medical mistake turned her and her son’s life into a living hell.

My son was mistakenly given an MMR when he was 8 months old. I was the one who caught the error when the nurse tried to calm him with the wrong name. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have walked out of the pediatrician’s office.

Lila and SonThe MMR package insert specifically states that no other vaccines are to be administered at the same time as the MMR. This directive was ignored and my son was also given his correct shots of DPT and HIB. That’s seven vaccines at the same time. A huge assault on an 8 mo. old’s immune system. To make matters worse, he was given the usual dose of Tylenol immediately afterwards. Tylenol depletes the body’s Glutathione which is its major detox system.

My son was later diagnosed with High Functioning Autism/Asperger’s. He was on four psychiatric medications in grade school.

Looking for alternative treatments, Lila attended the AutismOne conference in Chicago. Using the information gained at the AutismOne conference, her son began a difficult and successful regimen that included various biomedical treatments, vitamin and mineral supplements, and hyperbaric treatments (this treatment may not work or be recommended in many cases).

I bartered a deal with Dr. Georgia Davis of Springfield for my son to receive 40 hyperbaric treatment. I worked for three months for free. When the treatments were completed, Dr. Davis hired me full time.

Using biomedical treatments that I learned of through AutismOne, my son has lost his diagnosis and is no longer on any psychiatric medications. As we withdrew the medications, we substituted various natural supplements that supported the same body systems.

Today my son is a junior at Northern Illinois University majoring in Computer Science. He maintains a 4.0 GPA. I couldn’t be prouder.

MARCIA’S STORY IN HER OWN WORDS AND FROM HER BOOK “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE” www.iknowyourinthere.com

Marcia Hinds, of Los Angeles, California, knew there was something not right with her son.

Ryan was different from other children his age. We knew something wasn’t right, even before the psychiatrist predicted Ryan would probably end up in an institution. My son was diagnosed with autism at age four. That day changed everything. The doctor gave him and us a life sentence.

We were told there was no recovery from autism. There was no cure. There was no hope.

The diagnosis ripped away every dream my husband and I had for our child and our family. Ryan was stranded on Autism Island and our family was trapped right there with him.

When Ryan was little, we never dared to dream the things he has accomplished were possible. To hope for any future with this disconnected and distraught child was just too painful. Ryan spent every day, all day, plugging his portable radio into every outlet in the house and screamed when anything in his environment changed. There were too many mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed to face another day filled with autism.

Ryan’s doctor treated the infections and viruses that he believed were the cause of my son’s autism symptoms. But medical intervention wasn’t enough. We also needed to catch him up on all he missed when he was too ill to learn.
This was a marathon.

My fear for This is Ryan today doing what he loves most!Ryan’s future continued past the awkward school years and into the beginning of college. Ryan made his first real friends in college. Eventually he did everything the autism experts said he could never do. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, NASA awarded Ryan a scholarship for his post-graduate studies as well as a paid summer internship. He earned his M.S. in Engineering Management and Leadership in 2012.

It was not Ryan’s academic accomplishments that gave us our happiest moments. It was the everyday things that were not extraordinary in the least, except to parents of an autistic child. Ryan was your typical college student. He joined a fraternity, drank an occasional beer, went on dates, stayed out too late with friends and sometimes slept through his eight o’clock classes. We couldn’t have been more proud!

Today, my son is a systems engineer with a major aerospace corporation. He has his own apartment just steps from the beach He goes out with friends, walks dogs at a local animal shelter, and surfs all the time. Recently, he went to Bali on a surfing vacation with a friend. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because what I wanted most for him has actually happened.

There is hope. Autism is not a developmental or psychiatric disorder. It is medical, treatable, and surmountable. If a doctor tells you there is nothing you can do, don’t believe it! Never give up until you find the answers for your child.

About the AutismOne/Focus for Health 2015 Conference

AutismOne: The Cutting-Edge Autism Conference® is delighted to join forces with Focus for Health, the leader of integrity in protecting children’s health from the harmful effects of environmental and other neurotoxins, to become the AutismOne/Focus Autism 2015 Conference.

The AutismOne/Focus for Health 2015 Conference will be held May 20-24, 2015, at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL.

In the true spirit of community building, the AutismOne/Focus for Health 2015 Conference will bring a diversity of speakers from the larger international health arena who are publishing important research and fighting the good fight to keep you and your family healthy. Speakers include authors Dr. John Gray, Peter Greenlaw and Dr. Marco Ruggiero.

Spencer Maus, of SpencerConnect Communications, is donating his time and efforts to the AutismOne for Health 2015 Conference.

Tomorrow May Not Come

Over four years ago, a powerful earthquake struck just off the coast of Honshu. As news of the tragedy was disseminated, I began to think of friends with whom I had lost contact. I really meant to stay in touch…

I wrote a blog, sharing my thoughts. So as we begin a new year, a fresh start, I realized that I need to renew my efforts to reconnect with old friends, and share my thoughts with you.

japan-tsunami-damageWatching the tragic events in Japan, I wondered what they were thinking before their world shook and the waters came. Imagine an executive sitting at her desk in Japan. Not knowing what is to come. An earthquake following by a tsunami. Over 18,000 lives lost. What was our friend thinking just before tragedy struck?

“I really need to return that phone call.” “Should I schedule that meeting, or just wait until next week?” “He wants to meet for drinks after work, but I have so much to do by tomorrow.”

Tragedy comes suddenly and isn’t always as dramatic as the devastating experience in Sendai. A bus overturns in Brooklyn and 13 people are killed. A star high school basketball player collapses and dies after hitting the winning shot. A father is killed on the freeway as he heads home after a long day at work.

As we walk down the street, we see an old friend who devolved into a contact and then just another LinkedIn connection. Promises were made to meet for coffee, or lunch or a drink after work, but never kept. Voice mail messages were saved and emails kept to serve as reminders, and then never returned or answered.

“I can’t meet with you today. I have too much to do. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

But, tomorrow may never come.

Combat Training in the Boardroom

No its not small arms training. Nor is executing an air attack against the competitions corporate headquarters. It’s much more!

The PACE™ program (Progressively Accelerated Cognitive Exertion™) is a targeted neuroplastic training program. It was developed in 2007 by John Kennedy, president of Kennedy Consulting, Inc., for the Marines to reduce casualties in combat by improving focus and accelerating mental processing speed resulting in increased intuition or “sixth sense”. The program was also provided to Snipers, SOCOM including SEALs, pilots, Recon Marines and military leadership at all levels and all branches of service.

JohnKennedyPhoto (2)After migrating to the civilian world, Kennedy has seen similar results with corporate executives, and sales, operations, project and customer service teams. The program itself is fun and interactive and in a team environment improves communication and teamwork. And it was recognized as a finalist at the Chicago Innovation Awards.

Changing old mental processing, after decades of “brain programming,” is not easy. Like any physical training, it requires a willingness to follow directions and commitment to do ongoing practice of the exercises. John had been after me to experience his Combat Brain Training© for quite a while. With skepticism, I finally acquiesced.

The class exercises were simple but got progressively difficult. The first series involved looking at patterns on sheets of paper, and then verbally saying the patterns. As we moved through the exercises, John added changes to make the process even more difficult.

One of the goals of the first series of exercises was to improve focus. Personally there are times I have trouble maintaining focus in a conversation or meeting. The next morning I immediately noticed results. During a conversation over coffee, my colleague said a word that took me away from the conversation. I immediately recognized what had happened and refocused on my friend.

The second primary set of exercises revolved around a puzzle. The pieces were of different shapes and sizes that could be put together to create different forms. Like most, my first attempt was frustrating trial and error. We were then instructed to look closely at the form and determine how the patterns could fit to form the targeted shape. Only after a solution was discovered, did we begin to assemble the puzzle. Eventually what took long frustrating minutes we were able to do it in 10 seconds or less.

Next, one member was give the solution for a specific puzzle and slowly gave us the instructions to solve the puzzle. At first there were some very weird shapes being formed. But as we continued with the exercise, our patterns started to match those on the cards.

Think of this process in terms of defusing a bomb in Afghanistan. “Break it down. Think it through. Execute.”

In John’s analysis of me he wrote, “I noticed in the beginning of the assembly exercise, you were “smushing” the parts as well as rushing your words while giving assembly commands. As you’re breaking it down and thinking it through improved, you’re ability to execute and give commands got much better!

“This can translate into more efficient communication if you remember to bridge. An exercise for you – get in the habit of BID/TIT before every interaction. Who are talking with? What is the one most important thing you want to communicate? What other variables are involved with this person? How will you communicate most efficiently? Think through the process in terms he will understand best then execute that process. You will have shorter, more satisfying conversations for both you and the other person. This is an example – the same applies to emails, blogs etc.”

But this “bridging” is only one small part of the benefits – it’s the actual speed increase of mental processing that makes the real powerful differences. In just two evenings, I immediately noticed a change to my ability to focus and communicate. In my opinion, after completing Combat Brain Training©.

Marine Embedded Transition Team Commanding Officer, “I have my men practice at the end of every day. It wakes us up. I know it will help us stay focused in Afghanistan. This will help us in our mission to “Train, Mentor, and Advise”

Corporate CEO, “My teams (that was in the MPT program) are learning faster and remembering better. Our meetings are much more efficient and we are accomplishing more in less time”

“I was just reacting, not having to think, making putts getting it up and down…my focus is much better,”  LPGA golfer.

Spencer Maus, of SpencerConnect Communications, has over 17 years of public, investor and media relations experience representing law and financial services firm, public and private corporations, and entrepreneurs/start-ups. He has been actively providing social media guidance for more than a decade, and became a member of LinkedIn in the 1st quarter of 2004. Finally, he has decades of experience and advanced training in business development and sales.

10 Ideas to Help Increase Your Success at Trade Shows

Companies spend a great deal of time, energy and money at trade shows, without maximizing their return on investment. There are people you know you want to meet. People you don’t know who you should meet. Industry reporters who don’t know you and you should meet.

Whether you are just attending, or you have a great booth, here are  a few tips:

TradeShow

  1. Starting six to eight weeks before the show, start gathering the names of attendees and setting appointments.
  2. Determine what booths you want to visit. Possible customers? Possible strategic alliances? Competitors? It’s all about gaining new business and gathering intelligence.
  3. Get lists of media attending the show and get them to your booth. Keep in mind many reporters register the day they attend. No media list distribution? There are other ways to create your own list.
  4. If the organizers offer a phone app, publish a daily newsletter, do video interviews, find out who, where and how to participate. There may even be independents offering the same. And don’t forget Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
  5. Have a booth strategy. When you should man the booth, and when you can pack up for a break or the day? You might be surprised who stops by during the lunch break, or when everyone else is packing up for the day.
  6. How to work your booth. Yes standing all day can lead to sore legs and feet. Wear comfortable shoes. Stand out front, not behind the table. Welcome everyone who stops to look at your booth.
  7. Accept business cards. Today conventions have the means to scan name tags. “Visit every booth and win valuable prizes!” Ask for the business card and engage in conversation. No fishbowl! No card? Go away! I’m busy.
  8. “Drop you card in our fish bowl to win a valuable prize!” Again, NO FISHBOWL! And when “drawing” for a winner, the Chicago Way applies! Who wants a competitor to win your expensive prize? Select the winner from your most promising prospects.
  9. No booth? No problem. You can still maximize your attendance. Use the time to scout your competition. Schedule private meetings with people you meet by chance. You never know where that chance meeting may lead.
  10. The show is over, don’t turn out the lights just yet. The two weeks following can be as important as the three or four days at the show.

Spencer Maus of SpencerConnect has over 17 years of public, investor and media relations experience representing law and financial services firm, public and private corporations, and entrepreneurs/start-ups. He has been actively providing social media guidance for more than a decade, and became a member of LinkedIn in the 1st quarter of 2004. 

Let the Game Come to You

Over the years I have played in both organized (teams and leagues) and recreational sports (pickup games). There are many sayings in sports. “Hit it where they ain’t!” “Play the ball, don’t let it play you.” And Yogi Berra’s famous “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

There is one sports adage that I have found applicable to working with clients and prospects, networking, and many times in non-business activities. “Let the game come to you.”

BASEBALL PHOTO2When I played baseball, I was told to wait for the pitch. See if it is a curve, change up or fastball, adjust your swing, and then hit the pitch where it is thrown. In basketball and football defense sets up and the offensive runs a specific, planned play. But when that play begins, changes may have to be made.

The same agility is needed in meetings. Even though agendas may have been shared and agreed to, priorities may have changed when the meeting begins. The time allocated is shortened. Does this remind you of a client or prospect meeting? “I didn’t expect that in this meeting. I was thrown a curve.” You need to be prepared to adjust to changes.

This even applies to networking. You come prepared to meet certain people, or executives with specific companies. You plan to share more than five minutes of quality time with your “targets.” But what if your targets are no-shows? What if someone not on your list wants to monopolize your time, since you are their “target?” You need to call an audible as “the game comes to you.”

So how “do you let the game come to you?” Here are four thoughts.

  • Listen to the client or prospect and watch body language. Let her tell you what is important in your meeting (in poker this is known as a “tell”).
  • Have “audible plays” prepared to create a successful meeting.
  • When entering a networking event, scan the room. Watch how people are interacting. Are they engaged in lively conversations, looking bored, or just passing out and collecting business cards? Are the people you wanted to meet not at the event?
  • Call an “audible” and adjust your targets.

Do you agree that you should let the game come to you?

Spencer Maus of SpencerConnect has over 17 years of public, investor and media relations experience representing law and financial services firm, public and private corporations, and entrepreneurs/start-ups. He has been actively providing social media guidance for more than a decade, and became a member of LinkedIn in the 1st quarter of 2004.

LinkedIn Endorsements – the Good, the Bad and it could get Ugly

The Good

What a great idea! LinkedIn added a new app – Skills and Expertise. This app allowed members to specifically list what they can offer clients and potential employers.

As important, it added keywords to your profile. You can add up to 50. If someone was searching for a real estate expert in “short sales,” and your skills and expertise section included short sales, voila your name would pop up in search results. A new client! Great!

Next LinkedIn again raised the bar. Contacts could affirm your listed skills. With a simple click, Chad or Michelle could endorse your skills. Thus saying they had a good or great experience of your work using a specific skill, or that you were an expert in an important area.

EndorsementsThe Bad

With a huge response from members, LinkedIn took Skills and Expertise to a new level. Members could not only easily endorse your strengths, and they were encouraged to do so. Suddenly contacts you had never met were endorsing you for specific skills. Hopes were for a quid pro quo.

Next contacts could suggest skills you may not have considered. Perhaps a contact saw something in your work that you never thought was a skill or expertise. Why not approve adding it to my list? I can list 50. It will build up my keywords. What harm could it do?

 

It could get Ugly

One day you receive a surprise phone call from a recruiter. She found you on LinkedIn, and has a client that needs your talents. The company has a terrific reputation. The initial interviews go very well.

During your final interview, your future boss says, “I was excited to read on your LinkedIn profile that you have expertise in direct mail marketing. We have not been successful in generating leads using both traditional and email direct mail marketing. It will be great having you on our team leading our efforts in making this work for us.”

OOPS! This was not a skill you had listed. Rather it was a skill a contact suggested that you add your profile. You approved the addition, even though you don’t have that skill.

Let’s make this worse. Currently there is a high profile, class action lawsuit in Canada where attorneys have subpoenaed current and past employees to testify. Any attorney will tell you that in litigation they will review all witnesses’ social media sites. They are looking for information that will discredit the opposition’s witnesses. One area they are reviewing is LinkedIn profiles’ Skills and Expertise.

An attorney involved in the case said they have used LinkedIn Skills and Expertise to not only discredit, but also embarrass the opposition’s witnesses. Future relationship ramifications are unknown.

So be careful what you add to or approve for your profile. It could come back and…

Spencer Maus of SpencerConnect has over 17 years of public, investor and media relations experience representing law and financial services firm, public and private corporations, and entrepreneurs/start-ups. He has been actively providing social media guidance for more than a decade, and became a member of LinkedIn in the 1st quarter of 2004.

Sales as a Second Language

Guest blog written by Terry Walsh, Principal at Acorn Growth Partners

If you follow the media coverage these days, you would think that everyone in business is learning how to speak a foreign language. It seems there’s a widespread perception that speaking a second language is a real asset: Rosetta Stone, the popular language training software firm, continues to report double digit customer growth.

Here in Chicago, Language Stars (the firm that specializes in teaching kids foreign languages) caters to increasing parental interest by jump-starting kids’ second language skills. Is there anyone who doesn’t believe learning a second language wouldn’t be valuable in a future career?

I make this observation, because when it comes to sales effectiveness, I find that many senior executives haven’t learned “Sales as a Salessecond language”. My colleague Spencer Maus recently pointed this out in a discussion about how business leaders decide they need help with their Sales team. He asked, why do executives decide that they need your sales effectiveness services? We reviewed this question in depth, and I want to share the valuable insights I gained from Spencer.

As a business executive, your career trajectory may or may not have included participation in Sales. No doubt, many smaller business founders/owners personally captured their firm’s original customers, or perhaps, someone with sales background was brought in to help the founders with Sales.

My personal experience in larger firms is the majority of executive leaders didn’t advance through the Sales ranks. Whether we started in Sales or elsewhere, our life experiences and business activities always expose us to sales situations. We accumulate personal and business experiences either as a potential buyer or in selling products or services to prospect and customers. Executives often participate in customer relationship development and key sales decisions. Regardless, it doesn’t mean that person running the business has professional sales experience. For example, young attorneys may witness relationship development and selling by more senior partners and associates, but that doesn’t translate into real sales training, networking skills development, or how to find new clients in the context of a legal practice.

More senior colleagues may have relied on personal friends or sales naturally evolved out of existing client relationships – not exactly what I would describe as professional selling. While there’s nothing wrong with cultivating a personal network or getting additional business from an existing customer (especially true within Professional Services), that’s probably not enough to sustain a growing business in any industry. In my view, there are three important prerequisite elements that define an organization’s ability to professionally perform business development:

Intentional Sales Process

A defined, intentional sales process is the first prerequisite element. Defined, in that someone actually sat down and assessed how business development is done, what tasks are completed, the sales content (deliverables) produced, and how long it takes to perform each sales task.

Call this “business process analysis” or whatever technical term makes sense, but as the cliché goes, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. Intentional, because everyone has a de facto sales process – it may be an ill-defined process that doesn’t produce intended results, but you still have a process. Management should put pre-meditated thought and effort into creating and managing a process that really works.

Sales (versus Marketing) Messaging

Intuitively, there should be a firm-wide consensus about what customer-facing employees say to prospects and customers, versus what is documented on your website, written in proposals, or presented in marketing collateral. Despite the critical importance of sales conversations, many firms fail to examine whether they have the right sales conversation with prospective customers.

While judging conversation quality can be subjective, there’s no reason why there can’t be internal consensus about what works or doesn’t work in a sales conversation. (I’ve documented in a previous post a detailed process to successfully assess sales conversations and messaging quality using the 99 Questions Methodology. Some business leaders believe it’s enough just to have good personal conversations and develop relationships.

Here’s a brief story that illustrates why this approach has a limited probability of producing short-term results: one of my clients’ sales people regularly took prospective clients to lunch and they developed great personal relationships. After months of lunches, you would think that all the personal attention would have produced significant business, but these sales people never so much as asked the prospect if they could sell them something! Needless to say, these sales people had great customer “friends,” but no pipeline! They also didn’t have jobs once management figured out what happened!

Create a System

Another famous cliché I have experienced is that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you have a reasonable volume of business development, there has to be some way of tracking the process, monitoring employees’ communications, and evaluating whether their sales efforts are successful.

For example, hiring more people because there is more work may not indicate real success. In fact, it may demonstrate how inefficiently you deliver products and services, versus generating more revenue and profit. Tangible methods of evaluating sales activities help to determine if the Sales people are producing expected results.

However, tracking the process doesn’t mean simply buying and installing a CRM system to record “sales” activities. There should be intense introspection to identify your target customers, how you connect with them, the steps that go into relationship building, how you know a sales cycle is making progress, how you evaluate each customer-facing person to determine if they are meeting relationship and revenue goals. Many firms acquire sales technology products based on the mistaken belief that a technology solution addresses these questions. By example, inputting data into an opportunity screen of a CRM tool doesn’t translate into effectively managing a client relationship.

Would You Learn a 2nd Language this Way?

To revisit the 2nd language analogy, there is no guarantee that you’ll easily adopt another language just because you are competent in speaking English. It takes training and practice, along with insights about why you need a second language, how you will use your second language, setting goals to become proficient in speaking the language, and making an intentional effort to continually improve.

Systems like Rosetta Stone help to accomplish those goals by managing the learning process, and tracking results. Why would you do differently when it comes to developing new business? Assuming you understand an entire body of business practices around creating, building, and managing a Sales organization is like deciding you can learn French just by reading movie subtitles.

The recognition of Sales as a second language should be the realization you have the opportunity to help your business become more successful by learning and adopting best practices. Bonne Chance!

Terry Walsh has over 30 years of experience across business development, sales operations, and executive management.  He currently leads the Sales Organization & Operations practice for Acorn Growth Partners, a boutique management consultancy focused on helping middle market business enterprises attain market traction and profitable revenue growth. He is also president of MBA4Sales is a set of tools and best practices that help sales managers  and sales people get control over their sales process, resulting in outstanding sales performance.

If you are interested in discussing how to implement “Sales as a second language” or if you want to evaluate your selling process, sales messaging and/or sales systems, please contact Terry Walsh, Phone: (630) 248-5103, terry.walsh@acorngrowthpartners.com.

The rise in health problems from food toxicity & lack of nutrition

How three men overcame health problems and obesity

Obesity is such a serious problem in the US that First Lady Michelle Obama has taken on the problem of obesity as her personal mission.

Mike Townson, Mike Sprague and Dave Jones were all seriously obese, and in danger of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes or worse. All three transformed their lives without drugs or surgery. Together they lost over 350 lbs in less than a year, and lead healthy, happy, active lifestyles.

Peter Greenlaw, co-author of “Why Diets are Failing Us” commented, “While on a flight I noticed that nearly all of the passengers in first class were overweight. Yet we continue using the same diets and fill our bodies with the same nutritionally deficient foods while doing the same exercise routines. We are going to continue on the same path to no results.

“It’s an atrocity how our health is at risk from ingesting chemical toxins and from nutritional deficiency in our food. There are an estimated 10,000 chemicals are used to produce food, yet only about 300 have ever been tested for the damage they do to the human body.”

healthy_food-320Brian Alexander, an NBC News contributor reported in his story Salty snacks, extra pounds send blood pressure soaring in U.S. kids, “Spurred by too much salt and too many extra pounds, blood pressure in America’s kids and teens has gone sky-high, creating a young generation at risk for serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke — and worse.

“The percentage of American children and adolescents ages 8 to 17 who have high blood pressure — a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, organ damage, heart attacks and strokes — climbed 27 percent over 13 years, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and other institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health.”

It’s been proven that 90% of all diets fail. Leading authorities report that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in important minerals. A marked deficiency in any one or more important minerals results in disease.

In his soon to be released book “TDOS”, Greenlaw points out that limiting calories from food sources that contain no nutrients causes your body to turn on stress, which starts the T D O S syndrome (Toxicity, Deficiency, Overweight and Stress). TDOS raises a hormone in our body called cortisol that literally prevents the body from burning fat.

Greenlaw’s two, co-authored books are the result of ten years of his research and studies that included reading over 500 books and more than 10,000 hours of research, He has become one of the leading spokespersons on this subject.

But don’t take it from us. Take it from three men who shared their stories on the Blog Talk Radio show “The New Health Conversation”. (Ed Note: The results for these three men may not be typical. In a clinical study the average weight loss was 7.2 pounds in 9 days for women and 7.5 pounds for men.) 

Mike Townson’s Story

Mike Townson was once a fast food addict and shut-in. Townson weighed 367lbs. He was depressed about his situation, wanting to stay inside and not see people. He was sweaty, a heavy breather and just overall uncomfortable in his own body. Townson then began working with Peter Greenlaw, and following the protocol in his book “Why Diets are Failing Us”.

By following the easy steps that Peter laid out, Townson lost 25 lbs in 10 days! He broke his addiction of fast food and nutritionally bankrupt food, and substituted it all for healthy food choices. Today, after 184 days of following the protocol, he now weighs 199 lbs! Townson now enjoys going out to plays and healthy dinners. He has much more energy, self-confidence and is overall happier.

start_diet_today-384When asked why he stuck with this program Townson responded, “Results! If I didn’t lose a pound a week, I lost inches.” Townson ended his interview by saying this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

Mike Sprague’s Story

Imagine falling 35 feet off of a roof at work and breaking your feet, causing you to become bedridden. To top that off you’re overweight and your doctor is telling you to lose weight and exercise. If you can’t walk how can you exercise? This is Mike Sprague’s story and the outcome is amazing.

Sprague fell off a roof at work crushing both of his feet, causing him to have five surgeries. His inability to walk and an unhealthy lifestyle caused him to gain more weight. After a few failed diet attempts, He was ready to abandon all hope.

By chance Sprague’s wife sent a text Townsend wishing him a happy birthday. Townson was feeling so great about losing 100 pounds in 100 days that he had to tell Sprague’s wife and that’s when the ripple started.

Like many of us, Sprague was skeptical about the program. He’d seen the results from his friend Townsend, but thought there was no way it could work for him. After meeting with Townson, Sprague began the protocol. His starting weight was 312 lbs and after three months he was down to 211 lbs!

Next he wanted to introduce exercise back into his life. He begged his doctors to let him ride a stationary bike. His new exercise regimen helped him shed the pounds and inches off his body. Sprague continued to lose a tremendous amount of weight and inches, causing concern from his doctors.

They wondered how he could be losing this much weight and thought something not be drastically wrong with him, or even harmful to his body. He showed the doctors the protocol and they were amazed. Sprague was not only losing weight, but also gaining lean muscle.

The protocol is filled with nutrients, so Sprague was able to lose large amounts of fat but still maintain a healthy body. At his last check up appointment, Sprague’s vitals were; 129 Cholesterol, 118/64 blood pressure, 46 standing heart rate and .7 PSA. His doctors were blown away.

Dave Jones Story

Seeing what a change it made in his life and wanting to help others, Sprague became a mentor and was paired with Dave Jones. The impact that Sprague was about to make on Jones’ life was unimaginable.

Jones weighed 455 lbs. He suffered from bad circulation in his lower legs. His legs would swell to the point where they would open up and clear liquid would run out. He also had high blood pressure that could not be controlled. Jones was frustrated because his doctors kept stressing to him that he needed to lose weight.

He tried and failed with almost every fad diet, machine, program and food service out there. He struggled so much with his lifestyle, he removed all mirrors from his house, missed out on family functions and life in general.

Jones started the program after hearing about it on radio. Even though he was skeptical, he was desperate to try one last thing. Jones called and signed up for the protocol. He lost 7 lbs during the first week, during the 2nd and 3rd weeks he continued to lose weight and couldn’t believe the results! After two months Jones had lost over 70 lbs and 87 inches! With the advice of Sprague, Jones started using the stationary bike for five minutes a day, and now he is up to 15 minutes a day.

Jones’s life has been changed and he is beginning to gain his life back. Jones says it perfectly “I’ve finally found something that is doing exactly what it says it would do!”

In Closing

The facts are proven by both government and independent sources. Unless you can add real nutrients to your daily diet, remove toxins and fat, and add lean muscle to your body the diets you try will probably fail.

This protocol we all followed adds massive amount of nutrients, removes toxins from the body and helps created lean muscle. Most other diets focus on deprivation of food and nutrients.

A Few Facts

  • Five recent public studies using thousands of volunteers found an average of 700 toxic chemicals in every person tested.
  • More than a million people will die of cardiovascular disease this year out of 330 million. Yet in 1930, out of a population of 123 million, less than 3000 people died of heart disease.
  • In 1990, one in fifteen women were diagnosed with breast cancer. This year it’s one in eight. And if current trends continue, soon one in three women will get breast cancer. (source: National Cancer Society).
  • In 1990, three in 10,000 children were diagnosed with autism. Today it is one in 102- a staggering 3,400% increase. (source: the book- Ultra Mind Solution).
  • In July 2005, a study done by The Environmental Working Group, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, tested the cord blood of newborn infants and found an average of 287 toxic chemicals; including 180 toxins that cause cancer.
  • According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys 72% of women will be overweight by 2020.

Social Media and the Bill of Rights – the right to privacy

The Fourth Amendment says that  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

I recently watched a PBS series segment, “The Constitution with Peter Segal: Does privacy still exist?” and a 60 Minutes story on facial recognition software by Lesley Stahl. I poise the question, are we giving away our right to privacy as implied in the Fourth and other Amendments in the Bill of Rights?

Yes and no. No law enforcement agency can walk into your home of office, begin a search and take your property without a legal warrant to do so. But try going through airport security and not surrendering your right not to be searched without a warrant. Good luck with that.

Every day we share personal and professional information on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, through credit card use, our cell phone GPS, etc. without ever considering the consequences of such actions. (I wonder if Edward Snowden is a Verizon customer.)

In the recent PBS series segment Segal interviewed Efrat Cohen, a private investigator who uses “dig deep” techniques to gather information on people and businesses. Her advice for absolute privacy is to shed all technology devices, credit cards and mobile devices, and move to a small island.

 

 

Did you post your complete date of birth, home or office address, names of family members on a social media site? Do you share your travel plans or post photos online while you’re on vacation? Is there anyone at home guarding the fort?

Perhaps you liked Bob’s First Savings Bank on Facebook, which happens to be your bank. One day you receive a security alert from BFSB saying your account may have been comprised, and would you just click on this link to provide a few pieces of account information. Hmmmm?

But the surrender of our rights goes much further than social media. Have you filed a rental application, applied for a mortgage, or received a traffic ticket? Most of it is available online.

Today almost anyone can find financial, legal, and reputation information about you personally and professionally. Your personal and professional information is available through Google Search, and other public sites that you may not know. Hire a professional investigator, add a dash of forensic accounting and expertise in technology – voila! All that is needed is your name, date of birth, recent address, and if a social security number is found…

Now consider all of the photos and videos you have shared on line, or where you have been tagged by friends. In her recent 60 Minutes story, Stahl reported that facial recognition software is used not only by government agencies, but also by marketers.

In the near future, when you walk into a restaurant or stroll through a shopping mall, cameras capture your face, compare it to a database and search social media likes to create an instant “pitch” of a product or service they offer that you “liked” on Facebook.

As important, facial recognition software is available to anyone for free download. Take photos from your phone and run the software. Think about that. A complete stranger can use a phone to photograph you and then run a facial recognition search. If he or she locates you online, what information will be learned?

 

 

If you’re curious about information readily available to the general public, just run a search of yourself on Google Search or Google Images.  Oh BTW, when was the last time you changed your passwords?

(Special thanks to Paul G. Neilan, of the Law Offices of Paul G. Neilan, for reviewing and editing this document.)

Spencer Maus of SpencerConnect has over 16 years of public, investor and media relations experience representing law and financial services firm, public and private corporations, and entrepreneurs/start-ups. He has been actively providing social media guidance for more than a decade, and became a member of LinkedIn in the 1st quarter of 2004.

A (true) Political Fairy Tale

Let me share a true, “fairy tale” story of a political debate and campaign.

In 1972 Andrew Jacobs, Jr. (D) was running for reelection as Congressman from Indianapolis. His Republican opponent was the 2nd Presbyterian Church minister William Hudnut. Hudnut and Jacobs knew and respected each other. And an fall night in 1972, they debated on WIBC-AM. What happened is a lesson for today.

Each man detailed their plans, their goals and what they planned to do if elected. They complemented each other when they agreed. They even asked if they could use each others ideas if elected. And they politely disagreed, without anger, name calling or attacks. Their campaigns followed suit. Their ads highlighted their positives, not the opponent’s negatives.

Bill Hudnut won the election by a narrow margin. Andy Jacobs, Jr. warmly congratulated Congressman Hudnut.

Two years later, Mayor Richard Lugar  ran for and become a well respected U.S. Senator. Bill Hudnut ran for Mayor of Indianapolis and won. Andy Jacobs, Jr. ran for Congress and served for another six terms, and was highly regarded U.S. Congressman.

During his 16 years in office, Mayor Bill Hudnut convinced the people of Indianapolis that the city would become the amateur sports capital of the nation. He pushed through the building of the Hoosier/RCA Dome, built the nation’s finest complete sports complex, and convinced the Baltimore Colts to move to Indianapolis.

His vision and drive can still be seen by the number of amateur sanctioning bodies now in Indianapolis. And did I mention the hosting of the 2012 Super Bowl.

The important point is that Mayor Hudnut and Congressman Jacobs respected each other’s desire to serve their community and were gentlemen. They were really neither Democrats nor Republicans. They were citizens of Indianapolis and Americans.

Today’s political discourse makes me sick. It’s not about country, it’s about party.

I pray for our country. We need people like Mayor Hudnut and Congressman Jacobs, Jr., and moderates like former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar. That is my “fairy tale” dream.

Last Person to Leave Illinois, Turn Out the Lights

A Huffington Post story reported that “Data released…by United Van Lines… reports that Illinois and New Jersey tied for the highest number of customers who were moving out-of-state.

“A spokeswoman for the company told CBS St. Louis that over 60 percent of the company’s business in Illinois involved individuals or businesses that were leaving the state. She described that number as “pretty big”…”

But why?

Illinois offers citizens and visitors wonderful recreation facilities. The state is home to some of the countries best colleges and universities.

Chicago is a world-class city. Chicago is a cultural and sports bonanza, offering the best in theatre, arts, architecture and museums; seven professional sports teams and exceptional recreational venues. It is truly a great place to visit.

So why the migration out of state? Well, maybe it is because Illinois, land of the greed home of the graft, is accelerating into a fiscal sinkhole.

It’s the Deficit Stupid

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on August 29, 2012, “Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced Wednesday that it is lowering Illinois’ rating a notch to ‘A” from “A+.’ The decision is based on weak funding for government pensions and a “lack of action on reform measures,” said S&P credit analyst Robin Prunty. Only California has a lower rating from S&P…”

The Chicago Tribune reported that according to the Auditor General, “Illinois’ financial condition continued to deteriorate in fiscal 2011. Illinois’ $43.8 billion deficit in terms of net assets at the end of June 2011 rose from $37.5 billion in fiscal 2010, when it also ranked the lowest among states.”

In a Fox Business News article by Elizabeth MacDonald, “The state of Illinois faces at least $83 billion in unfunded liability between its five pension systems, and is on track to spend more on its government pensions than on education by 2016, a new study released by Governor Pat Quinn’s office says.

“(The Quinn study) reported a funded ratio of 43.4%, way below the 80% considered healthy. Based on fiscal 2010 data, Illinois had the lowest funded ratio of any state, according to a June 2012 report by the Pew Center on the States.

“Illinois’ structural deficit along with its huge unfunded pension liability have led to credit downgrades, with Illinois rated in the low one-letter A grades by Moody’s Investors Service, the lowest level among states it rates.

“Meanwhile, Illinois joins New York, California and Maryland in having the highest state tax rates in the country. Illinois was dinged last year for boosting its taxes 67%.”

And Springfield’s Solution is?

Yes, Illinois needs more revenue. Businesses moving to and staying in Illinois is one key to fiscal recovery. Along with the aforementioned benefits of working and living in Illinois and Chicago, there is O’Hare International Airport. O’Hare is the second busiest airport in the United States. And with the NATO summit, Chicago proved its claim of being a world class city.

But Illinois corporations are screaming, “Show me the money!”

A report printed in Crain’s Chicago Business stated, “(AP) — A package of tax breaks aimed at helping business and keeping a few high-profile companies from leaving Illinois could cost the government $850 million a year in its current form, raising the possibility that it will have to be scaled back to win approval from the Legislature. Each new tax break means less money to run state government, requiring officials to get more money elsewhere or cut services.”

One question, Governor Quinn, what’s the math? Other than increasing the state’s personal income tax by 66%, do the revenues kept or gained in income tax, purchases of goods and services (multiplier effect), and general spending by employees, coming to or staying in Illinois, offset the corporate tax breaks? Or is this just an ego thing?

OK, forget Quinn. I’ll Contact My Representative!

Good idea! The Illinois General Assembly and Senate are controlled by the Democratic Party. The General Assembly, lead by (Democrat) Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, has a 59% to 41% majority for Democrats. The Senate, lead by (Democrat) State Senator John Cullerton, has a 54% to 46% majority for Democrats. “We elected them. They have a majority. They’ll get us out of this pension mess.”

On August 17th, a special session of the Illinois General Assembly was called to vote on a pension reform bill. The bill was not brought to the floor.

The Illinois Review reported that the Illinois State Board of Elections records show that by August 17th   the Service Employee International Unions (SEIU) contributed at total of $97,000 to Speaker Madigan and to a committee Madigan chairs. SEIU also contributed $95,000 to State Senator Cullerton and a committee he chairs. An additional $50,000 was donated to the Democratic Party of Illinois, which is chaired by Madigan.

“So, Mr. Blogger, what’s you brilliant idea?”

Seriously, we the People of Illinois need to take our state back!

Boy, as an independent do I hate to say this (sound of hard swallowing). Vote Republican in the 2012 general elections. Reclaim the majority of the Senate and General Assembly for us.

And elect a Republican as Governor of Illinois in the next election. There I said it (gulp).

Let me send a candid message to the various, Illinois Republican organizations. You have very little chance of helping Romney carry Illinois. Even the Romney campaign seems to be sending that message by the lack of campaign ads. BUT, if you focus your efforts locally, you just might shift the balance of power in Springfield.

Also, allow me to say that there are wonderful, honorable Illinois Democrats who define public service. I’ve helped a few during elections. And I have great respect for many others. But, I’m sorry. We need as many Republicans in the General Assembly as possible.

There are two of “those” people I really like. Dan Rutherford, Illinois State Treasurer and Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois State Comptroller. Just imagine those two “other” people as Governor and Lieutenant Governor. And dream about a non-Madigan, non-Cullerton controlled legislature.

It’s either that, or turn out the lights if you’re the last person to leave Illinois.

(Other recommended links on these topics)

Illinois rep EXPLODES on the House floor!

Carol Marin, on Chicago Tonight, interviews Illinois state minority leaders Rep. Tom Cross and State Senator Christine Radogno on the pension non-vote.

(About the author: The author considers himself a moderate independent, who has voted for Democratic candidates in the last two elections).

Everybody’s Talking About It – Content Marketing is King Part 2 – The Where – Make it “Circular”

Do your various social media pages and websites provide links to your other sites? Do you have a website link on your LinkedIn profile? Does your website have a link to your company Facebook page and LinkedIn profile? Do you use “buttons” and Google’s +1?

Most of you are very familiar with LinkedIn, Facebook, blog sites, Twitter and other usual suspects. It is important to make it “circular.” Meaning a visit to one of your sites provides obvious, quick and immediate access to you other sites. With that said, let me suggest a few additional sites for your consideration.

LinkedIn Company Page – The company page is the most under-utilized area on LinkedIn. Most LinkedIn company pages have a profile and a list of employees, but there is much more you can do. The company page allows for defining products and services, posting videos and text, links to specific website pages or other social media sites, photos, automatic posting of blogs, targeting LinkedIn subscribers, and more. It also provides ongoing analytics.

An example of a company page fully utilizing this opportunity is the Samurai Business Group. HubSpot, which constantly creates great “how-to” PDF’s and webinars, and has an instructive piece on LinkedIn Company pages. LinkedIn also now offers a company page “button for placement on websites, email signatures, etc.

Google+ Personal and Company pages – A lot has been recently written on the good, bad and ugly of Google+. But my guess is that algorithms give a little extra weighting to people and companies using Google+. How? Intro to Google+ Sites”  “How to set up a Google+ Company Page” and check HubSpot for webinars and PDF guides.

BiznikBiznik is a site to post a business blog. Biznik sorts and provides ratings of blogs posted on its site.

Micro-sites – Tom Lemanski, president of the executive coaching firm Vista Development, created a micro-site that has generated 60% of his new business. Chicago Executive Coaching is a clean and very direct micro-site. How? If you were to Google search for your business, what would be the words or phrase you would use? Then create a micro-site using those key words. Your site may not be a “.com”, but with all the new “dots” being created, you may find a domain that is an “.us” or “.co” etc. And you don’t have to build out a complete site. A one-page with site with a summary and link to your main, website or a simple redirect will suffice.

Google +1 – I know you’ve seen the +1 logo when you do a Google search. Google +1 is similar to Facebook “Like” and LinkedIn “follow”.  The more +1’s you get, the stronger your positioning on a Google search. Google provides button” coding for placement on your website.

Buttons – Most sites provide the codes to create a “button” on a different. Simply stated, a “button” is a site logo that serves as a link to another site. For example, LinkedIn provides to code to place a LinkedIn button on your website. Google+ provides the code to put a “button” on your blog.

To get the code for a LinkedIn “button”: Go to the bottom of the LinkedIn home page; click “Developers”; click “Plugins”; click “Member Profile” and/or “Company Profile”; and follow the instructions.

YouTube and Vimeo– It is imperative that your created videos be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. YouTube has created an online video demonstrating how to upload your video. Vimeo provides step-by-step instructions on how to use their site.

In Closing – a few other tools you may find helpful. LinkedIn Labs – covert your LinkedIn profile to a resume in PDF format. LinkedIn Signal – complete listing of your LinkedIn connections updates and postings. And, a big thank you to Jill Kirshenbaum of Sandler Training for recommending Reachable.com. Reachable.com uses LinkedIn, Facebook, CRM’s, SalesForce.com and other databases to display numerous paths for introductions to prospects and centers of influence.

“The number one site for B2B marketers is LinkedIn,” Paul Gillin, co-author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer.

Spencer Maus, of SpencerConnect, is a senior-level, public relations executive. Samurai Business Group is a client and providing compensation to SpencerConnect.

A thank you to Robin Iori of Iori Communications for her help with this blog post.

Everybody’s Talking About It – Content Marketing is King Part 1 – the What and How

“When it comes to marketing strategies, content marketing has just been crowned king,” Entrepreneur.com.

In her HMG Creative blog, Amy Kauffman said, “”There is no ‘I’ in Content Marketing (Well there is, but it’s a little guy).” Michelle Rempel, in her blog Simplifying Social Media, went into more detail in describing the “what.”

Allow me to build on Amy’s and Michelle’s writings, and discuss “the What and How” (a follow-up post discusses “the Where and How”).

The quality and type of content and breadth of distribution impacts your total SEO.

In his presentation at Steve Lundin’s November 2011 BigFrontier event, author Paul Gillin commented that the content order of priority is video, audio and text.

Video allows everyone to hear your tonality (38% of communication) and see your facial and body language (55% of communication). With the number of digital video cameras, from smart phones to high end portable cameras, it has become easier to create a professional MP4 video.

The video can be easily loaded up to a number of social media sites, placed onto your website or uploaded to your own YouTube channel. Need help? There are services, such as MarketVid, that can provide professional guidance. Placing the video on YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Micro-sites, Biznik, tweeting on Twitter, etc will dramatically increase visibility and SEO.

Audio allows for tonality. An inexpensive digital recorder will create a digital file that can be converted to a MP3. One on-line, free service is Blog Talk Radio. BTR allows you to create a one to 60-minute audio recording. When completed, you have a link to the recording, which then can be placed on all you your social media sites.

Often forgotten are video or audio recordings of your speaking gigs. Most organizations do not record speaker presentations. Take you own digital recorder or video camera to record your presentation and distribute through all appropriate social media sites.

The final piece of content is text. The world knows about fresh, new content. What most professionals forget is the value of older white papers, newsletters and commentary. If an older musing is still relevant, consider “re-purposing” (posting) on all social media and websites. LinkedIn offers the Box.net application for easy posting of “re-purposed” content on your profile.

“The key (for creating new followers and prospects) is to educate and engage,” Paul Gillin, co-author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer.

Spencer Maus, of SpencerConnect, is a senior-level, public relations executive. Samurai Business Group is a client and providing compensation to SpencerConnect.

A thank you to Robin Iori of Iori Communications for her help with this blog post.

Samurai Sales Training – The Stall

The Stall. The prospect doesn’t want to say no, and definitely doesn’t want to say yes. “Sara” may see great value in your knowledge. Ideas are sound, pragmatic and logical. She has experienced value in your ideas. She wants you to remain engaged – but not contractually. Or she may not be in a position to say yes. At least not now.

You are seeking an answer on a proposal. The company has been on your prospect list, with a high ranking to become a client. Your company’s Vice President of Sales is impressed with your list of quality prospects, but remarks about the staleness of some. You reassure the VP that it’s just a matter of time before she becomes a client. The perception is the “reality,” but the reality may be painful.

The Stall. You won’t admit the truth to yourself. She won’t sign the check.

Anyone in sales or part of the business development process has experienced The Stall. You place a phone call to “Sara” and leave a message. No return call. Five days later you call again. Voice mail and no return call. Weeks pass then months. Calls, voice mail, no return call. You might have even got lucky. An email. “Sorry I keep missing your calls. I’ve been busy. I have one quick question, what would you do in this (insert situation)?”

You respond via email. Or worse, call and leave your answer on voice mail. Nothing. So ask yourself one question, is this prospect dead?

We’ve identified the first Stall. Missing in Action. You’re newest, closest friend up to the point of presenting a formal proposal. The second? Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll sign it tomorrow… “I can’t execute on your proposal today. It’s in the budget and on target to move forward in Q3. Definitely call me mid July.”

Finally, something else. “We didn’t hit our numbers this quarter. But our sales team has assured me we have a number of prospects that will close by the end of next quarter. I’m confident since many have been in negotiations for over six months…”

So what should you do? First put an expiration date in your proposal. Almost nothing is worse than having a client accept a proposal with dated information, last year’s pricing, services no longer offered. “Bob, I have great and bad news. Samurai Tool & Die finally accepted our proposal. Unfortunately, it is for product we no longer carry and the pricing is at 60% of current market.”

Second understand that a Stall is a no. In the future the suspect may again become a prospect then a client, but an elongated Stall is a no.

Third, preempt the Stall. When giving the prospect the opportunity to buy now, emphasize the need to take action immediately. Ask if there is anything the prospect can foresee to prevent her from moving forward. Raise a number of possible situations and determine if these will cause delays.

Emphasize the absolute need to maintain an active conversation. And as you remain hopeful that the check will be signed tomorrow, send an occasional email with non-proposal information that you believe would be of interest to the prospect

Next, get real about who is and isn’t a prospect. Go through your CRM and eliminate the false hope of a lengthy and inactive prospect list. Finally, to share Sensei Robert Lambert’s favorite Samurai adage, “Empty your head trash!” Politely let the prospect know it’s over.

“I’ve left a number of messages and obviously internal, corporate dynamics are preventing you from moving forward (its not your fault). My experience tells me that when communication wanes, a prospect either can’t or won’t for other reasons move forward (I understand, we can still be friends). So, I will go ahead and close your file (you’re off the hook). If you want to reactivate our proposal, please do not hesitate to call me (I’m still here for you if you need me).”

In my second “Black Belt” session, Sensei Dan Kreutzer, of the Samurai Business Group, led the group discussion on handling The Stall. The “Black Belt” program is a forum for Samurai Sales Mastery graduates to discuss problems and discover solutions to everyday business development issues. Together we share ideas and experiences with other graduates; and seek guidance from the Sensei.

To further discuss how to best manage The Stall,” contact either Dan Kreutzer or Robert Lambert or visit the Samurai Business Group website.

Spencer Maus, of SpencerConnect, is a senior-level, public relations executive. Samurai Business Group is a client and providing compensation to SpencerConnect.