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Alumni Dreams to Reality

 

Alumni Dreams to Reality is a monthly career/business advice column written for Park alumni by fellow alumna, Jaynine Ray-Howard, '03, USMC (Ret), PhD (ABD). Jaynine is the founder and owner of Dream Catcher, Business & Life Coaching. Her consulting firm specializes in helping veteran business owners, military veterans on active duty and those transitioning or already transitioned into the civilian world. Through this column, she is sharing her expertise with the Park University alumni community.

 

July/August 2011
 

Every Day Can Be Independence Day When Using Mobile Apps

Well, I finally did it. A few months ago I upgraded my cell phone and finally got with the times. I fought upgrading my phone due to the cost of a new phone. I waited until my contract needed renewing so I could get a discount. As we celebrate Independence Day and think about the Declaration of Independence which gives us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I realize my 4G Galaxy cell phone ensures every day is Independence Day.  I have been liberated from having to carry my laptop, Ereader, Flip, camera, GPS and visiting the bank to make a deposit. I’ve even been able to leave the client files home.  I am able to pursue happiness without so many gadgets.

Some of my favorite free apps that ensure everyday is Independence Day so that I can continue my pursuit of happiness are below.

1. Social media – I can check in using Foursquare, post my Tweets and chat with my Facebook friends around the globe using their various apps. Tweetdeck even has an app.

2. Contact Management– I love using ABBY BCR Lite and Bump – both of these apps allow me to enter the contact information from either a business card or a person’s phone. This saves me time from having to manually enter the information. It also eliminates the need for me to put the card on my rolodex and I don’t risk losing the card.

3. Dropbox – In order to avoid the risk of losing files on a hard drive or thumb drive my business has started using Dropbox. Dropbox allows me to upload files and share them with specific staff members. Not everyone has or needs access to every file. I no longer have to carry client folders with me or worry about getting a phone call and not having their information handy. Dropbox allows me to view the files on my phone.  There are various other file management apps you can download.

4. EReader – there are free apps for both the Kindle and Nook available for download to your phone. I thought it would be horrible to try and read a book on my phone but I find it is actually very convenient.

5. Magazines or News – I admit to being a news junky. I love being able to read Entrepreneur, FoxNews, Time, and News & Weather from my phone.  I can stay abreast of current events without turning on the tv or radio.

6. Banking – USAA has an app for the phone that allows me to take a picture of my check and make a deposit into my bank account. How cool is that? I love it. I have two business bank accounts and I purposely keep the one with USAA for depositing checks so that I do not have to make time to go to the local bank. This app saves me time, provides me quicker access to my money and allows me to earn interest faster too.

7. Music – I can now leave the iPod home. I can listen to music from various radio stations such as

K-Love or I can use Pandora, Amazon MP3 or other various applications. Again, I can leave the laptop, MP3 player or iPod home; one less gadget to replace when it goes kaput. 

8. Camera & Video – if your phone has a camera which it probably does you can now leave the camera home. My phone actually has a higher pixel than my camera that now functions as a paperweight. I own a Flip but my phone also can record a video so again no need to drag around one more gadget. The camera can also upload the photos or video to my social media accounts. I can also send the photos to my friends’ phones or email accounts. Again, this is saving me time.  We all know how time consuming it can be to find the cords and docking station to transfer photos off the camera or how annoying it is to find that you did not save them the memory card.

9. Video & TV – there are various apps you can download to watch tv. I have personally not used any yet.  But, my phone came with several installed i.e. T-mobile tv, tv.com, and media hub. I could see where these might come in handy on a long flight or when traveling. Again, allowing you to leave the laptop or portable dvd player home. There are also several free workout apps that I have downloaded i.e. squats, arm workout etc.

10. Navigation – my phone also came with the navigation app, Navigation, that allows me to leave my GPS home. I can either type or speak my destination. Being able to speak my destination is much safer than trying to type and drive.

11. Square – This is my favorite app. I use Square to take debit and credit card payments. This is a great resource for those who need to accept payment when away from a cash register or who only occasional take a debit or credit card payment.

This is just a short list. I did not mention the availability of checking email or playing games. Now I know this is going to sound lazy but it is cool to be able to check one last time whatever I want to check from my bed before I fall asleep using my phone. I no longer drag my laptop from room to room in my house.  Technology is always changing. No matter how hard we fight change sometimes when we finally give in and adapt we realize how much money we can save by upgrading one gadget that can eliminate at least half a dozen other gadgets. Upgrading your cell phone can save you money and save your shoulder. Your briefcase will no longer be weighted down with gadgets.

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May/June 2011
 

Add Power to Your Pounce:
Three Steps for Business Owners and Job Seekers

Business Owners and job seekers, whether you purr or roar there is power in the pounce.  What have you pounced on lately? What opportunities have you let slip through the cracks because you did not seize the opportunity?  My three steps will help you put more power in your pounce.

Three Steps to Add Power to Your Pounce

1. Actively Listen. Often people will casually say they would like to work with us or they will say they are looking for someone to do x, y or z.  Rarely, does a person walk up to you and ask to work with you or offer you the job. You must actively listen and be ready to pounce. You must be ready to ask for the sale or job opportunity.

2. Overcome feeling uncomfortable. As a business owner or person job hunting you must be ok with feeling uncomfortable and asking for the lead, referral, sale or job. The uncomfortable feeling means that change and growth is taking place. Do not hide from this feeling or run from it. If you do - someone else will pounce on the opportunity.

3. Ask for the sale or opportunity. People cannot hire you if they do not know that you are available and interested in working with him or her. You must ask for the sale. Do not let the person think you did not want to work with him or her. The person may think you do like them or that you are too busy. If you want to work with that person you must be ready to pounce and ask for the sale or opportunity.

Now, I know steps two and three are easier said than done. In order to make this mindset shift I want you to decide if you are the cat that purrs or roars. It is ok to have a sexy purr or quiet purr. Not everyone likes to roar. The person that hires you will hire you because they resonate with your personality. But, you must be ready to pounce on the opportunity. Once you decide what type of purr or roar you will have I want you to envision yourself pouncing on the opportunity. This requires quick action on your part.

When you start actively listening, learn to overcome feeling uncomfortable and ask for the sale or opportunity you will be pouncing. There is power in the pounce. Sometimes you may need to pounce more than once. This is what I call following up. Following up with prospective clients or employers requires you overcome that uncomfortable feeling and ask for the sale or opportunity. When you are ready to make that follow up phone call I want you to envision yourself pouncing. Does that vision make you laugh? Does it make you feel triumphant? It should help ease that uncomfortable feeling.  Everyone has to at one time or another had to put power in the pounce.  My three steps should have you putting more power in your pounce so that you have more money in your bank account and you turn your dreams into reality.
 

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April 2011

 

Spring into Action- Get Organized

Do you live a neat and orderly life? Do you function better in chaos? Some people will say they work better when surrounded by piles of papers or stacks of books. But do they really? I don’t think so. Mess breeds stress. Have you recently had to pay late fees because you forgot to pay a bill on time? Have you shown up late for an appointment because you could not find your keys or had to stop and find a belt, shoe or sock? Lack of organization and office procedures is detrimental to the small business owner, businessman and businesswoman, parent and student. My five tips below will help you design an environment that will save you time, money and needless stress.

Stop Sabotaging You and Your Success– Spring into Action - Get Organized

1. Designate Days – when you designate days when you do your filing, book keeping, article writing, invoicing and other necessary task you will save yourself time and money. You will know when you are going to do these tasks. You will avoid paying late fees when you pay your bills on time. Business owners often forget to follow up with hot leads or late bill payers. This costs the business money. I want you to grab your day planner or calendar and right now and schedule days when you will complete the routine tasks that are necessary for running your business and life. This will eliminate stress too and put more money in your bank account.

2. Designate a Home – what happens when you return to your office from checking the mailbox? Where does the mail end up? Do you put office supplies in a designated area? Everything in your office and home should have a designated home. Your office should not look like your bedroom with books, newspapers, shoes and clothing strewn about.

3. Designate Time – do you designate a time each week to clean and organize your office? When do you turn those piles into files? If you or your designated help do not do it when will it get done?

4. Dare to be Honest – why are you sabotaging your success by being unorganized? Are you afraid of success? I dare you to self reflect and be honest with yourself. You may find you really do not like doing a particular task or you do not know how to do the task. If you do not like doing the task then delegate it to someone else. If you do not know how to complete a task either learn how to complete it or delegate it to a professional.

5. Dream – dream about your ideal life and how much easier things will be when you are organized. Dream about how you will use the extra time you will have once you are organized. Dream about how you would like your ideal office space or home to look and then design a strategy to create that space.

Lack of organization costs you money. Money is hard to come by these days.  So, stop sabotaging you, your life and your business. Employ my five tips above and you will eliminate stress from your life and put more money in your bank account.

 

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Jaynine Ray-Howard graduated from Park University in 2003, with a bachelor of science degree in social psychology. She is the owner of Dream Catcher – Business & Life Coaching, a consulting firm that specializes in helping Veteran business owners, military Veterans on active duty and those transitioning or already transitioned into the civilian world succeed in establishing and reaching their career and life  goals. Jaynine is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapist. As an international business and life coach, she has a proven track record for helping business owners increase their revenues and job seekers land jobs through the use of networking. To help turn your dreams into reality, Jaynine is offering her free ecourse, My 5 Secrets to Networking Success, http://networkingdetox.com/ , to Park University alumni.
 


Park University's Career Development Center offers career services to alumni for lifetime at no charge.  To access these services please contact the Career Development Center at (816)584-6350 or email jobs@park.edu