Remembering All Those We Lost on 9/11/01


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5 Rules for Becoming an Intellectual Maverick

Life Requires More Than a Whisper of Wisdom, Says Venture Capitalist

No matter how well our lives may be going, many of us seem to be at our wit’s end when it comes to attaining that next level of success, but there is a solution to this challenge, says world-traveling entrepreneur Julian Pencilliah.

Whether we want to improve our relationships, spiritual development, emotional well-being, health or monetary ambitions, we so often find that we’re our own greatest enemies, says Pencilliah, author of “The Jetstream of Success,” (

“You see it time and time again – individuals rise out of the most devastating circumstances and transform their lives into greatness,” he says. “If you’re in a place where you feel that life’s closing in on you, and you have a pressing urgency to transform your misfortune into a positive opportunity, then you must embrace the fact that realizing your potential is a process.”

How does one start this process? Become a student of your own history and become an intellectual maverick, says Pencilliah, who reviews the attributes that must be developed to make progress possible.

Irrevocably change your world. Piece together an ever-fuller understanding of yourself with the intention of reinventing yourself a thousand-fold. We should always aim toward exponential achievements, with the wisdom of knowing that we are not chasing the achievement, but rather chasing the consciousness of who we need to become in order to materialize our success.

  • Think with sophistication. This is your capacity to become more strategic in your approach to life. This simply means that you need to become more process-oriented, rather than goal-oriented. Intelligence is knowing what’s required of you. Sophisticated thinking is the process of making successful decisions over a lifetime.
  • Exceed probability amplitudes. Achieving success in any arena of your life is framed within your ability to eliminate innate weaknesses and biases. History tells us that not all greats have off-the-chart IQs, nor are they born with limitless freedom. In fact, it’s the triumph over less-than-favorable circumstances and a determination to achieve that often builds the character necessary for success. Great individuals set out to achieve outstanding results, and make their decisions within intellectual criteria. All the greats have engaged a higher impulse, a higher bandwidth, and an inherent strength.
  • Smile with radiance. Life is beauty in every direction, but we are often unable to see it if we are too consumed with our lives. The simple truth is that you can touch more of the beauty of life only by touching your own beauty. If you look through the lens of love, gratitude and contribution, then you will be able to see and touch more of the infinite beauty that makes life on Earth a heaven. Learn to smile like sunshine every day and brighten up your world.
  • Get lucky. “I would love to tell you that your destiny is written in the stars, but it is actually written within the confines of your interpretation of life,” Pencilliah says. “Luck has more to do with self-engagement than any random twist of fate. Be bold and champion your life to exceed the probability amplitude of any statistic of luck.”
    We are all endowed with the ability to achieve success in any facet of our lives; success is framed within the definition of the analytical tools and emotional disciplines necessary to champion your life forward, he says.

“Above all, I live by three simple words: compassion, love and gratitude,” Pencilliah says. “We need to act on these three words daily. Doing so will irrevocably change your world.”

Julian Pencilliah, (, is the author of the new book, The Jetstream of Success, (, which is an Amazon Top 10 e-book best sellers in the self-help category. As a venture capitalist, he has taken a bold approach to life, which includes 20 years of accomplished business acumen. Whether it’s going face-to-face on a dive with great white sharks in the depths of the Atlantic, racing Formula One cars throughout the world or being on a game drive with Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson, Pencilliah’s lifestyle has served as a platform for him to draw analogies to connect with readers. This allows the reader to stitch together an ever-fuller understanding of their self, enabling progress toward their ambitions.

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5 Tips for Working With a Disorganized Boss

Working with a forgetful, disorganized supervisor is challenging and reduces your productivity. Ease your frustration by implementing these tactics:

  1. Simplify communications. Make your points clear and concise. Use bullets to list out action items. Don’t overwhelm your boss with too many things at once.
  2. Write it down. Offer your communication in writing. Many people can process what they read more easily than taking a verbal command and carrying it out.
  3. Follow up. If you don’t hear from your boss on an issue, follow up. Request confirmation of receipt of highly important items.
  4. Clarify instructions. Before taking actions on a project, clarify your boss’s expectations. Don’t make assumptions if something is unclear. If you don’t, you risk delegating incorrectly to your employees.
  5. Prioritize needs. Talk about or write your most important items first. If your boss processes or reads only the first half of your message, he or she will absorb the most critical information.

— Adapted from “17 Tips for Working With a Disorganized Boss,” Jacquelyn Smith,

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6 Tips to Overcome Overload

We’re living in a fast-paced, technology-centered world, and that can take a toll on your productivity and performance. Use these tactics to minimize the pain associated with cyber-overload—and prevent total burnout:

  1. Limit multitasking and task switching. If you want to do something and do it well, find time during the day when you can focus on that one thing.
  2. List your drop-everything contacts. Determine the small number of people who must be able to reach you no matter what, and find a different way for them to contact you than everyone else. That way they reach you without your having to stay on call for everyone who wants your attention.
  3. Focus on your work. Ignore digital distractions until it’s time for a break. Every time you’re distracted, you’re going to take a step backward. Resist the urge to check online for the latest news, sports and gossip. Make checking the ball scores or whatever a reward after you have completed something.
  4. Know when to take a break. If you find yourself up to your eyeballs in data and can’t see the forest for the trees, take a break and come back later. Don’t feel guilty: Recognize that you’re enhancing your brain’s capability.
  5. Choose breaks that promote creativity. Opt for low-information breaks, which don’t add to the overload that you’re experiencing. Exercise is a good option. Just walking around in your office or going up and down the stairs will be enough to refresh your brain and lead you to make that next move. Walk in a park and you will enjoy the benefits of nature too.
  6. Be the grasshopper and the ant. Despite the lesson from the ancient fable, you shouldn’t be a workaholic. Breaks are important. If you keep your nose to the grindstone, you’ll never see the bigger picture. You will be less likely to make a creative connection. An unstressed mind can work for you 24/7, even when you don’t think you’re working. Alternate between intense focus and relaxation. If you intensely focus and then relax, you receive the best from your brain, and then your brain is restored. People with balance in their lives don’t need to work as many hours as workaholics, because their brains work more efficiently and effectively.

— Adapted from So You Think You Can Multitask: Making the Most of Your Time and Your Talent in the Internet Age Special Report, Practical Business Training,

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3 Proven Management Techniques That Work in Any Business: Identify the ‘Influencers’ on Your Front Lines, CEO Advises

This is a guest post by Peder Johnsen.

In business, the only thing that matters is what works, says Peder Johnsen, a third-generation specialist in senior living communities. “The people in your company who are dealing with your customers – the clerks, the caregivers, the customer service reps – are where the rubber meets the road,” says Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

“That’s why it’s essential for the company leaders, the men and women in the offices that are often far from the front lines, to be where the action is on a regular basis,” he says. Concordis’ specialties include managing senior-living communities for other owners and developers, an art it has perfected, Johnsen says.

“We developed certain practices over the decades, first by building assisted-living communities and then by operating them,” he says. “These practices work in any business because they keep the leadership actively involved in what’s going well – and not – on the front lines, and provides a system for regular communication through all layers of the company.” Johnsen offers these tips for management that produces excellent results:

  • Identify the influencers in each work group. As with most businesses, senior living communities require teams of staff, from administrators to housekeepers and everyone in between. Within the various groups that make up your business, identify the key players – the people who influence others’ behavior, whether or not they hold a title or official authority. Meet with them on a regular basis so you can stay plugged in to what’s happening on the front lines.
  • Identify areas that need improvement. Talk to them about systems and areas that need to be fixed, overhauled or eliminated, and about how team members are working together. They’ll often have ideas for innovations. The idea is not to look for people or problems to blame, but to work together to develop solutions and improve the team’s overall efforts. “The information you get in speaking with these key players is invaluable,” Johnsen says. “There may be nothing at all wrong, which is great, but these meetings give you, the CEO or manager, the information you need to constantly improve. It also reinforces the message to employees that they and their ideas are valued members of the team.”
  • Figure out those “wildly important goals.” You can have the best people in the field working for you, yet if they’re not specifically guided to a certain goal, they are putting their time and effort toward an end that they’re assuming is correct. CEOs and other upper-level managers have the 30,000-foot view, so it’s up to them to guide everyone beneath them. “Short-term priorities may change slightly or drastically on a regular basis,” Johnsen says. “Your team may be self-sufficient, but their vision is limited to their daily duties. If they don’t know that a goal or objective has changed, they can’t work toward it.”

Peder Johnsen is the CEO of Concordis Senior Living, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities. He’s a third-generation assisted-living specialist whose grandfather and father built one of the first contemporary-style ALFs in Florida more than 30 years ago. Johnsen took over administration of two small facilities at age 18. Today, he runs the full spectrum of ALFs – from “ALF lites,” where most residents live very independent lifestyles but know assisted-living services are available if they should need them, to homes specializing in care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is an industry leader in staff development and training, and has overseen the development, acquisition and financing of several communities.

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Conquer Fear to Tackle a Big Project

When you are faced with the challenge of taking on a huge project at work, your anxiety can lead you to procrastinate, which only worsens your fears.

Robert Pozen, author of Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, offers this process for breaking through your anxiety and completing that intimidating task:

  • Find out what’s stopping you. Are you scared of failing? Does the work seem out of your scope? Identify your challenges so that you can come up with solutions.
  • Quit expecting perfection. You’ll never attain it, and you’ll end up overworked and frustrated in the end. That doesn’t mean that you do low-quality work, but you should figure out what is the required quality level for your project and meet it. If you have time and resources, you can always go back and make improvements—if the benefits are worth the effort.
  • Involve others. You don’t want to let others down, so if you delegate some work to employees or ask your colleagues to play a role in the project, your sense of obligation will motivate you to complete high-quality work and meet your deadlines.
  • Reward yourself for reaching milestones. Stop focusing on the negative and what will happen if you miss a deadline. Instead, treat yourself when you have completed 25% of the project with a dinner out, a massage or some other special gift.

— Adapted from “Tackle Big Projects Productively: 5 Tips,” Kevin Daum,

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5 Essential Building Blocks for a Thriving Work Culture: It’s All Premised on Having the Right Players, Says ‘Coolest Young Entrepreneur’

This is a guest post by Adam Witty.

What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg.

Adam Witty has managed to turn plenty of heads in the business community as founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher of business, self-improvement and professional development books and online learning.

Witty, who was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011, says creating the right environment is crucial for success. The magazine also featured his company in their top 500|5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 2012 and 2013, when the company ranked No. 42 in Media and No. 36 for Top 100 South Carolina Companies.

“You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question,” says Witty, the author of five books and an in-demand speaker and consultant on marketing, business development, media and publishing, and entrepreneurship topics.

“Of course, you need folks with the right qualifications who are willing to bring their A-game every day – that’s crucial. But there are also character traits to look for: a positive, can-do attitude, for instance. If a person doesn’t fit in the mix, not only will he or she be less likely to bring [his or her] best, [he or she] can also compromise everyone else’s game.”

Witty talks about what it takes to get that hum every CEO wants, both in the office and in one’s respective industry.

  • Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that something extra as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through. That speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first. Egomaniacs who cannot collaborate tend to grind productivity to a screeching halt.
  • Have fun. “Having fun not only helps your team do well but also it’s a sign that you’re doing things right,” Witty says. “Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.” Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.
  • Make employees and clients your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial stakeholders in the business. Without those folks, your business couldn’t survive.
  • Provide direction. Guide staff to understand why you do what you do and encourage difference makers. “Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do,” Witty says. “The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.”
  • Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.

About Adam Witty

Adam Witty is the founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher of business, self-improvement and professional development books and online learning. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals to help them write, publish, market and monetize books to grow their business. Witty has been featured on ABC and Fox, and was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011.

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