Category Archives: World Affairs Council

Breaking Patterns for Improved Results

As I look forward to 2012, I realize I must discontinue some of my current activities and habits and start new habits to Seth Godin and J.R. Atkins are fellow authors & speakersachieve different, better results. Authors from Seth Godin to Zig Ziglar have written about how our habits and goals must align for us to be successful.  I thought of a few ideas that might help you and I make the most of 2012. Let me know if you try these or other ideas to break old patterns and create new and improved habits.                                                          

Learn something new: My friend Steve is learning to drive a motorcycle as his new goal for 2012. Considering he is not the risk taking type, this is a stretch for him. It will put him out of his comfort zone and cause him to grow. What could you learn; a new language, a new technology, photography, how to ride a horse… and how might it help you grow? Check out the book “Learn Something Every Day” by Robert Young. 

Zig Ziglar is a mentor of J.R. AtkinsSee something different: I went to a movie in the middle of a weekday recently. It felt odd and “wrong.” I got to examine my beliefs about the right and wrong times to see a movie. What other “rules” was I holding on to? Do I follow some rules that no longer support my vision of who I am? What could you see differently? Art, an old car, behavior of your children,… and how might letting go of a view help you? Check out photographer Kat Miller’s website “See Things differently.”

 

Be a different person: What would it mean to do absolutely nothing for one hour; or one day? As an entrepreneur I look at the ROI of my time so at first my reaction is “why would anyone do that?” But, I hear that once you quiet your mind, you are able to see life and issues more clearly and this is the payoff for quiet time. Check out “The Critical Role Quiet Time Plays in the Achievement of our goals.

 

Do a different task: Have you been on a Habitat House Build? I like it because I’m not in charge, I’m part of a team, I’m making a difference and I meet people from different walks of life. This different task helps me break the habit of doing the same things, the same way. What is a different task for you? How could you benefit? Check out this video on YouTube “Doing things differently leads to something exceptional”

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Events worth looking into:

2/07/12 Dallas SEO/SEM Meet up – Hardcore Video SEO

2/08/12 Social Media & Your Career in 2012

2/08/12 “From Made in China, to Made for China”

2/09/12 Membership in the Current Age – Executive Briefing

2/09/12 AAF Dallas Presents the Addy’s

2/10/12 Author of “Paper Promises” Philip Coggan to Speak in Dallas

2/11/12 7th Annual Career Symposium

2/13/12 Arts Markets and Management Research Initiatives

2/14/12 The 2012 Economic Forcast with Alan Murray

2/15/12 Membership in the Digital Age

2/15/12 The state of the World by Former PM of Canada, Jean Chretien

2/16/12 Top 5 Pitfalls of Building a Fin./Acct.Team,…

2/17/12 Membership in the Digital Age

2/24/12 DFW BeMyApp Competition

2/28/12 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton

3/9-12/12 South by Southwest interactive – SXSWi


Design Your Website for Mobile & More with Responsive Web Design

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins recommends Responsive Web DesignAs more computing moves to mobile devices such as Smart Phones and Tablets, we all need to adjust how our websites look on smaller screens. The opposite is also true; as more people connect their computers to their TV and large display screens, the website should scale to make use of the additional viewing space. So what’s the solution? Design your web site so it will dynamically adjust to any screen size. This is called Responsive Web Design.

The basic idea of responsive web design is that a website should “respond” to the device it’s being viewed on. In broad terms, this can mean things like:

   Adapting the layout to suit different screen sizes, from widescreen desktops to tiny phones

   Resizing images to suit the screen resolution

   Serving up lower-bandwidth images to mobile devices

   Simplifying page elements for mobile use

   Hiding non-essential elements on smaller screens

   Providing larger, finger-friendly links and buttons for mobile users, and

   Detecting and responding to mobile features such as geolocation and device orientation.

Most of the time, though, when people talk about “responsive web design” they’re referring mainly to the first of these points: creating a responsive layout that can gracefully adapt to different screen sizes.[i]

Here a few examples of websites that utilize Responsive Web Design. You can test their responsiveness by adjusting the size of your browser window and seeing how the content changes.[ii]

J.R. Atkins, Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media & Mobile Apps discusses Responsive Web DesignJ.R. Atkins, Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media & Mobile Apps discusses Responsive Web Design

 

 

J.R. Atkins, Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media & Mobile Apps discusses Responsive Web Design 

By using Responsive Web Design you will create a more pleasing user experience for your website visitors thus increasing their time on your site and conversions.

To learn more about Responsive Web Design check these additional resources. I look forward to reading your thoughts and comment.

  1. Book: Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte
  2. Article: 60 Examples of Responsive Website Design from Inspiration Feed
  3. Blog: the Future of Web Design by Courtney Boyd Myers, The Next Web


[i] Matt Doyle, Responsive Web Design Demystified, Sept 30, 2011, http://www.elated.com/articles/responsive-web-design-demystified/ accessed December 17, 2011.

[ii]  Chris Lee, Top Responsive Websites Part 1, July 12, 2011, http://globerunnerseo.com/top-responsive-websites-pt-1, accessed December 17, 2011.

Upcoming Events of Note:

1/18/12           SMU Cox 4th Annual “Economic Forecast for 2012

1/18/12           Digital Dallas – A Start Up Showcase

1/19/12           Social Media Club of Dallas Meeting

1/21/12           DFW World Affairs Council: 2012 History at The Movies

1/24/12           JFK: The Medical Connection

1/26/12           Southwest Venture Forum

1/26/12           DFW MPI

1/26/12           AAF Dallas Happy Hour

1/31/12           Ambassador of Canada to the US – Gary Doer

1/31/12           Last Tuesday at the Ritz

To subscribe to my blog go to: http://somethingdifferentcompanies.com/blog/


Will Google+ Make it?

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins likes Google+, and offers training on Google+In late June of 2011, Google launched its third attempt at a social media site, Google+, and since then, people have been asking, will Google+ make it? Here is the take on Google+ by Dallas Social Media speaker, J.R. Atkins.

1. Yes. Why?

  • The 3rd time is a charm, after Google Buzz & Google Wave
  • The market is ready for a Facebook competitor
  • Google will integrate with Google Docs, Calendar, Reader, Gmail
  • Google will somehow make it better on their ndroid operating system.

2. What’s it mean to me and my business?

  • In addition to The Big 5 (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog & Video) you will now need to learn Google+.
  • In time, Google+ will add “pages” or business Profiles. For now, they are asking you not to create a personal account for your brand and have removed some well known brands.

3. When can I get started?

  • As soon as Google+ starts accepting new accounts again. When it started on June 28, Google+ accepted new accounts from you if you got an invitation from the beta group, mainly the Tech and Social Media community.

4. Could Google+ fail?

  • Yes, unless they start accepting requests from people for new accounts. I have met several people who are so frustrated that they cannot get a Google+ account that when Google+ does open again, they don’t want an account, it’s called “backlash.”

5. Pros & Cons of Google+:

6. For a Google+ cheat sheet:

What do you think? Is your business looking at Google+? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Future Events of Interest:

09-01-11 Gordon England, former Secretary of the Navy

09-01-11 DFW-AMA Meet-n-Greet

09-06-11Aggie Business Luncheon featuring Cathrine Hatcher

09-07-11 An evening with Former U.S. Sec of Defense Robert M. Gates

09-13-11 September AAF Luncheon – “Doing Digital Media Right”

09-13-11 Dallas Interactive Mktg & Internet SEO/SEM There is No ROI in Marketing

09-14-11 Webinar: Making Social Media Work for Your Business

09-15-11 the Association for Corporate Growth Sept Breakfast

09-15-11 Dallas Safari Club Sept Meeting with Larry Weishuhn

09-16-11 The Speaker Co-op DFW Monthly Meetup

09-21-11 Tim Pitt & Karen Shaffer of Rent-A-Center

09-21-11 Digital Dallas visit with Moonbot Studios

09-22-11 Dallas Business Club Reception & Discussion

09-22 11 World Affairs Council Dinner Featuring Thomas Friedman

09-27-11 The Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

09-29-11 AAF Dallas Happy Hour @ Naga Thai Kitchen & Bar


Perspective on Travel & Business

I enjoy doing business as I travel. The idea of rising above the stress of business to see the sights of a foreign land, to enjoy a good meal and relax by the pool are attractive. So I offer you the following thoughts on travel and business.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins taveled to Jerusalem

1.       Perspective

I like the perspective of getting away from home, office and town. Sometimes a trip of only 100 miles away can make a difference in how you see your current situation. Any time I travel I come home appreciating what I have. This is especially true when I travel abroad. When my wife and I went to Israel in January, my comment upon arriving in Dallas was “We are affluent, on our way to wealthy, according to global standards.” I take for granted our infrastructure, the rule of law, individual rights and all the wealth America has at hand. 

2.       Meet others who are doing things

It’s fun to meet people from other places both in the U.S. and abroad. Have you ever been someplace and met someone from your home town? I get excited to meet them since we are away from home. I’m sure if I met them in line at the store at home it would not carry the same level of excitement.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends the book: What they dont teach at the Harvard Business SchoolI remember Mark McCormack’s book, “What They Don’t Teach You at the Harvard Business School” where he suggested that you fly in First Class because of the people you meet. There is still some truth in this today, that the people who fly are doing something bigger than themselves, something important or something new. I like to meet these people and keep in touch via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. With Social Media, it is so much easier to have a global perspective.

3.       Time away from business productivity

As much as I like the perspective I gain through traveling, on a recent trip to Atlanta it dawned on me that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel.

Let’s say you place a value of $100 per hour on your time. That would mean in a typical day of work from 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00 you would create $800 of value. This is assuming that you are in one place creating value, like your office, and take just 1 hour for lunch. If your commute is 1 hour each way, you spent 11 total hours creating $800 of value or about $73 per hour.

Now let’s look at a day of business travel where you leave for the airport at 5:30 for a 7:30 flight and land at 9:30, drive to the business location arriving at 11:00, and work for 1 hour, take a 1 hour lunch, then work again from 1:00-5:00, hop on a plane home at 6:30 arrive in your home town at 8:30 and get home at 10:30. In this day you have created 6 hours of value in an office and let’s say another 2 hours of value working on the plane for a total of 8 hours. This would mean that you spent 17 hours creating $800 of value for or about $47 per hour.

This is how I got the idea that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel. I also need to stay longer in one place while I am there, to spread the travel time and cost over more billable days.

The other solution is to travel less and do more through video conferencing. There are many tools in a wide array of price ranges, from free services, like Skype, to premium services like Cisco Unified Communications platform.

 4.       Time away from family and friends

A little travel might cause you to appreciate your friends and family a little more, but I submit that the more you are away, the more your relationships suffer. Telephone, email, social media and video can make a positive impact on being away from loved ones but nothing takes the place of being there. So before we hop in a plane, train or automobile, we need to make sure it is a worthy trip. (Work Travel & Family Research Project at Texas Tech University)

 What have you learned through Travel? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

 Dallas sociala media speaker J.R. Atkins attends the Social Media Club of DallasFebruary Events

 2/16 – DFW American Marketing Association Luncheon

2/17 – Social Location Marketing with Simon Salt

2/19 – Saturday at the Warwick Melrose with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

2/28 – Dallas iPhone Developers & Entrepreneurs MeetUp


Work Space

What is a work space? I take it to mean a place, where work gets done. But what does it take to get work done? Consider the environment, from lighting, to decorations, to sound, to light, to co-workers and fellow tenants. Almost anything that can and does contribute to you producing your best. Yet, as I visit with clients, I see a wide variety of work conditions.

My favorite work space exists at one of my clients locations, [x]cube LABS, where I am performing work “on-site”. I am filling an employee-type role, working “full time” to generate the deliverables for the project.

 Dallas Social Media Speaker helps the xcube LABS team

The company occupies space in an Art Gallery/Studio environment. At the front of the building, there is a successful art gallery, Marty Walker Gallery, with artist studios occupying the rest of the building. As my client is in the design business, they chose to rent space with other artists. This is very different for me. I’m used to the glass and steel structure of “Class A” office space and I found this new environment both refreshing and productive.

Here are topics I consider to contribute to being your best and producing your best.

1. Creating & Thinking: This is what many of us get paid for. Anyone can just do a job but to progress in your role, it’s your thoughts and creative contributions that count.  So, create a space that is conducive to creative work and thinking. Is your desk cluttered or clean, do the items on your desk contribute to or detract from your thoughts? What about the walls, lighting, plants, music, a candle burning, your chair… If your work space is not conducive to your creating, then change it. If you cannot change it enough, find a place at a park, a library, a book store, a zoo, or an art gallery that is conducive to your creative process.

2. Resources & Tools: Whether it is a computer, books, a white board, a tablet, colored markers, or a musical instrument, find the tools and resources you need to be productive and make sure you have them at your finger tips. We get distracted and off task when we have to hunt down our tools.

3. Others: Sometimes we need to collaborate with others to produce results. Other times, someone can block us from producing results. Don’t let anything stand in your way of being the best you can be. Go the extra distance to seek those you need to collaborate with. I will schedule lunch with certain people and take notes while we are together. Later, these notes form ideas for projects, blog posts and speaking points.

4. Measurement: How do you measure your results? Of course we can use money, as it is the measure of the market place. Our annual income is in direct proportion to how the market is valuing our contribution. Another big measurement for me is satisfaction. Am I satisfied with my life, my growth, the work I am producing and the people in my life?

5. Mobile Work, on the go, hot cubing: Many of us are working mobile. This can mean working from home, on-site for clients, in the office some, traveling or hanging out at Starbucks. “Hot Cubing” is like Hot Bunking in the Navy. Your work space is being used by a co-worker when you’re not in the office.

All of the above mentioned forms of working can create stress, (and detract from your productivity), or you can turn this variety of locations into a strength. By being able to work away from an office you can seek out those creative spaces mentioned above. Do you take any pictures with you for your traveling work space? My desk top on my laptop is a slide show from my last trip to the BVI. This gives my space a home like feeling where ever I work.

6. Fragmentation: One of the biggest killers of productivity is interruptions. They can take the form of email, social media, Skype, cell phone, office phone, people walking into your office, outside noise, smells …almost anything that keeps you from being your best. Sometimes I turn off my devices and set aside a specific amount of time to contribute focused time to a task. I also have to write myself a note to turn the devices back on when I am done.

What Really Matters is that you are happy, challenged, growing and have a sense that you matter, that people value you as a person and your contributions. When you can pull this off and make a good income, then you have “arrived”.

Upcoming Events

01/04/11                     Aggie Business Luncheon, Dealing with Change

01/06/11                     DFW AMA Meet-N-Greet

01/08/11                     Art Show: Lee Mascarenhas at Craighead Green Gallery

01/10/11                     Social Media & Your Career, Ft Worth Career Network (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/11/11                     Social Media for your Business, Summit Networking Group (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/14/11                     Israel iPhone MeetUp

01/24/11                     Dallas iPhone MeetUp

01/25/11                     The Last Tuesday Happy at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

01/27/11                     AAF Dallas Happy Hour

01/28/11                     World Affairs Council: Ambassador Marcc Grossman


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