Jackie Barrie is a renowned copywriter, networker and speaker.
You can meet here in Spain at the Make it Happen Event 2016
Annabel Kaye will show you how to have a business with friends and family that doesn’t end in tears.
It happened on 11 November 2013.
I opened an email sending me a voice message from a fairly new friend of ours, in fact, she was the 12 year old daughter of my son’s new girlfriend. We’d sent her a birthday card so it was nice to think she’d got in touch The spelling of her name wasn’t quite the same – let’s say her name was Lia and the email message spelt it “Lya” – not knowing her long I assumed I’d spelt it incorrectly. On clicking the message nothing appeared, so maybe it hadn’t saved correctly. The phone ringing distracted me and as I was talking a small red box flashed at the bottom of my screen. Still distracted I clicked on the box, nothing happened. A few moments later, my screen was filled with a large red box stating that all my files had been encrypted by Cryptolocker – an exceptionally nasty piece of ransomeware.
This virus was so new that I’d been hit in their first UK targets. You might think as an IT trainer I should know better than to open a message like this, and I’d agree, normally. The total coincidence of the name just blinded me into a false sense of security.
Why is Cryptolocker exceptionally nasty? It encrypts EVERYTHING on your computer. And then demands that you pay $300 for the files to be released. Not only that, but any attached external drives, eg, usb / hard drive, would also have been included in the attack. I have an incremental remote back-up. Guess what, yes, it encrypted those files too!
To say I was in despair was an understatement. My entire 13 years of business had been encrypted. And in case you’re in any doubt, the files I could open were lines of complete mumbo jumbo. I researched on the Net. If I paid up, as a police department in USA had done, how did I know these villains would release my files? After 70 days they’d destroy my files if I didn’t pay up. The next stage in their master plan was to up the anti after 70 days and, providing details of a Bitcoin account demanded $2,000 for the files safe return!!!
The incremental remote back-up. I spotted that the back-up company could restore 30 day deleted files. So I got in touch, maybe, just maybe….. Yes, based in America, they knew about Cryptolocker and were frantically working to help their clients. They thought that they could help me. On 3 separate occasions they phoned me, talked me through and remotely accessed my machine to restore my files. Not all the files were saved, but the majority were. They didn’t charge me one extra $ / £ to do this – the annual charge for the back-up was then, just $54. The company? Carbonite. And I shall be forever thankful for their help in saving my business and my sanity.
So, beware. There are very clever, but equally nasty people out there. Make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date, buy the best you can afford, and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as I was. Not everything is as it seems on the Internet. Think once, think twice, think 3 times and then run that email/attachment manually through your updated anti-virus software.
I manage my own diary, but increasingly many of my contacts now have someone who does this for them. In an earlier life, I’ve been a PA and managed diaries. I’m curious as to how up-to-date today’s “diary owner” is with the arrangements. It feels very different. Sometimes I feel as though the person I’m meeting / having a phone call / Skype with is totally detached from any of these “behind the scenes” arrangements – I appreciate that is the general idea to some extent! Recently I’ve been blown-out again by someone who I met, we agreed would be good to have a follow-up coffee / conversation, it then got down to a Skype call as she’s too busy for a meet. On the last arranged time, I got an email from the diary manager, at the time of our arranged Skype to say meetings had overrun and she’d be in touch with alternative dates. She and I originally met end April. Busy lady!
So this set me wondering. If you manage someone else’s diary – how does this work for you? Do you get told about overruns last minute? If someone manages your diary for you, how do they keep you up-to-date with your movements. Do you touch base with the arranged person at all, or is it all managed by the “diary manager”. I’m genuinely interested to know.
Actually, I lurve Mondays!
Let’s look at Bank Holiday Mondays. She Who Bakes, the delightfully inspiring Britt Whyatt recently posted on Facebook “Oh good, a bank holiday!” said no self-employed person, ever.” I tend to take extended weekend holidays, rather than 2-3 week holidays, so I play with the Bank Holiday; I may not do any business work at all, I may do a little, I may work all day, or I may play all day, but it’s mine to do with what I want. Mostly!
So, what prompted this missive? There’s another reason I particularly like Mondays, or this week, Tuesdays. I have a very dear chum, who, subject to her diary, if I’m lucky will phone me on her journey from home to her office. The conversations are not without challenges. In-between dips and humps in the road the signal fades and then vanishes just at that crucial part of the conversation; sometimes we put the world to rights but mostly it’s about how we are both personally and in business, what we’ve been doing and what we’ll be doing, with some fun and laughter. Sometimes these conversations get cut short mid-stream, ending on a serious note with food for thought or equally it can end on a high fun note, either way, I greatly value this start to my working day!
Yes, I love Mondays (and Tuesdays)!!
How about you? Do you have a chum who phones you for a chat like this?
Well that’s what happened today. Four people were booked in for a training session, three dropped out at short notice, variety of reasons, all sounded legit. That left one and me as trainer – that’s fine, great 1:1 session coming up.
Arrived at training venue, staff not expecting us, ok after seeing my confirming email except that the booked room was full of unmoveable machinery. (That’s two, by the way). No problem… handy café nearby would suit our purpose. Staff very happy to have us. Order drinks, delegate goes to treat me only to find that she’s left her purse in the car! That’s three!
Well dear reader – you won’t be surprised to find that a great 1:1 training session followed! That’s life!
After 13 years in this business, I KNOW it works!
What am I talking about?
In case you haven’t guessed already NETWORKING!
Yesterday’s 1230 TWC Bexley meeting was another great example of how networking works. Admin help was needed in a growing business, sat opposite was…. a VA! Yes, you’ve guessed it, they soon became locked into discussions as to how they could work together and quickly put a date in the diary to discuss further. But it doesn’t always work as quickly as that which is why it’s so important to be consistent and attend networking events regularly to build those lasting business relationships.
Coming into the mix, help was needed with employment contracts, independent business advice and hands across the sea with our sisters over in Spain, so I was delighted to be able to make the connections there! And I’m sure business will result.
Today was Bromley’s turn. The 1 minute talks and 2 speakers opened up fascinating discussions that we could never have guessed from previous conversations with those there.
And the connections, collaborations and business continue to grow. Yep – it works!
Have you ever wondered about salutations? That is how you are addressed in letters, emails…
It shows to me that “someone” really hasn’t thought out the Fields for the respective database. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to add in 2 extra Fields. If you don’t know about “Fields” in a database, think “column headings”.
So for example – don’t forget, column headings – Field1 could be “Title”, Field2 “1st Name”, Field3 “last Name”, Field4 “email address”. In the above example “Dear Jackie Groundsell” Field2 and Field3 have been combined into one Field which include 1st and last names.
Breaking down the Fields in the way described gives the flexibility of the salutation being Dear Mrs [Title] Groundsell [last Name], or Dear Jackie [1st Name] – Dear Jackie Groundsell is just plain WRONG!
See how easy it is to get the right salutation? Hope this helps. Give me a shout if you need more.
Your body burns calories when it warms the water up to body temperature. Drinking 8 glasses of ice water a day burns about 60 calories. It also keeps you hydrated and alert.
Once an hour or so, get up from your chair and do a full body stretch. Touch your toes and extend your limbs to their fullest and relax