Schlagwort-Archive: time

Billionaire Investor Paul Tudor Jones Says Stock Market Valuation Is Terrifying And He Is Right

dollarvigilante72 
We live in a unique time. Never before have the markets gone to such extremes in almost every way imaginable.

Not just the markets either. Nearly everything.

US government debt is just getting ridiculous now. There are really no more words to say how out-of-control and unsustainable it is.

It’s almost as though they are attempting to bankrupt the US on purpose… which is one of our main theories.

And, we’ve seen countless big names in the financial world come out warning of an impending collapse in the last year. Bankster kingpin, Jacob Rothschild, even warned we are in “unchartered waters” on August 21st of last year.

The latest to warn is Paul Tudor Jones, the billionaire hedge fund manager who recently came out with a “controversial” bearish statement regarding the future of US markets.

At a closed-door Goldman Sachs conference last week, he said, “That measure – the value of the S&P relative to the size of the economy – should be “terrifying” to a central banker.”

In addition to that measure, here is a look at the Wilshire 5000, a market-capitalization-weighted index of the market value of all stocks actively traded in the US, versus US GDP.

As you can see, the value of stocks in the US is higher now than at any time in history versus GDP. It is far higher than it was in 2008 and even higher than the tech bubble where companies like Pets.com were valued in the hundreds of millions just for having an internet domain name.

And, now with the Dow Jones back near 21,000 and the Nasdaq over 6,000 AND the Federal Reserve still with interest rates at only 1%, it is setup for absolute disaster.

The Dollar Vigilante’s Senior Analyst, Ed Bugos, agrees with Tudor and has also pointed out how the past 16 years of low interest rates have bloated stock valuations to a level not seen since 2000.

As Ed mentioned in our April 13th Issue to subscribers, “The financial markets have become accustomed to low interest rates as has the government when it comes to managing its finances. The boom in profit growth to the extent there is any growth at all in the past few years is also driven by the related expansion in money. So absolutely the whole boom is vulnerable to a recession due to this freeze in credit growth.”

You may have noticed that we haven’t been talking about the upcoming crash for the last few months. That’s because, in December of last year, Ed Bugos told subscribers to abandon all shorts as the market was going higher.

He was right, yet again, on that one. That’s how he made subscribers a 99% gain in 2016!

But, just in the last few days, Bugos has gone bearish again with a far-out-of-the-money put option on the S&P that has very little risk and massive potential reward. It was the same type of option that we issued in the summer of 2015 that gained 4,500% in just three days during the Shemitah crash of 2015.

You can get access to all of Ed’s analysis and recommendations by signing up to TDV Premium here.

One of the other extremes currently happening is “confidence” in the stock market. According to Yale University’s Stock Market Confidence Index over 90% of investors believe that the stock market will rise in the next 12 months.

Yes, more than 90% of both institutional and individual investors actually believe the US stock market will go higher in the next year.

That is a stunning, and as Tudor says, frightening number.

Most individual investors went to government indoctrination camps for 12 years, drank fluoridated water and have watched mainstream media Fake News propaganda their whole lives, so these are not the kind of people you want to be running in the same direction with!

And, even worse, most institutional investors, while they went to private schools, they were still taught mostly useless and wrong information and then went for another 4 or 8 years of further indoctrination in colleges where they mostly learned absolutely useless Keynesian economics.

The fact that both are maniacally bullish at this time is probably a good sign that you should turn the other direction!

Follow that old saying your grandma used to tell you, “Don’t do what fluoridated, brainwashed, government educated, communist economics trained statists do.”

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Meet the $21 Million Company That Thinks a New iPhone Is a Total Waste of Money

IFixit's founders, Kyle Wiens (left) and Luke Soules, have built a thriving company around a pretty radical idea. CREDIT: Alex V. Murawski

The guys behind iFixit want to show you how to fix everything from your iPhone to your toaster–for free. By doing so, they've built a huge business. Even though Apple totally hates them.
 IFixit's founders, Kyle Wiens (left) and Luke Soules, have built a thriving company around a pretty radical idea. CREDIT: Alex V. Murawski
  
"Here–stand on that," says Kyle Wiens, positioning himself opposite his visitor and reaching for the switch. Then comes the electric hum, followed by the soft jolt and the ground receding. It's a car lift, mechanic's grade, salvaged from a dealership, reinstalled on a concrete pad in Wiens's backyard in Atascadero, California. 

Wiens–who's wearing jeans, a checkered shirt, steel-rimmed glasses, and the kind of haircut you might give yourself with a pair of dull scissors–has about two sloping acres on a rise overlooking U.S. Highway 101, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The high hills beyond are green from this winter's drenching rains. There's a stucco main house, a prefab outbuilding, a chicken coop, a patio with a monster grill, and a work shed that houses motorcycles, dirt bikes, kayaks, wetsuits, a generator, a compressor, a welding torch, hammers, wrenches, and drills, as well as several small piles of disassembled equipment: his many works in progress. The lift is just outside the shed. Wiens uses it for jobs most people would delegate to a professional, like swapping out the transmission on a truck. And for cheap thrills: "It's so cool!"

IFixit co-founders Kyle Wiens (left) and Luke Soules in a loft atop a rock-climbing wall. Note the strategically placed iFixit logos on their laptops.CREDIT: Shaughn and John
It's also there because fixing stuff is his life's work. Wiens, 33, is co-founder and CEO of iFixit, a company whose mission, he says, is to "teach everybody how to fix everything." On iFixit's website is a vast library of step-by-step instruction sets covering, well, let's see: how to adjust your brakes, patch a leaky fuel tank on a motorcycle, situate the bumper sensor on a Roomba vacuum cleaner, unjam a paper shredder, reattach a sole on a shoe, start a fire without a match, fill a scratch in an eyeglass lens, install a new bread-lift shelf in a pop-up toaster, replace a heating coil in an electric kettle, and–iFixit's specialty–perform all manner of delicate repairs on busted Apple laptops and cell phones. More than 25,000 manuals in all, covering more than 7,000 objects and devices. Last year, according to Wiens, 94 million people all over the world learned how to restore something to tiptop working condition with iFixit's help, which frankly was a little disappointing. Wiens's goal was 100 million.

Some of the knowledge stored on iFixit's website is produced internally. Most comes, wiki-style, from the world at large. Either way, the information is always free. You don't have to register. There's no advertising. IFixit makes about 90 percent of its revenue from selling parts and tools to people who wouldn't know what to do with them if iFixit weren't also giving away so much valuable information. The rest comes from licensing the software iFixit developed to write its online manuals, and from training independent repair technicians, some 15,000 so far, who rely on iFixit to run their own businesses.

"We impact the economy in a far bigger way than we capture ourselves," Wiens allows. He's OK with that. That's how you get to everybody and everything. But it's a real business. A 14-year-old, 125-employee, five-time Inc. 5000 honoree growing 30 percent year over year, iFixit topped $21 million in sales in 2016 and delivers steady profits. "We give away a whole lot for free," says co-founder Luke Soules, who's 32. "We like that, and it still works, even if only a fraction of those people give us money."

Consider how we as consumers relate to our electronic gadgets and gizmos. We can't live without them, but we have no more idea about what goes on beneath their shiny exteriors than the apes did about the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. When they break, we feel helpless; we want a new one right away. But there are consequences to consuming like that–environmental consequences, as our discarded toxic technology makes its way into landfills and dumps; resource consequences, as finite supplies of crucial elements like iridium are rapidly consumed and discarded; eco­nomic consequences, as we recklessly empty our pockets to keep pace with the latest and greatest; and human conse­quences, as we grow increasingly frustrated by the magical objects on which we depend.

IFixit and its noble mission may not seem like much of a threat to anyone, least of all the most profitable company on the planet, but Apple has been watching iFixit carefully. Apple doesn't like iFixit, because iFixit writes its own in-house versions of Apple's top-secret repair manuals and shares them with all comers. It sells reverse-engineered Apple-equivalent parts and bundles them with custom-designed picks, tweezers, spudgers (tiny plastic chisels), and screwdrivers in affordable, everything-you-need kits. Working with iFixit, you can replace a cracked screen or a fried battery for a lot less than if you were to take your problem to an Apple store, which might not be an option for you anyway, depending on where you live. Plus, iFixit won't try to sell you a new phone. (Apple ignored repeated requests to comment for this story.)

IPhones equipped with new iFixit replacement screens, awaiting testing.CREDIT: Shaughn and John
Then again, iFixit doesn't like Apple either. At iFixit headquarters in San Luis Obispo, California, the recycling goes in cans labeled with iFixit's logo–it resembles a Phillips screw head–while the cans with the Apple logo are for trash. In eight state legislatures across the country, the two companies are fighting over so-called right-to-repair laws (see "You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Repair," below) that, if passed, will loosen Apple's strict, cradle-to-grave control over everything it sells and eat into its stupendous repair revenue. Apple doesn't report just how huge that repair revenue is, but trade journal Warranty Week estimates that one proxy for that–sales of Apple's extended-warranty repair program, AppleCare–delivered the company a staggering $5.9 billion worldwide in 2016. "It's the world's largest extended-warranty program," says Warranty Week editor Eric Arnum. "Bigger than GM's. Bigger than Volkswagen's. Bigger than Best Buy's or Walmart's."

IFixit wouldn't be here if it weren't for Apple and everything about it–its innovation, its ubiquity, and its arrogance. IFixit is basically a parasite if you think about it that way. Or maybe a pilotfish, swimming with the shark and subsisting on its leftovers. Yet that doesn't begin to capture the fullness of this company's radical mission, or the ambition of its founders, both of which Wiens has spent much time reflecting on.

"I'm really concerned about the transition in society to a world where we don't understand what's in our things," he says. "Where we are afraid of engineering, afraid of fact, afraid of tinkering. When you take something like a phone or voice recorder and you take it apart and you understand it enough to be able to fix it, a switch flips in your brain. You go from being just a consumer to being someone who is actually a participant." This may not be as cool as having your own backyard car lift. But still, it's pretty cool.

Wiens and Soules both grew up in Oregon, but they didn't meet until they got to California Polytechnic State University, where the motto is "Learn by doing." That was 2003, and they've been together ever since–as friends, roommates, 50-50 business partners, and river kayaking buddies. (When Wiens announced he was getting married, his other friends told him he would have to divorce Soules first.) Wiens talks more than Soules and sleeps less; he's the public face of iFixit, its chief explainer and grand strategist. Soules oversees operations and manages iFixit's China supply chain; he's also a pilot and a clarinetist. At Cal Poly, they bonded over their shared geekiness. "I remember him going home for Christmas break," says Soules. "He had a big, old-fashioned desktop computer. He brought it with him on the train."

Wiens's other computer was an Apple iBook G3, the curvy, candy-colored laptop known as the "toilet seat Mac." He dropped it one day, and it broke. Wiens was unfazed. As kids, he and his brother were always taking apart and reassembling old radios and kitchen appliances that their grandfather bought for them at Goodwill. He "spent his life making and maintaining things," Wiens wrote of his grandfather in a eulogistic essay published on The Atlantic's website in 2013; he schooled Wiens in the war against "entropy: the second law of thermodynamics that guarantees everything will eventually wear out"; and he sent him off to college with a toolkit and a soldering iron.

IFixit staffer Alec Thille, at his desk at company headquarters.CREDIT: Shaughn and John
Wiens needed a G3 repair manual. He searched in vain online. Apple doesn't share such knowledge with its customers. That ticked him off. It was his computer, after all. Bought and paid for. Why shouldn't he have access to its inner workings? "This shall not stand," Wiens remembers thinking, and so was born the idea for a business.

Wiens and Soules worked it out over the next several years. Initially, they thought they'd write their own repair manuals and sell them, but–first lesson–information is a tough sell. (No one would pay for eHow's articles or videos, either.) Parts and tools, on the other hand, aren't, so Wiens and Soules became online resellers, clearing out the screwdriver shelves at Sears, ordering hard-to-get parts from catalogs, and filling orders, Michael Dell-like, from their dorm. They called their fledgling company PowerBook Fixit, until Wiens got scared that Apple might hunt them down for trademark infringement. Next, they tried PBFixit, which didn't stick either. "People thought it stood for peanut butter," says Soules. Still, people came. "We didn't make money our first month," says Wiens. "We made money our second month. And we've made money ever since."

They roomed together, sleeping in bunk beds so they'd have more space for inventory. Sophomore year, they moved off campus to a two-bedroom apartment, and eventually to a three-bedroom house with a three-car garage that served as a parts warehouse. Taking care of business while keeping up with classes presented certain challenges. "I'd be on the phone with a customer, trying to walk them through installing their hard drive, and I'm looking at the clock thinking, 'I have a midterm across town in 20 minutes,' " says Wiens. "You can't tell the customer that." Eventually, they hired help. One day, an employee arrived for work at the house having forgotten his key, so he picked the lock. The boss was impressed. "To this day, we still teach lock-picking to new employees," Wiens says. (At times, iFixit has sold branded lock-pick sets despite certain complications; it's illegal to ship them via U.S. mail.)

"In the beginning, we were very carefully iterating on the customer experience around parts," says Wiens. "Then customers would say, 'Well, that's fine, but how do we install it?' So we wrote them a manual. And they would say, 'Well, that's fine, but we don't have tools,' and so we sold them the tools. And they would say, 'Well, the tools are too expensive,' so then we started building kits and just bundled the tools into the price of the parts. It turns out that we were doing something that nobody else in the parts business was."

The year they graduated, 2007, was the same year the iPhone made its debut, presaging a dramatic shift in their revenue stream from fixing computers to fixing handheld devices. What had begun as a part-time gig was by now a profitable, fast-growing business. It didn't provide them with just spending money while they were in college–it paid for college. It also covered the down payment on the $690,000 house in Atascadero that would serve them over the years, sometimes overlappingly, as their shared home, an employee bunkhouse, and iFixit's headquarters. "This could very well be a career for us," Soules remembers thinking senior year; the thought had never occurred to him before. So much for worrying about finding a job.

IFixit staffers pitching in to process the company's latest delivery of its tools inventory from its suppliers. This time around, iFixit received more than 2,000 boxes.CREDIT: Shaughn and John
The front door at iFixit headquarters on the edge of downtown San Luis Obispo is locked. A sign says "by appointment only." There is a bell, however, to which a smiling, bearded 20-something responds. He leads the way through an empty waiting room into a steel-girded, skylighted barn, filled with other bearded 20-somethings and a few of their female counterparts. This building used to be the car dealership where Wiens got his lift. He left the other lift out back for his employees' benefit, though it's not clear how many drive, much less own cars. On their first day, all iFixit workers receive–in addition to a desk, in parts, which they're expected to assemble themselves–$400 toward the purchase of a bike. The parking lot is mostly empty.

Renovating the place took more than a year. The biggest challenge, Wiens says, was figuring out how to insert an upper level into the existing framework and make everything watertight without bringing down the roof. ("It's much harder to repurpose and reuse an existing building than to build a new one from scratch," he concedes, irony apparently unintended.) There's a grand staircase bisecting the central atrium, made with recycled acacia and walnut. Twin monitors on the landing track global activity on the website. The paneling at the top of the stairs is made with two-by-four oak-flavor planks, discarded by the region's wineries. It smells good in here. Not like wood or wine, but familiar and clean. Like a freshly opened box of electronics.

Soules is visiting the company's suppliers in China this week, but Wiens is at his second-floor "desk." It's a treadmill set to walking pace, facing a high-top table holding a stack of outdated software manuals, repurposed as a platform for his laptop.

Wiens doesn't advertise it, but he's a devout Christian. Jen Wiens, iFixit's company chef, wasn't sure what to make of her future husband the first time they met, in Bible class–an insistent chatterbox, a voracious reader (later she would learn that he listens to audio books at double speed), a man given to big ideas and noble pronouncements. "I worked at a law firm downtown," she says. "I was always pretty tired from a 14-hour day. He would sit next to me and just keep talking. He was always really excited. Eventually, I decided maybe I should pay attention."

One of the first times they hung out together, Kyle told Jen that he wanted to change the world. He was still in college, still working out the details of his big vision for "fighting the growth of disposable culture," as he would write years later in iFixit's employee handbook (a 50-page manifesto illustrated with drawings lifted from a 1903 edition of the Boy Scout handbook), "promoting sustainable design, defending ownership rights, and shedding light on the devastating effects of electronic waste." Kyle wasn't quite there yet, though it was clear to Jen even then that when Kyle talked about changing the world, he meant something more than disrupting some tiny corner of the tech industry and making a lot of money for himself. "I knew where he was going," she says.

Where he was going, of course, was this business that would eventually infuriate Apple. But it would also thrill a few enlightened corporate allies–notably Patagonia, which partners with iFixit to help fulfill the lifetime guarantee it offers on all branded gear. "We're really impressed with their ethos," says Nellie Cohen, Patagonia's "worn wear" program manager.

In some ways, iFixit is a conventional success story. It's made money, certainly, though not as much as it could have if that had been the main goal all along. One reason its founders stopped applying for inclusion on the Inc. 5000 several years ago, according to Wiens, is they weren't interested in hearing from any more potential investors. "I think we're both scared of the responsibility to grow and make money at all costs that that would bring," says Soules. And already iFixit has had far more impact, in its own industry and beyond, than companies many times its size–remember, it reached 94 million do-it-yourselfers last year, and has trained thousands of technicians scattered across the U.S.

"I can't think of anything else as exciting as this or as needed," Wiens says. In a world marked by a huge economic divide, he is convinced–as well as convincing–that iFixit can help make owning technology more affordable while creating opportunities for independent repair shops. Add to that the environmental benefit of throwing less stuff away, and maybe the human benefit of making us all just a little bit happier.

One of Wiens's favorite books is Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. Crawford, a research fellow at the University of Virginia, has an undergraduate degree in physics and a PhD in political philosophy. His book ties all that together with lessons learned in his other career, as a motorcycle mechanic. "We evolved to be tool users," Crawford says. "What people are looking for is that basic experience of individual agency, to see the effect of your own actions and take care of your own shit."

That Wiens and Soules have created a booming business that can help with that? Very cool.

You gotta fight for your right to repair
Eight states are mulling legislation that would thrill iFixit–and anger Apple.

The first car I owned was a 1970-something Ford Maverick. When you opened up the hood, it was easy to do whatever you had to do–new plugs, new belts, oil change. Cars today are packed to the gills with circuitry and software. But that doesn't mean they're unfixable by anyone other than the manufacturer, despite what car companies would have us believe.

A set of screwdriver heads, waiting to be mounted on an iFixit-branded handle. On their first day at iFixit, new employees are given a desk. There's one catch: They have to assemble it themselves.CREDIT: Shaughn and John
Such was the impetus behind Massachusetts's Right to Repair ballot initiative of 2012, which voters approved by 86 percent to 14 percent. It gave car owners and independent repair shops access to the same diagnostic tools, repair manuals, and firmware that licensed dealers have.

Now lawmakers in eight states are pursuing legislation that would extend the concept to cover computers, smartphones, and tractors. "Repair is impossible without access and information," says Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the lobbying firm Repair Association. One such bill was introduced in January by Lydia Brasch, a state senator for a rural district in northeastern Nebraska. She's tired of driving 80 miles to Omaha–to the only Apple store in Nebraska–to get her computer fixed. Her husband, Lee, is a fifth-generation corn and soybean farmer who's had similar issues with his $300,000 John Deere combine. (John Deere, says Gordon-Byrne, is "the Apple of farming.")

Apple, which did not respond to multiple requests to comment for this story, is not happy with what's happening in Nebraska–and Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Wyoming. Recently, the company sent a delegation to the state capitol in Lincoln to have a word with Brasch. Apple's lobbyists were "respectful," she reports. They offered to back off if she exempted smartphones. Then they tried to scare her, warning if the bill passed, Nebraska would be "a mecca for hackers and bad actors."

But Brasch isn't buying it. "How many billions do you need?" she wonders. "There should be a little piece of the apple for the rest of us to share."

If I can do it, you can do it
I put one of iFixit's kits to the test, on my busted up old iPhone.

My work-issued iPhone 5C worked fine until one day it didn't. The screen fizzed out. No cracks in the glass, just a dense net of wavy vertical lines, rendering the display unreadable. Apple says that its phones should last three years. Mine made it two and a half.

By then, the warranty had expired, which might have bothered me if I were paying, but I wasn't. Work sent me a replacement and the 5C went into a drawer, where according to a study sponsored by SellCell.com, a reseller, some $13 billion worth of old cell phones reside.

Then I heard about iFixit and I wondered: Could a doof like me really fix my old phone? I was encouraged to learn that the 5C earns a reparability score of six from iFixit, on a scale of one to 10, which isn't bad. (My new Galaxy S6 Edge only gets a three.) And that my specific job, a front panel replacement, involved 32 steps, would require 30 minutes to an hour to complete, and had a difficulty rating of "moderate"–not "easy," but not "very difficult" either. I ordered the full kit, parts, and tools, for $54.95, plus shipping.

The first thing I did when my package arrived was watch the six-minute tear-down video on iFixit's website. Then I dove into the illustrated instructions. Step 12, removing the four infinitesimally small Phillips screws that secure the front panel assembly cable bracket to the logic board, caused me the most anxiety. The screws look identical, but they're not. "Accidentally using the 3.25 mm screw or the 1.7 mm screw in the bottom right hole will result in significant damage to the logic board causing the phone to no longer boot properly," I read.

I wasn't certain at the time that I hadn't made that mistake. (I recommend clearing off your workspace before you begin; a magnetic mat would have been helpful too.) Still, I persevered. After reinserting the last two "Pentalobe" security screws (Apple nomenclature) that seal the case, I pushed the power button, held my breath, and beheld with pride a glowing screen. My old 5C, good as new. I showed my wife. 

 

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Daily Bread: A Rock Solid Foundation Do you have unhealthy relationships influencing you?

Prepare
Do you ever wonder what it takes to please God? It couldn’t be clearer than in Proverbs. Ask God to give you a willing heart as you prepare to be counseled by Him.

Read
Proverbs 1:1-19

Explore
There is a well-known saying in Spanish – “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.”

Who you associate with tells a lot about a person. And in Proverbs, the Lord wastes no time warning against such basic mistakes.

It is interesting that the fear of the Lord (vs 1-7) and choosing friends (vs 10-19) are the first two subjects in the book of Proverbs. We should not take lightly this first passage – one of the longest in the whole book. As Solomon, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, lays the foundation on how to live a successful life, he gives us two clear points of emphasis – wisdom through the fear of the Lord and foolishness through poor relationships (v 7).

Take time to check out Psalm 128:1, Psalm 112:1, Proverbs 8:3, Job 1:1, and 2 Corinthians 5:11a. In each passage, the fear of the Lord has a direct correlation to walking in His ways, finding delight in His commands, and hating evil. It is a direct rebuke of foolish, undisciplined living.

Do you desire to be filled with wisdom and knowledge? Do you want to honor God with your life and fear Him with a holy fear? Then start by looking at your influences. Who do you spend time with? Who influences you? Is it God, or is it unhealthy friendships?

Respond
Heavenly Father, I look to you from the depths of my heart to give me daily direction for every aspect of my life. Thank you for your personal counsel.

Is Jesus the rock in your foundation? Do you believe He can truly calm the storms in your life? Talk to one of our volunteers about the storms going on in your life and ask for prayer.

Ask for Prayer

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

What is Social Credibility

Building social credibility via our social media networks allows us to nurture relationships, stay top-of-mind with the purpose of creating “sales time” with buyers at the right time. It is about positioning ourselves to have influence and high levels of perceived value with prospects or potential customers. It is not just about building up our own personal brand but also support the company’s brand online.

At a practical level it is about participating in online discussions on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Forums etc as well as writing and sharing content relevant to your customers. It also extends to being aware of industry trends, seeking referrals from clients and co-workers, and working every day towards being viewed as a subject matter expert in a given field. Social credibility is also constructed by connecting with industry experts, clients and potential prospects by engaging in social conversations. Most importantly, it involves developing influence in your market so you contribute valuable and relevant insights to your social sphere.

 

What does this mean in reality?

I have my profile photos updated across all social media platforms

I have a tag line(s) on my social profiles that resonates with my ideal customer

My profile speaks to the pain points of my ideal customer

I have articles, multimedia, videos on public display across my social accounts

I have genuine recommendations from clients and connections on my social media profiles

My activity reflects my personal brand and my social purpose

I have a bank of connections that I constantly add to and engage with

I follow influencers and companies within my industry

My company page is visible to all and is active

I am socially active consistently and not just because I need leads

I can be seen and found on multiple platforms with uniform messaging

How can your social credibility be measured?
Social Selling Index

Number of Social Connections

Number of Connection requests you receive weekly/monthly

Number of followers – you and your company

Number of profile views you receive

Number of conversations you engage with or start

Number of shares and comments (on your content)

Number of leads you generate as a result of building your social credibility

Number of “sales time” events you manage to secure with potential customers

Brian O'Connell Brian O'Connell
Course Facilitator • IMI

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Ex-Boyfriend Stabs Her 32 Times. 3 Years Later, The EMT Who Found Her Dying Hands Her A Note

In 2012, Melissa Dohme was 20 years old when she was attacked by her ex-boyfriend in Clearwater, FL. He stabbed her 32 times and left her for dead. Miraculously, she survived.

Firefighter-paramedic, Cameron Hill, was one of the first responders at the scene of the crime. One day, in the midst of her long road to recovery, Melissa attended a church event and finally met Cameron.

Melissa and Cameron instantly connected, and soon they were in love.

Melissa underwent several surgeries to reconstruct her face and body. Wait until you see her transformation! She continues to document her journey via Facebook, constantly showing her appreciate for her strong support network of family, friends, her loyal pit bull, and now the love of her life. All the while, Melissa has become an advocate against domestic violence; she’s graduated from college; she’s become a nurse; and her story of survival has inspired millions.

A judge sentenced Robert Lee Burton Jr. to life in prison. After the sentencing, Melissa proved her strength yet again. “I offer forgiveness and I forgive him,” she said. “Forgiveness is a sign of letting go and when you forgive someone that hurts you, you take away their power.”

Three years after her brush with death, Melissa threw the ‪ceremonial first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game. Little did she know, Cameron had a huge surprise for her.

This is Melissa Dohme. When she was 20 years old, her ex-boyfriend tried to kill her. He stabbed her 32 times, all over her body, and left her for dead.

But Melissa fought for her life, and miraculously, she survived. She suffered critical stab wounds to her face and neck, leaving her partially paralyzed in her face. The attempted killer was sentenced to life in prison, and Melissa began documenting her road to recovery on Facebook.

Melissa's best friend Kayla stood by her side, from the trauma room to her first courtroom appearance. You can see the incredible transformation Melissa began to make in recovery.

Melissa underwent several surgeries to repair the damage that had been done, like scar excision and revision surgery. She had deep cuts, missing teeth, an eye that didn't shut — but she never gave up hope.

Included in Melissa's vast network of supporters and loved ones is Dixie, her faithful pit bull. Dogs have incredible healing power!

One day, in the midst of her long road to recovery, Melissa attended a church event and finally met Cameron (pictured on right) — one of the firefighter-paramedics who saved her life that tragic day. The two instantly bonded, and sparks flew…

…And by 2013, Melissa and Cameron were totally in love! Melissa says she's not bitter about the attack because it led to her meeting the love of her life. 

As Melissa began piecing her life back together, she became a huge advocate in her community against domestic violence. Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence is just one of her many causes, and victims of domestic violence look to her for hope and strength.
As Melissa began piecing her life back together, she became a huge advocate in her community against domestic violence. Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence is just one of her many causes, and victims of domestic violence look to her for hope and strength.

Robert Lee Burton Jr. pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder. Judge Keith Meyer sentenced him to life in prison without parole. He was 22 at the time of the crime.

On May 11, 2015, Melissa threw the‬ ceremonial first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game for her community work opposing domestic violence. She had no idea Cameron was there with a huge surprise…

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Your Example Lasts for a Lifetime

Moms and dads, don’t underestimate the impact you have upon your children!

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Family, Fathers, God, Jesus, Mothers
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

People always say children learn by example. I know that was true in my own life.

My dad was a consistent man; the same person at home as he was at church. He rose early on cold winter mornings in Argentina to start a wood fire in the stove. I should have been sleeping, but often I sneaked out of bed just to watch him putter around the house.

If I watched long enough, I might see him go into his office—a little study he built on one side of the house—and kneel alone. Wrapped in a blanket or poncho, he would read the Bible and pray before going out to work. Though I was not even eight years old yet, I would steal back to my bed, feeling warm and grateful that I had a good dad.

Daily Bible Reading
One day Dad told me he read a chapter from Proverbs every day, since it has 31 chapters and most months have 31 days. That has stuck with me all my life, and I still practice it. In spite of all the other Bible studying and reading I do, I try to start the day with my chapter from Proverbs. And I have learned to do it on my knees.

I don’t want to be legalistic about it, but there’s nothing like studying the Word of God and praying on your knees. I have never shaken the habit of spreading my Bible and study materials out on the bed and kneeling to read and pray. It sure keeps your heart and mind in the right attitude.

An Example Even in Death
My dad died when I was only 10 years old. The way he died impacted me as much as the way he had lived. Though I wasn’t there during my dad’s illness or last moments on earth, my mom later told me what had happened.

“Papito began to sing,” she said, “‘Bright crowns up there, bright crowns for you and me. Then the palm of victory, the palm of victory.’ He sang it three times, all the while clapping in time, as you children did when you sang it in Sunday school. Then, when Papito could no longer hold up his head, he fell back on the pillow and said, “I’m going to be with Jesus, which is far better.” Two hours later he had died.

As I grew and my evangelistic fervor grew, I knew God was calling me to tell entire cities about His love and forgiveness for them. I don’t want anyone to die without the joy my father had found in the Lord!

What About You?
Moms and dads, don’t underestimate the impact you have upon your children! I could give you example after example of how my father influenced me in the 10 years I had with him. I could tell you of the spankings I rightly deserved, of the bills Dad always paid on time, of the chapel he helped pay for, supervise, and build, of the times I sat in that chapel with my parents and sisters, receiving the Lord’s Supper. My father’s legacy to me came not only through his discipline, but also through his example. And that legacy’s impact is multiplied every time I get to tell another person about Jesus Christ.

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For the first time, bees have been placed on the endangered species list

After years of study, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has placed seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees on the endangered species list, the first time any bee has received such classification.

The service worked in conjunction with the Xerces Society, which advocates for invertebrate species, as well as local Hawaiian officials, to study the status of the bees. On its website, the Xerces Society noted seven species of the insect have been listed as endangered: Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea, and Hylaeus mana. In 1996, the service listed 33 species as “Species of Concern.”

The bees are native to Hawaii, and have been declining for a number of years due to intrusion from non-native plants and animals, as well as habitat destruction due to urban development. Scientists note that these bees are integral to the Hawaiian ecosystem as pollinators, and that they are “critical for maintaining the health of plants and other animals across the islands,” according to conservation and restoration team manager Gregory Koob, of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.

Now that the bees have been placed on the endangered species list, they will receive additional protections from the federal government designed to help boost the species population and protect them from harassment from humans. These protections appear to be critically important as bee populations across the United States have declined in recent years. Other species appear to be poised for protection: the Service is considering endangered status for the rusty-patched bumble bee, which can be found across the United States.

 by Andrew Liptak  @AndrewLiptak Oct 2, 2016, 11:30a

 

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Sprint wants to help parents decide when it’s time to get their kids a smartphone

These days, it can be difficult to figure out when it’s the right time to give your child a phone. Sprint thinks it has the solution.
The company has launched a new website, called ‘KidsFirstPhone,’ designed to help advise parents when it’s time to buy a phone for their child. The site features a number of smartphone facts, as well as a quiz to help parents make the decision.
Related: Forget the grown-ups! Here are the best wearables for kids
In fact, according to an Influence Central survey, the average age for a kid to get a smartphone is 10.3 years, and 1 in 2 kids have a social media account by the time they’re 12 years old.

“It used to be that getting your driver’s license was the signifying moment when freedom and the race toward growing up started,” says the website. “Times have changed and thanks to an ever-evolving world of iEverything, the timeline has accelerated — having a phone to call your own is the new first step toward independence.”
The quiz includes five questions, including asking if your child needs to stay in touch with you, if they’re honest with you, if they often break things, and so on. While Sprint says that there are a number of benefits associated with giving a child a smartphone, it also mentions the drawbacks, such as the fact that it opens kids up to cyber bullying and to having to protect their online data.
Of course, it’s important to take the new website with a grain of salt. After all, who benefits when more people are getting smartphones? Carriers and manufacturers, of course. While the site won’t totally replace the role of parents in figuring out what’s right for their kids, it could still get you pointed in the right direction and give you the arguments for and against getting a smartphone for your children.
Also watch: Best Family Plan: Sprint vs. AT&T vs. Verizon vs. T-Mobile

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