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Tips For Smooth Business Travel

Trevor No Comments

Recently I had to organize a business trip and believe me when I tell you, it is not something you should take lightly. To ensure a smooth trip, I advise you to plan ahead and try to travel as light as possible.

Based on personal experience, I’ve put together a short list of tips to help you on your next trip.

1. Before going anywhere, check if you need a visa!

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a ticket and then realizing you can’t enter the country. That’s why, before you do anything I advise you to check your destination country’s embassy website and review their entry requirements. Many countries have convenient exceptions but many others don’t and paying for a “rushed visa service” could end up raising your trip costs.

2. Book with a reliable airline

Everyone loves cheap, but cheap can sometimes turn to be more expensive. Booking cheap airlines can result in delayed or cancelled flights, lost luggage or inconvenient malfunctions, which only adds to your stress and puts you in a bad mood.
To prevent any surprises and ensure a pleasant (and on schedule) trip, it’s better to book a reliable airline for a bit more.

3. Pack Light

Increase your peace of mind by avoiding checked luggage. Unless you absolutely need to check liquids or sharp objects, try to fit your clothes in a carry-on you can take with you at all times. Especially if you’re taking trains, subways or any other public form of transport, carrying a small bag will make your life easier.

4. Keep all your information in one place

If you’re visiting more than one country or city during your trip try to keep a binder or folder with all your reservations, flight tickets and important numbers/addresses. Make sure to book your hotels and locate the best mode of transport (if you’re not being picked up) before you go.

5. Keep local currency

From public transportation to hotels and cafés, there are many establishments (especially in small towns) that only accept cash. To ensure you can pay for any emergency it is always advisable to keep a good amount of money in local currency (depending on your lifestyle and needs).

6. Advise your international partners when you arrive and where you’ll stay

Letting your partners know about the technicalities of your trip could play to your advantage. They can offer to pick you up at the airport, advise you on the best hotels and tour you around. Keeping good personal relations with your partners can also increase your chances of closing that deal!

7. If it’s your first time visiting the country: do your research!

To avoid huge culture clash, make sure you look at pictures and maps of the places/areas you’re visiting. Learn some phrases in the foreign language and (if you’re going to Asia or Eastern Europe) you can even study some important symbols. That way you will avoid getting “too lost” or overwhelmed.

8. Take the new culture into account

Knowing how to properly address people of different cultures and bringing business cards in both your and their language shows a great deal of professionalism, commitment and respect. And proves to your partners that you appreciate not only their business but also them as people and as a culture.

9. Make room for sightseeing and fun

Lastly, it is not worth it to travel places if all you’re going to see is a meeting room. If you’re on a “very tight” schedule plan at least to have a meal outside or stroll down the street for a break.

If you have a bit more room for activities, plan to visit at least some of the most famous landmarks of the place!

If you find this post useful, please let us know in the comments!

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6 Online Learning Platforms for Business!

Trevor No Comments

No matter where you are in your professional life, it is never too late to keep learning.

Every day new trends, tools and methods come out to help businesses and professionals take a step forward, and that includes you! . That’s why we’ve put together a short list of six great online learning platforms for business to help you choose and jump ahead of the curve!

  1. HubSpot Academy

If you’re interested in learning more about marketing, sales and design this is the platform for you. Apart from offering a great variety of free and paid certifications, HubSpot gives participants access to a broad network of collaborators and connects certified individuals with potential employers

  1. Alison

From customer service to human resources and project management, Alison offers more than 800 courses that can be completed within hours and at no cost.

  1. edX

 edX courses were designed to provide you with the best professional and master level education online. In collaboration with great American and Australian universities, you can complete advanced courses in a few weeks whilst being taught by actual university professors and paying as little as $150 per certificate. EdX courses are internationally recognized by companies and can be used as credit to accelerate your Masters degree!

Source: blog.knowbe4.com

Source: blog.knowbe4.com

  1. Coursera

 Bringing knowledge from some of the best universities in the USA, Coursera can train you in anything from data science to game theory and Buddhism. Anything you need to learn to advance your business or career can be found in Coursera, taught by professionals and at reasonable prices. Although these certificates don’t represent credit hours from the participating university, they are great resume boosters and would look amazing in your LinkedIn profile!

  1. Lynda

 As they announce it on their website, Lynda offers more than 5000 courses in business, tech and creative skills taught by industry experts. To start you can either sign up for a free trial or you can go ahead and take the premium option (starting at $29.99) to get instant access to all the knowledge. Also, in partnership with LinkedIn, Lynda offers training programs for companies, ensuring a better learning rate for all your employees!

  1. Google For Entrepreneurs

 Ideal for start-ups and small businesses, Google for Entrepreneurs brings together lessons, tools and networks to get your business up and running. With most products being free, this is the place to go to get all the resources you need regarding data analysis, digital marketing, research and communications.

If you found this post useful, please let us know in the comments!

More Sources:

  1. http://www.onlinecoursereport.com/the-50-best-online-course-providers-of-2015/

Source: help.befree.io

5 Ways Learning Another Language Can Boost Your Career

Trevor No Comments

In the corporate world, globalization has opened the door to bigger deals, new partnerships and increased business opportunities across the globe. That is why; employers are desperately looking for candidates with the right business and communication skills to keep their companies globally competitive.

If you find this interesting and want to become one of these highly desired candidates, here is how learning a new language can take you there:

 

  1. Learning Another Language Boosts Your Critical Thinking & Negotiation Skills

 

When you learn another language you are introduced to a new set of concepts and rules that push your brain to readjust the way you think and see things.

The results of readjustment, in turn, are unbelievable. Thanks to all the hours you spent strategizing, reading and memorizing, your brain became faster and more effective at associating, retaining and communicating key information.

Research shows that people who are bilingual find it easier to handle lots of information at the same time and come to punctual conclusions very fast, making them excellent analyzers and top-notch negotiators.

        2.  Bilingualism Means A Bridge To New Opportunities

 Employers love to see CVs that display more than one language because they know what this represents bigger opportunities.

As Carlotta Stephens from Maine-Tucker Consultants would put it:

“Global organizations always look favorably on candidates with a second language because these individuals can be the link between regional offices, and ensure a good flow of communication. This also means [companies] can get exposure to projects [they] wouldn’t normally be involved in”.

When you are bilingual, you become more open to learn from others, share your knowledge and take on more risks. Ideal for employers!

3. Learning New Languages Increase Your Customer Service Skills

 Carlotta Stephens also said that “international clients will report a far stronger service if you can speak to them in their language.”

Speaking the clients’ language shows commitment and inspires trust. It also allows for better understanding amongst parties and higher chances to establish loyalty.

Learning a new language can boost your career by making you the one who can create strong bonds between the company and the clients. And, If your job brings a lot of customer satisfaction, then get ready for a good promotion.

 

4. Bilingualism Widens Your World View

As Zack Simmons would write in his Article “Can Learning A New Language Boost Your Creativity?“:

 “bilinguals are necessarily exposed to cultures, customs, and beliefs distinctive from their own, thus forcing them to see the world in a new perspective.”

In a flatter world, you need more open minded workers; people who can easily understand and adapt to their international partners/clients’ points of view.

Learning another language, allows you to immerse yourself in how other think and see the world, hence making it easier for you to build relationships, strike deals and successfully grow your company in other countries.

5. Learning New Languages Build Self-Confidence

And finally, research shows that learning a foreign language boosts self-confidence. All right! Acquiring new skills, building new relationships and becoming a more eligible option for top-notch jobs empowers you and makes you feel better about yourself.

And who gets the promotions? The individual that is both capable and confident to perform the job.

You can argue that learning a language requires a lot of time, commitment and money. But nowadays with all the technology available, this has become a myth. You can learn a language in your smartphone while you’re in traffic or play mix & match games with words and concepts. In the best cases you can also get personalized online classes! Or take free courses offered by cool international and local institutions in your country.

To learn a new language you just need to want it and the rest will follow! So take a big step towards a better future and give it a try.

 

If you found this post useful, please let us know in the comments! 

word-of-mouth

How to be Heard

Trevor No Comments

How to be Heard by Daniel Shipley

In sales, one of the hardest things that a salesperson can feel is unheard. Sometimes as sales people, we feel as though we have such an amazing thing, that if people would just give us a couple of seconds to hear about it they would all want what we have. However a lot of people open the door to hear your sales pitch only to think, eh another sales person. With that mentality, how are sales people ever to sell anything.

The answer really is simple, be different, however the explanation and understanding is what is hard. People like to buy from people they like or things that remind them of themselves. However that first impression, people are really looking for something that will grab their attention immediately and show them that this is different and it is worth their time to listen. Trevor Clayton, CEO of International Business Academy, tells me time and time again that their success as a company comes from them being different. All the companies in Guatemala who are teaching here are doing something the same way. They have these great facilities and supplies, but it can be inconvenient to a lot of people because of the travel cost. Trevor has built his company based off the fact that, “we will come to yochart communu.”

The great big question is though how do you get past the beginning stage so that you can portray your message at how you are different. One method that I have found useful is the use of non-verbal and para-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication attributes to about 55 percent of what is perceived and para-verbal communication attributes to about 38 percent. That means together, 93 percent of communication is related to not even saying anything, but how we say it and what we are doing when we say something.

 

What I have found in my own sales experience is that positive vibes create great selling atmospheres. First impressions really do matter, so whenever I walk into a sales meeting, or I am doing an elevator pitch, I try to put on a huge smile so that the other person will mimic my smile. This may sound weird, but by doing this you will get them to smile and positive endorphins will be released inside them. By giving off a huge smile, this is an example of non-verbal communication that I do in order to make sure the sales process starts off smoothly.

Non-verbal communication is generally portrayed through facial expressions and also through postures and gestures. According to an article titled, Communication Skills by Rod Windle and Suzanne Warren, they said this about facial expressions and also posture and gestures,

“Facial Expression: The face is perhaps the most important conveyor of emotional information. A face can light up with enthusiasm, energy, and approval, express confusion or boredom, and scowl with displeasure. The eyes are particularly expressive in telegraphing joy, sadness, anger, or confusion.

Over-Exaggeration-2Postures and Gestures: Our body postures can create a feeling of warm openness or cold rejection. For example, when someone faces us, sitting quietly with hands loosely folded in the lap, a feeling of anticipation and interest is created. A posture of arms crossed on the chest portrays a feeling of inflexibility. The action of gathering up one’s materials and reaching for a purse signals a desire to end the conversation.”

Depending on different things that you do with your body, this will depend on how the message is received and how we are heard. In sales, I always had the rule that if I didn’t have the person within the first 10 seconds, then I lost the sale. Working in the door to door industry, I would try to notice something different about each house so that when I got to the door I would have something to spark conversation. Usually it was about a car they had, or their garden, or just something I noticed about the house. Building credibility is huge as well and so I would always start off my sales pitch by bringing up people that they would know that I have been talking to as well. Again, while doing all of this; keeping a big smile on my face, straight posture, and maintaining eye contact but breaking once in awhile to avoid awkwardness. Non-verbal communication was crucial to my sales because I had it mastered down in terms of the psychology in selling.

By being aware of my facial features and also my posture and gestures, I would help people feel comfortable enough to enjoy what I was selling, and made the yes’ come a lot easier.

Another important technique to being heard is used through para-verbal communication. In the article, it defines para-verbal communication this way, “Para-verbal communication refers to the messages that we transmit through the tone, pitch, and pacing of our voices. It is how we say something, not what we say. Professor Mehrabian states that the para-verbal message accounts for approximately 38% of what is communicated to someone. A sentence can convey entirely different meanings depending on the emphasis on words and the tone of voice. For example, the statement, “I didn’t say you were stupid” has six different meanings, depending on which word is emphasized.”

Para-verbal communication was another really big part of my communication in sales. They way I said words would portray how confident I was in my product. People can read right through you if you are not confident it what you are selling. One way I would stay positive is in the mirror or in the shower I would repeat to myself every morning that what I was selling truly was the best product out there and that I was helping people’s lives by what I was doing. In para-verbal communication you can be confident, but if you are not using your para-verbal correctly, you can completely give off the wrong message. For example read this sentence one way where you end the last word with an up pitch in your voice and then with a down pitch in your voice.

  • I have the best product in the world.

You can literally be saying the same sentence, but if I say the last word in an up pitch, it sounds like I am questioning myself and that I am not confident in what I’m saying. In retrospect, if I am saying this last word in a down pitch, it just sounds more confident and more like I believe in what I am saying.

vivint_selling_door_to_door_300pxIn door to door sales, we have a saying as to not throw up on the person’s front door. Now literally you really shouldn’t do that, but that is not what we were referring to. You don’t want to speak too quickly, or give out too much information on the door step, or office, or wherever you may be. Some people when they are not getting a lot of sales and getting rejected a lot tend to do this more often because they are literally expecting the no. Be calm, cool, collected and find out the needs of the customer first so that you know how to proceed with your sales presentation.

The article gives us some examples of what to remember for para-verbal communication. “…When we are angry or excited, our speech tends to become more rapid and higher pitched. When we are bored or feeling down, our speech tends to slow and take on a monotone quality. When we are feeling defensive, our speech is often abrupt.”

If you want to be heard, don’t be afraid to speak up and say what you need to say. But by being aware of your non-verbal and para-verbal communication, you will be a lot more successful at actually getting the person to HEAR you instead of just letting you talk. There are other things you can do with para-verbal communication as well such as preplanned physical things you do in order to maintain the attention, but I will leave it at this for now. I am curios if anybody out there has any experience with how non-verbal or para-verbal communication helped them get the sale, or lose the sale. What are you experiences?

 

Windle, Rod, and Suzanne Warren. “CADRE Resources.” Ideas That Work, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

entrepreneur 13 tips

How to get an endorsement in 5 easy steps

Trevor No Comments

When you have a product or service to promote and you are relatively unknown , an endorsement from someone in your field who is at a high profile status can provide a huge boost. You want to be careful when approaching these potential endorsers because they probably get many offers on a regular basis. To better improve your chances of receiving any endorsement here are five steps that you can follow.

1. Create a great product

People who matter are not going to produce a mediocre product. They cannot afford to hurt their brand or reputation with negative association. Be committed to excellence.  download (13)

2. Make a prospect list

You need to ask yourself who do you want to endorse you or your product? Also who are the recognized authorities in your field? Do not be afraid to “think big” or feel you do not have access to a prospective endorser because even if you do not know them, you may know someone who does.

3. Leverage one endorsement for more

Sometimes prospective endorsers need an endorsement themselves in order to feel comfortable with your product. When you get someone to endorse your product then you include their endorsement as a part of your product. It makes it easier for everyone, because someone else already went first for the endorsement.

4. Ask for the endorsement

Do not get tongue tide in explaining your endorsement request. People and potential endorsers are busy and usually do not have time to read long emails. So get to the point and try and ask them when they will be most receptive. download (14)

5. Provide guidance, samples, and a deadline

It is important to include a brief description and/or a sample of your product. Explain the kind of endorsement you are looking for; be specific. Then provide a real endorsement or two and as well as a deadline. You have a better chance of getting an endorsement with a short deadline than a longer one.

 

Overall, endorsements make a huge difference in whether or not your product gets noticed by gate-keepers, trend-setters, or your target market. So take time to get them, they are very beneficial especially in the business world.

 

Sources: Michael Hyatt and Smallbusinesspr

 

 

 

 

mentoring for success

6 Hobbies that will help you become smarter at work

Trevor No Comments

We all participate in some type of hobby that we enjoy doing. There are some hobbies that are beneficial in helping us to become smarter and will benefit us in our work practices. There are many different hobbies one can partake in, but there are six that are shown to be helpful in increasing ones intellect, which can transfer over and improve the efficiency within our everyday work tasks and/or responsibilities.

1. Learning how to code

Within every job today there is some digital component involved and it is for this that learning how to code can give one a significant edge in the work place. Some of the most basic codes are known as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). By learning this it will help those to understand web design, social media, and product development. It is very easy to find lessons online in how to do this, all you will need is a computer and access to internet. One resource you can try out is a webpage known as Codecademy.

2. Learning a new language

There is no such thing as knowing too many languages, especially if you are a frequent traveler. By learning new languages it can benefit by making communication in foreign and local lands easier. It has also shown that learning adownload (9) language can help improve brain power and slow brain aging. These benefits can help in the workplace by being able to be more alert as well as being able to communicate to a wider range of clientele, employees, business partners, and etc. from different cultures.

3. Blogging

The more you write the better your communication will become. One way to do this is through a blog, which as we know is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. By learning how to articulate your thoughts effectively on paper (and online) can help communication skills become stronger overall. Blogging also helps you to become more proficient in how to use your grammar and vocabulary as well as assist you in understanding your own specific writing style. For online blogging it provides an easy forum for feedback and can help you continue in consistently growing as a writer based on how others perceive your work overall.

4. Reading

No matter what kind of book your reading whether it is Harry Potter or the Hunger games it is proven that reading can help reduce stress, which in return helps you to feel better about yourself. Reading can also increase all three types of intelligence including crystallized, fluid, and emotional. That increase within those types of intelligence can help with problem solving, being able to put different pieces of knowledge together to better navigate everyday life, to detect patterns, understand processes, and being able to accurately interpret and respond to others feelings. In the work setting these different skills translate into better understanding how to make things happen and better managerial skills.

5. Work out your brain

By participating in activities such as Sudoku, puzzles, riddles, board games, video games, card games, and etc. it increases ones neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is what encompasses a wide variety of changes in neural pathways and synapses that is basically the ability of the brain to reorganize itself. Also the nerve cells respond in new ways that increases neuroplasticity, which allows us more ability to see things from different points-of-view and understand cause and effect of behaviors and emotions. With this it helps us become aware of new patterns and cognitive abilities are improved. Also increased amount of neuroplasticity can help prevent certain conditions such as being less prone to anxiety and depression while learning faster and memorizing more. download (12)

6. Meditate

Studies imply that we can control our own brain waves and be able to feel whenever we want to through meditating. Meditation can be used to relax in your personal life, but it can also be a benefit in your professional life. For example meditating can make you feel more powerful right before a negotiation, be more confident when asking for a raise, or being more convincing during a sales call. The general idea of meditating is that the brain can develop further and you can make that development on purpose. To add to that different activities stimulate different areas of your brain, so you can work on becoming proficient at your strengths as well as improving your weaknesses. Also meditating is a benefit because it focuses on self-improvement of the brain. This is a good idea and/or practice for anyone who feels they are at professional peak, are ambitious professionals, and of course entrepreneurs who are looking to maximize their potential.

 

Sources: Entrepreneur and StyleFox

 

english-language-day

5 Tips to improve your English skills, effectively!

Trevor No Comments

Learning a new language can be difficult, trust me I know! They always say, the person giving advice doesn’t take their own and I would agree. In the current moment, my urge to learn Spanish is more of hobby than it is a necessity. Here in Latin America and across the world English is a lifeline of new opportunities and for those of you who need a few extra tips on how to land new vocab, here are five tips for you.

1. Read articles online.
Reading online is possibly the best thing you can do. Find a newspaper, magazine or other source of media that interest you. Reading out loud a little bit allows you to hear yourself and it’s a plus because you will practice your pronunciation. Circle words in the article that you do not understand. Challenge yourself and try to figure out the word by trying to understanding the sentence. If you understand the sentence than you can take an educated guess as to what the word means.

2. Look up words you don’t know.
Number 1 and 2 are friends. If you cannot figure out the word do yourself a favor and read the sentence before and after and try again. Really try and understand what the sentences are saying and try to pinpoint the root of topic of the word. Is the word negative or positive? Is it a noun, verb or adjective? So if you are still stuck, grab a dictionary and look it up.

3. Keep a small journal of new words.
Learned a new word? So, write it down and put the definition next to it, and under that use it in a sentence. Keep a small book of your new discovered words so you never forget them. You will also be surprised in a year how many words you taught yourself by reading.

4. Change topics frequently.
If you read the same genre of articles, novels or magazines repetitively then your vocabulary will not grow. If you are into the local news that is great, you will learn some great vocab. Make sure to read an article about space and travel every so often too. Switching up your articles will expose you too new words that you possibly wouldn’t see in your everyday reading English sessions.

5. Watch and read advertisements.
Ads teach a lot of creative words. If you want to be a more detailed speaker ads will be your guide, and the great things about ads are they’re everywhere. Ads also relate to many different types of topics and will increase vocabulary as well. Use ads to your advantage sometimes you can learn a regional language or slang that is not English spoken world wide.

When finding or identifying new words, be patient and be ready to challenge yourself first before surrendering to the dictionary. Also if you want to understand proper pronunciation use the power of the internet to help you. On dictionary.com, google translate and other sources you have the ability to hear audio of English words, use this to pronounce the words correctly.  Try these and home and see where it takes your English.

-Patrick

Hello in lots of languages

Why language matters!

Trevor No Comments

Patrick –

A few nights ago my house celebrated the birthday of the woman I call “Casa Mama”. I know the words do not translate into English properly but it’s true intention is to show respect for my house mom. She is a wonderful woman and is always trying to find ways to make me feel more comfortable in Guatemala.

On her birthday she nicely requested we had pizza for dinner, so we did. At the table she invited some visitors we were hosting and the tenants who live in a house behind our house. A giant box of Pizza Hut showed up at the door and everyone was ready to dig in. As we sat around the table it is important to know, I don’t speak enough Spanish to have a comfortable conversation with others and to make matters worse I was at a table with all native speakers. I prefer to listen and attempt to follow along, sometimes I chime in when necessary.

So one of the reasons why languages matter is because true emotions move through our words and also our actions. But it is hard to truly comprehend how another human is feeling without the power of language. As I looked around the table I saw nothing but smiles, the conversation looked healthy and I was itching to join in, but it wasn’t really possible. At least it is not possible right now but listening for the time being is helpful, I understand more than I can responded.

At the dinner table “Casa Mama” went and got a very large candle and said we were celebrating all the summer birthdays. So we started with Roxy who is 17 and lives in the house behind ours with her mother. I see them daily and say my hellos and few words and go about my day. We began to sing happy birthday in Spanish which I actually knew, so I found it entertaining to be included in this chant. After Roxy, a candle was lit for me and they requested we sung it in English, but they needed to learn the words.

So another reason why language matters is because everyone wants to get involved with it and understand the meaning. I don’t think there are many things as frustrating as not being able to understand someone. When you don’t speak the same language as someone you do some crazy things to get your point across. I can recall throughout my travels around the world I have acted like a chicken in many foreign countries in order to ensure my food order was correct. So in the long run understanding someone completely is a small desire within us. I can’t recall one time while travelling in Guatemala or anywhere around the world where someone has walked away from me because they could not understand me, in fact I think it only makes people want to help out more. The sense of accomplishment is one to parade around with, when you get through to someone who can’t comprehend your native tongue.

After I taught the words to “Happy Birthday” we sung it with mixed success but it was very warm and I blew out my candle 21 days late but at least it happened. Last but not least it was Casa Mama’s turn and as we prepared to sing the words to Happy Birthday in Spanish the lyrics defiantly changed, which confused me. But I just clapped along and wished her well on her birthday. After the celebration and clean up Roxy had a request. She wanted me to help her with an English assignment she had due for tomorrow.

I agreed to help her of course, English is my native language and I love sharing it. Her assignment was to properly write and read aloud the rules of basketball. I explained to her that the sport was complicated but the basics are very easy to comprehend. It is also really up my alley because my father is heavily involved in the basketball world. Through our exchange and working together for about 90 minutes not only did Roxy master pronunciations, she is really good at retaining information. Her listening skills we superb and the excitement knowing that she would be successful with her assignment the next day was a great feeling. We also both discovered we both play basketball for leisure.

This brings me to my last point. People want to be successful in as many ways as possible and language opens up more options in my opinion than a 4 year degree. Keeping this short it was just a really nice feeling knowing that she felt prepared for something and it did not take that long. It also didn’t take much for me to share information that I was programmed with since birth. The night was a fun success in my opinion. We celebrated each other, our cultures and learned something new.

 

Language matters because it creates and moves emotion or information from person to person, it creates involvement and  gives a sense of success and security. Language is essentially for life’s greatest things.

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