Thursday, February 26, 2015

Facebook and Suspicious Activity #TBT

Heather Coffman of Virginia was pushing ISIS propaganda via multiple Facebook accounts. The FBI obtained a warrant to search her account after reports of pro-ISIS comments on the social media platform. This information led the FBI to numerous falsified Facebook accounts supporting her ISIS views- which included marketing the terrorist group to her sister.

After meeting with FBI agents and an informant, Coffman was arrested earlier this week and is scheduled to appear in court this up and coming Monday. CNN’s reporter offers the play-by-play of the Coffman case (thus far) online. You can read it here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/justice/virginia-woman-isis-recruitment/

So, why am I covering this? Well, people like Coffman are the reason I wrote my Homeland Security book. It is hard enough for this country to fight and deal with international terrorism, but now- we are seeing men and women use social media to become domestic terrorists. After reading the CNN article, I’m not so sure that Ms. Coffman was directly related to ISIS or simply wanted to promote the group for shock value- maybe a little of both. Either way, her actions are deplorable!

This brings me to my next point – report controversial statements to Facebook or the FBI if you see them. The “see something, say something” rule banks on tips to help get people like Coffman- regardless of motive- away from inciting terrorist activity! We all spend so much time online sharing our opinions that we may fail to realize when someone is serious with their potentially harmful comments and posts. It is better to report something and be wrong then to not report it and be right.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Free Business Tips

Many business owners go from idea to funding easily. They have it in their blood. That good old entrepreneurial spirit is there and ready to materialize products and concepts, but what about the administrative software to get you from concept to profit? That's why I am listing the top five software products that can help you go from concept and funding to streamlining your business and growing your profit margins!

** Note, I am NOT paid by any of these companies

1. ZenDesk.com is a great tool for maintaining your online reputation through a customer service platform!

2. Google Analytics is awesome because it is FREE! With this application you can find out how long people are staying on your site and see which pages are getting the most traction.

3. Microsoft Corporation This is great if you work from home and use Microsoft for your business, personal, and even the kid's homework needs.

4. SalesForce.com This is a great sales application and has everything you need to "grow revenue, boost productivity, and get visibility into your business."

5. AME Payroll This payroll software is great because you can use it for an unlimited number of businesses and it has an auto-setup wizard.

Until next time,

Twyla N. Garrett

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Homeland Security Shut Down.... How the Government May Fail Us!

Full disclosure here... my business, IME, often works with the government. I have to say, however, that what I am watching on all the news stations right now is disgusting! In my book I talk about sustaining programs and we are in the middle of a sustainment crisis!

NBC's political blog just notated the following:
"t appears we're headed for yet another shutdown -- this time over the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans claim that Senate Democrats are the ones obstructing things, because they are filibustering a DHS funding bill that contains riders rolling back President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Yet as we learned during the last government shutdown, the side that's using government spending to demand changes to existing law or directives is going to be side that gets blamed if the government (or just part of it) shuts down. But don't take our word for it. Take the word of GOP Sen. (and likely presidential candidate) Lindsey Graham. "If we don't fund the Department of Homeland Security, we'll get blamed as a party," he said on Sunday."

Senate Majority Leader McConnell offered a POTENTIAL way out of the shutdown standoff. Per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, McConnell has proposed a stand-alone bill that denies funding for the implementation of Obama's 2014 executive action. This bill, O'Donnell adds, is not attached to DHS spending. The glass-half-full take here is that Republicans, for the first time, are now legislatively separating the immigration rollbacks from the DHS funding, which offers a potential way out of the impasse. (Indeed, NBC's Frank Thorp reports that Dem Sen. Joe Manchin could likely support this McConnell bill if it comes AFTER a clean bill to fund DHS.) The glass-half-empty take is that we have NO IDEA if House Republicans will buy this gambit. There's another potential way out: McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner could propose language promising to prohibit any funds implementing Obama's executive actions on immigration as long as they're tied up in the courts.

I don't think toying with global security is a way to get your way. This has been the trend in congress and it isn't why we elect people. Not only is my business potentially threatened by these threats, but so is the livelihood of so many hardworking people..... Adults don't act this way!

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

Monday, February 23, 2015

Are You Mentally Strong Enough For Business?

Are you mentally strong? Much like your body has to be worked out to become strong, the brain does too. Many of the most celebrated CEOs and business leaders around the world are know for being "tough as nails", but this didn't happen overnight. In fact, most CEOs have to practice being mentally strong. Here are the top five habits of mentally strong people.

#1. They don't attend pitty parties. That's right, the mentally strong don't feel sorry for themselves when things don't happen as planned. They don't blame others or dwell on things, either. So, if you want to be great, brush off something that didn't work out and move on without holding a grudge.

#2. They refuse to be complacent, even when the money is good. Yes, complacent only means you will one day be outdated. Embrace change and learn new things daily.

#3. They refuse to please others. Mentally strong people have a job to do. Worrying about pleasing others or how others will react is a distraction that will cut off money and success. Don't worry about people, worry about the task at hand.

#4. Don't give up after a venture fails. Most of the known CEOs have had failures. But they're out there, spinning a new business and looking at other opportunities. If you let failure stop you, then you really do fail!

5. Don't rely on the world for anything, including breaks. The world owes you nothing, regardless of how tough you had it as a kid or so on. If you know the world isn't going to give you a break, then you realize you have to try harder than everyone else to be successful.

Until Tuesday,

Twyla N. Garrett

Friday, February 20, 2015

Business Trends in 2015

I received an interesting question this past week. Someone wanted to know what business trends I've noticed for 2015 thus far. Well, I have noticed a few. I've listed them below.

#1 - The death of traditional advertising. -
Why pay thousands on a print ad when you can pay hundreds and reach a bigger audience?

#2 -E-commerce!
Social media sites are now allowing more embed codes to drive E-commerce sales. See a product topic on Twitter? You are able to view,link and buy too. Talk about impulse buying!

#3 - Online Video replaces SEO content.
You heard it here first! More videos are replacing the all-powerful SEO game. So, make those videos now and know how and when to release them in 2015.

#4- Engage customers through gaming
That's right. You are going to be able to use Farmville to promote your brand through gamification.

#5- Google search will not be as trendy as it is now.
For a second in 2012 it looked as if content writers were out of work and luck. Not so fast. In 2015 content producers will be back at work as it has been proven that user paid content makes more of an impact when it comes to brand association and loyalty!


Until Monday,

Twyla N. Garrett

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#TBT - The Business Owner Test

Do you have what it takes to own a business? I'm not talking money or ideas. I'm talking grit and getting your hands dirty. Not sure if you have what it takes? Take my test. Answer yes or no if you agree or disagree with each statement below and see what I have to say at the end.
1. You believe you can balance work with a personal life.

2.'Fake It To You Make It' is the best advice you ever received.

3. You can't wait to be rich, which will be soon since all business owners have tons of money.

4. You can have a day job and run a business at the same time.

5. There is nothing to fear about employing other people. It is great to have people work for you.

6. You're going to be loved by everyone because you have a business and your business will take off right away.

7. You believe a mentor is important.

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you don't have what it takes to be a business owner. The above statements are all myths and some of the most popular reasons why businesses fail. Grand ideas, assuming riches will happen overnight, faking knowing how to provide a service or products, etc. are all big red flags in the business world.

Until next time,

Twyla Garrett

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