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Pre-paid Legal Services: Why Small Businesses Should Have Them

Saturday, June 18, 2016

If you are operating your own business, you cannot afford to go it alone when it comes to legal matters. The ever increasing complexities of law, spiralling costs of lawsuits and the proliferation of government red tape can land you in a lot of trouble.
Small Businesses
The flip of the coin is hardly attractive either! Hiring a lawyer can constitute a substantial financial investment many cash-strapped small businesses and entrepreneurs cannot sustain. Lawyers charge a minimum of $200 per hour when it comes to "business law" and it can get very costly if you are involved in lengthy legal procedures, complicated contracts or business transactions.

There may just be a glitter of hope in pre-paid legal plans. For a set monthly price, some legal providers are now bundling a whole suite of legal services especially tailored to the needs of small-businesses. Whether you need phone consultation on the legal complexities of a lease contract, or require legal representation during tax audits, a pre-paid plan can help you manage legal costs. An array of services is included as "standard coverage" at no cost to you in the plan, and any legal matters not covered can be provided with a discount on fees. Before you take the leap, you need to keep some caveats in mind. You need to know more about the quality of service you are likely to get. While lower fees do not necessarily infer lower quality of work, it is always necessary to bear in mind that legal specialization plays a crucial part and lawyers are not interchangeable. Ask for references from previous clients or ask entrepreneurs who've used the services of the provider about the quality of work they have received from them. Use your state bar association, service organizations in your locale and your local Better Business Bureau to research law firms and the background of the attorneys in the network before selecting them. Things to look for are the number of years they have been operating, complaints from previous customers, the education background of attorneys, professional track record and so forth. With the increasing amount of small businesses involved in litigation and fee disputes with their legal providers, I iss important to give some thought to alternative courses of actions when dealing with disputes. Ask your prospective provider about the way in which they settle disputes or complaints. Do they have an in-house procedure to deal with complaints, appoint a senior attorney to deal with such things or do you simply have to settle out of court?

How To Increase The Luck Factor In Your Success

Friday, February 12, 2016

How big is the luck factor when it comes to the amount of success you experience in your life? Many of us attribute any success in business or in other aspects of our lives to some 'mythical' luck factor. When you think about that what we are really doing is de-emphasizing our own involvement in any personal achievements we may have accomplished. I do not know about you, but I for one do not want to think I have little control over my own fate. I believe that each one of us is capable of achieving great success in our lives if only we apply ourselves. In fact this luck that we often attribute success to is something we can develop for use in our own personal pursuits.

Here are 3 ways in which we can increase our own luck factor to help us achieve any personal or professional goals we may have.


The Luck Factor


Concentration

Achieving success in business or otherwise starts with first identifying what it is you want. By determining your goals you are now better able to prepare yourself to pursue them. Preparation is half the battle and although it may seem like just dumb luck when you see people succeed what you did not witness was the preparation involved.

With a greater focus on what it is you are striving for also comes the ability to recognize any opportunities that can help you achieve these goals when you see them.

Repetition

As the saying goes 'practice makes perfect' and this is so true in every aspect of our lives. Outstanding athletes get that way through many long hours of practice as do successful business people. In order to excel at anything it is almost always necessary to commit yourself fully towards learning and mastering any and all of the skills involved.

Persistence

The only thing true about becoming an 'overnight success' is that it takes commitment and perseverance over a period of time to achieve! There will be setbacks of that you can be sure but it is your willingness to work through the difficult and frustrating times that will ultimately set you on the path to great success.

Do not ever give up if you believe in what you are doing!

When we reference the luck factor that is involved in the success of ourselves or others it is important to understand this good fortune is something we can create. This realization helps people become aware how much control they have over their own fate. Whether it is success in business or in some other aspect of our lives we play the starring role in the creation of the luck involved in any personal achievements. You see luck is not something that happens just by chance but instead it is a coordination of circumstances which we can create and bring together. The 3 ways we spoke of above are efforts we ourselves can consciously put forth in order to create the luck we need to achieve the great success we seek.

Enable Dropbox Integration into your Chromebook File Manager

Tuesday, March 31, 2015



If you use a Chromebook, you are also using Google Apps and Google Drive as your file storage. But many people, myself included, also use Dropbox for file storage and backup. Dropbox, like Drive, allows you to sync and backup your files on any device and then access them online or via moible apps or the Windows/Mac clients. On a Chromebook, you used to have to go to the web interface, but now, thanks to a developer, you can access your Dropbox files right in your Chromebook File Manager Interface for easy access to all of your files.

Application

Go to the app's page in the store here: File System for Dropbox. You install it like any other Chrome app or extension, but this one only works on devices running Chrome OS. Install it, click on the icon, mount your Dropbox. It will take you through authorizing it with your Dropbox account and then you are ready to go. Click on any file just as you would in any other way. 

CK-12 announces mobile apps with adaptive learning

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CK-12, a great resource for free e-textbook and curricular resources, has just announced new student mobile apps that provide you with the ability to learn math and science, anywhere, anytime. 

The apps, available for iOS and Android, are easy to use and contain over 100,000 adaptive practice questions that adjust in difficulty based on your results. In addition, if you struggle with a concept, it will recommend resources, like articles and videos, to help you. The resources are excellent. The dashboard shows you your progress.

This is a great way for students to study math and science concepts, whether for their own enrichment, extra help, or for studying. 

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Related:

CK-12 has over 100,000 teacher created digital textbooks available for free


Paperwork - Evernote Alternative you can Host Yourself

Monday, March 30, 2015

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Evernote is my go-to app for note taking, organizing files and clipping things off of the web. It is my main organizational tool. It works for me. I also using Google Keep for a lot of notes.

Not everyone likes it or wants to have another company have a hold of all of their data. That's where Paperwork comes in. It isn't as full featured as Evernote, but you can host it yourself and it does have some great features. You use notes, notebooks, tags and can upload multimedia files. There are not any mobile apps, yet, but you can access it on any web enabled device

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Schools could use this to host their own note taking system, or as a tool for students to learn and manage themselves.

There is more info about it here on GitHub.



Related:

Evernote for Education Resources

Tips to Using Google Keep in Education
Lots of Great NoteTaking Apps and Resources





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The Chromebook Help App - built in support on your Chromebook


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Chromebooks are very easy to use, but there is a learning curve for some people as it does do things differently. The nice part is that they have their own built-in help app. This is useful for anyone from the tech newbie to teachers and students first learning to adapt to a Chromebook.



The "Get Help" app is right in the App Launcher and will open up the Chromebook Help app. It has user manual, tutorial, and tech support resources in it that you can browse or search through. There is also a "The "New to Chromebooks" section right at the top that provides some step by step directions for things that work a little different on a Chromebook, along with more in-depth topics.


There is also a "Fix a problem" section which offers troubleshooting support. In addition, there is a link to Chromebook Central, which is a Google-run help forum for Chromebooks. 

The app replacement section is great for finding web apps to replace what you did with a downloaded Windows or Mac app.

This is a great resource for schools that are starting up with Chromebooks and to share with new students and staff who have never used Chromebooks before. And, if you end up recommending a Chromebook to friends or family, make sure they know about this to help limit their support calls to you. 




Related:

Pixar makes its 3D rendering tool, RenderMan, free for anyone





Pixar, the company behind Toy Story, Cars and other incredible animated movies, has announced that it's in-house 3D rendering software, RenderMan, is now free for non-commercial use.

RenderMan creates the rendering with lighting effects. It does not create the original 3D model. You would need to first create the 3D model first. Maya is a great 3D modeling program that has a free version for students and teachers.



This is a great tool to help students learn graphic design and create some great projects.



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