Your Legal Resource Newsletter  

October 2007

                             

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3 older people on benchThank you for all your support and encouraging comments with the last two issues of the newsletter.  It's hard to believe this is the third issue already.  It reminds me of the irony in the principle that whatever you are resisting is probably what you should be doing.  I strongly resisted the very idea of doing a newsletter for 3 years.  It was recommended repeatedly that I create one, but I had so many reasons for not doing it.  "I don't want to be sending annoying emails since we're all so busy and get way too much email as it is!"  " I don't want to end up as SPAM in your computer that you'll never see/read."  "I'm not a good writer."  The list goes on.  The reality of it is that most of you have found value in it and have told me what you appreciate about the information and resources I'm sharing.  That was entirely the point of creating  the newsletter.  You have my promise that if I don't have something of value to share in a particular month or quarter, I won't send a newsletter.  I just need you to promise to keep sharing what's working and what isn't, so this can continue to be a positive experience for both of us.  Also, please keep responding to my inquiries about your favorite books, business tips, upcoming events so I can share them with everyone.  I am grateful to each of you for your ideas, articles, referrals, and support of my business.  I'd love to hear from you about what you are resisting in your business.  Maybe that's the thing you should be doing!

 

All my best,

Lori

 

Lori T. Williams, PC

Your Legal Resource

 

 

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TYPO Tales: innocent typing mistakes turn costly- and six typo-busting proofreading tips    !

  

by Guest Columnist, Linda Anger, The Write Concept, Inc.

 

The courts awarded one woman a $75,000 settlement after a careless recruiting company sent her resume to potential employers without noticing that an entire section was in gibberish.

 

In 2005, a Tokyo firm lost more than $18.7 million as a result of a typo. A trader intended to sell one share of stock for 610,000 yen, but instead placed an order for 610,000 shares at 1 yen each.

 

A west coast apartment complex ran an ad touting their "newly remolded bathrooms and kitchens."

 

It can happen to you. It has happened to me, and to the writer whose business card listed his title as "poofreader." If you look carefully, you're likely to find typos in books produced by the most reputable publishers. Even a venerable institution like the University of Wisconsin is not immune. In 1998, the university awarded nearly 4,000 diplomas with the name of the stated spelled "Wisconson." Imagine the cheese on their faces!

 

Lawsuits are one way you lose if your contracts, letters, emails or brochures contain misspelled words or improperly placed punctuation marks. One Canadian company lost millions in an ugly 18-month court battle over the placement of a single comma in a 14-page contract.

 

Typos and poorly constructed sentences lower the credibility of your business. Proofreading is an important skill that goes beyond running spell check in your computer. Spell-checking programs reduce misspellings, but they will not stop you from using the wrong word if it is correctly spelled. Should it say affect or effect? Principal or principle? Further or farther?

 

Slow down to go faster

Proofing your documents is a process - one that should be undertaken with patience and adequate time for several passes.  I found three when I proofed this article the first time. Here are six tips for eliminating costly mistakes in your content:

 

1.   Put it off until tomorrow, when you've distanced yourself from the copy and have fresh eyes.

2.   Always proof from a hard copy, and read every bit of text out loud. Errors in street addresses, phone numbers and email addresses are easily overlooked, but can cost you in dollars and customers in the end.

3.   When you correct an error, re-read the entire sentence out loud.

4.   Watch for common errors like it's for its, missing end quotes and parentheses marks.

5.   Start from the end and read backwards. You are more likely to spot errors if you are disconnected from the thought of the sentence.

6.   Hire an editor or proofreader - an outsider who will approach the text without foreknowledge, and be able to see "holes" in the context as well as the typos.

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Linda Anger is the president and principal writer/designer of The Write Concept, Inc. in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Linda holds primary responsibility for business development and management, and oversees all copywriting, graphic design and PR support projects. Typical projects include content and layout for advertising, annual reports and magazines, press releases, brochures and marketing letters, web site content, and book compositing. Her client list has included DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Golson Books, Ltd. (New York), Hanek Book Design (New York & Santa Fe), and Crittenton Hospital Medical Center. For more information, visit: www.thewriteconcept.com.

 

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What's Cookin' At the Idea Lab?

 

 

For women business owners, women entrepreneurs, or women thinking about a business of their own, check out the Idea Lab at the Smart Women's Cafe. 

 

Here's a few upcoming FREE teleclasses offered by Experts of the Idea Lab:

 

October 24, 2007,

7pm ET: 

Brainstorming action steps for your Business Ideas

 

November 14, 2007,

7pm ET:Brainstorm marketing ideas for your business in 2008

 

December 12, 2007,

7pm ET: Year-end reflection: share what you've learned in '07 and envision for '08

 

 

Free Classes are for Cafe Members. 

 

To join for only $19/mo, click here to Register for Smart Women's Cafe, and scroll to signup links. 

 

 

(Paid teleclasses may be available to non-members later.)

 

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The Millionaire Mind Intensive

 

An Event You Don't Want To Miss !

        

Strengthening the economy in Metro Detroit and  Michigan will require Small Businesses to raise the bar and demonstrate that we are the solution through our innovative, efficient, useful, and profitable businesses.  To accomplish this paradigm shift, we'll need to change the mindset of those who still think, "business as usual."  Maybe our own minds need to be expanded or shifted. 

 

The Millionaire Mind Intensive can produce such a shift.

 

 If you've already purchased T. Harv Eker's book,

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind,

click banner below to register for your two free Millionaire Mind Intensive seats:

 

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Regular tuition $1295.00 per person, but free at the following venue:

Friday Nov 2, 2007 at 9:00 am Thru Sunday Nov 4, 2007 at 7:00 pm

 

at Cobo Convention Center, Detroit, MI

 

   If you haven't purchased the book yet, click on the following link to do so and qualify for 2 free tickets to the event.  (Note, you will need to purchase your course materials for $97 per person for the weekend seminar.)

 

Click here to register for Millionaire Mind Intensive

"The Secret Psychology of Wealth"

A Weekend That Will Change Your Financial Life Forever!

"There is a secret psychology to money. Most people don't know about it, that's why most people never become financially successful. A lack of money is not the problem, it is merely a symptom of what's going on inside you."  T. Harv Eker

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TOP 5 Ways Our Readers Generate New or More Business: 

 

1.  GIVERS GAIN!

 

Chuck Gifford, LBN President, says, "Give something of great value, that costs you nothing, to someone you respect and admire and they will return to you something that costs them nothing but is of great value to you.   In other words, give a referral to get a referral.  Build a team of powerful proactive referral partners dedicated to mutual support and you will be able to put your marketing program on auto pilot."

 

Anahid Derbabian of Integrity Communications says, " In every conversation, in every meeting, in every project you handle, show your commitment and dedication to your client. Don't hold back, and don't play it safe; there is no benefit in doing so. Give all that you can, and then give even more. Your clients will begin to know and experience who you are and your desire to help them. They will realize that you are not one of the many quick-sale, all-about-me business people that they unfortunately meet daily. With time, you will develop your reputation, which in turn will help to increase your overall business." 

 

Brian Surowiec, Member of Essential IT, LLC, says,"BNI is a great way to grow your business. The Givers gain philosophy of creating trust in order to give business for others,  continual practice giving your company commercial in front of others, and being able to experiment and create new ways to market yourself in a safe environment makes it a great place for growing your business."

 

2.  LISTEN AND RESPOND!

 

Kim Crabtree of MetaOps Inc., says, "Understand the Voice of your Customer.  Craft your message in your customers words, reflect their fears, frustrations, and joys."

 

Roger Wade, Project Architect for SSOE, Inc., says,  "My biggest success has been through emphasis on responsiveness to requests from clients, consultants and contractors."

 

3.  KEEP IN TOUCH!

 

Andy Ruedisueli, Sr. Loan Officer for  Flagstar Bank, says, "attending  broker open houses is a good source of new business, along with a monthly newsletter via direct mail to my past client database."

 

4.  BE VISIBLE!

 

Kyle Boehlke, Ass't VP of Comerica, says, "attend as many community events as possible to become well known in the area you do business."

Lisa Lapides Sawicki, President of LPG Publicity, says, "Even in a fast-paced, high-tech world, I find that old-fashioned networking still remains my No. 1 key to success."

 

5.  LET OTHERS PROMOTE YOU!

Rick Hebard, Mortgage Specialist at Flagstar Bank had this to say, "When I close a loan, I ask the client to write a reference letter for me and if they do, I  make a donation in their name to either the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.  Then I scan the reference letters as PDF files and attach them to an introductory email when prospecting for new clients, trying to match that person's situation with a reference letter from a former client in a similar situation.  It helps to warm up the new prospect when they see I have effectively helped someone else in a similar situation."

 

In This Issue

Article 1: TYPO Tales: innoncent mistakes turn costly-and six typo-busting proofreading tips

Article 2: Is IT Your Biggest Nightmare? How To Avoid The 'Black Hole'

Article 3: Favorite Reads of Our Readers

 

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Smart Women's Cafe

Breakthroughs

 

 

 

Millionaire Mind

Guest Columnist, Bjorn Olson of Creative Breakthroughs

 

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Each year technology becomes more and more complex.  We're not just talking about fancy data centers and virtual servers, we're talking about the technology that even a basic network is 'supposed' to have.  As a result, IT now costs significantly more than it ever has before, and the IT project list never seems to get any shorter.

 

The Black Hole is not just a matter of evaluating endless solutions which may or may not meet your business needs (like spam control), but it's also a matter of how much it costs to support those technologies.   Ten years ago the generally accepted approach to information security, availability, and management was much different.  There were fewer solutions to choose from and an "IT Generalist" could usually "keep things running".

 

Times have changed and that approach is usually inadequate.  Organizations now require input and expertise on dozens of different fronts.  It's no longer limited to simply setting up a network with basic file sharing, and having Suzie take the backup tape home.  The reality is that a typical company now has to think about complying with Federal statutes regarding electronic file/email retention, restricting improper internet usage by employees, ensuring proper security and encryption systems are in place for laptops and other telecommuting issues, as well as disaster recovery planning - just to name a few.  The list goes on.

 

As an industry (IT), the answer has been a significant increase in engagements with IT Consulting Firms.  This trend, however, has also grown to become a pain-point due to steep hourly rates and unexpected billable hours going through the roof.  As a result, companies like Creative Breakthroughs have added a Managed Services arm to the existing Professional Services offerings.  This model offers, among other things, unlimited access to our IT Professionals for a fixed fee each month.  The burden of keeping the network efficient has now shifted to us as the provider, or else we lose money on the deal.

 

Take for example a recent client who would previously go for months on end with little or no IT expenses.  Out of the blue there'd be a preventable disaster, and the invoices from fixing it, although fair, seemed excessive.  This Michigan client recently implemented Managed Services.  They now have network monitoring to keep the systems healthy, unlimited support as needed, and access to very senior level Consultants who can provide advice on everything mentioned in paragraph three above, plus a whole host of other areas.  As a side benefit, the client saves money in numerous other areas such as reduced costs on software and hardware (a recent example includes a firewall and a new server with MS Exchange) due to our many partner relationships.

 

The end result for this client,and numerous other clients, has been a predictable IT budget, a reduced total cost outlay for IT, and a highly available and reliable network resulting in increased employee productivity.  As a Managed Services Provider, CFO's love the cost savings and predictability, and the CEO's identify with our vision to use technology to increase their revenues.  It's not for everyone, but it has indeed helped them to avoid the Black Hole.

 

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Bjorn Olson is an account executive with Creative Breakthroughs of Troy, MI, a 16 year old company.  Bjorn's career spans ten years in the IT arena working with small and midsize companies.  Creative Breakthroughs is an information availability, security, and management firm serving clients with as few as five employees, as well as large companies and organizations such as American Axle and the US Army.

 

 

Favorite Reads Of Our Readers:

 

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1. Never Cold Call Again, by: Frank J. Rumbauskas Jr

 

Kim Crabtree, MetaOps, Inc. had this to say, "Good strategies for the one man show or individual sales person.  Frank also points out why old traditional selling methods of selling don't work anymore." 

 

2.  Cross, by:  James Patterson

 

Andy Ruedisueli, Senior Loan Officer for Flagstar Bank, says," I love James Patterson books. I am reading Cross currently. I love his style of writing because it seems to come from a legal background and I love corruption books."

 

3.  Your Best Life Now, by: Joel Osteen

 

Anahid Derbabian of Integrity Communications says, "Each chapter of this book really helps to identify the ways that we can each develop a life of meaning and purpose. It is written in a way that really captures and keeps your attention, and it provides much to consider."

 

4.  See You At The Top, by Zig Ziglar

 

Massage Therapist, Michelle Brown, "loves this motivational book with real life examples for achieving success!"

 

5.  The Essential Drucker, by Peter Drucker

 

Dave Biskner, Business Development Manager of Synergy Plus Solutions, says, "This book is Drucker's own  compilation of his best work over the last 60 years.  It validated many of the management principles I live by, and also provided me with invaluable new insights."

 

6. 

  Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer

 

Anahid Derbabian of Integrity Communications says, "I agree with Joyce that many of our challenges begin in our mind. Thus, we must daily fight the battle in our mind, and create positive and focused goals so that we go forward with purpose and build personal and professional lives of meaning."

 

7.  Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore

 

Richard Marks, Owner of EcoV Electric says,

"This book is about marketing and selling 'disruptive products' to mainstream customers.  It was very insightful in terms of how to get from the early adaptors to mainstream buyers (ie. the chasm)."

 

8. Straight from the Gut, by Jack Welch

 

Dave Biskner, Business Development Manager for Synergy Plus Solutions, says, "This book is a biography about Jack Welch, from the time he joined GE to when he left as CEO. It provides a lot of insight into how Jack thinks, why he chose to do the things he did, and where a lot of management and innovation concepts used throughout the business world originated from."

 

9

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale, by Elinor Stutz

 

Anahid Derbabian of Integrity Communications says,  "I met Elinor at a conference last year where she was a terrific  keynote speaker. Her background in sales and her book can help anyone who struggles in the area of sales. Her book is easy to read and filled with important ideas to inspire you and guide you forward."

 

10. I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist, by Norman Geisler

 

Roger Wage, Project Architect for SSOE, Inc. says, "This book contains a wealth of information and apologetics on the existence of God and the Science to back it up.  Logical progression of ideas and conclusions."

 

11.  Network Your Way to $100,000 and Beyond, by Minesh Baxi and Chuck Gifford

 

Lisa Lapides Sawicki, President of LPG Publicity, had this to say, "I found the book very compelling and I feel it helped me immensely with my business. Even though I've been doing this for 20 years, the ideas Minesh and Chuck give are outstanding!"

 

 

12.  Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Chialdini, PhD  

 

Rick Hebard, Mortgage Specialist at Flagstar Bank, says, "I learned about the six 'weapons of influence', (which are reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity) and how to apply them in your everyday life, work and/or personal relationships.  I like it because it is not a lot of 'theoretical garbage', but rather some very concrete and practical ideas backed up with real life examples to support them.  When I read about the weapons I could see where my use of them could be enhanced through the nuances he describes." 

 

 

13.  More Than A Dad,  by Scot Anderson

 

Brian Surowiec, Member of Essential IT, LLC, says, "this book 

is about becoming the father every child needs and every wife desires. I enjoyed reading this book because the author uses hilarious examples from his life combined with Biblical principles and perspectives on how to build great relationships with your children."

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