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Category Archives: Personal Empowerment
Posted: at 3:48 am
LuLaRoewas founded in 2013 by Mark and DeAnne Stidham, husband and wife. By 2017, the California-baseddirect marketing company had approximately 90,000 independent contractors selling their products.
They went from startup to over $1 billion in revenue in less than four years. And with that came a lot of challenges, growing pains, and learning.
I had the opportunity of interviewing various members of LuLaRoeto better understand:
And to be clear: I have no affiliation with LuLaRoe. I received no compensation for writing this article. I'm a writer, psychologist, entrepreneur, and reporter of entrepreneurship.
A Challenging Industry
LuLaRoe is one of many "direct selling" companies, wherein independent contractors become sellers of LuLaRoe'sbrand and products.
This industry has many pros and cons. A major con is that such companies can be viewed as pyramid schemes or "get-rich-quick" shams.
There is a lot of hype in this industry for multiple reasons. One reason is that, in all reality, some people do make tons of money. As an independent business owner, if a person has a platform or is good at selling, they can choose their own hours and make an incredible income.
However, this isn't always the case.
One of the initial challenges LuLaRoe faced during their explosive growth was that many people came in with the false pretense that it was going to be "easy."
Perhaps some of the independent business owners touted the ease with which they were making money by selling LuLaRoe, but LuLaRoe as a company cannot control that.
Therefore, many people became sellers during the extreme growth wave and were disappointedby the challenge of running a business and selling products.
Entrepreneurship is hard. Let's just say it.
Selling not only takes guts, but it requires a reason for selling. If you have a "why," you can do any "how," as the saying goes. But when you were led to believe you'd make tens of thousands of dollars without much work, you've been sold a lie.
There have been multiple lawsuits against LuLaRoedue to people being upset, believing they were going to get rich quick, and finding it wasn't that easy. TheStidhamsand their LuLaRoe team have had to weather extreme challenges and continue to do so, as theypush their mission forward.
And without question, LuLaRoe admits to having made plenty of mistakes. No business owner has ever not made lots of mistakes, especially in the midst of such growth.
There are many detractors who want to see LuLaRoe fail. This isn't surprising when something grows so fast and is so successful.
TheStidhams are deeply spiritual people who believe their company has a bigger "mission" than selling clothing. As their website states:
"Our Mission is to create freedom, serve others, and strengthen families through fashion. It's a community where lives are being improved through love, purpose, confidence, trust & growth."
They believe that LuLaRoe is simply a platform for helping people gain skills and abilities for self-reliance and personal freedom. They believe in human agency and have a desire to helppeople gain greater freedom, autonomy, and confidence.
In order for people to have more freedom, LuLaRoe wants their sellers to take more responsibility for themselves.
Being an entrepreneur and improving your life requires taking on greater responsibility. In the words of Strategic Coach founderDan Sullivan, "All progress starts by telling the truth."
LuLaRoe is simply a vehicle from their perspective: a vehicle for helping people take ownership and responsibility for their lives and a platform through which that can happen.
They want to do good in the world.
Whether it's an individual, a single mom trying to raise a family, a wife and mother supporting the family's income or a family working together full time, they genuinely want to offer an opportunity for people to improve their lives.
In every conversation I've had with any member of the LuLaRoe team, the conversations have centered around their mission, values, and spiritual beliefs.
How to Be "Successful"?
I asked various members of the team what they believed would make someone successful, whether that was a single mom trying to make ends meetor someone trying to make millions.
Here's what they told me:
Currently, there are approximately 25,000 independent business owners selling LuLaRoe products. From LuLaRoe's perspective, their mission is to help these 25,000 people improve themselves and create greater freedom in their lives.
Fundamentally, theLuLaRoe team sees the company as an education and personal empowerment platform more than anything else.
It will be interesting to watch as LuLaRoe continuesto weather future storms. The team is committed to their mission.
Entrepreneurship, especially during rapid growth, is an extreme, challenging, and rewarding journey.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Posted: at 3:48 am
You are walking down the street. A homeless person, ragged and with a sagging expression, holds out his dirty, cupped hand to you. Do you give him a dollar? Whether you do or not, you are likely to wonder how he or she got that way and ponder what good a dollar will do. In either case, you have briefly connected, however unwillingly, with another human being who represents perhaps the major urban issue of our time. New York City has some 70,000 homeless. All but several thousand have been shunted off into temporary shelters or safe havens, so they are not visible beggars on the street, yet they have no bed, bureau or bathroom to call their own. Consider this: At least one out of every 100 of your fellow citizens is in this predicament.
Of course, it could be worse. There were more people actually sleeping in the streets in the 1970s and 1980s before the city was pressured into building additional shelters and affordable housing. And the shelters and flophouses that existed then were often frightening places. Today, the city spends billions annually to try to ensure that the homeless are adequately cared for. But it is never enough. Each year the numbers of homeless increase.
So how does one help individuals out of homelessness? There are structural meanseconomic, social and politicalthat must be improved, certainly. Better and more decent affordable housing, more jobs and improved social services all must be promoted. But these are goals that the city has been grappling with for the last 30 years. The Bloomberg administration even went so far as to pledge that it would eliminate homelessness through a program of rent subsidies and other reforms. (It failed; its policies ended up making the availability of rent subsidies much worse than before.) The progressive De Blasio administration has made no such rash promise, recognizing the complexities of a situation in which every homeless individual, family and child has a right under the New York State Constitution to shelter; every temporarily sheltered person has a need to find permanent housing; and every landlord has a need to find a fair return on his or her real estate.
The testimonies in Susan Celia Greenfields Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing suggest there may be another important way to approach the alleviation of homelessness, by encouraging the growth of life skills empowerment programs such as have been initiated by faith-based organizations in New York City in the past 30 years. This book will not give statistical insights, but it does provide success stories. It contains true-life narratives told by 13 formerly homeless individuals who have turned their lives around through participating in one of these programs, along with the reflections of a dozen individuals who have helped organize and run them. These are accounts of abandonments, molestations, knifings, robbery, beatings, rape, prostitution, slander and addictions that were precursors of homelessness. Yet they end as tales of redemption for 13 people who have moved out of pits of hopelessness into lasting commitments of love, gratitude and service to others.
Among the stories presented here is the gripping downhill tale of Rodney Allen, who, after losing his daughter, wife and job to addiction, simply gave up. When he no longer could make the rent and found the locks changed on his Queens residence, he simply took the R train to Madison Square Park and stayed. For months I sat in Madison Square Park. I sat on different benches. On Twenty-Third Street and First Avenue you could take a shower twice a week. But everything else I did in the park. I ate soup from the Coalition for the Homeless. The people from Midnight Run brought food and clothes.... I didnt venture out of the park.... I became glued there. Until, that is, he was coaxed into entering a recovery program at All Angels Church on the Upper West Side and eventually was reunited with his daughter.
There is the story of James Addison, whose discovery as a young man of his mother lying in the courtyard in a pool of blood, a death by suicide, propelled his descent into a life of drugs, petty theft and a homeless shelter. Today, he is an inspiring leader in an East Harlem program, having confronted his past, made amends, graduated from a life skills program and been ordained a minister.
There is the story of Edna Humphrey, raped many times as a teenager by her mothers boyfriend and in shelters for 14 years. In the life skills workshops I learned how to budget my money.... I graduated in 2005 and told my story at the ceremony. Afterward, a lady came up and said, You made it through all that? I dont know how you could make it, but you did. Today, she is engaged in a range of volunteer activities. I love doing things to help people, she finishes.
Deborah Canty was similarly abused at 10 years old. Today, Deborah is another leader in the East Harlem program with James Addison. Then there is Michelle Riddle, whose fathers illness undid her to the point of turning to prostitution. Today, she is a great-grandmother who proudly ends her life story of hardships with a paean of gratitude to God for the good things that have been done for her.
These are stories of great pathos that the editor, Susan Celia Greenfield, a professor of English at Fordham University, has carefully curated and shaped for clarity and effect, always with the storytellers sanction. All of the narrators bear witness to the value of the life skills empowerment approach. In the introduction, Greenfield provides a succinct summary of how this approach was conceived and developed by religious leaders in the 1980s, in the aftermath of extended City Hall protests and sit-ins.
Marc Greenberg of the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing and George Horton of New York Catholic Charities were among the first to begin planning its curriculum. Both have stories in the book. The programs, according to Greenfield, usually involve a 12-week curriculum and include individual mentors, workshops on healthy living and social justice, counseling on how to get housing and techniques for restoring confidence and working on personal goals. One of the main components of the program involves every participant sharing a version of his or her life story.
I myself have witnessed the power of these programs, if only tangentially. As an Ignatian volunteer, I attended some sessions of an East Harlem program that began somewhat earlier than the life skills programs. It uses similar techniques but does not have a formal curriculum. It calls itself Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates (LEFSA). It is now informally affiliated with other life skills empowerment programs and is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York. The weekly meetings I took part in were attended by 40 to 50 homeless individuals. They had both a spiritual and a personal empowerment context. Following prayers and singing, there was typically some discussion of a religious reading. There would then ensue an often vigorous discussion of a life skill such as self-discipline or perseverance (usually self-selected by the group at a previous meeting). Each participant would then be asked to name an attribute that is particularly striking to him or her, like patience or fortitude.
Every time I participated, I was impressed by how motivated and enthusiastic participants became. LEFSA also replicates these meetings for clients in some of the citys shelters. It has hundreds of graduates who meet in monthly reunions as well as in Christmas and summer celebrations to reconnect with the program. I observed that LEFSA is very popular and effective in motivating clients to begin more formal life skills training, as well as helping many to navigate the hurdles of the affordable housing bureaucracy. All of its leaders are formerly homeless persons, and they include two featured in this book: James Addison and Deborah Canty.
If anyone has come to doubt that God is at work in the trenches of the poor, that redemption is possible for anyone, here is a book to refresh their convictions. Hopefully, this book may also serve to inspire the creation of more programs like these life skills empowerment programs.
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Posted: at 3:48 am
If you know me, you know Im a big believer in meritocracy and the idea that the things we have in life should be earned based on skills and hard work. However, as a woman who is an executive in the travel industry, I know that men are 70% more likely to hold executive positions compared to women.
But is it the system, the industry or something else? In reality, it may be a combination of a lot of things, but industries, people and office environments are all different - and its our job to step up and get the things we want.
Over the course of my career, Ive been on the receiving end of some great advice by both men and women, and Ive worked hard to return the favor to others. Ive also helped develop and grow some incredible talent in the travel industry.
During that time, Ive learned a lot about what it means to work smarter, sell my personal brand and empower other women all at the same time.
Here are my top five ways women can empower themselves - and each other - in the travel industry.
In the workplace, confidence is key, but it can often take years to get there. Studies show that womens confidence increases more with age compared to men, putting greater importance on the early years of our careers.
Think about it this way: If women arent as confident during those years, theyre potentially missing opportunities to be heard while male coworkers are unafraid to say whats on their minds. And studies show they are: When compared to men, women in entry-level positions are more likely to spend five or more years stuck in the same role.
In meetings, Im generally the person in the room who stands in the back to take it all in and gather my thoughts before I express ideas, while many of my more extroverted male colleagues tend to form their thoughts as theyre speaking.
When we step out of our comfort zones to deepen relationships and meet new people, we open up new doors in our careers.
Ive found that women like to speak with well-formed ideas, afraid that saying the wrong thing or asking the wrong question might make them lose what power they have. For managers, its important to recognize this and find ways to support women as they build confidence.
Often, when I meet with a woman outside of a group meeting, we have an open conversation that is crisp and articulate. Unfortunately that doesnt always translate into the bigger meeting.
When this happens, I prompt them to discuss what we spoke about earlier and show public support along the way. By finding ways to nurture my team and help them grow their confidence, it helps them overcome the fear of speaking up about their ideas - and gain the recognition they deserve.
People often feel alone at work, particularly women. A McKinsey study found that one in five women say they are often the one woman in the room at work or one of just a handful of others. That number doubles for senior-level women and women in tech.
Mentoring is a great way to combat feeling like youre the only one in the room. During my career, Ive been a mentor and a mentee to multiple people, all of whom have changed and shaped my career. When I was at Travelocity we had an informal mentoring program and it was an amazing experience.I believe so much in mentoring that I helped start a womens group at Sojern last year to help foster support and global collaboration for women across the company.
Mentoring helps women offer support to (and not compete with) each other, look for ways to add value to the organization, uncover strengths and share ideas in a safe environment.If youve ever had the pleasure of being mentored, think about returning the favor and doing so with an open mind and open ears.
Getting recognition at work or the next promotion often involves taking some risks. However, many women are hesitant to take risks, particularly the bigger ones.
According to KPMG, 69% of women are willing to take small risks, yet only 43% will take bigger risks to further their careers. It could be because some women feel like their credibility is in jeopardy if theyre wrong, or its possible that feeling like the only one breeds hesitation. Fortunately, I work with an amazing team who is open and willing to hear ideas during meetings.
The fear of taking risks, especially in a group setting, is legitimate. But if the current meeting format or setting doesnt work for you, change it.
I like to socialize ideas ahead of time to create dialogue or seed questions, and I encourage my team to do the same. It helps them anticipate and prepare for landmines and helps mitigate the fear around taking risks.
Its important to have internal advocates, but we cant rely on other people to get the things we want. Only we have the power to build our brand, and that comes by building social and business credibility. Whether thats through networking, facilitating informational meetings or stepping up and taking on additional projects, ultimately our success is up to ourselves.
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A recent survey found that 85% of jobs are filled because of networking. From attending sponsored happy hours and serving on advisory boards to connecting with new and existing contacts via LinkedIn, email or in person, networking is anything we do to build professional relationships.
While networking is uncomfortable for many, its a massive opportunity to build our brands both internally and externally. When we step out of our comfort zones to deepen relationships and meet new people, we open up new doors in our careers.
In the workplace, its easy to underestimate the softer skills, such as emotional intelligence and intuition. But theyre critical for any team: A recent study found that women tested stronger than men in 11 of 12 emotional intelligence capacities, and those capacities all translate to effective leadership skills.
Those types of soft skills are honed over years of experience and are not always as prevalent in male-dominated teams. However, I often find myself relying on them to make critical business decisions.
For example, Ive interviewed numerous candidates who looked great on paper, but I went with someone else because my intuition told me so - and those people were some of the best hiring decisions Ive made in my career. For women in the travel industry, its important to lean on those soft skills and be confident in the fact that you bring a new perspective to the table.
The travel industry is ripe with opportunity for women to step into leadership roles. By building each other up while cultivating our own paths, we can empower female leaders to speak up, break new ground and - ultimately - find success.
About the author...
Cady Wolf is vice president of commercial strategy at Sojern.
Posted: at 3:48 am
Pianist Robin Sutherland, who was a mainstay of Bartlesvilles OK Mozart festival in its early years, returns to Tulsa this weekend as the guest artist of Tulsa Symphony.
Sutherland, who has been described by critics as the perfect Mozart pianist, will perform the Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor with the orchestra, which will be led by guest conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann.
Last year, Sutherland retired from his position as principal pianist for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, a job he held for 45 years. He joined the orchestra in 1973, when then-music director Seiji Ozawa created the position of principal pianist for Sutherland.
Sutherland became known to Oklahomas when he was a regular performer at OK Mozart, serving as the orchestral pianist for the Solisti New York orchestra and performing as a concert soloist and in chamber music settings.
He last performed with the Tulsa Symphony in 2015.
The concert will also feature the Overture to Berliozs Beatrice and Benedict as well as the Concerto for Orchestra by Lutoslawski.
Performance: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Tulsa PAC, 101 E. Third St.
The fall 2019 class of Theatre Tulsa Academy, the companys interactive theater training program for youths, will present the full-length version of the musical Legally Blonde.
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the film adaptation that starred Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde is the story of Elle Woods, a seemingly superficial sorority sister who decides to enroll in Harvard Law School to win back her upper-class boyfriend.
She is at first ridiculed for her ambitions, but soon she is tasked with defending a woman accused of murder, and Elles unique field of expertise helps to win the legal, as well as the romantic, day.
Legally Blonde is an excellent story of personal empowerment that our teen actors were really enthusiastic about, said Jarrod Kopp, executive director of Theatre Tulsa. We have loved producing a show about being a success while staying true to yourself, even when others dont believe in you.
The Theatre Tulsa Academy series of shows features youth-oriented and junior versions of popular musicals as a supplement to Theatre Tulsas regular season of mainstage shows. Theatre Tulsa Academy produces four additional works per season.
Kia Hightower, recently featured in Theatre Tulsas production of The Drowsy Chaperone, directs a cast that includes Ella Phillips as Elle, Bailee Washington as Margot, Jameson White as Serena, Anabel White as Pilar and Otto Alonso as Emmett, with the role of Warner shared between Zachary Kirchhoff and Kolby Cardwell.
Performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Tulsa PAC, 110 E. Second St.
Daddy Long Legs
Jerusha Abbott has earned the unfortunate title of Oldest Orphan in the John Grier Home along with the responsibility of making all the preparations for the monthly meetings on the homes trustees. But after one such meeting, she is handed a letter. One anonymous trustee will pay for her college education on the condition that she write him regular letters describing what goes on in her life.
So begins Daddy Long Legs, a musical based on the classic 1912 novel by Jean Webster that in turn has inspired at least three films, the most famous being the 1955 version that starred Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron.
This musical by Paul Gordon and John Caird will have its Oklahoma debut in a production that stars Margaret Stall (Theatre Tulsas Beauty and the Beast) as Jerusha, and Samuel Briggs (American Theatre Companys Sunday in the Park with George, Tulsa Operas Carmen) as Jervis Pendleton, the young man who becomes something a rival for Jerushas affections with the unknown man she calls Daddy Long Legs.
Performances: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Lynn Riggs Theater, Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E. Fourth St.
The Harlem Quartet
The Harlem Quartet, which the Cincinnati Enquirer praised for bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent, will conclude its time in Tulsa with a Sunday afternoon concert presented by Chamber Music Tulsa.
The quartet will perform music by Bolcom, Debussy, Lpez-Gaviln and Brahms. Sundays concert will be preceded by a talk by Jason Heilman, host of the radio program Classical Tulsa on KWGS (89.5 FM).
Performance: 3 p.m. Sunday at the Tulsa PAC, 110 E. Second St.
Jose Zorillas play has been a staple of Spanish theater for more than 150 years and is regularly performed as part of celebrations of All Saints Day, Nov. 1.
Tulsas Latino theater company, TeleTlsa, is presenting a new version of the classic Spanish play Don Juan Tenorio, adapted and directed by Tara Moses. Don Juan takes the story of the arrogant and frivolous Don Juan and sets it in modern times to address such themes as agency, accountability and the dangers of machismo culture.
Performances: 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Nov. 14-15, 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Reconciliation Way.
Heller Theatre Company
Heller Theatre Company will present the final performance of The Deaths of Sybil Bolton, David Blakelys stage adaptation of Dennis McAuliffes book about his investigations into the life of his grandmother, one of the victims of the Osage Reign of Terror in the 1920s.
The company will follow that with the latest installment of its Second Sunday Serials, in which excerpts from short plays are performed, and audience members vote on which stories they want to hear continued.
This week will feature the latest episodes of Shatterproof by Andrew Nichols and Josh Gammon and Future Projections by Bailey James, as well as new plays Wallaces War by Dale Hink, Hot Water Chocolate Cake by Jordan Clark and Kid Dixon by Quinn Bailey.
Performances: Deaths... 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lynn Riggs Theatre, 621 E. Fourth St.; Serials, 8 p.m. Sunday, at Studio 308, 308 S. Lansing Ave.
World Stage Theatre
Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron is a collection of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects mothers, prom dresses, buying bras, mothers, hating purses (did we mention mothers?) and reasons for wearing only black.
Kathryn Hartney directs a cast that includes Sally Ruth Allen, Danielle Balleto, Charity Crawford, Shadia Dahlal, Kathleen Hope, Angela McLaughlin, Kelli McLoud-Schingen and Paula Scheider.
Performances: 3 p.m. Sunday Nov. 10 and 17; 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16; , at the Tulsa PAC, 110 E. Second St.
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Posted: at 3:48 am
Anne Nicholas, NBCs vice president of affiliate marketing, has a unique approach to instilling career empowerment in young women: she invites men.
At the Ladies Get Paid event in Brooklyn on Saturday, Nicholas brought her husband, SummitMedias senior vice president and creative director Val Nicholas, to speak alongside her during a panel on personal branding.
At first when I was first doing these things, I only wanted women in the room, said Anne Nicholas in an interview with Know Your Value. And then I realized what a big mistake that was because we cannot do it without our men. We need to have the men understand, and they need to be behind us.
Anne and Val Nicholas spoke to a standing room-only crowd at the Brooklyn Expo Center. The two noted that men are brought up to fight and be confident, while women are taught to be perfect.
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We have to make everyone happy and make sure that everyone is comfortable, Anne Nicholas said to the crowd. ...For us the word courage is scary.
The couple pointed out some alarming statistics: men apply for a job if they feel 60 percent qualified, while women dont apply unless they feel 100 percent qualified.
Whats holding you back? Its nothing more than fear, said Anne Nicholas.
Val Nicholas also urged women to stop apologizing for no reason.
Stop apologizing. Youre not sorry, said Val Nicholas to the audience. [Men] dont do that. When weve done something wrong, we apologize.
The couple asked audience members to consider their career goals, acknowledge their fears and obstacles, then pivot to positive thinking. For example instead of thinking Im going to be destitute if I make this career move, think of a better thought, said Anne Nicholas, such as I will have a more fulfilling career. This can be especially tough for women, who tend to undervalue themselves.
The better thought is a thought that is going to soothe you, said Anne Nicholas during the interview. And it will allow you to think an even better thought after that. So if you have a goal and just keep practicing that courage ... it does propel you forward.
Community is also a critical part of success, according to the couple. They encouraged attendees to talk to connect to the women around them and invoke support, mentorship and sponsorship.
One of the things that we don't do enough as women, is this, said Anne Nicholas during her talk, referring to the gathering. If we can stay in touch with all the women in this room, we would have so much support its unbelievable.
Anne Nicholas noted that while #MeToo culture has brought about a new enlightenment for women, she urged women not to alienate men from the conversation altogether.
This is incredibly important transition time right now, said Anne Nicholas in the interview. And I think that women are the ones who have the knowledge and the experience and the ease with feelings to really understand it and make it happen ... We can't be man haters because they have so much to teach us. As much as we have to teach them, they have to teach us.
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Posted: at 3:48 am
Big Tech seems to be loved and loathed in equal measure. Governments across the world are grappling with how to rein in its perceived excesses from how it uses our data to what we are permitted to say online. The same governments also want a piece of the next tech phenomenon, and for the next tech hub to emerge in their jurisdictions. So what is it about Silicon Valley that has led to its global dominance? Now that the likes of Facebook and Google are playing a central role in our politics, what makes them tick? And how will they weather the emerging backlash to tech? spiked caught up with Margaret OMara, the author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, to find out more.
spiked: We often think of Silicon Valley and the tech boom as the story of programmers in their garages. Is that an accurate picture?
Margaret OMara: Yes and no. Its only part of the story. The garage has been mythologised as the birthplace of tech so much so that museums about tech in California have mock-ups of garages. Actually, what really made Silicon Valley and turned it from an agricultural valley in California into an electronics hub was the Second World War and the Cold War. US governments were getting into the technology research-and-development business in a very big way, and into the electronics business, too. The computer industry as we know it was developed with the patronage of government entities often the military. The army, the navy and other branches of the armed services funded laboratories and universities.
In contrast to Europe, a lot of the US states money was flowing into these industries indirectly. It was the 1950s, the age of Senator McCarthy and the witch-hunts against communists. The whole purpose of Americas Cold War was to fight the socialist Soviet Union. And so a giant government scheme to build up computing power and electronics was not going to fly politically. Instead, the government spent money via defence contracts and higher education, all in a very decentralised manner.
And this is where the garage comes in. Hewlett-Packard was founded in a garage in 1939, as was Apple in 1976 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. They were in California, which had also made massive investments in education and in infrastructure roads, bridges, suburbs that are built out, making it a very easy place to live. There was a great deal of federally funded and private-industry research happening that was all concentrated in this one place.
Wozniak and Jobs are products of the Cold War environment, even though they dont see themselves as Cold Warriors. Wozniak was the son of an engineer at Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defence corporation. Lockheed was the biggest employer in the Valley from the 1950s. Jobss father got a job as a technician in a laser company. Wozniack and Jobs grew up in this very highly technical environment.
Nevertheless, they didnt see themselves as particular friends of the government, or as having anything to do with the defence complex. The personal-computer movement that later became an industry had a politics that was very much in opposition to the great military-industrial complex of the 1950s and 1960s. It was driven by young people who reached adulthood during the Vietnam War. They encountered their first computers in the form of these giant mainframes that were controlled by university computer labs. And they asked, why should the establishment have all the computing power? They said we should take this marvellous power, and turn it away from being tools of war to making it tools of personal empowerment. Put a computer on every desk, connect the computers through wires so we can talk to one another, and then all the great injustices in the world will be erased, they thought.
That seems hopelessly idealistic now. But really, its that techno-optimism that has driven Silicon Valley for decades. Its the origin of, say, Facebook wanting to make the world more open and connected.
spiked: Has that optimism faded in the wake of the backlash to tech?
OMara: There are a lot of people in the Valley who are questioning what they had once earnestly believed. They really believed that tech was going to make things better. And now thats being challenged. But then there are others who feel that tech is just misunderstood and those tend to be the most powerful and wealthy people.
When I started working on The Code five years ago, it was a whole other world: Obama was president and it was all a big love fest between politics and tech. And now, the pendulum has swung so violently in the other direction maybe not in the Valley, but certainly in Washington, DC and in much of the outside world. People say, Burn it all down. Its terrible.
Silicon Valley hadnt paid much attention to politics until recently. They thought it was irrelevant to business when, of course, now it has become deeply relevant. The regulation of tech is going to be a defining conversation in American politics for the next decade not just in Washington, but in state capitals too. European laws are already having a material effect on what happens here, because these are global companies.
spiked: How did Silicon Valley become woke?
OMara: Silicon Valleys politics are quite complicated. They are partly a reflection of northern California and Seattle, which are very liberal places. The other thing that is important to these companies is recruitment and retention. There is fierce competition for top-quality employees, many of whom care about LGBT issues. They want to know if a company marches in the Gay Pride parade, what sort of maternity and paternity leave it has, and if it is making the world a better place.
The amount of employee pushback and anger that weve seen in the past couple of years has been unprecedented. I have never seen white-collar workers stand up and complain to this degree. In part, this is because, in most industries, when you dont like an employer you leave for another company. But the largest companies in tech all having something that might be compromising, that goes against their Dont Be Evil image which is the old slogan of Google.
Google actually has the most severe problems. In part, because it has really tried to build a whole culture around its Dont Be Evil image. Workers came to Google for that culture. And then they find out that Google is involved in building drones for the military or is paying off sexual harassers, and so on.
The leaders of the tech firms, on the other hand, are trying to tread an apolitical, neutral line, but are doing so very, very clumsily. Their personal politics for many of them lean Democrat or lean in a more liberal direction. But when conservatives have chastised them for seeming to be biased against conservatives, they have really jumped a little too high and have overcompensated.Like all CEOs of global companies, they are trying to make sure that whoever is in power is on their side.
For instance, Donald Trumps vendetta against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is starting to have an effect. Microsoft was recently awarded an incredibly lucrative Pentagon contract when Amazon was the presumed front-runner. We dont know what the decision tree was who knows what is going to spill out of the White House. Whether or not there was a connection to Trump in that case, people are starting to think that if you get on the bad side of the White House that could have an impact on your business.
spiked: Has Big Tech helped make working conditions more insecure, especially with the rise of the gig economy?
OMara: This is the manifestation of some very long-term trends. The public likes to think tech is more different than it actually is. Even the companies that present themselves as iconoclastic and counter-cultural Apple being Exhibit A are just like conventional corporations in many ways.
Historian Louis Hyman has argued quite compellingly that the American economy has been veering towards temporary and gig labour for both white-collar and blue-collar work for quite some time. This is part of a bigger story of the restructuring of American capitalism since the 1970s, in which the old models of secure lifetime employment, unionised work and benefits worked very well. The 25 years that followed the Second World War were pretty darn terrific for the United States, in part because all of its major industrial competitors including Britain were literally in rubble. When Japan and Germany managed to rebuild themselves, they started eating Americas lunch.
We had this golden moment in which business was doing well and employees were doing well. But when that started falling apart, American employers started figuring out ways to cut costs. By the time we get to today, we have these software platforms that have made it remarkably easy to have an incredibly flexible workforce. This has arrived at a time when many workers jobs are already precarious and temporary, which means that taking on extra gigs as an Uber or Lyft driver starts making sense for people. So the software has arrived at a point where the labour market is very well primed for it.
Margaret OMara was talking to Fraser Myers.
Picture by: Jim Garner.
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Congratulations to the winner of Octobers Volunteer of the Month Draw Gary O! Gary was nominated for his volunteer work with St. John Ambulance, read Garys nomination at http://www.volunteergp.com.
Volunteer of the Month winners are awarded a $100 Gift Card from Tim Hortons!
The staff and board of the GPVSB would like to thank Tim Hortons for helping us fuel the volunteers of Grande Prairie and surrounding area.
GPVSB recognizes Steve Shumate. Steve volunteered for the 2019 Street Performers Festival as part of the Safety Patrol team where his happy spirit and dedication to help out wherever needed ensured the festival ran smoothly and safely. His efforts were appreciated by all. Thank you for all your hard work, Steve!
Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning nominates Wendy Trepanier! They wrote, Wendys support has helped her learner to move from a Beginner ESL level to Pre-Intermediate level. This is a great accomplishment for an ESL learner. Thank you very much Wendy for your support to our organizations vision.
GPVSB recognizes Denny Coogan. Denny volunteered for the 2019 Street Performers Festival this past July and we appreciated all of their help with the festival. We couldnt have done it without you, thank you Denny!
Special Olympics Grande Prairie nominates Kelly Hollahan! They wrote, Kelly has been a coach and volunteer for over 13 years. She represents the organization at a high level of standard helping with everything from coach and athlete training to trade shows. She is very valued.
GPVSB recognizes Adelaide Bartel. Adelaide volunteered for the 2019 Street Performers Festival in several different roles where her cheerfulness and incredible dedication to help out wherever needed ensured the festival ran smoothly and safely. Her efforts were appreciated by all. Thank you for all your hard work, Adelaide!
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Join us on the morning of Dec. 5 for our International Volunteer Day Celebration Breakfast. This free event celebrates the volunteers in our community and around the world. The 2019 Volunteer of the Year Awards will be presented during the Breakfast! Stay tuned to @gpvsb on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates.
Sexual trauma victims said self-care and support groups were some of the most helpful methods for healing – Business Insider
Posted: at 3:48 am
captionCommon themes like self-care, support groups, and therapy were the most helpful ways women coped with and moved forward from sexual trauma.sourceGeniusKp / Shutterstock
One in five women will have to deal with the physical and mental aftermath of sexual trauma in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the way theyre taught to cope with that trauma could greatly affect their experiences in future sexual relationships they form.
According to a new study, presented today at the annual meeting for The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, healing strategies that are rooted in self-empowerment, like self-care and community support, are most successful in helping women who have experienced sexual trauma move forward.
To determine this, London-based sex researcher Laura Vowels and her team interviewed 41 women with a history of sexual trauma who also considered themselves healed from the trauma and currently in healthy relationships. These women were between 18 and 55 years old and the majority were white and heterosexual. All of the women were cisgender.
They found common themes like self-care in the form of yoga, mindfulness, or journaling, as well as joining social support groups, working to support other trauma survivors, talking about their trauma, and going to therapy were the most helpful ways women coped with and moved forward from sexual trauma.
On the other hand, women said strategies like exercise, alcohol and drug use, avoiding social settings, and casual sex werent helpful in healing from their personal sexual trauma.
According to study co-author Katarina Hoskins, the women said they tended to overuse or abuse these ineffective strategies as a means of escape rather than healing, and that could explain why they didnt work for most.
Knowing these themes [that work and dont work] can help a therapist come up with a great toolbox women can work with, to heal from sexual trauma, Hoskins said.
In the first of a series of articles on wealth, Bruce Sheppard probes what wealth actually is and details how he measures wealth through a formula -…
Posted: at 3:48 am
Many claim to write with authority on the topic of wealth, and for those who are wealthy, or aspire to be, this thought piece will either resonate or it wont.
Wealth means different things to different people. For some it is a state of mind. For others it is experiences and knowledge, or the joy and richness of relationships. The most identifiable by all is the tangible measurement of wealth, money and assets.
The only truly wealthy are those that have elements of all of this, however the most critical one is state of mind. If you do not think you are wealthy, no amount of knowledge, experience, cash, assets or relationships will make you so. I guess we have all met the fortunate discontents in society.
So how about I try to define wealth as a formula:
Wealth = (attitude* (knowledge + experience) *networks) + resources.
I view money as an addition not a multiplier to wealth. The exponential impact on wealth for me is experience and networks levered with attitude. It may also be better to think of resource accumulation as the result of attitude knowledge experience and networks.
As the saying goes, money is not everything, but the corollary that it beats the alternative is also probably true. Money however certainly does not bring you happiness, nor does conspicuous consumption. How many first class cruises can you endure?
If the passage of others is a guide, I with this as my guide, examine the components of my formula.
If your parents instilled in you self-confidence, a desire to try the unknown, a sense of independence and the courage to make decisions and not sweat the little things or overly worry about things when they go wrong, they have probably done you a great favour.
If in addition they have given you a work ethic, determination, along with a good dollop of thrift, then they have doubled your attitudinal gift.
And if also by passage of birth and upbringing your mouth was free of a silver spoon and if this instilled in you a desire to improve your own and your familys lot, then likely they have delivered you the last component, ambition.
So key characteristics:
If you dont have the right attitude you can learn it, but it is much harder because these attitudes have to be behavioural and instinctive.
Education has its place, but the perpetual student accumulating PHDs would likely have a single dimensional view of knowledge, deep and narrow. Rich in its own way, but those who become wealthy across all facets of wealth acquire a wide range of knowledge across many disciplines, an awareness of what they dont know, and the knowledge of where to find out.
Knowledge comes from many sources, formal courses, wide reading, trying things, and conversations. One of our graduates, who years after leaving us, sent me an email saying he learned more in his year with us by osmosis, and being exposed to how we problem solve and think than he had learnt before and that in his new job he was ahead of his peers by a wide margin. He had the openness to absorb ideas, toss them around in his head, challenge them, filter them and apply them. Knowledge only flows when you are around people who are prepared to share and if you have an open challenging mind.
Experiences test and refine your knowledge. Over time, right, wrong and grey appear clearer.
Sometimes knowledge comes from unexpected circumstances and occurs in spades when you least expect it. For ten years I ran the New Zealand Shareholders' Association, and in that time I meet many CEOs, Chairmen and Directors of large organisations. I had no idea of their thinking and the environment in which they operated. I judged them as idiots based on the poor outcomes achieved by them compared to the outcomes that were being achieved by small, well-run businesses in the SME sector. They took the time to educate me, and I them, and we all ended up better as a result of it.
A number of them I now do business with. The conversations around commonly held issues that you will have with others not only widens your knowledge, it leads into the next element, networks.
To build deep networks requires you to talk with people and exchange ideas. Then finding something tangible to do with each other to demonstrate to each other common views, values and purpose, and when you do this, those networks become, what I ridiculed in public companies so roundly, your very own old boys and old girls clubs.
Without deep wide and trusting networks it is almost impossible to scale knowledge. Without engaged relationships it is impossible to achieve much at all. Many hands make light work!
In terms of the importance of networks a conversation with a public company director went like this.If you think you are so underpaid for the risk you are taking, let someone else do it, plenty are willing.
After much banter, it came down to this.I do this because if I didnt, I would not be connected and I would lose my sense of purpose and relevance.
Everyone has many networks, clubs, sports teams, families, professional associations, work mates, shared businesses it goes on. Each relationship is in context with the only common denominator being you. If you can plug these multiple networks into each other with multiple points of contact they become stronger.
Have you read the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell? One interesting story in this book was the story of a small American town. It had a population that lived longer than anyone else in the world. Was it environment? Was it genealogy? What the hell was it? It came down to the fact that the population cared about each other. They all addressed each other in the street. They all knew each other, they were all connected. In short, the town was one big supportive network. The people had somewhere they belonged.
Successful people create these though consistency and by being authentic. Networks require trust.
Resources are more than a score card. They are the underpinning in a tangible sense of your security, and an enabler of the choices you wish to make. To some, control over resources is power, for others its security. Some simply see it as a game to get more. As I have said before, that which you chase runs, so for me the pursuit of more for its own sake is pointless. Wealth without purpose is to shun the privilege society has given you. In itself to me this is a breach of trust. More on purposeful wealth another time.
If resources enable choice and freedom, then the first level is to have enough to live. Until you have this, you will never have freedom or choice, unless your wish is to live on the street (its own freedom). Enough in this context that you can live as you wish until you live no more. This number is not that hard to work out. The hard bit is defining how you want to live. Some need a really big number, others very little. But getting to the freedom of having the security to cover yourself without having to do anything at all is immensely liberating. The more you wish to consume the longer it takes to get to the first level of actual freedom which then enables you to really make choices.
Then your choices fall into; do something useful, purposeful, or one of two basic approaches to power.
In terms of power, one approach is characterised by the description f**k off money. This is enough to tell anyone at all to go away you dont want to deal with them and if necessary defend that decision. This is about personal empowerment. It allows you to be authentic, in that you dont have to grovel to others, it allows you to prune your network to those who matter. If you have a bit more than this level of economic power you transcend to what is called f**k you money. This is the level of wealth that allows you to exert power over others.
You have enough, you can do what you wish, and you have no desire to exert power over others, because your self-confidence and freedom is enabled to the point where the thought of exerting power over others is pointless.
You have reached the point and mean it when you say,Its not the money, its the principle.If you think many say this and mean it, you are wrong. It is for the vast majority the money, not the principle. You get to judge character in adversity and disputes. I have seen a fair bit of that too.
*Bruce Sheppard is founder and managing partner of accounting firm Gilligan Sheppard. He's also the former chairman of the New Zealand Shareholders' Association. This article first appeared here and is used with permission.