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Monday Morning Mojo: Get Specific

InteroMojo - Mon, 08/04/2014 - 4:00pm

I teach a class at Intero called Jump Start that is designed to help new Realtors, struggling Realtors, or those who just want take it to the next level and get their business ‘jump started.’ It is a short 90 minute class that quite honestly is pretty simple and straight forward. The key is it’s simple and specific on exactly what someone needs to do to win in business and in life.

One of the most important things I talk about in the class is how to figure out exactly where you want to go. In business or your personal finances it’s really about figuring out how much money you need to have to be financially independent and then building a plan on exactly how you are going to get there.

I have talked about it before in Mojo, what I see so often is most people operate in a fog and really don’t know specifically what they want and never take the time to build a detailed and specific plan on exactly how they are going to get there. It is the same with any equity of your life. For example, if you want to lose weight, it’s not enough to say you just want to lose weight, but you have to figure out specifically how much weight you want to lose, why you want to lose it and by when do you want to have it lost. Then you can build a plan on what you need to do every month, week, day, hour, minute to make that happen. It is the same in business and finance or any equity of your life. Start with your destination and work backwards. How much money do you want or need to have, and by when, to be financially independent? Do you know? It has been my experience that most don’t know. They just want life to get better and have more money. One of the first things I challenge everyone in the class to do is to get very specific on that number and when they want or need to accomplish it by. Once you know that number it makes getting up in the morning and doing what you need to do every day a heck of a lot easier because you now are building towards something specific…something tangible. It is still hard, but it is a lot easier when you know specifically where you are going and not feeling like you are driving around in circles.

Not sure how to start? There is this really cool tool called Google. Simply type in “how much money do I need to retire?” There are all sorts of cool tools/apps available where you can put in all of your current financial information and it will spit out a number for you on how much you will need, and how much to save every year in order to get there. You can go through this same process with your health as well. Not sure how much you can eat and how much exercise you need to do on a monthly, weekly or daily basis to accomplish your goal? Or maybe you’re not even sure what someone of your size and stature should weigh to be considered healthy? Just go to Google and type in the question. It will spit back all sorts of calculators and sites with information that can easily help you figure it out.

Once you have worked backwards, and figured out specifically how much do you need to make annually, monthly, weekly and hourly to accomplish your goal you can really get down to figuring out specifically what you need to do every hour of the day to accomplish it. Sometimes getting ahead in life, finances, fitness or any area of our F5 (Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Finance) can be overwhelming. The key is getting clarity and being very specific on exactly what you want or need and by when. The cool thing is most of the time it is not as big of a task and daunting as we imagine it is.

Get clear…get specific…get started NOW!!!!!!

Categories: Latest News

Weekend Wellness: Get Healthier from the Inside Out

InteroMojo - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 9:00am

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
? Hippocrates

Have you ever heard this before? There are many “known” foods/supplements/vitamins which we know to be helpful to our health, such as Calcium, Flaxseed, Fish oil, and Chia Seeds…but I thought I would share some lesser known goodies to put in your arsenal of healing foods/herbs: I know when I was first introduced to many of these herbs, etc; it changed my entire thinking about “food”!

Aloe: Aloe juice has a healing effect on the gastrointestinal tract and can ease heartburn and acid reflux

Bacopa: Studies show that bacopa reduces anxiety while helping the mind learn quickly and retain information. Some researchers believe it may also help prevent and treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Black cohosh: It is rich in phytoestrogens that may ease both immediate and long-term effects of menopause. In one recent study, black cohosh was as effective as estrogen in decreasing hot flash symptoms

Garlic: Garlic helps fight infection; lowers cholesterol levels and triglycerides, reduces blood pressure and slows the progression of hardening of the arteries.

Green foods (my personal favorite) Studies have shown that the healing properties of green foods, such as spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and chlorophyll, are astounding and have an impact on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response, cancer and oxygen delivery. Green foods are also rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Oregano: This herb is used to prevent (or treat) colds and flu, sore throats, sinus congestion, bacterial infection, bronchitis, rashes, aches, and fungal infections. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and has some healthy omega 3′s.

Milk Thistle: This herb is a premier liver health nutrient. Its active ingredient is silymarin, which is a concentrated source of antioxidants. Milk thistle has been used in Europe as a treatment for liver disease since the 16th century.

Maca: Maca is a plant from Peru that is thought to elevate mood and boost testosterone. In menopausal women, maca may help reduce anxiety and depression.

These are just a few herbs and foods known through many studies to help heal our bodies according to Better Nutrition’s 75th Anniversary Edition (as well as my own personal experience).

Of course, before you jump into taking these; if you are on any medications or have any known health issues; please check with an expert first!

Go for better health and feel free to ask me any questions! Enjoy – there’s always an abundance of interesting foods to help you get younger from the inside out!

Categories: Latest News

Federal Jurists ♥ Utilitarian Philosopher Jeremy Bentham

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 11:01am
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, sitting as an en banc panel of 11 judges, sent shock waves through the world of First Amendment enthusiasts on July 29 with its opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. We’re still digesting this compelled speech ruling, and will be producing a […]
Categories: Latest News

Intero Cool Apps: Make Group Work Smarter Not Harder

InteroMojo - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 9:00am

Communication is key in any business. Without it, wires get crossed, duplicate work is done, and pieces get missed. It can be a real mess with a lousy outcome: an incomplete project full of wasted time and resources. That’s the worst and it could have all been saved with a bit more communication and organization. Here to help you with that today is Trello, the app that makes it easy to organize anything with anyone.

Stop with the lengthy email threads, miss labeled spreadsheets, and multiple post-it notes for managing your projects. Trello gives you all the support you need to easily organize your important stuff in a visual way.

To get started, create a board for your next project/business transaction/house remodel. Upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive to show your group. Add to do lists, labels, and due dates, then attached people to each task. Once you add the other members of your team, everyone will be able to view the same board so no one’s out of the loop and the most up to date information is always on display.

As items get checked off, drag and drop cards – each item you add on to the board will have a card – between lists to show progress. Post comments for instant feedback and collaborate new ideas with everyone in the group. Never feel left out again! The display can be as simple or as complex as you want with everything from lists to calendars to voting. Trello even syncs across all of your devices so you always have your boards at your fingertips. This is definitely a more efficient and productive way to work! Check it out today.

 

Categories: Latest News

Bloomberg BNA: Federal Government Meets Small Business Contracting Goal for First Time in Eight Years

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:00am
By Deborah Billings, Bloomberg BNA

Aug. 1 (BNA) -- The federal government awarded $83.1 billion in prime contracts to small businesses in fiscal year 2013, exceeding its 23-percent goal for the first time in eight years, according to official statistics released Aug. 1.
However, the government fell 2 percent short of expectations that small firms receive 36 percent of subcontracted dollars.

The results of the latest Small Business Procurement Scorecard were released by Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the Small Business Administration, and Charles Bolden, head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at a briefing held at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Contreras-Sweet said despite a recent decline in federal spending, $459 billion in contracts were awarded to small businesses in the first five years of the Obama administration, a $62 billion increase over the previous five years. The president “since day one” has focused “like a laser” on the need to improve opportunities for small firms, she said. Contreras-Sweet took over at the SBA in early April after being picked by President Barack Obama for the job Jan. 15.

Twenty of 24 federal agencies received an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ in the SBA's annual assessment of individual agencies' small business contracting achievements, which resulted in the federal government receiving a top grade overall on the scorecard. Three agencies received a ‘B’ grade. On the other end of the scale, the Department of Energy received an ‘F’ for the third year in a row.

While Bolden said he was “especially proud” of NASA's record with respect to working with small business contractors, he stressed it “still has a ways to go.” Despite receiving A's on the scorecard for FYs 2012 and 2013, “a marked improvement” over the C rating it received three years ago, “we are not where we want to be,” Bolden said. “But we are on the way.” In FY 2013, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses received 3.38 percent of prime contracting dollars ($12 billion), exceeding the 3 percent goal. Small disadvantaged businesses won 8.61 percent ($30.6 billion), exceeding the 5 percent target. However, the government failed to meet its 5 percent contracting goal for women-owned businesses and 3 percent goal for firms in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones); these companies won 4.32 percent ($15.4 billion) and 1.76 percent ($6.2 billion) respectively. Agencies awarded 22.25 percent ($89.9 billion) of their prime contracting dollars and 33.6 percent of subcontracting dollars to small businesses in FY 2012 (100 FCR 38, 7/9/13).

Increasing Goals ‘Premature'

Contreras-Sweet praised Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee who attended the briefing, for his dedication to promoting opportunities for small business. She specifically applauded his work on the Women's Small Business Procurement Parity Act (S. 2481), which would provide authority for sole source contracts for certain small business concerns owned and controlled by women. But Contreras-Sweet told Bloomberg BNA she does not agree with a recent proposal to increase small business contracting and subcontracting goals.

It would be “premature” and “too stressful” to raise the goals at this juncture, she said. “Until we get this ball rolling,” the levels should remain where they are, she said. Language added to the House-passed defense authorization bill (H.R. 4355) by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Small Business Committee, would increase the federal government's small business prime contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent and its subcontracting goal from 36 percent to 40 percent.

“Now that the small business contracting goal has been met, we should not relax in helping more small businesses compete; the Senate should follow the House in raising the small business goal to 25 percent, to help more small businesses grow and create jobs,” Graves said in a statement Aug. 1.

The House bill also was amended to allow women-owned small businesses to receive sole-source contracts on the same terms as contracts awarded via other small business contracting programs.

The Federal Government Finally Reaches Its Small Business Contracting Goal

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:00am

House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today released the following statement on the release of the Small Business Administration (SBA) FY 2013 Small Business Contracting Scorecard, showing that for the first time since 2005, the federal government reached the government-wide 23 percent goal for small business contracting:

“For the first time in eight years, the federal government has finally met its 23 percent goal for small business contracts. This demonstrates that the reforms enacted during the past 2 Congresses are working. We've focused on helping small businesses compete for federal contracts by including small business goals in senior agency employee performance reviews and bonus discussions, increasing the authority of the small business contracting advocates, and making the size regulations easier to follow. Once SBA implements the rest of these reforms, such as making it easier for small companies to team on larger contracts or find mentors, small business participation will continue to rise. Now that the small business contracting goal has been met, we should not relax in helping more small businesses compete; the Senate should follow the House in raising the small business goal to 25 percent, to help more small businesses grow and create jobs.

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NLRB’s Latest Assault on America’s Workplaces

Education & the Workforce Committee - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:00am

One has to ask what exactly the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has against America’s workplaces. In recent years, the NLRB has restricted workers’ access to the secret ballot, advanced a rule that would stifle employer free speech and cripple worker free choice, and tried to dictate where private employers can create jobs.

Now the NLRB has opened a new front in its war on workplaces. The agency’s general counsel, long-time union operative Richard Griffin, issued a decision that would overturn a franchise model in place for years. Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) described the decision as “detached from reality” and noted:

While the board is considering this very issue, the general counsel is trying to rewrite the franchise model workers, employers, and consumers have known for decades. This is yet another activist decision from the general counsel's office. Big Labor has scored once again at the expense of workers and employers.

Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, a company that includes iconic names such as Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., describes what’s at stake for workers and employers:

If the NLRB's new interpretation of the rules—which McDonald's has vowed to contest—becomes the law of the land, it will be tantamount to rewriting an existing contractual relationship by government fiat in ways the parties never contemplated and to their mutual detriment. Franchisers would inevitably pass the costs of jointly managing their franchisees' employees on to their franchisees. Franchisees would find themselves unable to control their labor costs, a key controllable expense and an important element of their profitability.

It's a lose-lose scenario for everyone—except for the labor unions that have long dreamed of organizing restaurant workers nationwide. Even if that dream were realized, though, there would soon be fewer workers to unionize as franchise restaurants began to shut down. The NLRB's attack on the franchise business model is especially unfortunate because franchising plays an integral role in the U.S. economy.

The question is: Who benefits from the NLRB’s new legal invention? The Wall Street Journal has the answer:

This is a bonanza for trial lawyers who will be able to shake down the parent company for alleged labor violations at franchisees whose pockets aren't as deep. The other beneficiary is Big Labor. Workers have long had to petition franchisees to form a union. Under Mr. Griffin's law, they can leap-frog their direct managers to corporate headquarters, which are more vulnerable to political pressure and less sensitive to local markets.

To recap: The NLRB has made a decision that upends decades of legal practice; workers and employers will be harmed by the decision, while labor bosses and trial lawyers stand to benefit. Just another day at the office for the Obama NLRB.

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Domestic Challenges and Global Competition in Aviation Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. titled, “Domestic Challenges and Global Competition in Aviation Manufacturing.” 

Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically ...

Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Leadership Lessons from the Cheshire Cat

InteroMojo - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 9:00am

“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care,” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Without question, indecision is one of the most destructive forces on your path to success. However obvious it seems, you won’t find success if you’re not sure where to look. The Cheshire Cat knew this well and it’s a lesson every leader must understand. Whether in a magical Wonderland or a real estate office, you should never lose sight of your destination and how you’re going to get there.

Fortunately, unlike Alice, you probably won’t have to content with mystical creatures or talking cats, but you will face unfamiliar challenges every day and must approach them with strength, determination and purpose. Draw confidence from the path you’ve chosen and know that you’ll get there no matter what comes your way.

So, how do you choose this path? Define your goals and then use them as milestones to guide you. Set objectives not only for yourself but also for your team. They’ll have something to strive for and in turn, know exactly what you expect them to achieve. But remember, it all starts with you, the leader, who must provide direction and clarity in order to move your team forward. Decide today where your path will take you and then commit to that destination with firm resolve.

As the Cat said, if you don’t care about where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which way you go.

 

Categories: Latest News

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA), today introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. 

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 builds on the goals and successes of the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and its reauthorization in 2010. The Senators’ billwould authorize stable and sustained increases in federal research and developme...

Rockefeller, Durbin, Nelson, Pryor, Coons, Markey Introduce America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA), today introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. 

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014 builds on the goals and successes of the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and its reauthorization in 2010. The Senators’ billwould authorize stable and sustained increases in federal research and developme...

POLITICO: Broadband: The other big obstacle to telemedicine

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:00am

POLITICO eHealth: Broadband: The other big obstacle to telemedicine
By David Pittman
July 31, 2014 

A lack of good Internet connections is nearly as big an obstacle to increasing telemedicine as the lack of Medicare funding for the services, witnesses told a congressional hearing Thursday.
 
Many hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country lack broadband or fiber-optic cabling with the necessary bandwidth to use certain forms of telemedicine, said Maggie Basgall of Lenora, Kan.’s Nex-Tech, a broadband-service provider for rural areas in the upper Midwest. Many patients lack wireless capabilities and are still reliant on dial-up Internet.
 
“Without that, they can’t do in-home telemedicine,” Basgall said following a House Small Business Health and Technology Subcommittee hearing.
 
Although there are 46 telemedicine-related bills pending before Congress, the hearing was just the second devoted to the issue this year. A bill is expected to be brought to the floor in 2015.
 
“What our purpose was today, and I think we’ve done it, was to start a discussion,” said Rep. Chris Collins, chairman of the subcommittee. “If we don’t start the discussion at some point, we’re seeing a hodge-podge of things move forward, state by state.”
 
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) said the lack of broadband was the biggest impediment to telemedicine after the lack of federal reimbursement.
 
“I live in a rural part of Missouri, and I’m barely in a broadband area myself,” Luetkemeyer said. “I know that there are a lot of areas within my own district that may not have broadband.”

Basgall singled out for blame the FCC’s quantile regression analysis, which changed the ways its $4.5 billion Universal Service Fund program doled out support to small telecommunications providers.

Rural broadband providers like Nex-Tech felt they could no longer reliably predict if they would be able to recover the costs of network upgrades and therefore stopped seeking loans to build faster networks, she said.
The FCC scrapped the changes earlier this year and is considering a replacement.

“I think [the FCC] realized it wasn’t predictable,” Basgall said. “People can’t build infrastructure when they’re trying to follow a model that doesn’t give them predictable support.”

Karen Rheuban, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Telehealth, said the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program, which provides discounts to rural providers seeking broadband, has gone unfulfilled because of its “onerous, complex application process, and statutory exclusions to eligibility that do not always align with health disparities.”

Broadband wasn’t the only topic during Thursday’s hearing. Witnesses spoke about Medicare’s restrictive reimbursement policies, which are limited to live, face-to-face interactions delivered from health care facilities located outside of metropolitan areas. As a result, Medicare paid a mere $12 million for telemedicine services last year.

“Common sense says we need to move this forward,” Collins said. “If a doctor doesn’t get paid, they’re not going to participate.”

Rheuban also mentioned a cumbersome licensure model for providers who wish to treat patients in other states. Anti-kickback laws limit physicians from making referrals to places where they own an interest, such as telemedicine equipment they provided for another’s use.

Patient privacy laws and bureaucratic informed consent procedures are also barriers, Rheuban said.

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Read the story here: https://www.politicopro.com/story/ehealth/?id=36957

CQ: Growth of Telehealth May Hinge on Government Commitment

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:00am

CQ: Growth of Telehealth May Hinge on Government Commitment
By Kerry Young, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor
July 31, 2014

Doctors, researchers and officials at companies such as Humana Inc. are tinkering with ideas for expanding the use of remote medical visits and services, but the true driver for expansion of telehealth likely will be the nation’s biggest purchaser of health care.

For now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is taking a “rather cautious” approach in its payment policies for remote services and monitoring, Megan McHugh, a health researcher from Northwestern University, told a House panel Thursday.

That’s justified given that the evidence for benefits has not been conclusive, she said. Remote medical consultation and monitoring have been hailed by many advocates as potential game-changers that could cut costs and help people better manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.

Yet, studies so far have drawn opposing conclusions about the benefits, McHugh said. She cited a compilation of 20 reviews that found telemedicine effective, while 22 others found it to be of limited benefit or ineffective. Another 19 were less confident of the benefits, but did note its potential.

“The gradual expansion of telemedicine coverage under Medicare is a sensible course of action and one that will produce a slow but steady increase in the number of small practices that effectively and efficiently use telemedicine,” McHugh told the House Small Business Committee’s panel on health and technology.

Medicare’s decisions ripple beyond even the pool of roughly 50 million people covered by the program for the elderly and disabled. They are “magnified” because insurance companies often look to CMS decisions in setting their own policies, McHugh said. Through its rulemaking process, CMS has expanded somewhat the field of doctors and patients for which it will pay for telehealth, she said.

For 2014, CMS has somewhat widened the geographic limits that had been earlier written to restrict payments for the services to cases where people faced long trips to see a doctor. By allowing telemedicine payments for some parts of the metropolitan statistical areas, CMS has made services reimbursable for about 1 million more people enrolled in Medicare.

There’s clearly a drive among some lawmakers to get CMS to take a more expansive approach, even as small-scale experiments take place around the country that may make clear both the advantages and shortcomings of the technology.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., this month introduced a bill (S 2662) that’s intended to waive certain Medicare restrictions on telehealth. It’s a companion measure to a bill (HR 3306) from Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., which has about 20 cosponsors. The American Telehealth Association, which includes companies such as Humana and Dutch technology company Philips, supports the measure.

Smaller-scale efforts underway include a Humana program intended to help elderly people remain in their homes longer by protecting against falls and other health threats.

Humana in December said about 100 people in its Medicare Advantage programs had enrolled in the pilot program intended to use remote monitoring to help frail elderly people continue living in their own homes. The project involves in-home sensors and remote monitoring that will report changes in normal patterns of movement to Humana care managers. The sensors will check on daily activities such as sleeping and eating. Changes in patterns for these activities can be early warning signs of illness, and detecting them may allow Humana workers to step in earlier to offer aid, the company said.

In testimony for the Thursday hearing, McHugh said that dermatologists at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego were able to handle 50 percent more cases through a remote teleheath system, in which patients’ history and images of skin lesions were made available to them, than they would have been able to handle in face-to-face visits.

The question of licensing across states for telehealth services also arose at the hearing. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the chairman of House Small Business’ health and technology panel, asked whether some exceptions to federal rules might be needed to allow doctors to get reimbursed for seeing their own patients via telehealth when they are far from home.

"I am from western New York and we have a lot of folks in our older population who go south for three months to Florida,” he said. “It’s not a New York doctor poaching in the Florida area for clients but an existing client relationship."

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Find the article here: http://www.cq.com/doc/hbnews-4529069?9&search=PpviGoxU 

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