Collaborating With Google Docs

Collaborating with colleagues or students can be expensive and technologically challenging. Google makes collaboration affordable, accessible worldwide and cross platform.

Affordable and Accessible Collaboration

Collaboration with Google Docs is Free!

CollaborationNot only is collaborating with Google Docs free, it’s accessible in most of the world and works cross platform. Whether you are using an Apple, Windows or Linux computer, Google Docs will work for you as long as you are in a more recent version of most web browsers. I personally tested in Windows 7 using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and FireFox. All of the browsers are free to download and use. I have used those browsers in Ubuntu as well but haven’t personally tested Google Docs in that environment. I admit an assumption that there wouldn’t be any issues collaborating with Ubuntu and iOS users.

Collaboration: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Google tools are free and accessible to anyone with an up to date internet browser
  • Tools easily convert most Microsoft Office, rtf and Open Office (odt) files.
  • Changes can happen in real time.
  • Participants can make comments that become part of the file history.
  • Participants can communicate with each other in real time chat.
  • Documents can be stored in the Google drive and remain available.
  • Anyone with access to the document may be able to share with others via print; emailing a direct link to the file or downloading a copy and emailing.

Cons

  • Participants must have a Google account to make changes to documents.
  • File conversion occasionally requires fixing some formatting.
  • Anyone can make changes if given editor status.
  • Anyone with a Google account that was invited to participate will have access to the comments.
  • Real time chat may require moderation and could potentially require removing individual access.
  • There are limits to the Google drive storage space. (15GB)
  • Access rights may need to be modified once the collaboration is finished, to prevent changes to the document. This won’t limit what can be done with files that may already be downloaded.

Share Documents

Document Types

  • Word Processing
  • Slide Shows
  • Spread Sheets

Documents can be created from scratch and saved in multiple formats. ODT, XLSX, PPTX, DOCX can all be created or uploaded from existing documents. (Caveat: There may be a need to make minor formatting corrections after uploading. When importing video in Google Docs, it has to be from Youtube.)

New documents may be created from scratch with similar functionality to the Microsoft Office or Open Office programs. All documents can be shared at any point either by invitation, limiting access to specific individuals or they can be left wide open to the public. The document creator makes those choices.

Once a document is shared, multiple people can participate at the same time, in real time. Changes are tracked and visible. Participants can leave comments for response or can open a real time chat window where ideas can be shared but these chats are not saved unless manually copied into a new document.

movie projectorWhen you want to share a finished document with people outside of your group, you can email directly from the document and it will be converted to PDF and attached to a Gmail. Alternatively, you can save the document into an appropriate format. For example, a slide show can be saved as PPTX and then downloaded to your computer to send using another email system as an attachment. Alternatively, you can just make a copy of the Google Doc to share publicly and email a link to the people you want to see the finished product without them being able to download or modify.

Learning Curve

Learning curves are different for everyone. It’s easy to say it’s easy when you have experience with productivity software on a regular basis. I can only say it’s easier than most programs are to learn and it’s likely that someone in your group will be able to help figure out how to take advantage of Google Docs for collaboration.

If you have an open mind and are willing to learn, Google Docs may be the answer to your collaboration tool needs. There is no cost but your time and efforts to try.

Have fun!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for technology. I’m thankful for open minds. I’m thankful for God given talents.

What are you thankful for today?

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Up Front Contracts Are Crucial To Integrity In Business

Up Front Contracts are crucial to people believing in your honesty and integrity in business today. You need to be up front about your intentions.

Up Front Contract

What is an “Up Front Contract”? This is where you state your intentions and expectations before any meeting so that both parties can agree to invest the time and respect each other’s needs.

Every meeting should have an Up Front Contract or UFC.

Example:

“Hi Jane/John, I’m calling because I specialize in working with people like you to streamline business processes and I believe I can help you save your company a lot of time and money. I would like to take 15 minutes of your time and at the end of that 15 minutes, you will decide if you are interested in learning more. If at any time you want to end the conversation, that’s up to you. When is the best time to meet?”

This helps me understand why I should invest the time, what we will talk about and what expectations you have. You also gave me control, as scary as that is. By giving me control, I’m far more likely to give you the 15 minutes you asked for.

Honesty and Integrity

ScalesI know you believe your product is unique. Your prospects can find a product or service similar to yours just about anywhere. YOU are unique. That’s what your value proposition is.

Take some time to develop a relationship with your prospect without spilling your candy in the lobby. Don’t be in such a rush to tell them everything you think you know. They have heard it all before. Let them get to know you and believe that you will tell them the truth when they ask. Instead of selling to them, help them buy.

I really need you to be honest with me. I only deal with people I know, like and trust. When you establish your Up Front Contract, you need to keep your end of the deal. Don’t say 15 minutes if you intend to go 30 without specific permission. When you hit the 15 minutes, it’s time to either stop or establish a new UFC. Breaking the contract will destroy your integrity and I believe there are no second chances. Do what you say.

Make good up front contracts and live up to them. It’s crucial to the integrity of your business.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Tim Rooney who taught me about Up Front Contracts. I’m thankful for my time at Investors Group leading me to Tim Rooney. I’m thankful for all the opportunities God has given me.

What are you thankful for today?
Store anything in the cloud.

Your Success Is A Stone’s Throw Away

Do you have the stones for success? Imagine yourself as David in the story of David and Goliath. Anyone can have the stones for success. It’s all in how you choose to view the challenges.

You Determine Your Success

Success is different for everyone. Don’t get caught in comparing yourself and your level of success to others. Look at where you are and where you want to go. Measure the changes you make against those markers. You need to determine what success is for yourself. Next, you have to face your fears and challenges and decide what to do from there.

Success could be:

Networking. People you know like and trust.Figure out what success is for you, open your mind to new possibilities and then jump! There’s no  dipping your toe in the pool to see if it’s warm enough. It’s not. But, if you jump right in, you will adjust and get comfortable with the environment over time. Occasionally it can be like a glacier fed lake, you will need to get out quick and go find another pool to jump into. Most successful entrepreneurs have started more than one business venture and failed their way to success.

Do You Have The Stones To Succeed?

In the biblical story of David and Goliath, the Israelis were terrified of facing Goliath. He was bigger, had a history as a conqueror and was intimidating in his full battle dress. No one believed that David could take down Goliath.

I’m guessing there are prospects who felt like that to many people in sales. You belong to a MLM company and they said you weren’t in sales? They lied. No matter where you work or what business you are in, you are selling something.

What are you selling?

  • Convincing your kids to eat something new.
  • Getting your spouse to agree with you. (Tell me that doesn’t happen often!)
  • Presenting an idea for change at work.
  • The list could go on…

We are selling most of our day and, like the Israelis in David’s time, we don’t see it that way. Change the perspective and you change the outcome. When we understand that we are selling, our approach changes. Selling requires finding a different way of helping people buy from you. In past, all a business had to do was get their product or service on TV and radio to get people’s attention. Most new products and ideas were original, had no competition and just needed to create an awareness of their existence.

Do you have the stones to succeed?!

The world has changed. There isn’t much that is new and original any more. The widgets may be different shapes and colours and be packaged differently but they are still widgets. Like David and his stones, we need to find a different way to attack or deliver our message.

Today, we like to deal with people we know, like and trust. To do that, we need to get over our self doubts and change how we see our world. This means getting over our fears and facing challenges or opportunities head on. Think outside the box like David did with Goliath. Find the chink in the armor and use your stones!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Carey Nieuwhof who presents old ideas in new ways. I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for each new day.

What are you thankful for today?

How To Be A Hero – Part 4 – Be The Hero from Connexus Church on Vimeo.

The Sales Process: Do you have one?

Your sales process will define your success. Do you have one? Make sure you understand the difference between sales and marketing when you develop your processes.

What is a “Sales Process”?

Process flow chart.The sales process is every step you take from marketing a product or service to post sale maintenance and support. The sales process isn’t finished at the point of sale. You still need to build in post sale follow up to ensure your client stays sold and becomes a raving fan. Referrals should be part of the sales process.

Marketing isn’t sales!

Marketing is the promotion of your idea whether a service or product. This is part of the sales process but not the actuall selling. You never close a sale when you are marketing.

Most people don’t know they need what you are selling. Marketing is educating your prospect about the value you bring to the table and helping them understand why they should buy from you. You’re not selling at this point. You are effectively creating the customer.

Marketing

Define your opportunity.

Man with list of check marks in a column beside him.Here are five questions you need to answer before you get anywhere near developing your marketing strategy and sales process.

  1. What are you selling?
  2. Why are you selling it?
  3. Who are you selling to?
  4. When are you selling?
  5. Where are you selling?

Design a sales process.

  • Creating a list of prospects.
  • How will you approach them?
  • What is the follow up?
  • How will you close?
  • What is the post sale process?

Selling

Work the plan.

Once you have designed your sales process, it’s time to work your plan. The challenge will be sticking to your plan. Part of a good plan is “Plan, Do, Review”. Set a schedule. Once your plan is done, decide how long you will work the plan and when you will sit to review what works and what doesn’t.

There will be nay sayers who will try to convince you a business is a bad idea. Everyone will have suggestions on how to run your business. It’s prudent to take in good advice but don’t let it derail your plan. Wait for the review and then weigh the advice you have received against your experience. Tune up the plan rather than making wholesale changes and go back to the “do” period.

Earn Referrals.

3D-Women-Shake-Hand-01During your sales process, you will make an impression whether you win the business or not. By selling with intent and integrity, people will come to trust that you are the consumate professional. When you have earned their trust, you have earned the privilege to ask for referrals.

Back to the dating analogy, when people know, like and trust you, they will be very open to making an introduction if you ask them. Tell them who you want to meet. Describe your ideal prospect and ask for introductions. If you don’t ask, they don’t usually think to offer.

Earning and asking for referrals should be built into your sales process.

Business In A Box

Does all of the above sound like a lot of work? You bet it is! You have choices to make. What are you willing to do? You can work out your own strategies. Alternatively, you can buy a “business in a box”. You can buy a franchise system and set up multiple distribution points.

Robert Kyosaki wrote a book called “The Business Of The Century” explaining that MLM is the next business evolution. Faster and more effective, you could consider a multi-level marketing opportunity to get you started.

woman carrying moneyIf financial resources are limiting you from building a bricks and mortar business or buying into a franchise, consider working with a Multi-Level Marketing group to get you started. Remember, MLM is a business and there will be costs.

Make sure you understand what the ongoing operating cost is and be realistic in your expectations. MLM is like going to university. You will learn and it will change you. You may decide the MLM is all you need or you will learn and earn while you work toward your ultimate dream business.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me”!

What are you willing to do?

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for justice. I’m thankful for chances for personal development.

What are you thankful for today?

What do you say when someone criticizes your faith in your business?

Wouldn’t it be great to be prepared with an answer when someone criticizes your faith in your business? Don’t get sucked into a debate. Be prepared with a response that lets them know where you stand in a respectful manner and let it be.

What does faith have to do with business?

If you thought this would be a discussion about religious faith and business, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will be up front and tell you that this blog was prompted by something I saw in Church presented by Andy Stanley, a new series called “Prepared”. That series is about being prepared when people make critical comments to Christians but the same principles apply to you and your business.

Man giving thumbs down.Have you ever been involved in a business opportunity and people drop comments in a conversation that really don’t invite discussion but are meant to convey a negative opinion of your particular position or business? You are left feeling shut down and wondering if you are dealing from a position of strength. What if you could be prepared with a response that respecfully conveys your conviction without inviting further conversation?

In Andy Stanley’s “Prepared” series, he gives a response for Christians that I think will work beautifully when someone challenges our belief: “I believe Jesus died for my sin and rose from the dead. But, I don’t believe it because the Bible says so, it’s better than that…” and he leaves it at that. He’s suggesting to make the comment and then just move on. This clarifies a position and really doesn’t invite any further debate.

Just as Christians have faith in Christ, we need to have faith in our business beliefs. How strong is your faith?

What can I say when someone challenges my Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business?

There will always be crabs who will throw comments your way in order to justify their own fears and ignorance. In the majority of cases, they really have no idea why you are involved in a particular project or business. What they do know is that you may have to leave them behind. I’m not convinced they are ever consciously aware that is what they fear.

Let’s pretend someone has just said something like “I can’t believe you’re still involved in that legal thing!”. Maybe the response could be something like “I believe that everyone deserves equal access to the justice system. But it’s not just because the system is broken, it’s more than that…” and leave it at that!

Make new friends.We understand that most MLM or Direct Marketing Opportunities provide people with one of the greatest ways to grow as individuals whether they ever make money or not. Being involved in a business opportunity, whether MLM or bricks and mortar, changes you.

  • We learn about connecting with people.
  • Learning how to learn.
  • Finding ways to grow.

Some are content to just have a supportive community of positive and like minded people. Yet others make the decision to take the business to different levels and help others realize their greatest potential.

Entrepreneurial Faith

Do you realize you are in a very great minority? Most people don’t have what it takes to think outside the box and do something great. You are part of an elite group of true leaders. You are willing to make changes others aren’t willing to risk. Now, there is another choice to make. Will you keep the faith in yourself and your business?

Like having faith in a supreme being, we often face challenges to belief in our businesses. There are days when that faith is shaken. The challenge is to look  inside and rediscover that faith. Those are the days when we need to make the decision to be very careful with our associations. Sometimes, it may mean limiting our exposure to family and friends.

There will be days when you will have to draw on your entrepreneurial faith to get through bad hours, days, weeks or months. Some will be more difficult than others. Find someone who is like minded that you can call on those days and that you trust you can count on to help you “see the light” again. The wonderful thing about great MLM or Direct Marketing groups is that they recognize we go through tough times and are there whenever we are ready to re-engage.

Your entrepreneurial faith will make or break your business.

Will you keep the faith?

Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test his character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for my LegalShield family. I’m thankful for open minded people.

What are you thankful for today?