The Big Idea!

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I hate meetings, I know they are necessary but I hate them.  My time is stretched so thin, wife,  business person, Mom, caregiver for my 87 year old Father, who needs another meeting?  What  I do love and make time for are Ted Talks, short, long whatever I have the time for I try to fit them in, there are thousands and I found this one today about meetings.  Check it out, let me know what you think and let’s talk, not a meeting a conversation, an email or just make a comment.  Tell me how you feel about a meeting! Click on the Link below and happy Tedding……

The big idea: Meetings, the ultimate time-suck, and how to fix them

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Google Bans Payday Lending Ads

MONEY!

MONEY!

In an interesting turn of events, Google announced on May 11 that it will no longer service online advertisements from Payday Lending companies starting July 13. This decision came due to increasing pressure (from civil liberties, consumer protection and consumer privacy groups) to make a change in advertising policy.

Many of these advocacy groups feel that Payday Lending services often target weaker consumers that are in poverty, forcing them to pay extremely high interest rates for short term money loans. Consumers frequently use these loans to cover expenses that they are unable to afford before their next paycheck comes. According to a report by Yahoo! Finance, a 2012 Pew study stated that “the average payday borrower is in debt for five months, spending $520 in fees and interest to repeatedly borrow $375.” Interest rates easily reach triple digit values, averaging around 391%. These high rates can generate billions of dollars in revenue for many of the larger Payday Lenders, which many feel is an unethical business practice.

Although many consumers are happy that Google is stepping in to combat these issues, a number of Payday Lending advocates, believe that this mandate is discriminatory, undermining the integrity of honest Payday Lending companies. In a statement recently obtained by the Washington Post, the Community Financial Services Association of America has stated “Facebook and others are making a blanket assessment about the payday lending industry rather than discerning the good actors from the bad actors. This is unfair toward those that are legal, licensed lenders.”

The Washington Post article also states that one of the more dangerous aspects of using the Google search to find a lender is the fact that extremely sensitive financial information can be gleaned by the search engine. Once a desperate consumer enters their personal information, consumers can be taken advantage of by ads designed to target their financial profile. The companies they find may not end up just being unethical — they are likely to be more expensive than using a brick and mortar lender due to online fees.

Despite Google blocking Payday Lender’s advertisements, consumers are still able to use the engine to search for lenders and investigate their websites. Although Google’s aggressive action will not completely mitigate the risks of using Payday Lenders, it will at least curtail the efforts of the less ethical ones.

 

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Where Do You Stand?

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How do you react when you are outside of your comfort zone? Are you a natural at mingling and an ace at taking the stage? Or do you cringe just thinking about the  prospect?

Whether you’re a social butterfly or have a proclivity toward being shy, social psychologist Amy Cuddy claims you can influence how people perceive you—confidence levels, leadership skills, friendliness, and competence based solely on your  body language.

Here, a few interesting takeaways from Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk: 

1. Others judge us based on our body language. Closed and withdrawn positions are  often associated with inferiority or passivity, while triumphant, confident poses are linked with power.

2. How we see ourselves can be influenced by our own body language.

3. Pretending to feel certain emotions by posturing (forcing a smile or placing hands confidently on the hips) can lead us to actually feel said emotions.

4. Adopting powerful body language can change us on a physiological level (triggering testosterone and cortisol levels).

5. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. Cuddy suggests holding a strong, dominant posture for two minutes before heading into a potentially stressful situation, like a job interview.

To view Cuddy’s presentation in full, click here.

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Back to School Trends

Back-to-School-Shopping

You loaded up the kids on school supplies weeks ago… but don’t think you’re finished with back-to-school prep just yet. You’ve still got the season’s fashion trends to consider for your teen or tween. As is the case with every school year, last year’s looks have hibernated after the long summer and have ushered in a fresh new palette of colors, textures and themes.

According to Teen Vogue, fall girls’ fashion will incorporate plenty of plaids, wools, oversized cardigans, fringe, pastels, layered looks, ’90s throwback (including lots of denim on denim) and ’60s Chelsea girl mod (shift dresses, cat-eye makeup). High-waisted jeans are in for girls too (previously dubbed “mom jeans”). Guys meanwhile are leaning more fashionable than past years, sporting preppy-meets-bad-boy apparel.

Blazers, denim jackets and leather jackets are back in, as are skinny khakis, bright-hued denim and patterned slip-on sneakers. Backpacks will likely need replacing, and this year’s stock is all about colorful prints and patterns. Don’t be surprised if your student asks for a new iPhone cover too (even though his old one is perfectly fine); smartphone cases are big venues for personalization.  

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