Increase Success by Focusing on Less

Special Guest Post by:  TJ Phillpot

Have you ever noticed how little you actually accomplish when focusing on multiple objectives at the same time? Many people feel they can increase productivity by tackling multiple tasks simultaneously but this is not usually the case.  What is actually occurring is that their efforts are usually of lesser quality since they do not stay focused on just one task.  Although multiple tasks may be ‘completed’ the lack of quality in the results is the difference between being successful and being average.

Here is a look at 3 ways to stay focused on just the task at hand allowing yourself a much greater chance of being successful at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish:

Minimize ‘To Do’ List 

Being ambitious is admirable but if you can not accomplish what you intended why ‘schedule’ this in the first place? This only opens the ‘door’ to frustration and doubt and this can undermine your efforts. By trimming your ‘to do’ list to a more manageable size it will enable you to stay focused on only those tasks you have scheduled for completion. An over-sized list will only serve to distract both your attention and efforts.

Work Until Completion 

When planning your work commit to completing each task you start before moving on to the next. Being successful at anything is based upon what you have accomplished but if you have a list of partially completed tasks, you really have accomplished nothing! Besides when you stay focused on just one project your ability to work more efficiently tends to increase.

Be Realistic 

Assess your skills and plan your accomplishments according to your own abilities. The best way to increase productivity is to be realistic about your expectations. Do not establish goals or plan any work that is beyond your capabilities or skills sets. This will only set you up to waste your time and energy and likely experience nothing but frustration and failure. Continual frustration will then rob you of your ability to stay focused on anything resulting in nothing getting accomplished.

The temptation of focusing on multiple tasks at the same time to get more done only works if you are not concerned about the quality of your results.  On the other hand if really being successful at what you do is important to you, it is best to stay focused on only the task in front of you. By doing so you will get much better results.

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The Ugly Side of Beauty

Special Guest Post by Jannette Fuller

Everyone enjoys and appreciates beauty whether it pertains to people, places, or things. And the world is filled with beauty everywhere you look–well, almost–and what is beautiful to one person, may not be to another. But that’s okay. It just comes down to a matter of opinion and taste because we’re all different–thank God. If we weren’t, then the world would be bland and uninteresting. In fact, while I’m typing this, a popular saying is echoing through my mind: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And what I’m about to say may sound contradictory, but it’s the truth: beauty has an ugly side to it. And it has nothing to do with the outward/physical appearance, but about what’s happening on the inside.

In a spiritual sense, when beauty is lavishly applied, just like make-up, it can seep into the skin, making its way to the soul, concealing it like foundation and making a person forget about their other traits: their knowledge, morals, values, spiritual gifts, talents, hobbies, and so forth. As well as hurting those around them, making some feel inferior because of the beauty which has now transformed into its alter ego: vanity.

When this happens, it can make the most beautiful woman or good-looking man appear unattractive inside and out. Why? Because now the only thing that people are able to see, is the aftermath of someone who has misused their beauty/good-looks which was once pleasant to look upon, and even admired, making others cringe as if they were unsightly. Actually, that is exactly what happens when beauty turns into vanity, and depending on how much is applied, it only gets worse.

But don’t be mistaken, physical beauty is not evil. In fact, God created beauty. Just look around at all the animals, flowers, trees, landscapes, bodies of water, the sky, and most importantly you and everyone else.

Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

And there are many more Scriptures pertaining to beauty, and how it can be a gift, appreciated, and enjoyed, but without harming oneself or others.

However, there are some Scriptures concerning the downsides of beauty:

Warnings against Adultery:

Proverbs 6:24-26
“24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelids. 26 For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life.”

The Virtues of a Noble Woman: A Scripture that describes both.

Proverbs 31:29-31
29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all. 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.”

Remember, true and lasting beauty comes from within, making one’s outward/physical appearance even more appealing.

May your beauty always shine from the inside out.

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Snow Storms and Times of Trouble

Special Guest Post by: Elsie Schuett Flynn

troubleAdversity affects everyone. Sometimes we get a heads-up, like a weather forecast, and other times it comes like an earthquake with no warning. The Bible tells us that sunshine and rain fall on the good and the bad. Likewise, everyone will probably experience adversity many times throughout their life.

Maybe the way we respond to what happens affects us more than the actual event.

Take for instance a snow storm. Sometimes the weather folks get it right, and we get the big snow they get us all hyped up about. Then, when it moves out, we have to deal with what it left behind. How we deal with it determines how long it will affect us. If the snow plows and shovels are not put to use, the snow will hinder us until it melts on its own.

We know what to do this time because of what we’ve learned from the last time. I learned that it’s easier to shovel snow while it is light and fluffy rather than after it has melted some and is heavier. And, you might as well wait until the snow plow goes through before you dig out the end of the driveway or the car.

How about an emotional crisis? How do we deal with that? Again what I’ve learned: I tend to trap things in my mind, aka, obsess over them. Sometimes it’s so bad that I can’t do anything else; I just sit and think about it, for days! Recently, a friend had a family crisis. It affected me because I care deeply for her and her family. I was on the outer fringes of this storm; just a coating of snow compared to the blizzard she experienced, yet, I let this circumstance take over my thoughts, until, I put into practice what I learned from the previous storm: I have to forgive. Was I praying about this situation? Sure I was. However, I had to let go of the offense. Even though it was not against me directly, I was still affected; therefore, I could not move forward until I exercised forgiveness. Someone else experienced the blizzard, but I still had snow to clear away. I had to forgive the offender, and once I did, I was able to move forward and my thoughts and prayers changed from worry and the worst possible outcome, to confidence and praise and thanking God that whatever it is, He’s got it.

Jesus said that we should expect trouble. There’s no way of escaping it. He also told us not to be afraid because He has already defeated evil. He’s got it. The wind and the waves still obey His voice, and we can absolutely trust Him before, during, and after any storm that comes our way.

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How to Manage Your Spiritual and Emotional Health

Special Guest Post by: Stephanie Reck

body, mind and spirit conceptSpiritual maturity and emotional maturity go hand-in-hand; you cannot have one without the other. Emotional health involves knowing your limits, and not reacting act of emotions to circumstances. Everyone has limits, and it is wise to know yours.

Have you ever began your morning and said something like this, “Today, I will not let the enemy kill the joy and peace I desire to have.” Then something happens in your day and you feel emotionally drained. What happened? Reaction to circumstances. The enemy set you up by “baiting” you with people and circumstances that are difficult, stressful, and overwhelming. The enemy hopes we will react in our emotions, because this will usually lead us into sin. We are not to be led by our emotions and feelings; they are deceitful and constantly changing. We will encounter trials, stress and difficult people, and sometimes when we our “off-guard,” but we must take a step back, go and pray, and be still and quiet as we wait for God’s intervention.

Some key factors that you are at your limit emotionally:

Emotions are running high.
Stress and/or fatigue.
Short temper.
Lack of grace and patience.

It is important to know if you have experienced emotional trauma and stress, so that you can heal and know how to deal properly in certain situations. Emotional trauma and stress can happen once or it can be a series of stressful events. If that is something you have endured, it is likely you will have a high stress/emotional response to current stressful situations. Is it hopeless? No, with acknowledging your hurt, facing the truth of your limits, and totally relying on God’s help and healing; there is hope.

People are more likely to be traumatized by stressful events if they are already under a heavy load. Childhood trauma can increase the risk of future trauma, and the way we deal and process stressful events. Emotional stress can be detrimental to your health and well-being. Find out what is causing your mental and emotional instability, and begin being proactive and make needed changes to your life. Your body is not able to defend itself against emotional stress, which in turn triggers mental and emotional instability.

Causes of emotional trauma and stress:

It happened unexpectedly.
You were unprepared for it.
You were powerless to prevent it.
It happened repeatedly (exposure to continued stressful situations).
It happened in childhood.

As Christians, we should make it a priority to have mental and emotional stability, but we may need to first understand what is causing it and what actions need to be taken to deal effectively with current and past stressors. What has occurred in the past as a stressful event can still cause us to react emotionally if we are continually exposed to that stressor. Know your triggers and past hurts, and how they could still be triggering an emotional response currently. If you experience frequent ups and downs emotionally, it is time to examine why and seek God for intervention; it is not His will for you to live unstable emotionally.

Having a better balance on your emotions will cause you to feel better physically and to have an increase in energy. It is time to ask yourself,” What am I expending my emotional energy on?” Remember, the enemy knows what will cause you to react and to get upset. Having emotional stability will enable you to peacefully and calmly go through difficult situations. Emotional stability does not mean suppressing your emotions, but controlling them.

A hallmark of a mentally and emotionally stable person is the ability to control one’s emotions.

Keys to mental and emotional stability:

First, admit your limits; what you can and cannot handle. Be okay with that, and don’t compare what other people can endure.

Recognize the people that deplete your energy, are unhealthy, and cause you stress. You may want to reevaluate your time and exposure to them.

Don’t take on more than you can handle; whether at work, ministry, church, or family.

Learn to say, “No,” when you are feeling stressed, tired, sick, or just need some alone time with yourself or God. Don’t take on other’s issues, problems, or stress. We can pray for people, but we cannot do for others if we ourselves are depleted.

Do not react to your feelings or emotions. Pray first.

Exercise, eat healthy, and maintain a trustworthy/healthy support system.

Journal by processing your pent-up feelings, and talk to God about your deepest concerns.

1 Peter 5:8-9, Teaches us to be well-balanced and temperate (self-controlled) to keep satan from devouring us.

Psalm 94:13, God wants to give us power to stay calm in adversity.

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Cancer Survivor Says Kiss Your Loved Ones Every Day

Special Guest Post by BDN member: Linda Alexander

mont adv_ pic 5Four years ago today I sat in my oncologist’s office after five months of grueling chemotherapy treatments for a complicated form of Lymphoma. My regimen was over, or we hoped it was, and as my husband and I waited for the doctor to come in the room, I held my breath in anticipation. I’d been warned over and over that my Lymphoma was not curable. That folks very often relapsed quickly after treatment had completed. Ya da ya da….

So when Dr. K. came in the room, a smile on his face, I still held my breath. And when he said those words, “You’re in complete remission,” I finally exhaled. I don’t know that I did anything else. There’s a form of shock that overcomes us when we’re placed in a life-altering, potentially life-threatening situation. I’m not sure I’d been aware all those five months before that I’d kept myself somewhat out-of-body. What I was going through was easier to deal with if I kept myself somehow separated from the base reality of the business at hand.

I learned some crucial life lessons since I was diagnosed in 2010:

1. Don’t ever, ever believe you’re immune. Life can, and does, change in a flash. I won’t say be prepared because you can’t. Just hold on.

2. It’s old advice but … take one day at a time. No, wait, take one second at a time. It’s possible the next second, and the next, might be a bit easier. Or it won’t. But what choice do you have?

3. Never take anyone dear to you for granted. Anger over dishes in the sink means zip when it comes to having a hand to hold, and someone who loves you by your side no matter what.

4. Wake every morning–no matter how you feel or difficult life may seem–and say, “Thank you, Lord, for this new day.” Appreciate every teensy detail. If you’re having an IV put in, appreciate how good your nurse is with what she does. Tell her. Not only does it make her feel better which, in turn, makes you feel better, you take your mind off the less savory parts of the moment. Trust me. I know.

5. Kiss your loved ones every day. Self-explanatory and it is that simple.

6. Make peace with your Maker. Right here & and right now. If you need a reason, go back to Number One on this list.

I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t believe in crystal balls. All I do know .. I’ve no clue what’s down the pike for me. But then, you don’t, either. None of us do. That’s why faith is crucial. As of this moment in time, I’m still in remission and I thank God every day, many times a day. I wake with faith in the morning, and go to bed with faith at night. My constant companion. I actively tell myself, and God, every single day, many times a day, that I choose Joy. That reminds me how I DO have a choice in how I act in, and react to, life.

So please take a page from my Lessons Learned and live life joyously. Love a lot. Often. Smile. Look at a tree and examine the beauty of the leaves. Really see the life going on around you. None of us gets out of this game alive … but we all can live with abandon while we’re here.

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When Opportunity Knocks

Special Guest Post by: Marie Grossett

helloopportunityWhen opportunity knocks are you ready to receive it or do you miss it?

We get presented with opportunities every day. It could be an opportunity to do a business, an opportunity to write a book, an opportunity to witness or pray with someone. But how often do you miss opportunities?

How often has a business or book idea come to your mind but because of fear or excuses you did not pursue it? Do you know what happens when you don’t pursue it? Someone else will come along and grab your opportunity they would take your place in becoming a multi millionaire.

When was the last time God lead you to pray or witness to someone and you held back? Holding back meant you missed an opportunity to help someone who needed you at the time.

Don’t fall into the trap when opportunity knocks ‘open the door’ and take it. You don’t want to live your life full of regrets. God doesn’t want us to live our lives full of regrets, full of ‘if only I.’

Don’t fall into excuses, don’t fall into the excuse of I can’t do this because of my age, race, or sex. If Joyce Meyer made an excuse on her age then she would not have become the minister she is today, or if Barack Obama made the excuse of his race not to run for president then he would not have become president.

So when it knocks get rid of fear excuses and take the prospect, follow your dream. Together with God, hard work, and dedication you will be able to walk through that door when opportunity knocks.

Marie Grossett aka Vanessa Grossett is a published Author, and has interviewed best selling and award winning Christian Authors.

She is a Literary Agent at The Authors Care Services ltd.

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Managing Job Pressure to Make Your Home Life Easier

Special Guest Post by: Glenise Anderson

work-life-balance-signWomen have to face all types of pressures in life. Whether these pressures are related to the family life or work, they need to be dealt with and managed in the appropriate way. There needs to be a balance between these two aspects of life and here’s some tips on how every woman can manage the stress of her life and keep the two aspects in a balanced state.

1. If you don’t like what you are doing and are unable to find time for your family with the current career, try looking for a role which is more suitable to you and which allows you to take time out for your family. Look for a career which is less stressful and less time consuming. Searching for a new job may take some of your time but the end results are bound to be fruitful.

2. If changing your career is too drastic a change, you may be able to change the role you are in with another with your current employer. Look for positions which do not have the same amount of stress as your current job.

3. Even if you have a hectic schedule, it is important you take time out to do the things you enjoy. Schedule time for yourself and with the family. Spend some quality time with people whose company you enjoy.

4. If your workload at home is too great, share it with the other family members. Trying to manage all the work at home while managing the workload of the office as well is putting you in a very unhealthy position. Sharing the responsibilities of the home will not only reduce the workload you have, it will also encourage others to take responsibility for their own lives.

5. Even with the rest of the family pitching in to the housework, if you feel it is not enough then seek some outside help. You could find a babysitter or nanny to take care of your children or you could ask grandparents to look after them during the day while you are at work. It is important that you take the time to find appropriate alternatives.

6. Don’t stress the small stuff. There’s too many other things to think about to get caught up with the little things that happen that really don’t matter. Don’t stress on the things which are not so important.

7. Learn to manage your time. Say no where appropriate and you can then focus on the tasks which have higher priorities. Maintaining a balance between your personal life and your work life will ensure your happiness and success.

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Are You Blocking Your Own Blessings

Special Guest Post by Irma Green

How many things have you wanted to do but did not because your “BUT” got in the way? I would go back to school and get my degree but….. I would, if I were younger, but…. I want to get married, but…. I would move but…. I would buy a new car but….. I would like to go but…….

People need to get off their “but” and get a new life – get off their “buts” and do something, and not just sit around and complain. Your “but” is blocking your blessings. It’s causing you to fear taking a chance – from trying something new.

I challenge you to get off your but and dare to be different. Dare to step out of your comfort zone. Dare to get out of the boat. Dare to take a chance.

No more “if’s, ands or buts.” Nor their cousins: “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve”; or “one day I’m gonna.” How many times have you heard one of those words or phrases used as an excuse? How many times have you heard them come out of your own mouth?

It’s time to stop making excuses. You might say, “I’ve tried but I have been rejected.” We all experience rejection. You might have been rejected because of your color. You might have been rejected because you lack education. You might have been rejected because you don’t have any money, or perhaps you can’t speak well.

You may have been rejected because you had a baby out of wedlock, or you may have been rejected because you had an abortion. You may have been rejected because you were once addicted to drugs. We all experience rejection – it’s time to get over it.

Because of our “buts” many of us are stuck in our past. When God opens a door for you, there’s nothing man can do but watch your back as you go through the door.

Get off your “but” and do what God has called you to do. You’re the only one He has to do what he has destined you to do. He created you, and nobody else can do exactly what He has designed you to do.

When He created you, He broke the mold. There are people out there every day that only you can reach. So, “Get off your but” God needs you.

It’s time to walk tall in the spirit. Others may not know you yet. They only see where you’ve been or where you are now; but they can’t see where you’re going. You have some potential in you they haven’t spotted yet.

You’re somebody whom even your friends and loved ones don’t know yet. When you get off your “but” you will surprise them all.

Get off your “but”, don’t sell out. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made – “GET OFF YOUR BUT AND DO SOMETHING!!”

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6 Simple Self Improvement Tips

Special Guest Post by: Daniel Better

If personal development and growth interests you, there is a good chance you are constantly looking for reliable techniques that will stimulate your progression. Any tactics that can kickstart your personal growth and show you fast results would be fondly looked upon.

After years of study in the self improvement arena, I have found the following strategies to be invaluable. Any chance I can give back to others that have that same thirst to better themselves, I consider it a privilege knowing that I was once in the exact same place.

Expect to Achieve

While many think that the majority of people who are successful in the world are smarter than they are, that simply is not the case. The real secret here is to expect to win before it has ever happened. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Your mindset has a hugely powerful effect on whether or not you will attain your dreams and goals.

Note that I didn’t say you need knowledge to win, because the fact of the matter is having a bold and determined expectancy goes a lot further than actually having the knowledge. The knowledge will come with conviction and persistence.

Keep a Daily Journal

You will be hardpressed to find an ultra successful person who doesn’t adopt a personal daily journal. We can’t keep track of everything that passes through our minds and this is when a journal comes in extremely handy. Whenever something strikes you as something you would like to do, accomplish or feel passionate about, get in the habit of writing it down. It will give you a sense of self-awareness and will skyrocket your confidence in yourself.


Known to be a fabulous stress reliever not to mention the other health benefits like aiding in digestion and even slowing your heart rate, this is one of the most overlooked of the techniques even though it could very well be one of the most important. It drastically helps in avoiding worries and anxiety because it clears your mind of all the negative thoughts useless thoughts that we all feel from time to time. Your sleep will be more restful and it will help you make the most of the other techniques shared here.

Write Action Plans & Specific Goals

The simple act of putting pen to paper has a dramatic effect on clarifying your goals and aids with the expectancy I talked about earlier. This habit of writing down goals is mandatory if you want to actually achieve those goals. Dreaming is one thing, doing is quite another. All of these written goals should lead you to your ultimate long term goal and perfect life.

Daily Affirmations

Getting in the habit of reading aloud positive affirmations each and every day will lierally change your character, your personality and ultimately change the actions you take every day of your life. I have found that reading these out loud when I get up in the morning and before I go to bed at night to work very well. You can’t help but change your inner self by doing this religiously every day.

Be Well Rounded

All areas of your life are affected by all other areas of your life. By that I mean, if you have bad relationships for example, your finances and even your health will suffer also. Problems in your relationships, your health or finances will zap the necessary energy to make the most out of all of these areas of your life. Personal development and success will become much more difficult as a result.

In order to accomplish great things, living a balanced life is so important, a life of great emotional fortitude, financial security and physical stamina. Be well rounded in all of these areas and you will inevitably reap the rewards.

To great success in your life!

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The Value of Having Good Content

Special Guest Post by: Debbi Cunnington

Content is King. We’ve all heard that nugget of information and for the most part, it is true. The problem being that there is a lot of truly bad content out there, not to mention misinformation, crap and downright lies. What tends to happen then is that content is a mix of regurgitated posts of good content, along with opinion. And everyone has an opinion.

What is Good Content?

Good content is informational – unless specifically noted otherwise. That said, solid information often lends itself to interpretation and that is OK, too, because often the reader needs some assistance with understanding the topic at hand.

Good content provides value. And I don’t mean value like tabloid material (which has an entertainment value, but I would not call it good content). The value can be interpreted by the reader as in:
Did I learn something about SEO in the article, ‘the art of SEO’? Or did I leave the article with less knowledge than when I started? Did that web development post make sense and clear up some questions?

Good content engages. This is the big one. If no one reads your amazingly informational webdesign article, then who cares? Engagement often happens after a few posts because as a writer of good content, you have to make them want to read again. Not only that, but you have to post regularly.

If a blog posts on the internet and no one reads it, does it really exist? Effectively–no–because it would be the same as delivering an awesome speech to an empty room. Good content works because it provides information, value and it is engaging.

One last thing on good content – writing is a skill and an art. It’s true that anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can blog their thoughts all over the inter-webs , but that does not make it readable. It just makes it a post. Style of writing makes or breaks engagement. And that is that.


Debbi Cunnington is the owner of Cimmeron Studios, where we have been providing services since 1999. Starting out as a Virtual Assistant and Bookkeeper, Debbi taught herself design, coding and WordPress along the way. Now an accomplished designer/marketer/developer, Debbi and her team are perfectly skilled to provide complete web marketing & design servicesfor your business. Visit our site at to find out how Cimmeron Studios can help you make the most of your business.

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Why Small Businesses Need a Brand

Special Guest Post by: Ambari Data

brandGreat branding is synonymous with longevity and for any business to be successful, you need to be able to sustain it. Hence you have to create a strong brand identity. In this highly aggressive world, every single company struggles hard to make an impact on the consumers’ minds. How do you manage to be a cut above the rest? The answer is simple. It’s your brand. You need to build a brand that speaks about your uniqueness and projects you in a way that makes you stand apart from the rest. If you still have doubts, here are some reasons why you absolutely need branding and how a strong brand can work for you.

A Brand Creates Your Unique Story

The budget is always an issue with small business owners and for marketing you need to set aside a substantial budget. So, if you don’t have a proper budget in place how do you go ahead with the appropriate Content strategy? Branding! You need to work laboriously on your brand and let it do the talking for you.

Let your brand create an exclusive story that showcases your potential and uniqueness, thereby getting the much-needed attention that would be beneficial to your business. Potential customers should notice you and keep you in mind. They should be able to differentiate you from the others and form an unwavering business relationship with you.

A Brand Builds Credibility

People hate to take risks. They only build strong business relations with companies they can trust. To build that trust you need to build a brand that customers can relate to. From the words you use to the colors you choose, it must speak about your credibility.

A Brand Attracts Customers

We all have a soft corner for a particular brand isn’t it? Why? Simply because that particular brand attracts us and appeases us in a way other brands fail to. In the same way, try to create a brand that reaches out to clients because brands have a high potential of attracting and retaining customers.

When customers realize they can trust you, they will love you and will want to build a long-lasting business relationship with you. This will in turn help your business to prosper.

A Brand Makes You Confident

When you are confident with your brand identity, your confidence will spill over into your work. It will help you to stay focused and make the right decisions. The brand will show your commitment and dedication, allowing you to get the desired attention.

A Brand Attracts Right Talent

Hiring the right talent is crucial in every business. It might get difficult for you to identify the right people for your business if you don’t have any brand. Why would people work for you? It’s because they like your brand and would want to be associated with it.

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