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art of problem solving

Common Sense Is Not The Same For Everyone

Common Sense CareerFHCommon sense is subjective and based on perception. Have you ever thought to yourself: “Well duh, this is common sense! How can’t they know this obvious piece of knowledge?”

Common sense only becomes common sense to you once you’ve learned how to think in a new specific way. As you grow, you learn a lot from your experiences which becomes valuable lifelong important lessons and skills. Not everybody walks through the same path. What can be perceived as common sense for one may not be that obvious to the next person depending on their own life’s path.

There’s so much experiences that everyone can gather over their lifetime that it’s impossible to figure out everything by yourself. You can accelerate the process of becoming Zen and more aware by learning from other people, by reading their thoughts, page by page through books or audio books.

Critical thinking also plays an integral part in order to understand and figure out common sense. The art of reasoning and questioning are to be implemented in order to figure out the true nature of the “why” things are the way they are. Have you ever heard of the Liberal Arts?

In a nutshell: Liberal Arts consist of two sets of divisions. The first one is Trivium which is a systematic method of critical thinking. It includes the first three divisions of the seven Liberal Arts which are: grammar, logic and rhetoric. The other four are called the Quadrivium and its divisions are: arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.

The idea was that you have to grow your knowledge from division one and make your way up to division seven but the most important ones are the Trivium which are division one to division three. In ancient times, these where considered the must know skill set to have for every free human being in order to take active part in everyday life.

With all of today’s distractions, it’s easy to slip away from what’s known as common sense as people don’t take ownership of  any responsibility for their own actions anymore. What’s worse is that if you’ve never been exposed to this sort of knowledge (Trivium), how are you expected to fully understand what’s going on around you?

 

Common Sense Continued

When I was young naïve and confused in my times of struggles, my god mother gave me a French booked called: “Les Douze Lois Cosmiques”. This book shined the light on a new and better path.  It has opened my eyes and changed my life on how I see, feel and perceive things around me. This book was the seed of awareness that led me to my continuous research and personal growth.

Unfortunately this book is only in French and really hard to find as it’s now discontinued and no longer available in libraries. You may be lucky to find it in a used book store. 

Coming back to understanding common sense and the Trivium, think of it this way; gravity is a fundamental force whether you understand it or not, it will pull stuff to the ground period. When you understand that principle regardless of what your beliefs are you can make that force work in your favor.

The same is true about the Trivium. Whether you fully understand those skills or not, they are still present and some people are using them. If you are aware of them, you can harness their benefits to your advantage by asking the right questions and figuring out the true nature of the “why” which will then lead to a new epiphany, the newly found common sense based on the new knowledge.

I would like to empower you with this gift of knowledge. If want to learn more about questioning and reasoning, listen to the words of Socrates and Plato. They both offer words of wisdoms that are over thousands of years old and yet still speaks deeply to a whole other level in today’s setting.

Their teaching will help you develop an enlighten common sense about life in general. You will learn, discover and grow a new common sense that will separate you from 80% of people that are numb to reality and unaware of these skills. It’ll bring your awareness to a whole new level and will help you deal better with “today’s common sense ignorant people”.

In summary, if you find someone doesn’t share the same “common sense” as you do, be patient, stay calm, take your time and educate the reasoning behind that “common sense” to the person. The more you become aware of any topics, the more patient you should become when teaching them with someone who sees this for the first time so be honourable as you know something that they don’t.

May this new knowledge help you in your professional life on how to deal properly with everyday hard situations and your personal life where you can take advantage of these lifelong learnt skills to better manage your emotions and overall become a better Zen, informed, understanding, compassionate and patient person.

These teachings have helped me in so many ways to grow and hopefully you will get the most out of these skills like I did.

What about you, what is your definition of common sense?

Online Education Is the Fastest Way To Learn New Skills

Online EducationOnline education can be broken down in two categories. Free and paid. Nowadays pretty much everything is available for free through search engines such as Google or Bing and video sites like Youtube or Vemeo.

We live in world of abundant knowledge available at our finger tips. The good thing about free knowledge and online education is that if you know what you’re looking for and where to look for it you can get the information right away.

The problem with this free online education method is, is if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll never even think to look for it.

Hence why you could spend hours upon hours of watching and searching through mountains of information just to get that one specific gold nugget.

Now is when you’ve got to consider and factor in the value of your time. Is it worth more time to try to figure things out by yourself or is it smarter to ask someone to point you in the right direction?

The good thing about the paid online education is that often you have a problem and you seek more information by asking the questions to an expert either for advice or you have a membership to a site that offers complete courses via online education on specific topics.

By knowing exactly what you’re looking for or being sent on the right online education track, you can save a tremendous amount of your valuable time.

Online Education Continued

More than likely if you’re somewhat like me, where you want to have your business online and are trying to get things up and running, you need to know some basics in online lingo. Like HTML for example, you don’t need to know all of it by heart but it’s good to understand the basics of it.

A really good free online education site that I’ve used to learn all kinds of stuff related to the internet, like programming languages, CSS, etc is w3schools.com On this site, it offers you a section to learn and safe place to try new code without “breaking” your website so to speak.

Another awesome free online education location to ask questions is a site called StackOverflow.com. Basically you can read through previously asked questions, or search based on keywords or topics and see the best related answers. This site focuses on programming. They also have a dedicated section for WordPress alone, which is another good place to look for answers.

If you want to learn search engine optimization, SeoInPractice.com offers a great complete web based e-book that explains SEO. You can also check out my other videos in the SEO category if you want more information in an “easy to understand way”.

As for paid online education Lynda.com is one of my absolute best choices. They bring in experts on all kinds of software and they give online courses about the specific topic.

You can watch the whole thing from beginning to the end like an actual course, or you can jump in right in the section that you really are trying to figure out.

When I have a sticky point on how to do something specific about a software; I look for the answer on Google and Youtube first. Often, I find one method but sometimes I need something more specific.

So I go to my Lynda back office, I type the name of the software I want more info on, then BAM, I find what I’m looking for because of the expert advice.

Lynda.com is great place to learn intricacies about specific software or topic however when I want to get a marketing’s perspective on things, I go listen to successful marketers. Check out my article about “traditional education or specialized education to grow your business” for more information on this topic.

Now if you just want to learn other typical stuff you’d find in traditional schools like science, math, physics etc, but via free online education check out KhanAcademy.org. If you want to see all kinds of science lectures then FreeScienceOnline.blogspot.ca has a lot of them available or learn more about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

These are the tools and locations that I use on a daily basis to keep my skills sharp. What about you, where and how do you get your online education?

Free Conference Call Technology Up For Grabs!

Free Conference CallWith the help of a free conference call service, you can now become the leader and give positive & informative messages to your audience, your team or your work force.

This web based platform allows you to own and operate your own teleseminar. You can have as little as one person on your free conference call up to one hundred.

You can record your calls and use them as content in the future.

Through your free conference call online back office, you can start and stop the recording and start and stop lecture mode (which puts everybody else on mute so only can talk).

All these functions can also be done through the telephone directly by pressing the appropriate number.

For the longest time this teleconferencing was only available to the big corporations that had a huge budgets. Now with voice over IP it makes it affordable to everyone to the point that there’s even a free solution.

What I like the most about this free conference call platform is that it’s free and super simple to use. You first start by going to the website of Freenet.com, click on the button that says: “Signup Now” on the right hand side, follow the instruction and there you go, you got your free conference call number.

Simply give your free conference call number to your audience or team members and they will be able to call in and listen to what you have to say.

Once the recording is complete, it will save it as an audio file in your back office where you can go in and download it, which I recommend.

Free Conference Call

Here’s how I use the free conference call tool. If anyone has business related questions, I schedule a conference call that will be recorded.

I offer to have a recorded session with them for two reasons. One I get the recorded call and give it to that person so they can re-listen to the information at a later time and second, so I can use the content as an FAQ and make it available to other people.

I always sanitize the free conference call to remove any personal information if any.

When I do a webinar, I also like to have the free conference call recording as a backup (for the audio portion) and in case someone doesn’t have access to a computer but would like to listen in on what’s going on.

I remember we had a truck driver that would love to attend these calls while he was on the road. Not only was he learning something new, he was part of our community of entrepreneurs.

What about you, how can the service of a free conference call help you in your organization?

Entrepreneurs Think Differently

Entrepreneurs Think DifferentlyAs a new entrepreneur you’ve got to change your attitude dramatically because when you start any kind of new business, your mindset will determine whether you succeed or fail.

Often new entrepreneurs are coming from a background as an employee and sometimes carry over employee mentality which is not bad, but just not right in the world of entrepreneurs.

When you become your own boss, you have to do work from every department from any previous companies.

Here’s what I mean, as an employee in a big organization, you know your specific skills in either the sales department, human resources, management, technical support, research, content writer, developer, accounting, administration, legal, etc.

All those specific department have enough work to keep lots of people busy for a lifetime and people become specialized in their respective department but as entrepreneur you’ve got to understand the difference between the active and passive workloads.

When you leave this world and put on the hat of an entrepreneur you have to know enough of each department to get by or outsource it to experts. But overall, you have to look and manage the big picture while performing every duty to ensure daily operation runs smoothly. It’s critical to have good work ethics and keep a well balance schedule with excellent time management.

Think of it as if you’re spinning ten plates on a frame in front of you. You constantly got to put a little bit of attention on all of them by giving a little more energy to have it keep spinning whereas if you put all your attention on one plate, the other 9 will slow down until they drop to the ground and break.

The same is true in business. You are entirely responsible for your own success. Win or lose it’s entirely up to you to determine your outcome and you can’t point the finger at anyone else.

Entrepreneurs’ Mindset

Once you are aware of that, your mind shift will work in your favor. You’ll start reading better material, like Success Magazine, the self-improvement section in your library will become your best friend, you’ll read or listen to audiobooks and absorb new information from other people’s wealth of experience and knowledge.

Whatever resonates with you, you’ll make it yours and whatever you don’t agree with, you’ll accept that everybody’s entitled to their own opinion and that you don’t have to accept everything you learn as true for you.

What about you, what’s the biggest change you’ve noticed when you started to change your mindset? Share your thoughts and comments below.

 

Helpdesk Ticketing System For Your Customer Support

Helpdesk Ticketing SystemHelpdesk ticketing system also known as help desk software, helpdesk software, open source ticket system, open source ticketing system is platform that allows businesses (large or small), organizations or non-profits corporation to resolves problems.

Instead of using an e-mail address such as support@yoursite.com, which can lead to miscommunication because the e-mail may be filtered out by the spam filters (which accidently happens), a helpdesk ticketing system solution allows communication to happen seamlessly.

It also gets rid of the pointless chat, like an e-mail saying: “Thank you” should not be in a support e-mail inbox.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get positive feedback but if your company grows very large, when you scale it up, that one e-mail can become a thousand e-mails.  How much time will take to open all those other non-business related issues? These will clutter your inbox from the real problems that you have to solve.

First the user would go on your support page, fill out their information with the issue, chose a priority level and select to which department this ticket should be assign, such as billing, sales, technical support, etc.

The sky’s the limit every part can be customizable and tailored to your business needs. Once the issue has been logged in the helpdesk ticketing system, a notification will appear on your end. The ticket can be assign, re-assigned, you can see the status, if it’s been resolved or not, you can escalate it and another cool feature is that it tracks everything making it pretty easy to view and analyze reports.

When the ticket has been answered, the helpdesk ticketing system will automatically send an e-mail to the client to let them know the issue has been looked after that they can log in to the helpdesk ticketing system to view the results. Say the client didn’t get any e-mails after a couple days (it may be filtered out) but the client can still go see the status of their tickets by logging into the help desk software.

Here’s a good article on Wikipedia that explains in greater details what a support ticketing system aka help desk is.

Helpdesk Ticketing System

There are many different support ticket systems that exist but from my experience the two most popular helpdesk ticketing system that I know of are Zendesk.com and OSTicket.com.

Zendesk is very popular amongst a lot of internet marketers and software developers. Basically it’s what the pros use. They’ve got affordable solutions for businesses but if you’re just starting out then I’d consider another option.

My personal recommendation would be to go with the open source ticket system OSTicket.com as it’s an open source platform and you get “more bang for the buck”.

They have a free version and a paid version of the OSTicket open source platform called “Support System”.  The free version you’d have to maintain everything, figure out everything, how it works, etc.

Side Note! A free helpdesk ticketing system is great but keep in mind that it’s not 100% free, you have to host it on your own servers which you have to pay for. They also don’t come with the same level of support and there’s a lot of trial and error to set it up.

You got to be somewhat tech savvy to do this but you’d still have to have our own servers which cost money. It’s way more to time consuming and there’s a multitude of problems that can arise, like what if the systems crashes or there’s an update to the software, what about the back ups, you’d be responsible to maintain all that.

It’s an option but you’ve got to consider the value of your time to play around with all the “trial and error” stuff.  Your systems and follow-ups are too important to be “lost” in a programming accident.

Whereas their paid version, it’s $9 USD per month per agent and they take care of everything (hosting, training, support, guaranteed up time, daily backups, etc.). You have access to a team of experts for support, which is peace of mind. Especially as a business owner, you’ve already got so much on your plate, you don’t need a helpdesk ticketing system issue.

You can get more details here. Plus they offer 1 month of free trial with no financial commitment.  I think this is one of the best ways to start and try it out.

Keep in mind these 2 are not the only players in town.

Here’s a list of other helpdesk ticketing systems available out there. Like always, I encourage you to look at them and choose whatever works best for you.

Paid Helpdesk Ticketing System

SupportSystem.com – This is the paid version of the open source software OSTicket.

ZenDesk.com – Very popular in the internet marketing crowd.

Kayako.com – Lots of well known big mainstream companies use this one.

UserVoice.com – This one is more than just a help desk, it’s also a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

Free Open Source Helpdesk Ticketing System

OSTicket.com

ETicketSupport.com

OTRS.com

Trellis by Accord5.com

What about you, how will you be using your helpdesk ticketing system? Share your thoughts.

The Art of Problem Solving for Your Business

art of problem solvingThe art of problem solving for your business is another skill set to add to your portfolio of must have skills as an entrepreneur.

There are no more excuses not to find the answers to our problems.  We live in an era full of knowledge available at our finger tips and we have access to the greatest resources available in the world.  The power of our neurological pathways in our brain combined with today’s to quality search engines and video sites such as: Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Youtube, Vimeo, etc. becomes a lethal power weapon for us to do research and find out our solutions.

As individuals we don’t know everything, that’s impossible, but all the world together exchanging ideas, solutions, tutorials, overall knowledge, together we know an unlimited amount of information that people 100 years ago could only dreamed of.  There’s simply absolutely no way we can’t know of something today if we put the proper effort in our research.

As a manager, in one of my previous careers, I’ve had first hand opportunity to deal with employees who’d ask lots of questions or said statements, which I thought were pretty self explanatory.   It became apparent to me that the questions asked were intended to immediately look for the answer without even learning the process of how to get to the answer.  Which made me realize that maybe they’ve never been properly taught an effective cognitive thought process.

I used to hear dead end statements like: “I can’t do that.” The first observation I made was that sometimes people make a statement instead of asking a question and when that’s the case, you can’t go any further, it stops right then and there.  If you can’t ask proper questions, how are you supposed to be able to find the answer?  Clearly this should have been asked as follows: “How can I do that?”  The next step in the art of problem solving method would be to clarify what the “that” means, example: “How can I do effective marketing for my work from home business?”

The Art Of Problem Solving Through Clarity

From here, you need more clarity, it’s good practise at the beginning to write it down on a piece of paper and try to figure out 20 solutions to the problem.  Over time, your mind will become better at automatically figuring out alternatives and finding solutions.  Another tip would be to clarify the question even more by asking something along those lines: “What marketing methods exist for a home business?”  By expanding and clarifying the scope of your question to solve your problem, it then becomes easier to look it up in search engines and from there generate other ideas.

Side Note! For every problem you got, use the art of problem solving to find a solution. Try to come up with 20 different solutions on how you can solve your problem.

Essentially you’ve got to learn the art of problem solving for your business through doing effective research, asking clarifying questions, knowing the outcome of what you want and force your mind to give you 20 solutions.

We’ve got to accept that we don’t know everything but with proper research, one answer will lead to another until we can make sense of a satisfying answer.  Eventually you might like the reasoning of some people more than others and might consider looking up to them as a mentor for more creative ways to brainstorm and find out different solutions through education to grow your business.   The important factor is that we’ve got to realise that we’ve got to take full ownership in our ability to figure out what we don’t know.

At the end of the day, we are all fully responsible for our own lives, our own success, our own happiness and our own decision making.

Mastering the art of problem solving for your business will not only help you in your working capacity but will also help you in figuring out all kinds of other solutions in various parts of your life.

Showing these tricks to my employees empowered them significantly in their daily work and lives.  Hopefully it will do the same for you.

What about you, what other techniques in the art of problem solving realm do you use to find out solutions?

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