Friday, September 28, 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
How to Chart Your New Future (Part 2)
Looking to grow personally or professionally, but not sure where to start?
Last week we examined the incredible benefits of lifelong learning. Increased cognitive function increases the health of the entire body, and continued education sparks social engagement (as we learn from and WITH others) that brings confidence and delight. Research suggests that people with strong social connections tend to be happier and live longer.
Whether you feel supported by your employer or not, here are four simple avenues that will enrich your life and help you grow:
1. Stretch Yourself.
The first step in continued growth is to assess your buy-in.
Check out last week’s article for more detail on jump-starting your own motivation.
2. Ask Others to Stretch You.
Baseball legend Yogi Berra commented, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”
Perhaps one of our greatest obstacles is our lack of perspective. In the daily grind, it can be hard to identify or address our weaknesses and our virtues. Consider a coach or mentor to help you assess where you’re at and chart intentional steps toward positive change.
Can you find someone in your company who might have coffee with you on a monthly or quarterly basis? Is there someone in your field or professional network (even LinkedIn) who might fill this strategic role? Is it worth contracting a life or career coach (or even an organizational consultant) to help you maximize potential? Surgeon Atul Gawande makes this compelling argument:
“Élite performers, researchers say, must engage in ‘deliberate practice’—sustained, mindful efforts to develop the full range of abilities that success requires. You have to work at what you're not good at. In theory, people can do this themselves. But most people do not know where to start or how to proceed. Expertise, as the formula goes, requires going from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competence. The coach provides the outside eyes and ears and makes you aware of where you're falling short. This is tricky. Human beings resist exposure and critique; our brains are well defended. So, coaches use a variety of approaches—showing what other, respected colleagues do, for instance, or reviewing videos of the subject's performance. The most common, however, is just conversation.”
Reading is one of life’s simple pleasures and a commonly overlooked asset.
Reading broadens perspective, improves memory, and dramatically reduces stress. Make a point to read professional development articles, books on business topics, or personal development pieces that will sharpen your skills or spark curiosity. An energized mind is a productive mind, so dedicate time each week to read or listen to audio books (maybe as you sit in traffic) and you won’t regret it!
4. Pursue Life-Giving Conversations. Most people are experiential learners, growing confidence and skills as they participate rather than passively consuming.
One way to proactively engage your mind is through conversations, like book clubs, professional networks, or even loose business collaborations. Where are you connected or how could you grow in this area? Surround yourself with like-minded peers through opportunities like 1 Million Cups, TED Talks, MeetUp groups, and more. If nothing else, look for volunteer opportunities and connect with people on a casual level. Make friends, spark ideas, and find financial and professional support in areas you may never have considered.
Ready to shake off that slump or add spring to your step today? Let these adjustments chart a new course for growth in your career and future. Every moment is valuable and so is your potential. Steward it well and keep growing for life!For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html
Monday, September 24, 2018
How to Chart Your New Future (Part 1)
Irene Obera is an 84-year-old southern California native who loves bowling, tennis, and educating others.
She also happens to be the fastest woman on earth for her age. Irene has been breaking records in Masters athletics for forty years, and her aging philosophies are captured in her own words:
“If you don’t move it, you lose it.”
“A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits – and I want to be a winner.”
Irene is one of many “superagers,” a term for people in their 70s and 80s who have the mental or physical capability of their decades-younger counterparts. Irene serves as an inspiration, not only for the power of dedication but the promise of possibility when we harness our full potential. Living well is a goal we all desire and living fully alive is the essence of life. No matter what our strengths or sphere of influence, each of us has the potential for success and impact. This potential is a treasure that should be uncovered, protected, and stewarded!
Shake Off That Slump
Then what do you do when you’ve hit a slump? When complacency has settled like fog, or when you want to grow but feel stifled professionally (or personally) at almost every turn?
Maybe you’re satisfied, but not feeling sufficiently challenged in your daily tasks. What should you do?
Here’s the truth: small adjustments DO make an impact. But we tend to enjoy comfort and resist change, making it harder and harder to change gears.
So, how can we move forward in a positive way that will impact us for years to come?
It Starts with Education
An easy place to start is where many of us began: with education. Education is a gift! The opportunity to learn can unlock our potential, grow our social circle, reap financial rewards, and energize our mind, careers, and health! Consider this statistic:
The Rush Memory and Aging Project, conducted in 2012 in Chicago with more than 1,200 elders participating, showed that increased cognitive activity in older adults slowed their decline in cognitive function and decreased their risk of mild cognitive impairment. The study showed that cognitively active seniors, whose average age was 80, were 2.6 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than seniors with less cognitive activity. Studies also show that educated people tend to enjoy better mental health, increased emotional well-being, and expanded opportunities.
Add Spring to Your Step
Whether you desire personal or professional development, growth of any kind has the potential to chart a new course for your future.
Ready to increase your mental capacity, improve your quality of life, and enrich your emotional health? In this two-part series, we’ll look at four avenues for gaining ground that will enrich your life and expand your opportunities.
1. Stretch Yourself.
The first step in continued growth is your own buy-in.
Take ownership over your desire to develop and look for new challenges, side projects, or free professional development opportunities offered in or outside your company. Seek out webinars and podcasts on a weekly basis or consider short online courses. Be curious about aspects of the workplace that don’t directly affect your job. Ask questions and get involved where you might not otherwise. When you show others that you are interested in learning, it communicates a proactive spirit and opens invisible doors to future opportunities.
Living fully engaged brings richness and reward. Join us for part two of this series, as we look at four more avenues for personal and professional development that can bring impact for decades to come!
Friday, September 21, 2018
How Does a 26" x 40" Printed Sheet Get Down to a Finished Size of 5" x 6"?The only way to print 150,000 Starbucks Gift Cards economically is by gang printing them on a large sheet. By printing 24 up-5" x 6" gift cards on a 26" x 40" sheet we are able to print approximately 6,250- 26" x 40" sheets on two sides. The graphics on the left side of the sheet above when turned over and loaded back into the press, will be printed a second time. The end result will be backed up with the graphics on the right. This will complete the printing of the two sided gift card.
The next step on the road to a finished product will be to cut the big sheet into four parts. This will be done with a high tech computerized guillotine cutter and the next size will be 12.5" x 19". This size will yield 6 up-5" x 6" gift cards that will then be ready for die-cutting.
Die-cutting is a process where you can cut out, an ordinary square, rectangle, circle, or any designed shape out of a sheet of paper. This is usually done after the printing process is complete and the ink is thoughly dried, preferably the next day. The Print Cafe of LI, Inc. uses die-cutting in conjunction with offset and digital printing. Products such as door hangars, pocket folders, table tents, and of course custom products like the Starbucks gift cards.
The photo above shows the front of the die. This side is where the paper goes between the die and the press platen. It gets compressed and the result is a punched out card. The die itself is made from sharp steel rules and creasing rules for scoring. The red rubber surrounding the steel or creasing rules is to eject the paper or separate it from the steel rules so it doesn't stick to them. The photo below shows a finished 5" x 6" Starbucks gift card.
For more information on any of our custom die-cutting jobs go to:www.printcafeli.com
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
These Two Things are the Keys to a Successful BusinessThe physical and emotional abuse began when she was five years old.
By the time she was 13, she was homeless and relying on the kindness of strangers to feed and house her. At 14, she gave birth to a son who died in infancy. Shortly afterward, she was sent to live with an uncle in whom she later referred to as her "father." Even though this teenager had suffered years of poverty and abuse, something fierce and fiery within her would not give up. She attended a Milwaukee high school and earned grades good enough to get her into the Upward Bound program, a federally funded program to help gifted students achieve academic success.
This determined, courageous young woman was later transferred to a suburban high school where she was picked on by her more affluent peers. After being caught stealing money to keep up with the lifestyle of her peers, she was once again sent to live with another relative in Nashville, TN. Here, she became an honors student and joined a speech/debate team that eventually took second place in a nation-wide dramatic interpretation contest.
After winning a college scholarship, working as a news reporter, and ultimately, landing her own TV show, Oprah Winfrey is now one of the world's most famous, most beloved, and most successful women in history.
Attitude is Motivation and Motivation is Attitude
Imagine you are the owner of a bakery that was handed down to you by your parents and grandparents.
One of the traditions you continue to keep as the owner is wearing a large pin on your uniform that says "Business is Awesome!" While all business have down times, the idea behind the pin is that, no matter how the business is doing, your attitude remains the same.
What do you tell customers who ask you what's so great about business? In most cases, people asking you this question are going through a rough time in their lives or may be coping with business problems themselves. You might tell them business is awesome because you love meeting new people every day or that business is great because you can work in an environment where everybody gets along and enjoys each other's company.
At the heart of this story lies the power of embracing a positive attitude. When you anticipate the good things and refuse to become a victim of negative thinking, the motivation to continue naturally emerges, sustained by your sense of renewal, hope and expectations.
Falling Down 10 Times Means You Have to Get Up 10 Times
"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. Many times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I am not afraid to say that I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." -- Michael Jordan
You have to keep "getting up" (as Oprah Winfrey did) to take those next steps toward meeting or exceeding your goals.
The motivation for getting up and getting back on track is more powerful and rewarding if it is for personal rather than material gain. Keep reminding yourself that the most significant accomplishments in world history all started because someone fell down and got right back up again without even giving it a second thought.For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html
Monday, September 17, 2018
5 Reasons Why Print Marketing Still PopsWith all the buzz around social media marketing, leveraging influencers, and digital retargeting ads, has print marketing lost its luster?
Smart marketers know that just as there are millions of individuals in the U.S., there are hundreds of ways to reach them. As more people flock to the internet to shop, do their taxes, and connect with friends and relatives, you may be surprised to know that the digital proliferation of messages has brought consumers' attention back to a tried-and-true favorite: print marketing.
Here are five reasons why print marketing still pops for your next promotion.
1. Print is Surprising
Think about it. You may receive dozens or even hundreds of emails each day. How much time do you devote to considering each one?
An unexpected advertisement may receive a brief glance, or it may go directly to your spam folder if it is poorly written. Contrast that with the number of pieces of printed mail that you receive on a daily basis. If you're like most people, you probably get less than ten pieces of written correspondence each day. That gives your message that much more of an opportunity to make an impact with a well-designed and colorful print piece.
2. Print is Memorable
Reading a newspaper or other longer-form printed media is considered "lean forward" reading -- while skimming emails is something you're likely to be multi-tasking and "leaning back," or being less engaged.
Studies show that people are up to 70% more likely to recall businesses when they see their information in print versus online.
3. Print is Easy
The same study that tested customer recall also explored the effort required to process print materials versus digital materials.
The findings are unexpected: direct mail requires significantly less mental effort to process, by over 15 percentage points! Printed ads in newspapers or delivered via direct mail are more memorable because they're often mostly visual instead of packed with words. According to a Temple University study, physical media wins out over print in nearly every category, including engagement, memory accuracy and speed, and desirability.
4. Print is Trusted
The recent outbreaks of viruses make online advertising a dicey proposition -- at least in the mind of many Americans.
You don't hear the news media touting the number of people who lost their personal information to a newspaper, right? This familiarity with printed media helps give messages received in this format a more comfortable and trusted feel than advertising that arrives in a digital package. This is especially true for demographics of a certain age, where printed mailers were the way to receive valuable information.
5. Print is Creative
Sure you can argue that digital advertising is incredibly creative and interactive.
However, print media allows you to effectively cross genres with your messaging, switching between print and digital with ease as long as you have an effective strategy in place for messaging. A truly cohesive experience from print to digital makes consumers feel unique and valued, but that conversation begins in the print space.
These are only a few of the many reasons why print marketing and advertising is still at the top of the heap. The additional mental space and recall, opportunities for creating a cohesive brand feel, and the ability to cross platforms from print to digital make postcards and other mailers a compelling proposition for businesses.https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html
Friday, September 14, 2018
Presentation/Pocket Folders "Don't Leave the Office Without One"
Show Your Potential Customers What Your Company is all About
Pockets folders are a great way to keep all your marketing materials organized and readily available, when showing a potential customer what products your company offers. They come in many sizes starting with the standard 9 x 12 with one or two pockets. Pocket folders are also great for meetings, keeping all your importnat information on hand and ready for you to pass out.
Pocket Folder Sizes
Besides the standard 9 x 12 size the Print Cafe of LI offers other sizes like the 8.5 x 14 legal size. Most of these are used by mortgage companies, banks, and law firms. Another popular folder is the reinfoced capacity folder which has a 1/2" spine in order to accomodate several pages of documents. The Print Cafe of LI, also produces custom made folders, as an example we have the Glove Compartment Folder we print for Competition BMW of Smithtown.
This Folder is designed to hold the BMW Car Manual and any other important documents. This folder size is 7" x 10" wide and opens on the horizontal side. All our folders come in various stock thickness, with a variety of finishes like high gloss UV or Matte coating. Other specialities like gold or silver foil imprinting and die embossing are available. For more of our informative blogs go to: https://store.printcafeli.com/blog/Print_Cafe_Blog.html
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
"Banner Stands A Must For Every Business"
Whether it's a trade show or a networking event showcase. There is nothing better than a retractable banner stand from the Print Cafe of LI, Inc. These light weight banner stands can be assembled in minutes. Convey your message or promotion in Full Color on any of our available substrates such as 10 mil vinyl, or canvas. The Print Cafe of LI offers many sizes like 33" x 80", 47" x 80" and our 11" x 17" table top model. All banner stands come with carrying cases for easy transport.
Another reason for your company to invest in a banner stand could be in store promotions. Runing a special or a sale item can draw customers attention as soon as they walk through the door. Besides in store promotions you may be planning a trade show event. What we highly recomend is a Back Drop Banner Stand or also known as a Step and Repeat Banner. These make a great back ground for your up front dispaly and come in many sizes starting with a 8' x 8' and up. Although Back Drop Banners take a little longer to set up, they are also light weight and easy to assemble. These banners can be printed in Full Color on 13oz vinyl or canvas material. For more information on these products go to:https://www.printcafeli.com/store/product-view.html/31-Banners_with_Stand
Monday, September 10, 2018
Print Made Digital: How Business Cards Are Still the Best Way to Connect
Digital communication and marketing tactics may be the hottest topics on everyone's tongues, but there are still some serious limitations to connecting your physical and digital worlds.
There are ways that allow you to quickly trade contact information, but they can require both parties to download the same app and are difficult to coordinate in quick hallway conversations. Business professionals will tell you that you never know when you're going to meet someone who can tie together the pieces of a particular project, so it pays to be prepared to capture contact information regardless of your physical location. That's where business cards come in as one of the best ways to connect with people in person.
Boost Your Brand Recognition
Keeping your branding on point can be an ongoing challenge, especially as your business grows.
Marketers must be diligent to ensure that all marketing materials are consistent and cohesive with colors, fonts, styles images, and even the tone of language that is used -- or your brand voice.
One particular printed item that often ties together all of your branding is a simple business card! Business cards are relatively inexpensive but can pack a big branding punch when they provide each prospect or contact with the look, feel and logo of your business.
Convenient Communication Tool
Business cards are one of the most convenient communication tools available because you can simply slide your hand into your pocket or purse and immediately be able to share your contact information with others.
If you're in the middle of another conversation, there's no need to break off topic and attempt to program a number into your cell phone; instead, you can simply pop a business card into someone's hand! If you're at a conference or trade show, business cards allow you to jot questions or topics of interest on the back, which can help jog your memory of the contact and how you need to follow up with them in the future.
Ideal for Direct Marketing
Sending emails and even text messages may be one of the most effective ways to reach a wide range of individuals, but an old-fashioned phone call packs an impact.
Including a handshake with your business card creates a personal connection that people will remember. If the person you're speaking with isn't the perfect contact for your business, the good news is that your business card can continue marketing to the next person who receives it, too! Digital marketing tactics such as QR codes add extra bang to your business card by providing your prospects with additional information that couldn't fit within the space available on a small business card. Have a special offer that you'd like to share? Drop a discount code on your business card and you'll be sure to create a lasting impression!
Print marketing tactics such as business cards are still one of the best ways to reach your target audience in a personal way that builds long-term relationships. Business today is still driven by relationships. Ensuring that you have personal knowledge of the people you are working with -- and that connection -- is best formed by creative printed materials that reinforce the look and feel of your brand.
The next time you're shaking hands with someone, be sure you're sliding a business card to them at the same time, and your message will be reinforced even after you are long gone!
Friday, September 7, 2018
Wrangling Your Week: Time Management Success Techniques That Will Give You Hope
It's painfully true that there are never enough hours in the day. If "normal humans" are having this kind of trouble, how are CEOs and leaders of major businesses able to run the massive scale of their days? As long as you consider that they haven't discovered time travel, there's got to be some tips and tricks that can be learned from their exceptional talents.
These time management success stories will give you hope that you can wrangle your week more effectively. You might be surprised to learn that many of these individuals found adequate time for sleep and budgeting part of their day for meditation or downtime.
Leave Time for Relaxation
Most famous for his theory of evolution in his book The Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin spent a great deal of his day in solitary study. His schedule also included walking his fox terrier pup and reading. Most interesting was the two hours each day that he devoted to lying awake in bed solving problems before starting his day. Victor Hugo, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Charles Dickens also devoted many hours a day to walking and personal study. Today, Arianna Huffington is one of the business leaders who believe that spending time with colleagues or eating lunch away from your desk makes you more productive -- not less.
Focus on Calendar Management
Focusing only on what is most important each day is one of the time management tricks that Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., swears by. Her busy day is most productive when she spends time prioritizing short- and long-term deliverables instead of reacting to new items that make it to her calendar by happenstance.
Sleep Soundly, Wake Early
People who are making an impact in their world are likely getting enough rest to be refreshed and ready to face their day, but those days often start quite early. Getting less than six hours of sleep on a regular basis can leave you mentally drained or fuzzy and make you less likely to be efficient in your work. The early morning hours are ideal for a quick workout, which not only helps the body stay fit but helps boost your brainpower for the day as well. Billionaire Richard Branson is famous for his 5:00 am ritual to kick off his busy day.
Stop the Multitasking
Sure, we all love to pretend that we're getting three things done at once, but is anything being accomplished in these sprints? Successful professionals know when it's time to turn off the electronics and stick to one task at a time. Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt, notes how easy it is to be distracted by your inbox and your phone. Add in some music and you're ready to take on the world!
Just Say "No"
"No," or "next" are some of the most powerful words in the English language -- allowing people to free their time from mundane activities and target those which are moving them forward. There may be some tasks that feel like busywork, so delegate these whenever possible. Turn your attention only to items where you add personal and unique value, and you'll soon find that it's possible to be present in your day while experiencing less stress. This can include everything from hiring people who complement your skills and abilities (a famous Jack Welch-ism) to outsourcing tasks when it makes sense.
Not everyone is running an empire, finding the cure for cancer, or creating the next great musical masterpiece. However, we are all struggling with a limited number of hours in the day. There is a great deal of hope and comfort in knowing that these basic time management techniques have been practiced for generations -- and are still helping some of the most successful people of our age be productive.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Why Your Brand is The Most Important Asset in Your Business
Your brand may not be as recognizable as Coke, Pepsi or Walmart, but it speaks volumes about your business.
Your brand is much more than a simple logo or tagline; it is the sum of all the different interactions that your prospects and customers have with your organization. This could include printed correspondence, your website, phone conversations with your sales reps, and more. It's an intangible asset that is captured on your balance sheet in case you are selling your business, and it should be treated as your most valuable asset. Creating a cohesive brand experience for your customer begins with expressing your brand consistently across your various channels of communication.
Your website is your digital front door, and when your brand isn't well represented on your website, then you can cause significant confusion among your core audience.
When you work closely with a designer to translate your brand from printed pieces to the web, you're ensuring that customers and prospects are comfortable with interacting with your brand on any channel. If you are using social media channels to promote your brand, you may want to audit the design look and feel for consistency. Many brand managers find it easiest to define a brand across all channels during a refresh of the look and feel of your digital presence. Everything down to the color that you choose for your logo mark will help tightly define your brand.
Is your brand a little smart and sassy, or cool and classy? Slightly high-brow or ready for some fun?
The brand "voice" that you define is essentially the personality for your brand. It's unlikely that a well-established bank would want to suddenly start using emojis in their brand communication, for instance. Alternatively, a fun and feisty new design firm would want to use different messaging than a financial institution! Your voice should be made up not only of the way you want your brand to appear, but also allow you to communicate effectively with your core audience. Based on demographics, your brand may have a slightly different voice when speaking to various audience segments.
Each piece of marketing collateral that you create -- from letterhead to your website to your latest printed sales brochure -- should all have a cohesive design that sticks close to your brand guidelines.
That doesn't mean that everything has to look the same, but when someone looks at a piece of your marketing materials, they should have that "Aha! I recognize this brand!" feeling immediately. In today's fast-paced digital world, it can be easy to create a new look for your website or emails and forget that your printed materials, such as business cards and letterhead, need to be refreshed to match an updated look.
Finding Your Identity
Each interaction, each step of each process, and each conversation that happens between customers and prospects is yet another piece of your brand identity! You can see why this makes your brand one of the most critical assets in your business.
While all of these pieces work together to create this mystical thing that we call "brand identity," there are some definite hallmarks that help set the tone.
Ready to freshen up the look of your business cards, letterhead, envelopes and other identity materials? These items are often the initial introduction to your brand, and you want them to make a great first impression!
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