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Coronavirus (COVID-19) has saturated our media and our consciousnesses; and for good reason. While our nation continues to mitigate the spread of this disease, it is part of our civic duty to maintain good personal hygiene and listen to the directives of our local healthcare leaders and the CDC to slow the spread. Having said that, my company has issued a mandatory work from home policy for the foreseeable future. How can you best prepare and make the most effective use of your time working from home?

Focus and Remove Unnecessary Distractions

For me, my own personal preference is to work in the office. It’s a personal preference that is driven by my desire to keep my work and personal life as separate as possible. Now that I must hunker down and work from home, it is incumbent upon myself to stay focused and minimize distractions. …


(For you or your audience)

When I started working with my organization’s brand language team to better understand the guidelines set down by our leadership, I was skeptical. I feel that those of us that are passionate about writing may look down our nose at corporate communications as being beneath our notice. I have a particular style and voice to my writing, to take on the voice of my organization is not immediately appealing or intuitive to me. Having said that…there’s no reason why your content and communications can’t be written well, even when constrained by the Brand Language Guidelines of your organization. At the end of the day, Brand Language (as is noted explicitly in its name) is a language…and all languages have constraints, accepted word usage, and rules. …


Lessons Learned and Tips for a Successful Launch

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Some time ago I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to start a blog. I had started this endeavor not only to hone my writing skills, but also to become more fluent in social media. For over ten years I have eschewed the lure of social media outlets. I have made some missteps along the way, but here are some of my tips to the aspiring bloggers out there that I have picked up along the way on this fascinating journey.

  1. Understand that you are now a Brand. I use the word “brand” more often than I had possibly imagined. Anyone who watches Shark Tank, The Profit, or any other variety of CNBC’s lineup of programming showcasing entrepreneurs will have heard brand mentioned at one point or another. I have found that one of the first parts of crafting your brand is to craft your “message” and your “product” first. Ultimately, that content is what will draw people to you, but it is your Brand that you create what will help you grow and create actual fans that will return not just for your content. At the end of the day, the brand that you establish serves as your guidelines…or your “character” script. It establishes the tone and theme of your work and gives your readers a familiar place to hang their hats when touring the internet. …

10 ways to change your outlook towards the work-week

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Your alarm goes off. Perhaps, you’ve rolled over and put your alarm on snooze, but as you struggle to regain consciousness, and your thoughts slowly start to coalesce…you realize: It’s a Monday! Your much treasured weekend is now over! How did you spend that time? With family? With friends? With your streaming service…? Regardless of how you like to spend your weekends, all too often we find ourselves counting down the hours and minutes on Friday until you can kick off your weekend. …


As a language professional, it can be difficult to conceptualize myself back in the classroom. As a former middle-eastern foreign area officer, I take great pride in including myself among the ranks of military language professionals. Yet, over the years, I have found it particularly challenging to maintain my language skills. Regrettably, the old adage of “Use or Lose it!” …


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It has been over three years since I transitioned from military service and I have recently found myself afflicted with sudden onset nostalgia (more on nostalgia later in Tip #9). Truth be told, this isn’t an entirely bad thing for everyone. It provides us with the opportunity to reflect on previous years and seek self-improvement and find new ways to connect with people. I would like to provide my perspective on some of the lessons I have learned since transitioning from active duty military service. Some of these lessons may seem fairly self-evident, but they are still well-worth calling out.

I will always remember 2015 as being a life changing year for me. To realize that after two combat tours and ten years in active service as a military officer that I would no longer be continuing my journey with the United States Army came as a great shock to me. With the draw-downs that were occurring during this time I had this possibility in the back of my mind; but when my chain of command solemnly informed me of my pending honorable separation, my expectations and reality had a head-on collision. I had been preparing myself for the “off-chance” that this would soon become my reality, but I was improvising most of the way into this new phase of my life. …


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I recently found, hidden among one of the myriad of boxes still unpacked within my home, some older military-related items; Most notably my extensive collection of notebooks. As an officer, one should never be without pen and paper and as such, many a dog-eared notebook serves as a written testament of my military career. Among the hastily taken notes, diagrams, and idle doodles, I stumbled upon the running list of leadership tips I maintained throughout my career. …


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Having a pawnshop as the family business was an interesting window in the world for me. Not because of the times I spent working at the store and interfacing with customers…but because of movies. My family was a strictly reading family. Television time was limited. As is often the case with a young person the phrase, “I’m Boooooored!”came up a lot. Much to my youthful chagrin, the regular refrain I received was three letter phrase, sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture: “Read-a-book, Read-a-book, Read-a-book-book-book, Read-a-book, read-a-book, read-a-book-book-book…” You get the idea.


People have asked me throughout my life, “When did you realize that you were adopted?” or “Did your parents tell you? How did you know?”

The answer to these questions is incredibly simple. I realized I was adopted when I was about three or four-years-old. I figured this out by merely looking at my own reflection in the mirror. Simple. My parents told me I was adopted when confronted with my observation that I did not look like the rest of my family.

There’s something magical that happens in a child’s brain as they start getting into their early years; they begin to formulate the sense of identity as their brain builds new neural pathways and translates inputs from the outside world. As with me, on the cusp of becoming a fully realized individual, a glance into the mirror made me realize that something was seemingly amiss. …

About

Dan Singer

Army Veteran, Project Manager, Content Monger, and a bit of a Nerd.

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