Customer-Focused vs Competition-Focused

If you’ve been fortunate enough to sit in on lectures and training from visionary cloud services companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), throughout the training, the Amazon/AWS leadership principle of “customer obsession” will be referenced. The principle states that “Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.”  It is the principle’s last sentence – being customer-focused versus competition-focused – that truly distinguishes Amazon within the industry.

When you are competitor-focused, where is your energy directed? It is directed toward beating the competition, not on serving customers. When you are customer-focused, where is your energy directed? It is directed toward making customers say, “wow.” In fact, Amazon’s mission statement is to be “earth’s most customer-centric company.” Customers are never truly satisfied. They always want higher quality products and services delivered faster, cheaper and better. Relentless focus on continually satisfying customers is where energy should be directed. Other thoughts:

  • Always ask customers for feedback. Feedback helps develop and shape strategy to better serve them. Feedback helps companies evolve from thinking about customers to thinking like customers.
  • Being customer-focused is easy to say, but difficult to do. Companies must institutionalize the customer being at the center of everything that they do.
  • Bring an empty chair into meetings to represent the most important person in the room – the customer. The empty chair will ensure that everyone remains conscious about how their decisions impact customers.
  • Make taking care of customers your personal obsession. Treat them the way that you would want to be treated. If you do not take care of customers, someone else will (remember: customers pay the bills).
  • What should business leaders bet on? They should bet on what customers are telling them. They should listen to customers. They should invest where the customer is going, not where the customer has been.

Security in the News – Week of March 31

Information Security

BetaNews

Millions of Home Routers Expose ISPs to DDoS Attacks

April 2

DNS-based DDoS amplification attacks have significantly increased in recent months, targeting vulnerable home routers worldwide.

 

Computer Weekly

Business Counts Cost of Cyber Attackers’ Secret Weapon

March 31

Global businesses are counting cost of failing to defend against advanced evasion techniques.

 

Computerworld

Untraceable Device Allows Hacker to Control Car From Miles Away

March 31

$20 untraceable device allows attacker to remotely take control of cars that are CAN-enabled vehicles.

 

Financial Firms, Social Media Remain Top Phishing Targets

April 3

Kaspersky Labs says nearly 30 percent of phishing attacks last year targeted financial institutions, second only to social networking Phishing attack campaigns.

 

CSO

Zeus Malware Found with Valid Digital Certificate

April 3

New version of notorious banking Trojan could avoid detection by browsers and anti-malware software.

 

FireEye

APT1: The State of the Hack One Year Later

April 1

FireEye COO took stage at RSA to share perspective on activities that led to release of APT1 report, aftermath.

 

Forbes

Will Pentagon’s Plan For Defeating Insider Attacks Work?

March 31

In a curious omission, there’s no mention of plans for dealing with kind of insider attacks perpetrated by Snowden.

 

Help Net Security

European Cybercrime Centre Warns About Windows XP Security Risks

March 31

European Cybercrime Centre warns security risks related to end of Windows XP support.

 

CIOs Moving More Information to Cloud

March 31

CIOs, senior-level IT leaders moving increasing percentage of organizational information into cloud, growing use of private cloud, SaaS delivery models.

 

Simple Steps to Prevent Data Theft

March 31

Tips for protecting organizations against the types of data breaches that recently occurred at major retailers.

 

Dangers of Using Outdated Software

April 2

Survey shows  many businesses are risking company assets by using outdated software.

 

Information Week

Cyber Criminals Operate On A Budget, Too

April 1

Report on how attacks have gotten more advanced, but use same old tools.

 

Krebs on Security

US States Investigating Breach at Experian

April 3

Credit bureau Experian ended up selling consumer records to identity theft service in cybercrime underground, prompted a multi-state investigations.

 

Network World

Mass Malware on Mobile Devices

March 31

Are mobile phones en masse more or less vulnerable than other systems? Or just different?

 

Whose Fault That Users are Weakest Link?

April 2

Users are weakest link when it comes to network, computer security, survey reveals users themselves aren’t entirely to blame.

 

Users Face Serious Threat as Hackers Take Aim at Routers, Embedded Devices

April 3

Attacks are likely to continue and manufacturers are largely unprepared to respond.

 

Want to Lower Risk? Lower the ROI of Hackers

April 3

Hacking is no longer a game for tech-savvy teens looking for bragging rights. It is a for-profit business, a very big business.

 

New Cybersecurity Reality: The Whole is Greater Than Sum of Parts

April 3

Integration, architecture, collective action are new reality, demand behavioral changes across industry.

 

PC Mag

Ex-Microsoft Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Trade Secrets

April 2

Former employee accused of leaking early copies of Windows 8 to French blogger in 2012.

 

The Tribune

Cyber-Attacks Hit Oil, Gas, Just as Much as Retail

April 1

New gen of malware is causing havoc with US businesses as hackers seek to steal private financial information.

 

TrendMicro

Looking Into The Cybercrime Underground

April 1

Key part of cybercrime research focuses on the communities that cybercriminals form.

 

Tripwire

DDoS Trends Report Reveals Spike in Botnet Activity

March 31

DDoS trend found average of 12M unique botnet-driven attacks occurring weekly in last 90 days, 240% increase over same period 2013.

 

We Live Security

NSA Revelations Impact Online Shopping, Banking, More

April 2

Online banking and shopping in America are being negatively impacted by ongoing revelations about NSAs digital surveillance activities.

 

ZD Net

Top Security Worry Keeping Businesses Awake at Night

April 3

One worry tops the rest: possibility of insider threats.

 

Security and Crisis Management

Bangkok Post

Protester Killed in Ambush, Four Wounded

April 1
Security guard shot dead, four other anti-government protesters wounded when gunmen ambushed convoy as it left Chaeng Wattana protest site.

 

BBC

Police Chief Dies in Cairo Bombings

April 2

Police brigadier-general killed, five injured when three bombs went off near Cairo University.

 

Herald Tribune

Colombian Military Operations Result in Six Rebels Killed, Four Captured

April 3

Colombian army operations in central, SW part of country, resulted in six FARC guerrillas killed, four captured, four laid down arms voluntarily.

Should I Get A Lawn Service?

If you’re an outdoor, do-it-yourself, love the serenity, green thumb kind of person, then don’t bother reading this post.  More than likely, you’re maintaining your own lawn and you love every minute of it…

But, if you’re like me, and could “take it or leave it” when it comes to the satisfaction of cutting your own lawn or having it serviced, maybe this article will help you decide.

Have a quick look at the quick ROI XLS I created below.  Assume you would like to purchase a ‘better than average’ riding lawn mower – including attachments (to get the job done right). Without including the cost of the weed whacker and edging equipment and associated fuel costs, the payback is over EIGHT YEARS!

lawn-mower-roi

Let me know where you land on this topic!

Security in the News – Week of March 24

Information Security

BetaNews

Why Use of Personal Data for Authentication Needs to Change

March 26

We run more and more of our lives online today, with multiple accounts for different services; many sites rely on same few personal identifiers.

 

Bloomberg     

SEC Probes Threat From Cyber Attacks Against Wall Street

March 26

SEC is examining exposure of stock exchanges, brokerages and firms to cyber-attacks that have been called a threat to financial stability.

 

Computerworld

ATM Malware, Controlled by Text Message, Spews Cash

March 25

Malware can cause a cash machine to start churning out bills.

 

Gameover Malware Takes Aim at Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com

March 26

In addition, new variants of the Trojan program target Monster.com, F-Secure said.

 

DataLoss DB

Potential 7 Million Credit Card Details Leaked

March 24
Post allegedly by Anonymous Ukraine claimed to publish more than 800 million credit cards by releasing four archives.

 

Fox Business

Media Massively Over Represented in Hack Attacks

March 28

21 of world’s top news organizations have been target of likely state-sponsored hacking attacks, according to Google security engineers.

 

Help Net Security

February Spam Highlights

March 24

Kaspersky found malicious attachments in Feb. spam came in emails allegedly sent by women who wanted to make friends in run-up to V-day.

 

SCADA Risk Awareness, Threats, Breaches

March 26

268 IT professionals answered questions about overall risk awareness, trends in threats and breaches, and effective means to mitigate vulnerabilities with regard to SCADA/ICS.

 

Retailers Urge Adoption of PIN-Based Credit Cards

March 27

NRF says banks’ insistence on cards that use a signature instead of a PIN puts merchants and their customers at risk.

 

Homeland Security News Wire

Making Grid Smarter Makes it More Vulnerable to Hackers

March 25

US electric grid is constantly under attack despite attempts by utilities to boost physical security and cyber-defenses.

 

Krebs on Security

ZIP Codes Show Extent of Sally Beauty Breach

March 25

Sally Beauty acknowledged hacker break-in compromised 25K customer credit; impacted all 2600+ Sally Beauty locations.

 

Network World

IT Leaders Share Tips on Managing Security

March 24

IT security is a tricky issue. Key is to strike right balance. IT executives share advice.

 

Cybercrime Trends Point to Greater Sophistication, Stealthier Malware, More Encryption

March 25

Report on evolution of cybercrime depicts criminal complex growing more sophisticated in software tools, ability to hide from law enforcement.

 

How Do FBI, Secret Service Know Network has Been Breached Before You

March 27

They work hard to find evidence of stolen data, but companies don’t always appreciate the effort.

 

Patch Management Flubs Facilitate Cybercrime

March 27

Report calls botnet activity against organizations the biggest problem.

 

State of Security

Support of Proposed Smartphone Theft Prevention Act

March 26

Bill designed to prohibit use of stolen devices, would be rendered worthless to anyone but owner once reported stolen to carrier.

 

Security and Crisis Management

All Africa

Sudan: Gunmen Attack Darfur Civilians

March 24

UNAMID said unidentified gunmen attacked camp for internally displaced persons; number of villages in N Darfur states forcing some 3K civilians to seek protection at bases.

 

BBC

Ukraine Far-Right Leader Dies in Police Raid

March 25

Ukrainian ultra-nationalist leader shot dead in what officials describe as a special forces operation.

Lease vs Buy – 30 Year Analysis

I recently found myself mulling over the car Lease vs. Buy decision.  Coming from a traditional ‘Buy to save money’ background, I wanted to know what the larger picture looked like – let’s try a 30 year analysis.  Take the following comparison between purchasing three well maintained cars for 30 years (average 10 years per car) and 30 years of leasing.

Purchase Assumptions:

$35K – 40K average list price

$18K down

3.9%, 36 mo.

Driven ~11K mi/yr

$475/mo. payment

~$3,500 in maintenance over 10 yrs.

%5,000 residual value

 

Lease Assumptions:

$35K – 40K average list price

$750 down

36 mo. lease

12K mi/yr

$399/mo. payment

Maintenance included

Assuming the details of each subsequent purchase and lease are similar, the statistics break down in the following manner:

Lease: 10 Cars over 30 years vs. Purchase: 3 Cars over 30 years
Total Investment: Purchased: $99K vs Lease: $148K

Month 276 (23 years) 8 leases vs. 3 owned
$112,932 (leased) vs. $100,675 (purchased)
$12,257 = ~$45/Mo. difference

lease-vs-buy

After graphing these results, I began to ask myself a few questions –

  1. How much is my time worth? (keeping busy maintaining my three well maintained cars…)
  2. What would I have gotten out of owning three well maintained cars over a thirty year period?  A sense of accomplishment?
  3. How much new technology and experience would I have missed out on over that 30 year period?  Best comment came from my son recently: “I haven’t felt heat in  the back seat of this car for longer than I can remember!!”
  4. Was it critical for me to save ~$45 / month for 23 years?

So, the traditionalist opted for the lease program – at least this time around.  Is there anything I’m missing?  Post a reply – would love to hear your opinion 🙂

 

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself

Remember today, for it is the beginning.
Today marks the start of a brave new future.

  1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
  2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them.  Problems will not disappear unless you take action.  Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done.  It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch.  These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
  3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always.  Because you are the one person you can forever count on.  Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are.  Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter.  If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself.  Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you.  And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
  5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.  Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
  6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle.  Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future.  Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past.  Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening.  Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
  7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress.  If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning.  Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again.  Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving.  Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures.  One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
  8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?  The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  You must love who you are or no one else will.
  9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind.  You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now.  So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
  10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out.  Smile because you can.  Choose happiness.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow.  Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it.  If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it.  But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.
  12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready!  Think about it.  You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward.  So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
  13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be.  Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment.  And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
  14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made.  People and priorities change.  As some relationships fade others will grow.  Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time.  You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.  Aim to break your own personal records.
  16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them.  Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others.  And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go.  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people.  Guide them if you know a better way.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth.
  20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition.  Be true to yourself.  Say what you need to say.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks.– Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
  22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day.  Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner.  Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.
  23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’  One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are.  Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal.  No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.
  24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.  Get out there and DO something!  The harder you work the luckier you will become.  While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it.  By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it.  Talk to those closest to you.  Tell them the truth about how you feel.  Let them listen.  The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
  26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.  Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will.  And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.  You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.  And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
  27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
  28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something.  Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.  Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
  29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward.  No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  Read The How of Happiness.
  30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”  Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.  You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.  You didn’t go to sleep outside.  You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.  You hardly broke a sweat today.  You didn’t spend a minute in fear.  You have access to clean drinking water.  You have access to medical care.  You have access to the Internet.  You can read.  Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Credit: marcandangel.com

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Credit: marcandangel.com

 

13 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough

1. What is, is.
Buddha’s famous saying tells us: “It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.” Think about that for a minute. It means that our suffering only occurs when we resist how things are. If you can change something, then take action! Change it! But if you can’t change it, then you have two choices: (1) either accept it and let go of the negativity, or (2) make yourself miserable by obsessing over it.

2. It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem.
Many times, we are our own worst enemy. Happiness is really dependent on perspective. If you think something is a problem, then your thoughts and emotions will be negative. But if you think it’s something you can learn from, then suddenly, it’s not a problem anymore.

3. If you want things to change, you need to start with changing yourself.
Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Don’t you know people whose lives are chaotic and stressful? And isn’t that largely because they feel chaotic inside? Yes, it is. We like to think that changing our circumstances will change us. But we have it backwards—we need to change ourselves first before our circumstances will change.

4. There is no such thing as failure—only learning opportunities.
You should just wipe the word “failure” right out of your vocabulary. All great people who have ever achieved anything have “failed” over and over. In fact, I think it was Thomas Edison who said something like, “I did not fail at inventing the light bulb, I just first found 99 ways that it didn’t work.” Take your so-called “failures” and learn something from them. Learn how to do it better next time.

5. If you don’t get something you want, it just means something better is coming.
That’s hard to believe sometimes, I know. But it’s true. Usually, when you look back at your life, you will be able to see why it was actually a good thing that something didn’t work out. Maybe the job you didn’t get would have made you spend more time away from your family, but the job you did get was more flexible. Just have faith that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to.

6. Appreciate the present moment.
This moment will never come again. And there is always something precious about every moment. So don’t let it pass you by! Soon it will just be a memory. Even moments that don’t seem happy can be looked upon as something that you might miss someday. As the country song by Trace Adkins says, “You’re gonna miss this…you’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast….you may not know this now, but you’re gonna miss this…”

7. Let go of desire.
Most people live with “attached mind.” What this means is that they attach themselves to a desire, and when they don’t get it, their emotions plummet into negativity. Instead, try to practice “detached mind.” That means that when you want something, you will still be happy whether you get it or not. Your emotions remain happy or neutral.

8. Understand and be grateful for your fears.
Fear can be a great teacher. And overcoming fears can also make you feel victorious. For example, when I was in college, I feared public speaking (one of the top 3 fears of all humans). So I find it humorous now that not only do I speak in front of a group every day by being a college professor, I also teach public speaking! Overcoming fears just takes practice. Fear is really just an illusion. It’s optional.

9. Allow yourself to experience joy.
Believe it or not, I know way too many people who don’t allow themselves to have fun. And they don’t even know how to be happy. Some people are actually addicted to their problems and the chaos in them so much that they wouldn’t even know who they are without them. So try to allow yourself to be happy! Even if it’s just for a small moment, it’s important to focus on joy, not your hardships.

10. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
But if you do compare yourself, compare yourself with people who have it worse than you. Unemployed? Be grateful that you live in a country that gives unemployment compensation, because most people in the world live on less that $750 a year. So you don’t look like Angelina Jolie? Well, I bet there are more people who don’t than do. And you are probably way better looking than most people. Focus on that.

11. You are not a victim.
You need to get out of your own way. You are only a “victim” of your own thoughts, words and actions. No one “does” something to you. You are the creator of your own experience. Take personal responsibility and realize that you can get out of your hard times. You just need to start with changing your thoughts and actions. Abandon your victim mentality and become victorious. From victim to VICTOR!

12. Things can—and do—change.
“And this too shall pass” is one of my favorite sayings. When we are stuck in a bad situation, we think that there is no way out. We think nothing will ever change. But guess what? It will! Nothing is permanent except death. So get out of the habit of thinking that things will always be this way. They won’t. But you do need to take some sort of action for things to change. It won’t magically happen all on its own.

13. Anything is possible.
Miracles happen every day. Really—they do. I wish I had enough space to write about all the miraculous things that have happened to people I know—from healing stage 4 cancer naturally to having their soul mate appear out of nowhere. Trust me: it happens all the time. You just need to believe it does. Once you do, you have won the battle.

Security in the News – Week of March 17

Information Security

ABC News

California Targeted by Cyber-Gangs

March 20

International criminal enterprises follow the money, increasingly focusing on California because of its wealth, innovation.

 

BetaNews

Malware in Pirated Software Costs Billions

May 19

Enterprises expected to spend $500 billion in 2014 to deal with issues caused by malware in pirated software.

 

Computerworld

Opting Out, and How to Protect Personal Data Offline

March 19

How to say no to direct mail, other offers.

 

Digital Bond

Mining Malware – Seeking, and Finding False Positives

March 17

What would automation software look like, would it be successful?

 

Forbes

Hidden Cost Of Cyber Crime

March 20

Estimated that cyber-attacks in 2013 cost the world $113 billion.

 

Help Net Security

Aversion to New Facebook News Feed Could Lead to Scams

March 19

When users express a need, cyber scammers will pretend to fill it.

 

20% of Malware Created Appeared in 2013

March 19

Cyber-criminals created and distributed 20 percent of all malware that ever existed, average of 82K day.

 

Krebs on Security

Sally Beauty Confirms Card Data Breach

March 17

Hackers broke into network and stole credit card data from stores.

 

Network World

Strategies for Successful DLP Strategy
March 17

CISOs offers tips on starting slow for an effective plan.

 

Lessons CIOs Can Learn From Target Breach

March 17

Key lessons from Target’s very public example of a data breach.

 

Ways to Improve Wired Network Security

March 17

In a world of insider threats, the security of the wired portion of network should also be top of mind.

 

20 Infamous Hacker Security Vendor Break-Ins

March 18

20 notorious known break-ins over past decade.

 

Seattle PI

Ex-Microsoft Employee Charged with Passing Blogger Trade Secrets

March 19

Angry worker sent blogger Windows 8 code, internal documents.

 

State of Security

Adobe ColdFusion Hackers Hit Automaker Citroen

March 18

Detects unauthorized access on site servers; presence of backdoor agent compromised customer data.

 

We Live Security

You Have Cancer Phishing Attack Shows How Low Cybercriminals Will Go

March 17

Phish purporting results of blood count report showing recipient may have cancer, circulating in UK.

 

Over 500K PCs Attacked Every Day after 25K UNIX Servers Hijacked

March 18

If you run site on Linux server or responsible for security of UNIX servers, you should do this now.

 

Security and Crisis Management

All Africa

Kenya: Mombasa Police Foil Terror Attack

March 17

Police in Mombasa thwarted what could have been a major terrorist attack, after detaining a vehicle found with explosives.

 

BBC

Crimea Crisis: Pro-Russians seize Ukrainian Naval Basis

March 19

Pro-Russian forces took control of two naval bases in Crimea, including HQ of Ukraine’s navy.

 

Reuters

Car Bombs Kill Eight at Libya Army Academy in Benghazi

March 17

Several car bombs exploded at a Libyan army academy in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The Lean Startup Method

If you haven’t read The Lean Startup by author Eric Ries, I highly suggest you pickup a copy or download a copy for your eReader.

Fascinating passages as Eric describes the five principles of the Lean Startup Method:

1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere.  You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a startup.  The concept of entrepreneurship includes anyone who works within my definition of a startup: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty.  That means entrepreneurs are everywhere and the Lean Startup approach can work in any size company, even a very large enterprise, in any sector or industry.

2. Entrepreneurship is management.  A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty.  In fact, as I will argue later, I believe “entrepreneur” should be considered a job title in all modern companies that depend on innovation for their future growth.

3. Validated learning.  Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers.  They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business.  This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision.

4. Build-Measure-Learn.  The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere.  All successful startp processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.

5. Innovation accounting.  To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work.  This reqires a new kind of accounting  designed for startups – and the people who hold them accountable.

What grabs your attention the most from the excerpt above?