Did your business survive Friday 13!

Were you challenged by  Friday 13th April?  Do you believe it’s an unlucky day … or are you a sensible doubter but still hedging your bets …. just in case it’s true.  Are you one of thousands who avoids social and business activities on Friday 13th?
You may scoff at the superstitious but fear of the number 13th is a genuine phobia called Triskaidekaphobia, and fear of 13 has lead to many buildings avoiding a thirteenth floor (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_floor )
And although it may sound strange, many people do avoid making arrangements on Friday 13th. Airlines confirm that bookings are down http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2085656/Unlucky-Friday-13-sees-flight-bookings-drop-third.html and financiers have known investments to be deferred until another day.
Psychologists include superstitions among a wider range of human traits collectively called ‘magical thinking’, that includes other questionable beliefs ranging from a harmless belief in fairies through mildly disturbing beliefs in the paranormal to potentially more harmful beliefs such as fanatical religion.
Chartered Psychologist Graham W Price, from Abicord, has helped many clients with phobias and / or superstitious beliefs.
Magical thinking perhaps demonstrates the gullibility of humans, particularly in light of the fact that many such beliefs can be disproved. Track events on Friday 13th and compare the results with any other day and, unsurprisingly, there’s not much difference for the average person.
One might imagine the superstitious belief itself could impact the results. Couldn’t a belief that accidents will happen so distract believers that they become more prone to accidents? The studies suggest that even this doesn’t happen.
In fact a Dutch insurance company study in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th) actually showed that were fewer accidents on Friday 13th as people were preventatively more careful!
What can you do if you have a superstitious belief, or perhaps many such beliefs, that are limiting you in some way? Perhaps you can’t venture out of the house on Friday 13th and that’s costing you a day’s vacation, on average twice a year.
Graham W Price has some advice;
Hypnotherapy can sometimes help. It works for some, but on its own success is far from certain and relapse rates are high. Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (CBT) are generally more effective and sustainable for most mind-related issues, particularly if they’re combined with modern acceptance-based approaches such as Acceptance-Action Therapy (AAT).
A combined CBT-AAT treatment might involve challenging beliefs using an evidence-based approach, learning to accept any feelings such as anxiety and confronting the superstition by changing your behaviour.
When we act in ways that are consistent with an unproductive belief, we always reinforce the belief. Our mind gets a message that the belief must be true …. otherwise why are we behaving in that way. Conversely, if we repeatedly act in the opposite way, we’ll undermine the belief.
Graham recommends trying the following steps to help you move past the superstition and stop it holding you back:
Create a habit of noticing whenever you “buy into” the superstition and limit yourself.  Accept that this is the way you are right now. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get annoyed or frustrated with yourself
Recognise that the superstition is irrational. Remind yourself that studies have shown there’s no evidence to support it
Drop the thought (surprisingly easy once we’ve carried out the first two steps)
Take the action you were hesitating over while accepting any anxious feelings this may generate
“Do this repeatedly and the limiting belief, and any anxious feelings it may be generating, will soon disappear.” says Graham.

Sharkonomics spreads fear amongst market leaders

Sharks are not only nature’s most revered killing machines, they are highly strategic and efficient predators. Studying their behaviour and instincts can provide lessons for companies of any size who want to attack the competition.

Stefan Engeseth, author of the new book Sharkonomics, argues that taking market share from market leaders is about being aware, creating presence and punching above your weight. By applying the behavioural traits of the shark, Engeseth has created a number of highly practical business strategies which include striking unpredictably, developing a sensory system, hunting in packs and how to locate blind spots. The more competitive your marketplace, the more effective Sharkonomics can be. After all sharks have been evolving for over 420 million years and are still very much the leaders in their space.

Why Sharkonomics
Quite simply, nature is smarter than the likes of Stanford, Harvard, MIT, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, IBM, Apple and all of the other Fortune 500 companies. In nature, sharks have to move to survive. But in business most market leaders remain static, because they are stuck in history – and eventually they become shark food. Sharks don’t perform by producing endless Power Points; they bite into market share. Sharkonomics will reveal how the logos of market leaders will have more chunks taken out of them than a seal after a shark picnic.

It’s not just about attack
! Sharkonomics also includes tactics for companies to defend themselves against attack. It is important to state that Sharkonomics is inspired by nature, but Engeseth’s intention is not to spread fear in any form-except perhaps in boardrooms!

Stefan Engeseth, the author of Sharkonomics, dived with sharks in South Africa as part of his research for the book!

Take a bite of this new book at www.Sharkonomics.com

For more information, videos and book samples go to www.Sharkonomics.com.

Blueair Named as finalist for International Housewares Association Innovation Awards

Blueair, the world’s leading maker of indoor air purifiers, has been selected as a finalist in the first annual International Housewares Association Innovation Awards. In- novated with love in Sweden, the Blueair Sense being unveiled at the Chicago International Home + Housewares Show is the result of a unique partnership between Blueair and the Swedish globally acclaimed architecture and design studio, Claesson Koivisto Rune.

This is the first time exhibitors’ at the Home + Housewares Show, which runs from March 10 to 13, will see their cutting-edge innovations receive recognition through the IHA Innovation Awards. The finalists will be judged by a panel of industry experts and news media with the winners to be announced on Saturday, March 10 at 4:30pm in the Innovation Theater.

Claesson Koivisto Rune has created a contemporary glass and steel design for the Blueair Sense to deliver an out-of-the-box experience beyond giving users unbeaten removal of airborne pollutants for improved health and wellbeing. Designed to blend seamlessly into any home or office environment, Blueair’s latest air purifier will be available in an enticing color palette and boasts a unique tempered glass top with interactive motion sensitive controls.

Blueair air purifiers have won multiple awards for their superior performance in removing allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other airborne pollutants from the air people breathe at home or in the workplace. Independent tests show that Blueair air purifiers are best in the world when it comes to cleaning more indoor air faster than any other air purifier.

Believing clean air is a human right, Blueair works hard to help raise public awareness about the potential health hazards of indoor air pollution, which can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside.

“We see the Blueair Sense as the forerunner in launching a revolution in our homes and workplaces in the same way household refrigerators changed the way people ate and helped them live more healthy lives,” said Herman Pihlträd, Blueair chief executive.

Acknowledging the honor of being chosen as a finalist in the IHA’s Innovation Awards, Mr. Pihlträd said the Blueair Sense not only is “highly efficient at cleaning indoor air of airborne pollution, but also has incredibly cool looks that will blend naturally into any living or working environment.”

Graffiti6 blazing a Britpop trail in the USA

Graffiti6 is a Brit band doing very well in the USA right now, a great UK export helping to put the ‘Great’ back into Britain. Here’s what is being written about them on Zoiks:
Riding on the success of their first single “Free” from debut album Colours, Britain’s Graffiti6 has been selected by VH1 as the “You Oughta Know” artist for the month of March. Launched in 2004, VH1’s “You Oughta Know” franchise introduces promising new artists on the rise to VH1’s base of music lovers. Many “You Oughta Know” artists have gone on to win industry awards and accolades including “Best New Artist” Grammy Awards and nominations. This highly acclaimed franchise has helped break artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, The Civil Wars, Colbie Caillat, Corinne Bailey Rae, Foster The People, The Fray, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, James Blunt, Mumford & Sons, Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor and many, many others.

Colours was released on January 24th to rave reviews and the first single “Free” which is now a top 10 hit at AAA radio, officially impacts the Hot AC format this week. Graffiti6 has performed the single on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” “Conan” and “The Rachael Ray Show.” The “Free” video has over 1.3 million views on VEVO is currently in rotation on VH1, MTVU, Music Choice and MUN2.

Graffiti6 recently wrapped a nationwide tour with Augustana and will head to Austin March 15th – 17th to play a series of shows at this years SXSW festival. They will then join singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson starting April 17th in Denver, Co through May, 23rd in Portland, OR. They will then play this year’s Sasquatch Festival over Memorial Day weekend at the Gorge in Washington.

Great Brit Band Graffiti6 Are Taking USA By Storm

There’s nothing like an emerging success story to please all of us small businesses.

British band Graffiti6 are taking the USA by storm and a performance last Friday on TV show Conan was no different. The soulful group featuring lead singer, Jamie Scott, stopped by Conan for a live performance of “Free” their first hit single, which appears on their now available debute album, Colours. Watch their performance here, or copy the following link into your browser title: http://popcrush.com/graffiti6-perform-free-conan/

Below you can read some of great things being said for the British band’s debut album.

“Graffiti6, the duo of singer/songwriter Jamie Scott and songwriter/producer Tommy “Tommy D” Danvers, makes the art of crafting pop gems seem like the easiest task in the world.” -Billboard

Spray painting their debut album with ‘60s psychedelia, rave music, and falsetto-kissed soul (courtesy of dreamy lead singer Jamie Scott), this UK duo makes a vivid splash.” –People Magazine

“Using acoustic guitar and electric piano as primary colors, they combine smoky falsetto-soul melodies and breakbeat rhythms.”  –USA Today

“Pop at its most glorious” –Marie Claire

Kaleidoscopic beat tornadoes” – Entertainment Weekly

Small companies create 85% of new jobs

85% of net new jobs (new jobs created minus jobs lost in a given period) in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were created by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This figure is considerably higher than the 67%-share of SMEs in total employment. During this period, net employment in the EU’s business economy rose substantially, by an average of 1.1 million new jobs each year.

These are the main results of a study on the essential contribution of SMEs on job creation presented by the European Commission last month.
With 1% annually, the employment growth for SMEs was higher than for large enterprises with 0.5%. A clear exception is the trade sector, in which employment in SMEs increased by 0.7% annually, compared to 2.2% in large enterprises. This is due to the strong increase of large trade enterprises, in particular in sales, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles.

Within the SME size-class, micro firms (less than 10 employees) are responsible with 58% for the highest proportion of total net employment growth in the business economy.

Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industry valorised the relevance of SMEs for European economy, recognising the need to support them at all levels, since they represent a clear key for restoring economic growth.
More information can be found on the webpage of the SME Performance Review.

Tablet and Smart Phone Use Becoming Number One Cause of Joint and Muscle Pain in North America

In this day and age the use of tablets and smart phones is the most popular method for communicating, but it is also causing a rising trend in the number of doctor visits for Repetitive Strain/Stress Injury (RSI), according to a PRWEB article.

Dr. Suneel Sharman, a family physician and AskTheDoctor.com co-founder, said he has a growing number of patients who have been injured by their smartphones, tablets and computers.

“The number of questions our free medical Q & A website AskTheDoctor.com gets related to RSI has tripled in the last 2 years. The number of patients i physically see at my family practice due to RSI has also become a very large number,” according to Dr. Sharman.

The average person in the United States who owns a cell phone sends 1000-1500 text messages a month, according to CTIA which is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry.

Prakash Chand, a serial entrepreneur from Toronto says he sends about an average of 300 text messages a day to employees, family and friends and has recently developed RSI. He has been using a Blackberry since the first day they came out and then recently switched to an iPhone.

“I have no choice but to text, it is the only way I can easily communicate with my employees and its easier than picking up a phone and wasting time calling someone,” he said.

The important thing to do is seek treatment early. Early treatment can cure the patients symptoms and when managed by a skilled chiropractor, physiotherapist or sports medicine doctor, the patient can be symptom free in weeks according to Dr. Sharman.

“RSI really affects people’s lifestyle as we use our hands and fingers for almost everything we do, ” says Dr. Sharman.

Dr. Sharman expects that the smart phone companies will eventually design better ergonomically shaped phones to help reduce RSI but says it will always be important to maintain a regular workout of strengthening and stretching exercises to prevent future occurrences.