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Why Comparison is the Enemy of Creativity?

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It’s humbling to know and publicly admit that I’ve never had an original idea, including the one I’m going to share today.

It’s also liberating beyond measure.

Most of us are raised to believe that unless we create something original, our offer is not valuable, or even worse, that we are plagiarizing!

When wanting to start a new business, writing a book, or embarking on a new adventure, how many times have we heard,

“Someone else has already done it. The market is saturated.”

And in my case,

“Everyone and their aunt is a Life Coach. You’re too late to the game.” or,

“You’re never going to make a living in that profession.”

It’s not just the external voices that hold us back. In my case, my internal competitive drive had me comparing myself to the likes of Tony Robbins, and deciding that I would never measure up.

In essence, I was failing ahead of time, by not even starting!

That’s what comparison does to us. It stops us in our tracks.

This is counterintuitive because our culture is built on the idea of comparing one student, artist, businessman, and essentially all humans, to another.

Even if we were raised in a family with parents who consciously did not compare us to others in any way, that changes as soon as we become part of the typical school system. For some of us who seek higher education, this dynamic of finding our worth in how we stack up next to other students, effortlessly gets carried into, and is supported by, our high demanding work environments.

So what’s the problem?

Isn’t it good to be competitive and high achieving?

Both qualities of competition and achievement are fun and make life interesting. But when we buy into the belief that our successes and achievements are a result of having a comparative mindset, we sign up for an endless run on the hamster wheel of life.

Sooner or later, most of us come to the conclusion that this is the least fun and interesting, and the most exhausting way to live our lives.

At the very beginning of my coaching career, I couldn’t see the way forward because I just couldn’t see myself becoming Tony Robbins. Tony, with this booming, masculine presence, so confident in telling people what was wrong with them and how to live their lives, was to me, an unattainable goal — a God of a coach, compared to my embarrassingly human self!

I also knew that I wanted to share my work in writing, but I come from a family of legitimate and well-known authors.

“I can never write like they can”, I said to myself.

The result of all this comparison, was that I see-sawed between not making any effort (in the real world) and endlessly consuming other coaches’ content in order to unlock their “secret” to success.

Everything changed for me, when my own Life Coach shared the distinction between comparing and channeling. Steve explained that comparing comes from ego because the ego cannot create, it can only compare. When we allow our ego to be in the driver’s seat, we shut down our creativity.

The achievements that our soul strives for, whether in our personal or professional lives, always comes from creativity.

But where does creativity come from?

In my experience, it always comes from inspiration.

I began to test this life concept by making a conscious decision to let myself be inspired, and even channel, the people that I was in the habit of comparing myself to.

I shifted away from the belief that unless I create something totally novel, I’m not worthy of doing this work.

I allowed myself to be inspired by Tony’s passion, Steve Chandler’s innate calm, my clients’ courage to be vulnerable, and my author mother’s discipline to make time for writing, even when she didn’t feel like it.

I thought, “If The Beatles were admittedly inspired by and channeled Elvis, and if so many original thinkers credit a predecessor for inspiring their creations, I too can do the same.”

The voice inside my head, which can be quite brutal if I let it, rushed back with this answer.

Because you’d be copying other people’s work!”

This statement is false.

Being inspired by others who we admire, and channeling that inspiration to create something that is coming genuinely through us, is not copying. It’s taking something that has come before us, remixing it, putting our own twist on it, and contributing to the body of work that we are a part of.

There is an argument to be made for the Big Bang being the only original thing that has ever happened, and everything else, across all fields, is just a fresh take on an already existing idea.

Once we are inspired and no longer stuck in the hellish world of comparison, we can access a much greater source of creativity than our little egos. That’s where the good stuff lives.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting we copy someone else’s creation as is. I’m suggesting that when we catch ourselves feeling envious, jealous, or less than, we make a deliberate and conscious effort to identify the parts of their creation that we want to allow to inspire us in our own work.

Know that we don’t have to recreate the wheel, we just need to make it our own by using our gifts, knowing that it’s enough to be the first one to curate the past in our own way and voice.

There are enough extraordinary ideas already in existence, and there are a limitless number of ways those ideas can be recreated and offered to our own tiny corner of the world.

If you’re interested in exploring this concept, watch the video below for an exercise I share with my clients to channel your inspiration and creativity. Once you’ve put it into practice, feel free to reach out and let me know how it’s going for you.

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DLP Strategy for Your Business – How Significant Is It?

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DLP Strategy for Your Business - How Significant Is It?

Data is the lifeblood that fuel’s today’s information-based economy, so it’s incredibly crucial for businesses to keep sensitive information as secure as possible. And because of increasing concerns regarding cyber crimes such as data breaches, corporate espionage, and phishing scams, data loss prevention (DLP) strategies have become essential to running a business.

All About Data Loss Prevention

  • Data loss prevention, otherwise referred to as data leak protection, is a method that combines strategies, technologies, and processes to stop unauthorized individuals from accessing a company’s private data. It’s crucial to include DLP strategies in your business plan to detect potential exfiltration transmissions by monitoring, identifying, and blocking data while it is being used, in transit, and at rest.
    • Data In Use: It pertains to securing sensitive data in endpoints and applications as it is processed by authenticating users. In addition, controlling an individual’s ability to access sensitive data is also assessed.
    • Data In Motion: DLP ensures that confidential information is protected while being transmitted across networks. It encrypts the data using email and other messaging security platforms.
    • Data At Rest: Lastly, DLP protects sensitive data stored in databases, the cloud, and other storage mediums. It uses a multifaceted approach, including access control, data retention policies, and encryption.

Why Are DLP Strategies Important For Your Business?

  • Data loss leads to a financial crisis

Experts in the field of data security stated that the global average data breach costs went from $3.86 million to a whopping $4.24 million in 2021. And who knows what the statistics will be by the end of 2022? 

After seeing cybercriminals take big corporations’ ability to control their systems last year, it should be clear that data loss prevention strategies are essential in running a business.

  • Loss of productivity

As a business owner, you should always do what’s best for your company – continuous productivity to satisfy your customers, business partners, and ROI. With this in mind, incorporating DLP strategies should be a priority because it has the ability to prevent limited productivity.

  • Tarnished brand reputation

By having a standardized set of DLP strategies, your company will have excellent protection against cyberattacks. So thanks to data loss prevention methods, your business’ brand reputation won’t be humiliated by the public eye.

  • Compliance with government regulations

All businesses are required to comply with federal, state, international, and industry-mandated regulations, all of which aim to prevent data loss. If you fail to comply with these regulations, you’ll need to pay penalties and fines. This results in a loss of customer trust and ROI.

  • Hackers often target small businesses

Most business owners believe that hacktivists won’t attack small businesses when in fact, they voluntarily target startups and small-scale businesses due to a lack of proper data security protection. So despite having a small business, you shouldn’t skip on setting DLP strategies.

  • Cybercriminals are constantly evolving

Technology continues to grow at a rapid rate, and although this is excellent news for business owners, it’s also a piece of great info for cybercriminals. Because as technology evolves, hacktivists also find new ways to access sensitive information. It’s also important to know that although most cybercriminals work far from their targets, some work inside the company they plan to infiltrate.

But the good news is that you can prevent these threats from happening by proactively implementing DLP strategies.

The Takeaway

Although no organization is indeed 100% immune to data security risks, it’s vital to know that implementing a DLP strategy will give your business a protective edge. Because as your company’s IT environment develops robust data security measures, your journey to better data loss protection will flourish.

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Stephen Tarleton On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work

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Rise in digital empathy. I mentioned this one already but I really think this will be a gamechanger for the future of work. If companies refuse to bridge the expectations gap and embrace digital empathy — by bringing in new technology — they will become obsolete.


When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.

As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Stephen Tarleton, CMO of 1E.

Stephen joined 1E at the beginning of this year to help hone and amplify 1E’s brand and to drive customer growth in the Digital Employee Experience (DEX) market. Prior to 1E, Stephen ran the marketing and business development organizations at Corvus Insurance and LogicMonitor. During his career, Stephen has worked at large enterprises, worked as a management consultant and even owned the top food truck business in Austin, Texas.


Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

I was born and raised in Tarboro, a small town a little over an hour east of Raleigh, in the tobacco country of North Carolina. This environment provided me with a deep sense of community at an early age. Decades later, I am still in touch with many of the kids from my kindergarten class as well as high school and college. Being a part of a close knit, small community allowed me to create long lasting connections which have benefited my professional career — specifically, as it pertains to developing a professional network.

The flip side of this rural upbringing is that it created a desire for travel and exploration. The first time I flew on a commercial airline was for a job interview my senior year of college. Buying airline tickets was just not something my family did. Now, and for most of my adult life, I travel constantly, and get to live out my dream of traveling.

Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?

The rapid shift to remote work in 2020 caused many changes to how businesses operate on a daily basis. As we look 10–15 years out, the importance of culture, productivity and maintaining an engaged workforce will remain a top priority. Businesses will still be looking for ways to improve the employee experience and will utilize the technology currently being developed to do that. Digital employee experience (DEX) tools are a great option as they serve as a catalyst to maintaining productivity and employee satisfaction. DEX tools monitor, analyze and optimize IT environments to ensure all employees have a seamless IT experience — regardless of their locations or the hours they’re working. Additionally, these tools also provide a competitive advantage. A decade from now, DEX tools will certainly be a “ticket-to-entry” requirement of employees when selecting a new job.

The biggest change we’ll see over the next few years is businesses continuing to expand their employee footprint. With the rise in fully remote or hybrid positions, a world of opportunity has opened up. Organizations can now expand into new regions and engage a more diverse and inclusive workforce without the constraints of the traditional 25-mile radius.

What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?

The biggest piece of advice I would offer other business leaders would be to lean into the technology at your fingertips and to partner closely with your IT organization regardless of your function. Don’t think of IT as the team managing devices or end points; think of that team as your employee enablement organization. There is so much great technology out there that businesses can use to scale their companies and create a truly great employee experience — they just need to be unafraid to invest in something new.

To do that effectively, you need to work as a collective team and not as rogue departments. I learned this very early in my career with a major hand slap from a CIO for running a rogue server under my Business Intelligence Manager’s desk. To put this into practice and to be successful in the future flexible work environment, executive leadership teams should look at how they can break down the traditional department silos. This may mean partnering IT departments with other departments like HR and facilities management to ensure employees remain engaged and productive in every aspect of their day-to-day operations.

What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?

As the focus of the employee experience shifts from the physical to the digital world, the gap literally is the difference between what employees expect and what employers are willing to offer. When an employee is working from home, the road, or wherever else they find most productive, they want a seamless experience that moves with them. The traditional functions and realm of IT are now ‘table stakes,’ employees view connectivity, responsiveness, security, and working applications as basic needs to do their job.

To bridge the expectations gap, companies need to embrace digital empathy. A company that fully embraces digital empathy and fulfills the next level of employee needs — such as collaboration tools, autonomous remediation, sentiment measurement and tracking — will ultimately achieve employee empowerment. At 1E, we’ve altered our business model to create a more equitable environment for our workforce by introducing the concept of digital empathy. Our framework starts with our employees’ basic needs while working remotely — think connectivity and security — and combines it with their growth needs, such as autonomous remediation and user empowerment to create a foundation.

We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?

The work from home — or more accurately, the flexible work movement — over the last two years will forever change how we work, live, and play. Businesses have seen the benefit work from home has had on their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. But it has also shown just how productive you can be from a distance. The future of work will be hybrid and it will be distributed.

As I mentioned before, one of the biggest benefits to working from home is that businesses can expand to a global footprint and bring in top talent from around the world. I’m a great example of this. 1E is historically a UK-based company, but we are transitioning into a truly global organization and hiring leadership and employees with a remote-first mindset to help us get there. That’s how I was brought on as the CMO based in Texas. We’ll see more of this as the future of work unfolds.

We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?

To truly move everyone into the next phase of work, society needs to embrace the fact that employees want flexibility. For the most part we’ve seen this happen, but as COVID cases go down, employers are beginning to demand employees return to the office full-time or in a hybrid fashion. As this happens, society cannot forget about flexibility — or the fact that remote and flexible work has worked for over two years. Society needs to change its overall thinking from let’s get back to the old way of work to let’s embrace the world of flexibility.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?

As a parent, I tend to think of the future through the lens of my children. My oldest is in his first year of high school and is currently looking for a summer job. As opposed to applying to the local fast-food restaurant, he can embrace the remote/hybrid work model and is doing multiple, flexible, part time jobs. From walking dogs in the neighborhood to doing stock research for a financial fund, he will get a variety of experiences just from the new way the world is working. What makes me most optimistic about the future of work is the tools and resources the next generation has at such a young age that I could have never dreamed of at the same age.

Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?

I feel like this is something we’re collectively still figuring out as the aftermath of the pandemic is starting to subside. But what I’ve seen is that employers have made significant strides in their flexibility offerings — which is promising. At 1E, we are a hybrid organization through and through, which gives our employees a lot of personal flexibility in how, where, and when they work. We have leaned into online communities and are providing periodic “wellbeing” sessions that are available to all employees to share how they’re feeling and have open and honest conversations.

From the employee perspective, I see a greater focus and importance on company values. In the past, company values were often just fodder for “About Us” pages, but now they are strong signals for how a company operates. As employees search for jobs, company values will offer a window into the soul of the organization and will serve a greater purpose in recruitment.

It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?

These headlines are not going away anytime soon, so it’s important for leaders across industries to find ways to ensure they are not the next victim of The Great Resignation. One of the first and best things business leaders can do in response to these headlines is reevaluate how they are measuring employee success and engagement. This includes leaning on IT and technology to keep track of productivity levels across a company. The data provided by this type of tools allows leaders to see where the holes are in their organization, understand how remote or in-office employees are feeling, and address the issues head on to create a more balanced work environment and culture.

As I mentioned earlier, DEX tools are a great starting point. Companies that prioritize DEX have historically experienced easier transitions for employees working either fully remote or with flexible schedules, which will ultimately provide businesses with reduced costs, improvements in employee satisfaction and overall productivity.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”

  1. Rise in digital empathy. I mentioned this one already but I really think this will be a gamechanger for the future of work. If companies refuse to bridge the expectations gap and embrace digital empathy — by bringing in new technology — they will become obsolete.
  2. The overlap of IT and HR. This is essentially what DEX is all about. In the future of work, companies with poor digital employee experiences will find they have a hard time retaining talent. In order to grow and maintain competitiveness in an increasingly competitive landscape, companies need to bring these two previously siloed departments together.
  3. Employee experience will help slow The Great Resignation. With great experience comes great success — and DEX tools will move to the forefront of digital workplace technology. Companies who invest in DEX tools will see less employee turnover related to IT dissatisfaction.
  4. The rise in office hubs. As we’ve started to see, organizations are forgoing their permanent office space and extending their hiring beyond the traditional 25-mile radius from that space. We’ll see more office hubs emerge for employees to gather for one-off meetings or company get-togethers.
  5. The blending of traditional employment and the gig economy. We’ll start to see knowledge workers become more specialized, and operate in an on-demand, auction-based market. A good example of this opportunity in the marketing world is SEO. Today companies either hire in-house or use an agency. Going forward, an SEO specialist could work individually on demand with multiple companies instead of having to join an agency or go fully in-house.

I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?

I’m a big Hemingway fan. In The Sun Also Rises, one of the characters states, (the) “Road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed dogs.” Out of context, it makes little sense, but it is about living in the moment and seizing opportunities as they present themselves. This is a philosophy I carry in both my personal and professional life.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.

This is a tough one. I grew up listening to the Beatles, so my top choice would be Paul McCartney. Watching the recent Get Back documentary reminded me just how creative the Beatles were. On a recent run in London, I searched for the building where they performed the rooftop concert. How I would love to have seen that live!

Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?

Readers can connect with me on LinkedIn and follow 1E on LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also check out 1E’s YouTube page for exclusive interviews and the latest product and service announcements.

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.

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Celebrating International Youth Day – 06 Nonprofits empowering the youth to lead the world 

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It is estimated that half of the young children between the ages of six and thirteen lack basic literacy and numeracy skills and that childhood poverty is one of the most prevalent problems worldwide. According to World Health Organization, globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder. 

UN’s International Youth Day is intended to draw attention to these issues and encourage action to solve them. Beginning in 2000, the day is celebrated each year on the 12th of August with a theme. The theme for 2022 is “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages.” This theme aims to raise awareness about the need to act across generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind. 

Goodera has compiled a list of nonprofit organizations that aim to empower youth and make resources available to them. Keep reading to find out more about the organizations and consider supporting their cause.

1. Limitless is providing youth with resources to build meaningful lives 

Limitless empowers youth to discover their worth, find hope, and live meaningful lives. They strive to end the powerlessness caused by poverty, mental illness, and social inequality. Among the services they provide are outreach, social work, mentorship, career counseling, and scholarships for youth and their families.

2. 100cameras is instilling hope in youth with photography skills

100cameras works with youth around the world who have endured challenging experiences. Through photography, they teach them how to tell their stories in a way that impacts their self-image and involvement in their communities. They offer a customized curriculum that combines storytelling with technical photography skills. They provide a setting where young people can tell their stories without judgment or expectations and gain hope for the future by processing and revealing their past and present. Additionally, they offer a platform for selling photographs.  All proceeds go directly towards funding the most pressing needs in their communities, so they can see how their contribution is making a difference.

3. Majulah assists youth in self-discovery and skills enhancement 

Majulah Community believes that every young person has the potential to make a positive impact on the world. Established in 2010, the organization is on a mission to create changemakers. To help youth through every stage of their lives, they work with changemakers, families, teachers, and fellow non-profits. A number of programs are offered, including the Heroes League, a mentoring program that develops heroes, the Everest Programme, which provides experiences outside the classroom, and after-school programs.

4. Words4Weapon is on a mission to create safer communities 

Words4Weapon advocates for reducing knife crimes in the UK. Since its inception in 2007, this weapons-surrender charity has been placing knife bins across towns and cities in the UK. They are working with the motto of “Collecting Knives, Saving Lives”. Its vision is to leverage the power of education to reduce knife-based violence and crimes in the UK. To promote the same, they offer a range of education services like training for youth workers and awareness sessions. Additionally, they also provide training courses for the youth to develop their own anti-knife crime programs. 

5. Pomoc deci is striving to mitigate the effects of violence and poverty on the youth 

The Pomoc deci organization was founded in 2003. The organization provides high-quality childcare and education for children 0-18 years old, as well as assistance to young people in finding their own place in Serbia. Pomoc deci (CYSO) focuses on three main programs: Quality Education for All (equal education for all children, improved education for ethnic minorities from pre-school to adulthood), Youth Mobilization (community needs, social partnership at the local level, primary health, capacity building for local NGOs) and Preventing Child Trafficking.

6. Change Happens! is empowering the youth to understand their potential 

Change Happens!, formerly Families Under Urban & Social Attack (FUUSA), works to transform the lives of families and children in high-risk communities in the Gulf Coast Region 6. Over the past 25 years, the organization has grown from one program to over 18 programs. Also, its service area has expanded beyond Houston’s Third Ward to cover 13 counties along the Gulf Coast. The organization provides a variety of programs that are designed to empower individuals to help themselves. Each year, Change Happens! empowers and educates over 100,000 adults and adolescents while continually positioning itself to increase its impact on local neighborhoods.

Youth are an important resource for achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to bringing to light issues facing the youth, International Youth Day helps lay the groundwork for future success. Come join us as we celebrate the strength of the youth and encourage them to take action to build a better tomorrow.  

Are you a nonprofit professional? Share your impact story with our team to get featured and reach a global network of corporate volunteers powering the world of good.

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