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An Interview with David Reagan, Atlanta-based Entrepreneur and Fitness Coach

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David Reagan Interview Times of Startups

David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives in Atlanta, Georgia, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules.

Being a fitness trainer is an exciting job. However, it has its own challenges. Tell me about your best and worst days at work.

As a fitness trainer, there are so many factors that contribute to my day, especially during a pandemic. My job involves customer service, and when you are dealing with people, there are always unexpected issues that arise. As a result, I have learned how to deal with uncertainty, which is a helpful quality to have nowadays. My clients are busy executives, so I have to be flexible catering to their needs. The best days are when I get a positive review or feedback from one of my clients; it is always rewarding. The worst days are when one of my clients has an issue or has to cancel my service (which doesn’t happen that often). But I always have an exit interview with them to make sure the decision wasn’t made because of a lack of results.

Who are the clients/what are the projects that you most enjoy working on?

I enjoy working with people in general, but some of my clients make my day. We have a very tight-knitted community, many of my clients actually are connected in one way or another. We try to pump each other up and motivate each other to move forward. Most of my clients are going through tough times mentally, so they turn to fitness as a remedy. It’s very important to be flexible with my offerings to cater to their needs. The fitness industry is going through transformative times.

What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?

My biggest “a-ha” moment in life happened when I realized I do not have to ask anyone’s permission to be who I am. It sounds strange but so many young adults look up to their friends and family to give them permission to either go to school or drop out of school because they do not enjoy it. It’s people peasing and it leads so many people to an existential crisis. So when I realized that I am in charge of myself and nobody else, and starter focusing on my own happiness, a lot has changed in my life for a better.

What has been the most important part of your professional journey?

Getting certified was the most crucial part of my professional journey. There is a difference between simply knowing how to stay healthy and lift weights and creating personalized workout and meal plans for clients. I feel so much more equipped with knowledge now. Certification also boosted my confidence to the next level.

What would you do with unlimited resources?

I would probably invest in some kind of AI to prevent future pandemics to happen. There should be ways to implement technology in airports to do rapid testing. I am very fascinated with the medical technology industry, and I think that’s where I would invest unlimited resources.

When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?

I really enjoy creating custom plans for my clients based on their lifestyle and goals. I lose myself when I get to interview them and then strategize how we will get from point A to point B.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

Nowadays, I have more free time, so I do a lot of research on fitness and nutrition. I also enjoy hiking, biking, and working out at home.

How do you feel you make a difference in the world?

My motto is to make a difference in the world all it takes is to help at least one person – you’ve already succeeded. Incremental change is the most impactful.

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

We’re living in an unprecedented age of startups. 

With globalization, Startups have managed to taste success like never before. This has encouraged young talents to take a jump in the Startup pool.

However, 90% of startups fail within the first year. The ones that succeed have several things going in their favor and having a functional HR department is on the top things in that list. 

Why is HR so important?

There’s one big reason: Startups require energetic employees that can get results and solve challenges. Whether it’s finding these people or building a culture so they feel motivated to stay, HR plays the most important role in making it happen. 

Without HR you won’t have the right people. And without that, you won’t have your startup. 

The role of Human Resource in startups 

It’s about maximizing the potential of every employee. Below are some of the important roles of HR that keep your startup running smoothly and efficiently. 

Allows a startup to hire the best talent     

Everyone wants problem-solving folks on their team. When hiring, a startup not only has to compete with other startups but also cash-rich MNCs. HR can correctly analyze the hiring needs and create a brand image that will attract the right talent. It is a critical element, especially for startups looking to hire a diverse workforce.  

Helps in maintaining and retaining the talent   

The startup world is fragile. Most employees are looking for a stable opportunity and it is the reason a lot of them leave once they find that somewhere else. It’s easier to emotionally connect employees with the company values with a structured HR department and top management, which motivates them to stay longer. 

Helps in maintaining the CULTURE 

People love startup culture as it provides a lot of freedom and a platform for people to create their own set of processes. Progressive startups focus on the results rather than what the employees are wearing, where they are working from, and what’s their schedule. Offering people ownership and responsibility yields better results in the longer term. This culture of driving new initiatives and setting CORE values is built by the HR team. 

Helps in building the structure and improving the policies 

During the initial phase, most startups follow a flat structure without any hierarchies. As a startup starts growing, things scale up quickly. Especially if the number of employees starts growing over 50, then it’s better to build different structural hierarchies for different teams.   

For example, the Marketing team initially had 2 employees and they reported to the CEO. Now, 3 new people have joined and it’s not possible for the CEO to check-in on all of them. So, the 3 new-joiners can report to the initial 2 employees who then report to the CEO on behalf of the team.   

Any startup will fall apart if they don’t build a support system. Both management and HR are responsible for passively instilling this set of policies and hierarchies in the entire organization. 

Helps in learning and development of employees 

The culture at startups is such that employees are full of energy and enthusiasm. But this spark in employees will die if there is no continuous learning available for them. 

During a transition from START-up to SCALE-up, the employees must bring their A-game to work. That’s possible with effective employee engagement and the development of the workforce.  

HRs, with the heap of learning and development initiatives, will help you do exactly that. 
 

This is how you develop a structured HR department 

  1. Hire better: If you don’t hire the right HR people, don’t expect them to hire the best talent for your startup. 
  2. Encourage accountability: When you give HRs the control, they’ll feel responsible and inspired to check-in on everyone.  
  3. Offer trust: Don’t make HRs go round-round for permission on the small issues. Offer them trust and let them handle things.  
  4. Invest in technology: A modern HRMS helps HRs streamline functions and provide a uniform experience to every single person at the company. 

Finally… 

As startups evolve and continue to grow rapidly, a lot of elements will play a significant role in their journey towards success. HR as a function is one of the key elements that’ll help organizations create a culture of empathy and give them an edge over others. 

Now that you’re aware of the importance of HR in startups, set a plan for your HR department and grow like never before. 

About the Author:

Dheeraj Kumar Pandey
Dheeraj is an HR Advisor and stands at the forefront when it comes to helping Business Owners and HR Heads to overcome Tech challenges in People process. He has spent his last 10 years playing a vital role in assisting Startups, SMEs and Enterprise organizations to harness HR technology for maximizing people’s potential, performance to drive business outcomes. Dheeraj has used Keka as the platform of choice in helping 5300+ HR professionals at over 3000 organisations.

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WannaCry Ransomware – How to Avoid It?

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WannaCry Ransomware - How to Avoid It?

The malevolent ransomware called “WannaCry” hit organizations both vast and small globally in 2017. Over 200,000 frameworks were infected. This vast scope of infection affected organizations, governments, and surprisingly forced trauma centres to shut down.

WannaCry is a tool focusing on Windows OS where programmers assume responsibility for a PC, lock it, and hold clients’ information prisoner with no chance of recovering the files until a cryptocurrency ransom has been made.

This Windows OS security imperfection was initially exploited by the National Security Agency (NSA), then it was leaked, thereby permitting programmers to utilize the defect. A new IBM study approximates a 6,000% surge in ransomware assaults.

With ransomware assaults on the ascent, the Internet Society (ISOC) found that many people are unprepared to manage ransomware. However, you can avert this when you install an antivirus like Bitdefender or use a firewall. This article will look into how you avoid WannaCry and the updated versions of this ransomware tool.

Tips on How to Avoid the WannaCry Ransomware Tool

Ensure That Your Windows OS Is Always Up-To-Date

In case you’re using a modernized version of Microsoft OS, including Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and you’ve remained up-to-date on your framework refreshes, you shouldn’t be susceptible to the present recapitulation of the WannaCry tool.

Due to the WannaCry ransomware tool’s surge, Microsoft gave uncommon patches on the more seasoned versions of Windows it presently doesn’t support to secure them against this malware. This includes Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, among others.

Put in A Devoted Ransomware Blocker

Try not to assume that your present antivirus utility offers insurance against ransomware, mainly if it’s an obsolete rendition. A significant number of the enormous antivirus suites didn’t add ransomware jamming until recently.

Not certain you’re secured? Go to your utility configurations and check whether there’s any indication of ransomware. Or then again, search online for your utility tool’s particular version and check whether it’s listed among the highlights.

On the off chance that it’s not, or you’re almost certain you don’t have any sort of protection past your fixed form of Windows, introduce a devoted antimalware tool. Some of the free options include Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and Cybereason Ransom free.

Scan Your Emails and Mail Service Regularly

IT specialist organizations report that 46% of the ransomware assaults they noticed were brought about by phishing tricks or emails, as indicated by research from Datto. Try not to open mails from individuals you don’t know without checking them first for malware.

Gmail has an implicit malware checker that will caution you before you open a dubious email. Numerous antimalware programming projects have email checking capacities. Some top-notch tools include Kaspersky and Norton Anti-virus.

Regardless of whether an email looks genuine, be cautious. Do not tap on a link within an email from somebody you don’t know. On the off chance that the mail is from a bank or of a service that you buy into, make a point to browse the email address cautiously.

Ensure That Your Passwords Are Airtight

Passcodes are a hassle, yet they are a critical way to stop programmers who could introduce ransomware tools like WannaCry and Petya. Ensure your passcodes are impermeable along these lines empowering them to secure your information in a superior manner.

Likewise, changing your passcodes regularly and entirely every couple of months will help keep the hackers speculating hence guaranteeing that your information is a lot more secure.

Back-Up All the Data in Your PC and Smartphone

In case you’re similar to most individuals, you’ve presumably heard this previously and disregarded it. With the low cost of external hard disks, free cloud services, and the simplicity of doing these backups, there’s no reason for not having either of the two.

Week by week, reinforcements could be needed for a great many people and can save you a load of cash demanded by hackers when they taint your system with a ransomware tool such as Petya WannaCry.

Do Not Be Relaxed About Your Information’s Security on Social Media

The best safeguard is to have an incredible offense with regards to forestalling ransomware assaults. Your offense can begin with your online media accounts. Ensure your profiles are private and can only be seen by individuals you know.

Try not to share an excessive amount of individual data, particularly in your biography. It’s simple for hackers to deduce your current location, device IP address, and more from sites such as Facebook, and Twitter consequently empowering them to dispatch a ransomware assault on your gadget.

Final Thought

All in all, the guidelines we have illustrated above can offer the first line of protection against the WannaCry ransomware tool. Nevertheless, all businesses and individuals are susceptible to a breach; therefore, it is always crucial to ensure you stay up-to-date on current threats and how to best deal with them.

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

Shipping from Canada to the US can be a fairly daunting process as a lot of paperwork is involved in it. It is indisputable that international shipping to North America has grown significantly with the passage of time and is continuing to flourish. Whether you are shipping from Canada to the US, or you are shipping to Mexico or any other location within North America, you definitely need the right shipping services, to manage the costs effectively. It is advised that you get your quotes from different North America shipping services before you hire one. A little research will help you make the right pick. 

Things to Consider while shipping from Canada to the US:

If you are shipping between Canada and the United States, then there are some key elements that must be considered. You will require the following as they are mandatory:

  • Consider the documentation that is required for all the parcels that have to be shipped to the United States. 
  • Consider the shipping options that you have access to. 
  • Look into how valuation will have an impact on online and clearance orders that will be shipped to the US. 
  • Always request an economy rate for heavier parcels that have to be shipped from Canada to the US. 

Prohibited or Restricted Products:

There are some products that are restricted for shipment from Canada to the United States. It is important to know about them as you don’t want to be involved in any legal matters. If you hire a professional and well-reputed shipping service, they will definitely educate you about the restricted products beforehand. 

This will vary from shipper to shipper. Some shippers might ship these products for you but make sure that it is safe to do so. 

 the following items are prohibited to ship from Canada to the US (do check with your shipper): 

  • Weapons (you will require a special license for it)
  • Tobacco products 
  • Medications 
  • Animal products or animals
  • Seeds
  • Money
  • Lottery tickets 
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Batteries
  • Certain types of toys 
  • Illegal substances 

Can you ship gift baskets from Canada to the US?

The pandemic has limited human interactions and the festivities are incomplete without gifts from our loved ones. The only option that people have now, is to ship their presents through cargo. With limitations on some products, can one ship gift baskets from Canada to the US? Well, you can but whilst keeping some certain things in your mind. 

  • Make sure that there is no alcohol in the basket. 
  • The shipment must be addressed to one individual only, otherwise FDA won’t approve it. 
  • If you ship a basket from a company, it won’t be considered a personal shipment. Thus, keep it in mind and make sure it is addressed from and to one individual only. 
  • You will have to provide a list of all the items present in the gift basket along with description. 

Customs while shipping within North America:

Whether you are shipping to North America or places within North America, it is important that you pay attention to the custom’s documentation. A detailed description is required of each item that is involved in the basket is crucial along with a local contact number of the recipient. 

CONCLUSION

Research for the best North America shipping services if you have to send items within North America or to it. A well-reputed company follows all the guidelines and provides the best shipping services to you as well. Thus, keep it in mind that your cargo delivery is highly reliant on the shipping service you opt for. 

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