5 Steps to Train Yourself to Be Your Authentic Self With Everyone Thursday, Oct 16 2014 

Do you find you act differently among those with much more or less power than you? A biz school professor offers a program to get over this common issue.



When Inc.com Founders Forum asked designer Mark Ecko what the most important trait for entrepreneurs is, he didn’t hesitate. His answer: authenticity.

He’s not alone in insisting on the fundamental power of knowing–and being–yourself. While some skeptics point out that bluster and crafted self-presentation can pay off, most super successful people agree that while you can adapt stylistically to different audiences, you’ll get much further in life if you’re consistently true to your values.

“If you are 100 percent genuinely authentic and you truly know who you are, the context of where you are and whom you are talking to should not change the core of who you are and what you stand for,” veteran journalist and INSEAD communications professor Steve Knight argued recently. “You will certainly adopt different tactics in your style of communication, i.e., formal or informal, and what you might choose to wear, but it should not change the essence of who you are.”

The costs of wearing a mask

This sort of authentic consistency is valuable for a couple of reasons. First, covering up your true self takes effort and can be alienating. One survey found that half of those polled said that feeling like they needed to fake it at work affected their sense of the opportunities available to them at the organization, as well as their level of commitment to being there. Covering her true self “takes energy that I would rather give to my job,” explained one respondent.

If pretending to be something you’re not can be exhausting, it can also cost you when it comes to trust. “The negative impact of ‘donning a mask‘ is that others can sense that something is not quite right. They get a gut feeling of uncertainty as to whether the person in front of them is being genuine and authentic. When people feel uncertain about you, they will most likely start to distrust you,” explains Knight.

“Whether you are in conversation with presidents or shopkeepers, Oscar-winning actors or train conductors, millionaires or people who are struggling to make a living, the chairman, or those who keep the factory floor running, the same you should show up in all situations. Everyone is worth it,” he concludes. “A true leader recognizes everyone” and is his or her true self with everyone.

How to achieve all-the-time authenticity

This is often easier said than done. Self-consciousness can cause us to put on a mask or attempt to please those whom we perceive as having greater status or power than we do, while simple laziness makes it easy to overlook the average Joes or Janes on the street and offer them less than the best version of yourself. So how can you get better at being true to yourself no matter whom you’re speaking to? Knight offers a five-step program:

  1. Pay attention to people… The first step is simple but profound. “Notice people, i.e., in the street, on the train, in a supermarket, in your office complex,” instructs Knight.
  2. … and be nice. So is the second step. Remember to live up to your ideals and be as nice as you aspire to be. “Make eye contact; give a kind and thoughtful smile; say hello where appropriate; in shops and gas/petrol stations ask staff at the checkout how they are,” writes Knight.


  1. Take a genuine interest in your colleagues. “Ask questions about them and listen attentively to their answers without interrupting to add your take on what they are saying or ‘Oh, that happened to me once, blah, blah, blah,'” says Knight. “When we do that, we hijack their space and we have not honored them. Most often we do this out of nerves or wanting to fit in, or we are simply unaware that we are doing it, but the other person will feel, depending on his or her character, either disrespected, irritated, angry, insignificant, or not valued.”
  2. Notice how you feel around the powerful. “With people who have a higher status than you at work or in life, start to notice if you have an ‘I am less than them’ feeling. This is when you might ‘don your less-than mask’ without realizing it,” warns Knight. “The person you are talking to will no doubt sense it. They will help you if they are a genuine leader; if they are not, they could take advantage of you, or you could end up getting bypassed for that promotion you want. Start to feel comfortable in your own skin.”
  3. Keep a journal. Include in it “dates and times of your situations, observations, behaviors (yours and others), feelings, emotions, actions (yours and others). Identify traits, habits and patterns” where you struggle to maintain authenticity. By identifying patterns, you can begin to shift them.

What I Learned From Having 12 Internships Wednesday, Oct 15 2014 

Become a fan

Writer based in LA and owner of a food tour company

Clarissa Wei

At the tender age of 17, I was convinced that if I ever wanted to amount to anything in life, I had to obtain work experience right then, right now.

My ambition was to work in the media industry as a journalist and I was spending every afternoon glued to CNN, reverberating from the excitement surrounding the 2008 presidential elections.

And so, set on finding my path to the door of a reputable news organization, I combed through job boards for media internships, desperate to find anything that would give me the beginnings of a portfolio. To my disappointment most everything required college credit.

I was still in high school.

So I scoured Craigslist until I came across an unpaid internship at a small media company in Koreatown, Los Angeles with wonderful supervisors who would let me write whatever my heart desired and didn’t care about petty things like school credit. Every Friday after school, I would drive two hours on local streets to my worksite because my mother would not let me take the freeway. That was internship number one.

In the next three years, I ended up accumulating a grand total of 12.

I had three internships that started at 5 a.m. in the morning. I doubled up on internships multiple times. I worked at a radio station, a national television network, three local news stations, a reality television production company, a politician’s press office, a weekly newspaper, a national newspaper and at a food start-up. I was also heavily involved in my college newspaper.


Here’s what I learned:

If there’s a will, there’s a way. Some of the rules out there regarding interns are ridiculous. You can’t have two internships in a semester and sometimes you actually have to pay thousands of dollars to get credit for your internship. (That’s outrageous!) I get it. It’s a legality issue but I was desperate for work experience and didn’t want to front money for my free labor. So I found loopholes, programs that would give me credit for free, or I would just turn in paperwork and never follow up with the community college that signed my papers. Work experience is invaluable. Fight for your right to have it.

It’s better to work for a smaller company that gives you more responsibilities than a larger, more reputable one that only lets you fetch coffee. My favorite internship was when I worked directly under an editor at a weekly newspaper. He would let me write five real blog posts a day, sit down with me, edit in front of my face, and publish it right away. Yes I was an intern, but he treated me like an equal and that made me all the more determined to push myself and impress. It also gave me tangible writing clips to show future employers. On the other side of the spectrum was my time at a large network news station in New York City. My only job during one of my semesters there was to usher celebrities into hair and makeup and make sure they were comfortable and caffeinated. It was fun – don’t get me wrong – but I learned more about the odd tendencies of certain personalities than I cared for.

Be proactive and enterprising. Most of my internships were not obtained through traditional job postings or job database systems. I found those to be a huge waste of time. I simply researched publications I admired and emailed relevant editors and producers directly. Be proactive. Ask someone if they’re offering an internship even if they don’t have a posting up. You never know what opportunities may arise if you just ask.

Cast a wide net and expect to be rejected. I am not an exceptional person. A lot of people see my resume, are impressed at how I landed so many opportunities, and chalk it up to some sort of innate talent or stroke of luck. Wrong. Here’s the truth: I applied for at least 30 internships every semester and would get rejected from 90% of them. Sometimes out of 30 applications, I would only get one interview. I’ve been rejected more times than I’ve been accepted. That’s just the reality of life. The key is to not get discouraged.


Diverse your experiences. I got a good taste of the different facets of my industry because of my 12 internships. I worked in radio, television, print and web. I covered local news, national news, politics, reality television, food and business. And so when I graduated at 21 years old, I already had a good idea of what wanted and what I never wanted to ever do again. My experiences (weird ones include: fetching a polar bear suit, ice-picking out our news van that got stuck in the Bronx, and being stalked by a Hummer) made me all the more wiser and clearer on what I need in a full-time job.

Make sure you create something. People don’t care so much about who I worked under as opposed to what I have accomplished as an individual. My most important asset is not my resume, but my portfolio. Set yourself apart from the flock. Make sure you have something you can take home and show people after your internship.

Stop the self-doubt and get working. I have a difficult time reading articles I wrote in the past. There are pieces I have published that I wish I can delete and I know that ten years from now, I will probably cringe at the stuff I’m producing right now, at 23. But it doesn’t matter. The more I write, the better and faster I get at it. I don’t stress out too much about how good of a writer I am in comparison to my peers; I just grab as many opportunities as I can and give it my best whirl. Just keep swimming. Don’t look back. You’ll just be wasting time with the anxiety.

Know when to move forward. There came a point when I eventually got sick of interning. It can get depressing. As an intern, there’s a certain sense of inferiority you have at the office and you’re often the one who ends up taking up the menial, brainless tasks. After all, someone has to update the spreadsheet and add in the metatags. By my junior year, I began thinking about the next step forward and decided to pitch to local publications as a freelancer. By senior year, I had bylines from CNN, LA Weekly, USA Today and the Village Voice under my belt. Know when it’s time to challenge yourself and take your experiences up to the next level.

And lastly, be kind. The working world can get dizzyingly competitive. People are nasty to each other and love stacking up resumes, comparing every little detail and sabotaging each other. I’ve found that when I do the complete opposite and help my competitors, amazing results happen. You become a team, you help each other network and at the end of the day, you’ll feel so much less alone in this cut-throat ecosystem we call the working world.

A Brief Family Story Thursday, Sep 18 2014 

I hope you are aware, Granddad, that you are missed. My dad, who was 10 years old when you left, still hasn’t recovered. That’s 77 years he has been in just about the worst emotional pain imaginable. He has been spreading that pain around to everyone in his life through his alcoholism and abusive nature. It was really difficult for my grandmother to make a living for herself and four children in the 1930s. You’re leaving really destroyed that family. 1471961_618632211516661_1100342098_n

I rarely saw my two aunts and one uncle. Now my one remaining aunt is in a nursing home with dementia and my dad, now 87, is staying alive with Spiritual masking tape and bubble gum holding him to this life.

I think you would be proud of your children if you had hung around longer. Nobody went to jail. My aunt Sara, your middle daughter whom I knew, ran an emergency vehicle (fire trucks and ambulances) sales company with her husband. They were very strict with their children and drank a lot. Even though money isn’t discussed in the family, as I’m sure you are aware, my parents say my aunt was a millionaire when her husband died recently.

Her son got into drugs after he was (honorably) discharged from the army. Cocaine not holding him down too very much or for too long, he got a Law degree, practiced tax law for about 30 years before succumbing to the effects of drug abuse. He went to jail a couple of times for mouthing off to the judge during his clients trials, but nothing major.

One of my cousins, my Aunt Sara’s daughter, married an abusive man and I heard he killed her. This happened in north Georgia, almost a thousand miles from where I live, and I never heard any details or if this abusive man went to jail or not.

My other female cousin is working for a tobacco company or maybe a gun manufacturer. Making something that kills people. As I said, I am not really in touch with that part of the family.

My dad was thrown onto the street after his mom died. He survived by dropping out of high school and getting a job as a courier. There were no social safety nets in the 1930s. He was living on the streets and in really bad places until he met and was taken in by a man who raised him until he finished high school. Fortunately he was too young to be drafted until the very end of the war. He was in the Navy training to be the radio operator on an airplane when we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. This was good for my dad and I, as he and I are still alive, because he missed out on combat. This was not good for the people of Japan. This part of the story is a whole different blog post.    photo

My dad got an engineering degree, worked on the Saturn 5 rocket that sent men to the moon. He has been married to the same woman, my mom, for 64 years. How and why she survived his bouts of alcoholism, to forget you leaving him, I’ll never understand.

Between my sister and I we have 5 beautiful grandchildren. They would be your great, great grandchildren.
Do you see what you have missed by leaving your family so early? There is so much anger, beauty and Love in life and you have missed it all because you left.Anna 4-13-2014

Maybe someday someone will discover a cure for cancer so these tragedies don’t have to happen.


Who I am and why I’m here Monday, Sep 15 2014 

My name is Martin Scott. I am a web development student at Winter Park Tech, a public technical school in Winter Park, FL.

Martin Scott

I am blogging publicly now even though I have been keeping a personal journal, posting sporadically for more than ten years. It is very personal; I will post publicly some of it, maybe even most of it, but not all of it. I do think it is time I came out of the journaling/blogging closet.

I have also been blogging as an assignment for my class; however, those posts are all repostings of various articles about new technologies.

The topics I would like to write about are my chronic illness, multiple sclerosis, my classroom experiences and my attempts at social interactions.

I would absolutely love to connect to other people with a chronic hidden illness, a female significant other, and anyone else who may want to read my stuff.

My overall goal is to learn to write in a manner that other people would like to read my writing and connect with me.

Never Say ‘I Don’t Have Time’ Again Friday, Sep 5 2014 



You’re probably deluding yourself about how you use your time. Here’s one radical way to force yourself to get real.

Busyness is a badge of honor among business owners, but author Laura Vanderkam is calling BS.

She recently asked professionals who perpetually carp about how overscheduled they are if they’re really being honest about what’s actually filling all those hours. Before you bristle about being called dishonest, know that Vanderkam herself confesses to her share of self-delusion.

Fed up with her out-of-control workweek she decided to keep a time log. “I soon realized I’d been lying to myself about where the time was going. What I thought was a 60-hour workweek wasn’t even close. I would have guessed I spent hours doing dishes when in fact I spent minutes. I spent long stretches of time lost on the Internet or puttering around the house, unsure exactly what I was doing,” she confesses.


Your busyness, in other words, is often largely in your head and down to inefficient time use or lack of clarity about your priorities and your actual schedule. So how can you get real? Vanderkam offers a handful of suggestions that you should check out in the complete article, but among her advice is this simple but radical change that will force you to stop sleepwalking through “busy” days and make more conscience choices about how you’re using your hours:

Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Vanderkam isn’t the only one urging harried business owners to focus on the root cause of their busyness. Here on Inc. time coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders also stressed that chronic over-scheduling (occasional deadline driven crazy periods are completely real and probably unavoidable for most of us) is usually down to a failure to think critically about priorities rather than some fundamental reality of your life.

“If you’re struggling with containing your hours even when you’re only focusing on ‘Must Do’ items, then you need to really focus on expectations of yourself. Reality always wins,” Saunders said.

What do you think would happen if you made Vanderkam’s suggested switch in language?

Italics are mine–Martin

Why we need volunteers for the first human Ebola trials Tuesday, Sep 2 2014 


Ebola vaccine testing to begin on humans

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has emerged rapidly and evolved with alarming ease. An unprecedented number of lives have been lost and WHO predictions are that the virus will infect in excess of 20,000 people before the situation can be brought under control.


Claire Tully

Claire Tully currently a final year DPhil student at The Jenner Instutute, University of Oxford.

Adrian Hill

Adrian Hill is a Professor of Human Genetics at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford.

This is an extraordinarily challenging time for the nations affected, many of which have fragile, inadequate health infrastructures and have been unable to contain the outbreak.

International efforts are now required to strengthen and implement comprehensive emergency response strategies across the areas affected and most at risk.

Accelerated development

An important part of the measures to be implemented involves fast-tracking access to treatment and vaccine options in order to reduce morbidity and mortality rates and help stop transmission. The gravity of the current epidemic is such that for the first time in history an international consortium has been assembled in order to accelerate the development and deployment of potential Ebola vaccines.

At the Jenner Institute in Oxford we will run the first phase I trial of a vaccine targeted at the Zaire strain of Ebola virus that is causing the current outbreak. The main purpose of this first-in-humans trial in the UK is to establish a detailed safety profile of the vaccine and assess the type of immune responses it induces before it could be considered for widespread use. A further goal is to identify the most suitable dose of the vaccine.

The vaccine is being co-developed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the National Institutes of Health who are running parallel human phase I trials in the US. Our trial is being funded with a £2.8m grant from the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development.

Chimpanzee adenovirus



The candidate vaccine in question uses a chimpanzee adenovirus (a type of respiratory virus) as a means to expose or prime the immune systems of volunteers to a specific protein that exists on the surface of the Ebola virus.

The vaccine contains some genetic material but not the entire Ebola virus genome so it cannot cause an Ebola infection. As with the US trial, the adenovirus also will not replicate but instead prompts the person vaccinated to express an Ebola vaccine that the immune system will later recognise if the person became infected.

Previously it has been tested in animal models and has demonstrated impressive effectiveness at protecting against infection and promoting recovery from animals later exposed to Ebola. Just a single dose was required to induce very high levels of protective efficacy.

Chimpanzee adenoviruses have been used extensively in clinical trials for malaria, hepatitis C and other infections but no vaccine of this type has been licensed as yet. In the 25 clinical trials of chimpanzee adenoviruses that have taken place, the safety profile of this type of vaccine has been good.

At present, ethical and regulatory approvals are being prioritised so that the trials may begin in the UK in September 2014. This will be run in parallel with a cohort in the US and extended to The Gambia and Mali shortly thereafter. At the same time, 10,000 vaccine doses will be stockpiled by GSK in order that, should the vaccine meet safety requirements, it may be deployed without any further delays.

The candidate vaccine will be tested in 60 healthy volunteers over the age of 18, who we will shortly begin recruiting. During the trial volunteers will be administered a single dose of the vaccine into the muscles of the upper arm and blood samples will be taken at specific time points.

In all, volunteers will be expected to attend for a total of nine clinic visits over six months. Clinical trials are an essential part of the vaccine development process and invaluable tools when it comes to understanding and ultimately improving the processes that provide vaccine-mediated protection from disease. In order gain the upper hand over Ebola, we need all the help we can get.

The Universe Changes Monday, Jun 30 2014 

The Who have announced a 50th anniversary UK tour that is likely to be their last.


The rock group, whose hits include Substitute and My Generation, announced the Who Hits 50 tour would include songs from across their career.

“This is the beginning of the long goodbye,” said singer Roger Daltrey.

Guitarist Pete Townshend said: “We are what we are, and extremely good at it, but we’re lucky to be alive and still touring.

“If I had enough hairs to split I would say that for 13 years since 1964 The Who didn’t really exist, so we are really only 37.

Townshend said the show would include “hits, picks, mixes and misses”.




Daltrey and Townshend revealed the tour dates at a launch event at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London, at which they played a short acoustic set.

The Who have sold more than 100 million records since forming in 1964. Their best-known albums include My Generation, and rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia.

The original line-up included drummer Keith Moon, who died from an accidental overdose in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle who died of a heart attack in 2002.

In 2013, The Who toured the UK with a full-length performance of 1973’s Quadrophenia, which inspired the 1979 film of the same name.

Daltrey told Rolling Stone last year that The Who were planning a world tour for 2015 which would be their “last big tour”.

He said: “We aren’t finishing after that. We intend to go on doing music until we drop, but we have to be realistic about our age. The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.”

The Who Hits 50 UK tour begins at Glasgow SSE Hydro on 30 November and ends at London’s The O2 on 17 December.


3-Year-Olds Can Learn to Code — One Robot Turtle at a Time Sunday, Jun 15 2014 

Even if you don’t have children, this is training our future competition!Image

3-Year-Olds Can Learn to Code — One Robot Turtle at a Time Sunday, Jun 15 2014 


Samantha Murphy Kelly

Samantha Murphy Kelly is a Senior Tech Correspondent for Mashable, where she covers lifestyle tech and entertainment. She joined the Mashable team in 2011 and is based in New York.


NEW YORK — It’s never too early to turn your child into a computer programmer.

A new board game called Robot Turtles is attracting plenty of attention at the 2014 International American Toy Fair for teaching kids as young as 3 the basics of coding.

Robot Turtles by ThinkFun is the most-funded board game in Kickstarter history, far surpassing its $25,000 goal with $630,000 in pledges. The company is now accepting preorders, priced at $24.99, and will ship in June.

The concept comes from former Google programmer Dan Shapiro, who wanted to share his love for coding with his two daughters. Although many computer-based platforms for preschools are already on the market, Shapiro wanted to take the learning process offline with a traditional board game.



He designed the game so kids can pick up the essentials in just a few minutes. It’s also approachable for parents who might want to get kids on a tech literacy track but didn’t know how to get started.

The child plays the role of the programmer while the adult is the computer. The young player picks one of four turtles (blue, purple, yellow or red) and a corresponding jewel, and places them in different spots on the board. Up to four players can play at the same time.

The child has to direct — or write code — for the adult to follow and get the turtle to the jewel. Each card instructs the user to take a specific action, so the child can lay down a left-hand card or forward-step card. The adult then follows the cue from the card and helps move the turtle closer to the gem. The child then puts down another card to build a coding sequence.

Some obstacles, such as blockades or ice walls, come up along the way. Others cards have special abilities, such as shooting a laser to melt the ice wall.

“As the child gets more advanced, they can do more planning and lay down a few cards at once,” the spokesperson said. “Coding for kids is huge right now, but a lot of it is screen based because that is the obvious route. This brings the computer world to traditional play.”


Reset the Net —This is a re-post of a post by Paul Sieminski Monday, Jun 9 2014 

Paul Sieminski | June 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

A year ago today, we joined the world in shock on learning that governments were spying on internet users around the world. Tapping internet service providers’ undersea cables, intentionally and secretly weakening encryption products,  surreptitiously collecting everything from call metadata to photos sent over the internet by US citizens — nothing was off limits.

Just as troubling as the revelations themselves is the fact that since last summer, little if anything has changed. Despite a lot of rhetoric, our three branches of government in the United States have not made many concrete steps toward truly protecting citizens from unchecked government surveillance.

Automattic has been a strong supporter of efforts to reform government surveillance. We’ve supported reform legislation in Congress, and participated in the Day We Fight Back, earlier this year. More importantly, we aim to make our own legal processes for securing the information our users entrust to us as transparent and protective as possible.

Be the change you want to see in the world — that’s why we’re joining the many other companies who are participating today in Reset the Net. In the face of intrusive surveillance, we believe that everyone in the tech community needs to stand up and do what they can, starting with their own sites and platforms. For us, that means working to secure the connection between users and our websites. We’ll be implementing SSL for all *.wordpress.com subdomains by the end of the year.

If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that encryption, when done correctly, works. If we properly encrypt our sites and devices, we can make mass surveillance much more difficult.

We’re happy to be taking these steps and hope that the coming year brings real reform to end mass surveillance.

Paul Sieminski | June 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm |


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