DeVaughn Narratives

Creating digital stories that resonate and inspire

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Are Business Cards Dead?

Are Business Cards Dead?

Business cards date back to the 17th century when they were used to announce the arrival of a distinguished guest to the keepers of an estate. Although a networking event isn’t exactly the announcement of your arrival in an elegant horse-drawn carriage, a business card can still work in your favor.

Many people have mixed feelings about business cards. Some people contend business cards are dead with the younger and tech-savvy generation preferring to exchange information on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn. They claim business cards are the last vestiges of the era of paper and print.

I maintain those people are wrong.

Business Card with QR CodeContrary to popular belief, research has shown that the business card is far from waning. Business cards may be small, but their impact is huge. A business card plays an important part in making a lasting impression upon those you do business with. In fact, business cards are evolving in style and design and catering to the needs of entrepreneurs. Research has also shown that a large majority of people still hand out business cards and people on the receiving end still find them useful.

Despite living in a digital world, business cards can be critical to the development of your business. These small but effective tools that are often handed to customers and prospects can be a highly personalized form of marketing. A well-organized and aesthetically appealing business card can make a better impression than any website address or social media account, which can easily be lost in translation.

Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Card

They Create a Solid First Impression

Business cards should be part of your self-introduction. These eye-catching 3.5 x 2 inch pieces of heavy-duty paper contain all the vital contact information needed to capture your prospect’s attention and help you remain in their memories well after your initial meeting. Today, contacts also expect business cards. They can enhance your credibility and legitimacy and give your prospect a better sense of your professionalism.

They’re Direct Marketing Tools

No other form of marketing is more effective than face-to-face communication coupled with a handshake. Business cards can go wherever you go, making them an essential marketing tool that can facilitate the process of establishing and maintaining new clients for future business opportunities. You never know when you’ll run into a potentially valuable prospect, so you should always be prepared. By keeping a stack of business cards on-hand, you’ll always be ready to market you or your business when the opportunity arises.

They Help Build a Brand

Business cards are a simple way to establish your brand, which in turn makes either you or your business more easily recognized. A successful card should contain your company’s logo, advertising slogan and necessary contact information, including a phone number, website address and email where you can be easily reached. Remember that just because your business card is made from paper doesn’t mean it can’t also be tech savvy. Many business owners now use QR codes on their cards that can be scanned by a smartphone to direct customers to the business’s website or social media page.

They’re Budget-Friendly

One of the biggest advantages of a business card is its affordability. Businesses can print business cards for less than it costs to produce other types of marketing materials, such as commercials, press kits, and product samples. When the price is so low and can be easily fit into any business budget, why not always keep business cards on hand? A business card is an excellent way for a business to gain momentum with an attention-getting design.

One of the worst mistakes a business owner can make is to misjudge the importance of a quality business card to brand identity and business development. It can act as your first impression and directly reflect how potential prospects and customers look at your business. While there’s no denying online marketing has become a popular tool for business professionals, traditional marketing still remains strong.

What Information Should Go On a Business Card?

Business cards serve many purposes, but their primary purpose is to tell what you do and give the recipient a way to contact you. Don’t leave off the information the recipient needs most.

At the very least a name and contact method (address or phone number) should go into a business card design. As for where to put this information, there are hundreds of possible arrangements, but there are a few commonly accepted guidelines for where to place the essential information.

Other information is optional but as a minimum, the business card design should usually contain:

• Individual’s Name and/or Business Name: Whether using a horizontal or vertical arrangement, the person’s name or the business name are usually the most prominent text item on the card. It is usually placed in the center or upper half of the card and emphasized with a larger or bolder font.

• Individual’s Title or some other descriptive text to indicate what the person does if it’s not obvious from the business name.

•  A way (preferably multiple ways) to contact the person such as phone, fax, email, web page, mailing address, street address, etc. This information is usually placed in the lower half of the card (left, right, or centered). The preferred method of contact (such as phone number or email) is often emphasized with a larger size, bolder font, or more prominent placement.

Other information to keep in mind when designing your business card may include:

Slogan:

Taglines are always important for business cards. As the space provided is small you require filling in important details. Taglines can always attract people.

Simplicity:

Keep your card simple to make it look clean and organized. A simple business card design will have more space for you to fill in important details. Always try using both sides of the card so that the information doesn’t look cluttered and/or disorganized. Make your card look attractive and unique.

Image:

Images are very powerful. Anything that is visual appears more attractive. Your goal should be making your card more aesthetically pleasing. The image should represent your company well. The image should be such that your clients remember your card for its aesthetics.

Company Logo:

Always place the company’s logo in a prominent area so that it is visible and clear. The logo represents your company; hence giving importance to the logo can you gain potential clients. The logo should create a positive impression about your business.

Unique:

Always try to create a business card that is unique and that stands out. You can opt for designs that use varied shapes for your card. You can fill in your card with colors Boring Business Cardbecause the traditional white may look boring. Your ultimate aim should be making your card look attractive and unique.

Always remember your business card is the face of your business.

Like it or not, business cards are here to stay.

Do you carry business cards? Why or why not? Share your thoughts.

What Makes Me Happy!

Things That Make Me Happy

What Makes Me Happy!

During my Philosophy courses, I have explored what some of the greatest thinkers—Aristotle, Rand, Plato, Kant, Bentham, and Mill—have added to the conversation on happiness. Happiness was a much debated topic but now it is forever being discussed that it has become quite commonplace.

Eudaimonia is a Greek word that means happiness, but perhaps better describes as well-being or good life. Aristotle believed that eudaimonia was reached through virtue. He recognized health, wealth, and beauty as important external factors needed for happiness. In stark contrast, the Stoics philosophers believed virtue alone was enough for eudaimonia.

What is happiness?

Happiness is a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction and is usually experienced when there are no worries or fear. Happiness varies and is different for each individual. It is inside where happiness dwells. Happiness can be extracted from the simplest and most common pleasures in life. One can find happiness when he or she opens their heart to people.

There are basic ingredients for happiness. Following are ingredients that make me happy.

Sunsets

A glorious sunset is the epitome of fleeting beauty. For a few minutes, the sky is a spectacle of color—and then it’s over. Yet the psychological effects of admiring the sunset persist long after the color has faded. For me, when I feel connected with nature I am happier and have more positive emotions.

There are places in the world where people stop for the sunset and to say thanks for the gift of having another day or having seen a spectacular sunset. Santorini is one of the best places on earth as far as sunset viewing is concerned. In fact, few places can match the sheer beauty of Santorini’s sunset views with its cliff towns and amazing ocean views.

Nature

One of my simplest pleasures include spending time outdoors hiking or walking in the park, and exploring nature. Spending time in nature is an essential part of maintaining balance for me. I get an energy boost by taking in the sights and smells of the trees and flowers, or being at the beach or in the mountains. I feel a real connection to nature that gives me the solitude and peace I need whenever life gets to be too hectic.

Music

Music expresses emotion, uplifts and inspires, touches the heart, and soothes our very soul. As Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Music is a lifetime passion that has been my ally in life. I hope I will never go without it. It creates a mood that sometimes I can get lost in.

Volunteer/Help Others

Research has shown that volunteering has enormous benefits and can often make us happier. It’s no secret that altruism can help us feel healthier and happier. Giving back enables us to grow in unexpected ways. We’re happier when we’re learning something new, teaching someone else, making something better, or fixing something.

Useful

“Nothing in this world is useless in the eyes of God. Not a leaf from a tree falls, not a hair from your head, not even an insect dies because it was of no use. Everything has a reason to exist.” – Paulo Coelho

Most people like to feel useful, that they can contribute and help others.  It provides them with a sense of purpose and of belonging, which are key elements for happiness.  Our first acts of usefulness are usually close to home—calling your parents not for a special occasion but just to say, “Hi. I love you,” or visiting with a sick neighbor.

Random acts of kindness has the potential to positively impact others. This all takes a leap of faith because you will never know how far the ripples of kindness spreads, but you will feel better about yourself. My most cherished friend often tells me stories where he will buy a complete stranger a cup of coffee or will pay for their train ticket paying forward for another.

Ice Cream or Cherry Snowballs

For me, ice cream or cherry snowballs are life’s simple little pleasures that not only makes me feel better, but these sweet confections have the power to make me feel happy. Life is sweet so dig in!

Smiles

Smiling is the best way to make your own day and spread happiness around to others. Smiling is contagious. Your smile is a powerful tool because it can transform us. It can make us more attractive and lift our mood. Smiles spread. When we smile at someone, we receive one back.

Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, also explained the theory of “facial feedback response.” It’s simple—our facial expressions contribute to how we feel. We smile when we feel good, but we also feel good when we smile. Think of something good in your life, smile, and see what happens!

Laughter

When enjoying the company of a friend, I laugh hard and feel every moment of the conversation. I enjoy listening to others and when it’s my turn, I talk vigorously and with animation. Laughter really is the best medicine. Like smiling, laughter is contagious. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. It boosts your energy and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Prayer

Spirituality and religious involvement is linked with greater well-being and happiness, according to a studies on the connection between spirituality and health, while prayer is thought to relieve stress.

Play with a Puppy

Anyone who lives with a cat or dog will tell you the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with their furry friends. Petting an animal is associated with pleasure and happiness and pet ownership has been linked with increased well-being.

Naps

I remember when I was young taking a nap was considered a punishment. Now being able to take a catnap during the afternoon seems like a luxury. Sleep deprivation can up your stress levels. What’s more, researchers have linked catnaps with improved mood, alertness, and productivity.

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” –Marianne Williamson

One of the greatest gifts is forgiving. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. And ask to be forgiven. Few people realize the impact the ability to forgive can have on their happiness. Forgiving people tend to be happier, healthier, and more empathetic.

Forgiving is hard because it takes courage and resolve to let go of negative feelings when we’ve been wronged. Fortunately, it gets easier with practice.

What makes you happy?

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