Oct 15, 2016

Episode 15:How to Save Time & Money with Island Breeze Virtual Assistants

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Virtual Saves You Money

In the business world time equals money, and when you're a small business owner it's super easy to convince yourself that doing everything on your own will save money. I'm here to tell you that mindset is a false economy.

This month's guest on Live from the Hive is John Morgan from Island Breeze Virtual Assistants and we are going to be talking about how to save your money and your sanity by hiring a virtual assistant.

Island Breeze offers just about every service a start-up or small business owner could need.

  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Billing
  • Administrative Tasks
  • CRM Management
  • Email Newsletters
  • Meeting/Event Planning
  • and many, many more!

Thanks to the internet, it's easier than ever to hire an administrative assistant to take care of billing, set up your newsletter or simply manage your social media, and it's a lot cheaper than you think.

Whether you pay by the hour or the project, a virtual assistant can save you money by freeing up your time so you can spend it on activities that make you money like sales and servicing clients.

Listen to the podcast then click on the link to see what Island Breeze Virtual Assistants can do for you.

Veterans Week November 6 - 12, 2016

Don't forget that we are 2 weeks away from Veterans Week.

If you are a local veteran small business owner who missed the deadline but would still like to be included in this year's event, give me a call. If you're a little flexible with time, I will work with you to try to get you on the schedule.

You can reach me at 603-264-0788 or send me an email to buzz@queencity.buzz be sure to use Vet Week as the subject.

For more information about the Veterans Week promotion please visit Promoting & Supporting NH Veterans One Business at a Time.

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Oct 3, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Be Productive in Three Easy Steps

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Stop the Excuses!

Everyone has an excuse, and it's usually something reasonable and valid, but at the end of the day all it takes are three easy little steps to overcome almost any situation and be productive.

This week's podcast isn't so much about finding the right time management system as it is about how to get yourself into position to use whatever system you use effectively so you can get to the things you need to get done.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Weekly Roundup:Manchester Meetings & Tech Events 10/3/16 - 10/7/16

603 Networking - Concord: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Uno Pizzeria & Grill, Fort Eddy Road, Concord. The 603 Networking Group is starting October with an open networking event in Concord. If you're looking to connect with other local business people or simply want to put a face to the people you talk with on Linkedin why not stop by? Please be sure to sign up as they do need to know how many people are coming. RSVP: https://www.linkedin.com/e/v2?e=i8v19-iteklujq-pa&t=plh&midToken=AQFHWgd4kn36rg&ek=group_announcement_message&urlhash=sBys&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom%2Fe%2F603-networking-103-530-730pm-concord-open-networking-tickets-27991076062 NOTE: This link worked when I tried it the other day, but was broken when I tested before posting. If you want to RSVP and it is still down please visit the group post on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2737743/2737743-61...

Coffee Buzz Networking: 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM at Aroma Joe's Coffee 2. S. Beech Street, Manchester. This month's topic is "How to Overcome a Bad Networking Experience"

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Sep 19, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Find Your Mojo & Get Things Done

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Finding Your Groove

Do you ever feel like you work, and work, and work but you're still not where you want to be?

On this week's episode of Kickstart Monday, I'm sharing tips on how to figure out what's holding you back and how to find your mojo when you're in a slump.

At some point or another, we've all been there and we'll probably go there again, but there are a few easy things you can do to get yourself back on track.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Weekly Roundup:Manchester Meetings & Tech Events 9/19/16 - 9/23/16

Veterans Week 2016 - We are doing interviews through the end of the month.

If you're a veteran and would like to have your business featured on Queen City Buzz and the New Hampshire Business Show, let us know.

For more information please visit: Vet Week 2016 or click the Uncle Sam graphic on Queen City Buzz or New Hampshire Business Show. And if you're feeling old school give us a call.

Chris Pastrana, NH Business Show 603-493-2843

Pat Hammond, Queen City Buzz 603-264-0788

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Sep 15, 2016

Episode 14: How to Get Noticed With Video From the NH Business Show

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Did you know there is a video version of Queen City Buzz?

In this month's episode of Live from the Hive I am talking with Chris Pastrana from the New Hamsphire Business show and he is going to share insider tips and answer questions about using video to market your small business.

  • How to use video
  • Why it's more cost effective to hire a pro to shoot your video
  • Why he offers free video interviews for you to use on you website & social media
  • How to think outside the box with video

We're also going to talk about the Veterans Week promotion, why we're doing it and why it's so important to us.

Click on the link and find out what a free video interview with the New Hampshire Business Show can do for you!

For more information about the NH Business Show, you can find them on the web at http://nhbusinessshow.com or you find all of Chris' social media links at Clyxo.com

Reminder!

There is still time to participate in the Veterans Week promotion.

If you're a veteran and would like to have your business featured on Queen City Buzz and the New Hampshire Business Show, let us know.

For more information please visit: Vet Week 2016 or click the Uncle Sam graphic on Queen City Buzz or New Hampshire Business Show. And if you're feeling old school give us a call.

Chris Pastrana, NH Business Show 603-493-2843

Pat Hammond, Queen City Buzz 603-264-0788

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Sep 5, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Avoid Deadbeats & Other Problem Clients

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You Want to Get Paid? You Gotta Follow the Rules!

In this week's podcast, I'm going to talk about the three rules for handling clients, why they are important and what to do when a client doesn't comply.

If you're not familiar with them, the rules are:

  1. Always get a contract
  2. Always get a deposit/good faith payment
  3. Never fall in love with a project

In twenty-five years as a freelancer and small business owner, I've had two occasions when I didn't get paid. In both cases, I broke the rules. I didn't get a contract, I didn't get a deposit, and I fell in love with the project.

These are not my rules. These are standard business guidelines that go back to when people first started doing business and we have them for a reason.

At the end of the day, people are people. Some are good, some are bad and most will take advantage of any opportunity they can get. If you want to save your sanity, your business, your reputation, and your wallet, all it takes is following these three simple rules.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Coffee Buzz Networking: 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM Tuesday, September 6th at Aroma Joe's Coffee 2. S. Beech Street, Manchester. This month's topic is "How to Deal With Problem Clients"

Merrimack Motivators Toastmasters: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Tuesday, September 6th at Merrimack Town Hall Meeting Room, 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack

Toastmasters - Amoskeag Better Communicators: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Wednesday, September 7th at Manchester Community College 1066 Front Street, Conference Room 267, Manchester.

Nackey S. Loeb School: Public Speaking: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Saturday, September 10th at Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications 749 E Industrial Park Dr, Manchester. Taught by Southern New Hampshire University Professor Andrea Bard, this workshop allows participants to develop important oral communication skills and knowledge through information and application. Cost for workshop $50 For more information/enroll please visit http://www.loebschool.org/classes-and-workshops/classes.aspx or call (603) 627-0005

To find more business, networking, and tech events in and around the Queen City, visit Weekly Roundup: Manchester Meetings & Tech Events 9/5/16 - 9/10/16

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Aug 29, 2016

Kickstart Monday: September is the Perfect Opportunity for a Do-Over

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Review, Refine, and Re-boot

No doubt about it, September is the best time to call a do-over.

Think about it, when you were a kid September meant a new school year. You were in a new grade, with new teachers, and everything was new and exciting.

If you are like most people you spent 13 of your first 18 years starting fresh every fall. This is a learned behavior that was repeated over and over again. Embrace it. Make it work for you.

You weren't looking back at what you did or didn't achieve in March or April, you were looking ahead to figure out what you could to reach your goals today.

I'm not going to say to forget about the goals you made in January, but if you are looking at the calendar today and you're not happy with where you are, it's time to put on the brakes and call a do-over.

  • ask yourself if you want the same things
  • figure out why you did or didn't meet your benchmarks
  • find a way to apply what you've already accomplished to another goal

There are a lot of reasons people fail to reach their goals. Sometimes it's because they were over optimistic with their timeline, other times it's because once they got started they realized their goal wasn't something really wanted to do. Whatever is keeping you from succeeding, it's okay.

Take an honest look at what worked and what didn't.

With four months left in the year, there is plenty of time to review, refine and re-boot so that you can reach your goals in 2016.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Weekly Roundup Manchester Meetings & Tech Events 8/29/16 - 9/2/16 - A weekly listing of business, networking and tech events in and around Manchester.

International Game Developers Association - NH: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM The Shaskeen Pub & Restaurant 909 Elm Street, Manchester. IGDA NH Presents: Gary Freeman - An Introduction to Concept Art. Open networking and a presentation by artist Gary Freeman. This is a great opportunity for local artists who have wondered how to break into the complex world of digital art.

Toastmasters of Manchester: Humorous Speech Contest 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM Manchester Community College, Room #Main 240 1066 Front Street Manchester. Who said that speeches and presentations had to be boring? Three clubs (TMM, ABC, and Millyard) will compete in back-to-back contests. Come and hear the incredible speeches. Note the earlier start time.

Currier After Hours: Cocktails and Color 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Currier Museum of Art 150 Ash Street, Manchester. Looking for a way to socialize and unwind? The Currier is hosting an evening of food, cocktails, and coloring at the Winter Garden Cafe. The event is free with museum admission. Coloring books and markers will be provided.

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Aug 22, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Wade Through the Crazy Without Losing Your Mind

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Feeling like this summer has been one big challenge? You're not alone...

I'm hearing from a lot of people that things have been spiraling out of control lately which got me wondering how people wade through the crazy without losing their mind.

In my world, the first step is always going to be to define the problem.

Is it a demanding client? Is it family, friends or co-workers? Is it a technical or mechanical issue?

Is the challenge just one person or are you being bombarded with people and problems all demanding your immediate attention?

My experience has been that crazy doesn't happen in a vacuum.Like attracts like and once you've got one disaster in your personal gravity field you end up with multiple people and challenges orbiting planet-you. And since I've already tortured my astrophysics analogy, I going to go all-in and say that if you do not take control of the situation you will end up like a big black hole sucking in whatever debris enters your personal space.

Life is full of challenges and left unchecked those little things will start to add up and overwhelm you.

Which brings me to the next question, is it really your problem?

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it's pretty common for people to dump their problems on other people with the hope that someone else will fix them.

If it's something that you feel obliged to fix and you can actually do something about it, then add it to the to-do list. Otherwise, let it go.

Lend a shoulder or an ear, give some advice or point them to someone who can help, but let it go.

If it really is your problem then you need to determine if it's something that you can fix.

If the answer is yes all you have to do is break down the problem into manageable chunks.

Start by fixing critical items first, then extend your timeline so that you're dealing with a workable to do list.

It may take a little longer than you'd like and you may need to get some outside help, but you'll feel a lot better once you have a well-considered action plan.

If it's something you can't fix yourself, the next question is why.

Is it lack of resources like money, time, or skill? What can you do to overcome those obstacles?

The idea is to keep drilling down until you have something actionable.

If the resolution is truly out of your hands then you're going to have to let it go. Maybe that means handing it off to someone else, or maybe that means walking away entirely.

At the end of the day wading through the crazy without losing your mind comes down to three steps.

  • define the problem
  • make an action plan
  • let it go

I'm not going to lie here. Letting go is a learned skill, and it's hard.

If you can be objective and master all three of these skills you will have the confidence and vision to deal with your own crises, help your friends and wade through the crazy without losing your mind.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

603 Networking - Manchester (Open Networking): 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Portland Pie Company 786 Elm Street, Manchester. Here's another of the very popular 603 Networking Group's August events. If you're looking to connect with other local business people or simply want to put a face to the people you talk with on Linkedin why not stop by? Please be sure to sign up as they do need to know how many people are coming. RSVP https://www.eventbrite.com/e/603-networking-822-530-730pm-manchester-open-networking-tickets-26867451270

Friends of Kevin - Nashua: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Friends of Kevin Networking is holding a FREE networking event at the Millyard Technology Park 10 Technology Drive, 3rd Floor Cafe, Nashua. Registration is required and you can register on Facebook or meetup.com.

Alpha Loft Hoopla Party: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Alpha Loft 844 Elm Street, Manchester. From their website: "Hoopla is a gathering for you and a hundred of your favorite peoples who love all things creative, tech, and entrepreneurship in the Manchester area. Enjoy a beverage, hang out with your peers, and relax. No presentations. No fuss. Just a whole lot of Hoopla. " Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hoopla-party-manchest...

For more information about the 7 Veteran-Owned Businesses in 7 Days promotion please visit Veterans Week 2016 or give us a call.

Chris Pastrana, NH Business Show 603-493-2843
Pat Hammond, Queen City Buzz 603-264-0788

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Aug 15, 2016

Episode #13: Live from the Hive with Sharon Jensen from Embrace Your Wardrobe

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Why You Need a Personal Image Consultant

You've been dressing yourself since you were 5, you love those skinny jeans and there is no way you'd ever be caught dead in pantyhose. You have a clear idea of how to dress for comfort, but is it really your best look?

  • Do you struggle to find the right outfit for business meetings or interviews?
  • Do you look in the mirror and wonder why your favorite top makes you look pale?
  • Do you wish you could just run in the mall and find the perfect pair of jeans on your first try?

If you said yes to any of these questions it might be time to talk to Sharon Jensen from Embrace Your Wardrobe.

In spite of what you see on tv (Trinny & Susannah, Clinton Kelly & Stacy London or even the exalted Tim Gunn), working with an image consultant is a stress-free process of learning the best styles and colors for your body and lifestyle.

Jensen offers one-on-one consultations for men, women, recent grads, and bridal parties as well as a regular line-up of workshops and seminars designed to keep you comfortable, confident, and on trend.

She even offers a 5-week course through the Derry Adult Education program.

If you want to take your confidence to the next level think about trying a consult with Embrace Your Wardrobe.

Still not sure? According to Jensen finding the right style can help you look 15 pounds thinner! That's right, no diet, no exercise. All you need to do is choose the color and style that flatters your existing body, and she can show you how.

Upcoming Classes/Workshops

August 22, 2016 - Scarves - How to tie - 6 - 8 pm - SubZero, 495 Amherst St, Nashua NH August 29, 2016 - Business Casual - What does it mean? - SubZero, 495 Amherst St, Nashua NH

September 7, 2016 -De-Clutter your CLOSET - Ideal Health, Cilley Rd, Manchester NH September 22, 2016 - Ladies Night Out - 6 - 8 pm - Salisbury MA

September 28, 2016 - Ladies Night Out - 6 to 8 pm - Castleton, Windham NH September 29, 2016 (6-8pm) Derry Adult Education - Polish Your Image - 5 week class October 2, 2016 - Bridal Expo - Brookline Event Center - FREE - Noon to 4:00 pm - BRIDES should register to PRIZES

For more information about Jensen's upcoming workshops and classes please visit http://embraceyourwardrobe.com

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Aug 1, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Leverage the Power of Your Network

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Building Relationships

Do you know what's even better than a Monday? When Monday is the first day of the month.

I don't know why, there's just something clean about it, a new month, new week and a new opportunity to succeed. Can it get any better?

Since this month's Coffee Buzz Networking is tomorrow I thought it would be a good time to talk about How to Leverage the Power of Your Network.

As a lot of you know I recently teamed up with Chris Pastrana from NH Business Show for a Veterans Day promotion and this would never have happened if it wasn't for our network.

We didn't know each other and even though we do basically the same thing as far as promoting local businesses, we haven't been to any of the same events and don't know all that many of the same people. But we had one person in common, Piper Turgeon from Eco Chic Interiors.

Piper met Chris at one of the Gold Star Referral Club meetings, one thing led to another and she gave us an introduction. Now we're working a joint project and it's kind of big.

This is what I'm talking about when I say the "power of your network."

In it's purest form, networking is about building relationships.

Relationships open doors and give us credibility. They put us in touch with potential buyers and business partners, but that's it. Some of the people in our network may end up as clients, but that's not why we cultivate the relationship.

I know a lot of sales people are going to disagree with me on this. And if you are a sales person whose sole purpose is to find customers and make the sale, I get that your perspective is different from the rest of us. Your goal is to find a prospect and sell, that's it. You have people to handle all those other pesky business details like product development, production, front office, back office and everything in between. Your focus is the sale and anyone who isn't buying isn't important to you.

No business can survive without revenue so yes, sales are always important, but the average small business person has a wider scope. And this is particularly true for people who work on their own.

Which brings us to the question of how do you leverage your network?

Introductions

One of the biggest benefits of a strong network, if not the biggest benefit, of having a network is the ripple effect.

When you carefully tend and nurture your network it opens doors far beyond the person standing in front of you. And yes, I am talking about introductions.

Sometimes it's someone knowing the gatekeeper for the person you need to meet, other times it's being introduced to potential partners or new clients.

And this is where the sales guys and the people who go to networking events for the sole purpose of making a sale get it wrong.

A sale today doesn't guarantee anything tomorrow, but when you build relationships it opens the door to tomorrow's possibilities.

That's huge because when you combine your address book and all of your connections' address books at least one, if not two or three people, can put you in touch with the right people at the right time.

Product Development

Product ideas and development are another great use for your network.

You can spend a lot of money and do focus groups and A/B testing, but it makes more sense to start by talking to people in your network. Ask questions and listen to what they're saying.

You don't have to specifically tell anyone you're trying to develop a new product, just pay attention when they start talking about the things they hate or the tools they need to make their job easier.

It doesn't really matter what kind of product or service you provide. Get to know the people in your target market and listen to what they say. This will put you a step ahead of everyone else and because you've already established a rapport you'll have one foot in the door when it comes to selling it.

Credibility

The third way to use your network is to leverage the credibility factor.

We all know that people want to do business with people they know and it's not enough that they met you at a networking event.

Before someone entrusts you with their kitchen remodel, their wedding photography or their website, they want to know that someone they already know and trust is willing to vouch for you.

Again, this is why we build relationships and why it's so important to have those relationships with the right people.

People who are trustworthy, who are upstanding citizens and are connected to the audience that you want to reach.

Wield the Power

When you're an entrepreneur, especially a solo entrepreneur, your network is probably the most valuable tool in your toolbox. As a one person shop, you don't have a development team, a production manager, accountant, or marketing team on hand to help you get things done. But when you have a strong network, you can easily get the help or introductions you need to get reach your audience and get the job done.

So Take the time to make quality connections and build relationships. And Remember, it's not all about you.

All relationships are a balance of give and take so be a good networking partner. Answer questions, give introductions and referrals. And trust me when I say that as a small business person there is nothing more reassuring than knowing that people have your back.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

603 Networking - Concord (Open Networking): Concord (Open Networking): 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Uno Pizzeria & Grill Fort Eddy Road, Concord. The 603 Networking Group is kicking off August with an open networking event in Concord. If you're looking to connect with other local business people or simply want to put a face to the people you talk with on Linkedin why not stop by? Please be sure to sign up as they do need to know how many people are coming. RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/603-networking-81-530...

Coffee Buzz Networking: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM at Aroma Joe's Coffee 2. S. Beech Street, Manchester. This month's topic is "How to Find Clients"

Yoga + Fitness in the Park: Weekly yoga and fitness session are 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM at Victory Park 119 Concord Street, Manchester. Why not duck out of the office for an hour and enjoy an open air class? For more information please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/510240419181789/

Gold Star Manchester Business Network

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Jul 25, 2016

Kickstart Monday: How to Save Your Sanity with One Simple Word

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The Power of No

A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law's looked at me and said "Pat, you've got to learn to say no once in a while."

Being a reasonably polite person I smiled and said "I do. In fact, I say no to people all the time."

I may be in the office six days a week and my calendar may look overwhelming to my mother-in-law, but I'm well aware how many hours there are in the day and I carefully plan how many of those hours can be spent on any given project.

I make sure that I include time for working out, reading and down time every day and I even schedule mental health days where I can either do nothing or go crazy and just do whatever I want. I also never eat lunch in front of my computer.

None of that was true when I worked in a cubicle. And it probably wouldn't happen now if I hadn't learned the power of NO.

No is a powerful word. It's a statement of autonomy that lets people know that you are in control of your own choices. And It doesn't have to be harsh or rude, it just has to be firm.

No doesn't require excuses.

You may feel like you have to give a reason, but if you're doing it right, no stands on its own without justification.

You may think that it's being kind or tempering the blow, but adding a reason weakens your position and gives false hope.

Think about it.

What happens when a parent says no to a child? If it's a resolute no the child will (eventually) back off, but as soon as mom or dad adds a reason that child sees it as a hurdle to overcome.

It's no different for adults.

What do you hear when you ask someone to do something and they say "No, I don't have the money right now?"

If you're most people, you interpret that as "I'd like too, but the price is wrong" and you go out and find a way to make it cheaper.

That's fine if the person really does have a problem with the cost, but you and I both know that chances are good that as soon as you come back with a solution to the cost problem the person will come up with some other excuse that skirts around the fact that they just don't want to do it. So why not skip all the hassle and just say no right from the start?

It's all about awareness & self-control

It's easy to say no when it's something we don't want to do, but it takes a lot of control and awareness to say it when it's something that appeals to us.

And this is where it's easy to get into trouble.

We're all working for the day when opportunity comes to us instead of us having to find it, which makes it hard to say "no" when someone shows up with an interesting project or offer.

It's easy to jump right in and say "Yes, yes, yes," but you have to remember the big picture.

  • If the project doesn't support your stated goals, then say no
  • If taking on the new project means changing timelines to the point where they are meaningless, then say no
  • If taking on the new project means giving up important projects that do further your stated goals, then say no

This is how you take control of your life.

Being able to say no, even when something sounds good is the number one key to avoiding overwhelm and saving your sanity.

Give it a try.

Most people understand and respect your decision. The ones who don't are probably people you don't want to work with anyway.

Misc. Links From the Podcast

Granite State Fitness Networking Event Wednesday, July 27th from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM at Granite State Fitness 880 Page Street, Manchester. The cost is $5 in advance and $10 at the door and food and beverages will be provided. For more information you can click the link or call Chris at 603-361-0892.

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