Work hard and be smart about it

There’s a very famous comic showing a lot of people trying to push a cubic shaped materials while one decided to make it round and he gained advantage over them. And while such a scenario gets repeated over and over on both the business & personal scene, part of the reasons can be relatively obvious. 

Let us take the following example, you have been doing some really hard work performing a particular task or project; and probably using all sorts of resources you could get your hands on and trying to get it done to the best possible way; then you bumped into a video on social media that showed someone doing the exact same project/task using a different tool or a different approach, yet he/she is getting a phenomenal difference in output. What would be your reaction? 

Would you try out that new approach? or you would stick to what you have known for years or do a hybrid of both? 

For me personally, I have always evaluated doing things in a different ways, but to be honest, I don’t think that it’s an essential part of performing a task, meaning that I don’t evaluate a new approach every time I need to perform something classic for me; However at least for the new projects, I try as much as possible to spend enough time researching to find best approaches and then try the one that fits me. 

At a large scale in your life, you need to evaluate the energy and effort you spend on specific types of tasks, and try to optimize that. You see, with the evolution of technology and the expansion of connected media, someone somewhere must have posted something somewhere about how to perform the same action you are doing, it could be a simple YouTube or Facebook video, an article or a sophisticated book or a course on the topic. So really, unless you are working on a very confidential and original task, chances are that someone else somewhere have done it before you or done something similar that you can learn from.

This week’s tip, is to Work Hard and be Smart about it, 

From time to time, check and evaluate the tasks and projects that are very common to you, and pick those that require more energy and effort than others, and start looking up who else in this world is can help you become better at it; Free information are great to have, but sometimes paying for the information is something you won’t regret (Like purchasing the book or online course…).

Have a wonderful week!
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Samer Chidiac is a Strategic Innovation Advisor, a Business Psychologist, a Philanthropist, an Author and a Speaker. 

You can check his Books on Amazon, Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check his Website for More.

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Sometimes you need to start walking first

Sometimes you need to start walking first

In my humble experience in the field of education, and especially when talking about “Innovation in Education”, I get stumbled by the old and new approach of problem solving techniques, especially how teachers used to teach students on how to use a specific process that should pay off.

For so many years now, I’ve concentrated my work on Innovation, whether in Business, in Life and in Education; there was a common item that, depending on how you perceive it, can make or break your plan or solution all together… It’s your attitude and reaction towards making mistakes. In Schools, students were mostly NOT encouraged to make mistakes, and therefore possibly the most noted successful entrepreneurs of our age, were either college dropouts or whom received a negative feedback from their professors and these same people did stick to what they were after even though most considered them in the status of committing an academic and business suicide.

Now depending on who you are and how your brain functions, you may be the type of persons who would look for the solution end-to-end before starting the execution or someone who can think about the highlight and then dig into the details, or just someone who have no idea what he or she is doing, and starting to see where that leads to…

For this week’s post, i’ll be focusing on the person who doesn’t have a clue 🙂 

Sometimes in order to find a solution for a problem, you need to dive into a journey or possibilities, a journey of YES and NO; Instead of just standing there, you can start walking, and then change direction, and maybe come back where you come from and start over, and repeat the whole process all over, and All over again and again…. is that a Sign of weakness? a Sign or strength?? is the person who couldn’t find the solution less qualified than the one who can? well.. Not Really.

Here’s 2 Rules that I learned from working among professionals in the field of innovation and also from examining success stories:

  1. You need to be ready to make mistakes.. It’s OK!
  2. You need to keep an eye on what your mistake lead you to.

Some of the innovations that changes our world, were not originally intended to be like that, but instead the inventor was trying to get somewhere else…

So The tip for the week, whether you are trying to solve a personal or professional problem, start walking down your possibilities and see where that would lead you, cause in that process you might find something more valuable than what you were looking for in the first place.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

 

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

 

You can’t lead a horse if you’re not clear where you’re going

I recently had an interesting chat with a friend of mine, she is in the middle of a career-shift and was asking my opinion on how to proceed and what advice can she get from someone who pays a lot of attention on strategic thinking and the value of KNOWING WHERE YOU ARE GOING 🙂

Therefor, this week’s tip, is multi-purposed, it goes both ways, whether you are in looking how to move forward with your career, or simply evaluating where you are today.

Probably to start, I would highlight what Gandhi said about life and how there is more to life than simply increasing its speed,

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

If we look a little bit and try to learn from a very dear creature to me, the horse 🙂 , you would greatly realize that your career moves you just like riding a horse; How? keep reading…

1. Clarity is Key

You really can’t expect to reach where you are going if you don’t know where you are heading, who do you want to be? what do you want to do? how do you expect to write a resume that is designed to talk JUST about you.. Where you are right now, and where you want to be… And most importantly How clear you are about your self. A horse somehow sense that when he is being LEAD, Driven or just a transport mean…

2.Your career is honest

In my personal opinion, Horses are the most Honest creatures you may encounter…A horse never forgets and never forgives, they can be more honest than humans, and just like horses, your career is honest as well, you can take bad decisions or wrong moves, and it will impact you for a long time…

3. Confidence, Bravery and Patience

You can learn a lot from a cowboy, they know that it’s not easy to be able to manage, manipulate, and train an animal of that size and ability, it requires confidence, and a lot of patience, as the horse needs first to understand what you expect from him, and then to be able to get to the point where they can ride and be in total control to get the horse to jump over that fence smoothly… Now that requires Bravery!

 4. Responsibility

When horse accepted man onto his back and chose to carry his burdens, it changed the world. So you have a big responsibility, to come out and care for that horse day in and day out and when you are sick or lazy, you can’t just decide not to come in. They depend on you. Same thing with your career.

 5. Partnership

Unlike a car, a horse is a real partner in your journey, and not just a mean of transportation; The horse will stop both of you from falling of a cliff, even if you were not paying attention, he would trust your leadership, although to be honest, he’s the one doing most of the execution, but he would know that you’re an integral part of the success of the activity.

So for this week, just remember that you can’t expect to just ride on a horse and they would do everything for you, you need to spend a lot of time and some really hard work, before you could enjoy the greatness of what a horse can give you… And same thing with your career… You shouldn’t expect things to come easy, but after a while, things pay back handsomely… with the essence of clarity.

This post is dedicated to K.D. and inspired by E.Ch. 

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Believe in the Law of Averages

If you look up the Law of Averages on Wikipedia, you’ll come up with the following definition:

 ” The law of averages is a layman’s term used to express a belief that outcomes of a random event will “even out” within a small sample.

As invoked in everyday life, the “law” usually reflects bad statistics or wishful thinking rather than any mathematical principle. While there is a real theorem that a random variable will reflect its underlying probability over a very large sample, the law of averages typically assumes that unnatural short-term “balance” must occur.Typical applications of the law also generally assume no bias in the underlying probability distribution, which is frequently at odds with the empirical evidence. “

 This week’s tip is inspired by successful sales persons and one of their secrets.

According to Jim Rohn, the Law of Averages says that if you do something often enough a ratio will begin to appear.  If you talk to 10 people per example and 1 says yes, a ratio will begin to appear; you are at 1:10.  You’ll notice that once it starts, it tends to continue.  If you talk to 10 you’ll get 1.  Talk to 10 more, get 1 and so on. And in Digital Marketing, this is often referred to as a Conversion Rate and of course the higher that CR is the more successful your ad is performing or so.

So the key from these sales people is that you will need to keep moving and keep talking to more people, keep meeting, calling and exploring opportunities to increase your chances and to increase your ratio. And this way Mathematically, you can increase your chances of Winning more deals.

And further to that, we need to start enhancing this Ratio… to Make it 2:10 , 3:10 …

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. ~Stephen Hunt, The Court of the Air

The other benefit of believing in the law of averages, teaches us to ACCEPT that bad things would happen that we cannot control even if we were very well prepared and have everything in order. Like the Story of the Sower and the reaper

In short: You’ll face many struggles along the way if you are seeking success and happiness. If you are the sower, your seeds will get picked up by the birds first and won’t give a return. Then they will fall on shallow ground, leaving you with nothing again. Then they will fall on thorny ground and the sun will shine so hot that your small plant will die after the first day. No return either.

Then, one day, the seeds will fall on good ground and finally give you the expected return and success.

So instead of worrying on the opportunities that fled you, just keep moving and you’ll get the next one and the next one… And remember, Success usually Comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it!

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Digital Marketing and the Power of What Happens Next

A Boy is Looking at the horizons, what happens next will blow your mind… Sounds Familiar??

This is one of the trends that got more attention in the past year in the digital space, and especially on Facebook. you see a photo that most probably resembles a clickable video, but it’s actually a link, with maybe a an additional arrow or highlight on the photo itself, and then the title of the link goes something like:

  • What happens next will blow your mind
  • What happens next will make you cry
  • You won’t believe what happens next
  • etc…

Let’s pause a bit and get back to when we were kids and our parents got us a surprise gift… which sentence will be more impactfull?

“Hey Jayme, I got you a doll from the Toy store next door”

OR

“Hey Sweety… Guess what I did today??? You Won’t Believe what I found at the XYZ Toy Store!!!!”

of course the 2nd statement carried more emotional triggers than the first one… And would almost certainly grab the attention of the kid!

Now pressing emotional buttons almost ALWAYS impact the way you would perceive “what happens next”

The Tip for this week, is divided into 2 parts:

  1. BEWARE of Clickbaits which would be some tricky emotional titles to make you click… I’m not saying that they are harmful, just not to be too comfortable in that way that you lower your defenses about online content. (Most of Social Viruses on Facebook used that SAME method)
  2.  Use – IN A SMART AND GENUINE WAY – the power of What happens next (moderately) in your campaigns, to create a deeper messages. 

Here’s a funny Video that sums it up 🙂

Enjoy your Week!

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Image courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

If it looks stupid but works it ain’t stupid

How many times that you found yourself surrounded by negative people that seem to have one purpose in life which is to make you feel down and lose faith in your purpose?

In life there are 2 types of heroes: “The Preventer” and the “The Savior”.

Saviors are those who do the fire-fighting and do their best to save the day with the least damages possible…While Preventers are normally those who do their best to prevent problems from happening.

Unfortunately it’s very hard to determine if something was “definitely going to happen” but it’s very obvious to “see it happening”, So The Saviors often are the recognized ones and most popular while the preventers are mostly un-credited for their work which is sometimes more impact full and sometimes even harder than it looks.

With this logic in mind, when choosing to be the hero of your company, you may tend to look for the rewarding part, which is choosing what is recognized the most, now I must disagree with those who chose that path when they can actually do the opposite and truly “save the day”.

This week’s tip is dedicated to those who has the innovators & entrepreneurs’ spirit in them… regardless of what they do in their life.

People will tend to tell you that what you’re doing is stupid, until you prove them otherwise, but no matter what happen, do not lose faith in your purpose! because striving to satisfy others will only lead to losing self-respect in what you do and in who you are.

Focus on the result of your actions and the intention of your result and you’ll be just fine! at the end of the day most of what the greatest minds of our time did at their early days… was Stupid… But it Worked! and it Changed the World!

Have a great week,
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

The Secret to Innovation: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

“Sing like no one is listening,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
Dance like nobody’s watching,
and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

~Mark Twain

In my pursuit of Finding Innovation, I’ve studied the trends and the essences of what made the great innovators of our times INNOVATIVE, what were the patterns, and how can they be replicated, and then I went deep down to analyse their dynamic behavior to the hope that I would find the secret…  

I also traveled around the Middle East & Africa, and worked closely with hundreds of Educators on the topics of Innovation in Learning & Teaching and noticed the same conclusion of what would constitute the secret of being “Innovative”.

Steve Jobs, didn’t believe in focus groups. Actually, he avoided them like the plague. Jobs believed in building great products that he would want to use himself.

Once you want to free your mind about a concept of harmony and music being correct, you can do whatever you want. So nobody told me what to do and there was no preconception of what to do.

~Giovanni Giorgio

So The Secret & Common Pattern that I Found in the heart of the great innovators of our times, is that they did things that they would want for themselves, music they would like to listen to, books they wanted to read, technology that would excite them… Without caring if the rest of the world will actually like it or not.

Our Tip for this week, is to find the essence of Innovation within you. So you can do the following 3 simple steps and repeat them as necessary 🙂

  1. Ask yourself this question: “If I was the Last person on Earth, and I wanted to use this product, What should it be like?” Think that you’re the last person on earth and there’s literally no one to judge your product, and no one else to use it.
  2. Think of it as a Legacy: if you’re going to leave this product for your children to use it after you do, what would you want them to think about it? don’t think too much, JUST MAKE IT AS GOOD AS IT CAN POSSIBLY BE!
  3. Frankenstein it 🙂 : Make your product ALIVE, in a way that it will continue being great without you being involved, whether it was an article, a book, a software, a technology or whatever it was… Bring your stroke of innovation to awaken it to change the world.

I Still remember the discussion I’ve had with my Editor when I was in the process of Publishing my first national Best selling book, when she was telling me that my writing style was too casual for a non-fiction book and there’s a risk that the audience not liking it… I smiled and told her that I’ve simply written it in the Style I would’ve loved to Read :); She did a great job afterwards preserving that touch .

Have a great week & Cheers,
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If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
–Henry Ford

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Strategy: When a Calculated Risk Meets an Educated Guess

There was one time during my travels, I was moderating an Executive round-table, the hotel meeting room was filled with high level executives from different leading companies of a particular industry, and we were all agreeing on a strategy to foster innovation on a national level.

Now for those who met me in person, knows that despite my young age already (I’m 34 by the time this article was written), I do look even younger! (which will certainly give me an advantage when I’m 50 🙂 … But unfortunately not now…). So I always “somehow” get hard times when I try to coach senior managers (who probably have grey hair) who keep telling me how their grandsons are almost my age; but I get comfortable slightly after the first 30 minutes where the echos of the appearance vanishes and we dive deeper.

That time, during the break, Couple of VPs from the workshop wanted to test my worth & knowledge and why have I got the title “Senior Strategist” and I charge so much while I’m still less than 35 yrs old. So they challenged me into Defining what Strategy was in 1 Sentence, and then Explaining it in 1 minute.

And this Week’s Tip, is about Understanding Strategy… Simply!

The Definition: Strategy is born when a calculated risk meets an educated guess

The Example: You can build a successful strategy with all its defining components using the same logic you would have when your mobile phone is Showing LOW Battery, and you’re about 1-2 hours away from any source of Charging Outlet; You Start by making educated guesses on what would your mobile be used for during that time with what actions you need to perform, along with calculating the possible risks of each action.

So Simply, here it goes, to make a strategy you can:

  • Focus on what you want to achieve
  • Make Educated Guesses on what you need to have/do in order for you to achieve it.
  • Calculate Potential Risks on what each guess could result into.

Voila! you just built yourself a Strategy 🙂

See you next Week!
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Strategy is born when a calculated risk meets an educated guess

~Samer Chidiac

 

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Marketing: The Art of Letting them Find you When they need you

Definition of Consumer: The consumer is the one who pays to consume the goods and services produced. As such, consumers play a vital role in the economic system of a nation. In the absence of effective consumer demand, producers would lack one of the key motivations to produce: to sell to consumers and the consumer also form part of the chain of distribution.

Let’s start this article by throwing at you a simple question: What would you do when you feel Hungry?  

You may go to your fridge and look for something to eat, and when you don’t find anything, you start thinking of ways to get your self something to eat, maybe order from a fast food restaurant, going for a drive-through, dine in… walk in… there are so many options to think of but one is very unlikely to be among them… “I think I’m going to starve!!”

A Cliché that used to rumble around when someone wanted to define Marketing, was similar to this: Marketing is Making the Right Product available to the Right Person, at the Right Place, at the Right Time and at the Right Price. (and the devil lies in the word Right). For the purpose of this week’s Tip, I Think this definition is the simplest one to support it! 🙂

So here it goes, and sticking to the Hungry example

  • Right Product: if your consumer is vegetarian, then your product has to be suitable for them… and so on… One Word: EDIBLE 
  • Right Place: Any place that is Accessible to your consumer is a Right one!
  • Right Time: a Hungry person won’t be looking forward to spending 5 hours of travel to locate your restaurant… So the Right time is CLOSE enough
  • Right Price: Now this is subjective, but based on who you want to target with your product, your value vs price for your customers should be attractive or in one word… Affordable

Picture this: You’re at the Mall and you pass by the food court, and you find many choices, some more attractive than the others… So you take your time and finally take the decision that suits you best… But let’s say it’s PEAK time, and EVERYONE is in that food court, there’s almost no place to sit down at your regular first choices… The Hunger keeps kicking in, and you now look for your second and 3rd choices… and you start settling and compromising for a place where you can comfortably sit…

And trust me, some 2nd or 3rd choices have positioned themselves so good at that, by being available at the right time and the right place and at the right price with the right product that they are making a very good amount of profit; I Mean wouldn’t you Drink a Pepsi if you’re at a Beach and they didn’t have Coca Cola?

That’s Marketing at a Glance! with the Devil Lying in the word “Right” 🙂

Have a great Week!
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

5 Things to Learn from an Exceptional Salesperson

“People make decisions about you in the first ten seconds after they meet you for the first time. Do whatever it takes to make that first ten seconds positive ones.” -– Tom Hopkins

Whether you’re currently in a Sales position, considering to move to one or very far from that, Guess what! You’re a Salesperson, just like the rest of us.

In my years of experience, I’ve always been fascinated by any GOOD Salesperson, almost anytime, they can simply stand out of the crowed in what some would consider effortlessly! they are natural in what they do and how they do it… Well the skills they posses can be easily learned and applied and succeed with by any other person.

“Life is a series of sales situations, and the answer is NO if you don’t ask.” — Patricia Fripp

For this week, we’re going to explore 5 skills to learn from a successful sales person. And here’s a pre-point to learn from, based on my research and extensive knowledge on the topic would’ve easily written “The 78 things to Learn from an Exceptional Salesperson”   but come on.. I want you to read 🙂

  1. Appearance does count: You don’t really have to wear a 2,000$ Suit to impress your potential customer, but you need to make sure you look Good, take care of every single detail in you… Starting with your Genuine Smile.
  2. Prospecting is an Art… Perfect it: coming from the definition of Market in Marketing as being a “collection of people or people in organizations who both have the need for your product and have the capacity of purchasing it”  says a lot about the art of prospecting, you need to identify the potential customer out of the big crowd, and i’m not saying to be pre-judgmental… But to make sure you’re spending enough time with those who are MORE likely to buy.
  3. Listen… Listen… Listen: Whether you’re sitting in a Big meeting room or standing up in a shop, you need to get to know your customer, and there’s nothing more powerful than for you to ask them questions that would help you directly identify their needs… and there’s NOTHING more Flattering to anyone than when they know that you were… Listening!
  4. Put a Spell on your customer: Now I’m not saying to do so literally, but the best salespeople I’ve seen and studied, have a way of taking their client on a daydream tour where they have them visualize themselves owning, using and enjoying the product or service; It’s like a Mental Test-Drive. Once they reach there, the sale is almost done.
  5. Remember your customer: With the evolution of social networking, it’s easier to stay in touch with clients than before, and remember the saying “close to the eye, close to the heart”.  Make customers for Life, and make an ever-lasting impression, by constantly remembering your customers. Pro-actively and Re-actively.

“Practice is just as valuable as a sale.  The sale will make you a living; the skill will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

Have a Great Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Like 007, you’re on a mission

Over the years, one of the legendary characters that influenced generations with his Epic life, lifestyle, charisma, cleverness and charm; his name was “Bond… James Bond”.

I would definitely go on and on about the characteristics of a James Bond-Caliber Life! If you’re a Man then you know what I would mean by that, the Cars, The beautiful women, The suits, the gadgets… but for the purpose of this week’s tip, it’s about one thing and one thing only… How he Handles a Mission

We all got things to do; daily, weekly, monthly tasks… a small project here and there, but when the size & sensitivity of that task or project is more serious… Then you’ll be on a MISSION.

Major Companies has the Mission & Vision that drives their existence towards a certain goal and which dictates how they act and handle most of their business and day-to-day operations.

But let us start by skipping  the big talk, and focus on the small talk 🙂

  1. Be The Right Man or Woman for the Job: if anything, Bond has self-confidence, self-control, independence, and a mix of Charm and Danger… So work on your self, everyday… Take every opportunity to learn and be better than what you were yesterday.
  2. Know your mission inside out and pay Attention to Details: Bond wouldn’t start something before knowing all the details about it; he needs to be well prepared (Study all the details, know the enemy pretty well, and learn from Mistakes as you moves on) and he would do that by setting a Good Plan before he starts executing.
  3. Be resourceful and use all your resources: have you been the type of persons who bough something and thought it was very cool and useful, but for some reason you just keep it till the “right moment”, and ended up looking back at it years later with an “doh!”. The Time is NOW, Always is NOW to benefit from all your resources. Technology, your People Network, unused Favors, Gadgets…  Don’t worry, when your box is empty, then you have room for MORE things!
  4. Dress to Kill: Well if you ever worked from home, you know that you could literally work while wearing your Pajamas and no one will notice… But what happen when you Dress UP to do anything… Your Self confidence will grow, you will automatically think smarter and your value for your self will increase…  Same thing that you feel after cleaning up & washing your car, it will feel great to drive it. So take care of your self and Dress to KILL what can hold back the Success of your Mission!
  5. Like 007… Finish what you start, With Style: This one groups all the efforts from the other 4, and like James Bond, you Never Quit until your Mission is Done! and you finish it… With Style.

And like James Bond Said in 1967…  “You Only Live Twice”

Have a Great Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project