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The science-backed reasons you should do certain tasks at certain times of day.


2 min read


Hundreds of articles have been written about why having a set daily routine is one of the best things a founder, CEO or aspiring entrepreneur can do. Setting aside intentional time to complete certain tasks each day requires discipline just like building a company does. We pore over the daily habits of presidents and CEOs and sometimes even try to recreate their schedules to see if they work for us as well.

And with so much uncertainty of late in our families, businesses, cities and the world at large, stability in our home routines can make us feel more stable overall. 

If you’ve never been able to stick to a daily routine, this infographic from small business credit agency Headway Capital could provide some insight about where to start. It breaks down the science-backed reasons why certain tasks are best to tackle at certain times in the day. For example, writing an important email at night and scheduling it to send around 7 a.m. the next morning could be the best way to get someone to open it. Need to make an important call? Try dialing someone between 4 and 5 p.m. Read on for more tips about the best way to schedule your day.

Related: 5 Daily Habits of the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs


 

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Over the past few months, coronavirus lockdowns have impacted cities and communities all over the globe in dramatic ways. This has raised the question: Is there still a place for cities?

The answer is not simple; it requires us to learn from what has happened over the past few months and rethink how we leverage technology to reimagine what cities can be, and the critical role they play in our collective future.

What has COVID-19 taught us?

  • Reimagining work. The recent shift to work-from-home workforces has major implications for our cities, businesses, and individual health and happiness. At the start of the pandemic, businesses within cities were focused on getting their employees working remotely and securely, with access to the appropriate tools. As the reality of the pandemic as a long-term shift sets in, businesses will need to learn how to sustain a remote working model and manage a hybrid (home- and office-based) workforce. We’ve also seen telehealth and distance learning take giant leaps forward, potentially making health and education more accessible to a wider population. Technology is playing a key role, as the World Economic Forum has observed. While initiatives like the Connected North program, which provided remote learning for far-flung Inuit communities across Northern Canada, were underway before COVID-19, post-pandemic access to remote learning, medicine, and employment will be much broader. 
  • Glocalization: Governments and the private sector are working smarter and more closely together. In cities around the world, COVID-19 has forced renewed attention to health and wellness, and put a premium on connectivity, collaboration, and public health data. While different towns, cities, and states have taken multiple strategies and approaches, the bottom line is that we have worked together as a nation and a world to curb the spread of the virus. Together we are researching vaccines, and innovating in new ways. This teamwork can and should shape how we move forward. We were on our way to a smart, connected future before the pandemic; this has shown us we need to get there faster. 
  • Cleaning up the environment. Data from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), and other sources indicate dramatic reductions in nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants around the world. From China to India to the U.S., the world is experiencing air pollution levels not seen since the first half of the 20th century. That is so far back in history that many have never even seen this level of clean air. Prior to COVID-19, some cities had been using technology to shift traffic patterns, drive down pollution, and improve life for people. But this growth has been slow and unevenly distributed around the globe.
  • The importance of human interaction: Connection with people is an inherent aspect of our human society. We seek out and lean on human interaction when we are experiencing the stress of life’s challenges. This biological programming drives us to gather in groups, usually shielding us from mental and physical harm. Today, we are faced with a community challenge. The new threats of COVID-19 and political unrest challenge us to be creative in how we maintain our social connections and manage our mental and physical health. As we start to open up our cities again, we will all need to adapt our social distancing strategies to ensure we meet our basic human needs of physical, social connection and interaction. 

Redefining our post-pandemic cities

We are now faced with an unprecedented pivot to address what we have learned. And technology is helping us to redefine post-pandemic cities. The challenge is: How do we work together to manage that pivot? Over the past six months, one thing has become clear: Even though this is one of our most trying times as a global community, it also has the possibility to be one of our greatest moments. The progress we’re making as a collective in fighting the virus and rethinking our way of life is something many didn’t think possible at the beginning of 2020. In effect, I see one possible future—a future where people, powered by innovation and technology, pull together to improve our cities and communities.

Now more than ever, the world needs brave solutions

The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, but there is already a premium placed on “smart” initiatives that leverage innovations such as quantum computing and digital twinning for solutions like smart street lighting and automated water meters. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the climate crisis to the well-being of all life on earth, I believe that technology holds the key to solving some of the world’s greatest problems.

Lessons for global leaders

Leadership now needs to increasingly focus on long-range targets, as well as on achieving short-term quarterly profits. For example, business leaders looking at achieving the UN Development Program’s 17 goals for sustainable development now have reason to renew their efforts. Those who have previously dismissed such efforts as unrealistic or aspirational have reason to reconsider their objections.

This is a departure from traditional thinking and a challenge for conventional leadership. As we emerge from this pandemic, it’s important that we learn from the bold commitments and brave solutions the world has undertaken over such a short time.

Reimagining our cities of the future

As our cities reopen, we have the chance to reimagine them. I absolutely believe that cities will continue to be our social centers, our cultural hearts; but now we have the chance to make them cleaner, safer, smarter, and more innovative than ever thanks to the promise of technology. Our evolving relationship with cities will require increased computing power as we continue to process exponential amounts of data, and require better connectivity and more advanced networks.

However, we will also relieve pressure on the environment, as the supply chain linked to the relationship we once had with cities is redirected. We will preserve what we love about cities and build upon the lessons we’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has created a significant challenge for all of us, but it has also shown us what we as a human team can accomplish working together—a better world and cities that give more than they take.

Jason Goodall is global CEO of NTT Ltd.

More opinion in Fortune:

  • Why is 10,000 steps a day the goal? Fitbit’s CEO has some answers
  • How companies can celebrate intersectional diversity in a remote-work world
  • America, you’re making a big mistake on immigration. And Canada thanks you
  • When should you sell your stocks? Only in these cases
  • Semiconductors are the engine of the global economy—and America isn’t making enough of them

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In the annals of economic surprises, the news that the U.S. added 2.7 million jobs in May, marking an astounding reversal from COVID-19’s crushing blow to employment, was one for the ages. Few predicted that such a momental jump could be repeated, let alone surpassed in the next month, but the seemingly impossible just happened. At 8:30 a.m. on July 2, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that 4.8 million more Americans returned to work in June. That almost doubles the May dazzler, itself an all-time record, and beats any monthly number in history prior to the pandemic by a margin of 4 to 1.

Predictably, the stock market cheered, the S&P jumping 35 points, or 1.15%, by midmorning on Thursday to stand within 3% of where it started the year, as the Nasdaq notched another all-time high. The jobs jump is as heartening as it is stunning. But to stage a full comeback, to restore America’s consumer spending and confidence to the robust levels that prevailed before the crisis, the U.S. needs to get back to the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 5% or below.

Put simply, we’re now benefiting from the easy part, adding millions of positions in retail, restaurants, and hotels as the economy (albeit haltingly) reopens. Many of those jobs that vanished so quickly are returning far faster than predicted. Nevertheless, for many of the “temporarily unemployed” in hospitality, stores, and health care, getting back to work will be a long slog. And for folks who were just plain laid off, with no prospect of being rehired, the road will be even longer and tougher.

In fact, returning to 5% unemployment will probably take another five years, according to an analysis by Chris Rands, a fixed-income portfolio manager at Nikko Asset Management. Rands presents the most logical forecast this reporter has seen on how fast jobs will return. His outlook calls for a two-stage recovery consisting of the strong bounce back that’s unprecedented because it follows a collapse that’s also unprecedented, followed by grinding gains that reflect America’s much slower historical pattern for growing the employment. So let’s dig into Rands’ analysis, updated for the big gains posted in the June report.

Two categories of jobs

It’s instructive to review how suddenly and deeply the jobs picture collapsed, and how much ground it has retraced. In March and April, U.S. employment dropped from roughly 158 million to 137 million, a loss of 20.6 million jobs that quadrupled the unemployment rate, from 3.5% to 14.3%. The gains in May pushed the shrinkage to 18.3 million. Still, that’s twice the damage reached at the depths of the Great Recession.

Rands points to the gap between both the rise in joblessness, and prospects for recovery, in the two categories of the unemployed: what the Department of Labor calls “on temporary layoff” and “not on temporary layoff.” The first group consists mainly of service workers in such sectors as restaurants, stores, and airlines where business suffered the most sweeping shutdowns. Those now on the sidelines believe they’ll be rehired quickly, and for good reason: It’s already happening in a big way. The second cohort, “not on temporary layoff,” is made up of folks who lost their jobs and have no idea when they’ll get back to work.

In January, the “temporary” count was just 742,000, much lower than the “non-temporaries” at 1.9 million. But in a reversal that stands out even in these times of surreal data, the “temporary” contingent by April jumped by over 17 million to 18.1 million, or 25-fold, and the “non-temporary” group rose by 500,000 to 2.6 million. In May, the big improvement came only for the “temporaries,” as their number declined to 15.3 million. The no-job-in-sight crowd lost more ground.

Different rates of rebound

Rands’ study is based on the May numbers, but with his permission, I’ve updated his analysis for the hugely positive data for June. His model predicts that as the economy reopens, all of the jobs created in the next six months to a year will go to the “temporary” people who dominate the “reopening” sectors recovering right now. He figures that in that period, roughly three-quarters of that group will be working again. If so, 11.6 million of the 15.3 million in that camp who were jobless in May will find employment by mid-2021 at the latest.

It was the temporary group that made all of the gains in June, continuing the trend from May. The folks that see themselves as quickly returning regained 4.8 million jobs. By contrast, the “not on temporaries” saw their numbers swell to 3.71 million from 2.95 million in June.

Things are improving fast for the customer-facing employees whose bars and shops shut down fastest and are who are now serving drinks and burgers, giving haircuts, selling sports shoes, and managing boutiques. In May and June, “retail trade” added 1.1 million jobs, and leisure and hospitality a staggering 2.5 million, while health care—benefiting from a ramping up in elective procedures—restored 800,000 positions. Employees at airlines or commercial construction are seeing only trudging progress that portends a much slower return to work.

A slow slog back to 5%

Let’s update Rands’ figures for the June report. Of the 11.6 million he’s expecting to win back their jobs in six months to a year, 4.8 million got there in June alone. “It is happening more quickly than I expected,” he told Fortune. Still, Rands believes that the June surprise doesn’t change the numbers in the temporary category who will remain unemployed, probably at least until mid-2021. His best estimate of the jobless in the “temp” ranks a year hence is still the one-quarter of May’s 15.3 million, or 3.8 million. Add to that group the 3.7 million “not on temporary” cohort with no current prospects for a job.

That brings the total likely to remain unemployed by mid-2021 to 7.5 million, for a rate of 7% to 8%. That’s still more than double the figure at the start of 2020.

Here’s the crucial question for America’s economic future: Once three out of four of those who expect to be rehired quickly return, how long will it take to whittle down the hard core that remains jobless? The key target is the 5% that generally represents full employment and signals healthy growth. Rands points out that in a recovery, the U.S. generally adds between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs a month. He believes that after the initial surge, the job creation will return to that historic pace.

The slow recovery from the Great Recession, he says, provides a useful guide. “It took seven years from when the Fed took rates to zero to achieve 5% unemployment in 2015,” he says. Rands predicts that in an optimistic scenario, it will take the U.S. three to five years, starting in mid-2021, to once again achieve that target. He believes that the Fed’s prediction that unemployment will return to 5% in 2022 is way too optimistic. More likely, the Fed will be forced to hold rates at zero to wrestle down the jobless rate for several years to come.

Of course, a lot could go wrong that would drag out that timetable. Already the opening of bars, restaurants, stores, and airline flights has started to be pushed back, or even reversed in some states. Meaning it’s time for everyone to get realistic about how long it will take us to get to anywhere near the great job numbers that seemed our destiny six months—and an economic age—ago.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

  • If Ernst & Young auditors had done this one thing, they might have uncovered Wirecard’s $2 billion fraud years sooner
  • After overbooking flights in a pandemic, American Airlines is now paying passengers to get off
  • Should Facebook investors ride out the ad boycott—or cash out?
  • Safelite’s CEO on steering the company through crisis—and getting sales back to pre-pandemic levels
  • Former Honeywell CEO David Cote just wrote one of the best guides ever on how to lead a company

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7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


This article was written by Alex Sixt, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.

Do you want to grow your business and reach more audiences that convert into leads? Then a tactic that can help expand your business is paid media, a method of using promoted (paid for) content such as social media posts, video ads, pop-ups, etc. to reach target audiences. Essentially, paid media is content that businesses pay for to reach more people. 

For some, dipping their toes into paid media is intimadating, however, with understanding of best practices, you’re experience will be much more enjoyable. Here are a few tips to get you comfortable with paid media.

Establish goals. 

An excellent paid media strategy starts with setting goals. If you don’t know where you’re headed, how do you know where to go? To start building a paid media strategy, you’ll need a basic understanding of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a measurable value that indicates progress in achieving the overall goal. Some examples of KPIs are impressions, conversions, and website traffic. These metrics can give you insight that helps determine how well your content is performing.  

If you’re still unsure how to develop a list of goals and KPIs for your paid media campaign, consider what the overall goal is that you’d ultimately like to achieve through this content. What are you advertising? How are you hoping your business benefits from your ads? Keep your vision in mind and let it guide your objectives. 

Related: 5 Crucial Ingredients of a Sustainable Paid-Media Strategy

Build a keyword list.

Keywords are a tactic used to get your content in front of your target audience. The success of your paid media content depends on keywords because they help you reach as many potential customers as possible. Conduct extensive research into keywords to be sure they’re relevant to your business and advertisement. 

As you continue to publish paid media ads and campaigns, update your keyword list with terms that perform well. If a keyword hasn’t been successful in reaching your target audience, toss it out so it doesn’t affect your ads negatively in the future. 

Related: How to Identify the Best Long-Tail Keywords

Choose your channels. 

Not all of your audience loves Tik Tok, or any other channel as a collective group. Every consumer is different in their preferences, and you’ll want to cater to that by selecting the channels for your paid media carefully. Research—the magic word—can help you to understand which channels should successfully reach your audiences. Google is a great platform to include, but go beyond the obvious and search out what channels your audience spends time on. 

If you’re targeting ads at a Gen Z audience, consider Tik Tok or Instagram, which has become a wildly popular platform for paid media due to influencers and the visual aspect posts provide. Or, let’s say you’re advertising a service that’s used by working professionals—LinkedIn should be one of the first channels on your list. It’s overwhelming to think of all the places your audiences could potentially be (virtually) hanging out, but with some research and intuition, it’ll become easier to narrow down the list as you go along. 

Related: How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Create landing pages.

So, you’ve created a beautiful ad and a potential customer has clicked on it, but where do they land? The answer isn’t your website’s homepage (sorry to disappoint). The user should find themselves at a landing page. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a landing page is a webpage that is dedicated to converting leads. Designing a landing page that is relevant to your paid media will keep a clean, consistent transition and experience for the user. 

Along with including content that is relevant to your paid media ad, make sure your landing page is engaging as well. Users should want to take the desired action on your page, whether that’s entering an email or purchasing your latest product. Track conversions from your landing page to help you adjust for better performance as needed. 

Related: 5 Ways to Capture Email Addresses From Landing Page Traffic

Optimize your ads.

As your paid media ads run over time, you’ll learn more about your audience and exactly how to reach them successfully. This information is like gold—and arguably more valuable. Use the insights you gain to improve targeting for future ads and campaigns. Tweaks you may need to make include refining your message or editing the design to make your ad stand out more.

Adjusting your ads as you learn more about audiences is crucial to building successful paid media content. There’s a learning curve to monitoring your audience’s behavior, but don’t let that scare you away. Any optimization you can provide for ads should help you generate leads, so keep your chin up and post on! 

Related: Why You Should Be Buying Facebook Ads Now

Measure your ads.

The only way to know how your content is truly performing is by tracking their success. Remember KPIs? Great, here’s where you’ll put them to use.

Measuring how your paid media performs is vital to the continued success of your ads. Decide your how often you’d like to measure your ads (weekly? monthly?) and study how your ads have performed against the KPIs you selected. 

Not all ads will perform incredibly as soon as they’re launched, and that’s okay. Learn from the results of your analytics and be easy on yourself; not everyone is an expert right away. Work through what works best for your paid media, and continue to build a strategy from there. 

Related: 3 Common Mistakes Companies Make With Their Social Ad Strategy

Hire an expert. 

If you’ve read the above and think you still may need more help beyond this blog, there are paid media experts that will take care of your content for you. Running a business takes a lot of time, and creating an effective paid media campaign is a full-time job. Paid media experts have extensive experience in this area, and can accomplish any related tasks without you having to do anything beyond hiring them. 

So, how do you go about hiring a paid media expert? You can either go through a service that offers paid media help or search for one on your own. Both are great options, finding an expert may be time-consuming and present difficulties when it comes to paperwork, expenses, benefits, etc. When choosing a service to find your expert, ensure they vet talent ahead of time and can verify applicable experience. 

Related: 7 Things to Look for When Hiring Experts

If you’re wondering where to begin with paid media, there are plenty of best-practice guidelines to help you start successfully. Remember to have fun with creating your content. Once you’ve done your research and established a foundation, experiment with various designs to help your paid media stand out. And should you ever need extra help, remember there are experts that can help with the task.

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Good morning, Bull Sheeters. We made it! Welcome to 2H.

The first half ended yesterday on a high note—in sheer defiance of all the unnerving geopolitical and pandemic news. There are escalating tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing, and between Washington and Beijing. And, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress yesterday that America is “going in the wrong direction.” Clearly, he wasn’t talking about the markets.

As long as we have tech stocks and gold, investors will be pretty content.

Let’s check in on today’s action.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major Asia indexes are mixed in afternoon trade. Shanghai is up; the Nikkei is slipping and Hong Kong is closed for the holiday.
  • The Chinese central government’s new national security law went into effect yesterday evening local time, and, not soon afterwards, Hong Kong police had made its first arrest: a man holding a flag declaring “Hong Kong Independence.” The matter is spilling across borders as it’s looking likely that Beijing will now slap “reciprocal” restrictions on U.S. media outlets operating in the country.
  • Asia’s economy is expected to contract in 2020, “for the first time in living memory,” the IMF gloomily predicts.

Europe

  • The European bourses were mixed in light trade, with Germany’s Dax up 0.6%. Paris and London were down.
  • There’s more trouble in the skies today as Airbus announced its biggest restructuring in its history. 15,000 jobs must go to stabilize an epic cash burn. Norwegian Air, one of Boeing‘s best customers, canceled a huge order for 737 Max planes.
  • Polls close today in Russia as Vladimir Putin seeks a constitutional overhaul to stay in power for another 16 years. He’s well on his way to getting his wish.

U.S.

  • The major averages closed out the quarter (and the half) on a high note yesterday. It was the best quarter for U.S. stocks in 22 years.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci wasn’t sounding bullish yesterday. He told a Senate committee that 100,000 new COVID cases per day is looking likely. The U.S., he said, “is going in the wrong direction.” The markets rallied afterwards.
  • Here’s a persuasive argument for extending the supplemental $600 weekly unemployment benefits: fail to do so, and the U.S. economy will head straight back into recession.

Elsewhere

  • Gold is up. Again.
  • The dollar is flat.
  • Crude is up.

Six months that shook the world

The first half of 2020 was brutal. Great Depression-like falls in employment. An unprecedented wave of bankruptcies. A global recession. More than a half-million COVID-19 deaths. But you know what? A lot of canny investors have made a lot of money in 2020.

That’s particularly true of the past quarter. As I mentioned above, Q2 2020 was the best quarter for U.S. stocks since Q4 1998.

The S&P 500 closed the quarter up 20%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed an impressive 18%, and the Nasdaq scored a whopping 31% quarterly gain.

But that’s only part of the story. The full first-half reveals where the big winners and losers of this pandemic can be found. I ran the numbers this morning… and found an asset that actually outperformed the Nasdaq.

If your portfolio is long on tech, you’re pretty happy this morning. The Nasdaq is one of the few major averages to be showing YTD gains (12.1%). For the year, the S&P is down roughly 4%. (More on that in a moment). And, despite a recent rally, both Japan’s Nikkei and Germany’s Dax are showing single-digit losses for 2020.

The big winners are tech (look at Apple, up nearly 25% YTD) and gold (17.4%).

Now, back to the S&P. The benchmark index is full of contrasts in 2020. As you know, the tech components are flying high. Meanwhile, energy (-37%) and finance (-24%) have been a huge drag.

Looking forward, the second half could be an even more volatile one than the first. The first major test of investor sentiment comes tomorrow with the June jobs report. And, further out, we have the elections.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the most cautious investors were to sit it out until the data improves and the political picture clears up.

***

Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… And, a reminder: the U.S. markets are closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday, so there will be no Bull Sheet newsletter on Friday.

Bernhard Warner
@BernhardWarner
Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com

A note from my Fortune colleagues on a timely new initiative:

Many companies are speaking out against racial injustices right now. But how do they fare in their own workplaces? Black employees in the corporate world, we want to hear from you: Please submit your anonymous thoughts and anecdotes here. https://bit.ly/WorkingWhileBlack

As always, you can write to bullsheet@fortune.com or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

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Russian hackers are trying to take advantage of the millions of employees working from home because of shelter-in-place orders.

Security firm Symantec said this week that it had discovered and then notified businesses that the Russian hacking group Evil Corp has been targeting remote employees with so-called ransomware attacks.

In a typical ransomware attack, criminals send victims an email—often created to look like it’s from a colleague—that contains a link to a malicious site. When users access the fraudulent site, criminals can then take over their computers and demand payment—typically in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin—to regain control of their devices.

In the case of Evil Corp’s ransomware attack, Symantec said the hackers wanted to “cripple” a company’s “IT infrastructure by encrypting most of their computers and servers in order to demand a multimillion-dollar ransom.”

Symantec said that 31 U.S.-based organizations were compromised in the latest series of attacks, “eight of which are Fortune 500 companies.” The security firm did not reveal the names of the impacted organizations nor whether they paid any ransoms. The security firm said that while the hackers “breached the networks of targeted organizations,” the criminals were only “in the process of laying the groundwork for staging ransomware attacks,” implying that they didn’t complete their intended extortion plans.

This recent hacking attempt used a specific type of ransomware known as WastedLocker, which Symantec said was developed by Evil Corp. Two of Evil Corp’s alleged members have been previously charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for a separate “decade-long cybercrime spree” affecting unspecified banks and financial firms, Symantec said.

Eric Chien, Symantec’s technical director, said in an interview with the New York Times, that hackers were able to launch ransomware attacks on workers via malware that “was deployed on common websites and even one news site,” without describing those compromised websites containing the malicious code. From those compromised websites, users inadvertently downloaded a bogus software update that installs the malware onto their computers.

That malware inspects people’s computers to see if they have installed a corporate virtual private network, or VPN, that businesses typically require their remote employees to use in order to access sensitive corporate data. The malware learns the name of the employee’s company from the VPN and is then able to infect people’s computers once those workers visit another website.

“Once the machine is reconnected to the corporate network, the code is deployed, in hopes of gaining access to corporate systems,” the Times said.

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:

  • A new coating could protect ATMs from spreading diseases like COVID-19. But will it work?
  • George Floyd protests, coronavirus face masks pose challenges for facial recognition
  • E-book reading is booming during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Can Nikola Motor’s big battery promises be true?
  • Big investors like Bitcoin for the wrong reason

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Free Book Preview No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

The ultimate guide to – producing measurable, monetizable results with social media marketing.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In this video, Peter Voogd breaks down a step-by-step guide on how you can become the leading expert in any field. It all starts by finding your role — for Voogd, that meant discovering how he could become a leader of millennials. Next, Voogd says you need to clearly define what your audience is. Do you know their biggest problems, fears and ambitions? 

Voogd offers how an in-house survey of his target audience helped him gather insight about his target market and deliver a better product as a result. Watch the full video to learn more about how you can master your own niche.

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10 min read


This story originally appeared on Business Insider

GNC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday night, announcing that it expects to close between 800 and 1,200 stores while on the hunt for a buyer for its business. 

In a letter to shoppers, GNC said the COVID-19 pandemic “created a situation where we were unable to accomplish our refinancing and the abrupt change in the operating environment had a dramatic negative impact on our business.”

GNC identified 248 stores that will close imminently as part of the restructuring process. Stores are closing in 42 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and Canada.

Here are the first of the locations GNC plans to close, arranged alphabetically by state: 

Alabama:

Quintard Mall, 700 Quintard Drive, Oxford, AL

Arizona:

Flagstaff Mall, 4650 E 2 N Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ

Arrowhead Town Center, 7700 West Arrowhead Towne, Glendale, AZ

Madera Village, 9121 E. Tanque Verde Rd, Suite 115, Tucson, AZ

Grayhawk Plaza, 20701 N. Scotsdale Rd, Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ

Arkansas:

Benton Commons, 1402 Military Road, Benton, AR

Northwest Arkansas Plaza, 4201 North Shiloh Dr, Fayetteville, AR

The Mall @ Turtle Creek, 3000 East Highland Ave, Space # 309, Jonesboro, AR

Park Plaza, 6000 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR

North Park Village Shopping Center, 103 North Park Dr, Monticello, AR

McCain Mall Shopping Center, 3929 McCain Blvd, North Little Rock, AR

California:

Brawley Gateway, Brawley, CA

Rancho Marketplace Shopping Center, Burbank, CA

La Costa Town Square, 7615 Via Campanile Suite, Carlsbad, CA

Centrepointe Plaza, 1100 Mount Vernon Ave, Suite B, Colton, CA

Mountain Gate Plaza, 160 W. Foothill Parkway, #106, Corona, CA

Town Place, 787 1st Street, Gilroy, CA

Victoria Gardens, 12379 S Main St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Monterey Marketplace, Rancho Mirage, CA

Red Bluff Shopping Center, 925 South Main Street, Red Bluff, CA

Tierrasanta Town Center, San Diego, CA

Buena Park Mall, 8312 On The Mall, Buena Park, CA

East Bay Bridge Center, 3839 East Emery Street, Emeryville, CA

Vintage Faire Mall, 3401 Dale Road, Modesto, CA

Huntington Oaks Shopping Center, 514 W. Huntington Drive, Box 1106,  Monrovia, CA

Del Monte Shopping Center, 350 Del Monte S.C., Monterey, CA

Antelope Valley Mall, 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd, Palmdale, CA

Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

Rancho Bernardo Town Center, Rancho Bernardo, CA

Del Monte Shopping Center, 350 Del Monte S.C., Monterey, CA

Antelope Valley Mall, 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd, Palmdale, CA

Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

Rancho Bernardo Town Center, Rancho Bernardo, CA

Rocklin Commons, 5194 Commons Drive 107, Rocklin, CA

Westfield Shoppingtown Mainplace, 2800 North Main Street, Suite 302, Santa Ana, CA

Gateway Plaza Shopping Center, 580b River St, Suite B, Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Rosa Plaza, 600 Santa Rosa Plaza, Suite 2032, Santa Rosa, CA

The Promenade Mall, 40820 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA

West Valley Mall, 3200 N. Naglee Rd., Suite 240, Tracy, CA

Union Square Marketplace, Union City, CA

Riverpoint Marketplace, West Sacramento, CA

Yucaipa Valley Center, 33676 Yucaipa Blvd, Yucaipa, CA

Colorado:

Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd at Jamboree Drive, Colorado Springs, CO

The Citadel, 750 Citadel Drive East, Space 1036, Colorado Springs, CO

River Landing, 3480 Wolverine Dr, Montrose, CO

Monument Marketplace, 15954 Jackson Creek Pkwy, Monument, CO

Central Park Plaza, 1809 Central Park Dr., Steamboat Springs, CO

Larkridge Shopping Center, 16560 N. Washington St, Thornton, CO

Woodland Park Plaza, 1115 E US Hwy 24, Woodland Park, CO

Connecticut:

The Plaza At Burr Corners, 1131 Tolland Pike, Manchester, CT

Delaware:

Dover Mall, 1365 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE

Gateway West Shopping Center, 1030 Forest Ave, Dover, DE

Rockford Shops, 1404 North Dupont St, Wilmington, DE

Florida:

Boynton Beach Mall, 801 N Congress St, Suite 763, Boynton Beach, FL

Clearwater Plaza, 1283 S. Missouri Ave, Clearwater, FL

Coral Square, 9295 West Atlantic Blvd, Coral Springs, FL

Dupont Lakes Shopping Center, 2783 Elkcam Blvd, Deltona, FL

The Shops @ Mission Lakes, 5516 South State Rd 7, Space # 128, Lake Worth, FL

Wickham Corners Shopping, 1070 North Wickham Road, Unit 106, Melbourne, FL

Shoppes Of River Landing, Miami, FL

Coastland Mall, 2034 Tamiam Trail North, Naples, FL

Related: The Lessons We Can All Learn From Sears’s Branding Blunders

Orlando Fashion Square, 3451 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL

Oviedo Marketplace, 1385 Oviedo Marketplace B, Oviedo, FL

Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 Us 19 North, Port Richey, FL

University Mall, 12232 University Square C, Tampa, FL

Georgia:

The Mall @ Stonecrest, 8000 Mall Parkway, Lithonia, GA

Walnut Creek Plaza, 1475 Gray Highway, Macon, GA

Horizon Village, 2855 Lawrenceville Suwanee, Suite 740, Suwanee, GA

Merchant’s Square, 414 South Main Street, Swainsboro, GA

Idaho:

Karcher Mall, 1509 Caldwell Blvd. Suite 1206, Nampa, ID

Illinois:

Bannockburn Green, 2569 Waukegan Rd, Bannockburn, IL

University Mall, 1225 University Mall, Carbondale, IL

244 State Street, Chicago, IL

Stony Island Plaza, 1623 E 95th St, Chicago, IL

Country Club Plaza, 4285 W 167th St, Country Club, IL

South Shoppes, 2725 IL Route 26 S, Freeport, IL

Lincolnwood Town Ctr, 3333 West Touhy Av, Lincolnwood, IL

Cross County Mall, 700 Broadway East, Mattoon, IL

McHenry Plaza, 1774 N. Richmond Road, McHenry, IL

Orland Square Mall, 852 Orland Square, Orland Park, IL

Peru Mall, 3940 Rt 251, Space #E-9, Peru, IL

Northland Mall, 2900 E Lincolnway, Sterling, IL

Eden’s Plaza, 3232 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, IL

Indiana:

Putnam Plaza, 35 Putnam Place, Greencastle, IN

Nora Plaza, 1300 East 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN

Fairview Center, 556 Fairview Center, Kendallville, IN

South Point Plaza, 3189 State Rd 3 S, New Castle, IN

Iowa:

Asbury Plaza, 2565 Northwest Arterial, Dubuque, IA

Old Capitol Center, 201 Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA

Crossroads Center, 2060 Crossroads Blvd, Waterloo, IA

Kansas:

Walmart Center, 2504 South Santa Fe Dr, Chanute, KS

E 17th Ave Retail, Hutchinson, KS

Hy Vee Shops, 4000 W 6th Street, Lawrence, KS

Town Center Plaza, 4837 West 117th Street, Leawood, KS

West Ridge Mall, 1801 Wanamaker Rd., Topeka, KS

Kentucky:

Florence Mall, 2122 Florence Mall Space #2124, Florence, KY

Louisiana:

Piere Bossier Mall #520, 2950 East Texas Ave., Bossier City, LA

Broussard Village Shopping Center, 1212 D Albertson Pkwy, Broussard, LA

Prien Lake Mall, 484 West Prien Road, Space G-17b, Lake Charles, LA

Maine:

Bangor Mall, 663 Stillwater Avenue, Bangor, ME

Maryland:

Brandywine Crossing, 15902 E Crain Hwy, Brandywine, MD

Washington Center, 20 Grand Corner Avenue, Suite D, Gaithersburg, MD

St. Charles Towne Ctr, 1110 Mall Circle, Suite 6194, Waldorf, MD

Massachusetts:

Auburn Mall, 385 Southbridge St, Auburn, MA

Liberty Tree Mall, 100 Independence Way, Danvers, MA

Walpole Mall, 90 Providence Hwy, East Walpole, MA

Riverside Landing, New Bedford, MA

Emerald Square Mall, 999 South Washington Street, Box 111, North Attleboro, MA

Eastfield Mall, Boston Rd, Unit B11, Springfield, MA

Michigan:

Briarwood Mall, 850 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor, MI

Caro Shopping Center, 1530 West Caro Road, Caro, MI

The Marketplace Shoppes, Greenville, MI

Livonia Plaza, 30983 Five Mile Road, Livonia, MI

The Village Of Rochester Hills, 136 N Adams Road, Space #B136, Rochester Hills, MI

Forum @ Gateways, 44625 Mound Road, Mound & M-59, Sterling Heights, MI

Minnesota:

Andover Marketplace, Andover, MN

Burnsville Center, 1030 Burnsville Center, Burnsville, MN

Southdale Center, 2525 Southdale Center, Edina, MN

Five Lakes Center, 334 South State St, Fairmont, MN

Midway Shopping Center, 1470 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN

Kandi Mall, 1605 1st St S, Willmar, MN

Mississippi:

Northpark Mall, 1200 East County Line Road, Space 159, Ridgeland, MS

Missouri:

West Park Mall, 3049 Route K, Cape Girardeau, MO

Chesterfield Commons, 204 THF Blvd, Chesterfield, MO

Battlefield Mall, Space #337, 2825 South Glenstone, Springfield, MO

Nebraska:

One Osborne Place, Hastings, NE

Nevada:

The Summit Sierra, 13987 South Virginia Street, Space 700, Reno, NV

New Hampshire:

Walmart Plaza, 1458 Lakeshore Rd, Gilford, NH

New Jersey:

Diamond Springs, 41 Diamond Spring Rd., Denville, NJ

The Shoppes At Union Hill, 3056 State Route 10, Denville, NJ

American Dream, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ

Menlo Park Shopping Center, 29 Menlo Park, Edison, NJ

302 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ

The Wall Towne Center, 2437 Route 34, Manasquan, NJ

Town Brooks Commons, 840 ROUTE 35 S, Middletown, NJ

Mall @ Short Hills, Rt 24 & J.f. Kennedy Pkw, Short Hills, NJ

Tri-City Plaza, Toms River, NJ

Willingboro Plaza, 4364 Route 130 North, Willingboro, NJ

New Mexico:

Cottonwood Mall, 10000 Coors Bypass Nw, Space #d205, Albuquerque, NM

New York:

Deer Park Commons, 506 Commack Road, Deer Park, NY

Genesee Valley Shopping Center, 4290 Lakeville Rd, Geneseo, NY

Northgate Plaza, 3848 Dewey Ave, Greece, NY

Johnstown Mall, 236 North Comrie Ave, Johnstown, NY

Chautauqua Mall, 318 East Fairmont, Lakewood, NY

360 Eighth Ave, New York, NY

100 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY

163 E 125th St, New York, NY

Staten Island Mall, 2655 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, NY

Green Acres Mall, 1134 Green Acres Mall, Valley Stream, NY

Eastview Mall, 7979 Victor-Pittsford Road, Victor, NY

North Carolina:

The Arboretum Shopping Center, 3339 Pineville Matthews, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC

Blakeney Shop Center, Charlotte, NC

Southpark Mall, 4400 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC

Four Seasons Town Center, 346 Four Seasons Mall, Greensboro, NC

Cross Pointe Center, 1250-l Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC

Related: From Bankruptcy to $87 Million in Funding: How Tamara Mellon Saved Her Namesake Brand

Ohio:

Dayton Mall, 2700 Miamisburg Centerville Rd, Dayton, OH

Ohio River Plaza, 13 Ohio River Plaza, Township Road & 11 & Sr 7, Gallipolis, OH

Indian Mound Mall, 771 S 30th St, Heath, OH

The Shoppes Of Mason, 5220 Kings Mills Road, Mason, OH

Heritage Crossing, 3113 Heritage Green, Monroe, OH

The Town Center At Levis, 4135 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg, OH

Miami Valley Centre, 987 E. Ash Street, Piqua, OH

Sandusky Mall, 4314 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH

Southpark Mall, 500 Southpark Center, Strongsville, OH

Crocker Park, 137 Market Street, West Lake, OH

Meadow Park Plaza, 1659 Rombach Ave, Wilmington, OH

Oklahoma:

Neilson Square, 3322 W Owwn K Garriott Road, Enid, OK

Oregon:

Cascade Station, 10207 NE Cascades Pkwy, Portland, OR

Seaside Factory Outlet, 1111 North Roosevelt, Seaside, OR

Pennsylvania:

South Mall, 3300 Lehigh Street, Allentown, PA

Logan Valley Mall, 300 Logan Valley Mall, Bk 4, Altoona, PA

Clearview Mall, Route 8, Butler, PA

Clearfield Mall, 1800 Daisy Street, Clearfield, PA

Neshaminy Mall, 707 Neshaminy Mall, Cornwell Heights, PA

Cranberry Mall, 20111 Route 19. & Freedom, Cranberry, PA

Oxford Valley Mall, 2300 E Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, PA

Hyde Park Plaza, 451 Hyde Park Road, Leechburg, PA

Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, PA

Shoppes At Montage, 2105 Shoppes Blvd, Moosic, PA

Edgmont Square Shopping Center, Newtown Square, PA

Pine Creek Center, 195 Blazier Drive, Unit 6, Pittsburgh, PA

Springfield Mall, 1200 Baltimore Pike, Springfield, PA

Lehigh Valley Mall, 215 Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall, PA

3097 Willow Grove Mall, 2500 Moreland Road, Willow Grove, PA

Wynnewood Shopping Center, 50 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, PA

York Galleria, 2899 Whiteford Rd, York, PA

Rhode Island:

Hunt River Commons, 72 Frenchtown Road, North Kingston, RI

Diamond Hill Plaza, 1790 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI

South Carolina:

Anderson Mall, 3139 N Main, Anderson, SC

Haywood Mall, 700 Haywood Road, Greenville, SC

North Hills Shopping Center, 2435 E North Street, Suite 1115, Greenville, SC

Myrtle Beach Mall, Myrtle Beach, SC

Shoppes At Stonecrest, 1149 Stonecrest Blvd, Tega Cay, SC

Tennessee:

University Commons, 2459 University Commons W, B160, Knoxville, TN

Three Star Shopping Center, 1410 Sparta Road, McMinnville, TN

Southland Mall, 1215 East Shelby Drive, Memphis, TN

Wolfchase Galleria, Memphis, TN

Texas:

Alamo Corners, 1451 Durenta Avenue, Suite 3, Alamo, TX

Barton Creek Square, 2901 Capital Of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX

Sunland Park Mall, 750 Sunland Park Drive, Space J4, El Paso, TX

North East Mall, 1101 Melbourn Road, Suite #3090, Hurst, TX

Sheppard Square, 2055 Westheimer, Suite 160, Houston, TX

Ingram Park Mall, 6301 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, TX

Rivercenter Mall, 849 East Commerce Street, San Antonio, TX

Virginia:

Charlottesville Fashion Square, 1588 Fashion Square Mall, Charlottesville, VA

Franklin Commons, 144 Council Drive, Franklin, VA

Dulles 28, 22000 Dulles Retail Plaza, Ste 154, Sterling, VA

Maple Avenue Shopping Ctr, 335 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA

Washington:

Everett Mall, 1402 SE Everett Mall, Suite #225, Everett, WA

Village At Redmond Ridge, Redmond, WA

The Joule, 509 Broadway, Seattle, WA

Jefferson Square, 4722 West 42nd Ave SW, Seattle, WA

Spokane Valley Mall, 14700 E Indiana Avenue, Spokane Valley, WA

Green Firs Shopping Center, University Place, WA

Vancouver Plaza, 7809 Vancouver Plaza #160, Vancouver, WA

Wisconsin:

Bay Park Square, 311-a Bay Park Square, Green Bay, WI

East Town Mall, 2350 East Mason Street, Green Bay, WI

Janesville Mall, 2500 Milton Ave, Space 117, Janesville, WI

The Shops Of Grand Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

West Virginia:

Greenbrier Valley Mall, 75 Seneca Trail & US Route 219, Fairlea, WV

Puerto Rico:

Plaza Guayama, Guayama, PR

Condominio Reina De Casti, 100 Paseo Gilberto, San Juan, PR

Centro Gran Caribe, Carretera #2 Km 29.7, Vega Alta, PR

Canada:

Marlborough Mall, Calgary, AB, Canada

Shawnessy Town Centre, Calgary, AB, Canada

Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Bower Place, Red Deer, AB, Canada

Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, 32900 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC, Canada

Brentwood Towne Centre, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Eagle Landing Sc, 706-8249 Eagle Landing Pk, Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Dawson Mall, 11000 8th Street, Dawson Creek, BC, Canada

Willowbrook Shopping Center, Langley, BC, Canada

Queensborough Landing, New Westminster, BC, Canada

Mayfair Shopping Centre, Victoria, BC, Canada

Brandon Shoppers, 1570-18th St Unit 87, Brandon, MB, Canada

Smartcentres Corner Brook, Corner Brook, NL, Canada

Georgian Mall, 509 Bayfield Street, Barrie, ON, Canada

Lynden Park Mall, 84 Lynden Road, Brantford, ON, Canada

Cataraqui Town Center, 945 Gardiners Rd, Kingston, ON, Canada

Williamsburg Town Centre, Kitchener, ON, Canada

Masonville Place, London, ON, Canada

Markham Town Centre, 8601 Warden Ave, Markham, ON, Canada

Creekside Crossing, 1560 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON, Canada

Erin Mills Town Centre, Mississauga, ON, Canada

Westside Market Village, 520 Riddell Road, Orangeville, ON, Canada

Markham Steeles Shopping Centre, 5981 Steeles Avenue East, Scarborough, ON, Canada

Morningside Crossing, Scarborough, ON, Canada

New Sudbury Centre, 1349 Lasalle Blvd, Sudbury, ON, Canada

St Claire & Runnymede Rd, 2555 St Clair Ave West, Toronto, ON, Canada

Colussus Centre, 31 Colussus Dr, Vaughan, ON, Canada

Laurier Quebec, 2700 Laurier Boulevard, Quebec, PQ, Canada

Galeries Rive Nord, 100 Boulevare Brien, Repentigny, PQ, Canada

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The marginalization, as well as inequitable and inhumane treatment of people of color, is a broken record in this country. It is baked into our nation’s systems, policies, and laws. I am inspired and encouraged by the unified uprising across the nation and around the world in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others that are leading to police reform and a commitment from companies large and small to open dialogue and have the uncomfortable conversations that could lead to a change in corporate culture.

As a Black tech founder, I believe my industry must play a role in this change as well. We also have the opportunity to go beyond simply updating company cultures and HR practices. For many communities of color, technology has been a tool of oppression — but technology can also be a solution that is used for good. It’s time to do that.

I believe we can change perspectives and help our fellow neighbors see that the tech innovations we use to automate trading on the market, build the next viral game, help track and contain COVID-19, can also be used to eradicate the historic and systemic disease of racism that lingers in our country. 

Technology can serve as an accelerator for change. In most cases, civic and community leaders will debate the needs and challenges that have afflicted communities for years, sometimes decades, with little movement towards identifying sustainable solutions. The agility of technology can help communities realize solutions more expeditiously.

Here are some recent examples of tech-driven change:

  • In Baltimore, a coalition of more than 50 companies and non-profits have joined forces to address digital inequity. They now collect, refurbish and distribute devices, and ensure that all communities have access to WiFi. A digital divide has existed for years, but COVID-19 and remote learning made it an imperative that we solve this issue immediately.
     
  • When California legalized marijuana, it also created a pathway for people to clear many criminal records that were once associated with marijuana possession or sale. However, a disproportionate number of Black and Latino people didn’t have access to that system — meaning their records were still a barrier to work, education, and housing. The nonprofit organization Code for America aims to fix that. A pilot program it launched in partnership with the California government uses technology to automatically clear people’s records.
     
  • Globally, tech companies are thinking about ways they can use technology for good. HACK Baltimore, a movement in Baltimore that brings technologists together with local stakeholders, recently created a system using the Airtable platform to track inventory, areas of need and project completions for non-profit Dent Education, which is training Baltimore City students to create PPE. A similar international program, Call for Code, is an annual competition in partnership with IBM that invites software developers to solve a specific humanitarian challenge.
     
  • In 2019, 16 agile digital services firms joined forces to create the Digital Services Coalition. Its mission is to bring innovation and agility to government IT contracting. The coalition aims to break through traditional barriers in the public sector and foster collaboration to implement more agility to drive transparency, efficiency and modernization of legacy systems.

Technology can help communities and leaders think differently. If that’s done collaboratively, technology can also improve the user experience to create solutions with communities — not for them. Technologists can help translate challenges into solutions, and use discovery, design thinking, automation, and other tools to improve life for marginalized communities. When all of this is built into their missions, companies can make a difference for their communities without sacrificing revenue. In fact, a greater commitment to corporate citizenship will drive talent retention and recruitment — and the more diverse a company’s talent pool is, the greater potential a company has for expanding its impact.

I’m a big believer in the power of technology. We can build applications that can scale to reach millions of people across the world. We architect self-healing systems. We’ve sent people to the moon — the moon! But we can’t figure out how to use technology to solve some of our country’s deeply-rooted challenges? It’s not a lack of intelligence or ability. It’s a lack of effort. 

It’s time for tech to have its own uprising. We need to commit to breaking down barriers that keep our industry siloed from the community. In this way we will help grow the pipeline of tech talent and entrepreneurs, and do our most important work.

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For entrepreneurs, it’s often important to be on the cutting edge of trends in technology. From implementing the smartest AI in your operations to ensuring you have the best data tools at your disposal, there are obvious business benefits to being ahead of the technology game. However, from a more nuanced standpoint, it also pays to have the best personal tech, too. After all, are you more likely to close a deal if you’re going into a meeting with a Motorola RAZR or an innovative, cutting-edge beauty like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip?

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