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Technology: Biz Contest & Special Offers
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Jump Start Your Biz: $50,000 in Dell Products!

Dell has teamed up with Endeavor, ICSB and NFIB to launch the Small Business Excellence Awards. Applications are due by April 3, 2009. For more info on rules and eligibility, visit www.dell.com/CEAward. To get help with your application, contact a SCORE mentor in your area (Find SCORE) or online (Ask SCORE).

excited_woman_laptopNine National Finalists Receive:
Dell business-class notebook
One-year NFIB membership

One National Winner Receives:
A day at Dell, including time with Michael Dell
$25,000 in Dell products and services
A lifetime membership to NFIB

One Global Award Winner Receives:
$50,000 in Dell products and services
An entrepreneur’s summit hosted by Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell
A lifetime membership to ICSB
Access to Endeavor’s network of biz leaders and high-impact entrepreneurs

Get Deals and Special Offers via Twitter

twitter_logoFellow blogger, Peg Corwin, recently wrote a post on the benefits of Twitter for small business.  Dell has also recognized the potential of Twitter and has created a special account, Twitter.com/DellSmBizOffers, to provide deals and promotions to small biz owners. If you’re in the market for new computer equipment, it’s worth following.

Have you heard of any new contests, special offers or interesting sites for small biz?  Leave a comment below and share with the rest of us.

-Jacalyn Barnes, SCORE
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SCORE
For 50 years, SCORE has helped aspiring and current small business owners achieve their dreams. Through a network of over 11,000 volunteer business mentors in 340+ chapters across the country, SCORE connects decades of business experience and knowledge with those who can best use it.
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Success: Tip 3 – Brand Yourself, Don’t Embarrass Yourself
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How many times have you found yourself walking through a store, scanning hundreds of items a minute, disregarding most of them, but occasionally stopping to touch something or pick it up to get a closer look? Now picture that same store – whether a supermarket, department store, warehouse or club store – and replace the sea of products with people. You heard me. Imagine every box, can, pair of pants, video, book, and bag of candy replaced with a person just like you. Visualize thousands of them…maybe more…maybe a million in any given store. Now, do that visual walk through again. Would you notice you?

Let’s be honest, most of us look a heck of a lot alike. While we’re all certainly different and special in our own ways, at first glance we blend into a sea of countless others. Whether you’re looking to launch a new business, build your reputation, earn a promotion, attract a great new client, or to be considered for a special opportunity, standing out—in a positive way—is essential. But what do most people see if they come in to take a closer look? How often are you putting your best foot forward in person, or online?

Now that the economy has taken a downturn and great opportunities are getting harder and harder to find, this is the perfect time to build (or refine) your professional brand. Odds are, when someone goes to look for you online or learn more about you, they come up with little or nothing you would want them to see. If you fall into either of these categories, it’s time to do something about your online persona, or lackthereof, and build a professional identity. At YSN, we happen to call it a PROJO – your professional mojo. After helping thousands of people around the world build theirs, I can assure you that building a professional profile that you can truly be proud of will not only build your confidence, but your business too!

Do yourself a favor and also conduct a personal and professional brand audit of yourself . Analyze everything that the outside world could find out about you with a simple online search. Objectively consider the kind of impression you’re portraying, then clean it up. Start being more intentional, purposeful, and proactive about the kind of image you’re projecting online. Don’t assume others are going to take the time to “get to know you”. It’s your responsibility to grab and hold their attention. Because just like being one in a sea of products on shelves, you too have a matter of seconds to impress upon others that you’re worth a closer look.

Jennifer Kushell is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Secrets of the Young & Successful: How to Get Everything You Want Without Waiting a Lifetime. As President & Co-founder of YSN, Jennifer has dedicated her life to helping young professionals and entrepreneurs in over 130 countries find success through powerful tools like the YSN Assessment.

Jennifer Kushell, Guest Blogger
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