iTunes in other countries?

February 4, 2013

How do I get access to an app that is not yet available in our country? It always takes ages before an app is offered in our region, is there a workaround? How do you get all the latest (free) apps?
This blog will provide an answer to these frequently asked questions.

Sometimes certain apps are not available in certain territories. Your iTunes account is setup in 1 country, normally the one you live in.  For paid apps, it might be challenging to set it up in different countries, because you need a local bankcard or credit card. What a lot of people don’t know, is that you can easily setup an account, even without payment options. Really cool if you are interested in free apps (for now)! 😉

How to set it up in 10 steps?

  1. Open iTunes and go to the App Store.iTunes-UK-flag
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the flag (right hand corner).
  3. Select the country you want (e.g. USA) by clicking on the right flag.usa-iTunes
  4. You are now in the right iTunes Store. If you were signed in, you will notice you automatically are logged out.
  5. Now search for the App you are looking for (e.g. CardMunch).
  6. Click on the “Free” button to download it. A popup box appears and asks for your Apple ID.  Choose the “Create Apple ID” button.
  7. Click “Continue” and Accept the Terms & Conditions by clicking the “Agree” button.
  8. Provide the Apple ID details in the form.
  9. Provide a Payment Method, choose “None” and fill in an address. How do you find an address? I rent one using MyUS.com. Of course, you can also Google one, but that might not be the best way forward.
  10. Wait for the confirmation email to arrive, confirm it and download your app straightaway!

Now you can enjoy a truckload of apps from this extra iTunes Store in the country of your choice. It goes without saying that this is probably the easiest way, but limited to free apps.  Start with the free ones, I might share the next steps later for paid apps.

Enjoy Every Day,
Bert Verdonck


20 years in love

July 30, 2011

Can you believe it? I am in love for more than 20 years! Tonia and I are officially together for 20 years!

I know that very few people meet their soulmate or even a significant other during their lifetime. I guess I am just lucky (although I don’t believe in luck) 😉

Many people often ask us what the secrets are of our long-lasting relationship?

It is rather difficult to come up with an exhaustive list that will make any relationship work. Remember that we are not experts in this matter, we are only experienced 🙂

But if I have to come up with some elements, then here they are:

  • Acceptance : accept who you are and especially who the other person is. Accept his/her beauty and his/her “faults”. Don’t try to fix him/her!
  • Trust : if there is no trust, there is no relationship! Give each other enough freedom too. It’s OK to do things apart from each other.
  • Openness : be open-minded and listen to what the other person is telling you. No kidding, really listen. You can always answer (or judge) later on.
  • Being there : if you are not there, you miss the most beautiful moments together. You might grow apart!
  • Grow together : inspire each other to grow. Create space to develop yourself and the other person too. Learn from each other.
  • Honesty : be honest to each other and talk, communicate as much as possible. And please listen! Didn’t I tell you that already 😉
  • Magic : create some magic in your relationship. Keep the romance going. We have one evening during the week that we call “date night”.  We take turns to discover new places together, doing something new, eating out, walking or just talking. Where is the magic in your relationship?
  • Fun : create time to do fun things together! Tonia is my best friend. We laugh a lot, no we are laughing every day! If you can’t have fun together, why are you still together?

Like I said, these are only some points that are making a difference to our lives. And we are glad to share them with you!

Enjoy and have a great life (together)!

Bert & Tonia

P.S.: It might also help to say : I ♥ YOU  to each other (regularly)!


Twitter Shortcuts

July 29, 2011

There is no way around it, so let’s face it: Twitter is one of the top social media in the world! If you don’t have a clue what tweeps or hashtags are, then this article is NOT for you. However, if you have been using Twitter for a while and you want to improve your way of working with its interface, you’ll find several Twitter Shortcuts right here!

The Genius Shortcut to remember them all is “?”. When you have logged yourself into Twitter, regardless of on which page you are, just press ? See what happens…you will get the overview I am providing you below 🙂

To be honest, I am not using this interface myself, because I was not a fan of the Twitter interface before. A lot has changed in the last 12 months and I might reconsider if I hadn’t discovered HootSuite. If you want to know more about HootSuite, read this. Back to Twitter now. A lot of people have been asking me to tell them these Twitter Shortcuts, so time to share the Twitter Shortcuts with you. There are 3 categories : Actions, Navigation and Timelines. Of course, I’ll share a couple of extra hidden Twitter Shortcuts too 🙂

Actions
f : favorite
r : reply
t : retweet
m : direct message
n : new Tweet
enter : toggle details pane

Navigation
? : overview of the Twitter Shortcuts
j : next Tweet
k : previous Tweet
space : page down
/ : search
. : refresh Tweets and back to top

Timelines
g h : home
g r : replies / mentions
g p : profile
g f : favorites
g m : messages
g u : go to user

Hidden (= not mentioned on the overview)

Enter : to drill down into or close a selected tweet
Escape : to cancel a compose window, dismiss the help window
Shift+Space : to page up
. : to go to the top of the page

Have fun with Twitter! And if you need another hand, just find me and dare to ask : @bertverdonck


LinkedIn InMaps

February 3, 2011

We all know that one of the biggest strengths of LinkedIn is the visualization of your network. Unlike other business networks, you can actually see how you are connected with other people.

What happens if you would take it one step further and visualize what your LinkedIn network really looks like? In one screen? Right!

InMaps is in fact an interactive visual representation of your professional network. You can explore and learn to understand the relationships between you and all of your LinkedIn connections. Do you have clusters and a certain structure in your network? Or not at all?

How does it work? You go to this link. Login with your LinkedIn account and it will generate your map. You notice that several colors are used. You can choose a title for each color. They represent different affiliations or groups from your professional career, such as your previous work experiences, people you have met at a conference, college classmates, or industries you have worked in.

Some people have a bigger name than others. They represent people who are the most connected within that specific cluster or group. It gets even more interesting: When you click on a contact within a circle in your InMaps you will see their profile pop up on the right, as well as lines highlighting how they are connected to your connections. Like I said, discover the relationships within your LinkedIn network.

Why is that important? If you know how you are connected to the people who are in the best position to help you reach your (networking)goals, you are getting closer to realizing your goals!

Need a video to see it? Enjoy!

Have fun with InMaps,

Bert


Be Generous

January 1, 2011

“Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.”

– Horace Mann –

What is generosity? Wikipedia has it right : “Generosity is the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering time, assets or talents to aid someone in need.” This is completely in line with what we teach at Networking Coach with the first fundamental principle of Networking : the Networking Attitude also known as “Give and Receive“. To me it is in essence a sincere desire to make others’ lives easier or more pleasant.

Why would you want to be generous? “There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.”

– Peyton Conway March –

It is a fact that generous people are happier in life. They feel that their life is more meaningful and they appreciate it more. Being a generous person will help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.

Now, what does it take to Be Generous? In fact, very little. Here are 5 steps on how to become more generous :

  1. Start with being generous to yourself. By doing that you are able to be open to and respond to the needs of others. Because most of us, do not actually start with themselves, here is my personal tip : start this week, undertake one pleasurable activity for yourself and one equally pleasurable activity that will benefit another person.
  2. Continue to give, even if it is small stuff. Remember : It’s all about the small stuff! Give things away that cost you little or nothing. Have you recently walked around? Did you notice how few people actually smile? What is the effect of giving a smile to someone? Right! Here is something else I do : when drinking something in a bar and I am about to leave, I also pay for another table of people I don’t know. Of course, I don’t tell them and just leave. You see, it’s not about me giving it, it’s about them receiving it. How much does it cost? On average about 10 euro (13 $). That’s all it takes to make people happy! 🙂
  3. Grow into “being” generous. As you are consciously generous to others, it will get easier and easier. Soon the time will come when you are automatically generous. A pleasant side effect is that others will be more generous to you. You will experience that “what goes around, comes around.” A simple approach is to reflect on what you have in your current life. What do you really need? What did you spend money on that you do not need (anymore)? Start giving it away to others who really need it. Or sell it and give the money to charity. Have you heard about “Random Acts of Kindness“?
  4. Give it forward. Being generous is also contagious, so if you show generosity towards one person then that person might show generosity towards somebody else. If you have not seen it yet : Pay it forward. Watch it and think how you can help generosity forward.
  5. Change the world. One step at a time. One person can change the world! Are you that person? A great example is Bärli von Toggenburg. With his Colour the World Foundation he made a big impression on me. With his 9300 km solo-bicycle expedition from New Delhi (India) to Switzerland he raised 180,000 euro (240K $) for leprosy-sufferers in India and Cambodia. You surely remember the Star Thrower (Read this short version). Bärli made a big difference for those leprosy-sufferers! Are you willing to step up too?

Yes, I am committed to step up and be more generous! In 2011 another big step forward in being generous will be achieved! A very promising program will be launched : The Generous Networker. Stay tuned and participate too! Now that you know what my next steps are, what are yours? How generous will you be? What will you do to be generous in 2011? Are you a person that will change the world? Let me know if you need any help, ok?


Company Pages

November 4, 2010

LinkedIn announced the launch of Company Pages to help businesses of all sizes attract new customers using trusted, professional product and service recommendations. According to their press-release, these Company Pages would “Allow Businesses to Leverage Word-of-Mouth to Attract New Customers”.

So, what are they talking about? From now on, you can add your products or services to LinkedIn to attract, showcase and receive recommendation from your clients. Why would you do that? It’s a common fact that we tend to rely on our network before we buy certain products or services. By endorsing certain products your clients can leverage your attraction to new customers. It’s like extra endorsements! If you have people in your network who recommend a certain product that you are thinking about buying it for yourself, chances are that you tend to buy what they bought, because they endorse it.

A simple example : when you ask a friend or a colleague for a great place to have lunch with a client and he gives you a recommendation on a certain restaurant. Guess where you’ll be going for lunch next? Why? If he tells you it is a great place to eat, you believe him. If an advertisement tells you that, it has less impact.

What are the next  steps? If you don’t have a company page yet, create one! It is easy & simple. Then add a number of your products or services. Invite a number of your customers to recommend them if they feel like it. While you start receiving recommendations for your products or services, you can start promoting them and relate to them in your communication. It will also bring more visibility,  increase credibility and as a consequence of your rising “Know, Like & Trust” factor you probably attract more customers through your LinkedIn network. In addition to reviews, you can display videos, product information and targeted ads on your Company Pages.


Promote Your Blog on LinkedIn

July 26, 2010


How to promote your blog on LinkedIn?

There are multiple ways to do it. Here are 5 toptips that you can implement immediately:

1. Add your blog in your profile, under Websites. Most people have standard links to their website : My Website, My Company or My Blog. Change”Your Blog” into the actual title of your blog (or keywords). How? Choose ‘edit’ at websites, add a field ‘Other’. Here you can add a title and a URL.

2. Add Application. Here you can also insert your blog if you are blogging with WordPress or TypePad. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Application Directory’. Click the blog of your choice and install the application. From now on, your new blogs will appear automatically on your LinkedIn profile.

3. Update your status. When you write a new blog article, you can let your network know by updating your status. Add the link to your blog in the update. Of course, you can repeat this step everytime you are publishing an update on your blog.

4. Participate in Discussions in your favorite groups. Go to your groups and participate in the ongoing discussions. See where your blog has an answer to one of these discussions. Mention it while you answer them.

5. Answers. It is a great place to get more visibility and get more ‘expert’ status. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Answers’. Look for questions people are asking. Answer them by referring also to your blog. Or turn it around: write a blog article where you answer questions and put the link in the answers. It will create additional traffic to your blog as well!

Of course, these tips will only work if you have a blog 🙂 I am using WordPress and I recommend it to anyone.

Bert Verdonck is an extraordinary life coach and an inventive lifehacker. Bert is also one of the official Certified LinkedIn Trainers worldwide. Next to pragmatic trainings and personal coaching, he is an international keynote speaker to inspire and help professionals with their efficiency. As a published author and the founder of ‘Genius Shortcuts’ he already saved thousands of people at least 2 hours per day!


Attitude at Work

April 6, 2010

Nothing halts progress like someone who is discontent simply for the sake of being discontent. It’s demoralizing to others, and it draws energy, resources and time from the tasks being executed. I used to have a big issue with people like that. And I still do. I understand some people are choosing security over anything else in their job, but with this attitude we are going nowhere!

I love it when people are enthusiastic about the task at hand. It’s inspiring and it will get done much faster and more efficiently. And of course, I know that it is never easy for people who are discontent. The thing is, when they are discontent about something, we can talk about it, we can get to the core or the reason of this attitude. I love to have discussions on that, because it builds a common trust and understanding.

Where I do have an issue with are people who are discontent for the sake of it. When you start a discussion with them, nothing is good. “We’ll never get it done” or “It won’t work” are quotes they are frequently using. On top of that, they don’t have any interest in what they do each day or what the team is trying to achieve. They will never change and they are proud of it. Any reasonable discussion is waived or avoided. They never smile, in the best case they are indifferent. In most cases they are demoralizing the other members of your team.

My advice : Get them out! Move them off the team or they will destroy your team. Why would you cope with them if they are only there to get the money at the end of the month? Why invest time in them if they are not willing to do anything with a good attitude? It might seem harsh, but I think it is the only way to make your team more successful. Remove the “bad” apple from the basket…

What’s the alternative? Let them sit there and let them destroy your team? I don’t think so! Rather get them out. Move on with your team and get things done…

Source Picture: http://bit.ly/CejO


And the Winner is…

March 22, 2010

Did you ever had that moment where you are sitting in a room full of people and some contest was going on? Then suddenly the crowd’s attention goes up and the speaker on stage says: “And the Winner is…” a couple of seconds filled with extra silence…and then your name pops up! What? Was that my name? Sure? People start to look your way and spots find a way to you. You get up and slowly move towards the stage. Almost there, you realize this is actually happening! And you start to smile 🙂

This is exactly what happened to me a couple of days ago! Where was I and what was going on? Let me start from the beginning. As you know, I am a public speaker and share my message regularly on stage. Several friends asked me if I would join the Professional Speakers Assiociation (PSA). I am already a member of so many organisations that I intended to decline. People from all over the world suggested me to do that, some insisting more than others 🙂 So, finally, last tuesday, I decided to join PSA Holland, the Dutch chapter (no Belgian yet!) of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF). One of the goals that I made that day was to be on stage for them on their next convention (honestly I was thinking of 2011!). And I enrolled for the PSA Holland 2010 Convention immediately afterwards. This convention took place last weekend.

So, upon arriving, I registered and started to network a bit. Jan Vermeiren was also present and he introduced me to some of the people he knew. One of them was Christine Morlet, negociation expert and organizer of the “Elevator Pitch”-challenge. She asked if I where interested in joining a game and of course I said yes, actually not sure what I said yes too 🙂 Anyway, she explaines that at this PSA convention they are holding an “Elevator Pitch”-contest. The only thing I need to do, is present myself on stage in less than 120 words and less than 2 minutes. Most participants enrolled for it before the event and some backed off and so she was a couple of contestants short. So, I volunteered. Was that smart? I’ll answer that later on…

I presented my “Elevator Pitch” and was already satisfied that I got the visibility, let alone the feedback from the jury. It was well organized and they had a life voting-system (Sendsteps for more info). Because I was sitting behind the camera-man, I wasn’t really paying much attention to the scoreboard. But you know what happened next, right? Exactly! Before I knew it, I was on my way to the stage and jumped right on it! With a big smile, because I had won! And the Winner is Bert Verdonck with 52% of the votes (Can you believe it?)! Yes, the first price is a relax weekend in the Provence (France), thanks for asking 🙂

What just happened here?

Let me share you my personal “Elevator Pitch” according to the above rules and share some of the feedback that I got, from the jury and other participants.

“Most professional speakers are always looking for an audience, right? How fast can you be on stage before your target audience? We all want a shortcut! As the newest PSA Holland member, I did it in less than 3 days to be here in front of you! That is exactly what I do. Shortcuts! With Genius Shortcuts I teach you practical tools and tips to save you 2 hours/day or hack away other frustrations. I am a lifehacker and I help people through keynote speaking, trainings and workshops. So, think about how you would feel if one of your biggest frustrations disappeared forever? Come and see me afterwards and I will share free Genius Shortcuts so you can feel happier!”

Some of the feedback that I received:

  • Relaxed, great & pleasant voice, to the point, looked at the audience and the jury, great timing, radiant, great connection with the audience, fully present on stage, you walk your talk: you speak easy & simple, very good pitch, clear message from the start, well developed pitch, great impact, engaging, surprising opener, good pause and excellent posture.
  • Points to improve: wear your jacket (I forgot to put it on before walking on stage!), take more time (I only used 1 min instead of 2, so more room for extra details), not always clear what it really is about (lifehacking?), start smiling before you get on stage, explain better, give more examples, can be more confident, a bit too vague and explain more who your target audience is.

I am really thankful for all the feedback that I got and I am looking forward to sharpen this elevator story even more.

Why do I tell you all this? So you know how important it is to know your own Elevator Pitch. And to look for your Genius Shortcuts to find an audience or clients faster. Of course, it is also proof that you don’t have to be a longtime member to get the necessary visibility. Finally, it is important to receive feedback from other professionals, so that you improve. If no one ever tells you what you could do to improve, you don’t move forward, let alone become better at what you do…


Slow Down

January 3, 2010

“Our culture puts a premium on speed, deifying this notion that faster is better, that you must fill every single moment with activity. There’s a powerful taboo that makes “slow” a dirty word. In this hyped-up world, we need to keep an eye on our personal speedometers – it’s very easy to do things fast just because everything else around you is going fast, without even considering whether or not it makes sense.”

– Carl Honoré –

I agree with him we are living in a world of speed. Also with my Genius Shortcuts and lifehacking fun I am speeding up activities, skills and results. This is what most people are looking for, besides a meaning in life, but that’s a different story 🙂 So, yes, I like speed. Why? Because it creates more time to have fun. More time to relax. If a boring activity takes me 4 hours, why would I be bored for 4 hours? What if I can do it in 1 hour with maintaining the quality of the results? I have 3 hours to slow down or do something else what is important to me. What’s the point in being frustrated for another 3 hours? None!

This also means that I certainly see the value of slowing down. With my focus on simplicity, finding the Genius Shortcuts and improving the fun we have, I know I am speeding up most of  (all?) the time. And I like it, because it brings so much joy and fulfillment. And did I mention the extra time? Right, to do whatever we like with it…This means slowing down tremendously! So, indeed, Carl is right when he talks about the impact of speed. He sees it from the pressure people are putting themselves under to get more and more. The difference is that most people never take time to slow down! Indeed not the right way to go…

Carl also talks about slowing down because of the impact on others and on our own body and mind. When he speedreads a bed-time story to his kids, even skipping a couple of paragraphs, we all agree that the most relaxing part of the day for his kids is hurried up by him. They know the stories inside out and question him about certain details in these stories, like “What happened to Grumpy?” If you only talk about 3 instead of 7 dwarfs in Snow White 🙂

You can see how this became a wake-up call for him. And again, he was rushing too much instead of slowing down and take time for this  intimate and tender moment with his kids. So, he decided to change all that. He went on a business trip soon afterward. During that flight the first thing he did was doing nothing. Just sitting there and do nothing. Thinking about it, “wasting” time to reflect. By the time he got of that plane, he decided to take action and do something about it. He came up with 2 questions :

1. How do we get so fast?

2. Is it possible or desirable to slow down?

I’d answer the first question with my Genius Shortcuts.  Finding simple tricks that speed up the process and get the results faster. This means you can choose what to do with that extra time you’ve created. My choice is easy : more fun, more time to slow down and enjoy life. And that answers his second question. For me it is desirable to slow down. In fact it is a prerequisite to enjoy more!

By slowing down at the right moments we eat better, get healthier,  have more fun, are more relaxed and we get things better done. We work better and get better results, in fact a better life. How surprisingly 🙂

You see how Carl and I are on the same wavelength here. To give you an even better perspective, have a look at his inspirational talk at TED. Enjoy it and take some time out to watch it fully!

After watching this, what action(s) are you going to take to slow down? Let us know… and take your time 🙂