CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Facebook logoYou’ve probably seen them. Sponsored ads in Facebook. And you have probably noticed this creepy phenomena where you go to a Website (like Amazon), then when you go to Facebook, that same product shows up!

You might think it’s strange, but it really is no mystery. It’s called retargeting or pixeling. It’s all done by grabbing a pixel and inserting it into your website.

It’s an extremely effective and cheap way to get the word out about your brand. After all, it’s repetition of seeing your offer that makes a difference in sales.

So how can you take advantage of retargeting ads in Facebook?

First of all, be specific in your offer and who you are offering it to. This will give you the best results.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences lets you make the right offer to the right audience who already knows you! Now that will really help you increase brand awareness!

Facebook Website Creation lets you create a list and run ads to audiences who have visited your website.

This is powerful because they have shown interest in your website and they have shown interest in you. They showed that by visiting your site.

How? Use your content to build focused lists and offer them what they want.

Here are the steps to take:

1. Segment your website content based on your audience and niche

2. Create keywords that will go into every URL that you produce in the future

3. Organize your existing content into a spreadsheet

4. Go into Facebook

5. Log into ‘Create Audience” button

6. Choose “Custom Audience from Your Website”

7. Accept Facebook’s TOS and click “Create Audience.”

8. Set up your website custom audiences.

9. Insert Custom Audience Pixel into your Website’s code (do this only one time).

10. After you click submit, the custom audience will display in the audiences tab in ads manager.

11. Create ads that target this category. That could be a blog or a lead magnet (freebie).

12. Do this over and over again! Test and test! Learn from your failures and build on your successes! Read More→

Mar
16

Awesome Jobs That Are Family-Friendly

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Every good Christian wants to be a good parent. In fact, a Christian that takes their faith seriously intends to be a good person overall. However, as parents, our kids mean the world to us, and there is nothing we wouldn’t do for them, and that includes finding a new job. In today’s society, it isn’t easy to have a career and be a doting parent. Employers demand long hours, and some just aren’t flexible when it comes to the work-home dynamic. The result is that a lot of us have to deal with the fact that we can’t be there for our kids until the clock strikes five thirty. If only there were another way.

The good news is there is another way – find a job that is family-friendly. Here are the careers and positions which place a lot of emphasis on their employees’ well being. How very Christian.

 

Teaching

Most of us have a friend who is a teacher, and we know all of the juicy gossip. We are aware just how hard it is to play politics and teach at the same time, and how kids love to misbehave. For the most part, we think ‘I would never do that job’ and silently thank God we don’t have to go into the classroom every morning. The thing is, though, teaching isn’t a bad profession from a parent’s point of view. Sure, there is a lot of work during and after class, but the weekends are free and not every family gets to spend quality time together. Plus, the holidays are great. There is also the fact that schools finish early. That means a teacher can do the school run and take care of the kids until dad comes home. Then, it’s time to finish off that marking. It sounds a little hectic, and I’m sure it is, but it’s an option.

 

Entrepreneur

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a job where no one dictates anything? You know, like being your own boss? Well, we can all become our own bosses if we take the plunge and start a company. In fact, I bet we all know someone who has had the guts in the past because it is becoming a popular road to follow. Why is it so popular? It’s down to guides like ‘20 Tips on Starting a Lucrative Home-based Business’ and ‘8 Tips for Staying Productive While Working from Home.’ In the past, starting a business didn’t seem viable because we didn’t know where to start. Nowadays, it seems like the easiest thing in the world because we have all the info we need. And, there is more chance of turning it into a success. More money and more time at home? Where do I sign?!

 

Freelance

If shouldering the responsibility sounds like too much hassle, there are plenty more ways to work from home. Freelance is one of the most lucrative because it is an age-old profession. Whether we have a passion for writing or just for giving our expert opinion, some businesses want to pay is for our services. And, we can do it all from the comfort of the living room. The writers among the audience also have another option – blogging. The term ‘blogging’ is super popular these days because the demand for online content is huge. As such, websites will pay for bloggers, or independent ones can start a site and piggyback off their traffic. All the while, we are in control of the hours and when we start work, so we have more time with the family.

 

Office Work

Sorry if this one seems vague but there is a reason. The reason is that employers around the world have flexible working hours – we just have to find the ones closest. They tend to be office jobs because it’s easy to catch up on work in an office-based environment. A surgeon, for example, can’t decide when they want to operate. The paperwork, on the other hand, will always be there waiting for someone to give it the once over. A tip: look for flexible hours because that’s the most important feature. A company that lets a worker start late or leave early for the sake of their kids is a quality place to work.

Yes, combining work and family life together is never easy, but it is possible. With these jobs, the average parent can concentrate on their career as well as their family.

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Mar
16

What Time Is It, Really?

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lambWhen it comes to certain things, I am quite a bit confused. One thing has to do with time. What I want to know, what time is it?

I do not know why time cannot be the same for everybody. After all, everybody is squirming about equal rights. Why can’t we have equal time rights? Why do we have to split it up so much?

If that is not enough, we have this idea of changing the time. Who in the world came up with such a stupid idea? You turn the clock ahead one hour and then a couple months later you turn it back one hour. What good does that accomplish?

It is like giving somebody a dollar and then six months later taking that dollar back. What exactly is going on? It just does not really make sense to me.

It has taken me quite a while to get adjusted to this idea of “Spring Forward” and “Fall Backward.” I get the idea falling backwards, but I do not know what it means to spring forward. Moreover, why can’t we spring backward and fall forward one year? After all, there is this issue of equal rights.

It has taken me a while to get adjusted to these kinds of time changes.

One year I remember rather well when I got everything confused. I thought I would take control and not tell the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that I was going to change the clocks. I wanted it to be a surprise for her.

Of course, I put things off to the last minute and usually get into trouble. I put this off to the last minute not knowing that my wife had already turned the clocks ahead. So, trying to impress the good lady of the parsonage that I was a responsible gentleman, I went around and turned all the clocks ahead one hour.

Some people say when you get older you forget a lot. I have been forgetting a lot all my life.

A few hours later, after setting the clock forward an hour, I could not remember if I really set the clock forward. So, very quietly I went around and set all of the clocks forward one hour. This was on a Saturday night. I thought I would really surprise my wife with remembering to set the clocks forward.

That night when it came time to go to bed, I noticed that I was not very tired. I try to go to bed by 11 o’clock each night, but this night I just could not even yawn.

“I think,” I told my wife, “I’ve had too much coffee today. I just don’t feel sleepy.”

She looked at the clock, scratched her head and said, “I don’t feel sleepy either.”

What do you do when it is time to go to bed and you do not feel sleepy but you know you have to go to bed or you will not get up on time in the morning. And church services were in the morning.

“Well,” my wife looking at me rather strange, “we better go to bed or we will not be able to get up in the morning. And we can’t be late for church.”

It was a little after 11 when I got to bed and my eyes just would not close. I closed them and they would snap open right away. I tried counting sheep. By the time I got to 10,978 sheep, I was just as awake as before. What do you do with that many sheep? Read More→

There are a lot of issues that could knock your business out of the market. What happens next will depend on how you handle the problem. If you’re smart and respond quickly, your company will be down, but it won’t be out for the count. That’s not true for all companies. Many can take a hit that knocks them out of the market within their first year. Others, will spend a lot more time on the market but their period of success will still come to a bitter end. So, what type of issues are we talking about and how should you deal with them effectively?

IT Disaster

You might have heard of a disaster recovery in your business. If you use tech or data in your business, you hope that it continues to work without any issues. You need it to because if your tech fails so does your company. You won’t be able to sell or make any form of profit during that period of downtime. Unfortunately, tech does break down and fail for a variety of reasons. It could be due to a strike against your company. For instance, a number of companies were taken down last year by a DNS server attack. This took them out of the search indexes and ensured customers could not find their sites online. You can probably see how this could be an issue for any ecommerce business.

The best way to handle a disaster like this is to make sure you already have a team that you can call. Secure data disaster recovery by Infrascale and other similar companies can guarantee that your business is back up and running in hours or even minutes. They will also ensure that you don’t lose any of the data that is important to you or your customers.
Legal Lows

Every year thousands of businesses are inundated with accidental injury claims from their employees. Injuries have happened on their premises and workers have demanded compensation in court. This could have been a person tripping over a wire in the office. Or perhaps something more serious in a factory. The good news is if you work from home you’re probably not going to fall victim to one of these claims. However, there is precedence for employees to complain about RSI if their employees have pushed them to work without breaks. Although, it’s very difficult to complain if you have a virtual team of staff rather than a full office.

If you are running an office with workers, you need to make sure health and safety standards are kept high. Any injury claim can usually be tackled head on if you can prove that it could not have been prevented by action on your part.

 

Cheap Competition

Of course, you might find that a disaster in your business is caused by another company stepping onto your territory. If you have a particularly cheap competitor on the market, customers might choose their business over yours. Now, you can either cut your own prices to match or step up your promotional campaign. However, either way, you will need to make sure there is enough money in your budget. This is why it’s imperative that costs are already low in your business model.

Take this advice, and you will be able to tackle most of the business hits without falling to the ground.

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To be able to write a story from start to finish that is compelling and draws you in is a talent. It’s a talent that not many have, so if you have it, you must nurture it. If you’ve dreamed of becoming a best-selling author, you’ll understand the credibility that comes with such an achievement. You’ll know that your writing and your imagination as well as your skill has given you something that most people keep for a bucket list. As an author, you are responsible for your own success and if you are someone who wishes to be successful you have to work at it.

With the range of social media platforms available, authors have never been more able to get their voice and their work heard. You have an unlimited opportunity to reach an audience and the potential to be successful is huge – it just takes grabbing it with both hands. Making a novel a success takes a lot of work and with these four tricks, you could be the next big thing in the written world.

  1. Use the Internet: Finding your audience is important. Research the genre of book you are writing and find out where you should be marketing your work towards. Knowing your audience is so important and you need to put yourself into their shoes. What would you want to read about? What tone of voice piques your interest? You need to write about what you would be interested in reading – otherwise, how can you expect anyone else to want to read it? Use the internet to learn about what your potential audience wants from a good book, then make it a great one.
  2. Judge It: Everyone says not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover is what attracts you to a story. It’s not always the blurb at the back or the actual chapters that count but how the book looks. You want to appeal to the audience and match the story to the cover of the book. Using Adobe Spark’s book cover maker, you can create a cover that matches the story perfectly in the way you always envisioned it. Judge your book and make the cover one that is impossible to put down.
  3. Know the Competition: Research those who are writing in a similar style to you. Don’t see their success as your fight, but as something to learn from. Read their stories and make a note of how their audience has reacted. Do some blanket market research online or in the streets to find out what people want from the genre you are writing. Go with it. The audience is your profit!
  4. Advance Copies: Capture the attention of bloggers and send them advance copies of your books to review. Always send to bloggers with a large audience that will be heard – it’s an effective strategy for success.

Your book weaves a world that you created and being successful in promoting what you have created is an achievement that most people dream about. Don’t dream it. Live it!

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Mar
14

13 Ways to Feed Your Faith

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Do you read your Bible every day? I don’t, but I do read scripture every day. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), so you need to be reading scripture daily for the health of your faith. But who has the time, or even the desire, to sit down with their Bible and read? So let’s discuss some interesting ways to get your daily dose of The Word.

  1. Decorate your walls — Put beautiful landscape pictures with scripture on your walls. Not only do you have something pretty to gaze upon, but you will also give your faith a boost every time you walk down the hall to wash another load of laundry. My goal is to put a scripture picture in every room of my house.
  2. Verse A Day App – Sign up for a verse of the day app on your phone or iPad. Apps are a fantastic method of keeping up with scripture without picking up a Bible. Even better, if you find the verse to be what you need, you can read the rest of the chapter right where you are, even if you are in the grocery store. Some Bible apps will even read the Bible out loud to you while you commute to work. You can even sign up for a verse of the day in your email.
  3. Wallet cards — Many Christian stores, and even some regular bookstores, will carry credit-card sized cards with a pretty picture and verse. Whenever you reach into your wallet, you will be reminded of God.
  4. Scripture a Day Calendar — Everyday you rip off the sheet from yesterday and start a fresh verse to feed your soul.
  5. Answer Questions — I found a website where I answer Bible questions for other people. Those who do not understand The Word can benefit from the knowledge of others. By responding to questions, I have to dive deep into the Bible to find the right answers to the questions. Mind you this option might not be the right one for everyone. If, like me, you have a relevant degree, this might be a viable and unique way to immerse yourself.
  6. Facebook — Join a Facebook or Twitter group which shares scripture often. Let your news feed fill with verses, in between pictures of cats and your friend’s babies of course!
  7. Devote a little time — Get yourself a devotional book. Not only will this give you a little lesson every day to uplift, but will have a verse at the bottom for you.
  8. Listen to music — Find a Christian group you love who incorporate scripture into their songs. You might not know the exact location of the verse in the Bible, but the words will be in your heart.
  9. Keep a journal — whenever you receive a verse you want to remember to write the scripture in your journal, and when you need it, the verse will be close to you to read on a whim. Fill it up! You can even write prayer requests or prayers in the journal.
  10. Play Bible games — Find a Bible trivia game to play with your children or friends. What a wonderful way to have fun and feed your faith!
  11. Use Scripture on your background — Use Google to find a scripture background for your computer. Seeing scripture daily might even help you memorize more verses. When the verse is deeply planted in your head, find a new one!
  12. Drink your coffee or tea — Shop for a few mugs with your favorite scriptures to make your morning coffee more enjoyable.
  13. Read to your children — Before your kids head to school educate them with a daily verse from the best book ever created. Reading scripture to your children is beneficial to help them grow their faith as well.

Read More→

Mar
13

Holding Steady

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Not long ago I was talking with a coaching client about her fears and doubts in regards to leaving the corporate world and working from home. She was sharing with me her concerns about bringing in enough money, making the right contacts and how just getting her new business off the ground was causing her to feel completely overwhelmed.

As we talked, a verse that I had read earlier in the week, 1 Corinthians 16:13, came to mind and I realized that it can be applied to our work-at-home fears and doubts as well as our spiritual ones.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Be On Your Guard
I think it’s imperative that we remember that we must be on guard. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the concerns of this world – our business, our family, etc – and take for granted that we are in a spiritual battle. If we’re doing what God has called us to do, our enemy does NOT want us to succeed. We must be aware of the lies he feeds us, the worry he works to create in our lives and the utter hopelessness that he tries to convince us is reality.

Stand Firm
When we’re aware of the battle raging around us, we can cling to God’s truths and stand firm in our faith. There are days I find myself repeating hope-giving verses out loud to help me stand firm. Verses like these:

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Be Courageous
When I have God’s truth on my lips and in my heart, I’m filled with courage. The key here is that being courageous is a choice. We can choose to sink into the defeated mindset that the enemy tries to create. Or we can choose to rely upon the Holy Spirit and be courageous even in the face of overwhelming odds.

There will be times in business when it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t succeed. But, we know that isn’t the truth. We must be courageous and walk through these times, trusting that God will provide and that He has our best in mind – even when we can’t see it. Read More→

Mar
09

Where in the World Does Time Go?

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run out of timeI remember my grandfather telling me that the older you get the faster time flies. Laughing at him at the time I thought it was another of his little stories he loved telling.

Just the other day I caught myself telling one of my grandchildren, “The older you get the faster time flies.” Then it occurred to me. I am my grandfather. I am not sure how I got here, but here I am.

It is hard keeping up with things, especially when time ticks by so fast. Just when you think you are all caught up, you realize you have to start it all over again.

I was complaining about this the other day to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Normally, I try not to do any complaining in her presence. She has the ability of turning my complaint upside down and confusing me to the extent that I have no idea what I am complaining about.

In my complaint I said, “Where does time go?”

“Where,” my wife said rather sarcastically, “do you want time to go?”

I had to stop and think about that one. In fact, I am still trying to think about that one. To be rather honest, I do not know where I want time to go. The only thing I do know is, I do not want it to go by so fast. Why can’t time slow down just a little bit, especially as I get older.

In my confused state of mind my wife said, “Would you do me a favor and go to the grocery store and pick up some items? I just don’t have enough time to do it myself.”

Whenever my wife asked me to do her a “favor,” I believe there should be some kind of a recompense for my time. After all, my time is valuable, at least to me it is. Read More→

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Mar
08

8 Work-At-Home Jobs for Moms

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If you’re a Mom with reservations about going back to the office and leaving your kids with child-care providers, you’re not alone! It can be hard to be confident and productive on the job, knowing that you’re away from home for eight or more hours a day while someone else largely raises your kids.

Mental and physical health varies for children brought up by stay-at-home parents versus kids sent to child care for at least several hours per day. Generally, children will be healthy in both situations, but kids raised at home with their mother are statistically more likely to perform well in school, graduate, avoid serious problems with drug and alcohol abuse, and feel self-confident.

About 60 percent of people agree that it’s better for kids when their mother stays at home. On the other hand, there is solid evidence that working mothers also contribute to raising healthy kids. They set an example of a positive work ethic and provide a more comfortable level of existence for their children.

So this is the great news: If you’re a mom, you can provide the best of both worlds for your kids by working from home. There are hundreds of opportunities to make money and personally show your kids what hard work looks like.

Here are some of the many options.

1. Customer Service Representative

Many companies turn to remote workers to do their customer service. Amazon and Apple, for example, have a fleet of employees around the world who answer queries and assist with online transactions from their homes.

It’s a pretty flexible position, since you can work while the kids are at school or after they’ve gone to bed. You can make between $8 and $18 per hour, depending on the firm, your geographical location, and your experience level.

2. Landlord

Being a landlord is a viable stay-at-home-mom job. Office tasks and addressing tenant requests involves flexible hours. You’ll rarely have to leave the office or your home; and if you do, your kids can come along. You can also subcontract property managers, which takes a lot of the work off your hands and lets you stay home more.

3. Medical Transcriptionist

Doctors vocally record their notes about a patient, and those notes must be typed up to make permanent records. This job is often outsourced to a transcription company that has a workforce of fast, knowledgeable typists who work from home.

If you fit that description and don’t mind taking a few classes to master the medical terminology, it’s a great job with the potential to earn $20+ per hour.

4. Writer/Blogger

Mommy blogging is a popular stay-at-home job if you can manage to get yours to take off. You could make more than $10,000 a month mostly writing about things you love. This job is extremely flexible, and you’ll be your own boss.

Writing a blog isn’t for everyone, though. It demands constant new ideas and material, and it’s not easy to attract the following you need to attain financial success.

But if you’re not prepared to launch and maintain your own blog, you could do ghost writing for others. If you have a knack for writing and grammar, you can make up to $50 per 500-word article.

5. Virtual Assistant

Many entrepreneurs don’t have the time to clear their inboxes, update social media, monitor client queries, and so on, so they outsource to a virtual assistant. It’s more affordable than hiring a secretary in house, and it means you can work at home in your spare time.

6. Teach English Online

Organizations such as VIP Kid and Toshuo hire native English speakers to teach English to kids in overseas countries such as China. A background in teaching is useful but not required, and you can usually learn everything you need to know about doing the job with a few hours’ training.

Because of the time difference, your working hours could be unconventional. Most start their day at about 3 a.m. and finish at 7 a.m., but if you can adapt to working in those early hours, it can be great for working around kids’ schedules, and you’ll receive $15 to $20 per hour in compensation.

7. Direct Sales

Some people can sell anything. If that’s you, find a company that pays its sales people on commission through direct sales. You can choose your hours and appointments thanks to the flexibility.

Your compensation varies with the product, but you’ll usually see between 25 and 50 percent commission on all sales. Avon, MayKay, LulaRoe, Jamberry, Lipsense, and The Pampered Chef are all examples of direct selling associations.

8. Tele Nurse

You can get your nursing degree from home through online medical degree programs. There are dozens of reputable institutions. Upon graduation, look into tele nursing.

There are hotlines and online clinics where nurses from all over the country get paid to answer questions and give medical advice. The compensation is great ($50,000 + for full-time work), and you can often set your hours to complement your mom schedule.

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Mar
07

My Virtual Assistant Toolbox

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What toolsis a craftsman without the tools of their trade? What is a carpenter without his saw? What is a chef without good food and the proper utensils, pots and pans?  As virtual assistants our box of tools and bag of tricks are seemingly endless. I have found the following tools to be the most valuable, no matter what you specialize in as a virtual assistant. Okay, so they are more ‘skills’ than tools, but hey, they’re still in my toolbox and they still get the job done!

Problem Solving.  No matter your position as a virtual assistant, be it a business owner, mentor, partner or subcontractor, your ability to problem solve and find solutions, in my view, the mightiest tool in your toolbox.  I don’t know about you but my VA business basically got its start by helping clients work through various issues and finding viable solutions. Even today, problem solving remains my bread and butter. Clients want to implement something new but don’t know where to start. That’s where the virtual assistant comes in. Your client doesn’t have the time to sift through research and how-to’s, that’s why they hired you! Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, work through the issue or problem at hand, do a little (or a lot) of research and then make things happen. Your ability to problem solve and implement workable solutions will have your clients coming back for more, time and time again.

Organization. There’s more to organization than just putting the blocks in one tub and the pyramids in another tub. You can organize a client’s calendar for better usage of their time. You can organize their website for a better flow of information. I’ve even done this for a client’s devotional to ensure her devotions flowed in a specific manner. Sometimes it’s just a manner of organizing information in a spreadsheet for a better grasp of the overall picture.

Follow Through. This one can be a toughie but is important. First of all, think of contacts you have made. Just because your new contact CURRENTLY needs your services as a virtual assistant doesn’t mean that down the line they won’t need your services. In fact, I was at an event just this week in which I made multiple contacts. It wasn’t for the purpose of growing my business, but regardless, still follow through with your initial meeting of them with a quick email or note within a day or two of meeting. My services have been referred by clients and contacts alike, meaning they don’t have to use your services to know someone else who needs your services.

Secondly, the same goes for proposals, projects and tasks. When you submit a proposal to someone, be sure to follow that up by contacting them within a week if you don’t hear back from them. They could have been busy or just somehow missed your email. (I’ve actually had emails VANISH in the great vastness of the internet and never make it to its destination, so it does happen.) Don’t assume just because you have not heard back that it’s a no-go. Follow through and confirm before making assumptions.

Boundaries. Oy! So many of us struggle with the issue of not knowing where to set boundaries, I know I do. It’s hard to say ‘no’ when your bank account is low, but what good will it do if you work yourself into the ground? Decide on how many hours you can realistically work AND STILL HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK. Nobody expects you to work 24/7 just because you work from home. Okay, maybe some clients are out of their head and not always realistic, but those are the clients to step away from anyway. You are allowed to take a day off – even a weekend – so do it and do it regularly. Read More→

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