Gene therapy could be key to helping the blind to see

By Rhonda Campbell

human eyeYou don’t have to have lost total ability to see in order to be blind. In fact, the National Federation of the Blind says that blindness exist if a person’s “sight is bad enough—even with corrective lenses—that they must use alternative methods to engage in any activity that persons with normal vision would do using their eyes.” The government takes a different approach, stating that to be legally blind, a person’s vision must be “20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction or that the visual field must be 20 degrees or less.”

Keeping more people from becoming legally blind

As of 2011, approximately 6,636,900 children and adults fit the description of having some level of blindness. For years, corrective lenses served as the answer to blindness. For children and adults with total blindness, those options come up short. These people may place their hope in scientific discovers like recent gene therapy research and developments.

BBC News Health reports that, “Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy technique to improve the vision of six patients who would otherwise have gone blind.” Physicians who performed the operation are hopeful that the surgery will help to treat common types of blindness.

During the operation, a gene was inserted into the affected eye of Jonathan Wyatt, the patient who was operated. Professors like Robert MacLean shared that they were very pleased with the result of the surgery. The condition that impaired Wyatt’s vision is called choroideremia. Because of this condition, cells at the back of the eye that detect light die.

Prior to the operation, Wyatt was able to see partially. Yet, waiting to get the surgery may have made that experience less likely. Rather than to be able to see perfectly, Jonathan Wyatt wanted to stop the decline of his vision. He received the results he wanted, perhaps more.

As BBC News Health shares, “He, like another patient in Professor MacLaren’s trial, found that not only did the operation stabilise his vision – it improved it. The other subjects, who were at earlier stages in their vision, experienced improvements in their ability to see at night.” Because of the surgery, Jonathan Wyatt no longer fears that he may go blind.

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Strong math skills can help your finances

By Rhonda Campbell

math for businessIf you use more of your left brain than your right, there’s a good chance that you are good at math. Reason for that is that the left side of the brain is used to perform logical tasks. Types of tasks that require you to think logically include creating and maintaining budgets, organizing files, and, yes – performing math equations, including complex math equations.

Strong math skills could help make you wealthy
Leaning more toward logical thinking than idealism has been shown to have a direct impact on how much money you’ll earn. Consider this. U. S. News and World Report shares that, “A study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank, showed a direct correlation between numeracy (a fancy word for math skills), delayed recall (the ability to remember something you’ve seen after some delay) and your future wealth.”

The study’s researchers tested couples math skills. After the researchers got the results of the tests, they observed how the tests results aligned with the amount of wealth couples had. What they discovered was that, “For households where both spouses scored zero correct answers on the test, the average wealth was $200,000. For households where both spouses got all of the answers correct, the average wealth was $1.7 million.”

Furthermore, although girls have long been reported to perform better at math than boys, the study also found that men handled the finances in relationships more than the women they were in relationships with did. In fact, in 62% of the households that participated in the study the men in the relationships handled the finances.

The report did not reveal if the study looked to see if there was a correlation between having strong math skills and a person’s confidence levels. What is known is that confidence plays a direct and indirect role in how successful a man or woman will be.

Strong math skills can also help you to calculate how much money you’re spending while you’re shopping, without you having to pull out a calculator. It also might make it easier for you to balance your checking and savings accounts in your head. Keeping up with these financial numbers is a required step to developing wealth.

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Linking spiritual laws to success and prosperity

Jim PhillipsMEET Jim Phillips — Jim Phillips is a gifted speaker, seminar leader and certified life, spiritual and business coach. His true passion is the exploration and application of spiritual law as it applies to prosperity and overall quality of life. One of Jim’s gifts is his ability to help others understand and apply complex spiritual concepts to their personal life. Jim currently resides in Aldie, VA where he continues his writing, coaching and speaking. To learn more about the availability of the book, to schedule a book signing or speaking engagement, contact Jim at 703-626-8441 or email at jim@prosperitybydesign.com. You can learn more about Jim and his work online at http://www.prosperitybydesign.com.

WMI: What were you doing before you starting working as a life coach?

JP: I have been an entrepreneur for well over 30 years, primarily in the in the real estate industry, first as an agent, then office manager, then vice president/general manager of a multi-office firm. I now co-own my own firm. It was through my various roles in my real estate career that I began speaking, training, writing and coaching.  In addition to the real estate, I have also been involved in other business ventures, a few network marketing companies and business consulting.


It was as a result of my real estate business that I decided to get certified as a professional life and business coach. As a real estate broker, I was coaching my agents on a daily basis; however, I did not call it coaching. Getting certified was the next natural step for me to take to expand my reach beyond the real estate industry to life and spiritual coaching, which are my passions. Being certified also brings with it a certain amount of instant credibility and professional status like other professional designations one might acquire in other industries.

WMI: Tell us about three key things you have learned from the corporate leaders you’ve coached or worked with?

JP: To have a truly successful organization, one that extends beyond the profit and the sales numbers, you must create an environment that is conducive to the success of each individual. This begins with open, honest communication from top to bottom and bottom to top. There must be a willingness to share, and to be receptive to new ideas and information. There must also be a willingness to openly discuss challenges or shortcomings.

The success environment also invites, encourages and honors each person to be authentic and true to herself. This doesn’t mean an individual places her needs above that of the organization, but that an individual is encouraged to be who she is and to bring her unique gifts and talents to the organization. When a person operates from a place of authenticity, she is his most creative, productive self, and therefore more engaged and invested in what she is doing, thus becoming of greater benefit to the organization.

Another key component of a success environment is that of partnership. This doesn’t mean that everyone has actual ownership; it means that everyone is a stake holder in the company and understands the importance of their role in the continued success of the company. We all want to know that who we are and what we do is relevant. When partnership is fostered, honored and appreciated in an organization in this way, an organization will not only retain its talented partners, but become attractive to other talented folks looking for this type of opportunity.

A third key component of a success environment is that of internal growth. My experience has shown that people don’t want to move around from company to company, but do so because they are not offered the opportunity for personal growth and greater contribution. A success environment encourages and rewards top talent for their contribution and creativity by providing opportunities for personal growth and expansion.

WMI: At your official website, you say that people tell you that they aren’t where they thought they’d be in their lives. Then, you go on to say that we create the life we have. How do we create our life experiences?

JP: Many coaching clients and those who attend my workshops often say that they are not where they thought they would be at this time in their life, regardless of their age. Most felt they would be making more money, be in a more fulfilling relationship, or be engaged in something they really enjoyed doing, rather than what allows them to just pay their monthly obligations. Many have fallen on difficult times with the economy having gone through the recent recession. On top of that, a good amount of what they had counted on for retirement is no longer available, although there has been some recovery.

What I think it boils down to is that folks feel there has to be – or they thought there had to be – more to life then what they have experienced to this point. This doesn’t mean that it has been good or bad, just that they expected it to be more then it has been.

And yet, the life we live is the life we have created as a result of the cumulative decisions we have made along the way based on the thoughts and beliefs we hold. Things do happen that are out of our control that present challenges. However, we still choose how we respond to those challenging opportunities which then results in how we experience life. Again, this is not about good or bad, it is about taking responsibility for the choices we make and the subsequent experiences we have as a result.

Have you ever questioned why you believe what you believe? Take a few minutes to do so, really consider what you believe and how you came to believe it. My experience has shown that most of what we believe is based on things outside of our personal experience. In other words, it is based on what others have said, or on what we have read or heard. How much of what we believe is actually true?

So to the point of the question of how we create our life experiences, we create our life experiences based on the decisions we make against the beliefs and thoughts we hold as true, whether those beliefs and thoughts are actually true or not.

The scary and intriguing aspect of this understanding is to consider how many of the major life decisions each of us has made were against beliefs we hold, or have held, that are not true. How far off course are we?

There is so much more that can be discussed around this topic that goes much deeper than this interview would allow. Digging deeper into this exploration of thoughts, belief and truth are the basis for Prosperity by Design Coaching™.

WMI: When and why did you develop Prosperity by Design™ Coaching?

JP: I actually began Prosperity by Design™ Coaching many years ago without calling it Prosperity by Design™ Coaching. I would coach real estate agents in how to create higher levels of productivity/prosperity and overall quality of life. For me, it isn’t just how much business someone does, it is how they do their business and who they are, or are becoming, while in the process of building their business.

Prosperity, in the way I use the term, is not just financial well-being. Prosperity is living a rich, fulfilling life in all areas of one’s life including health, relationships, family and Self.

Prosperity by Design™ was chosen because it places the power and fulfillment of prosperity in our hands, or more specifically in our hearts and minds. How we choose to live life is up to each of us, regardless of the circumstances in which we might find ourselves.

Prosperity by Design™ Coaching offers the opportunity for my clients to dig deep within themselves to recover, embrace and release the latent potential for personal magnificence that lies waiting to be experienced and expressed.

WMI: If our life experiences, including our business successes, are based on beliefs we developed based on our early childhood experiences, including how our parents and caretakers repeatedly treated us, can we really change our beliefs and our future?

JP: Yes, we can always change our beliefs which results in not only the future being changed, but the present moment experience being changed as well.

The past only equals the future if we allow it to, meaning that if we bring the past into our current thinking and allow it to dictate who we are, or how we choose, then, yes, it will influence our present moment experiences and our future. If instead, we consciously make choices that reflect who we desire to be in that moment and what we desire to experience in that moment, then we can and will create those experiences without regard to what a previous life experience or belief might have been.

When we make choices based on what we desire to experience now, we disassociate from any earlier experience or belief we held up to that moment.  Keep in mind that some of our limiting beliefs are deeply seated and will take time to work through and overcome. However, it is only by first acknowledging and accepting that these limiting beliefs exists that we are able to address and move beyond them. It is when we resign ourselves to the belief there is nothing we can do that we are stuck in that experience or pattern.

This gets back to the point I made while answering the previous question regarding why we believe what we believe. Nothing is more limiting or liberating than our beliefs about our self.

When we question our beliefs and realize that most of what we believe is not the truth, especially about our self, we become empowered . Once we are empowered, anything and everything is possible.

WMI: Please share three tips/ways entrepreneurs can create their businesses with intention?


JP: There are actually 7 tips or keys that I present in my program, The 7 Keys to LIFE Mastery. Here I will share three that are foundational to creating a business or life that one desires.

The first key and one of the most powerful activities in which we can engage is that of awareness. When we are aware of what is happening around us, and more importantly within us, we see and take advantage of opportunities that we might not have taken before. In simple terms, it means to be present and engaged in whatever we are doing, wherever we are, at all times.

Another key is our belief that we can, in fact, without a doubt, create the business or life we desire. It is also accepting responsibility for the life we have created and experienced up until this moment.

A third key is clarity. We must be clear on what we want to create and experience. Spend time imagining the experience (life or business) that you desire to have as fully and completely as possible. Allow your mind to imagine freely. We have been lovingly endowed with the gift of imagination to do just that.

Clarity is not just the vision of what you want to create but the actual experience of what you want to create, including the attendant feelings of the experience as if it were actually happening. Once you become clear on what you want to create and experience, awareness again becomes the key. Pay attention to all that is being presented in alignment with your creation and make choices that support it being made manifest.

As I mentioned these are just three of the 7 Keys to LIFE Mastery that I present. However, they are among the most powerful when creating a business or life experiences with intention.

WMI: Congratulations on writing and publishing “The Key to Life, Living in Full Expression!” Tell us about some topics you cover in the book.

JP: The primary message in my book is to live in full expression of who we are at all times, to be authentic in everything we do. We have become so concerned with what others might say, think or do, if we are being authentic that we withhold our magnificence from ourselves and the world. Living in full expression is being vulnerable to one’s truth by stepping joyously into one’s magnificence.

I talk in the book about how we are all victims of identity theft. However, our identity hasn’t been stolen by someone else; it has been denied by each of us. We live in “Self denial” of who we truly are. Living in full expression is about dropping the façade of who we believe we are and who others think we should be, and living who we are in Truth.

The Key to LIFE, Living In Full Expression invites the reader to take a journey of “Self recovery” into a deep level of knowing and trust. It is from this level of knowing and trust that you can live in full expression and experience of Self, your very reason for being here at this time and place.

WMI: Who is “The Key to Life, Living in Full Expression!” written for and what key takeaways will they gain from reading the book?

JP: The book was primarily written for me as a way to fully express what I felt and understood to be the truth about me, my life, and life in general. However, it isn’t a book about me and my experiences, it is about what I have come to know and understand as a result of my experiences that I believe can benefit others as they consider where they are and desire in be in life.

My intention with the book is to cause people to think more deeply and passionately about what they believe, and then to make choices from this greater understanding. When we realize that the experiences of our lives are a reflection of our most deeply held thoughts and beliefs, we come to know just how powerful we are.

It is my heartfelt desire that people come to embrace their personal power so that their life experiences are created consciously out of their desire for these experiences and not by default. If those who read my book come away from the experience with a greater awareness of who they are, and of what they are capable of doing, and they have gained “trust” in themselves, then I believe that I have succeeded in the writing of this book.

WMI: How has writing and publishing a book enhanced your coaching and speaking careers?

JP: The most obvious thing writing a book does for the author is give them credibility and a certain amount of expertise. It doesn’t mean that I, or any author, knows more or is more of an authority before writing the book. It’s just that society places a certain degree of authority and acceptance on someone who is published. As a result of this newly gained credibility more and more people and organizations are open and receptive to me and my message.

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, benefits of writing my book has been the increased level of confidence and trust I now have in my Self. In writing the book I realized how vulnerable one becomes and how much courage it takes to put oneself out in the world in written form where it can be seen by everybody. I have tremendous respect for all authors who have trusted themselves enough to do so.

Experiencing this level of vulnerability personally allows me to connect more intimately with my coaching clients and those who come to hear me speak. I have developed greater empathy and compassion towards my clients, enabling me to more fully understand where they are, and what they desire from life.

This higher level of confidence and self-trust also translates into an attractiveness, not a physical attractiveness, but an energetic attractiveness that people want to be around and experience. Most often this cannot be put into words but it exists nonetheless. It helps people feel comfortable and more trusting in me and what I have to offer them.

All in all, the experience of writing and publishing my book has been an opportunity for me to live in full expression of who I am as an example to others of who they are and of what they are capable of doing.

WMI: What has been the most rewarding part of working as a life coach?


JP: Seeing a person’s eyes light up when they have that defining “aha moment” is the most gratifying aspect of coaching. I can see and feel a person’s energy and demeanor change when they understand how truly powerful they are and that life does, and will, provide everything they desire and ask for from life.

Another rewarding part of being a life coach is the incredible people I meet and the relationships that are developed. I have met some extraordinary folks who I don’t believe I would have met if not for my becoming certified as a life coach.

WMI: Social media networks, press releases, interviews, etc. provide a myriad of marketing opportunities. Share three to four specific marketing strategies/action steps you have found to be most effective at getting you exposure for your life coaching, speaking and writing works?

JP: I take advantage of all of the primary social media platforms and believe it is essential to getting my name and work out to the world. It is not a quick fix solution, however, to building a business or following, it takes thought and consistency.

As an example, I mentioned earlier in this interview that awareness is one of the 7 Keys to LIFE Mastery. Using social media effectively requires an awareness of what folks are asking for, many times covertly, in their posts, tweets, etc. I will monitor what is being shared by others and respond when I feel it is appropriate and beneficial to do so. This also requires me to more fully understand and be able to articulate what I have to share in a more concise manner, especially on Twitter. One of the important strategies I employ is consistently inviting people to take a look at or offer their opinion on something I have posted. This engagement is what has lead me to increase my followers and therefore my speaking and coaching opportunities.

I also search out opportunities to be a guest on different radio programs where I gain exposure to the listeners of that particular show. What I have discovered is that there is a seemingly limitless number of internet based, as well as traditional, radio programs that are constantly looking for interesting guests. Each time I am on a show, I receive a recording of the program and will either post the complete interview or create 3-5 minute sound bites from the show to be posted at different times during a week or month. These allow me to create continuous exposure through social media and hopefully maintain a certain buzz about what I have to share.

I do the same thing with articles I write or blog posts I create. I will take certain segments of a particular written piece and post it over a period of time to give me more exposure and more bang for the buck with everything I write.

Another strategy I use is that of creating short video clips that I share via different social media platforms. This was not something I was always comfortable with but have learned that the power of these brief messages far outweighs any discomfort I might feel in putting them together. An example of a video clip would be me answering a question I was asked during the week, the answer to which would be of benefit to a lot of folks, not just the person who asked the question. An important step in this process of answering questions is asking folks what they want to know. It is amazing the questions people will give me that not only allow me to expand my knowledge and understanding but to continue to build my credibility and following.

WMI: In what ways do you see the Internet changing the life coaching and business industries over the coming two to three years?

JP: I think the Internet has already changed the business and coaching industries in the most profound way that it ever will by providing access to unlimited information on all topics and in the way we can connect with people all around the world instantaneously.

I think future changes will be the number of people around the globe that gain access to the Internet that did not have it before and perhaps the way content is displayed and delivered. All in all, it will mean that we are able to communicate our messages and services more effectively and efficiently to more people than ever before.

WMI: Who inspired you to go after your dreams when you were a child? How is this person still positively impacting your life today?


JP: I honestly do not have one specific person who I can say was my inspiration when I was a child. Of course, I respected my parents and was appreciative for all that they provided for me. I had certain sports coaches who taught me lessons regarding discipline, focus and personal responsibility. But most of my inspiration came from an interest in human potential and questioning the purpose of life, and more specifically, my life. What is my purpose? Is who I am and what I do relevant?

I would read and follow thought leaders of the time, especially those who spoke of human potential like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and the lesser known, Claude Bristow. I would adopt some of what they shared. Yet, I always had a sense that it was not up to others to tell me what was true, it was up to me to discover my truth about who I am and to live that truth as faithfully as possible.

I continue to this day to expand my understanding of the purpose of life and within the context of the purpose of life, my life’s purpose. All of this has lead me to adopt a mantra that I included in my book, The Key to LIFE, Living In Full Expression, that is; “Today what I know to be true, tomorrow might not be.”


WMI: What’s next for Jim Phillips? Where do you see yourself and your career three to five years from now?

JP: Hopefully more of what I am currently doing but in a more expansive and exciting way. I will continue my writing, speaking and coaching. I have a few projects currently in the works that will allow me to touch many more people in what I believe will be meaningful ways. I love collaborating with other like-minded folks and look for ways to leverage what each of us has to offer.

I also will be traveling much more than I have been recently, again in an effort to interact with more folks. But more importantly, and this is really the heart of my message, it is for me to live in full experience and expression of who I know myself to be and am always in the process of being. This is our very reason for being here.

Sources:

http://www.prosperitybydesign.com

Follow on Twitter at: @inspired10
email: jim@prosperitybydesign.com

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New Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Debuts

By Rhonda Campbell

samsung galaxy 3Samsung has been developing patented technology to entertain people for 70 years. Founded in Korea, Samsung began as a trading company. Since its founding, the company has developed personal computers, televisions and mobile telephones.

Samsung continuing to be a frontrunner in the mobile technology space

Although Samsung’s hasn’t received as large a share of the mobile telephone market as Apple, it is a leader in the industry, having developed well over 800 million mobile telephones. At the start of the new year, the company released its much talked about Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. Similar to how Apple advertised its latest mobile telephone as a sleeker phone, Samsung is approaching the unveiling and advertising of the Galaxy Tab 3.

Features of the new Galaxy Tab 3 include a 7-inch display screen, direct Wi-Fi accessibility, 8 gigabytes of memory and light sensor support. CNET reports that, “To shrink the tablet and still retain a 7-inch display, Samsung moved the menu bar from the screen to the bezel.” Video chatting and a game and music hub are also built into the latest Samsung Galaxy mobile telephone.

If you work a career that requires you to create or share videos, you might be delighted to know that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 has enough room for you to store at least 1,000 titles. The wait time related to video downloads is brief; at times the download time might seem nonexistent.

Regarding the music hub, after you identify your favorite songs, you can start building your music library. Because the mobile telephone remembers the types of music you initially download, it can suggest new songs for you to add to your library. As with other search products, this can be done while surfing the Internet.

As a gamer, it’s the 8 gigabytes of memory that you might appreciate most, especially considering the amount of space some video games, with their many images can demand. If you appreciate a sleek design, the chance to slip your mobile telephone in your coat pocket or your purse without so much as a second thought, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 might prove to be a welcomed piece of advancing technology.

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Low paying jobs are becoming the norm

By Charles Dundley

jobs that pay low

During 2013, more than 2.1 million jobs were added to payrolls in the United States. The fact that millions of adults landed new jobs, some after struggling through a long period of unemployment, is good news. However, many of these jobs pay less than the average annual wage American workers make.

A job isn’t always a step up
According to Bloomberg, “Occupations paying below-average wages accounted for more than half of last month’s U.S. payroll increase, a dynamic that may restrain consumer spending and the economic recovery.” In addition to paying less, employers are also hiring more part-time and contingent workers, also referred to as contractors.

Average hourly wages that American workers earned as of May 2013 was $23.89. However, in the hospitality, restaurant, amusement park and casino industries, the average hourly wage Americans earned as of 2013 was $13.45. People working in the retail industry made an average of $16.63 an hour, while temporary workers were paid an average of $15.74.

Desperation may be driving the decision to accept low paying jobs. Economist Heidi Shierholz says that, “Low-quality jobs are always available but go unfilled when there are other jobs.” She continues, “At a time like this, workers have to settle for anything they can get.”

Not only are low paying more readily available than higher paying jobs, lower paid workers are sometimes the first to be released when the economy starts to head south. In fact, during the recession 21% of the jobs that were lost were jobs that paid $13.83 an hour or less.

A downside to accepting low paying jobs, especially if a worker previously worked a higher paying job, is that it could take years to catch up to a previous, much better income level. In fact, some specialists say that if a worker falls behind in their income by 20% or more a year, they may never reach the point where they’re earning the higher wages they once brought home. If a worker in near retirement age, accepting a low paying job could also negatively impact a worker’s chances of saving enough money for retirement.

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Hoping for a better jobs growth report

By Rhonda Campbell

hiring reportshiring reports

Late December saw the continuation of a historic stock market rally, the Dow Jones topping 16,000. This occurred despite the fact that the United States Federal Reserve announced that it would start trimming back on the amount of money it spends on securities. Yet, the historic stock market rise hasn’t influenced payrolls as much as many would like. Americans who continue to fill out one employment application after another only to be told they didn’t get another job, probably couldn’t care less about what’s happening at the stock market. For these Americans, getting enough money to pay their bills and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle is starting to feel out of reach.

Jobs report could disturb or calm an anxious stock market

Their employers, on the other hand, may feel differently. In fact, the securities buying not only helped a slow economic recovery continue to crawl forward, it calmed anxieties felt by financial executives and major investors. It also made Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve “friend” in the eyes of some executives at financial services organizations, not to mention to global investors.

The buying was so well received that it overshadowed a weak December 2013 jobs report. As reported by CNN Money, “Hiring slumped sharply in December, as the economy added only 74,000 jobs, according to the government. This was the weakest month for job growth since January 2011 and came as a huge surprise to economists, who were expecting an addition of 193,000 jobs.”

Yet, the likelihood that investors will seemingly shove off a weak jobs growth report may not continue to happen. Signs that China’s economy is weakening have already begun to create a stock market shakeup. Additionally, other emerging markets are sending investors running scared. This fear played a significant role in the Friday, January 24, 2014 stock market drop, a date on which United States stocks dropped a whopping 318 points.

Some economic and financial analysts saw the drop off as a natural progression, no more than the markets correcting themselves. Other analysts fear that the market as well as the national economy could be headed for another painful downturn. Yet, there is hope that the drop off could be brief.

A healthy jobs report would have sent the message to national and global investors that the American economy is rebounding faster than people expected. January’s jobs report didn’t send such a strong message. In fact, 113,000 new jobs being added to payrolls points to more weak, at best – moderate, economic growth. Fortunately, the national unemployment rate has dropped to 6.6%. There’s also the hope that a hard winter has impacted some private sector employers ability to respond to Department of Labor hiring surveys. If that’s the case, it could take another month or two to get a clear picture on true hiring trends. Another plus would be fewer companies conducting job layoffs as the new year continues to unfold.

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JC Penney’s on the ropes

By Rhonda Campbell

JC Penney retail stores

Photo by Sam Howzit

People born after the 1980s might not remember how powerful a retailer JC Penney’s was. During the 1970s, it wasn’t Wal-Mart that was a fierce leader in the retail industry. Instead, it was department stores like Sears, K-Mart and JC Penney’s that American consumers flocked to when they wanted to purchase household goods, automotive products, shoes and clothes. That trend has clearly shifted.

JC Penney is struggling to keep pace with changing retail markets
Proof that JC Penney is experiencing hard times might be best revealed in the fact that the company’s CEO, Ron Johnson, had his bonus cut substantially in 2012. In 2011, Johnson received $53.3 million in annual pay; a year later, he received $1.9 million in total compensation.

A company representative is reported as saying that the cut was due to the fact that the company was far afield of its goals. However, in regards to the drop in pay, CNN Money also reports that, “Johnson’s compensation dropped sharply from 2011 to 2012 in large part because he received a special $52.7 million stock award upon joining the company. He did not receive any stock award for 2012, and got only 44% of his target cash compensation in view of the company’s poor results.”

The company’s stock dropped more than 60% over the course of a year. Since the start of 2014, JC Penney’s stocks have slid 27%. That’s not a good sign of a turnaround. To stop the financial bleeding, the company has announced that it will close 33 of its stores and lay off about 2,000 employees. It’s a far cry from what JC Penney once was.

During the days when JC Penney was a leading retailer, the Internet wasn’t popular. People drove, walked or caught buses to get to shopping centers. These shopping centers were generally strip malls, not larger malls that housed 80 or more stores, including discount designer stores.

It might be the fact that more Americans opted to shop at large malls, business places that were generally located away from downtown areas, that helped contribute to the decline that retailers like JC Penney and Sears have been experiencing.

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