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How She Does It: Christie & Taylor Cook of Avery Verse Luxury Handbags

Avery Verse is an Australian luxury handbag brand that produce designer, Italian vegetable tanned leather bags for the sophisticated woman. Proceeds from every sale are donated to charities as we seek to help transform the world through business.

Deb Bailey: Glad to have you here today, Christie. Who are the ideal clients for your brand?

Christie Cook: Great to be here, Deb. Ideal clients are the customers who want a timeless style, love the sustainable and charitable elements of our brand and tell others about us. Word of mouth is very valuable to a new brand so we appreciate positive feedback from purchasers.

Deb: Are there any “lessons learned” from the business that you’d like to share?

Christie: Oh so many but I’ll narrow it down to this; always plan to put much more money into advertising than you ever realised you needed. There’s so much competition in fashion and accessories, your advertising budget needs to go a long way.

I have also learned that every step of the way is slower than you will have planned for or anticipated. A lot happens at any given stage that will slow down production and much of this is out of your hands. For example; our manufacturer will take holidays, PR event dates get pushed back to later in the year, a designer may need more time to compete a task. These sorts of delays are common.

avery verse red handbag

Deb: What’s your vision for Avery Verse?

Christie: Our vision is to expand globally and we’re excited to be seeing our reach beyond Australia growing. The aim is to develop Avery Verse into a recognised and respected name in the area of sustainable accessories and high end fashion as a whole.

avery verse crossbody handbag

Deb: Based on your experiences, what do you think are the top 3 traits an entrepreneur must have?

Christie: Tenacity, Vision, Flexibility. All of these qualities are important but I think that tenacity is foremost during the start up stages.

avery verse tote bag

Deb: I totally agree. Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Stop wasting time! Life moves much faster than you realise. If you really want to do something, start early...this way you have more time to improve and perfect what you love. This process becomes so much harder when you’re older and have more responsibilities, more financial pressure and less time.

avery verse subtle handbag

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Christie: My family and their future inspires me. Knowing that my success will set them up for the future motivates me. As for design and style inspiration, that typically comes from the past. My grandparent’s generation were so classy and elegant and that is what we aspire to at Avery Verse.

Deb: That's wonderful, Christie. Please share your links so that the readers can learn more about your products.

Christie: I enjoyed it, Deb. Here are the links.

Website: https://www.averyverse.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/averyversebagcompany/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/averyverse
Twitter: http://twitter.com/averyverse
Polyvore: http://averyverse.polyvore.com

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page: A Beginner's Guide
How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing

"Social Skills in the Digital Age" with Rosanne J. Thomas, Founder of Protocol Advisors, Inc on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Roseanne Thomas President of Protocol Advisors, Inc
Show #430

Topic: "Social Skills in the Digital Age"

Rosanne J. Thomas is founder and president of Protocol Advisors, Inc., specialists in providing business etiquette training to professionals at respected organizations from Tiffany & Co. to Boeing. She also helps prepare students at top colleges and universities to achieve the highest degree of workplace success. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

In today's workforce, with people from five generations and all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives working together under intense pressure, avoiding saying or doing something that might annoy, offend, or alienate someone is like walking through a minefield. How can business leaders mitigate misunderstandings and foster teamwork? How can young professionals minimize interpersonal missteps? 

An expert on business etiquette sought out by leading organizations, Rosanne J. Thomas takes on these challenges. In EXCUSE ME: The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette (AMACOM; August 17, 2017; $21.95 Hardcover), she presents a new playbook for workplace behavior that respects the individual, which in turn benefits the company.

Excuse Me: The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette

Rather than protocols and rules, Thomas shares dozens of real-life scenarios, hundreds of practical tips, and valuable advice with a priority on good faith effort and a willingness to employ the all-powerful apology. "The practice of on-the-job etiquette does not require anyone to be perfect," she assures. "My goal for readers is that they develop confidence in themselves and in their interactions with others and feel empowered to bring their best, most authentic selves to the workplace each and every day." 


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Roseanne Thomas Founder of Protocol Advisors on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

How She Does It: Krissi Barr, CEO of Barr Corporate Success

Female Entrepreneur Krissi Barr CEO of Barr Corporate Success
Krissi Barr is CEO of Barr Corporate Success, consultants specializing in strategic planning, executive coaching, and behavioral assessments, and the co-author of The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work.

Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Krissi. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Krissi Barr: Great to be here, Deborah. I started my consulting company 15 years ago and have never looked back. My husband (and co-author of our books) encouraged me to hang up my own shingle, and it was the best advice I've ever received.

I had worked for a start-up family business, large public company and several small to medium sized companies in a variety of industries. I had seen how well run companies operate and had spent a lot of time seeing how poorly run companies do things. I knew I could help people and organizations because I knew both what they were experiencing and how to turn things around.

Deb: Are there any "lessons learned" that you'd like to share?

Krissi: This question is at the core of why my husband and I have written two business books. We based the latest book, The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work, on dogs because it's different and relatable for most people. Leadership is so critical to success. With great leadership almost anything is possible. Without it, organizations can almost never succeed. The four canine-derived leadership takeaways in The Fido Factor are that leaders have to be faithful, inspirational, determined and observant.

  • Faithful leaders earn the trust of their team and their customers by doing the right things and living up to their word.
  • Inspirational leaders move people to do the meaningful and the extraordinary.
  • Determined leaders combine perseverance with a dose of fearlessness to keep moving toward goals.
  • Observant leaders are committed to taking in as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions.

 All good ideas. And all a lot harder to do then say.

Deb: Very true. So, who are your ideal clients?

Krissi: I've worked with clients that range from the Fortune 50, to a local heating & plumbing company, to a global sex toy distributor and everything in between. There are several distinct parts to my business: strategic planning & implementation, executive coaching, behavioral assessments, public speaking and leadership training. Over 90 percent of the companies I've worked with have exceeded their goals, so it looks like it's working pretty well.

My ideal client is one where leadership is aware of a problem or challenge and has the commitment to turn it around. Once there is alignment on the goal there's an extremely high likelihood of success. Behaviors precede results, so for implement to take hold I coach to change behaviors.

The FIDO Factor Business Book Cover

Deb: You've certainly had a lot of experiences with all types of organizations.  What inspires you to do the work you do?

Krissi: Many things inspire me, but the most important one is I genuinely care about people. This is especially true for my clients. I am interested in them and will do everything I can to help them succeed. This passion comes through in virtually every interaction I have, whether they're the receptionist at the front desk or the owner of the company.

I am a competitor, so I also love to win. And that means I want my clients to succeed because once they hire me, I'm on their team.

I had breast cancer a few years ago and I'm happy to report that I'm doing great. But it also taught me that there is more to life than work. I've chaired over 30 major charitable events that have helped thousands of people. I'm inspired by my incredible family, our dogs, by nature, and by a deep desire to learn.

Deb: I'm so glad to hear that you're doing great. And you certainly keep very busy! What is your favorite activity to relax and unwind?

Krissi: This is the hardest question so far! My motor runs very high, so I work too much. I have a bad habit of not taking enough "me" time. I'm working on this.

My favorite times are spent with my husband, son, and dogs. When our pack is together I'm happy. My husband and I take our dogs on a walk through the park every morning for exercise and we all love it. In addition I enjoy hiking, bike riding and playing golf.

I also have a love of gardening. Few things relax me more than planting and tending to my flowers. A few years ago I also learned how to play the harp. It's a very difficult instrument that I still haven't mastered. I love playing the harp outside surrounded by my flowers and dogs and family. Throw in a glass of chardonnay and I'd call that hard to beat!

About Krissi Barr

Krissi Barr is CEO of Barr Corporate Success, consultants specializing in strategic planning, executive coaching, and behavioral assessments, and the co-author of The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work.

Why Business Women Should Invest in Real Estate

business woman looking out a window

by Mark Machaalani

For business women, real estate investments serve multiple attractive purposes: Ease of business expansion; ease of investment financing; tax deductions; subsidiary entrepreneurship; increased marketing; and potential for lucrative profit. Let's look at each.

Ease of Business Expansion

Many businesses start on a shoestring, often from the founder's home office. As they grow, they often move into a small warehouse or office space rented from others.

Business women who invest in real estate can avoid throwing away those monthly lease dollars, instead purchasing their own commercial property that uniquely serves their needs.

Ease of Investment Financing

Real estate loans are among the easiest and most affordable loan types to obtain. Currently, the average rate of a U.S. mortgage is approximately 4 percent, with some available at less than 3 percent. As example, entrepreneurs whose firms are going to occupy at least 51 percent of the commercial real estate, can easily qualify for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA,) once the company has been in business for three years and has established good credit. Several lenders and organizations offer low-rate financing specific to women-owned businesses that have been operating for a year or more.
Tax Deductions

A business woman who owns commercial rental property can actually avoid capital gains taxes on the cash flow derived from the rental. Mortgage interest deductions and depreciation enable this terrific perk for property ownership. What's important here is that she leverages her capital - that is, she borrows money for the purchase of the rental property.

Subsidiary Entrepreneurship

Think of this as hedging your entrepreneurial bets. Your fledgling business is probably the results of a dream - that is, your idea for a new concept, tool or service. Untested, it might leave you on shaky financial ground for several years. Real estate, on the other hand, is a tried and true form of entrepreneurship and, except during recession, is one of the more lucrative and secure forms of business ownership. A business owner who as well is an experienced commercial real estate investor has additional areas of expertise, and a second source of income during the hard startup times.
You might even consider flipping real estate as a side venture - that is, buy commercial property, make necessary improvements, and quickly sell at a profit.

Increased Marketing

Most industries and business products have specific and somewhat-limited audiences. Your feminist T-shirt business will primarily lure liberals and females. Your used bookstore is not likely to target millennials, who prefer to read from Kindle or other e-readers. Real estate, however, can be of interest to just about anyone. Renters might be retirees looking for their winter home, or small businesses needing office space. Additionally, rental properties have brick-and-mortar advertising and marketing space.

In luring prospective renters or buyers, you can as well market your business, whether it's in your e-mail signature sent to those inquiring about the real estate or rental property, as a widget on your real estate property blog or website, or even as a banner on the commercial building itself. You might even discount your business services or products to your renters, or affiliate with your renters' businesses.

Potential for Lucrative Profit

The profit from real estate investing is both ongoing and long-term:

  • The current median capitalization (cap) rate for commercial real estate is 6.2 percent. Defined as the rate of return on an investment property. The calculation is: net operating income divided by current market value. For business women who purchase commercial property with a 4-percent-interest loan, this represents an approximate 2 percent annual gain.
  • No matter the use you make of your commercial property - to house your business, or for rental income - that property will almost certainly appreciate. While those who work for others are paying into their 401(k) or pension, you are investing in your commercial property. That property or properties, upon sale, could provide a hefty nest egg for your retirement.

Business women who invest in real estate save money, earn money, add expertise to their business repertoire, and expand their firm's marketing potential. Real estate is one of the smartest investments a business woman can make.

About the Author: Mark Machaalani is a Solicitor Director & Co-founder of Unified Lawyers. Mark is an experienced litigator and commercial lawyer practising in the areas of commercial litigation, property law, debt recovery, building and construction, bankruptcy and insolvency, insurance law, asset protection, retail and commercial leasing, the sale or purchase of business and conveyancing. Read more about him here. https://www.unifiedlawyers.com.au/about/mark-machaalani/

Photo credit: Eli DeFaria

"Growing a Business in the Cluttered Online Market" with Kristin Marquet Founder of The Haute Rebel on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

 Show #431

Topic: How to Start and Grow a Business in Today's Online Cluttered Market

 Kristin Marquet is the Founder & Publisher of The Haute Rebel, a one-stop shop for women 30+ who are looking to live happier, healthier, and more stylish lives.

She is also the founder and creative director of Creative Development Agency(formerly award-winning firm, Marquet Media). As the founder and creative director, Kristin has forged successful partnerships with celebrity entrepreneur and founder Christina Crawford of Bubble Pop Beauty; prestige hair care brand Briogeo; French accessory designer Mona Roussette; and many more. She has also authored the bestselling book, Squash the competition and Dominate your marketplace: 55 easy Tips to Generate Big Publicity for your startup or small business.

As someone who is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs grow their businesses, she also launched the online community and resource, FemFounder.co.

Kristin holds a master's degree in marketing from New York University, and is also a contributor to HuffingtonPost.com, Entrepreneur.com, and NYDailyNews.com. She lives in Westchester, New York with her husband.


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Business owner Kristen Marquet of The Haute Rebel

The Perfect Way to Celebrate Summer's End: Himalyan Salt Shot Glasses

Small business profile salt shot glass
Several years ago I was walking in the park with a friend. She was describing a holiday gift she'd recently bought for her mom. It was a plate made of sea salt.

 I'd never heard of something like that before, so I wasn't sure exactly what it was about. Her mother was going to use it with certain dishes she served. But sea salt? I didn't get it.

Then I had the chance to check out sea salt shot glasses. As it turns out, a family-run company named, Root7 sells a set of Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses that are perfect for those Tequila shots (and Margaritas too).

Small business profile Root 7 Salt Shot Glasses

I don't know about you, but I like the salt around the rim of the glass. But in this case, you get a slightly salty flavor with your shot.

Even better, they provide a Acacia Wood serving board for the glasses. So you can serve them to your guests and it looks great on your table (or wherever your party is).

Small Business Profile Salt Shot Glasses in a box

Just don't put them in the dishwasher! Try them out after using, and you're good to go. Store in a cool, dry place and you're ready to use them again.

So, now I get it! Ethically sourced and sustainable. The perfect barware for your next party and a perfect gift too (the holiday season will be here before you know it). I really enjoying using these, and so did my guests.

Disclaimer: I received a product for review, but my opinions are my own. This post does not contain affiliate links. For more information about sponsored posts, see the blog disclaimer statement

Female-Led Companies that Have Bridged the Funding Gap

Thanks to increased awareness and activism surrounding gender inequality in tech in recent years, “women in tech” is no longer just a theoretical concept. There are plenty of admirable women starting their own businesses, managing companies and driving significant growth for brands such as Facebook and Youtube.

However, what still raises eyebrows is the fact that a significant portion of female-led companies aren’t getting funding; a recent study by 99designs revealed that of the 3,003 companies that secured Seed, Series A or Series B funding in 2016, only 479 (16%) had at least one female founder, and only 246 (8%) had a female CEO at the helm. These findings are supported by a recent study by Crunchbase, which reported that between 2010-2015, a mere 15% of seed dollars globally went to startups with at least one female founder on the board.

While the lack of funding attributed to female-founded companies points to systemic issues within the tech and VC ecosystem, it simultaneously gives all the more reason to celebrate the female-led companies that have managed to bridge the funding gap. With this in mind, 99designs took a closer look into who these trailblazing companies are, zeroing in on companies that raised at least one round of funding (Seed, Series A or Series B) in 2016.

Turns out, these companies are headquartered from New York all the way to San Francisco, and they cover a range of industries, from healthcare to eCommerce. 99designs created an infographic visualizing trends in location, industry and funding amounts; the infographic is available here alongside the full list of companies. 99designs also analyzed the logo trends amongst the top 50 most-funded companies to determine common visual threads and aesthetic themes amongst these trailblazing brands.

We look forward to seeing more and more women-led companies join the ranks of those who are bridging the funding gap.

Female-led companies that have bridged the funding gap [infographic]

About the Author: Pamela Webber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99designs

Pam Webber of 99Designs
Pamela Webber is Chief Marketing Officer at 99designs. She is passionate about using data to derive customer insights and to find “aha moments” that impact strategic direction. In addition to her background as a marketer, Pamela brings a host of first-hand experience as an ecommerce entrepreneur. 

Prior to joining 99designs, she founded weeDECOR, an ecommerce company selling custom wall decals for babies' and kids' rooms, and also worked as an executive marketing consultant for True&Co, a wildly successful ecommerce startup specializing in custom-fitted women’s lingerie.

How to Predict What Your Boss Really Wants from You

business woman on a laptop
Who wouldn't want to be a "Professor X" with the ability to read the minds of our bosses and know exactly what they want?

Imagine how much easier work would be when you know what to focus on and cut out all the noise?

You wouldn't be able to read your boss's minds but you can predict what they want or expect from you. All it takes is activating your listening skills coupled with asking for help. 

Before talking about how to read your boss's priorities, it is best to understand the differences between a want and a need. Simply put, what a boss wants is a preference. It is a need when the absence of something, the result is a problem or a conflict. With that in mind, how to determine if it is a want or a need for your boss can be distinguished by active listening.

What am I listening for?

You are picking out their values and concerns through how they express the information. The first layer of listening is in their body language, followed by matching that to the words they are saying.

Does your boss become animated when talking about the details of the project or does the eyes light up when talking about the bigger goals of the project? This can give you an indication of what your boss prefers and is looking out for in the stages of the project.

The second layer of listening is extracting information about the undercurrent meanings and concerns your boss has. If you are unsure in pinpointing the exact intention, this brings us to the next way to predict your boss's wants:

Ask, ask, ask!

The best way to find out what your boss wants or needs is to ASK. Based on my experience, there are a lot of people who do not ask or clarify their doubts. Half the time, we spend operating on their interpretation or assumption of what the boss wants. The result is usually less than satisfactory because from the start, we weren't even sure of the boss's intention for us or the project in the first place.

business woman and man in a meeting

If this solution is so simple, why do people not ask more often?

The fear of sounding stupid holds us back. Look at the alternative of not asking, it is worse! So try injecting humor in your request. Start with stating the obvious, "silly question, but I would like to verify if (paraphrase in your own words what your boss has mentioned)?".

In asking you can also distinguish for yourself if the request from you boss is a want or a need (remember your active listening skills). If the request or task is beyond your capabilities due to resources or lack of time, let your boss know your current constraints and suggest how much seems realistically feasibly, given the circumstances. If your boss agrees, it was likely a want. If your boss cannot accept the suggested outcome, it should indicate to you that it is a need.

For me, I find out about my boss's wants, needs and expectations by having a casual chat with them now and then, towards the end of the day. Such a setting allows both of us the space to wind down after work and catch up with minor details we may have overlooked during the grind of the day.

I use this time to clarify my doubts (ASK!) or get their advice and his expectations of me in the given project and/or within the department or company.This should facilitate an alignment on where to go and how to do that within that timeframe.

goal setting


In order to predict what your boss wants, asking all the time may make you be perceived as incompetent. Try another route - asking people your boss works with. These conversations are valuable in giving you the foresight on the likes and dislikes or what kind of qualities your boss values. It helps you make an educated guess on how you can work well with your boss by being the dependable person who delivers their wants.

 On predicting the needs of the organization, if you're working on a project it would be easy. Ask what is the objective and how it fits into the overall goals of the company. Seeing the big picture of the project and how it contributes to the company helps in predicting and distinguishing your boss's needs and wants.

About the Author:
Carina stands for empowerment in making dreams become reality and her clients benefit greatly from it. As a coach, Carina likes to see herself as a mirror that reflects her client's truth. That mirror has no intention to judge, to beautify or to interpret her client's reality in any way. As a coach at Executive Coach International (https://ecicoaching.com/), her aim is to see the client as a person in that moment and to facilitate any change that the person is determined to undergo.

Register for the Play Bigger Now! Conference - Powered by Business Beyond Limits

business conference

Play Bigger Now! Income Acceleration Conference 

Dates: October 20th - 22nd, 2017

Play Bigger Now! is an income acceleration conference. Each speaker, their topic and all event activities are designed to help you create extraordinary results in your business. The featured speakers will share their wealth of knowledge and expertise to prepare your business for expansion, exposure and elevation.

Get ready to discover business growth strategies and experience income acceleration training. Prepare for an immersion in professional development that will guide you to mindset, marketing and sales mastery.

The powerhouse content for Play Bigger Now! is wrapped in one content-rich and business-boosting event. You’ll walk away with skills, tools, resources and brand new connections to enhance your performance, increase your productivity and improve your profits.

Deb's Note: I'm an ambassador for this event and I've been coached by Wendyy Bailey (no relation) of Business Beyond Limits. I can highly recommend Wendyy, her coaching and events!

Click here to find out more and get the details on speakers, activities and registration info!

"Hiring a Content Marketing Expert VS Hiring a Virtual Assistant" with Lyndsay Phillips of Smooth Sailing Business Growth on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #428

Topic: "Hiring a Content Marketing Expert vs Hiring a Virtual Assistant"  

What does a Content Marketing Expert do that’s different? What does a VA do? How do you decide on the best professional for the job? Lyndsay Phillips shares what to look for and how to choose the right person for your business.

Lyndsay Phillips is a serial entrepreneur; self-professed organizational freak, client-appointed task master plus project ninja and warrior content marketer for life & business coaches, accountants and other online entrepreneurs across the globe.

As the CEO & Founder of Smooth Sailing Business Growth, she leads a rock star team to support entrepreneurs who are seeking fast-paced business growth but finally have come to the realization that they can’t do it alone, do it all, and do it well.

She is also the host of Sailing To Success Podcast and Smooth Sailing Online Support TV – – and loves sharing practical tips, business building & content marketing strategies so that you can be more productive and attract more customers faster.


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Lyndsay Phillips on Women Entrepreneurs Radio


Back to School = Back to Routines: 5 Tips to Creating & Implementing Your BIG Vision!

business woman with her daughter
by Chris Atley

First, take some time to get reenergized. If you’re feeling depleted do something just for yourself to get your energy level back up. I posted a video earlier this week on social media where I debunk the myth around working harder.

Doing what you love that relaxes and energizes you, will make all of the difference when you sit down to work and brainstorm. You will be more creative, clear and energized! This is what working smart not harder looks like :-)

Second, once rested and of clear-mind, allow yourself to really dream big! What do you really want to achieve in the next 90-days. I have my clients map out the ideal lifestyle they would like to create over the course of a year, thus making the 90-days goals easier to breakdown.

What do you really want to be, do and have? What is important to you? In terms of work – create ideas and projects that give you energy and that are exciting. Refrain from any “shoulds” and talking yourself into things. Do this in a place where your creativity can soar where you won’t be interrupted. It can even be at a coffee shop that makes you feel warm and cozy, or a park that allows you to be grounded in nature.

A change of environment and getting away from the office can be most inspiring. Use big paper and fun coloured markers, this will make it more fun too!

Third, choose the top 1-3 projects you are most excited about implementing. Map out all of the to do’s that will be required to bring the idea to fruition. Stick to this plan no matter what in order to gain momentum.

As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to have bright-red-shiny-object syndrome. This is cool because we’re so creative and have so many great ideas coming in, but it’s not cool in the fact that this causes a lack of focus and jumping around, thus never seeing each idea / project to fruition. Stay flexible at the same time though, as you never know what great ideas the universe will bring to you in terms of “how” to make it happen.

A great rule of thumb is to take action on what you can see as next steps now, and stay open to what you aren’t seeing that will be shown to you :-) 

Fourth, make sure your calendar is rock solid in allotting time to work on the projects you have identified. Time blocking and chunking will help. Make time for this, along with EVERYTHING that is important to you both personally and professionally! This includes client fulfillment and doing a kick a$$ job for your people :-)

Fifth, have fun! It’s easy to get caught-up in the day-to-day to do’s and lose sight of our bigger vision. This is about creating a business and life on your terms and no one else’s. Do what makes your heart sing and choose strategies to help you carry out your vision that you resonate with and that are exciting to you. THAT is what will make it successful :-)

Much Love!!

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com
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