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Office  When you achieve, we win. Get inspired.

https://blogs.office.com/2017/03/29/helping-communities-bridge-the-digital-divide-with-office-365/

Part 1 of 3: At our Microsoft Workshop, one of the biggest pieces of advice @NicoleRichie had for our audience was about being more open with your work, even before you think it’s ready. “It’s not about keeping everything to yourself and keeping everything a secret. You should share with people around you and in turn, they will end up doing the same and it’s only going to help everybody evolve and grow.”

Part 2 of 3: @nicolerichie and @carolineghosn gave entrepreneurs tons of great feedback on expanding product lines, using social media to build an audience, refining a pitch for investors and navigating the publishing world. But, no matter what your goal is, the most important thing is to stay true to your authentic self. Don’t change your story or your product just to find an audience.

Part 3 of 3: @carolineghosn had some great pointers for building an audience on social media: “People respond really well to authenticity on social media. Solicit people’s feedback. People want to help you. And if they love your work, they’re going to give you feedback. They’re going to support you. They’re going to become your champions. And the more people do that, the more comfortable you’ll be sharing more of yourself on social.”

Part 1 of 3: As Manhattan’s “Silicon Alley” has grown, diverse communities like Queens have been excluded. Inclusion, a nonprofit organization started by Saeed Jabbar, is dedicated to ending that digital divide. Their mission is to provide a way for residents in Queens to learn and grow in the tech industry, providing access to the tools and skills those residents need to find jobs and start careers. So far, they’ve seen promising results from students and a groundswell of support from the community. How does your small business make a positive local impact, and how can you push that idea into new territory?

Part 2 of 3: Inclusion, a nonprofit organization based in Queens, New York, trains residents of underrepresented communities in skills that prime them for jobs in the tech industry. And while learning HTML and CSS is a key part of the curriculum, the program stands for much more: “We’re really more than a coding boot camp, or coding class. We teach them the personal branding skills—the networking skills.” This holistic approach can make a huge difference for people whose talent often goes undiscovered but who offer fresh, rich perspectives. Queens, for example, boasts an incredibly diverse population. According to Saeed: “Seventy percent are immigrants. We’ve got people of all colors, races, genders, and classes—we’re truly inclusive.” Hiring those residents and boosting their voices within tech companies has a huge positive impact on those local communities and on the tech industry as a whole.

Part 3 of 3: @itspaulana, a graduate of one of Inclusion’s tech courses, had never considered coding before, but knew a great opportunity when she saw one: “It’s not just about the coding. It’s about professional experience at the same time. It’s about networking. Inclusion is access.” Her bet paid off. The training she got through Inclusion connected her with tech companies she admires and helped put her on the payroll for one of them. She’s now a writer with coding skills to boot, making her a standout among her peers. She’s also a big supporter of Saeed and his business: “He’s taken Inclusion places that I don’t think he even saw. And I think that’s why it’s so important to have a vision that is not only about you, but that is serving a need for other people.” Click the link in our bio to see the full story.

Part 1 of 3: San Antonio-based Scott Photography brings out the best in people, and that’s by design. Louis, owner and photographer, is drawn to authenticity and works with his subjects to create the most honest images of them he can. “Where my work differs is that it captures the emotion of that individual. What they’re going through—what they’re feeling—and showcasing them in a really authentic and true nature.” What unique spin sets your small business apart? How can you use that to find new opportunities and evolve as you grow?

2 of 3: During a visit to Ground Zero in New York City, photographer Louis Scott was struck by the fire fighters’ selflessness and the gritty reality of the work they do. As a small business owner with an ability to capture authentic stories, he saw an opportunity to help shift the public’s perception of them: “I said, ‘I’m going to do something that portrays them in the best light possible and capture their expression.’” He put out a call for participants, one of whom was Stephen Darnell. They worked together to create a portrait of Stephen that tells his full story—one that goes beyond the flames and sirens to shine a light on his true character and the things he’s seen throughout his career.

Part 3 of 3: Stephen Darnell, Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal with more than 20 years of experience, wishes more people understood what firefighters go through: "Typically, when I see photos of fire fighters, I see the sex symbol or the hero or the glamour. But what people usually miss is what it’s like after the call. It takes a traumatic toll on firefighters, and it's unspoken.” These are the stories so many photos of fire fighters leave out, and exactly the kind of stories Scott Photography has made its mission to share with the world. Click the link in our bio to see the full story.

Part 1 of 3: Chart-topping musician @EricHutchinson was that kid in elementary school who always had music on his mind, whether was belting out a tune or making up his own songs: “I grew up in a very musical family. My grandma was a professional viola player, so my family placed a high importance on songwriting and musicianship. I always loved singing songs and the next logical step to my kid-brain was to make up my own songs. I wrote my first song when I was 8 years old—my music teacher heard me singing it and she notated the tune on sheet music. She told me, ‘This is what we do when we think of a song, we write it down.’” #FirstDrafts

Part 2 of 3: “I talk to a lot of people who are overwhelmed to start, so they decide to postpone instead. Just dive in! Write a first song, start learning Spanish, make a short film, write a short story, write a long story, cook your first omelet. Whatever you start doing, you'll get better at it. Find the thing that can excite you every day and start doing it every day. If you're passionate about something, people will notice. Passion is contagious.” #FirstDrafts

Part 3 of 3: “I was 20 years old and living in New York City for the summer. I couldn't get into any bars or clubs since I was underage. Instead, I spent the summer playing open mics, playing guitar and singing. One night, I was waiting to play an open mic in Greenwich Village. Outside the music venue, I jotted down some lyrics about wanting to belong, about wanting to party and drink and be an adult. The lyrics and melody felt special and I got onstage and immediately starting singing the song so I wouldn't forget it.” —Eric Hutchinson, Musician
That song was “Rock & Roll,” and it was what really kicked Eric’s career into high gear. After he was signed to a record label, “Rock & Roll” went on to become a number one hit in Australia, earned a gold record in the U.S., and took him all over the country performing. These days, you can catch him singing songs from his latest album, "Easy Street," at shows on his Uncharted Territory tour. For Eric, it’s all about *doing*—powering through any obstacle that stands between you and your passion. So what will you do with your next 365? #FirstDrafts

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