Sep 04 2016

Just who do you think you are anyway?

Today you are you,


that is truer than true.


There is no one alive


who is youer than you


— Dr. Seuss

Youer Than You


“Show me an authentic boss


. . . I’ll show you a winning leader!”


Real. Actual. Genuine. Bona Fide. Not False or Imitation. “Honest-to-Goodness.” Being Exactly What is Claimed. Good Faith. Sincerity of Intention. Legitimate. “The Real Deal.”



     How many of these qualities do you carry in your pocket and empty onto the table when you’re talking, meeting, and dealing with others? How often? How influenced are you by good or bad moods? By past experiences or self-doubts? By your own past or present choices?

     Does it matter whether the “others” are customers, prospects, employees, associates, investors, or suppliers? Does it matter whether you’re on the phone, in person, texting or emailing?

     How much do incidents, environments, and issues beyond your control play a part?

     What is it that you are most afraid of having others you work with, or sell to, learn about the real you?

What’s in the back of your closet

that you’re choosing to put

in the front of your mind

that’s holding you back from

being the up-front person

you’ve always wanted to be?


     Have you made yourself be a victim of circumstances? Is this an identity you cling to?

     This is not some ridiculous Hollywood exposé, or some empty suit government or political probe. This is about you, your business, your daily performance, and the way you “come across” to others.

     Here’s why it matters. When you own or represent a business, the business is an extension of your ego. It is the career stage on which you have chosen to perform. Bowing Cat

     Depending on how true to character you allow yourself to be, and how persuasively you present yourself and ideas, your business will rise and fall with the curtain calls and appreciative audience applause.

     If you elect to play a hard-nosed character, and you’re convincing in that role, you will attract hard-nosed critics and audiences who may not hang around until intermission . . . or who are harder-nosed than you!

     I’m not suggesting you or I or any of us has the ability to simply turn the authenticity faucet on and become (now finally SAINT) Mother Teresa. But I am saying that we all have certain qualities of genuineness as human beings.

     Exercising these strengths of character (in spite of closed closets) will serve to free up unnecessarily-guarded business behaviors and–in the process–open opportunities we may never have thought possible.

     It’s a choice that I can encourage, but only you can make. I urge you to take the risk to rise above your past memories, your own doubts and show more customers, employees, and suppliers more of what the real you is all about. Let them see that they can trust your judgement and earn your confidence.

     You don’t have to “become one of the guys” to let others know that you possess compassion and humor alongside your insightful and visionary leadership. Hey, give it a try. You may even like your self better. Have fun!

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Dec 05 2015

Your Reaction? Your Response?

Are You Reacting


. . . or Responding?



When you make it a habit to choose to respond to problem people and problem situations instead of choosing to react, guess what happens?

  • You eliminate all possibility of ever over-reacting, and that’s a good thing if you own, operate, or manage a business of any kind.
  • It’s also a good thing if you are working your way up the career ladder or committed to creating an aura of professionalism, of peace and calm around your personal and work relationships, your friendships, your family.
  • It even increases your odds of preventing accidents, in addition to enhancing your personal performance, and overall health.

Unless you’re in an emergency situation, a calm and thoughtful response solves more problems more effectively than a frazzled or angry reaction. And you already know that choosing calm and thoughtful over frazzled and angry also helps ensure better and longer-lasting health.

Stop reading this right now, and close your eyes while you take a deep breath or two, and pay particular attention to the fact that it slows your heartbeat, helps you collect your thoughts, and increase your sense of self-control.

Go ahead. Treat yourself for ten or fifteen or thirty seconds. You might surprise yourself. Go on; I’ll wait.

breath cartoon

So now that you’ve jetted your self down a notch, do you feel or think any differently than you did ten sentences ago? Three or four breaths ago? And what does this post make you think about for yourself that you’ve either not been aware of before, or that you have gotten lazy about?

As today’s world swirls, it’s easy to simply forget how important the distinction is between reacting and responding and how rewarding it can be for you to take more deep breaths more often.

The bottom line? Your behavior –your words and actions– is always your choice. Your choice may not always be a conscious one and it could be one that’s the result of a choice you made long ago that’s come full circle to stir up your anxieties. But recognize it for what it is . . . you can choose to make things easy on yourself, or you can choose to make them hard on yourself. Why would you want to choose unproductive upset over productive calm? And, yes, you can choose courage!

More conscious choices come from more conscious awareness. There are many mental and physical tools available to trigger responsive choices. Deep breathing is one of these. Yoga is another. Regular exercise, visualization (imagining/projecting/”seeing yourself” achieve a task or solve a problem before actually responding), are two others. Having goals that are specific, realistic, flexible, due-dated, and in writing can also help you steer yourself in high productivity directions.

Don’t just think about all this. Try it!

Keep your head cool and your feet warm

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Nov 27 2015

Making a difference in life

Are You Making A Difference?

Until your life and career purposes are interwoven as one, you’re not

likely to be on the road of making a difference for yourself, or for others.

                                                      czreer fzmily signs

Making a difference may not always measure up to what others consider as success, but there’s little doubt that making the kind of difference in life that really matters requires determination, dedication, commitment, stick-to-it-ive-ness, and resolve.

Okay, you may say, that all sounds good, but what does it actually mean for me in my life, in my work?

It means that –no matter how or where you live, no matter what kind of work you do or career you are in or aspire to, making a true difference in life demands that you do the best you can possibly do, and then more and that you never give up your pursuits no matter how many discouraging roadblocks block your path, no matter how many opinions cloud the intersections you come to, no matter how many temptations seem to reach out for you to change your path.

It means that –no matter how you feel when you wake up every morning, no matter how stressed or tired, you must remember that you are the only one who can carry your own torch, who can take steps every day on your own behalf by doing what you do best for others… family, friends, co-workers, partners, customers, clients, patients, community, church, and –of course– pets!

career cycleIs this a diagram to study? No it’s simply a model from which to create your own diagram that fits your own life and career circumstances, but the model does represent the key ingredients most of us need to move forward with and toward on a daily basis to get where we want to go. The circular motion indicated is not to say we should run around in aimless circles; it is to say that this kind of flow awareness is what it takes to make things happen.

As Shakespeare’s Falstaff once said:

“Discretion is the better part of valor.”


In other words, let your daily pursuits be guided by good judgment. And perhaps the most important message to keep in mind — because it literally dictates everything else, every word and every action, is that every behavior is the result of a choice that we make or that we once made. So if everything we say and do today is a choice, then why choose to make things hard on yourself when you can just as easily choose to make them easy, including how and when you deal with others.

choose attitude

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May 27 2015

Driving Entrepreneurs To Pasture

When it’s time to eat grass,


get out of the mud and weeds!


You’ve been bustin’ butt to get where you are, and you can’t even find the tunnel, never mind light at the end of it! That’s the nice way to say you’re feeling spent and discouraged. But the truth is — guess what?– you are CHOOSING to feel spent and discouraged! “Spent” and “discouraged” are behaviors, right? And since all humans are born with free will (although some undoubtedly approach dubiousness), humans (yes, even entrepreneurs) all CHOOSE their behaviors.

So now you think you’re going to get lectured? Don’t choose to think that. Choose instead to enlighten yourself. The choice is just as easy, and it’s light-years  more productive. We make choices every minute of every day — from when to wake up to when to go to sleep, and everything in between. HA! And you thought it was just a matter of eggs or cereal for breakfast . . . or whether to sneer, snort, scowl or smile at someone else who chose to be bitchy.

Nope. No lecture here. Just shared awareness based on being an entrepreneur, and working with 2020 entrepreneurs. The bottom line is that the vast majority of entrepreneurs I’ve experienced haven’t a clue about the right time to make their move out of the weeds and into the sunshine-filled pasture, where healthy grazing beats hanging around in mud and weeds infested with mosquitoes. And I won’t even mention the malaria word here. OMG! So many choices!

So, seriously, where does your business live? When will you choose to move it? Where? How?

Our choices are conscious or unconscious. Sometimes the consequences pop up years later. Goal-setting can spare us a lot of “choice” surprises! Are your goals legitimate? They meet all five essential criteria? They are specific, realistic, flexible, due-dated, and in writing? If they are not all five, you don’t have goals; you have a meaningless, nonproductive wishlist. Why would you choose fantasy when choosing (meaningful, productive) reality is just as easy?

Choosing when and how to get your business out of the mud and weeds is not a matter of betting the farm. Entrepreneurs take only reasonable risks. It is a matter of what I call “Opportunity Vigilance.” When you keep focused on making your idea work and on taking advantage of opportunities that represent growth, you are choosing to put yourself and your business in a position of readiness to head for the sunshine-filled pasture where work becomes fun again.

Unless, of course, you’re a FAKE Entrepreneur?

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jan 05 2015

340,666 minutes left in 2015!

Published by under Uncategorized

In 1 week, you’ll have 340,666 minutes left in 2015!

What will you do with


your time this year?


upsidedown clock

 FACT: As of Jan. 10th, you will have already spent 14,400 minutes of this new year that you’ll never get back! QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10 (10=best), how would you rate your 2015 accomplishments so far?  ONE MORE QUESTION: What will you do with the remaining 340,666 minutes (511,000 minutes minus 1/3 for sleep) in 2015?



Can the last question really be answered? Of course not. How could you possibly know what situations and circumstances will impact your intentions? So maybe intentions are not such a great thing. We’ve heard, after all, that they pave the road to hell, hmmm. And they’re kind of like expectations, right? And expectations breed disappointment, yes?

So where does all this quibbling over semantics actually leave us? Hopefully . . . (aw, wait a minute, isn’t “hopefully” like an intention and expectation combined?). Well then, is this an end to planning as we know it? Do we throw the goals out with the posts? (A little pun there for football fans.) Do we stop having objectives to pursue?

Planning is essential, but it is not a trigger for compulsive pursuit at all costs. Why is this important to consider NOW? Because:

Entrepreneurs are business junkies.

 How do we know that strict, rigid planning fails? Because planning (i.e, goal setting) has been long proven to be successful only if the process of goal setting adheres firmly to specific criteria, and one of these is flexibility. The less flexible, the more stress. The more stress the greater the odds for failure.

There is something to be said for the thrust and direction of many, if not most, entrepreneurially-spirited engines . . . something that is most succinctly put as “living for the moment.” Entrepreneurs instinctively seek immediate gratification and are more focused on the “here and now” present moment than those in other careers.

It’s that old thing grandpa used to say about not putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. Entrepreneurs have a powerful need for a quick fix when things start to flounder or deteriorate, or when last week’s “high” begins to wear off. Sound familiar? It’s true.  Look around. Ask around.

Small business owners and operators have mostly learned the hard way –through trial and error and intuitive “street smarts”– that ongoing quick-fix actions are the only ones that get results, and keep businesses moving forward when the tide is changing or the current is a backwash.

But swimming upstream for any period of time can be exhausting to say the least, so the idea of taking immediate corrective/adjustment action needs, in reality, to be tapered only with the commitment to take only reasonable risks in the process, and to always imagine the worst case scenario before proceeding.

Try repetitively asking yourself the following question all during any crisis or critical period, hourly if need be:


“Is what I’m doing right this very minute

leading me to where I want to go?”


# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US     931.854.0474

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Aug 11 2012


Consider the worst,


 but assume the best!


There’s no longer any excuse for being surprised in business (or life) when you’re able to discipline yourself to practice the thinking: “What’s the worst that could happen?” in every major decision . . . and then proceed to believe that only the best outcome will actually occur to reward your efforts!

Mind over matter? Perhaps. But, more than that, each worst case scenario situation you consider will better prepare you for the reality of what’s possible while it protects your belief in making happen what’s probable.

In other words, you will move forward most effectively when you’ve weighed the risks involved realistically.

Every leader worth her or his salt will attest to this thinking. The difference between it and a proverbial doomsday attitudes is simply that considering bad outcomes need only be a momentary departure from the positive thrust of making something positive happen.

Dwelling on negativity produces negativity.


Well, you say, making negative thoughts be fleeting ones is easy to SAY, you say. Ah, but it’s also easy to DO. Doesn’t it all come down to a matter of choice, after all? We do, by the way, choose our behaviors, yes?

So can we not simply choose to make  negative thoughts be benchmarks with a caution flag?

Who’s to say that considering the worst possible outcome has to be a long, drawn-out, analytical affair? It’s as quick as saying, “If I take this deal, I could lose the farm” and then realize the risk is not a reasonable one. (Contrary to popular opinion, by the way, Entrepreneurs take only reasonable risks.)

If you have trouble stopping your own runaway train when decisions come to the surface, force yourself to close your mouth and take a deep breath through your nose. Get more oxygen into your brain and more blood-flow into your muscles. Then exhale the stress slowly through your mouth.

Every choice you make is a better choice when you have better control of yourself. More deep breathing more often will put you in better control of your self. Is that a no-brainer, or what? All from making the choice to consider the worst that could happen before moving forward? Whew! Look at what you just taught yourself. The lesson is worth repeating:

Make the choice to consider the worst

that could happen before moving forward.

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P L E A S E   N O T E   N E W  D I R E C T   P H O N E   N U M B E R
HAL ALPIAR Writer/Consultant 302.933.0911, LLC
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 20 2011


Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!



   Have you done it?

 Can you do it?

 Will you do it?

   Are you doing it NOW?


 The only “YES!” that counts is your answer to the last question because the only time in your life and in the life of your business that’s real, and that counts, is NOW!


Getting to “YES!” may not always feel like an easy journey when other burdens are pulling at your shoulders, but it is –after all is said and done– a choice. And we are always free to make a choice be one that is easy or one that is hard.

 Choosing “YES!” certainly offers more promise and greater rewards than choosing “NO!” under almost any circumstances, except those of course that can have negative impact. (Choosing “NO!” to illegal, unhealthy, or harmful offers comes to mind as an example of times when “NO!” can be positive.)

But most of us struggle everyday with making “the right” choices… the ones that are right for us as individuals, as family and community members, as business leaders, as entrepreneurs. We “struggle” because –what’s the old saying? “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence!”?

In a word: Temptation.

We struggle to decide what’s best for ourselves and our families because we’re so pushed and pulled by others. And having a business venture that’s teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or major financial loss, can put enormous undue stress and strain on us as owners and managers, even for a small solopreneur kitchen-based business.

This added stress is often to the detriment of important family choices and relationships, and almost always to the detriment of fun and relaxation. Fun and relaxation? Hmmm. What’s that about? Fortunately, or UNfortunately depending on your perspective, fun and relaxation are necessary for life balance.

Life balance is necessary for business success. But achieving it can be complicated. In other words, no one I have ever heard of has made a successful business from anger, or from over-indulging in any emotion or activity.

When we make a conscious effort to say “YES!” at every turn –a “YES ATTITUDE” if you will– we are cultivating and nurturing life balance ingredients: willingness, receptivity, responsiveness, reliability, integrity, uthenticity, constructive and transparent leadership.

 Others will follow, be influenced, motivated, and inspired.

Others will see their own potential in the actions (words and deeds) that we as positive-minded entrepreneurs teach by example. “YES!” carries responsibility in its backpack. To agree to do something means doing it!.

Actually delivering the goods

is far more important

than just promising to deliver the goods.


A “YES! ATTITUDE” (not just for a day or a week, but as a way of life) allows us to thrive and grow as human beings, as people, while we cultivate and nurture the attitudes of those we influence around us –employees, customers, suppliers, referrers, lenders, investors, partners, delivery and cleaning people, our neighbors, community organizations, and, above all– our families.

We have untold opportunities to make real change and to make that change stick. Day after day, it’s always a choice! (And YES, that includes November 6, 2012.)

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Aug 03 2011

Hey, where ya goin’?

How can you ever get where


you’re going if you don’t 


know where you’ve been?



You’ve heard me a zillion times about the importance of focusing on the “here-and-now” present moment if you seek success in any form — and it’s a particularly embracable idea if you’re a leader, a small business or professional practice owner or manager, an entrepreneur, a parent, teacher, in military or community service, or unemployed.

I’ve belabored the point that dwelling on or in the past, and worrying about the future, are mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy places to be. They are fantasyland locations and are at the core of neurosis.

 BUT when you can make use of the past or future from a present-moment mindset, so that you control past and future thoughts . . .

You Win! Don’t believe it? Follow this:

  • Think for a minute, from your present-moment level of awareness, about where you’ve been in life (not  on a map, but where your thought patterns, performance levels, relationships, and business experiences have been). When you think about those things, what value do you give them in the here-and-now? 

  • Are these experiences that led you to where you are? So reaching back into them, which ones yield you the greatest value in the present? Which can most dramatically, most effectively, launch you into the future? Where exactly do you want to go in life? What in your past can most help you get there?

  • What roadblocks have you chosen to put between past learning experiences and future plans? What are the 3 most important steps you can take right now to start getting over or around those roadblocks? What excuses are you choosing to use to keep yourself from taking the most important of those 3 steps?

  • Take some deep breaths and mentally stand back from yourself, in a vacuum, without feeling past guilt or future worry, and describe you as you imagine yourself to be 10 years from today, August 3, 2021. What would you tell you to do NOW to get yourself on a more productive, happier, healthier, more rewarding path?

  • Go ahead, tell yourself –maybe in a mirror? Take some more deep breaths. Imagine, see yourself as the person you most want to become. Try to visualize your physical appearance (clothes, jewelry, skin, hair, teeth, brightness of eyes) and your attitude (how you walk, talk, carry yourself).

  • You have the ability to choose now, today, tonight, this hour, this minute to start on the path that will take you where you want to be. And this moment in time will be your past when you achieve that new goal for yourself. Will you look back to it then and commend your decision to move forward or wallow in self-misery for not choosing?


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Hal@Businessworks.US 302.933.0116 

 Open minds open doors

 Thanks for visiting.     God bless you. 

  Make today a GREAT day for someone

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Jul 21 2011

Choosing Courage!

Business and personal


courage come in as many


different packages as there


are people on Earth


 To decide to live (personal or business) instead of to die takes courage. Being brave enough to step up conscious effort far surpasses the alternative of choosing to give up, give in, quit. Choosing death (personal or business) takes no inner strength, no conviction, no belief, no sense of self-worth, no guts. Yet both choices have their advocates, don’t they?



I know many who have chosen life over death in spite of suffering:  and they are my heroes —  all of them!

I have unfortunately also known some who have simply chosen to die rather than fight to live and face the reality of their fantasies. We are rarely aware of these poor souls living among us in our work settings, neighborhoods, and families… until they bring us great sadness! 

How –after all— do we assess someone’s gumption? Isn’t gumption a (if not the) key attribute of courage?

Maybe we’re not consciousness-raised enough to tune in to others’ plights, or perhaps it’s just too overwhelming to think about? One need not be a shrink in order to sift through some obvious clues. Great amounts of ongoing, chronic, pain can often be a quit-life sign. Overall failure to adjust attitude or to respond instead of react are others.

Don’t go running around now trying to psychoanalyze your employees and family. Thoughts presented here are simply meant to trigger some awarenesses and prompt some introspection.

Perhaps the biggest and most dramatic difference between those who choose life over death has to do with whether people live most of their lives in the mentally and emotionally unhealthy “then and there” past, or the “if and when” future, vs. the far healthier and happier conscious stability of “here and now” present moment reality. 

Mental and emotional good health –even with physical suffering– means paying attention to and appreciating every present “what’s happening” moment as much of the time as possible. It means authenticity. It means seeing and hearing and responding to what’s right in front of one’s face. It’s Gestalt.

Do past and present ever come into play? Of course. We’re human.

Gestalt thinking and practice recognizes that past and future indulgences have value when they’re managed from the present. Past memories, for instance, can have a great soothing effect and enormous learning value. Future thinking is essential to survival because we must all plan and schedule.

The trick is to constantly work at keeping focused on the here and now. Generally, the more someone has one foot grounded in the existing real time world, the healthier she or he is apt to be, and the better prepared he or she will be to live (and continually choose to live) a rewarding and meaningful, make-a-difference life. 

How to get to the point of maximizing life requires some major letting go of behaviors that may be comfortable in favor of taking new pathways. And that bit of transition and personal growth takes courage.


# # #


  Open minds open doors. 

 Thanks for visiting.

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 25 2011

Happiness Wins!

 Happiness knocks at


your door every day.


Are you inviting it in?



There comes a time when business owners and managers must turn their attentions inward. This –today, now, right this minute as you’re reading this– may be that time.

One introspection-worthy vehicle is the great new controversial and provocative book (for which referral I earn no commission and have never even been requested to hype; it’s just an outstanding work) by Rob Bell, called LOVE WINS. It’s simple, short, friendly, informative, and –I guarantee– will give you cause to pause . . . and think.

That said, I will add that love does indeed “win.” So does happiness. Love and happiness require one another’s companionship. And both constitute the journey, not the destination. Both take us to that great place that management psychologist Abraham Maslow called “self-actualization.”

It’s hard to imagine self-actualization without love and happiness. The problem of course is that very few individuals ever truly arrive at any kind of permanent self-actualized state of existence. Fewer still recognize love and happiness as the pathways to get there.

And even those who do “get it,” who do work at it, and who do value and appreciate both the means and the end, rarely practice the pursuit enough to make a difference. So where does that leave us?

In order to move ourselves forward, we must first acknowledge that the act of moving forward is in fact, all by itself, a choice . . . that we choose our behavior . . . that no one else can reach inside our brains and control our thoughts and behaviors, and that we can simply make the choice to eliminate the negatives.


We can make the choice to move, conquer, or redesign what we perceive as roadblocks in our lives, by choosing to substitute positive  and productive actions and behaviors at every turn.

For these choices to be meaningful, increased levels of consciousness are required. In other words, a more intense focus is necessary on the here-and-now present moment as much of the time as possible.



Hey, scientists tell us that we barely even use 10% of our total mental capacity. Just imagine what’s possible if you can take it to 20 or 30 or 40 %! It’s been said that if we could use 100% of our brain power, we’d be able to walk through walls because we’d be able to separate the molecules in our bodies to allow for that possibility.


Too far-fetched for you? Ah, but that’s a choice!

Perhaps you’re simply choosing to make yourself content by not having to exert yourself to accomplish the higher levels of conscious existence you know you’re capable of? Perhaps you find yourself continually backing away from the reality of it all?

Could it be that you just lack any measure of familiarity with these unexplored ways of thinking, and they seem threatening to what you are used to? Or does it seem like too much work that’s not worth it? Do you figure maybe that you’re only going to live so long anyway, so why bother? Are you concerned with others’ opinions?

If you are truly serious about wanting to be a winner and about ushering your business entrerprise to unparalleled success:


You must also be willing to accept that a happier you who gives and accepts love of others freely (and I am NOT talking about free-love sexual energy here). I’m referring to how you treat yourself and others, specifically those around you every day . . . family, friends, acquaintences, business associates, even strangers.

Q. Where will it all get you?

A. Everywhere you’ve always wanted to go


 Drive your imagination forward with reality. 

Open minds open doors.  

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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