4 Sensitive Superpowers That Can Change Your Life (and the World)


“You were born to be among the advisors and thinkers, the spiritual and moral leaders for your society. There is every reason for pride.” ~Elaine N. Aron

Stop being so sensitive. Lighten up. You’re oversensitive. Stop overthinking. You’re weird.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had those words slung at you like rocks from a slingshot for as long as you can remember. The underlying message is clear: You’re too much. There’s something wrong with you.

Your heart strings have always been like finely tuned antennae, picking up on even the most subtle signals of other people’s heartache and embarrassment. Witnessing someone in intense pain can cause you inner turmoil for weeks on end. And when you feel pain, it’s always intense.

I get it. I can still remember clearly the first time I had my heart broken. We’d moved across the country, and my best friend mailed me a letter to formally let me know that, with me having moved away, we were no longer best friends. She had a new best friend and they had special nicknames for each other.

It’s the kind of playground politics that have been going on since time immemorial, but I didn’t know this. It probably wouldn’t have helped if I did. It was my first time being rejected, and it hurt like hell.

When I went back to that same school a few years later, no one would play with me. My friend was right: She’d moved on. So had everyone else in my class. At recess, I sat alone, eating my tomato sandwiches.

One of the new boys started picking on me, calling me horrible names, while my former friends simply stood by and watched.

My teacher picked up that something was wrong. She called us in and asked what was going on. When we’d shared our stories with her, I was stunned by her reaction.

Instead of using it as an opportunity for learning and healing, she brushed the whole thing off. In that one seemingly insignificant action, she was upholding the message society gives us from the minute we’re born: Being sensitive is wrong. Being vulnerable is even worse. Just harden up already and get on with things.

At the end of that year, when we went off to high school, the other kids voted for me to get the ‘loyalty’ award at prize giving. I wasn’t too young to get the irony.

By high school, I was ready. I’d learned my lesson. Like many people who’d been told all their life they were too sensitive, I’d developed impressive armor. I would go into my teenage years knowing how to keep people out.

By my twenties I’d perfected the art of keeping people at a distance.

Then, in my thirties, I dared to ask myself: What if sensitivity is a good thing? The mere idea felt transgressive. But then again… what if it was? What if, in fact, sensitivity was a gift?

I decided to do an experiment. At that point, I’d been to trillions of job interviews in two years, with no luck. Every time I’d got to one, I’d dress up in the stiff, corporate way I thought told interviewers you were capable. I was putting on my armor. Not this time. If sensitivity was a good thing, how would showing people that side of me be?

I decided to embrace who I was. I dressed in a way that felt authentic to me. Something more artistic, flowy that to me, clearly signalled: Here is a sensitive, creative person. These are the qualities you’ll get when you hire this person.

It worked! It was the best interview ever. We had an actual, meaningful conversation instead of the stilted kind of thing that usually goes on in interviews. They hired me.

Today I’m utterly convinced there are many, many advantages to being sensitive, and I keep finding more. Here are some of the more unexpected gems that I just adore and that make me excited about being a sensitive person. I hope you’ll be just as enthralled.

We’re super observant.

Sensitive people are keenly aware of what’s going on around us at all times. In fact, highly sensitive people should actually be called highly observant people, says psychologist Elaine Aron, who created the scientific model for what it is to be a person with the trait of high sensitivity.

We’re always scanning the environment and people around us in order to understand what’s going on and to make an emotional connection, usually at a speed that would send someone else reeling.

How to use your gift of being observant: It’s no wonder employers report being more satisfied with sensitive workers. Being aware of every single detail—the ones to expect and the ones to eliminate—is a big plus in just about any job, from surgeon to event planner to researcher. It also makes us great with people.

Highly sensitive athletes even report it being a plus on the sports field, where they don’t even have to see everything going on around them—it’s as if they can feel where the other players are, anticipating their next moves.

Whether it’s building a rapport with your neighbors, knowing what your clients need, or noticing the tiny detail that makes all the difference in the product you’re creating, your gift of being observant is a massive plus for your personal life and career success.

We’re deeply joyful people.

When you’re told all your life that you’re “too sensitive” and “too emotional,” it can feel like you’re some sort of mopey Eeyore-type character. I remember being told my personality type was “melancholic,” which even as a child I knew was an old-fashioned word for depressed. Way to make someone feel good about themselves!

Thing is, like me, you’ve probably always suspected that’s not the whole truth.

Like me, you’re likely to be the person who laughs loudest in the cinema. The one whose friends are able to locate them by following their laugh in a theatre. The ones who, when they return after being away for a while, overhear their friends saying, “Aaah—that laugh. I’ve missed that laugh.’

Truth is, sensitive people feel everything deeply—that includes happiness, joy, and exhilaration. We’re the kids who check out the environment thoroughly before using the flying fox or the water slide, and also the ones who feel the most exhilarated after finally taking that plunge.

How to use your gift of joy: Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word these days and for good reason—in these busy times, it’s a great way to lower stress and increase your engagement with the physical world.

When you’re already someone who notices the tiny detail on a leaf or the vivid turquoise of the kingfisher flying over the lagoon, it’s much easier to tap into mindfulness—and joyfulness.

While I don’t like the term “overthinking,” as it feels very negative—seeing all the possible outcomes is a plus in many ways—we can sometimes get stuck in a rumination loop, feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed when faced with making a decision.

This is when our ability to appreciate beauty, art, and joy becomes such a wonderful gift. Take time to notice the beauty around you and to just be, and feel your mood lift. Enjoying that walk in nature often brings clarity, allowing the solution to appear as if out of nowhere.

We make superb leaders.

If you’ve felt beaten down for a long time, it can feel like you’re just not cut out for a leadership role. Truth is, you’re uniquely equipped for this role.

Not only do employers report more satisfaction with their sensitive employees, but studies show we make incredible leaders.

It makes sense really—people want to follow someone they can trust.

“Highly sensitive people miss nothing, while falling back to let team members shine and have the innate ability to say the right thing at just the right time,” says John Hughes, who trains corporate clients on how best to support their highly sensitive employees.

Now that sounds like someone I’d want to follow!

How to use your gift of leadership: We don’t often associate gentleness with leadership, so seeing yourself as a born leader might be hard right now.

In reality, anyone who inspires people by their actions to live a better life is a leader. Right now, you might be an inspiring leader to your friends or your children.

So ask yourself: Is this my season to take on a leadership role? Maybe you want to lead your volunteer group or apply for that management position at work. Maybe you’re in that stage of life when your career is drawing to a close and you want to pass on invaluable knowledge by mentoring younger people.

Don’t be afraid—step up to that leadership position. No one can do this better than you.

We’re innovators.

When you look inside a sensitive person’s brain, you’ll notice that areas for understanding subtle cues are more activated. So are the ones for depth of processing.

Noticing and thinking deeply about things allow us to combine ideas in novel ways. We’re born innovators.

How to use your gift of creativity: The world is absolutely crying out for creative thinkers right now. Everyone from established corporate firms to small start-ups is actively seeking out innovative minds.

The information era is most probably the very best time for a sensitive person to be alive. So, whether you use your creativity to contribute to a supportive workplace, to create your own business, or to raise one lucky family, you have it in you.

If you believe in yourself and work hard, always following your principles and looking after yourself, the sky’s the limit!

You Can Change the World

As a sensitive person, you have unique talents and insights to offer the world.

You’ve come a long way, learning more about yourself and slowly accepting the fact that being a sensitive person is not something to be ashamed of.

In fact, you’re starting to see it as a gift—and you’re excited about the possibilities.

You’re a keen observer, a fantastic leader, a natural-born innovator, a deeply joyful person and someone who benefits enormously from having—and creating—a supportive environment for yourself and others.

With gifts like these, there’s no one better equipped to change the world. All you have to do is step out.

The world needs you right now.

About Danielle Heyns

Danielle Heyns runs the blog www.FocusOnWhatMatters.co, where she helps overwhelmed people gain clarity and take action on what matters most to them.

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How to Create a Small Business Website


How to Create a Small Business Website

Starting a business can be scary.

When I decided that I wanted to start my own online retail store, I picked the name, designed the logo, and then thought, “well… now what?”

There are so many factors to consider when creating your business website, from deciding which website builder is best for your business to worrying about how much it will cost to bring your website to life. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

But creating your business website doesn’t have to be stressful. Really! We’re here to help demystify online marketing for your small business, starting with the central hub of your online presence: Your website.

How to create a small business website

First of all, kudos for recognizing that your small business needs a website. After all, your customers are expecting you to have a website and many of your competitors probably already have one. In this day and age, not having a website can lead your prospective customers to wonder if your business even actually exists. 

And before we get into the action items, let me start by saying, “You can do this!” Seriously, if you’re looking for that final push, well… here it is.

In addition to creating a website for my own side hustle, I also recently worked with Dawn, the owner of La Provence, to update her small business website. I’ll share some of the tips and tricks we used for her site too.

Here are the things you need to consider when creating your small business website:

1. Decide which website builder is best for your small business website

There are many website builders out there that can help you get your website online. Some depend on a basic understanding of code and design while others, like Constant Contact’s Website Builder, take care of that for you.

If you’re looking for a simple, professional, and easy website, Constant Contact’s Website Builder is a great choice.

Since La Provence was already using Constant Contact for her email marketing, it was a no-brainer for Dawn to use our Website Builder, too. Now her email marketing and website work together to reveal more about her buyer’s behavior than ever before.

2. Buy a domain name

If you want to gain credibility online and show customers you’re the real deal, your business needs a domain name. Having your own domain name protects your brand and also helps you rank higher in search results.

Think of your domain name as the web version of your street address. It’s how people will find you on the internet.

So, what should your domain be? When purchasing your domain name, try to keep it as simple and relevant to your business as possible. Make sure that it fits your business, is easy to find, and hopefully easy to remember so customers will keep coming back (and even tell their friends!)

There are some things to avoid when choosing your domain name, such as numbers, hyphens, and abbreviations. And, of course, it’s always important to make sure your desired domain is available for purchase! There’s nothing worse than getting your heart set on a domain name, or even going so far as to grab all of the usernames for this domain name on social media, only to find out that it’s taken already.

For Dawn, her website had long been known as www.laprov.com and we didn’t want to lose that recognition and power in search engine ranking. For that reason, we simply moved her domain over to her new site. However, we did also purchase a secondary domain name, www.laprovencerockport.com, to redirect to her main site as well.

Once you’ve purchased your domain name, it’s time to move on to the next step.

3. Design a logo

If you don’t have one already, now would be a great time to create a logo for your business.

Your logo is one of the most important parts of your brand’s visual identity. It provides a visual and virtual representation of your business. Whether it’s on your website, social media, signage in your store, employee uniforms or more, it is often the way customers are easily able to identify that something is related to your company.

If you are just starting your company or want to refresh your logo, Constant Contact’s LogoMaker is a great, free resource for small businesses to easily create a logo. Using the power of A.I., the LogoMaker takes your brand name and slogan and creates a large selection of logo options. You can click on any of the options to further customize the colors, icon, text, and size.

If you already have a logo for your business, now would be a great time to gather all of the files into one place for ease of use. 

4. Create your website content

When people visit your website, they are looking for answers to their questions. Your website should have at least three pages: a homepage, your about page, and a contact page.

Your homepage

Think of the homepage as the front door of your website. This is where you get to make a good first impression and showcase what your product or service is all about. Remember — people don’t have a lot of time and opinions about your website are made in only 0.05 seconds (!!!) so keep it clear and concise. 

An important question to keep in mind when creating your homepage is “who is it for?” This applies not only to your site but to your business in general. If you serve a specific group or industry, make sure that it is apparent on your homepage. You can convey this via imagery or text (or preferably, both). 

Finally, make it clear what you want your visitors to do next. Are you trying to drive sales, get them to call you, or sign up for your email list? Your homepage shouldn’t be the last page they visit or the last step your visitors take.

For La Provence’s website, sales are the main goal. As a result, we focused most of the buttons on driving traffic to the online shop. The homepage outlines what La Provence is, what they offer, and what sets them apart from their competitors. Plus, the imagery helps bring the quaint, whimsy of the physical store onto her website. La Provence french goods websiteThe La Provence homepage has a brief description of the company, featured items from the store, and an email newsletter sign up form.

Your about page

Every small business owner has a story. Why did you get started? What problem are you trying to solve? Why is your business important to you? Your about page is where you should tell this story.

Talking about yourself can feel awkward or forced sometimes. However, sharing your small business story helps potential customers or supporters learn about you in a way they may not have a chance to otherwise. It tells them why they should care about what you do and what makes your business different from all the rest. 

Be sure to share photos and videos too, if you have them. Despite being a familiar face here at the Constant Contact office, Dawn at La Provence isn’t a big fan of being photographed or sharing pictures of herself. While we recommend having a picture of you and your team on your about page, we opted to showcase La Provence’s iconic front door instead. Alongside the image, Dawn shares the background story of how the shop got started, how she became the owner, and where you can find the shop. La Provence website about pageLa Provence’s about page provides a more in-depth history of the company. It’s a great idea to include reviews and testimonials on your site as well!

Your contact page

There is really only one reason for a contact page: to allow your customers to get in touch with you. It’s important to be clear on what the visitor should expect when they contact you. When will you get back to them? What are you hoping they’ll submit? What information is important for them to include in their message?

It’s a good idea to also include information regarding where customers can find you and when they can reach you. While most people will likely take advantage of your contact form, some people may need an immediate answer and would prefer to call or visit you instead. Including your address, hours, and phone number on this page will help ease that process. Your contact form should be clear and concise. Only include fields that you absolutely need in order to speed up the process and avoid collecting unnecessary information.

5. Test your site before promoting it

It’s always a good idea to get a trusted second opinion.

When you’re working on something for your business, it’s easy to overlook things that may seem obvious to you but aren’t as clear to someone who is just learning about your company. Showing your site to a trusted confidant and asking them to click around it is a great way to gather information on how someone may move around your site and which things they may get stuck on.

For example, when we were working on Dawn’s website, we realized that while some of her repeat customers may know what “Le Cadeaux Melamine” is, new customers who are looking for beautiful French plates may not think to click on that. For this reason, we used the store category feature to nest these products under a “For the Kitchen & Home” heading, allowing them to be discovered by new customers and repeat customers alike. Things like this can be easy to overlook when you don’t test your site first. La Provence french goods online store.Here you can see that La Provence’s online store uses categories to filter through products with ease.

6. Get your new site out to the world

It’s finally time. The moment has come. 

You have to click publish.

I know, I know — It’s scary. But think about how amazing it is that your customers will be able to see your beautiful new website no matter what device they are using. They will be able to make purchases from your small business even when your door is locked and you’re fast asleep at home. You can literally start making money while you’re dreaming.

Once your website is live, it’s time to tell people about it. Consider sending an email to your contacts announcing your new website and share a post about it on your social media accounts. Scream it from the rooftops — just maybe not literally.
La Provence french goods mobile store.Dawn was so excited to share her new website with her followers on Facebook! This is a great way to make sure your customers know to check out your new site.

And trust me — you can still promote your website even when it feels like you have no time.

7. Maintain your small business website regularly

Now that your website is published and has been revealed to the world, you need to make sure you are properly maintaining your website. Have your hours changed due to the season? Are you offering new products or services this month? Do you have a new promotion going on? All of these things would be reasons to update your website.

Want to take your small business website to the next level?

There is always room for improvement. By following the steps, pro advice and guidance outlined in our free online marketing guide, The Download, you can make sure your website checks off all the boxes and works as efficiently for you as possible. 

We want to see your brand new websites! Tweet us @ConstantContact to share them with us.

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Meet AWeber’s NEW WordPress Plugin


Meet AWeber’s NEW WordPress Plugin

Meet AWeber’s NEW WordPress Plugin

 

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. (Nearly half of all websites use it!) So it’s no surprise that it’s also one of AWeber’s most used integrations.

That’s why we rebuilt our AWeber for WordPress plugin to make it even more powerful and simpler to use to help you find greater success with email marketing. Here’s what’s new with our WordPress plugin.

It’s now easier to add sign up forms to WordPress.

You now have three “easy as pie” ways to add your sign up form to your WordPress website using the AWeber plugin.

Widgets

You can add your sign up form to your WordPress theme using the widgets in WordPress, which means it’ll be added to every page on your website. For example, consider adding your sign up form to your blog sidebar or website footer.

 

You can only place the AWeber widget in one widget area. If you want to add it to other widget areas, you can use the next method: shortcodes.

Shortcodes

Shortcodes are snippets of WordPress code that allow you to add your sign up form anywhere on your site. You don’t have to create these; WordPress automatically creates them for each of your sign up forms.

You’ll find your shortcodes inside the AWeber plugin under Forms.

 

If you want to add your sign up form to your entire site, simply copy the code and paste it into a text widget.

 

You can also add the shortcode to a specific page or blog post using the WordPress page editors, which we’ll cover next.

In the WordPress editors

To add an AWeber sign up form to a page or blog post using WordPress’s classic editor, simply paste the shortcode, or use the built-in AWeber button inside the formatting menu.

If you’re using WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, simply click the “plus” icon to add a custom AWeber block. Alternatively, you can also add a shortcode block and paste your shortcode.

 

Automatically add commenters and WordPress users to your AWeber email list.

We’ve also made it easy for commenters and users to subscribe to your email list.

The AWeber for WordPress plugin now allows you to add a checkbox to the comment section, where users can opt into your email list when adding comments on your pages or posts.

 

You can also apply tags to new commenters and users who join your list so you can segment your subscribers and send them more personalized emails in the future.

Easily see where each sign up form is being used on WordPress.

You can also quickly view where all of your forms are being used across your WordPress website.

If you ever need to remove or change the form you’re using on a particular page, you can quickly access that page right from the AWeber for WordPress plugin.

Track your sign up form performance without leaving WordPress.

One of the biggest benefits of the new AWeber for WordPress plugin is that it saves you from having to toggle back and forth between your AWeber and WordPress accounts.

Quickly track how your sign up forms are impacting your email list growth without ever leaving WordPress. You’ll learn what’s working and what’s not, so you can optimize your sign up forms for better results.

Check to make sure the plugin is installed correctly.

You don’t have to be a technical whiz to use the new AWeber for WordPress plugin.

Easily make sure your plugin is installed correctly by using the ‘System Info’ screen to view the compatibility details.

Need help troubleshooting a problem? We’ve put all of the necessary info in the System Info screen. Share this with our 24/7 Customer Solutions team and we can get you back on track in no time.

How to get started with the new AWeber for WordPress plugin

Already an AWeber customer? Download the AWeber for WordPress plugin today, and connect it to your AWeber account.

Plus, check out a recorded demo of the AWeber for WordPress plugin inside our customer community on Facebook.

Once you’ve had a chance to try it out, we’d love to hear your feedback. Leave us a review in the WordPress marketplace.

Not an AWeber customer yet? Start your free 30-day trial today and start using the AWeber for WordPress plugin.

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9 Strategies for Working Parents to Reduce Stress and Get Control of Mornings


9 Strategies for Working Parents to Reduce Stress and Get Control of Mornings

Stress less with these morning routines that work.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kicking off the day with a positive outlook and an organized mindset is integral to running a business or being successful at work. If you’re a working parent, you likely deal with some morning madness, and if you have younger kids (or teens!), morning meltdowns.   

Aside from establishing good morning eating habits, and eliminating unnecessary TV and social media scrolling in the morning, below are 9 tips for reducing morning stress by saving time, all while keeping your kids in a positive mindset.

1. Do everything the night before

Lay out your clothes, the kids’ clothes, pack lunches, ensure that homework is finished and in the folders and even have some breakfast items prepped such as cut-up fruit or hard-boiled eggs. Everyone has a different routine but the key is that we adapt to routines and kids especially do too. Even plan for little things such as knowing where essentials like car keys, glasses, and Bluetooth headphones are. (To make the time for this prep, give up some screen time or these other habits that can destroy your productivity.)  

2. Give your kids time to save time 

We don’t like to be rushed, and especially kids. If your kids can “chill” a little bit in the morning, they are more relaxed and this will minimize meltdown. On the same note, if you are someone that likes to journal, read the news or enjoy your cup of coffee, rather than just slamming it down in the car or commute, it is game-changing to prioritize waking up 15-30 minutes earlier, so long as you get in bed at a decent time.

3. Bypass the morning breakfast blitz

A lot of time can be wasted trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, and it can’t always be pop-tarts on the go if you want your children (and you!) to thrive throughout their day. I like to prep the cut-up fruit (because this takes time!) have hard-boiled eggs on hand and toast or bagels are easy for kids to make themselves. One favorite in our household is tasty egg muffins that can be made over the weekend and are great for just pulling out of the fridge, on-the-go, and even for packing into lunches. 

4. Take care of yourself first  

Just like the airplane oxygen mask analogy, you need to take care of yourself first to function best. So whether it’s exercise, meditation or cleaning out your inbox while you sip your coffee and eat breakfast, ensure that you put your armor on before you take on responsibilities for getting the kids ready.

5. Divide and conquer with your partner

As with many tasks at the office, it’s the teamwork that eases the load for everyone and drives success. So why not do the same at home? Identify your strengths and weaknesses and devise a plan with your partner. For example, I like to work out first thing in the morning and can get up and go. My husband prefers to take his time, work early and enjoy his coffee. He spends time with our boys, makes them breakfast, and then I come home in time to finish up the lunch boxes that were prepared the night before, drink a post-workout protein shake and get myself together, before getting the boys out the door for school. For single parents, aim for preparing as much as you can the night before and teaching your children to help out with breakfast and packing their bags.

6. Build an army with your kids

Teach your children to help out. Our kids are 8 and 11 and we have taught them to make simple breakfasts like toast bagels and spread cream cheese on them, toast waffles or get things like yogurt and cut up fruit out of the fridge. For some families, a “chore chart” helps keep them organized and depending on the ages of your kids, it’s best to create a routine for them that includes boxes for them to check for when they: get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, comb their hair (we like to skip this one), pack their backpacks, etc.  When you give your children ownership and responsibility, you empower them with confidence and independence that will pay off in the long run

7. Build a cubby system

The last-minute hunt for homework, shoes, after school activity gear or anything else is an immediate stress trigger. Be it hooks and cabinets or an actual shelving cubby system near your back door, this “launchpad station” for everyone helps foster organization. At our home, we each have our own cubby and it’s a place where we keep shoes and have backpacks and paperwork. My personal cubby has my gym bag packed and ready to go (even with car keys inside of it!) the night before so that I can just grab it early morning and quietly sneak out the door. 

8. Shop online

Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Brandless, or whatever you like, find effective online shopping sites and skip the trips to the store.  We rely heavily on Amazon Fresh and by using their “Past Purchases” drop-down tool, it’s simple to reorder staple grocery and home items.  Going to the grocery store mid-week is difficult for many working parents and online grocery delivery has redefined the shopping experience. 

9. Stay calm

No one has ever calmed down when they are yelled at to “Calm Down!” right?  While we are all guilty of yelling, it’s very counter-productive to getting out the door. Kids sense tension and anxiety and if you are not calm, neither are they.  And why should your kids be rushed? For the benefit of all, including yourself, focus on using a calm voice and keeping a positive attitude as you explain to kids why you need their help.

As entrepreneurs and parents, jam-packed days are inevitable, yet keeping anxiety levels low is crucial to your health, well-being and success. Make the most of the limited family time in the mornings and evenings and try to truly be with them and minimize the multi-tasking.  Whenever possible, have a back-up plan, get a good night’s sleep and allow for some flexibility. Happy less-stressed parents will lead to happier and less-stress kids. There’s no debate about that.

COPYRIGHT ON  entrepreneur

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The UK's top-earning CEO bags record $422 million payday


The UK's top-earning CEO bags record $422 million payday

Bet365 Chief Executive Denise Coates poses with her Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal

Denise Coates, the U.K.'s highest-paid CEO and founder of global gambling business Bet365, took home a record-breaking £323 million ($422 million) paycheck this year.

Coates, believed to be Bet365's highest-paid director, paid herself nearly £277 million for the year to the end of March 2019, according to the company's accounts which were published on Tuesday.

 

This increased from the £220 million she earned last year, retaining her crown as the U.K.'s highest-earning boss.

Coates also took home half of the company's £92.5 million total dividends, from her 50% stake in the business.

Altogether this worked out at a £323 million paycheck for the gambling boss, equating to £1.3 million per working day of the year, which was widely reported to be a record paycheck for a U.K. director.

Coates' base earnings were more than 9,000 times the U.K.'s average salary of £29,400.

 

Forbes estimated Coates' net worth at $12.2 billion, sitting 244th on its Billionaires 2019 list.

Bet365 saw net profits increase by 18% to £685 million in the year to the end of March 2019.

The company made an £85 million donation to the billionaire's charity the Denise Coates Foundation this year, an increase on the £75 million donated the previous year.

Coates, 52, has a first-class degree in econometrics, the application of statistical methods to economics, from the University of Sheffield.

She originally trained as an accountant and worked in her father's betting shops. Then in 2000, noting the growing popularity of online gambling, Coates launched Bet365 from a building in a carpark near one of her father's shops.

 

Bet365 also owns British soccer team Stoke City, of which her father, Peter Coates, is chairman.

Her father is also a co-founder of the business, while her brother, John Coates, is co-chief executive.

According to an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, back in 2012, Coates originally failed to get funding from venture capitalists to get the business off the ground. Instead, she borrowed the money from her family and British bank the Royal Bank of Scotland.

 

Coates said she and her family bet "everything" on the launch of the company, saying they were the "ultimate gamblers."

COPYRIGHT ON CNBC

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Spotify to halt political ads on its platform next year


Spotify to halt political ads on its platform next year

After Twitter, Spotify has now announced its plans of banning political advertising on its platform. Unlike Twitter, however, Spotify will only "pause" political advertising early next year, across its ad-supported tier.

 

The move will only apply to the U.S., since the company does not run political ads in any other country. Spotify says it had to take the decision as it currently lacks the systems and tools require to review political ads.

The company said in a statement sent to Ad Age:

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Xiaomi Watch Color launching in China on January 3


Xiaomi Watch Color launching in China on January 3

Xiaomi Watch Color launching in China on January 3

Xiaomi wrapped up its new product launches for 2019 earlier this month with the launch of the Redmi K30 series. At the event, Xiaomi launched two versions of the Redmi K30 with the 5G variant featuring a Snapdragon 765G processor and the 4G variant featuring a Snapdragon 730G processor. The company didn’t unveil the Redmi K30 Pro devices at the event, with reports suggesting a launch scheduled for early next year. But that’s not all that the company has planned for early next year. As per a recent teaser from Weibo, the company is also planning on launching the Xiaomi Watch Color early next month.

 

The teaser in question was shared by Xiaomi’s sub-brand Mijia through their official Weibo account and it showcases the upcoming smartwatch in all its glory. The upcoming smartwatch looks a lot like the Amazfit GTR (review), with a circular dial and colorful watch straps. These colorful straps are targeted at younger buyers and the company claims that users will get to choose from between 1540 combinations to customize the look of their Xiaomi Watch Color.

 

As of now, the company hasn’t revealed any information about the Xiaomi Watch Color’s features or specifications, but one of the graphics in the teaser image suggests that it might run the same OS as the Amazfit GTR/GTS with similar features on offer. This is in stark contrast to Xiaomi’s recently released Mi Watch which runs MIUI based on Google’s Wear OS. The new Xiaomi Watch Color will be launched in China on January 3 and currently, we have no information on its pricing or availability.

Source: Weibo

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4 Secrets of Website Design Project Success


4 Secrets of Website Design Project Success

The internet has “democratized” many aspects of modern life and business. For example, anyone or any business can easily have a website today. That’s a good thing.

This means that anyone or any business can design or supervise the design of a website. That’s not always a good thing.

Unless they’ve received some training, most people aren’t good designers when they first start out and you know the old saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

If you’re designing your own site using WordPress, WIX, Square, or any of the tools provided by the various web hosts, or if you’re hiring a freelancer to design your site, you need to have some command of what’s important for your site and how you should approach the project.

Let’s start looking at our four secrets of successful website design and project management from what may be an unexpected point of view: your mobile website.

 

1. Start with the little screen

I think most website owners still consider their mobile site a secondary consideration, but it should be at the top of your list for two solid reasons:

  • Mobile is rapidly catching up to desktop for website viewing, and
  • Designing for mobile forces you to seriously consider what you want your website to accomplish.

The second point above is the one I want you to focus on. Experienced creators know that creation is easy, editing is hard. And, this is especially dangerous when creating a website, because you aren’t limited by space.

 

2. Make the main thing the main thing

If I forced you to express your most important message on one smartphone screen, what would that message be? Ask yourself this question:

  • What’s the one thing visitors to my website must receive before they leave?

For some businesses, it might be contact information. For others, it might be competitive pricing information. For others, it might be conveying a sense of expertise or trust.

When you know the answer to this question, you can move on to secondary goals and begin to deal with your website design.

 

3. Harmonize user experience with goals

As you start to design, you need to switch hats. Previously, you were looking at your website from a business owner’s point of view; now you need to look at it from the visitor’s point of view and consider how search engines will analyze your website.

 

Let’s start with the KISS rules, which work in virtually every aspect of our lives: Keep it simple, stupid. I don’t want to offend anyone with the word “stupid,” but the fact is that sometimes we can be to “smart” for our own good. Let’s make things easy for ourselves and our website visitors.

Search engine optimization (SEO) expert Scott Keever, points out that all the elements of your site – including those you use to boost SEO – must promote ease of navigation or good UX (user experience). But this is often easier said than done because we are tempted to throw in everything plus the kitchen sink.

Resist that temptation. As I said: keep it simple. If the official Rolling Stones website doesn’t play music when you visit it, do you think yours should?

 

Consider these questions:

  • Are your headlines engaging, short, and clear? Do they properly lead visitors?
  • Are your call to actions obvious and abundant?
  • Will visitors and search engines immediately know what your site is all about?
  • How many pages must your visitors navigate to satisfy your goal? (One is the ideal answer.)
  • If you’re trying to build your position as an expert, are you using photos that are obviously stock images?
  • Are the design elements – typography, images, logos, colors – consistent with your branding? (Tip: Create a brand style sheet and stick to it.)

4. Don’t forget quality control

If you’re doing your own design, or have hired a freelancer, by the time you get to the finished website, you’ll be too close to the project to rely solely on your own judgment whether or not it’s good enough to go live.

 

Have others look it over and make sure they are people who will give you their honest opinions. Also, it’s great if they reflect the group or groups you consider your best prospects. If you’re opening a financial consulting firm to help seniors manage retirement funds, find people in that demographic. If you want to sell your band’s EPs online, get members of that audience to look over your site.

Remember, you want people to share your site’s URL, but not in a blog that shames bad website designs…

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The Benefits of Using Social Media For Business


The Benefits of Using Social Media For Business

Social media has completely changed the way we live our lives. Oberlo says that as of 2019, there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide. That’s a lot of potential customers! Social media is the most direct form of business to consumer communication, and with so many users online, why not take advantage of these free platforms?

Sherpa Marketing found that more people follow and engage with brands over celebrities. On Instagram alone, 80 percent of people follow at least one business. If you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive way to reach almost half of the world’s population.

So, how does social media actually benefit your company? Is it worth your time? How can you ensure a hearty return on investment (ROI)? Here are eight reasons why it’s imperative for businesses to be on social media, and how it can help ensure your brand’s success.

Faster, Easier Communication

Social networks give you the opportunity to interact directly with customers and fans, and likewise give them the chance to interact directly with your brand. Unlike traditional print or broadcast media, which offers only one-way communication, social media is a two-way street.

Consumers can now easily reach out to a customer service representative thanks to social media. Businesses can also receive, review and respond to customers’ grievances faster and more easily than ever before. Often times consumers don’t even have to pick up the phone to discuss a dispute with a company. Social media allows them to communicate on their own time, when it is appropriate for both parties. No more having to sit on hold and listen to that awful “elevator” music.

Customers can immediately write a review or make a post about a product or service in real time, too. Social media is greatly impacting the way that business owners value their customers and it’s all for the better.

Networking, Partnerships & Influencers

In addition to the simplified lines of communication, there’s the aspect of general availability. Building quality relationships becomes a lot easier with the streamlined communication we get from social media, and building relationships with key influencers earns a lot of value for your brand.

Social media has made those who are usually hard to reach much more accessible. Think of Hollywood, elite sports players or even politicians. Before the rise of social media, would we have ever gotten a message directly to them without going through a publicist or manager? Celebrities can now view and respond easily to their fans on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and even Facebook.

Sam Hollingsworth at Search Engine Journal shares examples of the added value these connections generate:

  • Trust from others’ networks and audience members.
  • The acquisition of quality backlinks (that offer SEO boost as well as, hopefully, an increase in referral visitors).
  • Potential business opportunities.

Instagram and Facebook also have a tool that allows you to “go Live.” Going Live is the ultimate way to connect directly with your audience; it allows anyone who follows you to watch in real-time and comment to ask questions or leave thoughts. The question pops up to the recorder, and they can answer it for all of their viewers to hear. As an added bonus, any of your followers using the application at that moment receive a notification of the Live video, encouraging them to watch.

Increased Website Traffic

Social media allows your brand to reach new audiences and attract new potential customers. With a strong call to action stated throughout your social media updates, you can direct your viewers to go just about anywhere – including your website and/or brick and mortar store (if applicable).

Christina Newberry at Hootsuite says that sharing quality content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to increase your readers as soon as you publish a new post. Offer them value in the chat, rather than being too promotional. At Three Girls Media we call this the 80/20 rule. The idea is that 20 percent of what you post is directly promotional and the remaining 80 percent provides non-promotional content of value, giving followers continued incentive to follow your brand.

Make sure your website address is included in all of your social media profiles so that users who want to learn more about you can do so with one easy click. Even better, use a pinned post to highlight a landing page on your website that’s relevant to the page.

Customer Feedback

In the world of business, sales and profits, regardless of what your industry is and who you are marketing and selling to, the focus needs to remain on the customer. Traditional or digital success comes from understanding and delivering the best quality customer service possible, and doing everything in your power to ensure your customers have the best possible experience with your company.

No matter your product or service (although it should be good), there will always be unhappy customers. How you respond to the customer is imperative to your business’ online success and long standing reputation. So the next time you go to respond to a customer on the company’s behalf, we ask that you remember the golden rule; treat others how you want to be treated.

Learning Social Media Education

A Human Face To Your Brand

A UK study from Trinity Mirror Solutions found that more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises. To connect with customers—and potential customers—you’ve got to show the human side of your brand. How are you embracing your brand values? How are you looking out for the best interests of your customers and employees? Does your product really work? What are you doing in regards to community involvement? Does your company give back?

You can answer these questions for your audience by posting photos, testimonials and quotes to your social media pages. Share testimonials from happy customers! Let them see how you’re giving back to your community by supporting other local organizations. The ways you can humanize your brand via social media are endless.

Easy Access To Competition

Our competitors are aiming to do the same thing as we are: deliver a product or service to a specific niche market. It’s helpful to monitor what they’re doing as a way to be inspired to do a better job of connecting with, educating and entertaining users.

It’s also useful to keep an eye on your competition so you can clearly differentiate yourself. What makes you different from them? Why should a potential customer choose to work with you instead? By knowing more about them, you can notice ways you serve consumers differently and point it out to them.

Crisis Management

Kristen Baker at Hubspot defines a business crisis as, “An event that has the potential to threaten the success and health of a company by tarnishing its reputation, damaging its business operations, negatively impacting its finances or harming its employees. A business crisis can be caused by something internally or externally. Due to the severity of a business crisis, it’s important to be prepared to manage one of these events with a plan you (and your team) create prior to one actually occurring.”

Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is a crisis management plan? “A crisis management plan is a process, or series of steps, a business follows to deal with an unexpected, emergency situation, or crisis. It should be completed prior to a crisis happening so the business is prepared to use it to combat and rectify the events that have unfolded.”

Social media can be used as a quick and efficient way to apologize or clear the air with your customers regarding a recent crisis. Use your platforms to write a sincere note to your followers, letting them know the course of action your company plans to take. Silence is not an option when it comes to responding to crises on social media. Maintaining well-run and managed social accounts and having a plan in place can help make sure you’re present and ready to engage if the worst occurs.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content is a free yet outstanding way to engage with your audience while strengthening your branded content. When a consumer loves and believes in the product their using, oftentimes they want to tell all of their friends and share their findings with the world. From a business perspective, this is free branding! Now your product is reaching an entirely new audience all thanks to one simple social media post. Plus this branded content carriers more weight because it’s a personal recommendation from someone the user knows, verses a company they know is trying to sell them something.

How can you encourage user-generated content? Get your followers engaged and implement a competition! Create a game like “fan pick Friday” and collect weekly submissions of customers using and celebrating your product or service, choose your favorite and post it to the company page. Recognition is an easy way to encourage involvement. Shout your customers out and let them know how important they are to the success of your business!

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Fed-up Arsenal fans leave Emirates at half-time in their droves as Man City storm to 3-0 lead with club in despair – The Sun


Fed-up Arsenal fans leave Emirates at half-time in their droves as Man City storm to 3-0 lead with club in despair – The Sun

ARSENAL fans endured a miserable Sunday watching their side get thrashed by Manchester City - with some even abandoning the Emirates at HALF-TIME.

 

Footage posted online appears to show supporters queuing up to leave the stadium early with the away side 3-0 up already.

Even young kids are seen being led out having watched just 45 minutes of football.

 

And heckles of "call yourself an Arsenal fan?" and "don't let them out!" are cried out in the background to sum up the dire state of the club.

Two goals from Kevin De Bruyne helped seal City's comfortable win in North London that left Gooners dismayed, largely by the nature of their performance.

 

Fans and pundits alike labelled Arsenal pathetic and lazy as they let the champions stroll to a two-goal lead within 15 minutes.

 

Tellingly, the team were booed off at half-time while the final whistle was greeted with a deafening silence, after the vast majority of supporters had deserted their team and left early.

 

Many expect the defeat to be Freddie Ljungberg's last game as interim boss.

Viewers were stunned to see the Swede share a joke with City boss Pep Guardiola at full-time and he has called upon the club to employ a permanent manager.

 

He said: "It needs to be cleared up and it would be good to make a decision regardless of what it is."

Guardiola's assistant at City, Mikel Arteta, emerged as the big favourite to take the manager's job on Monday morning.

 

Fed up Freddie Ljungberg demands Arsenal chiefs decide now who they want as next permanent manager

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Mother and her long-lost son break down in tears while being reunited 30 years after


Mother and her long-lost son break down in tears while being reunited 30 years after

This is the tear-jerking moment a pair of mother and son in northern China were finally reunited with each other after being separated for 30 years.

 

Li Jian, 33, went missing at the age of three when he and his family were walking on the street of the city of Changzhi in 1989.

 

The man, known by his nickname Jian Jian, then grew up in another city 90 miles from his birth parents after being found in a train station and taken home by his adoptive father, according to police. Mrs Li hugs her long-lost son Li Jian who was separated from her in 1989 in Changzhi, China

Mrs Li hugs her long-lost son Li Jian who was separated from her in 1989 in Changzhi, ChinaLi Jian, now 33 years old, tells his mother 'don't cry' as he holds her tightly with tears in his eyes

Li Jian, now 33 years old, tells his mother 'don't cry' as he holds her tightly with tears in his eyes

Jian Jian and his mother were able to find each other thanks to China's missing people database, which lodged both of their DNA samples.

 

The emotional reunion took place recently at the XiuWu County Police Station in the prefecture city of Jiazuo, according to a social media statement posted by Jiaozuo Police.

'Son, mother is coming,' a teary Mrs Li cried as she rushed to hold her child, whom she had missed every day for three decades.

 

'Jian Jian, I have been looking forward to this day for 30 years. You have been so close to home all this time, but mother has been looking for you for 30 years,' Mrs Li said as she was supported by her daughter.

 

Jian Jian was also overcome by emotion and burst into tears while being cuddled by his long-lost mother.

He wiped tears off his mother's face and consoled her 'don't cry'. Li Jian, pictured with his elder sister, went missing at the age of three

 He was found crying in a train station by a man who later adopted him

 

Li Jian, known by his nickname Jian Jian, went missing at the age of three. The photos, provided by his family to Henan Urban Channel, shows Jian Jian on his own (right) and with his sister (left) before he was found crying in a train station by a man who later adopted him

 

According to Jiaozuo Police, Jian Jian was separated from his family at around 3pm on April 8 in 1989 in downtown Changzhi.

 

His family printed thousands of flyers and distributed them around bus stations, train station and hospitals in search of him, but they did not find any leads.

 

'I worked in the day and would space out whenever I thought of my son. I could not sleep at night because I kept thinking what might have happened to my son,' Mrs Li recalled to police.

 

It is said that Jian Jian's father died in self-blame during his endeavour of looking for his son.

 

But before his death, he had brought Mrs Li to the local police station to register their DNA samples having heard that the move could improve the chances of tracking down missing family members.

Li Jian and his mother both burst into tears when they meet each other for the first time

Li Jian and his mother both burst into tears when they meet each other for the first time 

In September this year, police officers at the Xiuwu station discovered during a regular inspection into the local neighbourhoods that a man named Bin Bin (Jian Jian's current name) had been adopted by his parents.

 

Officers advised Bin Bin to provide his DNA sample, and Bin Bin agreed.

After running a search in the country's missing people database, they discovered that Bin Bin's DNA was a match with the ones given by Mr and Mrs Li.

 

Officers contacted their colleagues at the Luzhou Police Station in Changzhi to carry out investigation.

After further analysis confirmed that pair were indeed a match, policemen at both stations organised a reunion for them.

 

Yang Dongzhou, deputy director of the Xiuwu County Police Station, told Henan Urban Channel that the police required each family which had a male adult to provide two DNA samples in order to build a y-chromosome database.After finding him missing, Jian Jian's family printed thousands of flyers (above) and distributed them around bus stations, train station and hospitals in Changzhi in search of the boy

After finding him missing, Jian Jian's family printed thousands of flyers (above) and distributed them around bus stations, train station and hospitals in Changzhi in search of the boy

 

An official of Xiuwu told the station: 'His adoptive father saw [the child] crying in the station, so he took him home. [He] did not know where to find his home and parents.'

 

Speaking of his adoptive family, Jian Jian said they had treated him as their own all these years.

'My adoptive mother and father treated me very well. Both [adoptive mother and my biological mother] are my mothers,' the man said with tears in his eyes.

 

Jian Jian's elder sister, who witnessed the reunion, said she and her family were grateful of Jian Jian's adoptive family.

 

'No matter what, they raised him for 30 years. We are deeply indebted to them,' she said.

According to a 2016 report on Chinese news site Caijing, around 200,000 boys and girls are estimated to be missing every year. 

 

Among them, only 200, or 0.1 per cent, would be able to find their parents at some point of their lives. 

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Sammy Power dies aged 55


Sammy Power dies aged 55

Former radio presenter turned chief executive of Farmers Markets Sammy Power has died aged 55.

Friends of the Queensland woman, once dubbed the 'Queen of Radio', confirmed her death on Sunday.

 

Power was found dead in her bedroom in Hendra after a long-term battle with alcoholism and mental illness.

 

Tributes have flooded in for Power on social media, with friends and colleagues remembering her as a 'gifted' and 'intelligent' person.Former radio personality Sammy Power (pictured) has died at the age of 55

Former radio personality Sammy Power (pictured) has died at the age of 55Ms Power said she was 'fat and didn't have a boyfriend' with both factors leading her to make a dramatic change

Ms Power said she was 'fat and didn't have a boyfriend' with both factors leading her to make a dramatic change

 

'Very shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Sammy Power,' ABC Brisbane breakfast radio host Loretta Ryan tweeted. 'I can still hear her talking about her cats and her infectious laugh.'

 

'First Gary Ord and now Sammy Power. We’ve lost two Brisbane breakfast radio presenters within a week. Stunned,' former radio presenter Spencer Howson tweeted.

 

'When Sammy was "on," she made the sun shine on you, and that was a real gift of hers,' a friend who requested to remain anonymous told The Courier Mail.

'She had a wicked sense of humour, but she got sucked in by all these people who tried to help her, all they were after was her money. 

 

'I think her body just gave out – she was one minute telling people she was sober, but the next was going home and drinking – people who saw her recently said she was "completely yellow," which is a sign of liver failure.'

 

Power left her 28-year radio career in 2014 to help her mother run her market business, which sparked a new focus on her body and a dramatic change in her life.

 

In an interview with Daily Mail Australia in 2017, Power opened up on her previous health issues and her battle with the bulge. 

 

She said she was 'fat and didn't have a boyfriend' and both became factors in why she ultimately decided to make a change. Power celebrated her 50th birthday by marrying - and then divorcing - herself in 2014

Power celebrated her 50th birthday by marrying - and then divorcing - herself in 2014

Power revealed she halved her 122kg weight by ditching alcohol and cigarettes, eating well - and covering her bathroom in motivational quotes. 

 

'I was carrying around an entire extra person and I wanted to break up with that person,' she said at the time.  

'I would be stuffing down extra Twix and Mars bars without even realising. You know at around 2.30pm when you're tired and eat 700 biscuits? I needed to have an electric shock practically to stop doing that.'  

 

The media personality found writing down what she was eating every day opened her eyes to how many extra calories she was consuming.

 

'My bathroom wall looks like a psycho's out of CSI. It's covered in quotes. My favourite ones are Nike's "just do it" and "day one or one day - you decide",' she said. 

 

Power celebrated her 50th birthday by marrying - and then divorcing - herself in 2014.

She invited 120 of her friends and family to her elaborate, fancy dress-themed nuptials where she wed a cardboard cut out of herself in commemoration of a year of important life changes. 

 

Earlier that year, Power changed her Facebook status to 'in a complicated relationship' writing: 'No man can cope with my greatness.' 

 

Power stepped away from radio to enjoy a more quiet life out of the limelight, and grew her mother's market business from humble beginnings in a Gold Coast car park to three thriving locations in Manly, New Farm and Mitchelton.

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Teenager, 18, appears in court charged with murdering schoolboy


Teenager, 18, appears in court charged with murdering schoolboy

A teenager appeared in court today over the murder of a 15-year-old boy.

 

Matthew Mason, 18, of Ollerton, Cheshire, was arrested and charged after the body of the teenager was found in the village of Ashley shortly before 8am on Friday.

 

Mason was charged with murder and possession of a bladed article in a public place and appeared at South Cheshire Magistrates' Court in Crewe.The boy's body was found by a farmer off a country lane in Ashley, Cheshire, on Friday morning

The boy's body was found by a farmer off a country lane in Ashley, Cheshire, on Friday morning

Police had arrested him in Forton, Staffordshire, around four hours after the body was discovered.

Mason, wearing a white shirt and dark trousers, did not speak during the short hearing today and nodded only to confirm he understood the nature of the charges against him.

 

He was remanded in custody and will appear at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Magistrates agreed with a prosecution request to issue an order preventing the naming of the victim under Section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act.

 

The court heard that the order was being imposed to 'protect' the victim's family, who sat and watched proceedings in the public gallery.

 

Paying tribute to the teenager on Saturday, they described him as 'very loving, caring, kind, loyal and, most of all, trusting young boy.'

'He loved life and made friends wherever he went. He will be sorely missed.'Forensic officers are combing woodland for clues after he was found dead in Ashley, Cheshire

Forensic officers are combing woodland for clues after he was found dead in Ashley, Cheshire

Tributes were also paid to him on social media.

 

Dozens of friends posted messages on his Instagram page, describing him as 'gorgeous boy' with an 'infectious smile that lit up a room.'

 

One said: 'Heartbroken is an understatement. Words can not describe how we are feeling.'

Another wrote: 'Never failed to make me laugh rest easy angel.'

 

The victim attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and the school's headteacher Denis Oliver said he would be 'sorely missed by everyone who knew him'.

 

'Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time,' he said in a statement posted to the school's website.

 

'The safety and wellbeing of our students is our priority. School will be open as normal on Monday and staff will be on hand to support students in any way affected by this tragic loss.'

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