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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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jill-new14The Internet can be a scary place for those looking for a home-based business opportunity. The fear of not connecting personally with others is one concern and many people have been “taken” by online scams in their search for a legitimate business and are fearful to take any more risks. One way to overcome fears such as these is to market your online business locally. By simply offering the person a contact that they can speak to and possibly even meet face to face you will making the statement that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.

It is effective to market your online business locally primarily because potential customers and business recruits prefer to have the option of speaking with the business owner face to face. By attracting customers locally, you can maximize the opportunities to meet with them. You will no longer be that “someone they found online,” but someone that they will be able to relate to and feel confident doing business with.

But how do you market locally? Here are some excellent tips:

Besides the common local advertising routes, such as Newspaper Ads, Yellow Pages, Etc., another effective (and inexpensive) way to advertise locally is to post business related flyers around your community. Many grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, and office supply stores offer bulletin boards for this purpose. Make yours stand out and be recognized, yet professional enough to warrant someone trusting you with their business. Also, if possibly have a tear-off section on your flyer so they can take your number and leave your flyer.

Look for events geared toward small businesses. There are organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, that hold events across the nation to help promote the small business owners. At events such as these, you can purchase a booth and make hundreds of local contacts, as well as sales, all in one day. Read More→

Jan
02

Organizing Your New Year

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jill-new14
new year new startThe New Year is here!

I look forward this new beginning each year with a great deal of anticipation. It’s time to shake off the things of last year and look to the days of head and all of the opportunites they hold.

To help you start your year off right, here are a few thoughts for organizing your business and household for the upcoming year.

BUSINESS 

1. Files – Now is a great time to go through your files and make sure all is in order – labeled and put in a place where they are easily accessible. Take the time to throw out anything that can go and put old tax and business files into storage.

2. Desk –  A clean desk is a great way to kick off the new year. Find a place for everything and put everything in it’s place. It will help motivate you to sit down and get to work – no distractions.

3. Calendar –  Buy yourself a new calendar and/or planner and start filling that baby up. Make sure to mark in the days when there is no school (or early out days), and other items that you’ll need to keep you organized in both business and family tasks.

HOUSEHOLD 

1. Drawers and Closets – With the cold weather keeping you indoors, this is a great time to clean out those drawers and closets that need your attention. It’s also a great time to donate your gently used items.

2. Books – Just like clothing and other household goods, books can be donated to your local homeless shelter. Our local shelter has a library available to all of it’s residents. So, take time this new year to go through your books and donate those that you can part with.

3. Storage Spots –  Now that it’s time to put the Christmas decorations away, you might as well tidy up those storage areas as well. I’ve found that adding shelving to our small storage room makes it much easier to keep things organized and accessible. Also, nowadays you can buy colored totes to make separating out holiday decorations – or other items – easy.

SPIRITUAL LIFE

1. Hello/Goodbye Workbook and in this new decade, they are offering The Last 10, The Next 10, (by Jo Saxton and Stephanie O’Brien – “The ‘Hello Goodbye’ process is a tool in response to New Year’s resolutions – it is not about fixing yourself, but intentionally, prayerfully turning away from certain things, whether good or bad, and turning towards other things.  Those things might be fun (like working out!) or they may be uncomfortable, such as embracing  grief or forgiveness, but the focus is finding ways to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and physically.”

2. Joanna Weaver’s 2018 Utmost for His Highest Bible Reading Plan  –  Joanna Weaver is the author of several books, most notably Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Joanna explains a little about her 2018 reading challenge: “Each day, after reading an assigned chapter from the Bible, you’ll be encouraged to also consider that day’s entry from Oswald Chambers’ devotional classic, My Utmost for His Highest .” Joanna will be sharing updates every weekday on her blog (and I’ll be contributing in April!). You can download the free workbook when you sign up (also free) on her website: JoannaWeaverBooks.com.

 

I hope you’re as excited about this new year as I am! I’d love to hear your tips for getting organized – post them in the comments below!

Read More→

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Dec
28

The Timbuktu Question

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Today’s blog article is for exhorting and empowering us dads and thereby setting an example for health and balance for our kids.

I’m going to use another one of the Great Counseling Analogies — I should do a series (three-armed man, Christmas Bicycle, the Playground, . . – actually I did one on the Playground — it was great and you can read it here http://cwahm.com/2016/articles/series-interruption-for-the-playground/ )

 The analogy involves Timbuktu; a city in Mali . . . which is a country . . . um, in Africa.  I’m not so good at geography — especially geography for different continents.  Which is the point:  Timbuktu used to be the city people would mention when they were talking about somewhere very remote on the ‘other side of the world.’*

 Plus, Timbuktu (Tim – Buck–Too) is fun to say.

 Timbuktu, Timbuktu, Timbuktu.

 But the idea of the analogy is that you consider the question: What you would do if you were starting over with a new life after moving to Timbuktu – the farthest reaches of the world where no one would know you?.

 My wife typically ruins analogies at this early point by asking too many detail questions.  “Why would I move to Timbuktu?”  “Do you get there by boat or did I fly?”

 She’s like that.  The point is – you are starting over.

  • No one would know you there
  • You wouldn’t have easy access to all your old habits
  • You’d have to focus on the basics to start over
  • All your old social connections would be gone

 . . .  You could start fresh

What would you do?

Many people have a desire to make a change, but they think that their current circumstances hold them down; their habits, their job, their feelings, their responsibilities are hurdles to their goals and desires.  A transfer to Timbuktu would thrust you out of all your current excuses for life change.  You may not be able to pick up and move to Timbuktu, but you can give your mind a fresh perspective by thinking this way.

Ask yourself some related questions:

  • If I had to form all new friendships, what would be important to me?  Are these attributes reflected in the friends I have now?

  • What disciplines would I like to include in my life if life didn’t get in the way?  How could I eliminate commitments so that life doesn’t get in the way?

  • I don’t really need much to survive, what could I cut out of my life to make it simpler?

  • What’s my schedule like in Timbuktu – do I sleep in every day or work long hours?

When you start to answer these questions, you can get a new perspective on your current life-state.  Thinking and considering the Timbuktu question is the first step.  Then you need to take action.

In all honesty, having to move to Timbuktu would be easy.  You’d HAVE to do all the things that change your life.  You’d be FORCED, by external circumstances, to make changes.

But, if you’re like me, you don’t like to be forced.  It’s also really hard to imagine how a move to Timbuktu would even be feasible in ‘real life:’

Boss:  Well, we are opening up our Mali office next month and we want you to helm the initiative of the company there.  So pack your bags, you’re moving to Timbuktu!

Rather than wait around for an external stimulus to galvanize you into some Timbuktu changes, you’ll have to do it yourself.

One option is to create an external circumstance of sorts.  You can create a change event.  Pick a date on the calendar and designate it as ‘Timbuktu Day” – the day you make changes.  I always encourage people to plan for a Timbuktu Day in many of the same ways they’d plan for a trip to Mali; tell your friends that you are having a life change, cut out all the unnecessary commitments and downsize stuff you own.  Maybe have a ‘going away’ party to start a new life.

By the way, a Timbuktu Day is a great time to incorporate some of those disciplines that are hard to maintain with a hectic life:  meditate, take some margin, enjoy a Sabbath, and take some of the extra time to read the Bible.

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

I didn’t add that “prosperous and successful” part – that’s 100% Bible

Plan your Timbuktu Day with enough time to start planning for the trip.  Try some new schedules and disciplines now.  And, let me know if you do Timbuktu – either as a real, physical move to Mali (you would be one of my first Dads to actually do it), or as a life change in your current location.

  _________________

Very geeky addendum that I couldn’t resist because of the recent Star Wars movie:  Luke Skywalker needed the Timbuktu Question.  He needed a good reason to be assertive to his Aunt/Uncle and stop whining about Tosche Station and go join the Rebel Alliance.  Don’t wait for a bounty hunter to roast your relatives before following your dreams!

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Dec
10

4 Considerations to Make When Deciding to Work from Home

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With the rise in popularity of working from home, many workers view it as a beneficial opportunity and would jump at the chance to make their comfortable home their workstation, too. Avoiding a tough commute and being able to work to your own schedule are just some of the bonuses of working from home. However, a lot of people easily neglect the negative aspects of working from home, or at the very least, they don’t realize the extent to which their home has to be prepared for this new routine. 

Below are 4 important considerations to take into account before you decide on a home-based work routine. 

  1. Do You Need to Move Property? 

This may seem like a huge leap, but it’s an important decision to make if you’re serious about working from home for a significant period of time – or even the rest of your working career. If you currently live in a property that is simply too small or doesn’t provide the environment you need to work from home successfully, then a new property is a relevant consideration. 

You should consider the following: 

  • What kind of working space you need, whether it’s a home office or a workshop, and whether your current property can be changed to accommodate that 
  • How much privacy you need, such as living with a family and needing a quiet space to fulfill your work. If your current property only has one main living area, then you may need a new property that provides a separate room to work in

As with any new property, be sure to have a home inspection from a qualified individual using home inspection tools before you make any final decisions.

2. Are You Organized Enough? 

Some individuals are naturally organized, and others are not. Making the decision to work from home doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re equipped with the skills needed to make it work effectively. Working from home requires a huge amount of preparation and self-discipline to get the job done, especially if you are going to be alone for the majority of the time and are prone to distractions

If you’re an individual who has always thrived in a busy work environment with other employees and are used to being delegated tasks and told precisely how to manage your time, that will all change when you decide to work from home. You need to be able to understand how to manage your time effectively and organize a professional routine that works for you. 

If you don’t already have these skills in place, you will need to look to hone them before you begin your home-based work, in order to get the best out of your arrangement.

3. If You Live with Others, How Will Your New Schedule Affect Them? 

Working from home is easier to adapt to when you only have yourself to think about – but what if you live with others? Whether it’s a partner, a small family, or a huge family, your new home-based working routine will affect everybody. If you share your home with others, they need to understand the changes which have to be made. 

You don’t want to compromise on the happy and healthy home life you have, but at the same time, your home needs to be treated as a working environment when applicable. This isn’t so much a problem if your working hours are going to be set when the other residents will be absent from the property, whether they’re at their own jobs or attending school. However, if you intend to work during hours when other individuals will be at home, then you all need to come to an agreement regarding your work schedule being respected and not being disturbed. 

Additionally, you should also ensure that your work doesn’t intrude on any downtime your family needs to have at home – which is why a separate working office is much better than working in the living room, for example.

4. Can You Handle the New Financial Demands?

Working from home as a self-employed worker means that you are completely in charge of your personal finances. More importantly, this includes the tax amount you need to set aside in order to file your own taxes. If you find it very difficult to manage your finances effectively in general, then you need to make sure extra care and attention is taken, so you fully understand the amount of tax you need to be setting aside every time you get paid. 

 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
06

4 Ways to Grow Your Business

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pc: pixabay

Whatever stage you reach with your business, it’s never easy to take it to the next level. While you often hear about incredible rags-to-riches success stories from businesses that came from nothing, the majority of business success is earned over time through sheer hard work. Nevertheless, there are several ways that you can develop your business and propel it to the next level. All business success is born out of good planning, so it’s important to always have your goals in mind and a clear idea of how you’re going to achieve them. 

Here are four ideas you can incorporate into your plan to help grow your business.

Boost Your Capital 

If your aspirations are being held back by your budget, you need to find new ways to get more capital. Either you can look to build your capital through investors, or you can get a business loan. By opting for a small business loan from a company like biz2credit.com, you can get the extra capital you need to turn your business plans into a reality. Money makes money, and if you’ve got a strong growth plan, a loan can help you take the next steps in successfully expanding your business. 

Invest in Your Website 

The internet is playing an ever more important part in peoples’ lives, and your website needs to reflect this reality. People make big assumptions about your company based on your website; in fact, 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on its website’s design. Whatever line of business you operate in, your website says everything a consumer needs to know about you, and that’s before we even factor in its ability to generate leads and create sales. If your business is going places, then your website needs to show people that you’re going places, and they should come along for the ride. 

Be Specialized

When you’re looking to grow your business, you naturally look for areas you can develop. What if you can expand by cutting back on some of your operations and focusing on the things you do best, though? We tend to get carried away doing all we can for everyone in search of greater revenues, but sometimes, it pays to stick to the things you do best. It’s easy to outsource the things you’re not so good at in modern business, which gives you more time to focus on maximizing the things you are good at. 

Create a Positive Customer Experience

Modern technology gives consumers the ability to have a greater say in the experience they get from your company, and they expect to be able to take full advantage of this opportunity. You’re always looking to improve your products, but you’ve got to continue to make improvements in your customer experience. You have many ways to get detailed feedback from your customers, so use it to create the experience they are looking for. You can’t just rely on good products; the customer experience has to be high-quality too. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
05

How to Run a Successful Home-Based Business

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If you’re tired of the traditional 9-to-5 working environment, then you should branch out and start your own home-based business venture. If you’ve got a profitable business idea and you have the ability to remain productive despite not having a boss looming over your shoulder throughout the working day, this could very well prove to be both a fruitful and fulfilling route for you to take in your career.

To find out what you need to do to run a successful home-based business, be sure to read on:

 

Go above and beyond to prove your worth

No matter how big your company grows or how successful your venture turns out to be, your home-based business will always be labeled with the stigma of operating from a residential address. Most consumers will openly admit to the fact that they would much prefer to bring their business to companies that operate from traditional workspace environments, and that’s something that your organization simply cannot provide. This is just the way the world of business is, and you’re never going to change that.

What you can change, however, is the perception that people have about your business. You can prove to them that you are a viable option in your market despite the fact that you do not work out of a commercial property. To show that you are a bonafide competitor in your field in this instance, you must go above and beyond to prove your worth. To do this, you should:

  • Communicate with customers, partners, and clients in an effective manner that they expect from business owners — if your communication skills could do with a little improvement, have no qualms in enlisting yourself on a Speaking Training Toni Vans course
  • Have all the right equipment at hand to ensure that you are able to take on all orders no matter how big they are or the time at which they come in
  • Keep your company website up and running at all times to ensure that your business is always accessible

 

Write out a business plan

Writing out a business plan is one of the best things that you can do to ensure your home-based company’s long-term success.

Here are a few of the things that you need to incorporate into your plan if it is to be as effective and targeted as it can possibly be:

Executive summary — a professional overview of your plan

Company description — a brief history pertaining to the inception of your business

Products and/or services — information regarding what it is you actually plan to offer to customers going forward

Market analysis — proof that you have studied your market, that you understand your niche, and that you know who your competitors are

Marketing and sales — a documentation of all the ways you plan on promoting your business

There’s nothing stopping you from taking your home-based business to the very pinnacle of its industry. To reach those lofty heights, you just have to be willing to put the move advice into practice.

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Nov
29

All Aboard The Remote Train: Stats And Facts About Remote Work

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Upon thinking about the era we live in, there is a lot to be thankful for in terms of our jobs and work we perform daily. Many benefits were convened so our careers could be much less stressful. One of them is the remote work model, which is especially on the rise during the last decade.

Telecommuting was created so almost any career could include options for workspace flexibility, malleable productivity hours, less stressful commuting to work, etc. Another great commodity is that you get to virtually work with and meet a vast amount of other people, which wouldn’t normally be the case have you stayed in your headquarters or office.

As this work strategy is getting explored more and more on a daily basis, there are numerous facts and statistics constantly raking in, and we collected some of the most intriguing ones for you in the infographic below. 

For instance, Buffer conducted a survey that showed 99% of people who work on American soil would prefer the flexibility and conveniences that come with working remotely. This comes as no surprise since all people have individual workflows and habits.

A lot of industries are putting major work into embracing telecommuting, and they are doing it step-by-step. The leaders in the field of remote workflow applications include IT, arts, media, design, legislation, and, of course, finance. Since remote work is gaining massive popularity, other industries also do as much as possible to let their employees work out-of-office. 

Essentially, remote work is a win-win situation. Employees get a sense of bigger freedom, their stress levels are reduced, they don’t lose hours in traffic every day, and save a fair amount of money on transport and meal prep. 

They get to spend more time with family and friends. This is especially handy for working parents who need to engage in their children’s lives.

Meanwhile, employers get much higher productivity levels from their employees, who are now much more loyal, as they benefit largely from something they have been given. It is also important to mention that, by having much fewer people in-office, you drastically cut office amenity, equipment, and transportation costs. 

This also largely reduces the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, doing a great deal in saving our planet for the future.

It is redundant to say it’s worth giving remote work a shot. With everything said, the fact that you can spend more time with your loved ones or in a cozy coffee shop instead of being surrounded by colleagues says enough. There is a lot more to learn about remote work, so make sure to check out the infographic that follows.

Categories : Jill's Blog
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Nov
27

Holiday Marketing that Works

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerSo here’s the deal.  The holidays are upon us and that means you are more than likely adding more things to your plate. Now these can be fun things like shopping and family and friends gatherings, but business as usual usually goes out the door at this time.  And with that so does your marketing efforts.  So this year, let’s talk turkey and what you can do to keep marketing even with your busy schedule.

Here are some tips to master your holiday marketing:

  • Be realistic  . I have to be honest here, I read my holiday article from past years and was sorely disappointed.  I had big plans for how I was going to market during the holidays but ended up doing less than half of those things on my list …. And I do marketing for a living!  YIKES!  What that told me was this time, I need to plan for exactly what I know I can accomplish.  Yes, it’s helps to plan big, but if it doesn’t get done, well it’s going to go the way of Aunt Helen’s fruitcake … out the door.  So be realistic and plan accordingly.
  • Break it down and schedule accordingly – What I discovered was that I got started with a bang, but then got busy and the follow-up just didn’t happen.  This year, I plan on scheduling out smaller marketing steps and making sure that I do them.  Then plan on not going to the next thing until I finish the previous one.  That way I won’t have a bunch of things started, but nothing really completed.  Plus, I absolutely love being able to cross things off my list.  So by creating a to do list, I normally accomplish more because I love the thrill of crossing out those items.  I’ll also reward myself when I do complete things.  Maybe my favorite Starbucks or something.  Again, just for motivation to get more done.
  • Schedule Client Gifts & Relax – The best way to market your business during the holidays or anytime really is just not to stress out.  I hear you, that sounds good, but is it really possible?  Yes, it is.  Here’s just one example to try.  Say you routinely send out client gifts and you want them to arrive close to the holidays.  You can start ordering them now, and just put the shipping date for the date you want.  Just make sure you keep good records so you don’t make the mistake of sending them again.  The advantage there too is that you will probably pay less on shipping because of the advanced notice.  Plus, this doesn’t just apply to business gifts, you can do the same with your holiday shopping.  Bamm, now that’s how it’s done.
  • Reach out and say hi!  I missed you or it’s great working with you.  This one I actually did good on last year. I did reach out to clients and potential clients as well as friends I’ve had for years. I didn’t push that I wanted their business in the New Year, but more that it’s great to know them and what can we do to connect more in the upcoming year. And not only did I enjoy it immensely, it did bring more work. The key here is to have fun. I don’t know about you, but I get lonely sometimes working at home.  I have tons of great online friends, and I talk with clients regularly, but there are days that I just want some more companionship.  So this one came naturally to me.
  • Specials rock!! People love to save money this time of year and also even more important is that most are planning on spending money. Offer discounts on your popular products or services. And be real that it’s a deal.  I know one major company that offers coupons and discounts. However, once you apply the coupon code the shipping rate jumps $4.00.  So S&H went from $5.99 to $9.99.  I tested it numerous times to make sure that it was actually happening and it was.  So bottom line, if you offer a discount, make sure it’s a legit discount. Also, take it a step further and if you have any clients on the fence of whether to work with you or not, email them the discount with a nice, btw just wanted to let you know of my holiday special. It just might be what they need to move forward.
  • Don’t be business as usual. This month plan on talking a bit more on your family and things that are really important to you.  What you’ll discover is clients and potential clients as well as your associations want to get to know the real you.  I know I love it when I get to know more about someone.  And just like with other tips, be real.  Sometimes it’s great to hear challenges you might be having and not all is MY LIFE IS GREAT that posting on social media often curtains.

What a gift for you this year if you try even some of these tips.  Get marketing and make the next decade the best ever. And remember you don’t have to do it alone.  There are those out there who specialize in PR and marketing who can help.  The most important thing is to do it, have some fun, and welcome the New Year with open arms.

 

About the Author

Diana Ennen is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com, where she offers PR and Marketing, book marketing, PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching, VA services, writing and editing, ghost writing, and so much more.   She has been featured in all major media including Forbes, Fox, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Radio, Woman’s World Magazine, and too many to mention and gets her clients in these publications as well. Email her for more information at moc.gnihsilbupdrowlautriv@anaid. Posting is free to be reprinted as long as this bio remains.

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Nov
04

Life Long Learnin’

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Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerSo, I’m old now.

And I’ve been trying to do the fitness thing and stave off ‘feeeeeling’ old.  I get up in the morning and do yoga (what could also be considered ‘stretching’) and I try to go to the gym several times a week.

 In the past I’ve also tried jogging periodically.  However jogging poses two major problems:

#1:  I hate running.  Ok, yes, so I was a track athlete in High School.  But that was sprinting.  Sprinting is fun and has the real-life application of keeping you safe from alien abduction.  Long distance running or fitness jogging is an extreme method of torture.

#2:  I’ll be jogging along and hating jogging along.  I’m nearing the point where I’m thinking, “I’m just going to walk for a bit” and then suddenly, my high school track coach, Mr. Lightfoot, is standing up ahead along the road with a clipboard in hand.  He emphatically throws it on the ground and shouts, “Dag-gonnit Washburn, FINISH THE RACE!”

 And of course I dig deep and finish jogging at a dead sprint.

(then I’m in a great deal of pain for several days and vow to never run again . . . until the next time).

 So jogging for health isn’t my thing — Sorry Mr. Lightfoot.

 But,

 Mr. Lightfoot also was the High School weightlifting coach.  (and the Senior Social Studies Teacher  . . . which actually is another unrelated story of how he convinced the whole class the Christopher Columbus’ middle name was “Rosco” . . but I digress)

Largely because of his inspiration, I’d get up at 5:30 am to go to lift weights.  In Sr. year, I actually took ‘Bodybuilding’ as an elective.

 And That.  That stuck with me much better than trying to run along backroads.  Actually if you look at it either way, whether he is yelling at me in my pain induced visions while jogging or in the inspiration to hit the gym several times a week, the impact that Mr. Lightfoot made on me for lifelong fitness, has been . . . lifelong.

 I currently have two teenage boys that used to come with me to the gym on a regular basis.  They surpassed my abilities a long time ago (remember I said that I am old), so they’d rather go separately from me.  But they still go.  I’m hoping they continue going lifelong.

There are many disciplines that dads could pass on to hopefully achieve ‘lifelong’ status for our kids.  I hear many parents putting their kids into sports, or piano lessons, or dance — and none of those are inherently bad.

 But there are some disciplines and skills that need to be introduced toward them becoming activities your kids choose for doing their whole life.

 Like

 Bible reading:  Seriously, this is an activity that is more important even than fitness or knowing chess.  Many people come to me each month and make the comment, “I wish God would talk to me.”

Umm.  He did.

Teach your kids to read the Bible on a REGULAR basis.  For lifelong habit of reading the Bible, you can’t just know it’s important — adults that read the Bible do it every day or the same day every week.  Make Bible Reading Lifelong (MBRL is my election slogan).

 Praying: is a little easier to create a lifelong habit.  Pray with your kids before bed, before meals, and before anything important.

The other day my youngest son lost his wallet at the movie theatre.  We looked, visited, and called periodically for a week.  I thought it was long gone.

We were in the area and he asked if we could swing by the theatre again and see if they found it.  We did again.  The manager went away to a back room to check ‘lost-and-found;’ again.

As we were waiting, my son spontaneously started praying.  “Jesus, please let him find my wallet.”

The manager came back.  Not only did he have the wallet, but he said, “I checked the lost and found again and it wasn’t there.  But then, I just decided to check and see if someone put it on one of the storeroom shelves and it was there.” Read More→

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Oct
29

PR and Marketing Takes Time – Let’s Break it Down

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I love this time of year because it’s so much about reflections, the good and the bad!  Seems everyone is in the let’s go full steam ahead to reach those end of the year goals (at least until mid November when then it’s let’s enjoy the holidays and go gangbusters come the first of the year. Am I right?)  But with reflections also comes the opportunity to break down your business and see where you are.  Since I do PR and marketing for myself and clients, this year I broke down time because honestly, it’s one of our most valuable assets.  Here are some thoughts that I hope you will find beneficial.

PR Takes Time – One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2019 is just how much time it takes to do PR Right.  Last year I started really taking note of that time and I was truly amazed.  For example, one of my tasks is finding the right topics for my clients to write on.  We have great success in getting articles accepted because of this.  But it’s so much more than just hey let’s write on this topic this month.   I review major publications to see what’s current and newsworthy.  I review their keywords and topics of my clients to see what’s happening there. And I also review what my client is up to.  If they have a new program or are focusing on something, I try and take that into consideration.  I also like to offer them options.  So instead of just giving them one idea, I normally have several for them to choose from.  And although it takes time, it’s so worth it because we normally see success with the articles they choose.

Preparing Media Databases – Cision makes it really easy to prepare databases for editors and the right media connections for newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, blogs, etc.  However, once I have the database of all those awesome media contacts, I need to go through them and fine tune it.  That requires deleting all those doubles that I might have in other databases, deleting  those that even though the topic is on point, it’s not a good fit for our pitch, etc.  That takes time.  The results speak for themselves when I’m done doing this and have killer databases, but again, it’s not just here you go – send away.

Proofing & Editing – I’m really good at proofing and editing as that’s part of what I’ve done for the past 34 years in business.  However, to make sure our articles, pitches, press releases, social media updates, etc. are stellar, it takes time to proof and make sure I didn’t miss anything.  And we all know the old saying that we are just too close to it to see things.  That is so true.  There have been times I’ve read something a dozen times and then still find a typo and it just kills me!  (Okay, I might be somewhat of a perfectionists!) To help with this, I have found secrets that work.  These are really nothing new, but they help me considerably.  For example, my main one is reading it from the end to the beginning or reading it a paragraph at a time from the end.  The reason this works is you aren’t anticipating what’s next. Also, triple checking the links to make sure they work. Even if I did that recently every time I send out a pitch or publish a press release to a new database or editor, I check on the links. Read More→

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