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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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tvWe have a terrible, incurable disease in our country called celebrititis. In my research, I have not found any cure for this. And believe me, I have searched.

Celebrities come in all sizes and shapes; sports, music, movies, TV, news reporters and even religious leaders have gotten into this game. In our culture today, nothing really happens unless some celebrity does it or says it.

There is this phenomenon out in Hollywood called the red carpet. I am not sure exactly what the red carpet is except that it is a carpet in the color red, thus The Red Carpet. And yet,  if one of these celebrities walks on this so-called red carpet, everybody wants to take a picture of them.

I cannot think of a celebrity anywhere, living or dead, that I would like a photo. If I want a photograph these days, I want it to be of my family. In my book, my family is all the celebrity I need. If I want to sit down and go through some pictures, I want it to be of my family, people that I know and love. I do not want it to be some made-up picture that has been photo-shopped by some expert.

Celebrities are just people and we need to start treating them like the people they are. Newscasters today have become celebrities in their own right or left depending on their political position. Somehow, they have tricked us into thinking because they are celebrities and they look like $1 million, that what they have to say is something I want to hear.

When I was young, I watched the Three Stooges. They could make stupid things funny. Now when they were making these stupid movies they were doing so on purpose. I laughed at them because what they did had an agenda to make me laugh. Nobody ever took what they did seriously.

Now we have the Three-Stooges-syndrome in our newsrooms today. I often wonder if they know how ridiculous they look and sound when they are touting their opinion about something going on in the world. Actually, when you think of it, they would make the Three Stooges envious.

I am tired of celebrities and I want to see something real for a change. Read More→

Dave

wwwWriting relevant and helpful website and/or blog content is one of the most effective ways to market your online business. Some of the older traditional marketing methods do not produce the same results they used to so more advanced and effective methods need to be utilized.

Writing optimized content is beneficial to your business in many ways. It can provide quality backlinks to your site and thus bringing you more targeted traffic. It can help build your reputation which in turn will build trust and respect among your potential customers. Content marketing can also substantially elevate your search engine rankings.

Below are ten ideas you should utilize in your content writing to help increase the chances of higher search engine rankings.

1. Relevant Content – Be sure to actually write relevant and beneficial content. The more valuable your information, the more results you will see. Search engines can see through transparent attempts to mask a keyword dense sales pitch with false content. Read your article and honestly judge whether the information is actually helpful to others. Is the content information that you would find useful? Does your article explain things effectively? Does the information pertain to the subject at hand?

2. Yes Keywords, but Watch the Density – Have you ever read an article that was so loaded with keywords that it sounded ridiculously redundant? Keywords are important but just sprinkle them in so they sound natural. The first paragraph or two is the best place to disperse your keywords. After that, you want to use other less repetitive words so as not to overstuff your content.

3. Quality Not Quantity – You, of course, want to get your content read by as many people as possible but submitting to every article directory you can find is not the effective way. Find a few quality article directories and blogs to which you can submit your content. By mass submitting you can even run the risk of getting penalized for too many links too quickly. Choose a smaller amount of relevant power sites to submit to and your content and links will be given more importance which will, in turn, increase the chances of higher rankings. Read More→

Brian Ellsworth

Oct
23

Chaos or Calm?

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I’ve talked to many people about busyness. All around people are clamoring:

I’m so busy! I’ve no time! The pace of life for some, it seems, is a perpetually series of non stop motion and activity, rushing from one thing to the next. Bringing and/or dragging their children behind them. Most people also seem to just accept this as “normal”. Normal because “everyone else is doing it”. Normal because it just is. It’s our culture, our lifestyle. But when I asked them if this is truly WHAT they want, they inevitably say no, I don’t. But…then come the various reasons, excuses, statements of why it HAS to be this way. I understand. really. There doesn’t seem to be any choice.

But I think we’ve all forgotten that we all have choices and decisions to make everyday.

Everyday has the same 24 hours that we all get. No more, no less. Exactly the same for everyone on this planet. The third world family has the same amount of time that the first world family has. No discrimination at all there. There used to be a book with the title “The Hurried Child”. Nowadays it would be called “The Hurried Family”. Frantic is probably a better adjective. How often do you feel frantic? How often do you find yourself rushing to and fro? Racing home to throw something in the oven or on the stove? More likely its getting fast food, isn’t it? Going through red lights, speeding to get home or get your kid to their third activity this week? Is this what you truly want?

I want to put a plug in for another book with FREE resources! Yes, free, easy to use, and understand, IF you would take the time (that you truly do have) to read. Then hopefully, to implement. “The Three Big Questions for the Frantic Family” by Patrick Lencioni. I’ve heard him speak and he’s quite entertaining, engaging, intelligent, and well written. He’s a consultant and a writer for business leaders. In this book, he applies his trade to the family. It’s an easy read, the first half or so being a real life example of real people. It may be his own family or a combination of sorts. I can guarantee you’ll see yourself in it. Then he has 3 important questions for you to answer. Real simple. It will take some time though, not necessarily real easy. He’s convinced, and I am too, that the American family can indeed reduce the chaos of life and have more clarity and purpose by answering these 3 questions. Check out his website and free resources: www.tablegroup.com/books/frantic.

This goes along with another great book I listened to. Audio Books in the car while driving is a great way to stretch your mind. If you have screaming kids, then maybe not so much. Matthew Kelly’s The Rhythm of Life. He talks about not having energy more than not having enough time. He assesses our lives with great accuracy and offers a few simple suggestions. “Let’s waste some time together this week” is one of my favorite lines. Read More→

leader2As of July 2014, log on to Amazon and you’ll find 116,796 titles under the heading “Leadership”. But if you’re in too big of a hurry to read a book, open up the American Heritage Dictionary. A careful examination of the various definitions of “leader” presents a fascinating and brief explanation of great leadership.

1. Has the Power to Influence
Leaving behind the standard definition of “one who leads or guides”, consider the second definition: “one who has power or influence”. Have you known people in a leadership role who seem unable to influence the people around them? The ability to make connections, to speak clearly and to frame messages so everyone hears something compelling is essential for influence. We are also persuaded by people with conviction and passion. We are influenced by people whom we think we can trust. Lose or misuse any of this and a leader’s power vanishes.

2. Conducts the Orchestra
A leader is defined as “a conductor or the principal performer in an orchestral section”. The finest of leaders discover ways to bring together the different talents of employees or volunteers so that all play from the same sheet of music and blend their instruments into a harmonious whole. We look to a leader to have the larger picture of how great “music” can be played and to hold prima donnas in check. The finest of leaders discover ways to bring together the different talents of employees or volunteers so that all play from the same sheet of music and blend their instruments into a harmonious whole.

3. Becomes the Foremost Animal in a Harnessed Team
Think of Iditarod and sled dogs. Do we not look to leaders to guide the way, joined shoulder by shoulder to the rest of the team? The lead dog is not back at camp, yelping commands from a cell phone but rather providing muscle and mind to move forward. Remember how the presence of a leader at a front line became the rallying point for many battles? You get the picture. Read More→

Danajackie-solo1One of the hardest business tasks to complete is the infamous follow-­up. I know I struggle with this and as I tam typing now, I can think of several people I’ve met recently that I need to contact.

But I also know that this one task will make or break my goals. I’ve seen the lack of follow-­up destroy businesses. I don’t want mine to become that way so I’m going to put a system in place.

My system? It will be a simple spreadsheet. Sure, there are probably some sophisticated apps out there to use. But I have found that the more fancy a program is, the less I will use it!

So what’s my plan? I’m going to make a chart of the people I need to contact, where I met them, and what I need to communicate to them about. This will also include how I need to communicate with them.

What’s hard about this Internet age is that one stream of communication is often not enough. Often, my husband and I have found that we have to send an email AND a text message. These days, you need to know how your client best responds and often need to send the same message across several platforms.

I’ve had to fight this assumption that when I make a phone call or send an email, the recipient should be responsible and return the voice mail or message.

But the truth is, people get busy and distracted. They just forget. They don’t always look at their email or phone. Following up is not “bugging” them as I assumed. It’s really doing them a favor.

It’s not that you want to be pesky. Of course, don’t be a stalker calling someone every hour. Or spamming by sending multiple emails a day. But have a plan. When you meet someone and give them a sales pitch, don’t leave it there. In fact, ask for permission to contact them again. “Would it be okay if I call you in a couple of weeks to see how things are going?” Read More→

Oct
20

Forgetting Mr. Right

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mrrightSingle moms, single ladies, single friends … and even to those with significant others…heed this warning:

A strange little pest has burrowed its way into society and wreaked havoc on our relationships. We must IDENTIFY it, ELIMINATE it, and GUARD AGAINST it.

IDENTIFY. We’ve developed an obsession with “finding Mr. Right”. The perfect man, your perfect match, Prince Charming, your knight in shining armor. Call him what you like, but the truth is we’ve allowed fictional images to become our reality. A guy has to have looks that make you swoon and words that make you melt. He has to be army-strong and cotton-candy-sweet every moment. He should drop everything for you, put you on a pedestal, and give you anything you want or need.

A tall order indeed, especially for the real Joes! The reality is that sometimes our guys mess up. They come in all shapes and sizes. They have good days and bad days and sometimes they let us down.

They’re not accountable to those fairytale criterion or Hollywood expectations. Their standard is much loftier…

ELIMINATE. Conquering this infestation begins with the right manual: God’s Word – filled with HIS standards, HIS expectations, HIS truth. Sisters, whether you’re single, looking, taken, or married, you have to stop searching for the idealized (and nonexistent) “Mr. Right”. It’s not about him being perfect in every fantasized way. It’s about him being godly, perfect in Christ. It’s about finding Mr. Righteous.

And if you already have your guy, here’s your expectation: to encourage him in righteousness, to see him through God’s lens and not the world’s. Read More→

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You’vecomputer-woman made the decision that you want to work from home, but now you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. This is where most of us begin our work at home journey. When I quit my corporate job thirteen years ago in favor of at-home employment, I was full of excitement … and terror. I’ve learned a lot over the years, but the foundation that I started with is what has kept me moving steadily forward.

What To Do

The first decision you’ll need to make is what you will do from home. You may have funding available to you and be able to open your own small business, or you may decide to seek employment. The first step is knowing which direction you’re headed in.

Take time to research each option and know what is available to you and what you can handle right now. I began working from home as a contractor for a local business. I built my own business up during my off hours until it was at a point where I could work for myself full-time.

Where You’ll Be

The next step you need to take is to evaluate your home and determine where you can set up a dedicated work space. I have found that I’m much more focused and efficient when I am working at my desk rather than at the kitchen table or from my laptop in front of the TV. No matter the size and shape of your home, find a place that can be set aside for your work area, even if you have to be creative and work in a closet.

When It Will Take Place

Now you must think through your routine. When will be available to work at this new at-home endeavor? Be honest with yourself about how many hours you have open for work, and what time of day you can be available. By knowing your availability, you can narrow down job choices or determine hours of operation if you’re opening your own business. Make others aware of your new work hours and be consistent so that your customers know when and how to reach you. Read More→

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