posted by on productivity tips, professional development, Uncategorized

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One thing that you will learn as you are growing your online business is that it is important to have mentors. I consider the best mentors to be those people who you admire who have achieved the goals that you are seeking to achieve. You watch what they do and model their success. One of the people that I have watched and admired is Connie Ragen Green. I have been on her email list for awhile and she is one who likes to teach others how to do what she does so that they can get good results.

Today, Connie sent out an email inviting her subscribers to visit her blog and take her 21 Day Productivity Challenge. You know that I’m all about challenging yourself to achieve more than you thought possible. I read her post and I liked it so much and thought it so useful that I’m sharing a link with you.  I’ve already started a 30 day challenge for August, so I won’t be taking this on right now, but I will keep this in mind for later on in the year when I need to kick-start things around here.

Go take a look and give her challenge a go:

http://www.hugeprofitstinylist.com/21-day-productivity-challenge/

Even if you don’t do all 21 days, you will learn some valuable information. Already I’m going to borrow her idea and come up with a challenge of my own to help those who want to get started with online freelance writing.

Who are your mentors? What kinds of challenges are you taking on to stretch yourself? Share the details in the comments.

posted by on book reviews, personal development

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Book Review: Conscious Language: The Logos of Now –The Discovery, Code, and Upgrade to Our New Conscious Human Operating System

By Robert Tennyson Stevens

Mastery Systems, LLC, 2007

Each of us uses words to communicate with each other to describe how we think and how we feel. We use words to make sense of our world and our place in it. In Conscious Language, Robert Tennyson Stevens explores how becoming aware of how our language—the words we choose and use in every interaction and those we speak to ourselves—shapes our thoughts, which in turn shapes our life situations. By bringing awareness to the ineffective ways that we have been using language, and learning subtle “upgrades,” we can transform our lives from living the mundane status quo to living up to our dreams, goals and desires.

Using the metaphor of a computer operating system, (our Human Operating System) Stevens teaches readers how upgrading to utilizing a more conscious language can eliminate those limiting belief systems that we have concocted with our thinking.

While the subject matter of Conscious Language is nothing less than mind blowing, it is written in a clear, easily understood style. At times I found myself laughing out loud and other times my world was rocked by the profound nature of what Stevens shares in this book.

Based on 37 years of research, study, teaching workshops and coaching groups and individuals, Conscious Language is a guide for those who understand the power of language to transform experience.

On page 71, Stevens writes:

“Language is the medium of thought. Thought is the medium of our reality. Changing our language medium “can” change our thought which, “potentially” changes our reality.”

I enjoy how Stevens bases his work on the language code of Biblical scripture without preaching or making his work unappealing to non-religious readers. While he was writing this book he was guided to this particular scripture in the book of Job 22:28,

“Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”

Conscious Language is one of several books and home study courses on conscious language that is offered by Stevens’ company called, Mastery Systems, including Sacred Body Language Translations.

I recommend this book for those on a spiritual path who are looking for clarity in the what they communicate with themselves and with others. This book will expand your awareness of how, “. . . our language will expand with our consciousness and how our consciousness will expand with our language.”

 

Stretching Yourself

Aug
2011
01

posted by on personal development, professional development, Uncategorized

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No, I have not switched this to a fitness blog. What I mean by stretching yourself is reaching beyond your comfort zone just a bit to step up to your next level of greatness. We are entering a new month and nearing the end of the third quarter of the year. It’s time once again to consult your goals and see where you can take your achievement to a higher level.

On my personal blog, evelynbourne.com, I wrote a post today about doing 30 day challenges as a way to kick your goal achievement into a higher gear. I want to invite you to read that post and then visit my Facebook page and leave a comment if you are ready to take on your own personal 30 day challenge, or if you just want to put in a supportive word for those of us who are doing our own personal challenges.

Stretching yourself is about letting go of your old routines and trying something new. If fear is rearing its head and keeping you in your place, remember that everything you want is on the other side of what you fear. One of the pre-eminent philosophers of the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do the thing and you will have the power.” You can’t sit back and wait until you feel more confident. It’s in the doing of what makes you quiver a bit that gives you the confidence you need.

You want me to go first? OK. This summer I slayed a personal demon by walking over a bridge. No big deal, you might say, but I have had a phobia about even driving over bridges. But this summer I was forced to just get over it, and with the help of two supportive friends I eliminated that fear from my life.

Tonight I am preparing to give my fifth speech at my Toastmasters club. I have set the goal to achieve my Competent Communicator designation this year, and this presentation marks the halfway point to that goal. Public speaking is one of those things that some people fear more than death. I am determined to hone my skills so that I can eventually add public speaking to my list of skills. I hope to speak at events and lead workshops. Each time I do a speech I can feel my confidence growing and my skills improving.

So, as this year whizzes by us all, I invite you to stretch yourself. Try something small at first to build your confidence and then start going for your big goals.  The time will pass regardless. Do you want to get to the end of another year full of regrets, or feeling flush with excitement about how much progress you have been able to make because you simply refused to quite moving forward?

Please feel free to share how you have been stretching yourself lately in the comments.

posted by on book reviews, personal development, professional development

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Here’s a copy of the review I posted about this book on Amazon.com:

Creating Sales Velocity: Awaken Your Power to Attract Sales Effortlessly

by Matthew Ferry, Spirit Publishing, LLC

First, I will say that I don’t remember ever ordering this book, so when it arrived in the mail I was a bit puzzled. I was intrigued by the subtitle: A Pocket Guide to Becoming a Conscious Salesperson. I don’t really consider myself to be a salesperson, but as a business woman, sales is definitely part of what I do, so I decided to read it and see what it had to offer, and boy was I in for a surprise.

Don’t be misled by the title because this little book is really about how to become a better conscious creator in all aspects of life not just in the arena of sales. Written by Matthew Ferry, who calls himself a, “Happiness Expert,” Creating Sales Velocity contains several simple processes which Ferry calls games that help the reader develop their ability to manifest what they want.  When you become a more conscious creator and you are manifesting your desires through service to others, happiness is a natural by-product.

If you are a sales person looking to step up your game, I imagine that reading this book and putting the processes into action will transform your career and your life. Ferry writes about making a contribution rather than making sales. He shares concepts such as, ‘The shift from self-absorption to awareness of others, taking responsibility for everything, and the fact that action does not get results just might rock your world a little bit.

Ferry manages to cram an abundance of practical wisdom into this little guide book.  As I read this powerful book I could feel the love and devotion that Ferry has for his readers.  Here’s an example:

“Ultimately your time spent selling each day is a journey towards uplifting the planet.  You are, now more than ever, experiencing your job as an opportunity for conscious growth  and development. You have discovered that peace in every situation brings incredible productivity. You’ve found that acceptance is the most persuasive tool in the toolbox, and clearly the most important person for you to accept is you.”

Let me include a word of warning here: If you are not ready to move to a higher level, to let go of your lame excuses for why you are not where you want to be and take full responsibility for your results then don’t bother picking up this book. But if you want to become a more conscious creator of your own experience, contribute to the world and create a tidal wave of abundance then you are ready for this powerful little book that will transform your thinking and help you to embrace the perfection in everything.

posted by on blogging, freelance writing, personal development, writing

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It’s been said that we teach that which we most need to learn, and I have found that to be a profoundly true statement. I have been doing freelance writing and blogging for many years, but there are times when I hit slumps where I feel blocked and I just don’t feel inspired to write. I sometimes wonder with all of the blogs out there why I even bother. Does what I write really resonate with people? Are my words making a difference?

If you have been blogging for any length of time some of these thoughts might have fluttered through your mind a time or two. If any of this sounds familiar this post is meant to be an encouragement to you to keep on writing.

A writer writes out of a desire to share that which is within them with the world. Writer’s have a love for the written word, and we enjoy the satisfaction that comes when we have polished up a piece of writing and it gets published so that others can read it. But did you ever stop to think about where your desire to write comes from? Do you ever wonder about the origins of those lofty ideas that are floating around in your heart and mind? Your inspiration to write flows to you and through you from God, the Universe, All That Is, because you are a chosen instrument of the Divine.

The Universe communicates with us through each other. It wants to get its message out in a way that will be understood and acted upon, so you are given those creative impulses, those flashes of insight, that burning desire to write because the world needs to know exactly what it is that you have to share.

Think for a moment about those writers whose work has greatly inspired or influenced you. What if those writers had listened to that critical voice inside of their heads telling them that they suck, that no one cares what they have to say, and causing them to doubt their talent or worth as a writer? Pick a favorite author and try to imagine your life without the inspiration you gained from having read their work.

As a writer you have been chosen to tell the story that will transform, uplift, or maybe simply enchant your readers. You have a sacred duty to keep listening for the whispers of inspiration that the Universe will send your way. It is your duty to remain a yielded vessel. Stop looking to ‘someday’ as the only someday that matters has arrived in this moment. Write as if your words were a life saving elixir, or as if they contained the key that would release someone from the bondage of ignorance. Stop resisting living and working into the fullness of the gifts and talent that you have been blessed with.

The world is waiting to receive the message you came here to deliver. The audience you seek is seeking your message. Stop making them wait until you sort out your issues and take your place. It’s not about you, your fears, your excuses, your self-imposed limitations. It’s about the message.

Watch and be inspired:

posted by on facebook, google+, social media, twitter

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A few weeks ago I finally got a much-coveted invite to join Google+, which is Google’s shiny new social media platform that just came out of beta in early July. Now anyone with a Google account can join Google+.  I’ve been having fun playing in this new social media space, getting to know the ‘lay of the land,’ and I’ve been having a great time.

Facebook and Twitter were my first foray into social media marketing, so I am considering Google+ from the perspective of how I use those spaces and what additional benefits it might have to offer me.  What I have observed so far is that Google+ so far has been embraced primarily by early adopters—those of us who geek-out on new tech tools and can’t wait to see what the latest tech gadget has to offer.  So, I have been using it to connect with other business people who are using G+ because, frankly, my peeps—that is my friends and family are not yet on Google+, nor do they show much of an interest in joining.

Here’s a quick overview of what Google+ has to offer, so that you can decide it maybe you want to come on over and check it out.

+Circles

On Facebook everyone is your friend, on Twitter everyone is a Follower, but with Google+ as soon as you add someone to your network you place them in one of your existing circles, or you can create a new one to add them to.  Here’s an idea of some of my circles:

  • Friends—yes, actual friends that I know and have established a real relationship with whether or not we have actually met in real life.
  • Business contacts—colleagues, fellow business owners, collaborators
  • Blogs to watch—As a blogger I have certain blogs that I keep a close eye on for relationship building. I put those in this circle.
  • Clients
  • Acquaintances
  • Relatives

+Hangouts

Hangout is a video and voice chat application that allows up to ten people to do a video chat on whatever topic they choose. You  must install a little plugin, and your laptop must have video and a mic in order to participate in a hangout. You can either initiate your own, or visit, http://gphangouts.com, to find a public hangout that you can join.

+Sparks

This is a colossal feed engine that contains feeds from across the Internet on any topic you can imagine. Just type in your keywords and up pops all of this content that you can read and share with the people in your circles.

Google’s +1 Button

The +1 button is separate from Google+, but there is also a +1 button along with your posts. You can think of it as the Google version of Facebook’s ‘Like’ button. Clicking the +1 button means that you think that site is kinda awesome and you’re giving it the ‘thumbs-up’ vote. But another cool thing about the +1 button is that all of the sites that you have clicked +1 for are listed on a page on your Google profile making it sort of like your own de facto social bookmarking site. People can peruse your +1 page to see what you like and recommend, but you can also keep your +1 page to yourself by making it private.

+Mobile

As an iPhone user it’s more than a little bit irritating that the mobile app for iOS is not yet available. But if you are an Android user you can take all of Google+’s features with you on the go with the exception of hangouts , but they may be adding that functionality to the mobile app at some point in the future.

Breaking News: The Google+ iOS app for iPhone and iPad is now available in iTunes

http://mashable.com/2011/07/19/google-iphone-app/

My G+ conclusions

So, for the moment, I’m digging Google+. I use if for business networking, and research primarily. One of my business colleagues shared on G+ that she was going to ditch all of the business contacts on her personal Facebook profile and tell them to look for her on Google+ so that she could reclaim her Facebook profile for actual friends and family. I am watching and waiting to see how things shake out with Google+. I was on Facebook for years before anyone I actually knew joined, so maybe in time G+ will gain more mainstream appeal.

What are your thoughts on Google+? Have you joined yet? What do you like or dislike about the new social media platform on the block? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

posted by on media, professional development, tips on writing a book, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book

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Remember the old Peanuts Cartoon? Snoopy, a lovable beagle, wanted to be a writer. There was a recurring story line featuring Snoopy atop his dog house with his old manual typewriter, beginning his book. Snoopy never got further than his opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

The first line is the most important sentence of any book, be it fiction or non-fiction. That first sentence has a big job to do. It must capture the interest of the reader and convince her to read the rest of the first page and then the rest of the book.

Today’s reader is increasingly busy, distracted, and in a hurry. He will not spend time with a book that is boring, hard to read, or needs twenty-five pages to get to the point.

So, what can you do to craft a compelling first sentence?

Follow these steps to make your first sentence powerful:

  1. Don’t worry about your first sentence until you are in the editing phase of your book project. If you are in writing phase, just begin your book and know that you can come back to your first sentence to polish it during editing. If you try to write the perfect first sentence during the writing phase, you run the risk of never moving past it to the remainder of the book.
  2. Pay attention to headlines in news reports, on magazine covers, and on websites. While your first sentence is not a headline, it is the very first experience your reader has of your book so it should be exciting and invite readers to continue. Begin to notice how these headlines are written and see what you can learn from that style of writing.
  3. Is your first sentence boring? Read it aloud and listen. Does it sound compelling? If not, it needs revision.
  4. Next, look closely at your first sentence and see if it generates curiosity. When a reader is curious, she will want to keep reading.
  5. You can elicit curiosity by leading with a surprising fact, a compelling story, a thought-provoking statistic, or by using a metaphor in unusual way.
  6. Read your first page. Find the most interesting piece of information on that page and make that point in your first sentence.
  7. Pare down the number of words in your first sentence so that each word is crisp, clear, and serves a purpose. Shorter sentences convey more energy.

Continue to work on your opening sentence until you feel satisfied with it. When your book moves into publication, your editor will also review this opening sentence and make additional suggestions if more revisions are needed.

Your first sentence is the prelude to your reader’s experience of your book. Invest time in making that sentence shine and your readers will thank you by continuing to turn every page of your book.

Lynne Klippel is a best-selling author, publisher, and book coach who specializes in helping non-fiction authors write books that build their business and transform the world. For a f.r.e.e. assessment that will help you see your author strengths and opportunities, visit http://www.BusinessBuildingBooks.com

posted by on conferences, events, marketing, professional development, social media

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Regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of LaSahanda Henry, mompreneur and developer of Black Business Women Online, and blogger at SistaSense.com.  I’ve been a member of BBWO for years and I have watched LaShanda grow into a force to be reckoned with online. But what I love about her is that she has a heart to help business women of color succeed and thrive by  creating wealth through online business.

I want to invite you to check out the, first annual ‘SistaSense Power Circle Summit,’ which is a virtual conference so no worries about airfare, hotels and who will keep your kids while you’re away. This 2 Day TeleSummit for Web Entrepreneurs will run from  July 29 – July 30 2011.

LaShanda said, “The success of your business depends on the company you keep! When I think about how much my business has grown over the last four years, I attribute a great deal of my success to the powerful, successful, business minded people around me.”

In an effort to give all of us access to some of these great business minds, LaShanda has put together this amazing SistaSense Power Circle Summit. This event is made up of a group of talented and successful entrepreneurs that have graciously agreed to share 2 days worth of powerful business changing, mind shifting information with you.

The Keynote speaker, Donna Maria Johnson is the founder of INDIE Business. She will share her secret to Leadership: INDIE Business Style. How to enjoy your life! Build your business! Have your way!

Wealth Coach and Finance Expert Deborah Owens is going to discuss A Purse of Your Own: The Seven Wealthy Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs.

Ministry Marketing / Social Media Expert Pam Perry will show you how to use your book to build a business, essential marketing strategies every solopreneur and author should know.

Lashanda Henry aka Sistasense will be leading two sessions. One on how you can get paid for what you know and the other on list building and client attraction essentials.

The Brand Coach, Jai Stone will speak on how you can increase your brand recognition through social media.

Successful Blogger and Social Media Expert Lamar Tyler is going to share his Blogging Expertise: Profit, Presence, and Good PR.

Mommy Blogger and Brand Relationships Expert Onica Cupido offers her insight on how you can develop strong relationships with brands.

Multi-million dollar mompreneur Richelle Shaw is going to give you an inside look into her million dollar equation!

These speakers are experienced, successful entrepreneurs that you need to know and have in your circle. They have a wealth of information to share with you that will transform your business. When I listen to them speak I think of them as not just motivators, but divine educators genuinely invested in helping others live their best life.

Don’t wait. Early Bird registration for the SistaSense Power Circle Summit begins now. The first 30 to register will also receive an exclusive gift – 2 downloadable mp3 audios sessions on social media marketing and using technology to build your business online. Early bird registration is $30 and ends July 7th, 2011. You will kick yourself if you miss out on this event and then hear everyone talking about how powerful it was. Register now.

 

posted by on blogging, marketing, personal development, professional development, Uncategorized

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On this blog I write a lot about personal development as it relates to business development because as you grow and develop and hone your skills so will your business continue to grow and move forward. Today I want to take a look at some of the tangible ways that you can work towards developing yourself that will also have a positive impact on your business.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of Napoleon Hill, author of several personal development titles such as, Think and Grow Rich, and The Law of Success. Hill was a great proponent of the concept of the Mastermind, another topic that I am fascinated by and love to write about. In a nutshell, the Mastermind Group is a group of like-minded people who agree to come together
and meet on a regular basis to work together for either a common goal, or to support each member as they pursue their individual goals. The idea is that when the group comes together combining their energy and ideas, there comes into existence a force called the Mastermind that is greater than the sum of all of the members of the group. Thier combined energy, focus,
attention and intention somehow gets magnified and each one is able to accomplish more than they would have been able to on their own.

I have been a member of several Mastermind groups in the past. Some met on the phone, some included email or social network groups, and some were in person. One thing that all of these groups had in common is that they did not last very long. There is a certain process that groups need to move through before they become solidified. If the members of the group are not 100%
committed to the success of the group, they will fall away and the group will dissolve.

Almost a year ago I was invited to participate in a local Mastermind group among spiritually-minded, small business people. I was excited about the idea until I discovered that they were going to meet in Columbia, MD, which is about a 35-40 minute drive from where I live in D.C. I went to the first meeting to test the waters and see if these people seemed serious. I got a good feeling from the group right away and we’ve been meeting every other week since.

This Mastermind group has helped support me in more ways than I can describe. I have a spiritual focus to my life and my business, but I didn’t really have anyone else in my life that shared these beliefs. I didn’t have anyone to bounce my ideas off of, or get advice from when facing a sticky situation. My business has grown as have the businesses of the other members
of the group since we first began meeting. We hit snags along the way, but our core commitment to the success of the group has helped keep us together.

Another excellent way to really grow yourself is to work with a mentor or a coach. Working with someone who has achieved the goals that you have set for yourself is a great way to leap-from over some of the challenges in life and get to your goals more quickly.  I have several mentors, but one that I rely on when it comes to the online aspect of my business is LaShanda Henry. She is a successful mompreneur who is running her business at a level that I aspire to, so I work with her and listen to her advice and guidance. If you want to see some of the resources that she has to offer, I recommend that you visit her social network that has over 10,000 members, http://mybbwo.com, and then check out her fabulous membership program at http://www.sistasense.tv.

So between the horizontal relationships within a Mastermind group to the more vertical relationship between you and your coach or mentor you will have the opportunity to learn and grow and get feedback that will help you develop as a person, which will in turn foster the growth of your business.

Do y0u have any experiences working with a successful Mastermind group, or with a coach or mentor that you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment.

posted by on personal development, tips on writing a book, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book

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I became aware of author, model  and writing coach, Carol S. Batey while in the process of writing my first book. I was feeling a bit blocked, and while I felt inspired to write my book, I was experiencing some resistance to actually sitting down and writing the book.

When I opened Dr. Batey’s book and read the line, “A handbook created and designed with you in mind,” it felt like she was speaking directly to me and my needs.  I knew that this message is what I needed to help me push forward in writing my book.  Why Aren’t You Writing? Is a workbook designed to facilitate a self-coaching process for writers who have a book that is unwritten in their souls. In each chapter Dr. Batey shares a bit about her own life and experiences having written and published five books. At the end of each chapter there is space to write your thoughts and prayers.

What sets this book apart from the others within the genre of, ‘how to write your first book,’ books is that Dr. Batey talks about using the writing process to facilitate personal and spiritual transformation. In chapter two she shares her plan of action, which includes prayer, setting intentions, visualizing your intended audience and remaining focused on the work. She talks about practical ways to set aside time for writing, the importance of being committed to your writing and most importantly how we must look to God for inspiration for writing.

We all have limiting beliefs of one kind or another that keep us from realizing our dreams. Dr. Batey talks about overcoming our self-imposed limitations by providing the example of St. Teresa of Avila, who was a 16th century Catholic nun, Christian mystic and the author of, The Inner Castle, and The Book of My Life, among others who overcame significant obstacles both internal and external in order to complete their books.

If you’re an atheist or not interested in finding a way to incorporate spiritual guidance into your writing practice, then this book may not be for you.

But if you feel like you have been called to write a book, but you are feeling intimidated by the idea, or if you just want some inspiration and practical advice for your journey, then Why Aren’t You Writing? Is a great book to have by your side. You will learn how to let go of your personal limitations and write the book that God has placed within you because it is not just for you. He placed it within you so that you could share it with a world waiting to hear it and be transformed by it.