Work on my existing marriage to see if I can bring it around.

Big Dreams Require Big Sacrifices

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about going for big dreams and achieving them. While I do believe we can set goals and achieve them and envision big dreams and navigate toward them, how they materialize isn’t always what we expect.

In fact, the bigger the dream, the bigger the price you’re probably going to have to pay.

For example in August 2011 on the way home from a family beach vacation, I caught the vision of a loving, connected marriage. I envisioned being with a lively, energetic person who would travel with me and share a true connection with me. I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen because I was not in that type of relationship at the time. The plan I laid out to achieve that looked something like this:

  1. Get in shape, get healthy. In other words, make myself energetically capable of achieving the dream.
  2. Work on my existing marriage to see if I can bring it around.
  3. Hope that somehow my spouse would start taking care of himself and get passionate about life.
  4. Keep making the great money I made at the time and travel and see the world.

Big Dreams Rarely Materialize As Planned

When I envisioned my big dreams, I never would have chosen the route I ended up traveling. I do believe it was important for me to have a plan and step out onto the path. Getting in shape and getting healthy gave me the strength for the more rigorous path that I ended up traveling. Also, having a compelling vision kept me going when I otherwise would have thrown in the towel.

Here’s how the road to my big dreams really looked…

  1. Lose your business overnight.
  2. Scramble to re-invent yourself FAST.
  3. Get divorced after 28 years.
  4. Make some stupid dating mistakes.
  5. Get your heart stomped on after giving a relationship all you had.
  6. Learn how to set boundaries with men and truly value yourself.
  7. Give up on the whole idea of getting married and just be okay with yourself.
  8. Find the love of your life (the son of one of your good friends) right under your nose. In fact, you’ll pass him every day as he directs traffic outside your son’s middle school.
  9. big dreamsFigure out how to open up your heart again and release the fear to let him in.
  10. Get married after a brief engagement.
  11. Suffer a health challenge that negatively impacts your business.
  12. Lose confidence in yourself mentally, spiritually and financially.
  13. Lose your home and property you bought with your grandfather’s inheritance.
  14. Start over in a smaller “new for us together” house.
  15. Take your business in a different direction – a direction you’ve been resisting.
  16. Find some great clients to work with who send you lots of word-of-mouth referrals so you can get back on your feet again.
  17. Find more peace and harmony in your home than you’ve ever had in your life.
  18. Love the man you married more each and every day.
  19. Take that beach vacation together that you envisioned 5 years earlier.

Not in a million years would I have crafted a plan including that much disappointment, heartache, or loss.

Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely!

Lessons Learned from Going for Big Dreams

  • the path you are resistingThe path we keep resisting is often the path we’re supposed to travel.
  • Nothing comes without a price. Within everything bad is an equal and opposite good. And sometimes the road to heaven takes a detour through hell.
  • Through it all, God is with you. You may have times when you can’t hear His voice and you think He’s abandoned you, but He is found in the tiny little tender mercies – the friend who comes to your aid in your darkest moment, or the scrap gold you find in an old jewelry box that you can sell to pay a bill.
  • It’s all about learning to TRUST. You come to the end and KNOW — absolutely KNOW it wasn’t you that created the happy ending, because there’s no way on earth you would have created such a crazy path to get there.
  • Only God is creative enough to give you your dream with the added bonus of all the character traits, life lessons and valuable experiences to shape you into the person worthy of the dream.

So craft that vision that makes your heart sing and propels you forward at all costs. Formulate your plan to get started. Take action. Let go. Let go. Let go. And hang on for the ride, knowing in the end it will all be worth it.

Predicting Isn't Creating

Predicting Isn’t Creating

Point of Clarification to the World:

Just because someone sees the signs and can use their common sense to predict something bad is going to happen does not mean that person WANTS it to happen or that s/he is contributing to it happening. It also doesn’t mean the person is operating out of fear. He or she is probably just looking at facts and projecting them forward.

Predicting Isn’t Creating

Predicting Isn't CreatingI believe in the “law of attraction” as much as anyone, but this idea that you can stick your head in the sand, not see (or say) what’s happening, and sing Kumbaya isn’t a solution.

To assume that someone predicting a bad thing is the same as creating it is like saying the weather forecaster created the storm.

Or here’s another practical analogy. If you want to go to a new destination you really need to take a good hard look at where you are right now.

Pretending you're in Kentucky when you're really in Miami won't help you get to Disney World.Pretending you’re in Kentucky when you’re really in Miami won’t help you get to Disney World.

This goes for all areas of our lives.

What God Might Say to Conservative Americans

I’ve been thinking about our current political choices from the perspective that God might actually be hearing our prayers and trying to help us. If this is the case, what might God say to conservative Americans? Here’s one possibility.

Possible Conversation with God

Conservative Americans: “God, please send us someone who can fix our country.”
 
God: “Wonderful, thank you for asking for My help. Here’s a strict constitutionalist, a man of principles, a doctor and Congressman who has lived a moral life. He can help you restore your country to the principles of the Founders.”
 
Conservative Americans: “No, he doesn’t have enough charisma. He’s boring and besides he doesn’t want to police the world. We want someone tougher.”
 
God: “Okay, how about this Mormon guy. He has principles – at least in his personal life. Granted, he doesn’t understand or abide by constitutional principles, but he’s never had an affair or done anything blatantly immoral. How about him?”
 
Conservative Americans: “No, he is one of those cult people. Besides, he’s really part of the system that created all this mess anyway.”
 
God: “Okay, so morality and adherence to Constitutional principles do not matter to you. You want an outsider with charisma who is tough. How about this tough, succeed-at-all-costs entrepreneur. He’s not the most moral person and he doesn’t really get Constitutional principles on the level of the first man I sent you, but you’ve made it clear you don’t care about that.
 
His ego is so big that if he says he’ll make America great again, his ego won’t let him fail. He’ll also be tough on your enemies. Give him a try… he can stop the bleeding. Then I really hope you’ll be open to someone with more principles and more understanding of the Constitution to take it from there.”
 
Conservative Americans: “No, he is too tough, too mean, too unprincipled — an openly unrepentant sinner. He’s a racist, sexist and xenophobe. We don’t want him.”
 
God: “Hmmmm… Not really sure why you asked for My help folks.You do recall I ate with publicans and sinners – right?”

God Doesn’t Need Perfect People To Save a Nation

I’ve been thinking a lot this afternoon about Nebuchadnezzar. He was a Babylonian king whose “main achievement of his reign was the rebuilding of Babylon, on a scale and with a magnificence never before envisaged.” (Encyclopedia.com)
 
He had prophetic dreams about his kingdom and other future kingdoms. His dreams were interpreted by Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was a proud man but he favored Daniel and his Israelite friends. Eventually he was severely humbled for his pride and later repented and admitted that The God of the Israelites was the true and living God.
 
His successor would eventually facilitate and support Nehemiah’s project of rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall.
 
God doesn’t need perfect people to transform nations.
lesser of two evils

Lesser of Two Evils – Really?

I’m really getting tired of people calling our voting selection a “lesser of two evils” choice without doing any other research than listening to the media sling labels. How judgmental are we as a populace that we will embrace and celebrate every form of depravity yet be so self-righteous as to call a man whose desire is to preserve, protect and prosper America an “evil person” because he’s made some less-than-moral choices in the past. Oh, and he has been known to pop-off-at-the mouth. Gasp!
 
I’ve made immoral choices in the past. I’ve said lots of things I wish I could take back! Does that make me “evil” and unfit to have my skills and abilities used for the betterment of my country? What if God raised up this imperfect man for such a time as this and we’re too busy judging the package our life raft is wrapped in that we’d rather drown.
 
I can get behind an imperfect sinner whose heart is in the right place… who wants to make America safe and great again. Much better to have this imperfect, yet, driven-to-succeed, never-say-die entrepreneur. Someone with that proven level of determination just might have a chance of figuring this mess out.
 
He has a much better chance than these self-serving politicians who want to degrade and destroy our republic… who build up, make excuses for, and weaponize our enemies and carelessly make our confidential secrets open for any hacker to take.
 
Yes, give me the imperfect, brash, proud-to-be-an-American entrepreneur who’ll have the back of the working men and women. Give me the man who has PROVED that he produces, builds, and creates jobs. Give me a man who raised his children to WORK and HAVE VALUES. Who gave his sons AND daughters equal opportunities.
 
Get rid of the people who have wreaked havoc on our economy, skyrocketed unemployment and then cover it up with their skewed statistics. Yes, they stop counting people who have given up on finding jobs because the economy is so bad. They’re not included in the unemployment rate anymore. How convenient!
 
I say we get off our self-righteous, politically correct high horses and take a good long look in the mirror at our own mistakes and follies and imperfections.
 
And if you think you haven’t made any “serious mistakes,” you must have been raised by saints and taught correct principles and always heeded them. You are rare. Good for you, count your blessings and realize not everyone was so fortunate. The rest of America is doing the best they can with what they’ve been given.
 
Trump may not restore or correct every damaged constitutional thread. He may not fix every last malady. One man can’t be expected to fix what has been destroyed bit-by-bit over decades.
 
We need to stop judging and get behind a man who at least WANTS to turn this ship around and steer it in a better direction. Hopefully, he’ll be followed by more leaders who will take it the rest of the way over the coming decades.
 

ADDENDUM:

This post is intended to get people’s attention, make them think, make them self-examine and make them ASK GOD if Trump has evil intentions. Because only God can reveal that to you. But don’t judge him because his personality is different than yours or his past behavior is flawed. Instead, get an answer for yourself if his intentions are EVIL or for America’s highest good. If your answer is he’s evil, by all means follow your conscience. But please DO ASK.
 
And if praying isn’t your thing, consider this… I find it hard to believe a driven entrepreneur who prides himself on doing what he says he’s going to do and does it repeatedly would say he’s going to make America great again and INTENTIONALLY set out to destroy it. It simply doesn’t add up. Sometimes ego is a good thing. 🙂

Email Marketing Tip: Let Freeloaders Move Along

Here’s an email marketing tip for you that I originally posted as a rant about a Facebook comment I saw.

A colleague is offering a series of helpful training videos on her area of expertise. She made a Facebook post offering this training with a link. If you click the link, you are given the opportunity to sign up for the video series with your name and email address. My colleague will then email you a series of educational training modules over the course of several days.

In response to my colleague’s post, I read this comment:

“If you really wanted to help people, you would not make them “sign up” to even find out what you are talking about!”

Email Marketing Tip: Let the Freeloaders Roll on By

Can you see me rolling my eyes? In this world we exchange things… time for money, groceries for money, energy for resources, and sometimes we trade information for a name and an email.

You wouldn’t walk into a grocery store and say, “If you really wanted to help people you’d give me this food.” Yes, it might help you in that moment to give you that food, but if that store did that all the time, they’d be out of business and you wouldn’t have anywhere to buy food.

Email Marketing Tip: Value Yourself & What You Have to Offer

This sense of entitlement that everyone should just give away their skills, time, money, knowledge, and resources if they really care about people is nonsense. All it does is deplete the producers so they can’t continue to offer their services. On the flip side, it creates indolence and sloth in those who have been enabled until they believe the world owes them everything for nothing.

Sorry, the real world doesn’t work that way…

The end result (if the world DID work this way) would be that producers wouldn’t have the funds to keep producing. They’d stop. Combine that with lazy people who refuse to produce, and you end up with an impoverished world.

Email Marketing Tip: Train People to Invest In Themselves

When I originally posted this as a mini-rant on Facebook, one of my friends, Ron Pagliarulo chimed in with this excellent comment.

“I loved what Dan Kennedy said and I’ll paraphrase:

It’s extremely egotistical of someone to think they are so good, and their material is so powerful that someone just needs one exposure and they’ll get it. If you are not offering additional ways to reach out and help that customer and offer additional products you are selfish.’

Ma’am / sir. I need your email, your contact info, and ways to reach out to you to ENSURE that I truly can help you get the results you want.”

I love that suggestion. Seriously, how many of us can truly foster optimal results in others’ lives in only one interaction?

There is an immutable law of nature called The Law of Sacrifice (aka Sowing and Reaping) which states that you must invest something to receive something. The cool thing is that the Law of Sacrifice isn’t one-to-one payback. It’s exponential.

Encourage people to invest in themselves.For example, the only way for a farmer to get a plant full of beans is to sacrifice the initial bean seed to the ground. Nature pays handsome dividends to those who have the faith to invest wisely AND nourish their investment.

Remember, if you never ask people to invest, they can never reap the full benefits of what you have to offer. The sacrifice might be time, money, energy, resources or a simple email address. But if you never give folks the opportunity to invest, you deny them the opportunity to reap exponential benefits from their ongoing interactions with you.

Value yourself! Never let someone sell you or themselves short with their entitlement mentality.

Recommended Resource

By the way, whether you’re a novice or advanced with email marketing, I’d highly recommend participating in the 30-day ListBuilding Challenge from MyNAMS. They have two tracks based on your experience/knowledge and they give you access to both of them. It’s a great way to learn from people who are really succeeding big with email marketing. It’s part of their Insider’s Club and they offer a 14-day trial for only a $1 here.

A Prayer for America

Every night at 9pm I say a prayer for America. Will you join me in this habit of praying at 9pm for our country? My prayer this evening to our Father in Heaven is that…

God will heal our hearts and our land.

That we will awaken to a sense of our awful situation and turn to God for direction, for wisdom, for common sense, for true hope, and a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

That those who have been reared in chaos, violence, and poverty, who feel they have nothing to lose, will find mentors and guides to lift them from their situation and know that their lives do matter.

They do not have to live in these awful conditions. Help them to know peace, productivity and purpose.

Guide good people to them to love, mentor and light the way for them.

Pour out your protection on our law enforcement and military who risk their lives to protect the rest of us. Send angels round about them to bear them up and keep them safe. Give them wisdom and understanding to make wise split-second choices in difficult situations.

Give hope to the hopeless, sight to the blind. Help the deaf to hear Your voice and those who walk in darkness to finally see the light.

Open our eyes that we may see each other through YOUR eyes and witness the divine in each other.

Protect the pure in heart, those who are striving to be kind to their fellowman. Protect those who have a desire to lift our people and make the world a better place.

Remove from public office those who would destroy and degrade our country. Replace them with good, honest people who will seek to uphold their oaths of office.

Lord, only YOU see the thoughts and intents of the heart. You be the judge. We release judgement of any and all, knowing we ourselves are not blameless of our own faults. Vengeance is thine, we step out of the way and allow You to repay.

Show mercy to those who are lost and confused, for we too have been lost and confused and have felt Your mercy.

Forgive those who have caused or seek to cause harm to those we love; for we know that we too need Your forgiveness.

Please hear the prayers and the cries of those of us who put our trust in You, Father. In the name of Your precious, perfect Son, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Share A Prayer for America Video

talking head videos

Talking Head Videos In 5 Simple Steps

When you need to create great talking head videos for your business you need to be at your best. People sense if you are feeling down, scattered or frustrated. It bleeds through into your video.

What do you do when you need to create talking head videos, but you can’t seem to zone in on doing it right? It can be very frustrating. Especially so if you’re all dressed up and your hair and make-up turned out just right, but you can’t seem to stop tripping over your words.

If you want to create great talking head videos, 99% of it is in your mind and in your attitude. If you can get your mind and energy right, everything else will fall into place.

Here are five simple steps to creating those great talking head videos.

1. Call Back your Energy for Talking Head Videos

Many times we’re unable to focus because we’re too concerned about other things. Maybe your child is having some issues. Or maybe your sister’s going through a divorce. Maybe you’re concerned about your own future. All that energy dispersal is leaving you little for the task at hand, so call it back. Here’s an exercise I use.

call back your energy like you're gathering flowersOutstretch your arms and make a gathering motion like you’re gathering arms-full of flowers. Make this gathering motion as you say each statement aloud. You will replace the words in brackets with whatever is relevant to you.

  • I take back my energy from [my sister’s life].
  • I take back my energy from [my children’s lives].
  • I take back my energy from concerns and regrets of the past.
  • I take back my energy from concerns about the future.

Add your own statements. Be thorough! Keep calling your energy back from wherever it may be dispersed. At the end, hug yourself for a few minutes. Take several deep breaths. As you do, think of releasing all the worry/concern and breathing in all the energy that is now yours to be focused.

2. Decide the Outcome You Want Your Viewer to Experience

  • Do you want them to have more hope about their situation?
  • Do you want them to come away knowing how to do something specific?
  • Do you want them to feel compelled to work with you?
  • Do you want them to sign up for what you’re giving away?
  • Perhaps you want them to feel inspired, happy, motivated, understood?

3. Relax and Trust That You Can Do This

Now, here are a few more affirmations for you in preparation for filming.

  • I am focused and clear about what I want to say.
  • I easily create this video.
  • The words are given to me in the moment that I need them.
  • I relax and trust the process.
  • I can easily create a compelling video quickly and smoothly.
  • I trust that the people who watch my video will receive exactly what they need.
  • When people watch this video, they will [feel/experience … insert your desired outcome here].

4. Say a Little Prayer

That’s what Mama always taught me to do before a quiz or test or whenever I needed a little extra help. I think it’s fantastic advice. Say a little prayer and ask that people will get what they need, that you’ll be given the right words and that it will flow easily from you.

5. Do It! Pick up that Camera and Shoot!

Learn more about mindset and energy shifting here.

Britain Leaves EU: Possible First of Many FreedomShifts

 
This is a landmark day for freedom as Britain leaves EU. This move to assert their independence and leave the EU is VERY encouraging because this is a MAJOR Freedom Shift for a world power.
 
According to Oliver DeMille who has studied over 3000 years of civilization and the patterns within them, we are in line for a coming world shift ... either toward more force or more freedom. Shifts come for nations approximately every 100 years and we're due. DeMille believes we're in line for a global shift this time.
 
Britain leaves EUThis is why Britain's move is incredibly significant. May more and more nations choose freedom over socialism and dictatorship. 
 
YES, it will shake up the apple cart... be patient. You can't take a closet, a home, a life or a planet to a higher level of order without creating a little chaos along the way.
 
You can't shift a world without a little chaos, but in the end, nothing beats freedom!
 
Check out DeMille's book if you'd like to learn more about what you can do to help promote a FreedomShift.
 

Repercussions of Britain Leaving the EU

I was happy to hear that Britain won't be put "at the back of the line" in trade negotiations for leaving the EU (as Obama threatened). If Trump is elected he assures they'll be right where they've always been as good friends and allies.

I admire their courage to shake up the apple cart for the sake of freedom.

As Patrick Henry said, "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

 If you're curious how this might affect the US economy, Britain or Europe, here's a good article giving a US based financial expert's opinion on the situation.

Facebook Advertising: 2 Things You MUST KNOW

At any given time I’m managing nearly two dozen Facebook advertising campaigns for my clients. They’re selling everything from classic cars to cat litter to life coaching programs to WordPress plugins.

There are two important things I’ve learned about Facebook advertising I’d like to share with you. If you don’t realize these two things you could draw erroneous conclusions and waste serious money on your Facebook advertising.

#1 Keep An Open Mind

Avoid making sweeping generalities about what works or what doesn’t. Here are a couple statements I’ve heard people make (usually clients who’ve taken classes from supposed experts).

  • “I hear mobile is the only way to go when running Facebook ads today.”
  • “Images without words work better than images with words.”

Here’s the deal, you can’t make sweeping generalities like that. You can’t even make those types of generalities about all of one client’s campaigns. Every ad is different and you should keep your mind open about what is going to work or not.

I have one client for whom we’ve discovered Mobile and Instagram is the only way to go for one of their campaigns. For another client’s campaign we discovered Mobile Newsfeed was costing them $1.97/click verses Mobile Audience Network which was only costing them $.21/click.

Still others do better with desktop only. Keep your mind open to the possibilities and don’t carry assumptions from one ad campaign to the next.

As for those images, test, test, test. I’ve had some campaigns work better with images containing text and other campaigns do better with images only.

#2 Don’t Jump to Conclusions without Sufficient Data

I’ve had clients dig into their stats after a couple days and make quick conclusions about what is working and what’s not.

A client who is running a $5/day test might say something like, “People ages 35-44 are giving me the cheapest results on the ads we uploaded two days ago. Let’s turn everything off but ages 35-44.”

I’ve done what the client asked only to discover that price per conversion skyrocketed or action on the ad came to a crawl when we made a hasty decision.

Same goes for images. You might run several images against each other for a few days and make an assumption that one image is going to give you the best cost per conversion only to discover that the more it runs, the more the price goes up.

If you hastily deactivate other ads, you may need to turn them back on. When you do, you might discover another ad gets better results than the one you chose hastily.

What If You’re On a Limited Facebook Advertising Budget?

When I have a client with a limited budget who would like to test several images or ads, I realize we can’t test them all at the same time. They need to be tested in small groups to discover which ones are going to do best. You also have to give them enough time to collect enough data.

Important Note: Sometimes Facebook chooses a “winning ad” and gives it more exposure. Bear in mind that Facebook is self-serving. They sometimes pick ads that make FACEBOOK the most money. Pay close attention to the stats. You may need to turn off Facebook’s “winner” and force one of your other ads to run so you can get the best bang for your buck.

Approach Facebook advertising with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of a statisticianRemember Your College Stats Class

Bottom line, good ol’ college statistics is helpful when you’re managing Facebook ads. Remember the larger the sampling size, the more accurate the data. Numbers may not lie, but if you don’t have enough numbers, you can make serious errors in judgement.

Approach Facebook advertising with the curiosity of a child and the wisdom of a statistician.

If you’d like to discuss your Facebook Ad Management campaign, I offer a free 20-minute strategy session here.