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The Power of Volunteering

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nightlight adult dropin

I think this verse about sums up how I feel with regard to people, no matter what their background or circumstances:

1st Peter 4:10 – God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

As a result, I’ve begun to make friends with people that I may not have had in my life and am realizing how special each of them is. I may be offering my time and some of my finances, but those I serve have also become a real blessing to me.

These are the causes that I volunteer with and are dear to my heart:

Dismas – a community for ex-offenders to realize how much God loves them. We meet monthly at a local church for games, a meal, and a time of singing and fellowship together.

I also go monthly to a Dismas meeting within Grand Valley Women’s Prison and have come to know and love each of those dear ladies. We all make mistakes, they are paying for theirs and regret their choices. One day they will be released and re-building their self-esteem and healing their brokenness starts here.

nightlight – Imagine how it would feel to have no family, no friends, no money, and no community? Sometimes not even a home. Nightlight exists to help solve this relational poverty. We meet three nights a week, play games, do puzzles or color, have coffee and snacks at no charge and gladly give the gift of friendship and conversation to all who walk through the door. I volunteer there once a week, serve coffee, and have the privilege of  watching people blossom simply because someone cares.

Makers – Women Creating Together: I and some other special ladies get together at the nightlight location every Wednesday afternoon. Crafting and community are healing broken ladies and helping us realize how important we really are.

Volunteering has the power to take you out of yourself and your problems, to enrich your life, and to make you feel needed and useful.

Do you volunteer? I’d love to hear your experiences. Please comment below.

Have a great day,

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Category: Life and Purpose

Have You Tried Facebook Live Yet?

Kelly McCausey

First, the Challenge:

This past few weeks I’ve been part of a challenge called Stretch Yourself, put on by a bubbly, smart lady named Kelly McCausey. That’s her in the photo above, although right now the head she shaved for a childhood cancer fundraiser is just beginning to grow in.

I’ve known Kelly for a long time, been to her events and her Beach House retreat in Florida and know how much she is always stretching herself.

Kelly is the perfect one to encourage other people to stretch and we had a number of different possible choices to get us out of our comfort zones. I chose two challenges, one is an intensive Online Productivity training for two hours a week for three weeks. Right now I’m setting everything up and we start live next Tuesday at 1pm Eastern, with recordings of each session.

Going Live on Facebook:

The other challenge I chose was to go on Facebook Live on my page every day for five days. That happened last week and other than issues with my lighting, I think it went very well. If you want to see the short videos I did there, go to my Facebook page and check them out.

I have done Facebook Lives before when they first came out, but at that time I had to use my iPhone or iPad and my wireless connection was never quite strong enough. Often the video would be fine but there would be no sound.

Well, things have become much easier now. You can do a Facebook Live right from your desktop computer and have it broadcast to your Facebook profile, your business page, or a group you belong to. Set up a webcam and microphone or headset and you’re good to go.

Once you know what you intend to talk about, the hardest thing to get used to will probably be looking at yourself on the screen. Remember to smile, speak slowly and clearly, and keep your videos short – less than ten minutes. You can interact with people who may be watching you live, plus the recording will remain on Facebook for people to view in future. Oh, and remember to download your video so you can use it somewhere else as well – like on Youtube.

I hope you give Facebook Live a try and please let me know how you like it. And if you want a safe space to practice, I have a little private Facebook group where you can do that very thing. Let me know on my Contact page and I’ll send you an invite.

Take care and have a great day,

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The Power of Perseverance

Download the episode here

These are the notes from today’s podcast:

Perseverance Quiz – Who are these people based on the hints about them? Listen to the podcast to find out who they are.

? Too short and clumsy to play basketball
? Cut from the varsity basketball team
? Missed more than 9,000 shots and lost almost 300 games
? Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time

? Was a shy, timid teenager
? His drawings were rejected by his high school yearbook
? Is now considered on of the most influential cartoonists of all time

? Was a defeated boxer and retired
? Became a minister and needed to raise money for his youth center
? Got back in the ring 10 years after retiring
? Was laughed at and not taken seriously because he was 45 years old and 50 pounds overweight
? He regained the title and became the oldest heavyweight boxing champion in history

? He grew up very poor and was a shy loner
? He was told he couldn’t sing and to keep his truck driving job
? His songs have sold over a billion albums world-wide and people still imitate him today

? Accident at birth caused partial paralysis of his face
? Speech was also slightly slurred and he looked a bit scary
? Wrote and starred in three Oscar winning movies

? Was dyslexic and did poorly at school
? Dropped out of high school
? Is now one of the richest men in the UK, owns many companies, and has been knighted

? Didn’t speak until he was four years old
? Was thought to be mentally slow and had trouble finding a job
? His name is now synonymous with genius

? Fired from his newspaper job
? Told he lacked imagination and had no good ideas
? Started several businesses that went bankrupt
? The company he started is now a household name because of the movies and theme parks he helped created

? Dropped out of school at 15 to help support the family
? His family were eventually homeless and lived in a van
? He has dealt with major depression and ADHD for much of his life
? He is one of our best known comedy actors

? Quit school early and couldn’t hold a job
? Wife and child left him
? Retired at 65 with very little money and was suicidal
? Went door to door selling his special chicken recipe and at the age of 88 his company was making millions and the restaurants he started are still popular

What do all of these people have in common? They didn’t allow their circumstances or other people’s negative opinions define who they were or what they could accomplish.

What if they had given up when people tried to discourage them? What if #4 had believed he couldn’t sing, or #10 had carried out his suicidal thoughts? How might the world have missed out if all of those people had quit. And how might the world miss out if we quit!

What has someone (and that someone could even be yourself) told you was impossible or a waste of your time to accomplish, but you want to prove them wrong and do it?

Or what have you already overcome in spite of thoughts that you couldn’t?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bonus: Download this Productivity Guide that will help you to make the most of your time online!

Click here to get it

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Kelly McCausey’s Exposure & Profit 5

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Exposure and Profit event

Recently my two daughters and I I attended Kelly McCausey’s Exposure & Profit 5 in Atlanta, Georgia. I took lots of notes, which I’m sharing below, as well as having fun. The photo above shows the three of us at a wig party one evening, after Kelly shaved her head to raise money for childhood cancer research.

If you’ve always wondered what you might learn at a marketing conference such as Kelly’s, here’s a taste of what impressed me most:

Creating An Incredible Community Experience:
– How do you create an incredible experience that supports your people to know how incredible they are?
– What would it look like for your business to be irresistible?
– Go to your customers shoes for an idea
– How do you want to show up?
– Brainstorm your business values, then get them down to three points

Short Books, Big Profits:
– 40-80 pages, 300 words per page
– write a page and a half per day to get one a month
– non-fiction books can be in a number of categories. For instance, I’ve published a book available on Amazon called Diary of An Infosponge – which would be considered a professional memoir
– your ideal reader isn’t always your ideal client

Affiliate Programs:
– put great affiliate programs in your autoresponder if they are evergreen
– plus add them to your resource and thank you pages, for example “while you wait for your gift, here’s a great idea for you ….”
– Copy and past promo materials, blog posts, and social media blurbs should be made available for your affiliates
– Always think about what your people need next

Energy and Image:
– Air people are fun, creative, and uplifting – they need to find out how to make things fun and have a lot of energy.
– Fire are determined, direct, and fierce
– Water are soft, nurturing, and caring – even their movements are calm and flowing. They are all into comfort.
– Earth are bold clean and symmetrical and need structure and detail
– We have all four energy expressions but some are more dominant
– Our energy doesn’t change, but our conditioning can change it temporarily
– Sometimes where you are hiding out is your secondary

Having a Banner Message:
– Lean into the vision God has given you
– Why am I not more excited about what I want to do?
– If you stand down, you give other people an invitation to do the same
– Don’t run from what makes you nervous
– Ask yourself ‘is it a good fit for me and my community?’
– If no one knows you are taking a stand, they can’t respond to the invitation
– What is my banner?

Public Speaking:
– Worst presentation points: back to audience, pacing back and forth, playing with hair, no eye contact, rambling, reading, speaking too fast, monotone, rushing, don’t know material, hands in pockets and jiggling coins, boring, disorganized, too much information, no engagement
– Best presentations: engaging, good eye contact, knowing your audience, inflection, open with an engaging question, use stories, speak from the heart, well prepared, clear message
– Don’t think of it as a performance
– How do you create an inviting mood and draw people in? Answer: open body language
– 55% of how we come across to people is based on body language
– 38% is based on sound
– only 7% is based on what you say
– you are the product – perception is reality
– knowing who you are and what you want to represent is very important
– how do you want to be perceived?
– You are magic and that’s what people want to see

Speak Up or Sit Down:
– If you don’t ask or invite, you take away people’s right to choose
– The ask can be for a free offer
– Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
– What is your message? What do you stand for?
– Four C’s: 1. Capture their attention, 2. Connection (tell your story), 3.Content – share why you care, 4.Convert

– Images from iPhone: load smallest by optimizing and re-sizing
– When your database gets too big, you need to optimize it

Irresistible Offers:
– You need multiple offers
– Build the what’s next backwards (your funnel)
– Your job is to give them hope and a quick win
– They buy the result, not your offer itself
– Something they can consume in five minutes or less – such as checklists, templates, tools, resources, quiz
– Think about the top three questions people ask all the time
– Take 20 minutes and journal as though you are your audience – you need to be that clear

– Create an image and Pretty Link to advertise the webinar that introduces your product
– Write blog posts about the webinar topics and the call to action to sign up for the webinar
– Start an email campaign re the webinar, two or three weeks before: 1.announce the webinar, 2.teach something on the webinar topic, 3.tell them a success story, 4.tell them you’ll give them a free gift if they come live to the webinar, 5.webinar reminder, 6.webinar is today
– Promote the visual on social media
– Add to Facebook Events
– Give your affiliates all the content they need to promote
– If your webinars are a series, use 70% of the same image and then a different little photo for the topic or speaker
– Step forward, not back, when you make a live offer
– On a webinar, don’t let your voice get quiet
– What is the juiciest thing in your product? Pull it out and have it as a bonus.
– Qualify your people by asking questions
– Include who this has worked for, either you or a client
– There should be a testimonial beside every buy button
– Never compete on price
– Use other people’s audience

– A creation statement is the result you seek – in the present, create the end
– You can’t create for another person because you would take away their ability to choose

Hope you found my notes helpful. Have a great day,

P.S. Which tip was your favourite?

Bonus: Download this Productivity Guide that will help you to make the most of your time online!

Click here to get it

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Diary of An Infosponge

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Did you know I love to learn and often I feel like a sponge, always wanting to soak up as much information about things as I can – all except math, that doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me.

I’ve got so many notes that I’ve taken over the years that I thought maybe I’d better get them down in book form. The most recent book I’ve written is full of tips from a number of online marketers.

For seven years I travelled twice a year from my home in Canada to Atlanta, Georgia to learn from the best of the best at an event called NAMS, which stands for Novice to Advanced Marketing Systems. Those of us who attended were called Namsters, and my book gives you a glimpse into that world. I hope you enjoy it.

Diary of an Infosponge book

Click on the book cover for more information.

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