Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Social Conversations

I have to come clean. I don’t know about you all but in my opinion if you blog, you are a social networker. Dawud Miracle’s post on social networking also got me thinking about this popular tendency to promote the art of Conversation. Social networking and conversation go hand in hand. Does that make sense to you?

I read a lot of posts talking about joining and promoting conversations and also how important conversations are to relationships. But I seem to have trouble finding out what the conversation is about because people are having a conversation about having conversations. To be perfectly honest here, there have been numerous times when I want to ask the question…What?

I know I am being a little “tongue-in-cheek” here but if I get confused then there must be thousands of others. Here is my analogy and how I understand the issue of Conversations and Social Networking as it relates to the blogosphere.

I belong to a chamber of commerce and go to the mixers. This is an activity that combines social interaction with business just like blogging does. Local chamber mixers are about business people social networking and blogging is about people social networking with business as the underlying interest.

I think places like My Space and Twitter should not be compared (if they have been) to social networking in regards to business. My daughter uses My Space to keep in touch with a lot of people and family members. These sites are for fun, a little diversion and much like an old fashion telephone party line.

This may sound simplistic to many of you but this is how I have been able to understand what people mean when they start talking about conversations and social networking. I was afraid I was doing this blogging thing all wrong because I didn’t know what the subject of the conversation was about. I would search for hours trying to find something to relate to and when I did, I posted faster than you could snap your fingers while twiddling your thumbs.

In my next post I would like to expand on the analogy between chamber of commerce mixers and blogging.

Write it down,

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #8

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build Anyway.

I find this commandment difficult to take in because it is so harsh. Nothing lasts forever. However, I believe that this commandment speaks to the act of building for that is what brings joy and satisfaction. Consider the sand castle. What is more temporary than that? In one day your castle complete with moat and tower is melted away with a miniature tidal wave. You knew this would happen but you built it anyway. Why?

Perhaps you were building for the joy of creating something with your family or friends. Perhaps you were building memories.

Are you building your business to last forever? Have you thought about that? What kind of legacy are you building or will your business die when you do?

When you develop something of substance or value, whether it be an organization of people or a building made of stone and glass, it is the intangible things that will be remembered long after.

I think Kent Keith explains this commandment perfectly when he says:

“Of course, it is gratifying when what you have built last far into the future. But don’t forgo building just because it may not last. The joy and meaning that come with building will last. They will be yours forever.”

Write it down,

Monday, July 23, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #7

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

Do you enjoy cheering and helping the underdog?


If the underdog wins then YOU win, right? How many of us perceive ourselves as underdogs? You know who you are.

I realize that all underdog issues may not be right or important. There are risks for supporting underdogs. Also, the odds are always against the underdog and he/she is likely to lose whether they are right or not. Underdogs are Expected to lose. However, we love the underdog, but sadly, we don't jump on their bandwagon. We’ll go with the status quo, vote for the most popular, cheer for the winning team, we comply.

Remember the movie Rudy? Now that was an underdog movie. What about Invincible? Each of these movies gave me the warm fuzzies all over. However, there is one thing that comes to mind. I already knew the end. The underdog wins even though the expectations for losing are enormous. Realistically, it is hard to follow and help the underdog and more often than not, we don’t.

I like the way Kent Keith ends Commandment #7. “When you look back at the end of your life, you may conclude that fighting for a few underdogs was one of the most meaningful things you ever did.”

It takes courage to stand up for the underdog and it takes courage to believe in yourself when no one else will.

Write it down,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Are you Up for the Challenge?


FundsforWriters and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women announce the Annual FFW Essay Contest with the theme: Make Us Want to Be You! In 750 words or less, either send us a remarkable promotional plan for your writing project or tell us what you'd do with your writing career if you had a year to devote to your passion. As always with a FFW contest, you choose whether to pay a $5 entry fee or not. The first prize for the entry fee division is $200. The first prize for the non-entry fee division is $50. Deadline October 31, 2007. Winners announced December 1, 2007. Visit our sponsor at http://www.nabbw.com/. www.fundsforwriters.com/annualcontest.htm

Take a few minutes to look around Hope Clark's FundsforWriters. You will find a lot of good things going on.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chicka Boomer, Chicka Boomer

According to many sources, Baby Boomers are a group of people who were born after WWII in countries having large spikes of births between the years 1946 to 1964. What about people like me...or you, who don't fit within that 18 year range? For goodness sakes, two of my children are Baby Boomers!!! (However, comparison between the two groups is another story for another time.)

Be truthful now, when you hear the word Baby Boomers, don't you think of people who were born in the 1940's, grew up in the 1950's early 1960's and were weaned on Rock 'N' Roll in its infancy? I do too.

Last year my local newspaper put out requests for Baby Boomer articles. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to share my experiences of growing up in a small Texas town during the age of innocence, when businesses where formed with a hand shake; kids addressed their parents Yes sir, and Yes Mam; when teachers spoke, kids listened; when putting peanuts in your Coke was daring and Coke was a soft drink.

Oh, so many other wonderful icons, like hula hoops, poodle skirts, James Dean, and of course Elvis and "I Like Ike" campaign slogans. I'm an expert. I was mesmerized each week watching The Dorsey Brothers Show and Hit Parade. That was our MTV, only it was live and performers wore clothes.
Imagine my dismay when I was rejected because I was too old!!! Doesn't experience count for anything anymore? Interestingly I found out that several companies and organizations are willing to proclaim me as a Baby Boomer, as long as I can afford the entry fee.

Write it down,


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #6

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

Our history books are full of men and women like Socrates... Columbus..., Lincoln..., Gandhi..., Susan B. Anthony..., Martin Luther King, Jr... who have had big ideas and were shot down literally or figuratively by smaller people. People who laughed at them, locked them up or killed them.

A “small person” is one who sees life in small terms and usually a good friend and hard worker. Also, a small person clings to the way things have always been without asking Why? A small person has usually mastered his own routine and doesn’t want it to change? Do you recognize this trait in anyone you know?

Not all big ideas are successes but we don’t know what will work until we give it an honest try. People and organizations need dreams. What do you think mission and vision statements are? They are big ideas and dreams about what could or should be. Do you have a vision or mission statement? Vision statements give you a reason to learn and grow.

Kent Keith writes in Anyway “Big ideas have established freedom, saved lives, protected the natural environment, provided new services, created jobs….enhanced the quality of life for millions of people”

We have big problems and we need big solutions. We need people who can look beyond the status quo. Are you one of those people? If you are reading this, I believe you are. If you are a self-publisher (blogger) I believe you are.

Write it down,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #5

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

We live in a world of conflict and we learn to protect ourselves by putting up a wall of “polite pretending” to keep people out when we have been injured.

Tact is important. I wouldn’t recommend telling some one off, just because it was an honest emotion. Some words should never be said. Also, being able to keep confidences are an important part of a persons character.

When Kent Keith talks about being vulnerable, he is talking about using common sense and tact as you build strong relationships in your organizational life and your family. Keith says, "Vulnerability can be a door to new relationships, new opportunities, new ways to grow, and new ways to live and work together. "

Write it down,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Paradoxical Commandment #4

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Much of the good work you do will be remembered for a short time. The most important thing to remember is who you are and how you live.

Take the time to smile at the lady in the check stand, open the door for the person behind you at the bank, be the first person to start cleaning up after a meeting. More than likely no one will notice but you will be making some ones life happier in small ways.

I think CanadianChristine’s post God and the Chocolate ice cream is a good supplement to the Paradoxical Commandment #4. So many of us are looking for meaning and one way to obtain personal meaning is to do good anyway. Therefore this little video is quite inspiring. We all need to pay attention to our spiritual well being.

Write it down,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lesson Learned. Communication is King!

Oops! This is what I said when I opened my email from my new (and only paying) client. I didn’t even realize the magazine was my client until three weeks ago when I was asked for my social.

Last month, my client (a local magazine publisher) found my business card in my non-paying client’s office and was excited to find someone local who can write. I was also elated, since I have begun my writing business this year I have not received any compensation, unless you count free lunches as being compensated.

I was approached by a coach for a local swimming team which has produced an Olympic trial qualifier. The coach wanted to have a story published that would boost the benefits of organized youth sports namely the swim team. Also he wanted me to contact the newspaper to pitch the article. I told him my rate. No problem.

I was given phone numbers of several different coaches and after numerous attempts to contact someone, no one was calling me back. In the meantime, my new client called to ask me if I had been contacted by this coach and I told her my experience. She had also received several emails asking her magazine to do an article.

I asked her, “Are you going to do the article?” She laughed and said “That’s what I’m asking you to do?” Great.

Three weeks have passed without any communication between me, the swim team or my client until today. I received two separate emails . One asked me to send the swim team article to them by Friday, July 13 and the second one was asking for the CEO article (which I ghostwrite) by Friday as well. Feast or famine. I am new to all this but I find it quite exciting. Also, I feel I am being taken seriously as a writer by someone other than my family.

Nevertheless, communication skills are king and I have learned an important lesson. Do not assume any thing and it is a good idea to become an astute listener.

Write it down,


Paradoxical Commandment #3

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

This commandment alludes to positional success. For instance if you become a department head or an elected official, you will meet two kinds of friends: personal and positional and true enemies. Positional friends are good for business. This type of friend is loyal to the cause, ideology, issue, etc. and who ever fills the position will gain their support. In other words, they are on the payroll. A personal friend does not need an explanation. For the most part, true enemies will attack anyone who fills your position. In many cases it is not always personal.

A successful person is also vulnerable to public criticism because somebody else wants your success. They don’t want it so that they can be in your shoes, rather they are resentful of anyone who succeeds. You become the target because the attack on you is not about you it is about them. However, other people attack because they are upset you do not agree with them. Does this sound familiar?

I was the target of unkind personal attacks not too long ago. However, I hung in there and completed my term of office anyway. Therefore, I know the difficulty in practicing this Paradoxical Commandment. Succeed Anyway. In the end you are better for it.

Write it down,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How Good is Good?

The Bible teaches that we should “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Otherwise known as “The Golden Rule”. What goes around comes around…. Eventually…. Always. However, it may not be on your time line.

Paradoxical Commandment #2: If You do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

Time and time again I have witnessed people trying to get what they can for themselves. Haven’t you noticed that people who act on their own ulterior motives are the same people who accuse others of doing the same thing?

Remember that the best reward for doing good things for other people is the satisfaction and personal meaning you will derive from it. If you simply “pretend” to be doing good things for people under false pretenses you may reap monetary values but your integrity will suffer.

You know the term “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. When we say this, we are saying “I will only help you if I get what I want”.

Therefore, it will not be easy to take up the “Do Good Anyway” mantra, because bad habits and cynicism are embedded deep down in our psyche. Further, what ever we do often, we are inclined to do more and what ever we stop doing, as time passes, we will have less inclination for.

Doing Good appears to be contrary to the way the world operates. Trust has gone out the window. Common sense is non-existent. A baby cries and some one yells shut up!... I don’t think you will find this attitude from people in the blogosphere where I hang out.

The blogosphere is full of people Doing Good Anyway. Every page I turn shows a page full of giving. Liz Strauss at Successful Bloggers comes to my mind and in her “12 Detailed Checklists to Spit Shine and Promote your Blog” post, she demonstrates a perfect example of the “Do Good Anyway” mantra. Not only does she tell us Vovo at Business Traffic Ideas gave her the idea for the post, she tells us Patrick Schaber at The Lonely Marketer spotted the idea originated by Matt McGee over at Small Business SEM.

There are so many more. Check them out and you will find how giving they are.
Design Your Writing Life
The Golden Pencil
Make It Great with Phil Gerbyshak
Sylvia's Insight
Thoughts and Philosphies
Dwaud Miracle
The Lieurance Group
Roberta Ferguson

Just to name a few.

I know I will be immersed in the check list for a while. What a wealth of information for new bloggers or anyone who wants to spiff up their blog.

Write it down,

Monday, July 9, 2007


Sylvia at Sylvia’s Insight asked the question “What kind of friend do you want to be?”

We cannot be personal friends to every person we meet and it takes courage to be a friend in this crazy world when nothing seems to make sense. However, YOU can make sense in this crazy world by finding personal meaning.

Today I picked up a little book titled Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal meaning in a crazy world by Kent M. Keith.

Paradoxical Commandment #1 People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered – Love them anyway

The uniqueness of this book is that it doesn’t focus on wealth, success or fame. Instead it focuses on the personal meaning we get when we perform good acts because it is the "right thing to do."

In his introduction, Author Kent M. Keith says, “The Paradoxical Commandments are not morbid or pessimistic. If you do what is right and good and true, you will often be appreciated for your contributions. But if you can find personal meaning without the world’s applause, you are free. You are free to do what makes sense to you, whether or not others appreciate it. You are free to be who you really are. You are free to be who you were meant to be.”

We all know people who are unreasonable, selfish and demanding and just plain hard to love. Does this mean they are not worthy of love? What if we loved them anyway?

Love comes in many forms; affection, friendship, fondness and passion to name a few. Also when experiencing extreme difficulty with other people who are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered, remember this simple saying, “There are three answers to every question: Yours, mine, and the right one.”

“Anyway” teaches a great lesson. The good that you do in life will become a source of personal meaning for YOU even when others forget. This does not mean that you look at life through “rose colored glasses” it just means that you can make the world a better place with out depending on applause.

Join the Anyway challenge, click here to download "The Anyway Challenge" Certificate.

Tomorrow I will post Paradoxical Commandment #2.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Free Blog Tipping!

Thank You Dwaud

Since my subscription to Dwaud Miracle, I have enjoyed and benefited from his expertise. His post on July 7, 2007 is no exception. When you go over to Dwaud's Blog you will see how to get your Blog Tipped!

Get your Blogging Tips from Douglas Karr at The Marketing Technology Blog

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How Much Are You Worth?

Last week I participated in two quizzes from Mingle2.

I am 77% addicted to blogging and only 18% Geek.

Does that mean I am 82% Normal? Now, according to the Cadaver Calculator my dead body is worth $4,665.00. How much are you worth....DEAD?

$4665.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

The weekend is doing what it is supposed to do...End. I hope everyone had a wonderful one and come Monday morning we all will be working with sharper pencils. I plan to sharpen mine by reading and savoring the 164 Essential Tools for Online Success from Char of Essential Key Strokes. Thanks Char for re-posting these valuable Tools for Online Success.

Write it down,

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

One Hit Wonders

In the music industry, a one-hit wonder is an artist generally known for only one single hit. More commonly, however, one-hit wonders are serious-minded musicians who struggled to continue their success after their popularity waned. Many music industry one-hit-wonders are novelty songs recorded for humor or to cash in on a fad and to an extent are deliberately short-lived. Examples include Rick Dees’s "Disco Duck," related to the disco craze of the 1970s; and C.W. McCall's "Convoy," related to the CB radio craze of the 1970s, and Chubby Checker lost 50 pounds with his one-hit wonder “The Twist”.

The literary world is not without its one-hit wonders either. Though the term is sometimes used in a derogatory manner, both genres experience long lasting popularity for the most part such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer prize in 1961. What about “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell who also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937. Boris Pasternak wrote “Doctor Zhivago” and after his manuscript was smuggled out of Russia, he was rewarded by being exiled to the country and banned from writing. This did not prevent him from being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958.

These authors left their mark on the world just as Beethoven and Mozart did. Is it possible that we will ever see the likes of them again?

Why do you write? Is it for fame, fortune, humanity, expose or for love?

I write because I must and it is the best way for me to escape into a world that I can control. Yes, even in non-fiction writing I can control what I write about.

Everyone has a story inside them. What’s yours?

This morning while watching the news, I saw Lynne Cheney, wife of VP Richard Cheney marketing her newest children’s book, “50 States”, which is about the history of each of the 50 United States. Another book, “Sole Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of a Navy Special Operations Forces team was promoting his book. “Sole Survivor” is about four Navy Seals fighting off dozens of Taliban fighters in a two and one-half hour deadly fire fight.

New authors with new books excite me because I know I can do it too. Although Lynne Cheney is not a new author, I garner motivation from her to reach out and teach others. Motivation and Inspiration can be found when least expected.

Do you have a one-hit wonder hiding in you?

Take this quiz about authors who only published one book and you may be able to answer the question.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

B-I-N-G-O Was His Name O

I must admit Cow Patty Bingo is not anything I had thought about lately. However it brings up memories of things... like going submarine hunting in Valley View Texas when I was a kid. Oh, hunting for raccoons was another favorite past time, which seemed to be played exclusively at night...right along with submarine hunts.

Go check out how Cow Patty Bingo works over at Bloggrrl, and while you're there find out why your dog is different than you.

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Are You Addicted to Blogging?

I am 77% addicted to blogging. I am a little surprised about that. But I feel in good company with these two guys. Phil Gerbyshak at Make It Great is 81% and Dawud Miracle is 71%. Being a novice blogger I feel pretty good about this type of addiction and I like Phil's take on it as a "commitment".

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77%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?