Monday, November 22, 2010

Refuse to Participate!

Man...what a rough year it has been for many. Everywhere you look there is someone who is sinking in circumstances. In my lifetime, I have never seen the world in such distress and those who are older than me, claim it hasn't been this bad since the Great Depression days. 

It's tough not to read the news every day and be effected by what is going on around you. Add people to the mix, positive and negative and it can feel like an emotional and psychological roller coaster that has you feeling like you've already reached the high tops one day but the next you feel like your sliding down the face of Mount Everest at warp speed. It's a heck of a way to live and tough to see an end too when you're going through it. 

In my house, this week starts the annual holiday festivities. We began partying on Saturday with my son's 16th birthday and this year, with all of the negative going on around us, I've decided to make this the most festive year ever. What's more, I am going to make sure that we enjoy every single second of it too! The next 6-weeks are going to be full of fun, laugher, family times, and traditions. I've already begun and my family is catching on quickly. The kids are super excited about Thanksgiving Day when we begin decorating for Christmas. The work gods were smiling down on us and Mike goes off duty Tuesday at 3AM and doesn't return until Saturday at 4PM!  That gives us PLENTY of time to get our house decked out for the holidays! I'm trying to be contagious with my positive attitude and excitement and so far, it's working!  

I'm still receiving emails from people that just don't see how things can change. These people have made it a point to focus on everything negative in their lives and they refuse to see it any other way and then wonder why things keep getting worse instead of better. They want to focus on the past, the lack, the sorrow, and the worry. In reality, they are attracting all of those things into their lives.  They resent the success of others and they continue to participate in the events of the world around them instead of refusing to participate in the recession and all it entails. 

That's right... I said, "REFUSE to participate". What I mean is, refuse to participate in the mindset of recession, lack and resentment. It's not as hard as you think it may be. 

Every single person I come in contact with has the ability and the resources to be so much greater than they allow themselves to be. They have simply buried these positive tools so deep that they simply see them as non-existent.  EVERYONE has what it takes to be successful. EVERYONE!

Most of the time, I hear people say that they are just praying and waiting for their deity to send the answer. That's very noble, but weren't you blessed with the gifts needed to bring the answers to those prayers into your life? For whatever reason, people have chosen to just sit back and wait for the answer to drop out of the sky. In the meantime, they have everything it takes to begin moving towards that answer or desire. I personally believe, too many people use this as an excuse to not act. They use the fear of offending someone or something that isn't correct and in the process they totally defeat the purpose and power of their beliefs. Nothing good will result from fear. NOTHING.  Until you face those fears and deal with them head on, you will continue to wait in frustration for an event that will never come and then be satisfied with the "it wasn't meant to be" explanation that so many fall back on.  The bottom line is, if you have reached a point where you feel you have no other option but to sit still and do nothing, GET UP AND DO SOMETHING! You have NOTHING to LOSE and EVERYTHING to gain! 

People need to start thinking for themselves. It is this surrender of control of our own logical thinking that has left so many in dire straits. People have forgotten how to use their own reasoning and intelligence to go after the life they want. They fight to the death their refusal to make decisions and take actions based on what someone has told them they need to believe. Rarely, do I hear stories of how this ever produces gratifying lives. More often than not, I just hear a continuous tale of "wait". 

Come on people! You're NOT a bunch of ROBOTS!

Take your life, your thoughts, and your ability to act BACK into your own hands and stop waiting for answers to fall out of the sky! Use the gifts you've been given to MAKE a better life and to achieve your dreams! You can do it!  If you refuse too, then you only have yourself to blame and you'll have to live with that feeling of desperation and resentment (even if you don't admit it) when you see people around you moving forward while you sit stagnant. 

Start today, right this very second... get a pad and a pen and make a list of the assets you have within yourself.  No gift you've been given is too crazy to utilize. Do you like to paint or write, or something else you consider just a hobby, but think it's just a dream you'll live out some day if you win the lottery? That's ridiculous. You were given the ability to do those things so that you can DO THEM! BUT, somewhere along the way, someone convinced you that it was just a crazy dream that you just can't live until and if the time is ever right in your life. So, you'll spend the next however many decades doing something you sort of like, or that you tolerate simply because it seems to be the "right" way of doing things.  That's LAME! 

This past year I have watched many people rise from the ashes of their lives, out of pure desperation, and a belief that ANYTHING is better than waiting for the end to come. These people believed that they had nothing to lose and they faced their lives with a new attitude that one way or another, they were going to make something of themselves and better their situations. Every one of them, I mean EVERY ONE of them is in a better position than they were when they started! 

So what are you going to do? Are you going to continue to wait for the magic answer to appear or are you going to go on a treasure hunt and dig deep to find the gifts that can be put to work in your life to make it better?  The choice is yours, the time is now, and the success you so feverently dream of is waiting. Stop waiting and go and get it! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Rewards of Paying it Forward!

Too many people go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. They'll take all they can take and give little or nothing in return. These are the type of people I avoid. It doesn't matter how much you do for them, it'll never be enough and to hear them talk, you realize that no matter how much they have, it will never be enough for them. 

It's OK to want more in life and to want to better your life and I believe that believing anything different is unnecessarily depriving yourself of a life of abundance.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting financial security and nice things for your family. Too many people have been brainwashed through their religious beliefs that wanting more is wrong. I'm violently opposed to that teaching and try to reverse it anytime I can with people who are simply afraid to wish for more. 

The key to abundance is making sure that you pay it forward. What I mean by that is, that you make sure you give back to the world. I'm surprised by the responses I get to this statement sometimes. 

Most of the people I talk to tell me: "Well, I give my tithe to my church". 

That's honorable, but what's wrong with taking the choice of how your gift is used back into your own hands? Sure, it's easier to leave a check in the collection plate, but there is more to paying it forward than that. Paying it forward includes the effort, thought, and feeling involved in giving back to the world. It includes being part of the changes your giving will make in the lives of those you give too. It involves being part of the joy that is giving. 

How many times in a week do you hear about people in need? Maybe it is a co-worker or a neighbor, or a friend of a friend.  Do you have any idea how your giving would effect their lives? The most common excuse I hear for this is that people are too proud to take from you or you don't want to embarrass the one in need by offering money, help, or other things. 

You don't have to embarrass anyone. let me share the Angel Fly By project with you. And NO, this is not an attempt to get you to give anything... just read. 

Eleven years ago when I launched the website. Many of the women who came to the site were recently left single by their spouses or significant others. The whole purpose of J4L was to help people through the devastation of heartbreak.  As the community grew and I got to know the ladies who came looking for help, I learned that many of them had been left with little or nothing.  Divorce and separation can cause people who otherwise loved each other to do some pretty shitty things to one another.  I saw this first hand. 

As time went by I tried to offer help, but I was often met with strong pride or embarrassment to be taking "charity". In my eyes, it wasn't charity, it was simply helping another person through a tough time. The site received donations even though we didn't ask for them and I felt I needed to find a way to use those gifts for the women who came there looking for help. I created the Angel Fly By program. 

Upon joining the J4L website, visitors had to fill in a registration form which contained their general information like name, address, etc.  This information would later come in handy. 

The first Angel Fly By we did was in August of 2000. There were about 7 women who were worrying about how they were going to send their kids back to school as their soon-to-be ex-husbands had left them with no money. These women were struggling to put food on the table. The thought of having to clothe the kids for the upcoming school year left them feeling defeated and helpless.  I've been there and done that... I had to find a way to help without making them feel any worse. 

Enter the Angels. 

I sent emails to all of the J4L members save the ones who were in trouble. I explained what these ladies needed and with the help of some of my local friends we were able to get most of the kids clothing and shoe sizes, etc. I then asked anyone who could help to send me what they could for these women. 

The response was OVERWHELMING. We had more than we needed and then some! With the permission of the givers, we even put some of the stuff back to give away at Christmas time. 

Myself and my kids and friends boxed the items up. Everyone started to really get into the spirit of what we were doing and some of the gals included little toys, a bubble bath basket for the moms (to take a much needed rest and pampering day), the boxes were loaded to the gills with clothes, school supplies, and all kinds of goodies.  We wrapped the boxes in white paper with silver ribbons and put them into shipping boxes and one box was for a local lady. With her box, we waited until we knew she was at work and brought the box to her home and left it at her front door. One of our gals actually sat on her street for 2 hours to make sure no one would steal it. 

We shipped the boxes out and never told these moms where they had come from. We have some idea about how they reacted because they came to the J4L forums ands shared the "miracle" they received. They may have caught on that the J4L girls had something to do with it, but we never admitted it.  We were content knowing that for a short time, we made their lives a little brighter and gave them the hope to carry on. 

The moderators who helped package the boxes began planning for the next "Fly By". It became a regular program and to this day, we still do it. We keep it as secret as possible. All of us just KNOW we're making a difference.  The people who participate int he Fly By project are generous to a fault. We've always got more than enough to send and we'll often go into our chat room and talk about the wonderful things we're giving to the people who need them and imagine how the receiver might react. The gals "troll" the message boards on the site like highly skilled detectives to pick up on any serious needs and then we include a wish/want/need list in the registration.  It's become of favorite thing to do. We even did an Angel Fly by at my kids school for prom a few years ago. One girls mom had passed away and she was living with relatives, they had no money to purchase a prom dress and all that goes with it.. Our angels fluttered into the guidance counselors office with a donated Vera Wang gown, shoes, and a HUGE basket of beauty supplies.. we left it with the guidance counselor, explained who we were and as she sat there in tears listening to us, she told us she would call the young girl to her office and tell her an angel stopped by... that little girl had the BEST dress at the prom and it touched our hearts to learn that after prom, she gave it to a friend at another school who was in the same situation. THIS is chain reaction PAYING IT FORWARD!! 

I can honestly say that this way of paying it forward is very rewarding for me and the women who help me. I can't think of many things that feel better than knowing we've helped someone with no expectations of ever receiving anything in return. The gift of giving is by far, the greatest gift. 

Do I think my success is a result of this spirit of giving? In a way, yes I do. 

I believe that the more we have, the more we should give. In my life it always results in more success in all areas.  I don't look at my successes as things I need to save or put back for a rainy day... My husband and I can give and still have plenty left for our family to enjoy. 

The more we give, the more we receive. It's just a fact. But the giving has to be done with no regrets or worries. When you think about giving and feel hesitant in your heart because your worried about being left with less, you're not really giving. You're simply repeating a behavior that says you have to give to get. It usually ends up leaving you feeling like your in a tug-a-war with yourself. 

Start off small... instead of throwing your check in the collection plate be receptive and AWARE of what's going on in the world and lives around you. Make a difference using your own sense of creativity and giving spirit and then give and see how it feels and watch how it comes back to you. Don't wait for it or expect it... just move forward and watch.

Here are some suggestions for doing your own Angel Fly By:

1.  If you know someone is out of work and facing a tough holiday season  you can leave an envelope with a Visa Gift card in their mailbox. Just put To: The Person  From: Your Angel  on the card. If it's a large family, think about getting a few friends to secretly participate and contribute to the card. The Visa gift card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted so it eliminates the risk of giving cash and allows the recipient the option of shopping wherever they want.  If you're going to make this a group thing, find out if the family's utilities are paid, maybe assign an amount to each person in the group that they can afford or are able to pay/give.  

2. SO MANY homeless people are NOT delinquents... many of them are just down on their luck and need some help... grab a meal from a local take-out, just drive by and hand them the bag of food and keep going. 

3. Know of a single mom who is struggling? These gals are the perfect people to do an Angel Fly By for. They are usually in need of EVERYTHING! Anything you do for them will help. ANYTHING even babysitting for a few hours so they can have some "me time". 

4. Know an elderly couple or person? Just show up with a plate of cookies or a few days worth of meals and offer to help around the house or go shopping or run errands for them. Even if they object.. tell them you're staying until they tell you what they need. Seniors are often the hardest to help as they have much pride. 

5. Contact your local police department or social service office and explain what you're doing. Ask them to pick a family (or more than one if you can do it) and get the ages, sizes, etc of the kids, mom and dad... get someone in your group to dress up as Santa and "arrive" with a sack full of goodies... we did this one year with our youth group, one of the kids dressed up as Santa and we went to a family who was in great need of food, clothes, everything. We showed up 15 strong with a VAN full of goodies and I will NEVER forget the looks on the faces of the little boys and even mom and dad as they stood on the porch watching our "elves" unload the gifts... it was priceless and something I;ll take with me to my grave. 

The holidays are a great time for giving, but people need help all year round so don't limit your giving to just the holidays... be aware of the people who need help and pay it forward no matter what the day! 

I'd love to hear your stories about paying it forward.. nothing is more inspiring than hearing about giving... please, share with us in the comments section? I'll include as many as I can in the next eZine! 

Until we meet again... SIMPLY BELIEVE!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Sets You Apart?

Every day I get dozens of messages and emails from people who are promoting their businesses. Many of the notifications come to me via my Facebook account through status updates and invitations to join special events and groups that promote the individuals services. I can tell you this" There are a TON of Internet based MLM companies and ALL of them promise to be "THE ONE" that will finally make you rich!

The one thing that makes all of these people with their "one of a kind" offers the same is, not one of them actually tries to establish any kind of relationship with the potential client's their attempting to sign. I mean, the closest thing I get is a boiler plate statement telling me in a super excited 2 sentence paragraph with a link that they have chosen ME to share this incredible business opportunity with. 

Come on guys... do I look like I was born yesterday? Do ANY of the people you solicit that way look like they were born yesterday? Are you wondering WHY you aren't getting any sign ups or new clients? It's because you not doing anything different than the 32 people who messaged me yesterday or the day before. 

The next thing, is the fact that VERY few people will reciprocate their business. They want you to "like" their fan page, join their groups, listen to their Blog Talk Radio show, subscribe to their blogs or newsletters, sign up for their life changing offer, but few, if any will consider you for your services.  Again... there is no relationship building in any of this and there is certainly no "pay it forward" attitude. Is it any wonder why so many people are failing to accomplish their goals? 

I recently tried an experiment on Facebook.  I wanted to see how many friends I could find by "friending" friends of friends. I did pretty well with this. I added 4200 friends to my standard Facebook page and about 320 to my new "Fan" page.  Additionally, I started a page for my upcoming book and my upcoming eTV series.  My book fan page is doing really well. I have over 1200 new fans and that number goes up every week depending on whether or not I ask my followers to share it with their friends. 

Of the 4300 people I added to my standard page I introduced myself to each of them with a personal greeting and a brief description of my services, etc. I then asked the person I was greeting to send me information about themselves including links to their fan page or groups. They joined mine, I joined theirs and we share with others. Instead of having a bunch of names on my Facebook page, I began interacting with the people I was "Friending". Within 3-weeks I had made several thousand dollars selling my services and I picked up a few really good clients. Two of those clients referred me to some of their local friends and I sold a couple thousand dollars more.  

Every day I get on my Facebook page and I post interactive status messages in the form of a question. Some days the thread will go to 30 or more responses and it's been a great way to develop relationships with the people on my page. These same people remember me and who do you think they call when they need web or graphic design services or want to be on iTV?  You got it! They call me!! 

In the process of making connections on my social sites, I make an honest effort to pay it forward. When I make a good connection I may not be able to use the persons services but after getting to know my new friends I gladly forward their link to others and promote them in my own newsletters and such. They do the same for me. This has resulted in sales of services for me and my new friends.  Isn't this what networking is all about? Anytime someone from my social networks refers me to another and I make a sale, I offer a finders fee. The bottom line is, EVERYONE can use extra cash these days and what better way to say "Thanks" than by sending a gift to the one who helped you? 

Some people think they have the whole social media thing figured out, but based on the number of messages and emails I get offering me identical opportunities, I'm betting most of these people aren't making much at all. 

Here's my advice: 

1.  Make sure the product or service you're offering is quality. If you signed up based on a promise but found it hard to produce, the people you're offering it to may experience the same difficulties. This will sure result in a damaged reputation. Once you've tarnished that, forget it! 

2. Don't add a bunch of contacts to your social network pages with the intention of spamming these new contacts with ads about your service, product or offer. VERY FEW people take things at face value, especially on the Internet. Be prepared to prove yourself and your program if it is MLM.

3. If the MLM program you're part of has a template web page it's pretty certain that the people your solicitation have already seen in from others. I had over 50 people send me a link to a "DYNAMITE" offer and it all went back to the same page coded for the individual sending it to me.  If you can, customize the page to stand out. 

4. When it comes to web design my 16-years experience makes me an expert in my opinion. If you built your website yourself and you have no experience, people will KNOW! If you bought your website in a box, people will KNOW! If you're using a free website or a template site... PEOPLE WILL KNOW!  If you don't have the capital to build a professional web presence, WAIT UNTIL YOU DO to start your online venture. Your website is the single most important part of your business, if it isn't perfect, people won't buy from you. That's a FACT.  

You only get ONE CHANCE to make a good first impression. If you aren't doing it with your website, don't be surprised if your online business fails. 

5. Don't send people messages telling them your program is THE BEST. They've heard it already, at least a gazillion times. IF your program is that great... prove it. Give legitimate references and use interactive testimonies so potential clients can speak to your successful client's.

6. Develop a relationship with people before you try to quick sell them a "Change your life" program, service or product.  Selling yourself is the key to everything else you do. 

People are becoming extremely savvy when it comes to how they spend their money online. The old ways of sending out 1000 contacts and reaping 10%+  in sales is no longer true. Think about it... do people have to work harder to earn your business? Expect to work hard to earn theirs. 

If you meet another person offering a product or service that compliments what you do or even if it's just a good service... pay it forward... and ask them to do the same. If you buy from the people you're trying to sell to, they'll most likely buy from you when the time comes. 

In  my next article we'll talk about the explosion of people selling courses and coaching. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Politics...The Great Divider!

Ah Election Day... if you wanna see the ugly come out in people, yesterday was the day you'd most likely see it.

Our nation has never been in a bigger mess than it is right now. America is divided and that's a fact. It seems like even good friends can't discuss their political opinions or views without it turning nasty. Just the other week, my dad and I were enjoying our daily call when politics entered the conversation. It went down hill from there. Being that we're almost exactly alike when it comes to temperament, you know, that good ole' fashioned hot-headed Italian temper...not only did the call get loud, it got a little ugly. Regrettably, I think I accused my dad of being senile during the call because his political opinions were, in my opinion, not correct. I know he shot some good insults back at me and  by the time it was all said and done, we hung up aggravated with each other.

Fortunately, after a good night sleep, we were buddies again the next day. Although, it still bothers me that my dad (and my mom) are being schmoozed by the far-right, conservative, fear-mongering, Fox News brain washing. (You can use the comments section to fight with me hehehe). They both like Hannity and O'Reily...ugh... what happened to the conservative Democrats that raised me to think for myself and never believe anything just because the news or Glenn Beck says it? I think the Tea Party abducted my parents and replaced them with Rush Limbaugh lovin' clones. (Sorry ma and dad... hehe - My Ma reads my blog so be sure to look for her comments in the comment section, I am probably grounded after this post)

It's amazing how politics can take us from a state of bliss to a state of anger, hate, fear, and resentment and don't believe that all of these negative feelings don't affect our ability and power to attract good and positive things into our lives. If you wake up to the news either on the radio, television, or Internet, the first thing that's filling your mind at the start of the day is all of the negative that's happened since the night before. This can and does set the tone for your day.  I didn't realize how much it effected me until I stood back and took stock of how I was starting my day off.

Normally, I got up, got a cup of tea, and sat down to read the news. The good thing about news on the Internet is that after you're done reading, you can then voice your opinion in any number of blogs or forums which almost ALWAYS have people who oppose your view. This quickly turns into debate and depending on if your winning or losing, sets the tone of your day. At least it did mine. Especially if I was losing.

I honestly didn't believe something as routine as reading the news could effect the way my day went, but as with a lot of other things, I put it to the test and proved to myself that it really did.

So what did I do? I stopped reading the news fist thing in the morning. Sometimes, when I glance at the headlines and see it's all negative, I avoid it altogether. ESPECIALLY when the negativity is about politics.  In all honesty, I can't in good faith say that I think Democrats are the better party. I believe both sides have done an equal amount of damage to our nation in their bid to be in control.  But you know what? I'm going to continue to move forward and upward with my life.  I am going to keep being positive, keep being kind and compassionate to people, I'm going to keep being the BEST American citizen I can be.  That's all any of us can do.

It's obvious that our elected officials are only interested in doing what's best for themselves and their interests. It's up to each of us to do what's best for us and ours. Don't you agree?

If your guy didn't win, that's OK... let it go... don't allow the resentment and disappointment hold you back from the abundance you can and will achieve. Instead of fighting with your neighbor about the difference of opinion, embrace, with love, the fact that you can agree to disagree and still stay friends. Try to listen to them with an open mind and ask them to do the same. If that's not possible then put the difference aside and move on. No politics are worth losing a friend over.  No political beliefs are worth destroying a relationship for. And  as a believer of the law-of-attraction, you can't harbor those negative feelings and expect to draw positive things. Make peace... find a way to unite and work together... our politicians surely aren't... WE THE PEOPLE CAN!

I am working on an excellent article about paying it forward for my next post. I know you'll love it!

If you haven't already, please be sure to check out the Christmas Miracle Live Webcast!  If you're worried about how your going to make your holidays happy... this webcast is the answer!

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Until we meet again... Simply Believe!