Friday, March 5, 2010

Simpleology Course on Blogging

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.
It covers:
  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.
I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I'd like to re-blog an e-mail I got today.  I've got a number of e-books and articles on goal setting.  This is fairly short and to the point.  Enjoy!

by Chris Widener

Goals. Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals. They love them because they are such a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate us to achieve, as well as evaluate our progress, but hate them because, for many, they more often than not go unattained and simply frustrate them. This isn’t what goals should do!

So here are some simple ways to set goals so that we achieve them! After all, what good is a goal if it isn’t something you achieve? Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you see change in your life this year.

Narrow your focus. That’s right, start small. Pick two or three areas tops, that you want to work on. Too many people say to themselves, “I want to do this, and this, and this, and this...” and they end up doing nothing! Most of what you do throughout your day can be done without a lot of mental or emotional exertion, but change isn’t one of them. So focus down to a couple. This way you can get some victory in these areas. Here are some areas to think about: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, Financial, and Relational. What areas need some work? Now, what one thing should be the first item on the change list? The others will come later, but for now, you should focus on two or three total.

Keep the long term in mind, but set your sights on achieving your goals in the short term. Do you want to lose 75 pounds? Good. Long term, you will. But for now, think short term. Don’t think about losing 75 pound by the end of the year. Think about losing 5 pounds in the first two weeks. This does two things. First, it makes it urgent. Instead of blowing it and saying, “Oh well, I still have 10 months to lose the 75 pounds” (because eventually that becomes 2 months to lose 75 pounds), your goal is only two weeks out. This is better in terms of reaching your goal. Secondly, as you reach these shorter goals, it gives you regular victories instead of regular progress. Progress feels good, but achieving a goal is awesome!

Reward yourself when you achieve the goal. When you lose the 5 pounds in two weeks, treat yourself to a grandé whole-milk mocha. But just one! Then get back to your goal for the next two weeks. This puts a little fun back into the process of self-control and self-discipline. You will look forward to the reward, and when the going gets tough, you will say, “two more weeks, two more pounds, then...”

That’s it. I truly believe that it can be that simple for you.

If you need a little bit more help, I’ve added a few more ideas.

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Instead of saying, “I am going to quit my three packs a day habit, cold turkey,” say “I am going to drop to a pack and a half a day.” You can always make new short-term objectives when you have achieved the first ones. Give yourself small victories a little at a time. Instead of saying “I am going to lose 75 pounds,” say “I am going to lose 20 pounds.”

2. Be specific in your timeline. Don’t just say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds.” Say, “I am going to lose 20 pounds by April 15th.” This way, when you start to be tempted in the ice cream aisle in the middle of February, you can say, “Nope, only 10 more pounds to go in a month and I am not going to blow it.”

3. Post your resolutions where you will see them every day. This will keep the resolution in the front of your mind at all times. Instead of forgetting that you are trying to lose weight and ordering a big, thick porterhouse, you will have been reminded earlier that day that you need to go with something a little on the lighter side. It will help your will beat your desire.

4. Find an encouraging person, who you respect, to keep you accountable. This person should ask you, at an interval established by the both of you, how it is going. They must be the encouraging type, though. If you are blowing it, they can say, “Well, that’s okay, get back to it tomorrow.” If you are doing well, they can say, “Awesome job. I’ll talk to you next week.” You will look forward to their weekly encouragement.

5. Find a partner. That’s right, someone who is trying to accomplish the same thing (or something different if need be). Just make sure that they really want to change, or they will end up just bellyaching about how hard it is and you will both fall into the abyss.

6. Write down a list of all of the benefits that will come if you accomplish this. If it is losing weight it might be something like this: Feel better, better self-esteem, longer life, clothes are more comfortable, no more time spent sewing on popped buttons, wife says you look 22 again, etc. If it is quitting smoking, it may look like this: Better breath, no more brown fingers, no more wrinkles on my face, no more red eyes, no more smelly clothes, longer life, wife don’t make me spend two hours a day on the back porch, etc. This will help you see what you will get from accomplishing your resolution.

7. Plan a reward if you accomplish your goal. It can be anything from small to large. If you drop the 20 pounds, go out for dinner and dessert. Then get back to losing the next 20. If it is quitting smoking, go on a mini-vacation. Whatever you do, reward yourself. Or let a spouse or a friend pick the reward. Then splurge and enjoy!

Chris Widener is an internationally recognized speaker, New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author and TV and radio host. He is the author of eight books and audio series as well as over 400 success articles. To learn more or to order Chris’s products, including his newest book Above All Else, , The Art of Influence, or Twelve Pillars co-authored with Jim Rohn, or his newest CD series, Twelve Pillars—The Skills You Need to Succeed, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reading is "Fun"damental

Although I've concentrated on reading the Bible over the last year, I've still continued to learn from some other great self-improvement books.  A partial list (the ones I really enjoyed) is here:

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Creating Wealth by Robert Allen
Multiple Streams of Internet Income by Robert Allen
Twelve Pillars by Jim Rohn & Chris Widener
The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me by Richard Paul Evans
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
How to Stop Worrying & Start Living - Dale Carnegie
The Art of Influence by Chris Widener
Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Multiple Streams of Income by Robert Allen
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
The Bible by GOD

These are not in order, just the way I read them. The Bible has been, by far, the best book I've read. I didn't think I'd really enjoy the Old Testament but I did. I got started by reading Proverbs for the "business" advice and ended up reading it a number of times. Then I started in the New Testament and completed that. By that time I was hooked and had to read the whole book. (Yes, I had read the Bible before, but not all together, and not completely. And, yes, that should have been first on my list - but I corrected that. As the Japanese proverb says "even a thousand-mile journey begins with the first step.")

As for the others, both books by Dale Carnegie and Think & Grow Rich are classics and have timeless wisdom. The Richest Man in Babylon is written as if it's in the time of the Babylonian empire. I really enjoyed it - and it teaches some basic lessons about money (gold.) Here's an excerpt:

Lo, Money is Plentiful, For Those Who Understand the Simple Rules of Its Acquisition

1. Start thy purse to fattening
2. Control thy expenditures
3. Make thy gold multiply
4. Guard thy treasures from loss
5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
6. Insure a future income
7. Increase thy ability to earn

The three books by Robert Allen were also very good. I read Creating Wealth first, then went on to Multiple Streams of Internet Income and then Multiple Streams of Income. I went to see Robert and Richard Paul Evans in Atlanta a while back. I really enjoyed these books and they gave me a lot of ideas for diversifying my income. As it turned out, it was not such a good idea to do them all at once, especially right before the largest financial meltdown in our generation. (More on that another time maybe.)
The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me, Twelve Pillars and The Art of Influence were all good, easy reads. They are written more like a story than a "how-to" book.

I recommend The Automatic Millionaire to every young couple starting out. I wish that my wife and I had had this book when we were just married. Again, basic, common sense ideas are given but it is sound advice and will help you if you put them into practice.

See my Amazon book list at  I use this to keep a list of the ones I recommend to folks. You don't have to buy the "new" book, but can find them "used" through the same site.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Of course inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx
"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting." --Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Links: - A great site for searching the bible, in about any version. - My online book list at

F*R*E*E Online Audio Editing

If you just need a simple audio editing tool, try the new offering from Aviary called Myna. Myna is a free online audio tool that allows you to jump into recording, arranging, and mixing audio tracks for quickie soundtracks, or just for the fun of it. It lets you upload your own files, lets you record from a microphone, or use Myna’s sample library.

Myna isn’t as robust as Audacity, another free program, but you have to download and install Audacity. You can find a demo of the basics of Myna at Lifehacker and I’m sure that eventually there will be some Tutorials for this new tool online at Aviary.

While you’re at the Aviary site be sure to also check out Phoenix, their online photo editor. Once you sign up for the free account, you have access to this and a host of other tools.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Training Evaluation: MLMLeadSytemPro

So, you've joined a Network Marketing or Multi-level Marketing (MLM) business.  AND, now you want to know what to do.  Where do you start? The folks already in the business probably don't know much more than you do about running a business.  OK, let's search for some training - it can't be that hard to find out how to do this.  Google "Network Marketing training" (3.78 million results) or "MLM training" (only 954,000 results.) Looks like this may take a little longer than I thought.

OK, this scenario may be familiar to you - it was for me.  I've since found a lot of really good options.  I've also found a few not so good.  I want to give you MY opinion about some that I've looked at.

The first one I'll review is MLMLeadSystemPro.  (You can take a free, 14-day trial run on this site and they do a much better job of explaining it than I can.  But I'll try to summarize from their orientation video.) The video starts out identifying the major problems faced by network marketers: Leads, Money, Marketing Training, and Duplication. This pretty much hit the nail on the head for me.  I need some good leads but how can I afford to purchase them? Then, let's say I find the money, now what do I say to get them interested?  Later on after you have a few people signed up, how do you teach them how to recruit?  After all, you don't want to leave them out in the cold like you were, right?  Alright, now that I know what my problem is, what can I do about it?

The 4 Main Components of MLSP are:
  1. Lead Generation
  2. Personal Branding/Relationship Building
  3. Autopilot Cash Flow
  4. Down Line Team Building
This appears to hit on all four of the major problems.  The site then goes on to explain the concept of "Attraction Marketing."  Attraction Marketing is getting people to hunting you instead of you hunting them.  When you start having people call you, ready to join, with no persuasion, effort, or time expended on your part.  This sounds great - let's keep going.  By now, we're seeing that this company is leading me toward the internet.  I'm comfortable with that - you may not be.  (If you're not comfortable with using the internet for lead generation there are other options. I'll try to talk about them more in a later post.)

There's a step by step method of accomplishing this and great videos for each step along the way.  This may work.  And, it's less than $50 per month.  So far, it seems well worth the price.  I'll keep you informed of my progress.  I hope this has been helpful.

The best thing to do with a red hot idea is build a fire under it. -- Author unknown

Even a thousand-mile journey begins with the first step. -- Japanese Proverb

"Good work done little by little becomes great work. Your house of success will be built brick by brick." -- Max Steingart

Time Management: Reduce E-mail Clutter

If you're like most people, every month the list of to-dos, appointments and demands grows larger. There are times with life can be a little overwhelming. Are you ready to simplify your days so you can live life on your terms?

A little technology can go a long way in getting your life in order while saving time and minimizing stress. But, technology that causes more stress isn't really helping you. E-mail has become a great source of stress for a lot of people, including yours truly. Where do you start?

Go on an e-mail diet. Unsubscribe from EVERY electronic mailing and commercial list that you never read. For me, this cut down about 20% of my daily e-mail. This only takes a little time but will pay long-term dividends. Most e-mail lists offer a way to unsubscribe near the bottom of the e-mail. It's actually the law. If they don't and you can't seem to get off the list, then block the e-mail using your e-mail software's tools. For those on Facebook, you should stop all of the notifications from being sent to you. If you love Facebook, set a time each day to get on and catch up.

DRAFT your e-mail. You'll be amazed at what a difference following this quick tip will do for your e-mail inbox. It's an acronym that stands for "Discard," "Refer," "Act," "File," or "Table." Here's what they all mean...

  • DISCARD: Trash it. If it will never be retrieved again, don't keep it. Remember that your e-mail folders are for storing information and resources, not a dead storage place. Just delete it.
  • RESPOND: If someone else can respond to the e-mail for you, or if someone else needs the information, pass it on or give it up! Don't get caught in a paper trail jail. Here's where some of you need to be aware of what you do to others by passing on trivial information. Most of us don't care about seeing the redneck lion (a dog shaved to look like a lion.) While I enjoy humor as much as anyone, this takes time and some folks don't appreciate it. Your friends will like you much more if you don't send them this kind of e-mail clutter. Try to keep this type of "information" limited to Facebook or some other type of social media site.
  • ACT: Act on it now. Don't procrastinate. Answer routine e-mail immediately. If not, the time needed to tackle your e-mail later on can snowball! This will created a new source of stress.
  • FILE: File it in subfolders. If you don't have these setup already, start with major categories and then get more detailed as warranted. You can have subfolders of subfolders but it's probably not wise to go much deeper than this. There are other tricks to help in finding that filed e-mail later.
  • TABLE: Table it. If you need it at some time in the near future, other than today, place it in a simple "follow-up" system for easy, quick access! Use this sparingly and set aside a time on your schedule to "follow-up."
Set a Computer Curfew. Give yourself a "computer curfew" and plan to check your e-mail at only certain times of the day. By setting limits, e-mail will be less likely to take over your entire day. This goes double for Facebook time.

"Productivity is determined not by work... but by EFFECTIVE actions disguised as work." -- Doug Firebaugh

"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great." --  Les Brown

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." -- Napoleon Hil