All posts by Marie Diaz-Cervo

About Marie Diaz-Cervo

Mother, Author, Substitute teacher, Social media Consultant who blogs about Social issues, Relationship, Inspiration and Social media. Enjoys beaches, fashion, kickboxing, writing at www.amazon.com/author/mariediazcervo

Happy Day


 By Mona Lake Jones 
Squeeze the day and wring it out good
Get every drop of living you think you should 
Twist each minute making sure not to lose
There must not be a single drop of joy that you neglect to use 
Warm by the sun rays shining from above
Suck in all the sweet aroma sand wrap yourself in love 
Dance, sing,write a line or two
Relish in the comfort of the old and be surprised by something new
 Put your smile on first thing in the morning and wear it all day long
Look only for the best and find no fault or wrong
 Embrace the day, hug it hard and barely let it slip away
Then rest so you will be ready for another happy day!
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Need a Powerful Mentor? Here’s How You Get One


 By Minda Zetlin @MindaZetlin “I would be a success if only I had the right connections.” I’ve heard this complaint over and over. It’s as self-defeating as saying, “I could have had a great business, only I didn’t have any customers.” In both cases, the answer is the same: Go out and get some!There’s a lot of great advice about how to do just that in Susan Shapiro’s Only as Good as Your Word, a book devoted entirely to mentorship. Shapiro is a poet and memoirist so her mentors are literary types. But her advice about how to make the connections that matter apply just as well to anyone in any career, and especially to aspiring entrepreneurs. Wish you could enlist the kind of powerful mentors who can help you reach your loftiest goals? You can. Here’s how:
Go where the action is.Shapiro started life in Michigan, but as soon as she was able, she relocated to New York City, the center of the publishing world. That’s where she met nearly all the mentors who helped her along the way. Admittedly, New York is expensive and Silicon Valley is worse. And even if it were affordable, it might not be feasible for you to move there.But even if you can’t or don’t want to relocate, look for opportunities to visit the places and events where potential mentors might be. Attend a conference–always a great way to meet all kinds of people–or plan a pleasure trip to a hot location and then ask for a quick meeting while you “happen to be” in town.
Don’t act entitled.“Don’t assume somebody will assist you out of benevolence or awe, or because you’re so incredibly cool and special,” Shapiro advises. Instead, as she points out, keep in mind that successful people are almost always incredibly busy. Chances are they won’t have time to bother with you unless you make them really like you. So first and foremost, be likable.
Look for personal connections.Yes, Warren Buffett would probably be a great mentor to have in your corner. But unless you have a personal connection, sending a blind email or letter to Buffett is unlikely to get you very far.The mentors who are likeliest to help you the most are those that have some personal reason to wish you success. That might be because you have friends or colleagues in common, went to the same schools, come from similar backgrounds or have some other connection. One of Susan Shapiro’s mentors was the late poet Harvey Shapiro–they weren’t related, but she used their shared last name to create a bond.When you reach out to someone based on a personal connection, make sure you put that information right up front–ideally in the subject line of your email. Start by talking about yourself and your wonderful project and the recipient may not read down to the paragraph about how you were referred by a good friend.
Do a little research.Before you ask someone for help, learn what you can about him or her. If you can refer to a pet project, book, blog post, or presentation, you’ll start out on your prospective mentor’s good side. A few minutes of searching and perusing social media may tell you that your target is especially interested in saving the rain forest, or has backed a new product, or plays the banjo. Knowing these things may help you connect as a person, and not just someone looking for a favor. And it will show that you’re serious enough to put in some time and effort.
Give before you ask.Shapiro recalls how an acquaintance called her. She had a new book out and he began by apologizing for having missed her several readings and book party. Then he proceeded to ask her for a valuable contact. She apologized herself and said she was too busy to help him just then. “He might have saved the day by simply saying, ‘I just ordered your book from Amazon. Can’t wait to read it,'” she adds.If you’re asking advice, introductions, feedback about your business idea, investment or anything else, you should always be looking for ways to give as well. Shapiro advises showing up to events–preferably with friends–bringing gifts, sending congratulations when warranted, and treating for drinks and meals. Donating to your prospective mentor’s favorite charity is always a good idea as well.
Respect your prospective mentor’s time.“I would love it if you would check out my new app.” I get this kind of email all the time. Even more often, I get a request for an introductory conversation with some executive or other. In each case, it seems like a small and completely reasonable request for my time. In the aggregate, it’s impossible to say yes to everyone, so I generally say no.This is one reason why meeting prospective mentors at a conference or other event is a great idea–they’re already there so you’re not asking for an extra investment of time. If you can’t do this, then do everything you can to use your target’s time with maximum efficiency. Mention any personal connection right up front, along with full information about your project and the help you’re seeking. If you leave a phone message (which I would never recommend as a first point of contact), include your email address and mobile number for texting. If you send an email, include your phone number in case the recipient would prefer to call.
Flattery will get you everywhere.Saying how much you liked someone’s book, blog post, or video interview will always get you more attention than if you just ask for a favor. Even from me–though it’s an old PR trick that I’ve long ago recognized to begin a pitch by saying you liked one of my stories, I always do open those emails whereas I don’t open most others. As Shapiro says, “Though I’d usually ignore a total stranger’s request…I answer nice fan letters from anybody who appears sane.”
Start with an easy request.Don’t make the mistake of asking your prospective mentor to invest/introduce you to a bigwig contact/sit on your advisory board when you first make contact. You want your initial request to be something very easy to say yes to. “Can I send you a little information about my project?” is usually a fairly safe place to start. 
Share only relevant information about yourself.Don’t make the fatal mistake of going on and on about how wonderful you and/or your project are. “One executive I know says if the first lines of the cover letter contain three ‘I’s in a row, the answer is already no,” Shapiro notes. Yes, you must blow your own horn so that your target understands why spending time on you would be worthwhile. But only include information that’s likely to really matter to him or her. Y Combinator invested in your startup? Definitely mention that. You graduated Phi Beta Kappa? Unless contacting an academic, keep that to yourself.
Don’t brag about your failures.It’s surprising how many people begin their pitches by saying how many times they’ve been rejected, Shapiro says. Yes, it denotes tenacity which is a good thing. But if you tell people you’ve been rejected 50 times, they will inevitably wonder why that is. Instead, reframe your failures as near misses, or look for the small successes within them. (Maybe your product failed but you did a good job of getting it to market quickly, for instance.)
Look for chances to return the favor.Any time someone mentors you or does you a favor, keep your eyes open for chances to give back. This might mean promoting product on your blog, promoting their next event on your social media, or even investing in a pet project of theirs.Another way to pay back is to pay forward–by becoming a valued mentor yourself. No matter who you are, there are people who could benefit from your advice and assistance, whether newcomers to your industry, interns, entry-level employees, or students. So extend yourself because it’s good karma. It’s also unfair to expect to receive if you aren’t willing to give. 

5 Things That Happen When a Real Leader Enters a Room


 By Benjamin P. Hardy @BenjaminPHardy “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” –Jocko WillinkLeadership is what determines how successful you and those around you are. If there is minimal success, there is minimal leadership.There are very few real leaders:Who genuinely stand for something and brightly reflect those standards.Who are willing to put everything on the line for what they believe in.Who create change and lead.Here’s what abruptly happens when you take ownership of your life and situation:
1. Inject a winning standard of performance before you start winning.“How would your life
change if you made decisions TODAY as if you were already the person you want to become
TOMORROW? We tend to live up to our own feelings of ourselves (for better or for worse). If we plan
to become something else, what better way to do so than to step into that skin now?”  — Richie
Norton It doesn’t matter what your current circumstances are. Winners act like winners before they
start winning.Your mindset is what you grow into. Mental creation always precedes physical
creation. Who you are in your head is who you eventually become.The first thing that happens when you step up as a leader is that you and everyone around you begin looking toward success. You start craving it, and believing it’s possible. In turn, your behavior starts changing.It all starts with you.
2. Constancy among chaos and success.“Consistent effort is a consistent challenge.”Bill Walsh
Most people can’t handle failure or success. They’re on a behavioral roller coaster depending entirely on external circumstances. When things aren’t going well, they’re overwhelmed or depressed. When
things are going well, they’re overconfident and lazy.However, when you show up as a leader, your
mindset and behavior remain constant regardless of success or defeat.You are marching forward to
the beat of your own drum. Everything outside you is noise. You’re compelled forward by intrinsic
vision and values. Your consistency reflects your conversion to your cause.
3. A clear point of reference is established to keep you consistent.When you decide to lead, you
provide a clear standard of excellence. Your standard of excellence becomes your point of reference,
 keeping you honest and consistent in all circumstances.It ensures you don’t have too many bad days in a row. Or get derailed by haters. Or get overconfident when successful.Your point of reference is
what you really believe in. It’s why you do it.When you’re struggling and failing, you look to your point of reference. When you’re crushing it, you look to your point of reference.What’s your point of reference?
4. Clear performance metrics are established to keep you accountable.“Where performance is measured, performance improves. Where performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”  – Thomas S. MonsonWhat does success look like for you, behaviorally? What is your actual job? What do you need to do?How do you determine if you’re failing or succeeding?There
should be clear metrics to measure yourself against. However, simply knowing what you should be
doing isn’t enough. Clear accountability needs to be put in place.That accountability, if possible,
should be to an actual person, not just a spreadsheet. When you are required to report your progress – especially to someone you respect – your performance will improve.
5. As the leader, you reflect the standard of excellence and recognize you are the ultimate bottleneck.You are the example of
what optimal performance looks like. You become the living and breathing standard of excellence for others to emulate. You reflect your mission and values.One thing is absolutely certain: Those
following you will mimic your performance – whether good or bad. Thus, you are the ultimate
bottleneck. Your failure to get to the next level hinders everyone relying on you. You can’t take
people beyond where you currently are, personally and professionally.Hence, Darren Hardy, author
of The Compound Effect, has said, “Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.”
Who you follow determines where you get in life. If your leader isn’t moving forward, you’re not
moving forward, because your results are a reflection of your leader’s results.
Conclusion.The better you become, the more clearly you can help others get where they need to go, because you’ve been there yourself. The essence of true leadership is pure ownership. You’re no
longer doing it for yourself, but so you can take those you lead further. 

6 Benefits of Wise Living

6 Benefits of Wise Living

By Lydia Brownback

Modern women face tremendous challenges, and we need the same wisdom the book of Proverbs offered to ancient women.

As Christian women living in the twenty-first century, we aren’t likely to face many of the tricky difficulties that confronted ancient Israelite women. Just think of Queen Esther, who had to learn how to get along in a harem of women whose only calling was to please the king with their beauty. Even after Esther became queen, the cost of displeasing her king-husband was death. Other Old Testament women dealt with slavery, such as Hagar, and having to share a husband with another woman, such as Rachel and Leah.

Our problems, while less life-threatening for the most part, nevertheless pose tremendous challenges for which we need the same wisdom that ancient women needed. But we want to do more than merely minimize stress and ward off unnecessary difficulties; we also want to please God in every aspect of our lives. This is one way in which biblical wisdom differs radically from worldly wisdom. The world’s wisdom centers in how people can please themselves and maximize every pleasure. The wisdom in Proverbs isn’t unconcerned about our enjoying life as a gift from God. That’s the beauty of it—as we put into practice the wisdom of Proverbs, we find that God’s ways work at a very practical level; life does tend to run more smoothly. As this happens, God is showcased as the all-wise one, and He is glorified.

The benefits of wise living are too numerous to include here, but let’s look at a few of them.

Women who live wisely will experience security.

Wise women are confident that they rest on safe ground:

You will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. (Proverbs 3:23-24)

Wise women have no fear. Because they trust God, they have no need for anxiety. They are confident that a kind, wise God is in control of everything. As wisdom increases, anxiety decreases. What makes you worry? Is it finances, your kids, your spouse—or the lack of one? Wise women know that God is trustworthy and that He can and will handle all these matters for our good and His glory.

Another result of wise living is guidance.

Some time ago I heard someone say that wisdom isn’t so much something that God gives to us as something he doesfor us, a truth reinforced by this passage:

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. (Proverbs 2:6-8)

The link between wisdom and guidance is also made crystal clear in this proverb:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

This does not mean that God’s guidance is conditional upon our trusting; He is always actively directing the lives of human beings. Yet it is only as we actively trust God and submit to His ways that we experience His guidance as a straight path, one not filled with frustrating self-made detours, as we see with Jonah.

Another benefit of wisdom is the calm enjoyment of sanctified common sense.

There is no issue in life that Scripture doesn’t somehow address. Situations arise in all of our lives that Scripture doesn’t directly speak to—those gray areas. But the Bible does address them somehow; even if indirectly, and wisdom is what enables us to use the Word to make black-and-white application into the gray places of our lives. Wisdom enables us to better discern not only what God’s Word says explicitly but also what the Word says implicitly, and we are increasingly equipped to apply its truths to all areas of life. Sanctified common sense is the result of wisdom.

Still another result of wise living is generally good living:

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. (Proverbs 3:1-2)

The book of Proverbs reveals to us how God has designed the world to work; so, in general, those who live according to God’s design prosper because of it. That being said, the proverbs aren’t a guarantee for the good life. We all experience times when things don’t go well, despite our efforts to follow God’s ways, and that’s because God has as much to teach us through suffering as He does through blessing us with the practical benefits of wisdom. That’s why it is best to view the proverbs as observations or principles rather than as promises. We must keep both things—the practical benefits of wise living and the spiritual benefits of suffering—in tension, and trust that God knows what He is doing in each case.

That being said, we tend to be suspect of this whole idea of delighting in prosperous living. It just seems so, well, worldly. But God delights to bless His children, as any good father does. When God blesses us with a season of prosperity, we can grieve God’s father heart if we bar ourselves from rejoicing in it. After years of saving money for a house, a friend of mine was blessed to be able to purchase a lovely home. But she couldn’t fully enjoy it because, she said, “I keep waiting for the ax to drop. If God has given me this, what is He preparing to take away?” Such thinking robs both God and us of taking pleasure in His gifts. If He blesses us in some material way, we are free to enjoy it. As Solomon wrote, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).

Another benefit of acquiring wisdom is happiness:

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profits better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:13-15)

Can you think of a better definition for happiness? If we are unhappy Christians, the problem isn’t our circumstances; it’s our interpretation of our circumstances, an interpretation that’s lacking in wisdom. Even unhappy occasions can be experienced with joy and peace when we remember who has ordained them and that he has done so for good reason. Wise women know that lasting and deep happiness will never be found in circumstances but only in Wisdom, which is Christ.

One more fruit of wisdom is self-knowledge.

John Calvin said that before we can know ourselves, we must first know God. Only God really knows and understand our hearts, of course, but the better we know God, the better we will know ourselves. Self-knowledge, part and parcel of which is awareness of our personal weaknesses, is vital when it comes to resisting temptations, since temptations appeal to us in areas where we tend to be weak. Women who know God are better able to recognize where they are prone to sin and are therefore better equipped to deal with it intelligently. Knowing ourselves is a benefit of wisdom.

In vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird. (Proverbs 1:17)

Our wisdom

All of this leaves us with a problem: We can’t do it! Who among us could ever hope to achieve wisdom such as we see in Proverbs? Wisdom is indeed impossible for us, even though, after glimpsing the benefits of it, we want to become wise women. What are we to do? The realization of our impossible dilemma brings Paul’s words to life: “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:28-30). Christ is our wisdom, in both its characteristics and benefits. We have no wisdom of our own, but if we are in Him, we have His wisdom, which means we can grow it to fullness. In Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). If we are in Christ, those treasures are ours too.

Why You Really Need to Unplug While on Vacation


 Why You Really Need to Unplug While on Vacation
By Kim Lachance Shandrow @LaShandrow 
Sun, sand, an iPhone in your hand. If this is your idea of vacation, something’s wrong with this
picture. Sad as it is, staying plugged in — and even working — on holiday is the new norm. For most of us, whether poolside or at the beach, or tucked away in a tent or a cruise cabin, our smartphones,
laptops and tablets are always faithfully by our side or in our hands. We don’t know when to quit.
Um, hello. Wake up, not-so-happy camper.
In case you forgot, the whole point of taking time off of work is to recharge your mind, body and soul — not your godforsaken glowing gadgets. They don’t call it digital detox for nothing. By now you should know that you have to disconnect to reconnect.
When we do temporarily kick the tech addiction and unplug on holiday — c’mon, you can do it — we
return to the office refreshed, relaxed and ready to tackle, yep, more work. When we don’t, medical
and mental health professionals warn that we’re not doing a body good. And they’re right: We suffer
from poor concentration, shoddy sleep patterns, eye irritation, sloppy posture and…let’s just stop there for now. Not to mention how dorky we look zombie-ing out on our phones when we should be soaking up the sights and engaging in good, old lowercase “f” facetime with our travel mates. Before you
brave a tech-free vacation, or even a staycation, do yourself a big favor — and your clients and/or co-workers — and give them a heads up that you won’t be answering email or calls. Basically, tell them to buzz off in a nice way and then banish the guilt. You owe yourself some tech-free downtime, worker
bee, and you know it.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can wait, but your health and wellbeing can’t.

Enneagram Type 3 – The Achiever

Focused on the presentation of success, to attain validation

  1. The Achiever
    People of this personality type need to be validated to feel worthy; they pursue success and want to be admired. They are frequently hard-working, competitive and are highly focused in the pursuit of their goals, whether their goal is to be the most successful salesman in the company or the “sexiest” woman in their social circle. They are often “self-made” and usually find some area in which they can excel and thus find the external approbation which they so desperately need. Threes are socially competent, often extroverted, and sometimes charismatic. They know how to present themselves are self-confident, practical, and driven. Threes have a lot of energy and often seem to embody a kind of zest for life that others find contagious. They are good networkers who know how to rise through the ranks. But, while Threes do tend to succeed in whatever realm they focus their energies, they are often secretly afraid of being or becoming “losers.”
    Threes can sometimes find intimacy difficult. Their need to be validated for their image often hides a deep sense of shame about who they are, a shame they unconsciously fear will be unmasked if another gets too close. Threes are often generous and likable but are challenging to know. When unhealthy, their narcissism takes an ugly turn, and they can become relentless and ruthless in the pursuit of their goals.
    Because it is central to the type Three fixation to require external validation, Threes often, consciously and unconsciously, attempt to embody the image of success that is promoted by their culture. Threes get in trouble when they confuse true happiness, which depends on inner states, with the vision of joy which society has developed. If a Three has a “good” job and an “attractive” mate, she might be willing, through an act of self-deception which is also self-betrayal, to ignore the inner promptings which tell her that neither her job nor her mate is fulfilling her more profound needs. Even the most “successful” Threes, who generally appear quite happy, often hide a deeply felt sense of meaninglessness. The attainment of the image never quite satisfies.
    Threes can sometimes mistype themselves when they mistake the more superficial features of their personalities as indicators of their type. So, for instance, an intellectual Three might mistype as a Five; a Three who is devoted to her role as a mother might think she is a Two; a Three in a leadership position might mistype as an Eight and so on. Regardless of the manifestation, however, the core of the type Three fixation is the deep need for external validation.

Faith

Undifferentiated Faith:

This is a pre-stage because it begins prior to language. In this stage, the seeds of trust, courage, hope, and love are fused together and help to minimize anxiety from fear of abandonment and deprivation in an infant’s environment. At this stage, trust and the relationship with parents or a primary care giver form the foundation of later faith development. Transition from this stage begins as language and thought develop.

Intuitive-Projective Faith:

This stage is a time of fantasy and imitation. Children are influenced by examples, actions, and stories of care giving adults. Children’s imaginative processes are uninhibited by logical thought. At this stage, the child has a first sense of self-awareness and the strong taboos families establish around death and sex. The strength of this stage is the imagination and the interest in rich stories that provide images and symbols for their feelings and story and the ultimate conditions of existence. Transition from this stage occurs as concrete thinking develops. Children begin to make a distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. Mythic-Literal Faith: At this stage children construct a more orderly and dependable world. School-aged children begin to internalize the stories, beliefs, and observances of the communities to which they belong. The source of authority moves beyond parents to teachers and friends. Beliefs are adopted literally as are moral rules and attitudes. Stories are still a prominent way of understanding, but symbols are interpreted in a literal way. At this stage, there are right and wrong ways of behaving. Transition from this stage occurs when the child (or even some adults) begin to see contradictions in the community’s stories and myths. Literalism begins to break down and paves the way to see another’s point of view that might be different.

Synthetic-Conventional Faith:

The first of the adult stages of faith is the synthetic-conventional. It begins in adolescence and continues through young adulthood. At this stage, individuals can reflect on past experiences to better understand what they mean. A person’s identity at this stage is shaped by roles and relationships; authority resides outside the self. Much of what a person believes at this stage has been uncritically adopted from family, background, and the surrounding culture. Expectations and judgments of others play a role in shaping how people make sense of their experiences. At this stage, people have not critically examined their values and beliefs. The beginning of a transition to the next stage often occurs when a person has a conflict with the established norms, such as wondering why one’s family approves of dating only certain kinds of people, or encountering people with different values and beliefs and questioning how people come to believe what they do. Although this stage starts in adolescence, some adults remain at this stage and do not progress to the next stage. Transition from this stage may come from contradictions among valued authority figures or critical reflection on how one’s own beliefs came to be.

Individuative-Reflective Faith:

In this stage, there is a shift from less reliance on external authority to more reliance on one’s own authority. People begin to question the assumptions they have made about their values and beliefs and test whether or not they are still valid. In this process, they assume responsibility for what they believe. The person’s worldview is no longer defined solely by worldviews of family or friends, and the group has less influence on values and beliefs. An individual is freer to choose friends based on her values and beliefs. People may become disillusioned with what they had formerly believed. During this time of questioning, individuals who have had a strong faith tradition may leave it for another tradition or no tradition at all. If they don’t leave it, they accept it after critically reflecting on it. This stage can occur from age 20 to age 40, but like the previous stage, some people stay at this stage for the remainder of their lives. Transition from this stage often represents an upheaval in one’s life. Disillusionment with one’s beliefs and a sense of flatness or sterility signal a readiness for something new.

Conjunctive Faith:

This stage of faith development moves outward, away from preoccupation with the self. There is an acceptance of paradox—that something can be both positive and negative, restraining and liberating. At this stage, there is more of an acceptance that life is a mystery and that values and beliefs cannot be sorted into tidy categories of good and bad. There is an understanding that there might be more than one way of understanding truth and this allows for more tolerance and acceptance of others. The limitations of faith traditions are more apparent. The desire for balance may lead to more of an interest in community and service to others. Fowler’s research suggests that it is rare for people to reach this stage before middle age; very few people transition to the next stage.

Universalizing Faith:

This stage of faith is so rare that Fowler was able to document only one case in his research. People at this stage live based on the principles that they have developed over their lifetime. They are highly individual and at the same time are devoted to the welfare of others and social justice. They challenge the status quo without regard for their own welfare. People like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa are said to have lived out this stage of faith. 

Reference:

Mossler, R. A., & Ziegler, M. (2019). Understanding development: A lifespan perspective. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu

Boost Your Blog: How to use Twitter to drive massive traffic to your website


 Boost Your Blog: How to use Twitter to drive massive traffic to your website
By Nika Stewart, @NikaStewart Twitter + Blog = Business Success!A blog is an effective tool for 
driving website trafficincreasing your expert status, and showing off your company’s brand and value. But to enjoy these benefits, you obviously need your target audience to come to your blog
and read your articles.
So how can you get more eyeballs on your blog?Twitter is one of the best platforms for driving blog traffic. If you apply the tips below, your Twitter account will become a vehicle in which you gently
transport your social media followers to your website, transforming them from Intrigued Prospect to
Loyal Fan (and ultimately… Happy Customer).
Tweak (and tweet) Your Title
It’s common to simply post a blog title with a link:10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill:
http://www.mylink.com/articleI give this post a 5 out of 10. To make it better, tweak your title to sound less automated and more like a conversational prompt. Get rid of the initial caps and rephrase it:Paying too much for heating? Here are 10 ways to save big: http://www.mylink.com/articleMy newest article gives you 10 easy ways to save money on your heating bill -> http://www.mylink.com/articleSave money right away on your
heating bills with these 10 simple tips: www.mylink.com/articleThese tweets are more fluent and
twitter-friendly. And you can get more than one tweet from one title!
Grab a quote (or two or three)A super simple way to create tweets from your blog is to take quotes
directly from your article. Tweet them out with links back to the blog post.  You can paraphrase, shorten, or add hashtags for more effective delivery.In addition, pick some thought-provoking lines from
your article and turn them into graphic quotes. Typorama is my current fave phone app for creating
quick and easy typographic designs.
Be a Good *Tipper*What are people really searching for when they choose to click a link on Twitter? Valuable Information! Tips. Secrets. Guidelines. Hints. Yes, people want helpful ideas. Take the great
tips that you have already written in your article and turn them into tweets.
More is More: Get the most out of your tweets
Don’t make the mistake of writing just one tweet per article.  You spent all that time composing your brilliance; make sure it gets out to as many people as possible.  A good rule of thumb is to create 5 – 10 tweets per article.
Post Often and ForeverThe biggest mistake I see when people tweet out their blog is that they tweet it once.  All that work for one tweet (which has a very short lifespan) is a crying shame!  99% of your
followers will miss your post if it isn’t repeated.  Set up a schedule to release each blog article’s tweets consistently, for as long as the article is relevant. This will keep your Twitter content full, and increase your blog traffic.If you use these simple techniques, you’ll increase targeted traffic to your website
from Twitter. Wanna know how I know? The Ghost Tweeting account managers use these exact
guidelines for creating tweets from each blog article for every single Twitter client we have.  We see tweets driving traffic to blogs all day every day. (We can do this for you, too.
 See details on our Twitter Buzz program here)And now that you know how to write tweets from your articles, keep these tips in mind when creating your stories in the first place. It will help you to turn your articles into tweets that much quicker, accelerating the process of driving traffic to your blog.

Learn How to Manage Your Time With These 5 Steps


By Rhett Power @rhettpower

Your dream has always been to be your own boss. To do business the way you knew it should be
done. To offer a great service or product. To stand behind your promise. To make a difference. Time management is one of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur. You may have no resources other than yourself and your idea, so it seems logical that you have to keep working harder and
harder. You’re excited about your future, yet you’re already exhausted.So how do you get it all done?
How can you be sure you are making progress? Take a step back. Get a cup of coffee and answer the
following questions.
Do I have a master plan?This is a crucial question. Where do you want to be in one year, three years, five years? Write it all down, then chunk it down. Start by making a list your goals for each year.
Be specific: How will you get business? Pay for things? Then break these goals down by month, then by week. Now you have a concrete way to make progress. Each day, look at the week’s list and get
busy on the tasks.
How will I spend today?You know what needs to be done today, and how it will move you forward.
Assign times to each task, to keep you on track. Spending four hours on a short blog post because you got sidetracked clicking on interesting links is not useful. Give the blog post an hour and hunker down. Assign times for lunch, exercise, and interruptions. Just know how your day is budgeted.
Does this task pertain to my goal?As you consider your time, it’s important to use it wisely.
I suggest that at least half your time be spent engaged in activities that produce most of your results.
Am I avoiding distractions?Stay off social media while you work. Tell your family that your home office is out of bounds. Don’t check email every hour. Only take business calls during your scheduled
work time. The easiest way to lose control of your day is to let time get nibbled away by distractions. When you discipline yourself, you’ll have better focus.
Is this the best use of my time?As the company owner and leader, you want to have oversight of
everything. In the beginning, it’s how you measure your progress. But your time is precious, so ask
yourself if your activity is in the interest of success. Do you need to be putting stamps on mailings?
Writing every blog post? Making a spreadsheet of contacts? As soon as you can determine what to
delegate, you give yourself the gift of time. Time that can be spent growing your business.The hard
work will never go away. And because you love your business, that’s good news. When you learn to
manage your time and be more productive, you can do what you do best: Be successful!

5 Life Lessons That Made Me a Better Entrepreneur


 
by Valerie Svenningsen @comforcare – ComForcare Certified Senior Advisor  
Throughout the years, I’ve gathered countless tidbits of advice from my parents, friends, colleagues
and mentors. As I’ve learned about trust, responsibility and happiness, I’ve realized that these lessons extend well beyond my personal life. Today, I often find myself using professional advice as a way to confront a personal issue I might run into, or looking to personal philosophies to help solve an
obstacle in the office.Here are five lessons that can be applied both in life and in business that I find
myself using regularly:
Establish and maintain trust. Without trust, there is simply no foundation to move forward in a
relationship, whether it is professional or personal. For a business owner especially, I find that it’s
crucial to gain the trust of my clients in order to create and maintain a loyal clientele. Especially in the case of owning an at-home senior care service business, such as ComForcare Senior Services, my
clients need to be able to trust that their caregiver is providing them with the most personalized
attention and care they can experience in the field.
 Listen. Take the time to fully listen to what people are saying to you. We may have great ideas and
advice of our own to give, but I assure you that if you truly listen when someone is speaking to you,
you are bound to get so much more out of the conversation.You will get a better understanding of
where they are coming from and the things that they value most. It takes more than one person to
have a constructive discussion of thoughts and ideas, so try to resist the urge of speak outside of
your turn.
Accept liability. No one wants to be associated with an individual who never takes responsibility for his or her actions. Everyone should pull their own weight, own up to their mistakes, and learn how to grow from them. At work, the more responsibility that you take on, the more respect you will earn
from your cohorts. In order to create successful and lasting professional and personal relationships, it is crucial to hold yourself accountable your actions and those around you will treat you with more respect because of it.
You have to give to get.It’s a simple saying, but remains true across every medium in my life.
Whether it’s interacting with my colleagues or spending quality time with family and friends, I feel
that it is my obligation to give them my upmost attention and care in order to be able to anticipate
the same kind of reverence in return.
Live each day doing something that makes you happy.I know we hear this piece of advice often,
but many of us don’t follow it and we’re only hurting ourselves in the long run. If we do what we love, it will show in our work and we will be happier and more thoughtful people because of it. Even if it
forces you to leave your comfort zone, get out there and put your full heart into newfound hobbies,
work projects and campaigns. I promise that you will be a happier individual and your good vibes will rub off on everyone you encounter.So, the next time you gain some great words of wisdom, think
about the ways it can help you in both your life and at the office. You’d be surprise how many things
you learn that can guide you in every aspect of your life.