productivity Archives

The following is from my friend Will Newman at AWAI and courtesy of The Golden Thread


The Golden Thread

The Myth of the “Road to Success”

I want to debunk a common myth.

I decided to write to you about this myth the other day when I got an email from Circle of Success member Cecil … an email much like others I’ve gotten from AWAI members.

“I’m really concerned, Will. I hope you can help me. I was really excited when I started out in The Accelerated Program. I still am. I want this new career to work, but I’ve run into a bunch of problems that have stopped me in my tracks. I don’t want to give up. I love what I’m learning. But I’m stuck. Please help!”

The power … and problem … of metaphors

When Cecil says he’s stopped in his tracks, that he’s stuck, he’s using a common metaphor about success. This metaphor envisions the journey to success as being along a road. We even talk about the “road to success.”

This metaphor is all wrong.

We use metaphors in our speech and writing because they help us understand complex situations in simpler terms. We use them because they work. That’s the power of metaphors.

When talking about success, it’s as if we start out in San Francisco on a drive to New York. Straight line. Few changes of direction.

Seems harmless enough.

But there’s a danger here. Metaphors not only give us a simpler view of reality; they also shape reality. Talking about success like a journey along a road leads people to feeling “stuck” like Cecil did.

A blown out tire. A burned out fuel pump. Worn piston rings. These problems stop you in your tracks. They halt forward progress.

Yes, you can get them repaired and start moving forward again, but …

All too often that feeling of being stuck in our quest for success keeps us from starting up again.

A new metaphor for your journey to success …

I wrote Cecil back and told him I no longer think of success this way. I use a different metaphor for this journey.

If you’re traveling from San Francisco to New York by plane, that airplane doesn’t stay on course. Cross winds, updrafts, down drafts, and other unforeseen events push the plane off course.

But the plane keeps moving forward and makes it where it’s going. Why?

The pilot and navigator constantly make mid-course corrections.

So, as simplistic as it sounds, I told Cecil that he is not stuck. He needs to make—and continue to make—mid-course corrections. And, so do you as you travel toward your inevitable, undeniable goal of copywriting success.

Putting meaning into metaphor …

The airplane metaphor works. But only if you take these two steps to keep yourself making those mid-course corrections.

First, find yourself a good “navigator”

You need someone who’ll guide you in your mid-course corrections. AWAI’s forums are the best place to find that navigator. Many of your peers have gone through the same problems you might be having. Or, that crop up later along the way.

Or, you could choose a particularly close friend who wants you to succeed as much as you do.

Regardless of whom you choose for your navigator, find someone who can give you support and guidance all along the way to help you make the mid-course corrections.

Second, keep moving forward … no matter how small the movement

I’ve heard from AWAI members who have faced serious illnesses (their own and family members’), job loss, increased work at their jobs, hurricanes, and any number of daunting events.

One member stands out, though. She faced a number of personal disasters I won’t go into here. She wrote me and apologized for being behind on her Circle of Success program work.

But, she also told me that, while these problems had slowed her down, she wasn’t giving up. She’d put aside 15 minutes a day to study The Accelerated Program and do her COS work.

She wanted to do more. She’d planned to do more. But she was doing as much as she could.

She kept moving forward, slower than she’d hoped at first. But she didn’t stop. She kept her momentum going.

So, this is what I told Cecil. And, this is what I tell you. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck. If “life gets in the way” (boy, how many times have I heard that?), take a mid-course correction around it. Do something—anything—that moves you forward.

Read a book that will help you be a better copywriter. Study an AWAI program, even for 15 minutes a day … or a week, if that’s all you can spare. Write as much as you can—letters, emails, notes to your coworkers—using the skills you’re developing here.

But keep moving forward!

Yours for a successful copywriting career,

Signed

Will Newman

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

American Writers and Artists, Inc.

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Leader or Manager or Both

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Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

We had a saying when I was in the service, “What the Air Force needed was more leaders, and what the Army needed was more managers.” The joke was every officer and noncom in the Army considered themselves a leader, while every officer and noncom in the Air Force considered themselves a manager.

Is there a difference between a leader or manager? Absolutely, there’s a big difference between the two. Over the next couple weeks we’ll look at that difference and see how it impacts your business.

Leaders lead people and managers manage things. People versus things is the big difference between leading and managing. As a good friend of mine puts it, “No one ever managed themselves out of a crisis.” It takes leadership, leaders to get out of a crisis, not bean counters.

How to Know the Difference

As I mentioned we manage things. Work schedules, benefit packages, training programs are all part of management. All necessary to any business. However, plugging a name into a schedule or designing one size fits all benefit packages isn’t leading.

Leading is knowing your people, their needs, wants, desires. Leading is knowing what makes them tick and being the leader who inspires them to achieve more. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Squirrel! or Another Shiny Object

Squirrel! or Another Shiny Object

Squirrel! or

Squirrel! or Another Shiny Object

If you’ve ever seen the movie UP, you’re familiar with the dog with Attention Deficit Disorder. The puppy would be in the middle of something and a furry little critter would pop up. The dog immediately yells, squirrel!, and is distracted from his primary task.

I don’t have ADD…well at least not diagnosed but there are times I act just like that dog. I’ll be in the middle of something then…SQUIRREL!

I have to admit it—I love to chase shiny objects. If you like to chase shiny objects then you know what I mean. I’m the guy the online gurus are after, and you probably are too.

Symptoms of a Squirrel Chaser

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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Three Things the Military Taught Me About Business

Three Things the Military Taught Me About Business

Three Things the Military Taught Me About Business

I joined the military just out of high school and in 1996 I retired after 22 years active duty. In that time I served in both the Army and Air Force. I married a wonderful woman; we had two sons; I graduated from college, and became a commercial pilot. All in all I believe we did quite well.

During those 22 years of service I learned three lessons that have helped me in both my life AND business.

From the moment our drill instructor chased us off the bus at Fort Ord, California, our leaders taught us to discipline, teamwork, and focus.

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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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What Flying Taught Me About Business

What Flying Taught Me About Business           

Aviate-Navigate-Communicate

Aviate-Navigate-Communicate to Soar Your Business

When you fly an airplane it’s common to practice emergency procedures. After all, unlike an automobile, if an airplane has problem you can’t just pull over to the side of the road.

It’s easy when something occurs in a plane while in flight to get distracted by a minor glitch—a glitch that could become an accident.

In primary training, pilots memorize a phrase that helps prevent little things becoming bigger. We learn to: Aviate—Navigate—Communicate.

We’re taught to control the plane first.

Then we’re taught to navigate. Know where your airplane is and steer away from things that can get you in trouble; like mountains or bad weather.

And finally, we’re taught to communicate. Talk to our controllers, if applicable, or let someone know we need help. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Triple Your Sales in One Year-Part II

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Triple Your Sales in One Year—Part II

Triple Your Sales

Triple Your Sales

Thursday I talked about three steps to help you triple your sales. I’ve assumed you’ve identified your product and market fit and have an idea of what traffic source you’ll use to drive traffic to your website. With those first two critical steps accomplished it’s on to:

1. Develop your LEAD MAGNET. Remember this is a FREE item of value to your lead.

2. Once the LEAD MAGNET is developed, you’ll offer something of value FOR SALE to your lead. You want to get your lead to purchase something from you. We called this a TRIPWIRE.

3. And the third step we discussed was actually selling your CORE PRODUCT or products to your customer.

By just concentrating on adding a lead magnet and tripwire item to your marketing efforts it is not inconceivable that you could easily triple your sales…in one year or less.

Two Critical Steps to Triple Your Sales

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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Triple Your Sales in One year (Or Less)

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Triple Your Sales in One year (Or Less)

Triple Your Sales

Triple Your Sales

If I could show you a fairly easy way to triple your sales, would you be interested? That’s a pretty dumb question, right; who wouldn’t be interested in increasing your sales? All right then, roll up your sleeves, pull out your notepad, grab a pen and let’s get started.

The techniques I’ll share with you today have been used by hundreds of online and offline entrepreneurs. They’ve seen these methods work in their businesses, regardless of industry. If you’ll do you homework and apply these principles as well, you could the same, if not better results.

I’m going to assume you’ve already taken the time to determine your product and market fit as well as your traffic source. Product and market fit is simply best market (client/customer) for your product/service. Traffic source is simply what will drive traffic to your website: Facebook, YouTube, Google Ads, etc.

Step One: Once you’ve determined your product and market fit and your traffic source you’ll need to identify a LEAD MAGNET. The lead magnet can come in several forms but it’s almost ALWAYS FREE and is designed to have your potential client or customer provide you with a name and email. In order to entice said client/customer, we’ll need to provide them with a “Wow”. That wow could take the form of a bit of information: free report, booklet, white paper, etc. It could be a free sample, or a free catalog (which can provide prices for high-end items that might scare off a prospect initially). Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Time is Money — It’s a Lie

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Time is Money — It’s a Lie

Time is Money - It's a Lie

Time is Money – It’s a Lie

Time is money. You’ve heard it a million times by the time you reach thirty. Pickup any motivational book, any book on productivity and you’ll see it right there, probably in chapter one, “Time is money.”

On the surface most of us agree, we nod our heads and wrap our minds around the fact each of us only has 24 hours in a day and how we spend that 24 hours will determine our wealth.

I’m here to tell you the axiom, “Time is money is a big fat LIE.”

Let’s face it, time is time; how we choose to use that time is what determines much and money is only one thing determined by time.

Here’s what I mean. Time is also value; the value you have in yourself. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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The Surefire Way to Beat Indecision

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The Surefire Way to Beat Indecision

Indecision Sucks

Indecision Sucks

“One of the hardest things in the world to make is a decision.” While I’d like to attribute that quote to myself, I’m sure someone else coined that phrase long before I. As business owners we’re faced with problems that require decisions. One of the challenges we face when making a decision is to get bogged down into what Zig Ziglar called, “The paralysis of analysis.”

So then, how do we beat the paralysis of analysis and indecision? The surefire way to beat indecision is to ask a simple question: “What’s my return on investment”? That’s the FIRST question that should come to mind.

Whether the decision involves one concerning, time: “should I do this, or that”; or it involves money: “should I invest in this widget or that doodad”; the answer boils down to, “What’s my ROI“?

Let’s take business education as an example. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Clayton Makepeace on the Astonishing Power of Fear

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Clayton Makepeace on the Astonishing Power of Fear

Readers,

Here’s another great article from Clayton Makepeace courtesy of The Golden Thread from American Writers and Artists, Inc. While it is specifically written for copywriters, many of you you are writing your own ad copy for business and this is a great article to help you write better copy. If you’re not writing copy, it’s still a great article to move your business forward. K&I


Clayton Makepeace on the Astonishing
Power of Fear
By Clayton Makepeace

Have you ever been tempted to squeeze an irresistibly cute bottom? Tell the judge where he can stick that speeding ticket? Claim a tax deduction you don’t really deserve? Drink and drive?

So why didn’t you?

What’s that you say? You don’t do those things because you’re a moral person?

Well, while your application for sainthood is being processed, consider the rest of us – imperfect folks who are sorely tempted to do all of those things and still don’t – simply because we fear the consequences.

In a word, “jail.” Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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