Embracing failure to ignite growth

In general, society demonizes failure, leaving us feeling judged and jealous of those who have succeeded where we fell short. However, my perspective on failure changed when I connected with a counselor who saw failure differently.

Suddenly, I noticed that my “failures” could be celebrated instead of criticized. The counselor taught me that failure is vital to growth, teaching me to adapt and improve – significantly, especially if I changed my time scales. Those who can’t handle failure only sometimes experience true success.

Despite this newfound understanding and a transformed mindset, I still failed. But I stopped beating myself up and embraced failure as a catalyst for growth.

So, here’s the point: I am not ashamed of my “failures.” I talk about them, learn from them, and embrace them.

Life is long, and we’re meant to love. All lessons are learned from love or the lack thereof. My countless failures continue to pave the way for my taste of success – but what is success anyway?

Instead, I pursue a thread and follow it among life’s changes. The same applies to anyone who has achieved business success, found the ideal relationship, grown spiritually, or excelled in any endeavor.

Many “success stories” will tell you that success and failure are not what it seems. Keep pushing, keep going, keep growing. I care about my losses as much as my wins because they intertwine. My path toward success will be lined with many big and small failures.

And even though this post is meant to inspire you. It’s just as much me waving a white flag truce with myself: I will fail forward and acknowledge my progress.

Building bridges with courageous communication

The importance of effective communication cannot be overstated. Consider my neighbors across the street, a Mexican family who speak no English. Interestingly, their choice of music resonates with the tunes I often hear from my Mexican colleagues at the greenhouse. Witnessing their dedication as they depart for work at dawn, I can attest to their strong work ethic. However, in recent weeks, I’ve noticed an issue: as early as 5:45 AM, their car stereo blares excessively loud music while they prepare for the day. It’s undoubtedly too disruptive for such an early hour.

Let me clarify that my Mexican neighbors are undoubtedly kind-hearted individuals who diligently contribute to society. This morning, with the aid of Google Translate, I mustered the courage to express my concern in the best Spanish I could manage. “Hey, friend,” I said, “it’s too early for your loud music, and it wakes my children.” To my relief, he responded with a simple “Oh, Okay.” I expressed my gratitude, and we exchanged handshakes. Consequently, he promptly lowered the volume of his music.

In my pursuit of fostering a positive relationship with my neighbors, my next step involves a kind gesture, such as bringing them a pie or a thoughtful edible item. By reaching out and attempting to communicate effectively, we can bridge cultural differences and foster understanding among one another. It takes courage to step outside our comfort zones, but the rewards of meaningful connections are immeasurable.

Similarly, we must be audacious in online marketing to step beyond the ordinary and embrace innovative communication strategies.

When we engage with our target audience through captivating content, we extend a hand of understanding. Just as I thanked my neighbor for acknowledging my request, our online marketing should express gratitude to our customers. We can achieve this by valuing their feedback, responding promptly to inquiries, and expressing appreciation for their support.

Reflective writing collaboration

Being a personal writer in the professional world is not something many people do, but it’s essential. It means writing down your experiences to help you think about them and share them with others.

I want to work with people who are willing to try new things. It doesn’t matter if you work alone, do physical labor, have a job, are part of a nonprofit group, own a small business, or work with a team of realtors or a parent-teacher organization. If you want to connect what you know with what you experience in your life, I’m here to collaborate.

You have something unique to offer. By learning how to solve complicated problems, you can teach others too. In our complex world, we always have to think about how to improve our lives, relationships, and work. Reflecting on things is important for figuring out how to do that.

When we work together as reflective writers, we focus on your learning and try to understand what it means for you and the people you want to share it with. I aim to help you become willing and make writing a part of your daily routine. It’s like a tool that lets you learn from different perspectives and ideas and understand other cultures.

This is just as important as eating and breathing.

If you want to know more, let’s talk.

In-demand skills for the content revolution

For my 18 year old son Ben embarking on his journey

In today’s digital landscape, platforms like YouTube shorts, TikTok, and Instagram reels offer an incredible opportunity for those who dare to create. It’s time to unleash your creativity and build a devoted following, and procrastination only leads to regret, so start now.

Attention is the currency of the digital world. These platforms provide a stage where educational, enlightening, or entertaining content can shine. The key to gaining attention and followers is consistent posting—multiple times daily, every day.

Are you a consumer or a creator? Be the author, not the passive audience. Sell yourself through remarkable communication, not scripted sales pitches. Combine this with consistency, and success becomes a matter of when not if.

Developing in-demand skills is the pathway to freedom and financial success. Let’s explore these skills:

Creativity: Let your ideas flow without hesitation. Present them in captivating ways that resonate with your audience.

Communication: Share your ideas and experiences authentically. Connect with your audience on a personal level.

Technical Proficiency: Master video editing, audio production, and lightweight graphic design tools like Canva. These skills set you apart.

Marketing and Promotion: Collaborate with fellow creators, engage with your audience through direct messages and comments, and relentlessly promote your content.

Time Management: Effectively manage your time, balancing content creation and audience interaction.

Adaptability: Embrace change and stay sharp by adapting to new platforms, technologies, and trends.

Even if your brand doesn’t take off as expected, your skills open doors as a service provider. Help others build their businesses remotely, leveraging the power of the internet for both income and flexibility.

Remember, these sought-after writing, video production, photography, audio, and marketing skills are valuable assets. You can monetize them by offering your expertise to those who need it.

So, unlock your potential as a content creator. Be educational, enlightening, and entertaining. Take action today, captivate your audience, and seize the endless opportunities in the digital realm. Your journey starts now.

Chip-on-shoulder motivation

Sometimes I put a chip on my shoulder to win.

I adopt an attitude of assertiveness to motivate myself or prove my worth to others. I purposely create a sense of challenge or competition within myself to drive my performance.

In the busy greenhouse shipping season context, I needed to take the lead and stand out in a demanding environment. By putting a “chip on my shoulder,” I get an edge that helps me demonstrate my best skills, exceed expectations, and win over the challenges that come with the season.

Reflecting on this experience, there are a few things I can take away:

Motivation and drive: The fact that I use this strategy during a busy season indicates that I have a strong desire to succeed and perform well. I acknowledge and appreciate my motivation and drive.

Self-imposed pressure: By deliberately adopting an assertive attitude, I notice I place additional pressure on myself to excel. While this can benefit short sprints, it comes with stress and burnout if I hold onto that chip for too long.

Healthy competition: The competitive mindset pushes me to achieve more, but I caution myself to maintain a healthy perspective.

Self-reflection: Consider why I needed to put a chip on my shoulder. Was it due to external expectations or my internal drive? Understanding my underlying motivations can provide valuable insights into my work style and help me balance healthy competition and self-care.

Ultimately, this experience highlights my determination and willingness to push myself. However, finding a sustainable approach that allows me to excel without overwhelming myself or compromising my well-being is crucial, too.

Rise and shine stories

Introducing “Rise and Shine” – the remarkable stories that illuminate the true essence of your business or organization.

One such inspiring tale belongs to Open Roads, a non-profit youth development program dedicated to empowering local youth through bicycles, job skill training, and apprenticeships. Their premiere program, available to students aged 8-16, offers a transformative experience that fosters independence, self-sufficiency, and a healthy lifestyle within a supportive community.

A shining example of the program’s impact is the story of a young participant who, thanks to Open Roads, made life-changing decisions that may have eluded him otherwise. By immersing himself in the program, he discovered newfound confidence, resilience, and a sense of purpose, steering his life towards a brighter future.

These “Rise and Shine” moments not only highlight the profound effects of organizations like Open Roads but also inspire others to embrace opportunities for growth and positive change.

And that speaks to the heart of what marketers who embrace the role of “remarkable communicator” do. They make change with story. Mining out the “Rise and Shine” stories is one way to get started.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a valuable resource or incentive offered by businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers to potential customers in exchange for their contact information, typically their email addresses. It serves as a tool to attract and capture leads, allowing businesses, brands, marketers and influencers to establish a direct line of communication and nurture relationships with potential customers.

The purpose of a lead magnet is twofold:

First, it aims to provide immediate value to the target audience. It offers helpful information, actionable insights, or solutions to problems that align with the audience’s needs and interests. By offering something valuable upfront, businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers demonstrate their expertise and build trust with potential customers.

Secondly, a lead magnet is a gateway to initiate and cultivate a relationship with leads. Once a potential customer provides their contact information to access the lead magnet, businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers can continue engaging with them through email marketing campaigns, newsletters, or personalized offers. This allows for ongoing communication, building awareness, and ultimately guiding leads toward making a purchase or taking a desired action.

Lead magnets come in various formats, such as ebooks, whitepapers, checklists, templates, webinars, free trials, or exclusive discounts. The choice of design depends on the target audience, the nature of the business, and the specific goals of the lead generation strategy.

Overall, a well-crafted lead magnet is a powerful tool for businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers to attract, engage, and convert potential customers, providing value while establishing a foundation for long-term relationships.

I will be creating and sharing the making of a lead magnet here on this blog. Stay tuned.

Dips & Winners

Vince Lombardi built the Green Bay Packers into a five-time NFL championship-winning team and famously commanded, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” This is a famous motivational saying that you’ve likely heard many times.

Seth Godin is a marketing guru, blogger, and bestselling author. I love Godin’s stuff. I recently came across his book, The Dip. In the book, Godin challenges Lombardi’s viewpoint, stating that it is “bad advice.”

Instead, Godin offers an unconventional insight: winners do quit but choose the right moment and place to do so, allowing them to focus on areas where success is more likely.

Godin’s book revolves around the concept of “the dip.”

The dip refers to that critical juncture in any business, project, or task when you must decide to keep going or quit. It’s a decision point where we must choose whether to persist in the hope of overcoming the challenges or abandon the work and move on.

A critical problem, according to Godin, is our failure to recognize when a dip is actually a dead end.

Working through a dip can lead to personal growth, while a dead end is just that—a dead end.

Godin said, “Quitting holds importance because winning matters.” As a self-identified winner, I love that quote.

In relationship to this quote, Godin shares this insight:

“Extraordinary benefits await those who push slightly longer than others, and the gutsy minority who quit early and refocus their efforts on something new also enjoy exceptional benefits.”

In other words, leap smart or hold tight.

This resonates with me because it opposes settling, making do, or coping. His message is clear: persevere through the dip, aiming for greatness, or seek a different path.

“Mr. Inbetween,” as he terms it, represents the most common response to the dip — playing it safe, doing blameless work beyond reproach.

However, we know that coping wastes time and misdirects energy, never leading to exceptional performance or mission-based work.

This book reinforces my thoughts about mediocrity, which is an admitted fear of mine. I don’t mind being in a mediocre place with intentions of working out of it. But to settle into mediocrity is shameful.

Mediocre work rarely results from a lack of talent but rather from being stuck in a cul-de-sac. Coping squanders time and misdirects energy. If coping is your best, quitting is a better option.

And that requires an intelligent exit strategy.

In summary, my big takeaway from the dip book is:

Strategic quitting or persevering through the dip opens doors to exceptional achievements. Avoid settling for mediocrity. Embrace challenges, conquer the dips, and strive for greatness.

This relates to me because we’re faced with this decision at my day job. This relates to me as I look toward growing my freelance writing business.

Are you a Mr. or Mrs. Inbetween? Are you pushing through the dip? A strategic quitter? If we’re doing anything worthwhile, we’re all bound to face it.

Less worrying, more action

I’ve spent the previous seven days sprinting to empty a four-acre greenhouse full of annual flowers. With deadlines hanging over my head and the viability of a business on my shoulders.

Here is the resounding take-away:

Choose action over worry. Over and over again, choose action over worry for each moment during the day. Doing is for daytime hours.

When our small world starts to whirl, and everything feels chaotic, action is the only thing that saves the day. Worry achieves nothing.

Waiting for normalcy is tempting, waiting for easier days is a waist. Time only slips away while we wait. A new normal is constantly arriving before we have adjusted. Time is precious.

If you can cut back on waiting and worrying by 50%, you will notice the possibilities unfold.

Time will pass regardless, so let’s use it wisely. Discover, learn, and transform your perspective with action taking.

It’s simple, but the worrying mind often makes it difficult. Reduce the amount of time spent worrying and increase the amount of time spent taking action. The emphasis is on the action as a useful alternative to worrying.