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.

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.

To look away from the pack

What would this look like for you?

Alternatively, I could look away from the pack instead of do something similar to everyone else. There’s more room to move. There’s more room for growth. More room to spread my wings. More room for error, too, and that’s part of what is scary because it’s unknown.

For example: SEO company websites look and feel the same. Freelancers, too. Most florists sell exactly the same flowers, maybe wrapped in different paper. The gyms have similar training schedules. Real estate agents run the same mailers.

For most, if the formula looks like it’s working we’re happy to follow it. Of course, follow the well trodden path!

But… if we stick with anything long enough, heading away from the pack could be best because most people don’t take the risk of going where everyone else isn’t.

Where to start

I often talk about how to start? Usually in the context of taking yourself online and hanging a shingle. This post is about where to start, and who to start with.

My first piece of advice in building your personal business, or anything of personal business value, is to start as if you already have a platform. Express the body of principles for which you will take a stand. Then be clear about who you want to hear it. Doing this will build a presence, develop your voice, and be a place from which you share those principles and ideas.

Why Teachers Make Exceptional Content Marketers and Copywriters

Harness the expertise of former educators who possess the unique skills to captivate audiences, simplify complex ideas, and build lasting relationships through compelling content.

As a former teacher, I bring unparalleled skills and experiences to content marketing and copywriting, making me the perfect choice for your content marketing needs.

Not just me. Most teachers inherently possess these skills to help your content marketing and copywriting needs.

Let me explain why teachers are poised to be a secret ingredient to unlocking content marketing and copywriting success.

Explaining Difficult Concepts: Teacher-turned-writers excel at breaking down complex ideas and tailoring explanations to meet the needs of diverse audiences. They can uniquely communicate clearly and concisely, ensuring your message resonates with your target market.

Making Great Plans: Teachers are experts at creating detailed plans to guide their teaching. This translates seamlessly into content marketing.  A teacher-turned-writer will bring a fresh perspective, strong organizational habits, and an editorial calendar to ensure your marketing efforts are strategically executed and deadlines are consistently met.

Conducting Research:  Teacher-turned-writers are skilled researchers with a background in education. They know how to find, summarize, and organize information to create compelling arguments. This ensures that your content is well-informed, engaging, and provides value to your audience.

Tracking Progress Over Time: Like in the classroom, teacher-turned-writers understand the value of long-term growth and progress. They prioritize delivering consistent results and building a solid foundation rather than chasing instant success. This means that teacher-turned-writers will offer sustained content marketing success that stands the test of time.

Mastering New Topics Quickly: Teachers are known for adapting to new subjects at a moment’s notice. Teacher-turned-writers can quickly grasp new concepts, ensuring they stay up-to-date with industry trends. Whether a new technique or a niche topic, teacher-turned-writers will confidently deliver content that demonstrates expertise and resonates with your audience.

Understanding the “Battle for Attention”: Engaging an audience is a skill teachers excel at. They know how to capture attention through storytelling and interactive discussions. Teacher-turned-writers will create content that grabs your audience’s attention and keeps them engaged from start to finish, ensuring your message resonates and drives action.

Building Relationships: Teachers forge strong relationships with their students through effective communication and trust. Teacher-turned-writers aim to build meaningful connections with your target audience in content marketing. They understand how to make people feel empowered and valued, resulting in lasting relationships and increased brand loyalty.

For these reasons, I recommend teacher-turned-writers as a great choice to unlock your content marketing and copywriting efforts’ full potential.

I’m a teacher-turned-writer, and proud of it.

Contact me today to discuss your specific needs and get started on creating compelling content that drives results.

Thoughts on creative work

Creative work encompasses endeavors that have the potential to both fail and improve. It begins with the desire to bring about change.

Many individuals yearn for someone else to dictate their path, leading them to feel trapped and discontented. The fear of potential failure haunts them, reminiscent of the embarrassment felt in childhood when they misunderstood something and faced ridicule from peers and teachers. Such experiences can have long-lasting effects.

However, true creativity cannot thrive within the confines of waiting for instructions. It demands a fearless dance with the possibility of failure. This courage is essential to the creative process. If you can’t acknowledge that your endeavor could fall flat, it’s probably not “creative work.”

I consider creative work to carry with it these characteristics consistently:

  • Creative work involves the transformative power of change.
  • Relying on external guidance can stifle true creativity (yet true creative collaboration can be powerful).
  • Fear of failure stems from past negative experiences, impacting self-confidence.
  • Waiting for instructions hampers the creative spirit.
  • Embracing the dance with fear is crucial for creative work.

Creative work requires taking risks and accepting that not everything will succeed. By embracing the dance with fear, we unleash our true creative potential.

The Importance of Shipping: Lessons from a Commercial Greenhouse Manager

My day job is that of a shipping manager at a commercial greenhouse.

Shipping season is a grueling four to six-week sprint for commercial greenhouse industry employees. Flowers must be shipped at specific times every day, multiple times per day, six days a week, requiring constant readiness.

This process has taught me valuable lessons about putting creative work into the world because that’s what I do in the context of getting communication right.

Here are a few parallels and notes I continue to return to when thinking about my role as a greenhouse shipping manager and a freelance writer.

Shipping refers to overcoming fears, uncertainties, and self-doubt to complete and get a project into the world. It’s an essential element in achieving success. By shipping your work — whether it’s flowers or writing — you confront your resistance and learn from the feedback you receive. This enables you to iterate, improve, and ultimately make a more significant impact in your field.

The value of shipping lies in its role as a catalyst for growth and learning. When you ship, you open yourself to both the appreciation and the criticism of others, providing you with a new perspective on your work.

As a result, shipping contributes to your development as an individual. It helps you better serve your people professionally and personally by consistently providing them with valuable, thought-provoking, and quality work.

Many people fall into the trap of waiting for perfection, but that’s a form of hiding. I champion the notion that shipping and refining along the way is better. Waiting for perfection can lead to never getting your work out there and missing out on valuable opportunities for growth and feedback.

So, whether I manage a commercial greenhouse or pursue the creative work that comes with freelance writing, I can never ignore the importance of shipping.

I can never let fear or self-doubt hold me back. I can only embrace the process of iteration and improvement and have faith that it will help me significantly impact the field I serve.