So You Are Thinking About Starting A Blog?

Starting a blogSo You Are Thinking About Starting A Blog?

I think starting a blog is a great idea!  In fact, I would love to hear about your idea or read a sample post. I would love to have some of you guest post here.  But, before you get started, there are several things you want to think about and get nailed down.

Let’s face it – starting a blog can be easy to do but become time consuming, but it can also be very liberating and helpful.  My writing is rather cathartic for me. Here is how to get started:

  1. Determine What You Need To Say – Everybody has something to say that needs to be heard.  Your content does not have to solve world peace.  It does have to be relevant, honest, and meaningful to the audience you are trying to reach or share with.
  2. Start An Idea Journal – I keep mine in my backpack all the time.  I am constantly having ideas and I use my journal to capture them while they are on my mind.  Many don’t ever get used, but a ton do.  Even the discarded ones will often prompt a future idea.  For additional tools for ideas take a quick peek at this Previous Post On Blogger’s Block.
  3. Determine What Platform You Want To Use – This blog is on WordPress, however there are many options available to you.  Here is a great article from TheNextWeb with a list of the top 15 blog platforms.
  4. Define Your Ideal Reader – If you are just starting out, this may feel a little marketing-esque, and it is – but it is critical.  There is a principal in marketing that says: “If You Believe Your Customer Is Everyone, No One Will Be.”  That is to say that without choosing an ideal reader, it is almost certain that your posts will meander too much and not speak to anyone consistently.
  5. Avoid The Rant and Instead, Add Value – Many, many, many blogs are simply places for the mental dump of the author.  These rarely will ever gain a following.  People want something meaningful and valuable.  How to do something; Thoughts and Opinions on key topics; Something entertaining – anything.  Simply remain committed to add value to their lives.
  6. Be Original – There are millions of blogs out there and no doubt several around the topic that you may want to blog about.  That is why your blog has to have your voice, perspective, and personality.  YOU make your blog original.
  7. Finally, HAVE FUN – Blogging should be something you enjoy and not get bogged down in.  Be consistent and post regularly.  Your reader needs to know that there will be more to come.  Be their resource.

Make sure your blog is sharable.  (In fact, this is a great time for me to respectfully ask you – if you like this blog, will you post it on your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or which ever social medium you use?  It will be a huge help!)  Thanks!

I encourage everyone to consider starting a blog.  Your expertise, wisdom, opinion, artistry, voice – all of it needs to be heard. So why not get started today?  I would love to read what you write!  Read you soon!

Guaranteed Personal Improvement

Success Journal

Success Journal 11-27-13

Guaranteed Personal Improvement

It is a rare thing for someone to offer a full guarantee, but in the area of personal improvement, I will do it.   What I am about to share is a process that I have used now for almost 10 years and it has made all the difference.

Personal Improvement is critical for satisfaction, peace of mind, growth, drive, relationships, everything.

I spent years of my life wondering why things never really got better.  I would envision them better.  I would wish them better.  I would theorize them better – but in actuality, I was doing nothing to ACTUALLY MAKE THEM BETTER.  I had a positive outlook but somehow I continually failed to have an actual action plan for personal improvement.

So, what did I do?

I started taking FIVE MINUTES every day.  Yeah, I know – it sounds silly that something so powerful could take such little time, but it does.  Here is the plan –

At the end of every workday, before packing up and leaving my office, I take out a journal that I keep in my desk.  In the lower right-hand corner, I write down three key things that I did well in the past 24 hours.  Then, I write one thing that I did not do well or that I should improve upon.

I do not allow myself to list the same success or the same failure more than 5 times in the course of a month.  If something is a constant success, it is now part of who I am, not a temporary success.  Conversely, if something is a continual struggle, then I clearly do not have an action plan to correct it – SO, I am either okay living with it, or not taking action to correct it; Which means I am okay living with it. That sounds crazy – I know.  But in my mind:

If you continue to do something that you say you do not want to do, you are lying to yourself.  

Once I finally had the guts to get honest with myself and call it what it was – lying to myself, real personal improvement occurred.  Honestly, it pretty much shocked me that change and honesty were so simple.

All at once, the life I was living began to improve.  The decisions I made had impact.  The direction I was going felt better – more honest.  I finally realized that in order to start living the life I had envisioned, all that was required was action, reflection, documentation, and repeat.

Everyday, I flip to my journal, write out my three wins and my one loss daily and then start again the next day.  It sounds simple.  It is profound.

At the end of each month, I flip back and I read the 90-93 things that did well.  I also consider the 30-31 things that I need to improve.  Interestingly many areas of improvement often become wins in the future.  That is a great feeling.

And if you really want to be blown away – take the week between Christmas and New Year’s each year and read back through your success journal.  It will bless your socks off and challenge you to go get done what you really want.  I finished re-reading mine the afternoon of Jan. 2.

2014 will be a year of success and limited failure.  The good news is that the failures won’t last long.

Come join me.

 

Moving Wishful Thinking Into Resolutions

Change: Moving Wishful Thinking Into Resolutions

We are in the season where everyone asks about New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, working less, going back to church, saving more, etc.  We have all been there, made the statement, and then broken it before the first weekend of the New Year.

But what about those folks who make lasting change?  How do they do it?  Are their resolutions better crafted?

In all honesty, I have experienced miserable failure, as well as euphoric transformations with resolutions of the past.  So what makes the difference?

Transformative change, whether personally or at an organizational level, requires several key ingredients to have lasting impact.  Consider these keys for your success:

  1. SMART Stated Outcomes – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.   Without being “SMART,” goals tend to meander and get lost in business or substitute activity.
  2. Affirmation Tools – For genuine and continuous change, build in specific affirmation mechanisms that will encourage you or your team.  Whether a half-pound lost, or a more effective sales closing ratio, everyone enjoys a solid pat on the back with an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl.’
  3. Digestible Pieces – Annual goals are best attained via monthly or quarterly segments rather than one giant tote board.  Losing 50 pounds happens more effectively with concentric measurements of a pound or two at a time with corresponding rewards.  The concept of eating an elephant one bite at a time definitely applies to this tool.  Break down your goal into small, measurable, reward-based steps.
  4. Internalize the Goal  It is easy to throw a sales goal or a health-related goal up on the board.  Unless you are honestly impassioned to reach it, the outcome will be mediocre if the needle moves at all.  Ask yourself, “Am I really prepared to do what it takes to achieve….?”
  5. Visualize the Outcome – Pro Athletes and successful entrepreneurs share this key to overwhelming success.  Each sees the outcome.  Golfers often visualize the shape of the shot, the bounce, and the roll out of the ball to execute well.  In the same vein, the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs fully see the post success celebration and how it impacts their life, the team, or those served.

Are you making cliché resolutions this year or are you making specific plans with measurable actions that will culminate in your reaching beyond.  Successful visionaries use these principles by the moment to achieve greatness.

Are you driving for success?

Happy New Year!   Let’s go get it together!

Back In The Saddle – Building Business

Building Business - Life: Scream or Enjoy The Ride

Building Business – It Is A Wild Ride

Building Business:  It is good to be back in the saddle

Building a business is a thrill, a chore, a journey, and encouragement, a discouragement, and a hundred other emotions all at once.  The highs are the highest of highs and the lows are the lowest of lows.  Yet, even with all of that, I would not trade it for the world.

About two years ago, I began journaling extensively about the past several years, by business, family, health, life, etc.  At first, I thought it was just a mental release that I was using as a type of therapy – it was much needed after several year season that included a failed business, a divorce, a bankruptcy, and a bout with my health that was really starting to press in on my life.  Finally, one day I started going back and reading sections of the journal and discovered patterns that I had put into place that built my way out and through.  I also got a huge dose of looking at my progress rather than focusing on how much farther I needed to go.

This is a principal thought, by the way:  When on a journey – pay closer attention to how far you have come than to how much farther you have to go.

What I discovered is that through my time of review, in the pages of my journal, were specific steps that I had been taking to rebuild everything in my life.  There were seven distinct aspects of my life that I had taken hold of, and invested in them.  These seven areas are:

  1. My Business – Entrepreneur or being employed
  2. My Relationships – Spouse, Children, Parents, Co-workers, etc.
  3. My Health – Nutrition, Workout, Mental Well-being
  4. My Education – Formal or Personal Development
  5. My Interests – Recreation, Writing, Paint, Music
  6. My Spirit – Devotion, Prayer, Meditation
  7. My Life’s Purpose – Why am I here and what am I supposed to do to impact mankind

So now what?  I am finalizing an ebook, a book, and an audio series that shares the principals and tools that have put me back on track.  It is a powerful story that even I am surprised by.

My encouragement to you for today is this:  Regardless of whether you are – on top, in a crash, or somewhere in between – take a deep look inside and consider what are you doing to build into YOUR seven areas.  I am certain it will be worth your while.

 

3 Ways to Breaking Blogger’s Block

Bloggers Block Image for KevinBreedingDOTCom

Blogger’s Block

3 Tips to Breaking Blogger’s Block

Blogger’s Block:  Creating content for your blog, website, or social media feed is a constant task.  I often remind clients that I work with that although they absolutely need to be blogging and creating a social media conversation, “Once you create the beast, you have to feed the beast!”

Writer’s or Blogger’s Block is fairly common and makes even the most seasoned writer shudder at the thought.  Fortunately, there are several tricks and tips to break open the jam and let the creative juices flow!  Here are a few of the most helpful for me:

  1. Keep Your Idea Journal with You at All Times—I keep a simple black journal in my backpack so that when an idea hits I can jot it down.  More times than not, ideas for blogging occur when I am on a flight, or walking through the airport, or on the phone with a partner/client.  Just a simple sentence or phrase will provide fodder for several posts on a theme.
  2. Ask Yourself What the People You Are Trying to Reach Will Be Typing into a Search Today—Mental role play is a helpful tool in getting into the minds of the people you are trying to reach.  By asking what they will be searching for, you may uncover several days’ worth of post ideas (then be sure to journal them so you don’t forget).
  3. Stop Trying to Sell—More times than not, people I support are trying to use their blog to sell you something.  All the posts come off as cheesy and self-serving.  As a result, their conversion rates are abysmal if even measurable. People know you are highlighting your business in order to grow it.  There is no need to bang them over the head with a pitch.  Give them information that meets their need while giving them an opportunity to follow your tweetfeed or peruse your site.  If you commit to providing truly helpful information, they will more than likely come looking for your expertise.

Blogging and your editorial calendar should not be a burden to your marketing efforts.  It should simply be the beginning of a conversation – marketing, not selling.  Now, see? Right there is a phrase that I will now journal for a future post.  Ideas are everywhere!