Saturday, December 29, 2018

Clutter: The Reason Why You May Be Unable to Move Forward by Sylvia Duncan

Last month, I took on a task that I’ve been putting off for some time; I cleaned out several closets that were becoming stuffed with stuff.  While doing so, I discovered something about me; I discovered that I had a little bit of a “storing” problem. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t say hoarding problem, I said storing problem, as in, just put it away until you can find a purpose for it later. You know how it goes; you look at an item you’re thinking of tossing and you say to yourself, “I could use this for something”, so you put it away and wait for the time when you really could use it, and when that time comes, you’re glad you had the good sense to “store” such a useful item.
Well, although I had convinced myself that cleaning the closets would be a daunting task, once I put a system in place, the task became quite simple; take everything out of the closet, examine each item before deciding its fate.   Either, it would be placed back in the closet, make it to the “store again” pile, (that pile where you are not sure what to do with it), to a donate pile, or the pile where it’s fate would surely be, without hesitation, the inside of the garbage.  If after a month, I hadn’t found a use for the item in the “store again” pile, it would either be donated, or it too would find its way into the garbage. 
My system was working well. While sorting through items in the first closet, I came across my daughters prom dress, instantly I seemed to be transported back to the day when Pooky, (her nickname) was preparing for her high school prom, I reminisced about how beautiful she looked and envisioned the moment her date, arrived to pick her up, handsomely dressed in the colors they had agreed on, probably months ahead.  Those are moments I want to hold on to and never let go, so the prom dress was placed in a protective covering and back into the closet.
What Are You Storing?
Tell me, what sense does it make to hold on to anything that brings grief and pain? Any emotional baggage such as anger, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness that keeps you stuck, should be tossed.  Holding on to these self-depleting emotions is like storing a ridiculous item you’ll never use, you’ll fill your spirit with useless emotions that only take up precious space in your mind and heart.  Isn’t it more sensible to toss these negative emotions to live a happier life?  I challenge you to do what I’ve done and make the rest of this month “Clear the clutter” month.  Go through the closets in your home and the inner closets in your heart and mind and clean them out. Begin now to be intentional about making room for a healthier, happier you, and when the New Year comes, you won’t have to join the resolution herd, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Clutter Clearing Guidelines:
Here are a few guidelines to follow when you begin clearing the clutter from your home and life. With each item you come across, ask yourself the following:
Is the item useful?  If you think there is a possibility that the item can be used again, put it in the “use again” pile and revisit it in a month, if you haven’t found a use for it…. toss it.
Is what I’m feeling useful to me or the goals for my life?  If so, be specific, what value does it hold? 
Is the value masquerading as a get even opportunity? If so, it’s really unforgiveness, and holding on to unforgiveness is like having to guard your prisoner, as long as the prisoner is in prison, so are you, so the only way to free yourself is to let your prisoner go, so toss it.
If you’re honest with yourself and toss everything that holds no value, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free home and a happier you! By the way, if you’re wondering what the item was that brought back the negative emotions; I have to say……it doesn’t matter.  What matters is I now have space in my emotions for peace.
Learn more at
Twitter: @LifeDetoxCoach

Content is King in 2019 by Brittany Applegate

I've been studying which marketing trends to pay attention to in 2019, and as always, strong content development is at the top of the list! Good content is one of the strongest tools in your marketing toolkit to earn trust and credibility, build your brand, generate qualified leads and site traffic, and raise awareness for your business.

Coming out of my research, I’ve compiled the top 5 content creation trends you need to adopt in 2019!

1. Like Netflix, create binge-worthy content. What do I mean by this? I’ve you’ve found yourself binge-watching shows on Netflix like Orange is the New Black or The Ozarks then you know how exciting it is to log into your profile and get carried away in new episode after episode.

Netflix has mastered the art of creating original, quality content and releasing it all at once. Giving viewers the opportunity to watch it all at once, or occasionally on their own time. Something to consider in 2019 is creating a series of content and releasing it at once so your followers and website visitors can get lost in what you have to offer. (source)

2. Interactions are better performance metrics than reach. Aim for engagement. We get so caught up in how many people have viewed or read our content, that we lose sight of how important ENGAGEMENT is. What’s engagement? Comments. Shares. Retweets. Likes. Think of it this way, if no one is truly engaging with your content, it might not be that good. And that’s okay. Challenge yourself to create better, engaging content that entices people to engage. Use calls to action asking viewers and readers to like, share, and comment. Remember, views are not enough in 2019. (source)

3. Short form video is the best performing content format. If you enjoy vlogging or creating video content in general, stick to two minutes in length or less. Why? Because most viewers attention spans just don’t last long enough these days. If you can hook your viewers in the first 10 seconds of your video, that’s even better! If you haven't gotten into video, now is the time. (source)

4. Share content focused on previous customer success. People buy results. If you can share real-life results and testimonies in your content, you’re more likely to convert a reader or viewer to a new customer. (source)

5. Develop good content to transition your brand from vendor to partner. Develop content that builds trust. There's so much selling going on, you can be undercut at any time, but a relationship...that's hard to get rid of. The best way to stand out is to avoid being too salesy, and more supportive and resourceful. (source)

If you’re ready to get a head start on planning great content in 2019, I’ve created a “Hashtags & Holidays” Content Guide to help you plan content around the most anticipated holidays and events in 2019. It’s available now at!
To learn more about Brittany  Twitter: @BrittApplegate

Friday, December 28, 2018

Passion, Purpose, and Goals by Felicia Shakespeare

"Do you know your purpose in life, why you're here?" I recently attended an event and when this question was posed I saw matured (30 plus age) adults who did not raise their hands. What? To me, that is a complete travesty. If you don't know why you're here by age 30 plus, then you have made yourself vulnerable to whatever, whenever, however, and nothing great can come from that.

Another occurrence was when I had a doctor's appointment a few weeks back and after striking up a conversation with the administrative clerk who checked me in, I learned she was still trying to "figure out" her calling in life. Well, she had indicated prior to that comment that she had a daughter in college (she’s a mother) and had been married over twenty years (she’s a wife). To have had so many major milestones of life and not have a sense of purpose I begin to think must be debilitating.

There has come to a point in all our lives that we won't be denied our destiny which is our point of destination (where we are going). I'm a true believer that we all are here for a specific purpose and at the point that we understand what that is, then and only then will we have a "true" sense of contentment. You will not always know all of the specifics of how you will get there, but you should at least know the direction in which you're going.

Below I’ve shared three simple but important pointers for clearer direction as we prepare to enter 2019 that can help you if you’re stuck in your career, life, or business:

1. Seek direction...
First and foremost, I believe in the "power of praying" to God for guidance. Now that's me (but do you)! In addition to prayer, I also believe we can avoid a ton of mistakes if we listen to good counsel. Whether a trusted family member, a proven mentor, even a professional coach, do what YOU have to do to get where you where you need to be! Time is waiting on none of us.

2. Pursue what you're passionate
Once you’ve figured out that thing that you feel purposed to do it’s time to go for it! Start finding ways to do what you love, even if you don't get paid monetarily at the onset. Every single thing you do towards purpose will count! For example, we gain opportunities to perfect our craft when we volunteer. You sometimes gain invaluable lifetime relationships, future clients, referrals for paying clients and as I always say “not now never means ever! Stay true to who you are and what you love.

3. The signs will manifest
You will get there at the level you, believe, sacrifice, and do if you stay consistent! Opportunities will begin to manifest. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like something magical begins to happen in your dealings. Some people say “all the begin stars align.” Simply put you will begin to see everything “fall in place” like a puzzle piece (one piece at a time). I can't tell you exactly when in time or where that "ah ha" moment will happen for you, but you will know.
So I leave you with these last words, NEVER stop pursuing YOUR passion, YOUR purpose and YOUR goals! It will happen...

To learn more about Felicia Shakespeare Twitter: @iamfelicias