Getting into the stride of 2017

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So, this is a  stream of consciousness. Not my usual type of blog post at all.

It’s the result of conversations on Facebook with friend and soul coach Maria  Yum, my thought process on Starbucks and an empty stomach, and my euphoria from watching videos Commit Action puts together.

And man! We’re half-way through the first week of the year. It’s been amazing!

I pushed hard through the waning days of 2016 and as a result, I’ve been expanding my digital footprint. I want to stand out, collaborate, interact. The more I focus on personal and work specificity, the more selective I’ve become. And the more meaningful the connections have become, too.

I shared this earlier today and it ended up on LinkedIn. Since it’s  my firing synapses and not someone else’s, I wanted to take it home. I hope it’s food for thought. Please, dig in!

Specificity • Measurement • Deadlines

Specificity – sharply focused on freelancing and business projects, connecting and interacting—not in the abstract but in concrete actionable ways each day.

Measurement –  I’ll use the Seinfeld Method. Using iDoneThis where I can check off each day that I complete my daily goal. Keep doing this every day, and soon I’ll have a chain of days I’ve checked off. “Don’t break the chain!”

I’m gonna keep the chain unbroken based on My 5 Actionable Strides: Write Daily, Research Daily, Interact Daily, Create Daily, Live Daily

Deadlines – They’re not a chore, they’re THE implementation-action vehicle to super functioning.

Proximal Goal Setting

Proximal Goals are
short term
highly specific
deadline-based
implementation-action commitments

Proximal Goals Beat Distal Goals and Quixotic Goals. 

Distal Goals– are long-term goals that time and distance make fuzzy and unfocused
Quixotic Goals-noble sounding and unreachable. You know. Bullshit.

Proximal Goals Can still be Visionary and Optimal but
NO Goals Without Deadlines Allowed

  1. An Intention Cannot Become A Goal until it gets a Date Specific Requirement attached to it
  2. Make the linguistic shift to Urgent Significance. 

In my personal life, I tend to agree with psychologist Albert Ellis. He said no have to’s, no musts, no shoulds but that’s from outside conventions that want to impose on my inner life.

It’s an echo of Gertrude Stein (Yeah. Her again). She said:The one thing that everybody wants is to be free…not to be managed, threatened, directed, restrained, obliged, fearful, administered, they want none of these things they all want to feel free, the word discipline, and forbidden and investigated and imprisoned brings horror and fear into all hearts, they do not want to be afraid not more than is necessary in the ordinary business of living where one has to earn one’s living and has to fear want and disease and death….The only thing that anyone wants now is to be free, to be let alone, to live their life as they can, but not to be watched, controlled and scared, no no, not.

In This Context, This is about MY GOALS and there is an urgent sense of “MUST DO” “HAVE TO” “WILL DO”—It’s freedom in the sense of financial independence. BECAUSE I must be free, I have to be free, I will be free. It’s not a passion issue. It’s a champion issue.

Remember Muhamad Ali? I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ 


 

A friend asked what my One Word for 2017 is. I said Interaction. A circle of friends and associates who share my dreams and values is what that’s about. We encourage each other and lift each other up. It’s a function of support and community. Got no time for haters. I have no time for the myopia of not knowing me but assuming you understand my life. Look, I’ve reinvented my career, my interests, my life, many times over. I’ve learned change is the only constant. Jobs decay, stuff disappears, relationships change, and opportunity is a shifting landscape. There are more slippery slopes in life than in Telluride. Performance is what matters.

My Values: The Big 18

Top 5 Values in bold
Significant 5 italicized
The Rest are Awesome

Commitment

*Contribution

Creativity

Curiosity

*Determination

Effectiveness

*Empathy 

Enjoyment

*Freedom

Generosity

Independence

Openness

Vision

Understanding

Thankfulness

*Self-actualization

Resourcefulness

Positivity

♠ Be real. No faking it. 
♥ Be a thought leader. Create a buzz around myself. 
♦ Avoid pitfalls. 
♣ Frame myself as having value to offer  – Ha! Royal Flush!

Value

“We think in money value. We think there is some invisible trap. We stopped believing in true caring and compassion. We stopped believing in love and our deservedness to receive. Why? My message is Believe in the Good in This World. Believe that you are Worthy! Be that Good. Do something nice for your fellow man.” ―Maria Yum

I hope this stream of consciousness, braindump, mindstream or whatever you want to call it resonates on some level with you. Food for thought. Consider a paradigm shift instead of a New Year’s Resolution. Do something really new. 2017-Be That Good

Visit Commit Action: https://www.commitaction.com

You Don’t Have to Be an Ambivert to Interact on Social Media

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The entire point of social media is to interact. You don’t have to be gregarious. I enjoy (with the requisite smirk) a good rant from time to time. I’ve even posted a good rant from time to time. But you have to function, that is you have to get in the mix, find your niche, and participate.

Sure, social is a fuzzy concept. When we add media, a means of communication, maybe it gets even fuzzier. So, the application of what it means to be social can vary depending on context and conditions. That’s what they tell me. I don’t know how you can be social without communicating. It seems like a lot of people are trying.

Social media interaction isn’t tough for me. I’m an ambivert―an extroverted introvert who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion. All.the.time. I put myself out there, but I really do live in my head. Social media is perfect for me.

And it makes me a little weird. That’s what they tell me.

I have started doing a lot more weird stuff.

On Twitter: When someone follows me, I write them a little message. Thanks for following! I look forward to your tweets. The exchange of information and insights is always a pleasure. Please contact me if I can help in any way. And I add a little something specific to them, their blog or website that I do actually visit and read.

Every now and then I get a request to Keep the conversation going! And I know. It’s weird. Because I do.

I’d love to get more of those requests!

I started thanking people for retweeting and liking posts. Some people interact. They get it. Some don’t. Never understood that.

On Facebook: I thank people for replying to a post. On my freelancing page*, I even posted a Thank You to all of you who were kind enough to stop by, like my page, and otherwise say Hello. Why? Because you rock!

I always thank people for their comments on my status updates.

Why? Because I’m part of your network just like you’re part of mine. You kinda deserve a response. It’s just good manners.

On LinkedIn: Paul Castain of Castain Training Systems posted an awesome article recently on LinkedIn. Paul said the platform looks like a bunch of people wandering around mumbling to themselves!

And he’s right. Without interaction, social media is whacky self-talk. Paul asks, How many people actually take the time to respond to you? It’s a good question. Are we in the mix? Are we communicating? Or do we maintain a funky attitude that we’re going out of our way when we interact, respond, or say thank you?

Frankly, this stuff almost got me to abandon Twitter way back in 2011. I stayed because I started using it in new ways.  I have continued to evolve how I use that tool.

With LinkedIn, it’s not just a matter of interaction. It’s one of perception. When people say, “Why should I be active on LinkedIn if I’m not looking for a new job?” they’re expressing a fixed mindset.

“I’m working and I have a great resume. I don’t need LinkedIn.” Fixed Mindset.

With a growth mindset, you can see social media in broader terms. I think I still have at least as much to learn as I have to offer on that platform.

My change in perspective, on social media in general and LinkedIn in particular, came about because of changes in my career trajectory. In no small measure, let me tell you.

When I came into contact with brand strategist Peter Economides and his global perspective, my attitude shifted again.

Peter is the kind of person who thinks in terms of how a situation relates to the rest of the world. When I came across Peter Economides, the Greek financial crisis had reached critical mass.

His attitude? Greece is awesome and we’re all connected in a lot of ways. He wanted to evolve branding and rebrand Greece. That’s global in a world that wants to be individual in the most fixed ways imaginable.

Talk about responding and interacting. But before I digress too far, it doesn’t need a grand a gesture.

A lack of participation, as Paul Castain points out, substantially diminishes the platform. The point of LinkedIn is to do business and people do business with those they know, like, and trust. How can you get to know, like,  and build trust without interaction? You can’t.

Responding, interacting and showing kindness and civility matters. Because we’re human. We’re social. We want to stand out, collaborate, interact. I know I do and if I do there have to be millions of others who do as well. If I don’t know you we can’t get there and that’s ridiculous.

You know what isn’t ridiculous―being social on a social network. One of my problems was I first reacted to social media by going about it as though I was mingling in a crowd. Or maybe wading through a crowd.

The noise out there on the Internet became a way for me to not see the forest for the trees. Navigating social media should be about creating and strengthening relationships. We do this with other people on a one-to-one basis just like traditional networking.

And I don’t want to spread myself out too thin. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are my  Big 3. Instagram and Pinterest are tempting. As time has gone by, they haven’t resonated with me. If they resonate with you, get on ‘em!

Then there’s LiveJournal, DeviantArt, Flickr, Snapchat, and more. Lots of choices. (Google + is a story for another day.)

The real choice is connecting with people not just connecting with the “right” platform. At first, the thing for me was to get to know Twitter or LinkedIn, but we’re there to get to know people. When I connect with someone, we have a real interest in getting to know one another. It’s been about like-mindedness.

Being random doesn’t work for the way I’m wired. The more I focus on personal and work specificity, the more selective I’ve become. And the more meaningful the connections have become, too.

Where are you in your journey with social media interaction? Are you a little lost in the forest? Are you giving and seeking opportunities to impart value? Have you spread yourself out too thin making responses and engagement difficult?  Have you gotten to a point where you’re thinking about producing video or a podcast? I’d really like to know. Really.

Thanks so much for dropping by. If you’d like to interact and leave a comment, that would be awesome. Let’s keep the conversation going!

*https://www.facebook.com/pkfreelance/

Worry: Small Things & Big Shadows

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We all know somebody who worries full-time. Their worry is sometimes a function of concern, sometimes a function of anxiety. Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow, as the Swedish proverb goes.

I stopped telling my worriers to stop worrying. Know why? Minimizing people’s feeling is unkind. Telling someone to stop feeling how they’re feeling is as thoughtless an act as it is demanding. We do it all the time. We say stuff like “Cheer up!” When we tell a depressed person to cheer up they’ll feel like their experience is an inconvenience to us. That’s just wrong.

Wayne Dyer calls worry a “useless emotion.” Okay, Wayne. Sorry, brah. I’ll just drop it then. Or, Wayne? Maybe your observation is useless. Now before you get too mad at me, lemme ‘splain.

We attach worry to the future. We don’t worry about the past. We may regret it, but we don’t worry about it. And in the moment, we might feel anxious. So, maybe there’s a good reason why we’ve evolved worry. It can spur our ability to map out, plan for, and engage in a thought process about how bad the future might really turn out. As long as you’re planning and thinking and not just reacting, you may be on to something positive.

So, sure, worrying won’t stop the bad things from happening. But it may spur you on to handle them. Worry, act, enjoy the good things. It’s okay. It’s one of those what it is to be human things.

Neuroscientists say that the human brain can’t distinguish between a real event and a vividly imagined one. This has tripped me up when I talk about a piece of writing. If I talk about it, I trick my mind into thinking I’ve already written it. Then it’s difficult, arduous even, to actually get the writing done.

With worry, what happens is that we build up the worst of the emotional habits. No. Not worry itself, but what I like to call “personal superstitions.” Professional worriers make a habit of entertaining an unfounded belief―that they’re not safe unless they worry. It’s superstition. I’ve dealt with a lot of mine and as a result, I worry a lot less.

It has taken the practice of self-awareness and meditation to come to my conclusions:

First, contentment is not insipid nor an uninteresting state of mind, at all.

Second, worry isn’t so stimulating that it deserves a huge chunk of my time.

But for some folks worry is stimulating! And yet, studies show that worriers tend to be intelligent, creative people. It takes imagination to dream up worries.

My way of diminishing worry has been to expand connection with others and not isolate as much as I am inclined to. Nothing like the light of day that engaging with others brings, and then voila! My worries diminish. When I can talk freely about what’s worrying me, I can gain some perspective―that it’s often just a small thing casting a big shadow.

I try not to be the smartest person in the room. My friends tend to be more rational than I, too. Sometimes. So, when I start to express worry, luckily I’m not told to stop. We’re having a conversation and I get to make a more rational choice for myself in the moment. Try that. It may just help those worries subside.

These 7 Life Hacks Will Help You Get Ready for 2017 Like a Boss

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My grandmother was always saying, “Count your blessings.” I just don’t remember hearing her complain. One of my dearest friends, Sandra, always says―at least once a day―“Be grateful.” She is consistently looking for an opportunity to give recognition and share appreciation.

Basically, these positive women were saying the same thing. Express gratitude. And why? Because you count blessings, not ill fortune. Misadventure isn’t for calculation, it’s for edification. It’s for opportunity―not least of all taking the opportunity to look in the mirror.

What you do is you take a good hard look at your successes. You emulate and reproduce success. You learn from failures. You take an inventory and magnify your strengths so you can diminish deficits.

You don’t want to sit too long in a success. You want to take actionable steps and keep moving. You don’t want to sit in a failure either. Wallowing in emotional paralysis is not going to reduce a deficiency. Learning sure will.

Self-help author, Melody Beattie says, ‘Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.’ Wallowing never accomplished that. And yet, I can say in all sincerity, I’m grateful for my many failures.

That’s right. And why? Because being grateful for the failure unlocks it and opens up acceptance. Gratitude in failure unlocks the lesson and unlocks breakthroughs, momentum, and improvement. When we adopt the attitude that failing isn’t stagnation or diminishment, we can make headway and elevate our experience.

It’s part of an equation―it gets a bit algebraic, but don’t freak out―because we’re adding good stuff, embracing impermanence, forgiveness, and the benefits of moving on.

Oh. And look at that! We’re moving on from 2016.

  • What choices are you going to make?
  • In what ways can you set yourself up for growth?
  • What person, place, or thing do you need to let go of?
  • What strength will you expand?
  • Where’s your level of acceptance and non-attachment?
  • What are you gonna do to infuse more gratitude into your life?

These 7 life hacks will help you get ready for 2017 like a boss:

  1. Express your gratitude.
  2. Emulate and reproduce success.
  3. Magnify your strengths.
  4. Take actionable steps to move forward.
  5. Keep learning. If you fail, it’s for edification, not calculation.
  6. Calculation is for counting blessings.
  7. Give space for gratitude to unlock the lesson.

Give yourself some credit. You done good. Say goodbye to 2016 with a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. I’m so anticipating a new life and it comes with not just a clean slate, but with lessons learned. Are you with me?

Gertrude Stein Loves Social Media

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Social media in and of itself is meaningless.

Shocking declaration from a content writer and social media coordinator, blogger and everything the hell else I am.

The fact is there are worse things that go on and on in our daily lives that interfere with our freedom and self-determination and we love those things. We have a taste for whatever we can use more so than for the things that we can love.

Bear with me on this, because there is a beyond-Facebook point to what follows here. But, let’s get to social media and Facebook as a case in point: There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.

For me, social media is usually thought of as “good” for 5 reasons.

Reason No. 1—Social Media is good because it’s a tool. Not just something we can use but something we can love. As a bright shiny distraction, social media keeps me in touch with people and the thing I value most―relationship.

As a freelancer, social media gives energy and propulsion to mastery and purpose. That is, social media is effective for promoting ideas and plans, for career and evolving projects, for meeting potential clients and launching entrepreneurial initiatives.

I have often repeated that to me social media is underutilized by community development practitioners, counselors, therapists, healthcare professionals and healthcare entrepreneurs. Over the last 2 years, I have witnessed a huge change as these professionals have really caught on. Their relationships have grown hugely matching any and every sector out there.

For me, it begins and ends with relationships. I had a great conversation with a friend of mine, a passionate VP of sales and consultant with a radical web development company. He was telling me about how corporate was pushing for closings. While we sure did agree that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to close more deals, as we spoke we came to a couple of important conclusions.

  1. Closing a deal, like anything else, is not a magical occurrence because it does not exist in isolation, and cannot appear by sheer force of will.
  2. Before you can close, there is a full spectrum of actionable items you need to bridge.

The first and last item on the spectrum is relationship.

Reason No. 2—Social Media can be a veritable provenance of insight, creativity, and well-thought-out viewpoints. Setting aside Caturday and the millionth mention of Nikola Tesla, platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook obviously work for me and other freelancers.

The people I have met through social media have helped me shape my main goals and helped motivate me to move forward―in spite of conventional ideas of what success should look like. My connections and followers on social media have provided benefit and value as I pursue freelancing.

I’ve learned a lot and continue to as relationships grow.

They have inspired an upgrade of self as the new year approaches. Success for me has been hinged on becoming a person business, so to speak―not at all precluding being a business person, but in essence, running my life as though I am the brand.

After all,  I am the capital, I am the operation.

This is a season to explore a sort of economics of Self―an investment in functioning, becoming a think-tank of mission and goals; networked and affiliated, sharing and earning―not merely consuming.

It’s okay to be an artist and a guru, it’s also okay to acquire and accumulate. The seeds I have planted concerning the business I am into today and frankly, the business I am not into (what’s none of my business)—have begun to bear fruit. Even the iPhone pics of the food I cooked at home have provided dividends.

Reason No.3—Because Facebook allows me to stay in contact with the real people in my life, I am enjoying connections with friends, and family [of choice] without having to lie about “let’s keep in touch,” or about FaceTime and phone calls none of us will ever make.

If I had a dime for every time I said or was asked to keep the conversation going. Wow.

There’s at least one opinionated virago out there who’d be happy to tell you: This ain’t news, this ain’t special, interesting or Earth shattering. Like Gertrude Stein said, ‘Nothing will ever be more interesting than the American Civil War.’

Let the mossbacks say what they like—it’s none of my business. Truth is, I have known some of my Facebook friends―yes indeed they are Facebook “friends,” but they are actually genuine friends, too―going back to the age of 12. We’re in contact with one another because it’s the best way to keep in touch.

Some of the people that I know on Facebook, in fact, the biggest circle of people that I know in social media, are people that I’ve known since I was in my 20s. There are some people in social media that I’ve known from anywhere between 5 years to just a few weeks. Or less.

Reason No.4—My social media presence is evolving as I evolve, and as social media itself evolves. It truly is a journey.

I began freelance writing as a generalist. I was told to find a niche and I organically grew toward creating content for websites and work as a social media coordinator. This wasn’t just something that happened overnight. But being no great fan of irony, I had to make an exception because as I niched down, I expanded my competencies. All because I value relationship building.

This is what happened as a result of nurturing relationships: A potential client and I connected over Skype for a 30-minute meeting. His website content was sparse and poorly written. He wasn’t a writer and didn’t want to be a writer.

We ended up talking for almost an hour and a  half. It wasn’t all business. Not directly. We were getting to know one another as people first, as business associates second.

Then he asked, “How can you expand on what you’re already doing?”

So, not being a fan of irony, I am a huge devotee of the epiphany. The ah-ha moment. The proverbial lightbulb over my cartoon head. The end result of our conversation was that he saw an appropriate fit and hired me as a Social Media Coordinator.

Expanding competencies.

Reason No.5—Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. ― Gertrude Stein

There’s a lot of noise on the Internet.  The noise is part of the two biggest challenges that you and I face.

The first is to not allow our best moments and our momentum to get rerouted by every single great idea that pops into our heads.

The second is the closely related Bright Shiny Objects.

I use my Mac’s Stickies, Notes, and Text Edit apps. When I get an idea, it goes on Stickies. If later in the day it seems not too excessively insane, it goes on Notes. Then, if it’s not just another bright shiny distraction, I look into it further.

Some ideas are awesome ideas but they’re not for me. There’s the issue of what resonates and what integrates. If it isn’t fundamental to my process, or can’t become part of the mix, I cannot waste my time on it.

Then there are the pure, unadulterated Bright Shiny Objects. I have mixed feelings about these. Nowadays, I allow myself a short amount of time for them. In the past, I could really mess up my flow, the efficiency of my entire day.

It’s 9:00 a.m., I’m having coffee and researching an article and before you know it, it’s lunchtime and I haven’t written a word. Chasing squirrels is a Bad habit!

Well, not always. There have been frequent experiences where distractions led to discovery. Researching one topic has often led to inspiration, jotting another two or three ideas on Stickies, and honoring my process.

Best of all, allowing yourself to chase something shiny can lead to an introduction.

I consider it quite an honor to have connections on LinkedIn and Twitter with influencers and thought leaders. Maybe some of these relationships were inevitable, but if allowing time for the chase initiated a conversation then no harm no foul.

If we allow a small part of our day to be taken up by a bit of distraction we may find that it doesn’t automatically have to interfere with purpose and mastery.

Mastery is about living our lives in a more meaningful and fulfilling manner.

Purpose strives for achievement.

We are not our distraction. We are made up of countless traits, not just distraction or any other single characteristic or habit. Our daily purpose is to enhance the enjoyment of our work and our being. Work is only a part of our existence and will never to prove our worth.

Whether we’re multitasking, strictly focused, or totally distracted, we have enough fulfillment and purpose to carry us through. Social media engagement has been the capstone of my freelancing adventure.

And sometimes, we do need to disconnect on a whole mess of levels and just be still. Like Gertrude Stein said, ‘Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.’

Stumble over your next blog topic, your next connection, the influencer or thought leader you connect and engage with. You have the mastery and the tools. Social Media is one of them. Love these things. Love them all.

 

Photo Credit: © 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Content Machine

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I’m stoked about this.

There’s hidden gold and I have a new way to find it for you!

To be frank―you have assets you’re overlooking. I can give new life to existing content, make it profitable, and create new content for expanded use in other areas.

This is guaranteed to make a huge impact on your business and on your audience.

We’ll build a PK Content Machine to serve you! Sure, it sounds a little mad scientist-y, but in reality, we’re creating new opportunities for you and your website to grow your client base.

Ask me how we can build an exclusive PK Content Machine that will find hidden assets and how I can integrate them into your Lifetime of Content subscription.

Stop by PK Freelancing and let’s develop raw ideas and turn the best ones into

  • Abstracts
  • Blog posts from the best abstracts
  • White papers from the best blog posts
  • Webinars from the best white papers
  • Ghostwritten articles from the best content above

 

 

 

[Special thanks to Ed Gandia.]

The Power of Content & Social Media Expertise

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What marketing strategies are you using right now? A more important question might be how well are they actually working for you?

If you’ve given up on using Social Media and Internet marketing vehicles for your business, don’t throw in the towel just yet. In addition to offering a Lifetime of Content Program, I opened the Pk Freelancing Social Media Café.

I help people and businesses implement social media strategies that are proven to generate more leads, website traffic, and targeted followers. My programs are simple to understand and results-driven to get you the best outcomes possible on Social Media.

Social media, when used correctly, can be one of the most powerful business and marketing tools you will ever use. The problem for most companies is that they don’t know where to start or they don’t have the time or staff needed to get consistent results.

My purpose is simple: I Coordinate Your Social Media and Provide Outstanding Content To Make Sure You Get Results. Guaranteed!

I have developed programs that can handle the needs of almost any size company in any industry and in almost any country.

By outsourcing your Content and Social Media needs, you have more time to focus on your business while you leaving your marketing up to a professional at a fraction of the usual cost.

If you want to learn more about Social Media and find out if our plans are a good fit for your business, I would be happy to connect over a 30-minute consultation.

You can follow this link: facebook.com/pkfreelance/