Learn to say “No”

Oh, dear friend, I know it’s been so long since I’ve been here. Please forgive me! This has been a BUSY year! Like Charles Dickens’ book A Tale of Two Cities begins, “It’s been the best of times, the worst of times…”.

This summer I was contacted by a CEO of a large organization online, who said she got a “nudge” from God about me. She asked me to help edit articles and blog posts for her website, and to post them on her WordPress blog. I know a little about WordPress from having my own WordPress sites and know even less about editing – I have never been an editor before.

After I talked to my husband Ray and prayed about it, I felt God wanted me to help her. Ray really encouraged me to do it because she is successful and he felt she could help me learn new things. He also saw it as an opportunity for me to potentially make some residual income. She would barter her wonderful products, services, and events in exchange for me helping her, and pay me for time-consuming projects, too.

Bartering your gifts, abilities, and services

Bartering is actually quite popular online. I love to barter. You can get some great gifts doing this! Think about bartering your own products, services, events or abilities for someone else, in exchange for something that you would love to have.

Some writers write for magazines, online ezines, freelance write, write resumes, ghost-write, copy-write, become a health writer or travel writer, for either pay or by bartering.

Can you write articles in exchange for taking one of his or her classes? Are you gifted at website design and could help someone with her website in exchange for her newest audio bundle set? Are you willing to speak at an online event for free in exchange for heavy promotion of your name, business, and website?

Since I had never been an editor before, this woman and I agreed to try it for a month. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I could do it! That was in June and I am still helping her. 🙂 In addition to blessing my socks off with her great products and events, she has been coaching me twice a month and also paid me (yes, money!) for two major projects she needed done quickly. This woman’s coaching services are expensive, so I think I am getting the better end of the deal!

Some people will have you sign a temporary contract in exchange for your services. We have discussed this but haven’t done it yet. But you might want to consider it for legal purposes and to protect your own interests…just so the two of you have an “understanding” about what you will (and will not) be doing, how long, for what amount of pay (or for whatever you’re receiving), etc.

Invest in a coach for your business!

I’ve been praying for a coach for some time now. I am learning so much from this woman as she is a powerhouse success and is so smart and knowledgeable about marketing, social media, and business in general. And I just love her! I encourage you to find a coach, too – whether it’s a writing coach, a business coach, a finance coach, a marketing or social media coach. In whatever area you desire success, find someone who is “ahead” of you in that field, doing what you love and can show you the way.

Emulate him or her. Learn what they are doing that is working, and learn from their mistakes as well. A great coach will be “real” with you about their mistakes to help others avoid their mistakes and to get ahead faster.

Stay true to your core values in your busy schedule

I was concerned about helping her because I homeschool our youngest daughter Leah and have been afraid of getting overwhelmed, trying to do too much. This job has actually turned into an almost full-time job, in addition to my writing and speaking business. This fall I added life purpose coaching to my services and have another online coaching group starting January 2012. (I’d love to have you join us!)

I am asking God to help me balance it all. I have asked Him to help me keep my priorities straight: God first, family second (including homeschooling Leah), and then all else – my business, helping my “boss”/coach, etc. This is Leah’s last year of high school. It’s so hard to believe she is a senior now! I don’t want to miss out on her last year, but want to make precious memories with her.

Live authentically by moving toward your purpose and living out your core values

Our precious daughter, Leah

The key is to stay in that sacred place of prayer and studying God’s word each day, and learning to say NO to anything that is not moving toward fulfilling our life purpose and our core values.  If “family” is one of your core values, then make sure that is what you are putting at the top of your priorities. Then you will be living authentically – and will be more energized, happy, and less stressed. Homeschooling is one of our core values, so I’m asking God to help me keep it a priority, especially this last year of Leah’s homeschooling.

“No” is not an easy word to say. Just this week, I had to say “no” to a friend of mine, a fellow writer/speaker/coach who asked me to write articles/blog posts for her website.

I wanted to do it to help her, but after thinking and praying about it, I realized if I said yes, I was going to get into overwhelm because of all that I’m already doing. To my relief, my friend was not mad or upset, but she understood.

Learn to just say “no”

Learn to say no! Determine which writing and speaking opportunities – or other types of work – are right for you, and will work for you and your family. In learning the power of that word, “no,” we say “yes” to God, our families, and ourselves.

I am anticipating that 2012 is going to be a GREAT year – but we must prepare now through prayer, Bible study, worship of God, and obedience to Him. “Prepare” and “preparation” are the words (theme) God has given me for 2012.

Each year I pray for God to give me a theme for the new year. God began downloading those two words to me early this time, and has confirmed it already through several people. I confess it makes me a little nervous – what do I need to be prepared FOR? But I have faith that God will be with me and has me and my loved ones in His great Hands!

Say “yes” to God!

God will guide our steps in 2012. Learn now to listen to His voice carefully, to heed and obey. Say a holy “yes” to God, and a “yes” to other people and other things only if God directs you to do so.

Learn the freedom and power of the word “no,” so that you can more fully do the things God has called you to do and to be. And be sure to enjoy and love your precious family and friends NOW, without letting work crowd them out. Live your life with no regrets.

“God makes three requests of his children : Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now.” – Anonymous

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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The FLIP video camera for your business

Video is hot right now, and if you’re not using it for your business, I encourage you to jump on board. One incredible tool to record videos that I use for my writing/speaking business is the FLIP Ultra II video recorder. I use mine all the time, and have recorded 148 videos on YouTube this past year.

The FLIP is amazingly simple and easy to use, with just the push of a button. It uses the FLIP battery pack or regular batteries. You can plug it straight into the USB port of your laptop or computer and upload your video straight to YouTube. The Ultra HD II is less than $90 for one hour and less than $130 for two hours of recording time…a small investment that will reap benefits for your business.

If you’re like some people, you don’t like the idea of seeing yourself on video. So get creative! Record your husband, your kids, your friends, the beach, nature, the weather, a sports game, driving down the road, an instructional video, or just whatever you want to record!

If you’re a writer or speaker, you need to FLIP! 🙂

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Are you serious about your hot dog – or whatever you’re making?

This morning I read an amusing news story about a dog fight in Chicago – hot dogs, that is.

Vienna Beef, one of the world’s most famous hot dog makers, is suing the owner of a rival hot dog company, accusing him of either stealing Vienna’s 118-year-old recipe or lying to customers by claiming that he’s using it. The rival is the grandson of one of the two men who founded the company after their hot dogs became a hit at the 1893 World’s Fair.

According to this story, the lawsuit accuses Red Hot Chicago of false advertising, unfair competition and trademark infringement. In Chicago, the “meal on a bun” is part of local history and where loyalty to one of the region’s 2,000 hot dog stands is passed down from generation to generation.

One of the funniest quotes in the story was by Tanya Russell, a mail carrier who stops at a downtown stand called Fast Track, to deliver some letters and to grab a Vienna hot dog before finishing her route. “This is Chicago, and we take hot dogs seriously.”

If only we would take our writing and speaking so seriously, right? You might even be able to pass down this gift from generation to generation!

Last night I was on a NACWE telecall, and the guest was Joslyn Johnson, one of NACWE’s youngest members. Joslyn shared how everything we do needs to be related to God’s purpose for our lives. If you read my blog at Tablet Of My Heart, you know that I am passionate about women pursuing their purpose and calling from God, and using their gifts for God’s glory.

If your gift is writing and speaking, I encourage you to set aside any distractions, excuses, or fears, and begin using this great treasure that is inside of you. Don’t wait. Don’t hold back in intimidation, doubt, and fear.  The world needs to hear your great story!

Just write. Share the messages that are burning on your heart for God.

This morning I found this quote by Eric Maisel, author of a book I ordered at Amazon today, A Writer’s Space: Make Room to Dream, to Work, to Write .

“The writing life is defined by the succession of choices you make, primary among them whether or not you will write. You honor your writing space by entering it with this mantra: ‘I am ready to work.’ You enter, grow quiet, and vanish into your writing.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Find your writing space right now.

Have you checked out my latest creation, The Hands Of A Woman: Everyday Women In Everyday Battles? Just $20 – get your copy today!

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