Since I last posted here, I took a cruise to the Bahamas!!! Speaker/author Tony Robinson of Well-Watered Woman Ministries asked me to be one of the keynote speakers at her Women of Destiny conference on a cruise to the Bahamas. It wasn’t anything I had sought out or prayed for, and was totally unexpected when Tony asked me. I battled fears about going on the cruise ship, but I pressed through those fears – and am SO glad I did! It was an incredible blessing!
The Bahamas were beautiful, and I had a much needed, relaxing, de-stressing time there. The ocean in the Bahamas is green-blue, and so clear you can see right through it. The sand on the beach is white, with hardly any shells or rocks, so you can walk barefoot on it without it hurting your feet.
I had a great time getting to know Tony and her team and the other women at the conference, shopping, and eating the delicious food on the cruise ship each day. As Tony said, you go on a cruise primarily for the food!
God did great things at the conference and on the islands. I wrote all about the trip in my newest ebook, Bahama Mama: When God Uses Ordinary Women For His Extraordinary Purposes.
You can find out more about this great little ebook or purchase it by clicking here. It’s just $5! Get your copy right now.
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 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
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
I know, I haven’t been writing much here lately. Interrupted by life – teaching our youngest daughter Leah how to drive, setting up Talkshoe radio shows to interview my guests, attending telecalls and webinars, doing some work here at home for a friend, and today watching Ray open his birthday present which finally arrived from Amazon – a Kindle, so he can read his science fiction ebooks on it at work during down time.
It is so much smaller than I expected, thin, light-weight, but Ray was surprised and happy with it. (Speaking of ebooks, did you know that my ebook on prayer Walking With God is available for sale in the Kindle edition for just 99 cents? Just click here.)
Just like ebook publishing changed the face of publishing and writing, the Kindle and other ebook readers are changing it once again. One of the biggest questions is the “value” of the ebook.
There is controversy among authors regarding how to price their ebooks on Kindle. Some argue that they are charging for intellectual property, not the cost of paper. The prices of many new releases and best sellers are rising from $9.99 to $14.99 in the next few months, although many readers of ebooks oppose prices higher than $9.99. There are also a LOT of ebooks listed in the 99 cents to $4.99 range.
Douglas Preston, whose novel “Impact” reached No. 4 on The New York Times’s hardcover fiction best-seller list earlier this month, was amazed by the public’s opposition to higher prices and said, “It’s the Wal-Mart mentality, which in my view is very unhealthy for our country. It’s this notion of not wanting to pay the real price of something.”
I laughed at this. Why are authors labeled as greedy when they simply want to make an honest living from their mental labor? I agree that while we all want a bargain, what we authors/writers are charging for is intellectual property – our time, our effort, our research, our prayers (!), etc. When I put my ebook on the Kindle, I was stupid hadn’t researched it much and thought that since 99 cents was a common price, that is what I was SUPPOSED to do. I am about to raise my price on it, though – so get the 99 cents price now while it’s still available!
What are your thoughts on ebook prices? Do you think they should cost less than the cost of a regular printed book? Why or why not? What price would you recommend for a Kindle or another Ereader ebook? Leave your comments below.