Blog Away


A friend sent me the following email that contained such great nuggets of wisdom that I had to share.  Unfortunately, the author’s name was not included, so please forgive me if you recognize this article as yours!

Doing what you love.

1.       If you don’t think it’s possible, do a small easy test. Don’t think you can start a blog? Sign up for a free WordPress.com or Blogger.com account and do a short post. Don’t tell anyone about it. Just write a post. It costs nothing, risks nothing, takes almost no time. But you will learn you can do that one little thing, and if you pass that test, you now know your theory of impossibility was wrong. You can do this with any skill, btw, not just blogging.

2.       Expand your tests. If you pass the first test, do another small one. Then another. Keep going and notice your confidence grow. Your skills grow along with the confidence. It’s amazingly simple. Iterate and re-iterate as long as you are having fun.

3.       If you don’t know what you love, don’t worry. There’s no need to figure that out right away. Try something that someone else is doing, and see if you think it’s fun. The real fun part, btw, comes when you start to get good at it, so perhaps stick with it for awhile and enjoy the learning, then enjoy being good at it. If that first try doesn’t work, try something else. You don’t have to commit to one thing for your entire life. You can do a dozen a year if you want, for a decade. You’ll probably find something by then.

4.       Find inspiration. Who else is doing what you love doing? Who is excited about it most? Follow them. Learn about them. See what path they took. Watch closely how they execute, what they do right. Learn from the best.

5.       Reach out to a mentor. Of the people who inspire you the most, try to make contact with a few of them. If they never respond, try a few more. See if you can buy them lunch or coffee. Don’t pitch them on anything. Just ask for their help, and say you’d love for them to mentor you in a way that won’t take up much of their time. Don’t demand a lot of time, but go to them when you’re having trouble making big decisions.

6.       Choose one passion at random. Some people have many interests and don’t know where to start. Pick one or two randomly if they’re all about equal, and just get started. Don’t let choice paralyze you. Get started, because in the end it won’t matter if you started with the wrong passion — you’ll learn something valuable no matter what.

7.       Get good at it. You get good at something with practice. Allow your friends and family to be your first audience, readers, customers. Then take on a few others at a low cost, or increase your audience slowly. But always have an audience or customers if possible — you’ll get good much faster this way, with feedback and accountability. Read about it. Watch videos. Take a class. Join a group of others learning. Find people to partner with. Before long, you’ll be good at it.

8.      Help others. One of the best ways to get good at something is to help others learn. Making someone’s life better with your new skill is also an amazing way to get satisfaction out of what you do, to love what you do. Help as many people as you can in any way possible — it will pay off.

9.       Find your voice. Eventually, as you master your skill, you will learn that you are different than the thousands of others doing it. You will find your uniqueness. It’s not necessarily there at first, because you might not have the technical skills to express yourself. But eventually, find that voice. Find the thing that sets you apart, that helps you to stand out from the crowd. Then emphasize that.

10.   How can you be valuable? What can you do that is valuable to others? Sometimes it’s doing something that they really need. Sometimes it’s doing it better than others. Sometimes it’s saving people time, or money. Other times it’s just making their lives better, brighter, pleasanter in some way.

11.    Become an expert. If you get good at something, and help others, and find a voice, and become valuable — you’ll become an expert at what you do. Others will turn to you for advice. Help them. Read more.

12.    Sell your own stuff. I’ve found that the best way to make a revenue, by far, is by selling your own stuff. I’ve tried ads and affiliate links, and while I have nothing against those things, the thing that works best for me is selling my own stuff. I’ve already proven to my audience that I’m valuable and honest and trustworthy, and so they are much more likely to want something that I’ve created than something I recommend made by others. So create something valuable that will help others, and sell it.

13.    Don’t be a jerk. Too many people online are so worried about maximizing subscriber numbers or pageviews that they do things that are disrespectful to their readers. Asking me to click “Next Page” five times to read your article? Jerk move. Having a pop-up asking me to subscribe before I’ve even read the article I came to read? Jerk move. Screaming at me to “Like” your page on Facebook, when I could decide that on my own without being asked if the article was really good? Jerk move. Learn to feel what is respectful, and what’s a jerk move.

14.    Don’t let numbers rule you. Numbers are arbitrary and basically worthless. How many readers do you have? No one really knows, and in the end the number of readers doesn’t matter as much as things like: how much do they care about your articles, how much have you helped them, how much do they trust you, how excited are they? Pageviews don’t matter, neither do Facebook fans or Twitter followers or the number of people on your mailing list. Instead of worrying about numbers, pour yourself into your work, make yourself incredibly valuable, help people as much as possible, love what you do. The numbers will come as a side effect.

15.    It’s the doing and loving that matters. Many people focus on growing, or hitting goals, or making money, but they forget what matters. What matters most is loving what you do. If you love it, and you’re doing it, you’ve already succeeded. Don’t worry so much about achieving certain levels of success — people push themselves so hard to reach those things that they forget to enjoy what they’re doing, and in the process they lose the reason they’re doing it in the first place.

16.    Dream bigger. Once you’ve overcome the initial fear and started to become good at something you love, dream bigger. The first stage is small steps, but don’t stop there. You can change lives. You can change the world. Doing so will change you.

Two Great Resources

I have two friends who have helped thousands of people do what they love. I highly recommend their courses:

1.       Traffic School by Corbett Barr (affiliate link). Corbett teaches you how to build thriving online audiences, and he does an amazing job. The course will teach you how to build a much bigger audience for your website or blog. This course closes registration today, btw.

2.       Live Off Your Passion by Scott Dinsmore (not affiliate link). Scott’s mission is to help you find your passion and build a career around it, and he delivers with this self-study eCourse containing a 200-page written guide, a 72-page interactive workbook and dozens of videos, case studies, expert interviews and tools.

 

WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR PROGRESS TOWARD LIVING YOUR TRUE LIFE — PLEASE SHARE!!!

The Eyes of Love


“I looked a hundred times and all I saw was dust.  The sun broke through and flecks of gold filled the air.”  Mark Nepo

Have you ever wondered at all of the things we cannot see, until the sun illuminates them?  We are so dependent on the images that we see through our eyes that we miss what is present, right in front of us.

Perhaps there is another aspect of sight that can only be appreciated when we give up our need to see.

To look on a scene of beauty or into a dog’s eyes is to look on God’s love expressed physically.  The challenge (or the opportunity) is to look into another’s eyes and see the same love.

What Defines You Today?


Today – moment by moment – you get to decide who and what you are in relation to that…

Today – just for a moment – you are in control of yourself and your reactions.

Today – stop and consider before you react.  Is this who I am?

String enough separate moments together and you will have lived a full life!

Walk. Feed. Love.


“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”  Anatole France

For all of the animal lovers out there (whether it is a dog, cat, ferret, goat or llama), have you ever wondered why you love your pet so much?  They can’t speak in words, they don’t help with chores around the house, and they certainly don’t add to the bottom line.

Unless your “bottom line” is based on love, not numbers set off with $illy $ymbol$.

The answer to why I love my dogs and cat so much is very simple.  But it’s simplicity also reveals a truth about all of us that defines our world.  When we know this truth, it really does set us free.

Unconditional love.

When you fall in love with an animal, you will see to its care with a happy heart.  You will overlook the messes or the hassle of the litter box and see only love in their eyes.  How can a heart so small be filled with so much love?

Let me share a poem that I wrote several years ago on this very topic.  After reading it, please hug your pet and kiss it for me!

Cascading Love

By Kathryn Eriksen

Patiently waiting to be with me.

Hours spent chasing rabbits in the mind.

Ecstatic reunion.

A switch flips on

And pure love pours out.

My day falls away

As my arms fill with furry joy.

Laughter spills over

As my face is blanketed with

Wet kisses…

Each one

a cascading love letter.

 

Patiently listening while I review my day.

The struggles

The anger

And frustration grow dim and fade away

As I gaze into his face of

Pure love.

 

Patient love

Constant and infinite.

Who knew that God would choose

This heart, small enough to fit into my hand,

But big enough that it fills

My world with His love?

Help Me Promote a Wonderful Author!


K. Dawn Byrd is a marvel – author of numerous books, she still finds the time to create and manage blog interviews and book give-aways.  Her new e-book promises to open your eyes to lessons learned from the open road – in this case, while riding on the back of a motorcycle!    Here is more information about her:

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance, romantic suspense, and non-fiction. She is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She’s also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Lessons from the Open Road

A couple of years ago, the idea of writing a devotional about the lessons I learned while riding a motorcycle came to me. I had no idea what I was getting into and how much writing devotionals would minister to me as an author. I jotted down notes for weeks, hoping to come up with enough lessons to take the reader through a month. Lessons from the Open Road ended with 33 lessons, each followed by Scripture and prayer.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes learning new things is hard. Just when I thought I’d mastered the parking lot where I was learning to ride my little Yamaha Virago starter bike, I pulled out, forgot to hit the brake, did an Evel Knievel, and jumped a short concrete wall, landing in some trees. My poor little bike limped home with a hole in the crankcase the size of a quarter. J-B Weld to the rescue!

I’m stubborn, too stubborn to quit. After I recovered from the sore neck that resulted from my stunt, I climbed back on the old iron horse. Eventually, I graduated from the parking lot and hit the streets. When I’d learned to ride well enough to satisfy hubby, he bought himself a new Harley and I inherited his anniversary edition Harley Davidson Sportster. And, when I graduated with my masters degree, you’d never guess what I wanted. Yep, a new bike. I became the proud owner of a Screamin Eagle V-Rod (picture attached.)

All good things must eventually come to an end. I enjoyed my days on the road, but found another passion. Writing. I work a full-time job and since there’s only so much time in the day, I have to choose what’s most important to me. The bike had to go. Occasionally, I miss it, but for the most part, I’d rather be writing. I’m hoping the devotions in Lessons from the Open Road will minister to your heart as much as writing them did to mine.

Lessons from the Open Road is currently available in ebook format and will be coming soon in print. I had planned to list it at no cost, but Amazon wouldn’t allow me to do so. I’ve listed it at the lowest price Amazon allows, 99 cents, and all proceeds will be donated to my church’s building fund for the new church that’s currently under construction.

For more information about Lessons from the Open Road, you can check it out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Open-Road-ebook/dp/B007OYYG64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332895452&sr=8-1

Links:

Book giveaway blog: www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com

Young adult blog: www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com

Website: www.kdawnbyrd.com 

I’m also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and facebook (K Dawn Byrd.) I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444) If you join this group, you’ll get reminders about the weekly book giveaways.