Editor’s note: For the first blog of the New Year I reviewed the posts of the past year. The following is a guest blog written by the award winning  motivational speaker, trainer and diversity consultant, Dr. Brenda White Wright.  It was first published in February 2011 however I felt the material is timeless and a great way to launch a New Year! 

Step One – Have quiet time everyday. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”   Everyone needs and deserves some “personal” time each day.  Retreat from the daily demands of others to replenish your mind and spirit.  We may need to get up earlier or stay up later but we need that personal quiet time to meditate, pray, think, dream, or read; to consider new possibilities for our lives.

Step Two – Develop and commit to a personal plan of action for your life. Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Vision clarifies our purpose in life and gives us direction.   Dr. Robert Schular wrote, “When you get where you’re going, where will you be?”

Step Three – Exercise everyday – physically, mentally, & spiritually.  In order to live a balanced life, each of us needs to exercise everyday – physically, mentally, and spiritually.  We can walk or jog, read, study, read, take up a new hobby, go back to school, worship, pray, and/or meditate according to our spiritual beliefs and values.

Step Four – Quit giving excuses. Insanity has been defined as, “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.  “Keep doing what you’ve been doing and you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.”  If you like where you are – great!  If not, then “do” something about it.  Nothing takes care of itself.  Make a decision and then ask God to help you stick to it.

Step Five – Have an attitude of gratitude. Be more thankful!  It is impossible to be thankful and negative at the same time.   Most of us have the gifts of speech and hearing, sight, and mobility.  Most of us are blessed with families and friends who love us and care about us.  Most of us are not homeless, helpless, or hopeless.  The more thankful you are for what you have today, the more you’ll have tomorrow to be thankful for.

Step Six– Become more respectful of differences. God is no respecter of persons.  Learn to respect diversity.  Being disrespectful of differences is often the cause for confrontations and conflicts of all kinds – from disputes in our homes, to physical abuses, to war in the world because of racial, ethnic, and religious differences.  Being accepting is not the same thing as agreement.  It’s about acceptance and respect.

Step Seven– Learn to Listen and Listen to Learn.Listen more than you speak.Hearing is a gift, but listening is a skill that needs to be developed.  Listen requires humility.  It’s one of the greatest gifts that we can give to someone and as we give, I believe that we receive in kind.

Step Eight – Be a Servant Leader. Help others grow and get where you are.  Don’t put them down.  Instead, teach what was taught to you.  Do for someone else what was done for you.  None of us got here alone.   As we give, we receive.  The more we give, the better we live.

Step Nine – Laugh more often! Lighten up!  A sense of humor is one of the inherent abilities that God has given us to cope with stress.  Humor is one of the most inexpensive and readily available nonprescription medications to reduce stress, stimulate creativity and improve performance.  The Scriptures say, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Step Ten – Love what you do, do what you love, and if you love someone, tell them.


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Christmas background image by Yana Ray

This week I get to participate in the 3six5 project. It is an international blogging project written in the style of  daily journal entries from 365 different people. 365 days, 365 points of view.  Each person telling the story of their day with a 365 word limit of course. I am eagerly looking forward to writing since the day that was assigned to me will coincidentally be a very special and important day. More on that as the day, the project and my family (hint) arrive!

P.S. The day has arrived and here is my post! By the way as I look at some of the other authors I am particularly honored to have been invited to take part in this writing project!

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Editor’s Note: This post is by guest blogger and friend, Cathy Rodgers of 7wavesmarketing.

Everywhere I look, it seems the same message is being told: “invest in content,” “know who you are trying to reach,” and “the story is important.” Telling the story of what goes on behind the front door of a business is something we’ve been saying since the beginning of 7Waves. There is something unique about each and every business and there is a story that needs to be told. I invite you to take a fresh look at your business from the outside and ask yourself, “what would people want to know about my products, my place in the community, or the dedication of the founders and work team”?

Here are a few points of inspiration to help you further your brand or that of your client, along with a few suggestions for experimentation.

1. Nourish your brand: Have a brainstorming session with your team on how to boost the level of visibility and awareness in your community.

2. Find the story: Go back to the beginning and find the reason for the start of the business. This can be the foundation of a new press release or a blog article.

3. It’s more than a logo: A business continually creates and lives their brand. It’s more than a strategy or plan, it’s even beyond a vision statement – it’s about articulating passion for your own products and services.

4. Form a Partnership: One of the best examples for a partnership between a non-profit and for profit business I’ve seen was formed during a local political campaign. A local business already sponsoring a non-profit organization chose to enhance their visibility at a scheduled walk which included a table where most companies set out flyers, banners, and giveaways. In this case, the table was occupied by a political candidate, and the sponsoring company got two for one.

5. Tell your story with photos: It’s been proven that entries or posts which get the most comments on Facebook have photos. Photos create enthusiasm for a brand, make others want to be at an event, or desire the benefits of a product.

6. Promote others: Success stories not only promote your clients, but can attract future business partners, while creating good will for your business.

7. Social media: The story should be told in different ways across all researched mediums (and choosing your channels depends on the audience). For instance, if your audience is on Facebook, then you need to be there. – If you think your audience is on Twitter, then do an experiment for a set period of time and see if developing relationships there is worth your time. – No matter what method is chosen for brand promotion, it’s important to have the website and blog as the home base of operations.

So what’s your story?

Cathy Rodgers is the owner of Seven Waves Marketing, a social media, public relations, and online marketing company. She focuses on website content and Facebook strategies, and has more than 20 years of freelance writing experience for prominent newspapers, business publications, websites and nonprofit organizations.  Visit Seven Waves Marketing or look for @7wavescathy on Twitter

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