Kids’ laundry piling up? Wash clothes with love and logic.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by laundry or other household chores?

Yes?

Me too.

In 2000, I married my soulmate, a widower with five children between the ages of 8 and 16. My newlywed and I went on a two-week honeymoon.

Family and friends stayed with the kids as they went on about their daily routine of going to school, playing soccer, doing homework, taking baths and showers, and doing all the normal things that kids do to turn clean clothes into laundry.

When we returned, I remember seeing laundry everywhere. Tops and bottoms were garnishing the edges of the bedroom floors. Clothes and shoes were tangled on the floors in closets. Towels, socks and underwear were on the floor in the bathrooms. Jackets were draped over couches and chairs. Socks were stuffed between couch cushions.

A day or two later, I asked the three youngest kids (who were home at the time) to go around the house and collect all the clothes, socks, underwear, and towels and bring them to the family room. I’ll never forget that scene. With all the stuff collected from around the house, plus the laundry my newlywed and I accumulated before and during our trip, I was faced with the biggest pile of laundry I’d ever encountered.

The pile was several feet wide and several feet deep. I had never seen anything like it. I was sure that this equated to many hours of washing, drying, sorting, folding and distributing everything back to the right closets and drawers.

most-memorable-days-dirtiest-clothesMy husband didn’t know how to operate a washer or dryer. At that moment, I had a glimpse of what I had gotten myself into. I didn’t panic. I went into problem-solving mode.

I had several years of teaching experience so my teacher gears were spinning. I also had experience with construction project management, so I felt confident I could handle this lightweight crew.

Step 1: Get everyone excited and engaged. As I expected, they were open to playing along.

Step 2: Get everyone to help divide and conquer: jeans pile, dark pile, white pile, and so on.

They threw clothes at each other, sometimes aiming at the right piles. They made faces and said things like, “eww, stinky” while displaying a pair of underwear or socks. It was totally fun and entertaining. I fell in love with the kids. It was the beginning of the parenting honeymoon. From this moment on, our lives were never the same.

Step 3: Teach everyone how to add detergent and choose the right water temperature based on the colors.

Step 4: Patiently wait for wash load #1 to do its thing.

Step 5: Teach everyone how to use the dryer.

Step 6: Do it again and again and again and again . . .

This, as it turned out, would be just one of the many initiations I faced as I dove into the deep end of the parenting pool.

Some moms prefer to do their kids’ laundry for many years, into their teens and beyond. Others lean more toward empowering kids with know-how.

These opposing styles represent two sides of a broad and colorful parenting spectrum. One end fosters dependence and control while the other cultivates independence and freedom.

A simple chore, like how you handle laundry in your household, reveals a lot about your personality and values.

Although I hadn’t yet read their books, I would soon learn that my parenting style was in line with the principles taught by the Love and Logic Institute. I’m so thankful for Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay. Their words would later calm my nerves at times when I felt tested.

Years later, I can now look back and smile knowing that all the kids know how to do laundry and much, much more.

Laundry study shows Americans have few hangups

charity: water

charity: water

 




A dog’s resolution: play every day

“What’s the point of making a resolution if I’m not going to keep it anyway?” I asked my dog. It was the first day of the new year.

He rolled over and gave me his, “uh oh” look. If we’re going to have this conversation, please rub my belly. 

Dog owners face hilarious struggles.

“Well, there are some things I’ve been trying to do for many years. What’s the point of trying if I never keep my resolutions?” I asked.

“That’s your choice,” he said. I could read it in his eyes.

“Huh? Are you saying it’s my fault?” I asked.

“I didn’t say that. You did,” he moaned.

“Why is it that some of the things I’ve wanted for so long just don’t happen?” I asked.

“It means that you really don’t want them . . . yet,” he moaned with great empathy, begging me to play.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

I knew what he was thinking. When you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.

“Make it happen? But I have too many distractions keeping me away from what I really want.” I told him.

He shifted his head sideways and moaned in his deep alto moan. It’s the same look he gives me when he wants something. Do you? Really? What’s stopping you?

 

“Well, you know, it’s all the stuff that’s been going on. I have to take care of all the people I love, and you. I’ve been going here and there. And I’ve been trying to do what’s right.”

He tweaked his head further. Right for whom? 

“Well, I don’t know. Everyone.”

He gave me the look. Are these people happy with you? 

“Well, I suppose their happiness doesn’t have much to do with me.”

“You’re getting somewhere. Continue,” he spoke to me through his hopeful eyes.

“I know what you’re getting at. They’re going to be happy or miserable regardless of what I do.”

Anything else? he yawned. He’s heard this story many times.

dog-yawning

Researchers find that dogs’ yawns are cued by their owners.

“They’re busy with their own lives. I know I need to do what I know is best for me and that’s the best thing I can do for everyone.”

I cuddled up close to him and gave him a hug. His tail picked up wagging speed. He spoke to me in body language, “That’s right. Let’s do it. Let’s play. See you already know what you need to do. What have you been wanting for so long that you aren’t doing? 

“Nothing, it’s just me. I’m the one who hasn’t been keeping my resolutions. I have no one to blame but myself. I really want to make this resolution. I know I need to make this resolution and then do what it takes to make it happen.”

Yes, and what else? he wondered.

“I need to develop the right habits so that I do what I need to do every day until my resolution becomes my reality. If I don’t make a resolution, my dreams are unresolved anyway. Deciding not to make a resolution means I’m giving up myself.” I looked him in the eyes.

Your dog might save your life.

He stared back looking bored. I felt like he said to me: You speak the truth.

“I do? I guess I do. What now?”

He started circling around me, like he always does when he wants me to get into action, wants me to play. Make your resolution on the first.

“The first of what?” I asked.

He ran to the door and looked back at me wagging his backside. The first of everything. The first of every year and the first of every month. First thing every morning. Right now! Do you resolve? Or do you not? 

“I get it. I got it. I’m resolving to do what I want to do . . . what I need to do.” I opened the door. He dashed around the back yard searching for his stick. He found it and ran to me. I threw the stick and he brought it back to me. I threw it again and he brought it back to me again, this time with a little more slobber. I knew I could throw it for an hour or two and he would stay in the game.

He wants to bring me the stick. He never lets me down. I throw the stick again, but this time I resolve to run with him. He beats me to the stick, but turns back to give it to me.

I dash off in another direction, and he chases me with the stick still in his mouth. He follows me wherever I go. I freeze and turn around to look at him. He drops the stick near my feet. He leans back with full attention on me, ready to take off the moment I grab the stick.

As I stare into his eyes, I know exactly what he’s thinking. I resolve right now to bring this stick to you. Are you willing to stay in the game? 

I drop my head back to look up at the sky. The sun is out of reach, yet I enjoy its warmth. My resolution is like the blinding sun. It’s out of reach, but just the thought of it brightens my day. It warms my heart.

I need to chase my resolution every day. I must master my game. I need to get fired up about playing every day. I got a burst of energy and threw the stick one more time. As he was running back to me with the stick, I felt a sudden sense of power. I got the crazy idea that I could throw any wish out to the universe and it would come back to me. I felt great!

We went back inside. I noticed a book that a successful friend loaned me a few days ago. He said it was a game-changer for him. I sat down and looked at the cover. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. I started flipping through the pages and randomly got caught up in chapter 5, the Plan and Do chapter. I was hooked as soon as I saw these three questions:

  1. What do you want?
  2. What does it cost?
  3. Pay it.

Get it done when life gets tough: Advice from Julie A Fast

 

 




Morris the cat rules at Orange Cat Cafe

My husband and I walked to Orange Cat Cafe from a beachside condo where we stayed the prior night.  I ordered an Americano, and oatmeal with bananas. Bob placed his order and paid.

Morris the cat us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

Morris the cat saw us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

We sat down to wait. A cat tip-toed toward us, whispering “meow” to welcome us. Bob reached his arm out inviting him to come closer. The cat circled around  a few times before he jumped up on the deep window sill to get closer. He stepped onto Bob’s knees to greet him.

I love pet-friendly shops. I reached over to pet the orange cat and he stepped over to my lap.

“What a sweet cat. What’s his name?” I asked.

“Morris. He’s 19.” Karen told me.

“Seriously, 19?”

“Yep, he’s lived here his whole life. This is his house,” she said.

“Really?”

“Yeah, this used to be a flower shop.” The previous owner passed away several years ago. In her will, she said Morris had to stay with the property. He has his own house over there,” she pointed toward the small building next door.

Orange Cat Cafe in Pismo Beach, CA

“We keep our bikes in there, but he has his own couch and entry.”

“He’s 19?” That’s pretty old for a cat. He didn’t look a day over 10. “What do you feed him?” I asked.

“It’s funny. I tried to change his food, but he wouldn’t eat it. The 9Lives people probably don’t want to hear this. This Morris likes Friskies. He likes the dried and canned stuff. ” she said. “He usually gets about a 1/2 can of the canned stuff every day and he can eat as much of the dried stuff as he wants.”

While waiting, I did a quick search on the 9Lives Morris the Cat. He has more than 300,000 likes on Facebook! I got curious to learn more about this famous cat. All the cats that have played the 9Lives Morris have been rescues, I read on Wikipedia.

I followed Orange Cat Cafe Morris outside. He kept looking back to see if I was behind him. He meowed at me, as if he were inviting me to visit his home. He rolled in the dirt and then posed for this picture. I swear he understood everything that was going on. I soaked in all the positive energy.

MorrisTheCatAtHisEstate

Morris the cat at his estate.

I wondered how many customers this friendly cat has greeted over the past few decades.

I noticed a black and white cat on the side of his house. So did Morris. He walked back toward the other cat. The black and white cat walked through the fence posts, obediently exiting Morris’s space. Morris stood guard near the gate for a few minutes and then jumped up to relax on his throne.

The dirt is browner on the other side of the fence.

Hello Kitty, is the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence?

“Morris definitely rules the streets around here,” Riley told me. “That black and white cat is Baby Face.”

Does Baby Face believe that the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence? Does he wish he could live like Morris?

“Do you have customers who come just here to see Morris?” I asked.

“Yeah, people come see him and they don’t even order anything. There’s a campground a few blocks away. Some people have been coming to Pismo Coast Village every year for ten or fifteen years. When they come in for coffee, they ask how Morris is doing.” Riley said.

Morris the cat at Orange Cat Cafe

Morris the cat in his front yard at Orange Cat Cafe

Service was in true form to its location: beach-casual. The coffee was great. The homemade cinnamon/honey oatmeal was delicious. Morris was delightful.

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Few cats have private estates. Not many animals are given the chance to have a life and legacy like Morris. I look forward to running into this sweet tabby again on the other side of life. I’m excited to hear the rest of his story.

HSUS_logo.svg




6 Strategies to reduce stress and increase focus

“Please don’t give me any more to do. I’m filled up!”

“I don’t have time to think about the long term for my family or my work. All I can do is handle what I have every day and every week.”

“My team keeps pushing back on me telling me that they are overwhelmed when I can see that they can probably cut down their hours and get more done.”

“Let me just get to my vacation . . . then I will feel better . . . well at least for a while.”

These statements are typical of what Sunil Bhaskaran hears from people who come to him for an initial coaching session. Sunil is a coach who specializes in brain-activated performance enhancement.

"Oversimplified Leadership" by Sunilio Bhaskaran

“Oversimplified Leadership” by Sunilio Bhaskaran

“Many of these great people are very competent and actually do produce results, but they’re overwhelmed. They wish they could reduce their stress and increase their productivity. They sometimes have a negative state of mind and feel like they’re not getting anywhere,” Sunil says.

Here are six ways to resolve these issues:

1. Manage the working part of your brain.

The part of your brain that is responsible for most day to day work is your prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is very inefficient in terms of memory and energy use. Every time you switch from one task to another or make a decision, your blood glucose level drops.

So if you make too many decisions or you switch from one task to another, you eventually burn out. Also with the reduced energy availability, your tendency to engage in distractions and impulses goes up as your prefrontal cortex is also responsible for resisting these urges or distractions.

Practice: Focus your time on projects that put more money and satisfaction back into your pocket. Put less focus and time into activities and projects that don’t.

"Stress and Overwhelm" by Sunilio Bhaskaran

“Stress and Overwhelm” by Sunilio Bhaskaran

2. Manage expectations.

You have a wonderful chemical in your brain called dopamine. It’s responsible for giving you feelings of motivation and confidence. The trouble with dopamine is that it responds to how you set up your expectations.

If you set up unrealistic expectations and you fail to meet these, your dopamine levels go down. This results in reduced motivation and confidence. The opposite occurs as well. If you set up realistic and win-able expectations for the day and you meet them, your dopamine, confidence and motivation all go up.

Which of the above situations do you prefer?

Practice: Set up realistic expectations daily. If you’re not accomplishing certain tasks or projects per day, cut down the number of tasks and/or break down projects to smaller more manageable chunks.

SuccessEqualsDriveSunilioBhaskaran

“Success = Drive” by Sunilio Bhaskaran

3. Put more oxygen into your future.

Sometimes you can’t avoid feeling overwhelmed due to family needs or emergencies. But it will probably pay off for you to be able to frame or create powerful reasons to relate to these crises better.

You may have noticed that people with similar backgrounds can go through similar situations but respond completely differently. While experiencing an increased workload, a death in the family, or other unexpected events, one person may be calm while another is in a state of panic. Genetics can play a part in this, but not all the time.

Most of the time, Sunil asserts, the differences are due to one being trained in a more compelling frame or context. One has a mission or vision and the other doesn’t. Having a mission or a frame empowers you with focus and the clarity to find solutions fast. It protects you from feeling overwhelmed.

CLICK HERE to buy More Money, More Time, Less Stress by Sunil Bhaskaran

Most people respond to crises or the feeling of being overwhelmed by referring to their past. Based on past occurrences, this situation is not going to go well at all. It’s much more useful is to start thinking about what it might look like from the future that you want to have happen.

Unless you take steps to boldly stimulate your thinking and actions towards the future, the default past based thinking will inevitably rule your life like a dictator that you don’t even know exists–because that dictator is automatic–so automatic that it escapes detection. Putting more oxygen in your thinking towards the future eventually will replace the past based thinking that keeps you stuck in a state of being overwhelmed.

Practice: Create a draft mission statement for yourself. Make it simple for now:

  • I communicate with my family from love and compassion.
  • In my business, I work for the betterment of my employees and clients pertaining to their financial well-being.

Keep your statement in front of you. Practice reading it twice a day and use it when you feel stuck or overwhelmed.

When you refer to the mission statement ask yourself, “What are my options to resolve this based on thinking from my mission statement instead of survival or comfort?”

"Getting to Know Yourself" by Sunilio Bhaskaran

“Getting to Know Yourself” by Sunilio Bhaskaran

4. Enjoy the benefits of outcome orientation.

People also get continually stuck by thinking about their work mostly in terms of actions instead of outcomes.

In his experience as a coach and business owner, Sunil has had the opportunity to observe himself and thousands of other people at work. He has observed that most people like to be in action even if their actions lack focus. It compensates (it seems) for the guilt that people feel about their lives. This drives people to try to appear like they are working hard. Never mind if they are actually producing results or not.

But then there are the wiser few who will work fewer hours and get equal or better results. This shift to outcome orientation comes through practice and dialogue.

Practice: Instead of creating a TO-DO LIST, create a TO-OUTCOME LIST. What results or outcomes will you produce today? Instead of saying you will make 50 phone calls today to prospects, say you will create at least two appointments (outcome) and at least three referrals (outcome).

"Restoring Integrity" by Sunilio Bhaskaran

“Restoring Integrity” by Sunilio Bhaskaran

5. Commit to structured practice and dialogue.

Sunil loves to coach because he passionate about working with people who are willing to do what it takes to increase focus and get to a higher level of performance.

In Sunil’s words, here’s what he does with his clients daily:

  • I dialogue through calls and email to identify the best outcomes to focus on for the day as well as what things to do so make sure we increase our chances of staying on track to the fulfillment of our mission and objectives. This dialogue is incredibly useful and effective while making life a lot more joyful and easier to deal with. Two heads committed to the same thing are better than one.
  • I suggest based on their outcomes how to fine tune their mission and their long term objectives if necessary. This creates an outstanding amount of clarity and power in their confidence regarding the fulfillment of mission and objectives.

Practice: Commit to practicing the above practices daily. Commit to hiring a coach who is willing to roll up his or her sleeves and work with you. 

ArtbySunilioBhaskaranTheGrantingOfBeing

“The Granting of Being” by Sunilio Bhaksharan is based on sweet memories of a woman mentor Sunil had more than 30 years ago. She taught him the value of compassionate listening. She sat silently but very attentively, absorbing everything he said without any judgment. She created a field where he could express anything he wanted.

6. Insist on learning to enjoy your life and your work.

Lots of people think you can’t have breakthroughs with conversation, but you can. Sometimes you can have some major breakthroughs after just a few conversations.

Practice: Do not tolerate long term suffering for another minute.

"If You Love It, Start It" by Sunilio Bhaskaran.

“If You Love It, Start It” by Sunilio Bhaskaran.

Sunil Bhaskaran is a former engineer who, many years ago, became interested in brain science as a vehicle for helping business owners and corporate professionals enhance their focus, creativity, confidence and performance in order to work smarter, not harder.

He has designed leadership, diversity, and accountability trainings for the corporate world. He has worked with Cisco, Comerica Bank, Compass Cares, JadooTV, Principal Financial Group, and Professional Convention Management Association, just to name a few.

Sunil Bhaskaran

Sunil Bhaskaran

He is the author of two books:

Sunil has more than 20 years experience working with business owners and professionals. He helps them make more money in less time. His programs also help committed business owners reduce their stress levels on average from a level 8-10 down to a level 2 in three to six months.

If you’re interested in having these results for yourself, connect with Sunil for an initial free coaching session at CahayaMind.com.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your goals. This is how you can begin living the life you've always wanted to live.

Sick and tired of being stressed out? CLICK ON IMAGE to take the mental fitness challenge and gain the mental power and focus you need to achieve your goals. You can start living the life you’ve always wanted.




Get it done when life gets tough: Advice from Julie A Fast

Julie A Fast, Best Selling Author, Speaker, Columnist and Consultant

Julie A Fast, Best Selling Author, Speaker, Columnist and Consultant

I recently interviewed Julie A. Fast, a five time bestselling author, mental health in the workplace advocate, professional speaker and ePublishing pioneer. Julie has sold over 300,000 books, created her own radio show, was recently interviewed for People Magazine and was the original consultant for Claire Danes on the Showtime series Homeland. Julie does all of this while living with an illness that challenges and limits her work ability.

Julie’s bestselling book Get it Done When You’re Depressed: 50 Strategies for Keeping Your Life on Track shares the secrets of her success. I asked Julie, “How can we create a life where we are able to get things done even when life gets tough?” Her provocative and transformative answers changed the way I view my own work and I believe they can do the same for you.

There are people in life who can profoundly change the way we approach personal and professional challenges in a single conversation. Julie is one of these people. Throughout our conversation, Julie stressed the importance of having strategies in place we can use when life gets tough. She added, “Whether you’re going through stressful times due to relationship issues, work related worries and health concerns or even a feeling of hopelessness, your ability to take action and get things done doesn’t have to suffer as well.”

CLICK ON IMAGE TO BUY Get It Done When You’re Depressed by Julie A. Fast

Julie knows this from experience as she had to figure out a way to work successfully despite the limitations created by her bipolar disorder. I asked her how she gets so much done while faced with daily challenges and she shared four of the tips from her book Get it Done When You’re Depressed: 50 Strategies for Keeping Life on Track and how we can all apply them to our professional lives.

Julie replied, “You have to create a working world that fits your challenges in life. Because my bipolar disorder affects the type of work I do and the amount of time I’m able to work, I need systems in place that let me be successful despite my limitations. I knew that I had to become super efficient if I wanted to support myself on part time work, so I experimented with new ways to get myself out in the world and when they worked I knew it was time to share the strategies with others who struggle to stay professional and productive on the tough days.”

Julie told me she originally wrote the book for people who are depressed, but after years of comments about how the principles are so universal, she brought her ideas into the business world where she teaches professionals to stay focused and productive no matter what is happening in their personal lives.

I had a great time talking with Julie about her work philosophy. We had a lively discussion about the strategies in her book and how anyone can use them when an extra boost is needed to move forward in life. The following is an overview of how you can immediately apply Julie’s strategies to your life and learn to get things done whether you’re . . .

maze-cartoon

  • going through relationship difficulties
  • facing financial fears
  • in pain
  • low on the mental energy to work at your full potential
  • having focus and attention struggles

Just to name a few!

Here are four strategies Julie shared:

1. Don’t Wait Until You Want to Do Something

Julie’s life changed the moment she realized she could actually work even when seriously depressed. “I kept waiting to feel better to get started on a project. I thought I had to feel like working in order to work. The reality is that you don’t have to want to get things done, feel like working, feel good about your work or even believe you have the ability to do the work in order to move forward with a project. I taught myself to get started and wait for the positive feelings to come out of the work itself. We’re taught to base our actions off our feelings. But if you wait to feel like getting into action when life is tough, you won’t get much done. This always means the work is going to be harder to accomplish than when you’re feeling well, but at least you will have an end product when you work first no matter how you’re feeling.”

motivation-is-when-your-dreams-put-on-work-clothesJulie then explained that in the past on the days when a project felt so overwhelming she didn’t even know where to start, her brain would shut off and she would sit in front of her computer and cry in frustration. One day she thought, ‘What would happen if I just picked up my hands and started to write even though I don’t feel good or even feel capable of working? What if waiting until I feel better and want to write isn’t a good plan?’

She decided that getting something started was the only way to feel better and not the other way around. She realized she often wanted to keep working once the work progressed and that her mood was telling her she didn’t want to work when she actually did.

Julie doesn’t believe in motivation. Instead, she believes that on the tough days we will never feel motivated. She wrapped up this strategy with a statement I believe can change the way we see our professional lives. “I believe that action no matter how you feel creates the motivation needed to keep going. We often get it backwards,” Julie said.

2. Think Like an Athlete

Julie follows professional athletes intensely. She studies how they handle their wealth and personal relationships and yet still manage to get out on the field and do their work. She asked herself how successful professional athletes who are pulled in every direction can perform at a specific place and time under extreme pressure without letting their personal lives get in the way.

“Have you noticed that these athletes can be under unbelievable personal distress and yet still perform? I taught myself to do the same.” Julie realized that professional athletes know how to turn off the psychological noise and let the body do its job. Just like these top class athletes, Julie stressed we can also walk into pressure situations and no matter what we are feeling give the performance of our lives. She uses this technique for the basics such as cleaning her kitchen to the big events such as a keynote to hundreds of people.

Business Finish Line

Think like an athlete!

“On some days, especially before I got control of my illness, I would be crying on the way to an event, perform to my absolutely best ability and then go back to being depressed right after the event! I’ve learned to think like an athlete and give my best presentation on schedule. It allows me to perform no matter how I’m feeling. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can perform like a magnificent athlete when required,” Julie told me.

3. Wait to Judge Your Work

Julie told me the story of how she would try to work when not feeling her best and a voice would come up that said, ‘This work isn’t good enough. People will put it down. It’s not professional Julie!’ This created a feeling that the project she had to get finished wouldn’t be of high enough quality, so what was the point of even trying?

“Stress often leads to a self critical voice that will always judge your current work negatively,” Julie explained. “When life throws you a curve ball, you’re almost always incorrect if you judge your work in the moment. This is especially true if your challenges involve depression, anxiety or ADD symptoms. Waiting to judge my work until it was over saved my career. For example, when I have a speech, I remind myself to do my best and let the critical voice just float there on its own until it has no audience and has to leave! When I walk off the stage, I immediately say to myself, ‘Good job Julie. You can go through your work later and see where you need to improve, for now there is no judgment. Go meet your audience and enjoy yourself.”

Julie still hears the critical judgmental voice while she’s working, but it no longer gets to affect her work negatively. “I’ve gotten so good at this that I often don’t even look back at an event with criticism.” This strategy led to what she calls her big writing epiphany. “I realized the work I did when the judgmental voice was raging was just as good as the work I did when I was in the flow. I was depressed for a large part of the time I wrote Get it Done, but readers can’t tell at all. Listening to my judgmental voice while working was pointless as it was mostly lies!”

4. Be Your Own Drill Sergeant

I asked Julie for her favorite in the moment strategy to get things done. She chose 
Be Your Own Drill Sergeant as she told me it works on the worst days when you don’t even feel you can get out of bed and put your feet on the floor. “I’ve experienced severe depression for all of my adult life,’ Julie told me. “It’s great to have big ideas on how to get better, but I needed help on the days I was so depressed I could hardly lift a toothbrush.” Julie stressed that we all have days like this when life gets too overwhelming.

Be your own drill sergeant!

Be your own drill sergeant!

“If you’re going through a breakup or just lost your job, you need a way to keep going professionally. I had to find a way to break through my sadness and inertia in order to meet my contract deadlines and make money.”

Julie told me how many years ago when she was teaching herself to live with her illness she started to replace the hopeless thoughts with the intense and aggressive voice of a drill sergeant. “Get out of bed Julie Fast! Throw off the blankets, turn your body and put those feet on the floor!” This voice cut through the fog and got her body moving.

She then thought of how she could summon up a voice to help her on the days she couldn’t do it alone. I laughed when she told me her favorite voice, Scarlett O’Hara! “Ok Miss Julie. Fiddle dee dee. If I can save Tara, you sure as heck can fight this feeling and open that computer!” She now asks all of her audiences to conjure up their own drill sergeant whether it’s a beloved grandfather or a figure from a movie when they need that extra push to get started with the day.

Get-It-Done

After Julie shared her four strategies, I realized that I’ve also created tips to help myself through the days when my writing doesn’t flow or I feel overwhelmed with all of the work I need to do. She encouraged me to hone these strategies and make them a part of my work life so they will be there when I really need them.

Julie reminded me that her book and her work in general whether it be in a mental health or corporate context isn’t about learning her way of doing things. It’s about finding what works for us individually and then applying the strategies on the days we need that extra push to get started.

In the introduction to her book, Julie sums up the number one benefit of her book: “Getting things done is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself, which is automatically an antidote to depression.”

How to accomplish a BIG GOAL: Get in the right position

When you look through Julie’s book, you can see that her strategies are succinct and short to prevent adding more stress to an already difficult situation. I like that I didn’t have to read the entire book at once and am pleased that I can use her strategies while my life is going well, but I just need that extra nudge to start and stick to my goals.

Julie ended our interview with a final word of encouragement, “Get It Done When You’re Depressed isn’t about getting out of tough times. It’s about getting things done while you’re going through tough times. Then when life gets back to normal you don’t have to go back and repair your professional life. Instead, you can devote your energy to moving forward!”

We only covered four of the fifty tips in Julie’s book so I’m sure you can imagine how much more productive you can be when you learn them all. I encourage you to explore Julie’s other 46 strategies and change your ability to get things done starting today.

For more information on Julie’s work, please visit JulieFast.com. You can join her social media world on Twitter@JulieBipolar and read about her current ways of getting things done on her Facebook page Julie A. Fast. Julie’s books are available at all major bookstores and around the world on Amazon.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your fitness goals. This is how you can begin living the life you've always wanted to live.

Sick and tired of not getting it done? CLICK ON IMAGE to begin your 90 day mental fitness challenge. You can start living the life you’ve always wanted!




Why the Western diet is killing us and 10 ways to stop it

Fed up with all the mixed messages about what to eat? If so, you’ll appreciate this solid advice from a doctor who’s passionate about dishing out advice on eating right. Don’t make changes to your diet based on some “cockamamie Internet meme,” Dr. Michael Fenster warns. “The biggest threat to the US isn’t some foreign power; it is the Standard American Diet.”

It’s rare to come across a doctor who wants to spend less time cutting into bodies and more time cutting up food, but that’s exactly what this cardiologist and culinary chef wants to do. “There are a number of medical professionals and people in health-related fields who know a lot about their respective specialties but know nothing about food,” Dr. Mike says. “A number of them can’t boil water.”

DrMichaelFensterCookinWithDoc

Dr. Mike on his “Cookin’ With Doc” show.

Stay away from advice from “fadsters” and “celebrity super-star spokespeople,” Dr. Mike warns. “These programs put you on the hook paying out a lot of your hard-earned money each month for some processed, powdered, and wretched-tasting slop out of a box.”

Dr. Mike is one of the few brave doctors willing to give us a shout out about how the modern Western diet is killing us and what we can do to stop it. This book is stock full of evidence to back up his recommendations on what to eat and what not to eat. But then again, how much more evidence do we really need to figure out that the modern Western diet and all-you-can-eat buffets are connected to the disabilities and diseases of modern civilization? It’s ironic that we’ve become so accustomed to shopping in grocery stores stocked with packages that we need to produce evidence to show that real food doesn’t come in a box.

The eating “program” Dr. Mike prescribes is a tasty and nutritious solution that anyone can adhere to. He recommends adding more fresh juice, organic fruits and vegetables, probiotics, prebiotics and spice to our diet while subtracting modern wheat, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. “No junk food or fast food,” this doc advises. This savory book is peppered with great tips and jammed with sweet suggestions. I’ve already gone back to read several of the sections a number of times. Each time through I pick up on a new flavor or scent.

CLICK ON IMAGE to buy The Fallacy of the Calorie

Sick and tired from the Western diet? Dr. Mike offers a delicious and nutritious 10-step solution to foodies who battle the bulge:

Step 1A: Begin with a juice detox for 3 days.

Juice is nature’s energy drink. If possible, buy seasonal produce from a farmers market or local organic market. Use a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables such as: carrots, apples, celery, beets, cabbage, ginger, oranges, limes, lemons, berries and leafy greens. Find a juicer that works well for you, preferably one that extracts the pulp. If you work full-time, he recommends starting the detox on a Friday and ending on a Sunday.

Step 1B: Chase the rainbow.

Eat lots of dark leafy greens such as: kale, spinach, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, mustard and other greens. They’re rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. They also provide a good source of B-complex vitamins. Add a rainbow of different colored fruits and vegetables. This helps to maintain healthy gut microbiome.

Step 2: Incorporate probiotics into your diet.

“What you eat combines with your gut microbiota to fuel your personal bioreactor. This bioreactor aids your digestion, provides nutrients, and not only helps for the basis of the immune system, but helps regulate it,” says Dr. Mike. “The key here is to repopulate your gut microbiome with the right balance.” Check out his book for more details on which probiotics might work best for you.

Step 3: Feed the probiotics.

“It does no good to keep taking probiotics if you don’t feed them,” says Dr. Mike. “Naturally occuring synbiotic combinations such as bananas with live-culture yogurt, or vegetables stir-fried with miso, cost less than supplements and have the added benefit of being delicious.” Prebiotics are found in many foods such as: bananas, honey, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, chicory, dandelion greens and burdock. Eat at least 2-4 servings of prebiotic-rich foods a day.

foods-high-in-prebiotics

Step 4: Give up modern wheat.

“Modern wheat will kill you,” says Dr. Mike. “But you don’t have to be gluten-free, just be free of modern wheat. Avoid prepackaged breads, cookies, cakes and other modern wheat-containing foods and snacks.”

Beans and lentils provide a good source of flavorful starches. Corn, oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat and kaniwa are all good non-wheat options. If you buy pasta from Italy, you can be sure it’s made from the ancient grain, semolina durum wheat.

CLICK ON IMAGE to buy Eating Well, Living Better: A Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great food

Step 5: Use sugar sparingly.

Use raw forms of sugar and honey whenever possible. Don’t eat anything with high fructose corn syrup or anything that contains it. Don’t ever eat or drink anything with artificial sweeteners.

Steps 6-8: Become a Grassroots Gourmet.

Avoid the call of junk food. It’s addictive. Don’t go to fast food joints, pizza shops or convenience stores. “After 30 days of eating the Grassroots Gourmet way, you’ll likely find that eating there will make you ill,” says Dr. Mike. “When you’re shopping try to avoid putting the processed, prepackaged, pre-prepared, and artificially preserved items in your cart.” Buy from your local farmers market and cook from scratch. Eat at home as often as possible.

Begin your meals with a small salad or appetizer and wait about 15 minutes before you eat the main course. If you want to have dessert, wait at least 15-20 minutes after you finish your main dish. These are just some of the core principles of becoming a Grassroots Gourmet. These principles are covered much more extensively in Eating Well, Living Better: A Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food.

Step 9: Make a conscious effort to evaluate the quality of the food you eat.

Because chicken is no longer just chicken, and a burger is no longer just a burger, and bread is not even just bread, examination of where the food was sourced, how it was produced and the degree of processing must now become our normal procedure.” says Dr Mike. Food safety is not equivalent to a healthful diet.

Step 10: Spice up your life.

Herbs and spices restore taste and texture to food. “An herb refers to the fresh or dried leaves of a plant. Spices are generally regarded as the flowers, buds, seeds, bark or roots of plants.” says Dr. Mike. When food pleases us, we savor it. When you put this vitality back into foods, it helps you break the addictive and manipulative commercial use of sugar, salt and fat.

Garlic, onion, allspice and oregano inhibit or kill bacterium. Using them in combination yields even greater efficacy. The piperine found in black pepper is effective against botulism. Turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Circumin has been shown to inhibit the growth of skin cancers. Hot chili peppers are rich in vitamin C and contain antimicrobial and antiviral properties.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON IMAGE to gain the mental power to achieve your fitness goals. This is how you can begin living the life you've always wanted to live.

Sick and tired of dieting? CLICK ON THIS IMAGE to learn how you can gain the mental power you need to achieve your fitness goals. You can begin living the life you’ve always wanted to live.

Looking for a way to entice someone to read this book? Breakfast in bed might be desirable, but Dr. Fenster offers up an aphrodisiac for dessert near the end of the book. He hints at exotic ways to spice up your afternoon or evening in bed.

Dr. Mike has weighed his options. He’s stepping outside the operating room to tell us how we can avoid the scalpel. It’s time to share your reservations. Would you like to meet your doctor for supper or surgery?

Dr. Mike affirms the slow foods movement. Be patient. I have a gut feeling this doc is going to help tens of thousands of people live happier and healthier lives.

Dr. Michael Fenster during a Health & Wellness Channel filming

Dr. Michael Fenster during a Health & Wellness Channel filming

 

Michael Fenster, MD, is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist. He has taught students, interns, residents and fellows. He has also served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the North East Ohio Medical University. In addition to addressing audiences from the lay public, he also speaks to peers at the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and elsewhere.

DrMichaelFensterFunnyProfile

Dr. Michael Fenster

Dr. Mike co-managed an award-winning restaurant. He received his culinary degree in gourmet cooking and catering from Ashworth College where he graduated with honors. He was their alumni of the year in 2013.

He has written columns for numerous culinary magazines, websites, The Tampa Tribune and is a monthly contributor for Luxuria Lifestyle.

He is a medical and culinary consultant and regular guest speaker on the Josh Tolley Show, a nationally syndicated radio program. He is also a regular on the One Life Radio.

He has been a regular on The Daily Buzz show as well as Daytime TV, entertaining and informing during cooking segments. He has hosted his own local cable TV cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ with Doc.” He also co-hosted “Cooking From the Heart,” with Fitness Hall of Fame Instructor Forbes Riley. He also headlined the Annual Florida Blueberry Festival where five live shows, “Just What the Doctor Ordered-Live from the Florida Blueberry Festival.” This was simulcast worldwide via web by the Health & Wellness Channel.

To book Dr. Mike at your next event, contact his agent Kristin Haggar.




How to write a book in 30 days

Have you been struggling for years to complete a book? If so, don’t worry. This is a common problem that many writers face. Are you ready for the secret of how to write a book in 30 days? “Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong. It’s that simple,” says Michael Ray King.

Michael has helped hundreds of writers get un-stuck and finish the books that have been in them for years. Here are some of the tips he recommends to his clients:

Find a good place to write.

Find a place that’s pleasing to you. It can change from day to day. When you purposely go to these places, you’re already starting. On your way there you start formulating things in our head. A lot of creative work is done before you even start writing.

“I like writing in a restaurant because it has a lot of white noise. I can’t write at home because there’s a lot of children noise I can’t ignore,” Michael says.

CartoonWritersBlockKing

Consider your sound environment.

Music is a good writing trigger, as long as you know what genre works best for you. “Music with words can be especially inspiring when you’re writing poetry. I get the melody and it helps me pick up meter. It’s a fun poetry exercise,” Michael says. “But if you listen to songs with music, be careful not to plagiarize.”

Stay with your passion.

This is the most vital aspect of writing any book. You have to love what you’re writing. You can’t do this if you’re questioning yourself all the time. It invites a critic and a judge. You may have to go back and review a few prior paragraphs to refresh where you are, but move on. You need to love your writing from the very beginning, from the first draft all the way through the marketing of it. 

The first draft doesn’t need to have good grammar and continuity. Some people don’t like chaos, but if you’re truly creating from the heart, your words will seem chaotic at first. The stuff you’re writing fresh off the cuff doesn’t match up with the edited stuff so if you try to edit when you write, it feels like there’s a bug in your writing. This can bring you to a halt. Save the editing for later.

Michael allows writers to talk about their issues. Lots of issues come down to the personal judge and critic. “Writers have set patterns like this and that’s exactly what they need to change,” Michael says. 

Use index cards.

“I press people to use index cards. Get a specific pen you identify with your writing,” Michael says. If you have something special you connect with your writing, such as a pen, a desk, or a set of index cards, it’s a trigger to start writing.

Too many people de-prioritize their writing. In order to get your writing done, you have to prioritize it. If not, everything else will take priority over it.

Begin with one card. Write the title of your book. Be creative. You can change it at any time. Working with index cards is an ongoing process. Make a card for each chapter and section of your book. You can continue adding and reorganizing the index cards the whole time you’re writing your book. You can continue to shift them around at any time. Interacting with the cards gives you a hands-on approach allowing you to tap into your internal creative nature.

“When you digitize things, you’re taking out the human element. By using cards, you’re stay in touch with your creativity. There are huge advantages with computers, but they can also distance you from your creativity,” Michael says.

MichaelRayKingIndexCards

Michael Ray King’s index cards for his book on How to Write a Book in 30 Days.

“I’ve had people do the cards in a different way, but that’s ok,” Michael says. He believes that if it works for you, then it’s right for you.

Lots of people take five or more years to write a book. You don’t need that much time to write most books. If you’re writing a historical fiction novel and have to do a lot of research, it’s going to take longer.

Write at least 750 words each day for 30 days.

“You have to get to the point where you want to write the book so much that you’re writing because you want to get your message out, not just because you want to meet your daily word count or complete an index card. For some it may feel somewhat of a selfish priority,” Michael says.

If you’re writing what you know, then you should be able to knock out a first draft quickly.Having a plan for completion is important. That’s one of the biggest benefits of deciding to write your book in 30 days. Michael holds classes and webinars on How to Write a book in 30 Days.

GoWriteAndYouWontGoWrongLogo

Address the critic and the judge separately.

“That sentence isn’t constructed well,” you might be telling yourself. “Who are you to think you can write a book? Who would want to read this?”

“Put these voices in solitary confinement prison until you’re done with your first draft,” Michael says. “These voices just get in the way of creativity. Nuke them. Blow them up. You never need the internal judge. These critics will rob you of your book. If it’s happened to me, it’s happening to other people.”

“I had a coach who put me to the grindstone. I’m a totally different kind of coach,” Michael said. “You can throw everything into your book. Overwrite. If you think it’s cool or if it’s your truth, just put in in there. If you think it might tick someone off and you decide to leave it out, then you’re not writing properly.”

“There’s lots of diversity out there. Not everyone is going to agree with you. If you write vanilla, you won’t get anywhere. Howard Stern and Connie West don’t have filters, but we place filters on our views. Your views have more credence than these guys. Don’t censor yourself when you have truths to put out there. Don’t hold back,” Michael says.

Lots of writers tend to want to read over their stuff before moving on, but avoid it. New writing is going to be rocky at best. Wait until you rewrite and edit before you smooth it all out. 

Calliope - Muse of Epic Song: Writing Tablet

Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry

Welcome the muse.

Some writers say “my characters took over my book,” When this happens, it means there’s some mystical thing going on. “This means that you’ve allowed yourself to let your creativity run wild. When you can do this and maintain it, it works,” Michael says.  

Some writers say, “The book practically wrote itself.” When this happens, it means you’ve been able to get past the critic and let the book out. The muse is a special writing phenomenon. “I’ve even done this with sports or ballroom dancing,” Michael said. “You can get in a mode when you feel like your actions are being channeled. You don’t know where it’s coming from.”

“You can’t induce a muse. But when she shows up you better get to the computer and write because when she goes away, you might not see her again for a while. You can feel great about your writing, but that time with your muse is special. In 14 years of writing, I’ve never been able to force the muse to show up,” Michael says. 

Goodreads has hundreds of quotes from famous writers all the way back to Aristotle and up to modern day people. If you’re feeling stuck, read some qoutes from famous writers. It can help you get un-stuck.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. E.L. Doctorow

“Don’t count on your muse. Even when she doesn’t show up, you need to get to the point where a day without writing is like a day without sunshine,” Michael says.

Don’t talk to non-writers about your book.

When you’re writing, especially a book, do not talk to non-writers about it. They will rob you of your zest. They won’t do it on purpose. If you give them a plot line, you beg the judge to come in. You might think, “that’s so much better than what I was thinking.” If they say “that’s been done before” then that will take the wind out of you. Tell people you’re writing a book, but don’t discuss the particulars of what it’s about. 

Find a trusted writers group.

Find a trusted writing support team with people who are actively writing. If you have synergy, it really helps. “That’s why my clients keep coming to class because it keeps them rolling,” Michael says. “It’s very motivational.”

“Lots of writing groups are social clubs. They’re not progressive. There’s often not enough encouragement to get your book out to market.” Michael says. “You have no business being in a critique group if you’re writing your first draft. If you do, it’s like asking the judge to destroy you. Most critique groups are nothing more than ego stroke groups. People will go in, read, and get feedback. It not only hinders the process time-wise, it handcuffs your creativity. It bottles you up. That’s what I’ve seen and learned. Let your horses run wild and then corral them. If you have a good editor later, that’s all you really need.”

Bridget Callaghan, Michael Ray King, Jeff Swesky and Nancy Quatrano at a Method Writers book launch event in Palm Coast, FL in October 2012

Bridget Callaghan, Michael Ray King, Jeff Swesky and Nancy Quatrano at a Method Writers book launch event in Palm Coast, FL in October 2012

Good writers groups encourage each other. “When I was a part of the Rogue Writers, the energy and synergy in those meetings were off the charts,” Michael said. “It’s a group that started in 2003. People in this group have written multiple books. When you’re around people who are really making it happen, you get caught up in it. That’s a good writing group.”

“You’re either a wanna be, a gonna be or an I am. There was a time when I was waffling between a wanna be and a gonna be. You want to get to that I am place. Write the book so you can say, I am an author. A good writers group will inspire this,” Michael says. “Being able to match personalities is critical. I hand picked people for the Rogue Writers. I wanted everyone to encourage each other and write books. We wrote together. Four of us wrote a novel together and a book of short stories.”

“You’ve got to be able to have fun together and still work. We’d play writing games. We’d laugh until we cried. Four people writing one novel is very interesting. You’ll sometimes see a collaboration of two people, but rarely four. We’d just sit there. We had a big timeline on the wall. If you make it too task oriented, there’s too much opportunity for friction and you squelch creativity,” Michael said. “Our meetings weren’t so much about sitting and writing. They were more about coming together to talk about what we had written.”

“I’m not a big fan of accountability to others. I think writers need to be accountable to themselves first. Set up a spreadsheet to track your word count toward the completion of your book,” Michael says. “I have a friend who posts her word count on Facebook. It’s her own accountability and can be inspiration to fellow writers at the same time. Word count isn’t the only measure, but it can be a barometer.”

Get a writing coach.

“I managed people for 20 years in retail. What I learned is that it’s a good thing to hire people better than me. I’m a big fan of personal coaches. A woman named Janice coached me in a business and personal way. We’d talk weekly to find a balance in life. She encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. The biggest thing she taught me was that you don’t have to know things intellectually. I know things from internal channels. When things line up, I know it’s right. I’m intuitive. Stop trying to force things and trust your instincts and move forward. When you have your internal talks, just started trusting yourself.  She took me out of programmed negativity and put me in positive state of mind,” Michael said.

“A book shouldn’t feel like a huge monstrosity. Most people can write their first draft in 30 days just by writing for about an hour a day,” Michael says. “It’s simple but not easy. It takes a lot of discipline. If you don’t finish it in 30 days and it takes 45 or 60, you’ll still be happy. I’ve found that about 20-25% of the people who take my class finish in 30 days. The bulk of the people finish in 45-60 days. Some take 90, and a few never finish at all,” Michael said.

After your book is written, it’s time to move on to the editing process.

How to write a book in 30 days: Write the draft before you edit

Michael Ray King is the author of Go Write and You Won’t Go Wrong: Write Your Book in 30 Days! He’s a five-time award winning author. In addition to conducting classes, he is also a personal writing coach. He lives in Palm Coast, Florida.




10 Tips from an entrepreneur who built a global brand

Is it possible for one man to build a global brand?

“The answer is a resounding YES!” says Bill Belew (a.k.a. Wilby).

“I am a content marketer. What that means is I am blogger who has grown up. I would say matured, but my wife would likely dispute that,” says Bill.

Content marketing is when you create something–a video, an article, a graphic, an image that is so cool that your created content begins to market you. In other words people come to know you by your content. Your content gets passed around so much that people ask, “Who made this?” And then they come looking for you.

Wilby's content markets him

Wilby’s content markets him

How do you brand yourself globally?

1. Think globally.

“I’m quite fond of a quote by T. S. Eliot that I read many moons ago – it was in a poster on a wall in my dorm room,” says Bill.

If you think the sky’s the limit, you have limited imagination.

Content marketers and bloggers seriously dream of creating a global brand, that is, they want to be reach the world and be recognized all over the world.

Bloggers go into all the world.

Bloggers go into all the world.

“I can say without exaggeration that some 95 million people know my name. I know that because I have had at least than many unique visitors to any one of the web sites in my network. Those visitors have viewed well over 125 million pages. I know that, too, because I have the analytics,” says Bill.

Do you know what happens when your web site reaches 100 million page views? The answer – nothing. The meter just keeps on ticking. The blogger, the content marketer has to keep on working.

If you don’t plan to reach the world, you won’t.

2. Don’t let anybody tell you can’t go global.

“When I started blogging I took aim at the whole world. Naive? I don’t know. Don’t care. Bold? I don’t know. I don’t care. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t reach the world,” said Bill.

BillBelewChineseManWrestlesTiger

To build a global brand, you need to defeat your tigers.

“I don’t drink. But there’s a story of a Chinese dude who once wrestled and defeated a tiger … because he was drunk and didn’t know he couldn’t win. So he did. I take this attitude soberly,” says Bill.

Avoid the naysayers. They’re hungry tigers who want to eat your dream.

3. Travel the world with your brand.

“I have traveled the world virtually. I can see from my web analytics that I have had visitors from EVERY country in the world. No kidding. My name, my content, my brand has visited the world. I have also visited many of these countries physically,” says Bill.

Traveling is the best way to take your brand global.

“For a long time I had a huge following in India. I spent some time there while on a missionary trip. While there I learned about the religion of India: cricket,” says Bill.

Content Marketer, Wilby, pays cricket in India.

Content Marketer, Wilby, pays cricket in India.

“Not only do I physically visit those countries, I also visit them BEFORE I have been there and also leave something there AFTER I am gone. My research takes me there BEFORE. It’s my brand that I leave there AFTER,” says Bill.

Create aspects of your brand that people from different parts of the globe can relate to.

4. Have a brand worth sharing to different cultures.

“The way I got the invite to Singapore was because I had been at a conference speaking in Thailand,” Bill said.

BillBelewWilbyThailand

Wilby dressed for the occasion to speak in Thailand.

“In Bangkok, I met a fellow who was impressed enough with my topic, my presentation and my expertise to invite me to speak at the National Library of Singapore,” Bill said.

If your brand is effective in one place, be so good that people will wonder out loud and take action to the point that they will want to see you and your brand in their country.

5. Have a brand worth recognizing.

Wilby is the name of the character that represents BillBelew.com.

“People who know me know that I am playful, yet I take my work and getting results with utmost seriousness … usually, but not always in that order,” Bill says.

Wilby is just such a character … playful but hardworking and results-oriented.

“Not long ago, I spoke at a conference in Singapore to a large group of children’s book writers. Before going I learned that the Merlion was the national marketing icon of that country.”

Wilby does Merlion

Wilby became Merlion for a group of imaginative writers in Singapore.

Create a brand that makes your audience say, “Hey, that’s my country.”

6. Have a brand that people can identify with.

“While speaking in Singapore after doing some due diligence, I learned that there would be attendees from a variety of countries around the equatorial city. When I put up this slide of Wilby in Australia, the Aussies in the crowd let out a big ‘Whoop!’ I love that about the Aussies,” Bill said.

BillBelewWilbyAustralia

“There were also some attendees from Vietnam. When I put up this slide, they said nothing. I wasn’t surprised,” Bill said.

BillBelewWilbyVietnam

Wilby went bananas in Vietnam!

Have a brand such that people can see themselves.

7. Draw from a deep well of experience.

“I had lived Japan for nearly 20 years before ending up back in the US in Silicon Valley and reinventing myself as an online writer/blogger/content marketer and now speaker and consultant on the topic,” Bill said.

BillBelewWilbyJapan

Wilby wrestled for his global brand in Japan.

“I often say that my work ethic is a combination of American creativity and Japanese kotsu (head down working hard) diligence,” Bill said.

To have a global appeal for your brand, you must have global experiences to draw from. You may not be able to travel the world physically, but you can easily travel the whole globe virtually.

8. Diversify with your global brand

“Asia is not the only continent Wilby has visited. Though he will be going back to Shanghai next year. And he has spent time in Siberia,” Bill said. “You have heard it is cold in Siberia? It’s true. It’s so cold in Siberia that the Russians tell jokes in November but nobody laughs until March … when their words thaw out.”

A global brand can adapt . . . and then it can go anywhere.

BillBelewWilbySiberia

Wilby bundled up to take his brand to Siberia.

Visualize your brand in every culture throughout the globe.

8. Flex your global brand’s muscle.

Wilby can not only do cold and the eastern hemisphere, he can do the western hemisphere, too! Wilby has been to Mexico to speak to a large group of writers.

BillBelewWilbyMexico

Wilby went to Mexico to teach people how to get 65 million hits!

He has also been invited to speak to writers’ groups throughout the US.

BillBelewWilbyWriters

Wilby wore a black suit when he spoke at a writers’ convention.

Visualize your brand in a variety of situations before all kinds of audiences.

9. Work your global brand.

“Make no mistakes, I work hard abroad and in my own country,” Bill said.

Wilby does business, too … even in the Big Apple.

BillBelewWilbyBigApple

Wilby ate up the opportunity to speak in the Big Apple!

“It doesn’t do any good if your brand is fluff. There must be substance behind your project with your brand. As for me, not only my brand but I took New York City like the big monkey,” Bill said.

BillBelewWilbyNYCMonkey

Wilby will do whatever it takes to keep his global brand on top!

10. Find a good brand artist.

“This was an easy step for me. All my Wilbys are drawn by an ex-Japanese animator, Sakaguchi Benjamin Akeala Belew. The style he does for me is not even his favorite. Still he does these for me because I asked him and he knows me. He’s my son. He’s really good at what he does and can create any style for any brand. He produces hand-drawn, original, high quality art. Good, um, great, uh superb!” says Bill.

You can hire family if they are good. But if they aren’t, you’ll never go global.

Want to gain necessary skills to take your brand global? CLICK HERE now to SUBSCRIBE to Rascal Radio

Want to gain the skills and brain-power to take your brand to the world? CLICK HERE now to SUBSCRIBE to Rascal Radio.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to be living in the age we are. All we really need to go global is an Internet connection, a publishing platform and a head-down persistence to reach the world. Oh, and something worth sharing–that’s your brand.” Bill says.

Bill Belew

Bill Belew

Now that you’re armed with Bill’s secrets of how he created his global brand, it’s time for you to get to work to take your brand to the world.

If Wilby can do it, so can you!

Bill Belew is a business brand storyteller and expert in content development. He teaches bloggers and journalism school graduates how to make a living as freelance writers.

He’s a professor of social media marketing at the graduate level in Silicon Valley, CA. He is also a paid professional speaker and cruise ship lecturer who has spoken throughout the world.




How to attain authentic happiness in 7 emails

Have you ever said you’re happy when you really weren’t? When someone asks how you are, it’s natural to say you’re “ok,” even though you’re wishing for different circumstances. You want a bigger this or a better that. A lot of people feel this way.

What if I told you you didn’t have to go after a better job or a new mobile phone to be happy?

CLICK HERE TO BUY Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails by Javy W Galindo

“Many people settle for a less than optimal life, one where happiness is occasionally attained by pursuing pleasure. Instead, studies indicate that happiness is more of a choice than a goal to be pursued,” says Javy Galindo, author of Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails.

Javy teaches a course on the psychology of happiness. There are lots of books about how to be happy, but he wanted to write one that was simple. He often has students contact him with questions about his course, so he came up with the idea to write a book about how he might respond to their emails. Here’s a synopsis of what he has to say about happiness:

Email 1: What makes us happy?

Think about things you really wanted and got. When you get something you want, your happiness spikes, but then you forget about it. After a while, you don’t even remember those little things that made you happy in the past.

When people go from extreme poverty to a higher lifestyle, they do generally become happier. But this doesn’t happen to most people.

Your circumstances change throughout life, but your happiness typically goes back to similar baseline. Even people who go through traumatic or tragic life events, such as losing body parts or losing a love one, generally go back to their baseline happiness after the dust settles.

Australian evangelist and motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic, who was born with no limbs, speaks to a crowd.

Nick Vujicic was born without limbs. Because of childhood bullying, he once tried to drown himself. Today this Australian is a globe-trotting evangelist and motivational speaker. He’s pictured here speaking to an audience of 25,000 in Vietnam.

“Altering the conditions of our lives has less influence on our experience of happiness than our choices in thought and behavior. In other words, ultimately, we are what make us happy,” Javy said.

Email 2: Why do we do the things we do?

We do a lot of normal activities such as brushing our teeth or taking a shower without thinking about it. When we get dressed, we just do it without thinking about it. Our voluntary actions aren’t so voluntary. They seem to make us more efficient life-livers. A lot of what we do is unconscious activity.

Have-a-nice-day-getting-dressedIf happiness is a choice, then why don’t we just choose it?

Have you ever been upset when getting caught in traffic or got cut off? Are you thinking about it, or just reacting? It’s a problem when you begin to develop habits that cause you to be unhappy. Your heart is pumping and your internal body is taking care of a lot of activities without thinking about it. The way you think and perceive the world is often equally unconscious.

“Our choices of thought and behavior are often not voluntarily chosen, but are the result of unconscious processing through things such as habits, conditioned behaviors and evolutionary instincts,” Javy said.

Email 3: What is happiness anyway?

Be careful of the cult of positivity. It’s a component, but it’s not everything. Happiness is more than a feeling. Happiness is the state of a life well lived. Emotions are chemical reactions and they fade over time.

“Beyond simply feeling good, being happy also refers to a sense of satisfaction and meaning we experience through our engagement with life,” Javy said.

So get engaged with the activities that bring you satisfaction.

Email 4: Live easy.

How can we live with fewer unpleasant emotions? Choose not to burden yourself with difficult thoughts. Choose to live easy.

Don’t make things harder than they have to be. It’s not just about being un-miserable. The goal is to be happy. Develop healthy relationships with your joys.

Email 5: Live light.

If you do the same things every day, go back to the same place, eat the same food, or see the same person in the same place all the time, it becomes mundane.

are-you-happy-flow-chart

Are you happy? Do you want to be happy?

What if you continue to rely on the exact same thing? This is what happens with ice cream, alcohol, gambling or other addictive things. You need more and bigger to feel more. This is how you can get on a hedonic treadmill where you never reach happiness. These activities weigh you down and enslave you to dependencies.

So how can you experience more joy? Develop a healthy relationship with variations in small pleasures. Whether it’s flowers or coffee or music or travel, do these little things to bring joy to your daily life.

“We can enhance our experience of feeling good by placing more attention on the brighter sides of life and by being more lighthearted, enabling us to more easily appreciate the simple joys we experience every day,” Javy said.

Email 6: Live smooth.

People are happiest when they’re engaged in a physical activity, such as work they love. People who reach peak happiness get so engaged in what they’re doing that they lost track of time. They got so lost in the activity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re engrossed in a conversation, gardening, working, writing or doing some type of artistic or athletic endeavor. What matters is that it flows out of you. Everyone has a flow state. It’s where you lose yourself in an activity.

CLICK HERE TO BUY The Power of Thinking Differently by Javy W Galindo

“We are happy when we experience satisfaction with our activities. We often experience this when we enter flow states, states of complete engagement with our activity. The interesting thing is that the experience of flow is independent of the activity itself,” Javy said.

Email 7: Live meaningfully.

Many people search for purpose and meaning in life. Some people experience a vibrant life, while others see it dull. You become desensitized to things you see often.

You can always choose how you perceive things. Nothing changes about the world. You choose how you want to see things, positive or negative. This is The Power of Thinking Differently.

“The key is that we can make choices with how we engage in the world to make life feel more purposeful and meaningful. We can choose to participate in activities that involve some form of emotional risk, to give ourselves a feeling that our actions matter. We can pursue endeavors that are altruistic, prioritize building social bonds, and get in line with our virtues and character strengths. And we can choose to be open to new perspectives in order to make life more full of meaning.”

How to get happy now via habits, goals and resolutions

Javy Galindo

Javy Galindo

Javy Wong Galindo is a professor of philosophy, humanities, and psychology in Northern California. He has been a popular instructor at Heald College, John F. Kennedy University, and De Anza College. He is also a proud member of the American Association of Philosophy Teachers, the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and the Western Positive Psychology Association.

This former electrical engineer and performing arts instructor has had the privilege of working at several high-tech companies including Cisco Systems, Motorola, ViaSat, Tellus Technology, and Northrop Grumman among others.

Javy is now most well-known for his engaging college courses and public talks, his enthusiastic teaching style, and his ability to convey complex ideas in personally meaningful, simple terms. These characteristics are epitomized in his two books: Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails and The Power of Thinking Differently.

Javy is available for talks and workshops on various topics including creativity, innovation, creative thinking and authentic happiness. 




Life’s a Beach tips from No Fear and Bad Boy Club artist

Some young people are so into the partying thing. When I used to party I had some really mind-opening experiences. I could see through all the crap that other people were about. I took this and applied it to my art. Every time I partied, I painted. After each party I had a piece of art to show for it. It was passive aggressive destruction. Back then I had a full mohawk. I was surfing in Florida with cut-off jeans. 

I met up with three guys who were motocross racers. They came to Miami to make jams. They were all from Chicago and none of them knew how to surf. They asked me to make them a logo, but I didn’t.

About three years later, I was strolling through California asking people if I could paint on surfboards to make some money so I could eat. Then one day I came across a Life’s a Beach ad in a surfer magazine. I called the number and drove out to see my old friends. I showed them some of my work.

Later I met up with them and made the logo for their clothing brand. They wanted to call it the Bad Boy Club so that’s what they had me do first. Life’s a Beach. I sat there and started drawing a pissed off character, a bad boy. God gave me the Bad Boy Club logo.

When I showed it to Mark Simo, he lost it. He said it was perfect. I wanted to fix the letters, but he told me, “no it’s just right. It’s perfect just the way it is.” 

“Are you kidding me?” That’s what I was thinking. This logo generated millions and millions of dollars. LATimes

Bad Boy Club original logo design by Mark "Boogaloo" Baagoe.

Bad Boy Club original logo design by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe.

From then on, life was perfect. The bad boy is so bad that he’s good. Life’s a Beach! They were into what they were creating. I kept making choke T-shirt designs and they kept giving me money. 

Inside the shirts there were care tags with little tips that said things like:

  • be kind to animals
  • don’t be a cement head
  • don’t play with matches

We did that for the mothers. They loved that stuff. 

After I did the first logo, they wanted me to put a different spin on their Life’s a Beach logo. Here’s what I came up with:

Life's a Beach original logo design by Mark "Boogaloo" Baagoe.

Life’s a Beach logo design by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe.

No Fear was our second company which was dubbed as dangerous sports gear. No Fear was all about dangerous sports goods: boxing, big wave riding, extreme fighting, mountain climbing, guys on skis killing big mountains, skaters, surfers hitting 100-foot waves, drag racers . . . that sort of stuff.

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After designing and creating lots of T-shirts designs for No Fear, I was able to afford a five-bedroom house on the beach in California. I carpeted the floor and walls of my garage. We played music there and I painted there. Quite often I’d stretch my own canvas. I had a safe full of cash. I’d burn a hundred dollar bill in the garage just because I could. It’s not about the money for me. It never was. 

Flame skull for No Fear by Mark "Boogaloo" Baagoe.

Flame skull designed for No Fear by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe.

I am a true American artist. Our educational system is shit. I doodled in school. And then years later lots of kids recognized my logos. Now when they see them, they’ll want to read my story and it will draw them to the higher power.  

When I asked Boogaloo what he would say if he had the opportunity to stand up in front of a stadium full of people, the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “Mommy.”

“I wouldn’t want to stand up in front of a big crowd of people, but I’ve been doing so many art shows that I learned to enjoy meeting people who come to my shows. But I do I want to write a book. Want to write my story?” he asked.

“I can’t promise a book,” I said, “but I can do a blog post. What do you want to tell the world?” Here are the lessons he learned that he’d like to share:

1. Always be true to your God-given talent.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t deal with the bullshit anymore. I know what’s good for me and what’s bad for me. I’m at that age and maturity where I understand these things. I’d been looking for this place forever and I finally found it. Always be true to yourself and your God-given talent. 

2. Find where the pieces of the puzzle fit.

You have to find the pieces to the puzzle. They’re linked with God and spirituality. I’m a big fan of numbers, math and geometry. I love shapes. Shapes make art. Math is undeniable. Our birthday is a certain number. There are 12 apostles and 12 months. Three is my favorite number.

My favorite letter is R because it reminds me of the color green. Maybe because Robin had an R on his chest. My mom was good on a sewing machine. She made me a batman costume when I was a kid. I didn’t take it off for two weeks. I slept in that thing. Then my little brother wanted it and he slept in it for about three weeks. When all the pieces finally start to fit together, then you’ll see the big picture. 

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Zootsuit Swing by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe.

3. Don’t forget where you come from.

We’re nothing. We’re just a vapor in God’s universe. I feel like a rock star on stage, but then I remember I’m just a vapor in God’s eyes. And then I’m at peace. It helps me realize it’s not about me.  I’m two different kinds of people. My Chinese sign is the rat, so I’m a survivor. My astrological sign is Leo, the lion. I’m like a cat. I’ve always landed on my feet because I have protection. 

<insert pic of blue black lines>

4. Stay in the loop.

It’s not a time line. It’s a perfect circle. A lot of people think they have a hurdle to get over to get back on a line. But life isn’t like that for me. It’s more like a loop. Now things are going up and then it comes back full circle with my life and my art. I started out baptized as a baby. I was brand new. My name Mark was written in his book. He had my destiny predetermined before I was born. By keeping your finger on the pulse, you’re staying in the loop. 

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Six Foot Shacks mascot Surfer Joe designed by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe in 1980.

Now I see how all this loops back around, but now I’m better. It’s all about perseverance and being dedicated and being prolific. I’m still surfin’ at 54! Here’s one of my recent ventures in T-shirt design: Six foot shacks. Get shacked!

Mark "Boogaloo" Baagoe

Cleanse by Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe in 2010

5. Ride the wave.

I’ve always been trying to paint what God looks like. But the only thing I’ve been able to paint that looks like God is a wave. Nothing can withstand the force of an ocean. Everything can be destroyed by a wave. Water is all-powerful.  

In 2003 I went to Maui to visit a friend. After seeing the waves in Maui, I went back Florida to pack up all my stuff to move to Maui.

6. Be prolific.

If you work on your talent every single day, even if it’s just one brush stroke every day. If you do this for 365 days over and over again, you’ll be successful. As you get older, you realize you don’t have to drive as hard to get where you want to go. 

7. Success is one failure after another.

If I didn’t pick myself up every time each time I failed, I’d be a compete failure. A failure is someone who doesn’t pick himself up. When you get pounded by a wave, do you just lay there and get pounded? No, you get back up on your board. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure for the rest of your life. You’re going to catch some of the greatest waves of your life. When you’re under water and you get pounded by a wave and you can’t see anything but grey and clouds of white, you reach for your leash and pull yourself to the floating board. When you finally get to the top you see another wave and your realize, oh shit.

Things like this happen. When you’re getting tumbled around and you can’t see what’s going, you just let the water throw you around like a rag doll. The secret is that you don’t panic. I have a hard time not panicking because sometimes my emotions take over.  Nowadays, doctors try to turn people’s emotions into phobias so they can give them pills. 

8. Trials make you grow.

The thing I’m most grateful for is the trials in life. Because without the trials, I wouldn’t know how much God loves me. Without trials, you don’t know the great parts of life. When you’re going through a trial, it really sucks, but we are put through these trials for one reason: to grow. We can’t be better racers unless we can jump over the hurdles. 

My Godfather gave me this book many years ago. It’s very tattered like me. That’s one of my inspirations. He was always telling me in his Jersey accent, “You gotta teach. You gotta teach art,” almost sounding like an offer I shouldn’t refuse. You’re really good. I’ve always wanted to be an art teacher, but I’ve never been conservative enough to deal with the schools.

9. I’m the captain of my own boat.

I was married twice, each time for two years. One of my wakeup moments was after my 2nd divorce.  People are so controlling. They want to control everything. When you love something so much, you think you can squeeze it and it will turn into a diamond. But that doesn’t work. You have to let them go. It was all about a blame game. After the dust settled, everything changed for me. 

Mark "Boogaloo" Bagoe in his garage studio in California in 199?

Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe in his studio in Maui in 2005.

10. Be aware all the time.

Pay attention. You know what you’re going through in life, but you never know what other people are going through right now. I think about things like this. I can lose my temper very easily in this town when I get behind a slow tourist. I’m automatically judging people all the time. But I know I need to pay attention. And I’m constantly asking for forgiveness. 

11. It’s not my story.

Boogaloo walked to a closet and told us we were in for a treat. He pulled out a box that his mom had sent him recently. It was full of products, stickers, cards and toys . . . all with logos he designed.

This isn’t my story. It’s everyone’s story. Over the years, I’ve given all my stuff away. Here’s a Bad Boy watch, a Bad Boy key chain. I’ve always been a huge hot rod fan. We got together with Mattel, and we made a car. We made an Indy car. It was the best of all the racers. We made these Bad Boy watches.

We made Christmas cards and of course they were always late. He handed me one of the cards. “Here you can have this one,” he said to me. I love my work as an artist. Thank goodness I never had to go to war and kill people. I sit with a good conscious because God was gracious enough. 

My spirituality is like my muscles. If I don’t work them out every day, they get weak and useless. It’s the same for your body and mind. Spirituality is a muscle. If you don’t work it out it goes limp and weak. Faith isn’t something you push by the wayside.

12. God is not understandable.

Never rely on your own understanding about God. Plant a seed and let it grow. Don’t keep messing with it. You plant it and let it go. Walk away from it and let it grow. Some land on the rocks, some land on fertile soil, but the main idea is to plant the seeds. Be the one bold enough to plant the seeds. 

Now the No Fear logo is an antique. I can’t believe what some of these things go for on eBay. 

Boogaloo gave me some of his famous stickers and sent me off reminding me of his main message as an artist: May God’s gift to me be my gift to you.

Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe with his art at Binky’s Banyan Boutique in Lahaina, Maui.

Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe is an artist living a Lahaina a few blocks away from where his art sells at Binky’s Banyan Boutique.

Mark "Boogaloo" Bagoe

Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe

Mark Boogaloo, aka “boogaloo,” was born in 1960 in New Jersey to a Catholic family that believed in hard work and enduring faith. This has been an important guide in his life, but from a young age he struggled with the emphasis on short hair, collared shirts and uniform behavior. He saw beauty beyond these boundaries and began to draw fantastic, creative images at an early age.

Boogaloo specializes in hand-drawn art. If you’re interested in a custom surf-board art, a logo or a commissioned piece, contact him at StillQuietSoul[at]yahoo.com.

Mark "Boogaloo" Bagoe art at Lahaina

Mark “Boogaloo” Baagoe art in DeRubeis Fine Art of Metal Gallery in Lahaina, Maui.




How to turn volunteer work into paid experiences

Heward Jue with child in Rwanda, photographed by Wayne Kittelson.

Heward Jue with child in Rwanda. Photo by Wayne Kittelson.

Have you ever wished you could apply more time to a cause you believe in? Here’s some advice from a pro art director, designer and photographer who evolved his volunteer work into a more professional capacity.

“A lot of people donate their time and efforts to nonprofits in order to do some good and add more meaning to their lives. While volunteering is noble and altruistic, we all have a limited quantity of time to give to a cause. We all need to earn a living,” Heward says.

“Sometimes we can give more wholeheartedly of ourselves if we know our own needs are being met. One way to do this is to contribute your talents where there is grant funding set aside for a particular project. Corporations and wealthy individuals often sponsor humanitarian projects and need talented people to carry out the work,” Heward adds.

For over twenty years, Heward has worked for some of the country’s most creative ad agencies elevating countless brands.

“While working in advertising is a decent way to earn a living and can be fun, it often feels shallow in the larger scope of things,” claims Heward. “I don’t always agree with consumerism, so doing work for nonprofits gives me a sense of redemption.”

Today, Heward gravitates toward working with corporations or organizations on their altruistic projects. He recently traveled to Kenya and Tanzania for Asante Africa, and to Vietnam for Roots of Peace. Here’s how:

How Heward was introduced to Asante Africa Foundation and the Getty Images Creative Grant

Wamba Girl who will have the opportunity to get education through Asante Africa, photography by Heward Jue

A Kenyan preschooler photographed by Heward Jue while working with Asante Africa Foundation

Because of his work and personal interest in different cultures and developing countries, Heward has traveled to various parts of the world.

“I went to South Africa for a commercial wine project. But what captivated me was the sea of shanty towns I saw. I thought it would be interesting to visit the residents and take some portraits. The faces and spirits of the people I captured were absolutely wonderful, so I made large prints to hang in my office when I returned. One of my colleagues who knew the founder at Asante Africa Foundation saw the photos and introduced me to her. I started designing their annual reports and later became a Board Member,” Heward says.

“When I was at Asante Africa, I heard about the Getty Images Creative Grant. I decided to build a proposal and provided a portfolio to apply for this $20,000 grant. It was an international competition with 85 applicants from 23 different countries. We were one of the two awarded,” he states.

“Asante Africa Foundation helps to educate children in East Africa, where there are many obstacles besides poverty that hinder children from getting educated. For example, when girls start to menstruate, many stop attending school. Asante Africa Foundation helps by building girls’ toilets so that they have safe and private places to take care of the hygiene needs while at school,” Heward says.

Heward Jue adjusting microphone while working on project for Asante Africa

Heward Jue adjusting microphone while preparing to record a Maasai girl’s story for Asante Africa Foundation.

One of the main purposes of this project was to promote awareness for Asante Africa and the work they do. Utilizing his creative advertising background, Heward wrote, co-directed and shot this video for the foundation. It demonstrates the drastic differences between life with and without education:

A striking print campaign, as represented by this ad below, was also created to round out the campaign.

HewardJueAsanteAfricaIWantToShoot

How Heward got involved with Roots of Peace

“Back in 1999, I designed the Roots of Peace logo when their founder, Heidi Kuhn, was operating out of her living room. They’ve grown tremendously since then, and she recently contacted me to document their work in Vietnam,” Heward states.

Heward Jue capturing a story from a man in Vietnam

Photographer Heward Jue shooting while a Vietnamese farmer shares his story for Roots of Peace.

The ACE Group, a global insurer and one of Roots of Peace’s sponsors, provided the funding for this project.

 

RootsOfPeaceTurningMinesIntoVines

Photo by Tucker Kühn, Roots of Peace.

Roots of Peace’s mission is to restore economic vitality to war-torn regions by creating livelihood opportunities through agriculture. In Vietnam, where the war ended 40 years ago, there are still areas plagued with unexploded landmines, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. Roots of Peace works with partners to remove these devices, turning what was once destructive land into productive, arable land.

Vietnamese victim family

A Vietnamese family empowered by the work of Roots of Peace. Photography by Heward Jue.

Can you turn your volunteer work into compensated opportunities?

Heward likes doing work for nonprofits that have noble causes. “Lots of people want to help nonprofits, but it doesn’t always have to be charity. There are funds out there, and you can do some research to find organizations that need your skill set. It’s just a matter of asking the right questions and finding the right avenues,” suggests Heward.

If you’re interested in getting paid to use your skills to support a nonprofit, here are a four suggestions from Heward:

1. Research to find opportunities you’re passionate about.

“It needs to first come from the heart,” Heward says. If you like and believe in what you’re doing, it’s better for everyone involved. Although Heward’s work often requires him to travel to far-out places, there are countless ways you can make a difference within the borders of your own country, state or city. You don’t have to go far to find people in need.

VolunteerMatch-Logo-Causerelatedmarketing.blogspot.com_Here are a few tools you can use to identify volunteer opportunities:

  • Use VolunteerMatch to “find a cause that lights you up.”
  • Search for “Volunteer Opportunities” on Yelp.
  • Use Facebook to “like” and get involved with nonprofits you believe in.

“Begin by giving a little of yourself,” Heward says.

You don’t have to be an expert to lend a helping hand. And you don’t have to put in long hours if you don’t want to. That’s the nature of the work. One of the advantages of volunteering is that you have the right say yes or no. But when you decide to say yes, you’ll find that there are endless possibilities to serve through nonprofits in almost any community in the world.

2. Get experience to build your credibility.

Get involved in small projects near or far. You need some experience and credibility before an organization will consider paying you. If you have a particular expertise or passion, it can be helpful to focus your work in this area.

New flood volunteer cartoon 1 Hills

There’s a website or app for nearly everything these days. If you’re a photographer, for example, you can look for opportunities on PhotoPhilanthropy. By providing a means for photographers and nonprofit organizations to come together, they champion social change, one photo at a time.

Take a big sip of water and speak up a little louder. 

“Once you get into the areas you’re interested in and become known, then opportunities start coming to you,” Heward says.

3. Build your reputation.

Whichever area of work you want to get into, start getting involved with people and projects in those areas. Document your experience along the way. Photos or videos can help, but they’re not always a necessity. Once you make connections and friends, they remember you and they can always be used as a reference.

Share your passion and volunteer experiences on social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or other social media tools. Then people start to get to know you.

FacebookCartoonBoss

4. Search for opportunities to get paid for your expertise.

Research the sponsors of these organizations. Some have the funds to carry out the projects and they often need people to do the work.

“Charitable projects are a good way for corporations to give back to the world to help elevate humanity, instead of just their bottom line,” Heward comments.

You can also apply for grants to fund your work, as Heward did with the Getty Images Creative Grant. Getting paid in volunteer organizations doesn’t come easily. It’s a bonus that you can work toward in the long-run.

Heward Jue with ?? woman in city/area?, Africa

Heward Jue sharing his work with a Tanzanian villager.

How to make your vacation last a lifetime

As an art director and designer, Heward has won numerous awards for creative excellence including: The One Show, Communication Arts, Clio, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Graphis, The Art Directors Club, The ObiesThe Effies, The ANDYs, and The ADDYs.

His photography has been recognized for excellence by PDN, Planet Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, and the American Photographic Artists.

If you’re interested in having Heward shoot a project for your organization, contact him at HewardJue.com.

Heward Jue showing off his tan line after 10 days of shooting in Africa. Photo by Erna Grasz.

Heward Jue showing off his tan line after 10 days of shooting in Africa. Photo by Erna Grasz.

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!

Looking for more ways to acquire, keep and produce more money? CLICK HERE now to start living your dream life!




Acupuncture helps man with ankle pain to avoid 3rd surgery

A man limped into Dr. Lily Wu’s office with a history of two prior ankle surgeries . . .

“When he came to see me the first time, he told me he had two prior surgeries on his left ankle. He had metal screws in his ankle. He was feeling good for a couple of years, but the pain came back,” Dr. Wu said. “Eventually, he was in pain again every day. The pain was affecting his daily life so much that he was considering a third surgery. He said he only noticed when he wasn’t hurting because he was in pain most of the time.”

ManAnklePain

“After the first acupuncture treatment, he was able to go dancing that same night without being bothered much at all by the pain. The next time he came to see me, he was so excited with how much the treatment helped him,” Dr. Wu said.

“In about 6 treatments, he only noticed when he did have pain. This was the opposite of how he felt before he started treatment when he was in pain most of the time. After about 10 treatments, he went on a long bike ride and had no ankle pain,” Dr. Wu said.

This 53-year old man had an active lifestyle. After he started the treatments, he remained active in all kinds of sports such as skiing, hiking, playing basketball, beach volleyball, soccer, and more.

“He was typically coming in weekly unless he was out of town,” Dr. Wu said. “He was totally recovered after about 30 treatments over a period of 8 months.”

“During this time I also treated him for back pain. He used to have back spasms, but after a number of treatments, the back pain stopped as well,” she said.

Dr. Lily Wu

Dr. Lily Wu

 

Dr. Wu earned her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She’s a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She is on the Palo Alto Medical Foundation doctors’ referral list of qualified acupuncturists.

She practices in San Jose, CA. For more information, visit her website at Lily Wu Acupuncture. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

 

Chinese Medicine doctor halts man’s chronic stomach problems