Accentuate the Positive
“There is very little difference in people,
But that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
No matter where you go there are memes and quotes reminding us the importance of being positive.
Positive Attitude Sightings
What is your Positive Outlook Factor?
3 if your answer is always,
2 if it is sometimes
1 if it is occasionally
0 if never.
- Do you thank a person who finds fault or criticizes you for whatever was truthful?
- When a stranger stares at you do you think it is because he/she likes you?
- When there is a sudden change of plans or an obstacle to your goal, do you see a hidden advantage in the change or obstacle?
- Are you able to compliment others for their success?
- Do you remember your past successes more than your failures?
- Do you easily recover from setbacks?
- By and large, does life seem good to you?
16-21 Excellent. You are thoroughly positive in your outlook. I only hope you’ve been completely honest!
11-15: Good. You are sometimes a positive person and have a foundation on which to build.
8-10: Fair. Your outlook could certainly do with an overhaul.
Below 8: You are in trouble. You clearly need to work on your negative tendencies.
Source: Dr. Archibald Hart copyright 1996 – The Habits of the Mind
Next: How the Ten Habits Fit Together: Habit 7: Be the Right Sort of Optimist
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Distractions are the worst pitfalls of a homebased business. Like my buddy the squirrel the least little noise, hearing a ding on the computer letting me know I have a Twitter, Facebook or email notification, has me off and running. It’s hard for me to stay off of social media because it is a primary source of research information for my writing projects. Reading, ‘Riting and Research are the three “Rs” that keep me creative and passionate about what I do. Plus I love the inspirational quotes and pictures. I love seeing my young nieces grow before my very eyes. I’m in Delaware, and they are in Connecticut. And now the live video feed and Periscope notifies me it’s movie time.
I’m grateful I do not have children running around and interrupting my day. I know a lot of stay at home moms, and dads have to juggle interruptions from a bored or crying child. Then again, I guess you could say my two cats and pit bull would count as my kids. They are constantly in and out of the office, vying for my attention. When the cats want my attention, they climb across my workspace and sprawl out. Bridgette would actually lie down across my hands as I typed on my keyboard. To solve that problem, I got a desk where my keyboard is on a separate shelf that slides in and out. I rearranged my desk to suit their needs because trying to keep them off the desk was more trouble than it was worth.
You have to be resourceful when keeping “shiny objects” and “dinging sounds” away. On days where I seem to be easily distracted, and I have deadlines, I wear my headset and listen to instrumental music.
Recognize what is causing you to go off track and come up with a working solution. No matter how crazy it may seem to others, if it works for you, go for it.
Here is an article I found today on “Shiny Object Syndrome.” It gives another perspective on distractions and challenges small business owners face.
Eeek! Shiny Object Syndrome!
By Karyn Greenstreet (Written in 2007)
It seems to be a trend that’s growing: small business owners are getting distracted by too many ideas or the latest fad, going off in a million directions and never completing anything. This loss of focus is costing you hundreds of hours a year in lost productivity, lost hours, lost dollars. (read more)
I wish you the best in getting organized and on track with your day-to-day business routine. After 30 years of self-employment, I still enjoy working from home. I’ve found my niche and passion and as long as the Lord allows, I will be writing, reading and surfing the net.
Are you ready for a challenge? Challenging yourself is the best way to break old unproductive habits, and create new habits which on a daily basis help you move toward achieving the goals you set down for yourself. Remember incorporate the S.T.E.A.M. method of marketing and you will build a targeted following who will eventually buy your products and services.
Here is a 30-Day Challenge called S.A.V.E.R.S., and it is a lifesaving personal development tool. For 30 days, I challenge you to commit yourself to the following:
- Find an accountability partner who you can share your daily activities and achievements.
- S- Silence
- Find a quiet place and set time to be still. I do my morning devotions in my office. I have a bay window where I can gaze out and watch the morning come to life as I write out my morning prayers and thoughts.
- Through my morning devotions, I practice affirming who I am and what I am doing and what the Lord is doing in my life to guide me through each decision that I make. I affirm my faith in the path He has defined for me and affirmed. I am committed to staying on that path.
- Through my morning devotions, I practice visualization of how I see activities unfolding. Of course, I am in a state of prayer believing and having faith that my vision is guided by the Holy Spirit.
- Visualizing our visions help stimulate the growth of our mind. The following article, from the HBCU Careers Forum – Having A Vision The Essence of Life and Success, is more detailed in telling why we should have visions.
- In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded by the news daily with so many things that really don’t stimulate the true growth of the mind but instead deter you from having a solid sense of hope and success. A vision is essential to having a more positive outcome and is vital to success. Learning new things is great for the brain and will create new pathways of thought and focus. When centered and applied properly, a vision will allow one to gain new insights and abilities to create not only a new way of life but also a new world around them. A vision is a picture or an idea one may have in the mind for self, business or any other future endeavor. Clarity of that vision helps one to pursue dreams, achieve goals and produce a more successful and prosperous outcome. A vision that is clear will open the mind to endless possibilities and unlimited points of the future. Having a vision is one of the most important factors in the path of one’s success in life. You feel much more valuable as a person when you set and achieve visions and goals. When visions and goals are set and defined, the value of the person is increased exponentially.The Bible, in Proverbs 29:18, says,” Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Read More)
- E – Exercise
- Need I say more. Everywhere you look, there are articles and videos about the importance of
exercise. Just walking 30 minutes a day is more beneficial than eating and leading a sedentary life. I joined a local group (Girl Trek – Delaware Sole Sisters) who are unbelievably dedicated to getting their exercise in. They are 15 to 20 years younger, and I do not participate in all of the events. I am looking for Brazenly Bold Third Agers such as myself to be accountability exercise partners.
- Need I say more. Everywhere you look, there are articles and videos about the importance of
- R – Reading
- Set a timer and read 15 – 20 minutes every day. “Leaders are Readers.” You are never too old. If you have limited sight, get the audio version of books and listen to them.
- S – Scribing
- “Just Write” and don’t worry about grammar and structure. Write out what is on your mind. What are you hoping for? What disappoints you? How can you get around stumbling blocks and circumstance which would normally stop you in your tracks. Keep a journal which can be used as content for fiction and non-fiction.
- I kept a journal after my late husband, Donald, passed away from cancer in 2003, I took my journal note, poems and letters I wrote and published them a book titled, “Joy Comes Through the Mourning.” Writing is the best medicine anyone could have prescribed anyone going through the grieving process. In 2015, I published a book entitled, “Isaiah’s Gift of Hope” by Crystal Cambisaca. Remember grieving does not only mean death. We grieve when we lose people, places, and things.
- The important thing to remember is to “Just Write.” Your journey can become your biography or content for fiction, and your notes can capture the detailed activity and help you define the outline for your book.
Committing yourself to a 30-Day Challenge is hard work. I am in the final days of my 90-Day Challenge and I can see the transformation of my attitude and my lack of fear of facing actions that would have been very uncomfortable for me to confront. To succeed you must take measurable action. Start your transformation today.
I look forward to continuing the conversation with you. Send me an email, comment below or follow me on Facebook. I am building a library of my video feed under my personal page: One Smart Lady. Visit me there and click on the LIKE button so you can receive notifications when I post something new.
Notes from internet class (Note: I do not have steps for Twitter.)
Instagram and Facebook S.T.E.A.M Steps
- 5-7 Posts Per Day
- Picture Quotes
- Lifestyle Pictures
- Video/Clips (stories)
- Livestream Videos
- Monetization Posts (Links to your business/sale page)
- Likes/Hearts, etc.
- New Followers
- Overall Growth
- Direct Messages
- Engage on other Posts
- Respond to Tags
- Respond to Hashtags
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Instagram Shoutouts
- Social Media profiles
- Instagram Syndication
- Cross Promote through Social Media (Pages/Groups)
- Link to Bio/About You
- Call to Action in Post Text
- Call to Action in Pictures
- Call to Action in Video
- Link Posts with Call To Action
- Free Offers for List Building (Focus on Building Relationships)
- 10-15 Posts
- # of Followers
- Personal Messages
- Call to Action Videos
- Call to Action Pictures
- Snapchat Shout Outs
- Shapchat Links to what you are promoting
- Make a message like the one I plan to use (it’s true).
“Just attended a mastermind where this guy made $1million this year. Interested in finding out how? Snap on this.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg in Social Media discipline. If you have any other things that have helped you focus, please put them in the comments. I’m sure others would love to learn from you.
What are your conversations with friends and family like? Are you repeating the same stories to them you have been telling over the years? Have you been writing in journals, on napkins at restaurants, scraps of paper or in your smartphone or tablet? That may be where you will find your passion and your story.
My passion is in telling stories about situations that happened to me. For as long as I remember, I have always told stories. In the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now in the 21st Century I am still telling stories and since 1964 writing stories and keeping a journal/diary.
I am motivated by the need to capture my thoughts and emotions so they do not affect my emotions and decisions. I am also motivated to see people smile and listen to their laughter or hear how my stories affected them and feel how their response affected me.
Right now I can see myself on my neighbor’s porch, in the late 50s and 60s, telling limericks, jokes or just making up stories to make her laugh. She would have a bowl of string beans on her lap. Mrs. Burton would snap and laugh. she would share stories of her childhood too. Boy I wish I could remember them. She was wise and ancient to me, but now I believe I am her age today, not old at all, and I still enjoy a good story and laugh.
Sit quietly and just allow your mind to drift. Capture those memories and write them down. What did you really enjoy doing that you stopped because life took control of you, instead of you taking control of your life? Where did you want to go? Who did you want to meet?
Write a list of questions. Interview yourself. Rekindle the spark to get you writing stories and build your manuscript from there.
First, get a clear understanding as to why you are writing this book. What story or message do you desire to get across? Who do you want to read your print book and listen to your audio book? Without a purpose, you will be as they say, “a ship without a rudder.”
My purpose is to write as much as I possibly can about my life experience in hopes it will encourage and inspire others to begin writing today. As they read One Smart Lady Says ‘Just Write,’ they can see how easy it is done. So they can say, “I can do it.”
During the course of my publishing career, most of my author’s stories reflected their life challenges, struggles and how they overcame them through their growing faith in the Lord. Now I know not everyone believes as I do. Nevertheless, I believe even if it is only faith-based on your own strength, you have a story to tell.
I want to read about someone who does not share my faith in the Most High God, and/or Jesus’ role in my salvation. I want to read how they succeeded to overcome their challenge or life struggles. It would be interesting to compare their story with another person experiencing the same challenge and struggle but who had a relationship with Christ. I want to read how someone or something hurt them and they walked away from the fellowship of the church.
I write to inform, as well as, entertain. In my book, “Joy Comes Through the Mourning” I write about my experience as a widow. Most may think this is a sad topic. The book includes short stories, poems, and examples of mind games I played as I overcame the death of my husband, Donald Karper in 2003. I originally ended the book with my joining my current church, Green Grove Baptist in 2004. As I worked on the final edit in 2011, I realized I needed to add, how my growing relationship with the Lord strengthened me and allowed me to open my heart to my husband, Willie Smart, who I married in 2008.
I write to encourage and empower young individuals to follow through on their dreams at the age they are, not waiting until they are older. In my book, “Hadana and the Skating Club”, my co-author was my seven-year-old niece, Hadana Trinity Smart. Yes, another One Smart Lady. It occurred to me that we were enjoying telling each other stories, and her ability to tell the story with passion and maturity. It also occurred to me to find a young artist to design the front cover. I found that artistic talent in Joy R. Smith. Joy was a senior at Hun School of Princeton and has since graduated and is attending Drew University.
So your purpose is developed for many different reasons. As you write, your purpose may be skewed in the beginning and will take form the more you get into the meat of the story. Don’t be took concern about grammar and structure. Pay close attention at this point to the building of your story and your characters. If writing non-fiction, do your research make sure it is sound.
So as I always say, stop over thinking about what you are going to write and “Just Write.”
“Just Write” is the answer to one of the #1 questions asked by those looking to write and publish a book: “How do I get started?” So ask I ask, “Why do I want to write this book?” and then tell them to “Just Write.
I am writing “One Smart Lady Says ‘Just Write'” because it seems to be the catalyst for getting first-time authors to begin their writing project. I tell them to throw the formulas and structure out of the window and just write uncensored and unedited. Then go back and examine and evaluate what you’ve written.
Over future posts, I will answer questions by using examples from books edited and published by Gladstone Publishing. Who should subscribe to this post? Individuals who have no idea how to get started with their writing project. “Bestselling Author” status is not the only goal you should set. The first goal should be to write a very good book that is readable, enjoyable and viral; one people will recommend to their family, friends, and associates.
I will ask questions and give you my answers. You should write and answer these questions as you can.
What is my purpose?
First get a clear understanding as to why you are writing this book. What story or message do you desire to get across? Who do you want to read your print book and listen to your audio book? Without a purpose, you will be as they say, “a ship without a rudder.” Read More
What do I have to say?
Until you have a clear picture, Just Write. What? Anything. Whatever is on your mind. Just write and see where your mind takes you. Just like reading takes you on a journey outside of your environment, writing does the same thing. I allow you to escape to lands unknown…past and future. Read More.
Where does my passion lay?
What are you passionate about? What are your conversations with friends and family like? Are you repeating the same stories to them you have been telling over the years? Have you been writing in journals, on napkins at restaurants or any scrap of paper or in your smartphone or tablet? That may be where you will find your passion and your story. Read More.
Is my story worth telling?
When you begin your project, it is too soon to judge. Just Write. As you review and edit, you will be able to restructure your story whether it is Fiction or Non-Fiction. Writing a book takes time. I am going to from this point on, refer to your book as a manuscript. Your manuscript can be messy and full of flaws. Your book, on the other hand, has to be clear, with words that move the reader from page to page with anticipation of its end. Read More.
Who am I writing for?
There may be times when you begin your manuscript, your audience is children. When I began writing “Pearl, The Little Light That Shines” my intention was to prepare a book for pre-teens to young adult. I had an accountability partner to whom I read each draft. As the book progressed, we began to understand the reader was going to be a must older audience. At the time, I was upset, but then I remembered my purpose. I wanted to tell a story about a young girl who lived in the 50s and 60s and tell how she dealt with the day-to-day challenges presented in her life. Through a series of books, each book would take place at a different time in her life.
How will my story reach them?
Am I referring to marketing and distribution at this point? Yes. Even as you decide on your audience, you have to also see where they live and play. Keep you eyes on both print and social media venues. Join special interest or focus groups who share your interests. Get yourself known. Begin to put together your own Facebook Group, Twitter and Instagram followers. Grow your business. Yes. Writing is a business which you should take seriously. Begin to grow your team. Who will be your publicist? Who will be your event coordinator? Who will design your marketing material?
As I said, you are building this team of resources. It takes the time to build a relationship which is strong. That is why you should do it as you are writing your manuscript.
Many have been stopped by the thoughts: “I’m not smart enough.” “Why would anyone want to read a book written by me?” “I don’t write. I hate writing.”
Well, if you can speak your story verbally…your story can be written by a Ghost Writer. There are many people in the world waiting for a solution out of their situation. Your story may be the one to help them. If you hate writing…dictate it and have it transcribed. There are no more excuses in this high-tech age.
Each year I join the masses who set goals to lose weight, stop smoking, learn a new language, exercise more or any one or two activities which will improve our lives. I consider myself to be very disciplined and tend to find creative ways to self-motivate and achieve my personal goals. I received an email with a wonderful message about enjoying life. I also saw another way to monitor and achieve goals. I want to share it with you because it moved me to follow it’s format, albeit not with the same purpose, but it is a wonderful visual tool to help keep focused each day.
“The story has been passed down many years now so I’m not sure of its origin. But it goes something like this…
It was a warm Saturday morning in sunny South Florida when, flipping through the channels on an old ham radio, he stumbled on a voice that was so crystal clear and attractive, it felt like the broadcaster on the other end was speaking directly to him.
The voice, like my mentor, cherished his Saturdays. It was time he spent with his family. Time he didn’t have to work. Time he took to relax, read, and reflect. And so he did some math…
If the average person lives to be 75, the mysterious voice said, and there are 52 weeks in each of those 75 years, that’s 3,900 Saturdays in a lifetime. He went on to add that 2,800 of those Saturdays were already gone by the time he realized this. So with just about 1,000 Saturdays left, he went out in search of 1,000 marbles to represent each of his remaining special days.
Three toy stores later, he brought every single marble he collected home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container. Then, every Saturday, he took one out and threw it away.
He found that by watching his bunch of marbles diminish, he could focus more on the really important things in life. That there was nothing like actually watching your time run out to help you get your priorities straight.
Then he said something startling. He announced that today, this very special Saturday, he took his very last marble out of the container and threw it away.
If he makes it until next Saturday, he figured, he’d have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”
So this story got me thinking about my time left and how I wanted to spend them. I have three major goals I would like to achieve this quarter. If I am successful, I will be able to live without fear of being homeless and destitute. Last year, we lost our home due to foreclosure, and have been living by the grace of God in a home provided by a dear friend. This home is a temporary home for us and we have move again. It is my prayer and if it is the Lord’s will we will have another home where we can live out the rest of our lives without being subject to tenancy.
So…I have set up three containers: 21, 30 and 90 marbles. In 21 days, I want to increase my business income. In 30 days, I want to us to know that we have a home to live in for at least another year with the goal of moving only one more time into a “forever home”. In 90 days, I will complete the 2nd installation of ‘The String of Pearl’ series.
I wish you only the best in 2016. I thank God for everyone who stood by us in 2015. Without God’s grace and mercy we would have been homeless and I would be blind in my left eye. If you have a 21, 30 and 90 day challenge, this will be a visual for you also to stay focused. You can follow me on instagram smartdeborah. Each Saturday, I will remove a marble from each container and post them on Instagram as a visual reminder time is slipping by.
I took a creative writing course at Drexel University in Philadelphia in the early 80s when the writing bug bit me. The bite spread a virus throughout my mind and heart. I have written and published three books; and many blog articles. I have edited and ghost written books by first-time writers whose books got published. After publication, and the first book signing party, not every author was prepared to market their book. As a small press publisher with limited funds, I set up a webpage and announced their publication via social media. But that really was not enough to get them book sales. People would click on like and leave glowing comments, but it usually led to very few sales. All or most of the responsibility for the marketing and distribution of self-published and small press books fall in the lap of the author.
First ask yourself, “Where do I want to go with this book?” Here are some options:
- Book Stores
- Screenplay or Stage Play
You decide. Plan your strategy to get yourself known.
To learn more about the business of publishing and book sales, I recommend you build a resource library by subscribing to online resources. I took an online class in writing years ago on Writing Dialogue with Writers Digest. I continue to follow their programs. Below is a link to their site. Don’t forget to use their coupon code AFFTEN:
If you have any questions about getting started with your first project, please contact me, I would be more than happy to help.