Friday Night Road Trips

Advice From One Smart Lady

I remember Fridays when I was very young waiting impatiently for my Dad to come home from work. As I look back I marvel at my father’s stamina. We lived in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He worked in North Wales, PA which was a little over 15 miles by car. Each day he drove 30 miles or more back and forth to his job. On Friday’s he drove home and loaded the car with my mother, my four siblings and myself, and retraced his route partially to take us to our grandfather’s store to do the grocery marketing.
I am absolutely floored by my father’s dedication to us. Remember he drove 30 miles that day back and forth from work. He then retraced a little over 13 miles of that trip to get to our grandparent’s home in Penllyn, PA. The blessing was our grandmother always had a meal waiting for us.
For me, the highlight of that trip was walking into my grandfather’s store, “Wilson’s Grocery Market”. It was a stucco and brick building at the end of their backyard.
In Front of Papa's Store - Wilson's Grocery Market

Aunts Ruby and Sissy (Grace) Wilson with my brother Eddie (Avon) and me the future One Smart Lady

I now realize it was there I received my baptism to be an entrepreneur. During the 50s and early 60s, people did not many supermarkets to choose from. They shopped in their neighborhoods at small family stores. The shelves were always fully stocked, waiting for the customers to come. I now understand the feeling as I built my store online, and now each day wait for my customers to come.
Unlike most online merchants, I have experienced the joy and pride of the waiting period. I enjoy the time I spend tweaking and looking for new products to add to my online shopping mall. Sales come in as people need what I sell. I understand that, and I have built the Pearline Shopping Mall with a strong foundation to withstand the wait.
There are preparations to make if you are looking to build your store online. If you have been watching the explosive growth of Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify, you must accept the reality, it is about “eCommerce”. I remember there was a movie “The Graduate” where the insider stressed “One word, Plastics”. Indeed he was right. Look at our world today, overwhelmed with plastic products.
I highly recommend you join me in learning how to bring your product and/or services offline and jump in with both feet and join the eCommerce wave. I have been actively and purposely learning eCommerce and Social Media Marketing from an awesome group of experts. Over the past ten years, I have mastered the art of blogging. I am now learning how to merge what I love, writing with my eCommerce ventures.
One of the questions I am sure to be asked, “What does this have to do with writing and publishing a book?” My answer, “Once your book is published, you have to market, advertise and sell it. Your book is now a product. You may also have a workshop or speech presentation attached to this book. You must learn about marketing funnels, autoresponders, and other tools.”
If you have any questions, please list them in the comments below so my answers will help others who may have the same question.

Habit #4: Don’t Punish Yourself

Advice from One Smart Lady

Habit #4
Don’t Punish Yourself

Have you considered the fact, God has forgiven us for every sin, mistake, and failure we ever made or will ever make?

Self-punishment can be a result of your conscience going bad. Remember the difference between true guilt and false guilt (Habit #3 – Keep Your Conscience Clear)?

Ways of Self-Punishment

  • Turning our anger inward
  • Robbing ourselves of pleasure
  • Acting out Self-defeating Behaviors
  • Failing to accomplish personal objectives

Solution: Form a counter habit.

  • Too Critical?

-Change to Complimentary Mode.

  • Feeling Bad about Yourself?

-Volunteer in your community.

-Give sacrificially to a good cause in either time or money

-Help someone in real need

Self-Reflection

Looking in the mirror of self-reflection is not always beneficial. Like the distorted mirrors at the carnival, you may look fat when you are actually thin.

“God intended self-reflection to be the means of honest information about ourselves for growth and healing.”

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
Try me and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

This prayer leads us directly to the heart of God. It addresses exactly what God intended self-reflection to be; motivating us to know ourselves deeply and therefore to reach out for God, not to find a reason to self-punish.

Healthy self-reflection opens your mind to full discovery and spiritual wholeness.

“If we fail to become whole in mind and spirit, it is not because the Gospel is insufficient for our needs. It is because our grasps of the Gospel is so deficient.” Dr. Archibald D. Hart

Next: How the Ten Habits Fit Together: Habit 5: Value Life’s Little Blessings
Visit my Facebook page: @deborahisonesmartlady

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLBOX

One Smart Lady Recommends:

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Step Into Your Dream

Advice From One Smart Lady

Dreams can come true. What is it that you want to achieve?

 

  • Visualize it.
  • Dream About it.
  • Write about it.
  • Seek out people who are successfully doing what you want to do.
  • Build up a community of individuals who complement your talents and skills.
  • Develop programs that will help others grow their dreams.

Just Do It!

Take Massive Action!

Get It Done!

 

 

Establish A Sacred Place

Advice from One Smart Lady

This morning’s trip to the Delaware Memorial Bridge’s Veterans Memorial Park was quite an experience. Looking at all of the individuals who lost their lives for our country humbled me. I realized how I do take my freedom for granted. I could turn off the television or refuse to read what is going on in the world, and just live within my own bubble.

I choose not to do that. I choose to keep my routine of seeking God in the early mornings for guidance as to how I should live out the day. Below is an article I wrote for Stay Focused Magazine in the Spring of 2015. I think it is appropriate for me to reprint it today because I want to encourage you to find your sacred place to write and meditate on your life’s purpose.

Reprint: StayFocused Magazine Issue – Spring 2015

My Sacred Place
Deborah Smart

Joshua 1:3 “Every place on which the sole of your feet tread I have given it to you.”

No matter where you set up shop, in a brick and mortar or on the internet, be prepared to minister to your clients and customers. The more you pray and meditate on your plans and goals, the more successful you are in reaching them. Where do you sit and plan your business action steps for the day, the week, the month and year? Have you created a sacred space for your prayer and meditation? Has God given you a vision and your heart is set on fire to achieve this vision? What tools are you using to keep the fire burning inside?

Each morning I begin my day writing out Matthew 6:33 “First seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be given unto you.” I then write the things I want to focus on or achieve. Actively writing these words sets the tone for my day. I notice when I fail to do it, my day is a lot more hectic. Acknowledging God keeps me focused on his ways and not mine. If I work in my office or meet a client at their location, I am always aware the Holy Spirit accompanies me and, therefore, I conduct myself accordingly. This is true, especially when the meeting is not an easy one to lead or sit through. Tension sometimes rears its ugly head, especially when the project is going to bless many. Satan’s minions are busy setting up roadblocks. So I go back to the question, “where do you meet God?” Create a sacred place to meet Him, in your home office, office or your car and put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand the wiles of the Devil.”

Beware of Shiny Objects!

Advice From One Smart Lady

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. C360_2015-12-02-08-46-24-132They 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Gamify Your Life

Advice from One Smart Lady

Deborah with Chris Record

Deborah with Chris Record

Chris Record presented knowledge he learned from disciplining himself to read each and every day. He does not profess to be a genius, but he is. He has a ninth grade education, and today is about to launch the first standardized and certified online college. He presented a new way to build a productive daily life, Gamify. He suggests that we not focus on the struggles we go through each day attempting to build our businesses as entrepreneurs. He suggested we identify each phase of our business and life plans and break them down into smaller sections.

I set up five segments and within each segment, I set up seven levels to achieve and earn points. My next step is to set up rewards I receive as I reach each level.

Segment 1: Spirituality – I maintain daily devotion time to spend with the Lord where the Holy Spirit shares with me the things I need to get me through the day. I use this time to reflect on my successes and failures.

Segment 2: Mindset – I have a positive mindset, and I approach challenges and changes based on how I respond in a positive and contemplative way.

Segment 3: Health – I continue not to rely on prescription drugs to maintain good health.

Segment 4: Relationship – I maintain a God-centered relationship in my marriage, family, friends, business partners, and clients/customers.

Segment 5: Entrepreneurship – I maintain a consistent income to remain debt free and sustain a discretionary income to serve.

Let me show you how it works.

Under Segment 5 – Entrepreneurship, it is my desire to earn $1 million on a regular basis. Based on the tools and skills that I have been given I can do it. It is just a matter of when I will earn the first million.

Level 1: Established a presence on the Internet-10 points

Level 2: Engage with visitors to my different pages and websites-10 points

  • Respond and Track (Likes/Hearts/Emojis; New Followers; Hashtags)

Level 3: Partner with other entrepreneurs whose product and services compliment mine-10 points

Level 4: Begin earning income from my Online Store15 points

Level 5: Begin teaching and signing up first-time entrepreneurs who wish to duplicate what I am doing.-15 points

Level 6: Consistently marketing and selling products (i.e. Online Educational Courses {link available 8/24/2016})-15 points

Level 7: Receive consisted payment from the Vendors.-25 points

Here is a blog article I found written by Benjamin Braddle on August 1, 2016. His article will take you into more detail. As I roll out more business strategies, I will share them with you.

http://blog.trello.com/get-more-done-gamify-your-life/

To set up your Gamify levels ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who do you want to be?
  2. What do you want to have?
  3. What does it look like?

You can run your game for 30-day cycles and change the rules as you grow. You should be consistently striving to grow and see never-ending improvement. Don’t get overwhelmed by all of the links. I’ve been building my internet presence over the last 20 years or so. Just take baby steps and soon you will be running with the big folk.

Note: the featured picture was borrowed from the Get More Done Gamify Your Life  blog.

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead with Instagram and Facebook

Advice from One Smart Lady

Don't Miss Your Target

Don’t Miss Your TargeM

sm_20160804_182148

Notes from internet class (Note: I do not have steps for Twitter.)

Instagram and Facebook S.T.E.A.M Steps

Schedule

  • 5-7 Posts Per Day
  • Picture Quotes
  • Lifestyle Pictures
  • Video/Clips (stories)
  • Livestream Videos
  • Monetization Posts (Links to your business/sale page)

Track

  • Likes/Hearts, etc.
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • New Followers
  • Hashtags
  • Overall Growth

Engage

  • Comments
  • Direct Messages
  • Engage on other Posts
  • Respond to Tags
  • Respond to Hashtags

Advertise

  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • Instagram Shoutouts
  • Social Media profiles
  • Instagram Syndication
  • Cross Promote through Social Media (Pages/Groups)

Monetize

  • 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)

Snap Chat

Schedule

  • 10-15 Posts
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Advice/Lifestyle

Track

  • Views
  • Screenshots
  • # of Followers
  • Personal Messages

Engage

  • Call to Action Videos
  • Call to Action Pictures

Advertise

  • Snapchat Shout Outs
  • Shapchat Links to what you are promoting

Monetize

  • 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.

 

 

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead

Paradise Valley Phoenix, Arizona

Paradise Valley
Phoenix, Arizona

I have been an entrepreneur for over 30 years now. I never get tired of saying that because it is a remarkable feat. Just think for more than three decades, I have been blessed and privileged to follow my dreams and passion in making a living for myself and my family. I have not always been as structured and organized as most people think, especially my clients. It is easy to be structured and organized when you have a system.

For the first 15 years, I was blessed to work with other entrepreneurs whose business and skills complemented what I was offering. I was the most successful when others marketed my computer training and programming expertise and services. I just had to show up. But then, I found I had a burning passion for doing something other than write code or drive 30 miles to train a classroom of people forced to learn the software package. Otherwise, they could not keep their jobs. Everything at that time was moving from mainframe computer to desktop. There is nothing harder than to teach adults who do not want to be taught. I stood over one woman who refused to touch the keyboard and taught using her computer as the training tool. She was a VP in HR and did not type.

Thank God, I had my passion, the love of writing and storytelling. I founded my publishing company, Gladstone Publishing Services in 1998. From that point on, until today, I have enjoyed living and working in the sweet spot. I love to write, and I love helping first-time and aspiring writers get their books in print. Until recently that was as far as I was willing and able to take them.

Until recently, marketing was not in my “wheelhouse” so I could only help my clients write, edit and finally get their book in print. My experience over the last two months investigating companies who teach social media marketing has led me to The 4 Percent Group. Through my association with them, I was able to the attend a marketing mastermind training session and three-day seminar in Phoenix.

A new internet company is launching a new online school that is not all hype, but will teach substance with usable content. I was blessed to sit through multiple audit sessions and learned Social Media tools to help me move my business to the next level up. I’ve opened my first operational online store “The Pearline Oyster Shopping Mall”. It took me three days to step through the process. I had attempted to do online sales through various sites but even with my programming skills was confused.

As a solopreneur, I also need to set doable action steps that will lead to attracting new clients and customers for my products and services. Since returning from Phoenix, I have begun a daily Morning Inspiration live feed on Facebook.

Don't Miss Your Target

Don’t Miss Your Target

S.T.E.A.M. method of taking control of your work day gives you the tools to stay focused and work consistently without wasting time and energy following weak sales and marketing practices. I also learned there is a difference between Sales and Marketing.

We always say, “Sales and Marketing.” But what we do not realize, sales does not come before marketing. As inexperienced entrepreneurs, we put all of our energy in the sales of the product or service. It is in the marketing where we build relationships with our targeted audience.

If you would learn more about how S.T.E.A.M. can be applied to your personal social media business, comment below and I will work with you, at no charge. What I learned about S.T.E.A.M. I received freely, and I gladly pass it on to you freely. In fact, our instructor challenged us to pass it on. I gave this information to a wonder woman I sat next to on my flight home. She was resistant to being on the internet but recognized its value for business.

I also ask you to please share this article with others who are new or struggling to find their way on social media. Learn how to build your personal traffic and followers, and not spend dollars chasing rabbits or shiny objects.