Issue 1 July 2009
JOANNA PENN INSPIRING AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE
BLUE LIKE YOU BW IMAGERY SPEAKING PROFESSIONALLY CREATIVE COACHING and much more... CLIQ eMag - inspiring, motivating and connecting people around the world
Contents From Idea, to Book, to Market Joanna Penn
What Makes a Society? Salvatore Babones
4 Blue Like You Monique Van Dijk
31 Twitter Success Blueprint Sarah Prout
7 Perfection Angelika Heurich
Finding My Passion Melissa Williams
14 Intimidate Justin Herald
43 How to Decorate with Accessories Sarah Hanna Fisher
16 Colour My World Black + White
47 Benevolent Butterfly Leanne Walsh
19 SpeakerSite Artie Isaac
52 10,000 WORDS Mark S Luckie
23 Rainforest Writing Challenge
56 About that... Toni Hinton
Welcome to CL!Q
Welcome to the first edition of CL!Q eMag - an online magazine with an eclectic range of articles offering a little something for everyone. I have had an ongoing love affair with magazines since I was a teen avidly devouring as many as I could afford. But now that I spend so much of my time online... working, networking, reading, learning and being entertained, I rarely actually purchase a print magazine. So when I decided to launch my own magazine, an online eMag was the only way to go for me. And being such a fan of the net and an active participant of online social networks I wanted to bring some of that flavour into my eMag - the networking, shared stories and experiences and the randomness of the internet. I hope you enjoy the mix of articles and stories in this first issue and are perhaps even inspired to submit something yourself for a future issue. Make sure you join the CL!Q community if you wish to share your thoughts and connect with other readers and contributors, and don’t forget to check out our events page for exciting opportunities to participate in the ‘real world’ too. Best wishes
Connect with with me: CL!Q Community - www.cliqemag.ning.com Facebook - www.facebook.com/jeanniemay Twitter - twitter.com/jeanniemay Ning - www.ning.com/jeanniemay
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author, speaker and consultant
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Have you always wanted to write a book?
It is a dream of many people, but few actually go on to write and publish one. You may be surprised how achievable this goal can be! Joanna Penn dreamt of being an author for many years but was held back by lack of confidence in her writing ability and just not knowing how it could be done. After 10 years of business consulting across three continents, Joanna was miserable in her job, surrounded by people who were unhappy as well. It was the final push she needed to write the book that burned in her heart. How to Enjoy Your Job was written in the evenings and weekends and nine months later, the book was ready. “I submitted the finished manuscript to a few agents and was rejected. I was devastated but started to learn all about the publishing industry instead. I wanted to use my energy to achieve something, not to let my book sit in a drawer and not help anyone. I discovered self-publishing and print-ondemand, and within a few weeks I held my book in my hands and it was for sale on Amazon.com, the biggest bookstore in the world.” That experience opened Joanna’s eyes to the amazing world of publishing. The industry is undergoing radical change because of the global financial crisis and the advent of new digital technologies. Self-published books can now be sold on Amazon.com alongside traditionally published books. Printon-demand means little or no entry costs, no stock held, no distribution costs upfront. Authors can self-publish on Amazon and the books are printed when they are ordered. Ebooks can be published on the internet and cell phones for free. Book promotion can be done online through blogging, social networking and other accessible technologies. If authors learn to market themselves online, anyone can achieve sales success with their book.
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â€œI was so excited to share this new publishing world with other writers. I knew that so many people are held back by fear of rejection and the barriers to entry traditional publishing puts up. I wanted to help other authors release their creativity and be able to publish themselves, just like I did.â€? So Joanna started The Creative Penn in December 2008 as a central website and blog to help authors learn about writing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, internet sales and promotion... for their books. The site is packed with free information on all these topics, as well as podcasts with authors and others in the publishing industry. Joanna also published two more books helping authors make their dreams realities, making the ebook versions available for only $1.
In June 2009, Joanna launched The Author 2.0 Blueprint, which is a free resource for authors who want to use Web 2.0 tools to write, publish, sell and promote online. It ties into a comprehensive online program that aims to teach authors all they need to know in the web 2.0 environment including how to blog, podcast, self-publish in print and e-format, use social networking effectively, use article marketing, video and book trailers as well as do press releases online. Joanna Penn - British athor, speaker and business consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. Joanna self published her first book in 2008 and now assists others to do the same.
Connect with Joanna: Website - www.thecreativepenn.com Facebook - http://profile.to/joannapenn Twitter - http://twitter.com/thecreativepenn
BLUE LIKE YOU
a positive media initiative and community for women feeling blue
Appearances are not what they seem... The happy pics we see posted on our own and our friendsâ€™ Facebook sites are rarely representative of what is really going on in their world. By selectively portraying and emphasising some parts of our lives and omitting others we create self-styled, pictureperfect scenarios that may bear little resemblance to reality. And even though we know that, we still compare ourselves against these manufactured perceptions that we then judge as more fun or more successful than our own. Monique Van Dijk, Brisbane resident and creator of the Blue Like You campaign, admits that for five years she pretended to her friends and family that â€˜everything was fineâ€™ even though her life was far from it. It was not until this year that she finally decided to start getting authentic about her life and to start opening up about her experiences.
• The untold story behind the smile This is a photo of me taken on a trip to Shangri-la last year. Definitely not the poster girl for depression - if you don’t look too closely. On the surface you’d assume I was happy and successful – 27 and happily married to a very sexy engineer, speaks Chinese and constantly travelling around Asia, has worked on glamorous Film and TV projects in New Zealand and China, received numerous scholarships and awards, holds a Masters degree and has two books published, and to top if all off, she’s just signed on for a high-flying marketing gig in Brisbane! How exhausting it was to be me! The ‘me’ I wanted you to see. Even during my darkest moments I could always muster a fake smile and I was very good at pretending everything was OK – wonderful in fact. My photos, websites and experiences all proved how exciting and accomplished my life was. Who I didn’t want you to see was the ‘real’ me – a desperately, desperately unhappy girl who considered herself a worthless, lazy, pathetic loser. Someone who felt abnormal and alienated from others because of the crazy world that inhabited her ‘broken’ mind and destroyed her ability to just be happy like normal people. Someone who knew something was really wrong – but had decided that it was easier to continue ‘dealing’ with it by herself than talk about it with others or actually seeking professional help. About five years ago I experienced a debilitating bout of depression that lasted for two years. It happened slowly, as a result of a number of factors and so I attributed my decreasing motivation levels and interest in life as laziness, not depression. I was a high-achiever and still able to function in society and didn’t want to be lumped into the ‘mentally ill’ category. Since I didn’t want to be judged as having a ‘problem’ I tried harder and harder to ‘get over it’ – with varying levels of success/failure over the years. I’d concoct crazy lists and plans for making myself feel better – none of which ever eventuated because I would lie in bed for days sleeping – the only respite from the dark thoughts that inhabited my mind.
It is difficult to describe how I felt during those years – gravitating between such intense unhappiness that I would have routine suicide fantasies, to feeling completely devoid of emotion, as if there was nothing but emptiness and nothingness inside. I would feel better during social interaction (and it took the focus off me) so it wasn’t too difficult to pretend I was feeling great, but I did have to hide the habits that I usually employed to make myself feel better (eg. dull the pain and make myself feel numb) such as routine binge eating, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drugs, etc. I believed that as long as I could continue to achieve success through various projects and achievements the rest didn’t matter. I once tried to tell my parents about how I was feeling, but I felt like they didn’t believe me. After that I decided I wouldn’t seek help from anybody, especially a doctor – I didn’t want to be judged, or worst of all, be told that there was nothing wrong with me. My long-suffering boyfriend (now husband) was the only one who really knew the truth – but he had no idea what depression even was and I had emphatically shut down any discussions on the topic of my wellbeing. Despite that, he has remained my rock over the years, loving and supporting me – both emotionally and financially – when I did neither for myself. Things did get better for me over the years, and I never returned to those dark days of clinical depression. However, I still felt like I had no genuine passion or excitement for anything in life, and I struggled to maintain motivation. I still hated myself and had a very nasty and unhealthy inner dialogue on repeat – which made me even angrier at myself, as I knew that these thoughts were destructive and feeding a vicious circle. In my mind I had decided that I was ‘broken,’ that I wasn’t like everyone else, that depression was something I had to ‘beat,’ and that until I was ‘fixed’ I’d never be motivated or be happy again.
I would still look at everyone else and think she’s happier / more successful / more ‘together’ than me, why can’t I just be normal like her? At that time I still did not realise that depression is such a common phenomenon that she was probably looking at me thinking something similar... Recently, I got to the point where I realised that it just totally sucked being me, pretending that it didn’t, and continuing the way I was - was so exhausting and it had no future. Some powerful coaching, seeing a psychologist and creating Project Blue and the Blue Like You campaign have all helped me start the process of learning to accept, acknowledge and proactively manage depression as a part of my life. I have learnt to stop judging and being so harsh on myself, to stop trying to live up to an unrealistic set of expectations, and how to be authentic about who I am – which means being truly open and honest with others (and myself!) which has been really difficult but has allowed the loved ones in my life to get close to the real me. It has also opened the door for a new dialogue around depression that has made me aware for the first time that at least six women within my immediate circle of friends and family have experienced depression too. They had never confided in me in the past, much like I had never confided in them. It made me sad that for a long time I thought that I was the only person in the world to have those sorts of feelings while others around me who felt the same way, felt alone too.
• Depression Facts • According to BeyondBlue, the Australian national depression initiative, one in four women in Australia will experience depression in her lifetime. Over one million adults and 100,000 young people in Australia are currently living with depression each year. (Remember, these statistics don’t account for depression that remains unidentified or unacknowledged.) • A survey of 17,000 Australian women published by the Australian Women’s Weekly found that just over half believed they were, or had been depressed. Of those, 44.6% claimed they had coped with depression on their own, while 40.5% had been prescribed antidepressants. • The Report on Government Services 2001 found that depression is the fourth most common problem managed by Australian GPs, even more common than conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. Depression is a common phenomenon experienced by women of every description in every community. If you are experiencing depression, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and that what you are experiencing is normal and actually very common.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done to reduce the stigma around depression, so I just focus on the things that I can do - the Blue Like You campaign and being honest about my own experience. • About Project Blue Depression is the third most common cause of illness among women, yet ironically, while 1 in 4 women will experience depression in their lifetime, many women still feel uncomfortable talking about their condition or seeking professional help because of the social stigma that continues to surround mental illness. What if we had the power to change that? Here’s the scary part: we do! ... Imagine what could be possible if women across the world started sharing their experiences of feeling blue openly and freely? Our collective identification with and acceptance of depression would liberate our mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues and communities from the shame of stepping forward to speak about, and get treatment, for depression. Blue Like You is a collaborative eBook series which will present 100 candid and authentic experiences of depression in an accessible, female-friendly format. As a community endeavour, all Blue Like You eBooks will be available for free, and will be available through a number of online platforms, including the CL!Q eMag community site. The first eBook includes Monique’s own story, together with those from other brave Australian women, plus helpful information about depression. If you would like to find out more or become part of the blue community, please visit www.projectblue.org. If you would like to share your story in the next Blue Like You eBook, please download a submission form from the website or you can email your submission directly to Monique. Monique Van Dijk - founder Connect with Monique: of Project Blue. Monique has Website - www.projectblue.org a contract marketing and Email - email@example.com communications gig in Brisbane Facebook - www.facebook.com/bluelikeyou where she lives with her hubby, Twitter - www.twitter.com/bluelikeyou and is currently establishing an online resource hub for those in the creative industries, and she is also working on a few books.
BLUE LIKE YOU
â€˘ Common behaviours / symptoms associated with depression:
â€˘ Getting help It is normal to feel sadness, but if sad feelings persist and are out of proportion, you may be experiencing depression. There are many symptoms common to the experience of depression, however, the experience is unique for every individual and you should seek professional help instead of relying on a self diagnosis. The first step in recovery is identifying and acknowledging depression in your life. This will give you the ability to access and receive help and support, and to take action to begin to manage depression in your life. A wonderful online resource for further information about depression is BeyondBlue, the national depression initiative www.beyondblue.org.au If you, or anyone you know, needs urgent assistance or needs someone to talk to, please visit www.lifeline.org.au or call 131 114 for 24 hour phone counselling.
Perfection I forgive you for thinking that you do not possess perfection for you are perfect. Was it not God, the Universe, that created you in His image? Your perfection shines and radiates for all to see, so why do you not see it also? I forgive you for doubting this for even one moment. You have the ability to do anything and everything you choose – and all the things you have not yet even contemplated. You are able to use your talents and abilities to not only touch the lives of others, but to make your life complete and whole and perfect as well. Never doubt the possibilities of what you can achieve in your life – For, like the Universe, they are endless. Give yourself the credit that you are truly wonderful. I forgive you for having doubted this. Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Allow yourself to see the beauty and perfection that is you. Look in the mirror and see yourself as you truly are – a wonderful and perfect soul – beautiful and magnificent – perfection itself. Never doubt this. Be certain that this is so. As I look into my mirror, I see myself and the wonderful perfection that is me, For I have forgiven myself.
© 2006 Angelika Heurich
From the inspirational writings of Angelika Heurich www.angelika-inspiringyou.com.au
Network Your Way to Success Do
ing in rk o tw e n f o h rt o w s month
Do you want to: • Learn how to attract more clients to you and turn networking into profits? • Form strategic alliances with other women in business? • Increase your profits and accelerate your success? • Surround yourself with women who are committed to your success? • Give and receive referrals and expand your network? • Promote your business in a fun and friendly environment? Women in business know on average between 100-300 people - so even if you only connect with 30 women at Network your Way to Success you have the potential to increase your network by 6,000 people!
DATES: Sydney Wednesday 29th July 2009 Melbourne Monday 3rd August 2009 Brisbane Friday 7th August 2009 Tickets are just $97 for the day! And... there’s a host of free bonues! Check out the website for more detailed information and to book your ticket now! www.networkyourwaytosuccess.com.au
At the age of 25 with only $50 to his name, Justin Herald set about changing the course of his life. Justin created Attitude Inc, a clothing brand that became an international licensing success that turned over in excess of $20 million per year. Justin has just launched Intimidate Industries, his new Sunglass range which was highly sought after before it even hit the stores, as well as owning numerous other highly successful businesses. Justin has his own column in numerous magazines and national Australian newspapers. His articles have a weekly readership of over 5.5 million people. His website justinherald.com receives over 30,000 hits a day. He also is the author of eight international best selling books. Justin is regarded as one of Australiaâ€™s most sought after speakers with engagements booked all over the country and internationally, speaking in front of 150,000 people each year. Justinâ€™s success was so well noted that he was named the International Entrepreneur of the Year for 2005. He was also recently awarded the Future Leaders Award, which recognises him as one of the fifty most influential leaders of the next generation in Australia. His successes also credit his belief in the new generation of marketing through social network media. Facebook and its reach are an important part of the Justin Herald success story. That, and a belief in the consumer. He already (and unknowingly) had an established fan base on Facebook, attracted to the message in his books and public speaking. Justin: The Facebook thing I just could never get my head around from a personal perspective... Why do people need to know about what I did on the weekend or whatever?.
It wasn’t until one of my web gurus said “Mate, this is going to be the next biggest thing, you’ve got to get into it”... So we did it, but we do it in my own way. Justin’s Facebook ‘friends’ were people who openly acknowledged that they liked what he said and what he taught, the lessons he had learnt in the building of the Attitude clothing empire. Justin: Recently I rang the local optometrist. I’m fairly well known in my area. So I rang up and said “Hi I’m Justin Herald” and he says “Oh you’re the Attitude guy”... I said, “Well I was, now I’ve got a new brand called Intimidate.” He goes “Oh, I’ve had heaps of people asking for that brand. Didn’t know whose it was.” I said “Wonderful, could I come and see you?” He says “Oh no, I don’t want to take on any new brands at the moment.” I’ve got 1200 people who follow me, or friends, whatever you call it, so I asked them if they knew anyone who owns a surf store, sport store or whatever, that would take sunglasses in their store, and if they could create the introduction for me. I’ll do the selling and I’ll pay them 10% of the order. I picked up 62 stores in one day by doing that. Social media wasn’t really around when Justin was building the Attitude brand but he is making the most of these tools now. Justin: The next thing I did, I went back to my Facebook people, and I said “I need a favour. Next time you go shopping, could you just go into any store and ask them if they’ve got Intimidate. That’s all you’ve got to do. And that’s just going through the roof for me at the moment. The way that always facilitates growth is the simplistic way
of going about things. If you went and had a great experience at the local hairdresser, you would tell people about it. That’s the exact same principle that I am actually utilising now with Facebook. People have had a good experience with either my books, my speaking, or my story, whatever it is... When I ask if they would mind helping me promote my new brand they don’t mind. They know it’s a business thing I’m asking them to do, and they don’t mind doing it. Justin has embraced these new media opportunities and understands that the best results are gained by genuinely connecting with his friend / fan base, mixing a little personal in with the business, and actively engaging his online audience. Justin: It’s little things, like the other day I said “here’s our new poster. What do you guys think?” I am very much consumer driven. Always have been with all of my businesses. So what the consumer wants is what we make, basically, and that way they can have a part to play... giving the consumers a sense of ownership. The Intimidate brand launched with a range of sunglasses but there is much more in the pipeline. Justin: We’ve just designed a range of watches and we’ll get into men’s accessories too. Attitude ended up as a licensed product with 180 products throughout the world, that’s where Intimidate could go. Justin shares a final tip for marketing a new product: Justin: Don’t spend any money. Utilise the consumer... the thing I’ve actually realised, and it’s blatant, is that the retailer has no clue what the consumer actually wants to buy... hence, go direct to the consumer. In the first two days of us letting people know that the Intimidate range was ready and available, through the Intimidate website and through Facebook, we sold 480 pairs at full price. Justin Herald - author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker.
Connect with Justin: Website - www.justinherald.com Facebook - www.facebook.com/justinherald Twitter - twitter.com/intimid8
Black and White Imagery By Danielle Lancaster Life was once so simple in black and white and then there was colour! Despite the immense popularity of colour, the love of black and white photography was really never lost though it did fade away for a moment or two. While colour imagery still splats itself over magazine covers and in advertising (more often used as a selling point with the quantity of magazines and products competing for the consumers vote) one thing we can say is Black and White is Back! Is this because of a colour saturated market? Or perhaps a market drowning in over manipulated colour images leaving many of us asking what is real? Black and white has power. It arouses emotions, opinions and feels real yet magical. I must point out here: black and white images are as easily manipulated as colour images, yet thereâ€™s such a sense of realness to their quality that itâ€™s become the fresh new look in high demand. Brides want black and white, parents want black and white portraits and landscapes are stunning in black in white. And now for the average punter, we no longer need a conventional darkroom to produce black and white photographs. Thanks to the digital age we have a new darkroom: our computer.
It’s really quite simple: black and white is back because it’s beautiful. Here’s a few tips for you to shoot black and white in digital: 1. Shoot in Colour Though most digital cameras have the ability to shoot in a black and white (often called monochrome on the camera) it is better to take the initial image in colour and convert it post processing. A good black and white image contains black, white and a wide range of grey tones. Your colour image will contain three times more information than your monochrome image and therefore give you an image with a wider tonal range that contains more greys.
2. Look for Contrast Give your black and white images the WOW factor by looking for great contrasting elements. On the flip side of this, know that some colours that contrast in colour may be the same tone in black and white – this often happens with reds and greens. 3. Keep that ISO Low In black and white, noise (the term that has replaced grain) is much more obvious in the conversion from colour to black and white. If you actually want your image with more or exaggerated noise for a specific effect again it’s better to do this in post processing. 4. Compose, Compose and Compose If you can’t compose you’ll never achieve a great image – and here in the world of black and white it is paramount to lead the viewers eye to exactly what you want. Don’t forget that white or light areas in your image attract the viewer’s eye – if these are around the edge then the eye can leave the image area. 5. Watch the Sky If you like black and white landscapes then look for an ‘active’ sky. That’s when the clouds are either wisping or brewing up – they’ll look fabulous!
Danielle Lancaster is a professional photographer who loves sharing her passion with others. Her company Bluedog Photography shoots a range of imagery for corporate and private clients and runs Bluedog Photography Courses, Retreats and Tours.
Website - www.blue-dog.com.au Blog - www.blue-dog.com.au Facebook - www.facebook.com/ Twitter - twitter.com/Bluedogphoto
Featured Social Network !
Because everyone has a message. And every message has
Rob Emrich and Artie Isaac launched SpeakerSite.com in November 2008 and it quickly became the world's largest social network of public speakers and event planners. Artie recalls that they didn’t actually choose a launch date - it happened accidentally. Rob had readied the site for some behind-the-scenes testing and Artie drafted a blog post to announce the site. But Artie hit the wrong button: ‘publish now’ rather than ‘save as draft’ — and the site was ‘accidentally’ announced on November 11, 2008. Speakers started signing up and they decided there was no turning back.
“We started SpeakerSite because it just didn’t make sense that the most expressive people in the world did not yet have an open social network” Rob Emrich
! Featured Social Network
• How it all works... usually At SpeakerSite, the world’s largest social network of public speakers and event planners, most speakers are found and hired well in advance. Meeting planners simply browse through the thousands of speakers (using keywords such as topic, location, budget range) and contact a short list through SpeakerSite.com. Because most event planning happens well in advance, there’s usually time to interview the speaker and hear some testimonials, so the planner can be confident about the style, expertise and fit of the speaker. That’s the usual method, anyway. • Sometimes You Face The Unusual What happens when you can’t follow your usual, proven process? What do you do, for example, when you are the planner in charge of a 400-person meeting and you suddenly learn that — with the event only one day away — you need another keynote speaker? It can happen to you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a sophisticated meeting planner — or someone planning your first meeting. Every experienced meeting planner has a war story of surprise. Crisis strikes at any time — and plays no favourites. Perhaps the format or schedule of the meeting substantially changes, forcing you to find an additional keynote speaker. Or, perhaps your original keynoter — carefully researched, contracted, on the way — falls ill. When advance planning is down to hours, it doesn’t matter why. All that matters is: you’ve got to find another speaker, NOW! • Here’s Someone Who Lived Tell The Tale Recently, a call came in just before lunch to the SpeakerSite Concierge Desk. It was Judie Dibbern, a meeting planner in Hillsboro, Texas. The agenda for a major meeting — “more than 400 people coming tomorrow!” — had changed and she needed a great speaker right now. She spoke calmly with some apprehension. Afterward, Judie reminisced, “We had to shift our agenda in a big way. We suddenly needed to have two keynote speakers. So we needed to find an additional speaker — and fast. Does the word ‘scrambling’ come to mind?”
Featured Social Network !
The SpeakerSite Concierge Desk staff asked the SpeakerSite Six W’s: • Where? • When? • What’s the budget? • Who is the audience? • What’s the context of the meeting? • What do you most want your audience to learn? We took Judie’s information and searched the SpeakerSite members and also issued a broadcast message to all SpeakerSite members in Texas (SpeakerSite has more than 150 speakers in Texas). A carefully considered short list was presented within 90 minutes. “SpeakerSite was amazing,” said Judie. “They took the bull by the horns — that’s a Texas expression — and said they would get back to me in a matter of minutes — which, unbelievably, they did!” • Crisis Reveals Character The SpeakerSite members responded immediately and
“We wondered whether speakers were ‘lone eagles’ resistant to sharing. To the contrary, we have found them to be excellent community builders” Artie Isaac professionally. So many offered to move heaven and earth to make sure the Hillsboro audience was well served. Folks were willing to drive a long way, to shuffle long-standing schedules, to bend their usual requirements. In the end, all of us here at the SpeakerSite home office were very grateful to so many speakers who so generously and so immediately offered to step in. Judie made her choice: “We looked at the SpeakerSite profiles and selected Teresa Allen.” Based in neighboring Louisiana, Teresa Allen is a member of the National Speakers Association
! Featured Social Network
and recipient of the ASTD Professional Trainer of the Year Award. SpeakerSite immediately connected Teresa to Judie. “The SpeakerSite Concierge Desk folks gave me the information needed and I rushed out a proposal to the client,” said Teresa afterward. “Less than an hour later, I was booked for the meeting to present my ‘Hanging On By Your Fingernails’ program for the 400 women who would be attending. Believe you me, I was then hanging on by my fingernails with less than 24 hours to prepare and travel to Texas to present the program!” Everyone took professional steps, but at full sprinter’s pace. “I was able to converse with the client directly at about 4:30 pm” said Teresa. “By 5:00 pm I had emailed a digital file of a four-color, two-sided insert about me and the program for their already printed brochure. After burning a bit of midnight oil customising the program for their group, I headed out for the meeting.” • All’s Well That Ends Well In the end — not quite six hours after Judie first called
A key feature of SpeakerSite are the videos uploaded on the site - where else could you browse through such a multitude of presentations from such a wide range of speakers?
Featured Social Network !
SpeakerSite — Teresa Allen was booked. The meeting was “fabulous” according to Judie Dibbern. “We are sure that both keynote messages put forth by our speakers enhanced the quality of life of our audience. The Lord was very gracious to bring SpeakerSite right to the forefront when I Googled it and both presentations dovetailed perfectly and gave the impression it was all planned just perfectly. Through the Concierge Desk’s personal diligence and expertise, we got a great (and I mean really great) speaker. We will certainly use SpeakerSite again.” • So What Does It All Mean? This episode and hundreds like it (though most have more lead time) demonstrate that social networking is much more than social. There is a fabulous opportunity for event planners to tap into the best of social networking for professional purposes. Judie Dibbern, for example, can tell you that social networking worked here. Google brought her directly to the strongest resource. The technology — supported by live SpeakerSite personnel — sent word of Judie’s challenge to a large, highly focused audience of speakers. The search technology of SpeakerSite rapidly identified the best prospects. And a mutually supportive community — the hallmark of social networking — worked together to come to the rescue.
• Quick Tips to Make the Most of Your SpeakerSite Profile • Upload a photo - preferably a portrait shot
• Tell people what you do best - what you love to talk about
• Use your name in the title bar
• Upload some photos or video of you at a speaking engagement
• Include your location • Include a link to your own website and blog if you have a separate one • Use your SpeakerSite profile page URL in your email signature file and on your marketing materials
• Participate on the site actively getting involved in discussions on the forum • Connect with other members - they may bring you referrals one day or vise versa
! Featured Social Network
• The Creators of Speakersite Rob Emrich is co-founder (and designer) of SpeakerSite. com and the President of B.A. Mensch Consulting & Publishing. In 2002 he sold his car and stocks to fund the initial $2,500 investment and founded The Keren Emrich Foundation/ Road of Life. That investment has since been leveraged to serve over 200,000 children internationally and generate an estimated $60 million social return on investment for cancer prevention for children. Rob has also worked as a political campaign manager and consultant, served as a page in the Ohio House of Representatives, and as a researcher in a molecular genetics lab. In 2004, at age 25, Rob was the youngest person to be honored as one of ‘Forty under 40’ by Columbus Business First. He was also named one of ‘Four People Whose Bright Ideas Bring Light to Others’ by Northern Ohio Live. He has lectured on social entrepreneurship at the John Glenn Institute in Washington, DC; at the City Year Social Entrepreneurship Panel; as well as at Kenyon College and numerous other universities. Rob and his work have been featured extensively in the media, including coverage by NPR, PBS, Inc.com, and major daily newspapers. He sits on a number of boards, including the Developing Curriculum in Cambridge, MA; and the Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, Risk Retention Group. Rob was also selected as a delegate to the Third Annual World Health Care Congress, and one of five delegates from Ohio for the First Nonprofit Congress. Rob graduated with Research Distinction from The Ohio State University Honors Program, with a B.A. in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Science and Reason. Rob loves to travel, backpack, and participate in almost every outdoor activity. He has walked across Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland, over 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to New York, and just completed his third triathlon.
Featured Social Network !
“It’s a milestone of personal longevity that suddenly most of my mentors are younger than I am. Rob Emrich, nearly 20 years my junior, brought me this idea and has put me to work, changing the world!” Artie Isaac Artie Isaac co-founded SpeakerSite (2008) and Young Isaac (1990). SpeakerSite is an online community of public speakers and event planners. An award-winning, creative marketing strategy and advertising agency. Young Isaac crafts messages that change behavior for trustworthy clients who offer momentous, life-changing products and services. Artie Isaac is a sought-after teacher and public speaker. He teaches creativity, consumer behavior, copy writing, and the history of advertising at The Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art & Design, and ethics of speech to any school community that will listen. Artie Isaac has done more community service than courts demand of white collar criminals. In addition to serving on corporate boards such as Angie’s List, Artie is currently a trustee of Jewish Family Services and the Haven of Hope Cancer Foundation. He is the founding president of the board of trustees of Available Light (Theater). Artie Isaac started his career with agencies in New York, including Ogilvy & Mather. He holds an MBA in Marketing from Columbia, a BA in English Literature from Yale, and a high school diploma — and a varsity letter for cheerleading — from The Columbus Academy. Artie was the graduation class speaker for both his Columbia and Columbus Academy classes. Website - www.SpeakerSite.com Twitter - twitter.com/speakersite Rob’s Blog - www.robemrich.com Artie’s Blog - www.artieisaac.com
The CL!Q Rainforest Writing Challenge If you are located on the Gold Coast in southern Queensland, or anywhere nearby, please consider joining me and other CL!Q members for an inspiring rainforest walk, fun social lunch and an exciting creative challenge! The Walk Departing from the Tambourine Rainforest Skywalk Eco Centre we will begin the adventure on a spectacular elevated walkway through the beautiful middle and upper canopies of the rainforest. The walkway is a stable, high-tech steel structure enabling visitors to explore the canopies in a safe and secure way. It descends gradually to the lower canopy and follows points of interest including rockpools and waterfalls, a butterfly lookout, local history enclosure and sheltered rest areas along the way until reaching the amazing Cantilever. This is a 40 metre long span soaring 30 metres above the valley, with spectacular views over the creek and the rainforest canopies below. Finally the walk returns along the rainforest floor to the Eco Centre. The Lunch Meet at the centre’s Birdwing Café for lunch with your fellow adventurers at noon. The Birdwing Café serves delicious light refreshments inside or on the deck beside the rainforest. The Challenge Take home your photos, notes and memories from the day and use them to inspire you to write... allow your creativity to roam free... write about the day out, the rainforest in general, ecology, a remembered family bushwalk from your childhood, or whatever the day has inspired for you. Your inspirational writing can be a reflection, a poem, an article, or even a short fiction story... write whatever you are inspired to write! Then please share your writing on the CL!Q Community website. A selection of creative works and images will be published in a future issue of CL!Q eMag. Note: If you are not able to attend and wish to submit a story or article inspired by the rainforest, please feel free to participate via the CL!Q Community website: cliqemag.ning.com
What Makes a
Society? Lessons from the Antipodes by Salvatore Babones
And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brotherâ€™s keeper? - Genesis 4:6
The first thing I noticed when I moved from New York to Sydney was that thereâ€™s no snow in Sydney. It was late April, so there was no snow in New York either, but the difference is that it never snows in Sydney. Snow or no snow, one thing that New York and Sydney have in common is that both are cities of awnings: the sidewalks are covered by endless canopies that overhang all the storefronts.
In New York it snows, so the awnings are sloped (to allow the snow to fall off). In Sydney it never snows, so the awnings are flat. If it ever snowed in Sydney, it would be a catastrophe of immense proportions as all the city’s awnings collapsed on the crowds of pedestrians cowering beneath them. Luckily it never snows in Sydney. If there were such a mass trauma event in Sydney, though, at least people would get the medical attention they needed. Like every other developed country (except the United States), Australia has universal healthcare. Australia has a government health insurance plan called Medicare, similar to Medicare in the United States, except that it covers everyone, not just old people. Were all of New York’s awnings to collapse in a mass catastrophe, injuring 100,000 cowering pedestrians, some 20,000 would have no way to pay for their medical care, physical therapy, or wheelchairs. A further 20,000 might get some care, but suffer severe stress paying their insurance deductibles. Luckily for uninsured New Yorkers, New York has sloped awnings. The second thing I noticed when I moved to Sydney was that the public parks here aren’t sponsored by corporate donors. This surprised me. When I approached a meticulously maintained green space in central Sydney and saw the massive letters “H P” emblazoned on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance, I assumed (naturally enough) that the park was sponsored by Hewlett Packard, the computer company. After all, the park was beautiful. The paths were free of cracks and weeds; the edges of the grass were neatly trimmed; seasonal flowers were planted in freshly raked mounds of mulch. The fountains were actually turned on, with water flowing through them! Being American, I’d never seen this kind of care in a public park.
Streets Beach Pool - Brisbane, Australia
“H P”, it turned out, stood for Hyde Park not Hewlett Packard, and Hyde Park is indeed a public park paid for with public money. So is Victoria Park, an even more extravagantly gardened park on the outskirts of Sydney that I walk through every day on my way to work. Sydney also has free public museums, free public tennis courts, and even free public swimming pools - though nothing to match the one-ofa-kind Streets Beach Pool in Brisbane, Australia. This complex of three manmade swimming lagoons surrounded by sandy beaches and palm trees is not only free, but open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s also the cleanest pool I’ve ever swum in. It is, quite simply, miraculous. Australia’s a great country.
• America’s Poverty, Australia’s Riches Australia, however, is not rich by American standards, and Sydney is certainly not rich by New York standards. Australia’s national income per capita is only 80% of US levels. What’s more, Australia’s small market and relative isolation mean that most consumer goods are more expensive in Australia than in the US. People here make less money and most things cost more money. So how is it that Australia has firstclass public amenities (like parks) and public services (like healthcare) when American doesn’t? You can see the answer acted out every night on the streets of Sydney. Like any big city, Sydney has residents who suffer from homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness - often all three at once. In big American cities, homeless alcoholic schizophrenics are more likely to end up in a jail than in a hospital. In rural areas, they’re more often just picked up, trundled into the back of a police cruiser, and dropped off at the county border. And anyone who’s seen American police in action knows that everyone gets handcuffed - forcefully. The American response to a disturbance is to lock it (him or her) away.
In Sydney, the police actually talk to people. They ask whether or not they’re alright. They offer to help them, and to help them get help. They don’t nudge sleeping street people with their boots or poke at them with their nightsticks. They actually seem to care. It probably doesn’t hurt that over a quarter of Australian police are women. What’s more, the Sydney city government has a dedicated homelessness unit that includes, among other services, a street drinking program. Here’s a snippet from their website: “The City of Sydney is committed to finding compassionate solutions to complex social problems. The Street Drinking Strategy seeks to provide a holistic, consistent and coordinated response to address the impact street drinking can have on individuals and the community. In this Strategy, street drinking refers to drinking in public places by people who may be alcohol dependent, homeless, marginally housed or otherwise socially disadvantaged.”1 In most of the United States, there might as well be a law on the books that says that anyone who calls for “compassionate solutions to complex social problems” should immediately be deported to Europe. Even California, America’s richest and most progressive state, is currently debating the elimination of all - ALL! - state-funded social services. New York isn’t doing much better. The ‘socially disadvantaged’ just aren’t very popular in the United States. They may not be popular in Sydney either, but to people in Sydney the homeless, the addicted, and the insane are still people, and that makes all the difference. Australians may not have as much money as Americans, but they spend more of what they have on creating better lives for their people. Ask any person in the world, American, Australian, European, African, whatever, “what’s more important - people or things?” and the answer everywhere will be “people”. What separates Americans and Australians is that to an American, the answer “people” means “me and my family”. To an Australian, to a much greater extent, it means “my neighbors, my coworkers, my countrymen”. People matter to Australians, and so people matter in Australia. In Jimmy Carter’s formulation of the famous aphorism: The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens. By this measure, Australia truly is a rich country.
• But Is This Enough? It’s very nice to live in a country that takes care of its weakest and most helpless citizens, and I’m very happy that I do. I wish my own country, the United States, would do so. But in the larger scheme of humanity it hardly matters. The weakest and most helpless people of the world are not citizens of Australia or America or countries like them. Only about 20% of the people of the world live in countries that we would recognize as “developed”. Most people in the world are poor - desperately poor by our standards. If you think you’re “normal” or “average”, think again. By world standards, by the standards of all the people alive today, you are wealthy. Very wealthy. Nowhere is this more graphically illustrated than by bathroom habits. Like most Americans (or Australians), I’ve never in my life - excuse my language - crapped on the ground. I rarely use outhouses (only when camping) and I turn up my nose at porta-potties. Yet even today, in 2009, about 1/3 of the people living on Earth right now crap directly on the ground. Another 1/3 typically have access to an outhouse of some kind, often just a shack over an open shitpile, as illustrated in the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Only the richest 1/3 - the people living in wealthy countries and the wealthy people living in poor countries - actually use indoor flush toilets with running water. Amazingly, most people alive today have never flushed a toilet! Needless to say, in most of the world there are, practically speaking, no services for the homeless, the addicted, or the mentally ill. For that matter, in most of the world the homeless, addicted, and mentally ill aren’t even particularly weak or helpless, compared to the general population. In some sense they are the general population. Where a home is a tin roof with taped-together plastic garbage bags for walls, where people chew coca leaves all day to fight off constant hunger, where people are chronically depressed because they can’t afford to care for their children . . . what does it mean to be among the less fortunate? It’s simply normal to be less fortunate. If we think of a city as a society, Sydney measures well by President Carter’s standards. Similarly, if we think of a country as a society, Australia measures well. But if we think of the world as a society - of human society as a single, collective
project - then humanity simply doesn’t measure up. As a species, we do not care for “our” less fortunate citizens. Quite the contrary: we band together in exclusive, relatively homogeneous groups (Australians, Americans, Green Springs Golf Club members, etc.) and try our best to keep everyone else out. The Statue of Liberty greeting visitors to New York for the past 123 years may proclaim: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. But in reality developed countries like the United States only welcome young, educated, relatively wealthy immigrants. No wretched refuse need apply! Our preferred approach to helping the world’s poor is to serve them where they live, in hopes that they won’t try to sneak into our privileged palaces. This isn’t such a bad idea in principle, but in practice no country gives even as much as 1% of its national income to help the less fortunate of the world. Norway and Sweden come close, giving over 0.9% of national income in development aid, and all other countries fall far short of even this low level of assistance. Generous Australia gives only 0.3%; stingy America just half of that. Nowhere is foreign aid a top political priority. We simply don’t care. The tragic irony is that the problems of the global poor are not only our responsibility as fellow human beings, but increasingly are actually our responsibility in the direct sense that we cause them. This is nowhere clearer than when talking about global warming. Every American and Australian is responsible for about twice the emissions of a German, five times the emissions of a Brazilian, and fifteen times the emissions of an Indian. The average Australian is responsible for about thirty times the greenhouse gas emissions of the average Bangladeshi. And of course we’ve been doing most of the world’s emitting for almost two centuries now. Global warming is our responsibility - but it is not our problem. No one living in Sydney or New York will starve because of global warming. None of us will contract malaria, suffer severe malnutrition, or be drowned by rising tides stoked by global warming. Global warming is, for us, a dismaying and potentially expensive challenge, but it is not a mortal peril.
It’s an inconvenient truth, not a pressing problem. It’s about losing our polar bears, not about losing our newborn babies to starvation because we’re not eating enough to produce milk, or seeing our children become dehydrated from drinking brackish water, or comforting our babies who are covered in welts from dengue fever. When sea levels rise, Americans build bigger seawalls; when sea levels rise, Bangladeshis get wet. It’s the world’s poor who will pay the price for global warming, not us. The United States and Australia are very different when it comes to taking responsibility for their own citizens, but they have a lot in common when it comes to taking responsibility for global warming. Among major developed countries they are the top two greenhouse gas emitters as well as the two countries most resistant to international efforts at emissions control. Under Bush and Howard they refused to join international conventions on climate change; under Obama and Rudd they are dithering and stalling, despite campaign commitments to the contrary. The reason is obvious: Americans and Australians like to drive (fly, eat meat, etc.), and don’t really know or care that their activities will lead to tens of millions of excess deaths in places like Bangladesh. To Americans and Australians alike, “caring about people” doesn’t mean “caring about people in Bangladesh”. People in Bangladesh aren’t part of our ideas of our societies. They’re not “us”.
Image courtesy Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
• Our Brothers’ Keepers In the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, Cain professes not to know - or care - where Abel is or what he’s up to. That’s bad enough, so far as it goes. We all know that we should be looking after each other, helping each other, caring about each other. But of course in the Biblical story Cain is guilty of far more than a simple lack of concern. Cain murdered Abel then pretended he know nothing about it. That’s exactly what we’re doing today, every day, all around
the world. This is not an overstatement when it comes to development aid, greenhouse gas emissions, or a host of other issues. We are making self-serving decisions that cause other people to die while we look the other way. If that’s not murder, what is? It would be nice instead to live in a world where people took care of people. Australia is like that, at least so far as other Australians are concerned, and it makes Australia a very nice place to live. I go on long walks around Sydney every week. It’s nice to walk around a city where there is no real poverty, where there are no homeless people camping under highway bridges, where the fast food restaurants don’t have to install bullet proof glass in the drive-through windows. But Australia is an island of prosperity and sociability, literally and metaphorically. Australia is like an exclusive country club that you either have to be born into or invited to join. I’ve been lucky enough to have received an invitation, and for that I’m grateful. But very few people are so lucky. What the world needs is for the people of the world to recognize that they all belong to the same society, that they’re all members of the same club. Australians at least recognize that all Australians are members of the same club; Americans don’t even go that far. But all the people of the world, Americans included - Americans especially - must learn to think of all the people of the world as members of a single society. Their own society. The people of the world Americans included - must join together not to save the world from global warming or some other catastrophe, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. “No man is an island”, not even in Australia. We should be our brothers’ keepers simply because they’re our brothers, full stop. 1
Salvatore Babones is a lecturer in sociology Connect with Salvatore: and social policy at The University of Website - salvatorebabones.com Sydney. His research and teaching focuses Email - firstname.lastname@example.org on globalisation and income inequality. He is the author or editor of three books, including most recently Social Inequality and Public Health (Policy Press).
Have you heard the buzz about Twitter? (How could you not?) But you still don’t ‘get’ how you can use Twitter to grow your business online? Sarah Sprout, author of the twitter success blueprint, gives some exciting insights in this extract from her book.
understanding how twitter works for business This is an extremely exciting time to be running an online business. The opportunities are endless to the amount of fun you can have attracting attention on Twitter. Essentially you’ll need to have a little creative flair and a hint of personality that can break through the tweet-stream of noise. The truth about Twitter is that the only way you can achieve sales results is by not focusing on the business side of things. Business success on Twitter is a secondary result that follows a carefully balanced integration of relationship building, value packed content proliferation and adding a personal element that builds trust with your followers. The basic model is this:
Twitter is about the people behind the brands and not just the marketing departments tweeting about dull content that neglects to engage their followers. There is a fine balance to create...
the key is relationship building What you want to be doing is putting yourself out there and building relationships. You want to connect with as many likeminded people as possible that relate to your niche market. • Don’t be self-conscious. Just be yourself. • Tweet without fear of being judged (or unfollowed). • Get involved as much as possible. Twitter is a two-way conversation. The only way you’re going to build relationships is by ACTIVELY going out there and commenting, complimenting, replying and sharing a vital slice of your online personality with the world. As you progress, you’ll notice that you collect a regular group of people that stand out from the crowd. This is done at the same time as growing a massive targeted list of followers. Understand that there will be thousands of people that you may never connect with, but there will be many outstanding personalities that shine brightly that you instantly recognise when they appear in your tweet-stream.
define your social media intentions Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve by spending time on Twitter. If your answer is ‘just to make money’ then it’s a sure-fire recipe for failure. Getting clear will enable you to structure the right strategy to suit your expectations and business needs. To begin with, ask yourself the following questions: • How many minutes/hours per day am I willing to connect with people on Twitter? • Can I consistently engage and entertain my niche market? First and foremost, set an intention to connect with as many interesting people as possible. Look at the people that inspire ou the most and model your own Twitter behavior off them. Start by following celebrity business people such as Sir Richard Branson or Kevin Rose to monitor the way that they interact with their followers. Corporate use of Twitter will be discussed more in the fourth chapter. Setting some time limits when using Twitter will also be helpful. This eBook will outline many techniques to automate your time to be more efficient.
Setting some time limits when using Twitter will also be helpful. This eBook will outline many techniques to automate your time to be more efficient. I personally only spend less than 40 mins per day tweeting. I run my Twitter marketing software in the morning, check my @replies and DMs, then find several blocks of time during the day to tweet, connect and broadcast any interesting news I have to share from the SPROUT office.
the effective business / personal tweet ratio The bottom line is that you want to avoid spamming out links disguised as tweets as much as possible. It’s perfectly ok to tweet the same link up to 5 times in a day, but exceeding this could result in the following actions: • People will click the unfollow button because they can sense your spam-like motives. • You will get flagged as a spammer by the Twitter team and your account could get suspended. • Multiple tweets that are identical are really dull and don’t add the kind of value that you should be focusing on broadcasting out there. The idea is that you build up a sense of curiosity in your followers and call them to action (using a variety of methods that will be outlined in the section titled ‘Connection Strategies’) which results in increased website traffic. Basic rule of thumb: • 30% business related tweets (updated blog posts, affiliate products endorsed, product launches etc). • 70% personal & interactive tweets (personal statements, @ replies, pictures, retweeted links etc.) Also try to mix it up a little and never send out more than 3 business tweets in a row. It’s a good idea to space them out a bit too so that they don’t overwhelm users that only collect small groups of followers. Sarah Prout is the founder of Sprout Publishing, awardwinning entrepreneur, author, publisher, business coach and social media maven.
Connect with Sarah: Website / Blog - www.sarahprout.com Facebook - www.facebook.com/profile Twitter - www.twitter.com/sarahprout
Career - Creative Coach !
Finding My Passion
I went through most of my adulthood confused about what I was supposed to do with my life and feeling inferior to all the other people around me who were on their one track to success. In my prayer times, I would lament that there must be something wrong with me — that there must have been a mistake somewhere in my design. My then husband was quickly climbing the corporate ladder and no doubt was so exasperated that all the studying and exploring I was doing wasn’t leading to anything lucrative. The rest of the family just shook their heads hoping I would find my ‘one thing’ and pursue it rather than going in ten different directions. I curiously delighted in such a variety of things that it took me ten years (off and on) to get my undergraduate degree! An interdisciplinary degree comprised of theatre, film production and marketing with a minor in Biblical studies that I eventually fashioned for myself. I adore all sorts of artistic expressions - especially performance, writing, producing and collage. Yet, I loved my marketing and business classes and also felt a strong pull to increase my theological knowledge. I believed trying to marry my love of creative pursuits with my other passions just wasn’t a ‘respectable’ enough direction. When my marriage ended, I realised that it was time for me to figure out who I was and what my life really meant. So I followed a dream and made the move from Los Angeles to London. While receiving classical acting training there, I discovered an additional love for coaching. I had always enjoyed guiding and helping others and was known to be full of creative ideas, so it was a natural fit. This led me to obtain several coaching certifications in life purpose discovery and fulfillment (because I could so relate to the desperate search) and advanced creativity coaching training. I concurrently was granted an MA in pastoral ministry and counseling. When I started coaching three years ago, I worked with all kinds of women seeking to know their purpose in life. However, it seemed that it was the creative and confused woman that was drawn to working with me most.
! Career - Creative Coach
Perhaps it was because I could relate to her struggle to find meaning behind her creative or artistic gifting. She knows she has talent, but she doesn’t know why and she longs to do something fulfilling and impacting with it. Or she is pursuing her craft, but experiencing doubts, or knows there is more potential for her than what she’s seeing. So I work with her in three stages: 1. In the discovering stage, we seek the answers to her ‘why’ questions and we find clarity to her confusion. The foundation of her confidence in her creative purpose is being laid. 2. In the embracing stage, we tackle negative mindset, belief and character issues that are holding her back. She counts the costs through evaluation and research – is she willing to do and give what it will take? And we work on perspective, as the dream is usually big and daunting. 3. In the fulfilling stage, we break the big and daunting dream down into manageable action steps and goals. We continue with our mindset, belief and character work, as well as introduce productivity enhancing tools. Of course, each stage blends into the other and there isn’t always a clear delineation, but this is the general process. I love seeing a woman enlarge her vision and do what she never dared hope to dream! That makes it so worthwhile for me.
Visit Melissa’s website to sign up for The Creative Kick! eZine and receive her 7 Secrets of Creative Success eCourse. An inspiring read for anyone who wants to take their creative endeavours from the realm of idea to the realm of reality. Read on for an article from Melissa on using your creative ideas as communication tools.
Career - Creative Coach !
Your Creative Idea is a Powerful Communication Tool There are several important functions your creative ideas can serve if you let them blossom into reality. Whether it’s designing a charitable organisation, a business, an invention or an autumn collection, producing a film or writing a book, play, song or engaging in any other creative endeavor, your idea can be a powerful communication tool not only for profit, recognition and visibility, but to have a positive affect on others as well. 1. Your idea can inform Not everyone knows about the social injustices around the world, about a new law coming into effect or about a famous person living 300 years ago who made amazing discoveries in the field of technology or health. What do you believe the world needs to know about? Your creative idea can bring enlightenment to a large number of people that before now were living in ignorance. Documentaries, creating pamphlets and hosting a blog are examples of informative creativity. 2. Your idea can instruct From a simple how-to article to a book, video, dramatisation or public speech, your idea for any of these things (or anything else!) can teach others valuable lessons. We all have knowledge and wisdom that we can pass on to others on any subject under the sun and through any creative way. Some fun ideas: flashcards that teach an aspect of pet grooming via illustration and simple text, or a series of online pattern-making videos. Furthermore, knowledge is a hot commodity that people will always pay for. What you can teach, someone out there will pay to learn.
3. Your idea can inspire I believe that creative communicative ideas are some of the best conduits for inspiration. A story of courage or kindness can be presented through a film, painting or a book. When someone creatively raises money for a worthy cause or mentors someone, we’re inspired. I know of an older woman who had a creative idea that lead her to host younger women in her home once a week to learn from her. In time, many of those women were inspired by what she did for them and became mentors themselves. But it started with an idea that didn’t just stay an idea!
! Career - Creative Coach
4. Your idea can increase visibility Whether to promote your career or your cause, visibility is vital. People must know that you exist before they can hire or buy from you or contribute their time and resources to you. What ideas do you have that will propel you into the spotlight? I have a client who currently acts on several ideas to get her name ‘out there’ as a musician, from recording a demo and getting a web page to singing in cafes, churches, pubs and festivals. I also know of a group of women who consistently implement creative ideas to raise awareness and money for a cause they’re passionate about. They host ‘pamper parties’ and themed evenings, and design and wear special bracelets. Writing engaging articles or books, presenting a speech, creating a product or hosting a radio or television show are also ways to use your creativity to get noticed. 5. Your idea can improve the lives of others My father is constantly dreaming up practical inventions (complete with sketches, prototypes and patents!) that will make life easier. He’s a natural creative problem solver. Whether your creative ideas tend towards the scientifically or technologically inventive, fundraising or motivational, you have the power inside you to brainstorm ways to make life better. Maybe your creative idea is to figure out ways to budget so you can have more funds available to donate. Or maybe you want to create a beautifully illustrated book of encouraging poetry. The sky is the limit to what you can dream up if you put your mind to it!
Read more articles like this on Melissa’s ‘Live Your Creative Life’ Blog
What creative ideas have you been mulling over lately? As you read this, you know you could and should do something about them. Why not today? Someone out there is waiting.
Melissa Williams is a certified creative coach, life coach, career management coach, leadership and management coach.
Connect with Melissa: Website - www.LiveYourCreativeLife.com Blog - www.LiveYourCreativeLife.blogspot.com Twitter - twitter.com/Melissa_DW
Your Home Using
Sarah Hannah Fisher Decorating your house means more than just arranging your furniture and slapping some fresh paint on the walls. It is what turns a house into a home; your home. It conveys your personality and creates a sense of comfort. Home decorating accessories include soft furnishings such as rugs, curtains, pillows, drapes; pictures, paintings, mirrors or decals for your walls; sculptures, vases, plants and ornaments for display on mantles or shelves. Getting Started The first thing to do is decide on a theme or colour concept for the room. Browse through decorating magazines or hit up some decorating websites to get ideas if you are lost. Go room to room and list items that you already have that may work for you such as pictures or keepsakes and keep an eye out for anything quirky or unusual. Remember that decorating your home is a process - itâ€™s OK if you donâ€™t have everything you need all at once! Make a list of things you would like to buy and slowly build up a collection. Being on the hunt is half the fun!
The Basics • Determine the focal point of your room. This is the place where your eye is drawn to when you first walk in. You want to decorate this space first. • It is important to consider colour when creating a harmonious room. Choose one main colour and a few colours to accompany it. For example, if your sofa is a dark slate grey and you have a penchant for green, keep the main colours of soft furnishings and display items in shades of green, greys and neutrals with perhaps a splash of a complementary colour such as lemon yellow. • Consider replacing the knobs on pieces of furniture. You can get all sorts of gorgeous or kitsch designs that reflect your personality. Perhaps even consider swapping them for vintage knobs or handles. • Be creative! Let your personality shine through. For example, if you are a writer why not display a beautiful vintage type writer? Soft Furnishings • Drape a throw or afghan over a sofa or large chair for a burst of colour and added texture. • Use decorative pillows to add a sense of comfort. Experiment with patterns, fabrics and different sizes. Remember to make sure that there is one dominant colour to link them all together. • Use rugs to define separate uses of one room. For example, if your living room and dining room are joined, placing a rug under the couches and coffee table will act as a ‘divide’ between the two spaces. Make sure the rug is large enough to fit under each piece of furniture. • Have a variety of bed covers and matching pillow cases that tie in with the colour or theme of the room. A new set of sheets can do wonders for the visual impact of a bedroom.
Walls • Hang a mirror instead of a painting. Mirrors enhance a rooms features by intensifying light. They also make a room look larger. Try positioning a mirror to reflect an interesting view from a window or to strengthen a focal point. • When it comes to selecting prints or paintings, keep the room in mind and select pieces that suit it. What works beautifully in the kitchen, say a painted canvas of still life fruit may look out of place in a lounge room. • If you are hanging a single print or painting, place it at eye level. • Shelving counts as wall décor. Consider installing floating shelves to display some beautiful objects on them. • Think about wall colours. Feature walls in bright colours never fail to look sophisticated. Painted murals on walls are amazing choices for creating and tying together a theme for children’s bedrooms. • Similarly, consider things like borders and wallpapers. • Removable wall decals are an amazing choice for bedrooms and entrance ways. You can choose all sorts of designs and prints to spruce up a bare space. • Shadow boxes are a unique way of displaying small treasured items. • Grouping collections together on your walls is a striking way to decorate any room. Group three or four similar prints in the same type of frames. • Another beautiful display can be created using black and white prints or enlarged photographs in different sized frames, arranging them in an interesting way. • Family photographs that travel upwards on the wall beside stairs is a classic but gorgeous way to express your personality.
Displays • Group objects by theme, material or colour. Make sure you vary shapes and heights. A collection grouped together is more dramatic than just sprinkling items all over the room. Examples include collectible plates, shells, animal figurines. • Use plants as often as you can! Floor plants, flowers and green plants in vases and small pot plants make beautiful displays. If you don’t have a green thumb, try getting a succulent plant as they require barely any care at all. • Use beautifully decorated bowls, baskets or boxes for extra storage. This is a fantastic idea in bathrooms as a way to hold various soaps and lotions. Trays work well in this instance to display beautifully packaged bathroom products or perfume bottles. • Books are always a beautiful choice for accessories. Stack hardbound books on top of each other and let the spines speak about your personality. You can remove the paper jackets to create a more unified look.
Images used in this article courtesy of Kim @ www.desiretoinspire. blogspot.com
• If you have beautiful jewelry pieces, display them! Use everyday objects such as glasses to display earrings. You can find beautiful necklace and bracelet stands to place on top of a vanity. Use vintage tea cups to house rings or brooches. Be creative! • Groups of three objects in varying heights are visually pleasing. • For other visually pleasing displays, think about framing techniques. If you have one large object such as a framed photograph, vase or trophy sitting upon a surface, place two identical objects (eg. vases, bottles, figurines) on either side. • Consider the use of decorative or mirrored trays to place under a group of objects. • Table centerpieces make elegant displays. You can change them depending on the seasons or occasions. Use low table decorations when guests are seated. • Bowls containing fruits or floating candles make beautiful display items.
• Lamps are another useful tool when it comes to decorating. Choose quirky designs that reflect your personality or match styles and colours. Floor lamps make great additions to certain rooms and add extra light. • Be careful not to overdo it- you don’t want to add clutter. Keep displays organised and neat with a simple blend of colours.
Links These are some of my favourite websites to give you ideas and inspiration when it comes to decorating. They showcase a variety of people’s homes and rooms www.apartmenttherapy.com www.theselby.com www.designspongeonline.com www.reallivingmagazine.blogspot.com absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com Sarah Hannah Fisher - a Sydney based freelance writer and a recent university graduate with a slight weakness for beautiful photographs of pretty things. Sarah spends a small fortune on magazines every month and is currently working on her first novel.
Connect with Sarah: Blog - deathwearsdiamondjewellery. wordpress.com Facebook - www.facebook.com/ sarahhannahfisher Twitter - twitter.com/sarah_hannah
by Natalie Hennessey
“Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress”
When Ted Levitt made this quote he must have been talking about Leanne Walsh. Eight years ago Leanne moved her family from Albury Wodonga to the Sunshine Coast. A move at anytime is stressful but moving interstate with a disabled child is fraught with many more concerns and practicalities. Leanne’s son Curtis has cerebral palsy. When Leanne moved it quickly became apparent that Queensland lags behind other states when it comes to the management and support of people with a disability. Working through the maze of departments, policies and forms can be a frustrating and disheartening roller coaster. What Leanne found was that there did not seem to be consistent or effective case management and that locally coordinated efforts were concentrated in the Maroochydore area. This left Leanne and Curtis, who was attending Noosa Primary Special Education Unit, with little guidance and essential support. In fact much of the support in the early days came in the form of ‘car park’ talk with other parents whose children attended the unit. Not happy to leave it at that, Leanne continued to research and investigate the availability of services for disabled children. So while busy running a local Noosa café, she became an unofficial information source for other parents. Butterfly Kids entered its cocoon phase. When the café closed, Leanne became the coordinator, creator, administrator, marketer and fundraiser for Butterfly Kids charity. Her mission was to provide a one–stop information and support service for families with disabled children. For the past four years she has been immersed in this vision. Although she has committee members and volunteers to help on occasion, the majority of the work is done by Leanne.
This she does in conjunction with taking care of her family and running a design business. But the need was there, and Leanne filled it. It has been a long and difficult road - breaking out of the cocoon was not going to be an easy task! Through Leanne’s commitment, perseverance, knowledge and warm personality, Butterfly Kids is finally receiving some acknowledgement for the wealth of information and support it can offer to families and individuals. Disability support groups and schools are referring people to Leanne, knowing that she can assist them in a variety of ways. This even includes walking parents through the confusing task of filling in relevant forms for funding and going with parents to meetings to discuss the welfare of their child’s physical and educational needs. Just recently Butterfly Kids has come under the umbrella of IFYS (Integrated Family and Youth Services) which means that Leanne can actually be paid for her tireless work and dedication. More recognition has come in the form of an award from Disability Service Queensland (DSQ) a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and on Australia Day 2009 Leanne was given the ‘Local Legend’ award for Community Services. As a charity, fundraising takes enormous amounts of time, creativity and energy. Leanne is looking for corporate support by instigating a workplace giving program, hoping to secure an ongoing passive income for the charity. Fundraising activities have and will include: a celebrity cook book, Ride for Respite, Braces Day, Charity Ball and a Fun Run. All of which require many hours of coordinating and organising and the added support and patronage of local organisations and celebrities. Her long term goals for Butterfly Kids include: • Disability Educational programs for primary age children, teachers and administrators. • Build a sensory garden, offer respite and run day programs at Butterfly House situated at Lake Cooroibah. • Hold workshops to support and empower parents of disabled children. • Continue to offer financial and emotional support to those who need it most. • To have an office in a more localised position so that Butterfly Kids becomes more accessible.
The beauty of fundraising money generated by Butterfly Kids is that it can be channeled to those people and families whose needs may be outside the square and who may not be able to receive necessary funding from other avenues due to government policies and procedures. It is a far more flexible approach. This has meant that families in dire need have been able to rely on Butterfly Kids. Leanne is a wonderful advocate for children with a disability and their families. She even wrote a series of children’s books highlighting various disabilities and encouraging inclusion and awareness. This message was aided by a grant from DSQ for a book tour which she completed in 2008. Leanne believes that we need to give permission for disabilities to be discussed openly. That helping to stop the misunderstandings and prejudices begins with children. As Leanne states, having a child with a disability is a life long thing. It doesn’t go away when they turn a certain age or leave school. Support needs to be effective and on going, catering for individual circumstances. As Butterfly Kids spreads its wings and is seen by more people, Leanne’s vision expands further. I’m sure that she would be happy to see a whole garden of Butterfly Kids all over Australia with the next one being at the Gold Coast. Leanne Walsh - founder and manager of Butterfly Kids, dedicated business woman, and mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy.
Connect with Leanne: Website - www.butterflykids.com.au Facebook - www.facebook.com.leannewalsh
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! Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is an interactive story worth? That’s the questions posed on Mark S Luckie’s fascinating 10,000 WORDS blog. Mark goes on to explain: It may not be exactly 10,000 words, but interactive and multimedia components, in addition to a well-crafted narrative, betters the user’s understanding of any story. Whether it’s a 30-second audio clip or an interactive database, technology is transforming the face of journalism. 10,000 Words gives journalists and web aficionados practical tips on how to best incorporate multimedia into their work. The site also culls the web for up and coming or underused technologies that enhance journalism. To choose a blog to feature from the millions out there was not an easy task, but when I came across Mark’s blog I knew this was the one I wanted to feature in the first issue of CL!Q. I loved the simple classy look of the site and the cool TAG images, then when I began to explore the content I simply could not stop reading! I hope you enjoy the following extract posts from 10,000 WORDS as much as I did.
10 Inspirational New York Times multimedia and interactive features Tuesday, July 07, 2009
The New York Times, often lauded as one of the greatest producers of multimedia journalism, is inspirational not just because of the dazzling technologies that it uses to bring stories to life (Flash, databases, slideshows), but because of the selected stories themselves. While it has been said before on this site that there are a great many other news services creating amazing work, the Times remains a forerunner in the marriage of technology and journalism. Here are few of the Times’ most impressive recent works: 1. How Do You Feel About the Economy? Beginning in March of this year, The New York Times asked online readers to submit their personal reactions to the failing
Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick !
economy in a single word. The adjectives from both the employed and unemployed scroll across the screen in a simple interface that shows just how Americans are feeling about the financial crisis. Similar projects were created to monitor the Twitter chatter during this year’s Super Bowl and to visualize Americans’ hopes for the incoming Obama administration. 2. The Ebb and Flow of Movies Many movies have appeared and disappeared from box office charts over the years, some making a bigger splash than others. For this project, the Times team took on the daunting task of visually representing the movies that topped the charts — from 2008’s Alvin and the Chipmunks to 1986’s Out of Africa. Best of all, by clicking on the shapes, one can read more of the Times’ coverage of that particular movie, including summaries, reviews and trailers. 3. One in 8 Million The New York Times at it’s core is a newspaper about New York City and its millions of inhabitants. For the elegantly styled audio slideshow series “One in 8 Million,” the Times turned its lens not to the newsmakers of the city but to the (not-so) average citizens who make the city the unique metropolis that it is. 4. The Water Dance The web is filled with tens of thousands of audio slideshows, so for one in particular to stand out from the rest is a remarkable feat. “The Water Dance,” a slideshow narrated by Times photographer Bill Cunningham, takes a simple idea — New Yorkers navigating the huge puddles of rain that line the city’s curbs — and turns it into three and a half minutes of whimsy. The humorous photos are underscored by Cunningham’s cheerful and amused voice that encourages the viewer to indulge in the humor as well. 5. New York City Homicides Map The Times’ recently released visual database of homicides over the span of six years not only concentrates on specific incidents over statistics, but it also encourages users to find patterns within the data and report them to the staff. The map is navigable down to street level and the information can be sorted by a number of contributing factors, including race, sex, age and weapon used.
! Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick
6. Going to the End of the Line Another multimedia story in the paper’s tradition of finding news in people or places that are often overlooked, “End of the Line” is a collection of slideshows that highlight the last subway stop on various train lines — some of which many New Yorkers will never see. These places aren’t no man’s lands either; they are often thriving communities worthy of the beautiful reporting and photography. 7. Casualties of War In recognition of the men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq, the Times aggregated statistics and the stories behind them in a three-part multimedia story. The first, “Faces of the Dead,” combines a unique visual navigation tool and a traditional search function to identify each person killed in the region. The second portion groups the servicemen and women by demographic, including age, race, branch and the location of their death. The third uses audio to tell the stories of nine soldiers who were killed, using the voices of those who served alongside them. 8. Passing the Torch: An Evolution of Form The likely unsung hero of the Olympic Games is the Olympic torch itself. The symbol of the Games travels throughout the world until it arrives at its final destination and is a symbol of peace and athleticism. The torch itself has changed over the years and this interactive gallery shows the dramatic revisions it has undergone. 9. Inaugural Words - 1789 to the Present To commemorate the 2009 inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the Times brought together the inaugural speeches of every U.S. president in one interactive story. The full text of each address is available for reading, but for those history buffs in a hurry, each speech is represented in word clouds, which gives a quicker synopsis of the issues of the day. Also worth checking out are the Times’ annotated video of Obama’s inaugural speech and “Obama’s People,” a photo story centered around the incoming administration. 10. Fold-Ins, Past and Present Finally, as proof that not all multimedia or interactive stories have to be heavy and serious, the Times presented a series of fold-ins from Mad Magazine in interactive form. Users were
Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick !
invited to relive their childhoods and discover the messages hidden in the iconic back page, no creasing necessary. For more on the team behind many of the aforementioned projects, check out the New York Magazine article on the paper’s “renegades.”
Online magazines trade paper for pixels Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Nothing beats a magazine that you can hold in your hand, flip through pages or set down and pick up later (wait, isn’t that the argument for physical newspapers?). A digital version of your magazine, however, is sure to attract online readers who are not subscribers and who can’t or don’t pick it up at the local bookstore. Many magazines offer a large amount of their content online, either for free or through paywalls. But very few offer a physical copy of the magazine online. Seems like a no-brainer right? A digital magazine can be as simple as a PDF of the final layout, which most mags have lying around anyway. Or it can be jazzed up with Issuu, which takes a boring PDF and spices it up with interactivity, animation and a user friendly layout. Issuu also has a lot of interesting magazines that can be browsed for free, including 20 Minuten which looks great in its digital form. An online version of Fortune Small Business, powered by Olive Software, lets users zoom and flip through its pages, using a Flash-based navigation. (The company also does newspapers.) Space Magazine has made use of the Google Maps API to create an interactive magazine that functions much like a Google Map. I’m still not sold on the tiling effect or the odd navigation, but it sure does look good and is very avant-garde. Pdf-mags.com has an impressive collection of about 175 magazines that are both online and free. A list of its offerings reveals that it is comprised of mostly niche magazines, but still impressive nonetheless. Traditional magazine readers/citizen journalists are taking the web 2.0 route and creating online magazines that, like my fave CRAM Magazine, are really impressive in both writing and design. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
! Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick
Putting an entire magazine online for free is the next step in online journalism, but is sure to tick off more than a few subscribers who are paying for exclusive content. It is up to your company to decide whether such a commodity should be free, an online bonus, or available for a fee.
9 Tips for improving your blog and inspiring user feedback Thursday, August 23, 2007
Many newspapers, television programs, radio broadcasts and other media outlets by now have associated blogs, but there are a lot that can use some help. Here are some tips for making the most of the online space: 1. Include exclusive content The internet is a great place to include content that, in the interest of space/time, didn’t make the broadcast/ newspaper/magazine. Exclusive interview and candid outtakes are a great addition to any blog and can be touted in the original story. 2. Ask open-ended questions The best way to encourage reader participation is to ask questions that will get the audience talking. This works well with commentary or opinion posts where the reader is itching to share their own view. This can be as easy as asking readers for their input at the end of each post. When readers do comment, respond. It is important that the blog feels like a community and that readers feel like they are a part of that community. 3. Make your blog pop Are you still using a stock template or does your blog have a unique design that stands out? Even if your blog is gritty, hardnews investigative journalism it could still use a little bit of color. Find a designer to give your blog a makeover or find a unique template that suits your topic. 4. Create eye-catching headlines Your headline can be the difference between a visitor taking the time to read a post or clicking on something else. A great headline is not only eye catching, but should include relevant keywords that tell the reader what to expect from the post. Headlines — and the entire post for that matter — should be optimized for search engines to ensure the highest number of visitors possible.
Featured Blog - Editor’s Pick !
5. Be concise Many journalists and professional writers, when given the opportunity, will ramble. Blogs are not the place to publish that 50,000-word article that got canned. Keep your posts short and to the point. Break up long blocks of text into shorter ones and include headers when necessary. 6. Make use of your RSS feed Most blogs include an RSS feed that users can subscribe to via a feed reader or email. Make the link to your feed obvious: include an RSS icon somewhere on the page and encourage readers to subscribe to your content. Page views are important so include the first paragraph or two in your RSS feed and a link back to your blog to read the rest. 7. Be a social bookmarker Social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, Twitter, Reddit, Digg allow readers to share your posts with others who may not otherwise see your content. For example, check out the “Share This” or “Twit This” button at the end of each 10,000 Words post. 8. Interact with other bloggers With the millions of bloggers out there, chances are there are other bloggers that are that covering similar issues. Find out who these bloggers are and send them links to some of your posts that they may find interesting. There are many local bloggers who are eager to trade links with an established media organization and may be doing so already. 9. Post consistently... ...and not just when news breaks. Having a inconsistent blogging schedule dissuades readers from coming back. If you build it, they will come!
Mark S Luckie - a print journalist who Connect with Mark: discovered his hobby of multimedia Blog - www.10000words.net and his love for journalism could be Twitter - www.twitter.com/10000Words combined to great effect. Mark is an alum of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where he studied multimedia journalism.
About that... with Toni Hinton Who on earth came up with the idea that life begins at 40? If that is the case, then I think I have been trapped in a virtual uterus for the past three years. My 40th came and went with a mandatory gathering of friends, provision of food, and an inordinate intake of platitudes and pleasantries. What was lacking was a notable amount of enjoyment. Hhhmmmm... there may have been an indicator in the fact that I would not even refer to it by the â€œfâ€? word. The invitations, in fact, refer to it being my 30 â€“ 10th! 2009 has been kinder, like an emerging butterfly. The analogy is used totally metaphorically. I have neither become gorgeous nor grown wings, and the extra wrapping I have been battling to shift is still firmly attached to my nether regions. But there is a difference. Maybe a recent trip to far north Queensland has blown away some cobwebs. Maybe a vehicular seizure and major mechanical surgery has help me draw parallels between a history of poor vehicle choice with poor life choices, particularly in the area of partners. OK, bear with me and stop rolling your eyes. Another disgruntled woman, I am hearing. Well, maybe. But with no attributed blame, rather acknowledged blame. Picture cars and men (for simplicity sake). Many years of settling for models which do not suit me or my needs, identifying major issues which should have heralded an early removal from the situation. But I have been stuck in the doormat phase of life. Step aside doom-and-gloomers... 43 and a new me! OK, impulsive, but with that, we are on the hunt for a new car. There is a quiet belief that one change will bring about others. I have dug deep to try and explain this new lighter step and brighter outlook. As the process has slowly become a major excavation project, I have reminded myself not to dig too deep.
My mate Murphy always seems to be at the ready to dim the switch, and he is not invited to the inquiry. Like the ‘Diggingest Dog’ I was confronted with piles of possibilities. The spotlight focussed on the haves rather than the have nots. I have two of the most amazing children I know. I realise that everyone likely says that, but me... I tell you true things. They are gorgeous inside and out, respectful, strive and achieve highly, and make me proud every single day. Call off the straight jacket. I will not trifle you with fabrications of endless joy and trouble free years. They do annoy me sometimes, and I do have moments when I express that annoyance with voice tinged with sarcasm and excessive volume. But overall... and that is what we all need to do... look at life overall... they are amazing. My pride in them has now granted passage to an interesting byproduct, and that is pride in myself. We all need to take stock of what we have accomplished. Parenting is no walk in the park. There are many sacrifices, many trials. Two years ago, I was also treading the tertiary path, and now a new career has birthed. More hard yards, and with them, more reasons to say “Well done”. Others may say it, but it means nothing unless we can say it to ourselves. Focus on the positives. We are sure to be consumed with the speedbumps if that becomes our focus, but in between every speedbump is a stretch of life’s road which brings many bright moments. Don’t define the bright moments only as lotto wins or job promotions. Start remembering every time you smile and laugh. Geez, be anal... take a notebook and make a tick every time. It happens a lot more than you realise. These bright eyes moments are what life is all about. The speedbumps are learning curves, and as a teacher, I still need to remind myself that the determination that our children be lifelong learners is an edict that should apply to all of us. Learn from the tears and speedbumps... and then put them in the “thank you” file, brush yourself off and smile. The simplest things in life are worth embracing.
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