Instagram MarketingIn researching and bolstering our knowledge for the “A-Ha!” Tribe‘s Private Webinar on Instagram Marketing, we kept coming across one consistent piece of advice for Instagram users:

“Take Better Pictures.”

This, frankly, isn’t very helpful advice by itself. And it’s not often accompanied by actual helpful info – instead, it’s usually paired with something along the lines of, “Find out what your audience likes, and do that.”

We’re not professional photographers ourselves, and neither is 95% of the general population. So how are we supposed to suddenly take better pictures?!

That’s just one of the topics we tackled in the private webinar, “Instagram Marketing: Putting Your Visual Content Strategy Into Overdrive With 23 Savvy Tips, Tricks, Tools, and More.” In fact, it was tip #10. :-)

You may have this challenge, too, so we thought we’d share this example from the webinar with you!

The Rule of Thirds

Take Better Instagram Pictures

 

So, check out the two photos in the slide from our presentation. The one on the right looks a lot better, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s following the Rule of Thirds.

Imagine your pictures divided into three rows and three columns, like you see with these examples. See the four intersections, where the red dots are? Those are visual areas of interest that we as humans seem naturally drawn to. Also, anything visually interesting that can run along one of those lines through the photo is supposed to be very pleasing to your eyes and ours, too.

If you’re using the camera in your smartphone, chances are it has a setting where you can layer Rule of Thirds lines on your camera’s screen, so that way you can line up the perfect shot!

Some other things to keep in mind:

Background. No photo bombers! Be conscious of what the scene looks like behind the person, place, or thing you want to capture. Does it support the feeling of the image you want to convey? If so, great! If not, start moving around to create a better look.

Filters. Did you know? Mayfair is the native Instagram filter that gets the best engagement? And, you’re not limited to Instagram’s filters. Use another app like Snapseed, Litely, or VSCO Cam to play with different filters, and import THAT into Instagram with none of IG’s filters applied!

Lighting. Some things you can fix with filters, and some you can’t. Make sure you’ve got enough light to clearly capture your moment. Not staring-into-the-sun harsh! (Unless that’s an effect you’re trying to achieve.) For shooting people, it’s enough light to give their faces a bit of definition and depth, but not enough to create big shadows.

Now, we turn it over to you! What are some of your favorite tips for taking better pictures – on Instagram or elsewhere? Let us know in the comments!

Full Instagram Marketing Webinar Access

And, if you want to get access to the full Instagram Marketing webinar on demand, plus all 14 of the social media, marketing, and success webinars that came before it, check out (and join!) join the “A-Ha!” Tribe right now.

 

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We started Epiphanies, Inc. more than 10 years ago, and I must say, I’d forgotten what it was like to start from the beginning. Oh sure, you get a sense of it when, for example, you set up new social media profiles and have to build from zero. That’s one thing. Kicking off a whole brand and content empire from zero? Whole new ballgame entirely.

The Combustion of the Idea

Here’s how the combustion happened:

1. I’ve been nursing a deep desire to do something creative for some time now.

2. We (Lani and I) spent a good part of May and June at Epiphanies, Inc. talking about content leverage and amplification to workshop audiences in New Hampshire and Vermont.

3. We joined John Lee DumasPodcasters Paradise late last year, and had been talking about launching a podcast since January of last year. As in 2013!

When we tell people we know what it’s like to have an idea you love and not have the time to pursue it, we really mean it. :-) Oh, and there’s one other (big) thing:

4. Disney and Lucasfilm are working on a new Star Wars trilogy, with additional stand-alone films in between the trilogy releases.

Allen Voivod, your Star Wars 7x7 host I’m a HUGE fan of the movies, though I’d given up hope that there’d be more after Revenge of the Sith. Lucas had long said there were nine movies in his story cycle, but in recent years had backed away from that, and claimed that six were all he had in him. So with those four things slammed together in my head, and with a lot of insight and support from Lani, Star Wars 7×7 began to take shape.

The Star Wars 7×7 Podcast

In one month, here’s what we did together, with branded visuals from the inestimable Kevin Skarritt of Flock Marketing:

* Launched a new website

* Opened channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

* Set up accounts on Libsyn (to store and syndicate the podcast MP3 files), iTunes and Stitcher (to make the podcast easily available to the world)

* Chose sound clips and music to use within the podcast

* Scripted 3 intros and outros for the podcast

* Scripted three versions of advertisements for the :15 and :30 ad placement spots

* Ordered up 3 different professional voiceover intros to give some variety to the opening of the podcast

* Designed a template for the content of the podcast

* Built a profile on Patreon, with customized rewards for people who choose to support the podcast

Those last two items are particularly important. When we were thinking about the content, one thing kept popping up. A lot of the podcasts I enjoy (in the Star Wars world, and outside of it) run for 1-2 hours, and lots of them come out weekly at best. We thought there was a market and a need to do something shorter, and to do it more often. That’s when the sevens started coming together.

The 7s

I can’t remember whether it was Lani’s idea or mine (probably hers), but we came up with the idea of doing a 7-minute podcast, 7 days a week. We targeted a launch date of 7/7/14 at the suggestion of our good friend the artist Kate Lemay, who happens to paint stunning works based on the 7 chakras. And the fact that I first saw Star Wars in ’77, the year I turned 7…well, by that point it all seemed like destiny. (Heck, in what’s possibly the one crazy impulsive thing I’ve done in my life, I got a tattoo on my upper arm while on a business trip in Florida many years ago. The tattoo? A playing card… the 7 of Hearts.)

The one trick: As I started to talk publicly about 7/7 being the launch, I had to contend with the fact that 7/7 was the Monday after Independence Day (on the previous Friday), and I had submitted the podcast for approval by iTunes on July 4th. Would they review it in time and make it available by the 7th?

Yes. Yes they did. And so did Stitcher, which was the recommended solution for Android podcast listeners. So that took care of the podcast itself. And then there was that other important item.

Patreon

Seems like people have become generally familiar with the idea of crowdfunding, via services like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and the like. Well, Patreon is a little different. It’s definitely focused on creative types, and it’s meant to fund ongoing creations. You can support people per creation (like a new short video release, or a new podcast episode), or you can support the creators on a per-month basis. You can set up entirely customized levels of support as well. This is what I did for #SW7X7.

Some levels for Star Wars 7×7 on Patreon may get you a shoutout on the podcast itself, or reward you with a Vine video or a personalized haiku. Others grant behind-the-scenes access, exclusive Google+ Hangouts, and more options that let supporters get closer to the creative process.

My hope is that the daily content I share is appreciated by other fun-loving Star Wars fans like me. My goal is to give a daily dose of intergalactic joy to everyone who tunes in. Also, I’ve made the podcast kid-friendly, so other dads (like me) can listen to the podcast with their own children, and share their passion for the films with a new generation of fans.

Star Wars 7x7

Yes, I’m definitely hoping for benevolent patrons who don’t mind throwing a few bucks in the busker’s case, so to speak, every month.

Counting on the fiscal kindness of strangers is something new for me, and I’ll be honest: I’m not the kind of guy who’s wildly comfortable putting myself out there like this!

But I truly hope that this podcast will matter to lightsaber- and blaster-carrying kindred. Considering the millions of Star Wars fans around the world – ranging from maniacal to casual and everything in between – even a small fraction of supportive listeners would mean the world to me. After all, “I’m nice men.” :-)

I did mention the fact that there are advertisement spots within the podcast, too. We’re welcoming Founding Sponsors to get involved for three-month stints. The cool thing is, the rate gets locked in, and the podcast keeps growing consistently. In other words, the sooner sponsors get in the game, the sooner they get to take advantage of the rapidly increasing audience explosion.

On the Air!

So that’s it – it’s alive! The Star Wars 7×7 Podcast: Rebel-rousing fun for everyday Jedi, 7 minutes a day, 7 days a week. Destiny unleashed! I’m coming up on my 50th episode already, and the podcast has been downloaded thousands of times in 27 countries. Our active Facebook page is nearing 600 Likers, and our breaking news Twitter feed is about to cross the 1,000-tweet threshold. We’ve hit #1 in iTunes’ “New and Noteworthy” list for Performing Arts, #1 in Hobbies, #9 in TV & Film, and in the Top 50 overall (#49).

And it’s just me! (With support from Lani, of course. :-) ) No podcast network to support it. No brand established on another channel that could catapult it, the way the Daily Show’s podcast launched from zero to #1 in no time. Yes, I’m a little jealous of that, and more so, I’m super grateful for the fact that I’m just one guy with passion, and an idea that’s catching on in greater numbers, day after day.

We’ll be sharing updates about this new entrepreneurial adventure as we go and grow. In the meantime, please check out the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and the website itself. We’d love to hear what you think!

YMCA Overnight CampsIt sounded like the best gig ever.

My 11-year-old son, Joe, would go to the YMCA‘s exceptional North Woods Camp for Boys for two whole weeks, while I would live with my bestie, Kate Lemay, who happens to be the Director of Programs for the Camp…as well as for the other three amazing Camps – Pleasant Valley Camp for Girls, Sandy Island Family Camp, and Laughing Loon Day Camp – that coexist on the nearly 300-acre property in Mirror Lake, NH, right on magnificent Lake Winnipesaukee.

Score!

Joe would play, learn, discover, make friends, try new things, and GROW in a safe and supportive environment, and I would soak it all in, take pictures and short videos, play with digital storytelling, and see how my content marketing and social media skills and experience might best serve the camps and their online visibility efforts.

My son would be away from home for the first time on his own, and I – I would be around. You know, just in case…because I’ve never let my child out of my sights for so long, and baby, it ain’t easy.

I’ve been here a week now, so I’ve got some tales to tell.

Grab a cup of bug juice and a s’more, and I’ll give you the dirt, as seen from the Mommy-lurking fringes of the first week of overnight camp.

First, I’d like to give a shout out to Mother Nature for setting the scene so divinely. Check-in was idyllic! Blue skies dotted with puffy clouds served as the backdrop as young men greeted their new campers and the parents and families who love them with warmth and ease. Within minutes, Joe was off playing ping pong, chatting away with a crew of other campers, and I lingered awkwardly for a few minutes until I finally acknowledged I was no longer needed (or wanted) there. Reluctantly, I left.

It was at this point that Kate told me I was to have as little contact with Joe as possible, to ensure he had the best camp experience. Hmmmm – I thought I was going to be able to cheat that system under the guise of Mommy Blogging? Alas, after a few lame attempts to shift her thinking on this, I agreed to behave “to the best of my ability.” (Ha! Notice how I built in the opportunity to cheat the system with that qualifier!)

Everything was great, though, and I was more than a little relieved.

YMCA Summer CampsEven though Joe is a picky eater, and he occasionally has trouble sleeping at new places, and he’s about as self-sufficient as a mollusk at a disco, every time I caught glimpses of him in the midst of his camp adventures, he looked like he was having a blast. And, MAN, this camp is all about bringin’ the FUN to lucky kids! Joe has been playing tennis, doing archery and riflery, hiking, and diving into the world of Magic: The Gathering, and other card games, with new friends. He’s also been playing epic games of full-field dodgeball, capture the flag, and countless other team challenges and feats of awesomeness. Other kids have been showing off their skills on the many basketball courts, going through the rigors of the YMCA lifeguard training and certification programs, horseback riding, waterskiing, building things, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and just being FREE, without the confines of parent supervision.

Then there’s this surprising element: The built-in mentorship part!

Every time I had the chance to talk to one of the teenagers – the LITs (Leaders-in-Training) and the CITs (Counselors-in-Training), they’ve blown me away with their presence and maturity. Four years, five years, eight years – these kids have been coming here since they were little lads, and now they’re psyched to show off their hard-won chops with the newbies and up-and-comers.

All of these seasoned gents had stories about how camp has helped them become stronger, smarter, and better human beings. What’s more, they really care about the younger boys, and they understand what a big influence they are on the campers, because they themselves are just a few years out of being one themselves. These sweet souls are here to help, guide, and support my son, and I love it! More than a few times I’ve felt my Mommy blood swirl with pride, whenever I see the teenagers taking campers aside to offer advice, listen to issues, and share their own experiences. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. Truly.

And then last night happened…

I was walking by the dining hall, and the boys were coming out. My Mommy senses perked up, and I found myself frantically scanning the landscape to find my son. Sure enough, there he was! He came running over to me – and I noticed his lower lip was trembling.

“Mom, I wanna go home.”

“What’s the matter? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m just really, REALLY homesick. I wanna go home.”

“Are you having fun?”

“Yes, I’m having fun – it’s not that. I just miss my bed. I’m having trouble sleeping. I miss you and Dad. I miss the house. I just wanna go home.”

Crap. His beautiful blue eyes were pleading with me behind a suspended sheet of tears.

“Let’s head to your cabin, Joe.”

As we walked, my efforts to reframe this situation for him sounded as useless and unconvincing to me as they surely did to him. No matter what I said – “You’re halfway through! Only a week left! You’re doing so many cool things! You’re meeting great friends! You’re living it up!” – he wanted none of it. I couldn’t hug him or press pause and let him just cry it out. He fought back the emotion with every bit of his being, but the more he talked, the worse it got.

Ultimately, I told him to talk to his counselors.

“No! I’m embarrassed. I don’t want them to know I’m feeling like this.”

“Go through the proper channels,” I said, forcing myself to keep a safe distance and show as little emotion as possible. “If your counselors think it best for you to leave, then I’ll be right up the road, and I’ll get the call.”

It’s now 24 hours since that conversation. No one has called. I have no idea what happened, who said what, or how anything was handled. I’m sitting in a restaurant with wifi, five miles away from camp, doing my best to stay away from Joe’s sights.

“Camp is fun, but camp is HARD, too, and no one talks about that.”

That’s what Kate said last night, as she was trying to console me. Kate’s been immersed in the YMCA’s philosophies, trainings, and passionate missions for 15 years. She went to overnight camp as a kid. She’s watched campers become beautiful and happy adults, and families return year after year to bond and play and grow together.

“Camp is where you grow, and growing isn’t always easy. You’re forced to figure things out on your own. You’re forced to ask for help from relative strangers, to get out of your comfort zone, to feel insanely uncomfortable and work through it. These kids are go-go-going all day long. They’re having a blast, and they’re mentally and physically exhausted. Many – if not most! – of them are missing home immensely. And yet, years later, they’ll credit camp as the place where they discovered their own strengths and mettle. This is where kids learn they’re much, MUCH stronger than they think they are. Once they realize they can – and do! – survive this time in one piece, they build confidence muscles that serve them their whole lives. They become incredible human beings, and camp is part of that evolution.”

 

Okay, Kate. I see it. I believe you. I get how this could be a wonderful thing AND horrible at the same time. Wonderful because my amazing first-born child needs an environment where he can spread his wings AND toughen up, amaze himself AND work through the chunks of fear and anxiety that chip away at his self-confidence.

And it’s horrible because growing IS hard. Parents know this – I know this! – and sending our beloved and trusting babies into the wolf den of tough love feels like taking a dive into a 12-foot deep pool of cow manure. Yes, this is hard for the kids, because two weeks can feel like 20 years when you’re feeling homesick and lonely and ready to call it quits.

Thing is, camp is hard for parents, too.

My husband and I miss our son. Now, it’s a little different in our situation because I’m living on camp property, and seeing me was the catalyst for Joe’s cracking. If I wasn’t at camp, I may have had an easier time choosing obliviousness over heart-wrenching worry, self-doubt, and cellular maternal aching.

But Kate tells me Joe is definitely not alone with his feelings. She’s had many phone calls with anxiety-ridden parents who received letters from their kids, saying they’re uncontrollably homesick, begging their parents to come pick them up.

Our only choice is to trust what the counselors and Directors and staff are telling us:

Our children are FINE. More than fine. They WILL get through this. And when they do, they’ll be better humans for it.

YMCA Camp Mission

In fact, it all comes down to one of my least favorite truths about life: The only way out is through. 

So my job as a parent is to allow my child to figure it out. The counselors are working their pitooties off to distract all the kids, keep them engaged and amused, active and busy. The setting is glorious, filled with fun and adventure and freedom.

I asked one of the 16-year-old counselors what he did or said to help first-time campers overcome their intense desire to quit camp early.

“I take a deck of cards, and ask the kid how many cards are in a deck. ‘Easy, 52!’ they’ll say to me. Then I take two of the cards and place them down next to rest of the deck. ‘See these cards? These represent weeks in a year. These two are the only two you have here at camp. The rest belong to school and your family and all the responsibilities of your life at home. These two camp weeks are the only time you get to be YOU, in a place designed exclusively for your maximum FUN. Can you see how little time you have here? Make the most of it! It’ll be over before you know it, and believe it or not, you’ll be wishing for what you’ve got here.’”

I’ve got one more card-week left.

Go Confidently in the Direction of Your DreamsThen I’ll be able to nurture and spoil and laugh with the 11-year-old kid in my life who’s becoming more of a man every day, whether I like it or not. As much as I’d like to think his family is all he needs to thrive in this life, I know this isn’t the case.

It’s a big world out there, and Joe needs a great toolbox of experiences and resources to draw upon to be successful – to be happy, healthy, confident, creative, centered, brave, positive, helpful, and connected to the power, magic, and mysteries of being a spiritual being having a human experience.

Luckily, this is exactly what the YMCA is famous for, worldwide. 

I didn’t get the call yet. I think he’s going to make it.

If he can make it, so can I.

(Though I sure do wish I had  a few camp songs and counselors in my arsenal to distract me!)

The State of New Hampshire on Facebook, 2014 EditionYes, “The State of New Hampshire on Facebook.” This is the workshop based on the upcoming 2nd annual report, created with a not-so-secret agenda! You’ll find the presentation embedded below, as well as the live recording of the Google Hangout on Air. Thanks so much to the  Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce for inviting us back for the third year in a row to be part of their Summer Social Media Series. It’s always a joy, and everyone there is wonderful.

But back to the story. Sure, the presentation and workshop provide a lot of insight into the people in New Hampshire who use Facebook. (About 3 out of 4 age-eligible folks, growing 15% over the last three years to 740,000 people!) Age and gender, mobile use, interests, sociographics, and more, it’s all in there. Not to mention a discussion of “Behaviors” and the info inside “Partner Categories” – no way we could cover all that in an hour workshop, because that data goes deep AND wide.

So that’ll give you a hint about the not-so-secret agenda. Even though it says it’s about the state of New Hampshire on Facebook, what it REALLY does is give a glimpse into what’s possible for you and your business or organization. As one of your Allies in Possibility here at Epiphanies, Inc., how could I resist!?

What Non-Granite-Staters Get From It

Now, if you don’t live in New Hampshire, you can still glean some very powerful things from these resources:

1. Knowledge of the kind of insights you can discover about your own target market inside Facebook, wherever they may reside

2. Internal and external trends powering change inside Facebook, and their implications for your marketing strategy

3. Important resources for finding, learning about, and targeting ads more effectively to your Ideal Audience on Facebook

If that doesn’t float your boat, well, heck, buoyancy may not be your only challenge!  ;)

The State of NH on Facebook Presentation and Workshop Video

If for any reason you can’t see the embedded items below, click here to see the presentation on Slideshare, and click here to watch the Hangout on Air recording on YouTube!

 

Scrambled Eggs and Social Media | #GMCOCIt was a cold and wet May morning on the outside, but inside at the newly renovated Manchester Country Club, things were piping hot! What a treat it was to be invited by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce to kick off their Summer Social Media Series.

Sponsored by Bellwether Community Credit Union, the event brought biz professionals and non-profit leaders together for networking, a yummy breakfast, and presentations from yours truly. (Side note: Lani won a bet for the second time in a row that most of the audience hadn’t heard of a “gravity well,” which is what Allen used as a visual to illustrate influence in social media. Congrats, Lani!)

In addition to sharing the presentations, we’ve also recorded a webinar version of “Relationship Marketing on Fire!” which is embedded below, along with the “You x 100″ presentation from Slideshare. You can catch the scene and the social action through our wrap-up video and curated Storify, too.

They’re all here for you, and if for some reason you can’t see them, here are the old school links:

You x 100: Amplify Your Marketing and Leverage Your Content With Social Media (slides)

Relationship Marketing on Fire! Igniting Sales, Loyalty, and Customer Service in the Social Realm (webinar)

Scrambled Eggs and Social Media: The Social Scene Video (YouTube)

Scrambled Eggs and Social Media on Storify

 

 

 

 

 

 

VTNHMG Conference, Social MediaWe had a hey-ho-dilly of a time at the 26th Annual Conference put on by the Vermont/New Hampshire Marketing Group last week! Thanks so much to board member Lisa Landry of Savvy Workshop for recommending us as speakers for this high-powered event, and to Shari LaPierre and Sari White of the #VTNHMG (as it’s known in hashtag parlance) for saying “Yes!” and welcoming us as part of their impressive speaker lineup.

More than 150 professionals participated in the 3-day “Marketing Marathon” event, and we provided the pre-conference workshop and one of the breakout sessions.

Of course, we can’t go anywhere without sharing with YOU, too, faithful blog reader! So here, for all the attendees as well as Epiphanies, Inc. fans, are our two presentations, the conference wrap-up video, and the Storify of the scene. You’d only get more by actually being there!

If you can’t see any of the embeds below, here’s the old school links for you:

You x 100: Amplify Your Marketing and Leverage Your Content With Social Media

Relationship Marketing on Fire! Igniting Sales, Loyalty, and Customer Service in the Social Realm

#VTNHMG Conference Video

#VTNHMG Conference on Storify 

 

 

 

 

We just had to share this brilliant social media campaign with you – and it’s one YOU can do, too! The team at ChartSpan, an innovative startup that’s making an app for families to manage their healthcare records securely on their smartphones, decided to do something special for moms on Mother’s Day.

For the weekend leading into Mother’s Day, Ryan O’Hara – ChartSpan’s CMO and member of the ‘A-Ha!’ Tribe – and his team offered to write custom songs on the fly for any mother out there. All you had to do was tweet the mom’s Twitter handle to ChartSpan, and BAM! Custom song and YouTube video within hours. Our son Joe asked them to make one for Lani, and it turned into a rave:

(Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch it on YouTube!)

They ended up making 21 custom songs and videos in three days. The campaign got great visibility for them – exposure to as many as 1.75 million Twitter accounts, more than 500 video views, and a bunch of new website traffic. The full 21-song playlist has 73 views in its own right, and the number grows every day. They also nabbed the attention, respect, and gratitude of some key influencers who now have ChartSpan squarely on their radar. We’ve already joined the waiting list to be notified when the app is available to the public, and hope you will too!

Now, what about YOU? Maybe you’re not the musical type, but could you use an app to create customized and easily-shareable visual messages? How about recording 6-second messages on Vine?

Here’s the thing: To do something memorable and impactful like ChartSpan did, all you have to do is:

1) Pick a theme

2) Pick a tool

3) Use all your channels to get the word out, and

4) PLAY!

The tools are out there, and you have the power to bend them to your will. Memorial Day and Father’s Day are coming up…what will you do with these opportunities?

I'm going to the Live in Love Retreat - Join me!Two weeks from today I’ll be on an island on Lake Winnipesaukee with some really amazing people at the first-ever Live in Love Retreat. Some of these fabulous souls will have driven from Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut, and most of them will have trekked from different nooks and crannies around the Granite State.

Our time together will be filled with discovery and possibility, music and magic, laughter…and probably a few tears, too. Hey, tears happen when we unplug from our own hustle and bustle, allow ourselves to be open and [GASP!] vulnerable, and get connected – with our dreams, with our inner whispers, with our fellow weekend adventurers, and most of all, with our HEARTS.

I’m incredibly grateful to be leading two brand-new Breakout Sessions during this one-of-a-kind retreat. Here’s the first one:

The Power and Possibility of Living From the Heart

The heart is an amazing and vital muscle. It beats rhythmically, steadily, miraculously, from about 20 days after conception until the moment we take our last breath.

It’s also one of the most awesome untapped resources of our personal journeys, capable of might and miracles beyond our wildest imaginings.

My goals with this workshop are threefold:

During our time together, we’ll do exercises to open our hearts in new, safe, and enlightening ways, and really anchor its strengths and importance in our lives. I’ll share both scientific research and intuitive insights about how the heart can be our emotional, spiritual, and physical home base; how we can rely on it as our go-to consultant and connector; and how it can guide us and lead us to enjoy more passionate, powerful, intention-fueled, love-filled lives.

We spend so much time in our brains, drowning in our stress hormones, and taking cues from the wrong places and things and sources.

This workshop will be an homage to the heart chakra, and a chance to activate our superpowers, once and for all.

Becoming aware of the power of the heart as the ultimate ally to our most gorgeous and wondrous possibilities is a huge game changer. It’s also at the root of the very possible and pragmatic goal and opportunity to LIVE IN LOVE.

What’s the other workshop I’ll be leading, you ask?

Well, you can check out the title on the Live in Love Retreat Itinerary Page

And you’ll be able to read about it in my next blog post.

Of course, it would be wayyyyyyyyyy better for all of us if you’d come join the adventure and experience it in person, don’t you think? ;)

This is a teaser for the Retreat, with me and my co-creators in this journey: Christina Alexa, Kelly Lang, Kate Lemay, and Angela Sites-Georgiev. (Can’t see the video below? Watch it on YouTube!)

 

VacationLani and I are taking a much needed vacation, off with the kids to Martha’s Vineyard for a week.

When’s the last time YOU took a vacation? If you’re an entrepreneur or the head of of your own business, there’s a good chance you may not even remember. Our winter in New Hampshire seemed like it went on forever, and it’s taken us a few days to shake off and shake up our dulled senses and blunted gusto.

Ever notice that yourself? That even when you step away for a time, to get some fresh perspective on your life or business, that it takes a little while to get past the superficial stuff and get down to the real, meaningful matters…

Rediscover Yourself

We’re rediscovering ourselves here. If you can’t take a vacation right now to rediscover your own passions and desires, then we encourage you to take 10 minutes out of your day to answer this question:

Who are you when you’re on vacation?

If the answer is very far removed from what your life looks like right now, then it might be time for a change. Even a small one.

What will it be?

True Grit: A poem for battle-scarred biz owners, unsinkable entrepreneurs, and gritty spirits

Pulling, scratching, clawing my way

Back to the memories that worked

Ditching the gunk that didn’t

 

I am smarter than I let on

Even to myself

Especially to myself

 

Hardly hopeless, far from helpless

I sing, I feel, I know…

I let go…and move on.

 

New beginnings – that’s all that exist

Ahhh…but the twist!

Too hard to resist.

The old is what clings

It feels real, but it’s not.

 

I forgot.

 

Time to remember again

Grab a pen.

Let go…find flow…

And move on.

 

There are signs

There are tools

Sometimes there are rules

But only the fools play by them.

 

DEFY THEM.

 

Set up the scene.

Wipe the slate clean.

Let the past go…

And move on!

 

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