How to Lose 25 lbs in One Week

The transition that Baby Boomers make when they leave their full time work world and enter their encore stage of life can seem chaotic. During your work world you may have experienced a certain amount of order. Your new retirement lifestyle may not seem so orderly because it is a new experience for you.

One successful way to navigate your transition into retirement is to create space and order in your life by getting rid of all of the items in your environment that no longer serve you. By decluttering, you can lose 25 lbs or more in just one week.

The idea of sorting through all of your accumulated stuff may seem daunting at first. Start with a small project that you can complete in a short time and see significant results, such as cleaning a desk or a closet. Your encore years open a new era for you, and letting go of the past will create space for what new is to come.

Your underlying motivation for decluttering can serve as the fuel to accomplish creating new space and order in your environment. What benefits will you receive from decluttering in preparation for your retirement?

  • Eliminate items that no longer serve you, and can suck your energy.
  • Offer your items that you no longer use to others who can benefit from them.
  • You may receive money from reselling your reusable items.
  • Imagine what it would be like for someone else to deal with your belongings if you should be unable to do so in the future.
  • What does your clutter say about you, and what would it tell others?
  • Allow your values to guide your decisions of what to keep to support your new retirement lifestyle, and what to eliminate.
  • If you had a major life change, like the opportunity to relocate, how long would it take you to pack?
  • What can you learn about yourself as you sort through items you may not have touched for a long time?
  • What treasures might be unearthed from your clutter?

Navigating the transition into retirement can feel unsettling. The process of sorting through your belongings and eliminating those items that you no longer use can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment at a time when you may feel lost.

Design a plan for your project to create order and space in your environment and move forward at a pace that is appropriate for you. And, remember to ask for help. Invite friends and family to join with you in your process. Or, challenge each other to complete your own decluttering projects. Lastly, there are many talented professional organizers who have a passion to help people dispose of their unwanted belongings. To find an organizer in your area, see http://www.napo.net

What 25 lbs can you lose this week?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

 

Circling around to important questions

At today’s Tuesdays with Deborah session, we engaged topics that are asked by reticent bloggers and often revisited by experienced bloggers.

What is a blog? What is a blog post?

A blog is a collection of web content, usually writing. A readable blog post is about 200 to 600 words long. A good blog post is something that will be found and read by someone who is interested in a topic. What topics do reticent bloggers have in mind?

Where are blogs?

The best place for a blog is high on the list of search results returned to a search engine user. Readers find bloggers who effectively refine their understanding of relevant search terms.

Who blogs?

Writers blog!  Businesses develop, grow, and maintain customer bases through relevant and timely blog posts.  People with common knowledge and information needs find each other through the authoring of, and reading of, blogs.

When is a blog post visible?

A blog post is visible as soon as the author decides to publish a piece.  Writers with experience in printed materials can be assured that a “published” blog post can be changed after it is published.  Each blogger develops an sense of when a piece is ready for publishing. Each blogger develops an individual sense of how often to publish new content.

How are blog posts created?

Blog posts are created using a software tool such as WordPress, the software used for the Tuesdays with Deborah blog.  Blogging tools have features that feel like word processing: writing, formatting, and saving. A key difference between word processing and blogging is a “publish” mechanism for making content visible to readers.

The content of blog posts is developed through each writer’s unique writing practice. When is a good time of day for writing? Where is a good location for the writing process? What gets in the way of writing – distractions? Multi-tasking? The internal editor who gets in the way of first drafts being created? Some writers identify clothing that makes writing easier or harder.

Bloggers discover that developing the content is more challenging than learning software features for creating posts.

Answers to the previous questions of who-what-when-where-and-how all come from the question:

Why create a blog? What causes a reticent blogger to enter the world of blogging?

There are many right answers to the questions of what to write, how often to post, etc. Good approaches for any one blog come from on-going refinement of a blog’s purpose.

Understanding a blog’s purpose is not a pre-requisite for beginning a writing/blogging practice.  Discovering a blog’s purpose begins with an idea, leading to some drafts, leading to some publishing, leading to some feedback, leading to a refined understanding of purpose and how to fulfill the purpose.

The current writing challenge is “Passionate Observations.” Here are examples about New YorkDenver, and our own area.

Reticent bloggers are invited to register for the site, read and comment on posts, try out what feels like a word processing tool for adding a new post, and then take a deep breath and press the “publish” button.

Right now, the editor in my head wants a few things different about this post. But the writer will press the “publish” button, in this safe space, and the editor can have a turn on another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook backlash isn’t just about Facebook (but I bet it wishes it was)

This month I’ve read a few articles bashing the facebook IPO.  The most resounding one was: Facebook Ads Aren’t Grabbing Users.

Have you ever clicked on a facebook ad?  Out of interest in a product?

Social media people will (hopefully) tell you that social media is a tough nut to crack.  The best tools are passion and authenticity, which breed consistency.

Facebook ads don’t get clicked on because very few ads of any kind in any medium get “clicked on” anymore.  People are either interested in a product or they aren’t.  TV, Radio, Print, Web.  There’s noise everywhere, and you’re either passionate, authentic, and consistent (and funny helps a lot), or you’re noise.

Part of the facebook backlash was GM pulling their facebook advertising budget the week before the IPO.  This is a big lumbering slow-moving corporation that actually analyzed its facebook ad performance and decided it wasn’t going to make any babies there and pulled right the heck out.

Money doesn’t buy happiness?  Maybe.  But you definitely can’t monetize friendship.  When you do, the friendship goes away.

What does all of this mean for everyone who wishes to advertise on facebook?  Or any other social media FTM (for that matter)?

Bring PASSION, be AUTHENTIC, be CONSISTENT.  And if you’d like to interest me at all, be funny and be quick about it.  And don’t use big words like Deliverables and Strategic Objectives.  Talk normal, folks.  If your service delivers results nobody cares where you came from (if they do care, let them ask).  What I’m noticing more and more, is that the more time and physical space you need to explain to someone why you functionally exist, the less important you are.

….sorry, got off on a rant.  gee, how important am at, clocking in a 327 characters so far.

Consistency is the straw that breaks the camels back.  You can fake passion and authenticity for only so long…then you just get tired of it if your heart isn’t in the game.

Consistency is two fold:  1) Update regularly, and 2) measure your results to give people more of what they want.  If you make money from cats dancing to Katy Perry, post something new about that once a week.  If you make money from your adorable dog, post something new about that every day.  If you make money by writing a regular 3000 essay on being a single dad, do that.

If you do a posting, or a video, or an instagram, or a tweet, only once every so often, you’re not going to benefit a whole lot from social media marketing, because you won’t actually be doing social media marketing.

Facebook ads:  they don’t work because they aren’t authentic.  People who are on facebook are there to interact with their friends.  It’s just like watching TV….you DVR everything because you’re there to experience your shows, not watch commercials.

When your own “commercials” become the reason that people are there, the thing that people are interacting with – – THAT is when you will be effectively using social marketing.

Signed and untagged,
Scott

 

 

Writing session after TwD – Part 1

At every TwD session, I make notes for writing I would like to do Right Away. I know I am not alone. Another group member and I have decided to plan on staying at the gracious space of Friends Philosophy and Tea after the TwD session to do some writing….. sometimes in silence…. right after the session.

Here is the emerging idea, and you are invited:

TwD proceeds from 1 until 2:30. We “break” from 2:30 to 2:45 or so to finish conversations, stretch, refill our tea, etc.

At 2:45 we gather near the fire, perhaps, or at the tables set up for teahouse guests, for an hour. We encourage each other by simply being together in that gracious space.

When I depart TwD and I get involved in “other projects,” I experience a delay before writing a draft of the “great idea” inspired by the TwD session. I want to capture the inspirations. I can see that my writing practice could include reserving Tuesday afternoon from 1 until 4 for the double benefit of the Tuesdays with Deborah session, followed immediately by an hour of writing.

Last Tuesday, my friend Sharon who was at TwD for the first time began to say, “I need to write about the day that…..” I said: “Simply tell me the story. I will capture it, and you will have a first draft to work with.”

Sharon and I enjoyed a chuckle, later, about the results, and we will reverse the process the next time that we are both at TwD – perhaps Tuesday May 29.

If you feel inspired by the TwD process and want to stay with other writers for one more cup of tea, please join us.  It will be a challenge to not chat the hour away, but we are Writers developing Writing Practices.  Wonderful things that we cannot even imagine will emerge from writing for an hour after TwD.

On June 4, I added a post called “Writing session after TwD Part 2”

See, I’m right

This is not a guide to social DIY-ing.  It’s a quick statement.

Late August 2011 I approached some target companies with a proposal to get them up and running with regularly published, internally generated, social content.  I’m going to call it “social content,” because quite frankly, all social content is marketing.

One part of my criteria for targeting a company was that they had to have a physical product: a box on a shelf, a unit in a showroom – – something that their end users could actually touch.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

Today, I read this article that reinforces my opinions and theories, which I came to after several months of intensive careful research.  Here’s an excerpt (parts of this quotes George Mason U economist Tyler Cowen),

…the Internet is a wonder when it comes to generating “cheap fun.” But because “so many of its products are free,” and because so much of a typical Web company’s work is “performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers,” the online world is rather less impressive when it comes to generating job growth.

It’s telling, in this regard, that the companies most often cited as digital-era successes, Apple and Amazon, both have business models that are firmly rooted in the production and delivery of nonvirtual goods. Apple’s core competency is building better and more beautiful appliances; Amazon’s is delivering everything from appliances to DVDs to diapers more swiftly and cheaply to your door.

By contrast, the more purely digital a company’s product, the fewer jobs it tends to create and the fewer dollars it can earn per user — a reality that journalists have become all too familiar with these last 10 years, and that Facebook’s investors collided with last week. There are exceptions to this rule, but not all that many: even pornography, long one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers, has become steadily less profitable as amateur sites and videos have proliferated and the “professionals” have lost their monopoly on smut.

The internet is free, and the content is going to be more and more self-generated, and catching eyeballs will require being more and more ENGAGING and AUTHENTIC.  And SHORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Get to the f-ing point in 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!   The more you need to tell me about your product or service, the less I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t convince me, I’m already doing that myself!!!!!!!!!

As I sat behind the camera taping a 2 hour ppt presentation given by a 70-year-old retiree a couple weeks ago (to be archived for future use….hahahahaha), my one overwhelming thought was, “If I have to sit through something for 2 hours, it better be Avengers quality.”

AND, this comes back around to my current thoughts on the massive culture shift that we’re going to be experiencing in 5 years, stretching for the next 10-20 years as the boomers retire and transition to those pleasant sunny acres in the sky:

  • Creating online content is not intuitive to most boomers.
  • Creating online content is very intuitive to most gen-y-ers.
  • Gen x is the fulcrum around which these two massive generations will transition during this culture shift.  It’s the generation that will allow relevant knowledge and processes to pivot from the old school boomer way of doing things to the new wave of no-attention-span nu skool gen y way of doing things.
Simple example:  right now I have to explain, to clients of a certain age, how to download email attachments, how to properly extract files from zipped folders, those kinds of things.
Technology may or may not change to simplify this sort of task, but the people who will be doing the task will most certainly be changing.

What are you thoughts on the upcoming culture shift?

What are you doing right now to be engaging, authentic, and are you GETTING TO THE POINT!?!?!?

Some additional food for thought:  right now you can have media content online within a couple hours – – or in most cases a couple minutes – – of creating it.  You can have media content on broadcast channels and publications within about a day of creating it.  As long as you have the money to create and the money to pay for the schedule.  Rapid internal ideation is key key key.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

btw, just for fun, my favorite campaigns right now are on the radio, and the only product name I’m recalling is Cabot Stain:

http://washington.wgu.edu/billboard

Cabot Stain “How did this DIYer turn so pro?”

The hot dog commercial that talks about springtime being adequate grilling weather, and taking off your jacket to: put on a lighter jacket.

 

“Perfectionism” by any other name…

Are you hearing Shakespeare? Romeo and Juliet…. “a rose by any other name…..”

There is nothing beautiful about “perfectionism.”

I only recently came to recognize my disabling affinity for perfectionism. I think I perceive only a few facets of the complex geode of perfectionism. But it is a start.

I do not use the vocabulary word “perfect.” My brain knows that “perfect” does not exist. Therefore, I follow the rule of not using that word. Which has helped me stay in “denial” about the reality.

There is a pile of papers on top of my desk. Each one of those papers has been a sharp thorn, poised to inflict pain if and when I come close to it.  Each piece of paper that should already be in recycling has said to me, “you should have recycled me already. How and why did I land on the desk?” Each piece of paper that should already be “filed” has said to me, “you should have filed me already. Why am I still on top of the desk?”

To which the answer is: there is no room in the file drawer until I shred the “opposite numbers” from 2005. Which raises another question: “why isn’t the shredding already completed, freeing up space in the file drawer?”

To which the answer is, “…. wait a minute…. do I REALLY hear the papers on my desk TALKING TO ME?!?

In recent weeks, I have tapped a new reservoir of strength or insight or motivation to break free of this cycle. But I am a writer, and so I will create a “cliff-hanger” by saving that insight for a future post. Shall I post it here? Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does this inspire you to create a community blog post of your own?

This entry was largely inspired or shaken loose by the authentic (fearless and unflinching) writing done by “Tuesdays with Deborah” community members. A post by Stephen was and is particularly formative.

 

Stop Doing It or Start Charging For It

Wow! This empowering, liberating, affirming, respectful, and somewhat scary message dominated part of the March 27 TwD session. Karin Q was the good natured, curious, courageous, authentic, valuable expert whose knowledge base and practices were the subject of discussion. What a gift to the group that we could all hear, and hopefully learn, so much in the “laboratory” discussion around what is near and dear to her heart.

Later in the day, I felt a jolt! I have already established a market rate for the personal advocacy I have done with friends and family for twelve years! Some years ago, a young adult friend was hit by a car and sustained disabling injuries. She had no local family, and so our family simply said, “We are your family.” I was with her every day for a while, then intermittently for a long time. It was gift. It is simply “what we do in the world.”

But there came a time that she said, “You have always said it isn’t about money, but the reality is the responsible party has taken responsibility for this situation and I have received a check. You gave me the gift that you could give when I needed it, and I fear you will not allow me the same privilege.” I said, “My friend, of course I will accept a gift with gratitude. Just as you did. But this was never a marketplace transaction between us.” We did not discuss numbers, she simply wrote a check that represented value. And let’s just say that no one needed to fear getting in trouble with the I.R.S. over excess gift taxes, but….. the gift was sizable.

The details of that year have faded from my memory, but I knew our discussion yesterday applied to me in some way.  All afternoon I wondered, “what would be a market value for my expertise?” To my surprise, these events came back to me. I did the math in my head and called my friend saying, “I am so grateful for a gift you have given me that I never appreciated before right now. So I called you immediately. Remember the events of all those years ago? Well…. because of you, I can say to future clients, ‘my going rate is [a certain amount] per hour.’ ”

I came to TwD hoping to gain what I needed to simply write a blog that others might benefit. And that will happen. Soon. I have developed content and a blog name, acquired a domain name, and I depart today on what I regard on a WordPress learning retreat. I hope to have a blog to share with you next Tuesday.

I never imagined it might be the start of an income stream. It is not an income stream the family needs to keep the lights turned on, but value is value. The words “Stop Doing It or Start Charging” apply to me.

Calming the Monkey Mind

“Tribal knowledge” informed me when I was pregnant that I would feel the baby kick more when I was sitting still than when I was walking around: when a pregnant mother is walking around, it soothes a baby to sleep; when mom sits still, the baby often wakes up.

The term “monkey mind” reminds me of that phenomenon. Walking seems to soothe, quiet and calm my “monkey mind.” While walking, I occasionally develop some welcome single-minded clarity about an important subject. I can often hold onto that clarity long enough to take a next step, or do some useful planning, on some project or piece of writing.

It appeals to me to soothe the monkey mind rather than to reject it and attempt to quash it through brute force self-discipline. After all, the monkey mind is “me” in a state of distraction and inefficiency – an internal rush to “think about everything at once,” or “do everything at once,” “jump from here to there impulsively.”

I am more comfortable in my own skin and self when I am calm enough to perceive and process one thing at a time, even briefly. Calming and soothing the monkey mind seems to help. I learned the term “monkey mind” from writer and writing coach Deborah Drake. http://deborahdrake.wordpress.com/

Real Estate, Boobs and Botox, Doctor and Lawyers, and Better Travel Rates.

Part 2 of a 3 part series: a review of this users experience at Startup Conference Seattle 2012

Real Estate, Boobs and Botox, Doctor and Lawyers, and Better Travel Rates.

Serial Entrepreneur and CEO Rich Barton has started a series of business with a common theme. He is driven to keep transparency for the everyday person to have access to information previously available to members in the inner circle only.  As he put it:

Empower the people with information so they can make good decision. ~Richard Barton, CEO of Zillow

He’s got quite the list of projects he is or has been part of!

http://expedia.com  (created while inside Microsoft and the first company to be “set free” and spun off)

http://zillow.com (it’s about making real estate data transparent for all)

http://glassdoor.com (what is going on inside companies re jobs/salaries?)

http://trover.com (up and coming this idea is a social, local, mobile travel resource)

http://realself.com (in short, the truth about boobs and botox services and fees)

http://avvo.com (start here to find a good lawyer/doctor/dentist)

On Being an Intrapreneur vs and Entrepreneur

I didn’t realize that Expedia began as a “travel version of Encarta,” backed by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and developed within Microsoft. It was inspired by a “functional but ugly” Prodigy product used primarily by travel agents that Barton became aware of.  Expedia would also be the first company to spin off of Microsoft. Apparently, creating the “separation agreements and contracts” was a first as well and was an interesting process in itself, shared Barton.

Barton’s suggestion based on his experience: You don’t need to leave the company you are with to build your own (at least not prematurely). If you are casting about for something to do (inside or outside a company) and come up with an idea you want to pursue, consider incubating it while still employed! (Now that makes great sense doesn’t it?)

Have an idea? Need a co-founder? Start with people you know. (Again, that people theme.)

How do you tell if it is a big idea or not? Be advised: What you think it will turn out to be is never the end result. Focus on the pond and the fisherman. How big is the pond? How many fishermen? How much dysfunction in the industry? The BIGGER the dysfunction, the BETTER the prospects for creating a winning SOLUTION that could attract INVESTORS.

It’s who you climb in the boat with and those you add as you grow that matters. It’s the people, people!

And where two co-founders are concerned says Barton: better 49/51 and never 50/50. Someone must have the deciding vote in tough calls (translation for me: check your ego at the start and make it about the bigger vision.) And from the start build in flexibility. Being flexible is key. (You’ll last longer and weather more storms that way.)

The Reality Check: “Most people don’t have what it takes to make it through all weather like the mail…rain, sleet, snow. The best way to make something happen is to be a sharer, a communicator, involve others to engage in giving you feedback.” (Yes. Yes. Yes)

For Rich Barton, his success as the Serial Entrepreneur and CEO is all about:

People. Transparency. Empowerment.

His Opening Keynote was a home run for this participant who couldn’t take notes fast enough.

And what came next was inspiring to me for a whole other set of reasons…

(My advice reader: If there is a Startup Conference coming to your city, run, don’t walk to register early)