I could barely sleep last night.
Not because I was worried. I was excited and full of anticipation.
Mickey and I watched and listened as Ken Malone and Dutch Sheets shared about the powerful prayer meeting Dutch had held from Washington DC. Because of the shutdown, his prayer trip had been cancelled. So he went with only a couple of people and fulfilled the mission with leaders from around our great country joining in by phone.
It was a great success. Powerful decrees – speaking God’s purposes into the earth. By digital devices across the nation.
But then Dutch said something which rocked my world.
He said that now it’s time for a shift. Now the internet and digital devices are going to be used more than ever for ministry. Meetings on YouTube, blogs, podcasts, etc.
That’s the vision the Lord gave me in 2013, and I have been reaching for it ever since.
With varying degrees of success. I have even re-configured several times, and I have been discouraged on occasion. But God’s Word kept me going.
And I realize that Now is the time of fulfillment!
I know that there are many ministers and leaders who have vital messages for the church – and the world at large. I want to help them establish their platform and maximize their influence.
Maybe you are one of them.
A few things I have learned:
- It’s easier than it looks, to set up a blog, write a book, or start a podcast.
- Alone it’s hard. Together we help each other, and it becomes doable.
- There are many messages and it takes many messengers to accomplish God’s plan. When the streams flow together, we have a mighty river!
- Our minds cannot comprehend the numbers of people we can reach as we band together. (Think about the current billionaires. They got there because of the numbers).
- We can literally reach the world. (If you don’t believe me, click on the button at the top right of the page which says, English, and watch the page translate before your eyes).
We stand at an amazing moment in time.
God has given us the digital world for His Purposes. And He has great plans for its use!
If you have had ideas about starting a blog, or writing a book, or beginning a podcast, or wanting to teach on YouTube, your moment is here.
People are tuning in to God’s spirit. They are beginning to realize that they need Him more than ever.
Or, for the first time, they are reaching out to Him. They are searching for answers to the big questions.
They are praying. They are seeking.
And they are ready for you to help them learn more.
If you feel that you are part of this, go to https://OurCBI.com and sign up at the bottom of the page.
This is really our time!
In the meantime,
Keep on Soaring!
Do Your Customers Trust You?
It’s a well-known fact that people like to do business with people that they know, like, and trust.
So every now and then we have to take a personal inventory. How do we measure up?
When I think about this concept, I almost break out into laughter, because I am reminded of one of my favorite all-time businesses.
Are you ready?
A tire store. Mac’s Tire Store in Tupelo, Mississippi. Let me tell you about that store.
You may have heard that my husband and I lived in Mississippi for about 25 years. We had some wonderful times while there, and I loved the area.
However, there were a couple of times when I would suddenly find my tire low in air, and I wouldn’t know what to do about it. (It seemed that Mickey was out of town or in a business meeting when those times came).Could it be fixed easily, or was it serious? I certainly didn’t know.
So I would take my car to Mac’s and confidently wait with my cup of coffee in hand and a pleasant magazine to browse.
I was confident because I knew these people. Their service would be quick and first rate. They would do a good job, and they woudn’t try to sell me something that I didn’t need. In fact, once I went in thinking that we needed new tires and they talked me out of it!
Now that’s my kind of a store!
It’s funny because I don’t even care about cars. Much less tires. But when I was in trouble, I knew these people would help me. They came to my rescue, and I was incredibly grateful.
The kind of trust that Mac’s had with me (and others), didn’t come over night. They had worked at building their business on a strong foundation of integrity and friendliness. They knew that most people think of tires as an unpleasant necessity, and so they worked at making the experience at their store to be the best it could be.
Have you thought about this element in your business lately? I have. Every now and then, I like to take a step back and look at this issue. How trustworthy do my customers see me?
I think that this is even more important for online businesses. Since people can’t see us and talk with us face to face, it’s even more important to convince them that they can trust the products and courses they buy from us. They need to know that we understand their needs and concerns and help them meet those needs.
I’m determined to build my own business around the same concepts which made Mac’s so great.
The following points to improve your trust ranking and build better relationships in your business. They can also be used to regain trust too.
- Understanding and Empathy – try to look for things that you have in common with people and then build trust from there.
- Being Honest and Open – don’t be scared to show your true emotions and viewpoints. Of course be receptive to other people’s opinions too.
- Be Genuine – show people that you care.
- Have Respect – you need to respect yourself and others and treat people as equal. Do not blame or criticize anyone or make them feel guilty.
- Listening – really pay attention to what someone is saying and demonstrate that you understand them. All it takes is a quick nod in agreement to achieve this and trust will quickly build.
- Best Interests – learn how to take other people’s interests into account, not just your own. Look for solutions so that everyone becomes a winner.
- Being Reliable – when you promise to do something, follow through and get the task done. Don’t make promises that you have no intention of keeping.
Think about how you can take these principles and apply them to your business practices. If you promised to look into something for a customer, actually follow through and do so. Even if you don’t locate what it was they were looking for, at least you made the effort and tried. This will no doubt be totally appreciated by them and helps build trust and respect.
Sometimes mistakes happen or you sell or refer a product that isn’t suitable. When this happens be honest and tell your customers or clients that you made a mistake. This helps demonstrate solid business practices along with trust.
If you truly want to run a business with honesty, integrity and trust then take steps to build relationships with everyone you meet on a day to day. Be personable. Open.
One of the best ways to build trust is to write a book. Share your life. Your stories. Your point of view.
For material to help you get started, check this out.
In the meantime, Keep on Soaring!
Starting your book can be a big deal. In fact it is a big deal. What you have to say is important.
And leaving your messages in a hands-on touchable form can be very significant.
Several years ago my husband and I purchased a house which had been in his family for over 130 years. A couple of generations earlier, the owners had been some aunts who were college professors. They never married. Their entire lives were given to teaching at a small, liberal arts college.
The two ladies were avid readers and life-long learners – and there was plenty of evidence to prove it. Every room in the house had bookcases loaded with books and magazines. In the attic and in upper regions of the packed closets were boxes of research and papers.
On several lazy afternoons I found myself upstairs in “Aunt Bess’s” old bedroom, rummaging through some of the boxes. My favorites were the many letters and cards they had received in the late 1800’s and ealy 1900’s.
The handwriting on each letter was like a work of art. You could see where the pen had been freshly dipped into the ink, and dripped on the paper. Every card was like a masterpiece of calligraphy.
But the most important part to me was what they said. The messages concernng the growth of the town and the college. The inquiries about other professors and their importance to the region.
The letters which were the most valuable were those which expressed special thoughts concerning Jesus, the strength of the church, or problems of the nation or region. Those were the ones which reflected the pulse of the times.
Some of the letters were written on a typewriter, but all of them were on paper. Physical copies which could be stored and handed down from generation to generation.
Fast forward a century, and paper is sometimes thought of as obsolete. We repeatedly opt into online statements and receipts. We buy digital books and magazines. We communicate with email or texts.
All of that is terrific. It’s much faster and easier.
But wouldn’t it be nice to leave someting tangible for your descendants? Wouldn’t your grandchildren like to know what you have to say? (Especially when they are older). Wouldn’t future generations like to have something they can hold in their hands? Something which relays your thoughts in this day and age? Something which describes the psychology of this specific time in the earth?
Digital methods are wonderful for quick and easy communication, but those messages won’t last forever. They always require special equipment – whether phones, tablets, or computers – to acess them. And as devices gain in sophistication, old files are not always obtainable.
So back to the value of books.
If Aunt Bess’s letters had been digital, they would have been long gone. I never would have been able to read and enjoy them.
As you are making a decision about writing your book, these are things to consider. You want to leave something that is lasting. And tangible. And transferrable from generation to generation.
Your book may be your autobiography, ideas for raising your children, or lessons from the Bible – with your special emphases. The very fact that you are putting on paper ideas which can be passed on from generation to generation is a very significant thing.
So let me encourage you.
If you have thought about writing a book, then do it. The next posts will be about tips for making it happen. With a few techniques – and tricks – you will be well on your way to having something to pass on to your grandchildren.
So Where Do I Start?
Now I know how it is. Your next thoughts will be how in the world do I get started? Very often we have many ideas floating in our heads in a disorganized fashion.
How do I get these thoughts into some sort of coherent form? What do I really want to say? Are these ideas important enough for anyone to want to read them?
The answers come one item at a time. When you write a book, you are beginning a journey, and you take it one step at a time. That’s how it’s done.
So take a deep breath. Relax. And begin to define your goals.
Who are you writing for? Your family? Women? Men? What ages are you trying to impact?
What do you want to accomplish with your book? Is it for education? Inspiration? Humor?
If you will spend some quality time in this early planning stage, your writing will be much easier. You will be able to stay focused as you complete your writing.
For additional ideas about this early planning stage, grab a free copy of my E-book, Want to Write a Book? Engage Your Mind.
You may grab your free copy HERE.
In the Meantime, Keep on Soaring,
Has this ever happened to you?You’re all excited about writing an article, report, or book. You open up a fresh document on your computer. You type in your file name, maybe a title, maybe even a few sentences.
But then it feels like your brain shuts down. Suddenly you find yourself just staring at a nearly blank screen. The words don’t come.
Uh oh, you have writer’s block.
If you do any writing at all, you’ll probably experience writer’s block from time to time.
Here’s how to overcome it…
Of course, prayer is always the first order of business. Relax and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and remind you of what He wants to say.
Then here are some additional practical tips.
Sometimes you get stuck simply because you’re tired of looking at the same four walls, the same computer screen, etc. It helps if you can do something to kick start your creativity and give your brain a change of scenery. For example:
- Put on music that inspires you.
- Get out of your usual office and go someplace completely different, like a park or a coffee shop.
- Spend 15-30 minutes doing something different, such as exercising (which will make you feel better).
Copy a Good Piece of Text
This is a way to force your brain to get in the “groove” of writing well. Simply take a passage from one of your favorite authors and start copying it by hand. You can also copy poetry, good sales letters, or anything else that’s well-written.
Naturally, you’re not using this content for anything. You’re just jump starting your own creative process by really thinking about someone else’s well-written piece.
Write Anything That Comes to Mind
Another way to get over writer’s block is to just start writing anything that pops into your head. If you have to write about this week’s grocery list, fine.
If you have to start off writing, “I don’t know what to write” two dozen times across the top of the page, fine. But the point is, just get your fingers moving across the keyboard. After about 20 minutes, your mental “log jam” should be broken up and your creativity released.
Create a Piece About Something Else Entirely
Sometimes it helps to write about something else that isn’t even remotely related to the thing that you need to write about.
So if you need to write an article about Christian Living, you can start by writing an article about how to tie your shoes. Or if you need to create a knowing who you are in Christ, then write a story about how you met your significant other.
Again, this is just a way to loosen up your creativity and get those fingers moving across the keyboard. Once you turn to the piece you do need to write, it will likely go much more smoothly.
Start in the Middle
Have you ever noticed that the introduction is often the hardest part to write? That’s because you use it to give a sneak peek at what the rest of the article, report or ebook is about. But if you haven’t yet written the rest of the content piece, then it’s easy to get stuck on the introduction.
The solution is simple: Start in the middle.
Just skip the intro and go straight to the next paragraph or the first chapter. Then you can do the introduction last, which makes it much easier since now you know exactly what all topics you covered in the rest of the piece.
Every writer gets the dreaded writer’s block from time to time. However, don’t let it slow you down.
Next time your brain is moving like molasses, just use the tips above to jump start the creative process!
Let’s be honest. Have you ever noticed that a lot of Christian writing is actually fairly boring?
Yet even if everyone else is creating dry, mediocre content, you don’t have to. You can determine that what you say will be interesting as well as informative.
And one way to do that is to really connect with your audience.
So how do you create this connection between your words and the hearts and souls of your audience?
let me share a couple of tips…
Stories are good ways to connect with your readers, because a story tends to help you form that emotional connection. It helps the reader identify with you. And a story is much more memorable than simply telling a reader what to do.
You can write this story about you or someone else. Either way, however, the story will be more impactful if the main character is very similar to your readers.
So if your readers are stay at home moms, then you’ll connect to them better if your story is about a stay at home mom who overcame some of the same problems she faces. A story which inspired you.
A story can also help to demonstrate to your readers that you really understand them and their problems. And when a reader feels like the author understands him, you can bet he’ll keep reading.
Create “Reader Oriented” Writing
Your readers have perhaps read plenty of articles, reports and ebooks on the same topic as the one you’re writing about. However, a lot of this content is “author oriented.” That means that it seems to be more about the author rather than the readers
Example: You might read a book about having a good marriage in which the author seems to boast repeatedly about his credentials or delve into personal stories that actually aren’t of interest or relevant to the reader.
One way to quickly check if your writing is author-oriented is to see how many times you’ve used words like “I” or “me” versus how often you use words like “you” and “yours.” You want to use more “you” writing, since this is reader-oriented writing.
Let me give you an example:
- Author-oriented writing: “I’m going to tell you about how I lost weight.”
- Reader-oriented writing: “You’re going to discover a weight-loss trick that’s worked for me – and it will work for you, too.”
Engage the Audience
If you’re writing a “how to” article, then it’s easy to fall into the familiar pattern of writing a straightforward article: “This is step 1… this is step 2…” Basically, it’s the same kind of article everyone else publishes.
Instead, engage your audience by freshening up your writing. This includes:
Adding in your own tips. In particular, include unique tips and tricks not found anywhere
Using stories to illustrate points. Be sure to engage all five of your reader’s senses to really bring him into your story.
Inserting examples to make things more clear. Just look at the way I gave an example of reader versus author-oriented writing above.
Including “spiced up” writing. For example, instead of merely describing someone as nervous, you could say “He was so jittery he could not stay in his chair.”
You’ve painted a picture in their minds which is always more impactful.
You’re writing with a purpose, whether it’s to teach your readers something or just to develop a good relationship with them. However, these goals are possible only if your writing engages and connects with your audience.
Use these tips and watch your connections flourish!