About Me

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North Royalton, OH, United States
Everyone needs success partners to come along side and help them to achieve the dreams that they envisioned for themselves. I am the Dream Partner Catalyst because I come along side small businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations and leaders and help propel them toward their dream visions. I hope you find these posts encouraging!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Be and Get Dream Partners for Success: Secret #17 Write Conversationally

Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal. Jeffrey A. Carver. When I was a kid writing was such a big deal. Teachers taught a formal style of writing that was so intimidating. You were supposed to use big words so you would sound intelligent. I was OK at writing as a kid, but I really didn’t like it. Writing for me was a skill to rely on, a necessary evil. Most of the people I encounter will define themselves as bad writers because they see themselves as those 6th grade kids who hated writing. Was writing hard you as a kid? Is it hard for you now?

Writing is a big part of the job. If you want people to get to know you, you have to write. Blogs, newsletters, emails, they are all part of what it takes to get your story, your brand and your message out into the world.

Do you want to know the secret of writing today? Write conversationally, from your heart, to just one person. You talk all day without getting yourself all whipped up into a frenzy. Effective copy writing is just talking on paper.

OK, so there are a couple of steps and exercises that will help you with this:

First, who are you writing to? You may want thousands of people to read your blog, but it has to feel like it is being written to each one personally. So, who are you writing to? Think about the person who is an exact personification of your ideal customer? Could it be your best friend, your mother, your cousin or a co-worker? Or is she a 50 year old technophobic boomer-preneur? Or a smart dressed 25 year old savvy business owner? Do you have your target person in mind?

OK, now that you have that person in mind, just talk to them. If one person asked you a question about the subject you were writing about, how would you answer them? Write a couple of points that you want to make as bullets and just start speaking from them out loud. Type as you talk. Write from your heart. That’s how your true authenticity will show.

One thing that I have done is actually record myself talking on a subject and then I transcribe what I have said. Or take notes of what you are saying as you talk. One free way to practice this is to go to http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ and set up a conference call with just you. Talk in your subject and then an mp3 of the call will be sent to you by email. This is a quick and easy way to create your first audio product as well!

If you don’t have a blog or a newsletter you should. So, don’t let a fear of writing stop you. A simple template for an effective blog or newsletter post is: a: relate the reader, b: provide a helpful tip, and c: call them to a specific action. Telling stories is a simple way to relate to your reader. Your helpful tips should be simple and easy to understand. Ask people to take a step in the direction of your blog topic. That’s all there is too it.

You are a good writer. Now get out there and write something!

Monday, December 7, 2009

How to Be and Get Dream Partners for Success: Secret #16 Get Support

“I’m afraid that sometimes you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ’cause you’ll play against you.” — Dr. Seuss. Have you ever enthusiastically shared your dream with someone only to be met with rolling eyes, a discouraging comment, or even a laugh? It hurts when someone shoots down your dream. My parents were always supportive and encouraging about our dreams. I was lucky that way. But, I run into people all the time that have had so many years of people in their lives telling them they can’t do this, or shouldn’t try that. Has anyone ever responded to your dream prop0sal with a;”Are you kidding? You would fail for sure!”
Those messages from others become part of us. They go deep down into our psyche and take root as doubts and fears. It’s hard enough to keep a dream alive without this kind of discouraging messaging making it worse.

To counteract the damaging effects of negative messengers, you need to find at least one person (a whole group would be ideal) that will give you encouraging support. That’s truly at the core of what a dream partner is; someone who will see your capability, not what you have done, but what you can do, and encourage you along that path.

Here are some ground rules for supporting someone in their dream: Listen and ask clarifying questions. Resist jumping in to offer feedback before you have heard the whole story. Help them to see all angles of their situation, both opportunities and obstacles. When obstacles are identified, help them to find the solutions, rather on dwelling too much on the negative. Remind them of their gifts; help them to use their gifts at all times.

I know what you are thinking; sometimes the big dream may be out of reach. I think about all of those American Idol contestants that really can’t sing making fools of themselves on the TV. If you are a real supportive dream partner, you will always tell the truth in a loving way, but never dash a person’s dream. Help them to see a reachable way to use their gifts, talents and passions. A dream is there for a reason, so fan the flames whenever possible.

When you create a support system around you that will challenge you, and encourage you in your gifts, you will find that you will not only feel more empowered, but, even YOU will expect more of yourself.