cow

One May afternoon, a friend of mine picked his friend from Texas up from the airport and was driving him home when they came upon a cow grazing in the field. The man from Texas said, “what’s that?”
“Why that’s a cow.”
The Texan grimaced. “Oh, well, we have bigger ones than that in Texas.”

dog
Later, they were further down the road when they came across a boy playing with his dog on a school playground.
The Texan pointed at the dog. “What’s that?”
My friend shook his head. “Why that’s a dog, of course.”

We have them bigger than that in Texas,” the man said.

snapping turtle

They got further down the road when they came to a snapping turtle crossing the road.
The Texas now asked the same question he asked before and my friend answered. “Oh, that? That’s a tick.”
The Texan was competing with my friend, and, right or wrong, my friend decided to get the better of his Texan friend.

Who Is Really Your Competition?

I personally have never been one for being competitive. I think that the reason for that has always been that I always lost most competitions that I was in when I was a child. I never was any good at sports so I decided that I didn’t like them.
If there was a drawing I never won those either. Nor did I win drawing or writing contests either. It was as though luck has never been in my favor.
Though I never compete against others, however, there is one person that I do compete with all the time and that is the person that I was yesterday. Today, I want to be a better person than I have ever been. I want to be a better writer, a better wife, a better mother, a better book-sales person, a better teacher than I was yesterday. Sometimes I am and, of course, somedays I am not because I am only human, after all. Doing my best today is always my goal. How about you? Are you being the best you that you can be today?

Need motivation to become a better you? Check out my book Living Today, The Power of Now. Available on Kindle and in Print.

Living Today cover 2

Living Today, The Power of Now Get Your Copy Today!

• Be aware of and focus on the Now
• Obtain fire Starting Focus
• Change Bad Habits to Good Habits
• Create a Time and a Place to Dream
• What “Don’t Worry really Means
• Learn to Build a Better Today by Building on Past Experiences
• Overcome Fear and Find Faith
• Let Go of the Past
• Value Forgiving yourself and others
And much, much more


 

pinocchio

Why is it that when you’re a child, you want to grow up, but when you’re an adult, you wish you were a kid again?

My Mom has a picture of me when I was about seven years old ironing some of my doll clothes on my play ironing board. I remember playing house when I was little.  I played that I was the Mom and my dolls were my children. I couldn’t wait until I was a “grown-up”.

Now, here I am, and often, I wish I could go back to those days when I was a young child. why is it that when we are growing up, we can’t wait to grow up and then as adults, we wish we were young again. Why can’t we just enjoy where we are right now?
Have you ever seen the movie Click? In that movie, the protagonist played by Adam Sandler clicked through his entire life and ended up with a life that he never really lived.
Too often, we all put ourselves on auto pilot like this.

Get Off Autopilot, Live in the Here and Now

The truth is, we can make “living today” a habit. Like all habits, this one takes time to make automatic, so we need to find ways to remind ourselves several times during the day to enjoy the moment. Here are several ways that we can do just that.
One of the most common ways to remind ourselves to do this or any habit is to put up post-it notes to remind ourselves to be present in the moment.
Another way we can do this is to program our phones to give us a reminder to be present.

Finally, we need to look at ways to shake things up. I am constantly looking at what I am doing and how I can improve the way I do it.
In addition to “changing to keep us motivated”, another more important reason to change exists. Change keeps us on our toes and when we’re on our toes, it stimulates our brain. Have you ever heard that if you don’t use it, you lose it? Well, that’s exactly what happens with our brains when we live on automatic or habitually, our minds become sluggish. Sluggish minds deteriorate.

Being aware of what we do is the first step to the kinds of change that excite us.
What changes can you make in your life that will help you live today? For insights in how you can live each day to the fullest, read my book Living Today, The Power of Now.

Living Today cover 2

Living Today, The Power of Now Get Your Copy Today!

Today, and only today, you have the power of now, and it is strongest when you know that you are on the right path.
• Be aware of and focus on the Now
• Obtain fire Starting Focus
• Change Bad Habits to Good Habits
• Create a Time and a Place to Dream
• What “Don’t Worry really Means
• Learn to Build a Better Today by Building on Past Experiences
• Overcome Fear and Find Faith
• Let Go of the Past
• Value Forgiving yourself and others
And much, much more


blue skies

I remember my first day of the first grade. I remember getting up early and being excited to go to school I remember how much I enjoyed learning to read and how much of a challenge learning to write was for me. I loved school. I enjoyed it most of my elementary years in school. I missed very few days of school because I loved it so much.

As I got older, though, I gradually grew to dislike school and it became harder for me to get up in the morning to go to school Now mind you, it wasn’t because I couldn’t get up in the morning. I remember when there were snow days and the announcer told us that the school doors would not open that day, I was up early to make the most of every day.

Sometimes we just get bored.

It has been true every day. When something was new and exciting, I will get up early and throw myself into my day. However, as time goes on, the excitement wains. Why is that? One reason this happens is that when we get familiar with something it becomes mundane and common and the excitement goes out of what had once been exciting.
What can you do about this? How do you keep the fire burning? Sometimes we can keep the fire burning by making a game of a certain aspect of a project. For instance, let’s say that you have a project where you must do numerous menial tasks that are boring. Instead of dreading the project or procrastinating starting the project, count how many of these tasks you can do during a specific length of time. Next, put this number on a graph and then the next day see if you can do more of those tasks in the same length of time. Keep doing this every day until you finish the project.

Other times we burnout.

Sometimes we get so driven by a project or what we had been passionate about that we take ourselves to the point of exhaustion. This happens because we don’t know how to pace ourselves. This sort of thing can happen when we are trying to make major changes and make them too quickly.

This burnout can also happen when what we are doing is not aligned with our true passions. Take a step back and look at what you are doing and decide what isn’t as it should be. If you are doing what you really want to do, perhaps you are just taking on too much. Determine exactly what needs to be done, and then decide what absolutely needs to be done by you.

I watched a documentary about the Beatles and when they decided that being “The Beatles” was no longer fun, they broke up and went their own separate directions. They all remained friends, but their careers took different paths. For a long time, they had been passionate about being “The Beatles” for years, but that had changed, and they had the courage to allow themselves to move on.

You might not need a complete break from the project, but you might just need time to get away. I know that by a certain time during the evening, I almost always reach a point where I am unable to write another word. I know that it is time for me to quit for the evening and leave the writing until the next day. I would then get up in the morning, refreshed and ready to start the day again.

Take the time to celebrate life

So how do we keep our motivation going? How do we maintain a momentum that doesn’t quit? I think the most important thing is that we see ourselves making progress in some way. Another way is that we find new and exciting aspects of our work that keeps us from getting too familiar or burned out from what we are doing. In addition, we need to vary our pace and take time to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Life is short and should be celebrated every time we awaken to a new day. We need to remind ourselves that life should be celebrated.


fireworks

Happy Labor Day!

This month, we will be celebrating what it is that gets us up in the morning. The obvious thing that gets us up in the morning is our work and the first Monday of September here in the United States we honor workers with a day off and call it Labor Day!

Although summer doesn’t officially arrive until around June 21, Memorial Day denotes the beginning of the summer season. Independence Day (July 4) is at the height of summer, and Labor Day denotes the end of summer festivities and the beginning of the autumn season.

Why did we celebrate Labor Day?

According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day is always the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement, and it is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Mother’s Day honors mothers. Father’s Day honors fathers. Memorial Day honors those who have passed, and Veteran’s Day is the day we honor veterans. However, Labor Day is the day, If you’ve had a job, to pat yourself on the back for contributing to the prosperity of our great country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced in New York, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, and we don’t know who first thought up the idea of the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Enjoy the day and THANK YOU to all the workers in America for your service to making your country great!

 

 


newsstandSince having written and self-published When God Turned His Head in 2010, I realized that the book was one of those self-published books that the big publishing companies warn you about. It was a good story, but poorly proofed, poorly formatted and poorly marketed.

Over the next few years I was able to take care of the proofing and formatting problems which enabled me to write eleven books in eight years. I even did most of my own cover designs. People complemented me on the quality of my paperbacks and the final product in digital format.

I can create a book from scratch without additional costs. (At least until recently when the cover design site that I had been using became a paid site.) If I can do it for myself, why not do editing and formatting for others as well?

I can write my own books and publish them, but after several years of writing books I realized that my bottleneck was now in marketing those books. The books weren’t selling, and it wasn’t because they weren’t any good. Rather it was because I just had not had enough publicity and I couldn’t afford to get it in the traditional manner.

During the past several months, I have been working on creating a marketing system to help me promote my books. I have been reading a lot of different books related to marketing and selling. This is not a subject that most authors, particularly fiction authors are adept.

Not long after I published When God Turned His Head, I knew I wanted to start my own publishing company. This company would do like most publishing companies do and publish the books and distribute them to (Independent) bookstores, but in addition, we would also go beyond what most publishing companies do and assist authors in the marketing process. I would include a public relations department in the publishing company.

The Birth of a Publishing Business

About a year ago, I named this future business Jerjoboch Publishing, and I have been thinking about services that Jerjoboch will offer authors. These services will be offered in such a way that all authors can afford to use these services. The business will offer a low monthly service where authors will have the ability to have access to several author services that the authors provide for one another.

The self-publishing projects will be divided into three different sections.

One: Writing and Editing

• Educational Courses offered for writing fiction and nonfiction books-authors themselves can produce these videos and written documents to share with others who would like to be authors.
• Editing services exchanged between authors so they don’t need out of pocket financing for this service.

Two: Publication• Formatting manuscript for print

  •  Formatting manuscript for digital formats
  •  Designing book covers for print and digital books
  • Print on Demand

Three: Marketing and Sales

• Platform formation (created before publication)
• Marketing During Launch-including bookstores, libraries, guest posts, reviews, interviews (online and in person) events (online and off)
• Marketing Post-launch-continue marketing types as during launch and trade shows.

Other Ideas for this type of Publishing Business

• Create a fund for authors just starting out.
• Teach authors about crowd-sharing, do campaigns where authors help one another out.
• Work as a team to get crowd funding for the collective group to use for tradeshows and other events.
• Sell stuff online and off that promotes our business to other authors and those who support authors.
• Have creative writing groups in schools and in child organizations around the country to help create more imaginative authors.
• Work with radio stations and podcasters to get authors onto programs.
• Have a list of low-cost resources available at a low cost per month and have a list of items that have some revolving cost every month.
• Create and promote our own online (and brick and mortar?) store to sell books in print and digitally.

So what do you think? What are some other ideas that authors and soon-to-be authors need to become more successful at earning an income writing?


For a long time, I have been thinking about starting my own publishing company. I have been thinking about it since I finished writing my first book and while I was in college. I want the business to be author-centric. In other words, I want it to be a company where authors are the owners rather than just a commodity of the publishing business.
Since 2010, I have been learning how to self-publish. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them, and I know I can help others avoid many of the mistakes that I made.

Over a year ago, I started writing a business plan. I decided that it would be best if the business was a corporation and I decided that it would be best if this corporation was an S corporation.
I also thought of a name for the business I decided to call it Jerjoboch Publications.
Then I got stuck. I got stuck because I was too busy writing books to find enough time to learn what I needed to learn about building a business.
I also needed money. You can’t establish a corporation without spending some money. However, I didn’t have the money to invest, nor did I feel that I had enough followers or connections with fellow authors to make this dream come true.
Because I needed to know more about marketing, since the end of NaNoWriMo last November, I have been researching that subject.

I have learned that one of the first things that I need to know is who my customers are. My customers are self-published authors who want to take charge of their own books and earn accordingly.

 

Starting last month, I have been reaching out to fellow self-published authors whose goal is to be in control of their own publishing fate. I am looking for authors who would like to form a corporation where we can work together to build an online self-published author nurturing center, a self-publishing author publishing company, an author PR firm and an author promotions company. In other words a corporation dedicated to helping authors control their own destiny.

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

Do you have the dream of self-publishing a book, but you don’t know where to start or what to do next? Contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do to help you. You can also check out the book I wrote about the writing process directed toward business owners who are considering self-publishing as well. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


How to Become Legendary by Being Different

by Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy

Niche Down

Some books in the business genre are how-to books and others are more inspirational. Although How-to is in the title, I would say that Niche Down is more inspirational than how-to. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t value the book.

The whole premise of the book is that in if you want to be seen in the business world today, specifically being known online, you must have a very specific niche that you own. As Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning said in the forward, it wasn’t good enough that he was a good generic motivational speaker, author and coach, he had to be known as “The Miracle Morning” guy. You must be known for a niche that you own. You must determine how you are different.

You must be original.
You must break new ground.
You must be unique.

The authors Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy bring their own stories into the book. They have experience with this concept.

Christopher is a podcaster and a writer. According to Lochhead, “I prefer to collaborate with amazing people.” Heather Clancy was a journalist who, Lochhead admits taught him the business. According to Lochhead, he wrote this book because data showed that we are at the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in America history. He wanted to change that.

Clancy started her career in New York and specialized in writing about businesses like IBM and Bill Gates. She spent 20 years following the information-technology revolution. She took freelance assignments that focused on entrepreneurs because as she states, “they are fascinating, independent and creative.” When print media collapsed in 2007, she niched down and follow companies that had ecological ties.

The thesis of the book is if you want to become legendary in business, you had to declare and define a niche. The book explores individuals, and entrepreneurships that create their own niche and to become legendary in that niche. It revolves around identifying a problem that people have, create a solution, and capitalize on that solution.
The book isn’t just about theory, but demonstrates how numerous other individuals found problems, created solutions, and capitalized on that solution.

Although the book says that it is a “how to” in the title, if you’re looking for a how-to book, you’re apt to be disappointed. However, if you want inspiration for developing your own niched down entrepreneurial business, then this is definitely a must-read book.

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