Thursday, February 05, 2009
You can't turn on the news, tune in the radio, or even go to your local coffee shop without hearing about how tough things are. It's all the buzz and can be rather overwhelming and consuming. I understand the feelings created by the messages we are hearing and I'm heartsick by the fear and hurt those messages are creating. They are holding many back, stopping people from truly living, blocking the flow of fun, and draining our energy.
Call me an idealist or tell me that I have my head in the sand, that is fine, but I refuse to believe that there isn't goodness out there, fun to be had, opportunities to be explored, hearts to connect with, awesome people to meet, and potentials to consider. I'm not going to believe that we are self destructing and all is lost. Instead I would like to ask you to join me in creating a positive change and help to turn things around at the personal level.
I want to support you and I want to support others in amping up the energy, building more confidence, and creating more positives! In order to do just that I've created a free e-course called Getting Your Groove On: 10 Kick Ass Ways to Supercharge Your Life.
Why is it free? What's the catch?
It's free because I want to give back. I want give back to my community, to the people that I care about and to those they care about, heck to the world at large. I want people to feel empowered, to find their voices again without fear of obligation other than the obligation that they make to themselves to keep moving forward and to being the very best they can be.
My friends, we all have so many amazing positive qualities, skills, and attributes and it is time to bring them forward. It is time to stop the fear, to stop the negativity, and to create a more positive and loving world...that starts with each of us individually. So please, I'm asking you to accept this e-course as my gift to you in support of doing just that. The only thing I ask is that you share this gift with others so that we may continue to stay strong and be the amazing, loving people we were meant to be and are. Won't you help? You have the power to make a difference.
Much Love and Peace to you...
P.S. I wish to thank, from the bottom of my heart, Jon Nix for helping to put a face to this e-course. Without his creative design genius this would not have been possible. Thank you, Jon!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When you have a few moments, please take some time to watch these very different yet very inspirational videos. I promise you, you will be glad you did.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
It pleases me to no-end to announce the launch of a great new blog, The VA Voice. You know me, I am certainly in support of finding ways to make life better and easier (as well as providing you with some great resources) and that is what my dear friend Michelle offers, not only with her virtual assistance (VA) practice, but now with her blog. Whether you are looking for sound and practical ideas on marketing, interesting insights on techie tools, ways to improve your business, or just a great blog to connect with some talented folks do pop on over to The VA Voice.
Congratulations, MJ on a job well done and continuing to make a HUGE difference!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
For those of you who have been following Make the Most of U for any period of time you’ve probably come to know that I am a big proponent of random acts of kindness and the role they play in lifting a mood, changing someone’s day, and impacting the world at large. Well, I gotta tell ya, never have I met a person who believes in random acts of kindness more than Matthew Costello. Matthew has devoted his time and his energy to helping others create better days and to making a difference in this world by demonstrating one small act of kindness. With that, it is an absolute honor to introduce you to the man responsible for One Kind Act and The Winning Attitude.
Pam: Matthew, please share a bit about the man behind One Kind Act and The Winning Attitude.
Matthew: I am a simple, down to earth person, who wants to help change the world.
Pam: How did One Kind Act come to be?
Matthew: I was watching Dr. Wayne Dyer’s PBS Special, “The Power of Intention” Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way and he said something that jumped out at me. He was speaking about kindness and quoted a study that he read. I don’t re-call who did the study, however, scientists have found that performing one small act of kindness towards another actually raises the serotonin levels in both the person performing the kind act and the receiver of this act of kindness. Since psychology has always been a “hobby” of mine I starting thinking just how powerful this concept could be. Because I’ve been in the Internet business for over 13 years now, my brain automatically attaches a .com to every idea. I wrote some notes, watched the rest of the show, (one of many times, I might add) and later that day I registered the domain, www.onekindact.com. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I wanted to get the domain, as I knew something good would come from this. After speaking to a few people about the concept, I put the site together and started to talk about it. What helped with the start was my other site, The Winning Attitude.com, which was about a year old when I started One Kind Act.com and from contacts through The Winning Attitude, as well as, friends it started to slowly catch on.
To be quite honest, this concept is not unique, there are plenty of great websites devoted to kindness. I just saw this as another avenue to spread the message.
Pam: If you could have three wishes come to fruition for One Kind Act what would those three wishes be?
Matthew: My first wish would be that a company such as Hay House Publishing, which was founded by Louise Hay and publishes a wide range of books in the Self Improvement and Spiritual categories, would get behind the site as a sponsor. That would truly propel this concept by leaps and bounds.
My second wish would be to get the assistance needed to help grow the site and the movement. As of now, it’s really just me working behind the scenes, but in order for this to grow we need a team of people dedicated to One Kind Act.com. Everyone from designers for the site, marketing, authors, etc.
My third and most important wish is that more and more people incorporate this concept into their daily lives. Just think of living in a world where everyone looks out for each other, does the small kind acts, such as, saying hello, holding the door for someone, the list goes on and on. What’s great about this concept is that it is so simple and requires such little effort, but when that effort is put to use it has the power to change the world.
Pam: What would you tell naysayers who doubt the power of participating in a kind act and the impact that it has on others and even the world?
Matthew: Simple, you have to do it and truly believe that one small act of kindness has a ripple effect far beyond what we can see.
Pam: What is your most favorite kind act?
Matthew: I don’t really have a favorite, as any act of kindness is great!
Pam: What's on the horizon for One Kind Act.com?
Matthew: With the help of others we can make one kind act a part of everyday life! It will happen, I have no doubts, but when, I can’t say for sure. As Dr. Dyer would say, “detach yourself from the outcome and everything will arrive on time.” I think I’ll follow his advice.
Pam: Matthew, thank you so much for your commitment and drive to make this world a better place one kind act at a time. Folks, if you would like to join the One Kind Act.com team and help further this wonderful movement, please contact Matthew.
We can all make a HUGE difference one kind act at a time.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
A few months ago I was contacted by a very sweet woman who has committed her time to making a difference; a difference that you can wear. When you have a chance, hop on over to Tees For Change.
Pam: Please tell us a bit about the woman behind Tees For Change. What makes Andreea tick?
Andreea: After living in NYC for the last 20 years, my husband and I moved to Boulder, CO so we could slow down and breathe. I’ve always considered myself an entrepreneur, so starting Tees For Change was inevitable.
Tees For Change was an idea that came to me unexpectedly. When I was pregnant with my son earlier this year I encountered a lot of negative reactions from friends and family who didn’t understand why my husband and I wanted to have a home birth. I felt like I was constantly having to defend myself and I was mentally exhausted each time I would have a conversation about giving birth at home. I took a few prenatal yoga classes and I felt different when I practiced yoga. I felt empowered and positive. Then I imagined the words “be courageous” on a t-shirt. Just thinking about those two words made me feel strong. I came home from yoga class that day and I told my husband “I am going to do this. And he said “Go for it.”
What makes me tick? My wonderful family, good conversation, uplifting people, home cooked food, taking walks in the brisk Colorado air, seeing people thrive and become who they are, visiting new places, mindful living, reading magazines, doing yoga, curling up on the couch with my husband and son, seeing inspiration in unexpected places, Sunday mornings…
Pam: How has Tees For Change made a difference for you?
Andreea: Tees For Change has changed my life. It’s allowed me to express my creative side and to do what I love. It lets me combine my love for eco-friendly products with my experience in marketing and my passion for positive thinking. It’s a constant source of inspiration and empowerment for me. Because I am so closely involved with the daily operations of the company, I often get to personally talk to my customers and learn from them.
It constantly reminds me that we ultimately all want the same thing: to be happy. That’s why ‘choose happiness’ has been our best selling tee since the beginning. People crave happiness and I’m happy to provide a product that reminds them that happiness is a choice we all make (even though it might not always be the easiest or most obvious choice).
Pam: Since launching Tees For Change, what has been one of your most inspiring moments?
Andreea: One of my most inspiring moments was sharing our tees with participants at the Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park, CO in September 2007 (we had a booth there and sold our tees). It was the first time we had face to face interaction with our customers and it was amazing to see how excited they were about the tees. Someone would walk by and take a look at the shirts and I could see the moment when the tees were speaking to him/her. I felt like they could relate to a phrase on the tees. Whether it was someone who was shy looking at the “be courageous” tee, or someone afraid of something looking at the “be fearless” tees, I know they felt touched and affected just by glancing at the shirts.
The conference lasted a whole week and it was very inspiring to see people the second day wearing my tees and the third day there were even more people wearing them. The last day one woman brought a few friends over and she said to them “these are the shirts that I was telling you about!” They spent half an hour at our booth trying on tees and buying them for themselves and their families.
Another inspiring moment was when I first saw someone on the street wearing my tees. She was riding her bike and was wearing the “be courageous” shirt and I was in absolute shock! I didn’t know how to react. I wanted to run over to her and introduce myself and thank her for buying the shirt. But I just stood there and watched with a big smile on my face. I will never forget that moment. It felt so fulfilling, rewarding and inspiring at the same time.
Pam: What is the impact you are hoping to have on your consumers?
Andreea: I am hoping that my tees will impact the person wearing them and also the many people he/she comes in contact with. Words are so powerful, as are thoughts, and a slight shift in your thoughts can make a difference in your day.
Our tees really make you think. What does “live mindfully’ or “today matters” mean to you? It’s probably different than what it means to your friend, sister or co-worker. My goal is to get people to at least stop for a moment and think “hmmm…” I want people to have conversations (with each other or even within themselves) about what the words on our tees mean to them.
Pam: The messages on your t-shirts are so uplifting; what would you tell someone who is not wholly convinced that positive thinking really makes a difference?
Andreea: I say that they should at least try to think positively and see what happens. It can’t hurt to try, right? When you’re in a bad mood, just take a moment to smile. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, just try it. A big wide smile across your whole face! You will see how it will change your mood instantly. It’s my belief that thinking positively only attracts more positive things, people and situations to your life. I say “just try it and see what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose.”
Pam:What's on the horizon for Tees For Change
Andreea:We just added men’s, plus size and long sleeve tees this week and I’m in the planning stages for the baby and toddler tees. They will be available in late winter/early spring 2008. One of our manufacturers also just announced that they are going ‘carbon neutral’, so I’m in the process of switching all our production over to them.
I’m also gearing up for the Sundance Film Festival – Tees For Change has been invited to insert our tees in the celebrity gift bags, so I’m super excited. We can’t pass up an opportunity like this. And I’m doing a lot more press outreach and trying to partner with like-minded organizations. I love to donate our tees to worthy causes, so I’m always on the lookout for the next event.
And hopefully one day in the horizon there will be a Tees For Change boutique/physical store. It will have our complete tee line, as well as inspirational/motivational products from other designers.
Pam: Andreea, thank you so much for sharing with us and for making such a difference with your creative endeavor. All the very best to you!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
As a coach I have many wonderful opportunities to meet some incredible people. A few years ago I was fortunate to meet (at a conference) a dynamic woman; Michelle Jamison. Today it is my privilege to be able to call her a great friend and wonderful colleague. Knowing Michelle, I can honestly say that she is a woman with heart, drive, and commitment to her work, friends, and family so it is truly an honor to be able to share her interview with you.
Pam: Michelle, please share with us a bit about you; the woman behind the successful virtual assistance(VA) practice , marketing book for VAs, amongst many other wonderful accomplishments.
Michelle: She's a wife and mother. A late night, curl up on the couch with a good movie and extra butter popcorn kind of girl. A lover of gadgets and gizmos and the person who will always hit the button that says "do not touch"...just to see what it does! She just can't help herself.
She's a writer, teacher, coach and advocate for the fantastic profession of Virtual Assistance. Her greatest assets are the wonderful, amazing clients she has the privilege of working with.
She is currently living the life she has always dreamed of and wants to support others in doing the same.
Pam: As a successful VA and business owner, how has virtual assisting made a difference in your life?
Michelle: Wow, great question! I've found early on that being a VA wasn't something I did, but it's who I am. It is and will always be what makes me, me! Beside the obvious perks of the profession, working from home, flexible hours, virtual assisting has made a much more profound difference in my life.
As a VA and business owner, I've had tremendous growth personally and professionally. I can't even begin to tell you the growth that I have experienced since I started my business.
I trust more, I listen more, and I know its okay to ask questions, something I struggled with throughout my life. I understand what it means to be a leader and how to provide unconditional support to others.
I've made some wonderful connections and friends, individuals I probably would not have had the opportunity to meet, if I wasn't a VA.
Pam: How has it made a difference in others' lives?
Michelle: The first thing that comes immediately to my mind is that my clients know they are not alone. They have a partner they can bounce ideas with, share their goals with and someone who has a sincere and genuine interest in their business.
When we are talking about virtual assistance we are not just talking about administrative duties, we're talking about a connection, a partnership between two people. Being a VA for me is all about relationship building.
My clients know that I have their best interest at heart, and they can share any thoughts, ideas, challenges with me and I will do all I can to support them in making those ideas reality and overcoming those challenges.
It may be as simple as creating and finalizing that ebook or something more difficult as coming up with a solid marketing strategy to increase business. I may be making a small difference or a large difference, but in some capacity I feel I'm making a difference. This is why I love what I do.
Pam: As the article written about you in York Region mentions, you were a single mom trying to make ends meet when you became a VA; what advice would you give others who are in the same or similar position as you once were?
Michelle: Those times for me were very difficult and the one thing I learned from that whole experience is we can all achieve greatness, that is our own individual meaning of greatness.
Greatness for me is not about being in a better place financially but about doing what I love, for people who I admire and believing in who I am.
Believing in who I am and what I do has been key to my success.
I know it's easier to say than do at times, I'm first to admit this, but it was what supported me through those tough times and gave me the strength to build my business. I believed and still do believe wholeheartedly in the value that I bring my clients.
Pam: What's on the horizon for you and for MJVA & Associates?
Michelle: MJVA & Associates is looking at an exciting 2008. We have some big marketing initiatives and are expanding our services and providing further value to our clients.
Ultimately our goals are still as they always were, educating the public on the benefits of hiring a VA, building solid working relationships with clients, and providing them with the tools, resources and support they need to grow a successful business.
As for me personally, I'll be doing a little more writing, a little more teaching and planning to take a little more time for me. :)
Pam: Michelle, thank you for your time and for sharing with us.
Saturday, October 06, 2007Phil Gerbyshak also known as the Make It Great Guy. Phil is dedicated to making each and every day great through his actions and words and if you have not had chance to check out his blog, please pop on over.
Pam: Phil, please tell us a bit about Phil Gerbyshak. Who is the guy behind the great blog and book?
Phil: Sure, start with the hardest question first :)
He lives with his wife, his library, and his laptop in a Milwaukee suburb and loves to work with people who want to improve their lives. Phil does public speaking and writes inspirational and customer service articles at Make it Great. He enjoys helping managers be more effective and is the co-editor of Slacker Manager
I am as a child of God, saved by grace, on this planet to change the world, one word, one person, at a time.
Pam: What inspired you to create "Make It Great"?
Phil: I read a few books every year, usually 30 or so. And few have actionable stuff that really hit me in the heart and offer me the tips I need to change my actions. And many people in this world are apathetic at best. That's why they say "have a nice day." So I thought, why not flip things on it's ear, put together the best tips that have helped me, and share them with folks. That's why it's "Make It Great!" instead of "Have a nice day" or "Life is fine."
Pam: What are some ways you personally "make it great" each day?
Phil: I write every day, and most days you can find that writing at my blog. That helps me focus on what's going on in my world and how I'm seeing things. When I look back at what I wrote at the end of the week, I'm often surprised to see where I was when I wrote those.
I also have a big attitude of gratitude. My life is truly blessed, and I focus on those things that are abundant instead of those things that are scarce, and I say thanks for them.
The last tip I'll share is I always watch what I put in my head. I don't listen to much talk radio, watch much TV, or read traditional newspapers. I fill my head with good stuff, because it's not what goes in your mouth that's going to kill you, it's what you put in your head that will.
Pam: Here is a hypothetical situation and a question for you, Phil. Someone comes up to you after a speaking engagement and says, "Phil, my life is not so great. I've had it pretty tough the last 5 years and I have no idea how to make it great. Where do I start and what can I do?" What three pearls of wisdom would you give them to make it great?
Phil: That's a great question Pam. Here are 3 quick tips that you can do to change your mind and make it great!
First, take 1 notebook and write down all the things that you're grateful for. These could be relationships, these could be things, they could be your health, or simply the fact you're alive today. After you're done with the list, say thanks for them. For instance, you might say "I'm thankful to be alive." Every time you feel yourself slipping into despair, look at this list, and repeat the list.
Next, begin at the end and work towards today. Think about your desired outcome. Then take 1 step right now that can move you towards that goal, or 1 step you can do to stop moving you away from this outcome. Every day, review this desired outcome, and take another step.
The last tip I'll share is surround yourself with people who can help you. Identify 3 people in your life that can help you with this outcome. Share what's going on with you, and ask them for help in making it great by sharing resources or simply by periodically asking you how you're doing. Do what you commit to these folks in a cheerful way and ask for help when you need it.
Pam: What's on the horizon for the Make It Great Guy?
Phil: I'm working on a book called The Million Dollar Pizza about the high cost of bad customer service. I'm currently using it as my keynote speech in my presentations, and I'll be launching a blog to support it as well at The Million Dollar Pizza
I'm also putting up a new site with audio, video and more at http://philgerbyshak.com by the end of 2007.
New in the last few months are my contributions at Slacker Manager
Pam: Phil, thank you for sharing a “Make it Great” moment with the readers of Make the Most of U and thank you for making a difference.