Monthly Archives: July 2014

How to make the right first impression

Researchers have found that people will judge you within the first second of meeting you and their opinion will most likely never change. Making a good first impression is incredibly important, because you only get one shot at it.

Any time you meet someone for the first time, you always want to start on the right foot. Here are a few ways you can make sure people’s first impression of you is a good one:

1. Be Intentional

Steve JobsThe most important thing to do for giving a good impression is to set your intentions. This is especially important before any kind of big event where you would be meeting a lot of people — i.e. conferences, networking events or friend’s parties. As you get ready or when you are driving over think about what kind of people you want to meet and what kind of interactions you want to have. This can be an incredibly grounding experience and works very well to focus on what kind of energy you want to have for your event.

2. Be Intentional About Your Dress

Clothes, make-up, jewelry, watches and shoes are all types of Steve Harvey ornamentation and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments. I highly recommend getting some of your favorite outfits or ornaments together and asking friends you trust what they think of when they see them. For many men, they do not realize that their watch can say a lot about them. For women, purses and large earrings or jewelry can also indicate a lot to a new person they are meeting. Make sure that what you are wearing and how you do your hair or make-up says what you want it to say to the people you are meeting for the first time.

3. Be Conscious of Your Body Language

portrait of a group of people standing togetherBody language is a crucial part of first impressions. Everything from your posture to how you carry yourself to the way you’re angling your body. Often, simply being aware of your body language can result in immediate improvements. Another way to examine your body language is to look at yourself on a video walking around a room. Subconscious cues to keep in mind include noticing where you point your feet, the position of your shoulders, and the way you shake hands.

4. Be Aware of Your Moods

If you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on thisStoryteller from your facial expressions, comments and body language. If you’re having a bad day, stay home! Otherwise, find a way to snap yourself out of your bad mood. I find working out or watching funny YouTube videos before events often gets me in a more social, feel good mood.

5. Be Interested and Interesting

The Most Intresting Man In The WorldIf you are truly interested in meeting people and are open to learning about who they are, they will get this in a first impression. We have all had the experience of meeting someone and knowing instantly that they were dragged here by a friend and are just waiting to get out the door and head home. When you are meeting people for the first time approach others with a genuine interest in who they are. This is often contagious and you will have better conversations and lasting connections when you are interested because they become interested.

The Bottom Line: First Impressions Really Do Matter

Princeton University researchers had people look at a microsecond of video of a political candidate. Amazingly, research subjects could predict with 70-percent accuracy who would win the election just from that microsecond of tape. This tells us that people can make incredibly accurate snap judgments in a tenth of a second and that first impressions really do matter. Being aware of the importance of first impressions can greatly improve your chances of making great ones.


Don’t You Worry About A Thing

Worry and fear are closely related in fact I would suggest that they are the same. We worry because we have a fear of something happening to someone or something that we care about or love.

  • I worry about the wellbeing of my son, my daughter-in law and grandchildren
  • I worry about the health of my mother
  • I worry about the anemic hitting of my baseball team the Atlanta Braves

Worry because of the fear it generates can adversely affect us in so many ways:

  • The fear caused by worry can paralyze us: Creating conditions that make it impossible to make even routine choices.
  • The fear caused by worry can defeat us:Allowing us to give up on not only our dreams but on the people who count on us for encouragement and support.
  • The fear caused by worry can embitter us:Souring us on life and all the goodness it can bring.

God Wants to Liberate Us from Worry and Fear

Esther had every reason to worry and to fear. The Persian King Xerxes chose the beautiful Esther after the previous queen was deposed because of her disobedience. In Esther’s rise to power she had hidden an explosive secrete that could lead to her death. She was a Jew.

God’s Liberation of Esther

Haman was the second in command to the King Xerxes in his position it was expected that all in the Persian Empire would bow to show respect. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, refused to bow to Haman this so enraged Haman that he issued an order sentencing all Jews to death.

Mordecai came to Queen Esther with a dangerous but vital mission: She had to save the Jews from death. Out of worry and fear Esther wanted to deny the facts about Haman’s edict. Her fear was focused on the fact that she would be killed if she approached the King without first being summoned. On that basis she denied Mordecai’s urgent request for help.

Mordecai responded to Esther’s fears with a statement that can serve to motivate all of us in times of fear and worry. ”Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 (The Message)

For Such A Time As This

In our lives we all face moments like Esther that were made:

A father,

A mother,

A son,

A friend

Or even a baseball fan

For such a time as this.”

And what is “such a time as this”

Such a time as this is:

When as a parent we are faced with a crisis with a child

Such a time as this is:

When as a son we are faced with the aging of a parent

Such a time as this is:

When as a friend we are faced with the death of someone close to us

In such a time as this: We can take comfort that our faith in God will make it possible for us not to worry about a thing.

Three Ways to Not Worry About A Thing

Faced “with a time such as this” Esther turned to God with three faith based actions giving her confidence “to not worry about a thing” as she takes on the seemly impossible dilemma of saving the Jews.   When we are faced “with a time as this” worry, fear, and despair can paralyze us however, if we follow Esther’s faith based actions we can also “not worry about a thing” when we encounter the dilemma’s our lives.

1. Acknowledging that Nothing Happens Without God

At the moment Esther decided to accept the responsibility of saving the Jews, she realized that without God it would not be possible. She sent word to Mordecai to initiate a series of actions to acknowledge, praise, and encourage God to help rescue the Jews.

2. Acknowledging the Power of Intercession

Esther knew that only the king could save the Jews, as Queen her charm and influence were critical in making this happen. However, Esther’s charm offensive depended on access to the king, and there lies the problem. The king only saw people who he summoned to see him. Anyone approaching the King’s court without being invited was doomed to die. While Esther clearly knew she needed God’s help she also knew she needed others to intercede with God in prayer not only for her safety, but also for the safety of all the Jews.

Intercession is when you bring somebody before Jesus not for your own needs but out of concern for that person. When you pray for somebody else’s needs, that’s intercession.

Look at Esther’s request for intersession: “Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.” Mordecai left and carried out Esther’s instructions. (Esther 4:15-17 The Message)

3. Acknowledging God In Victory

With skill, cunning, and smarts Esther got the king to reverse the decree requiring the killing of all the Jews. Haman the official closest to the king and the person who persuaded the king to approve the decree was executed by order of the king. He was replaced as chief confident to the king by Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and the man who refusal to bow Haman, which was the chief cause for the order sentencing all Jews to death.

Despite these positive developments, trouble still loomed; those who hated the Jews did not obey the reversal of the decree. On the day the disregarded order was to take effect the Jews were attacked. The attackers were overpowered by the previously unlikely combination of Jews and the king’s army, which that only a few months before was plotting to kill them.

Only God could make this turn of events possible. Mordecai, now in charge of the day-to-day running of Persian, realized this and persuaded King Xerxes to acknowledge God with fasting, thanksgiving and prayer in a tradition called Purim.

Therefore, because of everything written in this letter and because of all that they had been through, the Jews agreed to continue. It became a tradition for them, their children, and all future converts to remember these two days every year on the specified dates set down in the letter. These days are to be remembered and kept by every single generation, every last family, every province and city. These days of Purim must never be neglected among the Jews; the memory of them must never die out among their descendants.(Esther 10:28-29 The Message)

What are you doing: To not worry about a thing?

1. What are you doing to acknowledge God in everything you do?

2. Are you regularly engaging in intercessory prayer?

3. Do you have a consistent habit of thanking and praising God for His achievements?

The Bottom Line: Live life without worry

God wants us to live extraordinary lives in service to Him and His people. We cannot live out the great purposes He has for us if we are crippled by worry, fear and doubt. Esther has given us the blueprint for taking on the great issues of our lives when we:

  • Acknowledge God
  • Pray for Others
  • Thank God for His Blessings

With God we can accomplish great things because with God we “Don’t have to worry about a thing”

Your Summer Busines Reading List

Summer is here!!!!

And while you may not be able to spend your days sitting on the beach, it’s still a great time to learn something new to improve your personal and business marketing, along with helping you do more business.

Ryan Pinkham is a senior writer for our blog sponsor Constant Contact, his mission is to help small businesses and people like you to recognize their full-potential through marketing and social media He has compiled a very compelling list of books and resources that I know can take your marketing efforts to the next level.   I hope you will enjoy this reposting of Ryan’s list of marketing books and resources for your summertime reading.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World — By Gary Vaynerchuk

Jab,Jab,Jab Right HookGary Vaynerchuk is well-known for using his experience as an entrepreneur to inspire and educate others to help them reach their goals.

In his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary provides a hands-on look at some of today’s top social networks, focusing on how you can successfully tell your brand’s story in the context of each platform.

In addition to sharing valuable insights based on his experience, the book also includes a ton of easy-to-follow case studies so that you can learn from the success of other brands — both large and small.

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less — By Joe Pulizzi

Epic Content MarketingBy now, most small businesses are familiar with the term, “content marketing.”

You’ve probably even received the advice that the best way to engage your fans on Facebook or to get people to open and read your emails is to simply create great content.

But as you’ve probably found, creating the right content isn’t always as easy as it looks.

In Joe Pulizzi’s latest book, Epic Content Marketing, he presents a new way of thinking about content marketing that starts with telling a different story through the content you create. Full of actionable advice and helpful examples, Epic Content Marketing has plenty to offer marketers of all levels.

Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered — By Austin Kleon

Show Your WorkYou know you need to get yourself out there, but you don’t want promoting your work to take away from what you do.

Sound familiar? This is a dilemma Austin Kleon tackles in his latest book, Show Your Work.

In the book, Austin outlines 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered, and introduces a new philosophy of marketing that can be summed up in three simple words: show your work.

Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works — By Melinda Emerson

If you haven’t started your business already, but want this summer Become Your Own Bossto be your jumping-off point, Melinda Emerson’s book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months can help.

Melinda is the founder of The Quintessence Group and consults Fortune 500 companies and small businesses on social media strategy and content development.

Her book provides a month-to-month roadmap to help get your business off the ground.

Blogging the Smart Way: How to create and market a killer blog with social media — By Jeff Bullas

If starting or growing a blog for your business is on your to-do list this year, Jeff Bullas’s Blogging the Smart Way can help. In his book, Bullas shares his experience, as someone who has built a blog that now receives more than 4 million visits per year, and offers practical advice for taking your blog to the next level by leveraging the power of social media to get more readers.

If you want some insight into the type of marketing expertise Jeff Bullas is known for, make sure to check out his blog to learn more.

The New Relationship Marketing: How To Build A Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using The Social Web — By Mari Smith

The New Relationship MarketingFor small businesses, relationships are one of the biggest advantages you have over your largest competitors. By focusing on building strong relationships, you’ll keep customers coming back, and have more opportunities to reach new customers through the power of word-of-mouth.

In Mari Smith’s book, The New Relationship Marketing, she provides a new perspective on the value of relationships for your business, and provides guidance for how to use the social web to build a large, loyal, and profitable network.

She also provides a valuable introduction to “online etiquette,” so that you can avoid potential pitfalls of marketing your business online.

Read more from Mari Smith on her blog.

The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan: A Pro Shares a Step-by-Step Guide to Creating A Plan that Gets Results — By Hal Shelton

For nearly a decade, Hal Shelton has dedicated his life to helping small businesses succeed.

As a SCORE small business mentor, he has worked with more than 1,000 small business owners and has learned firsthand the importance of having an effective business plan.

In his new book, The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan, Hal shares many of the lessons he’s learned from working with these business owners, and offers an easy-to-follow guide to writing your first business plan.

Hal is also a regular contributor on the Constant Contact Blog. You can read all of his latest posts, here.

Facebook Marketing For Dummies — By John Haydon

Whether you’re someone who’s just getting started on Facebook, or you’re looking to learn more about the tools Facebook has to offer — John Haydon’s Facebook Marketing for Dummies can help.

With his best-selling book, John Haydon has created a manual for small businesses to use to set themselves up on Facebook, start building an audience, and start turning social engagements into real results for your business.

In addition to Facebook Marketing for Dummies, John has a ton of valuable Facebook resources on his website that you can take advantage of.

What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us — By Guy Kawasaki

If there’s one social network that has left many business owners scratching their head in the last few years, it’s Google+. Despite its rapid growth in size and engagement, there still seem to be some questions about how this platform works, and whether or not it’s worth investing your time in it.

In his book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us, Guy Kawasaki provides an insightful introduction to Google+, and shares his thoughts on why he believes this is one of the most exciting platforms out there. If you’ve been on the fence about Google+, give this book a shot.

Additional resources for building your summer reading list

As you can see, we’re always excited to find great resources to help small businesses and hopeful entrepreneurs succeed!

In addition to our recommendations for summer books, we thought we’d share some of our other favorite resources for small business advice:

  • THE Small Business Expert Blog: Small business expert, Susan Solovic, is a constant source of helpful resources to help market, run, and grow your business.
  • Kim Garst’s award-winning blog offers helpful advice for all of the top social media networks.
  • Get the advice you need to build a successful social media marketing strategy, and much more.
  • From visual marketing to blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest — Peg Fitzpatrick keeps you updated on the latest online marketing trends and provides easy-to-follow advice to help you try something new.
  • Top Dog Social Media: Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media, has been recognized as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert. In addition to great tips for using LinkedIn, Top Dog Social Media offers helpful advice for building a successful social media plan.
  • J Campbell Social Marketing: Julia Campbell uses her experience as a digital marketing strategist to help nonprofits succeed with today’s online marketing tools.
  • Small Business Bonfire: When you need actionable advice to help spark change in your business, make sure to check out Small Business Bonfire.
  • OhSoPinteresting: Read expert advice, or listen to Cynthia Sanchez’s Pinterest podcast, Oh So Pinteresting, to learn more about how to use Pinterest to effectively market your business.
  • Duct Tape Marketing: From blog posts to eBooks to podcasts, and plenty of other marketing resources, Duct Tape Marketing has a wealth of helpful content to support you in building a remarkable brand.

And of course, if you want more helpful resources — including our latest blog posts, eBooks, checklists, videos, and webinars — delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to subscribe to Constant Contact’s Hints & Tips newsletter.

What are you reading this summer? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below!


Sins, Mistakes, Misunderstandings, and Forgiveness

As a Christian, I am acutely aware that I am still a sinner and remain a sinner. However, I stand on the words of Psalm 25:8: “Good and upright is the Lord: therefore, will he teach sinners in the way.”Also as a Christian, I am acutely, aware that I am not perfect. However, as the Psalmist tell us in Psalm 27:3-5, we can seek to bask in the Lord’s perfection: ‘The one thing I want from God, the thing I seek most of all, is the privilege of meditating in His Temple, living in His presence every day of my life, delighting in His incomparable perfections and glory.’

As sinful, imperfect humans who also happen to be Christians, often the mistakes we make are misunderstood to be sins because of the higher status we seek in our service to God. Our mistakes or “sins” will provoke reactions of undo proportion, often by longtime allies, jeopardizing years of goodwill, friendship, and fellowship, ultimately limiting the goodness we both can do in service to the Lord.

This is the trap that the devil has set for us. He knows that as sinful, imperfect humans, who also are Christians, we will make mistakes in our everyday dealings with each other. He knows that these mistakes often made with the best intentions will be viewed as “sins”, and that the misunderstandings that will accrue, are enough to get God’s people off the Lord’s mission and on to the devil’s game of misunderstandings, confusion, and misery.

Yet, as Christians, we have a powerful weapon that can bring clarity to the misunderstanding, peace to the confusion, and healing to the misery. That weapon is forgiveness.

Yes, we all know that Jesus will make all things right when he returns. Revelation 22:1-2 (The Message) gives us this healing vision of the future: “Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed.”

In the meantime before the leaves of healing arrive, we still need to heal the brokenness of our relationships caused by our mistakes, our misunderstandings, and our sin. We need to do it right now!! Jesus taught, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.”

My heart is heavy as I write this post because of a broken relationship that I value greatly. A relationship that has spanned over three decades in good and bad times is in jeopardy because a mistake that I made has been misunderstood and judged to be a sin.

Here and now I express my heartfelt sorrow for my mistake. I have reached out to the parties privately, and now I do it publicly, asking forgiveness for hurt, harm, and sorrow my actions surely have caused.

I have asked the Lord whom I serve for forgiveness and wisdom to go about being of service to you and others in a different way. So that my attempts at kindness, charity, and love will not be misunderstood, I am reaching out to you in this blog. It is my hope that it will not be interpreted differently than I intended. Misinterpretation has been the chief cause of this dustup that has caused my heart and soul to weep bitterly.

My personal mission statement posted for the world to see on my webpage calls for me to live an extraordinary life as a servant leader, humbly using my God given talents to enhance the lives of others.

None of us can achieve the missions that God has set for us as long as we stay stuck in the trap of sin, mistakes, and misunderstanding that the Devil has set for everyone, but especially set for Christians.

While this event will call for a reset of our relationship, it also gives us the opportunity to seek God’s grace, help, and healing to move forward.

I offer you my forgiveness, and I humbly ask for yours. For I know with forgiveness, God has made us to be bigger than sin, mistakes, and misunderstandings. In the final analysis, it is not what I have done or will do, but it is what He did for each one of us when He gave His life as a ransom for your sins, my sin, and the sins of the whole world.    Since Jesus has paid that price for us the least we can do is to forgive our mistakes and misunderstandings before we label them as unforgivable sins.

A Slave for Jesus Christ

I am humbly