Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to Stay Positive in Challenging Times

by Pragito

Are you having trouble staying in a positive state of mind when challenging circumstances present themselves?  The Universal Laws state: so without, so within. Everything is a mirror. We cannot change the reflection, but we can change the original(ourselves),and then, automatically, the reflection changes.

Here are my top 5 Keys that can help you cultivate not only a positive mindset but also the feeling state necessary for the positive Law of Attraction. The more you focus on bringing awareness to accepting and loving yourself, the more your inner beauty and harmony is reflected in your outer circumstances.


Relax and accept the challenging situation. Don’t fight it because that will make it worse. The more relaxed you are, the more productive you are. Creativity arises out of a relaxed state. And it’s creativity that you need to come up with solutions to the situation you are in.  Notice that I use the word “situation” and not the word “problem”. There is no such thing as a problem, only a situation. When you shift your perspective and see the situation as it is,without negative commentary, then you come up with creative solutions, and/or you find the right person to help you.


Make a practice of watching the thoughts of the mind with non-judgment and compassion for yourself. It is not the thoughts that are the problem, it is our identification with them, that creates stress and anxiety.

For 5 minutes a day sit with eyes closed, body relaxed, and observe the thoughts of the mind. You don’t have to censor them, or force them to be other than they are, simply observe with non-judgment, and let them pass by.

Over time, you become less identified with the thoughts, and more connected to your creativity, wisdom and clarity.


A powerful way to undermine the influence of negative thoughts on your well being is to create a practice of saying positive thoughts to yourself. At the beginning these might seem tedious or silly, but, believe me, it works! The easiest way to break a bad habit of self-judgment and criticism is to create positive phrases that you repeat to yourself as often as possible. Even if you don’t really believe them in the beginning, say them anyway! Over time they become a habit and the negative thoughts simply dissolve.


Be alert to people who like to complain, bad-mouth others, and/or have a depressed outlook on life. AVOID THEM. Keep yourself in the company of positive thinking people. This is a powerful way to keep yourself in a positive energy field which will LIFT YOU, rather than bring you down. Your life is not determined by outside circumstances, but rather by how you respond to those outside circumstances.

Remember that all things are possible, there is a lot going on that is unseen to you.

The more you keep yourself on a positive vibrational level, the greater your chances of having positive outcomes to challenging situations.


Be grateful for what you have. If things are really bad, be grateful for being able to breathe, get out of bed in the morning, use your legs. Be grateful for the sunrise and sunset, for the beauty of the sky, the trees, the birds and flowers. There is always something to be grateful for. Put your focus there and celebrate what you have. Laughter is a powerful attractor factor. Seek out ways to bring more laughter into your life. You will be amazed at the miracles that occur.


When you befriend the mind you are surprised how radically life can change. It becomes much easier to disidentify from the mind’s constant chattering and see yourself, and life’s situations, with more clarity and objectivity. You see life’s dramas with perspective and compassion, and insights and understandings arise naturally.

Find ways to befriend your mind. The mind is our bridge from the subconscious to the conscious, our gateway of expression to the outer world. Be grateful for it. Find ways to appreciate the insights, understandings, and creativity it brings. See it not as an enemy but as a friend.

As this friendship with the mind deepens, your mind no longer disturbs you. You are not fighting it; you are simply letting it’s thoughts pass by.The mind and the ego want to make it complicated, but it is not. Life sings a different tune when you are not controlled by the mind. Your natural joy, spontaneity, self-acceptance, love and compassion arise quickly and easily.

For Pragito’s latest book “Laughter, Tears, Silence”, guided meditation CDs, and to join her Laughing Buddhas Network community (it’s FREE!) check in at her website

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Online Marketing: Simple Twitter Strategies to Turn Followers into Paying Customers

By Gail Z. Martin

If you’re a person of few words, you’ll admire the elegance of the idea behind Twitter; each post is just 140 characters.  That’s about two sentences to get your idea across.  What can you do in two sentences?  You’d be surprised.

Twitter is a great place to share links to valuable content (you can shorten them to preserve more of your character limit by using a problem like or videos, interesting articles on other sites, blog posts, audio, or downloads.  Find an article of interest to your audience?  Share the link, and then tweet a few thoughts and ask a question to get a conversation going.

What else can you talk about in 140 characters?  Recommend a business book and say how it influenced you.  If you were at an event and saw a speaker who talked about something useful for your readers, Tweet about it!  You could even include a link to the event Web site, speaker’s home page, or to a video or blog post related to the event.  Or, share a motivational quote, comment on a business-related topic that is in the news, or let readers know if you have an upcoming promotion or special event.

As with Facebook, you can reward the people who follow your page with periodic links to free downloadable material of value to their business, or give them sneak previews of special prices before you post the specials on your Web site.  People who follow you can ask you questions, either publically or privately, so you’ll want to monitor these so you can answer promptly. (Several of the dashboards make this easier.)

Twitter is also a great way to give live updates from the business-related events you attend.  If you’re at a conference, either as a speaker or an attendee, send periodic tweets about what you’ve liked, what insights you’ve gained, what well-known experts you’ve heard or met, and other information that gives your followers a you-were-there feeling.

Whenever you use a keyword in your tweets (such as the name of an event, a book, a celebrity/authority or product), make it searchable by putting # in front of it.  For example, if you are talking about the book Think And Grow Rich, you would tweet #ThinkAndGrowRich.  That way your tweet will show up if anyone searches on the name of the book.  You can also see what topics are popular by searching Twitters Trending Topics.  Chiming in on a hot topic (if it relates to your business) can draw attention to your Twitter page, and help you gain more readers.

Promote your Twitter page, and make sure you let people know what’s in it for them to follow you.  Tell them what kind of helpful content you post, and if you provide discounts or coupons, let them know.  You can also have your Twitter feed automatically update your other online pages, such as your LinkedIn page or Web site, by using the RSS (Really Simple Syndication).  LinkedIn has a free RSS application, and your Web designer can add it easily to your home page.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin


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Strategies to get you writing again.

by Karen Rowe

Break your goals down.

I’m willing to bet that you’ve set a goal of writing…and finishing your book…a number of times. So where have you gone wrong? I’m willing to bet that your end goal has likely overwhelmed you.

Here’s my suggestion: break your goals down to manageable, bit-sized chunks. In her book Four-Day Win, Martha Beck calls this ‘playing halfsies:’ She says, “by making your goals broad and far-reaching, you guarantee they will be immediately sabotaged by your inner meanie.” We start out with what we think are realistic goals, but most of the time they are not; otherwise, we would already have accomplished them. Play halfsies with yourself until your goal is ridiculously easy to attain, or until essentially, it would be an embarrassment not to complete it.

Here’s how it looks:

Your goal is to write a book? Great. How do we make that more attainable? Break it down.

Write a book¦Spoon-feed¦Do an outline¦Spoon-feed¦Create a mind-map¦Write the first chapter¦Spoon-feed¦Write the first two pages. Keep spoon-feeding¦Write one paragraph. Now you’re getting the hang of it. Keep on going¦Write a sentence.

What would an even smaller portion of a sentence be?

Start with a word.

Your first goal is to get one word on the page. It can be any word but you have to choose it, and put it down.

And for those of you who are still stuck, have some fun with it! I like to be silly or absurd, so it could be dipthong, mollycoddle or wombat.  Sometimes even throat-warbler mangrove.

If one word worked out, go for a second. Still doing alright? How about that sentence now?

Most importantly, keep writing.

Pull One Over On Yourself:

I have this little trick I do. I know that I am much more productive in the morning. I work hard, in short, focused sessions. I can word quickly and productively and uninterrupted for up to 3 hours and then I hit a wall. And before I know it I’m doing ‘make busy’ work. Checking my social media, answering emails…not really productive.

So my trick is to have 2 projects on the go at the same time. If it’s not 2 books, it’s 2 manuscripts I’m editing, content I’m building for my Writer’s Challenge, a blog post.

There’s always something I could be writing.

The way I trick myself is by taking a ‘break’ from one to work on the other. My tiny little pea brain thinks it’s getting away with something. ‘Ha, ha,’ it mocks! ‘I’ve got you fooled!

The second project will feel like a godsend; it’s an escape but it’s still productive. Here’s the real trick, though: When I’ve had enough of the second project, I’m usually ready to return back to the first project. At this point, I’ve usually forgotten what was bothering me on the first project and I hit it head on, right over the hurdle that seemed impossible before. I’ve found this works with almost anything! And your book will be no different.

Treat your mind like a 5 year-old (because sometimes it is) and you’ll get far more done.



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Content Marketing: 6 Easy Ways to Get More Customers With Facebook

By Gail Z. Martin

#1 Content is essential for attracting and keeping readers.  Ask questions that are business-related, provide tips and post links to interesting and helpful videos, articles and blogs, even to content that you didn’t create but that your audience would appreciate.  Repurpose articles and answers into Frequently Asked Questions and use other information you’ve written into short, helpful one-paragraph snippets of content.

#2 Try to keep a conversational tone.  Don’t use a hard sell, and don’t constantly promote.  Instead, draw your readers in with open-ended questions and try to get them into a dialog.  Facebook users want to connect with the person behind the business, so keep the conversation “business casual”, as you would at a networking luncheon.  That means that it’s OK to talk a little bit about superficial personal subjects, such as your pets, vacation highlights, sports teams, etc.  Always make sure that the information you share shows you in an ethical, trustworthy light.  Be human, but also be professional!  You can also reward those who “like” your page with occasional special discounts and coupons.

# 3 Promote your Facebook Business Page at every opportunity.  Put a “badge” (Facebook can generate this for free) showing your Business Page icon on your business Web page.  Add the address for your Business Page to your business cards, signage, invoices, handouts and all marketing material (Facebook makes it easy to create a short, readable page address).  Where your Web site is a one-way conversation (you speaking to your customers), view your Facebook page as the opportunity to learn from having a two-way conversation with your prospects and buyers.

#4 Facebook also offers the ability to place ads that show up on the profiles of other Facebook users who fit the demographic description you provide.  You set the budget and the duration for the ads, and a campaign costing just a few hundred dollars can lead to hundreds of thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks.  This is a great way to drive traffic to your Business Page or to your company’s Web page.

#5 Facebook has tightened up its rules for allowing contests, but that doesn’t mean that contests are out of reach for small businesses. specializes in template-driven, do-it-yourself Facebook campaigns that comply with Facebook’s rules but are easy and affordable for small businesses to run.  Used in conjunction with Facebook ads, this is a great way to increase the “likes” for your page, essentially increasing your Facebook opt-in.  Constant Contact has also added a social media tool that creates Facebook landing pages using templates, with the advantage that the tool also integrates with Constant Contact’s impressive email marketing capabilities.

#6 You can also add value to your Facebook Business Page through extra add-on applications within Facebook.  For example, one app allows your blog to automatically post to your Facebook page (RSS), increasing your productivity by getting additional exposure for each blog post.  The same is also possible for your Twitter or podcast feed.  For companies that sell on eBay, Facebook has an app that interfaces with your eBay site.  Apps change frequently, so be sure to look for the ones that would be right for your business.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin

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By Gail Z. Martin

Growing your business productively means understanding all of the tools available to you.  Just as smart phones and tablet PCs have redefined productivity on the go, social media has redefined how people communicate, and more specifically, how consumers want to communicate with businesses.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the three major social media platforms.  It’s worth taking some time to look at how Facebook and Twitter can help promote your company while boosting your productivity.

Facebook basics for business

Facebook now has over one billion users.  While Facebook was originally designed as a recreational place to connect with friends, businesses were quick to see the potential.  In fact, businesses have embraced Facebook faster than the Facebook architecture has adapted, leaving Facebook often scrambling to catch up to how its subscribers want to use the site.

Being present on social media for a company today is much like being present on the Web: you are judged negatively if you’re not there.  Just as many consumers would not consider a company to be a “real” business without a Web site, so many purchasers look for a Facebook presence to see if you are “real.”  What matters is that consumers have decided that they want to have a two-way conversation with the companies they patronize, and firms that abstain from being part of the dialog do so at their peril.

At the very least, you need to have a Facebook Business Page.  As Facebook has adapted to the needs of business users, these Business Pages have become easier to create and use.  Facebook wants businesses to promote from a Business Page and not from a personal profile.  Ignoring this rule can get your page deleted from Facebook.

A Business Page works a little differently from a personal profile page in that a Business Page can’t “friend” individual users.  Instead, users are invited to “like” the page and thereby opt-in to receive automatic updates whenever the page adds new information.

Today’s consumers value a connection through Facebook because they want to be able to express their opinions, ask questions, and feel as though they are being heard.  They want to do business with people, not faceless corporations.  Companies that learn to listen can reap valuable benefits, from uncovering (and being able to fix) customer service issues to discovering competitive advantages when a rival firm has dropped the ball, to new product ideas from the suggestions of loyal purchasers.

When you create your Business Page, make sure both your logo and your photo are prominently displayed.  People need to find you as a business, but they want to connect with you as the person behind the business.  Fill in the Information section, making sure your content is all about the benefit you provide to your customers and what you do for them (not just a laundry list of products and services).  Include your other Web sites, links to blogs and podcasts and business contact information so your Facebook fans can find you on the Internet.

If you already have a profile page, Facebook wants you to use it primarily for personal/recreational content.  However, it’s OK to talk about business some of the time, just as you would in real life.  Also, with a profile you can invite people to “like” your Business Page, and suggest that your “friends” also visit your Business Page.  Just keep your profile mostly personal, to remain compliant with Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin


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