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WizzleyI write all sorts of content as a freelance writer.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.I have no real niche.  I write poetry and fiction.  I write about religion as much as I write about sports and community activities and events.  I blog, journal, present, teach, and edit online as a freelancer.

 I write e-zine articles and post to multiple blogs.  I write for a wide variety of audiences.

You can join me on my freelance journey at iWriter, too.

I have published articles on Squidoo and HubPages, too.  My articles include content related to writing grants and freelance writing opportunities.  I also publish my own books of inspirational poetry on Lulu.

Get a copy of one of the Bible studies offered by Life Path Ministries & Services.  Subscribe to get inspiration from one of my other blogs either Rev Bruce or Life Path.

Bruce Jackson, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Expertscolumn.com 

Most of us have dreams of having our names in lights.  We dream of seeing our names plastered on some billboard near the Hollywood sign or in pixelated images overlooking the Strip in Las Vegas.  Stardom has a certain appeal that keeps our heads in the clouds.

Beyond dreaming is doing.  You have to do certain things to get to the point where you earn that type of name recognition.  You might not be able to point out James Patterson in a shopping mall or the grocery store, but you most probably know him for his best-selling Alex Cross novels.  That’s name recognition.

How do people recognize your name?
What do people attribute to or associate with your name?
Is there more that you can do to build a better brand out of your name?

Make a name for yourself in your industry.  Become a recognized expert in your field within your city or region.  Do not let opportunities to share and show your expertise pass you by simply because they all do not pay in per diem or client fees.  Some of your biggest dividends may be the fact that people begin to recognize your name, even if it isn’t in lights.

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We all have heard it before, but it needs to be said again.  It requires repeating.  It must be reiterated.

In the words of Rachel Blom,”Make your point and get out.” It’s just about that simple.  Get your audience’s attention and keep hold of it like a precious jewel.

Whether you preach or present, you want to grab your audience’s attention from the beginning. No matter who you are speaking before, you need to speak with such a command and confidence that you win the audience over with your opening. You will need more than the bells and whistles of PowerPoint slides and audio-visual gadgets to get their attention. They need to hear from you in order to listen to what you have to say to them.

Look at Classic Literature.  Opening lines stick to our memories like glue.  I love Charles Dickens’ poetic phrasings that begin his classic story A Tale of Two Cities, stating: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Or, perhaps, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was more to your liking with what Wikipedia calls “one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature”: “Call me Ismael.”

Think Comedy.  Some of the greatest stand-up comics can take the stage and win the crowd over with a whirlwind of comedic routines from impersonations to improvisation.  They do so by reading the crowd.  I used to watch “A Night at the Improv”  back in the early ’90s.  The best comedians got a feel for the crowd and worked the crowd with a constant barrage of comedic flair.

Make a Connection.  Know who you are standing before as a speaker or presenter.  Make a connection with them.  I recall a television evangelist speaking of a blunder he made when speaking to a group of prison inmates by stating that he wanted to start by thanking them for being there.  Make a connection by having some idea of who is in audience and why they might be there.

Use a Conceptual Approach.  Incorporate concepts like engineering or gardening.  These convey mental images that can help the audience wrap their brains around the conceptual theme of your sermon or presentation.  Use a conceptual approach and work in imagery through clip art and photographs that can reinforce the theme of your speech.

Offer a Challenge.  Challenge your audience to pay attention to what you have to say.  Offer a challenge for the audience to open their minds to new concepts and ideas.  Allow the audience to rethink the status quo and challenge its validity.  That will start them to thinking and keep them thinking throughout the time that you speak and present.

Use these to grab your audience’s attention and win them over throughout your speaking.  They may also be incorporated in teaching and training.  Take them on one by one.  Try them out and make them work for you.

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“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

In both business and ministry, you have some unique opportunities.  In business, you may have a training program, product or service that can be highlighted through publications or presentations.  The same may be the same with your ministry’s training or development tools, even sermons or Bible studies.  Do not overlook such opportunities.

Publish what you have to offer:

  • Books/ Workbooks
  • E-Books
  • E-zines/ E-Newsletters
  • Downloads
  • Podcasts/ MP3/ iTunes
  • Webcasts/ Video

Present what you have to offer:

  • Workshop/ Seminar Presentations
  • Keynote Speaking Engagements
  • Public Speaking with Industry or Sector Networks
  • Skype or Live Chat

Beyond the potential economic benefits, these provide your business or ministry with an opportunity to do some beneficial things such as:

  1. Expand audience beyond immediate or current audience
  2. Increase credibility in local and regional areas as well as in the online community
  3. Heighten the visibility of your business or ministry online and otherwise

The benefits of publishing and presenting far outweigh the drawbacks.  Develop a plan to schedule presentations to local groups via a letter of introduction and a brief brochure designed around what you have to offer.  I highly suggest that you research templates and samples from others in your industry in order to get some ideas of how to design and format such a brochure.  Another possibility would be to work with local students in a graphic design  or business marketing course.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wwwministri0c-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00006KXU6&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wwwministri0c-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B00005NINU&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr


http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wwwministri0c-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B005LVQP48&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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How to Stay Motivated-Changing The Picture

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”- Zig Ziglar

Dream Big: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dreams and Laugh at Your NightmaresStarting up a business may require you to scale down your big dream.

Your Dreams Are Too Small (Middle English Edition)

Don’t read into that.  I did not say it may require you to drop or dump your dream entirely.  I just said you may need to scale it down at the start to get things started.

How To Eat An Elephant: A Slice-by-slice Guide To Total Quality Management - Third EditionBusiness Development for Professionals: How to eat an elephant, one bite at a time (Volume 1)You may need to slice it up into manageable pieces, so that you can get things set up and in place to advance to new levels, stages and phases.  I tend to favor a modular approach when I work with clients on programmatic funding or business planning, identifying phases where new components, services or features can be added based upon the state of the core business.  There it is.  I seem to have have given it away, but that should be the focus; your core business.  Scale things down to the core.  Get things down to the bare essentials and build from there.


Beauty and the Business: Practice, Profits and Productivity, Performance and ProfitabilityAvon: Building The World's Premier Company For WomenI think Avon does an excellent job at providing a business model based on a similar cocnept.  You may like fashion or cosmetics, even costume jewelry.  Avon isn’t trying to get you to open a kiosk at the mall or storefront on Main Street.  The company provides each “Avon lady” with the essentials to the catalogs and ordering forms as well as support that allow her to experience success on a small scale and grow from there.  It is obvious that Avon’s core business is beauty products, not blue jeans or handbags.

Start out small, while continuing to think and dream big.  Post photos, sketches and anything else related to your dream above your PC’s monitor, on your car’s dashboard and taped to the fridge.  Keep it visible, but be sure to set things in order first
The Big Idea: How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, From the Aha Moment to Your First MillionBusiness for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace (Christian Worldview Integration Series)
 
Share the Dream, Build the Team : Ten Keys for Revitalizing Your ChurchLeading Your Business to the Next Level: The Six Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable GrowthDon’t get tripped up that you haven’t accomplished or achieved the full dream yet.  Just get started. Get started right.  Get started doing the core business of your dream and build from there.

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To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.- Matthew 25:15

Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the WorkplaceThis parable gives an account of how a man set out on a journey and gave authority to his servants.  It offers insight into some sound business practices from a biblical perspective.  The man is also known as the master of these servants in the context of this parable.  Look at how this man distributed and delegated among his servants.
Management: A Biblical ApproachThe master prepared to go on his journey and left his servants in charge of what he owned.  Yet, the interesting thing here is that he gave to them “each according to his ability.”  He distributed responsibility and authority based upon each person’s ability. He did not do so based upon any other factor such as seniority or longevity.   He based their responsibility on their own ability.
In order to do likewise, you have to know your people.  You need to know their limitationsYou have to have a grasp of what each person can actually handle. There is no room for you to gamble.  If they can only handle some minor tasks, then that is the limit of their authority.  If you delegate beyond their limitations, you had either beef up their preparation for such tasks or allow for mistakes along the way and expand their learning curve.
You delegate authority to those who have demonstrated the ability to handle it.  You may want to start off small, using minor tasks before moving on to larger matters.  You just need to ensure that everyone has a grasp of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. 

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>HBR's 10 Must Reads on Leadership
Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
The One Minute Manager
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”- Aristotle

Politics: A Treatise on Government: A Powerful Work by Aristotle (Timeless Classic Books)

 
Communication: Making Connections (7th Edition)Your communications need to help you communicate:
Management: A Biblical ApproachHarvard Business Review on Strategic Sales Management (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)Harvard Business Review on Effective Communication (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)
 

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“You can either take action, or you can hang back and hope for a miracle. Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable.”- Peter Drucker
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)

When it comes to raising funds, you are making an appeal for action.  In fact, your fund-raising efforts are to be action-oriented efforts.  You want to be sure to convey and communicate to others the opportunity to support your work as well as offer options in multiple ways to support the effort.  You want to give people action items when you make an appeal.  You should be able to point them to a list of actions that they can readily and easily take upon themselves in order to help you out.

Leading Every Day: 124 Actions for Effective Leadership
Leading Every Day

When you make your appeal, be sure to:

Make your appeals lead to some form of action.  Even if others don’t do anything but pass the information to others on their email list or in their Rolodex, you have derived some form of action from them.

Make Today Count: The Secret of Your Success Is Determined by Your Daily Agenda
Make Today Count

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Ask someone in Northern California, typically called the “Gold Country,” and you will discover some unique history about California’s Gold Rush.  You will learn about Eureka, the original Forty-Niners (not Steve Young, Jerry Rice and those Super Bowl winners) and early settlers like the MormonsGold brought about a lot of changes for what was once a wild Mexican province where the worst companies of soldiers were assigned due to the rampant bandits and Indians in the area.

What is your gold mine? Where is there hidden treasure buried or simply sitting just out of your reach?  Have you sought it out? Have you discovered any?

You need to a few suggested steps in order to discover your own gold mine these days.  If you seek this discovery wholeheartedly, you may also discover some interesting things about your character as you go along.

  • Explore:  You have to start searching.  Dig through what you have and discover.  Search on the Internet and discover what opportunities exist.  Contact old classmates and see what they may know about openings or upcoming contracts.  You’ve got to go and get involved right where discoveries can be made.  If it’s your skills and expertise, dust off your old thinking cap.  If it is a new discovery, look at how to expand it to others who may need it or want it.
  • Expedite:  Let your movements be swift and strategic.  Get to it and get it done.  Don’t allow yourself to get captivated by the researching and searching, thinking of it as a “piece of cake.” Keep your main objective in mind and stick to it.  Know when to move on and when to dig in deeper.  Your experience will begin to teach you long before a hound dog could hunt down a raccoon.
  • Experiment:  Numerous ways were used for discovering gold in California.  Panning was popular, but you also had some diggers with pick axes and others who used dynamite and other explosives, even the power of high pressure water.  Experiment with various methods to get your discovery out in a professional manner.  Try something out for a season or a quarter, evaluate it and go from there.  Keep your ideas fresh and keep them coming.
  • Express: Gold miners of those early days were known for exclaiming their discoveries.  You do just the same.  Get your pr campaign rolling out with good news about what is happening with you.  Make your press releases and announcements speak volumes by being bountiful and brief.

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Roadmap to Success: Building Your Business God's Way
http://www.amazon.com/Roadmap-Success-Building-Your-Business/dp/B003D7JZXA?ie=UTF8&tag=ministrioc-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969

When you plan your events for 2011, think about adding some special offers or discounts for those who register or purchase tickets early. 
Chase's Calendar of Events, 2011 Edition: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months
Go out of your way to treat your early birds special.  Have plenty of giveaways and logo-covered items ready for your event “swag bags.” Be sure to allow the early birds to experience V.I.P. and red carpet treatment throughout your event.  If you remember them, they will certainly remember you and your special treatment of them when your next event comes up.

The Five Star Church: Helping Your Church Provide the Highest Level of Service to God and His People 

The One Minute Manager

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