Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Purposeful Thanks!




Yesterday, started out as a great day. I was fortunate to be a guest on Caroline Gavin’s podcast- PurposefulPathwayRADIO.com. Being featured on a online radio broadcast was exciting and a new experience. I must admit I was nervous prior to the event, but; Caroline had a calming demeanor and I believe the prayer she led prior to the show helped calm my nerves.
If you’re interested in listening to the taped show you may catch it here!
I want to publicly thank Caroline for her graciousness, professional skills and kindness. The ministry she provides is truly “something meaningful that matters!” I highly recommend her ministry to all.
God Bless you and your ministry!
Until We Meet Again,
Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School“Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.


 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Focusing on Yourself?


*   I want to thank  Caroline Gavin for graciously allowing me to be a guest on her podcast show- BlogTalk Radio, Purposeful Pathway on February 27th. I  enjoyed our chat and look forward to speaking with you again!
You may replay the show here.

I often write about doing something meaningful that matters. Sometimes it’s about making a connection, rescuing a life or just helping someone out. Many times it’s about treating people with respect and dignity or just providing inspiration. It should be easy to look around and see scores of people in need of help.
But lately I hit a wall. For some reason, I had absolutely nothing to write about. I understand writers block and have always managed to write my way out of the funk. But this time things were different.
Last night it hit me. My life has changed dramatically after being laid-off a month ago. No more days at work witnessing the daily grind of usual nonsense and being instantly inspired by the next blog topic to address. Am I going through some sort-of post work depression or has it just finally hit me I am not going back to that former life of nearly 32 years?
Why do I feel such a deep sense of aloneness? Perhaps I suffered a mini-stroke in my sleep and the writing side of my brain is not functioning properly? Years ago, I gave up alcohol and drugs and attempted to fill the void with a job. Yes sir, I would make something of myself.
People liked me; I was young and thought if I bought into the corporate package it would lead me to where I belonged. Over the years, I slowly saw the corporate dream dissipate. I discovered “doing the right thing” didn’t matter to those people. Never mind your conscience, it’s all about the latest fad, slogan or mantra.
Phooey!
I realized I was just a “cog for the system” which opened the door and led me to think otherwise. That’s the day I became wide-awake. There was no turning back.
Once you realize you are unable to make an impact you’re spinning your wheels and headed nowhere. So I took the supposed “safe” route and laid-low to maintain my job, until one day the system recognized my age, blogging and supporting my wife’s unemployment hearing wasn’t in their best interests. Thus, conveniently my job was eliminated too.
Hugh MacLeod says everyone needs an “evil plan.” Well not really “evil” in the true sense of the word; just to the point of jumping out of the insanity of living paycheck to paycheck to survive into the position of doing something that really matters. My former employer made that dream a reality for me.
So maybe I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. I finally have the freedom to negotiate my own future; to do what I choose to do. How many people get to go live their dream? When you focus on yourself your world shrinks.
I also realized I have the perfect storm for writing, making decisions on what ventures to pursue and certainly the time it requires to make things happen. Creativity is best served with the least amount of distractions. For a writer, the quiet time of peace is a blessing. What more could I ask in order to do something meaningful that matters?
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.be speaking

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making Connections?


Reminder: I will be speaking on Caroline Gavin’s podcast show on BlogTalk Radio, Purposeful Pathway on February 27th. I am looking forward to chatting with Caroline and honored to be her guest. The show airs at 1:00 pm on Wednesday and if you miss it “live” you can catch it here.
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It seems we share a common problem with other bloggers, business owners and organizations. In order to succeed you must connect with people. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, pitching or want to become. Until you have built a loyal following, nobody really notices your efforts.
Connections are the new economy. Most of our shopping is done online through companies we’ve come to trust. Twenty years ago, we would’ve had second thoughts about trusting anyone online with our credit card information. Today, it’s a common practice.
In today’s economy connections are everything. Whether it’s customers or employees our ability to connect is what builds trusting relationships. It’s not about you or me. It’s about others.
Most CEO’s, presidents and management have a new role to fill and don’t have a clue how to win the confidence of their customers and employees in order to create a culture where everyone is connected. The top-down style of management is dead. The Industrial Age had its day and many companies that haven’t figured this out are slowly dying.
The top-down approach was always focused on the person higher –up the ladder. The CEO’s concern was keeping the board of trustees happy, the CFO was concerned about the CEO, and the supervisor was concerned about keeping their manager happy. Who cared about the employees and customers? Nobody!
During the Industrial Age the assumption was people had to have what you offered. Choices were limited. The Internet has allowed us to become a global economy. That’s why the top-down style of management totally misses the boat. That ship has sailed and is likely not coming back soon.
In the Industrial Age, it wasn’t imperative to establish a relationship; it was a matter of driving business through advertisement. The choices are so vast now, there is only one-way to survive- by building trust and connecting with those that matter most to your success. Companies are building trust through offering their services online; twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. How are going to compete?
That’s why billboard ads are useless. Nobody pays much attention to those targeted signs. If people have a connection with you they care, if not; you’re wasting money that could’ve been spent on your resources (your employees and customers). They are the one’s seeking your loyalty.
The employees and customers are the bottom line. Not your stockholders, board or mantra. You only have two choices- connect or stay disconnected.
Every day you hesitate to connect you’re losing ground. When a car is disconnected from a train it has no momentum, it’s dead on the tracks. The remaining cars are able to travel faster and gather more steam for the journey. Disconnecting is isolation.
Sitting idle on the tracks of life is no comfortable position. While some see managing without the top-down approach as a loss of power, it’s really your only chance to remain powerful and become noble.
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fear of Failure?


 
Does fear of failure keep you from doing something meaningful?
Perhaps, it’s really fear of success. Many people are comfortable with not taking risk. After all, how would you handle success?
People believe it is safer to stay on the current road, never veering off to search for something better. Follow everyone else, listen to what they say and believe what they tell you. In the end, everyone will complain about the same issues and most people will agree with you. After the road trip, they are dejected and done.
Successful people follow the opposite road map. They gladly travel off the beaten path, searching for opportunity. They seek advice from other successful people and accept the consequences. At the end of the journey, successful people are already looking forward to the next trip with a sense of adventure and renewed enthusiasm.
Which road would you rather travel?
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reaction Distraction


We are accustomed to many types of external distractions. Some distractions startle us, but most are common occurrences. Certain distractions may be a nuisance but few have long term effects. As human beings, we usually internalize little can be done when we encounter a distraction, so we go with the flow.     

But how do we handle internal distractions?

There is another type of distraction created by humans known as a psychological distraction. It is conveyed towards you to create a negative distraction.  Unfortunately, some people initiate this type of behavior to derail your focus and progress.  Jealousy, envy, or control may be their motive.
Regardless of the reason behind it; the importance of recognizing this mental trap and removing yourself from the equation quickly is the best solution. Nothing else matters!

When you become uncomfortable and allow yourself to be victimized, many negative situations will follow:
1.   Lose vision of your goals.

2.   Forces you into a defensive mode.

3.   Creates increased stress.

4.   Prohibits your sight of clear thinking and options.

5.   Leads to a higher rate of mistakes.

6.   Creates a vicious cycle and allows the perpetrator to further their manipulation.
 
By recognizing this event as a psychological distraction, you will be able to:
1.   Focus on your goals and what is really important in your life. 

2.   Avoid toxic situations in the future.

3.   Reduce stress factors in your life.

4.   Understand the situation clearly and that it is only a symptom.

5.   Ask yourself - Will this situation or conversation REALLY matter 5 years from now?
 
Allow yourself a short celebration for recognizing your internal victory’s using these methods. It will become easier to master each time you are confronted.

Eventually, you will find yourself in less of these situations and not be personally drawn into the moment. You may actually learn to feel sorry for the individual displaying this type of behavior towards you. It is as if you are on the outside looking in. But most importantly you will realize-you do have control!
 
Reacting to a distraction is not a solution.
 
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Unique isn’t Scriptable!






One of the ideas of the Industrial Age was the use of scripts. Phone scripts, greeting scripts and even answers to common questions became scripted. If there was a way to standardize any form of communication it was scripted and required in the employee manual. I hate scripts.

The company first got the idea of a phone script from an employee who brought it to the attention of the management, who proceeded to think he was a boy genius for copying the idea from various other industries. Soon, this employee grew in popularity and he recommended the use of scripts to other management. They implemented his ideas eventually throughout the business.Years later, the company featured constant scripted messages on the computers.
Ironically, the employee who brought forth the idea of using scripts never practiced what he preached. Meanwhile, the brainwashing continues.
The main reason I dislike using scripts is it dehumanizes the ability of the employee to be genuine. Listening to someone ramble through a script is phony, insincere and nobody cares for it. Why not allow employees the opportunity to be creative or dazzle their customers? A scripted response isn’t genuine and it adds no value to your business.
When an organization uses scripts they are cutting corners towards mediocrity. A script can be memorized by anyone. It sends the message your business is trapped in the old Industrial Age mode of operation. We don’t want mindless robots, we want to see, hear and feel your passion.
When I hear someone reply with a script, it tells me you believe your employees are just numbers and the customers are stuck hearing their ambivalent monotone voice. It’s easy to assume something works when so many businesses do exactly the same thing. The problem is not one of those business distinguishes themselves by following a script.

Wouldn’t you rather stand-out?
Unique isn’t scriptable.
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Getting Noticed!


The other day I tweeted to author and former CEO of Thomas Crown Publishing, Michael Hyatt, to ask if the new Get Noticed! Theme would possibly include a tool to push a blog out to various social media sources.
When publishing a blog 15-20 minutes is spent sending the article to 10 other social media and newspaper outlets. I include a short personalized text message and publish the link to the blog. I’ve looked into various WordPress plugins that offer a service to post to different social media and found the settings for those services require information which I either don’t know where to find or offer no explanation on where to find the information. So, naturally I was hoping Michael’s upcoming theme might offer a built-in solution.
Mr. Hyatt kindly responded: “I don’t recommend that strategy.”
I followed-up the tweet asking Michael if the reason for not recommending the strategy could be found in his book. I never received a response. Realizing, Mr. Hyatt is a very busy man and receives countless questions each day, I decided to search for the answers through his book and posts.
My research found some interesting articles.
It appears Michael has a 20:1 rule. Simply stated, it would imply to “give to make 20 relational deposits,for every marketing withdrawal.” I try to follow this act particularly with Facebook friends who read my blog or for those that comment on my blog. It’s tougher to attempt through other social media outlets particularly if you don’t know who your visitors were.
Facebook and StumbleUpon do provide me with a good amount of readers. It also appears he recommends working with using social media to build a platform of followers.

The problem is how many people actually read the blog? It’s much easier for someone to just hit the “like button” on Facebook. Google Analytics provides enough information to view the data of clickthroughs, and demographics with social media. But honestly, who has the time to track, breakdown and compare the numbers? I don’t, beside it will drive you crazy.
Michaels point is its far better to achieve subscribers who actually visit your blog and are committed to subscribing to your content. Without a doubt this is the best case scenario. He also correctly states your website is your “home” and is the only place you have control.
My only argument is feeding my blog manually gives me more possible exposure since I am not a well-known blogger. So for the present time, I will continue the experiment to send the blog to various media sources and attempt to follow those who follow me and hopefully build a larger following.
Once I migrate over to WordPress and install a subscription service, I will see if I receive better exposure through traffic and re-evaluate my need to use social media in getting noticed. It will also give me the opportunity to request subscriptions and weed-out the media sources that disappoint.
Thanks Michael!
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Follow the Money!






There’s only one thing worse than being laid-off after 30 years. It’s to work somewhere for 30 years and witness its deterioration. Some call the environment “cold” or “unfriendly.” I call it dying.

Its lack of luster and non-existent warmth begs for change. It breathes a gasp of relief only for a short interval before the next cycle of fear develops. Void of any personality and projecting only numbers to allocate for the next project, it continues to amass buildings, offices and staffing. The fact that it cannot sustain or afford its own growth doesn’t stop the machine.
I can recall a better time. It was a period of time when the system was small and simple. When the property was kept clean and painted. Now the time, money and staffing isn’t able to meet the basic requirements of yesteryear.
Expansion has produced less staffing, money and time to take care of what exists. Too little, too late to make-up for what should have been 20 years ago. So they continue to march towards the exhaustion of accountability of their resources. Common sense left the building a long time ago.
There appears to be a crisis between purpose and outcome. One bad decision followed by another bad decision.

Where’s the accountability? Why is it- no one is held responsible?
It’s easy- follow the money.
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Building or Buying a Web Platform?


Do it Yourself?

I’ve spent much of the last few days working with many free WordPress themes for my new website. I was up all night tinkering with Gimp (this poor man’s version of Photoshop) attempting to add another image into a header banner photo. After hours of trying to figure it out I actually was able to add the second image.
My time has also been spent searching for plug-ins to add the capability necessary to have the site look like I’d prefer. Plug-ins are frustrating. After a simple install of the plug-in I’ve discovered several possible problems.

1.   The appearance isn’t what I hoped for.

2.   Many of the free plug-ins did not meet my expectations.

3.   The setup requires keys or details without an easy explanation of where to find the information to continue the setup.

4.   The setup is easy, but to get the full features I prefer, an upgraded plan is available. ($$$)

I received quite a bit of information through Google queries, but the best plug-ins require a subscription (AWeber, ChimpMail).

Another Option or 2

For an actual theme I have been considering using Genesis Framework with one of the StudioPress themes. Of course both products are available as a separate fee.
After realizing the yearly fees add up and my website isn’t profitable yet, I am thinking it’s smarter to purchase a theme that offers as many good plug-in features up-front as possible. Why pay for or have the stress of trying to setup a plug-in if it could be included in the theme. Many of the StudioPress themes have some built-in features.
But which one do I use?
Then it hit me. Why not look at someone else’s website I admire and try to imitate it myself with free features. Jeff Goins website is one I’ve enjoyed with its clean look. That’s how I’ve spent the last couple of days.

The Results

Given free tools to work with and seeing how I don’t build websites from scratch, I was somewhat able to imitate the look of goinswriter.com. Realistically, what I created has nowhere near the professional look of Jeff’s “Tribes” theme created by Martyn Chamberlin.  While I gained some knowledge of working with plug-ins and Gimp (for a header image) it would be easier to purchase the Tribes theme. Of course it requires using Genesis Framework just like the custom StudioPress themes, so there is an additional fee.

One More Choice

I love the look of Michael Hyatt’s website. I recalled Michael was working on developing a new theme, so why not look into it. Michael is scheduled to release the new theme- “Get Noticed” near the end of the first quarter of 2013. Michael has the new theme decked out on his page, it looks busier than Jeff’s page, but; it also has a clean look.
I like the widgets offered on the sidebar and footer. Once again, why pay for a plug-in if you can purchase a theme with the “extras” possibly included. Get Noticed appears to offer the most widgets up-front that I need without paying for yearly add-on subscriptions. Pricing for the new theme has not been mentioned yet.

Conclusion

So my grand experiment has ended and I am still torn between purchasing Tribes or Get Noticed. I am hoping Michael Hyatt’s- Get Noticed theme gets released soon. I may even seek someone to create a custom header. Gimp is still a disaster to work with for me. Photoshop CS6 is available for a trial period, so I could possibly tinker with Photoshop to tweak my own header.
On the other hand, purchasing the products you require minimizes time wasted on building a website in order to to obtain a professional look. Building a platform properly is what will be needed to be successful, so I’ll leave the foundation to the professionals; which allows me the time to build-up the platform.
In the end, it’s the platform and content that matters.
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com

Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Goodbye Cubicle Nation


I received a new lease on life when my job was eliminated at cubicle nation. Quite some time ago, I underwent a metamorphosis of sorts toward my own work mindset.
For years, I questioned why an organization would want to treat their employees poorly. I just couldn’t comprehend the concept. It was so backward, toxic and unnecessary. I started to question people in upper management who had retired. They quickly agreed it was a sick way to run a business.
Someone actually tried to explain the business practice is taught in colleges. I scoured the Internet hoping to find the class or subject. After my research produced nothing (other than psychological dysfunctional modes of management), I thought I hit a dead-end. Why is it a freaking secret!
Best Selling Author, Seth Godin, wrote a book called- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Seth described enough of the Industrial Age philosophy in the book to finally understand what I dealing with my entire working life. I live in what once a very dominant manufacturing city. Like most typical Rust Belt cities we’ve been decimated by the end of the Industrial Age. Although I worked in a non-factory environment it’s run with the same type of management mentality as a factory.
It’s fear-based management. The main requirement is conforming mentally and physically day after day, year after year. Your livelihood is held over your head with fear; through rumors, threats, evaluations and meetings. The reverberation extends for a period of time until something new is presented to show your allegiance too.
The funny thing was once I understood the mindset, I knew how to tune it out of my mind and not play the game. Gradually, I was able to separate myself physically and mentally from the silliness of the system. I began to realize my own creativity and ideas would be my only way out of this train wreck. So I started to focus on myself and what my best options for success would be.
That is when I started to change my thinking. If I woke-up and a good idea came to me, it was worth my time to write it down; even if it meant arriving to work late.
At that point I knew what I could do mattered more than what I had been doing! I felt empowered and my life suddenly had meaning.
I knew I wasn’t happy. I knew my career was basically a dead-end job. I no longer cared to be a hamster on the wheel or just exist. Life is too short to spend it living in fear.
So now I’m a free agent. I have no fear and no boss. I don’t set an alarm clock or commute to work. I can have fun or work hard when I want. My stress is gone.
I’ve left cubicle nation.
And it feels darn good!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Top 5 Blog Posts




My Top 5 Blog Posts







        *The Strategic Plan
*= tied.
I was thrilled to see my tribute to my friend, Billy Atkins rise to the top of my viewer response. This posting has the most comments I’ve ever received on one post. Awesome!
The tie of the two blogs at position of #5 is interesting as well.
Thank you for following The Rust Belt Chronicles. Your support is something meaningful that matters to me!
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I've Got Some New Momentum!





 
Neal Morse, along with Mike PortnoyRandy George and band coincidently sum up my feelings in the new DVD release- Live MomentumOrder a copy or two today!

February is a month of beginnings, endings, changes and new momentum.

I am going to appear on Caroline Gavin’s podcast show on Blog Talk Radio, Purposeful Pathway on February 27. I am looking forward to chatting with Caroline and honored to be her guest. The show airs at 1:00 pm and if you miss it “live” you can catch it here.
If everything goes as planned, my blog will be moving to its new home on the web. It will be less restrictive on content and it will be interesting to see the results. I will let you know prior to the switch so I don’t lose you!
The possibility still exists to create an expanded type of format being web-based, providing I can line-up a few contributors and sponsors. Why not? The basis for the idea is doable, so it might or might not work.
I retired last Friday from the organization that eliminated my position after nearly 32 years as an employee. That feels great and it makes moving forward with a plan more intriguing. I am so excited to be out of that quagmire of fear and upheaval! It truly is a blessing.
I’ve started my second book and several people have offered suggestions for the title. Unfortunately, I already have a working title in mind and I am unable to announce it at this point. If the book doesn’t require lots of interviews and at a slow pace of 2,000 words-per-day; it’s possible to have the book written in a month. Stay tuned!
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

www.successthroughmusic.com
Disclaimer- Books and links on this website contain affiliate marketing sources between Jim Carver and third party companies. I only recommend products, brands and businesses that I strongly support. Photos used on this site are used courtesy of the original authors and in no way endorse The Rust Belt Chronicles or my work. Thank you.