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I'm Officially An eMom…

dawudandwendy.jpgNo, really! I’m going to be writing for eMoms at Home. That’s right. Wendy has asked me if I’d share my insights and open coversations around being a work-at-home eDad. Of course I said, “yes!”

Most of you know already that I’m married and have two young kids – with a third on the way. And if you’ve been reading a while, you’ll may remember that my ultimate goal is:

To aid people, from every walk of life and every faith, to open the door to the truth of their existence. Not to my beliefs or existence, but to find it within themselves and authentically live their truth in their daily life. (read full post)

Sometimes I get into deeper issues here like the deeper wisdom behind things, our life’s perspective or your contribution to the world. But mainly we discuss social media, web-based business development, website design and marketing. And I definitely hope I’ve helped you.

Rarely, however, do I write about being a solopreneur eDad, who has to deal with all the ups and downs of working from a home office. There are times, like the story of my three-year-old daughter helping me with a coding bug. But those have been few and far between.

Now, with eMoms, I’m going to have the opportunity not only to share more of my business knowledge, but also write and discuss what it’s like to be a work-from-home dad parent. On eMoms, I hope to help eParents live a slightly better, richer and more rewarding life – in any way I can.

I’m quite excited about this opportunity. And I hope you join in the conversations over at eMoms. It ought to be fun and, hopefully, informative.

And no worries. I’ll still be writing here, at dmiracle.com, as often, or even more, then before. I love my blog. And I love all of you who read and join in the conversations here. Thanks.

Lorelle VanFossen Has Made Every Blogging Mistake

If you use WordPress you likely know who Lorelle VanFossen is. If you don’t know who she is yet, don’t worry…you will soon.

Lorelle VanFossen, of course, writes Lorelle on WordPress (RSS) – one of the best resources for anything relating to WordPress. Need a plugin? Lorelle’s likely written about it. Need to solve a problem? Lorelle may have covered it. Want the latest news? Lorelle’s the one. She even sums it all up with her WordPress Wednesday column on Blog Hearld (RSS).

Lorelle’s done it all. Including make every blogging mistake possible. At least that’s what she said in her interview with Daniel Scocco from Daily Blog Tips (RSS).

Daniel: What is the biggest blogging mistake you did?

Lorelle: Oh, honey, I've done them all. I've been doing this so long, I've done all the big mistakes. When I read through blog posts listing their blogging mistakes, I think, “Yep, did that one in 2001. Oh, that one, I did it big in 1998. Been there, done that in 2004. Won't repeat that mistake of 1997.”

Is there just one big mistake? Nope. There are only big lessons that come from every mistake along the blogging path. I tend to focus on the lessons learned and not the screw-ups.

Lessons…that’s the perspective I love about Lorelle. Having spent some time with her at SOBCon07 back in May, it was easy to fall in love with her. She’s real, she’s honest and she doesn’t judge. And just like me, she has her opinions…

Daniel: How long should a blogger wait to monetize the blog?

Lorelle: I do not think bloggers should monetize their blogs. I think that people who want to get into the business of blogging must make a business plan on how they will use blogging for their business or as their business, thus creating a plan for monetizing their blogs.

But general bloggers? Why should your hobby make money? If you want to work your way towards professional blogging, then blog for a year or two to get a feel for blogging and make your business plan. Then move towards being a professional blogger.

I couldn’t agree more. Too many bloggers are watching what the business bloggers are doing and think about the “easy money” they could be making off their blogs. But it’s not easy money. It’s hard work.

bloggingtipsbookcoversm1.jpgBut so is blogging in general. Some days it’s easy, some it’s hard. Everyday it’s effort. That’s why many blogs aren’t successful.
And that’s what I love about Lorelle, she tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugar coat it. She’s honest about the ups and downs. That why I recommend that everyone read her new book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

I’ve read it three times cover to cover and it’s full of great advice. It’s literally the first blogging book I’ve read that’s really about blogging. Most blog books spend way too much time covering blog platforms or why to blog. Authors sometimes spend 1/2 to 3/4 of a book getting to the meat.

Blogging Tips is different in that Lorelle assumes you’ll get that type of information elsewhere. Instead, she gets right into meat. I highly recommend her book (and I’m not getting an affiliate kickback to say that).

dawud-lorelle.jpgI also really enjoyed Adii’s interview with Lorelle where they talk a bit more WordPress.

You know, it’s also kind of challenging to find photos of Lorelle. I snagged one with her and David Dalka (he’s on the right, I’m on the left and Lorelle is between us) when we were at SOBCon.

What Do You See When You Look Through The Glass?

blownglass2.jpgWe all know the expression, “the glass is half…

But how would you finish it? What do you see when you look inside the glass?

Some see abundance which overflowth. While others see the glass as having room for more. And so began the Starbucker Meme, with Terry and his half-full, clear shot glass.

The Starbucker Meme brought out some creative answers like my dear friend Carolyn Manning who keeps two glasses – one full to the brim and the other symbolically empty. Tim Johnson, on the other hand goes back and forth between overflowing and 50% full.

The answer I was waiting most for was Liz Strauss and her hand-painted French champagne flute filled to the lip with sparkly French champagne. No surprise for me, and deeply fitting. Or Chris Cree who said his cup is bottomless – of course he said with coffee, but I know he meant a bit more.

My other two favorites were from Mike Sansone and Adam Kayce. Both, like me, took the idea of ‘what’s in the glass’ to a different level. Mike sees things from a different perspective through his glass bottom boat. While Adam sees his life overflowing through his looking glass.

So I know what you’re thinking…”what does Dawud see when he looks through his glass?” So let me get right into the Starbucker Meme:

  1. How full is your glass?
    It’s ever expanding and only limited by my trust, belief and willingness to change.
  2. What kind of glass is it?
    Blown glass
  3. What’s in the glass?
    All the possibilities you can dream of.
  4. Reasons for #1, #2, and #3
    Read on…

blownglass1.jpgI’ve always loved blown glass. Not only is it stunningly beautiful. It also illustrates the great potential each of us have inside. Think about it. You take this hunk of glass and put it on a stick. Pretty uninspiring, huh?

Then, you place the hunk of glass into a raging fire to heat it up and burn off impurities. Once it’s purified enough, you remove it from the fire and begin forming it into miraculous, endless shapes. Look at the image to right…

Aren’t we just like that?

And Kammie, there’s the answer to your question about high vibe practices. I spend each day trying to stretch myself, my heart and my consciousness just a little bit. Stretching a taking the time to look at where I could be living who I am and what I believe a little bit more. Those are my high vibe practices.

So I’m wondering what you see when you look inside your glass? I’m going to tag David, David, Gayla, Edward, Chris, Mark, Dave, Katie, Rory, Randa, Mike, Kammie, one more Dave and Lisa. AND, I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Small Business Tips: Don't Lose Your Client Calendar

Ever lose your client calendar? Well, neither had I…until Friday.

By some odd combination of keystrokes, I deleted my client calendar within Apple’s iCal.

ical.jpgiCal is neat in that I can have multiple calendars that can service different puposes. I have different calendars for family, home, personal appointments, holidays, birthdays, etc…and, of course, my work calendar where I keep detailed track of all my client work.

But not any more. The client calendar is gone. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…just select ‘undo.’ Tried it, it was grayed out. Next I spent two hours on the phone with Apple trying to get the calendar back – only to be told that once it’s deleted it’s deleted. Not in Trash. Not in cache. Gone. This I found odd that the file wouldn’t end up in Trash or that it couldn’t be rebuilt.

Funny thing, I wasn’t asked to confirm if I wanted it deleted. It just got wiped away. And I still have no idea what keys I hit that made it happen. Could this be rare? Do I feel safe using iCal for business anymore? Not sure yet.

Yes, there is a backup feature. But it’s manual and I’ve never bothered with it. That will change.

In the meantime, I’m looking for a new calendar program for the Mac. I do like iCal, but am thinking maybe it’s time for a change.

I’ve been running all my client work through iCal, Address Book and Merlin (project management software) because they all easily integrate. I do have Filemaker Pro and use it to store client passwords, etc. I’ve been thinking of moving my address book and calendar to it, but I’m not fond of the learning curve nor the time it’ll take to create the database layout I’ll want.

Any suggestions on other calendar systems for the Mac? And remember, back up your calendar.

5 Ways Not To Make The Biggest Mistake In Your Blogging Relationships

Are you blogging to build relationships? I sure am. And so are many other bloggers.

Sure, if we’re blogging, we probably like to write. We also probably enjoy playing on the internet to some degree. And for many of us, we’ve got businesses to promote. Yet the reason many of us blog is to create conversations. And those conversations lead to relationships with people from all over the world.

alonebeach.jpgJust imagine how disappointing it’d be to have your posts generate conversations that lead bloggers to contact you only to have you drop the ball by not responding. This is like inviting someone to a lunch where you spend the whole time talking to someone else on your cell phone. Not the way to build a relationship.

Bloggers want to reach out. They want to get a viceral feeling for who you are. Doing so takes a little courage on their part. And not following through sends the message that you just don’t care.

So, here are five quick-and-easy ways to be sure you don’t make the biggest mistake in your blogging relationships:

  1. Reply Immediately by Email
    Sending a two sentence email right away that thanks them for contact you is can send more of a positive message than a well crafted longer message two days later. The immediate response makes the other person feel like they’re important to you.
  2. Send an Instant Message
    If they publish their IM Screen Name, use it to contact them as soon as you can. Sometimes this can lead to a brief virtual conversation that can be picked up later.
  3. Set an Appointment
    Even if you’re busy, take a few moments and respond to their message by inviting a time to talk later. Scheduling an appointment time for a brief (or lenghthy) conversation can be an effective way to meet them without stopping your current work flow.
  4. Call Them Out of the Blue
    If you have the time, respond with a phone call instead of an email. This can create quite the impression. I once had a well-known blogger send me an email saying that she was going to phone me at ‘1 pm today.’ She did and we had a great talk.
  5. Be Honest About How Busy You Are
    If you’re really busy and can’t get a bit of time away, let them know. People understand. A polite message letting them know that you’d love to meet them soon, but you’re currently under a deadline crunch can easily get the point across without seeming like a blow-off.

If you’re blogging to build relationships be sure to respond to people who contact you. Not doing so will send the wrong message.

Have you made the biggest mistake in your blogging relationships? How have you made up for it? What do you do to not make the biggest mistake?

There are, of course, plenty of other mistakes you can make with your blog. Here’s a few other posts where people have offered up the wisdom of their own experiences…

Small Business Advice: Be Unreasonable

I saw this quote this morning over on Doc Searl’s blog:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
— George Bernard Shaw

Great quote, is it not?
[Read more...]

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