Monthly Archives - June 2017

Get a vision for every area of your visionary lifestyle

I have this unique ability to see big, giant, colossal, ridiculously huge projects–equal parts artist and architect. There is the most intense level of satisfaction as a big picture is defined and comes to life for others to understand and embrace. I’m a visionary. If there’s a problem to be solved, I’m like a moth to a flame. I have to try to solve it. I’m a visionary. Whenever I’m asked, “What are you working on?” I have to giggle before I respond because I realize that if I tell the truth, most of the time it will sound preposterous. Imagine the comfort I derived from the definition of the word visionary.

ADJECTIVE: given to or characterized by fanciful, not presently workable, or unpractical ideas, views, or schemes; NOUN: a person of unusually keen foresight; a person who is given to audacious, highly speculative, or impractical ideas or schemes; dreamer – dictionary.com

Ambiguity is my friend. Possibility and Purpose are her cousins. Even if you can’t agree with those sentiments for yourself wholeheartedly, the Bible clearly says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” So, that tells me that if I am not happy with any area of life, it’s because I don’t have a vision for better. I like the part of the definition that says “not presently workable”. Your vision, by its very nature, will not be workable this very moment. That’s why it’s a vision. It’s a big picture.

Vision gives you the spark you need to endure any test, trial, or trauma. In every life, there will be many. Click To Tweet

You can say, “I want a better job,” but you have to define what “better” is. It’s that blurry picture way out on the horizon. I imagine those dream sequences in movies. They are glowing and idealistic. So, even though your vision is impractical, it serves a vital purpose. Habakkuk 2: 2 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain.” Vision gives you the spark you need to endure any test, trial, or trauma. In every life, there will be many. Statistics for business success tells us that only 20% of new businesses will make it past their first year, and after five years, half of those will go out of business (usatoday.com). That tells me that there’s more failure than success, and any entrepreneur can attest that they are changed in the process.

This has proven true in my own life, and I have seen it in the lives of entrepreneurs around me. What’s most astounding is that those same people (me included) keep going and going and going. It’s truly a way of life–the visionary lifestyle. That’s the reason for Vivid TalkRadio, a featured Blogtalk Radio Show, Vivid TalkLIVE, a live streaming video show, and Vivid Magazine, available in print, digital, and online versions, to cultivate the visionary lifestyle. You need to get a vision for every area of life. We have summed it us as your inside, your outside, and your surroundings. Making your vision “plain” is a process. I have defined it as the V.I.V.I.D.Model for growth and development. It serves as the foundation for everything we do, and we are bringing together other entrepreneurs and visionaries to coach you through the process.

As the Principal of Adam Red, a branding agency, and Better Life Coach, I am most concerned about the core–your inside. You will find me talking about faith and identity as a foundation because without a vision of who we are and where we ultimately come from, success will be fleeting. Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin and I connected through a women’s network. After 20 years in family practice, she launched REAL Weight Loss + Wellness, and as a Wellness Coach, she wants to help you get a vision for your outside. You need a vision for the physical body that carries you through this life. Katherine Jordan and I met through The Pinkpreneur Network. She is the owner of The Savvy ID where she is the Creative Director offering home staging for real estate agents and interior styling for female entrepreneurs. Katherine will help you get a vision for your surroundings. The environments that you create for yourself matter in this visionary journey. We decided to collaborate so that we could create, execute, and sustain something bigger than ourselves. Hear about our visionary lifestyles here, and tell us about yours for a chance to win Vivid swag!

Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin

The Entrepreneur’s Struggle Boils Down to a Decision

The precursor to our first episode of Vivid TalkRadio was my answer to Co-Host Gwen‘s question, “How are you doing?” I was at a point where I was seriously feeling the pains of being a new business owner. The overhead at my startup, REAL Weight Loss + Wellness, seemed to be taking over, emails coming by the page full, employee out sick, and I’m like, “Really? Is this gonna work out after all? What would happen if I gave up and went back to the ‘safe and steady’ world of getting a job?” My ego would eventually recover, but so much more was at stake. The debt I incurred would most certainly require a REALLY good gig. My family has sacrificed so much already. I have other people depending on me for their livelihood (my great team, who has not missed a step in this visionary journey). But most importantly, the decision to give up would mean I would never get to see the vision God intended when He planted the seed and started this meager bumper garden. At that moment, I didn’t have a choice. I had to make a decision.

I said to myself, “Look, you gotta make a decision. Either you are going to lose, or you are going to win. It’s up to you.”

Choices are options waiting for selection. Chocolate or vanilla? Tie or no tie? Burger or salad? We make choices every day–often without much contemplation. However, a decision very often requires you to create your own set of options or surmise possible outcomes. If I decide to go back to school and get that advanced degree, that may allow me to earn more income to meet a personal goal. If you decide to go to counseling in an effort to save your marriage, your kids could get to live with the benefits of both parents in their lives each day. Obviously, decisions take way more contemplation than a choice because we have to determine what’s at stake.

'I never lose, either I win, or I learn.' – Nelson MandelaClick To TweetSo, after much self-talk, cheerleading, mantras and serious prayer, I had a revelation. I said to myself, “Look, you gotta make a decision. Either you are going to lose, or you are going to win. It’s up to you.” This was not a choice, because I knew deep inside that either way there was going to be some type of aftermath. So no, the choice thing was not about picking. It was about determining in my mind that my decision would result in an intended outcome. Now, just how that looks, only time will tell. So, that day I posted on Facebook Live. (I make rare appearances when really compelled and the spirit hits me that somebody else may need this too.) I gave a little bit of me to the universe. It was a declaration that I had decided to win.

When that happened, things began to shift. The problems, setbacks and annoying issues didn’t stop (no they did not), but my approach was new. I decided that no matter what, I am winning. I am a winner. I am often reminded of my favorite quote, by the legendary, Nelson Mandela. It goes like this, “I never lose, either I win, or I learn.”

Is it time for you to make a decision? What decision do you need to make to take your life and your vision to the next level? Reply in the comments section below.

Plan and Publish Your Content Like a Pro with Coschedule

After working around the clock to relaunch Vivid TalkRadio and developing every imaginable asset to effectively plan and publish the content necessary to also launch Vivid Magazine and Vivid TalkLIVE, I have to ask myself, “Why is it that the most important things for us to do are the hardest to complete?” Of all the hats that entrepreneurs wear, the hardest may just be writer–even for writers. It’s true for me, and it’s worse for my clients. I’ve been actively seeking tools to help me help myself and my clients for five years.

I’m kind of embarrassed to discover that I was first introduced to Coschedule almost a year ago (yikes), and it was a first meeting that made my heart sing. As an agency owner, I have a list of marketing projects and social media accounts that is daunting to say the least. I am the first to recommend that one of my enterprising friends writes a blog. Advice abounds as my inner Coach rises up to save the day, yet getting beyond the stops and starts of my own blogging cycle has been nearly impossible. The search for a content calendar has been a 5-year journey that always led me back to Google Calendar. At least I could get a digital overview of what was in my head, schedule content ideas, keep a list of tasks, and share them with others. Google apps made it possible to edit from multiple devices. Perfect. Right? Not if you add all of the other programs, apps, and services I needed to keep the whole thing running.

You can find apps to help you make graphics, post automatically, and even give you analytics, but you have to do the inner, strategic work first that gives them something to build on. Click To Tweet

In comes Coschedule to save the day! Only I had to lift my head up from the work. As the Process Queen, it has taken all of those twelve months to expand my circle to get to know all that Coschedule has to offer. I would love to give you a thorough, step-by-step overview or tutorial…and even a testimonial of my success using Coschedule. However, this post is mostly about what Coschedule has forced me to come to terms with. That nagging inner voice, “Gwen, you are having trouble publishing consistent content because you don’t have a plan or a process.” But, I have a process for everything! And planning is practically my middle name.

When I looked around at my friends and my clients, I realized that we all have the same problem. Since I am surrounded by what I suspect is a disproportionate number of doers than the average person, they have formed a bit of a “focus group” for me (only because it’s so much easier to analyze others, than yourself). I don’t see anyone publishing consistent content. They seem to fall into two categories: 1) those that publish randomly, and 2) those who “hire” someone to do it. Now, if the stone I just threw made you holler, “Ouch,” hang in there with me.

Let’s talk about “hiring” someone. You can’t farm out your content entirely any more than you can pay someone to raise your children. Sure. You can employ someone else to help you with the mechanics of raising a child–picking them up, dropping them off, making them meals, etc. But they are no replacement for you–your heart, your soul, your values. You’re the only one who can impart that. So it is with your content. You can find apps to help you make graphics, post automatically, and even give you analytics, but you have to do the inner, strategic work first that gives them something to build on. Otherwise, they might get you to the front page of Google, but when visitors click, they are introduced to someone you don’t even recognize.

Finding your voice. Sharing your unique message. Offering value. That’s publishing content–not just for publishing’s sake, but for long-term growth, development, and relationship building with your customers, clients, and audience. And what Coschedule has done for a YEAR in my inbox is coach me…not just on how to use their product, but how to get a plan and create a process. I know who I am and what I have to offer, but sharing all of that requires a foundation, a platform. Coschedule has slowly pushed its way through the crowd of tools, and I’m ready to finally master it…and myself.

Coschedule Calendar

Coschedule’s Calendar gives you a color-coded, topline view of all of your marketing projects and who’s working on them.

Nathan, Kat, Garrett, Julie, Ben–they’ve all been coaching me through their emails and demonstrating why offering consistent value matters. And even why doing it when it doesn’t feel like anyone’s listening matters even more. I’m the perfect example. When I began writing this post, I thought I’d been introduced to Coschedule nine months ago, only to discover that it’s been almost twelve–requiring a very quick edit. (Surely, I’ve destroyed any sales funnel they could have created.) If every lead took this long to make a decision, most companies would be out of business. Yet, what they have done is demonstrate the power of publishing consistent, relevant, useful content. As much as I suspect I’ll love Coschedule as a tool, what I appreciate even more is the instruction, the lessons, the training. When I search my email for “coschedule”, the subject lines read like a master course in content publishing. I am literally going through them one at a time, searching for nuggets as I am getting started with Coschedule.

Here’s my top-line list of what really did it for me.

Concepts – 10x growth, 4, 6, 12 month planning

Getting Organized – Marketing projects, social media, blog posts, content marketing, podcasts, videos, and more

Team Management – Contributors, contractors, and employees

Templates – Social templates, posting schedules

Support – Every question answered via webinar or email

Coschedule

Coschedule gives me the opportunity to start and manage all of my marketing projects in one place–from concept to completion.

I am currently managing a dozen in-house and client brands and over 50 social accounts–posting primarily around events or account startup. Getting blog content from a client can be like pulling teeth (with the patient’s mouth closed). My graphic design roots make me cringe every time I release the responsibility for managing social media to anyone else. I always regret it. So, the ability to upload images, videos, text, post concepts, project tasks, and the like to Coschedule for collaboration with the entire team is almost too good to be true.

In addition to overload and the need to change my way of thinking about content, price was a factor in my procrastination. At first glance, Coschedule is more expensive than all but one of the other tools I have used. However, writing this review and referring others will reduce the cost. In fact, I have marked this as a “Sponsored Post”, not because Coschedule is paying me directly, but because I will be actively involved in helping you and others purchase and master their service. It’s what I do. All my friends know that when I find a tool that works, EVERYONE will know about it. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.

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