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A lesson in marketing and sales prowess

Who would have thought that a five-year-old could teach me more about sales prowess in two minutes than four years of college combined? This little story that I forgot to share with you guys actually inspired a fiction piece.

I was, of course, angsting over what to include in my business plan when the doorbell rang. I wasn't really expecting anyone, so I took my time getting to the door. In the ten seconds it took me to reach the door, my doorbell had rang six times, coupled with numerous pecks, scratches and kicks at my door and window. I was absolutely livid. How dare someone bang on my door like that! Opening the door to give the culprit a shot of my fury, I was surprised to find two little girls no older than five and six; one raven-haired, the other strawberry blond.

The strawberry blond proceeded to silently thrust a battered, but unopened bottle of Aquafina in my face. The brunette, not to be outdone, quickly took two steps forward and shoved a sticky, half-empty bottle of Orange-aid at me. She confidently asked, "Do ya wanna buy something to drink?"

I decided to humor myself, and asked, "How much is it?"

The brunette replied, "A dollar." Observing the orange stain on her t-shirt and the orange ring around her mouth, she clearly had already taken her share off the top. She sure has the marketing spirit. Buy low, consume, sell high. At least that was her system.

I politely told her no, and said goodbye. I thought my ordeal was over until the brunette quickly turned toward me again, fist on her hip, and asked, "Are you really sure?" in a way only little girls can. By now she was tapping her foot in the grass, eyes determined to convince me of the horrendous mistake I was making in not buying her product. Talk about a hard sell.

Twenty minutes later, I'm a dollar poorer and staring at a sticky, half-empty bottle of Orange-aid. Darn, I should have gotten the Aquafina.


I wanna be a Pro Blogger!!!

What does it take to become a pro blogger? I've asked myself this question since I first discovered the blogging revolution. The answer seems to lie in possessing a combination of marketing savvy, charm, and a bit of writing talent.

Marketing Savvy
Pro bloggers are some of the best marketers around. Check out John Chow's blog and notice how he's not shy when it comes to advertising. He's actually rather ad-heavy, but it works out well for him because his blog has substance. Like Steve Pavlina, John Chow's blog has a certain...

Pro bloggers tend to be charming. It's no secret, really. There has to be something about them that keeps you coming back for more, otherwise there would be no pro bloggers. In order to be "charming," I think you should be passionate about your blog topic. Yes, I realize that keywords and search volume will muddy things a bit. As a GENERAL guideline, follow your heart and the money should follow you (I have numerous blogs that go against this grain of advice).

Writing Talent
Bloggers, in general, should be able to effectively convey their ideas in written form. You don't have to be Socrates or Maya Angelou, although you should have basic language structure mastered. Above all, pro bloggers are engaging. Think of it this way...you're telling people about your breakfast this morning. How interesting is that going to be to the masses? More interesting than I would have ever imagined, apparently, because pro bloggers what about that exact topic regularly. I had cold pizza this morning showered in a flurry of Parmesan cheese. Was I engaging enough? Can I be a pro blogger now? Pleeeeease?

Rosie's Blog and nirvana...of sorts

How many of you read Rosie's blog? Until very recently, I had not. I'll be brutally honest here: celebrity blogs don't interest me in the least. What, the paparazzi doesn't give enough face time? There's something about Rosie, however.

Her blog reads like a mosaic of prose, Hallmark sincerity, and 1st grade writing class. It's a combination that works for her.

Reading through Rosie's blog posts made me think more about the image I want to convey to you guys. I question whether I am providing a superficial overview of myself or if I'm really accomplishing what I originally set out to accomplish. The intent of this blog is within the realm of literary therapy. A journal is much too private at times and leaves me alone with my thoughts. This is absolutely fine for the most part. The problem is that I already KNOW what I think! I want to reach outside the confines of my own limited perception. Am I making any sense?

Yes, the theme of this blog is my journey to a debt-free life. The pursuit of debt-free living is but one aspect of my life. I don't have the time or energy to devote a blog to each mini-me. So, fair warning, from this point on you will read posts describing my thoughts on financial freedom as well as life, love, politics (sparingly), and the world as I experience it.

This should be interesting...


Smart Goal Setting

Smart goal setting is something I've done consistently for years. My problem is supplying the action required to take the goals from my notebook to my reality.

Smart is actually an acronym for a goal setting formula. When writing down your goals, you should make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-specific.

This formula works for a number of reasons, but most times I notice that I lack the sticktuitiveness to accomplish anything. I completely lack focus and it really makes me... oh, wait, I think I just thought of another goal!