On Independence — Just Noticing

Happy Independence Day to my US friends. (and to my Canadian friends, celebrating independence on Canada Day, July 1). The roots of what was initiated here in the US more than 234 years ago started with great possibilities. Some of that purity of intent has gotten corrupted over time. But there remain bright lights and good hearts dotted across the continent. From these embers, we must ignite the new hope.

Eleven years ago, right about this time of the summer, I too had reason to celebrate a personal independence when I stepped out of the corporate publishing world to create my own venture.  My journey over these 11 years has had ups and downs, but right now I am creating something new to lift the ceiling, so that greater possibilities open up like flowers before me and inside me and for all who choose to play in my circle. I’m raising my set point on good new stuff for myself and for the Write Synergies Circle that I am creating.

I completed 25 of the blog posts during the 30 day blog challenge convened by Jeanette Cates. Not bad considering I was unplugged at a retreat for 8 of those days. I received the “Mini 7″ award, which is completing 7 daily posts. I liked to joke that several of us completed multiple “mini 7s.” It was great fun shared with a cool circle of people. I truly appreciate everyone’s energies as we journeyed together. I look forward to the mutual support from this special circle of people as we move forward.

In Lake Geneva, as I reported here earlier, I fell into a circle of heart-full new friends. In Hawaiian, it’s called an “O’Hana,” or family. And that’s just how it felt. Energized from this gathering, and using it as a springboard, my process and creations are being magnified at an amazing rate.

Over the past year, I have been shapeshifting the copywriting I do. It’s not going away, but it is morphing as all living things do.  For those who can benefit from coaching, even if they don’t need the copywriting, I am adding Full Presence Coaching as a sacred listening space to support people on their creative and business journeys.   I realize that some people can benefit from entering into a sacred space as part of these Full Presence mirror conversations — a perfect way to metabolize the learnings that they are going through. Send me an email if you want to discuss the coaching option.

I continue to work deeply with Susan Castle, Paul Bauer, Jan Stringer, Alan Hickman, as well as my coaches Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski. It’s interesting to observe how the mentors most important in my life right now are committed couples. Just noticing, that’s all.

AND YET:  “Just Noticing” is absolutely crucial. Think about this. Act on this. Aim, for a week, to build “just noticing,” into your everyday life.  As I write this at the kitchen table in my personal Shangri-La, the crows visit. Crow has become one of my totems since I began noticing crow’s presence in my daily life at crucial moments over the past year. Crow, like the yin and yang bracelet I wear, symbolizes the unity of the polarities.

“Just noticing.”

See what you notice, then report back. What are you able to notice when you pay attention to what is around you? What about when you pay attention to the story behind the story? I look forward to your shared insights and stories.

Here’s to independence and noticing!
Bobbye Middendorf
The Write Synergies Guru

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Missive from Shangri-La

Lake Geneva, WI — Just across the Wisconsin border from the greater Chicago area’s suburbs, the spring-fed Lake Geneva beckons summer vacationers into a delicious playground amid idyllic small towns and groves of 100-year-old trees. Dotted along its 26-mile circumference, resorts, summer homes, conference centers and camps abound. A public path circles the lake, so that all can enjoy its pleasures close-up.

On June 22, I was heading into the third night of my retreat with the Dreams Alive and Relax-Online partners, Paul Bauer and Susan Castle, along with their Hawaiian friend and co-leader, Keahi. We convened a sacred circle of like-hearted fellow-travelers on a path of growing ourselves, our consciousness, and our ability to flow from the heart with whatever life tosses in our direction. (Think curve balls.)

On Solstice Monday morning, three of our heart-full friends departed, making our intimate group even more so. During the week-long retreat, I entered deeply into the magic of the moment, a serene setting and powerful teachers moving internal energies that have been stuck seemingly for lifetimes.

I’ve gotten  myself off schedule for the blog challenge. I realize that I didn’t even finish editing the post that I automatically posted on Father’s Day. I cringed when I saw that it had published. “Oops,” I thought.

Lesson: Make sure you’ve completely cleared /cleaned the post before you schedule it!

Trying to put this retreat experience into words is a challenge and beyond. The transformations are so profound that to write about them somehow diminishes the power in the moment. Words that embody the essence of the experience simply can’t do it justice.

For pragmatic business people, doing personal growth and development work at deep levels like this is both crucial and yet seemingly impossible. It appears to be the opposite of practical.

Yet I suggest that this process of finding the essence of your life purpose and clearing the obstacles that have kept you from living fully into that purpose is among the most practical and foundational work imaginable. It opens the door for the right business relationships to grow from the rooted heart of who you are and why you are here.

The retreat was all-consuming for seven delicious days. The internet connection was something that, if used at all, had to be mindfully approached. Although it was available, it was not convenient and ever-present.

So, I got off track.  I didn’t manage to pre-write the posts either. This is coming to you a week after I wrote it. I want to express my appreciation to each of you for your love and support.

From my heart,
Bobbye Middendorf
The Write Synergies Guru

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Goldilocks Comes to YOUR Business

You remember Goldilocks,
the girl who was looking in the Bears’ house
for the “just right” porridge, chair, and bed?

What will Goldilocks find if she comes to
your home or business? When she looks
at your client relationships, will she see
the people who fit “just right?”

Who Are Your Just Right People?

The first 30-day blogging challenge
again brought me face to face with an ongoing
question that most of us self-employed folks
grapple with regularly:

Who are my clients who fit just right?
Who are the people in my just-right tribe?

Do you ever ask yourself similar questions?

With so many ways to package ourselves and our
services, so many venues and outlets, so many
ways to communicate and connect, how do we
decide where to start, what to do first, and most
importantly — WHO to connect with?
WHO most needs and benefits from our services
and products?

Need Just Right Clients? Check in with Goldilocks!

I recently finished Molly Gordon’s Goldilocks
Strategy class all about getting clients who
fit just right. I came out with a clear picture of
my just-right client, the words those just right clients say
when looking for services like mine, and stepping stones through
the many ways my clients can choose to work with me.

Molly has repackaged her particular brand of
gentle magic and has a special D-I-Y [Do-It-Yourself]
Home-Study version of the Goldilocks Strategy
for Getting Clients That Fit Just Right course —
the one I just completed this past spring.

If you’ve ever longed to be able to identify
who are the “just right clients” (or readers,
or customers, or circle, or tribe, or audience,
or buyers, or viewers, or participants in your groups…)
then this program may be a great fit for you.

You can read about it and get the details at:
Get Your Just Right Clients

OR go to this link. Just copy and paste it into
your browser bar:
http://budurl.com/JustRightClientsBJM

I’ve gotten great results from my work
with Molly in this course. And if you’re
anything like me,  if you’re a conscious creator,
an artist, healer, writer, or coach who is looking for ways
to authentically connect with “just right clients,
I bet you will too!

The Goldilocks Strategy shows you
step-by-step how to:

*Recognize your just-right clients
so you can focus on them and not
on some amorphous “public.”

*Find out exactly what they
want so you can honestly and
simply address their needs.

*Design products and services that
practically sell themselves.

And you’ll know how to do all
that and still be yourself.

You CAN learn to consistently get clients,
and not just any clients.
Clients who fit just-right.
Clients who hire you or buy your
products again and again. Clients who
tell other people about you.
(Can you say “word of mouth”?)

The Home Study Version of “Goldilocks”
ships on June 21. Check out this link:

http://budurl.com/JustRightClientsBJM

I so believe in Molly, her Authentic Promotion approach,
her business philosophy, what she teaches and how,
that I give my strongest possible recommendation.

Full disclosure:
As an affiliate, I will receive
a referral fee if you click my link
and you do choose to purchase.

You can read more about it and get the details at:
Get Your Just Right Clients

Or copy and paste:
http://budurl.com/JustRightClientsBJM

Here’s to all of us attracting an abundance of our
clients who fit just-right!

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Marketing According to Tolkien

I originally called this post “Writing and Weaving Your Marketing Bridge,” because that follows the theme of several of my posts so far during this 30 day blogging challenge.  Instead, I want to give credit to the source of my inspiration. This is also a post in the occasional series “Wisdom from unexpected places.”

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy,  one of my favorite sections is in Volume 1, of the Fellowship’s visit to Lothlorien, the treacherous land of the elves, under the care and protection of the Lady Galadriel.

To get there, the men, hobbits, and a dwarf (along with the elf in the Fellowship) must cross a cold and rushing river on two strands of hithlain, the uncanny strong rope woven from all that is beautiful and loved by the elves.

Not sure I could have done it! But picture that bridge of two thin ropes, seeming not much stronger than a spider’s gossamer, created with the immense love reflected in the quote below.

More wisdom from unexpected places, something I want to share from this book. Consider this quote, spoken of the elvish cloaks, gifts to the Fellowship travelers, “Leaf and branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these things under the twilight of Lorien that we love; for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make.”

That is what to aim for, writing and weaving your heart and light into the message that will make the connection between your creation and your community. It may be as thin as the elvish rope, but it is made strong from the essence of your heart woven into the words.

That’s marketing, and it’s using words to weave the bridge out of all that you love. It’s at the heart of Write Synergies: The Words that Bring Heart to Your Marketing and Soul to Your Business. These are the Write Synergies you need to generate results, (communications, connections) greater than the sum of the parts.

Wouldn’t writing from the heart be helpful here with this marketing task? And is there a way to make writing bigger, expansive enough to encompass these Cs?

*Your Creation
*Your Commitment
*Your Community
*Your Connections
*Your Communications
*Your Content

Is there a way to  put some juice into the words, to get results that are bigger than just word + word, greater than the sum of the parts?

Tomorrow: You do what you do, you do what is yours to do. But how do you put your particular gifts and magic and greatness into the words to build that bridge?

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Grow Content AND Relationships

A guest post over at Problogger.net recently commented, “Treat the blog … as a promotional vehicle for an actual business. This isn’t to say all you do is pimp your products. On the contrary, you provide really great content in order to build the relationship up with your reader. However, you do it with the aim of converting into a sale of your own product.”

With the opening bell of the 30-day blogging challenge convened by Jeanette Cates, Ph.D., it’s important to consider the attitude and approach our blogs are taking.  Every blog takes a somewhat different approach, and certainly they are designed as one piece of our businesses.

So, while this is true, that the blog is a promotional tool, it seems to me much more than that.  We sell ourselves, our clients/customers, and our content short if making the sale is the sole focus. While we are in business, it’s also important to create an appropriate space for relationships to expand and unfold.

Blogs are perfect places to share value and build community.  For me, the part of the quote that does hit the mark is, “…great content to build relationship with your readers.” Marketing, in particular soft sell marketing, is all about making the connections and building the relationships in a respectful way.

Ultimately we are not serving our perfect customers and clients well if we don’t move into meeting their needs  by selling our products/services in the spirit of serving them.  Maybe that’s why the line, “…you do it with the aim of converting into a sale…” somehow rubs me the wrong way. It doesn’t hit at the nuances of care for your perfect customers that I think is a critical ingredient, especially in my market of visionaries, messengers, authors, writers, conscious creators, soul-preneurs, and healers.

As a solo professional, the “product” at the moment is me–and the services I provide to help visionaries and conscious creators get their messages out to their perfect customers/clients.

But as a writer, the blog is also a place for developing book content and other creative solutions for people– who may “just” be readers of the blog. It’s designed to give my own perfect clients a taste of my philosophy, values, and style.  They can get a sense of whether it’s a “fit” to consider working with me in a more in-depth way.

So this blog focuses on publishing content in the service of relationship-building, which is itself the foundation  of marketing. It’s also a place for people to learn and gain value even if they don’t buy something right away.

To fully serve people, the next step is to sell something.  At the same time, I  am committed to the importance of publishing remarkable content as a way to build relationships.

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Blog Challenge Webinar

Just minutes to Jeanette Cates’ webinar to launch #blog30, the 30-day blog challenge.

http://meetourmembers.com/blog-challenge-begins/

(also wanting to test the Twitter Tools. Can I figure out how to automate??)

Many thanks to @piotrkrzyzek for his instructions on Twitter Tools.

http://www.piotrkrzyzek.com/automatically-tweet-when-you-make-a-wordpress-blog-post/#comment-53396811

Thank you!

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Boost Your Writing with Reading

I admit it. I’m a book person. (Yearbooks in school started my publishing journey. Then working in corporate book publishing for ~20 years. Then freelancing for a variety of publishers, ghostwriting books, marketing books, writing press releases for books, helping people with web sites about books, coaching people about their books… Finally focusing on creating my own books. And all the while reading and buying still more books. Maybe lightening my load soon when I get my new iPad. We’ll see…)

In fact, I may be a book-a-holic. Yes. There it is. Out there in public. One of my “drugs of choice” is books. My husband despairs of my book piles that threaten to topple over. Our house my not really be sturdy enough to house my existing library. (Clued in about this by those funny cracks that seem to keep appearing…)

During my childhood, summer was a time to fall deeply into books. I’ve also been an avid re-reader, revisiting stories that resonated with me time and again.  “So many books, so little time,” is a phrase that was tailor made for me. How about you?

Simultaneously to reading comes the writing. Or vice versa. In fact, there are real synergies that grow in a process of reading and writing.  Each one feeds off the other.

Many people are interested in bringing more ease and authenticity into their writing. They long to be purposeful with their messages about their businesses and projects and creations and ventures. One of the ways to find your authentic voice is to practice writing, ideally in a public sphere like this blogging challenge, where you will be able to tap into a zeitgeist and community of like-minded others and to receive feedback.  You’ll be both reader and writer here.

In addition to writing, reading can be a powerful way to embrace and test your writing. One summer, I went through the letters of Virginia Woolf — volume after volume. Yes, that summer my friends from college received letters from me that unconsciously picked up the tone and flavor of VW’s letters. You can’t help but learn from your reading. It’s what nourishes your soul and heart and voice and mind.

So I want to acknowledge and thank the folks at Flashlight Worthy Books on Twitter as  @flwbooks for sharing this link. It inspired my blog post (as books are wont to do) and offers windows to “see with fresh eyes” in ways to rethink and revisit your own writing process.

7 Great Titles for a Writer Digging for Inspiration

And welcome to the second 30 day blogging challenge for 2010. Follow the fun on Twitter at #blog30.

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Prepping for June’s Blog Challenge

It’s been quiet over here at http://www.writesynergiescopywriting.com
since I completed Connie Green’s 30-day blog challenge
earlier this month. But lots of things are
simmering on the back burner, so watch for the
feasts and creative explosions to come!

I was revisiting some of the posts a few days ago.
They still sound pretty good! I invite you over
to partake in the synergies that are growing!

There’s another 30-Day Blogging Challenge
coming up! For the entire
month of June, (1-30) there’s a group forming to
continue the blogging fun and business-building.

This time, Jeanette Cates is leading the group.
Go to http://twitter.com/JeanetteCates and search
for #blog30 or connect with her at
http://jeanettecates.com/what-makes-a-great-blog-challenge/
to join the blogging challenge.
Join the fun!
Plus: Today (5-28) Jeanette has “feature member profile”
of yours truly at the customized  member site for this
month’s blog challenge at http://meetourmembers.com/

(So, yes, you’d need to register to see my profile!)
Happy Blogging to All!

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Blown Away Blog Challenge 30 of 30 The Peeps Edition

Blown Away 1: Todd
I didn’t even think about winning a contest when I used (some of) the social media tools I’ve gotten more comfortable with over the past month to spread the word about Todd Temaat‘s “Win Your Local Market” contest. He was looking to generate interest in his work and his upcoming training/membership program.

I was speechless when I heard I’d won his incredibly valuable grand prize of two months of his coaching for communicating all things local online. I literally couldn’t even process the news. Thank you Todd. I look forward to participating in your magical process. And, I think it’s sometimes tough for local market-focused people to “get” all that they can actually do with social media. Many are in the beginning stages, and the steps of your contest might have seemed daunting for someone not already somewhere in the stream already.

Blown Away 2 – ??

Can’t even count all the pleasures and friendships that have grown up over the past month from #blog30 community that grew up around the 30 Day blogging challenge. Of course, to start, there’s the incomparable Connie Ragan Green herself, the woman who convened, gathered, and offered the #blog30 group a “home base” throughout. She’s an inspiring, self-made empire builder who wants to help others build lots of other empires!

Then I connected with writing maven Debra Marrs who started the #blog30 challenge. It worked so well that she got so busy with clients that she didn’t finish. Her encouragement out of the starting gate really fueled me in those early days when I didn’t “know” anyone else. (We’d met through Christina Hills’ Web Site Creation Workshop.)

Can’t even say where to begin to thank all the remarkable people I’ve shared the past month with. Some I’ve gotten to know better than others, but each of you is remarkable, as a person, entrepreneur, and a creator. Thank you. I look forward to staying connected and deepening the conversations as we proceed onward. Hope to see some of you on the June #blog30 under the guidance of Dr. Jeannette Cates.

When in Southern California, I know I have a second home with Melanie Kissell and all the love from the Solo Mompreneur crew. Her heart is bigger than the state of California.

When headed to the East coast, to South Carolina, there’s storyteller and businesswoman extraordinaire, Jeanne Kolenda. Jeanne’s stories are alchemical transformations of everyday life to something  more. She’s partnered in biz with Sue White (on Twitter as @WhiteSue )

Greetings to Terrie Wurzbacher in San Antonio, a warm-hearted doc sharing the wisdom from universal laws at getunstuckllc.com.

My new go-to techXpert: @MyWebGal, Deb Augur, in Washington state.

Heather Bestel in Scotland shows us all how to move from mad dash to organised simplicity with great warmth and charm.

New friends, resources, experts, supporters — Many thanks to all who commented, retweeted, posted, and generally spread the great energy as part of the #blog30  including

Martha Giffen, online maven extraordinaire.

Marcia Hoeck, for all things breakthrough for your  business.

Geoff Hoff, writer’s writer w/ a theatrical flair.

Piotr Krzyzek on marketing and social media.

With gratitude to Annette Nack for her part in the 30 Day blog challenge.

Get fit with 50 and Fit founder, Kazi

Meet Vernon Harleston on The High Road

Find all things health with the All-health expert Robert Britt

Get happy with Happiness Guru Evelyn Roberts Brooks

Where to go for innovation ideas? Innovation Expert Steve Sponseller

Thanks to Gwen Tanner who is inspiring me to reshape my offerings in her role as  @ecoursemaster.

Kudos to Helen Raptoplous an energetic proponent of Moving your Business Forward: Action Habits that Matter Most.

Acknowledging Janet Eisenbise from Coach4LifeChange, sharing insights with grace and wisdom.

Oh, my.  Loving apologies for omissions and those I haven’t caught up with this time. Let’s connect in the follow-on #blog30–coming in June and hosted by Dr. Jeannette Cates! And it will use the same twitter #blog30 hashtag! Thanks to everyone for your support!!

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Writing Your Way to Lifelong Learning — Blog Challenge Post 28

For a year now, I’ve saved a blog post title idea: drinking from the fire hose. It’s a physical and metaphorical image of the overwhelm engendered by the information overload that overtakes me when I consider all the information in every form: books, reports, teleseminars, courses, blogs, web sites, FB. Don’t even mention twitter, google, wiki, squidoo, amazon, ezine articles, or clickbank. It is a gushing river of — you guessed it — words.

Master storyteller Jeanne Kolenda, one of our #blog30 colleagues, recently posted about lifestyle of learning.  Jeanne concludes, “never, ever give up a lifestyle of learning.  It will keep you young, AND make you successful.” Wow. Let’s bottle some of that! I prefer to think of it as lifelong learning, but sometimes I wonder: Am I just being a perpetual student? That definitely has a nasty pejorative ring to it.

Still, the reality is you won’t get far along an entrepreneurial path without constantly refreshing, updating, refining, and expanding your knowledge and skills. You may think you need to go broad or maybe deep. It works differently for different people. But whether you do a deep dive or a cross-section, the next task for the lifelong learner is putting it all into practice, turning knowledge into embodied wisdom. That is the goal I think. To somehow metabolize what you need to know so that you can do what you need to do swiftly and easily.

Yet to understand our constantly evolving selves, we must become in some sense perpetual students to our inner selves, curiously exploring our own patterns of light and shadow. For plumbing those depths, writing is the tool of choice, at least for me. Some can get there with movement, with paints or clay, or with musical notes. Once again — for many —  writing’s eminent adaptability comes through, as the companion on an inner journey, even as it makes up the flow of all the outer forms of information as well. That is the magic and mystery of the Write Synergies Path.

Wise metaphysicians would point out, in addition to all the busy-ness of the doing,  the learning, the delving — both internally and externally — at the root of it all there’s the being. And that’s what actually needs to come first. First being, then doing.

Writing, although it may be the currency and language of the vast majority of the information universe out there, it is also a way to connect with the most profound center and heart of our being.  Although it’s gushing like a firehose to put out the fires of our ignorance, it can also become the river of our own words that carry us to the pulsing heart of our passion and contribution, then safely carries us back out.

Take a deep deep breath. Keep writing. Keep being. And sometimes, the doing will keep.

approaching the end at #blog30

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