Tag Archives: guest post

Guest Post: Heather Green

Make Your Dream Career a Reality

If you hate your job, or you think it is just okay, you may want to take the time now to pursue a career you really love. If you think about it, you spend the majority of your day five days a week at work. This is a lot of time to waste on something you are not passionate about. It may take effort, and you may need to make drastic changes in your life to make it happen, but the work will be worth it.

Decide What You Want to Do

Often people go to work every day to a job they hate, but they do not do anything about it, because they have not idea what they want to do. The first job in changing to your dream career is to figure out what it is you want to do. Start by making a list of five things you love to do. These should be things you would do even if you never get got paid to do them. Then from that list find three or four different jobs for each on item on the list that would allow you to spend a great deal of your time doing that thing. Look over the list and decide on two or three that make you the most excited and research what you need to do to pursue that career.

Make a Plan

Once you have a career idea in mind, you will need to research what you need to do in order to pursue that career. You need to find out the education requirements, work requirements, and any other experience or knowledge you need to pursue that job. Break those requirements down into steps and create a plan to reach that dream job. For example if you love to read, and you would love to become a book editor, you will need at least an English degree, possibly a Masters degree in publishing or editing. You will also likely need to work as an intern while you are in school or when you first start working in the industry. You will then work your way up through the ranks from intern to assistant editor to editor.

Put the Plan into Action

Start putting the plan into action right now. Take the first step that will help you reach your goal. If you need to go back to school, the first step would be to fill out an application to apply for school. If you need to take additional training, but you do not need an entire degree, the first step would be to find a seminar or certification course to help you reach your goals. After you have taken the first step it is easier to follow through on the rest of your plan. The only person that is holding you back is you. You can do it!

About the Author:
Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for http://onlinenursingdegrees.org. Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics.

Negotiation Know-How: 6 Keys to Masterful Deal Making

What are the secrets to masterful deal making? Below, Wylie offers basic steps to becoming an ace dealmaker—skills that will help bolster your position whether you’re negotiating for a railroad or a rental car, and whether you’re acting on behalf of a worldwide organization, a sole proprietorship or just your own personal finances: 

• Key # 1: Know your value. While you can’t know every possible result that the other party would want, be sure to understand what your offer or position can do for them. This means researching all the potential benefits and ways that your idea, product and/or service could help the other party, whether it is solve a problem, increase earning potential or simply make their life or business more convenient and enjoyable. If your argument is lacking some key benefit, then it is up to you to figure out how to adapt it so that it can serve the needs of your target audience while also achieving your own objectives. This takes time, effort, forethought and sometimes research, but it is well worth it when it’s clear to the other party that you not only understand their needs, but you also seek to structure an agreement that’s in their direct best interest as well. 

• Key # 2: Personal relations. Relationship management is the key to showing the other party who you are as an individual, what you can do, where your values lie and how the deal at hand will benefit everyone involved. You learn about them; they learn about you – it’s a two way street. Both parties must feel that there’s synergy – a chemistry of sorts; only then can a mutually beneficial relationship be forged. From there, you present your win-win case, handshakes are offered and agreements are signed. Frequently, deals can close quickly and easily because people have come to know and trust you, either directly or by referral, making them comfortable to do business with you. If you create a strong enough brand and a stellar enough reputation, others will want to be part of the success you’ve amassed.   Your opposition will clamor to close the deal with you.

 • Key # 3: Get buy-in on your vision. Getting others on board with your plan can be challenging, especially when there are many people involved and/or there is much at stake relative to risk and potential upside. A critical step in artful deal making is to convey and articulate your vision of the outcome in such a way that the opposing party will desire that very same outcome.   The “WIIFM’ – “what’s in it for me” – factor must be made crystal clear to the other party as you present your position. Of course, to do this effectively, you must first understand, or predict based on sound preparation, what the vision of the other party is likely to be at the onset of negotiations. This way, you can appropriately integrate synergistic ideas so that the visions ultimately meld.  In addition, vision buy-in will be facilitated if you underscore to the other person that they will still be involved at a conceptual level as the project ensues. 

• Key # 4: Be humble. You have to be humble, but firm, to effectively broker a deal. There’s a fine line between the two, particularly when you’re dealing with people who have already attained a measure of success.  Always respect the positions of the other people involved in your negotiations, no matter how badly, or not, you want the deal. It’s important to be fair and honest about the negotiation and to keep your intentions pure. You need to let people know you have the ability and desire to perform the task you’re charged with. You also need to showcase with quantifiable examples that you put 100 percent effort behind everything you do. At the same time, you must express genuine respect and appreciation for what the other parties, what they have done and who they are—even if they’re, well, jerks. Even a jerk can grow to appreciate, respect and ultimately benefit you, and once that two-way street is established negotiations can ensure and deals can be made. Humility with backbone. It’s a tricky combination to maintain, but one that’s absolutely mission critical. 

• Key # 5: Finesse. No matter how large or small, almost every deal takes finesse, which is where skill and natural ability meet. This is where you get to have fun and allow your personality to shine. It means being able to explore different angles and try the somewhat weird and wacky—maybe even a bit of the fearless and crazy. It’s problem solving with a twist. It’s poise and diplomacy. It’s art. In the end, when finesse comes into play, the parties genuinely like each other and all sides look for ways to make sure the deal becomes a reality. For the best wheeler-dealers, finesse comes naturally; they don’t even know they’re doing it. If you’re lucky, it works that way for you as well. If not, develop it, let it flow and have fun trying it. Before you know it, you’ll be finessing your deals, too.

 • Key # 6: Swagger. Swagger is an attitude you implement through finesse; it uses finesse as a tool. If finesse is about problem solving and outside-the-box thinking, then swagger is about having commanding and authoritative disposition and demeanor but without being pretentious or arrogant. It’s about knowing how good you are and hinting at what you are capable of but without being braggadocios. Swagger is a spirited characteristic that you possess and radiate without ever compromising your integrity or sacrificing your general likability. In a deal-making situation, your swagger should exude confidence, success and fearlessness. Hit the right notes with your swagger, and you’ll walk away with what you want. Just one more step in perfecting your life-wealth plan.

 Master the six steps outlined above and you’ll be ready for some high stakes deal making. Remember, though, that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so conquering negotiating skills isn’t going to happen that quickly either. Start small before attempting to hit the Big Leagues. You may have to stumble a few times, but just get back up and go at it again.  Along the way, keep both your successes and your failures in perspective, remembering that they are just stepping-stones along your lifetime of deal adventures.  Once you’ve mastered the art, aim high—just like those seemingly crazy and fearless billionaires. 

Internationally-regarded investing and entertainment mogul Arthur Wylie is the author of “Only the Crazy and Fearless Win BIG!: The Surprising Secrets to Success in Business and in Life” (www.CrazyandFearless.com) and serves as CEO of Arthur Wylie Enterprises – a brand with diverse practice areas, including include business consulting, real estate, investing, speaking, entertainment/film production, book publishing and philanthropy.


Guest Post from Amy Shoemaker

Holyport Lodge. Now a BUPA nursing home
Image via Wikipedia

What Is Being Done To End Nursing Home Abuse?

The Problem

Currently, about 1.5 million nursing home residents reside in the United States.  Nine-out-of-ten nursing homes are understaffed and the hours per day nursing home personnel are recommended to spend with residents by the government is not being met by many nursing homes.  Employees are underpaid, overworked, and, in many cases, undertrained; five percent have criminal records, and 25 percent of those prosecuted for nursing home related crimes already had a record.   Unfortunately, all of these factors and the fact that many elderly patients have psychological or physical incapacities lead to abuse in nursing homes; 33 percent of all nursing homes nationwide have been reported for some form of elder abuse.  The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision solely because it means that they will live away from family and friends.  With the added threat of abuse, and it is a real threat, the decision becomes almost a lose-lose situation.  Given some of the atrocities in nursing homes, what is being done to stop the abuse?

Unfortunately, federal officials have found that state inspection agencies are not fully fulfilling their objectives.  States are required by their contracts with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to perform annual surveys at nursing homes.  However, mistakes are being made and inaccuracies recorded.  The General Accountability Office (GAO) is a federal agency whose mission is to guarantee that federal programs are meeting their constitutional responsibilities.  The agency has been investigating state agencies for a few decades after the high rate of abuses came to their attention.  They have found two main problems with state inspection officials.  The first problem is the state inspectors are passing dangerous homes.  The second problem is that when state inspectors determine that abuse or neglect are present, they are understating the degree of harm.  And, unfortunately, the GAO reported in 2008 that both of these mistakes have led to harm, injury, and death of nursing home residents.  According to a 2003 GAO report, 20 percent of nursing homes were state approved despite actually being dangerous.

A main reason for these mistakes are that nursing homes generally know the dates state officials will go to their facilities to complete inspections; this allows homes sufficient time to prepare, and hide their deficiencies.

What is being done?

Federal agencies, like AGO and The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services are working to rectify these mistakes.  Annually they complete investigations and release reports on nationwide nursing home abuse statistics and improvements.  Since AGO’s initial investigations, state inspection related mistakes and oversights have decreased.  However, since the nursing home population is growing annually due to the Baby Boomer generation’s accelerating age, nursing home abuse is not necessarily becoming less common.

Advocacy groups also work to end nursing home abuse.  They have risen in popularity in recent years, bringing to light the abuses taking place in nursing homes.  Groups educate the public on individuals’ experiences and attempt to prevent abuses by releasing relevant data and statistics.  They also provide resources and tools for victims and their families.

Amy Shoemaker is a guest post and article writer bringing to us her thoughts on nursing home abuse.

Additionally, Amy writes about this subject for http://www.nursinghomeabuse.net

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Special Guest Post From Deborah Bailey

Embrace Life
Image by joesflickr via Flickr


I’ve learned a lot from this wonderful author & professional coach in the last year from how to “Think like an entrepreneur” to just putting aside your fears…Whether it’s a fear of a business failure or, success, Deborah breaks it down for all creatives on how to get over yourself & get on with it!


How to Move Through Fear

by Deborah A Bailey

The other day I got an email from a gentleman named, Tim. He asked me for
advice about looking for a new job. He was unemployed and money was running
low, but he wanted to make a fresh start.

How much courage does it take to transform your life after it’s come undone?
Having been through this situation myself more than once, I’d say it takes
quite a lot. That’s the difference between those people who survive and
those who thrive. Survival is going from one crisis to the next, always
shocked and a little surprised that you made it. Thriving is a totally
different experience.

When you thrive you are not expecting doom at every turn. Your life isn’t
just an endless journey through anxiety and insecurity. Yes, things do
happen and life is not always a big bowl of cherries. I’m not saying you’ll
never be hurt or disappointed, but I am saying that how you react to those
things will determine your life experience. We can spend a lifetime blaming
this one or that one, being a victim of circumstances and believing that
someone else took our stuff. Lots of people do it everyday. If that appeals
to you, I certainly won’t discourage it. However, if you love your life no
matter what you are thriving. That’s something no one can ever take away
from you.

At the end of Tim’s email, he admitted to being uneasy about the changes he
was about to make. He acknowledged his fears, but then he said he wanted a
better life and was going to take the steps to get it. From the outside his
life may not look very attractive, but with that admission he’s already made
the move from surviving into thriving. I’m excited for him, and I’m looking
forward to hearing about his progress.

1. How about you? Are you ready to make the move? If so, here are some steps
you can take.

2. Get clear of negative people and negative influences. If someone is
always telling you what can’t be done or how awful everything is, you won’t
benefit from being in that energy.

3. Take some quiet time everyday. Whether you call it meditating or being
alone with your thoughts, take time for yourself.

4. Keep learning new things. Once you decide you know it all, you will never
grow beyond that point.

5. Write down your ideas and your goals. There’s something about writing
them down that makes them real.

6. Laugh. Not only is laughing healthy, but it’s much more attractive as
well. Who would you rather be with – someone who laughs or someone who’s
always grumpy?

7. Love yourself, a lot.

8. Embrace life. Don’t wait for some terrible event to occur before you
appreciate what you have.

I’ve been in survival mode and in thriving mode, and I can tell you that
thriving is much better. No, fear doesn’t completely go away, but it stops
being a way of life. We all have the power to go from surviving to thriving,
and in the end it’s up to us to make it happen.

Copyright © 2010 – 2011 Deborah A. Bailey
Excerpted from “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and
Taking Charge of Your Life” available on Amazon.com.

Some T.G.I.F. News!

I’m a bit exhausted this evening…been a heel-of-a week! I worked so darn hard today I literally forgot it’s friday! But, I was reminded when I checked my emails & there was the link to my guest post @ The Urban Muse! Thanks Susan Jonhston for reminding me it’s not all for naught:) Anyhoo, I’ll be send along a mini press release to all of my email friends/family shortly because I’m in essence promoting my blog for women at http://wisewoman2.wordpress.com with this guest post acceptance. By visiting The Urban Muse today, folks will get to see a pic of yours truly…ok, so I’m in dire need of a freelance photog (free services) but, it is what it is. Seriously, please visit my guest post at http://www.urbanmusewriter.com/2010/04/guest-post-how-i-built-popular-blog-for.html and leave a comment to let me know you were there.

I should be working on my next interview questions set for next week with the poet/author I’d mentioned in an earlier post. I will not give away all of the details but, let me assure you, those who haven’t heard her name will become blown away by her work like I was! I’m also going to talk about what’s in my head and need to be laid to rest-the takeover of REALITY TV…Haven’t you all noticed? I mean, what’s really going on!?!

But, I’m tired from working today & I need to get a bit of R&R, so let’s meet here same time/your time soon…

Guest Post-Essential Speaking By Doreen Hamilton,PH.D.

Remember my promise of something special? Well, dear readers, this guest post is not to be missed. Clara54 is proud & excited to introduce Doreen Hamilton,PH.D on Essential Speaking!

Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice
We are all public speakers. Whether you are giving a presentation at work, sharing your opinion at a meeting, or talking to someone one-on-one, you are expressing yourself. The question is, do you feel comfortable and confident being who you are? These 7 steps help you focus on what really matters in any communication—your authentic self.
1. BE SILENT – always start from a place of silence. Quiet yourself. Being comfortable without any words is powerful.
2. BE PRESENT – Focus on the current moment. Let go of concerns about what has happened before or what might happen in the future.
3. BE AWARE – Use your eyes to take in the people you are with. Don’t avoid looking directly at them. Gaze softly and let them see you.
4. BE ATTUNED – Listen to those who are listening to you. Listen to yourself before, during, and after the words are spoken.
5. BE POSITIVE – Look for the best in others. See the good that is within and don’t get stuck on what they might be thinking.
6. BE CONNECTED – Be with one person at a time and be conversational. Speaking to a group at large dissipates your energy.
7. BE YOURSELF – The most powerful gift is you. Tap into who you are to allow your authentic voice to come forth.
As you can see from the seven steps listed above, my work is to guide you to be more mindful of yourself and others. Notice that each step begins with “BE” and there is no emphasis on what to say. I believe that at the core of public speaking anxiety is the fear of being yourself in front of others. This is why I work on a deeper level and help you discover who you really are rather than give you techniques that mask nervousness.

Unlike the conventional techniques aimed at improving your performance, the seven steps help you learn to connect to yourself and others in a genuine manner. Remember that within you resides a pure sense of self, and this essential self has a voice. No matter what the disconnection over time is, you can reclaim that voice.

In order to transform fear, you must move toward that which frightens you. Commit to discover your fear, be with and experience it. The seven steps will take you gently through a sequence and usher you to the end result: the natural dissolution of your fear as your authentic self grows stronger.

Finding your real voice is a process that can be equated with cultivating a garden. Within you are seeds of courage and wisdom that will take root, grow, and blossom as you move through the seven steps. In the process you will re-connect with your real self. Then the voice that arises from your center, even in the most challenging circumstances, will be steady, clear, and uniquely yours.

Doreen Hamilton, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Author: Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice
Website: http://essentialspeaking.com
Find Your Voice, Change Your Life!

Today’s Recommendation!

Plenty of hot tea with lemon, huge amts of OJ and slurping heapings of chicken noodle soup for days like the one I’m having…If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m sick with the flu today. Anyhow, did a bit of web surfing & found that my first post for new column at working nurse magazine made top story! Also my latest guest post “Write love Letters And Prosper” is up @ writersround-about.com. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and what better way to add to your cash flow than writing about romance?… A great movie to watch when you’re sick & shut in? The Lovely Bones…

A tantalizing bit: She was fourteen, high spirited & loved taking pictures. The bond she has with her father keeps her from wanting to leave him for that special place between heaven and earth. Ok, so, I’m a sucker for children:) Anyhow, folks it’s a great tearjerker & lovely movie…Clara54 gives it 4 stars!!

PS. A friend & co-worker’s baby shower was scheduled for today BUT I’m sick AND she was rushed to the hospital for impromptu arrival of little guy! Hmmm, Life is so awesome:)