Time to up the ante

Competency traps

Does this old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, ring a bell?  Well, there are many followers and believers that do just that!  How is it that we forget what got us to that point in the first place?  Instead of using our learning skills that we’ve been given or spent years to develop we decide it’s a good idea to just leave them be.  Competency traps lock us into doing things simply because we’ve “been there done that.”

It’s astonishing just how many intelligent people stop questioning their very own success principles.  It is so easy to do.  Relying on your past successes to keep you on course is the natural thing to do, right?  Well, if you’ve gotten anything out of the first eleven chapters of my teachings, you know that’s not a part of my philosophy.

I’m not saying to ignore what’s been working; however, just remember to evidence the growth and continual change it necessitates.

Don’t let success become your weakness

The fact is that you can become so good at what you do, that you become blinded by your past successes.  Over commitment to your core competencies and skills can become your weakness.  What got you here may not get you there.  Continue to question your underlying assumptions about your life, career and what you think about your successes.  Take the time monthly, quarterly and yearly to review these questions.  You should be looking for the establishment of continually changing growth patterns.

New practices and new processes

Avoid your perceptions that are blocking your path to incremental successes.  Truly successful people take the time to measure results, create highly evolving and efficient routines and never settle for doing the same thing over, just better.  These practices push them forward and ahead of the masses.

By continuing to learn new skills, alternatives and concepts you will become your own best critic.  The future does not wait for those without a solid grasp or vision of it.  You must consistently consider new practices and new processes of success.  I am in my late sixties and continue to learn and evolve every day.

Life’s bitter lessons

I hate to have to be so critical about the negativity in our world, yet with age comes wisdom and experience whether good or bad.  I will start by thanking you all for your support by enrolling in my course and vow to be available to you if you should come and reach out to me on Wealthy Affiliate.  Knowing that you made it here tells me the internet is someplace you feel quite comfortable using.  Unfortunately, today more than ever, many spend countless hours and serious resources to steal away fortunes and or livelihoods of unsuspecting targets.  Don’t be a target.

It takes sophistication, investment and diversity of skills to run some of these “robocall”or “roboad” frauds.  On the “Dark Web”, would-be criminals can take online courses on “Identity Theft”.  And just as it is in the legit business world, some of these tasks of fraud can be outsourced.

List brokers

There are list brokers that sell to legitimate businesses.  Unfortunately, there are fraudulent brokers that simply gather and sell private information for scammers to exploit.  We, the self-employed have our lives out there on the line every day.

You need to stop thinking in terms of individual bad guys.  Scammers are organized, highly motivated and businesslike.  More often than not they are global predators.  Once they have any funds they swiftly transfer their victim’s money into various other forms of money or valuable bounty making tracing much too difficult.

Older Americans lose roughly $3 billion to fraud each year.  This target group often has significant wealth, tend to be trusting individuals and usually less internet or tech savvy.

Technology is the scammers’ best ally

Just remember as easy as life has become through technology the growing evolution of fraud based business has also flourished.  The cost of our personal information has fallen significantly.  According to government research the fraudulent list brokers get less than $1 per identity.  Identity records can include social security numbers, addresses, new and previous, job history, spouse, children, sibling and even relatives’ information and history.  Scammers then get to use all this knowledge, and in doing so people feel like they’re talking to a caring friend.  This information is the victims downfall and the scammers competitive edge.

My message of advice

Don’t accept calls from numbers you don’t recognize.  Never agree to any proposition that involves your time or money without doing proper research.  If you suspect a scam, report it to your local and state authorities.  Do not say anything on prerecorded phone announcements.  Scammers can assume the identity of organizations you know and trust.  If this happens, instead of doing whatever this friend or organization has asked you to do, call them to verify this request.  The more skeptical you remain the better off you will be.

Arm yourself

I personally use “LifeLock” (  Ask to partner their coverage with Norton by Symantec and include “VPN” for total online privacy.  This company is based out of Mountain View, Ca. – Peter Norton, founder.

Be read, heard and hired

How do we present ourselves in the best possible way to be read, heard and hired?  Now it’s time to up the ante!  Whether you are writing a cover letter, follow up letter or email you want to avoid certain words and phrases.  Unless your initial greeting or email was very formal or stuffy you want to avoid sounding trite.  We are the writers, so lets use words to evoke the responses we are looking for.

While it’s always acceptable to sound polite, this may come off as very passive to some, giving an impression of overcompensating for your own shortcomings.  Certainly, it doesn’t differentiate you from the pack.  I know it seems hard to avoid because we’ve all been there before.  But, why not try being assertive.  My favorite tact.

Be assertive

Instead of the usual: Dear Sir/John, let’s start with “Hi” or “Hello”.   Instead of: I’m writing to follow up on our last email, or as per our last conversation, let’s try: “Be assured” or “Be advised” followed with your true interest and desire.  Let the client know that you are writing or calling for a reason and an answer.  I assure you that being assertive fosters the burden of an answer upon your recipient.

Avoid sign-offs such as: Sincerely, Truly, Respectfully Yours, and last phrases like: I hope all is well or I hope to hear from you soon.  These are either ignored or come off sounding like you are in need of a favor.  It is much more powerful being direct, and simply asking for what you want.  How about:  Be assured that, I’ll look for your answer, as another assignment has come my way and I’m holding off responding until I hear from you.

Avoid cliches

Most cliches are used to deflect attention from the obvious.  It’s almost like you don’t deserve asking for something.  They are also unoriginal and once again show a prosaic attitude.  When you appear disingenuous a response is far less likely.  Be urgent and important and you will be responded to.

Avoid phrases like: I just wanted to say or As a matter of fact or Just saying, because these words appear vague and trivial.  Stay away from passive phrases like: No problem or No worries or Not a big deal because these words sound tentative and usually cloud the message resulting in negative replies.

Never throw guilt inadvertently into a conversation or email such as: As per my previous email or Since I haven’t heard from you or even a single word like: “obviously”……

Attitude yields confidence and gets results

I think, I feel, I’m sure, are words that reflect a lack of confidence.  Instead of you being sure or certain of your skills, it is much more powerful for your client to hear that you have proven skills.  Don’t imply, always apply!  Don’t sound arrogant, but at the same time, let your confidence keep you assertive and in control of the conversation.  You will yield the results you desire by staying indirectly in control.  Why not: My proven copywriting experience has led me to your proposed assignment.  I know we can benefit from each other, and have great expectations for our success.

Words and phrases to be chosen or omitted are often overlooked and this failure can be devastating.

Business expansion

Initially, every company that launches a newsletter does so to promote and expand their business.  A great newsletter does exactly that.  If you can create this newsletter that results in positive ways for your employer, you can set yourself up for years to come.  Writing company newsletters can lead to very rewarding compensation and reliable work.  Be the solution to those companies that are missing the mark.

The reasons people buy

Most companies make the mistake of over complicating the sale process. They overload their online websites with difficult and constraining content that fails to deliver the results they expect. We have all been part of a terrible online buying experience. So what makes a great one? It’s always about the “user” experience!

Being the solution to this problem can and will be quite rewarding. Creating a “user friendly” website that produces an increase in sales revenue for struggling companies can set you up for many years to come.