Book Review: Song of the Lion

Song of the LionIn author Anne Hillerman’s latest book, Song of the Lion, Bernadette Manuelito emerges as a savvy heroine who does her job with intelligence and wit while stoically ignoring the irritation of not being respected by a fellow officer. It is not luck or pride that motivates Manuelito, it’s doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, including trusting her instincts in a life-threatening moment of peril.

Manuelito and her husband Jim Chee, work for the Navajo Tribal Police where facts and evidence add up to answers. That doesn’t discourage Manuelito from using her intuition and connection with old ways, or Chee from showing respect for honored traditions.

Put that cultural identity and awareness into play when the two unofficially work a case, and the result is a compelling story. A car bombing outside a school gymnasium that kills an unidentified young man sets the story in motion. Add in the complication of developers wanting to make dramatic changes on tribal lands and the groups for and against the proposal. Mix in a little sabotage designed to sideline the negotiations. Season with a surprising connection between the case and Manuelito’s friend and mentor, Joe Leaphorn. What you have are all the ingredients for a fast-paced story featuring familiar characters doing what they do best. Manuelito proves to be a dedicated law enforcement officer with an unbeatable spirit.

I recommend Song of the Lion to anyone who likes a good tale woven throughout with interesting, well-drawn characters.

Praise for Song the Lion from Booklist: “Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”

Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

Title: Song of the Lion
Type: Novel
Author: Anne Hillerman
Publisher: Harper Hardcover
Publication date: April 11, 2017
Price: $27.99

Springing into home improvement

Measure twice, cut once

The old saw – pun intended – that you should measure twice and cut once is a good axiom to live by when you’re doing any kind of home or outdoor improvement. With the weather warming up we’re all thinking of getting out there – meaning the yard or the house – and doing something. What that something will be is sometimes slapdash at best and may not be the ideal “improvement” in the long term. Even if you’re in your home for the foreseeable future, when you make changes take into consideration a future in which you will want to sell the property.

Each of  The 8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements identified in this post cost under $5,000 to implement, but are sure to add value and curb appeal to your home.

If you are ready to sell, there are affordable fixes you can do now to add value. The ideas shown on the This Old House website are interesting and make a huge difference.

Container Showpiece

Don’t be intimidated by the numbers on this Southern Living website. Going through the 123 photos is worth the effort and time. You get lots of ideas and suggestions about how to create the look you’re striving for with your container garden. You also get a bit of background on the plants.

If you plan to xeriscape, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico website is a good place to start. They talk about water savvy plants, principles of water conservation and other topics about successful xeriscaping. Landscaping Network is also an excellent source of information.

TomatoesAnd you can’t beat the old Farmer’s Almanac for good gardening advice! The site has several articles about container vegetable and flower gardening, which I plan to check out. I will let you know how many seeds I drown!

Enjoy the beautiful summer. Make sure you check city watering restrictions in the area where you live. Enjoy the fun of watching stuff grow!

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PHOTOS: clipart.com

Hallelujah! Christ arose!

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

Empty Cross

On this Good Friday, it is important to remember: one tragic, ill-advised and cruel event changed everything. Despite all the ways God’s loved people have misconstrued it all, despite the multiple religions that claim to know it all, despite every doubting Thomas, Christ’s act of sacrifice rings through the ages. The people at the foot of the Cross did not know that in three days Resurrection would happen. They only knew their friend and teacher was dead at the hands of jealous and fearful men. The first Tenebrae service I ever attended was shatteringly emotional. I’d never seen the altar striped, the Cross draped in black, the light extinguished. The worshipers leaving in silence and reflection. Even knowing the outcome would be Resurrection Day – Up From the Grave He Arose – it brought home what was done to Christ the Savior. It brought home what He did for me.
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Blog Recognition: Thanks a Bunch!

My sister blogger, Aiming Flamingo, has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much Aiming Flamingo! Readers and followers are essential elements of the conversation that happens in the blogosphere. I very much appreciate your support.

blogger-recognition-award

I’ve been blogging for several years, had a website, and created a web zine. It was driving me crazy trying to keep up with four blogs, a website and the zine. I decided a little over a year ago to put everything under “one roof,” hence the title of my blog, One Roof Publishing.

I cover a lot of territory in the blog, writing Q&A posts about events and people, posting inspirational essays, writing about health and wellness, and anything else I can think of, including occasional short fiction. I welcome Followers and am always looking for new essay and article ideas. If you would like to guest post on my site, send your query to fsharon@msn.com.

I am a writer through and through. I have indie published several books and am close to publishing a new novel. I also do writing for hire through my business, Write Stuff Writing Services.

I’m not much for handing out advice, but that’s part of the process of passing the Blogger Recognition Award around. So here goes: My two pieces of advice for new bloggers – your best shot at getting readers is to know who you want your readers to be (target marketing), and posting regularly.

Below are the sites I’m recognizing. It is indeed an eclectic mix that shares one thing in common and only one: these are all folks who have a passion for something. I find that admirable and inspiring. Passion puts the pizzazz in life.

1eclecticwriter
Dr. K. L. Register, The Ninth Life
Edge of Humanity Magazine
Momentary Lapse of Sanity
Windy Lynn Harris
Success Inspirers World
Gabriella Clark
Kate  Barnwell Poetry
Haddon Musings
Kathleen Rodgers
saneteachers
Sarah Flores Blog
Be Inspired!
Charles French
Author Kristen Lamb

 

Now it’s your turn. The rules are simple.
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created

I hope you can make the time to join in the support and recognition of other bloggers.

Write Stuff Newsletter: Print Advertising

Print has a nearly 80% response rate; digital still plays second fiddle to visual call-to-action advertising in print media

In the digital age, there is a perception that if you put your business offering up on Facebook or other social media, that’s enough. While social media is an important part of getting your customer’s attention, it is only a small part of the mix. Although it is “free” in the sense that posting doesn’t cost you much more than time, it is transitory at best and the number of people who will see that post is based largely on who’s on line at any given time.

The rule of thumb for ad space purchases is to budget 10 percent of your annual income to advertising. In a small town that generally means radio and newspaper. It does not include charity or support giving to various school and community publications asking you to “buy an ad.” Advertising is any medium intended to reach the greatest number of people in which you include a call to action.

Countless advertising surveys indicate consumers respond more readily to print – whether it be magazines or newspapers – or through direct mail, than to digital media. One report stated that 79 percent of readers are more likely to respond to print ads than e-mailed or digital sales pitches.

My favorite explanation for effective advertising (Sales vs Marketing) –

Sales: A hitchhiker on the side of the road with a sign that reads, “To Dallas.”
Marketing: A hitchhiker on the side of the road with a sign that reads, “I want to get to Mom’s for Christmas.”

Your sales pitch is your goal. Marketing is knowing how to reach that goal by understanding the marketplace and your customer.

Print continues to be an important platform for getting your message out, but as the fellow going to Dallas figured out, tugging at the heartstrings of his audience was more important than saying outright what he wanted.

What works for you will depend on your expected outcome. A caution here, avoid buying advertising with the flawed expectation that one ad is going to result in customers flocking to your door in mass.

If you are selling furniture and your one page $2,000 full-color ad nets one sale of $500, you haven’t wasted your money, but perhaps you haven’t made best use of the space. Your goal is to make the ad as appealing as possible to assure you get enough sales to at the very least cover your cost. Five $500 sales would more than do it. The point is, manage your expectations. Know your reach. Understand your market.

Ad 1

Ad 1

Let’s say you have a restaurant and you want to run an ad that lets folks know you are now serving T-Bone steaks. Which of these two ads is more likely to work?

Ad 1 with address prominently displayed with a small picture of a T-Bone Steak and in small print “NOW SERVING T-BONE STEAKS,” is okay. You will likely get customers out of it, but the reality is the message has been lost.

Ad 2-2

Ad 2

Ad 2 with a grilling T-Bone steak prominently displayed, coupled with a 10% discount gives the buyer incentive to show up, ad in hand. It serves two purposes: getting customers in the door and being able to track the effectiveness of the ad.

If you spend $150 to $175 for the ad and the meal price is $25, you could easily sell 10 meals including the discount, and more than cover the cost of the ad.

Sometimes your goal is to let customers know who you are and where you are. The bonus is sales; the message is where to find you.

Advertising serves many purposes. While word-of-mouth has its place, advertising specific offerings provides updated information, provides actionable offers, and expands a business’ customer base.

As a business person, you likely know on day one of a new year what you expect to achieve in the next 12 months. Make planning for your advertising as important as planning for paying your employees, even if the employee is the person you look at in the mirror every morning. Advertising is as much of an investment as the fixtures in your store. Let it work for you and it will pay off.

These links lead to a series of ads that will inspire you to think more creatively about ad space purchases.

Word stream
Boredpanda
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Q&A with Jack Glatzer

Master Violinist Jack Glatzer Featured Artist
in Kennedy Hall Recital April 5

Dallas-born master violinist Jack Glatzer will share his love of music in a recital on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Kennedy Hall at New Mexico Highlands University. Tickets are $15 per person. The event is sponsored by the Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis.

Jack Glatzer, ViolinistGlatzer’s extensive performance background began with his debut recital at age 13. He had been a student of the instrument since age five. He regularly makes concert tours around the world and has played on every continent and in more than 50 countries. He is comfortable performing before large audiences in elegant settings and equally at ease with students in a classroom or a handful of patrons in small venues. Glatzer has given numerous recitals in Las Vegas over the years, and comes back often to renew old friendships and forge new ones.

He is recognized as a pedagogue, both in master classes and in lecture recitals. His background and interest in the history of culture have led to his highly successful concerts – son et lumiere – in which musical performance is explained by a lecture and illuminated by visual images. His particular focus is the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin, including the works of Paganini and J.S. Bach. He is also open to performing new works by talented composers.

ORP: When did you know playing the violin would be your life’s work?
Glatzer:
I began the violin at the age of five. After very few years of study I became so attached to the instrument that I knew it would be my life.

ORP: Who were your mentors as you developed your musical gift and honed your technical skills?
Glatzer: I suffered a great disillusionment with one of my famous teachers – who I won’t name. For a few years, I wanted to be a professor of history and took two degrees in history. Musically I was fortunate indeed to have two of the finest teachers of the last century, Sandor Vegh and Maxim Jacobsen.

ORP: How much of your success is natural ability and how much is practice and dogged perseverance?
Glatzer: I hope that there is some natural talent but there is no doubt that dogged perseverance and pathological obsession is with me every day.

ORP: You have performed all over the world to audiences large and small and have performed in Las Vegas on several occasions. What brings you back to Las Vegas time and again?
Glatzer: I have been fortunate over many years to develop deep friendships with persons and audiences in several cities. Among them is Las Vegas. Truly I have performed countless times there. I have such fond memories of that old series of house concerts – salon concerts to be sure – that took place in the lovely Carriage House. It was called Movable Music. What a joy to enjoy the gracious hospitality of my dear friend, Ann Bradford. I trust there are still friends who remember well those annual concerts. In recent years, my deep friendship and esteem for Ron Maltais has enriched my visits. I now have two works in my repertoire by Ron.

ORP: What size audience is more challenging to you as a performer?
Glatzer: The size of the audience does not matter, although I particularly enjoy intimate and small venues where it is possible to play very softly and hear the breathing and many colors of the violin.

ORP: In some performances you talk about the music and get into a teaching mode. Talk about that experience and how it makes you a better musician.
Glatzer: I enjoy talking to an audience, trying to go on an emotional trip with the public, trying to open the imagination of the listener so that together we voyage beyond the notes. This is particularly interesting in performing for students who are often so unfamiliar with the music.

ORP: Your recitals showcase the unaccompanied repertoire for the violin. Talk about that and how it affects your relationship with your audience.
Glatzer: I particularly enjoy the solo violin repertoire. Only composers of the highest skill would dare to write in this medium, so we have many true masterpieces, especially Bach, Ysaye, Bartok, Paganini. The solo music enables me to explore the many colors, the shading, the breathing, the crying of the violin. Also, people are amazed at how the softest sounds played with care and in tune will have such resonance that the sounds carry through the hall.

ORP: What advice do you give young musicians?
Glatzer: Remember that you are fortunate to be able to seek for the sublime with the sounds of your instrument. Never settle for less than this search.

What: Jack Glatzer Recital
When: Wednesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kennedy Hall, NMHU
Tickets: $15 per person available at the Las Vegas Arts Council
Event sponsors: Las Vegas Arts Council and Noonday Kiwanis

Exercise and healthy eating

Fighting diabetes by making good choices

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity. Being obese is defined as a health issue, not a personal flaw. There are good reasons for that. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Image: clipart.com

The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. in 2008 (the most recent published study I could find) was $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

It isn’t any surprise that obesity is linked to over consumption of sodas, high fat fast foods, and most of the processed foods you pull off the grocery shelf, coupled with sedentary life styles. Everything you read indicates the trend is to eat more and exercise less. In the name of convenience we load up our grocery carts without spending five seconds figuring out what we will be putting on our family’s dinner plates or in their lunch boxes. Convenient rarely adds up to healthy.

According to reports by the National Institute on Health, obesity in the U.S. has soared from four percent to more than 34 percent in the last 50 years. In an age when we can have whatever we want if we’re willing to work for it, the one problem we can’t seem to solve is obesity.

Some analysts project that in 20 years the cost to taxpayers for obesity-related illnesses will exceed $550 billion. Why? Because many of those who overeat unhealthy foods are in lower income brackets. They live in urban areas considered food deserts where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. Fast food and convenience stores dominate the landscape. Even though many chain restaurants, like McDonalds, offer healthy choices, the big sellers continue to be fat and salt loaded burgers and fries, served with high-sugar sodas large enough to bathe in.

There are those who say, “People who eat too much have a choice; nobody is holding a gun to their heads to force them to eat a bag of chips instead of an apple.” Perhaps, but only if you can find an apple to buy. Yes, self-restraint is up to the individual. The reality is a generation of people who grew up on super-sized everything from burgers to Big Gulps. One eight-ounce serving of Coke may have only 97 calories, but the double or triple sized version has double or triple the calories. A single serving of chips (and what that constitutes varies from brand to brand) might be listed as 150 calories, but if you look closer there are 24 servings in a bag. Multiply that out and see what you get. How many times have you sat down to eat a “handful of chips” and before you know it, consumed half or more of the bag? This, by the way, is the very reason I rarely buy chips. The allure of that salty goodness is too hard to ignore, and allure is what the food manufactures are selling, from the packaging to the fat-laden contents. The more you eat, the more you want. Remember the commercial that challenges the consumer to “just eat one,” followed by the assertion that no one can eat just one? The hidden message is, “Eat all you want.” When we trick ourselves into believing the bigger version is just one serving we’re paving the road ahead with poor health and bigger waistlines.

Food and beverage congGetty Image - webmd.comlomerates do have an interest in nutrition, I’m sure, but their bottom line is to sell you and me on buying more and consuming more. The consequence is a surge in the number of people — young and old — with health problems. Children 11 and 12 have the arteries of 45 year old men, and many are showing symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Efforts to control behavior through legislation are doomed to fail. Fighting obesity requires moderation in consumption, better food choices, regular exercise and a commitment to good health. The added benefit is a longer life.

Despite being in a rural area, Las Vegas (New Mexico) is not a food desert. Most people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Whether that is the choice made is another matter. San Miguel County has a high rate of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in a state that ranks number 10 across the country in that category.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a personal choice. There is plenty of help for those who want to take charge of their well being. Whether you are tuning in to an exercise video on www.sparkpeople.tv or trying out the Mediterranean Diet, making good choices will lead to better health.

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WRITE STUFF NEWSLETTER

Small BMedia Kitusiness Tips & Tricks: Media Kits

Media kits are resources that tell others about you and your business. Whether you are a small single-owner shop or employ hundreds, you have a story to tell. Google, Facebook, Coca Cola and Ford don’t rely on word of mouth; they rely on getting their story out to the public by every means possible. Their media kits are neither simple nor economical. They know the value of story, their story.

As a small business owner you can affordably get the job done by working with a professional to compile a media kit designed to get your message out. Yes, your friends and neighbors know who you are, but do their friends and neighbors know who you are?

Media kits are custom designed, but there are standard items to include: recent high resolution photos of the owner and images of the store front and interior, high resolution images of logos, an introduction that tells your story, contact information and online presence, testimonials from satisfied customers, overview of product/service you provide, and your business mission or philosophy.

5 Reasons a Media Kit Makes Sense
Be prepared:
Whether you are celebrating your 10th year in business, or your millionth customer, you want to share your success. Most media outlets are willing to do a write up, or invite you to provide your own. Plan ahead for those special moments by compiling the bits and pieces of your story so it is easily and quickly accessible.

Be informed: Preparing a media kit requires market awareness. You may not believe you have competition because there is no other store like yours in your business district, but competition exists everywhere, including in most homes through the internet. What sets you apart? What makes your store the best place to go for what you provide? That’s the story you want to tell.

The elevator pitch: “Media kit” is an intimidating phrase. The elevator pitch is, “A media kit organizes outreach.” What is your elevator pitch? Compiling outreach information helps you fine tune your elevator pitch.

Aids in marketing: When someone walks in the door and wants to sell you an ad, are you ready? Is the idea of putting an ad together daunting? A media kit is a tool in your business tool box. You can readily answer the question of whether this ad placement is the right one for you and have the tools to help the ad rep create the ad.

Insight: A media kit inspires you to think in new ways about your business. The process of working with a professional (or doing it on your own) generates excitement and ideas.

Because of technology, this “kit” need not cost you a lot in printing and distribution. It can be uploaded to your website or e-mailed at any time to whomever is in need of the information.

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For help creating your Media Kit, or to set up a free consultation, contact WRITE STUFF, 505-617-0839 or e-mail fsharon@msn.com. Type Media Kit in the subject line. In the body of the e-mail include your contact information.

Image: Created at www.canva.com

 

 

I Believe

Easter LilyWe are beginning the season of Lent and will soon celebrate Easter. Every year about this time television (mostly cable) runs programming about the “truth” of the resurrection, how much of the Bible is verifiable, whether Judas was a betrayer or following the will of the Most High God. Did Jesus really die and then come to life again, or was his body taken by the disciples and everything else a myth? The questions are limitless.

It intrigues me that in the quest for truth in these programs, the messages from Christ are lost along the way. Did he walk on water? Does it matter? Did he feed 5,000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread? In what way do these miracles make Christ more or less believable? Were you there? Did you see?

These programs often miss the message of both the Old and New Testaments: love one another. What does that mean? It means to serve others, and that takes many forms. Not everyone can be a preacher or a teacher, a rabbi or a priest, but everyone can serve where she or he is.

  • Kindness.
  • Friendship.
  • Thoughtfulness.
  • Understanding.
  • Mercy.
  • Nurture.
  • Listening.
  • Faithfulness.
  • Respect.
  • Integrity.
  • Truth.
  • Succor.
  • Comfort.
  • Compassion.

These are one-word descriptions of what service might look like. The Easter story is about transformation. We are transformed and made better every time we reach out to others. We arise each morning to new life and new opportunities. What we do with that is up to us.

 

 

WRITE STUFF: Give Yourself a Gold Star

7 Affirmations to Improve Your Business

If I was 12 inches taller I’d be skinny

How many times have you looked in the mirror and found a flaw? If you say never, good grief, what planet do you live on? Most of us are self-critical, sometimes to the point of being oblivious to what makes us unique. We seem to have a beast inside bent on bellyaching about our multiple deficiencies. Do you obsess about being too tall or not tall enough? Too thin or too heavy? Not pretty/handsome enough? Too pushy? Not pushy enough?

I'm a winner!You have your list and so do I. Do you apply that self-critical flaw-finding attitude to your business?

  • I can’t succeed.
  • The economy is against me!
  • I can’t afford to carry enough inventory.
  • Everybody shops out of town!
  • I’m afraid of the competition.
  • Advertising costs too much and it’s a waste of my limited resources.
  • Marketing eludes me. I can’t figure it out.

When you add your own night terrors to this list do you start to sweat? Are you on the brink of throwing in the towel, going to bed and covering up your head? STOP! Before you lie down with a cold compress – or knock back a numbing libation – get a grip! Perhaps you’re thinking is getting in the way of your business success.

But I’m only 60 inches tall, that’s not going to change

Challenges are real. There is something to be said for critical evaluation. SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis exists for a reason. The list above clearly represents the outcome of looking at weaknesses.

So how do you bring your future, the future of your business and the future of your community’s economy into perspective? Let the bellyaching beast of negativity off its leash and listen up. Evaluation does not mean you must find every flaw. Yes, you need to know what your weaknesses are, but also be certain you know and embrace your strengths. I may only be five foot tall and nowhere near thin, but anyone who knows me will tell you it has rarely held me back, even when standing still might have been wiser.

You are a star, and don’t you forget it

After hearing the bellyaching beast whining and begging for the scraps of uncertainty and fear left behind in the wake of your mental self-abuse, give him his freedom, open the door and let him go. When you see his tail wagging as he crests the horizon, take pen in hand and write down why your skills, services or business benefits others. It is freeing. It reminds you of your successes and puts the bad times in perspective.

As an entrepreneur you should take stock from time to time. Go somewhere quiet, where you will be able to think uninterrupted. Take a notebook and pen. There is something to be said for the tactile feel of the implements in your hand as you see your entrepreneurial spirit come to life through the words flowing onto the page.

Affirm your commitment to success:

I started this business/service (aside from money) because____________.

There is never any one reason entrepreneurs go into business. While earning a profit is likely at the top of the list there are other compelling reasons that fired and inspired you to put out your shingle. Name those reasons. Embrace them.

My business/service is unique in these ways_____________.

If you don’t have a response to this perhaps it’s time to think carefully about what you offer that no one else does, or think of an add-in that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Investing in my business through promotion has value because_________.

There is a rule of thumb that you should commit a percentage of your annual income to advertising and promotion. I would add, use that money wisely and well. No matter how much you want to support every publication and cause that “represents youth,” consider what you do in context of your business success. There are other ways to donate that don’t involve spending your much-needed promotional dollars.

My business has loyal customers. I’m going to reward them by______________.

When was the last time you e-mailed, called or in some way communicated with your customers? It’s less expensive to retain a satisfied customer and get them to buy again than it is to draw new customers to your door. And remember this – activity begets activity. If you have your old customers coming in the door, new customers will follow.

I will make sure my employees like their jobs and convey that to our customers.

If your employees aren’t on your side and don’t enjoy their jobs it will show in your bottom line. Take care of your employees (even if the only employee you have is you). If employees are not confident in their ability to take care of customers, if they feel inadequate, if they feel you don’t care about them, they will not do their best. They will do the minimum and not very well.

I will participate actively in associations that advocate for independent entrepreneurs.

Belonging to a business association is an opportunity for networking, yes, absolutely. Aside from that, you have something to offer. What can you contribute that will improve/promote all businesses? Rising water lifts all boats. Be part of the rising tide.

I will post a list of my business successes where I can see it every day, beginning with the day I opened, my first success.

Remember your successes. That first big sale. Meeting your first payroll (including paying yourself!). The “thank you” from a customer who benefited from your service. Keep track of the positive influence and impact your business has had and continues to have.

Moving forward

When business is stagnant or beginning to slide, remember this is a bump in the road, not a wall. Small business continues to be the backbone of the economy. Your success determines the health of the local economy and the national economy. Take time to celebrate your entrepreneurial strengths. It will be good for you, and it will be good for your business.

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Sharon Vander Meer is an entrepreneur, author, blogger and freelance writer. To tap into her skills to your benefit e-mail fsharon@msn.com. Type Write Stuff in the subject line.

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