How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

Sharing Social Media informationEveryone says that you should show your personal side, even if you’re using social media for your business. Personalizing your content and interactions puts a human face on your business. This is how you build real, authentic relationships. But there are cases where you can be too personal, and you need to steer clear of these or the results could be disastrous.

No “Big Talk”

The type of personal content we share on social media falls under the category of small talk, not “big talk.” You might mention a place you ate today and how it was. You may show a picture of your dog and share a milestone in his or her life. But you would avoid topics like romantic encounters, touchy political issues, or things that annoy you about certain people, unless those topics are a central part of your branding.  We have all seen how too much politics has made people cranky and frankly rude to one another- even leading to the “unfriending” behavior that is happening all too frequently.

Sharing (too many) Problems

Venting and complaining about your problems is more likely to annoy than engage. However, there is a right way to discuss problems that can actually boost engagement. The way to do it is to share a problem you faced that is also a common problem of your audience. Get them to discuss the problem with you. Even better, offer a solution to this common problem or ask your audience to share theirs.

Oops, I Shouldn’t Have Said That

Before posting anything personal, remember that this goes on your permanent record. Read back over it to make sure it isn’t something that might come back to haunt you later. Once you unleash it upon the world, it could be there forever.  

Data Collection

Keep in mind that any personal information you put out there could be accessed by data collectors for nefarious or otherwise malevolent reasons. If you publish something like your address or share pictures of your children, this could compromise your identity or safety.

That’s Not What I Meant

Before posting, always read your content to make sure that it won’t get taken the wrong way. Stories abound on the internet of people making a harmless joke that blew up in their faces and caused major damage to their brand image. Everyone may not be “in on it,” so make sure that your content won’t be misunderstood.

Think about Others

Finally, tread very carefully with the privacy of others. Don’t share personal details about other people unless these are things you know they are open about, themselves. You can always ask them to make sure before posting.

As you get more and more social, remember the goal is to be engaging and inviting so you can connect with more people.

Beyond Overwhelm and Busy to a Space of Intentional Calm

Stay out of overwhelm

slow down, relax, take it easy, keep calm and other motivational lifestyle reminders on colorful sticky notes

Sometime for you to consider this weekend…  In this rush, rush, busy, hurry up world of ours, it is easy to have a sense of overwhelm.  Sometimes it feels too hard to stop and spend some quiet time to relax, unwind and find your center.  And yet, this is crucial.  It is in creating that space that we allow ourselves to feel at peace.

Beyond Overwhelm and Busy to Relaxed and Focused

I am often called the “Queen of Busy” because I am Mom to 3 active kids, I am a business owner, and I also have another job teaching at the graduate level.  So how does the “Queen of Busy” stay out of overwhelm? I start my day by creating a space for peace.  I get up early and I start my day sitting in my hot tub.  Start my day relaxed and creating my thriving mindset by setting intentions,  I decide how I am going to experience my day.  We each get to CHOOSE every moment of every day and how we respond to what is happening to us.  I choose to respond in a positive way that allows me to stay connected and focused on how I was to feel and what I want to achieve.

Although the world is filled with negative influences, I avoid being distracted by them. I remain calm and composed because I embrace the influence of quiet time.  I have already created my focus for the day, even before it fully begins.

Listen to what your heart is telling you

When I stop and listen,  I am confident that I can handle whatever happens throughout my day and I am able to stay on course with my intentions.  I am confident to rise when I have challenging days or are confronted by difficult people. Calm energy envelops each circumstance and produces positivity.  Take the time to Listen to the sounds of your breath and you too will relax. Taking deep breaths in and out will calm your mind and your soul.

Deep breathing produces a quietness that betrays the noise around you. It creates a forcefield that will protects you and gives you a peaceful disposition that aptly tackles the toughest moments.

Be Aligned with your Purpose

Being one with my purpose is important to accepting what life throws your way. When you quietly accept who you are, there are very few things that will be able to rattle your nerves.  You will respond to people, projects, circumstances with an enthusiasm that you may not have known was even possible.  Let that out!  Let your purpose and your gifts shine on everyone around you.

Today, give yourself some  downtime to enjoy connecting with self, family and friends, your environment and NOTICE how you feel. You can connect to this sense of calm and ease whenever you choose.  Approach life from a place of peace and calm and you will experience how much easier and in the flow you can be even when you are very BUSY.

So here is my last question to you?  

What  do you do to achieve  some quiet time when you are constantly on the go?

10 Things to Help You Be Your Best Self

Be Your Best Self

There are times in our lives when things “Happen” and we feel are out of our control which can lead to feelings of frustration, sadness and a general sense of being stuck.  I am all about moving forward so  here is a quick Top 10 list to living as your Best Self.  Feeling your best allows you to smile more, stay out of overwhelm and just plain Love your LIFE and Thrive!  This takes a little bit work (hey the payoffs are huge so a little work is not so bad.)

So here it is, The 10 Things Everyone Should Do to Be your Best Self:


  1. Manage your time:– everyone has the same 24 hours each day.  So learn to use yours most effectively so you can spend more of your time doing what makes your heart sing.
  2. Set goals: To set a goal, you need to know what you want.  That is half the battle.  Spend some time each week reflecting on what you really want and doing things that move you toward your goals.
  3. Listen: Do you listen to others or are you really just waiting to say something next? When you are thinking of what to say, you are not fully present with the other person.  Few people truly listen.  Be one of the unique who really do and you will see your conversations and relationships deepen.
  4.  How to have a conversation with someone new: Every person you know now was a stranger at some point in time.  Learn how to engage and chat with new people and your perspective on the world will change.
  5. Apologize:  Hey, we all make mistakes.  No one is perfect.  Learn to accept responsibility and apologize easily and your relationships will be much smoother.
  6. Back up your computer:  As someone who recently experienced a computer melt-down, I emphatically recommend that you do this on a regular basis.  You can not act as your best self is you don’t have the tools to support you and most of us use a computer to support us.  Just consider the havoc you would face if you computer died on your today.  Be proactive and back-up.
  7. Eat properly: Nothing impacts your health more than the food that you eat.  You can not be your best self if your health is not optimal.  Learn what are the best food choices and make them on a daily basis. Your energy, confidence and feeling of well-being will sky-rocket.
  8. Ask for help:  This may be the most important of all in order to living your best life.  You can’t do it alone!
  9. Receive: Not only do you need to ask, you must receive help graciously.  Whether it is help, money, advice or anything else, you won’t get much of it unless you are open to receiving it.  So ASK, then RECEIVE.
  10. Find your voice and use it: Everyone has a message to share and when you are sharing it, you are connecting to others in a powerful way.  Learn how to effectively deliver your message so you can reach more people.


So, as you look through the list, see where you are already and what you can improve to help you Be your Best Self and Live your Best Life.

Keep Moving Forward: Succeeding at your Goals

Tree blocking your pathIt is a beautiful day and you are talking a walk in the park.  You are following a path when all of sudden, there are large trees blocking your path.  You can see the clearing just beyond this massive grove of trees.  Then you notice the sign and it says, “Stay on the path and you will be successful in your journey.”  You take a step back and notice that the trees are in groups; fruit trees, evergreens and hardwoods and that if you could navigate the different groups, you can stay on the path and reach the clearing on the other side.

Your business (and your life)  can often feel like this park.  You know where you want to go in your business/life and yet there are so many things to accomplish that you can get “lost in the woods.”    However, if you take a step back and focus on what you need to accomplish, you will see that they can be grouped into different projects.   By completing each of these projects, you will feel less overwhelmed and reach your desired outcome.

There are three components to a successful project:

1)   Begin with the end in mind

2)   Set milestones to measure your progress

3)   Break it down into smaller pieces

Begin with the end in mind

Before jumping into your project, decide what you want as the outcome.  This becomes your target (I like targets so much better than goals but more on that another time.) Then set a deadline.  Deadlines can be used to your advantage and are proven to improve your success rate when trying to achieve your goals/targets.

A deadline is a time commitment by which your tasks must be achieved. They serve as a powerful reminder of not only what you are trying to achieve but that there is an end to the process. Project achievement is about setting a goal in a reasonable timeframe and building the plan to get you there.  If you do not set a deadline and you leave it open, human nature will allow you to believe that you have unlimited time to achieve the results you desire and procrastination will take over.

It is proven that those who set deadlines (and meet those deadlines) were twice as effective at completing projects and meeting their goals as those who didn’t.  Deadlines demonstrate commitment, accountability and urgency.

Set milestones to measure your progress

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to achieve a project is to just plow ahead with a grand idea without drilling down the steps you need to take every day to get there.  If you don’t set milestones along the way with strong deadlines, you will not accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

Milestones allow you to determine the beginning, middle and the end for your project.  Once you set mini-deadlines, you can gauge if you are on track with your desired outcome or if you need to make adjustments along the way.  Making adjustments, in a timely manner, allows you to meet your overall goal of completing a successful project.

Milestones also show where you are in relation to your final destination.  They keep you motivated to continue along your path.  Imagine you are driving on vacation to a place where you know you will have fun and relaxation; you just need to get there.  You see the sign that says, “15 miles to your desired location.”  You become excited and continue on knowing that you are almost to your destination.  Reaching each milestone for your project will keep you excited and motivated until you reach the end.  Plan to celebrate each milestone as this will keep you motivated to get to the next one.

Break it down into smaller pieces

So we have determined that the successful completion of a project begins with having the end in mind and setting a deadline.  Then you created your signposts to let you know you are on the right track and to keep you motivated.  Now, let’s get down to actually working through the project.

Creating a webinar is an example of a project you may want to accomplish.  Some of the milestones may include determining an audience and a topic, setting the date, creating the content, creating a landing page for the webinar, creating the follow-up email campaign, presenting the webinar and creating a follow-up strategy to name a few.

Now take your milestone of determining a topic that appeals and is needed by your target audience.    How do you know what they want and what topic will provide information that is needed and positions you as an expert?  Some of the tasks involved in determining a topic may include:

~      reviewing your emails or blogs for questions from your audience

~     researching what your target audience needs

~      creating a survey to determine what your customers want

By breaking the project down into smaller tasks, you create momentum.  When you complete a task you move closer to the completion of your project.  Momentum is important when you are working toward a goal.  It is important to have consistent “mini wins” to feel successful.  Success breeds success and keeps you from becoming overwhelmed by your project.

So the next time you feel that your path is blocked, take a step back and see where you are.  Look for the next step toward achieving what you want.  After all, it is by taking that one little step that you can often seeing your way “out of the woods.”  Keep moving forward and you will reach your destination faster and with greater ease.

So what projects are you working on?

Values are a Key to Success- What are Yours?

Values are a key component of how we think, what we believe and how we show up in the world.  When you create you life and business based on what you value, you experience greater connection and passion.

What is Important to you Changes on a Regular Basis

Interestingly, your values can also be a window into how you are feeling on a particular day and thus what is important to you right at this moment.  So for fun, take a look and share what are the first 3 words you see.  Are you surprised?  OR did they reinforce what you already know is going on for you right now.  Share what you see and your reaction to it.  Consider how you might use this as you move through your day.  ENJOY!

So what are the first 3 words YOU see?

Thrive For Success Blog: The Heck With Balance, Let’s Thrive

sueblogpix2I  invite you to change your thinking about work/life balance because I think  it is an unattainable myth. Yep, that is right. Work/Life balance is a Myth. There I have said it. Yes, I know it is one of the most universal sought after ideals. It is not just in North America but it is listed as one of the most important issues around the world. Everyone is seeking work/life balance.

Ah, but does seeking something automatically mean it is attainable?

I say “No!” At least not the way most people are going about work/life balance; as a “to-do” item and another thing that needs to be accomplished. There must be some secret out there to achieving it and if I try a little harder, I will achieve it also. And the game begins trying to find the secret to work/life balance.

There are plenty of people trying to sell you the secret

Everywhere you look there is a magazine article or someone else telling you “The 7 Ways to Achieve Work/Life Balance.” Again another “to do” item and boy, does it feel stressful. Not balanced in the way I want you to feel. What if we looked at balance as a “to be” item and that balance meant feeling a sense of harmony? Now we are getting somewhere that feels a little bit better.

I am not against balance per se but I think there is something much better

I just don’t think that being in balance is good enough. Once you get the seesaw of life “in balance”, something comes along to push you back out of balance. This kind of balance is static. It is a tenuous place to exist and people often are in a place of striving when trying “to balance it all”. So, I invite you to say, “the heck with balance, let’s thrive!” Now thriving in work and life is exciting and allows you experience your work and life in a way that is dynamic.

What exactly does thriving mean?

Thriving is a term we hear a lot about these days.  Thriving according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means “To grow vigorously and/or to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” “Despite ofor “because of circumstances”; isn’t that another way of saying “life”. So thriving allows us to do our best work and experience our best life.   For years I have talked about Thriving and I like to add that when you are thriving, you are able to take risks; you are able to make mistakes and have “do-overs” so you don’t need to be perfect.

Thriving allows you to think and grow from a place of abundance and possibility. Sometimes thriving means slowing down and nourishing yourself as a plant often does in winter. Thriving is a way of Being instead of a way of Doing and it allows room for peace and harmony to co-exist with mistakes and messiness. All the while supporting you in moving forward toward your goals.  And by first “being” you can be more successful at taking action and “doing”.

How do I start to thrive?

If you are ready to thrive, I invite you to visit me here again at The Thriving Revolution, a community devoted to creating  businesses and lives that truly thrive.   I will be sharing (and inviting you to share) tips, resources, and ideas to support you and each other in this journey. Together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.  Please add your comments below and join us at the Thriving Revolution Community Calls held on Tuesdays at 1 PM EDT beginning again in November 2016.

So, back to our myth that work/life balance is attainable. I hope you have decided that work/balance as another “to-do” item is no longer something you desire. I invite you to go beyond seeking balance so that your work and your life will both truly thrive.

Cross-Linking Blog Posts for More Interaction from your Readers

cross-link social media posts

What is Cross-linking?

As your blog starts to grow and you’re adding more and more posts, chances are readers won’t see every single post you write. Why not make it easy for them to find related content by cross-linking where appropriate.  You can even do this across social media platforms.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you blog about social media marketing and a particular post talks about using images effectively on Facebook. You could link within that post to an older post where you talk about using images on Twitter, or a more specific post where you explained how to fix things when Facebook doesn’t pull up the right image from your site. Do you see how this works?

The Power of Leveragecross-link social media posts

Let’s look at another example. Let’s say you’re writing a recipe blog and you’re sharing a new recipe for an amazing BLT tomato salad. You could link to an older post where you shared how to cook bacon in the oven. This is pretty easy stuff, right?  Or you can link to/from a post you did on Pinterest or Instagram or LinkedIn.  What about a video you posted on Youtube?  Sure, link them as well!   The more ways you can connect your content, the better.

This strategy serves a few different purposes. You’re engaging your readers more with your content. This gives them a chance to get to know you and your blog a little better. It also means you’re getting more exposure  and your visitor numbers will start to look better. It also helps you with search engines, believe it or not. They keep track of how long readers stay on your site and if they click around to read more. This is an indication of the quality of your content and your blog. In other words, if you can get readers to stick around longer, it will help your blog rank higher in the search engines.

Be of Service

Let’s not forget about the positive influence this has on your readers. You’re going out of your way to be helpful and share all sorts of great information with them. Not only does this allow your readers to get to know you better, it also builds credibility and trust which is exactly what you want.

Last but not least, the more pages your readers  look at, the higher your chances that they’ll comment or share your links on social media. That, in turn, will help you broaden your reach and grow your audience.  So, let’s see some cross-linking.

Today is the last day I am writing a  “How to” type blog for the October challenge ( I will keep sharing blogging strategies, resources and tips with those in the October Blog-A-Day Challenge so you can sign up  to keep getting this information –  I would love to hear what you have found helpful so far. 

Starting tomorrow I will demonstrate other ways you can blog and create a relationship with your audience. 

Yes, Your Blog Posts Need Images

Cute redhair dachshund is among the photos

Your blog is often the first thing new readers, new prospects, and new clients see of you and your online business and first impressions count. That means you need a well-designed and layout blog, great content, and pictures that draw you in and enhance your content. In other words, yes, your posts need images.

It doesn’t stop there. You want to keep encouraging your readers to come back and read more of your posts. Before that can happen, you need to catch their attention and draw them back in. It takes a while to build a loyal following of readers who will devour anything you write. Images will help draw them in again and again. In other words, yes, your posts need images.

We live in a very social and internet based world. One way to broaden your reach and grow the traffic to your blog is social media. Guess what captures attention on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. That’s right, it’s images. The images make people click through to read your blog post.

Getting Images

You have two options when it comes to getting images for your blog post. You can use your own pictures, or you can buy photos to use. Your best option for purchasing images is a stock photography site like, and  to name a few. You can find both free and paid stock photo sites. Get your images and move on to the next step.

Formatting Images

How you format and size your pictures will depend on a few different things. The first is where and how you are displaying them in your blog post. Next, keep the different social media sites where you’re active in mind. Different sites prefer or convert better with different images sizes. Do a little research and come up with an image for each of your most important social media sites.

Images and SEO

Last but not least, let’s not forget about SEO. The file name and the alt tag are both used to determine what the page (or post) the image is found on is about. Use this to your advantage by including your keywords.

There you have it. Start using images in your posts regularly. Play around with style and things like adding text and titles to your images until you find a winning combination for you, your blog, and your audience.

Content Recycle – Turn Your Emails Into Blog Posts

recycle your content

recycleOnce you build a bit of a following with your blog, you will start to get questions and comments via email from your readers. Or you may find yourself chatting with a friend or colleague about a topic, again via email. Take a look at your inbox and more importantly your sent folder right now. Chances are you’re doing a good bit of writing on a regular basis and much of it applies to your target audience.

Reach a larger audience

Isn’t it a shame that many of these emails only go out to one person? Which means only one person potentially reads them?

And what about the emails you send out to your list? Yes, they get seen by many more, but once you’ve sent them, they are gone and a few days later no one will look at them again.

There is an easy little content recycle strategy that will turn those emails into evergreen content for your blog. The basic idea is simple. Anytime you write an email, be it a reply to one person, or an email you send to your list, ask yourself, “Can this content  be repurposed into a blog post?”

Recycling One-on-One Emails

An easy way to recycle one-on-one emails where appropriate is to introduce the topic, share the email conversation, followed by your comment where applicable.

For example, you may share how the conversation started or that you received a question from a reader in response to another post on your site. Then you would share the email they sent you (anonymously unless you’ve gotten permission to share their name) along with your reply.

From there you can elaborate a bit, or give more general advice if it was very specific. This is  a quick and easy post since you did most of the writing when you replied to the email.

Recycling Email Messages and A/R Messages to Your List

Paste the entire email message into drafts and edit away. Maybe you can expand on an idea or tip, or maybe all you need to do is change a few words so it reads more like a blog post than an email. Use the formatting tips we talked about a few days ago (here is the blog on formatting tips)  and you’re good to go.

Anytime you don’t feel like writing much, or don’t know what to blog about, dig through your emails. I’m sure you’ll find something you can use.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Down and Dirty Formatting Tips to Make Your Blog Posts Shine

blogging tips

blogging tipsWe live in a world where people have very short attention spans. We’re bombarded by so much content every single day, it simply isn’t possible to read and consume it all. The solution we have developed is to scan things quickly and decide if we want to invest the time to read the article, watch the video, or listen to the podcast.

Blog readers are no different. That’s why it is important to format your posts in a way that makes it easy to scan, get a quick idea of what the post is about, and then make a decision about reading it. That’s what formatting is all about. It’s an important step in your blogging process.

Add to that the fact that formatting is also an important part of on- page SEO and it is something you want to pay a lot of attention to.

Formatting For Your Readers

Always start by formatting for your readers. While search engines are important, they won’t do you any good if no one is reading your posts.

Make It Easy To Scan the Content

The most important thing you can do for your readers is to make it easy to scan the content. Use headlines, break up text, etc. to make it quick and easy to scan the post and figure out what it’s about. Of course your headline and your images are a big part of this.

Break Up Things into Bulleted or Numbered Lists

Break up your content, tips, ideas, etc. into lists. Depending on the context, those could be bulleted or numbered lists.  Lists are easy to ready, quick to scan, and help readers consume your content.

Keep Your Paragraphs Short

Reading online is different from reading a print book or newspaper. It’s much harder on the eyes, and since we’re consuming so much written content on a daily basis and scanning much of it, our attention span for reading has gone down quite a bit.

Make it easy on your readers to read your posts by keeping your paragraphs short. One to three sentences is usually all you want in each.

Bold important Concepts

Highlight the most important concepts or keywords of your post by bolding them. Not only does this help readers understand that this is an important point, it also helps with scanning before they commit to read your post.

Formatting For the Search Engines

Now that your post is pretty and easy to scan and read for humans, let’s talk about formatting for search engines.

Use H Tags

Using H tags like <h1>, <h2> etc. show search engines what words on the page are important. Use an H1 tag for your post title. If you’re using blogging software like WordPress, your theme should take care of this for you.

But don’t stop there. You can use various other H tags throughout your content. Let’s say your blog post can be slit up into two major sections like this post for example. One section is about formatting for readers, the other for search engines. Those sub headings are H2 tags.

Bold Key Words

This one is easy. If you haven’t already done so for your readers, find your main keyword and make it bold. This will also show search engines this particular word or piece of text is important. Don’t overdo it though.

Use Alt Tags in Images

As you’re adding images, include text in the alt tags that describes the image, but also includes your main keyword. As with the other tags and formatting tips, this will help with ranking.

Use Your Keywords in the Text

Last but not least, give your post a quick scan and make sure you’ve used your keyword several times in the main body of your post. Again, it’s important to strike a good balance here. Don’t overdo it, but also don’t forget to include it. In a 400+ word article like this, using the keyword about 3 times is a good general rule of thumb.