Maybe you can relate … and learn from my mistake!

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Photo by Monica Silva on Unsplash

This is kind of an embarrassing story.

Six or seven months ago, I was invited to be a guest on a podcast to talk about blogging. I created a card deck around blogging, and a group coaching and training program on the same subject.

You should know right off the bat that I’m SUPER self-conscious when it comes to speaking. I explained to the host that I tend to freeze — after all, I’m a writer, not a speaker — and asked if she wanted me to provide interview questions, or if she could provide questions in advance to me.

“Nah, I like to just let the conversation flow,” she said. “Don’t worry about it; you’ll do great.” …


Don’t ever pressure your friends into buying your stuff

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Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash

If you’re in the online business world, then you’ve likely been accosted by people selling online courses and programs. You might even have been the one doing the accosting.

You might have been selling to people you thought of as friends. Maybe they were members of an online Facebook group you frequented. Maybe they were your fellow students in another online program. Maybe they were in your mastermind.

You attended group coaching calls with these folks. You broke bread with them. They were part of your circle.

Until you tried to sell them your online program.

The first time someone I considered a colleague and friend tried to sell me, it was into her $1,200 online coaching program. …


Does your home or office have one?

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Photo by Oleksii Hlembotskyi on Unsplash

One shitty Monday morning, a perfect storm of experiences brought a problem of mine — and, I suspect, a problem of yours — into perfect focus.

That morning, a new client scheduled a call for the afternoon, a call that would require MAJOR work in advance on my part. I had no idea when I’d find the time to do that work before the call.

Another new client’s Slack channel started dinging every 20–30 minutes, with each ding representing another project being plopped onto my plate, project after project after project after project.

It reminded me of one of those pitching machines that doles out pitch after pitch after pitch without thought or mercy. …


On smooth reading experiences and generating trust

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Image ID:15697363, Copyright:raywoo; used by permission from DepositPhotos.com

One of my favorite quotes related to editing comes from Dark Jar Tin Zoo in his book “Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19–91.”

Making love to me is amazing.

Wait, I meant: making love, to me, is amazing.

The absence of two little commas nearly transformed me into a sex god.

See that? Editing can turn you into a sex god or reduce your status to that of the average Joan. (No offense to people named Joan!)

That’s why I love great editing.

Great editing is recognizable to me when I finish a piece whether it’s a success story, blog post, scholarly article, or New York Times bestseller — and realize that I didn’t notice the writing at all. …


Do this exercise to find — and communicate about — the threads that bind you

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Dna by @alliesinteract; used with permission from DepositPhotos.com

Personal brand DNA? What’s that?” you might wonder.

As I sit here writing this piece, I have a notion of what “personal brand DNA” means because I know what I want to share with you.

But because I’m not entirely sure if what I’m thinking has already been said yet or not, I asked for a little help from Google.

Here are the top three results, numbered in order according to date: Social Media Examiner, Everyone Social, and Entrepreneur. (I always plunder the latest sources first when researching just about anything!)

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A search on Google for “personal brand dna”

First up, Social Media Examiner.

This post on SocialMediaExaminer.com is based on a podcast interview between Michael Stelzner and Rory Vaden, co-founder of the Brand Builders Group. In it, the two talk about why you should care about building a personal brand and how to start developing it based on your message, the problems you solve, the research you’ve conducted, and the results you’ve generated. It then goes into the Group’s proprietary process, which doesn’t mesh with what I’m thinking about your personal brand’s DNA. …


Lessons from a card game and an online giveaway

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Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

My oldest son introduced our family to a new card game the last time he was home from college.

Odds are you don’t know about this card game. It’s not for sale at Walmart or at your local toy store.

And the reason I’m sharing this with you is that playing it just once changed my entire worldview — my worldview as a human being and as a small business owner.

The game is called Hanabi.

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Hanabi

Hanabi is supposed to be about creating a fireworks show, but I hardly paid attention to that. I was enthralled by the way we were playing the game. …


A walk through “Writing Tools”

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I’m reading Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark.

But wait, you say.

Renae, aren’t you already a writer? Why would you read a book about writing?

Ha!

I read books about writing because I AM a writer!

I grew my skill over the last two decades in part by writing for a living, in part by reading — and not just writing books. All reading helps me to be a better writer, because when I read a sentence I like, I take note.

From The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood:

We would exchange remedies and try to outdo each other in the recital of our physical miseries; gently we would complain, our voices soft and minor key and mournful as pigeons in the eaves troughs. I know what you mean, we’d say. Or, a quaint expression you sometimes hear, still, from older people: I hear where you’re coming from, as if the voice itself were a traveler, arriving from a distant place. …


A curated list for office dwellers and people who work from home, by a 20-year gift veteran and home-office professional

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Photo by Natasha Fernandez from Pexels

“Renae, you are really a good gift finder!”

That’s what my housekeeper said after she opened the gifts I got her for Christmas.

Awww :) Such a good feeling!

Christmas or not, I love giving gifts — to others and to myself.

What I love even more is searching for gifts with meaning, gifts I know the recipients will love.

Whether you’re searching for a gift for a colleague, friend, or your whole team, you may be glad to know that most the gift suggestions you’re about to discover have been tried and tested by me, a professional marketing writer and editor working out of a home-based office for almost 20 years. …


Do these FIVE things your competitors probably aren’t doing

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It’s Monday morning, 8:00. The kids are off at school. Your belly is fed. Chores are done. You take a seat at your computer … but your schedule is empty.

A full day looms before you. As does Tuesday, as does Wednesday, as does Thursday….

You’re a freelancer without a project, so you better start looking for work.

You check your regular sources: Upwork, 99Designs, Craigslist, or maybe a specialized list for your profession.

Okay … you see a few gigs out there you can handle.

But wait … what’s this?

HEY! Here’s a gig that really turns you on — it’s the opportunity you’ve been looking for! …


A simple exercise to make sure your customers see you in the right light

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Do certain words vex your vibe, giving you a visceral sense of discomfort?

This morning, while scrolling “The Pause,” an email newsletter from the On Being Project, my eye was drawn to an ad headline.

“We’re hiring a Managing Editor.”

I’m not looking for a full-time job, but I *am* an editor, so I couldn’t help but to want to read further.

We’re searching for a managing editor to execute ….

[cue “wrong answer” buzzer sound]

EHNT.

I stopped reading right there, suddenly knowing, in a visceral way, that it was not the right job for me, and I was not the right person for it. …

About

Renae Rost Gregoire

Writer, editor, clarity expert. If you sweat the small stuff, we may be soulmates. Get my free Content, Clients, Cash Blueprint here 👉 http://writerren.com/ccc

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