Sunday Question – How Do You Motivate Yourself?

I’m thinking this is definitely an appropriate question to ask people on a Sunday. Since most Christians go to church on Sunday, some people might say their religion motivates them, and if that’s the case then it’s a fine answer. Some go to church on Saturday, though I expect if it’s religion the answer still might be the same.

I’ve never really touched the topic of religion on this blog because I’m a nonbeliever. I truly believe that as long as people don’t oppress anyone else because of their belief and if they don’t push their religion on someone else, then it’s all good. Whatever makes people happy and can motivate them to feel as good as they can, I have no problem with any of it.

That means, however, that people like me need other ways to motivate ourselves. I have written about motivational stuff on this blog and my business blog. On this one I had a post titled 10 Things That Lead To A Happier & Healthier You. I had a post showing 3 motivational videos. I had another post with videos and explanations of motivational stuff called The Soundtrack Of Your Life. I had one simple post way back when that gave links to motivational posts. And I’ve written about The Secret, which includes a video of the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, and Being In Heaven, the latest motivational video on the market.

When I need motivation, I turn to things like The Secret, videos, some CDs I have of Zig Ziglar and other presenters, and sometimes I grab one of my “millionaire” books and read some passages from one of them. See, my dream is to be a millionaire, so I have lots of books with the word “millionaire” in the title. I really do believe that if you feel it and believe it you will be it; might take some time, but it’s a reasonable goal.

Once again, what do you do to motivate yourself?

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
by T. Harv Eker

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Top 5 Online News Sources

This used to be a much more difficult thing to talk about. As more and more news sources moved online, it seemed like it was going to be pretty easy to find news that you wanted to read. However, what’s happening now is that you’re finding that some of your favorite sites are moving to a paid model. What this has done for me is taken me back to many of the news sources I used to check out before I got more specific with news.

I’m probably not the only one who looks at news online. Local news is also online, but I tend to want to watch that when it’s live. This is for all that other news, including news you never even thought you wanted to know about. And none of these sites cost you a thing; those are excluded. These aren’t necessarily the people who put out the news; just a place where you can go to get the news you want.

Excite is my favorite place to go for customized news for only this reason; it doesn’t require you to go to an extra page before you can see your news. At one point they had created a sales page that used to pop in before it took you to a news story but those days seem to be gone. You can select from tons of choices, select from hundreds of colors and backgrounds, and it’s a lot of fun. The best feature for me is the TV listings at the bottom, which no other news site, even my local sites, don’t give me. You can customize it based on the type of service you have, and then customize it to see only the channels you want to see; neat! The only gripe I have is that you can’t get rid of their own advertising content along the left side and at the top, but truthfully, I don’t even notice it anymore, and only noticed it when deciding to write this post.

My Yahoo is my number two source of customized news. It’s not the first place I go, but I love that it has more news sources to select from than Excite. It also has all the customization that Excite has. My one gripe is that many of the links you hover over have a plus sign come up, which means you’ll either have to click on that to go to a preview page and then the news, or you can hold down on control and click on it and go to the news story. It’s a small irritation, but one just the same.

CNN is always the first site I go to for my news. It’s clean, efficient, and at least the headlines are always up to date. I’ve customized Firefox so I see it differently than most people do. If I have a gripe, it’s that it doesn’t update the minor news stories as often as it updates everything else. Still, it’s quick and easy access to current news.

MSNBC is another great news source that allows for minor customization of where you get your news from. Very minor; for instance, the closest local news I get is about 30 minutes away. But they have lots of content and change it more often than CNN does.

Reuters is a great news choice and has lots of coverage of overseas issues, which for some of you makes it more valuable than my truly American slantings. Still, it looks like it customizes itself based on your location, which probably means I’m seeing a much different front page than someone would in another country. It also offers a different slant on the news that, for me, is sometimes enjoyed and hated at the same time, but always intriguing.

And there you go; now, go learn something!

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Marketing Help Needed; Yup!

As y’all know, I work for myself. I do okay, but certainly not great. Marketing has always been my downfall, and it’s disconcerting after so many years.

by McKay Savage

Of course, I understand the concepts of social media marketing well. I’ve followed my own advice when it comes to that, and it’s helped to a degree. My biggest problem is that my main business doesn’t do online stuff all that well. You may remember that along with a lot of other things I’m a health care finance consultant. Many more hospitals have a web presence now, but that’s about as far as it goes.

I rank number one for my search terms, but hospitals don’t go online to research vendors (that’s what they call us; I prefer the term ‘corporate partner’) for services. Instead, they go to events and ask people they’re not afraid to share information with who they might recommend or who they’ve heard of. Now, by ‘afraid’, I mean to say that hospitals really don’t like other hospitals that are located close to them to ever know they might have some type of problem. It’s kind of stupid because almost every hospital has the same types of issues but that’s the way the world goes.

Anyway, that makes marketing to hospitals difficult. Overall they’re not close to each other. They don’t like making recommendations that might help a competitor. If you’re an independent you just can’t rely on word of mouth when it comes to hospitals; physicians maybe.

What’s a guy to do? I’ve done the traditional route. I’ve sent letters. I’ve sent flyers. I’ve sent postcards. I’ve even picked up the phone and called, although not that often; I hate doing the cold call thing. That plus, unless you personally know the CFO, you’re not going to talk to them. I’ve had 3 different sales professionals who have tried and each one of them told me the same story, and I already knew it because that used to be my life. Well, except I didn’t have a secretary screening calls for me; if it was from out of town & I didn’t recognize the number, it went to voice mail.

Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for more marketing tips. A good source for me as been my friend Shirley George Frazier’s blog Solo Business Marketing, and right now she’s giving away a pdf called 42 Top Tips For Solo Marketers. That’s the link to her site, not to the download. Her site is replete with tons of information, and I have followed her for a couple of years. I do pick up some things here and there, and I really need to start applying more of what she has to offer. It’s a great resource, and I’m happy to mention her here.

Of course, all of this ties in to other topics I’ve brought up this year and in previous years. The best marketing strategy is to find ways to increase your influence. I’ve been trying to do it a lot through social media, interviews, and networking.

Networking, by the way, is how I’ve gotten most of my health care contracts as well. Through email, I do have a list of people I can network with when I really need to get something. The issue for me is that at my age now I’d love having more projects that are closer to home. Some people might think going across the country is always glamorous; trust me, it’s not. Even flying first class, making 2 or 3 stops to get to your final destination, and those long layovers, is irritating and uncomfortable. Now, if I were on a speaking tour, making $3,000 or more a day, I’d suck it up and be happy about it; who wouldn’t?

Anyway, check out Shirley’s blog, and if you have any ideas on how you market your business to the offline world that’s effective, please share.

Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 4000

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I Used To Be A Songwriter, Part Three

Today is the final day of showing off some of my song lyrics from the past. I’d you’d like, you can go check out part one and part two first. Anyway, it’s too bad I can’t share any of the music for some of these songs. Then again, the recordings are all kind of rough. What I used to do, for the most part, was write the music first, then write the lyrics, then rehearse the song many times, then grab my portable recorder with the little square microphone and get it down on tape.

At least that was before I bought what was called the Tascam professional mixing recorder. With that bad boy, I could get up to 10 tracks on one song. I bought a $150 microphone, which was a lot of money back in 1984 (probably still a lot of money), and I’d add extra voices to some of my songs. Yup, I harmonized with myself, as well as added extra instrumentation, although it was all piano. One of these days I’m going to buy one of those things that lets you transfer cassette music into MP3’s; for now, we’re just stuck with lyrics.

This first song I’m sharing today is a love song that turned into a wedding song. It’s the first and only song I sang with a band for a friend’s wedding; I was also in the wedding party. What happened is my friend wanted the song played at the reception and the band was going to perform it. I wanted to just stand back and see how someone else performed my song, and I was busting a gut for it. However, the day of the wedding, the band said that no one had been able to sing it quite right and asked if I’d sing it. So, without rehearsing once with the band, we did the song, and it came out exactly as I’d written it and recorded it, since I gave them a copy of the tape I’d made.

You and Me

So many nights we’ve sat and held hands together
Just the two of us in love forever
Tranquil surroundings bring us closer and closer
To achieving everlasting happiness
And today I proclaim that we’ll never be apart again
Today we say we love each other to the world
And it will be there when we share it with our friends
Who gather around to celebrate our joy
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever

So many bright lights in the Milky Way
Seems like they shine on just the two of us today
There was a chemistry when we met for the first time
The first kiss proved to be the catalyst
The glow that emanates from around us is our love
Who could believe that two could love more than we
I’ll never hurt you, you’ve promised me your hand
I never knew that love could be so grand
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever

There’s nothing more to say, we’d just be repeating anyway
And only time can tell us if this love was meant to be
So let’s give in to our love, it takes care of all our needs
Cause I know you love me, and I love you too
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever
You and me, we will see that our love will last forever

copyright 1986, SUNSETS, by T.T.Mitchell

And finally, the last song I’m sharing with you is actually one of the first wedding songs I ever wrote, and this one turned into a composition instead of just a song. By that, I mean it started out like any other song. I was playing some music, and the lyrics came to me. By the way, you might not believe this, but just like when I write my posts here, my songs were written very fast, usually within 25 to 30 minutes. That was the same with this one, only I was hearing something else that I just had to add. Reminiscent of Barry Manilow’s Could It Be Magic, I changed keys from A flat major to C major and added the second movement of Beethoven’s Pathetiqué Sonata, as well as a little bit more tempo. This was going to be my wedding song; instead, it ended up being the wedding song for another couple in 1999, and it was the very last song I ever played or sang in public, or at home for that matter. And it was the only time I ever got a standing ovation in church.

We Are Love

Today’s a big day
The start of a new life
The day we become man and wife
We are love
Hand in hand
We walk down that silver aisle
Inspired by the rank and file of our love, always
Guided by the angels of God
We will find the way to happiness
We are love

Side by side
The minister performs the rite
And with these rings we will unite
You and I
As we’re here
Testimony to our marital bliss
Our friends and families witness to our love, always
Who’s to say how far we’ll go
We’ll never stop so we’ll never know
It should be eternity
We are love

Today’s a big day
The start of a new life
The day we become man and wife
We are love
Hand in hand
We walk up that silver aisle
Inspired by the rank and file of our love, always
Who’s to say how far we’ll go
We’ll never stop so we’ll never know
It should be eternity
We are love.

Copyright 1983, SEASONS, by T. T. Mitchell

And that’s that. I actually had written more than 100 songs including music I never added words to, lyrics I never added music to, and a couple of collaborations. I was fairly prolific for about 8 years, then work and career took over and that was that. “Nice songs, but no hits”; that’s what I heard often, and I guess I’ll take that at this point. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look back at some of my history.

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I Used To Be A Songwriter, Part Two

Yesterday was the first day of three where I’m sharing my former attempted life as a songwriter. What I didn’t mention yesterday is that my songs normally took on one of two themes. One was metaphysical couched in shadowy language, like yesterday. Two was love songs, mainly unrequited love, but every once in awhile straight up love songs.

Piano by T. Spang

This first song today is neither of those. It’s partially a true song. My sophomore year in college was the first time I knew anyone who had passed away. Her name was Carol, and we didn’t know it early on but she was troubled. She was also very talented, and played the piano for the choir that year. She attempted suicide twice; the second time she succeeded. None of us knew what to say to her to help at the time; she was actually older than all of us, starting college late. Years later, I was thinking about her one night, and wrote this song about her. I never had a crush on her, but she was one of our gang, so to speak, and she was always very nice to me; I just wish, like everyone else, that we could have known what we could do for her.

The Last One She Touched

Funny I remember the curve of her face
The smile as wide as the sea
The beauty so great, the charm of a doll
The lovely Carol Lee, Carol Lee

Carol was raised in a northeastern town surrounded with love and affection
She never was unhappy and never was scared for she had friends and family for protection
Whomever she touched fell in love with her
And everyone was touched, this I know very well
For the last one she touched was me

Carol was as strong as an autumn breeze, as soft as a kiss on the lips
As cute as a squirrel that sits in the tree, as flowing as the drink that we sip
Whomever she touched fell in love with her
And everyone was touched, this I know very well
For the last one she touched was me

Funny I remember the twinkle in her eye
A heart as big as the sea
But Carol’s no more and I know very well
For the last one she touched was me

Copyright 1986, Sunsets by T. T. Mitchell

This next song doesn’t have a lot of lyrics, but it’s my longest song, coming in at around 9 minutes. I wanted to write a long composed piece, reminiscent of Elton John’s song Tonight. In my mind, it was the signature piece of my entire collection called Seasons, which was my first copywritten collection.


Another soul is being born
The cycle of life, beginning and end it’s all the same
The rain, the heat, the snow, the cold
Why does it go on, what made the seasons start?

The April showers wash away the stale and the gray
The beautiful May flowers hide the trash and the decay
Nature spawns the young lives but the elders feel it too
And as it warms we see the sun, the clouds in the blue
It’s all so peaceful we really can’t believe
It won’t always be the same, does the beauty have to leave?

Then the skies dim, the winds blow, the rain turns to snow
The trees will sway and the leaves will fray, this middle age our foe
The cold becomes the enemy, no protection for the lea
It’s twilight now and it scares us so for we know what soon will be
Then show and ice and bitter chill, it’s winter by and large
The last step of a life has finally taken charge
Throughout the course of history we see the seasons win
Isn’t it comforting to know that the seasons start again?

Copyright 1983, Seasons by T. T. Mitchell

The final song here, as I decided to do 3 this time, is one of those pure love songs. I’d had this crush on this young lady I went to college with, and I wrote a few songs for and about her. This is part of the Seasons collection, and what I did was actually write all the titles I wanted for the collection before I wrote the songs, to make sure the collection covered every season at least once. Now that’s composing! Oh yeah, I never told her I had a crush on her; too bad…

Autumn Sunsets

Hello, I’m glad that you came to talk to me
Today, this may sound strange but I’ve got to ask
Did you ever know I loved you
You don’t have to be scared to say no
But I don’t believe that you never felt a thing for me
Don’t try to make me believe
We were young, it may not have seemed so at the time
So far away from home, but I knew what I wanted then
It’s not so different from now, and I’m not afraid to say anymore
It’s time to even the score
One of us has gotta say we need each other every day
Autumn sunsets come too soon

I go back to the time I first saw you
Your eyes were so dark, and I wondered what the mind beheld
Deep within those pools of thought
I knew that there was something in your soul
And to this day I believe that we formed a mental bond
Hope I’m not the only one
So I’ll say I’m not sure if this is love
But I care for you more than I ever have for anyone
I want to be with you now, and if forever’s more than I ever thought
Your love is all I want
One of us has gotta say we need each other every day
Autumn sunsets come too soon

I want to be with you now, and if forever’s more than I ever thought
Your love is all I want
One of us has gotta say we need each other every day
Autumn sunsets come too soon.

Copyright 1983, Seasons by T. T. Mitchell

That’s two days down; one more to go, and of course two more stories. Meanwhile here’s the link to part one and here’s the link to part three

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