I say this because many people who have always been considered as the “establishment” are now in a minority. A difficult concept for those folks to grasp. They believe they have always been in the right and that would never change. In their minds minorities, gays, women, Latinos and other groups would continue to live on the fringes of our American adventure.
Many pundits prognosticated the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency four years ago was about Americans getting swept up in the “magic” of the historic first African-American to occupy the Oval Office. They mistakenly thought four years later we would take off the rose-colored glasses. They thought it would be easy to unseat a President who didn’t appear “traditionally Presidential” with a candidate who did. Besides no president since Roosevelt has won re-election with unemployment figures over 7.4 percent. They felt his points of view were a little too this or too that and the more conventional guy backed by big money would get swept right back into office. They believed the job was Romney’s for the taking.
Truth is, we never were wearing rose-colored glasses in the first place. This is how we see America and what we want. We want a country where Americans aren’t obstructed from voting. We want an America that’s inclusive. We want an America where women can make their own health care choices and people can love and marry who they want. We want an America that spends less – but makes those tough decisions putting everything on the plate – including the military budget.
They expected Romney’s sweep into the Oval Office even though he wouldn’t submit tax returns, has secret accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Even though he lied about Obama’s record. Even though he made those scurrilous comments about the 47 percent and ran patently false ads about Chrysler’s Jeep division after Chrysler said the ads amounted to fantasizing and untruths.
Romney lost in his home states. In Massachusetts, the only state where he’s held political office, he lost by 23 points. In Michigan where he grew up and his Father was a popular three-term Governor, he lost. In California and New Hampshire where he owns homes, he lost. VP sidekick Paul Ryan didn’t help the GOP ticket pick up Wisconsin, either. Wisconsin went to Obama.
What the uber-conservatives failed to see is the demographics of our American landscape have changed dramatically over the last generation. The mostly white “establishment” who thinks in lockstep and always thought everyone else would too - got a spanking yesterday.
I feel a little sad for them (not much – just a little) because they live in a bubble. I’m talking about the arch-conservatives who only talk with each other. They only get their news from the conservative right. They honestly don’t know what’s happening with real Americans which represents a myriad of colors, faiths, lifestyles and belief systems. They’re clueless as to who and what the “average American” is about in 2012.
The world has changed.
Geez, how many times have I typed or uttered that sentence in the last couple years?
The America Mitt Romney wanted to lead doesn’t exist as it used to exist. At least not in enough numbers to win the Presidency any longer.
One Democrat Strategist said, “They’re living in a ‘Mad Men’ mindset in a ‘Modern Family’ world.”
When Senatorial candidates Akin of Missouri and Mourdock of Indiana talked about the horror of rape in a shockingly insensitive way women and men said, “No more.” Women Senators will sit in those seats instead for the next six years. In fact, for the first time we will now have 20 women in the US Senate, 17 Democrats and three Republicans.
Unfortunately the GOP thought they still could win with this kind of knuckle-draggin’ Neanderthal senate candidate. When conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh called a female law student a “slut” last year for expressing her point of view on making contraception available, people from both genders remembered that intolerance in the voting booth.
That’s perfectly okay in the GOP playbook. Americans, mostly women and some men too said, “No effing way.”
Thank goodness tough guy, “my way or the highway” politics of the establishment are going the way of the dodo bird. Our democracy is truly becoming more representative of our nation.
Halloween is over so we can’t be overly annoyed with the Christmas merchandise that’s been in stores for a month now, and, the holiday tunes starting to come from the Muzak speakers on elevators.
I don’t need to look at a calendar to know the holidays are coming fast - I can feel it in the air. My Circadian rhythyms are playing red and green. My instincts are telling me it’s time to start making lists.
This week I’ve gone on Epicurious and started comparing recipes for Cranberry Sauce and healthy sweet potatoes. I’m wondering if I want to do anything different with my holiday decorations.
I generally ponder these holiday questions because from mid-November to January its always the slowest time of the year for me.
Prospective clients say, “Oh Denise, I’d love to start working with you – after the holidays.” That’s the pattern I’ve seen all the years since I started marketing mentoring. I’ve learned to set aside money so I can enjoy the holidays without dipping into credit cards or real savings. After all it’s the most expensive time of the year and the time when clients say, “I want to take a break until after the holidays.”
This year is different. Back in April when I started my first Group Book Mentoring program I had no idea how much life would change. I didn’t know how many people I’d help by guiding and supporting them in writing their how-to or personal growth book.
Oh, I live in the same home and drive the same car. I’m married to the same man. But I’m busy right now – in a good way - and I didn’t expect that. I figured I’d have the typical holiday season slowdown. Take a break, enjoy the holidays and start another group in January.
Not this time around. Within the last 36 hours I’ve had three people say they want to get started working with me before December. Yowsers!! That means just a few people more (I only accept 6-8 people per group) and it’ll be a full group. All three said they want to wait until after the holidays before actually writing. They want to align with me right away and get going in some way. Does that sound like you?
So, this group will be a little different. Sign up by December 1st and you’ll get a private mentoring session with me before starting into the six month, group book mentoring program in January.
It’s not exclusively about writing a book - it’s also about sorting through and developing a vision, a business model and a plan that will sustain both your book and your business. We can talk over a cuppa something warm to keep the winter chill away and talk about what you want to create. That’s what we can do together before you write word one so it all comes together and makes sense. That’s what synergy is all about.
When you create your strategy and build leverage by aligning your how-to or personal growth book with your business - the book succeeds and your business succeeds. That’s how I made my book a business bestseller sold in 15 countries.
The actual program is six months long and takes you through all the steps of writing your book. Step by step and word by word your book grows. You also learn about editors, publishing options, promoting your book and more.
As mentioned, I had no intention of doing any marketing or selling appointments during November and December. I figured that would be my ”kick back for the holidays” and “hunker down and write my goals” time of year. That’s the way it’s been for so long.
Surprise, surprise! I had three of these appointments this week and all three aspiring book authors said “yes” to working with me.
In fact, I have a meeting Monday morning with a woman referred to me by another happy client. She’s a life coach who lives in New York City. Yes, the same NYC ripped to shreds by Hurricane Sandy and the flood surge that happened Monday night this week. Now that’s dedication and passion.
One big lesson I’ve gotten in 2012 is that flexibility and a willingness to adapt to changing conditions (changing for the better!) is a good thing. Not that I was inflexible before – but I’m really discovering that things go best for me when I check in with how certain decisions feel in my body and then follow my heart. It’s working for me – and I’ll bet it’ll work for you, too.
So if the idea of finally getting your how-to or personal growth book makes sense to you and feels right in your body, you’ll know it. You’ll just sense a little imperceptible shift or that small still voice inside urging you forward. That’s what 2012 has been like for me – and it’s been a very good year. If that sounds like you, we’re in alignment. Connect with me and let’s talk about it. I’ll give you all the details so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Denise Michaels is C.E.O. and founder of the “International Book Writing Guild.” Contact Denise via email at email@example.com on Facebook or text her at 702-401-6313 to set up a time to connect and discover more.
You can’t turn on your TV or computer without being impacted by the stunning images of catastrophic damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week.
There are a few important things to look at in the aftermath of such a tragedy. With a big election next week, maybe it’s the right time to reconsider the kind of country we want to live in.
Government: doesn’t it make you feel a little better to see those images of President Obama together with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? That’s what government is supposed to do – work together to create solutions no matter what party, red or blue. Consider that as you go to the voting booth next week. (I already voted earlier this week.)
The “I won’t talk with you, I won’t deal with you” attitude toward governance the last few years has resulted in more problems and a sluggish response to the challenges we face as a nation. I’m tired of the vitriole and the bickering, aren’t you?
When we work together – even if we have strong differences of opinion - good things happen, Obama and Christie have taken the lead here. I give both credit for putting aside their differences and working together to help the thousands impacted by Sandy.
A few years ago crossing the aisle was considered the preferred norm, not a reason to get your shorts in a twist. You don’t get a doggone thing done if you don’t find workable ways to get along with others.
I blame marketing. Yep, it’s what I’ve been doing my entire career. But I lay the responsibility for a lot of our sniggering small-mindedness on marketing. If we couldn’t tell the difference between one candidate or another and where they stood on issues in the past – we sure can now. Politicians have made certain of it by distancing themselves from each other so much we look ridiculous.
The “have it my way” culture that sprung up in the 1980s and the “me generation” has led to the expectation that’s how it should be all the time, every minute with everything. That everyone should get things exactly as they want them and no one’s feelings should ever be hurt along the way. A little unrealistic, don’t you think?
Infrastructure: Let’s start getting honest here. If you haven’t travelled around the world there’s probably a chance you feel America has the most advanced systems in the world. Not even close. We’re seriously behind the eight-ball when it comes to mass transit, bridges, education, energy development of renewables, delivery of medical care and much more. As a matter of fact we’re currently rated 20 in the world. Not even in the top ten. We’re at 20. Sheesh!
New York subway officials have said this is the worst damage to the system in its 108 year history. They’ll get it patched back up and running again with duct tape and chewing gum. Thank goodness for our weather satellites that provided enough lead time to get all the trains and all the machines moved to safe places, saving billions of dollars in further damages.
The people of New York, New Jersey and other states are still waiting to get back their subways and power back. Mayor Bloomberg has issued a rule you must have three people in a car to get into NY City. Right now just walking down the street without slogging through a few feet of water, debri, sewage, petroleum and more is a challenge. Anyone who knows me knows I love walking, and, walking in New York City has always been an empowering experience in such a vibrant, exciting city. Well, especially if I can sneak in a little shopping – but I digress.
Global warming: whether it’s due to man-made activities or not we have to deal with the fact killer storms and hurricanes happen more often. Let’s stop politicizing what’s obviously happening, kicking the can down the road. Can you believe some turkeys see weather as a Democratic or Republican issue? Weather? Really?
These once-every-century storms and floods now happen about once every two years. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Scientists, the most apolitical people on the planet, say that our artic ice is melting more and more every year. The result is crazy weather systems like mega hurricanes, flooding and massive snowfalls in winter.
Is it due to our “carbon footprint” or something else? I don’t know. Who cares? Do we really want to keep acting shocked when these events happen,, plunking our heads in the sand? Really?
Our natural tendency is to reach out and help someone who is in worse shape than we are. We selflessly give what we can when our fellow man or woman is hurting, and, we sure as heck don’t ask if they’re Republican or Democrat first.
In a tragedy we see people coming together in ways that show we understand the Golden Rule. Living with meaning and purpose for most of us means finding ways to help others whenever we can.
Here’s something funny in an ironic way:
People in the affected areas without power are running around trying to find power to recharge their cell phones, iPads, laptops, etc. Wouldn’t it be funny in a good way if as a result of this tragedy people actually look at each other and say “hi” rather than endlessly staring at the screen on their phone?
When I ask people what’s most important they almost always reply “helping others” and “making a difference.” Its a more powerful core value than anything else. If so, why do some folks get in a snit when two people with a difference of opinion AND the power to make a difference actually get along? Why do we cross our arms refusing to acknowledge what’s clearly happening and act like we can stuff the toothpaste back in the tube? Why do we posture and act like arch enemies when people clearly care and want the best for each other?
ago. How are things going so far?
I can best sum it up by saying it takes a lot to make big life changes – especially when you already have a lot invested in who and what you are. Yes, I’d love to jet off to Italy or Patagonia for a month but it’ll be awhile yet before that happens. I’m looking for ways to live an excellent adventure right where I’m at until I’m ready to go to exciting places. Of course many people think I live in one of the most exciting places on earth – Las Vegas.
The original notion of the excellent adventure was to seek out and immerse myself in new cultures and to write. Writing has always been my passion – since I was a girl and all the way through Journalism and Advertising school in college to ad copywriting, articles, media releases, business proposals and website copy.
What happens for me? I eat totally unnecessary quantities of mint chocolate chip ice cream, that’s what.
My husband is the most kind, sweet man ever. But he’s throwing obstacles in the way of my (our) excellent adventure. This probably sound like I’m venting – because I am. But he’s making it difficult to do this thing.
Okay, at the moment we don’t have all the funds. But that’s not the only thing.
A few weeks ago we sat down and figured out what it would take to pay our mortgage and other bills if we weren’t here. We could turn off a lot of utilities. Put the cars on blocks and you can just keep liability insurance on them. Just lock down everything and go for six months and fire everything up again when we get back.
Many women who own businesses say they’re dedicated to creating success but they really have an expensive hobby. They take mincing steps questioning spending ten bucks on flyers or twenty bucks for a new book. But they effort spend hundreds on a new outfit or purse. Will this help you get closer to living an excellent adventure?
I call it Cupcake Marketing.
Back in the day women were always asked to bake cupcakes for bake sales. So they did. Some women still do. Many women always comply – and never ask for anything in return. They give it all away. Their hard work and ingredients are sold.
Eventually, many get peeved they’re always asked to bake cupcakes. But they wouldn’t dare say “no.” After all, they want to “be nice.” Nice is more important than time or money.
Friends are fascinating. We see in them who we are – and sometimes we see who we don’t want to be. It’s natural to want to help people who are struggling but very often what’s most screwed up is their mindset. For whatever reason each person must experience their own journey just like a butterfly must release itself from it’s cocoon or a baby chick must break free of the egg on it’s own.
This post is about three people I know and care about. All have fallen on tough times economically. All have been pushed into massive mid-life change and are doing their best to deal with the adjustments. Each has handled it differently.
I want to make positive changes to simplify my life. So, when the time is right, Ernie and I can take off for the great beyond around the world. It’s about paring back on the amount of stuff I live with daily so when it’s time to live for a month or two out of a carry on bag I can do it without getting out of my comfort zone, struggling or freaking out.
Okay, maybe not just a carry-on. A carry-on and one checked bag. I think I can do that.
Recently, I’ve pitched four pairs of shoes. Still have dozens more to go. I have four pairs of pink shoes. I have a pair of sandals with kitten heels in lime green. Yes, Ernie calls me, “Imelda.” And, so many clothes I can’t neatly fit ‘em in my walk-in closet and massive, antique bird’s eye maple bureau.
• Simple elegance of Italian olive oil drizzled on asparagus
• Quiet beauty of people meditating at an Indian ashram
• Riotous colors and tropical heat of Bali
As Julia Roberts, in the role of writer Elizabeth Gilbert, experiences a year of personal growth in the movie “Eat Pray Love” away from the hustle-bustle of New York City a few thoughts kept rambling around in my mind.
Enjoying an excellent adventure that involves extended travel will probably include finding ways to create cash flow on the road. Since you don’t want to work 40+ hours a week as you travel, it’s crucial to find ways to create more income in less hours.
One great thing about my life is for 18 years I’ve found ways to make money doing what I’m passionate about. Y’know, the “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” idea from Marsha Sinetar’s book.
Fine, but at age 52 I’m aware I never stop DOing. I’m ready to be a human BEing rather than a human DOing. Ready to DO different things.
You may be scratching your head saying, “NEVER.” That’s a typical holiday in other highly-developed nations like Europe.
If you think the issue is just our current economic woes, it’s not. Twenty years ago, a two week vacation for Americans was average. In the last decade we squeezed down to mini-vacations. Long weekends became the trend.
Lately, we’ve ushered in even shorter vacations – the staycation. No travel, just spend a night or two at a local hotel to kick back for 24 to 48 hours before jumping back into the fray. Oh, and bring your laptop and your cell phone along.