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Making An Investment In Yourself

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Podcast Movement

Photo Courtesy of Podcast Movement

People who are successful in their businesses or careers always do one thing that others don’t do.

They invest in themselves.

Whether it is buying information products about the public relations industry or attending conferences, they know that they will improve their skills because of the lessons learned.

That is why people who are achieve success are not lucky like many would say.

They also have the entrepreneurial mindset in which they don’t wait for permission to achieve their goals in order to make other people’s lives better.

People like Sara Blakely, who solved a problem for many women when she create the company Spanx, which made billions of dollars.

Or Patty Elizee, who decided not to settle for the status quo of working the 9-5 and founded her podcast, the Brand You Economy.

Ms. Elizee’s story is really awesome because she started that journey to freedom when she set goals for herself.

Among those goals were to participate in Cliff Ravenscraft’s “Podcasting A to Z Course” and to attend the inaugural Podcast Movement that took place last year.

It was there that she met Jared Easley, who was one of the co-founders of the conference.

Now there is a “twist” to the story of how Podcast Movement was founded.

Mr. Easley was attending the New Media Expo, an annual conference held earlier last year in Las Vegas.

This conference is geared towards evolving media like YouTube, podcasts, etc.

It was there that he over-heard a conversation of people who were wondering, “Why Isn’t There A Conference Exclusively For Podcasters?” #paraphrased

Mr. Easley was wondering the same thing and in that moment, he was thinking about the idea of creating a national conference for podcasters.

The reality of bringing together recognized speakers, securing a venue, and the costs to put a national conference together could have stopped Mr. Easley, Dan Franks, Gary Leland and Mitch Todd from creating the first national podcast conference.

However, they thought outside of the box and launched a Kick-Starter campaign to see if people would be interested.

The campaign goal was to raise $11,000 dollars in 30 days.

To their surprise, they achieved that goal in 9 hours and eventually raised the money by three times the amount in 30 days.

That was the signal that they needed to go out and create a national conference for podcasters

After much hard work and dedication, the first ever Podcast Movement took place in Dallas, Texas with over 600 attendees.

Seeing amazing commentary on how many past, present and future podcasters learned from each other and the meetups that transpired was great.

At the same time, I was sad because I missed out on this amazing conference.

I made the decision that I was not going to miss this year’s Podcast Movement.

Even though this will probably be the only conference I attend this year, it will be worth it because I will have the opportunity to meet great podcasters that I have built strong friendships with on social media and interviewed on my very own podcast, “What’s The Word?”

I honestly believe that if anyone will invest in conferences like Podcast Movement, they will be able to take their careers or business to another level that will allow them to make the world a better place.

The only question is “Are You Willing To Invest In Yourself?”

You Only Need One Person To Believe In Your Dreams

By Cheval John

People are afraid to go after their dreams because they fear that they will not achieve it.

Most of the time, they believe that many will not believe in them.

Like if they have an idea to create a better product to improve the usage of computers, they will hear from the masses that they are crazy.

Or if they are following their heart and pursuing their true calling, like becoming an entrepreneur, the majority will be wondering if they are crazy.

What if Steve Jobs had not followed his intuition and went along with the majority who graduated from college and work the normal 9-5 workweek for 40 years until he retired, we would not have had the Apple Computer.

And if the Apple Computer was not created, we would not have had the iPhone which later led to iTunes that has revolutionized the way everyone consumes podcasts.

What if Orville and Wilbur Wright had listened to the masses and not invented the airplane?

Then we would have not been able to travel to different parts of the world in less time and we would have probably be using ships which takes longer.

And what if Thomas Edison had said, “This is not meant to be” after he failed about 1,000 times with the invention of the light bulb?

We would still be using candles and it would have been a huge hassle for businesses, etc.

The primary reason why we know about Steve Jobs, Orville and Wilbur Wright and many others who revolutionized the world is because they did not follow the masses or listened to the naysayers who were content with the status quo.

They had a vision, took the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.

One final question?

What if Laura Wilkinson did not followed her heart and pursued her dream of being in the 2000 Sydney Olympics?

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Laura had broken her foot during training about 6 months before the Sydney Olympics.

She dealt with the injury and continued her pursuit of making the team.

When she qualified for the Olympics, Laura had another obstacle to overcome.

Many believed she was a long shot of winning a gold medal because she was competing against the powerhouse Chinese team.

China entered the 2000 Olympics as the favorites because they had won gold medals in the previous four Olympics.

It was true that she was the underdog because the last American to win a gold medal in the sport of diving during the Olympics was in 1964.

Plus with her broken foot, they believed she was not a contender for the medal.

It seemed like their predictions were going to come true because Laura was sitting in 8th place after two rounds in the diving competition.

However, Laura had a positive mindset and believed that if she had made her most difficult dive, the reverse 2 1/2 somersault, she would have a chance at competing for the medal.

Her intuitions was right because she made the dive and was awarded a 9.5.

Then the next four divers including the Chinese flopped on their dives and all of a sudden she was in contention for the gold medal.

She made her next two dives which put her in first place and was able to hold off the competition to win the gold.

Laura went on to make the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in Athens and Beijing, respectively.

However, she did not achieved any medals in those games.

If Laura had listened to the masses who said that she was too old to start competing in diving, or had said to herself, “It was not meant for me to be in the Sydney Olympics, #paraphrased” after breaking her foot, she would have been wondering “What would have happened if I had pursued the 2000 Sydney Olympics”?

So if you believe that it is too late to pursue your dream career or receiving a ton of rejections if you are just starting your business, remember that it takes one person to say that “I believe in you.”

Thankfully, Laura had that one person, Kenny Armstrong, who believed in her.

And because of Mr. Armstrong telling her, “I believe that you can succeed in diving, #paraphrased” the world was able to witnessed one of the biggest comebacks in Olympic history.

Life Is What You Make Of It

By Cheval John

I can say that life does not always go according to plan.

My goal was to graduate from college at 22 years old, be in a full time position and be able to be financially independent.

That plan did not work out as I expected.

When I first visited the United States mainland, I knew I had wanted to live here one day.

I was curious to know what it was like to live in the U.S. mainland and had great dreams that it was awesome.

When I had graduated high school 16 years ago, I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to live in Texas.

I was supposed to leave on July 15th.

However, the flight that was supposed to arrive in my native St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, had a delay and made an arrival late.

That delay caused me to miss my connecting flight from Miami to Houston.

I had the choice on going on that flight and spend the night in Miami before leaving for Houston the next morning.

I decided to spend one more night home before I made the move to Texas on July 16th.

When I finally arrived in Texas, I was excited for a new adventure.

I had no idea that I was going to start college at 22 years old and graduated with two college degrees at 27 years old and 28 years old, respectively.

Plus I did not know that I was going to be fluent in Spanish because I thought that I could not learn the language because I had struggled with the subject in high school.

Or that I would be struggling to find full time work because of the “Great Recession.”

I did not expect that 16 years later, I would have still be living in Texas, have a podcast, be an author of two books and a blogger.

Most of the time, I wonder if I did not move to the mainland, would I have finished university at the age of 22 and working at a full time workplace?

All I can say is that I made the choice to live in the U.S. mainland and I had been able to cover sporting events as a freelance writer and also be in the fourth largest city in the United States.

I have not achieved my goal of being financially independent yet, but I am on my way.

No matter if you feel that life did not go as you planned it, always have hope and believe that your detour in life will lead you to achieving your goals that will allow you to make the world a better place.

Leaving A Legacy For Your Readers

by Cheval John

Everyone wants to be remembered for the great work that they do.

They are determined to find the calling that will set them up to be in the position to leave a legacy.

That is why when they first set out on their first career, they feel that they are in the right calling for their life.

Things will be going well for a while until they have that pivotal realization that they are not in the right career.

Most of the time, the realization of being in the wrong career happens in their 40s and they suffer a mid-life crisis.

While some realize that they are not in their right careers in their mid-twenties.

The good news is that it is never too late to change careers.

Ken Dunn was very fortunate to come to the epiphany that he was not in the right career.

He spent fourteen years as a police officer doing private investigative work.

Though he was “enjoying” his work as a police officer, he knew that they was a bigger calling for him to leave his mark on the world.

He ventured into the entrepreneurial world and in the process had a seven figure business.

He then wanted to share his experience of running a business and had written his first book.

He went and found a publisher and a marketer who had claimed that they would be able to get his book to best-seller list as he explained to me in the interview on my podcast, What’s The Word?. #paraphrased

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So he spent the $80,000 that they were charging.

Unfortunately, the book did not achieved best-seller list and they were a whole lot of errors.

That bad experience with a publisher led him to do more research in the world of publishing and led to his company “Next Century Publishing” which he rebranded it into the Reader’s Legacy Inc.

The company has been very successful over the years because it is almost like a social media site.

Meaning that the author has their own page and they can interact with their fans on a consistent basis.

It is like the Twitter of book promotion.

Because of this innovative way to market your books, he received a lot of media attention from the likes of Fox News, Entrepreneur.com and the Huffington Post.

Plus he recently held the first annual Reader’s Legacy Choice Awards held last month with speakers like Dorie Clark, Kimanzi Constable and Shannon O’Keeffe.

You can say that he has found his true calling and is leaving a legacy for the next generation of authors.

By the way, he relauched his first book into best-seller’s status and has written four other books as well.

So if you feel that it is too late to change course in your true career, don’t give up hope.

Eventually your true career will find you and you will be destined to leave a great legacy that will make the world a better place.

A Model Of Inconsistency

By Cheval John

You main goal when you are starting a business or an organization is to grow a loyal following.

When you put out great content on a consistent basis, then you are well on your way to being very successful and profitable.

However, when you are not consistent at putting out content that is really valuable for your audience, you end up losing a great following and miss out on an opportunity to gain new viewers.

And though you are already have a passionate following in a niche though you have an inconsistent model, it will be very hard to establish a footprint in a new market.

An example of this is soccer (football in the rest of the world).

Soccer is really popular all around the world and have a passionate fan base.

Look at all of the matches that takes place especially at the club levels in major leagues around the world like the 20 team English Premier League.

They are lively and excited.

You have the chance to see the best players in the world compete against each other.

You might think that each of the leagues have a set schedule for their season

Like the English Premier League goes from August to May with only 38 matches for each team.

You are expected to see the matches happen every week.

You find out that they is not a match happen at a particular week because each of the national teams are either participating in an friendly, trying to qualify for their respective federation’s competition or the World Cup.

Add on to that, there are other club competitions that are transpiring at the same time (example UEFA Champions League).

You are confused and wondering when there are going to return back to their respective domestic competition.

For the die hard fan, you are used to the changes of world competitions for soccer.

For the casual fan, that is a turnover to some degree.

That is to me the main reason why soccer will never have a strong footprint in the United States because of the constant changes in competition and really so many tournaments in soccer.

Though the Major League Soccer (MLS) is growing steadily and is profitable, they will always have a hard time in getting a footprint in the United States like baseball, basketball and American football (exception is the minority groups who are die-hard soccer fans).

The other major sports here in the U.S. has a set schedule of when their seasons are happening.

While the MLS might have to take some time off from their season due to other competitions like the Gold Cup which is happening at this very moment.

And the only time you will see a strong turnout for soccer in the United States is when the World Cup is happening.

That is every four years.

And the Women’s World Cup which just happened.

So for the casual fan, they have to really pay attention to the schedule of when the different competitions are happening.

In conclusion, if a business or organization follow soccer’s model, they will always have a difficult time growing their organization and being profitable.