Maybe You’re Blue Because. . .

What’s funny about life right now is I’m bored despite having have plenty to do. My days are filled with content writing, ghostwriting, interviewing, researching. I also have free time to watch Netflix, read books, and talk on the phone. In the evenings I’m on Zoom calls, taking yoga classes, and meditating with friends. But somehow I still feel listless. How can that be?

I’ve discovered it’s because I have to ensure my weeks contain certain activities, otherwise I become sulky and bluesy. I’ve learned I have to do the things that make me come alive. In this instance, my days are lacking storytelling.

Oakland freelance writer

It’s likely obvious by now that I love to write. I’m an Oakland freelance writer with clients all over the country (and I’m open to international clients as well!). I write for therapists, for homeopaths, chiropractors, and busy professionals. I write about linking somatic techniques with talk therapy. I write about using MRI to detect breast cancer. I write about the role of feelings at the office. All of that writing is fulfilling in various ways but what I’m not writing enough of are feature articles.

Feature articles are profiles, interviews, and stories. If you’ve ever read an interview with a celebrity, that’s a feature article. I love feature articles (both reading and writing them) because they’re fun. They involve interviewing someone else (or multiple someones) and crafting a story from that information.

I’m at the point now where I recognize I have to write feature articles even if I’m not getting paid for them just because I love doing it. I notice my basic needs can be met and the days will still stretch endlessly because something important is missing. I’m doing some of the things that bring me joy, but not all of them. In this instance, it’s storytelling. I have one client I’m doing that for, but it’s not enough. (Are you a homeopath, chiropractor, or some other professional looking to drum up business? Contact me about writing features for you.) It’s not only about offering that service to someone else, it’s also because it brings me joy. However, the other writing brings me joy as well! I couldn’t drop any of the kinds of writing I’m doing because they all meet different needs.

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People often say to have a niche when it comes to business. To focus on one thing and do it well. It’s good advice but I’m unhappy if I only do one sort of writing. I’m more a “variety is the spice of life” gal. No variety equals boredom for me and that boredom can turn into depression. I’d like to avoid that if I can. So what do I do? All the writing! I know I’ve only been in business as an Oakland freelance content writer and ghostwriter for a short time, but so far writing about a lot of different things in various ways is working for me. Time will tell if it continues to work, but so far so good!

What about you? Do you focus on one niche or do you cast a wider net? Tell me in the comments below. And again, if you’re looking for a freelance content writer or ghostwriter, let’s chat to see if we’re a good fit.

How You Contribute Has Value

A version of this post originally appeared on my blog Another World is Probable. 

About a month ago I wrote a post about being the kind of people we want others to be. I mentioned the peace prayer, which is often mistakenly called the St. Francis prayer. I linked to a couple of stories of ex-KKK members who changed their ways based on relationships with people they used to hate.

After I wrote the post, I started to question the value of what I do, of how I help others. Does it really make a difference that I’m a freelance content writer? Am I changing anyone’s life in a deep and profound way by leading a group meditation on Sundays? Would I make more of an impact by befriending someone who is in the KKK and supporting their exit from the Klan?

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Literally within a few hours of thinking those thoughts I was zoombombed by neo-Nazis at the group meditation I lead. They started scribbling swastikas over my screen. They asked how many Jews we’ve killed and did whatever they could to disrupt the meeting before my co-moderator and I ejected them. (Since then we’ve tightened security measures at the meeting to keep incidents like that from happening again.)

After I calmed down, I started to laugh. It was as if the universe said to me, “Really? Are you sure you want to befriend neo-Nazis? Are you sure the form of service you provide isn’t worthwhile?” The universe answered my question very quickly and validated for me, yes, this is what my gifts are, and yes, they are needed.

I bring this up because I’ve had conversations with several people – both White and Black – who have lots of feelings about not being on the streets protesting the treatment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). There’s a feeling they “should” be and maybe some guilt that they aren’t. I get it because I feel that way too. I want to support BIPOC. I want them to know I’m not OK with how they are treated and protesting is one way to demonstrate that. However, my nervous system cannot handle large crowds. I start to panic when I’m in large groups which is why I never attend concerts or sports games at large stadiums. Even going to a shopping mall wipes me out.

Freelance content writer

Recently I went to a small protest near my house but there is no way I can be in a throng of people. When I think about my zoombombing experience, I realize that’s OK. Everyone has different gifts and different abilities. We are all special in our own way and however we’re choosing to show up in the world is valid. A symphony orchestra requires numerous instruments to create beautiful music. Humanity is like that symphony – we can’t all be the cello.

If you think about it, that’s true in nature as well. Diversity is the law of nature and that means we’re all needed. The way that I contribute to Black Lives Matter is important. And so is the way you contribute.

As a freelance content writer I haven’t written anything award-winning, but that doesn’t mean the stuff I write is garbage. And in fact, I’ve written many posts for clients about racism and being a good ally. I don’t have a huge following, but I still have influence. It’s so easy to get caught up in what we’re not doing that we forget about what we are doing. And what we are doing matters, it has value. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, including yourself.

Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the expression, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me, I’d have enough money to pay my rent, at the very least. (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so rent ain’t cheap, for the record.)

When I was younger, I took it as a guarantee that pursuing my heart’s desire would earn me money. I started blogging, I wrote a memoir, I launched a publishing company — all things I loved — but the money did not flow in. I felt resentful because wasn’t this a promise? Do what you love and the money is supposed to follow! But it didn’t.

Freelance content writer

Now years later I recognize the two aren’t necessarily tied together. The dream of course is to make money doing something you love, but it could very well be that you do something you love and the money comes from somewhere else.

Did you know at least back in 2017 the author Ted Chiang worked as a technical writer? This is someone who has won numerous literary awards, had a short story turned into a movie starring Amy Adams (Arrival), and teaches workshops on science fiction. But writing fiction is not how he made a living at that time.

In an interview with the sci-fi magazine Interzone, Chiang said, “I don’t get that many ideas for stories. If I had more ideas, I would write them, but unfortunately they only come at long intervals. I’m probably best described as an occasional writer.”

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He also told an interviewer, “I don’t want to try to force myself to write novels in order to make a living. I’m perfectly happy writing short stories at my own pace.”

I find that incredible. Someone as successful and well-known as Ted Chiang doesn’t try to make a living with his creative work and instead allows money to flow in from technical writing. That’s pretty much exactly counter to what I would have predicted, and also goes against conventional wisdom in a capitalistic culture. If you have a gift, monetize it and make it how you support yourself!

Chiang reminds me there’s another way to be, which I’m finding to be true for myself as well. Money doesn’t have to be tied directly to what I love doing. I’ve received money from focus groups, from random donations, from out-of-the-blue assignments. Money can come from anywhere, from everywhere, and that I think is really what’s meant by “Do what you love and the money will follow.” There’s something about contributing to the world in a way that makes a person come alive that seems to gets rewarded by the universe. And not necessarily in a tit-for-tat way. Some of the work I do is for free, but I’m still getting paid in other ways, through other avenues like freelancing for news publications.

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I guess what I’m saying is I find value in being open, in knowing the universe can provide in magical ways. And also that my art doesn’t have to support my life. It’s perfectly acceptable to be like Ted Chiang and let stories come when and how they will without the pressure of making a buck from them. Same thing in my business — I write for busy professionals and I tell stories of transformation because I love it, but the bulk of my money right now comes from freelance work for news publications. And that’s OK. I’m doing what I love and the money is following, just not how I thought it would.

Do you need help with your blog? I’m available for content writing. Just get in touch.

How to Sell During COVID-19

I have an Instagram page where I post quotes from the novel I wrote, books I’m reading, funny memes, that sort of thing. Because I list myself as an author, I receive solicitations from people who want to sell me consulting services or offer me tools that I could use to promote my book (if I had one). I’ve noticed a trend in the way people are pitching to me lately that feels disingenuous.

They start off with a compliment (“Wow! You have great content!”) and then follow it up with a question (“How long have you been doing this?”). When I reply, they come back with another compliment (“That’s incredible!). And then they hit me with the sales pitch, which feels like the real reason they reached out in the first place. Do they actually think my content is great or are they only saying that to butter me up? I don’t have a problem with appreciation, as long as it’s real. But saying the same general thing to me as 50 other authors make me feel devalued.

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I’m not interested in the services being pitched to me for a variety of reasons, but the sales people keep pressing, asking why not and if they can work around my hesitation. I have no doubt this strategy is an avenue for selling, and it likely works for some people, but for me it’s a huge turn off. My philosophy in business is to establish a relationship. I strive to be friendly with my clients because we’re both giving and receiving. I don’t want to take someone’s money and run – I want to provide a service that my client can actually use.

I’m reminded of a story from Tosha Silver’s book Change Me Prayers. She said for her first book, she shopped it around to several bookstores and in one store, the manager said, “You can leave a copy for our ‘pile’ in the back room. Then you could call a ton and plead with us. If you get lucky, maybe one day we’ll stock it. Just keep hoping.”

Tosha’s response was, “Oh, my God, no! Why would I keep twisting your arm? It’ll go easily to the places that are right. You never have to convince someone. The people who are right will just know.” And sure enough, that happened with other store clerks. They were thrilled at the idea of stocking her book and one even threw her a party. That’s what I want for me too (maybe not the party, unless it’s over Zoom!).

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I want selling to be easy and smooth. That’s not to say no effort is required because of course action is always necessary, but the energy is different. Instead of twisting someone’s arm, pressuring them to work with me, I understand the right clients, customers, partners, etc. have already been selected and we’ll be guided to each other easily (and gratefully). I want to work with people who want to work with me. If I have to convince someone, are we a good match? Likely not.

I feel like especially now when most people are stressed, sliding in and out of depression, and struggling in some form or fashion, the best thing I can do is offer my services as a freelance ghostwriter, content writer, and editor. Emphasis on the “offer.” I’m opening my hands, saying “here you go,” and letting people take me or leave me. I’m not waving my hands in front of their face and saying “take this, take this, take this.” For me that makes all the difference.

If you’re a busy professional like a therapist in need of a ghostwriter, connect with me. If you’re looking for a unique way to promote your business through storytelling, I’d love to help with that too. If you just want someone to make sure your resume doesn’t have any typos, I can also handle that! Just reach out and I’d be glad to help.

The “Shoulds” and “Shouldn’ts” of COVID-19

Right now I’m hearing a lot of shoulds and shouldn’ts circulating about how to act, respond, or work during this pandemic. “Now is the time to do all the things you didn’t have the time to do!” “Move your business online!” “Use Zoom for all the things you need!” “Contact every client you’ve ever worked with and pitch to them!”

I get it. I want someone to tell me all of those things too. I want a leader to help me navigate this crisis. Some suggestions have wisdom to them and some do not, but the important piece I think is determining which is which. Glennon Doyle says, “As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is ‘to sift,’ as in, to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important. That’s what crises do. They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most.”

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That certainly rings true for me right now. I’m learning what’s important to me and what’s not. But more than that, I’m learning about my inner compass. I’m easily swayed by other people and also susceptible to suggestions. If someone tells me the best way to grow my business is to beat down 10 doors, I’ll beat down 10 doors. If someone else tells me the best way to grow my business is to let the doors open for me, to offer everything up to the universe, I’ll offer everything up to the universe.

I’m like a ping pong ball batted around a table. Every few minutes I’m changing my mind about what to do, about what makes sense. I’m letting other people lead and become the authority for, well, everything. The reality is almost none of us were alive the last time this sort of thing happened with the Spanish flu. And furthermore, technology back in 1918 was vastly different than it is now so we’re truly navigating something brand new. No one knows what they’re doing. Not really. The best any of us can say is, “This worked for me and it might work for you.” But who wants to say that? Don’t we all want to seem put together or authoritative? That people should come to us for the answer?

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Through this crisis I am indeed learning to sift, but I’m not sifting what I anticipated. Instead I’m filtering through the noise. I’m wading through the 10 million advice columns people are churning out. Don’t get me wrong, I think advice columns are useful and I’ve written a few myself, but often what’s missing is choice. You get to choose what’s best for you and nobody else knows what that is. Sometimes even I don’t know what’s best for me, but that’s what I’m figuring out.

What’s best for me one minute might be resting. The next it could be answering all of my emails. Or going for a walk. Or writing an article about the shoulds and shouldn’ts of COVID-19. In this time of uncertainty and chaos, perhaps the best thing we can do is become our own authority. To ask ourselves what’s best for us and remember we don’t have to do everything other people tell us we “should.” I’m not a fan of the word “should” and I try my best not to use it. Instead I say “could.” I could reach out to all my old clients. I could wash all my dishes right now. There are many things I could do but what do I want to do? What feels best to my soul? And that I think is the best possible use of my time. And maybe yours too. I’m not sure – I’ll let you decide.

Do you need writing help? Are you underwater with transitioning to a virtual presence? I’m available for quick-turnaround assignments. Reach out to me. I’m here.

How to Keep Content Coming

As an Oakland, CA freelance content writer, I do a LOT of writing. A LOT. I write for myself, I write for clients, and I write for fun! How do I consistently come up with things to write about, which as I mentioned in a previous post, is crucial for success? Magic! Just kidding.

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The reality is there are days when everyone, myself included, feel uninspired. A day when we’ve encountered the dreaded writer’s block. Nobody can be switched “on” all the time because we’re not robots. Heck, there are also days when robots aren’t working properly! My phone is like a robot and sometimes it acts glitchy. So. Cut yourself some slack if you’re in that writer’s block space. AND there are still ways to maintain consistency regarding your creative content. Read on for my tips on how to keep content coming.

Recycle Content

That’s right – recycle your content! Some things you’ve written are timeless and can be used over and over again. In journalism, we call stories like those evergreens because like evergreen trees, they are constantly fresh. There’s no worry the story will become stale because it’s not breaking news. In your business, certain articles will always be relevant. For instance, if you’re a doctor, there will never be a time a blog about cures for the common cold will be passé. People always want to know how to treat their cold from the comfort of their home. Maybe you tweak a few things to make the blog more relevant, but for the most part, the content can stay the same.

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I remember the first time I started recycling old blogs and wondered if people would judge me or think I was trying to pull a fast one. The reality is, most people don’t pay much attention to anyone other than themselves. They likely won’t notice if you recycle content because they don’t remember your content as well as you do. And if they do, so what? People like to get reminders about things they learned before.

Also, if your content is from more than a year ago, you’ll have signed new customers or clients in that time period and that means for some people, your content really will be fresh. It may seem like it’s cheating to reuse something you’ve written before, but take it from me, it’s not cheating, it’s smart.

Get Silly

You know how you get creative juices flowing? By being silly. Ever notice how silliness and creativity go hand in hand? That’s because they’re both synonyms for playful. Play requires trying new things without judgment, like dancing around in your apartment or drawing a terrible picture. The act of doing something silly will get your juices flowing. Once you laugh, it releases tension, and doing something silly is a great icebreaker.

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As for me, when I really don’t want to write something but I have to (hi deadlines!), I start typing over and over on the page: “I don’t want to write this. This is stupid and terrible and I hate it” and then I just keep going. There’s something magical about putting your fingers to the keyboard. The very act of typing can put me in the mood and then suddenly the act of writing isn’t so hard anymore.

Also, closely related to the topic of silliness, is movement. Research from Stanford demonstrates movement is crucial for creativity. So the next time you’re stuck, dance around, go for a walk, or do something physical (maybe even silly!) to get your brain grooving again.

Be the Conduit

Sometimes I get twisted up with, well, everything, thinking I’m in charge, that creativity comes from me alone, that I have to do everything, etc. The reality is we’re all conduits or channels for creativity. Creativity moves through us like a river. It’s up to us to be open to the flow and get out of the way. There’s always more creativity when we open up to something greater than ourselves. I’m sure you’ve seen that uber-popular Ted talk from Elizabeth Gilbert on the subject.

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At the same time, creativity can strike anywhere: like the shower. But that’s not the best place to write, on account of being wet and all. In that situation, keeping a list is helpful. You jot down the idea you had in the shower, and then it acts as a bookmark that you can pick up later.

Open Your Ears

What are the people around you talking about? What questions are they asking? Those questions reveal pain points that perhaps you know the answer to and can write about. This goes for you as well – what do you want to know? If you’re curious about what makes an SEO-worthy blogpost, google it! And then write about it. If you need help with something, chances are someone else does too. I’m running into exactly this issue as an Oakland, CA freelance content writer. A client of mine wanted to know the difference between Wix and Squarespace so I researched it and then wrote a blog for him about it. His curiosity lead to a blog topic and to another because now I’m writing a blog about the difference between Wix and WordPress! One idea can launch another if you’re paying attention and following your curiosity.

What are your favorite ways to keep your content flowing? Tell me in the comments below. And if you need help maintaining content on your blog, get in touch. I’m happy to help. Lastly, did you like this post? If so, share it with your friends and family.

5 Tips to Create Consistency

5 Tips to Create Consistency

In my post from last week, I wrote about why consistency is crucial. Consistency breeds success for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. So how do you do it? How do you become more consistent? What follows are five tips culled from business maven Marie Forleo.

1.) Keep the why in your eye

If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you’ll likely stop doing it. If there’s not a compelling goal, if there’s not juice behind your actions, they’ll fizzle out. For instance, if you’re hoping to achieve peace by using meditation, you’ll keep meditating because peace is appealing. If it’s something to do because everyone else is doing it, well, it’s likely meditation will fall off your radar. It’s the same thing in business. Why are you doing what you’re doing? The “why” will act like a propeller and help you to fly.

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2.) Pick your poison

Oftentimes when a person gets excited, they want to do too many things at once. Upon learning about a new diet, they’ll read all the books, make all the recipes, and then get overwhelmed and stop. If you truly want results and are thinking long term, go slow. Don’t change your whole life all at once. Perhaps add in a new recipe a week and then once you’ve mastered it, try a new one. And then another one. And then … For your business, if you know you want to incorporate more social media, pick one platform like Instagram or Facebook, and devote your attention to it instead of trying them all at once.

3.) Schedule it

Plan around your priorities. Build your life around your priorities instead of trying to squeeze them in. If you know every Thursday at 6 p.m. you go to the gym for a Zumba class, you’re more likely to stick with it instead of saying, “One day this week I’ll go to Zumba.” It’s easy for “one day” to become “no day.” As a freelance content writer, I have specific days that I write my blogs. I build my day and my life around it. If I’m going out of town, I’ll write a blog in advance because it’s just that important to me and has become a part of my routine.

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4.) Hop over the feeling hurdle

After you’ve done something long enough, there will come a time when a part of you says, “I don’t feeeeeeel like it.” Sometimes it’s important to honor that voice and say, “OK. We won’t do X.” But sometimes, like parents say to children, “I know sweetie, but do it anyway.” Discipline requires doing things even when we don’t feel like it, because we know it’s good for us. And also if you keep your eye on the why (tip one), it will be easier to hop over the hurdle of “I don’t wanna.”

5.) Try again

It’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t honor our commitments. When we say, “I’m going to blog every Sunday” and then don’t. Or try to stop smoking and find ourselves with a cigarette in hand. This is usually when people fall into a shame spiral (“I’m not good enough.” “What’s wrong with me?” “I can’t do it”) and then quit.

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Quitting is totally allowed. Sometimes it’s the best decision a person can make for themselves. But you know what else is allowed? Trying again. Trying as many times as you need until you get your desired outcome. I’m sure there is a rare gymnast who sticks the landing after learning a new routine, but more often than not, the person falls and tries again. Falls and tries again. Until one day, the landing sticks. And all that falling, or some might even say failing, is worth it.

How do you stay consistent? Let me know in the comments below. And if you liked this post, share it with your friends. As always, if you need help maintaining a consistent blog presence, give me a shout. As a freelance content writer, this is my area of expertise.

Why Consistency is Crucial

The way people often work is they get super excited about a new idea and then spring into action. They churn out podcasts or blogposts. They start doing a million things because they’re fired up. And then they burn out. They get tired. Writing a blogpost sounds boring. Mustering up motivation is hard. Maybe they could let it slide just this once … ?

“Just this once” becomes twice and then thrice. Before they know it, it’s been months since they produced any new content and then perhaps the weight of inertia is, well, weighing them down. I get it! Consistency is hard. As a freelance content writer in Oakland, CA, I’m here to help with that because consistency is a key factor to a successful business. Why is that?

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Consistency builds momentum

Let’s face it, nothing happens overnight. Even those “overnight” success stories we hear about don’t account for the many years of hard work and effort an individual or group of individuals put in. We like to think success, wealth, and acclaim drop out of the sky, that they’re a matter of luck, but more often than not, success is a continuous process. It’s compounded growth. Consistency is what gets you were you want to go. Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn said: “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”

Consistency makes you relevant

As I wrote about before, having a blog helps with search engine optimization (SEO) because it keeps your site dynamic. It shows you’re alive and kicking and search engines like that. Not only search engines, but people too. If you post every week, readers/customers/clients start to trust you. They know you’ll have a predictable flow of information and come to rely on it. They start to believe you’re someone they can count on and trust in the world of business. (By the way, if you need help writing your blog, contact me. I’m a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, but I can write for anyone, anywhere.)

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Consistency creates perspective

When I say consistency creates perspective, I don’t mean in the usual sense that you can see things from another angle. What I mean is consistency allows you to look back and measure your success. If you’ve tried something new for a period of time in a steady way, then you’re able to measure your performance. If you do something haphazardly, then how can you possibly know if it’s working? That’s like exercising once every eight weeks and deeming it’s not helping you lose weight. It’s repetition that allows a person to track their success and repetition helps you understand what works and what doesn’t work.

Consistency focuses on the long term

In the U.S. at least, predominantly the culture focuses on the short term. We want instant gratification. We want immediate results. How many people are playing the long game and thinking years into the future? Consistency isn’t sexy because it’s about incremental progress and improvements over an extended period of time. Most people want the improvements without the incremental progress. Me too. I want to play like Mozart without practicing the piano. I want to have a killer body without working out regularly. However, real life isn’t like that. Consistency, especially if you’ve taken the time to evaluate what you’re doing, is what works. Consistency asks that you focus down the road where you’re going, about where you’d like to be. Consistency also recognizes it’s the baby steps along the way that matter.

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It can be hard to focus on the long term, but the way to do that is to hold your vision. What is important to you? Why does it matter? That clarity acts as a touchstone for why you’re doing what you’re doing. When consistent actions become boring, go back to the touchstone. Also consider what’s one thing you can do to move closer to your dream? Not 10, just one. Instead of striving to write an entire book in an afternoon, shoot for a page, or maybe a chapter. If you write a page a day, in a year or less, you’ll have a book. And a finished book is better than an unfinished one.

Why is consistency crucial for you? What are some examples of consistency working in your life? Lastly, did you like this post? If so, share it! And as always, reach out to me for help with writing content because it’s my jam.

The Secret to a Successful Business

The reality is I haven’t been in business long enough to have any clout to reveal the secret to a successful business, BUT there are some things I’m noticing right out of the gate. AND I’ve been talking to other people who have been in business way longer than me. The following is what I/we found.

The secret is. . .

I thought people would want to use my freelance content marketing services because I convinced them of its value. After all, research shows the importance of having a blog so surely everyone wants what I’m offering, right? Because they understand it will help their business thrive and boost visibility on search engines? Well, no. It surprised me to learn my rational explanations mean diddly if there’s not an emotional component as well.

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We like to think of ourselves as logical, reasonable creatures, but actually the majority of our decisions are made by the subconscious part of our brains, sometimes referred to as our reptilian brain. That includes purchasing decisions as well and why storytelling in business is so important. Research on advertising shows the emotional response to an ad influences a person’s intention to buy much greater than the ad’s content itself. Why is that? Because emotionally charged storytelling creates a rush of dopamine in the brain, particularly in the amygdala, which is responsible for memory, according to the Ted talk “Storytelling, Psychology, and Neuroscience” by Amanda D’Annucci.

For instance, if you think about the toxic masculinity ad from Gillette, it got people talking and also created brand loyalty because people vibed with the ad. We want to support businesses that are in alignment with our values and one of the best ways to show a value is through storytelling and emotion. However, I’m not selling razors, so how does this apply to me? The emotional component comes down to this: People are more likely to hire their friends.

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“[E]mployers really want people who they will bond with, who they will feel good around, who will be their friend,” according to Dr. Lauren Rivera at Northwestern University who examined 120 interviews and published her results in the American Sociological Review. We all want to work with people we like, and yes, I’m an Oakland freelance writer and not an employee, but the premise still applies. “Employers” in my case are clients and clients want to work with friends. Thus far that’s proving to be true. My current clients and potential clients are friends or we have a friend in common. This makes sense, right? It’s essentially a form of word-of-mouth advertising, which is the most trusted form with 86% of consumers trusting word-of-mouth.

We trust our friends and we care about what they think. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg said: “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

Oakland blogger

I am asking my friends and family to refer me out of course (hey, can you refer me out?), but I’m also approaching potential clients as if they were friends. I’m doing my best to establish a friendly rapport because the reality is business comes down to relationships. We are in relationship with one another trading a good or service. In my case, I’m trading blogposts for money but it could also be trading water bottles or razors or widgets. We want to do business with people we like and what I’m finding is that starts from the very first point of contact.

Do you want to connect with me and be my new business friend? Get in touch.

An Example of Storytelling in Business

In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of storytelling in business. What follows is an example of the sort of piece I’d like to write for alternative health practitioners. If you like what you see, contact me about working together. 

Using Network Spinal Analysis to Heal Emotional Trauma

When Lana H. used to stroll down the street in her native Berkeley, CA, she startled when people revved their car engines. Cognitively she knew that happened, and that people slammed doors, but her nervous system jumped anyway. Part of that could be attributed to surprise, but it also happened for things she anticipated – for instance, her boyfriend entering her apartment.

“My boyfriend has a key to my apartment and I can hear when he approaches my door,” she said. “I know his step, I know the sounds he makes, but I would startle anyway when I saw him inside my place. My body behaved as if a complete, random stranger walked in and I hadn’t heard it at all.”

Photo by Maria Ziegler freelance writer Oakland, CA

That startle reflex has calmed down significantly as a result of seeing a network spinal analysis chiropractor where she lives. Lana started care in July 2019 not so much for a physical reason – although she no longer has a sore back – but more because she sought emotional support.

“I have a friend under network care and I saw something that changed in their lives that I wanted,” she said. “It’s hard to quantify, but I’ve been talking to that friend for a long time and something about the way they spoke about their life changed. Their perspective shifted and their sense of hope and clarity grew.”

Lana decided she wanted the same thing, and even though she’d been in somatic therapy since 2014, she found she couldn’t access the deep, nonverbal childhood trauma she sought to heal. She hoped network care would help with that. So far it has, and since seeing her chiropractor, her window of tolerance has widened. What that means is she can deal with stress better and cope more easily with difficult emotions. She’s not triggered as much, which means when something happens that’s similar enough to the original trauma that occurred in her childhood, she’s not thrust back into a place of helplessness and hopelessness.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi ghostwriter Oakland, CA

“Widening my window of tolerance means I’m less easily triggered, more able to recognize when I am triggered, and more able to care for myself,” Lana said. Caring for herself might mean meditating or calling a friend.

Network spinal analysis has granted her peace – she doesn’t feel as beholden to her emotional states anymore. Emotions are more complicated than simply feeling states – they are associated with biochemical and physical reactions. As most people know, fear spikes adrenaline and cortisol levels. By processing her emotions better and more quickly, Lana is able to cut the cycle short and keep adrenaline and cortisol from being dumped into her body as extensively. Instead of looking for things to fear when she’s afraid, she calms herself down.

Her healing process isn’t finished however, Lana said. Network spinal analysis isn’t a quick fix and she’s finding it’s worth it to see her chiropractor for a longer period – some people keep going for years.

freelance blogger Oakland CA

“It’s not just about reinserting a dislocated rib,” she said. “That’s not how this works. Instead it’s that my rib is more likely to stay put, and if it does go out of place, it will reposition itself without the help of my chiropractor.”

Even though it’s only been a short time, Lana has noticed subtle changes in her body and her mind.

“It’s a little hard to go, ‘Wow, everything is different’ and yet everything is different,” she said. So much so that for now she plans to keep seeing her chiropractor and she looks forward to more changes along the way.

Like what you read? I’d be happy to do this sort of blogging for you as well. Get in touch with me to discuss your business needs.