The Importance of Confidence

A few weeks ago I responded to an ad looking for bloggers to review an online confidence course.  At first I was hesitant, I mean, what does confidence have to do with freelance writing? But before I could even finalize my thought, I answered my own question. Confidence has everything to do with freelance writing! As a matter of fact, confidence should be a requirement for freelancing.

For that reason, I decided to review the course and share my review on this blog. It is my firm belief that confidence will not only help you in your personal life, but also in your professional life. When you learn to approach your freelance business with confidence, you can command better rates, and likely, larger amounts of clients. If you aren’t already working on your confidence, I encourage giving this class a try.

Instant Confidence: A 45 minute confidence course

Let me begin by explaining that the instant confidence course will not give you confidence. It’s a 45-minute course for goodness sakes! What it does promise is the tools and knowledge for giving the appearance of confidence.  We could call it fake-it-till-you-make-it 101.

It is set up in short modules with quizzes after each one to make sure you understood the last section. For the most part, the course is simple- 30-50 words of text per slide with attractive attention-grabbing photos, while a  narrator reads it to you. There’s even some interactive exercises on the second half that will engage you while driving in the point. In all, I enjoyed its arrangement, except for having to push next after each screen. Clicking is terribly bothersome for me. The British accent made up for it though.. (I always giggle when I hear the word bum.)

The information in the course is not anything you haven’t heard before … unless perhaps you are not natively a part of Western society. What is valuable about the course is the fact that it is all in one place, logically organized in a 45-minute chunk. I’ve read plenty of self-help books, taken public speaking courses, and consider myself quite the communicator, and I still learned something from the course.  That’s because the beauty isn’t in the ‘what’, it’s in the ‘how’.

The Instant Confidence sells for £19.99 (that’s $31.98 USD), and it is worth it for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.  They also offer a sample of the course on their website.  For freelance professionals, aside from what it is we sell, confidence in communication skills needs to be on the top of our skillset.

It’s also an obvious win for business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals for which communication skills are directly related to their success.

So try out the course and let me know what you think. I’m curious to find out if anyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Disclaimer: I received this course in exchange for a  review. I receive no additional compensation for purchases as the result of this post.

Freeway Rick Ross: The Entrepreneurial Hustler

Why did I choose Freeway Rick Ross, an American Drug Kingpin, as my first entrepreneur to profile on my blog? Well, because I believe he set the stage for a new type of entrepreneur- the kind that I’d dare say didn’t exist before him- the entrepreneurial hustler.

But Freeway Rick Ross wasn’t an immigrant in American history who worked his way up to success. He didn’t receive the financial backing of relatives or investors. He was a poor black kid who couldn’t read in a post-Civil Rights era Los Angeles. He grew up among pimps, drug users, low- wage workers, and gang mentality. The only thing he was passionate about was getting out of poverty.  He talks about it with me in this video:

See, the real Rick Ross was never a big fan of drugs. He actually told me he always wondered why people were so attracted to them. In his mind, cocaine and crack was a better alternative to the drugs already being sold in his neighborhood by people outside of his community. I mean if cocaine was good for rich Hollywood, why not for those who lived by the freeway? He followed the simple principle of sell what you know and had access to.

But this isn’t a blog on drug policy.

Because Rick Ross did not care about selling drugs; he cared about making money, and that he did very well. Like the moguls ahead of him, Ross built an empire of profit, investments, and brand saturation. By 1990, his name had become synonymous with drug dealing success. For Ross, money was the goal, making it was just a means to an end.

What did he learn for the experience? He explains it in this video:

Now the real Rick Ross is no longer selling drugs- but he is still hustling for big money. This time, he is using his street knowledge as a legal entrepreneur. It was his time in prison that changed that- (and no, it wasn’t the fact that he couldn’t sell drugs from there). It was while he was in prison that he learned how to read. According to Ross, it was only after he was exposed to education did he realize the many ways to make money outside of selling drugs. He now writes books, fights to protect his brand, owns Freeway studios (film) and Rick Ross Music Group, sells his own apparel and is planning even more business ventures.

Why does he do this? He discusses his motivation in this short clip:

Based on what he’s done so far, Rick Ross is well on his way to becoming a “Black Economic Coach”. Even if he doesn’t make a million dollars a day again, his messages of education, entrepreneurship and the real possibility of economic success for anyone are being heard.

Learn more about the Freeway Literacy Foundation, Rick Ross’s nonprofit, focused on education here.

Purchase his book, Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography from Amazon.

Visit the Official Site

Have you hugged an EMT today?

When I was in college, a friend of mine had a boyfriend who planned on becoming a firefighter. At the time I remember thinking: ‘Who wants to be a firefighter…. That’s dangerous!’

I figured he’d change his mind- I mean, we were only 18 anyways. He didn’t. My friend became the wife of a rural fire-fighter. Now, every time I see a fire-truck rush down the street to an emergency, I think about what the emergency personnel are putting themselves through.

How stressful is that job? What about their families? What does my friend and her three young children think when their father goes into danger? I shudder thinking about it, but I admit, it’s only a passing thought.

The fact is, even though I’ve seen what they go through (I remember what happened in 9/11)  and have benefited from their services (1996 Olympic Park Shooting; FEMA natural disaster aid), I don’t think about what emergency personnel go through. Do I appreciate what they do? Absolutely! Understand it – now that’s another thing.

Which is why this reflections post is somewhat of a Public Service Announcement.

“Have you hugged an EMT today” is not meant literally… it’s a symbol for showing appreciation and affection for those who put their lives at risks to save ours.

And… Here is how I plan to hug an EMT, by telling you about Carlos Negron.

Carlos is an EMT in Jersey City… you know, that city just outside of NYC. Carlos was one of the brave First Responder at 9/11 working in search and rescue. Now, Carlos is asking for our help telling the story of what happens after the call. Considering that I kind of owe it to all of the  emergency personnel who’ve helped me in the past, it is an honor to return the favor.

Carlos would like to create a documentary about the lives of those working in EMS. Now, if the rest of the world is anything like me, we probably need to have one.

Please take a moment to watch this video, donate, and/or share it with your friends.

I’ve received no compensation for promoting this cause and I don’t know Carlos.  I simply was asked to blog about it, and after reviewing their campaign, I wanted to help.

So, I challenge you. Have you hugged an EMT today? Well, if not, here’s your chance.

After the Call Kickstarter Campaign

#twitter: Too much of a good thing

I’ve posted before about the weird environment that is Twitter, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a ridiculous amount of tools to help you sort through the platform. There are tools to help you find people to follow, there are tools to help you find people to tweet to, and there are tools to help you find interesting content to read…

My favorite tool so far has to be the twitter publishing tool, paper.li.

This tool takes a snapshot of the linked content your twitter friends are sharing. It’s like a Who’s Who of the Internet, but for websites. Linked content that is most popular is highlighted on one page for easy access.

Why is this significant?

Well, it gives the everyday online user, the power big sites use every single day. What many people fail to realize is: you don’t have to create content to be significant online. You can simply collect the best content to grow a following. Paper.li does this through Twitter, and even lets paid members completely brand their content aggregation for their own profit-making ventures.

Not a bad deal, huh?

Look, the truth is everyone cannot create great content. Even with an expert content writer, if you aren’t doing something new, you are simply re-writing what’s already published online somewhere. How about, instead of copying each other, we acknowledge each other? If both of us gain by sharing the same content, why waste everyone’s time with copy-cat content?

So, I’ve jumped on the content aggregation bandwagon, and have created my own twitter-paper.. it’s a collection of links that are passed around from the people I follow.  All of the links are curated by me, and double checked to make sure they are reputable sources. It is also updated daily, so subscribe if you want to be kept updated.

I can’t promise to make Twitter less crazy, but I can help you dig thru the noise.