Why do Shepherds shepherd?

Sheep need a shepherd – that’s a no brainer in marketplace terms. But Shepherds surely have lots of other choices, especially these days; brand ambassador, social media manager, youtube star – all just as soul-enhancing as shepherding, right?

So why do reasonably sane people with lots of other choices become shepherds?

Now, if you’re a pastor, forgive me, but you’re probably way off track, already.

You see, pastors don’t seem to even hear the word shepherd when you say shepherd, they hear “pastor”. They start thinking about God’s calling, commissioning, anointing.

They think about people.

But, just try for a moment, to think like a real proper shepherd. King David wasn’t pastoring people, he was shepherding sheep.

Why?

Okay, yeah, his dad probably made him. But then why did Jesse choose that?

Real life shepherds, look at you weird if you ask them that question.

They look at you the same way my niece looks at me when I ask her why she hasn’t got her PJs on and brushed her teeth ready for bed even though I’ve asked her three times already.

Like, it’s a dumb question.

Like, I should know the answer.

Profits.

VALUE – MONEY – INCOME – PROFIT – Marketplace.

Is this why Jesus chose marketplace disciples??
Because they would NOT think like pastors?

Maybe the reason Jesus and all of his disciples were the best people to grow the church were because they thought like business people not church people.

Maybe Jesus wanted His church to be… wait for it, pastors, brace yourself… profitable!

Now – you’re going to be shocked because I won’t think like you think.

You’ll probably even think I’m way off.

I’m wrong …

But ask yourself – seriously.

Am I perverting the way God made things?
or am I just saying it the way God made it?

Because if I’m perverting or twisting God’s ways then you can call me demonic…

But if I’m just pointing out God’s ways to you, you have to at least listen to what I say, right?

Even if you don’t like it.

It’s going to HELP you.

When King David wrote about God, he wrote about a Shepherd who provided ALL the needs of his flock (Psalm 23). That Shepherd needed to be pretty well resourced, right?

This Shepherd didn’t just let us hear his voice on Sundays, but he got in the kitchen and laid on a feast for us (even when our enemies were in our face), who was with us during our worst times, and who made sure our cup was overflowing.

Shepherds were the ones who got the call from the angels at the birth of Christ (Luke 2)

More than one.

OUT at night … living where the sheep lived.

24/7 shepherding.

They weren’t namby pamby “Sunday is like a work day for me” pastors.

They were doing the long hours, the midnight shift.
Why? Because sheep herds need more protection during the night than during the day.
How many night shift pastors do you know?

I don’t mean the occasional late night phone call.
I mean spending EVERY NIGHT with your flock? You know, like small business marketplace people usually do.

Most pastors I know are working way too hard and simultaneously not hard enough. They’re working too hard at shepherdy things and not nearly hard enough at helping sheep get their sheepy things done. Some are so out of touch with sheepy things they barely know what functioning like a sheep looks like anymore.

Is this why Paul continued in the marketplace?
To protect against church-think?

How do you do it?

Add value to sheep.

Forget “hear my voice” – they’ve been doing that.
And it hasn’t helped you or them that much – really, has it??
Well, has it?

Give ’em good pastures, an environment with:
– good location
– rotation

Get ’em breeding – duplicating themself – that’s the number 1 skill a profitable shepherd ensures his sheep maintain. Lambing season is the highlight – and it’s not just because lambs are cuter than most sheepy baa baas. A good shepherd will intervene in all sorts of unnatural ways to get sheep doing what should come naturally!

Take your sheep to market, let them see demand and supply in action, up close and personal.

Even if they’re not producing lambs for you, at least fleece them!

Hello, pastor? Remember, how I said to stop thinking like a pastor…

Yes, I am seriously suggesting you fleece your flock. That’s what they’re there for.

Shepherds know that when they take value from the sheep, they are actually giving value to the sheep. Did you ever hear about Shrek, the kiwi sheep that got lost for 6 years. His fleece was so heavy it could have caused chronic issues:

  • The weight was so heavy he could barely get up
  • The wool covered much of his eyes, he could barely see
  • The thick coat could’ve caused heat stress

Shrek continued growing on his own, but no-one benefited from it until his Shepherd found him. Shrek was growing, but worse off. There were no woolly jumpers for customers those 6 winters – the marketplace was worse off, and no payday either – the shepherd was worse off.

You see, when you take value from sheep, you do three things:
1. take burdens from them, and

2. bring provision to yourself, and

3. bring value to the marketplace.

All marketplace people know that customers have two choices when dealing with your business.

They can either keep their problem, or keep their money.

They can stay hungry, or buy food from you.

They can stay bored, or buy a movie ticket from you.

They can get frustrated trying to write a blog piece that sells, or get you to write for them (call me ;-).

Taking their money helps them function better. They get better results. They literally feel better about themselves. And they start to grow anew.

I’m not talking about gouging them for your own selfish benefit. I’m not talking about short-term opportunists here. I’m talking about the natural way, the way things are, and always have been, designed to work. I’m talking about a fair, mutual, exchange of value here.

 

Good shepherds help protect their value. They invest in sheep dip. They weed out the thistles in the paddock and fertilise the clover and alfalfa.

And they fence sheep in. Jesus called it a door (John 10:7).

Sheep without a shepherd, or sheep with a shepherd that is just a hireling, are like sheep with a wolf.

Scattered.

That’s the kind of future we don’t want for our flocks (yes, I’ve started talking about people, now).

Scattered – distracted. Shepherds remind us of what is important, they focus us. They intervene when we are going astray.

Scattered – disparate. Shepherds fence us off from disunity, and directionless wanderings. They unify us. They show us the quickest path to provision.

Scattered – unproductive. Shepherds make us work together, so we, well, work. We reproduce another generation. We know how to grow a fleece – on a timetable. Our milk flows (mmm goat’s cheese). Eventually, our Shepherd might even chuck us on the barbeque on Australia Day!

Sadly, many pastors are scattered, too. My hope and purpose for this blog post is that it helps us all start fleecing and focusing and stop scattering.

Marketplace shepherds need to know these skills, too.

We all need to be reminded of Jesus’ words to Peter.
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.

Feed them real sheep food; help them focus on growing profits, regularly, so that yielding their annual profits to you is not only a natural part of life for them, it’s a real weight off their shoulders.

Otherwise, you’re just leaving them useless and helpless, like youtube stars to the slaughter.

 

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Fastest Path To Online Profits

Many of you know me personally and know my story; how I started my Internet business the first month that commercial internet traffic became legal in Australia, in June 1994, and have been earning money online ever since.

But this blog post is about what I would do if I was just starting out today (9 January 2017).

If I was starting now, the choices might seem a little overwhelming. I know a lot of people in the industry – I know who is credible, and I know there are a lot of sharks out there. I’m also pretty savvy about the tricks the shysters use to “borrow credibility” and I’m diligent about researching and actually testing before I recommend anything to anyone. But I’m not going to pretend I haven’t thought that something looked good, only to be disappointed.

That’s part of the value of what I do – I invest my own time, money and experience in finding, testing and comparing the results of online solutions – and help others avoid the time-wasters, money-wasters, and experience makers 😉

When I first started, especially, but even today, some of the systems and tools have cost thousands of dollars or require ongoing monthly costs in the hundreds. The learning and time investments on some of these systems are horrendous. Just the other day someone asked me to commit to working everyday for the next hundred days. I don’t know about you, but I don’t commit more than three months of my life to total strangers.

Forget that! I’m not afraid of commitment, but I want them to prove themselves, and their solution first, before it costs me three months of my life I won’t get back. And I certainly don’t invest thousands of dollars in unproven solutions. After all, Jesus never said to the hungry multitude, if you keep coming here everyday for the next hundred days, and you invest hundreds of dollars, then I’ll feed you some loaves and fishes.  No! Jesus provides instantly, without qualification, for multitudes – and that’s the kind of kingdom principles I love helping people with.

Other online “opportunities” require a lot of preparation time. You have to think, research and write your business plan; including identifying your target market or ideal customer, developing your strategy, creating marketing funnels, adopting a profitable business model. And that’s just the planning part.

Then you have all the practical things that can take days if not weeks and months just to learn how to do, let alone actually do:

  • choosing and registering a business name
  • establishing a bank account
  • obtaining a tax file number
  • buying a domain name
  • web hosting
  • blogging platform
  • email address
  • facebook page
  • twitter/instagram/snapchat/pinterest/tumbler account …

This can all get a bit overwhelming. And quite frankly, it can turn what looked like a profit at the beginning, into a loss.

The good news is you don’t have to do any of that – and you can start creating online income today even if you have no knowledge, no experience, and no money.

When I first started, I had lots of hard slog occasionally interrupted by major financial breakthroughs.

The first night that I earned $10,000.00 in one night – was the first big breakthrough. At the time my father, who was a Research and Development Engineer at the prime of his career, was earning $32,000 yearly.

The realisation that I had earned in one night what it took him nearly four months to earn, blew my mind. Here I was, still in my twenties.

My pay packet for the day was more than 100 times what his was.

I started doing calculations on how quickly I could earn a six figure income – in ten days!!

Then God stretched my thinking… if I could have a $10k pay day one day, why couldn’t I do that everyday?

A few quick sums later and the calculator was staring me in the face with an annual income of $3.65 million … all online, without leaving my home.

That’s what got me really excited – and helped me earn my first million dollars online so quickly – and why more than twenty years later, I’m still excited about helping people do what I did.

But my friend Phil made me realise recently, that just because it’s all so easy for me now, doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone else. We were in a bar at the marina, on a hot day between Christmas 2016 and New Years Day 2017, having a few refreshing drinks, and I told him one quick technique I use to make money online. Before we left the bar, within a few short MINUTES, he’d made money online too. He kept saying “this works!”

To say he was happy is an understatement. I had to resist saying “I told you so” … I was about to tell him he should read my blog more often, when I realised I hadn’t even shared this technique with you, my lovely blog followers!

So -to help you avoid the hard slog parts, and skip straight to the financial breakthrough parts – here’s what I’m going to share with you:

  • The fastest path to make online profits without any knowledge, experience or money.
  • How to make your first $200 online TODAY
  • Top 3 tips for making it even more profitable
  • How Google, Facebook, Apple, Uber and AirBnB have created Billions of Dollars of wealth for their owners
  • The number one online profits mistake – and, more importantly, how to avoid it
  • The only decision that matters
  • Pay Day Timeline – when EXACTLY you’ll get your money to spend

In Psalm 112: 3 the Psalmist tells us “Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.” Righteousness and riches often go together, but this scripture also teaches us that riches and real estate also go together. You have wealth and riches in your house. The simplest, cheapest and by far the fastest path to unlock the wealth that is already in your house just waiting for you to profit from is through AirBnB.com.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, I did a quick live YouTube video (feel free to share on your social media, too). Fastest Path to Online Profits.

There are no startup costs at all. It’s free! They do take a tiny commission when you make money, but you can benefit from all their global systems for free before then.

I’m a firm believer that ANY lack can be overcome with partnership. The bible says that those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:10). Most of the people I help don’t need more money, they just need a good partner. So I teach them how I partner with profit giants – multi-national, multi-billion dollar, global, online companies who provide online profit systems to help you prosper.

If you make just one room in your house available for booking at just, say, $30 a night – all it takes is one person to book for one week and you have made $200 online income TODAY. One week is my average length of stay – but I’ve had guests love it so much that they’ve wanted to stay longer. One guest even wanted to stay for six months!

I have a restriction now so that guests can only stay for a maximum of two weeks because I can make more money in other ways and I like having maximum freedom with my time. But that’s another great thing about this solution is that you have total flexibility and control over your listing. You can literally turn it on and off at any time just like a money tap. If you want cashflow turn it on, if you want to stop it for awhile, just “snooze” your listing to switch it off for a while. It takes less than 30 seconds to make those changes. And, remember, both Phil and I got our first booking within moments.

Everyone wants to go on holidays and find somewhere to stay – this is not something you have to get all “salesy” and “pushy” about. Those are hunter strategies where you go out and chase down your prey. This is the kind of technique Jesus said He would teach his mates – fishing strategies – where you have to think about what is attractive to a market of hungry fish? What can I offer that they will enjoy taking?

With AirBnB not only are there no startup costs, a global network, and no selling involved, there is a really small learning curve. If you can fill out a form and upload a photo, you can start using AirBnB. Either download the app to your mobile phone or open the browser on your desktop and you are half-way there already.

But the biggest benefit by far is the speed with which you can make your first money online. Not only can you do it from home, you can also do it in a few minutes from a bar at the marina when you are in the post-Christmas relaxation mode. Or without leaving home, whilst you’re still in your pyjamas before you’ve even had breakfast. It’s fast!

Look, it’s not the perfect online business. For a start, you don’t own or control the business platform. But if I was starting out, even if I intended building my own business platform, I would start here, and let AirBnB provide cash flow my future, ideal business. Your future, ideal business will definitely need cash, and even if you intend to get investors, they will want to see that you know how to fund your business without them.

If you want to avoid the number one online profit mistake, you need to hear something you probably don’t want to hear; Your future, ideal business is very risky. All ideas are. Most new businesses are. AirBnB is proven to work. Jesus taught his mates to make sure they were building on a firm foundation, by doing (Matthew 7:24) – not a risky, unproven, unstable idea. You’ll probably surprise yourself at how much you can learn by actually doing – creating online income – than you will by dreaming.

Too many people make the mistake of waiting for the ideal business. They want all the details before they start. Wise old Solomon said “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” (Eccl 11:4, The Message). A good plan today, is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. When God called Abraham he told him to go to the land He would show him (Genesis 12:1)… He didn’t even tell Abraham where he was going; He just wanted him to start!

Another common mistake people fall for is trying to be a solo-preneur on their own. Firstly, it takes way too long to do it all on your own.

Time is the asset. You only get one life.

SYSTEM stands for Save YourSelf Time, Energy, Money. If you don’t have a system, I can guarantee that you are wasting time, energy and money. Don’t do that!!!

The smart solo-preneurs partner with profit giants like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Uber and, of course, AirBnB, who have created billions of dollars for their owners. If you are still thinking of Facebook as “such a time-waster”, can I encourage you to see these companies with fresh eyes? They are valued at billions of dollars by the stock market because they provide real commercial value – they have global online profit systems that help millions and millions of people create wealth and riches. And they do it by letting you get started quickly. Did you know you can learn some things just through association? The bible says “He who walks with wise men will be wise” (Proverbs 13:20). If you want to be profitable, you’d be wise to partner with profit creators to build your own profits.

You can even make AirBnB more profitable. You can start building a list of contact details from your guests. Follow them on social media, ask them to introduce you to more of their friends and build a global network of people who like and trust you and can tell you how you are helpful to them. You can provide tours and experiences and earn money from those other services on AirBnB now too – so you don’t even need to have a room to rent out!

There’s other ways you can amp up your AirBnB profits, too. Contact your guests before they arrive and give them all the information they need. You can add value by letting them know about tourist facilities and fun things to do in your area. I always try to welcome my guests in person. And then I take them on a quick walk down to the beach and marina to showcase the natural beauty in my backyard. I leave a tourist brochure to showcase tourism partners in the region, like where they can see the koalas and kangaroos, go on a whale-watching cruise or hire a kayak and so on.

On their first morning, I do a quick check with them to make sure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay. There’s often little things, like they forgot to pack a toothbrush, that you can help them with quickly and cheaply and thoughtfulness makes all the difference to how they feel about their stay.

Okay, I know this has been a long read, but I wanted to give you as much value as I can. And we’ve arrived at the only decision that really matters: Which bank account do you want your income to go into? Make sure you check and double-check the account details you give to AirBnB, because all of this post has been about this result – getting money into your bank account. Do you want to put it into a personal account or a business acount? Do you want to pay it straight off the mortgage? Or credit card? Or put it in a savings account so you can go on holidays yourself and check out how other AirBnB hosts are using the platform to create profits?

You can even use part of your harvest of income, to sow seeds that will improve and increase your AirBnB business. (If you want some tips on increasing your online profit systems, I talk about that in my latest book, Atmosphere).

So once AirBnB have advised they’ve sent the first deposit to your account, watch that account like an eagle, until your money is there. The good news is, the sensationally awesome news is, that once you can see it, you can spend it.

The timeline to pay day looks like this:

Day 0 (today): Add your Listing, get your first booking, AirBnB tell you how much you’ve earnt.

Day 1 (tomorrow): You could be checking in your first guest as early as tomorrow – especially, if it is a busy tourist season when you first add your listing.

Day 2: AirBnB will advise that they have sent payment to your bank account.

Day 3 – Day 10: Payment might arrive on Day 3, but if there are weekends and/or public holidays, the longest I’ve had it take is a week from when they send it.

If you think this online profit system could work for you, it’d be really cool to leave a comment. Comments from my global readers are part of the feedback I analyse to help me decide how I can help more people. If I get a lot of comments, I’ll do more in-depth posts on how to make a profit online – not just the starting strategies like this, but the more advanced strategies that are a lot more profitable. So your comments will be helping future readers, too.

It’s over to you.

Go make a profit (after you’ve left a comment)! 🙂

 

 

 

Attention please…

I was 12. In my first year of high school. Learning new subjects, compulsory subjects that I had no interest in.

The first word I learned in German was “Achtung”.

My teacher was very fond of saying it.

I’d heard it in the war movies my dad was fond of, too.

Little did I know how important “attention”, in any language, would become in my life.

Today’s economy, including vast tech profits from blogging and social media, is predicated on this oh so powerful concept.

If people aren’t paying attention to you, they won’t be paying money to you, or anything else, either.

Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump, is brilliant at getting attention. In television, real estate and presidential campaigns, the ability to garner attention is one of the key drivers of success. And, as Donald has discovered more recently, attention is a double-edged sword that can just as easily bring failure.

Whilst you’re reading this you’re probably not paying attention to the temperature your skin is feeling, how hungry your stomach is, the smell of your body odour, the taste of the saliva in your mouth, the way your face is resting, the sounds surrounding you and a thousand other things. The Reticular Activating System in your brain has filtered them out so you can focus your attention on learning (great decision by the way! ;-).

Have you ever had the experience where you’ve bought a new car or new dress and then suddenly you see it appearing everywhere? It’s not because they weren’t there before. It’s just that now you’ve started paying attention, you can see what has always been there. It’s the job of the brain to *not* notice most things. You are receiving information on things all the time – and 99.9% of things are filtered out from your attention automatically by the brain.

In the bible, the word “attention” is used more in Proverbs than in any other book. The writer of Proverbs was the wisest man in all the world. He urges us to pay attention to wisdom, understanding, words of instruction.

King Solomon also warns kings that when the leader is paying attention to lies it can multiply results and transform all of his team into “wicked” servants. Be very careful about placing the full force of your organisation on something that no-one should be paying attention to.

Where you place your attention  is a fundamental tenet of wisdom. If you use your attention wisely, strategically, it can radically transform your results.

I’m amazed what most people *think* is their biggest problem. It might be their weight, their debt, their back pain, their partner. But really, the source of most of these problems, is that they are paying attention to the wrong things. Even the fact that they think these problems are their biggest problem is, more often than not, the cause as well as the symptom of their real problems. And usually it is also blocking them from seeing the solutions they need.

Political campaigners know that there are all kinds of things we can give attention to; sex, sports, stocks, soap operas… We can get all caught up in gossip, criticism, fear… and politics.

Or we can give our attention to faith, opportunities, success, profits, the best in people, things we can be thankful for, tolerance, patience, amazing grace, love.

Every day, every second really, you have a fresh opportunity to choose where to place your attention. Do it strategically, and you’ll find that one act alone will transform your results.

If I haven’t said it to you before, thank you for reading. I appreciate your attention.

 

Why Vision-casting is so Powerful and Productive

Robert Redford, Steve Jobs, David Cameron… all the best leaders spend at least some of their time casting vision.

But why? What is it about vision-casting that is so productive for already powerful, global leaders?

vision

Well, firstly, vision effects outcome. And sometimes the stakes can be really high. Consider Britain’s decision this week on whether to remain or leave the European Economic Union.

The future of an entire nation changed in one day. Powerful!

On the other side of the world, Australian shares lost $50 billion of value in shock.

The question of whether to stay or “Brexit” was quintessentially a question of vision. What kind of future did the people of Britain want? A future based on the possibilities of partnership with their powerful neighbours in Europe, or the freedom and control of a self-reliant future.

To cast their competing visions, leaders travelled the length and breadth of the country, several times over, to meet with people personally. Yes, there were brochures, and media appearances and social media campaigns, but the majority of time spent by the leaders was spent in front of a voter’s face.

At first glance, especially from a time-management point of view, this might seem like an incredibly unproductive thing to do. Why shake one person’s hand, when you could tweet to twenty million during that same time? Why address a small community meeting of eighty entrepreneurs in a tiny village when you could instead be interviewed on BBC broadcasting to eight million viewers?

Even Donald Trump, who doesn’t like shaking hands with anyone, and will (*probably) tell you himself “I’ve made a lot of money in media, I’m very good on television. I translate very well on Twitter”, has spent months out on the road criss-crossing America with personal appearances.

It’s all about the Proximity of Presence. There’s something about being in the presence of the vision-holder that doesn’t quite transcend into traditional and social media. Blogs and those other channels are great supplements, reminders and reinforcements, but for truly productive vision-casting think Michelle Pfeifer and Robert Redford – try and get all Up Close and Personal. (Yes, I realise the irony of quoting a non-personal appearance to encourage personal appearances 😉

Okay, so we’ve answered why vision-casting is necessary (the stakes are high), we’ve answered how to do it (up close and personal). But why does it work so effectively?

Here’s how Steve Jobs answered that question:

vision
If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. #quote Steve Jobs

Ephron W. Taylor said it  this way. “Define the vision (this is the seed of self-leadership)”.

Leaders multiply into more leaders through vision-casting. Leaders help you lead yourself, and ultimately lead others, by planting and nourishing vision.

If a leader can plant the seed of vision in you, she doesn’t have to spend mountains of energy or time to motivate you towards success, that seed will grow generations of motivation in you, from the inside out. You’ll probably even start dropping seeds in your own network of contacts.

Vision is the ultimate leverage. You’ll achieve much more, with much less, if you cast vision seeds that grow into their own orchards of vision in others. And it’s massively scaleable – vision can multiply rapidly.

So next time you are talking with someone you want to work with, think of the weird old Christmas Carol lyric:

Do you see what I see?” (it also talks about lambs, talking wind, and stars with tails who have apparently gone out for a disco – probably best NOT to think about those things if you want your vision to sound credible 😉

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
do you see what I see
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

The vision locomotive just pulled an entire nation into massive change in one day – such massive and quantifiable change it had billions of dollars of economic impacts in the hip pockets of investors on the other side of the world. And that’s just day one of the changes.

 

If you want your work to produce such powerful and productive effects, lead with your hand. Get off the computer for a change and go and shake someone’s hand. Because if we can learn anything from sexy Robert Redford, it’s that even the most visionary leaders look better up close and personal.

 

Mastering Social Media in Ten Seconds

snapchat

On Snapchat the MOST time you can spend on any one post is 10 seconds. Yes, even a video is limited to ten seconds. If you only want to take a photo, well you can do that in a “snap” 😉

More than 60% of 15-34 year olds use Snapchat. And,yes, there are over five billion video views EVERY single day on Snapchat.

S-oooo if you haven’t got a lot of time to spare and you still want to get your message out there, Snapchat is the place to share.

If you want to connect on snapchat like all the cool kids are doing, use your mobile phone’s camera to scan my snap code. Just press and hold on the screen and you’ll be able to see my snapchat stories. Magic!

Or if your magic powers fail, just search for “shazjones” and you can follow my story 🙂

snapcode

Top Secrets of High Performance Bloggers

survey-2015-blog-image-610x344

Success Tactics of Top Bloggers is a great article based on an annual research project.

If you’re writing blogs for hobby and especially if it’s for business, I recommend reading the whole article.

But here’s my quick takeaways:

  • The top 6% of bloggers invest twice as much time as the bottom 70%.
  • Use an editor – even if it’s just a friend – to look over your work before you publish.
  • The goal is never “more content”, it’s always, “how much content do we need for a behavior change?”
  • Smart bloggers don’t create content without a plan to promote.
  • Click-bait articles are dead. And what you see next might surprise you. 🙂

In summary, blogging is growing up. There are signs of more professionalism across the industry.

Please leave a comment to tell me your views of the industry trends or how your blogging habits are changing.

The 5 Headlines of Life


Ever heard that saying “can’t see the wood for the trees”? I took a drive out into the countryside on the weekend, and I was reminded by this frequent folly of focus when I was in the heart of a wood, surrounded by trees.

I was freezing cold, and tired after a long day outdoors, and I almost missed the most beautiful golden sunset that was happening just beyond the trees.

Sometimes we get so blinded by the details we literally can’t see the biggest and best thing even when it’s right in front of us.

When it comes to blogging, for example, the difference between success and failure can be all in the headline. If the headline isn’t strong, no one will get to see the article you poured your heart out on. No matter how many hours you spent editing it into perfection.

I know time management can be tricky when you need to produce a new post every week. So please know you’ll help a lot more people find their way into your forest if you spend more time making the headline interesting. (As you can probably tell, I didn’t spend much time on this article at all 😉

Like fishing, if the bait isn’t alluring, you are wasting your time, energy & all that fancy equipment. You’ll just end up frustrated, broke and buying take-away for dinner.

It’s the same with Life. Too often we are spending our time and money and energy on “trees” – the little things that really make no difference at all. And we’re neglecting the “wood” – the big picture, important stuff, that makes up real success.

When I worked at ABC, I learnt how to put an evening news broadcast together. It’s surprisingly simple, because even though the “tree” details vary everyday, the “wood” structure doesn’t. Every bulletin has 5 key headlines; news (local, national and global), sport, and weather.

It changed the way I work with clients, and even in my ministry. Now, no matter what the details are that they want to talk about, I ask them some key questions. When I’m helping people the most is when I’m leading them through 5 key “headlines” of Life. (And in case you’re wondering, no, none of them are about sports or the weather).

All the headlines are prominent themes in the bible. But like the wood, sometimes we can lose focus on them when we stumble through Life. So I’ve developed 5 key questions that will help you identify which headline you need to focus on to get the best results in Life.

It’s too much to detail to go into here, about why it works so effectively. But if you want to find out more about how you can help lead clients (and yourself) in a way that quickly identifies the big picture things that we should be focusing on, I encourage you to download my book “Headliners” today. It’s a quick read and it’s only $3.99. But trust me it’ll do much more for you than a double shot espresso – and you can download it immediately on to your Kindle (or Kindle app if you’re on a phone or desktop).

The results will help you and those you care about navigate the BIG PICTURE in Life, for the rest of your life.

HEADLINERS

And that’s worth taking a trip into the woods for, right?

I feel the need for speed…. and a little rest!

Arianna Huffington says the differences between old media and new media come down to three essentials:

  1. Speed
  2. Transparency
  3. Engagement

Since Arianna sold her blogging empire to AOL for US$300 million, we know that she was at least profitable, if not utterly insightful.

She also says “Leadership is about seeing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic”. But Sun Tzu says “to fully exploit foreknowledge you must be able to act with blinding speed”.

Jack Welsh, the former CEO of GE, identified informality, fun and speed as the three characteristics that defined an ideal corporation. His prescription for winning personally was:

  1. Speed
  2. Simplicity, and
  3. Self-confidence

When asked by Harvard Business Review which was more important, he didn’t vacillate. “Speed is everything. It is the indispensable ingredient of competitiveness.”

Since he is known as “the most profitable CEO of all time”, we know that he too, was at least profitable, if not utterly insightful.

What I find really insightful about these two leaders is their methods for achieving speed.

rocket turtle

They rush to do nothing, or at least very little.

Unplugging, resting, simplifying, de-cluttering – getting rid of the excess baggage – doing less is how they achieve speed.

How did Arianna respond when she realised her goal of learning German had remained unstarted, let alone uncompleted? She ditched it as a goal. She took up meditation, naps and digital detoxing.

How did Jack respond when he realised that bureaucracy, formality and management were choking his corporation? He dictated less of all of it.

This reminds me of Genesis 1. The biggest disputes even amongst people who believe the account of creation in Genesis 1 is about how quickly it happened?

To me, God could not have made it clearer that it was all done in 6 days – 6 evenings and 6 mornings.

And then what did God do? He rested.

This is so opposite of “evolutionary” thinking. In evolution, anything can seem possible – if you are prepared to wait for a billion or so years. Revolutionary thinking creates results now, fast!

Tony Robbins in his book “Re-awaken The Giant Within” cites speed as one of the secrets of his success. Whilst other people were speaking once a month, he made it a goal to speak three times a day. Why? So he could get twelve months of experience in 4 days. Sure, he also got twelve months of profit in 4 days, too.

But apart from profit what is so good about speeding up the experience cycle? Nothing really, unless you couple it with taking time out to meditate and reflect on what is working and what isn’t working. When you combine speed with rest, you really can create amazing results. Just ask God. Or a rocket-powered turtle.

This is a great time of year to do a little bit of decluttering. Take a few restful moments to reflect on 2014. What strategies are working for you? Which ones are not? Lay aside some of the unnecessary weights and get ready to run with renewed speed in 2015. It might just be the most profitable thing you do all year.

100 facts about me

It might seem a little narcisstic (ok, a lot), but I saw another blogger blog “100 facts about me” and I really enjoyed the read. It helped me find out a lot more about them in a short space of time. I hope you enjoy learning more about me. If you’ve blogged 100 facts about you, post a comment with your link so I can get to know you too.

1. I need chocolate. All the time. My favourite chocolate is Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
2. I was allergic to chocolate (and milk) when I was little.
3. I enjoy my life. I like helping other people enjoy their life. I love helping people expand their financial world.
4. I’m single. But still haven’t given up hope that Hugh Jackman will one day fall madly in love with me.
5. Jimmy Barnes (from Cold Chisel) can cheer me up from practically anything.
6. I enjoy going to the movies.
7. My best friend is also called “Sharon”. I call her Shaz. My family and friends call me Shaz.
8. I have lots of great friends.
9. I went to 7 different schools in 7 years. Then I went to more after that.
10. I’m smart. Smarter than most people I know. I have an almost endless ability to absorb new information, analyse it, contextualise it and communicate it so that it’s useful for others.
11. I make dumb choices. All the time. Dumber than most people I know.
12. I thrive in environments of strategic challenge, impossible deadlines and rapid change.
13. I’m fascinated by theory but pretty hopeless at just about everything practical.
14. My mum thinks I’m hopeless at just about everything.
15. I like maths and computers and finance and business. Yes, I’m a nerd.
16. My first entrepreneurial venture was when I used to get my brothers pocket money and “negotiate” with the lolly shop owner for half price rates. 50% Profit – woot!
17. I made my first million in business when I was 32. (I’d been a millionaire once before that – when I visited Italy at age 24 and you could buy more than 1,000 Lira for 1 Australian Dollar).
18. My day job is finance. My night job is computers. My weekend business is finance.
19. I communicate. I love speaking, writing, blogging, and training.
20. My latest book is available on Kindle from Amazon.com (and http://www.NeverPayBills.com.au)
21. I love reading, especially biographies and books about money.
22. I like trying to do Cryptic Crosswords. I learnt how to do them in a pub in Bristol – the Jersey
Lily. His name was Dave (I don’t know his last name).
23. My first White Christmas was in Vancouver in 1988. It was with my best friend, Sharon.
24. I share a birthday with Seth Brooks.
25. I’ve been on national television.
26. I’ve been on radio in 5 Australian states
27. I’ve been in newspapers in and magazines in Australia, United States, Japan, Finland.
28. I like travel. I love learning new languages and getting new money.
29. I’ve been to every state and territory in Australia (including every capital city).
30. I’ve travelled to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Belgium, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, United States, Canada, Fiji, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, United Arab Emirates.
31. I own real estate.
32. I own shares.
33. I own companies.
34. I’m a former member of the Australian Society of CPAs, the National Speakers Association of Australia, The Manly Warringah Media Co-op, The Australian Institute of Management, and The Australian Institute of Company Directors.
35. I was the first in my immediate family to go to university (I’m still the only one who has).
36. I was the first woman in my wider family to go to university (several of the next generation have since though).
37. I’ve got a degree in Business (major in Accounting).
38. I’ve got a Diploma in Christian Ministry and Biblical Studies.
39. I used to be a Bible College Lecturer.
40. I used to teach Sunday School.
41. My high school experienced “revival” in 1979 when Billy Graham held a crusade in Sydney.
42. I dated my law lecturer at University.
43. My math’s teacher at high school took me on a few dates. But my mum didn’t like that.
44. My first boyfriend was Philip Howe. He rode a motorbike all the way from Katoomba to Sydney to bring me my birthday present. I still have that present.
45. My last boyfriend in England was Paul Marshall. For my 25th birthday he gave me a crystal glass engraved with “Shaz”. I still have that present.
46. One of my boyfriend’s was named “Mic Jagger” but he preferred to be called Mike. I now work with “Michael Jackson” but he also prefers to be called Mike.
47. I met the love of my life on New Year’s Eve.
48. I was allergic to animal hair (especially cats, dogs and horses) when I was growing up.
49. I loved my Grandpa (Walter Job). I was one of his favourites.
50. All my grandparents have now passed away.
51. I still drive my late Nanna’s car – a Holden Barina.
52. I have one sister, the baby of the family.
53. I have two brothers (one older, one younger).
54. I started school in Tamworth, New South Wales, the capital of Country Music in Australia (yeah ha!) We lived on a chook farm when we first moved there.
55. I’ve had major surgery in 1984 and 1992.
56. I used to live in Bristol, United Kingdom.
57. I was diagnosed with Cancer when I was living in the UK.
58. My book, The Faithfulness Myth, was the first book in the world published to a mobile device. It was part of a competition that Nokia was holding. They wanted ideas for “the future of mobile phones”. The critics said “No-one will ever want to read a book on a mobile device”. e-book sales now outnumber printed book sales.
59. My company was subcontracted to do the first ever live Internet video streaming from Parliament House in Canberra (The University Awards).
60. I wrote the computer program to publish the first high school results on the Internet in Australia.
61. I wrote the computer program to publish the first University admission results on the Internet in Australia.
62. I learnt Internet programming from a book.
63. I wrote the first Internet training programs in Sydney
64. I delivered the first Internet training program in Sydney
65. I wrote to the Queen, on behalf of a friend, and got an answer back from her Lady In Waiting.
66. I wrote to Sir Alex Ferguson on behalf of a colleague, and got no answer back.
67. I play the piano. My dad used to take me out for breakfast to the Sheraton Wentworth Hotel in Sydney on the morning of my Piano exams (it’s not far from the Conservatorium of Music). He used to order a coffee and raisin toast, which I thought was ever so posh. But realise now was probably the cheapest thing on the menu, and all we could afford.
68. I still love going out for breakfast (as long as it’s not too early – I love a sleep-in).
69. My first paid job was at the local “Jewel’s” supermarket as a check-out chick. But my feet hurt. So I got a job playing piano for a ballet school. It was much more pleasant. All the cute little kids had to bow or curtsy to me at the end of the lesson and say “Thank you, Miss Jones”. Also, it was more than double the pay. I’ve doubled my pay lots since then.
70. I like writing poetry. But usually only do it when I’m in love.
71. My middle name is Ann. Like my mum’s. My mum got the name after the Princess Royal.
72. My first name means “pretty princess” in Hebrew (or more accurately, “Kings shall come from your womb”).
73. I don’t like Mangoes.
74. I really like Avocados.
75. I used to work at the Nuclear Reactor at Lucas Heights, NSW.
76. I was invited to an exclusive party at Australia House on The Strand in London in 1990 to help celebrate “Operation Kangaroo”. There were wall-to-wall Australian military men in uniform and only about half a dozen women. Good times!
77. I was in New York City when my first niece, Sasha, was born.
78. My biggest disappointment in life is not having any children.
79. My biggest regret in life is not selling my Internet business when I was offered $5,000,000 for it (in October 1999).
80. I love the ocean. Just seeing it does something for my soul. I love lying on the beach with a good book. Swimming in it soothes me. Walking on sand is hard work, but always feels like a privilege to me.
81. I rode a horse along the ocean in Fiji – it was an exhilarating experience.
82. I was in one of 88 hot air balloons that celebrated the Bicentennial year on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra in 1998. It was for “work” (Sutherland Shire Council). I love hot air ballooning.
83. I prefer Summer to Winter.
84. My favourite meal is Pasta Carbonara – usually with fettuccine pasta.
85. For decades I was obsessed with Topeka in Kansas, USA. I finally got to visit in September/October 2010. It was an amazing time.
86. I’ve been cuddled by Martin Plaza (from Mental as Anything), James Reyne (from Australian Crawl), Guy Sebastian, Barry Crocker and several other “celebrities”. I like cuddles. But only from people I like.
87. I saved Matthew White’s life once. That was before he was the V8 Supercars commentator.
88. I’ve scuba dived in Vanuatu and snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef.
89. I’ve climbed Ayres Rock.
90. I’ve stood on top of the World Trade Centre (before the 9/11 attacks, obviously).
91. I’ve been up the Eiffel Tower twice. I’ve been to Paris 3 times. I’d like to go more.
92. I read my bible nearly every day. It’s the most life-changing book I’ve ever read. It often freaks me out.
93. I like my Apple iPhone . It has changed the contents of my handbag, let alone the way I live my life.
94. I love watching sport. I love the clarity and finality of a full-time score. I especially love motor sport like MotoGP and Formula 1 where things can change very quickly and a thousandth of a second can mean the difference between winning and losing, and life and death. I don’t like losing, or death.
95. I got voted “Miss Cleavage 83” at the cricket (Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia vs England).
96. I used to play Tennis every Friday night with my parents (Richard and Janet Jones), siblings and a group of friends.
97. I’ve been robbed on 3 different continents.
98. I want to go to Antarctica.
99. A car blew up in my face once, and burnt my face, neck, chest and arms. Fortunately, I was right outside one of the best teaching hospitals in Sydney (RPAH) at the time.
100. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that through faith in Him, my many, many sins are forgiven and my eternal destiny has been changed (thank God!)

Phew, I got through all that without mentioning facebook or twitter once.