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What's-Really-Your-PassionAn executive once said, “There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money. However, it should not be the sole objective. The end goal should be to provide a service or product that people need.”

No matter what your passion is in life, should you decide to turn that passion into reality, the end goal must go beyond just making money – it can solve a problem, provide enjoyment or peace, make life easier, etc. And, it’s not as hard as you might imagine.

For example, say your passion is pottery. The product that you will create will satisfy the need of those who enjoy the beauty of pottery. You will touch their emotions. Perhaps, you will awaken senses and memories that have been dormant and bring to your customer – as anyone who appreciates art knows – hours, if not days and years of peace and enjoyment.

You may ask, “Can my pottery do that?” The answer is “Yes.”

Take what you believe to be “your passion” and break it down to your core passion. They key thing to discover is what is behind your passion. Ask yourself, “What am I trying to create? What am I really interested in? What are the true feelings or emotions behind my passion?” Delve deep into your thoughts and ask yourself, “How does my passion affect other people? How can others benefit from my passion? “Does it solve a problem or provide a service or product that other would need?”

Through examination, you may discover not only what is really your passion, but also a renewed sense of passion… for your passion.

©2014Bob Garner – Bob is a funny motivational speaker who teaches his audiences how to achieve goals, diminish worry, stress and fear and live more productive and peaceful lives.

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For those in the corporate world who have to travel to earn their pay, many times we find ourselves in the presence of unpleasant people.

From plane trips to restaurants to meetings or events, an occasional rude person expresses his or her discomfort at something we may have said or should have said or did or didn’t do.

Sometimes their unhappiness is expressed by a few choice words, a nasty look, or – if we are driving and someone feels we are not driving fast enough – the mere dexterity of their fingers communicates the message. Hopefully, you don’t feel compelled to respond to this form of communication, other insults or goofy looks that others throw your way. It’s easy to respond; however, it’s more challenging – if not rewarding – to not respond. The next time you get the urge to respond, remember this story:

Buddha was once asked by his disciples why he didn’t respond to the insults that others would cast toward him. Buddha said, “Imagine what would happen if someone placed a gift at your feet and you chose to ignore it. Or someone sent you a letter and you did not open it.” The disciples answered that it would be returned to the original owner. Buddha responded with one word, “Exactly.”

Just let the anger or insult from another person pass you by, and, like a boomerang, it will have to go back to its owner. That is the one of the best and quickest ways to deal with mean people.

©2014BobGarner – See how these corporations brought the WOW factor to their eventshttp://tinyurl.com/62u2u2y

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Like cold calling, emails focused on potential customers are referred to as “cold emails.” Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to get prospective customers to open and read those emails. Here are a few tips that may help to increase your open and read rate of cold emails.

1) The Subject Line:
Authors, writers and publishers spend enormous time creating their titles. Why? Because they know that the main reason people buy books, read articles, or click on news content is the title. Spend time on creating a subject line that catches your potential customer’s interest. It needs to be concise and should summarize your email.

2) The Funnel:
From an internet marketing standpoint, view your email as the beginning of the sales funnel. The email should be brief and succinctly diagnose a potential customer’s problem or concern; provide a solution and a way for that customer to find out how they can solve that problem, or provide the proper links to find that solution. In other words, don’t send them to your home page. Take them directly to the page where you provide your services or answers to that particular problem. It is also beneficial to have a short video at the top of that page that restates their concern and provides some solutions or ideas to solve the problem and why they need to read your copy on the page.

3) Research:
It always helps to do some extra research on your potential customer. In addition to viewing their sites, see if your customer has personally written any blogs or articles. Read what they have written. If appropriate, you can send an email to them about their article or blog and a comment. Make sure that you have the signature box of your email filled out properly, with a website and a call to action to view that site. Example: Look who helped XYZ Company increase their sales closing by 20% – (add site link).

4) LinkedIn:
A little LinkedIn research goes along way. I assume you have targeted your potential customers, so linking up with them is a good idea. Also, see if they belong to any groups. Check out their participation level and if they participate, join that group and comment after them. (As with the comments on blogs and articles, make sure that what you say has merit and is not a blatant attempt to win favor. Phony never works.)

5) Value Add:
You can also offer a free ebook, white paper or video in your email subject line. For example, if your market is branding, you might use a subject line with a value add such as “Get your customers to think of you first – 7 tips video!” Lead with that in the subject line and just have them click to read or view the video. (Do not use an attachment, as many people will not open attachments.) Make sure you always put a call-to-action in any value add. Remember, if the subject line and your value add fits in with their need, they are more likely to open it, read it, view it and take action.

6) Follow-Up:
Either via an auto-responder or your own little typing fingers, follow up in a day or two with an email stating “Hope you read our 7 tips to get your customers to think of your first. If not, you can view it here (add link).” “At XYZ company, we specialize in….” Here is where you can provide further information on how your company can solve your customer’s problems and provide links, as well as the link to the page that offers your service (with the video) in this email. Chances are they will view the video first and then read your white paper. (Again, take time creating your subject line for this email.)

7) Patience:
Like hammering a nail, if you keep at it, eventually you drive it home. As you know, the competition for the eyeballs of potential customers is fierce. By doing a little extra work on your subject line, funnel, content, value adds and follow-up, you will, undoubtedly, be doing more than most of your competition. That little extra work is what will help you stand out in the minds of your potential customers and, eventually, get them to open and read your cold emails.

Bob Garner is a modern day rags-to-riches entrepreneur who helps people turn their dreams and goals into reality. As an entertaining motivational speaker, he speaks to the audiences of Fortune 1000 corporations on personal and professional development. He is also an author and syndicated writer.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to post this article, but please use my byline and resource box. Thank you.

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Ever have an idea, but slammed the door on it saying, “That won’t work” or “That’s crazy”? As children, we were taught and actually encouraged to be creative.

Strangely enough, as we continue through the educational process, creativity becomes discouraged. We are encouraged to “think outside of the box,” as long as we remain enclosed in a “larger box.” (By the “larger box,” I mean the box where we are not to “ rock the boat,” “question the status quo,” etc.)

This “box within a box” style of creativity continues through our working years. Many employers will say that they want their employees to be more creative, when it comes to selling products or services, finding solutions to customer’s problems or building better teams, yet many of the ideas that employees offer are shot down, faster than you can blink.

Occasionally, a good idea is let through the door, and – as the writer and inventor Arthur C. Clarke put forth – those new ideas will pass through three periods. The first being “It can’t be done.” The second, “It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing,” and the third, “I knew it was a good idea all along!” (If you’re in corporate, that should ring a bell!)

While others can slam the door on our ideas, oftentimes we do it ourselves, before anyone else has the opportunity. From negativity and self-doubt to poor planning and unrealistic time frames, we can kill our own ideas, instead of following a few steps to allow our ideas to take root and grow.

With that said, here are a few tips to help you open the door to your ideas – and let them grow:

Keep a Notebook Handy:
While this sounds elementary, have you ever had an idea and then scrambled around for a piece of paper on which to write it down? Perhaps you had an idea, thought you would remember it and then later, while trying to remember it, you couldn’t. The English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” So, take a tip from Sir Bacon and write down your ideas.

Time to Contemplate:
When you can find a quiet moment, review your ideas. Let your brain chew on them, and see how you inwardly feel about your idea. Have a conversation with yourself. Ask yourself questions. Write out the pros and cons to your ideas and study them. Make sure to avoid the knee-jerk responses of negativity that can arise. (Remember a quote from Albert Einstein, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”) View your idea with an open mind, never forgetting that (usually) if you were given the idea – you were also given the way to make it a reality.

From Idea to Reality:
If after your self-conversation, you view that your idea is viable, write down some steps that you should take to turn that idea into reality. Don’t be too specific, just a few basic steps. Picasso attested that one should have an idea of what one wanted to do, but it should be a vague idea. Look at the basic steps and choose the most logical first step and then act on it. Don’t set up time frames that will force you to move fast or deadlines that are impossible to meet. Just let your idea flow and grow on its own. As you move forward, adjust accordingly. Sometimes one idea leads to another better idea, so you dismiss the first idea and move on to the next.

What is important to remember is that when you act on your idea, you step out of the “herd mentality” that most people have. The masses have never developed or created anything. Progress happens when individuals take ideas and move on them. As a funny motivational speaker, I’ve always appreciated the wisdom of entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn who once stated, “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” Follow these three tips to open the door to your ideas.

A funny motivational speaker and funny motivational keynote speaker, Bob is known for his creative way of reinforcing specific points in his presentations with entertainment. Additionally, Bob is an author and syndicated writer on personal and professional development. His new Twitter site offers tweets on abundance, peace, happiness and success – go to @Abundancefaucet.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to post this article, but please use my byline and resource box. Thank you.

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I have been fascinated with the world of the paranormal since I was a child. In fact, this fascination led me to a career where I use demonstrations of mind reading and ESP in the speeches on personal/professional development that I deliver to corporate audiences, worldwide.

The story you are about to read is a true story about an encounter with a professional psychic whose lessons on achieving success changed my life.

When I was in college, way back in 1978, my major was radio/TV broadcasting. For one class, I was asked to form a crew and find someone who was “interesting” to interview.

Where I lived, the “pickings” were few. However, I finally found a professional psychic whom I thought would fit the bill of “interesting,” nicely. His name was Harold W. Hubbard and, at that time, I had no idea how much this man would influence my life.

Upon arrival, my crew and I met an impressive man. He was dressed like a regular businessman and his home was nicely decorated. He greeted us warmly and patiently answered the questions I proposed with regard to his work and life. He, also, told me some amazing things about me, which of course ignited my own interest in the paranormal.

Right before we were ready to pack up our gear and leave, I asked Mr. Hubbard one more question. “Mr. Hubbard,” I stated, “Do you have any tips on success?”

He looked at me and paused for a moment. He said that he did have a few tips for success that he would be happy to share. Here is what he told me…

Frills: Look for quality over quantity. Having quality is more important than having “quantity.”

Thrills: Be careful as to where you go, what you choose to do to, and with whom you associate.

Spills: Don’t waste any opportunities or ideas. Write down the ideas that you have so that don’t “spill” to the floor and disappear. Even if you have no plans to work on your ideas right now, write them down so that if the opportunity arises to implement your idea you’ll be ready.

Skills: Investigate the talents or skills you may need to achieve your goals and hone those skills.

Be on top of circumstances. Instead of waiting for the opportunity or circumstance to appear; create the opportunity. Decide what it is that you want to do and then work to make it happen.

After we left his office, the crew and I discussed our experience and we were all delighted as to how much we enjoyed meeting this “interesting” man and how we all felt better for having done so.

Mr. Hubbard may not have known (or did he) how his tips for success would eventually influence my life as I integrated those tips into my own journey as a successful entrepreneur. The lessons on success that this psychic taught me then are still viable today and are excellent tips for anyone who in interested in achieving success.

Considering that this all happened back in 1978, you may be asking, “How did you remember his “tips for success” after 35 years?” It was easy. I wrote those tips down on the back of his business card and that business card has sat on my office desk for 35 years and is still there today!

Bob Garner is recognized as one of the leading funny motivational speakers and trade show magicians.  He is known worldwide for his demonstrations of mind reading and ESP in his presentations to reinforce his message in an entertaining way.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the whole article, the byline and author resource links.

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Do you ever wonder if an email recipient actually reads your whole email? We’re not talking a sales email, just a business correspondence that requires an action or some type of response. It appears that the attention span of many of those in corporate rivals that of a child opening gifts on their birthday – open a gift, look at it, open another, repeat, go do something else.

This is not only frustrating for the sender, but it also strikes at the heart of two important topics in corporate – communication and teamwork. If the email is about a customer issue, then you just hit on the third big corporate issue – customer service. To aid you in having your business emails read and the information supplied capturing the attention of the recipient to elicit a response, here are a few tips:

Subject Line:
Internet marketing experts know that keywords are crucial. Keywords are short 3- 4 word descriptions of your site and not only allow search engines to index and list your site, but also are the words that appear on Google or Bing that will catch your attention and get you to click on a certain site. Those in the book and newspaper industry know that they must grab you with the title or you’ll never buy the book or read the article. Therefore, use the same strategy for your emails. Put the main keywords of your email into the header. For example: Subject: Need your answer on XYZ project today” is more effective than “XYZ Project.” Keep the subject line short. If you need immediate action use “Action Item” in front of main message, then put keywords after, such as “Action Item: Need answer on XYZ Project today.”

Keep it Short:
Winston Churchill once said, “I’m going to make a long speech, because I’ve not had the time to prepare a short one.” Every professional speaker knows that the creation of a long speech takes far less time than that of a short one, because for a short speech, every word counts. In your email – every words counts!

While condensing your information into the smallest amount of words takes time, it does improve the odds of it being read in its entirety. Write out your email and look for ways to edit as much as possible, so that the main message is clear and concise. Aim for two to three short paragraphs. Contain the most important part of your message in the first paragraph, as most people will skim over your email, if it’s too long or has too many paragraphs.

Never Ask More Than 2 Questions:
If you ask more than 2 questions, there’s a good chance that none will be answered or only one, at the most, forcing you to send another email to the receiver. If you need to explain something and then ask a question, position the question into a separate paragraph. If you have more than 2 questions, you can put them in bullet point; however, the receiver will generally only answer the easiest question, forcing another email to get a complete answer. 

Call to Action:
If you need an answer or a response from the receiver, in addition to placing the words “Action Item” in your subject line, place a call to action statement at the end of your email such as, “Please respond to this email,” or ‘If you would please respond to these questions as soon as possible, it would be appreciated.” After this statement you can place your “Thank you,” “Regards,” etc.

Think advertising and marketing – there is always some call to action, because people need to be reminded that they need to act. If you are looking for an answer or a response, it helps to make sure that the receiver knows this. The receiver may still not respond, but the chances of them doing so is a bit higher.

Signature Box:
Make sure you have your complete information in your “sig box” – where your name and company info should be. Include a phone number and any other appropriate contact information. Watch any corporate logos, as they can sometimes (due to the large number of firewall providers) send an email to a spam folder – despite what your company’s tech person says. True, if you’re sending an email to a co-worker, they already know who you are; however, adding appropriate information in your sig box not only looks more professional, but it can also provide additional information that may grab the attention of the reader.

The Power of the CC:
You can follow these tips and still not receive a reply, which is extremely frustrating. Most recipients aren’t any busier than you, but many are disorganized or lack professionalism. Sometimes the recipient doesn’t have an answer, so your message is ignored. In a perfect world, he/she should still get back to you to let you know your email has at least been received.

If your email is vitally important – like a customer needs an answer – and you find yourself having to resend it, you may need to CC someone else, when you send the second or repeat email. After all, we know that nearly 50% of corporate work is reverse documentation, so why should your important emails be any different? Obviously, restraint is required for this tip. You can always pick up the phone (remember the telephone?) and call the person with whom you need to speak.

Do Unto Others:
Make sure that you get back quickly to those who email you. You can’t complain about others, if you’re guilty of the same offense.

As a funny motivational speaker and funny keynote speaker, I send a ton of emails. By following these tips, I, have found that I receive a higher response rate, than when I don’t. Therefore, these tips may also increase the chances of your emails being read and replied to …even by those in the corporate world.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the whole article, the byline and author resource links.

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Bill Cosby once said, “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers.” Humor is the saving grace that allows people to cope with life. It can be used to poke fun at a situation or lighten up a conversation. The benefits of having a sharp sense humor from a personal/health standpoint are obvious. After all – laughter is the best medicine; however, it can also be beneficial in the workplace.

According to the “The Humor Project,” over 98% of the 737 CEOs interviewed stated they would much rather hire someone with a sense of humor over someone who didn’t have one. Therefore, spending a little energy to hone that sense may not only be beneficial personally, but also professionally. Here are a few tips to help you sharpen your sense of humor.

1) Watch and Read the Masters
Jack Benny, George Burns, and Groucho Marx are just a few of the masters of humor and wit. Their timing was impeccable and their humor is timeless. Watching these humorists can aid you in developing your own sense of humor. Additionally, read the works of Twain, Wilde, Thurber and other similar humorist. Research witty sayings from people like Winston Churchill. Time spent doing so will not only bring a smile to your face, but also acts as training course in humor. If you find something that “tickles your funny bone,” see Step 2.

2) Start a Humor Log
The vast majority of comedians write out their material, and most keep notes on what works and what does not. Therefore, if you want to “seriously” sharpen your sense of humor, start keeping a journal or notes on what you think is funny or witty.

You can pull quotes and sayings from a variety of resources – from books or off of the internet. Like comedians, categorize them in a way that makes sense to you and then, periodically, go over your notes, so that you are always prepared. For example, you may have a category about that often discussed (but rarely applied) term of teamwork. When your boss starts chatting away regarding the need for everyone to stop thinking about themselves and start working together as a team, a humorous quip to toss into the conversation might be, “Well, it’s true there are no “I’s” in teamwork, but there are two of them in martini.” (I assume your boss has a sense of humor. If not, have him/her read this article.)

Maybe, you could have a category for that fun topic which always seems to pop up at weird times, like during year end holiday parties or birthdays – death. Should you be discussing death with your friends or local undertaker, you might lighten up the mood with, “Well, as Woody Allen once said, “I’m not afraid of death: I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Not only is that snappy, but it also makes you appear to be witty and “well-read.” Bravo!

3) Say Less and Observe More
While saying less seems odd when writing about being humorous, actually it is very fitting. Humor and wit are based on observation – observing a situation or your own or other people’s behavior – and then making a comment.

In comedy, timing is everything. Making what you think is a humorous comment at the wrong time can give one the appearance of being insensitive or crass. Prior to making a comment, observe the situation and those around you and determine if your humorous quip will lighten the pain or add to it. This should take seconds for any intelligent person to ascertain. The best advice came from Johnny Carson, which was, “If you have to think about it – don’t say it.”

4) Aim for Home
The easiest target for your humor should be yourself. Many people feel that in order to be humorous, it’s more fun to insult others. In his book “How to be Funny,” Steve Allen wrote, “If you feel that the comedy of insult is your most natural style, good luck to you. And you’ll need it.” Few can pull off insulting others while not appearing to be unintelligent or uncaring. True, people point to Groucho Marx as an insult king; however, as Allen points out, “Because his image was almost that of a comic-strip character, most of his acerbic remarks did not give offence.”

I assume that your image is not that of a comic-strip; therefore, tread lightly when using your humor to make fun of others. If you research some of the masters mentioned above, you will see that much of their humor was pointed at themselves. Making light of one’s self or one’s situation is the perfect way to add humor to a conversation.

5) Hang with Funny People
If you wanted to be a better tennis player, you would link up with good tennis players. If you want to sharpen your sense of humor, hang with funny people. If you’ve followed Steps 1 and 2, then you will be welcomed to the conversation of most people who have a heightened sense of humor. (You might even be welcomed to the groups of people who lack a sense of humor – but why would want to hang with those people?)

Watch funny movies. Go to comedy shows of present day comedians who “work clean” like Ellen DeGeneres, Rita Rudner, and Louie Anderson. (I emphasize “work clean,” because true humor and wit doesn’t involve dirty language or the use of “bathroom humor.” Most present day comedians can’t go 5 minutes without using a four-letter word or talking about sex or bodily functions.) Other funny people can aid you in sharpening your sense of humor. And now for the last tip…drum roll please…

If you follow the above suggestions, the last tip will be easier, which is that much like doing stand-up comedy – you have to get out there and just do it! As a funny motivational speaker and funny keynote speaker, I have to have a fairly sharp sense of humor and I know these 5 tips will help you sharpen your sense of humor.

©2012 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the whole article, the byline and author resource links.

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