Ever have one of those times when it seems as if life is going great? Work is going well, you’re happy, the family is happy, and you’re feeling great. Then BAM! It hits. Like a brick. Something happens and you experience setbacks in life. Setbacks can be emotionally and physically draining not to mention significantly affect your finances as well. It could be something like the loss of a loved one, a financial or health crisis, the breakup of a relationship, or even a failing business. They often leave us feeling sad and lost and not sure where to turn next. Fortunately there are ways to lessen the hurt and still come out on top…

Time – Be sure to give yourself some time to be upset, angry, or hurt. Suppressing your emotions will only work against you. Remember the expression “misery loves company”? Take the time you need to grieve properly (this will be different for everyone) but don’t dwell in those feelings to the point where it begins to affect your life in a negative way. Many times these situations are beyond our control. For example, if you apply for a job that you are really hoping to get only to find out it was offered to someone else. Try to find ways to focus your energy in a productive manner.

Be Honest – Honesty is the best policy especially with yourself and with others. If your setback is due to a mistake you made, be honest about it. Own up to your actions and figure out a way to move forward.

Forgive – If your setback is due to an issue that someone else caused, do whatever you can to try and forgive them. Forgiveness does not mean that you agree with their words or actions but rather that you want to focus on removing the negative from your life. The truth is, forgiveness is more for you than for anyone or anything that may have offended or hurt you. Releasing the feelings of hate can be very liberating for you and it may even go a long way towards repairing a damaged relationship.

Focus on Solutions – For every problem, there is a solution. That solution may not be apparent to you immediately but it will come to you. Spend more of your time thinking of solutions and creating a plan of action rather than rehashing your problems over and over. This skill is sometimes easier said than done especially when our problems seem so overwhelming. Be sure to write down your plan and review it regularly. This will help keep you accountable to yourself as you are working through any issues. The best thing about mistakes is that they always provide opportunities for growth and learning. So take advantage of it. Use this experience as a platform to educate yourself.

Seek Advice – If you are in a situation and simply don’t know what to do it is often wise to seek advice from someone you trust. This person can be a friend, co-worker, family member, or mentor, as long as they are someone you can be open and honest with regarding your situation. Seeking advice actually serves two purposes. The obvious, being that you will get a new perspective on your situation and they may even be able to help you develop a plan on how to move forward. In addition, the act of talking to someone we trust can serve as a sort of therapy for us, helping to work through the problem in our own minds.

Stress Relief – Seek out healthy ways to reduce your stress. Hit the gym or visit a spa for some extra pampering. Going for a walk, meditating, and reading are other great ways to destress. Whatever you do be sure it is an activity that will make you feel better and will not cause an unnecessary burden. Even something as simple as taking a deep breath and counting slowly to 10 can calm the mind and lower blood pressure.

No one is immune from conflict in life. No one. Everyone has experienced problems and disappointments. However, your reaction to these setbacks is likely to determine the outcome. How will you respond?



If you’re looking to expand your efforts on social media, consider Pinterest one of your next platforms.

With over 100 million active users, this image-based social media site has the potential to help you reach even more customers. Since Pinterest focuses on your visual interests, you will do well if you appeal to your customers desire to eat, drink, travel, shop, or create.

So if you’re looking to get started with Pinterest, use these great tips to expand your network and send traffic back to your website or blog.

Pin Your Blogs

If you’re blogging, you can increase the number of people who view the post by sharing it on Pinterest. The key here is to have a strong image that will compel people to click through to your site or repin your post. Use the pin description field to describe what people will get out of the blog post to further entice them to read it and share. It should be descriptive and concise similar to an “elevator speech”. And don’t forget to include for better search indexing on Pinterest.

Pin Your Products 

If you sell products, make sure to use the Pin It button on each product image on your website to increase the likelihood that people will share it on Pinterest. And again, make sure your images are visually appealing and professional. In the pin description, be sure to include a the sale price and a link back to the sales page so that potential customers can make direct purchases.

Timing is Everything

Specific categories on Pinterest tend to do better on certain days of the week, so do some research to find out when people are most likely to care about your target categories. Also, test out different timing for your shares. It’s been shown that 2 to 4 pm, as well as 8 pm to 1 am are prime times to attract attention and therefore more repins, but see what works with you own audience.

Curate Great Content

Your Pinterest account shouldn’t be a billboard for your business. You can – and should – also share other content that’s relevant and of interest to your followers.

Curate content from all over the web by pinning things to your Pinterest boards. Create specific boards that cover very specific topics and include your own comments in the description when repinning or sharing content. For example, if you sell fashion, you could have a board called “Fashion Week 2017” and display photos of the best fashion week styles. This tactic most likely won’t drive traffic to your site, but it does establish you as a leader in the field due to the useful information that you share.

Just Ask 

Just simply asking your audience to repin, comment, or click in your description can increase engagement by a whopping 80%! Just stick to one call to action (CTA), otherwise you may confuse people. Decide what has the biggest value for you for each time you pin: a click to your site, a repin to reach more people, or a comment to promote engagement. The more repins an image has, the more it’s likely to attract, so keep that in mind.

Be a Good Friend

Pinterest is a social network. That means you’ve got to give a little to get something in return. And sometimes you have to give a lot and just stick with it! To that end, repin other users’ pins, comment on them, and tag them to engage in relationship building. After all, that is what social media is for. Hopefully you will be so good at building the relationship that they demand to use your services or purchase your products.

Keep Your Content Relevant

Start out by searching for pins that relate to your business and create boards based on the most popular pins. You want all your boards and pins to relate to your business to keep in line with your brand’s messaging.

Consider Buyable Pins

One of the coolest features on Pinterest is Buyable Pins, which allow users to buy a product with the click of a button on a pin of a product. This has significant opportunity to increase revenue since users don’t have to leave Pinterest to make purchases. They no longer need to go to your site and hunt for the product they want to buy.

Establish Goals

Simply pinning images and links on Pinterest isn’t going to make you a marketing success. It’s important to set objectives for what you want to accomplish. Would you like to attract 50 new followers a week? Increase click through to your site by 30%? By when? Define very specific goals outlining what you’re hoping to achieve. Review and assess goals regularly.

The Metrics Matter

How can you know if your efforts on Pinterest are doing your business any good? Now that you’ve set your goals, look at the relevant metrics. If you’re looking to increase followers or pins, start tracking those numbers and look for an increase over the time period you chose. If you want to increase traffic to your website, look at your Google Analytics to see how many visitors came to your site from Pinterest.

Pinterest is a fantastic addition to what you’re already doing to market your business. Keep your efforts consistent and vary the types of images and links you pin. Happy Pinning!




For many of us, slowing down doesn’t seem to be a possibility. Between work obligations and family and managing a household, there’s rarely time for much else other than stress. However, constantly leading a fast paced life can leave you feeling burnt out and under a ton of stress.

I’ll give you a great example. Sometime last week, I was reviewing my work hours for the past month and I realized that I had not had a day “off” in over 42 days. 42 days!! Now, being a stay at home mom and business owner, I rarely get a day off but it dawned on me that I had not provided myself any downtime to recharge my batteries. And coincidentally, I was feeling more stressed and anxious than I had been in a very long time.

If you can relate to this story, just know that you are not alone. In fact, finding some downtime and taking care of ourselves is a challenge that many people face on a daily basis. And while it is necessary to meet our obligations, it is also necessary to take care of ourselves. When we aren’t stressed and overly tired, we are able to be more present in our own lives and fully enjoy the time that we spend with our families and on our work and our passions. But if you’re used to a constant fast paced environment, it can be hard to slow down. The trick is not to come to a halt, but instead to find small opportunities to recharge every day. Not sure where to start? Try a few of these suggestions to help you slow down.


Meditation and deep breathing techniques have been known for centuries to decrease stress and tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, muscle and joint problems. Ancient practitioners of meditation (and some current) believed that meditation was a sort of gateway to the gods. And while that may or may not be true, it certainly has a tremendous amount of proven benefits. Aside from stress relief, meditation also improves blood circulation, significantly increases serotonin production in the brain (serotonin is a chemical that is responsible for elevating mood and improving behavior), regulates heart rate, and boosts the immune system. The longer the better, but even short 5 to 10 minute sessions can make a big difference.

Family Time

After a hard day, there’s nothing better than coming home to loving and supportive family and friends. If you are feeling overworked and overly tired, sometimes the very best medicine is quality time with those you love. In order for a relationship to thrive, it must be nurtured. So if you are feeling a little disconnected, make time to spend with those people. Take a friend to lunch or take the kids somewhere fun such as roller skating or to the movies. Spending time with good company is sure to help you relax and reconnect.

Listen to Music

Did you know that listening to music is the only activity that is known to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain? Listening to music is a great way encourage things like creativity, good judgement, effective decision making, and problem solving skills. Not to mention that listening to music is a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress.

Write it Down

Did you remember to drop off your daughter’s violin to school? Did you email the presentation to your boss? Pick up the dry cleaning? Believe it or not, the simple act of writing things down can make a huge difference in your level of stress and anxiety. Keep a small notebook handy or use an app like OneNote or Evernote to record important reminders, notes, to do’s, and anything else that might clutter up your mind. In fact, writing a list of priorities for the next day before you go to bed, is one of the best (and easiest) ways to fight mild insomnia. You might also find that your productivity increases as well.

Say NO

For those of us people pleasers, this is a hard one. But understand that in order to slow down and reduce your stress, you may need to say “no” to certain requests that are made of you. Overextending your time is generally a one-way ticket to stress and anxiety. Cut back on your commitments whenever possible to allow yourself the time to regroup.

Get Outside

There is nothing more peaceful than a walk or hike in nature. This is when you literally can stop and smell the roses. Even a 10 minute walk outside in the sun can boost creativity and brighten your mood. Take advantage of opportunities to get outside throughout the day. Eat lunch or dinner outside or walk to the post office instead of drive.


Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. There are many positive physical and mental effects associated with moving your body on a daily basis. As we age, it becomes more common to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. However, many of these conditions can be alleviated or even prevented with regular exercise (and a proper diet). And just like meditation exercise boosts our serotonin levels which is why we often feel peaceful and happy after a workout. Take a hike at a nearby park such as Soldier’s Delight in Owings Mills or participate in a baseball or soccer game at a local rec center.

In the everyday hustle and bustle we often forget to enjoy all that life has to offer. Take care of yourself and everything else will fall in place.


15 Amazing Ways to Build Your Email List

15 Amazing Ways to Build Your Email List

A list of engaged email subscribers is worth its weight in gold for marketers and business owners alike! It is one of the most effective and reliable marketing resources. A good list is so valuable that it can’t be bought. Why? Because when subscribers sign up for your list, they’re signing up to hear from you and your company. Subscribers have to be earned.

This marketing tactic allows you to fill your audience with people who are genuinely interested in your brand and what you have to say. They are engaged with your company on social media and on your own website.

With information collected during sign-up (and in subsequent offers), you can precisely segment your list and design your email communication to suit your reader’s preferences.

As you attract qualified leads, you’ll be able to guide them through the decision-making process by aligning content to specific buying cycle stages. In others words, effective email marketing can carry an interested prospect all the way to the end goal of converting them to a paying customer.

What are the best ways to build a list? Below are the top 15 tips for building a massive email list.

Offer quality content.

Nobody gives up their email address for free. If you want to build a valuable relationship and engage your audience, you need to provide content that is worthwhile and interesting. This is one of those time when knowing your target audience is so important. Customize your content to speak to your specific audience’s wants and needs.

Put sign-up forms on every web page.

Your sign-up form should be everywhere your potential subscribers are. Make sure it’s visible and easy to fill out. Add it to your Contact page, your landing pages, and anywhere else your customers may look for contact information. In addition, consider using gateway and exit pop-ups to collect subscriber information. You may find pop-ups annoying but there is a lot of research stating they they are quite effective for growing your email list.

Use social media to collect email addresses.

Integrate your sign-up forms with social media platforms. Driving traffic from multiple sources allows you to build a strong email marketing list much faster.

Design your sign-up form carefully.

Ask only for information you plan to use. A good rule of thumb is that less is more — the shorter the signup form, the higher the conversion rate. In other words, keep it simple, stupid (K.I.S.S.)!

Show your privacy policy.

Inform your readers that you will not share their personal information with third parties. A clear privacy policy helps you build trust and convince visitors that it’s safe to subscribe.

Show samples of your content.

Let your subscribers know what they are signing up for. Use your older content samples to “sell” the email sign-up.

Include a call to action.

Put a call to action (CTA) in your submit button, e.g. Sign me up! This makes the sign-up process more engaging and improves the conversion ratio. Design your CTA using a clear font and bold colors such as blue or orange.

Give away freebies.

This is otherwise known as the lead magnet. As stated in the first tip, no one wants to give away their information for free. So offering a lead magnet that provides your audience with valuable information can be critical in getting their contact info. Brainstorm ideas for a relevant incentive for your audience. Your lead magnet should solve a problem or provide actionable information. E-books, infographics, checklists, and whitepapers are all great examples of a good lead magnet. Less than 10 pages is best as this should be something your audience can consume in a relatively short amount of time. And don’t forget to include your contact information as social media links as well.

Ask subscribers to share.

Sometime if you want something all you have to do is ask. Take the time to prepare valuable, shareable content. Remember that putting the social share buttons is not enough; you still need to ask your subscribers to use them.

Build a content distribution strategy.

Producing great content is only half the battle. Make sure it’s visible to the right audience. Once you define your target audience, find out where they like to congregate online. Then choose communication channels accordingly.

Publish landing pages.

Create a squeeze page where visitors can download premium content in exchange for their email address. A dedicated web page helps users focus on the call to action and increases conversions.

Include testimonials on your landing page.

Social proof helps build trust toward a brand and its products. Use testimonials from satisfied customers to help visitors make a decision. Testimonials can be in multiple forms including written and video.

Blog regularly.

Great content brings more traffic. Develop a realistic content publishing schedule and stick to it. At a minimum, you should be publishing at least once per week.

Guest post on popular blogs.

Publishing your content on other blogs is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers in your industry and introduce yourself to new people. Include a backlink to your blog, and your blog’s search rankings will go up.

Collect email addresses at offline events.

Be ready to collect email addresses at trade shows and conferences. Ask for business cards or instantly add people to your list directly through your email provider.

It’s time to get started.

Now you know a handful of great ways to build one of the most effective marketing assets — your email marketing list.

5 Ways To Become A People Person & Build Connections

5 Ways To Become A People Person & Build Connections

Many would argue that human connections are lost in today’s technology obsessed world. We spend hours a day on social networking sites without actually doing any networking at all and are usually left feeling disconnected from the world around us. Video and audio feeds such as podcasts, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Skype have been dubbed as the future of social media and rightfully so. People crave connections and like listening to others to whom they can relate or to whom they feel can teach them and help them grow personally or professionally. But is this really the best way to “connect”?

It is our connections with other people that enrich our lives in meaningful ways. From having a strong support group during a difficult time in your life to networking to grow your business, being a people person is as important as it ever was. And as important as it is to make great connections, it’s really not that difficult. Try these tips to help reconnect and improve your relationships.

Share Your Smile: This is probably the easiest and most basic of all the suggestions on this list (or any other list for that matter). You can almost never go wrong by showing someone a little kindness and smiling at them. Sometimes it seems as if we, as humans, have almost lost our humanity. And in fact, we often feel like robots; just going through the motions to get through the day. So when you come across someone else, smile at them. You have no idea how that one small act can make a huge difference in someone’s day. The act of smiling will make you more approachable and others will be much more willing to talk and interact with you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to add a “hello” or “good morning”.

Eye Contact: Whenever possible, you should always try to make eye contact with the person to whom you are talking. Body language is so important. A lack of eye contact can lead the other person to believe that you are uninterested or simply don’t care, which probably is not the truth. When having a conversation, do your best to give them your full attention and show them that you care about what they have to say.

Listen: Listen, listen, and listen some more. If your voice is the only voice you can hear, you are probably not listening enough. This is a skill that definitely does not come naturally but can be learned over time. Listen to someone and let them talk. Not only should you let them say what they need to say but also listen carefully. Be interested, smile, and make eye contact when someone is talking.

Compliment/Question: Pay a compliment to someone or ask them a question about themselves or what they do. It is important to not make the conversation only about you. Be interested in them and show that you are paying attention. Give them a compliment or if you don’t want to necessarily pay them a compliment, ask them something about themselves. The object is to feel like you have learned something about that person. They should feel good after they have spoken with you. Consider this, people will always remember how you make them feel so choose wisely.

Be Kind: Being nice might be free but it’s not something that everyone is great at all the time. I mean, let’s be honest, we all have bad days and sometimes we may not feel like being nice. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time or maybe you’re just having a hectic morning. Life can be hard. That’s for sure. But, you never know what others are going through in their lives as well. One small act of kindness can literally change someone’s life. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s that simple.

When you add these 5 principles into your life, the way other people see you will change. You will attract new friendships and your other relationships will be strengthened as well. If you are already doing these things, then congrats to you! You are probably already a people person and didn’t even know it.

I firmly believe that what you put out into the world will come back to you in some way. Focus on positive energy and you’ll get positive results.