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Five Writing Tips for Non-Writers

Five Writing Tips for Non-Writers By: James Woosley, owner of Free Agent Press Not everyone is a natural writer. And even those who appear natural to outsiders are often struggling on the inside. In fact, writing is a bit of a roller coaster. One minute the words are flowing and you wonder if you should take a break to jot down some notes for your Pulitzer acceptance speech. The next, you realize everything you just wrote is crap and you deserve a restraining order forcing you to stay fifty feet away from keyboards at all times. Don’t worry about what kind of writer you are. Don’t worry about the tools that you use. Don’t focus on the wrong things like needing a title (you don’t need a title to write a book…just write!) or how bad your spelling and grammar are (that’s why you hire an editor). If sitting down at a computer and typing on a keyboard isn’t working or doesn’t fit your style, here are some alternative methods to get the words out: Start with the Skelton, not the Skin If you want to organize your thoughts, start by outlining the content. If outlines give you flashbacks of painful term papers in high school, think of it as writing […]

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With This Ring, I Thee Wed and Commit

By: Terry Burgess, America’s Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC If you are a husband or a wife do you remember your vows you stated at your wedding?  You probably remember many of the words in the vows.  However, do you remember the ring ceremony.  It is the ring ceremony in which you commit to not only your vows but to be there for your spouse until death do you part. I have been blessed to have been given two wonderful examples of love until death do us part up to this point of my life.  The first one was my mother. She cared and stood by my father until his timely death in 1974 of a brain aneurism.  My mother stayed committed to my father by never remarrying nor even looking for someone.  The second is my grandmother.  I will never forget the last 24 hours of my grandfather’s life.  I remember walking into the house and seeing my grandmother holding my grandfather’s hand. She knew his end was near but she was going to hold his hand until he passed to the pearly gates.   Here was a woman who had been faithfully married to this man for over 60 years and she loved him until he left […]

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Three Questions to Answer Before You Write a Book

By:  James Woosley, owner of Free Agent Press Everyone who wants to write a book should answer three questions before beginning: 1) Why do you want to write a book? Your why goes beyond the subject of your book. It’s an internal desire that reflects your personal purpose. It’s not about sales or money or awards; it’s about passion. It’s the driving force that calls to put words on paper and make them come to life. This is your heart. 2) What results do you want from your book? On the opposite side of your altruistic “why” sits the external purpose of your book. Is it about making money? Having an impact on the world? Growing your influence or generating business? Go ahead and dream big! This is your hope. 3) What is the market for your book? This is where the rubber meets the road. You may write a great book that fulfills your why, but only sells one copy (to your mother!). That may be all you need to find happiness as an author. But if you have a bigger external purpose—whether it’s impact or profits—you need to understand your audience. Who is the book written for and do they want it? Will they buy it and read […]

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Is your transmission stuck?

By: Theresa Lode,  Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at http://www.theresalode.com A nice van and an inexpensive price. Since I prowl Craigslist frequently, this caught my eye. Then I saw why the nice van was only $750. “Transmission is stuck in 2nd gear.” Well, that explains that. I know by experience that this van is toast. Unless of course, you’re happy with a rig that can crawl you back and forth to the corner store. (Provided it’s not an uphill drive to said corner store.) How about you? Are you feeling stuck? If you’ve ever tried to get anywhere in 2nd gear, you know the progress is disheartening. Not to mention, you could burn out your engine. Some people can’t even get out of “park.” They’ve been burned and disappointed – the risk is too great of that happening again. So, let’s find a new Netflix series to binge watch. Never in the history of time has distraction been so easy. And never before in the history of time, in my opinion, has it been to more important to do work that matters. To make an impact in this world. To bring your art. And yes, it’s hard. I’m not going to tell you to repeat a fluffy affirmation every day. […]

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Take Action NOW for Success

By: Terry “Coach T” Burgess, America’s Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC We all have said something to this effect at some point of our lives; “I am going to change my diet and physical activity once the new year begins.” Each and every one of us has some goal to change some behavior, habit, or situation in our lives; it could be something like your diet or it could be that you are intending to change jobs, make a commitment to network more, or to be more conscientious about keeping in touch with family.  We have good intentions but we procrastinate in starting to change that behavior because of one reason or another thinking it would be a better time to give us circumstances that will be more favorable for success.  However, all we are doing in not just procrastinating we are setting ourselves up for failure. Why not just take the leap and start?  Make a plan, put it in writing and start NOW!  You deserve success in your life but it only comes if you take ACTION NOW! If you need help in making a plan, feel free to contact Upward MC. I can help you make the plan and action steps to bring success to your […]

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The Messy Middle

By: Theresa Lode,  Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at http://www.theresalode.com That place between “this is not working” and “this is what I dream of” is what I think of as “The Messy Middle.” We humans are connoisseurs of comfort.  We relish the illusion of control through predictability and cling to certitude like a frightened toddler does to a parent when he doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap. Control and certitude is not how the world works though.  And ironically, control and certitude are also the very things that make us miserable because at our core, we are explorers.  (Just watch a two-year-old discover the wonder of new things to help you understand how we are born naturally inquisitive.) Change requires getting out of that comfort zone and this is where it gets messy.  So messy in fact, that most chose to stay in the “this is not working” place. It’s an unhappy, dark place.  And this is when health issues – both physical and emotional – begin to arise. I think age related health issues are really God’s way of turning the volume up in order to get our attention. No longer can we eat Doritos with impunity and milk may no longer be your friend, if you know what I […]

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When Navy Seals Live Inside Your Head

By: Theresa Lode,  Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at http://www.theresalode.com I recently started seeing a therapist to help me deal with some recurring issues.  (BTW – I have long held the belief that EVERYONE can use a good therapist at some time in their life.)  While I am a huge fan of life coaching, (I work with a coach regularly,)  sometimes one needs the expertise and training of a licensed counselor.  Actually, it was my coach who suggested working with a therapist for a few sessions.  A good coach recognizes the scope of their practice and refers out when necessary. In my case, sometimes my “git ‘er done” drive crosses a line over into anxiety.  I love how my therapist refers to anxiety: It’s like having Navy Seals in your head.  These bad boys are on heightened alert all.the.time. Being a word picture sort of gal, I love this analogy.  It gets even better.  When I came home and told my husband, Jay, about the Navy Seals thing, he told me that he had just started watching a documentary series on the Seals.  So of course, I had to watch it. Here’s a few of the things I learned that helped me better understand the dynamics of anxiety via a […]

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Do You Need an MLM?

By: Theresa Lode,  Life Coach, public speaker and humorist at http://www.theresalode.com My friend went to a network meeting the other night. “I lasted 15 minutes,” she said, laughing.  The event was in reality, a pitch for the latest Multi Level Marketing “opportunity.” I have an issue with MLMs.  Their sly marketing ploys and misrepresentation of their business model is the reason why most people run when they are being pitched.  (Please don’t send me email about how your company is different!)  Sure, MLMs can work…for a very small amount of people. There’s another MLM that I think all folks over 40 should all subscribe to.  That is a Midlife Makeover.  This MLM doesn’t require a down line and your friends won’t start avoiding you.   It doesn’t require a monthly minimum purchase and you don’t have to eyeball everyone you meet as a prospect. The Midlife Makeover MLM is a much better alternative to a MLC – Midlife Crisis. We joke about the dude who buys a hot sports car, gets a hair transplant and discovers a cutie half his age.  Sounds like a lot of fun if one doesn’t consider the wake of damage this sort of behavior usually unleashes. What’s even more damaging though is what’s going on underneath the […]

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Life is the Way That it is!

By: Terry Burgess, America’s Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC This past weekend I was listening to a podcast by Lewis Howes.  He was interviewing Chris Lee who was talking about reacting to stress and other events in our lives.  Mr. Lee was bringing out the point that all of the events in our lives are neutral events. I was reminded by this podcast our lives are the way they should be and that life is the way that it is. How we deal with those events will determine if those events will empower or disempower us.  It is through our own personal judgements and unmet expectations that causes those events to bring meaning to them to rob our peacefulness and joy by disempowering us.  However, if we can reframe it and through the use of mantras we can create our own peaceful environment. Yes, there are going to be negative things to happen in our life.  However, if we use mantras such as “I am the king/queen of neutral” or “I am the king/queen of patience” we can reduce the effects of these events will have on our response to them.  It is through these negative events that we become aggressive and “fly off the handle” at others.  […]

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You Are Their Second Chance

By: Matt Woodrum – Founder of Wrestling with Fatherhood One Hard Job One of the hardest jobs as a parent comes from a difficult spot: The step parent.  A step-parent is a person who is a stepmother (the wife of one’s parent when distinct from one’s natural or legal mother) or stepfather (the husband of one’s parent when distinct from one’s natural or legal father).  This important for a number of different reasons including: 40% of married couples with children (i.e., families) in the US are stepcouples(at least one partner had a child from a previous relationship before marriage; this includes full and part-time residential stepfamilies and those with children under and/or over the age of 18). Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies (demographic estimate, Deal). In 2001, 38% of all US marriages were remarriages for one or both partners (15% for both; 23% for one) (Wendy Manning, personal communication Jan 2010, National Center for Family and Marriage Research). 42% of adults have a steprelationship–either a stepparent, a step or half sibling, or a stepchild. This translates to 95.5 million adults. 13% of adults are stepparents (29-30 million); 15% of men are stepdads (16.5 million) and 12% of women are stepmoms (14 million). With step-families becoming more […]

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