This morning I went for a walk in the woods behind my house. It’s that time of year when winter’s line is blurring into spring, and spring is beginning to win. The trees remain leafless, and yet, if you look closely enough, you can see the tiniest hints of green scattered here and there. Days are beginning to shift and I feel the restlessness of nature. A slight wind is at first cold and biting before it shifts to a warm, teasing breeze. Walking to the back of the house, I glance up and watch quietly as a small bird ducks under the deck, carrying twigs to make a nest. Spring, undoubtedly, is on the way.
The changing of the seasons. I’m not sure why, but it makes me stop and think more. It’s time for a pause, a look back and a look ahead. Spring is an exciting time, filled with new possibilities. To fully take advantage of its hope, we need to discard what we are carrying to free us to take on new opportunities.
“You cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself.” –Jim Rohn
There are many articles about how to get people to sign up for email updates. Aimed at marketers, they cover topics ranging from pop-ups to providing incentives to a call to action.
Most don’t seem to cover the question why. Why should you sign up for an email of recent posts? If you have a favorite blogger, why would you choose to opt-in and receive email as well?
I thought about that recently and about this Leadership Insights blog. I decided to ask people why they subscribed and why they didn’t. I learned more from those who said they did not subscribe than from those who did.
Here are the top 7 reasons I was told people do NOT subscribe and my responses:
1. I get too much email.
Sure, you get too much email. We all do. But most email that is in this category is spam. If I opt-in, I want to get periodic emails that will encourage, inspire or teach me something. When someone has spent time reading, researching and writing, and I am interested, I am happy to get those emails.
Key Question: Do I get too much positive email?
Whatever your favorite hobby or topic, you can find an exceptional blogger writing about it and providing free updates.
“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” -Elbert Hubbard
This is a flavor of too much email. In today’s world, so much is coming at us from social networks, phone calls, emails, texts, and everything else. One way to deal with it is tune out. I get that, and I do that.
Key Question: Are you more likely to achieve your goals with regular reminders?
Regular updates connect you to ideas in a powerful way. You are fueling your subconscious, revving up opportunities.
“Positive communication fuels your subconscious, readying you for opportunity.” -Skip Prichard
Sure, you do. It’s not even close to the same. You miss too much. Jim Rohn once said, “The book you don’t read won’t help.” That’s exactly right. The blog post you miss won’t help either. And, it is far more efficient and much easier to have an email sent to you than trying to remember what you viewed on your last visit and where you left off.
Even a single idea that makes you more effective, saves you time, increases your earning potential is invaluable.
Key Question: Do you want to miss the one idea that could change your year?
Find a blog and subscribe for a period of time. If you don’t find one thought, fact, or idea that you can use or refer to after two months, then drop the subscription.
4. Some of the topics don’t interest me.
Two things come to mind. First, it takes a second to delete it if you are not interested. Second, I have seen extraordinary benefits to reading widely. Someone once told me to make sure you are exposed to different ideas, different points of view. That will strengthen your arguments, challenge your thinking, and make you more empathetic. You will understand what someone else is thinking. And, if nothing else, you will never be at a loss at a party. Read as much and as widely as you can, and you will never be at a loss for good conversation.
Key Question: Do I want to miss everything because I don’t like something?
“The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.” –James Russell Lowell
I would be surprised if anyone did. Most people don’t realize that I don’t agree with all of the opinions expressed here either. That’s the point. When I was growing up, I learned a powerful lesson. If I agreed with a teacher, I did not learn because the conversation ended. But, if I disagreed and argued, I learned more than I ever thought possible. Adults would become animated, passionately defending a position. And, for me, that’s where I learned best. Here’s the other benefit. Often, it made me change my opinion. What if you are stuck in a mindset and changing that opinion is the key to your success?
Key Question: If I only listen to people who agree with me, am I any better off?
“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” –Leonardo daVinci
Now this one, I definitely understand! I am constantly worried about spam and receiving unwanted offers. Know that Leadership Insightsdoes not share your email with anyone. Another concern I have heard is that you may want to opt out later. The email from this blog includes an easy link at the bottom of each post so that you can unsubscribe, at any time, for any reason. It’s easy.
Key Question: Are you allowing a possible fear rob you of a definite benefit?
“Always do what you are afraid to do.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve heard this in various forms, and it stops me because I think, “No one really can feel that way!” Apathy is insidious. When I hear this, I am passionate in my response. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to improve, to do something great, and to serve a greater purpose. Of course, not many people tell me directly, “I cannot change.” Yet, that’s the feeling they are telling me.
Key Question: Are you more or less likely to get what you want with your current habits?
If you are not currently subscribing to blog email updates, I am asking you to change. Try it for 60 days. Not only do you have nothing to lose, but you will also be able to download my free ebook on Servant Leadership: Leading With Others in Mind. Making this small change in your weekly routine may give you just a bit more of an edge. And winning often happens right at the edge, where you are distinguished from the competition.
Words have remarkable power. Choosing to fill your life with positive, inspirational words is like fueling the engine of your mind. I believe that our circumstances can change based on what words we read, hear, and speak. That’s why in every blog post I try to pull out quotes that will spur new thoughts and actions.
Share a few of your favorites or stop by anytime to add one to your social media streams. You never know when a few words will be just the fuel someone needs.
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” –Jim Rohn
The other day I posted the best book covers. The artists and designers who create book jackets deserve recognition for the outstanding job they do. Whether we realize it or not, the cover is often responsible for drawing us in.
Kicking off this year, I am thinking about the goals I have for the year. The book covers offer a metaphor for our goal-setting process.
Glancing at a book cover, we judge the content and the author. When strangers look at us, like it or not, they often judge us in the same way. They take a look, and judge on our appearance. Unfortunately, this is common before anyone even understands our story.
MOST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOCUS ON THE COVER
Is your goal this year to lose weight? Stay on that diet? Exercise more? Eat healthier? Like a book cover, we often focus on how the world sees us by focusing on our physical appearance. We don’t stop there. We also think about our reputation. Reputation defender services now help combat unwanted or unfair reviews online.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao Tzu
I can hear some of you saying, “Wait. Skip, it’s the inside that matters!” Some of you may be thinking about the verse in Samuel: “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
I love what Jim Rohn said about that thought. He said, “Work on the outside for people. Work on the inside for God.”
NEW YEAR GOALS
If your life was a book, you would want the cover to be an award winner, and you would want the narrative to be superbly written. Design your goals the same way.
Keep your external goals. Losing weight may be just what you need. Regular exercise may just save your life. Eating more vegetables is always a good idea. But make sure to add internal goals to your list.
1. Divide your goals into two lists: the cover and the story.
A COVER goal is anything that is visible. This list could include such things as quitting smoking, getting a better job or obtaining your ideal weight. Anything that is seen by other people and the outside world goes in this column.
A STORY goal is what’s on the inside and goes into the second column. Do you want to be a better friend? How about being less critical and more positive? What are your spiritual goals?