Archives for April 2015

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do your insides match what's on the outside?

Do you feel more empowered than your outward image projects? Or are you plagued with the feeling that no matter how great your accomplishments you have what is known as impostor syndrome?

8_-_200_Ironically, impostor syndrome is frequently experienced by high achievers. Men and women who, for all outward appearances, should have all the self confidence in the world. Yet, no matter how much they accomplish they feel like a fraud.

Rather than taking credit for hard work resulting in a successful outcome, those with impostor syndrome will dismiss the success as a lucky break or good timing.

Regardless of their level of accomplishment, those with impostor syndrome dread being found out as incompetent and liars. They live in a high level of fear.

Often, their fear is based on one's own perception of who they believe they are (or are not) rather than the truth of who they are. Even when others tell them how accomplished they are, they are convinced otherwise.

In the past, impostor syndrome was primarily experienced by men. Today, high achieving women suffer equally as much as men.

In the years I've been consulting with entrepreneurs, I've had several clients who have dealt with impostor syndrome. In virtually every case, I saw my clients in a much different light than they saw themselves. With some focused effort we were able to shift their perception of themselves and get their insides matching much closer to their outsides.

Once they got to this point, they enjoyed their careers much more. Equally important, they took less stress and anxiety into their personal life.

So what can be done to minimize the “stop you in your tracks” feelings that the impostor syndrome can trigger?

1. First, admit that you are human. Many who are afflicted with impostor syndrome are perfectionists. Regardless of where the need to do things perfectly started, it obviously has gotten out of control and is counterproductive.

2. Create a success journal. Regardless of how big or small your accomplishments, write them down. Add as much detail as necessary for you to see that you have accomplished some amazing things. An accomplishment might be getting a long overdue phone call done. It might be you delivered an amazing interview.

3. Find a great support group of friends and colleagues who will raise you up when you put yourself down. It's not that they'll baby you. Actually, just the opposite. They will pull your covers when you need it and comfort you when appropriate.

4. Ask yourself what you're really afraid of. Those with “out of control” impostor syndrome live with a great deal of anxiety and fear.  Take a look at what you're really afraid of. Is it justified or could it be that you're so used to feeling like an impostor, it's simply become a behavior you're used to?

5. Have the willingness to be willing to change a behavior that is not serving you.

6. Keep a gratitude journal. It's amazing how powerful an attitude of gratitude can be to diminish the impostor syndrome monster.

You may find your stress, anxiety and perfectionism diminish by taking steps to see yourself as you really are; an accomplished human being.

What's been your experience with either yourself or others dealing with impostor syndrome? Comments welcomed and encouraged.

 

 

 

Are you really trusting?

Lots of people claim to trust the process of life, but when something blocks, challenges or stops them in the tracks they move into a high level of resistance. They seem to get on a hamster wheel where there is no escape other than to jump off.

This resistance shows up in so many ways with overwhelm becoming the obvious outcome. When we are in overwhelm, stress takes over. When stress takes over we are not able to make the best choices.

Trust is trust. If we say we are trusting all that is put in front of us, this means total trust. Granted, as humans we can get off the beam of the way we want to let things flow. Yet, the more we allow ourselves to move into the space of trust, faith and letting go to that which is meant to be, the less stress we will experience.

Something that helps to stay in the space of complete trust is taking quiet time to get centered, raising our awareness and conscious thinking by virtue of who we listen to, what we read, what we watch and the thoughts we entertain.

At times, it seems easier than other times. Sometimes it flows with no barriers. Other times, not so much.

A simple solution is to have the willingness to be willing to respond for even a short period of time in a way that regardless of what is happening we give thanks.

elephant bookA wonderful book on how to deal with overwhelm is, Eat the Elephant; Overcoming Overwhelm by Karolyn Blume.

Right now, when you get the book you also get some really nice gifts like a call with the author. Go to: http://KarolynBlume.com/EatTheElephant  to learn more about the book and get your own copy.

 

The first impression of your business can make or break you

Regardless of the type of business you operate, repeat business is likely essential to your success. Yet, many entrepreneurs focus more on new business rather than creating a stellar experience that makes it easy for someone to want to continue to do business with you.

Case in point, restaurants. Have you ever been to a restaurant for the first time and rather than made to feel like the staff and management is happy you’re there, you feel like you’re in the way?

Recently, I had just such an experience.

I live in a very small rural community. It’s so small there’s not even a signal light in town.

There are very few choices in the immediate area to have a sit down meal. One is the Sunrise Café. Another is a pizza parlor.

I love going to the Sunrise. When I walk in I ALWAYS feel welcome. Regardless of who I’m with we are made to feel special. A warm hello, sometimes a hug and always a, “Great to see you. Sit wherever you want.”sunrise

In the nearly nine years I’ve lived in Pleasant Hill I can’t count the number of times I’ve been to the Sunrise, nor can I count the number of people I’ve taken there.

I’m also an above average tipper… that is, when I’ve enjoyed the experience and feel like the server has treated me as a valued patron. I don’t say this to impress, but to impress upon you how important a patrons experience is in order for them to WANT to do business with you.

texacoI have a similar experience when I frequent my favorite of two gas stations in town; Texaco. When I pull in for gas there’s always a warm welcome from Linda and everyone one else on staff. I’m never made to feel rushed or that my business isn’t appreciated. vet

It’s the same at Pleasant Hill Animal Hospital. Not only do I feel like our business is appreciated, our critters always get treats and special loving from the entire staff. Shelby, Heather and all the staff and vets welcome us with open arms.

Let's not forget the local dog groomer, Molly and her crew at Embarkadero Compassionate Grooming. We've been taking our dogs there for years and plan to do so for years to come.dog groomer

Then there’s the local grocery story, Dari Market. I love stopping in on a regular basis. Again, I ALWAYS get a warm welcome and am made to feel like my business is appreciated. Delaney had her first AfterD1grooming in years by Molly.

The local feed store is another establishment I enjoy spending my time and money at. Randy and his entire staff are “down home” friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.

Even at the local post office, I feel like a valued customer. Whether it be for a book of stamps, mailing a package or picking out the perfect greeting card, no one is ever to busy to welcome me.

If I didn’t feel appreciated in any one of these establishments, I could easily take my business elsewhere. Not only me, but the many other customers who frequent these places of business.

Not long ago a new Italian restaurant opened up in town. As it happened, myself, my spouse and my mother-in-law were the first patrons in the establishment.

Excited to experience what was billed as a fine dining restaurant, we walked into a less than warm welcome. The staff was so busy getting ready for “customers” they failed to make our visit memorable – in a good way.

Not only did it take several minutes to be seated, when we were the waitress disappeared into the back area for what seemed like an eternity.

The three of us were in a great mood and commented several times how excited we were to be the first customers. Rather than join in on our excitement, we were made to feel like we were in the way.

We placed our order. One item was an appetizer.

We waited and waited and waited for our appetizer to arrive. I was surprised when the appetizer was delivered with the meal. It would have been nice to enjoy the appetizer before the main course.

During the time we ate our meal, we were not asked how things were, nor were our waters refreshed.

Almost finished with our meal, the owner stopped by our table. Rather than spend time with us, it was a quick hello and then back in the kitchen.

Not that she should have spent a great deal of time with her first ever customers, but doing something special would have made us feel exceptional and we likely would have wanted to return.

What could that something special have been? Taking a picture to commemorate the experience would have gone a long way in creating the desire to come back. A complimentary dessert to celebrate their first group of patrons. An envelope with a coupon for complimentary drink with our next meal. A bit of enthusiasm to match our enthusiasm.

When I asked if they were going to do grand opening my question was met with a big sigh, “We haven’t had time to think about that,” was the response the owner gave.

Rather than creating an environment that encouraged us to return, I got a sense the owner and staff were feeling overwhelmed.

Had some thought been put into creating a positive, memorable experience, I know I would have been back many times since then.

Not only have I not returned, I’ve not recommended the restaurant to anyone. Imagine how much business has been lost as a result. Untold amounts not only from me, but from the people I have not recommended the restaurant to.

Here’s the deal; a customer’s first experience with a business lays the foundation for whether or not they will return and how frequently they will return.

It’s amazing how often a business owner will try to get foot traffic for the first time, but fails to realize it actually costs less to get that person to return than continually trying to get more people through their doors. Word of mouth advertising is far more effective (and less expensive) than virtually anything else.

Will I ever return to the restaurant? I may give them a second chance, but it’s not top of my priority list.

If you own a business that relies on foot traffic, what’s the experience you’re creating for those who choose to walk through your doors? Is it one that encourages them to return or one in which they will likely never return?

The choice is often made based on a warm welcome and an expression of appreciation that they chose your business over every other choice they have.

What makes you want to return to an establishment? What determines if you'll not return? Comments welcomed.

 

 

 

 

Visualization is a complete waste if…

I’m always amused, and somewhat dismayed, when someone says, “You should simply let success flow to you.”

Although I fully understand Law of Attraction, visualizing what you want and letting things “flow” this way may not be enough. To let things “flow” often leads to frustration, less than desired results and financial ruin.

People, who believe they don’t have to work for what they want, they can do things only when they “feel” like it or when it’s convenient, are likely setting themselves up for a rude awakening.

Sometimes you have to put in more time and effort than you want, but the payoff can be huge.

Over the 20-plus years I’ve been in business, I have countless conversations with people who are stuck financially.

“It’s the economy. People in my area just don’t buy what I have for sale. I need to learn this one more ‘thing' and then I will make money. I need to visualize more. I need to create another vision board.” And on and on come the excuses.

Yet, they don’t change the actions they are taking. They continue to do things the same way and wonder why they continue to get the same mediocre results.

You can spend your time making excuses or you can roll your sleeves up and find a solution. In the past two decades, I’ve had plenty of occasions when I hit the wall in business. Things didn’t turn out how I had hoped. I was humming along, feeling on top of the world and then BAM!… something happened that turned my life upside down.

When unexpected events happen, we have one of two choices. Use it as an excuse as to why things are not working or step back, evaluate the situation, determine what needs to be done and take action.

In the late nineties, I suspended operations in my business to join a career development company as Branch Manager. Within a short period of time, I was promoted to Vice President of Operations.

I had the corner office, an executive assistant, a great income, a nice sized team I managed, the prestige and power and what appeared to be an ideal situation. One day it all came crashing down.

It turned out the owner was embezzling money, had a bunch of shady dealings going on, and the company was built like a house of cards, From one day to the next I “had it all” to having no job. Not only had my income immediately dried up, I became painfully aware the $20,000 in bonuses I was owed were never going to materialize.

I had gone from being the “super star” to a fallen star.

I was devastated. How could this have happened? How could I have been so blind? What was I going to do?

I felt like I had been hit over the head with a 2 x 4. I wanted to crawl into a hole and make it all go away.

Once I got over the initial shock (which took more time than I care to admit), I knew I had to do something… fast. I had a mortgage and bills to pay and mouths to feed.

Sure, I could have thrown up my hands, held on to my anger and resentment, blaming the idiot owner for why things were falling apart, but this was not an option. I HAD to figure out a solution.

Was I frightened? You bet. We had just taken a trip to Europe. I had assumed I would get my bonus upon my return. It didn’t take me long to accept there was no bonus to be had.

A part of me wanted to hide away, blame everyone and everything for why things were the way they were, but I knew this wouldn’t do me a bit of good.

I had to go back to basics. I had to be willing to put in the time to turn things around. I had to swallow my pride and admit things had gone to poop and if I was to not only survive, but thrive, I had to take focused action. I couldn’t waste time doing things that wouldn’t get me the outcome I desired.

I sat down, pen and paper in hand, mapped out a blueprint to quickly get money coming in. I buckled down and got to work.

I determined the time-wasters and what necessary actions I had to take. I committed to working as many hours as it required to turn things around.

Was I happy about needing to do this? Not necessarily, but I also knew my attitude towards the decision would determine the outcome. I made a conscious choice to do all I could to have a great attitude moving forward.

Over the next few weeks I implemented a plan that got me in front of my ideal clients. I rented a meeting space and picked up the phone and called as many people as I could to invite them to a presentation on customer care. I put together a stellar presentation, had training materials printed, hosted a small, low-cost event, and focused all my attention on creating a great experience for anyone who showed up.

The result? I bounced back, showcased my expertise and signed a client. From there I followed up with everyone who had been at the presentation. The result? More business.

Was it easy? Not at all. I had just gone through an incredibly devastating experience, but I chose not to let that stop me.

In the middle of getting back on my feet, I discovered I was responsible for taxes I thought had been paid while I was working for the career development company. They had actually not been paid. Even though my paycheck stubs indicated the taxes had been paid, that was yet another can of worms discovered after the collapse of the company.

The IRS had very little empathy when they told me I was personally responsible for thousands of dollars in taxes. Ouch! Another hit.

By this time though, I had enough evidence that I COULD deal with whatever else would be revealed. Rather than letting this get me down, my thought was, “What do I need to get through this?” and immediately went to work on the solution.

The greatest lesson I learned through all of this was that there will be times when things appear to be falling apart left, right and center. At times, things ARE falling apart, but that doesn’t mean I have to. What it simply means is it’s time to get back to basics, put a plan together, let go of the time-wasters and unnecessary activities, roll up my sleeves and get to work. Period.

Yesterday I had a great conversation with a colleague regarding people who want a level of success that requires hard work. She was telling me there are times she recommends that clients, who are struggling financially, get a part-time job to take care of the essentials, while they spend time building their business.

On other occasions, she will tell them it requires working long hours and giving up the “play” time. This is when you find out how committed someone is to turning things around.

Sadly, many people have been led to believe sacrifices don't need to be made on the road to success.

Success takes….

  • Work
  • Sacrifice
  • Commitment
  • Time
  • Investment
  • Flexibility

And it takes a willingness not to be so quick to say something won’t work, but rather, to look at things from a different perspective. There’s ALWAYS a solution.

If things are not going the way you planned, wanted or had hoped for, what are you doing about it? Are you blaming the economy, clients who won’t invest, or any number of excuses? Or are you putting your nose to the grindstone and doing everything in your power to turn things around?

One of my favorite prayers is the Serenity Prayer. I use it in all areas of my life.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
The wisdom to know the difference

The changes I can make regardless of the situation are my attitude, my actions and my focus. With the right attitude, the right actions and the right focus, anything is possible.

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How to Get Everything Done Without Overwork

Do you find yourself filling up your schedule with work, even when you have a chance to enjoy some free time?

If you’re frequently swamped with to-dos, and whenever you have some space in your calendar you feel the need to fill it to avoid feeling like you’re slacking off, the problem probably ISN’T your schedule. It’s how you manage your time, in your calendar and in your mind.

How manage your time in your calendar

If you just go with the flow, work on each task for as long as it takes, and keep working until you’re through your to-do list, you’ll probably reach the end of most days with chores left undone and questions about where the time went.

Instead, here’s a simple, effective method you can use to get all your work done during your working hours, so it doesn’t spill over into your free time:

At the end of each work day, look at tomorrow’s to-do list. Determine:

Which tasks are the most important, and will take the most energy and brainpower.

  1. How long each task will take?
  2. How long you can concentrate without getting distracted?
  3. Assign each task a chunk of time. Put the most difficult ones in the hours when you tend to have the most energy, and the easiest ones during the times when you’ll be tired or distracted.
  4. Discipline yourself to make the best use of your time. Don’t give any one task a stretch of time that exceeds your attention span, and if a task takes longer than expected, don’t let it eat into other tasks’ time unless it HAS to be done today. Reschedule the remainder the chore, and move on to the next one.
  5. Schedule a brief break between tasks. Because you now have a deadline on each action step, you’ll be concentrating harder and working faster, so give yourself 5-15 minutes between each job to clear your head, grab a snack, go to the bathroom, or whatever else you need to do.

How manage your time in your mind

When you have some time for yourself, how do you feel?

Happy and at peace? Or guilty, like you’re failing to pull your own weight and you don’t deserve to succeed?

As a child, you may have heard things like,

“If you have time to play, you have time to get this job done.”

Or, “Look at all the energy you have! Why don’t you use it to do this chore?”

Your parents meant to instill a good work ethic in you, but what parents often don’t realize is that by telling these things to their children over and over again, they plant a belief in their child’s mind that taking time off is selfish or wrong.

This can lead you to fill your free time with extra work, or to work slowly at the end of the day so your last few chores take forever, and you’re spared the feelings of unworthiness and guilt that plague your free time.

So the next time you have some free time, notice what you start to feel. If you feel guilty, be aware that it isn’t because you’re neglectful or irresponsible. It’s because, as a child, you adopted beliefs that don’t serve you.

Taking time to rejuvenate is good, not just for you, but for everyone around you. It sets a healthy example for your children, makes you more pleasant to be around, and enables you to work more efficiently… which means you get even more free time as a reward.

About the author:

stephanieStephanie O’Brien is a copywriter, marketing coach, novelist and self-growth addict. She uses her twelve years of fiction-writing experience to make her writing fun and inspirational as well as effective, and her lifelong study of success and self-growth to help you cultivate the habits and mindsets you need to succeed. To learn more about Stephanie, visit her website at www.captivatingcopywriter.com.

Cause marketing has changed consumers’ buying habits

The first time I was involved in cause marketing was nearly 50 years ago. I belonged to a teen group whose primary purpose was to do good works in our community.

Actually, from a very early age I loved giving back. I still do.

Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of cause marketing; everything from raising funds for animal rescue, elderly causes, AIDS fundraisers, and much more.

Many nonprofits rely heavily on cause marketing for their funding.

According to one definition on Wikipedia, Cause marketing or cause-related marketing refers to a type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy), as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax-deductible, while cause marketing is a marketing relationship not necessarily based on a donation.”

Cause-related marketing is big business for non-profits and their business partners. Trends indicate that cause marketing is on the rise.

With social media being what it is today, consumers have a much greater choice in where their dollars go. Whether it be a socially conscious restaurant that donates to educational programs, a garden nursery that uses only organic fertilizer in which a portion of sales are put back into programs to support community based farm programs, or solo entrepreneurs who funnel a portion of their proceeds into animal rescue or child trafficking reform programs, cause marketing happens in every industry imaginable.

The reality is, the way we do business has changed. Granted, not everyone has gotten on the cause marketing bandwagon, but as people become aware of just how powerful their buying and donation decisions are, all indications are massive change is on the way.

“In this new era of social responsibility, what you don't do can cost you. “Cause marketing” is now the norm, and customers who visit your website and see your advertising want to know that you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.” writes Kim T. Gordon, owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson.

The bottom line is this; contributing and serving charitable causes is not only a great way to give back, it can actually become a deciding factor when customers and clients choose where to spend their dollars.

dustinOne recent project I started is Hoofing it For Horses and Dogs. The idea for this started with one simple conversation after a breakout session I facilitated at a recent conference. Most cause marketing campaigns start with a simple conversation.

Go ahead, check out what we are doing to raise awareness and funds for dog and horse rescue.

CLICK HERE

And while you're at it, leave a comment below on what you're doing with cause marketing. And of course, you’re welcome to share this post by clicking one of the social media links below.

http://kathleengage.com/fundraiser/

Back to basics… why business goals matter

When I began my speaking career over 20 years ago, one of the first topics I spoke on was goal setting. I was extremely passionate about the subject matter.

Learning how to effectively set goals took me from a place of barely having a roof over my head, no solid direction and a life filled with frustration to one of gratitude, abundance and purpose.

In the past I merely showed up and “hoped” for things to work out. Life dramatically changed when I decided not to simply drift from day to day, but rather have a clear vision of what I wanted my life to represent.

This didn’t happen by chance. I believe it happened by Divine Intervention. On a particularly frustrating day in 1975, I happened upon a garage sale. I was drawn to a pile of books with a big sign reading, “Great prices” strategically placed in front of the books.

magicMy eyes fell upon one that I just “knew” I had to have. The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol seemed to be waiting for me. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out what little change I had.

“This is a powerful book,” the woman smiled as I almost reluctantly handed her a few pennies, a nickel and a dime. “It will transform your life.”

Part of me was so afraid to give up what I felt was all the money I had. Another part of me knew my life WAS about to change.

The Magic of Believing was the first of many books I would consume over the next 40 years on the topic of visualization, intention and manifestation.

Fast forward to 2015. What was once a foreign concept to me is now part of my every day activity. Not only do I visualize what I want and set the intention of what I desire, I also write down my goals.

It’s amazing how powerful the simple act of writing down what we desire can do. Along with writing our goals down, it’s essential to take daily action. Left to our own devices, we may say we desire something and yet, we are likely to get caught up and sidetracked.

A way to avoid this is have some type of accountability measures in place. It could be an accountability partner, a mentor, coach or mastermind group. When we have others we are accountable to it’s not as easy to hide out and let our dreams fall by the wayside.

Case in point; a few months ago I set the intention to participate in a marathon. One of the first things I did was pay the entry fee to take part in the Eugene Marathon. The process of sending in the entry fee money got me one step closer to what I wanted. I now had “skin in the game.”

Making this kind of commitment assured I would likely take the next step; educating myself as much as possible.

I bought several books about marathons, specifically power-walking. Again, this action got me closer to my end result. The next step was to read the books.

Although the content was exactly what I needed, I knew if I was to have the greatest chance of a positive outcome I would be wise to hire a coach.

I hired a woman who is close to my age, has participated in dozens of marathons and even participated in a triathlon. She also owns a fitness facility. Perfect!

I wanted someone who knew exactly what I would be going through as a “mature” woman to get from being a novice to someone who had a great chance of crossing the finish line on the big day. Being 60 years old to begin training for my first ever full marathon required a special kind of coach.

It is extremely important for me not to compare myself as a novice to those who have been involved in marathons for years. To make this kind of comparison would surely set me up for frustration and the possibility of thinking something must be wrong with me to not be able to perform like someone with years, even decades of experience. This kind of comparison is what makes people quit before they’ve given themselves a fair chance for success.

14_week_trainingMy coach immediately gave me a training schedule. What started as minimal distance has turned into very intense training days. Starting at 2 – 3 miles per day has built into 5 – 6 miles on low days and as much as 18 – 20 miles on the longer days.

Each day I put a check mark next to what I’ve accomplished. This allows me to track my progress.

It didn’t take long to learn when my peak time for training is; early morning.

I know if I don’t set the training as a priority in the early morning I will do it later, but I also know my energy is not its best in the late afternoon. Thus, I struggle to get through what could have otherwise been much easier. By knowing what works best and what sets me up for failure, it’s up to me to make the right choice for the best outcome.

It’s simply a matter of finding what works, putting a plan in place, having a strategy and increasing the complexity of what I am doing in order to have the greatest outcome possible.

I would be foolish to do otherwise. Yet, I see this happen in business all the time. Rather than developing a plan that allows for steady growth, with increasingly complex yet manageable strategies, many entrepreneurs start with a bang, have a sporadic approach to what they are doing and then wonder why things are not working out. It is not uncommon for someone new to any area of business to look at a seasoned expert and wonder why they aren’t getting the kind of result the more experienced person is getting.

Take speaking. When I started out as a speaker I was nowhere near as good as I am today. Nor did I have the kind of opportunity I have today.

After over 20 years of platform experience I have thousands of hours of practice, I’ve experienced some of the most unthinkable things that are bound to happen to any speaker, I have a level of confidence that comes only with time invested, and rather than worry about what the audience thinks, I know I am a vessel for a message to be delivered.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had someone say, “You’re so lucky Kathleen. You were obviously born with the gift of speaking.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. The “gift” is something I’ve invested time, money and effort into developing.

With the marathon, when I cross the finish line on May 10th it won’t be luck that did it. It will be the hundreds of hours of training, the dozens of books I read, the coach I invested in, the supplements I have been taking, the shoes, clothing and equipment I use.

It has been said, “Luck is when opportunity and preparedness meet.” Are you prepared for your lucky breaks?

Is being paid as a speaker one of your goals? Have you been wanting to shine on the platform and make great money in the process? Not sure where to start?

Join in on Speak, Sell, Profit – Make Six Figures A Year through Speaking. www.speaksellprofit.com

With over two decades of experience getting paid to speak, hosting my own events, and making great money from speaking, I can show you how to do the same. www.speaksellprofit.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hoofing it for horses and dogs

Most people have no clue how many horses are neglected, abandoned and abused yearly in the United States.

horse1According to an article on Time.com, “Rising grain and gas prices, as well as the closure of American slaughterhouses, have contributed to a virtual stampede of horses being abandoned — some starving — and turned loose into the deserts and plains of the West to die cruel and lonesome deaths. Horse rescue projects, which are mostly small, volunteer operations with limited land and resources, are feeling the consequences of this convergence of events. In the meantime, many now unaffordable horses are being sold to abattoirs south of the border where inhumane methods of slaughter are practiced.”

The cruelty to horses is on the increase each year rather than the other way around. Yet, there are those who are doing all they can to minimize the problem.

Add to this the abuse, cruelty and abandonment of certain breeds of dogs and the problem is literally out of control. Pit Bulls are one of the most misunderstood breeds. Many people assume they are incredibly vicious and only used for fighting. This is so far removed from the truth, yet, the lack of understanding continues to grow. Sadly, many of this breed are tortured, euthanized unnecessarily and feared.

There are those of us doing what we can to raise awareness and money to help. I am amazed at the number of entrepreneurs involved in some type of animal rescue. Whether it be through the donations we make, the animals we take into our homes or being spokespersons for raising awareness about what is going on, we find we do have a voice that can help.

Delaney BeforeOver the last couple of decades, Karen and I have adopted horses, goats, cats, dogs and even a ferret. We have taken in many stray animals who otherwise would have died a terrible death. With us, they found their forever home.all-three

In addition, Karen and I have donated thousands of dollars to various nonprofits specific to animal rescue. I don't say this for any other reason than to ask you to join in on a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

Over the last few months I’ve been training for the Eugene Marathon on Sunday, May 10, 2015. My initial plan was to participate as a way to celebrate my 61st birthday (which takes place a few days after the marathon).

It was shortly after my presentation at NAMS13 in March, I was given the idea to use my participation in the 26.2 mile event o raise funds for two very worthy animal rescue organizations. You can read about where the idea came from at http://kathleengage.com/fundraiser/

It didn’t take more than a few seconds for me to jump on the idea. Although there are any number of organizations to choose from, I selected two that I have donated to and believe in; Emerald Valley Equine Assistance and Villalobos Rescue Center.

EVEAHR is dedicated to horse rescue while Villalobos Rescue Center has rescued thousands of Pitbulls and other breeds of dogs over the years. Both are 501c3 organizations so any donation you make is deductible.

My goal is to raise awareness and at least $1,000 for each organization through contributions to support my efforts in the marathon. Would you be willing to join in the efforts and sponsor my 26.2 miles? Any amount is appreciated.

Delaney of Delaney's Story – From Dumpster to Diva is the spokesperson for this. http://kathleengage.com/fundraiser/

My goal is to not only raise funds, but to raise awareness for both of these amazing organizations.

I truly wish there wasn’t a need for these organizations to exist, but that is wishful thinking. Not only is there a need, but the need continues to grow every day.

For this reason, I have decided to use my marathon efforts as well as my marketing knowledge to raise funds and awareness for the horses and dogs that have not voice.

All I ask is that you go to http://kathleengage.com/fundraiser/, read Delaney’s story and if you feel the calling, donate any amount to support these animal rescue organizations.

When you choose which one to support, be sure to send me a picture of your rescue critters. I will be posting these on Facebook on Delaney’s page. Information on where to send your donation and pictures are at http://kathleengage.com/fundraiser/

 

 

 

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