Stomp Fear and Try Something New

In the past month, I found myself stretching my brain power in ways I’ve never imagined. I’m trying something new.

Let me rewind just a bit, I’ve always had an intense hate for math. In college, the counselor said I needed to take math as a pre-requisite and I loathed. I used every chance to move away from it. There was a deep feeling of powerlessness when math and I were in the same room. This feeling started since elementary school, I was never any good at it. At least, this was my preconceived notion.

Fast forward back to the past month, I’ve been praying for a new direction in life. I asked God to move me in His direction, to do His will. How can I do that with my life? I thought about going back to school, maybe a new course or certification will bring me new strengths or skills I need for my new journey.

Will I Stretch My Brain Power with a Course?

In a Facebook group, called Tech Ladies®, they mentioned Udacity. Udacity is a website offering various types of tech courses: machine learning, AI, self-driving car engineering, digital marketing, programming, etc. So many amazing different technology-based courses! Many of the courses are part of nanodegree programs, which means in Udacity’s words:

“A nanodegree program is an innovative curriculum path that is outcome-based and career-oriented. Every program has a clear end-goal, and the ideal path to get you there. Courses are built with industry leaders like Google, AT&T, and Facebook, and are taught by leading subject matter experts. Students benefit from personalized mentoring and project-review throughout, and have regular access to instructors and course managers through moderated forums.”

Graduates earn an industry-recognized credential and benefit from extensive career support. The ultimate goal of a Nanodegree program is to teach the skills you need, for the career you want, so you can build the life you deserve. Sounds awesome, right?

I joined the notifications for scholarships to see what they had to offer as some members of Tech Ladies said they received one and loved it. I was thinking I’d enroll if anything digital marketing came up, you know, something easy that I’m familiar with.

After a while, I received notification that they were offering a Data Science scholarship. I checked it out and found that the prerequisites involved math. NOPE. Not doing it.

Prerequisites for Business Analyst Udacity course

Although the Business Analyst nanodegree program seems interesting with ways to visualize data and learn methods to extract data. It intrigues me but… there’s math. Oh yeah, I’m definitely not applying. What for?! It lingered on my mind a bit and so I prayed on it. The next day I started to apply but then there were math related questions so I stopped. Then I received Udacity’s automated email letting me know I didn’t finish my application.

Yeah…yeah…yeah, I’m not doing it!

via GIPHY

 

Will I Let Fear Take Over or Stomp it Down?

Then I remembered all those times my kids told me that they weren’t any good at math and I would tell them to not lose confidence to keep trying.

I told myself I need to keep trying. I want to learn something new and I love looking at surveys and data. Anyway, what are the chances of me getting a scholarship? Right?! If God sees this being part of my life then I’ll get accepted. If I don’t get accepted then it’s not a big deal, it’s not God’s will for me.

I pushed through the application and thought about the notification date to recipients…occasionally. I didn’t want to overthink it. I wasn’t going to let fear take over me.

An Email Starts a New Journey with Udacity

Receiving an email from Udacity with the subject line below was shocking, to say the least.

Lillian, congratulations! You have been accepted into the Bertelsmann Data Science Scholarship program

All I could say was, “Lord, are you sure I can handle this?” Well, He knows what’s best! The email detailed that it was a challenge course. Yep! Definitely going to be a challenge I think.

I was thrilled, excited, shocked, and scared! A very emotional state of being for 7 whole days awaiting the details of how and where to start. They also provided this badge to share on social media, which I honestly did not share until recently because again fear set in – what if I don’t pass the course? I stomped that fear down and thankfully found so many other people in the course to be in my same situation. Moms at home with no data science background whatsoever, introverts, and people completely unsure if we’re in the right classroom. LOL

The course starts off with the rules and guidelines, which was very easy to follow. They open up a Slack messaging space for all participants to chat, create channels, and have AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions with course moderators. This area is completely overwhelming!

Did I mention that there were 15,000 scholarship recipients? I’m very honored to be a part of this group. But imagine 15,000 people on Slack chatting and since it’s all new to them they are all asking the same questions. The moderators sure do have their work cut out for them. So. Many. People. With. Lots. Of. Questions. YIKES! The moderators are cool, calm, and collected with extreme patience and have ensured that the Slack area will soon slow down once everyone is in their studies.

It’s been almost a month and it has slowed down. Thank goodness!

There is a forum within the Udacity course area to chat and ask questions as needed. It’s a much quieter space in the forum, where I found other introverts. Yay!

There is also a Facebook group where I found many of the stay-at-home moms and other people who are not currently in the data science field. This was encouraging also as there are many people who are supportive.

Are You Ready to Stomp Fear and Try Something New?

I know this was a huge step for me to take but I’m not letting fear take over. So I give you this challenge – Try something new! Something that you are afraid of, take the plunge and do it. It could be for your personal or business life.

Let me know in the comments if you’re trying something new.

If you do plan to challenge yourself, say a prayer to let God lead and guide you.

Meet the Woman that Empowers Small Businesses to Create Visuals [Interview with Louise Myers]

Every entrepreneur and small business owner tend to find themselves stuck with visual marketing their business at one point or another. They then flock to Google and search for social media graphics or visual marketing tips. Guess who’ll they’ll find?! My good friend, Louise Myers! She has the best design and social media tips that are consistently updated and helps entrepreneurs the best way to DIY their visual marketing.

I met Louise through a blogging club years ago and I loved her posts from the beginning. From topics about blogging, Pinterest, and social media sizes, she has all the visual marketing tips people crave to learn more about visual content.

I found that we have a lot in common and she uses her faith in all areas of her life including her blog. I’ve shared Louise’s awesome posts with my email community and social platforms because each post provides so much value. I think it’s about time to interview her to dig deep into how she got started with her blog and what her passion is. Let’s get this interview started!

Interview with Louise Myers, Visual Marketing Expert

Listen to the interview or watch the interview at the end of the post.

What is your brand name?

Louise Myers Visual Social Media

What’s your website?

http://LouiseM.com

What is your brand mission?

My goal is to empower small business owners and bloggers to create their own graphics for social marketing success

What’s the story behind the mission?

When I lost some large corporate design clients, I realized that small business owners like myself couldn’t afford professional design services. I decided to encourage them to try the easy design tools available! And offer them ideas to inspire their content.

What type of people do you help?

Small business owners, including bloggers and social media managers!

What’s your big goal for this year?

Have more fun with my business, and take more time off! 🙂 As far as business goals, I plan to launch an affiliate marketing program and try promoted pins in the Fall, both for my 2019 Social Media Content Planner.

Do you feel satisfied on a spiritual or purposeful level?

I do, but am always trying to discern God’s will for my next moves. My blog, planner, and new business direction of the past few years is something I would never have expected 7 years ago when I started LouiseM.com

How can people get in touch with you?

Subscribe to my blog newsletter or follow me on Pinterest!

Video Interview with Louise Myers

Get your Visual Marketing Fix and Visit Louise

Isn’t Louise the sweetest gal? She is so helpful and all she wants to do is help entrepreneurs and small businesses out with her visual marketing tips. I encourage you to get to know her and visit her blog to get valuable information for your business. Don’t forget to sign up for her social media planner!

 

Are You Working As An Entrepreneur with Faith and Purpose? [INTERVIEW]

Do faith and work mix? This was a question I longed for an answer. How can someone fulfill their life purpose without including their faith? That completely embodies your entire life. How you act on responsibilities, communicate with other people, and provide service stem from what you believe in. I took a long break from my blog because I was stuck… spiritually stuck. I want to help others but something was missing and I lost my blogging ‘groove’. I also felt extremely sick going back and forth to different doctors. With this break, I took time to reflect what I really believed in and started studying like never before. I wondered if I was truly working with faith and purpose or was I just going through the daily motions.

Are you Working as an Entrepreneur with Faith and Purpose?

As I was going through this funk, I found a person who had the same beliefs as me but much more mature spiritually. I was excited to learn from her! Her name is Chamel Evans and I’m not even sure where I met her virtually, perhaps a Facebook group, but I know now God has placed her in my path. There are no coincidences in life. That has been my biggest lesson.

I joined her Facebook group called sheillumininates and we did a group bible study called Discerning the Voice of God. It changed me! I learned how to have a relationship with God that matters and allowing myself to live in obedience. I encourage you to try the bible study, it really is life-changing if you do the work.

If you’re not a Christian, I encourage you to open your mind to why the universe or powers-that-be brought you here. There is a reason for everything and you might find some enlightenment with this post.

No one knows how to bring faith and purpose into entrepreneurship more than Chamel. I had the pleasure of interviewing her so you can learn more about what she does and how she helps people like me.

Read the interview here (more details about Chamel in the written interview below), listen to the interview below or watch the video interview at the end!

Listen to the audio interview (if you don’t have a chance to watch the video):

Interview with Chamel Evans, Faith Mentor

What is your brand mission?

My brand fuses Biblical truth with creative application to help women live anchored in their faith and illuminate their God-given power of influence in their homes, careers, businesses, and communities. I empower Christian women to live out their truest authentic selves, love and influence those in their circle with grace, and break free from mental roadblocks through faith-infused mentoring and design, encouraging products, and actionable resources.

What’s the story behind the mission?

I’m on a mission to change the lives of women – their atmospheres, attitudes, and hearts for the Glory of God. It’s all about celebrating our faith journeys, lives full of faith & massive influence — on God’s terms. This mission was birthed from digging deeper in my own personal faith journey when God started pruning away at some emotional and mental strongholds and showing me the importance of a strong faith core.

It allowed me to see that the freedom and the abundance I so desired wasn’t going to happen until I got real honest with myself and truly surrendered to all the messiness that was going on and just embraced where I was. God wanted me to truly experience walking in victory and to help others do the same. But I had no idea that he was going to use me as a beacon to share His light with other women with the same struggles.

Who do you help?

Christian women (wives, mothers, creatives, and entrepreneurs) who seek clarity, accountability, and strategy to grow in their spiritual walk, overcome mental roadblocks, and chase their calling with fire.

What’s your big goal for this year?

My big goal this year is to simply steward and walk in obedience to what God has called me to do this year in my home ministry, work, health/wellness, business, and at church. It’s all about being focused, intentional, and embracing the journey.

Do you feel satisfied with yourself on a spiritual or purposeful level?

You know…I’m content at where God has me, but the other part is that I’m never satisfied because I’m striving daily to grow deeper in my revelation of God and truly walk in His truth and my purpose. I’m on a journey and I’m learning to embrace the growth, stretching, and pruning because God has called me to His abundance and overflow. So I’m not going to stop working but continue to celebrate the process and expect greater.

How can people get in touch with you?

www.chamelevans.com or on social media with handle @chamelevans.

Video Interview with Chamel Evans

 

Do you live and work with faith and purpose?

What do you think about using your faith in business? Are you comfortable with opening yourself up to having a relationship with God with all things in your life including work as an entrepreneur?

I know I have a lot of questions for you but these are serious life questions. If you’re a Christian and you’re feeling distracted with so many trials in life that you’re drifting away spiritually from Jesus. Please chat with Chamel.

If you’re not a Christian and found this information to be enlightening or intriguing please contact me. I have been on my faith journey for a long time but only until recently, I understand that what I have is not a religion but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This alone has been worth the journey to keep learning more and share what I’ve learned,

Remember when I said I stopped blogging for a while. I now have a new mission for this blog, learn more on my About page.

I’ll leave you with this scripture verse that resonates within my heart:

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

How to Get Digital Marketing Advice for NonProfits [For Free]

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was an organization that can help nonprofits with free digital marketing advice? Yes, it would be and I know of one that does just that!

I’m so excited to introduce you to a nonprofit that gives back to nonprofits. Sometimes nonprofits start with a website and a mission but they’re not sure how to get their digital marketing to work or wonder how they can improve their website. Online marketing can get overwhelming and a nonprofit needs to get the word out to their audience in the most efficient way.

Getting advice from digital marketers and web designers cost money and most nonprofits starting out just don’t have the funds. To be able to ask the questions that you need answers to in a professional online setting is an awesome experience, especially knowing that the digital marketing professionals offering up suggestions are volunteers and devoted to helping you.

Let me introduce you to Raul Tiru from GlobalOwls.  I had the pleasure of interviewing him to get the details on GlobalOwls.

Here’s the interview.

Interview with the Pro-Bono Digital Marketing and Web Design NonProfit Organization

What is GlobalOwl’s brand mission?

To empower organizations dedicated to doing good to increase their impact.

To envision a world where all NGOs, nonprofits, charities and social enterprises receive the guidance, the knowledge, and tools they need to increase their impacts on their communities.

What’s the story behind the mission?

Founder Raul Tiru had a long-running dream to start a charity. At the age of 25, he started looking for ways to add significant value to the current NGO sector. Due to his background in marketing, he thought that he could start by assisting charities and NGOs with their marketing strategy and had a plan to start a pro-bono marketing firm to help these great organizations.

It was Raul’s experience at a start-up company, a platform, and his contributions to the book ‘Platform Scale’ that inspired him to grow his original idea of a pro-bono marketing firm into something bigger.

He wanted to give free advice but also wanted to develop a platform where thousands of professionals could share their expertise with hundreds of charitable organizations across the globe and have a much bigger impact. Thus, GlobalOwls was born.

Raul is happy to be able to say that they’re playing the infinite game. They don’t have any time or financial pressure from anyone.

GlobalOwls logo

What’s your goal number of clients/organizations to serve?

To have a significant impact, we would love to see 1,000 marketers and designers helping 1,000 organizations committed to doing good.

To accomplish that goal. we need to learn everything there is to know about our target audiences. That’s the stage we’re in now.

How do you make sure marketers and designers are qualified to help?

We’ve decided to start with a narrow group of professionals, marketers, and designers so that the group would be able to decide which piece of advice are good and which aren’t. We started with this group because I’m also a marketer, so I could do the initial curation.

How many clients/organizations have you served?

About 20. It depends how you look at it. We also do a lot of work behind the scenes.

Question Example in GlobalOwls
Here’s an example of a question you can find on GlobalOwls.


How many professional volunteers help with your mission?

120

If organizations need your help, how can they get started?

The easiest way is to send an email to hi@globalowls.com. We want to make sure organizations are committed to implementing pieces of advice before publishing the questions on GlobalOwls.

If people want to volunteer their marketing and design advice, how can they get started?

We’ve made it easy for people to get started within 2 minutes. Just head over to GlobalOwls.com, select your first question and answer it. Every question you answer helps a nonprofit, charity or social enterprise to become more effective.

What’s your big goal for this year?

I think knowledge is the ultimate power. My big goal is to have thousands of organizations or professionals on board. I think scaling will be fairly easy, once we truly understand the needs of our target group. We hope to learn everything there is to know about them and to provide what’s needed.

And maybe, we’ll also be able to scale significantly this year. Time will tell!

GlobalOwls will leave her footprints. No matter how long it takes. GlobalOwls will not disappear any time soon.

Do you feel that creating GlobalOwls helps satisfy you on a spiritual or purposeful level?
Essentially, you’re impacting non-profits that do good in some sort of way.
Is there a sort peacefulness or satisfaction you feel by having GlobalOwls as a counselor or mentor to these organizations?

It sure does help me feel more fulfilled. I work about 45 hours a week on my regular day job (If you include traveling, that would be more than 55 hours a week). Still, I have more than enough energy to pursue my dream of helping billions of people.

Even without GlobalOwls getting the traction we envision (helping 1,000 organizations a month) we can still have a major impact over the years because we provide guidance so organizations can become more effective in the long-term.

Do you have a nonprofit that needs help digital marketing and web design?

I’m so thrilled to see this nonprofit help other nonprofits!  It’s so easy to volunteer that I’ve already started giving advice on GlobalOwls. If you’re in marketing or design and would like to contribute to a good cause in just a matter of minutes you can help. Visit GlobalOwls and volunteer your advice.

If you have a nonprofit and you’re not sure if your website is working to get the attention of your target audience or you have questions about your social media platforms, then feel free to contact GlobalOwls to get your questions answered.

Let me know if you plan on volunteering or will ask for some help through GlobalOwls in the comments.

 

How to get solid digital marketing advice for nonprofits #nonprofit #digitalmarketing

3 Ways to Improve Your Email Campaign Strategy

More than any other social media marketing, email marketing campaigns achieve the best results in terms of responses from new and ongoing clients. They deliver focused content to recipients who want to know more about you and your products and services.

Continue reading “3 Ways to Improve Your Email Campaign Strategy”