Revelatory

[revelatory] /rev-uh-luh-tohr-ee/. adj. Pointing out or revealing clearly.

Have you ever sent out an email promotion or a sales video, only to find it has generated ZERO sales?

revelatory narrative in online selling

Well don’t fret, because you are not alone. Even big online businesses struggle to get good response to their promotions. Mainly, that’s because the internet is a passive selling medium, where target prospects are free to lose interest and abandon a sales message at any time.

The easiest way to keep a prospect’s attention the whole way is with a Revelatory Narrative.

Online sales messages usually fail when they follow a sequence that is predictable to the target customer. Predictable has the nasty effect of being boring since it leaves little reward for the viewer to stay and receive the entire pitch.

That’s why online sales experts use narratives or stories to dress up their sales message.  In fact, you may already be using narratives in your sales process today. But not all narratives are equal…

 

Where else have you seen Narratives used before?

We commonly experience narratives in entertainment; for example, in movies, television shows, plays, and so on. Although the Revelatory Narrative is a sales technique, it is used in all successful entertainment.

Merriam Webster defines the word Revelatory as, of or relating to revelation; serving to reveal something.

So think about some television shows or movies you may have seen in the past. Now if we were to toss the infamous term “cliff hanger” out there, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Right?

A cliff-hanger is usually a lie.

The writers determine that they will give viewers a false perception that something is true when it is not and cut off the story there. Usually the false perception is something dramatic, like an important character is about to be killed…or a trusted character performs a horrible action.

When the show returns after a commercial break or in the next episode or season, then the truth is told and the audience breathes a sigh of relief.

 

A revelation, on the other hand, is a truth.

Smart story-tellers, will uncover the truth after a lie. They start by giving limited information that skews the audience’s perception and causes them to make incorrect initial assumptions. Gradually, the story-teller gives to the audience more context which in turn causes them to update their assumptions and re-evaluate what they believe may happen next.

Predictability is DESTROYED!

This forces viewers/listeners/readers to interactively participate in “un-pealing” the truth. A combination of their curiosity and the mini-revelations along the way make them engage with the story on deep levels.

The result, for the audience, is a magical journey of discovery not unlike a hypnotic trance. Good luck trying to break them out of it!

 

So, why is Revelatory Narrative so cool for Online Selling?

Because it draws you into the message, deeper and deeper, and holds your interest the entire time, making you curious about what’s going to happen next. So you continue to watch, or listen, or read, constantly seeking the next tidbit of information and practically dying for your answers to be revealed to you.

And here’s the Cool part…

Revelatory Narrative in YOUR sales letters, emails and videos will keep your prospect’s eyeballs literally glued to the screen!

And the longer their eyes are fixated on your story, well, the more you can underhandedly sell them, and the more your audience becomes emotionally connected to whatever you’re selling.

Guess what happens next?

 

They just can’t wait to buy whatever you are selling, plain and simple.

Best part is, because they have such an emotional experience interacting with your promotion, they may be compelled to run out and tell all their friends about it as well.

Now, the next time you’re sending out a promotional email or drafting a sales letter, remember what you learned here today. Use a little Revelatory Narrative in your messages, and see how it boosts your responses, where before you might have had none.

 

Sex Sells…Itself Short

The other night I watched a sales page video that left me with my mouth unhinged.

In it, Haley Milano, a very young woman in a tight black dress, is perched on a chaise and talks about how she is living the life of her dreams after …

Haley Milano's Stripped Down Profits Sales Video on Clickbank

…implementing a system that she hardly had to touch for it to bring in thousands of dollars in a matter of days.

As she tells you her sultry and steamy story, she shares that she really struggled to make ends meet and couldn’t afford to pursue her education.

She was down to eating Ramen noodles and running out of cash FAST.

On the ill advice of a friend, she settled for the one job she considered a last resort.

She became a stripper at a “Gentleman’s Club.”

She goes on to share that she knew absolutely nothing about Internet marketing, nor did she care to learn anything about it even though many of her clients were rich young men in the industry who showered her with THOUSANDS of dollars whenever they visited the club.

Clearly she was intrigued as to how they made so much money.

During one heavy night of partying, she claims she recorded one of her clients on video partaking in drugs and other dancers.

She used that against him so he’d show her how to get rich and get her out of the stripper lifestyle. She threatened to show his wife the video if he refused.

With that one act of blackmail, this mystery businessman had a CD delivered to her mailbox and it was this very CD that somehow provided her with the “magic button” that allowed tons of cash to start rolling in.

Is it true that sex sells? Yes, but not literally.

Just the very idea of something sexual is alluring and intriguing, and it’s a power that we should leverage very carefully.

As women, we seem to just have this innate ability to tap into our mystique and use it to our advantage.

I very much wanted to rip into this Haley character, but a few things needed to be considered and acknowledged first:

  1. Someone who thought HE was clever marketed this character, and I should not assume that Haley is a real person.
  2. There were a few glitches in her story that helped me to realize that she was in fact a representation of a certain type of woman and not necessarily a real person representing herself.

The video opens with this line:

“Surprised to see a woman on one of these? I thought you might be.”

That was the first indicator that perhaps the marketers behind this character were missing out on a huge niche that has been around for quite some time. Women have been in business for DECADES!!!!, and if you’ve been attending enough webinars and joining enough organizations, you are aware that women are a POWERFUL and INFLUENTIAL business force.

Most women are carefully choosing the way in which they want to represent their business prowess. Some know how to be PROVOCATIVE without being INDECENT. They know how to EXCITE without REVEALING too much of what they have to offer.

Haley attempts to speak for a niche that hungers for an easier way of doing things, and it might be safe to say that the strategies she represents are a bit misdirected. She makes it clear that she’s not quite enthralled or informed about hosting, search engine optimization, blogging, web site construction, or any of that stuff that thousands of women are currently leveraging to great success for their home businesses.

As cute as it is, I can tell that this character could not have been created by a savvy business woman

.

She represents an underlying assumption that women can’t be bothered or troubled to know how to do all that “internet marketing stuff.” Therefore, they should considering using Haley’s super affordable system. She claims she started it up and when she walked away to take off her makeup, it was already earning her a bunch of money.

“I’m the luckiest and unluckiest girl you’ll ever meet.”

Business women know that luck has very little (practically nothing) to do with success. It’s all about choice.

After her stint as a stripper, Haley claims that she’s found a more dignified way to earn money. But I caught her in a huge contradiction. She gained access to the system by blackmailing a man first. This character CHOSE to be a stripper and she CHOSE to blackmail her way to money.

Whoever created the sales video (and i have a hard time believing it was a woman who did such a horrific thing) missed several huge marks in their attempt to represent what it means to be a woman who can leverage her sex appeal to gather attention.

Being an attractive and successful business woman takes more than just looking pretty in a tight dress and heels. It will only take you as far as Haley got while she was relying on her sexy looks to get all those hundred dollar bills as a dancer (and trust me, she’s not shy about sharing that with us).

When it comes to business, if you’ve got looks, then you’ve definitely got people’s attention. But you can’t stop there.

Haley had nothing to offer in terms of personal development and genuine strategy, and those are things that business women heavily rely on when they build business relationships with clients and colleagues.

The marketer(s) who thought up the idea of Haley as some ideal and alluring woman could have taken things a little further, but they maintained a rather ominous and depressing position in making Haley’s character sort of 2-dimensional.

Basically, she came off as a gold-digging, superficial tramp.

She may not be either of these things.

However, in this or any business, that’s an image we can’t afford. We already face tons of criticism even when it is undeserved.

We should never have to feel guilty about leveraging our good looks to get attention, but we’re always going to need a little more to keep our heads above the water.

We need to consistently churn out role models who look fabulous, know that they are sexy, and deliver 100 times more with some serious and respectable notions of becoming supportive, intelligent, emotionally healthy women who demonstrate agreeable values even in the most difficult life moments.

My best wishes to Haley. I hope that her REAL business idea, the one where she wants to create designer handbags and purses, really works out for her and that she continues to enjoy the walnut pancakes made for her every Monday by her personal chef.

Etiquette For Getting More Blog Readers

It’s like that girl…

The one who complains she doesn’t get invited anywhere, but when she’s invited to the party she spends the whole time drinking by herself in the corner.

Blogging is a social activity.

ughhh! Y U NO BLOG MY COMMENT!??When you’re social, others want to socialise with you. And just like social life, there’s a certain blogging etiquette. Follow it, and you will have a happy audience; neglect it and you will probably be outcast:

Here are some simple ways to be a good social blogger:

1. Keep It Alive

Blogging frequently on different topics allows you to be interesting to new friends by  appealing to different people’s interests.

This might be obvious, but apparently not so in the online business community!

When new visitors arrive at your blog, it’s usually to read a specific article. But they also browse your archives and your recent posts to see what else you blog about. Some readers, especially those who like you, will bookmark your site and visit again the next day.

Fresh content is critical for building a loyal return-reader base.

 

2. Clean Your Room

Your blog visitors are yours and they want to hear from you, not someone else.

Contrary to popular belief, having 100 interviews with “experts” and “gurus” more knowledgeable than you in your field does not do much to give you authority or credibility. In fact, if anything it makes them look like heroes and you like a ZERO.

If those videos are important, give them their own page away from the homepage. Your homepage should be clean and tidy and reserved for “YOU stuff”.

 

3. Be Considerate

During the day, most blog readers are trying to discretely read your blog from work.

Don’t be the annoying girl who rings her friend at work and tries to tell about her crazy Saturday night while on speakerphone in a meeting. Autoplaying videos are obnoxious and not cool. They can turn first-time visitors off in an instant. Let your visitors decide which video they like, let them click when they’re ready to play.

Videos posts can be very effective as long as you give your readers choice.

Some people don’t have lightning fast internet connections and they dread playing online video. A good idea is to offer a balanced mix of video, picture, and text to suit a variety of readers’ preference.

 

4. Sound Human

Your personal blog is YOUR personal log of amazing thoughts.

Write in the voice your friends and family hear when you communicate with them. Keep away from the rhetoric used when you’re consulting or interviewing a client over the phone. Drop the industry jargon, the idiomatic expressions, and the cliches.

That’s is called Sales Language. Take a look at what’s left when you throw it out the window, and you’ll find that you have a very human voice that comes through in your writing.

Readers connect with other people’s humanity, they trust it, and they enjoy reading like a conversation with a new friend.

 

5. Blogging on the Cheap

Not everyone can afford to hire a fancy-shmancy designer to set up their blogs.

Believe it or not, having a blog doesn’t mean you need to have a picture of you at the top, arms folded and wearing a pantsuit. Particularly if that’s not the you that your friends know!

Keep things natural, even if it is because you can’t afford a fancy graphics guy.

It can actually work in your favour since people you’ve never met in person will get a sense that you’re approachable, casual, and friendly.

Don’t get hung up on the technology and making things look overly decorated. People read blogs because they have interesting stuff to say, not because they’re impressed with the headers.

I struggled with themes until I used a free blogging service. Now I focus on my content and make up for my design deficiencies by writing entries that really matter. You should too.

There are many free blogging services like WordPress.com, Typepad.com, Blogger.com, and Tumblr.com. Consider these options; they let you be setup and ready to blog in MINUTES.

 

6. Participate in Your Blogging Community

Just as in social life, you can’t sit around and wait for visitors to drop by. Go out and make some friends.

Read other people’s blogs that interest you. Communicate with them, show genuine interest and get inspired by them. If someone says something that REALLY interests you, consider writing a blog-reply instead of just a little comment.

 

7. Re-Blogging and Blogversations

Not only do blogs allow readers to participate with comments, but they also allow readers to participate by blogging!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks are actually a kind of extended comment. It’s a way for one bloggers to reply to another blogger’s entry by writing a response at their own blog.

Don’t copy someone’s blog posts and post them on your own blog. That is offensive, almost like stealing a person’s personality. It also makes you look horribly unimaginative.

A fellow blogger is a potential ally. When you like someone’s entry, go ahead and write your reply as a post at your own blog for your readers. Simply reference the URL of the entry you’re responding to, and say your viewpoint.

As a result, a reference link back to your blog will show up in their comment thread (if they approve it). Then a two-way connection is made between you so that interested readers on both sides will learn of both blogs.

 

Follow these 7 guidelines to be a better, more social blogger. You will find that blogging is more fun than ever before. You’ll build an audience quickly, make friends easily, and do much business!

 

Women Mean Business

Take a look at the picture below.

On the left is the typical Western Business Man. On the right is the typical Western Business Woman. Apart from their sex, can you spot the difference between the pair?

can you spot the difference between the businessman and the businesswoman?

 

While living in South Korea as a child, I learned a surprising answer to this question from an exemplary lady who neither spoke English nor was she herself a businesswoman.

Here’s a brief account of what came to pass:

 

One evening, my father invited a business colleague over for dinner.

At the time, my mother was the only woman ‘working’ at my father’s office. She accompanied him to most of his events, played hostess at his dinners, and carried out many secretarial duties.

When my father informed her that he had invited over a colleague to discuss a business deal, she firmly warned my father that something was not right about his colleague; she did not like him. My mother’s advice was that my father should not make any deals with the man.

Promptly, my father over-ruled her and thus found himself at the dinner table as planned.

While the food was being prepared, our maid went in and out through the kitchen door without disturbing the conversation.

They awaited the main course to arrive and in the meantime, the men exchanged niceties and small talk. My mother sat quietly at the table and observed the conversation between them.

At last, the maid entered the dining hall with food and laid it out on the table.

She began to serve the meal.

Before I go on, please understand that customs differ between cultures as to who should eat before whom. So it was highly unusual when the maid began to fill my father’s plate first.

My parents glanced uncomfortably at one another.

The maid continued by serving my mother next.

Again, that was highly unusual. Once more, my parents, exchanged uncomfortable glances and my father smiled nervously at his guest.

Nothing could have prepared my family for what came next.

The maid turned and faced the guest. Suddenly, she jerked at an imaginary necktie high above her head and spoke sharply at my father’s guest.

“You stupid!” She hissed.

Just as briskly, she turned on her heels, stormed out to the kitchen and did not return.

 

 

A Woman’s Intuition

When one’s maid denies service to a guest, it is embarrassing.

When one’s maid is responsible for making her master lose a deal with a potential partner, it is frustrating.

When one’s maid calls the guest of honour “You stupid”, it is surely punishable.

One might say, our maid was in no position to give an opinion while serving guests, especially on her master’s business affairs. But she was willing to risk her income to take care of her own. Her maternal instincts kicked in and she wanted to protect my father.

Consequently, my father did not get angry with her.

After escorting the guest out of the house, my father went to the kitchen and applauded the maid’s grand felony! He was moved by her loyalty. He came to realise that he liked the man NO MORE than did either his wife or maid.

My father’s women had correctly assessed his guest’s sly sneers and dishonest body language and protected their own.

 

Once again, let me ask you, what is the difference between the businessman and the businesswoman pictured above?

The necktie. That’s it.

Men may be better at some things, but in affairs of business, to me the necktie says it all:

“If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? I mean, how intelligent is it to start the day by tying a noose around your neck?”

-Linda Ellerbee

 

Dissonance

[dissonance]  /ˈdis-É™-nÉ™n(t)s/. n. Inconsistency between the beliefs one holds or between one’s actions and one’s beliefs.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/FL7yD-0pqZg]

Have you ever noticed the crazed mindset of the iPhone faithful?

Greg Joswiak with the first guy in line for the iPhone 4
the first guy in line for the iPhone

Most of the super elite, die-hard fans of the iPhone completely refuse to listen to facts and logic when it comes to phone technology. They overlook that the EVO is actually a 4G device, while the iPhone 4 is still only a 3G device. They will not recognize that the EVO has superior tethering capabilities, that it is much easier to load media files to, that it uses a much more flexible operating system, and that the EVO also supports high quality video chat.

Sometimes people become so entranced by something that they will deny obvious facts on certain issues, and they will defend their own misguided decisions seemingly to their own death.

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.”

The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

Wikipedia

 

Now, we cannot be certain, but let’s just assume for a moment that those who remain loyal to the iPhone 4 ARE NOT incompetent. Which would lead us to assume that blatant facts and comparisons are simply ignored when they are presented with information comparing the iPhone to other similar devices.

Why?

Because they have two conflicting beliefs. One must be overpowered.

There is a common belief amongst us all that features such as connectivity, speed, resolution, and battery life have inherent value when it comes to mobile phones.

However, amongst Apple supporters, there is another belief which is manufactured by Apple’s marketing.

The belief that there is value in the chic look, presumed status, and the way Apple’s technology makes one “feel” when others see them swishing and swiping away at their iPhone.

In iPhone evangelists, the manufactured belief overpowers the value-for-money one and the latter is traded off, much to the dismay of others.

 

What Makes People Deny Obvious Facts?

Well, there are many answers to this, and the list could go on forever, but we will quickly touch on a couple of them here. Three of the most common reasons are Greed, Popularity, and Fear.

In the iPhone example, the primary reason is that the iPhone has become a status symbol amongst smart phones. It seems like the cool, hip thing to have. In fact, it’s kinda Yuppy-ish. And it does something pleasant for the soul of the iPhone Elite who insist on purchasing this phone, even if it’s not really the coolest technology in phones anymore.

All the same, Apple has done a wonderful job of making their technology exclusive by setting themselves apart with higher price-point and slightly inferior but more desirable products.

This creates a divide between people. Another group is formed who share the same dissonance but choose instead the better features, less restrictions, and better price.

This second group of people allow Apple lovers to feel good about their purchase. Because the second group continue to want the iPhone even though they may say, “Hey, I can get a better phone for less.”

 

Why Healthy Skepticism is Good

Healthy skepticism is good because it’s always smart to find out all of the facts and make FACT BASED decisions for yourself, rather than to make emotional decisions which you might regret later on.

You should also be careful not to fall into the Robot-Syndrome of following a product or another person simply because they said you should follow them.

There’s an old saying that the only person who can’t change his or her mind is the person who hasn’t got one.

So don’t beat yourself up if you’re thinking of a time or two when you’ve fallen victim to cognitive dissonance. Instead, use it as a learning experience to better prepare yourself for the future.

And if you’re in denial about something that’s simply not working out for you the way you had hoped it would…

Well, don’t be afraid to change your mind. It’s not too late.

Crazy or Evil Business Genius?

When Andrew Reitano had enough of high definition technology, he decided to kick it old school and make a home-made video game.

In 8-bit!

Batly Adams' start screen for his evil business plan for world domination

If you were around in the 80’s, you might remember what an 8-bit game looked like. I missed that boat. So the closest I came to it was the Nintendo 64, which was a little more sophisticated.

The Nintendo 64 was, and is to this day, my favourite console. I liked one racecourse game, where I whizzed through trippy rainbow levels with eyes unblinking, panting, and forehead damp with perspiration, kicking ass….

*fwhit!*

…Shit! The game freezes. I rip out the cartridge, blow in it a few times, shake it up and down, do the hokie pokie, turn around, and resume the game, and I’m back!

 

Okay, maybe the Nintendo 64 wasn’t that great.

But Andrew Reitano (aka Batsly Adams) might disagree, because his game idea just might have come to him while piss-drunk and blowing into the cartridge of a frozen game.

Reitano’s video game consists of a gutted cartridge from an 80’s Nintendo (NES) loaded with a breathalyser. He’s an engineer, by the way, which may explain why this all made sense to him. The breathaliser-cartridge contraption attaches to a television through some electronics and the whole setup makes up a college drinking video game.

Between rounds of shots, Players take turns blowing into the breathaliser-cartridge.

The player’s blood-alcohol level is measured and their drunkenness is rated using clever puns displayed on the attached television in whopping 8-bit color.

The game, named appropriately, The DrunkenNES, comes complete with a Hall of Fame so players can see and beat one another’s records.

one of the levels
Pun intended

I don’t know about you, but I come from a college time of beer-pong. Very traditional, very effective, and no technology involved. Unless you play with cell-phones instead of ping pong balls, but then the rules change and that’s a whole other story.

It might be fun to imagine what today’s college kids would do with The DrunkenNES—Wait. No.

Let me back up a little bit. I’m not even sure if breathalysers are legal devices that are available to any commoner. Could Joe Blow just walk into the supermarket and say,

 

“Hey. Uh, yeah. Where do you guys keep the breathalysers?”

and would the meat-packer respond, “Oh, just down there, in aisle 3, next to the cookies.” ???

It doesn’t seem likely.

But anyway, for fun, let’s assume Batsly does find the breathalisers in Aisle 3 and he creates a prototype of The DrunkenNES using his Engineering education. My prediction is that he would become extremely rich and destroy humanity in one shot.

After all, people play games to win and no one wants to lose DrunkenNES.

I mean, all that good ole’ Batsly would have to do is post a few videos on YouTube and pretty soon…

Internet creatures will start responding, liking, and thumbs-upping…

Batsly will think to himself, “Hm. Maybe I can be rich and famous if I sell this shit for real.”

He gets in touch with his dad’s lawyer and patents the idea. Soon he has Hasbro and Mattel on the phone.

“Hello, Hasbro? Mattel? I got this gajillion dollar game idea. Make it real!”

College kids worldwide start buying DrunkenNES after DrunkenNES, little boys and girls will put the DrunkenNES on their Christmas list to Santa, teenagers will be sneaking them into school, every dorm room on the planet will have at least one.

 

Drinking epidemic.

The trend will spread across the civilised world, eventually taking everyone on a deathly trip in the ever-downward spiral of alcoholism. And then? No more college kids! That means no more future leaders of tomorrow!

Oh, this DrunkenNES is a bad idea, I tell you. A bad fucking idea.

There’s a silver lining, or a golden spoon, or how does that expression go? When there’s a moral to a story?

Anyway, there’s a moral:

If you come up with a business idea that’s unique and original, you have a good chance of killing off all idiots and ruling the world.

To see The DrunkenNES in action, check it out on YouTube. It does look like a blast!

 

Crazy or Evil Business Genius?

When Andrew Reitano had enough of high definition technology, he decided to kick it old school and make a home-made video game.

In 8-bit!

Batly Adams' start screen for his evil business plan for world domination

If you were around in the 80’s, you might remember what an 8-bit game looked like. I missed that boat. So the closest I came to it was the Nintendo 64, which was a little more sophisticated.

The Nintendo 64 was, and is to this day, my favourite console. I liked one racecourse game, where I whizzed through trippy rainbow levels with eyes unblinking, panting, and forehead damp with perspiration, kicking ass….

*fwhit!*

…Shit! The game freezes. I rip out the cartridge, blow in it a few times, shake it up and down, do the hokie pokie, turn around, and resume the game, and I’m back!

 

Okay, maybe the Nintendo 64 wasn’t that great.

But Andrew Reitano (aka Batsly Adams) might disagree, because his game idea just might have come to him while piss-drunk and blowing into the cartridge of a frozen game.

Reitano’s video game consists of a gutted cartridge from an 80’s Nintendo (NES) loaded with a breathalyser. He’s an engineer, by the way, which may explain why this all made sense to him. The breathaliser-cartridge contraption attaches to a television through some electronics and the whole setup makes up a college drinking video game.

Between rounds of shots, Players take turns blowing into the breathaliser-cartridge.

The player’s blood-alcohol level is measured and their drunkenness is rated using clever puns displayed on the attached television in whopping 8-bit color.

The game, named appropriately, The DrunkenNES, comes complete with a Hall of Fame so players can see and beat one another’s records.

one of the levels
Pun intended

I don’t know about you, but I come from a college time of beer-pong. Very traditional, very effective, and no technology involved. Unless you play with cell-phones instead of ping pong balls, but then the rules change and that’s a whole other story.

It might be fun to imagine what today’s college kids would do with The DrunkenNES—Wait. No.

Let me back up a little bit. I’m not even sure if breathalysers are legal devices that are available to any commoner. Could Joe Blow just walk into the supermarket and say,

 

“Hey. Uh, yeah. Where do you guys keep the breathalysers?”

and would the meat-packer respond, “Oh, just down there, in aisle 3, next to the cookies.” ???

It doesn’t seem likely.

But anyway, for fun, let’s assume Batsly does find the breathalisers in Aisle 3 and he creates a prototype of The DrunkenNES using his Engineering education. My prediction is that he would become extremely rich and destroy humanity in one shot.

After all, people play games to win and no one wants to lose DrunkenNES.

I mean, all that good ole’ Batsly would have to do is post a few videos on YouTube and pretty soon…

Internet creatures will start responding, liking, and thumbs-upping…

Batsly will think to himself, “Hm. Maybe I can be rich and famous if I sell this shit for real.”

He gets in touch with his dad’s lawyer and patents the idea. Soon he has Hasbro and Mattel on the phone.

“Hello, Hasbro? Mattel? I got this gajillion dollar game idea. Make it real!”

College kids worldwide start buying DrunkenNES after DrunkenNES, little boys and girls will put the DrunkenNES on their Christmas list to Santa, teenagers will be sneaking them into school, every dorm room on the planet will have at least one.

 

Drinking epidemic.

The trend will spread across the civilised world, eventually taking everyone on a deathly trip in the ever-downward spiral of alcoholism. And then? No more college kids! That means no more future leaders of tomorrow!

Oh, this DrunkenNES is a bad idea, I tell you. A bad fucking idea.

There’s a silver lining, or a golden spoon, or how does that expression go? When there’s a moral to a story?

Anyway, there’s a moral:

If you come up with a business idea that’s unique and original, you have a good chance of killing off all idiots and ruling the world.

To see The DrunkenNES in action, check it out on YouTube. It does look like a blast!

 

What are the Best Adobe Premiere Setting for YouTube?

Adobe Premiere Optimal Settings for YouTubeFor first-timers working with motion video, it can be a daunting task to render the best video files to share on YouTube.

One wrong setting in the encoding or file format, and you end up twiddling your thumbs for hours—only to find you produced a 30 Gigabyte video file which can’t be uploaded anywhere.

The only thing worse than wasting your day on encoding settings is when by some luck you do manage to produce a surprisingly small file which ends up with poor resolution and plays blocky and ugly.

There’s an easy way to produce clean, small, and fast-rendering video files in Adobe Premiere.

Step 1. Use the Adobe Media Encoder

Once you’re done editing your video in Adobe Premiere and you’re ready to produce it, click from the menu bar

File => Export => Adobe Media Encoder

Use the Adobe Media Encoder

 

Step 2: Setup the Export Settings

The “Adobe Media Encoder” window is where you can setup all the settings you need to produce any final video file.

In the left pane is a preview area. You can use it to see how your video quality is affected with changes in setting. If you’re new to motion video, we recommend that you use Adobe Premier CS3 or CS4. The steps in CS5 are similar but not as intuitive unfortunately.

Setup the Export Settings in Adobe Premiere

 

Step 3. Choose Video Format

In the Export Settings panel, choose:

  • Format => Adobe Flash Video

 

Choose the Adobe Flash Video Format

Flash video or ‘FLV’ is a format both light in size and high in quality. It’s suitable for video sharing on YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion and most web-based players.

The only exception is Vimeo, which doesn’t like this format.

 

Step 4. Choose What to Output

Range determines which part of the edited Premiere file are output to video. We usually want to output just the area we’ve been working in (Work Area) otherwise we might end up making a video file unwanted junk on the end.

Choose…

  • Range => Work Area

Export the Video and Audio Channels from the Premiere Work Area only

Also we want to make sure we add both video and audio tracks to the output. If you miss one of them you may end up with a video without audio or vice versa!

  • Export Audio => Checked
  • Export Video => Checked

Select the On2 VP6 Video Codec

 

Step 6. Select Your Video Codec

Click the Video tab to see the correct options. Here we want to choose the On2 VP6 codec which is the compression format for the video.

Choose…

  • Video Code => On2 VP6


Use On2 VP6 as the Video Codec

 

Step 7. Setup Basic Video Settings

Also under the video tab, you will find the “Basic Video Settings” area. Use this to remove alpha encoding and setup your video dimensions. Use the following settings (recommended for YouTube):

  • Encode Alpha Channel => Unchecked
  • Frame Width => 700 pixels
  • Frame Height => 394 pixels

Although YouTube does accept much bigger dimensions for HD quality videos, we recommend you use these settings to keep the file size small with good detail. If you really need the HD quality, this is probably the wrong tutorial for you, but you might want to try 1024 x 720 pixels as a middle-ground.

Uncheck Encode alpha channel and video dimensions 700 x 394 pixels

 

Step 8. Choose The Bitrate

The Bitrate is very important in determining the quality of the video produced. It tells Adobe Premiere how much data to store per second of video it outputs. The higher the bitrate, the bigger the file and better the detail.

Choose

  • Bitrate => 1,000 kbps

If your video needs more detail or if you are not happy with outcome, you may need to re-render the video with a slightly higher bitrate. You can try 1,100 or 1,200 but avoid going any higher as you will usually only increase the video size without any marked difference in quality.

Set the bitrate of the video to 1,000 kbps

 

Step 9. Output the File

You won’t need to change any other settings. Just save the file and within a few long moments, you should have a small, high quality output file you can upload to your favourite Video sharing website.

 

Phew! We’re done.

That was a mission wasn’t it?

The good news, once you’ve produced a file you’re happy with, is that Adobe Premiere remembers your settings and you won’t need to go through them again! If you ever do, bookmark this article and come back any time.

 

 


Should I Take the Yearly or the Monthly Plan?

Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t save without spending money”?

It’s true. Rarely is there ever an opportunity to save money without an equal necessity to spend more than you expect. Whether it’s at the supermarket (“buy two bottles of juice and save 50%”); at the gym (“Sign up for 12 months and get 4 months free”); or in your business (“Take the 1-payment-option and save $200”).

As a Finance professional, I often see Entrepreneurs let their greed get the better of them by making buying decisions without thinking ahead. However, without taking the time to consider your options carefully, taking a discount might lose money when you think you’re saving.

Here are just a few reasons why you might want to think twice before taking a “discount” option:

 

1. A CHANGE OF HEART

Entrepreneurs are constantly changing their minds about their purchases. We tend to be indecisive and have short attention spans. What excites us and seems a great idea today might bore us tomorrow.

Sometimes, we don’t change our mind at all, but there’s something really wrong with the product or service and we don’t find out until it’s too late.

For example, suppose you want to buy Tom’s Latest Money Making Secrets. It costs $2,000 one-time—or $550 over 4-monthly installments. A little simple math tells us that the one-time option saves $200.

Should you take it?

If it’s a service you’ve never before tried or a product you’ve never before bought, the answer is “NO! Don’t take the discount!”

After you pay, you might find out that Tom’s customer support is horrible and you’re not able to get answer to your questions. Maybe the product has a major flaw that makes it impossible for you to use. Maybe you simply lose interest.

In this case, there is no $200 saving; there is a $2,000 loss on a product you can’t use.

The worst mistake is not checking the cancellation/refund policy carefully ahead of time. Discounted prices are almost always disclaimed with fine-print that says “no refunds”.

Always check the cancellation policy before you grab a “big discount”.

 

2. THE OPPORTUNITY COST

Another saying you might have heard is, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

This is an important business principle. Money that you have in your hands right now has more value to you than money you “theoretically” save (or make) down the line.

Opportunity Cost is a measurement of how much you lose in other buying opportunities when your cash-money is tied up.

Consider this scenario.

Suppose you’re about to buy an important membership that costs $4,000/year or $400/month. Simple math says you save $800 when you take the yearly option. Should you take it?

Businesses tell you the yearly saving so you’ll compare oranges to apples. You compare how much you save over a year to the value of the saving to you right now. To undo their mischief, divide the yearly saving over 12 months and find out how much you save today. This is what counts.

In the example, if you compare what you save TODAY…you could save $66 or save $3,600.

Which do you choose?

Do you have more use for $3,600 or $66 today?

Perhaps you’d like to pay off part of your mortgage some other loan (and lower interest charges to your lender). Perhaps you pay another expense. Perhaps you purchase more equipment. Or, perhaps you try an alternative membership and compare the two.

Remember, once the $4,000 leaves your bank account, it’s gone.

Just because there’s a discount you don’t have to always take it—discounts cost opportunity. You have a choice where you spend your money. Choose wisely.

 

3. GOING OUT OF BUSINESS

A gym owner once told me that when a company entices you with a really attractive offer for lump sum upfront payment, it may be because that company has cash flow problems.

In other words, the business needs cash.

Many of the businesses that perform launch after launch and give deal after deal are struggling to stay afloat. If the company you are dealing with is indeed in financial trouble, their expenses outweigh their revenue on a regular basis.

The company is likely to declare bankruptcy, shut down, and disappear with any lump sum you give them.

In general, you can minimise your risk by taking installment options.

Don’t be tempted by big or frequent discounts. Always check the credibility of the company that you are dealing with. Does the company frequently launch products and services to you? Are they very aggressive in their promotions?

Is the company certified by an authority known in the industry? Has the company been in existence for a reasonable period of time? Do your due diligence.

 

 

Minimise Your Risk

There are many more reasons why a discount deal may be more costly than the alternative—for you.

In general, when in doubt choose to minimise your risk by taking the safer option; even if it appears to cost slightly more money. Remember that businesses specialise in coming up with tactics to appeal to your greed and tempt you to spend more money than you’re willing.

The discount is nothing but a temptation to make you spend :)

 

 

Open Letter To Aspiring Bloggers

When you first starting writing a blog, you have to get really REAL with yourself.

You’re going to need to write a first entry and you have to realize a few things as you start:

1.      It does not have to be perfect at all. In fact, allow it to suck.

2.      It’s only your first entry, relax!

3.      Things always get better with age and practice.

With that said, I would recommend a few things about how to start off as a blogger, even if your goal is to get some attention to your business.

First off, you want to be where there is already a community of bloggers and the platform allows for some exposure to your writing.

Secondly, don’t hesitate to include images with your posts so that you stimulate the senses.

And Finally, write what you know to be true and start building a genuine connection with other readers.

A lot of this advice seems so obvious, I know, but whenever I open up a new blog, I stress out a little when writing my first entry.

I worry about whether it’s good enough, but then soon remember that it doesn’t even matter if it’s good enough. I just matters to get past that first God-awful entry so I can move on to the really good stuff.

And the length of each one can vary. Your blogs don’t all have to run on and on for paragraphs at a time. You can sneak in a few sentences to maintain some relevancy, even if all you want to do is share an idea you had that day.

I love blogs that link up to my Smart Phone. I love being able to take a picture of something happening in my neighborhood and upload it with some accompanying text all through my cellular phone. Some free blogging platforms let you do that after you download the related app for that blog. For example, if you’ve been reading me, you know I’m really into Tumblr, and I’ve downloaded an app for it that lets me send out pictures, video, audio, and links when I’m not at my computer.

But I digress. Let’s get back to how you’re going to write that first entry.

You can cop out and say something like, “Hey all! It’s my first time here blah blah blah.” I mean, why not? It really is your first time.

Or get right down to the nitty gritty. Did you have a horrible day? What happened? Or maybe you had a really excellent meal at a new restaurant in town and you want everyone to know that you nearly lost your mind on some delicious, mouthwatering foie gras after the waiter told you what’s in it.

If you’re a business savvy person, think about this:

There are already a ton of people out there who are offering advice on how to run businesses. They are sharing tips and strategies, and while that’s all fine and you can do the same, the important thing to keep in mind is “How can I share the same information but with my own spin?”

How can you share that same info to people but make it all your own?  See, that’s the thing about a lot of knowledge. It’s all really the same, if you think about it. But some writers and bloggers out there are offering their own personalized spin on how to share that information with readers.

As you set out to write your first blog entry, just think that even if you’re going to write what’s already been written a thousand times over, write it with your own flavor and humor. Pretend that you’re having a conversation with a close friend and use the same language you’d use with that person.

And if that still doesn’t help, then don’t hesitate to fetch a bit of Brandy to stir the imagination.

Hollywood Blogger Party

Two weeks ago I got to see for myself just how amazing social media can be if you do it right.

I was invited to a party that a new friend of mine had at her apartment which is spitting distance to Hollywood. I first learned about this girl when I listened to a podcast series she did with comedian Jordan Rubin. Immediately I added her on twitter and then followed her blog on tumblr.

Her name is Molly McAleer but she is better known as Molls of Mollsshewrote.com.

Molls is a phenomenal blogger. She started off work with a site called Gawker.com which allowed her to grow her online presence by posting videos on various activities to do in Los Angeles and the Hollywood area.

She’s a genius at leveraging social media. What I’ve noticed about all that she’s put online is that there’s honestly nothing super fancy to it. She’s not using cute graphics and epic soundtracks. She makes her videos using her laptop’s built-in camera and she doesn’t read from any scripts.

After drinking two cups of wine at her party, I looked around and realized that I recognized several of her guests. Some of them I added on twitter and the others I recognized from their tumblr blogs. What really surprised me was that some of the girls knew me by my twitter name and just that detail alone made me feel like a part of the whole thing. I loved not feeling like an outsider even though I showed up on my own and was meeting many people for the first time.

I once heard a friend make the snarky remark, “People still use Twitter?” I was instantly annoyed at hearing this because he had no idea how many new friends I was making just by connecting with them on twitter, exchanging a few jokes and @replies, and finally connecting with them at events in Los Angeles. Isn’t that what marketers were trying to do in the first place with social media?  The bloggers are seeing great success with this, so why aren’t they?

A lot can be learned from Molls’ style in terms of how to put together a video and a personal blog. I think that when we get so caught up in business, we forget to be ourselves and that holds us back from creating a genuine connection with the audience. And keep in mind that your audience sometimes consists of existing clients as well as potential new clients.

Molls has over 8,000 followers on Twitter and just as many on her personal blog, if not more. Her Vyou.com page lists 452 followers and that will continue to grow considering how new the site still is. She has teamed up with supersweettees.com where they currently sell shirts with some well-known phrases that have been inspired by her blogs and videos, and I am currently the owner of the famous “Hey/Girl” v-neck shirt. Orders are still coming in for that one and the company can hardly keep up with production.

The charm and allure of her writing has a lot to do with the honesty that she puts into all of it. People who get upset at what she says are quickly outnumbered by her supporters. And as you’ve probably learned in business, that’s one way to weed out the folks with whom you’d least like to work. If they don’t like what you have to say, they can find someone else, right?

Molls’ will continue to grow as a social media queen and we will be able to track her success as she continues to take over as a successful writer.

When I think back to the people who were at the party, I realize that I walked away with the honor and privilege of meeting some really amazing people, including a book author whom I really admire and whose books I recently read. I see that for those of us who are struggling to be a little better known in business, sometimes all it takes is shooting a few videos and writing a few blogs so that we can start sending out the message on who we are and what we can offer to others. If we can be as gutsy as Molls, we might even get a feel for how powerful it is to connect with our audience on a genuine and consistent level.

Getting Rich Online, The Dark Side

You are gathered amongst evil minds, tyrannically plotting your destruction. Everywhere you turn, you must take care not set off a bomb, or to step into a trap, or to become ensnared into the temptations of fortune and fame disguising your demise.

This passageway seems safe. You take it.

Crime and chaos…

You’re new aren’t you?

You’re now in a world where Moral Values no longer exist.

Evil mutants spew their venomous toxin into the already brainwashed minds of their victims. They have taken over the minds of the innocent. Welded their mouths shut. Corrupted them with filth. Turned them into their own minions and agents of evil.

Mutant clones!

“Come,” they say, to more innocents. “Come, we will lead you to safety. Our path is the true one.”

You Fear them! Panicked, you look for shelter but only find places where scum and villainy unite.

You are terrified that they will inject you with their poison and hypnotize you with their words and steal your tongue.

Then you hear a beautiful melody play. Words so sweet.

Words so poisonous. Delicious. You eat, you hoard, you eat. A magnificent treat that delights your mind. Words as sweet as poetry. All it takes is one poisonous sugar-coated drop and you now fiend for their venom.

You become mutant.

They have overpowered you and you submit. You are a clone and it feels right!

There is no reason to be terrified. No need to fear these beautiful beings. They have given you a most precious gift.

You can do anything, you can be anything. You are POWERFUL and on top of the world!
You have grown strong. Your mind is more alert and you have enlightened senses…

You howl with delight.

You Lose Everything.

But the high only lasts a moment before its pain begins to caress your insides. This poison consumes you and you need another fix. It has left your body desecrated. A limp piece of decaying flesh no longer capable.

Your life has spun out of control and you have lost EVERYTHING.

When you have nothing and your soul is empty…the mutants are nowhere to be found.

Disappeared! Why won’t they feed you their delicious poison? Why won’t they help you–give you more of their beautiful poetic songs of empowerment?

Why won’t they grace you with their presence and glory?

And the pain is devastating.

Like sharp knives piercing your heart and hot lava scorching your bones, all you can do is pray for help.

While you lay defeated in complete darkness, in the distance…

You spot the mutants moved on to fresh victims. From the corner of your eye, you glimpse some movement. What’s this? A new face?

A small boy approaches timidly. You want to warn him…you want to say:

“Look out! There is no fame, no fortune, no glory. Just the hungry songs of greedy masters of deception.”

You push yourself up to call out to him.

Your mutated lips produce nothing, but a whisper…

3. Powering the Dream : Part 3 – “Cool Business” Series

Let’s start from scratch.

For you, let’s imagine a business idea that fully replaces the Home Business system gimmicks you’re used to and that excites you and your customers.

We worked on a CENTRAL THEME last time; the grand vision for your business and what you stand for—your uncompromisable values. If you found that lesson a little difficult to action, then it’s likely because a Vision is abstract.

It requires a business idea to bring it to life.

Today’s lesson will help you find your business idea. Not just any business idea though; one that is seeping with passion and is inspired by your values, motivations, and abilities. Audiences will desire contact with your product or service because it stirs their most primitive emotions.

Let’s begin with a case study.

***

A Computer In Every Home

For 14 years, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame was ranked the richest man in the world.

As he was often quoted saying, his dream for Microsoft was:

A Computer in Every Home”.

Gates’ vision came from a central belief he holds of EQUAL OPPORTUNITY in learning, regardless of socio-economic class. It is a dream we can all share! Although the theme itself is hard to pinpoint in the statement, we can see the same belief carried to another one of Gates’ organisations… the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vision statement there says:

“We are dedicated to bringing innovations in [learning] to the global community.”

Notice that “computer” has been exchanged with “learning“. And that “every home” has been exchanged with “global community“. The vision is basically the same, but the way the goal is achieved is different.

In Microsoft, Gates achieves the vision by selling software.

In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he does it through charity to schools and investment in research.

The business idea is the vehicle which allows the vision of the founder to be realised.

Similarly, in dramatic works of literature or film, we find that the theme of a story is also abstract and not unique at all. The PLOT, on the other hand, tells us a series of unique actions and events in such a way that the central theme is demonstrated to the audience.

For example, suppose your vision is:

“Delight children and encourage their imagination.”

Not so profound is it?

One might choose to achieve that vision in any way they like. For instance, my friend Shereen, who is very artistic, creates and sells beautiful decorations for children’s playrooms and bedrooms. On the other hand, another entrepreneurial mother who has some experience with computer programming might create and sell educational online games for children. A single-dad might maintain a paid forum where he and other fathers exchange ideas on how to raise creative kids. And so on.

These are all good business ideas, aren’t they?

Surely they are more interesting than generating traffic for someone else to sell their crappy products to– and watching while others profit from your hard work.

So where do people get their cool business ideas from?

Let’s take a look…

***

Before the PC there was the Teletype…

It was the late 60’s and computers were expensive and uncommon. When you wanted to use one you had to RENT a block of computer time on a mainframe (say, from General Electric). And since the real computer was somewhere else, you would need to use some sort of type-writer-printer gizmo to talk to it.

Not only that, but you needed to program it yourself.

Translation: Computers were neither accessible nor useful to regular people.

When Bill Gates was in the 8th grade his mother bought a Teletype terminal and rented a block of computer time for the school. Bill Gates became very interested in programming computers as a result.

Bill was in a pickle.

Gates wanted to spend all his time programming the computer but couldn’t afford it. Along with some naughty and ambitious friends he started exploiting loopholes in the system to steal computer time. He was eventually caught. So Gates made a deal with the computer company to find holes in their system in exchange for computer use.

As he made more of a name for himself, IBM asked Gates to create an operating system for their new personal computers. He agreed and charged them a one-time fee of 80,000 dollars!

But instead of selling the copyrights to IBM, he held onto them.

Gates predicted that other manufacturers would imitate IBM’s personal computers for cheaper and they will need operating systems too.

That’s exactly what happened. And Microsoft’s growth exploded. Today each home has MULTIPLE computers.

***

Most people try to come up with their business idea before they have a theme. However, in the story I shared with you about Microsoft, you can see that the theme is what gives rise to POWERFUL business.

Also, most people try to build a business in an area where they are limited in resources, knowledge, and skill. So they have a lot to learn before they can start earning. The following exercise will help you take stock of your existing resources and eliminate learning time in rendering your product.

Exercise:

Each of the topics below is a fundamental resource needed by an entrepreneur to successfully build a business.

Use 5 sheets of paper and write one topic at the top of each page. Time yourself for 20-30 minutes, non-stop. Don’t take breaks and fill the pages with as many answers as you can come up with.  Keep adding to your answers until the time is up.

 

  1. KNOWLEDGE: Write down any qualifications, certificates, degrees, “how to” books, or courses you have ever studied or completed.
  2. CREATIVE OUTLETS: Write down all your creative outlets or hobbies that you enjoy or have enjoyed in the past.
  3. SKILLS: Write any skills you possess that others admire or envy.
  4. WORK: Write all the jobs you have ever had.
  5. PASSION: Write every topic that fascinates you or has fascinated you in the past.

 

When you finish the exercise, study your answers. From each page, circle 1-2 items that you believe will be most helpful in achieving the vision you wrote in our previous lesson.

By the time you are done with the exercise, you should have a hot business idea you can build online. Put your idea somewhere safe and start investigating it. You’ll refer back to it in following lessons of this series.

Creating this business is going to be easy. You’ll profit from it quicker and you’ll have more fun working on it than any affiliate or marketing system you’ve ever tried. I promise!

Hey, we can help you find your own creative business. Whether you need to bounce ideas with someone or you’re just unsure about what’s right for you, we can help - Click to learn more!

 

 

Courtney Just Happened

Remember that first song you fell in love with?

Remember what you were doing when you heard it or how it made you feel?

Maybe it was the song you shared with your first love. Maybe you liked it because your parents did, and to this day you hear it and the song takes you on a magical journey through time and you smile…cry, or laugh out loud.

Does that song make you think, “What if…” or do you say, “Those were the days.”?

Weird Al Yankovic‘s music does that to me. Boy, does he ever take me back.

Every time I hear Weird Al, I become about 5 or 6 years old again. And suddenly, I am lying on the floor listening to the radio while I wait for the bus to roll up and take me to school in the morning.

There I’d lie, with my school bag on, hoping for a Weird Al song to play.

I must have drove the Radio Station crazy too. It seemed like every morning I had to call in to Lisa Legs or Gary in the Morning. When they heard my voice, they already knew what I was going to request from the moment I said, “Hello,” in my high pitched baby voice.

Persistence was not a word in my vocabulary; it was just something I did.

Then again, I’m sure not many young boys were calling in—especially that early. All I knew was that if I called and requested a song, they would play it. So of course I was going to request Eat It every chance I got!

It was my favourite song.

 

Times were changing…

MTV was also just starting off, they had MTV news with the big spinning globe and typewritten letter stamps on the intro jingle. I was crazy about music. I’m pretty certain that’s where I first got the idea to want a guitar.

Well, one Christmas, my mother got me the Fisher Price guitar complete with microphone and a tiny built-in amp. You cannot imagine my excitement as I went to work writing my very first love song.

Oh yes. I was in love. I dedicated the song to my secret crush.

Courtney was her name; she was the girl of my dreams.

All I wanted was to write a song and have Courtney hear it play on the Radio.

With nothing but that thought in my head, I plucked those guitar strings until I heard something that resembled music. To be honest, the tune was probably a lot prettier in my head than reality because if I remember correctly, it consisted of the top three stings played one at a time up and down.

Everything else was out of tune.

I didn’t care! I finally had myself a love song!

Except…

My dreams were shattered when I discovered that getting a song on Radio wasn’t simple.

And the girl of my dreams?

Well, she didn’t want anything to do with me. My older sister told me this because she often read to her while secretly gathering intel for me. Turns out, little Courtney was more into Elmer’s glue and macaroni pictures than boys and their love songs.

Sigh.

It wasn’t all a loss though. We did have a moment…once.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Mrs. Fox, our 1st Grade teacher was giving us a Science lesson about the eyes.

Remember those big bulky super-bright Overhead Projectors that shot words and pictures from a transparent sheet onto the wall?

Well, Mrs. Fox paired the children together and asked us to face one another with the overhead projector between us. She wanted us to watch each other’s pupils change size as the bright bulb was turned on and off.

I thought to myself, “This is it. This is my moment!”

Some how, even though I was only six years old, what happened next affirmed a belief I held for the rest of my life.

In the instants that followed, I truly believed that I was going to create the opportunity with my mind.

Eyes tight, I made a secret prayer with hands clenched, all sweaty. Heart racing, I imagined the girl of my dreams in front of me, already. Noises drowned, I heard the teacher call names with my knees wobbly, unsteady.

Then it happened. And we were paired.

Throughout the exercise, all I could think about was the three “musical” notes I wrote for her. No words were exchanged, but there we were…just looking at each other; eyes big, eyes small…

 

Then the moment passed.

And it was over.

I honestly cannot remember anything else about that year. Nor do I remember any more of the lessons we took in the first grade. In fact, the only thing I do remember is that a few months later, my family and I left and moved away.

I never saw Courtney again.

But that day, staring into Courtney’s eyes just silent…I learned something that even grown ups go through all of life and never realise.

When your gut tells you to want something, you obey. And everything just happens.