It’s great to start, but relationships don’t truly grow without human investment

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Like to feel noticed, unique, and important?

Yeah, me, too.

Marketers have picked up on this psychological truth. They’ve come up with all kinds of savvy tricks (e.g., putting your name in the subject line of an email) to get you to buy, buy, buy or otherwise participate.

Research shows that these efforts do work to a degree. Shoppers want personalized approaches and reward companies that can deliver.

But what happens when people are past the initial “personalized” automation?

The reality is, business is built on relationships, which require *cough* people. If you are not prepared to invest human energy…


Why writing what you want, whenever you want, is a great idea

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Is it okay to write in more than one genre as an author?

At a recent writer’s conference, a panelist had a clear answer for me. New author? Looking for traditional publishing? Stick to one genre. That way, the publisher can market you to build your following. If you feel like writing other stuff after that, cool.

It’s logical advice, based on the fact people pick books based on expectations you’ve already set as a writer. But maybe it doesn’t capture the whole picture. What about writers who use pen names to play around (e.g., J.K. Rowling)? Yes, they have…


How to manage in the swirl of chaos and calm

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Over the past week, here in Minnesota, my family and I are finally enjoying a break in the excessive heat we’ve had all summer. I even put a jacket on yesterday morning, although to be fair, I was walking to a neighbor’s apartment while the stars were still out. The kids are finally back in school. I’ve taken on new writing clients this month. There was a notice that my condo complex is about to close the outdoor pool. My neighbor had just lost her father (I walked to her apartment, to tend to her kitty while she’s away).

So…


When you boil the frog, risk tolerance matures in the pot

Image by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos; thanks a lot from Pixabay

Beginning in October 2016, I had the privilege of writing a regular daily column at Inc.com — I focused on psychology, mental health, and science as related to business and leadership. While I was there, I emailed and interviewed people in all kinds of business roles, including hundreds of founders and CEOs. It was a gig that allowed me to establish myself firmly as a business writer, and I learned tons about how companies work, leadership attitudes, and the importance of investing in your business if you believe in it.

As all this happened, there was no escaping the fact…


How to create a journal you’ll love that’s actually fun to use

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You don’t have to look very far to find the benefits of gratitude journaling — stress reduction, for example. But if you don’t approach it the right way, then keeping this kind of journal can start to feel more like a chore than a tool to relax and appreciate. And if that happens, then the odds of you tossing the habit into the trash are pretty high.

So from my own experience, here’s what I recommend you do to make gratitude journaling way more fun and easy to stick with.

1. Explore variety.

One of the reasons social media is so popular is…


12 tips for gaining real connections instead of just more follows

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Several months ago, I signed up for a writer’s conference. Even though most of the panels covered things I felt confident with, I was eager to do one thing — network. Especially because of COVID-19, I felt like my people quota had dipped into dangerous territory and needed a refill. But as I completed my registration, I thought more broadly about the state of networking in the digital age.

For decades, the chance to network has been one of the main attractions behind webinars, conferences, trade shows, and all kinds of other events. The basic idea is that the more…


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Having a decent product or service might have been enough to attract workers or customers and keep them in your court in the old days. Those days, however, are fading fast. On top of great services and products, people also demand that businesses keep their ethical bar high and connect with a real sense of individual and social purpose. It’s this exceptional moral operation that sets companies apart when products and services blur in appearance, quantity, or quality, and that marketers have to maintain as a core principle for building relationships, selling well, and contributing to growth.

Word of mouth works, but lies are no good

Now, if you…


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Virtually all managers use performance reviews with their team members, given that the assessments can help workers use their talents well and know where they can grow. But accomplishment reviews have their perks, too, and should be a regular part of your arsenal.

What is an accomplishment review?

An accomplishment review is a formal or informal one-on-one assessment where you focus on what someone on your team has achieved within a given time period. The accomplishments you highlight can be strictly task-based, but you also can highlight other areas, such as the development of new positive relationships.

The point of an accomplishment review is to


How knowing your weaknesses helps you fight when you really should for success and joy

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There was another one in my inbox yesterday. A rejection from yet another literary agent.

As a writer, I suppose I’ve been conditioned to expect and even accept these rejections. But it also was Rejection #211…on the same book. Most literary agents tell people to stop querying between #50–100.

Is this a demonstration of positive grit? Or is it evidence of deep, negative denial?

The Key and the Doors

The differentiation between grit and denial is critical to finding happiness regardless of what field you’re in or the goal you have. Let me use an analogy to show you why.

Take a second and imagine…


The big benefits of talking to God no matter what

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About a week ago, I was fuming at the mouth over something my son said to me.

Then I got frustrated because I honestly didn’t know if a new project I have going was worthwhile despite putting hours of time into it. It was just not a good day. My husband noticed. He came over and hugged me.

“Do you want to pray about it?”

The last thing I wanted to do was pray about it. In fact, I wanted to punch something. Anything.

So I walked away and cried.

When I finally got it together and could think straight…

Wanda Thibodeaux

Writer/Owner, Takingdictation.com. Interests: Business, motivational psychology, self-development, mental health. Podcast Host, Faithful on the Clock.

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