When I think about how the world of writing has evolved, what most comes to mind is not the content: We've always had mysteries, thrillers, non-fiction and children's books, but rather the new tools and platforms now available to the writer.
Prominent among these is the advent of the Blog. Short for Web Log, the blog allows a writer to float an idea (a post) to a world audience and then gage the reaction. True, the post may just be a rant about politics or a social issue, but the opportunity for a writer, sitting in their easy chair to inform, enlighten or inspire someone across the globe in a matter of seconds by publishing a thought is a phenomenal transformation of the art.
As with any art, there are those who dabble, or who are striving to develop their voice and others who have been honing their skills for a while or have managed to lead the pack, right out of the gate.
There are so many talented writers in every imaginable genre to choose from, I cannot begin to compile an adequate list for every type of reader. So, as a patron and creator of Non-Fiction, Self Improvement content, I have focused on those qualities that I admire most and aspire to:
•Good visual impact
•Well organized navigation
•Ability to demystify complex ideas
•Drawing conclusions rather than just posing questions
•Focusing on content that can make a real difference in people's lives
Here are a list of my new favorites that inform and inspire me.
Click on each picture to be taken directly to the respective site.
A true voice of honesty in the struggle to overcome the damaging effects of a dysfunctional childhood. Well written and unabashedly authentic, anyone who is ready to admit they need help will find inspiration in Jeff's confessions and hopeful message:
"No one can ever take your sense of self and achievement away from you. For those of you who might feel lost right now, trust me on this: KEEP GOING. That’s the only reason I made it this far, to enjoying a peaceful and fulfilled life every single day. I have true inner peace now, but I’m also driven to take my success to the next levels, one by one, giving back as I go".
"Never forget where you came from and who helped you along the way".
– Jeff Emmerson
Corey Wayne has a No Nonsense approach to success in Relationships, Work and Life. He, himself is a success story, who like many of us, was lost and feeling hopeless, until the right teacher appeared in his life. By listening and applying what he learned, he began expanding and realizing his real potential and now is doing exactly what he loves. Something he never anticipated doing in those difficult early years:
"Having lots of money and material things is nice and I am grateful for all I have, but for me, teaching, coaching, and helping others be their best selves and achieve their dreams fulfills me like nothing else I have ever done.
Due to the success I have achieved and enjoyed it has enabled me to learn personally from the world’s top trainers and coaches. People like Tony Robbins (the world’s most successful and highest paid coach) and Keith Cunningham (the “Rich Dad” from Robert Kiyosaki’s NY Times Best Selling book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”)
Unlike most of the other Life & Peak Performance Coaches you will find on the internet, I’ve actually done and experienced the things I teach others how to do. As a wise coach once taught me, before you can teach, you must know.
No matter where you are in your life right now, or what challenges you may have, I promise you, I have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. The reason I can coach you to get the very best out of yourself is because I have learned over my 40 years on this planet how to get the best out of myself first. I’ve learned from the best teachers, and coaches in the world".
The Social M's
Berlin based Jonathan Gebauer and Susanna Gebauer are committed to transforming the "Web 2.0" experience for the content creator and content consumer. In a world increasingly dominated by self-promoting quasi-entrepreneurs that offer nothing of value, Jonathan and Susanna provide a roadmap for how to stand out and succeed. How to been seen and heard over the din of useless noise:
"Content marketing is an essential way we do business within Web 2.0. Replacing spam, a bombardment of advertisement and self-promotion, is useful and high quality content. Companies that embrace a content marketing strategy focus on how to present their existing knowledge in a way that both captivates and helps their target group grow professionally".
As I often stress in my blog and book, the road to Sustainable Happiness requires us to discover and adopt new skills and disciplines that work to build our foundation from the inside out. Elements of that foundation include Physical Health, Emotional Health and yes, Financial Health. This is an area of expertise that Kyle, the author, has developed and now shares with her readers:
"I realized that my wandering through life with no direction financially probably wouldn’t cut it, so I changed my habits, pulled up my big boy pants and started in on a financial plan to change my future. This blog will chronicle my journey to financial freedom while destroying debt, earning my masters degree (cash flow!), and getting married along the way. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert (except on the topic of eating cheap!). My experience is what I will draw from and I want to use my skill as a teacher to inspire others to learn from my mistakes and go along with me on my journey to financial freedom. I will share tips, tricks, and strategies to live a debt free life and kick debt to the curb"
I think Noel would agree with this statement: Humanity is divided into three groups: Followers, Managers and Leaders. If you aspire to or have been placed in a position of directing others, whether in Sports, Manufacturing, Information Technology or Science, you must find your "Inner Leader" if you hope to be successful. It's not enough to just tell others what to do, you must inspire them to want to do it and do it well. Sometimes this ability is a talent, but more often than not, it is a learned skill that evolves into an art form.
If you want to be better at leadership, you could not have a better ally than Noel:
"If you're only a 'Manager' you're not getting the best from your employees".
And here is why
-The manager administers; the leader innovates.
- The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
- The manager maintains; the leader develops.
- The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
- The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
- The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
- The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
- The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader's eye is on the horizon.
- The manager imitates; the leader originates.
- The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
- The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
- The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.
As I alluded to earlier, there are many more platforms and opportunities for the writer to explore. But along with that, there are exponentially more challenges as well. Writers tend to be introverted, shy and humble. Not qualities that lend themselves to shameless self promotion. And yet, writers must learn to navigate Social Media platforms, how to write ads that boast about their content, and how to track the results of their efforts, so they can be fine tuned into a robust monetization machine. Unless, you just write for the fun and gratification of it (which is just fine), or you can afford to pay someone else to manage sales and promotion, you will have to get out of your comfort zone become "Chief cook and bottle washer" as we say. You'll have to do it all. And that can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there are experts like Kelly Santana-Banks, who can help you understand and navigate the dark, mysterious underbelly of literary success.
"The spark for writing ignited when studying and working in the field of early-childhood education. By there, I knew I wanted to author children’s books someday. A few years down the road, in a stroke of luck, I was invited to pursue reviews at Readers’ Favorite: Books Review and Award Contest, for which I became an official reviewer.
Later, as a content writer, I set up this blog, and I wanted to take advantage of my experiences and holistic educational philosophy to write reviews based on books while primarily focusing on the areas of business and education.
As the blog evolved so did my goals, and I felt the need to improve and follow the demands of readers while helping them along the way.
Now Reviews by The Banks has reshaped its identity and became a lifestyle review blog, focusing on educational, family/parenting, and entrepreneurial (writing & blogging) resources. Here, you will find critiques and interviews offering novel perspectives on those subjects".
Dr. Amy occupies an unusual and indispensable niche in the world of Interpersonal Relations, she is an Industrial-Organizational Psychology Practitioner. While you may not be able to say all that in one breath, you will certainly be able to benefit from her sage advice if you work with difficult people. In fact that is the name of her book "Working With Difficult People" published by Penguin, Random House.
[Dr Amy] helps employees and employers to get along better, and coaches leaders and employees to improve productivity, morale, satisfaction, and overall work-life balance. Her book, provides clear strategies to effectively handle the ten types of difficult bosses, colleagues, and subordinates.
I wish I had read this book, back when I had to work with that #@*&?!!_?^)(@# boss!
If you've enjoyed learning about these passionate innovators, let them know, by going to their Facebook or Twitter pages and liking them. Better yet let them know that you learned about them through www.happinesstree.org and that will help me, help you, with new, useful content to fuel your journey toward Sustainable Happiness.
Don't forget to visit and refer others to the "Life Modules" at www.happinesstree.org. You'll be glad you did. And so will I.
Thanks for reading,
-Shane Eric Mathias