Archive for September, 2006



5 days & 5 minutes to better Organization – Day 1

Get it together, or don’t get it at all. You’ve got to get organized today, and now. Do you know how much time you are wasting everyday by not being organized. What takes you an hour to finish should only take you maybe 10 minutes. You are basically being overworked and underutilized, and you are contributing to this phenomenon everyday. Here is your chance to finally take some action and get your stuff straight. First things first; you’ve got to realize that organization starts in your mind and in your thought process. It’s all about systems. A creative systematic approached to everything, is how you bring clarity, structure and organization to your life. For the most part, the reason so many people are disorganized is because they have complicated their lives with random sporadic activity which cannot be traced to any real reasoning or cause. They wake up and jump into their day, absent from any purpose or direction and hope to accomplish many things…….something…….…anything. They will always succeed in accomplishing something but, it will not be a peaceful, productive, and efficient day. They are consistent in one thing, chaos. You must take control of your life by taking control of your year, by taking control of each month, by taking control of each week, by getting a handle on every day, by taking control of each hour….you get the point. At most this article should take you roughly 5 minutes or less to read and re-read and afterward you should be well on your way to bringing sanity back into your disorganized lifestyle.
The mental game you must play is to begin to break everything down you must accomplish everyday into small systems or procedures. These small systems will form the building blocks to a larger complete system that will be the basis of clarity to you and your life for every week, month and year. The idea is that it’s not what you have or do not have that makes you more organized, but rather what you do or do not do that does. You can go out and purchase a nifty shiny new pocket protector, day runner, organizer chart, file cabinet, computer software, briefcase with suede lining and built in calculator, palm pilot, or whatever else you may come up with or Google online and in the techie magazines. None of this stuff will ever do you any good if you are oblivious to using it correctly, effectively, and consistently. It just won’t work. Organization begins and ends with consistent habitual repetition. There is nothing more and nothing less to it. You decide on what you will do, and you do it over and over again. In the beginning you will no doubt experience a little bit of a challenge in sticking to the system. But if you can commit to 5 days of doing the same thing over and over again, you will have in fact created a new positive habit for yourself. You do know, habits good or bad begin this way right; and that is exactly what we’re trying to accomplish.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are always missing important papers and therefore important information and appointments. You must first create a system for receiving the papers, and processing them. In other words, what do you allow to enter into your life at all? You do not have to receive or bring home every piece of information given to you. You need to consciously decide at the time it is presented whether or not it is valuable enough for you to allow into your space. If not, leave it where it is and save yourself the headache. If you decide you need it for whatever reason then take it and place it in your designated temporary location of storage. Now here is the critical point. If this is going to work, the place of storage must be used for this purpose and this purpose alone. It cannot be a place for permanency or for leisure things that are of no importance to you at all. What you are going to do is, place the paper here when you get them, then whenever you have time, like back at home with a free hour, you will go through the papers again and then place them in their proper final resting place. What often happens to so many people is that they misplace the papers before ever getting them home. Remember, there will be a home for these articles of info, because you’ve already established that they are needed in your life Right! So to start, let’s find you a small accordion file, preferably one that is nice enough to carry around in the car and durable enough that it won’t be damaged easily. There are lots out there, so check the department stores and pick up one today. You’ll be glad you did it! Hurry up and get it and we’ll meet back here for the Day 2 session! Happy Organizing!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.

Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Protecting your seeds of Time & Creativity – (Intellectual property protection)

As we operate today in this information rich, technologically advanced universe, it is fundamental that everything we put our efforts and time towards accomplishing is completed utilizing good stewardship principles. That means that you make sure that your investments and energy are not put forth in vain and to waste. Why would you spend all of your valuable un-replaceable time and creativity accomplishing a task and not allow it to bring forth the harvest that every seed planted should. It is essential to treat your efforts and useful and necessary for the good of all mankind. So many people benefit from the gifts you’ve been gifts and are now sharing, and it is important that they are not exploited or perverted by others to cause what you’ve done to fall by the wayside. As you seek to step out and speak life and vision to the masses through your work, you’ve got make sure and protect what you’ve done through the legal means available to you. For many, carelessness, procrastination and just plain laziness will cause them to skip filling out the necessary forms required to provide protection for their literary and creative works. This is a gamble for any one. Why not just sign your freedoms away, or open up the window and turn on the fan that your money may blow away freely and possibly find some needy soul to endow. The frustration often appears out of the perception of difficulty and complexity in filling out and submitting the right stuff, at the right time, to the right place. This is not a strange and unfamiliar occurrence, yet there is an answer, that will give you some ease and protect you at the same time. Now considering that you and I are conscience about what it is we are spending cash on and for what reason, we are not going to consider handing the task off to another individual, although this definitely and option to consider if need be. We are concerned with empowering ourselves and those around us to achieve knowledge and understanding in what we can do and accomplish with our own strength and intellect. Therefore we step up to step forth and tackle this assignment together on our own.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Getting your Independent Music Project Heard – The independent musician’s guide to making money and getting your music heard.

         I finished my tracks, twelve of them altogether, and ran to show my wife what I had accomplished. Actually I called out to her very loudly, because I had completed what had taken most of my evenings for the last 6 months. I was finally done with my first Cd project. Now all I had to do was find away to get it out to those who might pay me some mind. I lived in a rural west coast city with no real knowledge or clue as to what was next. I had heard about people selling music from their trunks, but I was in know way ready to try that method. I had spent my hours shedding this music out, and now I was looking fot the path of least resistance. You’ve spent your time writing your song and producing your own tracks. What do you do now after having spent the time to finish your musical project to get it heard? After all, that is the purpose of completing the project in the first place. You want to share this passion, this inspiration, these dreams, and these motivations with the world. While you are developing the musical piece you have great aspirations of what will become of it, and who will hear it, and how it will make them feel. It is not until you are faced with the idea of actually delivering it to the world that you realize you have no clue as to where to begin. You’ve been reading books, looking at magazines, or even searching the internet, but you are still at step one, and almost going backwards as you see it. Well never fear, as they say, after reading this article, you will be well equipped and ready to move forward in your musical distribution and promotions. After you’ve taken the time to read this you’ll want to share all your information with everyone you come across, whether they are producing music like you or if they even care at all. Because you are an independent musician and have not been picked up by any major record label I presume, your approach has got to be somewhat different than that of a signed musician with front money and an already established publisher/ distributor arrangement in line. Much of the work and tasks we will discuss is handled by those who have been hired out by the Record Labels of which you and I are not affiliated with. Some have the personal opinion about whether it is good or not to be signed by a major record label, and some of these same people have never been signed by anyone too. However, let’s not dwell on this issue, as this is not where you or I are standing at the moment. Those opinions to us are dead weight. After all, we’ve exhausted enough time doodling along anyway trying to figure out how to get our music heard. But, since we are independents, we must approach the delivery of our music in this manner. There are fortunately some great opportunities that abound for us because we share this status.               Several companies online cater to the independent musician alone. There are also many creative ways to get your music produced, published and distributed that are virtually without any cost to you whatsoever. Why spend all of your hard earned work money trying to discover if your product will sell when you can utilize some already available tools and utilities which will afford you this opportunity for little of nothing. There are several companies that I personally enjoy using for this reason alone, the cost! Let’s take ourselves through the normal process of getting a CD or music product to market and see how we can accomplish this task on our own without much cash at all. Hey, we don’t have the benefit of front money because there is no record label to front it. Even if we had it, why spend it on something you can often get for free. So let’s assume that all the tracking and recording has been completed and that you now have a master CD burned. It is now time to make some decisions as to what you want to do with it. You can duplicate this yourself at home with your own burner, then affix labels with your title and info printed on them to the CD. You can take you time and assemble each one or use a friend or family member to help you with this. There are a few sites online however that will allow you to upload each track to their site as a new project and then the artwork associated with the project for the cover. They will then operate on a print on demand type service which allows you to keep the cash you’d otherwise have to shell out for printing and duplication. A great way to set yourself up to take great advantage of this process would be to host your own website and design a page on the site that gives visitors a chance to sample and purchase your CD. Next go to paypal.com and set-up a new (free) account with them to handle the online payments for your CD. Paypal offers credit card processing online for all the major credit cards and then just takes a fee for processing. They will inform you of the sell and you can have the money directly deposited into your bank account. Next, log in to your account on the print-on-demand site and purchase the CD at your rate, which will be discounted because you are the artist. You can then have the CD delivered directly from them with the purchasers information filled out. The other option with this is to have it shipped to you and then forwarded to them. The first option allows you to spend virtually no money in the exchange. I’ve done this myself several times, and it works great. As independent artists, our main purpose should be to get heard, not break the bank.           Another great and popular service that has been successfully in business serving the independent artist community is a site called CDBaby. These guys are an absolute must for any serious independent musician. I use them myself and I must say they are by far the easiest, straight forward, hassle free service for musicians I’ve seen since I’ve been in this game. What they do is provide distribution for independent artists and musicians only. They started out as an online service. They have a set fee for submitting your music  to their site and having them host a store front for each album you send them. You’d really do good to check them out, as my description may not give there services justice. However, to give you a little more information about them I’ll try. The process works like so. You’ve got your finished product. So you go online and request to sign up as an artist. They will ask you all of the pertinent information about yourself, including your email address and home address or place you would like your checks mailed to. That’s right your checks! You also have the option of having the money deposited into your account for you.Then you’ll add information about your CD like track names and copyright information. They’ll ask you which tracks if any you’d like provide clips of for your buyers and visitors. You also get the option of setting up a UPC barcode for your project, which for another small fee (under $20) they provide electronically for you. They take care of all of the leg work. You’ll then be asked to send them at least 5 CD’s total to start with. Once they receive these CD’s they will scan the cover art, rip the files into mp3 and post the information and files necessary to build your music page. In a very short time, a few days at most, you should have your new page up and running. CDBaby takes %9 of the price set to purchase, but you can set the purchase price yourself. And basically that’s it. That’s all it take to get your project up online and ready to be seen and heard by millions world wide. You have basically opened up a door to many new possibilities and opportunities for your music.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Use Free fuel for your Growth.

Start by listing all the people in your life that have made any contribution to your growth whether they were sweet about it and meant you well or if they were nasty and mean and wanted you to fail. Write every name down, and how they have influenced what you do in life, where you are in life, and what you’ve learned through life. For the mean and nasty, write a general letter that says thank you for being the obstacle in my life that made me work harder, think different, go another way, move to another place, and just plain wake up. To the sweet and supportive,  one that says thank you for helping remember that I could be better, do better, live better, and think higher. Send it to yourself in the mail via snail mail, two letters, two envelopes, and then place them in a place unopened. Whenever you need to remind yourself of your worth and whether you’re headed in the right direction, just unseal the letters,open them up and read about where you’ve come from and what it took to get you here. It will remind you of the road past and strengthen you for the road ahead. Be blessed and encouraged. Know that everything you’ve faced is only making you for your greater tomorrow. DOn’t go past it, or over it, plow through and overcome it. You can, you will, you shall, you must, SURVIVE!!!!!!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

Drop it while it’s HOT!!

Stop thinking about it, stop pondering, stop wondering whether it will work, quit asking questions as to when is the best time, stop giving yourself more excuses why you should take your time and reconsider, don’t listen anymore to the worries and doubts of your “friends” and family, no longer give and weight to the alarms of the media and social temperature of the day, you’ve wasted to much time, you procrastinated too long, you allowed the day to pass by, and the years to fly by, it is nearing the evening in your life and the night is at hand, what you were going to do, and what you have continually thought about, will never become real if you don’t get up, and get to it TODAY! You will ever give you credit for what you thought about doing and considered to be a grand and innovative idea, it is only what is made flesh by your action and movement that ever gets noticed, looked upon, appreciated, and enjoyed. You have been so uniquely created and so divinely gifted to bless this world with all you have imagined. Please do not let us down by your fear and fixation on doing it all tomorrow. Here is a little hint…….Tomorrow will never come!!!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

How to be successful at everything.

One of the greatest keys to being succesful at anything you ever set forth to accomplish, is the skill and principle of recognizing seasons, time and opportunity. This by far is the single most greatest thing necessary insure advancement and growth in any area. The idea is that, for everything there is a season and if you can realize, recognize, capitalize and materialize within this time frame everything you touch will turn to gold. The converse is equally true in that, if you make an attempt to step forth into something new (or old) outside of YOUR season, it will inevitably be a chore, a bore, and probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever attempt. When the season is not right for you venture you will see little to no success. It’s a lot like planting seeds and harvesting. A tree or plant has a time of sowing, seeding and being planted, and then a time of watering, cultivating, pruning, and finally harvesting (or picking or reaping). If any of these actions are done out of order, the results are never fully effective. The planted seed will not reach its full growth and ripeness or will become withered and die early. It’s a principle and it works in agriculture, and in real life.
Make sure what you are doing is at the right time and in the right season for you and it. You, stuggle less, and enjoy it more!!!!

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr. Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com

The Key to changing habits.

To thine own self be true. How real this saying is and it remanins to be seen how many people will actually take this one to heart and let it guide their actions. One thing we’ve got to get straight up front is that we’ve got to start with our own house and our own porch when it comes to getting things straight. Many times if you’re not soberly aware you can find yourself looking through the window at someone else’s problems and hang-ups only to forget that there are many issues everyday that need to be tended to by your own hands, for your own life. Time is precious, yet we all get some to do and become the best we can.Wasted opportunities spent complaining and murmuring earn you absolutely nothing. Try this, I think it will help you keep it all together, (it works for me). Always take the blame for your own misfortune and status. If you did not achieve it or did not accomplish it, it is absoultely positively your fault. The thing is, you can definitely change yourself and change your habits. It causes you to always strive for more and never settle for mediocrity. Give it a shot, and tell me how it works out for you. You’ll find more time left over, and more satisfaction out of the time you spent.

Copyright © 2006 Kenneth Martin, Jr.Practical Personal Development

Practical wisdom, for practical lives, practical words, to practical people, from a practical guy!

 

http://www.klmartin.com


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