Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communication

Who is Dr. Marshall Rosenberg?

Note from Taylor Reaume: Dr. Marshall Rosenberg is one of my top 10 mentors. I was privileged to have the opportunity to meet him twice at workshops held in Santa Barbara. His model for compassionate communication is the most advanced and helpful system for processing internal thoughts I have ever found.

With a nation often on edge due to political and racial strife, students and communities trying to make their voices heard, and even families forced to quarantine together in close quarters, it has never been more important to learn to communicate without resorting to violence. Nonviolent Communication, or NVC, heightens awareness regarding the importance of communicating compassionately, verbalizing feelings, and understanding the differences between needs and requests vs. demands. I hope you enjoy these insights into his work.

A Worldwide Movement Begins

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg was an American psychologist, mediator, author and teacher known for developing the theory of Nonviolent Communication. He began formulating his insights during the civil rights and anti-war protests of the 1960s, and helped to peacefully desegregate long-separated school districts. From there, he went on to work as a global peacemaker and founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an international non-profit organization. The NVC community is currently active in over 65 countries around the globe. According to the Center:

“NVC is based on the principles of nonviolence – the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture.”

NVC assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that all actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deeper connections, and enhanced conflict resolution. Applications can be seen in all sectors of society from the personal and professional to the political.

Groups such as educators, mental health and health care providers, managers, lawyers, police and prison officials, military officers, prisoners, clergy, government officials, and families have benefited from his teachings. He has provided training to promote the peaceful resolution of differences in areas fraught with war and economic disadvantages.

What is NVC?

Most of us want to improve the quality of our relationships, to deepen our sense of personal empowerment and to communicate more effectively. Unfortunately, though, we have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand and diagnose; to think and communicate in terms of “right“ and “wrong.“ The habitual ways we think and speak tend to hinder communication and create misunderstanding. At their most extreme, our unfeeling habits can lead to anger, pain, and even violence.

NVC reaches beneath the surface and discovers what is alive and vital within us. It flows from the understanding that all of our actions are based on human needs we seek to fulfill. NVC provides a vocabulary of feelings and needs that help us more clearly express what is going on in us, and understand what is going on in others. When we understand and acknowledge our needs, we develop a shared foundation for much more satisfying relationships.

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg Non Violent Communication NVCC

Violent Communication vs. Nonviolent Communication

In its Key Facts About Nonviolent Communication, the CNVC describes violence as “acting in ways that result in hurt or harm.” Based on this definition, they believe that much of how we communicate – judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating , speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people – could therefore be called “violent communication.”

Nonviolent Communication, on the other hand is the integration of four things:

  1. Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity.
  2. Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance.
  3. Communication Skills: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move towards solutions that work for all.
  4. Means of Influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others.”

NVC serves our desire to increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection; connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships; and share resources so everyone is able to benefit.

The Four Cornerstones of NVC

Most workshops, prior to Dr. Rosenberg’s time, tended to focus on conflict resolution as gaining power over other people. There was no recognition of individual qualities or affirmation of each other’s uniqueness, no compassion or nurturing. While violence usually results from such concepts as judgments, thoughts, strategies and demands, Rosenberg instead based NVC on four core components known as OFNR:

  • Observations: This is a description of what is actually happening, as reported by our direct, sensory experiences mixed with our “inner voice.” Observations should be free of moral judgment and criticism.
  • Feelings: These are the physical sensations and emotions which are universal to all people. It could be a sensation of fear, love, happiness, or guilt.
  • Needs/Values: These are the resources which are necessary to sustain our lives, and are also universal.
  • Requests: Requests are when one party has an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of another. It is a specific action which provides a concrete offering with the intention of helping to fulfill a need. Requests can come in the form of clarity, feedback and action.

How You Can Use the NVC Process

The life-changing benefits of NVC can be applied to conflict resolution, personal relationships, parenting and families, education, personal growth, organizational effectiveness, anger management, business relationships and individual spirituality.

NVC helps to develop your emotional vocabulary, connect with your feelings and needs, break negative habit patterns, hear the needs behind behavior and get to the heart of the conflict.

A good starting point is to learn how to use “feeling” words in a sentence. This way you can accurately describe how you are feeling to the other person.

Feelings When Needs Not Met

Getting both people’s needs met involves accurately communicating how one feels about the needs being met or unmet.

Feelings When Needs Met

Here is a general outline of the entire communication model:

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg Non Violent Communication NVCC

Paraphrased Quotes from Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg

“Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression on an unmet need.”

“The goal of Nonviolent Communication is not to alter people and their behavior to suit us; it is to establish relationships based on empathy and honesty, which will fulfill everyone’s needs eventually.”

“The more we discuss the past, the less we heal from it.”

“We can’t make anyone do anything against their will without enormous consequences.”

Below is a Youtube video of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg speaking to a group of psychologists. This was an NVC workshop in San Francisco, CA.

Although Dr. Rosenberg passed away in 2015, the Center he founded continues to educate people to communicate more effectively and become more connected globally. The world is definitely in a better place for the legacy he left us.

NVC QUIZ FOR KIDS: I stayed up until 4am designing these quiz sheets below. If you have kids, you might benefit from chatting with them about the answers.

I use these quizzes to annoy the crap out of my nephews and nieces when I see them. 🙂

They are designed to help children distinguish between feelings or thoughts, and requests or demands.

And finally, below is a collection of infographics I’ve collected over the years.

How To Create Blog Tags Automatically

Blog Tag Generator

Achieving a #1 ranking on search engines requires a diligent approach in all aspects of your online marketing. This includes your website, social media, and online communications.

Many of my clients use blogs to share information and educate customers and prospects, but the one key strategy they often miss is blog tags.

Blog tags are those words or phrases that are used to describe a blog post. They are usually about one to three words long, and are attached as labels to your blog.

One function of blog tags is to help the search engine crawlers get a quick idea of what your content is all about. When created with search intent in mind, blog tags can help propel your content to the top or search engine results.

Another great benefit of blog tags is that they help visitors navigate the content on your site, especially as you continue adding content. Many companies use WordPress to create and upload blog content to their web pages.

Part of the uploading process asks you to designate which categories and tags should be applied to your blog. Tags are more specific than the categories.

Even though they are not required, I still highly recommend you add tags to each and every blog right from the start. After you have a number of blogs, WordPress offers up a list of your most common tags that you can click on to add to your piece.

WordPress uses these tags to create topic archive pages. Visitors searching for specific content can use these pages to instantly retrieve the information they want. This might require you to plan some sort of themes for your blog posts.

blog tag generator1

For example, most of my blog tags focus around topics like email marketing, SEO, PPC, social media and website design. Tags are not made-up words; they are real words or phrases that potential customers might use to learn more about the products and services you offer.

Best Practices for Blog Tags 

  • Keep them concise.
  • Avoid redundancy.
  • Be consistent across blogs.
  • Broad topics are better than narrow.
  • Keep the number of tags to a realistic number — not too few, not too many. Usually between 5-10 tags is just fine, unless you have something really special to tag!

Automating the Blog Tag Process

One helpful tip for creating blog tags is to perform keyword research first. This helps to uncover the tags you might want focus on in your blog content.

If you are really on your content game, and create a number of blog posts every month, adding blog tags might be easy for you, but either way, the process of manually adding tags each and every time can get a little tedious.

Fortunately there are some options which can help automate the blog tag process:

  • Auto Tag Creator: This plugin automatically converts keywords in a post/product title and category to tags upon saving. It includes a user-editable list of words you want the plugin to ignore. Activate the plugin through the WordPress Plugins menu.
  • Smart Tag Insert: Once you have defined a tags list, this plugin adds a box in the post editing page which looks for relevant tags based on post content. The most relevant are automatically selected (although the selection can be changed). Selected tags can be added with a click.
  • TagΒee Post Tagger: This is a simple plugin which proposes tags for your content.

This post is a great opportunity to tell you about the WORD ROBOT. This is a tool I created, and offer for free on my website.

WORD ROBOT automatically creates blog tags for your blog post by analyzing the keyword density. Simply paste in your article content and VOILA!

It also converts lower case and upper case letters, capitalize and uncapitalize, convert to mix case, and transform your text.

  • Sentence Case: The sentence case converter allows you to paste any text you like, and it automatically transforms it to a fully formed sentence structure. It works by capitalizing the very first letter in each sentence, and then goes on to transform the rest of the text into lowercase, and also converts each single lowercase “i” into a capital. Every letter after a full stop gets converted into an upper case letter, but it will not capitalize names or places.
  • Lower Case: If you are wondering how to uncapitalize text, this is exactly what the lower case text converter allows you to do. It transforms all the letters in your text into lowercase letters. Simply copy the text that you want to convert into a lowercase font, paste the text into the tool, and select the “lower case” tab option.
  • Upper Case: Sometimes you do want your text to be in all capitals. The upper case transformer takes any text provided and transforms all the letters into upper case. It essentially makes all lower case letters into CAPITALS, but still manages to keep upper case letters as they are meant to be.
  • Capitalized Case: There are times when you need the first letter of every word in a phrase capitalized. This might be for something like H1 and H2 content in your blog. The capitalized case converter automatically converts the starting letter of every word into upper case and leaves the remaining letters as lower case ones.
  • Title Case: When writing titles, especially in a Word Doc format, you frequently get those annoying notifications that certain words in a title should not be capitalized. The title case converter is perfect for those who are a bit unsure on how to title an upcoming essay. It ensures the correct letters are capitalized within the context of a title. Words such “an” or “of” will be left all in lower case, and words that are important will be converted to capitalize the initial letter.

Writing blogs, keeping content fresh on your website and updating social media sites can sometimes be tedious work.

Fortunately today’s technology offers a wide variety of specialized tools that can help automate some of the most mundane parts of each process.

Check out these tools and let me know in the comment box below if they help your blogging efforts?

How I Learned Vocal Tonality

Vocal Tonality

Have your heard yourself lately?

Learn these secrets to sounding like a celebrity.

There is a saying that some people learn visually, but that’s not the only way to learn or take in information. I have always been an auditory learner. Because of that, I’ve had a real connection to audiobooks almost since they were invented. I love to learn anything. 

Audiobooks today have become such an easy way for me to satisfy that thirst for learning I have. If you’re reading this, you understand that a little. You want to learn from audiobooks too. 

One thing that’s always fascinated me about audiobooks is how the narrators use their voices to tell a story. If you are an audio learner like me, you don’t even need to see the person or the character to really get a sense of what story they are telling you. I’m intrigued by this. It is an actual thing called vocal tonality. 

Vocal tonality refers to how your words resonate, and the phonation of your voice. Phonation is what happens with your vocal cords, while resonation refers to the other parts of your mouth and throat that make up words and sounds. That includes the larynx, pharynx, jaw, teeth, and lips.

Princeton University develops speakers that they call Word Smart speakers. They are among the most brilliant voice over workers on the planet. They’ve learned this craft of vocal tonality.

I’ve checked out a few audiobooks on vocal tonality that I think you will like that can help you master this. That includes the Word Smart product. Have a look, and see what you can do with your own voice afterward.

The Sound of Your Voice by Dr. Carol Fleming

Dr. Carol Fleming is a speech pathologist, a speech expert, and a consultant with speech communication. She’s developed this book that will help you to listen to how your voice sounds, and develop it into the voice that you want it to be. She calls it “voice image.” What does your voice sound like to the rest of the world? That’s a voice image. Dr. Fleming shows you what the fundamentals of voice image are and takes you through the process of understanding your voice better.

Through this book, you will understand more what your own voice says about you. You learn how to diagnose and analyze your own voice. You begin to understand what its problems are, and how to correct them. If you want to learn regional dialects or mannerisms, the tools are here to practice those. You also learn things like how to become more confident in your voice, and how to make it sound stronger and more clear.

What I liked about this one is that it focuses more on interpersonal communication, and it is not entirely about the business sense of things. You may not learn how to speak professionally here, but you will learn the basic skill of sounding more confident when you speak to people. This is a skill that can be built upon if you want to use your vocal tonality professionally.

Vocal Awareness by Arthur Samuel Joseph MA 

For many people, the first thing they get to know about you is your voice. When you call your bank for the first time, for example, the first thing they get to know about you is your voice. Are you aware of how that comes across? This is what fascinates me about audiobooks. If you have no idea what the narrator looks like, you can get an entire perception of someone by just listening to them. Vocal Awareness by Arthur Joseph tells you how to understand this identity part of your voice so that you can control more of what people see in you when they hear your voice.

Here you learn how to master your voice and coordinate it in your life in a way that is powerful. It’s an excellent tool to become more aware of what you sound like. We don’t often get to hear what we sound like or understand our own voice identity, and I love that this book gives you the tools to do that.

Voice of a Leader by Arthur Samuel Joseph

Another thing I love learning about audiobooks and their narrators is how much we learn about a person when we hear them speak. This concept goes beyond vocal identity and picturing a certain person when we hear them. Voice of a Leader by Arthur Samuel Joseph is an excellent sequel to Vocal Awareness. This is a book that is used by a number of professionals in speaking, from politicians to corporate executives. If you’re practicing the art of vocal tonality for professional purposes, this book is a good one to hit in the middle of your journey. Start off just learning how to learn more about your voice, and you will find that you’re taking this craft to an entirely new level.

One thing I liked doing when I listened to this is I took a recording of my voice before I listened to the book, and after. After I used the principles in this book to study my voice more. I really felt like I got to know myself better. That helped me to improve my vocal tonality. This book is worth the try.

Word Smart Genius Edition by The Princeton Review, Michael Freedman

Word Smart is Einstein-level vocal tonality work. This comes right from The Princeton Review, and it is used by the best in the world. It doesn’t feel like you are learning Princeton-style the whole time. You definitely get the sense that this is higher-level learning at a very elevated level. However, you have examples that make you laugh, monologues you will enjoy, and little quizzes that make it easy to retain information.

You also get some good vocabulary lessons here. These are words you’ve never heard of, most of the time, and it makes the process fun. The work here is done in a very clever but easygoing way that makes the process of learning something fascinating very easy. This one is a must-have, and worth every penny.

Study Vocal Tonality Today

There isn’t one book here that I recommend over the others. They are all industry leaders developed by industry leaders. Get them all. I learned so much more about vocal tonality, and me, by working with these audiobooks. Have fun!

How To Increase YouTube Views

Increase youtube views 1

YouTube is inarguably the biggest platform for video creators to potentially reach millions of people around the globe. The problem many creators face is how to get those views. 

If you’re a marketer or content developer looking to boost your YouTube views for free, the process can take time and effort. But if done correctly, you’ll be rewarded with more views, a better user experience, and opportunities to grow your content and audience. 

Like most major social media platforms, YouTube operates on an algorithm that suggests videos that a particular user will most likely be interested in to keep them on YouTube for longer. This data is collected from the user’s viewership history and engagement on videos they have watched in the past. 

Thankfully, YouTube’s algorithm considers a wide range of variables when determining which videos are the best and should appear at the top of its search results. This algorithm is vital in determining if your video makes it onto the suggested and trending page.

Whether you’re just starting a YouTube channel for the first time or you’re seeking new ways to gain viewers, it’s important to stay on top of the latest methods. 

So, here’s 10 of the best practices for getting more YouTube views (bonus: don’t miss the 3 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid).

10 Best Practices For Getting More YouTube Views

1.) Allow Ads On Your Videos

If you’re trying to monetize your blog, allowing YouTube to run advertisements can be a great start. But if you don’t use the right kind of ad placements for your video, it can drive away viewers. If your video is longer, it’s reasonable to run an ad in the middle. Shorter videos should stick to ads placed at the beginning or end of the video. Even though studies show that visual attention is higher for advertisements on YouTube than on TV, you shouldn’t expect viewers to watch more advertising than content. So before you check yes to placing ads in every place you can, consider the perspective of the viewer.

2.) Keyword Optimization

For each of your videos, it’s imperative to embed unique keywords in specific areas. Creating strands of keywords for each video will improve the reach of your video. It will also place your video in front of the right crowd. If you haven’t been customizing your keywords for each video, you can open the data from previous videos by going to “Videos” in your YouTube Studio Dashboard. 

TITLES:  Write Youtube Titles that are descriptive and keyword rich.  Picking a good title is critical. Your title should not give everything about your video away but should be intriguing enough that someone would want to click on it with the promise of what the title is delivered in the video.   A engaging and descriptive title accomplishes two goals: it provides keywords for the algorithm to sort for relevancy, and it attracts viewers and informs them about the video’s content.  You can do your keyword research through a keyword planner provided by Google. Go to keyword planner and select YouTube search on the far right to see how common a keyword is on YouTube. By reminding users and search engines of what your video is about, optimizing your video content for the right keywords can help you gain organic views.

DESCRIPTIONS:  The video description informs the viewer what the video is about without giving too much away. You can think of it as a meta-description except for YouTube. A description that stands out and captures the viewers’ interest increases the click-through rate, thus generating more views.  Entice users with keywords you know they are looking out for when they search for a particular video. An excellent format to follow is to have a strong introduction of approximately 2-3 sentences, an outline that is about 150 words, and links to relevant websites and your social handles.

TAGS:  Video tags help create a niche for your video and your content so that the algorithm understands what viewers may be interested in when they watch your video and those like it. Tags, therefore, push videos with relevant tags to the forefront of a user’s suggestion page, increasing viewership. The best place to put these phrases is at the bottom of your description. But also remember to change the automatically generated keywords in the “Extras” section. 

Pro Tip: It can also be useful to keep a notepad or Word document with common keywords for you to add to your videos. Keeping this list can help you generate these words faster and cut down your uploading time.

Include keywords in these places:

  • Thumbnails
  • Tags
  • Video Description

3.) YouTube Subscribe Watermark

The more subscribers you have, the more likely viewers are going to see your posts. But how do you draw viewers into subscribing? By creating a “subscribe” watermark for your videos. Creating your own “subscribe” watermark is simpler than it may look. In YouTube Studio, select Settings > Channel > Branding. From this screen, you can choose an image for your branding watermark and the amount of time you would like it displayed on your video. Make sure the image design catches the eye and matches your channel.

Pro Tip: Casually reminding viewers in your video to subscribe and click the Notification Bell can be a great way to also invite new viewers to subscribe. This method is especially effective if you make it fun or unique to your channel.

4.) Aim to Entertain or Teach

There are two reasons most people watch YouTube: to be entertained or to learn something. If your videos are doing one or both of these actions, then you’re in a good place. The more entertaining or informative your videos are, the more likely people will share them, talk about them, and gain trust in your content. Gaining consistent subscribers and viewers in the key to growing your YouTube channel.

5.) Create YouTube Playlists

If you’re a content creator that dabbles in several different kinds of videos, you may have noticed that some of your videos will get different responses. Some viewers may only want to watch certain types of videos you’ve made. But how do they find all your past videos for these categories? One way to help viewers find the content they are looking for is to create playlists for each category of videos you make. Creating playlists generates a “binge-watch” mentality with viewers. It also gains you more consistent views.

Playlists give top-performing channels an extra edge over other channels simply because of Auto-play. From a viewer’s perspective, it takes effort to pull your attention away from an entertaining video, so it is much easier for videos to keep playing. 

The concept of loss aversion states that people feel more significant pain from losing something than gaining the equivalent. This can be visualized so that an individual is likely to work harder to keep $100 than earn $100. Auto-play uses this concept to keep viewers on YouTube. So instead of the ‘loss’ of clicking away from a video, a viewer would instead continue watching. Use this to your advantage by curating a playlist that the viewer is likely to watch for longer.

Pro Tip: Spend time organizing your playlists. It may seem logical to place them chronologically, but also consider the flow and topics of each video so they blend seamlessly together.

6.) Balance Following Trends and Creating Unique Content

Sometimes referred to as “newsjacking”, creating videos about current trends can generate more views for your channel easily.  Once a trend is picked up on YouTube, you’ll find everyone releasing videos about the same subject or content, hoping to catch the tailwind of viewers. The problem with many of these videos is that they regurgitate the same content without offering anything new or unique. There’s nothing wrong with creating content that people are already interested in, but try to create something unique which has your spin on it.  Be sure that what you create is true to your channel’s themes and other videos. 

7.) Create Relationships For Guest YouTuber Appearances

Creating bonds between like-minded channels can be a great way to increase viewership. Even writing engaging comments on popular posts can draw people’s attention to your own channel. Try contacting similar channel creators and ask if they’d like to do a collaboration video.  Having popular YouTuber guests on your posts can draw in new viewers, but it can also create a sense of community for both of your channels’ subscribers.  Collaborations are a massive part of the YouTube community. When YouTubers collaborate, they increase viewership by attracting viewers from all the parties involved and introducing them to other content creators similar and in the same community.  

8.) Be Present in Your Content Community

Engagement with your viewers and community is on the rise. This is because the viewer feels that they have established an authentic and organic relationship with their content creator. Doing so increases the chances that viewers care about your brand and are likely to subscribe and expand your knowledge and understanding of your particular audience.

9.) Link Your YouTube Videos on Your Social Media Pages

People that are in contact with you on other social media platforms will have an easier time getting to know your YouTube channel and the content you create with just one click. Pushing traffic from your social media profile to your YouTube channel also helps out with the algorithm as your video is seen as a source of clicks from other websites.

10.) Use cards and end screens

These tools help promote other videos from your channel and are a call-to-action. Doing so ties in with the concept of loss aversion used in auto-play. Cards are a tool that pops up at certain times during your video, relevant to what content you are going through at that moment. An end screen is a frame at the end of your video that wraps things up and suggests other videos created by you. This keeps viewers on your channel and increases the viewership of your other videos.

There you have it, ten steps that you can take to increase your viewership. Above all, focus on creating great content for your target audience. Then optimize your content with the above tips and watch your viewership grow. 

Gone are the days where YouTube trending videos revolved around funny, strange cats and dogs on skateboards. More than 500 videos get produced every minute on the platform. 

YouTube is now a thriving platform with various topics and subjects for everyone. It’s time to get your business on Youtube and start generating an additional stream of traffic to your website.

Boost Youtube Views

but what about the 3 mistakes to avoid?

3 biggest mistakes to avoid:

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Which of these tips will you put into practice?

Comment and share below!

I Grew Up on a Ranch

Central Coast Ranch Rental Vacation 112VRBO 0171

When I was just 10 years old, my father made the life-altering decision to move our family from Pasadena, California to Santa Margarita, California. Although it was only a distance of about 200 miles, it felt like we were traveling from the “Big City” to the “Wild West.” We drove past Santa Barbara, skirted the Los Padres National Forest, zipped by Santa Maria, and arrived at our destination. To say the least, I was not impressed.

My father, a contractor, had the big idea of creating a place where his family and friends could congregate on holidays and reunions, while simultaneously generating income to service and maintain the property. What looked to me like a ranch that needed a lot of work eventually grew into what is now a thriving business, Seven Oaks Ranch.

As I grew up on that ranch, I learned to appreciate the serenity of country life, and the magic of doing nothing, just sitting and listening to nature. The area only has about 1200 residents, but I eventually met some great friends, most of whom were Native Americans, and I felt fortunate to be immersed in a culture so different from my own.

Where is Santa Margarita, California?

Santa Margarita is located on California’s central coast, just north of San Luis Obispo, and in the southern foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The environment is clean and fresh, but the town easily mixes its rich historical narrative with modern-day luxuries. Within easy driving distance are beaches, bays, lakes, mountains and streams, as well as great wine and horse country. Even after traveling extensively, I still find this place to be one of my favorite places in the world.

The Long History of Santa Margarita

The roots of Santa Margarita are said to stretch as far back as 900 B.C. when Native Americans are first thought to have reached California’s central coast area. The first hints of European influence came with the arrival of Spanish explorers in the late 1700s. Using Native American labor, the Franciscan friars who came with these expeditions built several nearby missions including Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (eight miles south of Santa Margarita), its submission Santa Margarita de Cortona, and Mission San Miguel Arcangel (27 miles north of Santa Margarita). In fact, the 600 mile El Camino Real trail, which originally linked the 21 California Spanish missions, now serves as the city’s main street.

In the early 1800s, the Mexican government offered 35 land grants in the San Luis Obispo County area to soldiers who had fought for Mexico in its War of Independence. This led to the early formation of some of the area’s largest ranches. California became part of the United States, the Gold Rush brought new settlers, and the signing of the Land Act of 1851 all caused great changes to the make-up of Santa Margarita. By the late 1800s the railroads established a temporary terminal in Santa Margarita, bringing in an even wider variety of people.

Since these early days, the town has seen many ups and downs, but has always managed to retain its small-town charm. It now prides itself on being a quiet family community that is rich in history and adventure. Even as a 10-year-old boy, it didn’t take me long to discover that life on a ranch can be a very good thing.

Santa Margarita Today

Life if Santa Margarita today is a combination of the old and the new. Visitors can spend the morning horseback riding and then go for a zip line adventure in the afternoon. It’s a unique corner of California that offers a quiet retreat and outdoor excitement.

The Seven Oaks Ranch continues to offer plenty of activities for guests. In addition to exploring the mission trail, other local attractions include:

  • Santa Margarita Lake: With thousands of acres of unspoiled open space, this is a nature lover’s retreat. The park is home to countless species of plants and wildlife, making it the perfect location for nature study, hiking, biking, camping, boating, and fishing.
  • Wine Tours: This is wine country: Explore over 200 local vineyards including Ancient Peaks Winery, Vintage Cowboy Winery, and Soaring Hawk Vineyards.
  • The Barn Antiques and Unique: Find great collectibles and antiques, and local artisan crafts.
  • Rinconada Mine: The San Luis Obispo area was once dotted with mines. Hiking around some of the abandoned areas makes for a fun day of exploration.
  • Margarita Adventures: Features zipline tours, aerial adventures and nature/wildlife tours.
  • Shangri-La Ranch Horseback Adventures: Enjoy horseback riding into some of the most beautiful country on the Central Coast. Ride through sun-dappled forests, pristine meadows, and ancient rock formations. Some wildlife that can be spotted on these tours includes deer, bear, cougars, bald eagles, and all kinds of beautiful birds.
  • Hearst Castle: This National/California Historic Landmark was conceived by William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, and his architect Julia Morgan, and was built between 1919 and 1947.
  • Dining: Enjoy dining to satisfy every taste including Pozo Saloon, The Range, The Porch Café, and Rosalina.

Visit the shops of artists of all kinds in Santa Margarita, or take off for the beaches at Cayucos, Morro Bay, Avila and Pismo, just about 45 minutes away.

Let Santa Margarita Teach You About Ranch Life

I live in Santa Barbara now, and still like being a city guy, but some days I can’t stop thinking about Santa Margarita. It certainly contributed a lot to who I am today. It is the story of people working hard to live a good life, in a setting that is peaceful and inspiring.

Seven Oaks Ranch is still owned by my parents, and is now a popular vacation rental destination for family gatherings and weddings. Rolling hills covered with many trees of different varieties surround four seasonal ponds, and streams provide the opportunity to picnic or read a book under an oak giant that has been shading that spot for over 500 years. Visit the website, subscribe to the newsletter, and find out if you will come to appreciate ranch life as much as I did.

BOOK REVIEW: Are You My Type Or Am I Yours?

BOOK REVIEW: Are You My Type Or Am I Yours?

Searching for the perfect mate? Want to understand your loved ones and yourself better? Need some parenting help?

ENTER >> The Enneagram.

An “Enneagram” is a model of the human psyche, which is taught and understood as a classification of nine interconnected personality types. If you have always been intrigued and fascinated by the psychology of personality, this book will amaze you and quickly become one of your favorites.

If you explore the nine personality types, you can become more self-aware and understand family members, co-workers, friends, and others you encounter more completely.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours is a psychology book that details each personality type’s best and worst attributes and discusses social and relational characteristics and an in-depth personality description of each.

This fun and interesting book takes a witty approach to relationships using the Enneagram types and how they relate to one another. This personality typing system has become extremely popular by explaining why we act as we do while providing an essential tool for insight and self-discovery.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours discusses the nine personality types and how they interact in work, love, friendships, and family. Each chapter is filled with intriguing facts, witty cartoons, easy personality tests, and famous couples of each type to aid in discovering and appreciating your own personality type and those of people you are involved with — or would like to be.

Take one of the personality tests to determine the number and wing you are on the Enneagram to understand better what motivates you. Knowing both the healthy and unhealthy sides of your “type” can be a clear path for emotional growth.

Shadow number in personal development refers to the opposite side of our highest or core values, or those things that are of the greatest importance to us. When we choose to do an activity that is fulfilling to us, our core values and shadow values are being fulfilled.

Most people are unaware of what their shadow values are and how they are influencing their behavior.

Here are the shadow values that everyone possesses on some level.

  • Attention
    • Being unique, special, or different
  • Belonging
    • Being accepted by, connected to, or feeling a part of something
  • Control
    • Being able to influence your situation, surroundings, yourself, and others
  • Money
    • Being wealthy and having the power to do or have whatever you desire
  • Sexuality
    • Being able to express your sexual desires or preferences without shame
  • Superiority
    • Being right, being better than yourself and others
  • Validation
    • Being important, worthy, or good enough

Many books discussing the Enneagram personality types focus on personal growth and self-understanding, but few focus on how the Enneagram helps people with different personality types get along.

This easy-to-read, illustrated book goes into detail about the likes and dislikes of each personality type, which types are most likely to pair up romantically, how partners, friends, and co-workers can best support people with different personality types.

Let’s discuss the nine different personality types — see if you can pick out the one that most closely resembles you!

  • The Achiever
    • Motivated by the need to achieve success, be productive, and avoid failure.
    • These personalities are driven, success-oriented, pragmatic, and image-conscious.
    • Their major goal is to feel worthwhile and valuable.
    • Achievers believe in themselves and strive to become “somebody” by developing their capabilities and talents.
  • The Adventurer
    • Motivated by the desire to be happy, engage in fun things, contribute to the world, and avoid suffering and pain.
    • This person is introverted, observant, and feeling.
    • They tend to have open minds and approach life, new experiences, and people with grounded warmth.
  • The Asserter
    • Motivated by the desire to be strong and self-reliant, make an impact on the world, avoid appearing weak.
    • Powerful, protective, and resourceful
    • Their temperament is inspiring to others.
    • Their personal strengths definitely improve others’ lives.
  • The Helper
    • Motivated by a need to be appreciated and loved and expresses positive feelings towards others.
    • Kind, generous, warm-hearted, and loving
    • In times of unhealth, can be codependent, manipulative, or people-pleasing.
  • The Observer
    • Motivated by the need to know everything, understand the universe, be self-sufficient and left alone, avoid not answering or looking foolish.
    • Insightful, independent, and innovative
    • Typically ahead of their time, they see things in new and unique ways, concentrate on complex issues with laser-like focus.
  • The Peacemaker
    • Motivated by the wish to keep the peace, avoid conflict and merge with others
    • People-pleaser, friendly, agreeable, cooperative, adaptable, trusting, empathetic, and easy-going
    • They go with the flow and desire peace and harmony
    • Are afraid of chaos, separation, and conflict.
  • The Perfectionist
    • This type is driven to live life the correct way, to improve himself/herself and others, and avoids anger.
    • They are rational and principled, purposeful, and self-controlled, often to the point of being overly critical of others and themselves.
    • Advocates of change, have a desire to be useful and strive to improve.
  • The Questioner
    • Motivated by the desire for security, to feel taken care of, and confront their fears
    • Hard-working, reliable, committed, yet haunted by self-doubt
    • Very faithful to people who matter
    • Excellent at troubleshooting and anticipating challenges
    • Fanatically loyal to their ideas, systems, and beliefs.
  • The Romantic
    • Motivated by the need to understand the feelings of others and the meaning of life and avoid being ordinary.
    • They believe they can find the love or situation that is special, unique, and fulfilling.
    • Idealistic, feels things deeply, empathetic, and authentic.
    • Dramatic, moody, occasionally self-absorbed

Some of my best memes on the enneagram:

If you want a greater understanding of yourself and your relationships, this book can help. It teaches how to communicate with others and helps to build an effective system to build or enhance your business or personal relationships.

A discussion of what each personality type is looking for in a relationship and how they interact together.  Also, there is a discussion on how the Enneagram correlates to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a questionnaire designed to make psychological types useful and understandable.

The authors of this terrific book are experts in the Enneagram.

For over 25 years, Renee Baron has been in private practice. She has taught countless seminars and workshops on the value of understanding your personality type. She uses the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs Indicator personality assessments to give readers a practical yet powerful tool to understand their own behavior and the behavior of others. Her books have been published in 17 countries.

Elizabeth Wagele is a leading expert and one of the most popular authors on the Enneagram. She is a graduate of Berkeley at the University of California and continuously blogs about personalities and other interesting subjects.

Enneagram psychology is both a fascinating and accurate view of human behavior, personality, and motivation. This book discusses these things with knowledge, humor, and insight. Become more self-aware, build self-esteem, and learn to accept yourself by gaining insight into your personality type this book will provide.

I recommend this book to all my friends and family to help improve current relationships with loved ones, friends, and co-workers while providing knowledge about relationships yet to be developed.

You can take the Enneagram Test online here.

There are many fascinating elements of the Enneagram to consider that can affect the expression of a person’s personality. Start with questions like: Who is this person? What do they want? What will they do to get it? What will they do if they don’t get it? How do they see the world? And most importantly: who will this person become through the journey?


Below is the best video I found on the enneagram, enjoy:

How To Automate Your SEO Strategy

SEO Automation

To run a business successfully in the 21st century, you must develop a sound online marketing campaign. Search engine optimization should be at the center of it.

SEO is the practice of using algorithms to drive people to your website. It involves a complex array of virtual systems and structures that have a single aim: clicks on websites owned by your company.

It would be costly and inefficient for members of your workforce or even an independent firm to monitor and manage your SEO operations. You should instead automate as many SEO tasks as you can.

If applied effectively, SEO automation software can significantly improve the efficiency of your SEO process.

What You Can Automate in SEO

You cannot automate everything. But you don’t need to. You just need to automate the most tedious and time-consuming tasks and process. Here are some of the parts you should focus on:

1. Site monitoring

After you launch your new SEO campaign, you will need to monitor it to keep track of how it performs. You will need to figure out ways to improve the site and carry out any maintenance required. It is essential to assess page load time, broken links, site downtime, and other basic housekeeping issues.

This kind of monitoring can be automated. There is software that allows you to set up alerts if something goes wrong with your site. Automation will also help you collect data on your site quickly so that you can put it into action straightaway.

2. Rank tracking

The main reason for developing and implementing SEO algorithms is for your website to rank high when key words and phrases are used in search engines. You will need a way to track this ranking process. But when you have a multitude of sites and hundreds of pages with keywords in them, it is difficult to track each page’s ranking manually. The better option is to automate. Automation software will make it easy for you to see how your pages are doing is search engine rankings. It will also show how your rankings change and improve over time.

3. Backlink analysis

Backlinks are fundamental to your SEO campaign. Backlinks demonstrate the soundness of the content you have published on your sites. They enhance the authority of your brand and boost confidence and trust in your company over time, which leads to an increase in rankings.

You will want the best backlinks for your page. However, you will need to monitor them to ensure their quality. SEO automation simplifies this process. The software you use will make it easier for you to see who is linking to your websites.

4. Competitor monitoring

You are in the most intense competition with other businesses for search engine rankings. The more information you have on your rivals the easier it will be to create SEO algorithms and strategies to outdo them—that is, outrank them.

You may have more competitors than you think. The web is a kind of equalizer when it comes to business. You can be sure that your rivals for search engine rankings go beyond those you are already familiar with. There are probably hundreds of companies that you must contend with. Automating the competitor monitoring process allows you to see the biggest threats to your ranking and develop strategies to keep your business at the top.

5. Site audit

There may be a number of technical issues that prevent your sites from ranking as high as they should. While it is possible to identify such issues through a crawl, this takes a great deal of time. You should instead automate the process. You can set up a crawl program that will do most of the work for you and present the problems that may be holding you back. You can then focus on fixing the issues rather than uncovering them.

6. Reports

Creating and presenting reports is part of managing your business. Financial stakeholders, employees, clients, and prospective clients will all want to know how your business is doing. They will want to know the areas in which your company is strong and those places that need improvement.

Generating reports helps you get the financing and investment you need to operate and expand. It also helps you develop a strategy that will help you meet your business goals. If your company is based entirely online or is heavily dependent on the virtual sphere, your reports will focus mostly on SEO operations. The trouble is that creating these reports is time-consuming. Your executive team cannot spare the time to carry out this task.

Fortunately, report generation is a SEO task that can be automated. You can create a range of different reports, including those covering monthly SEO status, organic search positions, site audits, backlinks, and competitor analysis.

7. Log file analyzer

One of the best ways to assess how search engines interact with your sites is to analyze the log files of your sites. This is a little-known method of figuring out which of your pages are being crawled and which of your pages is the most crawled. It will also help you determine whether your crawl budget is being well-spent.

Use SEO Automation Plugin

When choosing an SEO automation plugin, choose a company that has a strong track record of delivering proven results. The SEO plugin you choose is a crucial decision because it will help streamline SEO tasks. The one we use is called “SEO Press” and is among the top names in the industry.

With SEO Press, you get all the SEO and optimization bells and whistles you need in one plugin. Special features include the ability to manage your titles and to create meta descriptions and meta robots for every post and page.

SEO Press can also improve your search engine crawling by providing XML sitemaps of your posts, pages, and custom post types. And it offers software such as Open Graph tags, Twitter Card, and Google Knowledge Graph to enhance social network sharing.

SEO automation can help you be a better manager, organizer, and entrepreneur—whether you run a growing independent company or you are part of a large and well-established firm.

I hope this post was helpful to you. I’d love to hear your thoughts about your favorite SEO automation tools and which ones you’ve had the most success with? Drop a comment in the box below and let me know!

Top 10 Reasons To Use Google Workspace For Email

Workspace for email

It is estimated that Google has a solid lock on the market share of email open rates with a whopping open email rate of 26 percent. This might have something to do with the element of Google’s longevity, having been around since 2004 and home to 1.2 billion users. It also has a lot to do with the product that they offer.

Today, Google is no longer just a free gmail account that you can check from anywhere. It’s a solution for business that has outperformed any other free email or suite solution on the market.

One tool that Google offers now is Google Workspace.

Learn the top 10 benefits of using Google Workspace right here, and streamline your business today.

1. Customized Workspace

Google Workspace is so appealing to so many businesses today because it completely customizes your work life and the life of everyone that you work with, in minutes. Google Workspace allows you to create an instant brand.  Gone are the days of sending pitches, bids, or sales calls under the email@gmail.com look. That just doesn’t feel professional, does it?

Google has recognized this need for an easy to use fully integrated and fully customized workspace. So they have developed this tool that allows you to create your own brand using email, without having to work with a dedicated server company. An email domain that corresponds with the name of your company or organization allows you to look more professional in minutes.

2. Increases Productivity

Productivity improves when you are on email. Google Workspace puts everything you need at your fingertips. You don’t need to keep 25 windows from different apps and software suites open at the same time. Open up Google, access your Drive, your Images, your Sheets, everything, with just a few clicks. Share, plan, produce, with one Workspace at your fingertips.

3. Store it All Here

Google Workspace not only offers a customized brand for your email domain, but it offers you the opportunity to use a completely scalable interface. This allows you to tailor your own storage space to exactly what you need. You can do this using general Gmail, but with a branded domain on your email account, you will never be scrolling through emails looking for that work document in between your pet food order again. Everything is stored in one place. Keep your business here, and the rest of your life elsewhere.

4. Log in Anywhere

One of the reasons Google has amassed billions of users is that it has made itself available as a web-based email that can be checked anywhere. If you are in Florida one day and Florence the next, you can check your email using a device in any country in the world. Google makes logging in simple and fast with one sign-in. 

5. Never Miss a Thing

Along with having a branded email, Google Workspace will sync everything you need with your branded domain to ensure you never miss a thing. Google Workspace allows you to both sync your gmail.com email with your Workspace email so that you don’t have to check multiple accounts multiple times. At the same time, sync your Calendar to make sure that you never miss a thing. You won’t miss anything, and your employees won’t either. When they submit a personal day request, for example, you’ll get it instantly. Not only will you get that benefit, but so will they.

6. Communicate to Everyone Seamlessly

Communicating to the team simultaneously is something you can do with gmail.com, but it will just take more time. If you need to tell people that you are out of the office or are arranging a meeting, you can do so in just a few clicks and the time it takes you to set up the meeting or send the email.

7. Instant Access to Business Solutions

Using Google Workspace allows you to seamlessly integrate branded business needs, but it also provides you with a few more business solutions than the gmail.com service does. Along with Google Workspace and a branded email solution, you get Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Keep, a notes application that can handle almost any file you sent it to.

Google Workspace gives you instant access. While you may get most of these features using gmail.com, you won’t get them all. If you have a business need, Google has developed a business solution in Google Workspace.

8. It’s Affordable

Google Workspace plans begin at approximately $6 a month per user, which is one of the biggest reasons that it is so popular today. You won’t get an email on a dedicated server for less money than that. The higher-tier programs run at $12 a month and that gives you more storage. Still more affordable than a dedicated server.

9. No Ads Email

The one disadvantage of a free email server is the constant ads. When you pay a few dollars a month for an email server, you lose that entirely. Gone are the days where you see ads showing up in your emails that match something you typed about yesterday. You are now working from a branded Workspace without the distractions of ads.

10. Supported by Every Operating System

When you have a dedicated server hosting your emails, you still need to be sure your employees can meet succinctly in a remote space, or collaborate in a way that is seamless. This gets clunky when you have both PC and Mac employees. You don’t need to worry if your Google-based applications are going to be supported by your employees. You’re all working on the same cloud now, and Google Docs or Google Sheets in a Google Meet can all be viewed easily without a single complaint from anybody.

Switch to Google Workspace Today

For just a few dollars a month you can switch to Google Workspace and help everybody improve their productivity today. You’ll get instant access to fully integrated and fully scalable solutions that offer more of everything, for very little.

Switch today and see the difference. It’s not a solution you have to stick with if you don’t like it.

10 Best Facebook Marketing Ideas

Facebook Marketing Ideas

Great Facebook marketing is not a one size fits all approach, but one piece of strategy advice I give all my clients is that social media marketing must be an integral component of your web marketing campaign.

Social media is the better, faster way to reach customers because social media sites have become the newspapers, backyard fences, and water coolers of our daily life.

At the top of our social media communication list is Facebook marketing.

Here are few shocking Facebook marketing statistics to illustrate the importance of including Facebook in your marketing mix:

  • Facebook Monthly Active Users: Facebook monthly active users totaled 2.80 billion as of December 31, 2020. This represents an increase of 12% year-over-year.
  • Leading Social Media Engagement Platform: eMarketer reports that Facebook is the leading social platform and business marketplace. It reaches 59% of social media users, and is projected to continue its domination at least through 2024. Interestingly enough, the pandemic renewed curiosity about Facebook’s outreach capabilities.
  • Great for Small Business Marketing: There must be some pretty strong reasons over 200 million small businesses from around the world include Facebook tools as part of their marketing strategy.

What this means is that your business needs top-notch Facebook marketing to achieve its goals in this highly-competitive, attention-grabbing medium. You can use Facebook marketing to share business information, increase your online presence, build your audience, and connect with prospects and customers.

I created an easy-to-understand Facebook marketing infographic which you can download here.

Best Facebook Marketing Ideas

What is Facebook Marketing?

Facebook marketing offers a variety of highly targeted paid advertisements and organic posts which help your business put its products and services in front of a targeted audience.

A slew of ad formats is available, including video, image, carousel, collection, slideshow and lead generation.

Start by establishing a goal, then define your target audience, upload your images and content, set a duration, and set your budget.

If needed, Facebook will create a personalized ad plan focused on your goal.

Below are some useful ideas for your next Facebook marketing campaign:

  1. Target an Insanely Specific Audience: You might think you know your audience but is “people over 35 who live within 25 miles of my business” really helpful? Hone in and drill down to those people who have the best opportunity of becoming customers. Would you be shocked to find out that about 85% of Facebook advertisements are targeted by country instead of a specific location? And only about 45% of these advertisements use Interest Targeting! Facebook has targeting options for location, behavior, demographics, connections and interests that deliver your ads to people who will love your business.
  2. Run a Simple Contest to Boost Engagement: A contest is a great way to attract attention and introduce your business to potential new customers. In one example a start-up with no marketing budget generated some 30,000 new likes over six weeks using a simple Facebook contest. Align the prize with your brand, follow all of Facebook’s rules for promotions, and make sure it is a true, legal contest.
  3. Create Short, Enticing Video Posts: Videos get all the attention these days. In 2018, 54% of consumers said they wanted more video content from brands or businesses they support. And that was before COVID kept everybody inside using social media for a year! Video ads have high click-through rates, and Facebook helps you reach your audience with videos created using photos and footage you already have, or with a selection of free stock images.
  4. Use Eye Contact in Your Images to Direct Attention: Eye contact draws viewers into your photo and creates a bond. It demonstrates that your brand is open and willing to look viewers “in the eye.” Cornell University research showed that eye contact, even with an inanimate object such as the Trix cereal rabbit, produces a powerful, subconscious sense of connection.
  5. Post Adorable Images of Puppies: Puppies just make people feel good – who can resist those adorable puppy eyes? Android’s “Friends Furever” commercial showing unlikely animal pairings has been watched and shared more than 22 million times. Heck, even the gecko commercials have been watched over 25 million times, more than any other car insurance company!
  6. Target the Leads You Already Have on Facebook: Use lead ads to encourage people to contact your business for more information. Make it easy and user-friendly, especially for your mobile-savvy prospects. Lead ads allow viewers to request specific information, and they help you capture customer details for later targeting. Facebook lead ads can be used to collect newsletter sign-ups, follow-up calls, price estimates, and other business information.
  7. Clone Your Main Revenue-Generating Audience: If you really know your customer base, and simply want to expand it, find more people exactly like them by creating a lookalike audience. Here Facebook works to match the people in your existing audience to profiles of potential prospects from its database of over 1.1 billion people.
  8. Humanize Your Brand with Fun Employee Photos: If you want to make an instant connection, employee photos can add a nice “face” to your business. Don’t just use headshots of smiling people standing in front of your building or logo, though. Use fun photos of your team in action, helping customers, or just running a good business others want to know, but make sure you have signed permission to do so.
  9. Only Pay to Promote Your Best Content: You can use your Facebook stream to share different information about your business to an existing audience at no cost, but you should only pay to promote your best content to a bigger audience. Use the metrics at your disposal to identify your top-performing content, and then take advantage of Facebook’s highly specific audience-targeting to boost your top posts with a paid promotion.
  10. Use Emojis in Your Facebook Marketing: Have a little fun, and add some of today’s quirky emojis to your Facebook marketing. Most millennials believe emojis communicate thoughts and feelings better than words do. You will even see better engagement and a higher click-through rate on the same ads with and without them.

Energize your Facebook marketing results with Search Engine Pros, a full-service, multi-touch online marketing services agency. Call 800-605-4988 or schedule a consultation and learn how the experts at SEP can incorporate these ideas into your marketing strategy!

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