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The Only Thing that Matters

Meaningful content comes from the heart.

“What is in your heart is the only thing that really matters.”

Almost 20 years ago, on a drowsy afternoon of content deadlines, I dreamed about Mary, the mother. This advice woke from my nap. The content of her message is what I remember.

Content, heart, Magdalene
Image by Karen Nadine from Pixabay.

Whether in business or life, I am blessed as well as cursed with the gift of self-reflection. I analyze feelings, emotions, choices. I tend to analyze each decision, chewing it to tiny bits before moving forward. This makes me an ace of a problem-solver, for my powers of perseverence in this regard are almost unparalleled. But, such a gift is also a hindrance, for the process takes place in my head, not in my heart.

And what is in your heart is the only thing that really matters.

In the past, I have written about the “Feminine Creative Potential and the Magdalene Heart.” I’ve worked deeply with the notion of cycles of reciprocity and why we give value freely in order to receive money and clients. On the Professional Moneta blog, I’ll continue to explore questions like these. For me, there’s personal growth in the inherently personal, more mindful qualities that come with the pursuit of meaningful work as part of a spiritual practice. But you’ll also notice I’m publishing elsewhere: on Facebook, Linked In, and in other forums that more explicitly focused on how to use content to get more clients – and keep the ones you’ve got.

As a culture, we are currently defined by what we lack. My heart tells me there’s a better way. There’s nothing noble or beautiful about lack. Lack makes brilliant people play small, become fearful of loss rather than gain. A focus on lack undoubtedly creates more of the same. It’s a simple rule, but true.

Also simple but true: content creates sustainability in business.

In the past year, the United States has experienced a mass migration to a digital work force, an accelleration that roughly equals a decade of previous years. The world has changed, and we have to change with it. We have to change FOR it.

Content at the right time, in the right place, in front of the right person, is uniquely positioned to change the world.

In the days ahead, you’ll see new developments at Professional Moneta across our business and platforms. The ideas for “what next” are finding their way off the storyboard and into action lists. As in the beginning, you’ll see me testing new content practices and improved delivery platforms on my own business and sharing the results. You’ll see an unwavering focus on how to use content to generate and nurture leads that result in sales. And you’ll see a new focus on better serving specialty niches within the health and wellness field.

What won’t change is our commitment to positive change agency that helps our clients better serve others. We’re keeping our eco-friendly, woman-led, human-first approach to marketing and content. You’ll see us further refining the inbound hybrid business model fully integrates quality content and digital solutions and tools.

The best content created comes from the heart and it matters to the reader. It’s relevant, engaging, and valuable. It creates relationships.

Know that you are in our hearts, and that as always, you matter.

Abundantly,

Sherri

Strong Content Foundations Create Abundance in Your Business

“Laying the foundations of my temple will bring immediate abundance.”

These words from the ancient Sumerian work, Gudea, focused  my attention immediately. Words so important that they were recorded on clay cylinders and preserved painstakingly by scribes for me to encounter nearly three millenia in the future.

As someone who crafts a lot of content, their impact didn’t escape me. nisaba2430bcmesopotamia.jpg

In the tale which unfolds, the leader, Gudea, first sees Nisaba, the Goddess of Writing, in a dream. She consults the stars charted on her tablet of lapiz lazuli. Her tablet allows her to communicate with humans and maintain the order of her universe.

Then, placing a silver stylus on the face of her tablet, she holds a vision of the future in her gaze. The placement of the stylus reminds the reader of the placement of the peg. The vertical line represents humanity: earth under our feet, our ability to manifest. Placing stylus to tablet “augers” the building of the foundation. The symbolism, I think, is powerful.

Taking “measure” prior to implementation of any grand plan seemed as important then as it is now. How many times have each of us placed a stylus on the face of a tablet and paused to take measure of a situation before communicating next steps with others?

If content marketing had a patroness, she might be Nisaba.

If we lay in strong foundations in our business, including a content plan, well thought out “pillars,” and people who can implement, then our dreams become possible. We can build and manifest what we need, and more, in alignment with our desires.

In content marketing and public relations, qualified practitioners know that actions in the real world matter. By laying in strong foundations, and choosing the right tools, a specialist can build businesses that create what clients need: an abundance of leads, clients, and money.

The inspirational Nisaba is often described as a shining heavenly star, indestructible and eternal, who “conveys a gift of many words like the stars of heaven.” In her world, she has ability to craft an argument that settles a matter. Her peace and clarity restores order during times of chaos. Her ability to help others reach resolution depicts true wisdom.

Wisely, content marketing  initiatives provide the foundations that businesses today need to heighten impact, build relationships, and sustain rapid change from a place of abundance.

Let me know if I can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Struggling with Social?

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Social media’s been a driving force in business marketing for more than a decade. Today, 60% of people discover and purchase new products on social media, according to Digital Marketer.

As belts are tightening in advance of a COVID-19 induced recession, increased numbers of clients need more performance from their social platforms. There’s a lot of added frustration: what content to post, when to post, the best kinds of posts, and frequency of posts… sheesh!

You know it’s time to ask for help if you:

  • get social engagement, but no new clients…
  • generate a lot of traffic, but no new clients…
  • spend money on social promotions, but no new clients…
  • think you just need to work harder, but no new clients…

The list goes on. Social media can be problematic.

This time last year, I found myself spending every weekend and a lot of late nights creating, creating, writing, posting, and monitoring social media for clients.  As a lack of sleep is not my friend, I began to look for ways that I could create improved outcomes for clients.

As a result, I changed up my content priorities. Heres what happened.

In a series of six case studies, using our real clients and their accounts, we saw an average 200-400% increase in engagement, increased web traffic and leads generation, and positive client feedback.

Using two, fast-action “done with you” assessments, followed by slight changes to social strategy and content choices, we were able to increase results measurably in 30 days or less for every single one of our clients.

If you, like your clients, are among the 60% and growing population who discover new products and services through social media, it could be time to work smarter, not harder.

Let me know if I can help.

Listen to the Wind: Receive Comfort and Sustenance from Divine Nature

A few days ago, during that gorgeous Pink Moon, I was out in my backyard trying to open to the beauty of nature as an antidote to the insanity of these pandemic per diems. The inspired message came through, clearly.

“Listen to the wind.”

The phrase brought back something that I once loved, that I haven’t thought of in quite a while: the sacred art of deep listening.

My Mama used to insist that we learn to walk silently in nature so that we could listen.

“See if you can step without making a noise,” she would say, demonstrating how it was done. And the four of us would follow.

It was in this way that I fell in love with the natural world. Whether spinning beneath the branches of a tree, cloud gazing, or watching a mother mouse – laden with her babies – rustle quickly through the undergrowth of the Great Okefenokee to escape the patient snake slithering behind – it was my mother’s love of nature that taught me to listen.

Listening to the wind is something that became part of my own identity as a teenager. In those years, I learned to listen to the rattle of the marsh grasses along the Ogeechee River, and the whisper of the brackish water where secrets lurked. Gathering the energy of storms to enlivened my innate creativity, and I listened intently for the sounds of destruction and high winds which could accompany thunder and lightning. Listening to the wind, even now, feels like heady combination of exhileration and survival.

Listening to the wind is sometimes called “deep listening.” Couples therapists often speak of “deep listening” when asking their clients to place mindful attention to the words the partners in front of them are saying to one another.

In the world of spiritual ecology and ecofeminism, the term more often refers to deeply listening to nature as it has something to teach us. Whether nature provides a model, a guide, or an inspiration, “deep listening” to Her guidance offers humans is wholly supportive skill.

Surprisingly, the phrase “listen to the wind” is also found in translations of Revelations 2:17. In this passage, it’s equated with listening to the divine. With the sacred act of dropping attention into one’s heart space to collect the wisdom of eternal love to be found within: a secret, sacred place, a smooth stone, engraved with our secret name. The gift is from the divine, and it is ours to receive.

Of late, I find myself turning to nature for sustenance: “listening to the wind.” Earlier in the week, the Wind howled and turned like a sisterhood of banshees at a barn dance. I sat up all night and listened so be certain that my family was safe, not resting until the turmoil abated. The storm was both fierce and awe-inspiring, reminding me of other profound storms (actual and metaphorical) I’d witnessed – and overcome.

What I have learned from the wind and her animate companions is this: the world did not shut down for COVID-19. Plants are growing; flowers are blooming. Bees are still buzzing. The nesting tanagers greet me each morning. The sweet baby rabbits still jump about outside the hutch.

It’s as though Nature herself is twirling about, a circle of seasons  her swirling skirt, and her dance brings great joy and light to our lives.

The “world” that is falling away? It’s literally “not working,” as we are not working. At its center, a view of global or nationalistic economic systems that leaves many of us – as peoples and cultures – bereft of healthy choices. We are becoming aware that we’ve a built world of false and weak structures out of sync with the natural world and our own innate human natures. We are now collectively beginning the arduous task of sorting out the strife, illness, willful ignorance, unsustainable business practices, and unhealthy choices that affect us individually and collectively.

As for me and mine, my business and my beloveds, we’ll find a new way of working.

This week, we are busy as bees, creating opportunities for hive mind. We embrace the bright future offered by this respite like flowers facing the sun. Chewing on thoughts like beavers on a log, we’re laying in new foundations so that the sacred part of our business and life has a place to dwell. I am reminded to take it on faith that the universe will continue to unfold as it should, even when we’re staring into shadow.

Daily, I begin by listening to the wind. Nature, in surround sound, comforts and sustains me.

So be it.

Sherri

 

Lead from Your Heart After a Series of False Starts and Screw-ups

In December, I made a huge mistake. Huge.

Heart-centered business leadership
“When I stay true to my heart, something magical always happens.”

Accepting a one-off, short turnaround project over the holidays would have been challenging enough. But in my eagerness to solve someone else’s problem, I made a rookie mistake: not allowing time for the unknown factors.

Just so happens my entire family was sick over the holidays. We didn’t even have a big tree, settling instead for a tiny one that set atop a table. After taking care of my family, I, too, became ill. And taking a few days off to take care of my self played havoc in my business – and with that project.

The project at hand looked deceptively simple on the surface. But one other thing I didn’t allow for was the amount of pressure the client was under for this one single collateral to perform like no other. Again, I was so eager to solve her problem that I didn’t understand that she already had a picture in her head of exactly what she wanted.

Unfortunately, what happened next was a picture of exactly what I do not want in my business. And it caused me to re-examine everything I’ve created in my over the last few years.

Back in 2010, I formally launched Professional Moneta around the deep commitment to be of true service to my clients as opposed to providing a service. The mindset of this approach may be differentiated from the old wages-for-hours, piecework approach to business of the 1980s or 1990s. I’ve written about this topic at some length, I’ve lived it. But after a decade of conscious business practice, I was dumbfounded. When I looked around at what I’d created, I was back where I started a decade ago.

At the beginning. Again.

How can I stand in my power as a spiritual woman business leader after such a major screw-up?

If I’m honest with myself, I’ve spend so much time helping launch other persons’ businesses over the past 5 years, I’ve not spent nearly enough time on my own.

In fact, as my clients have succeeded, the last five years in my own business have sputtered and faltered in a fit of false starts and best laid plans. For the past year, I’ve been out of touch with my community, despite its unwavering support.

How could I allow that to happen?

After picking myself up and dusting myself off from the mental ass-kicking I was delivering, I asked myself to stop. To be kind to my heart. To remember what I love about my business and my writing and my clients and my work.

My original motivation was not only to take care of myself and my beloveds in the world, it was to help others from a sincere desire to serve – without being a servant. By helping other conscious, motivated entrepreneurs like myself, I shared my knowledge and skills. I honed my mindset. I gained new skills far and beyond my own expectations.

Truly, I have always felt called to be of service to heart-centered out-of-the-box thinkers who needed a way to create cash flow in their business without breaking the bank. So I tested new ideas on my own business. I colored outside the lines. I delivered a lot of value.

My business grew.  My creativity and my heart was leading the way.

Gratefully, over those first years, a small, but dynamic and supportive community grew up around that heart-centered mission and message. Many of these heart-and-soul entrepreneurs would become clients, working together for months, for years, for a decade.

And when I stay true to my heart, something magical always happens.

This Spring, I am getting back to the heart of the matter: teaching conscious, spirit-rich women business leaders a systematic, heart-centered, way to structure their online presence so that they can start where they are – and effectively scale their business for the future.

Women like you. Like me. Tired of banging our heads against glass ceilings. Ready to lead from our hearts after a series of false starts and screw-ups. Ready to say “no” to investing in everyone except our selves. Ready to be not-so-hard on ourselves, because truth be known, our hearts can’t take it anymore.

Ready to replenish, renew, realign.

So be it.

Sherri L. McLendon is