Tag Archives: success

Free Enterprise – The Key To Reducing Unemployment

I am in the business of network marketing, a business which can be very rewarding depending on one’s dedication. The other day a speaker at one of our regular weekly meetings, a marvelous speaker by the way and one who has been eminently successful in the business, talked about slavery. The speaker, an Afro-American, likened people who are stuck in present day economic ruts to those who were once bound in involuntary servitude. It was a profound message. Those who put their minds to it were able to escape slavery. Those who have the right mindset can escape unpleasant present day circumstances.

The key is mindset, which can be the answer to the economic doldrums of many Americans today. To put it another way, financial freedom can be had by those who are willing and determined to get it. I am a strong believer in capitalism, bolstered by free trade. It may not be a perfect system but it has resulted in unparallelled economic growth for the United States. To be a successful entrepreneur is to know and enjoy the life most people only dream about.

Today’s economy is struggling, beset by overly big government and an administration in Washington that simply doesn’t understand business, to put it mildly. It is an administration which believes that government can solve all, or at least most, problems. It is the wrong approach. The emphasis should be on reducing the role of government in everyday life and encouraging individualism. Successful entrepreneurs should not be punished by excessive regulation and confiscatory taxes. In California for example, a new corporation must pay a minimum of $800 in franchise taxes, whether successful or not. This is one of the reasons California has become known for an unfriendly business climate.

But despite the struggling economy, there are still rewards to be had, opportunities to be pursued. This was the point of the speaker I referred to above. Many people simply accept present day circumstances without really trying to find a way out. They are “slaves” to a situation they don’t enjoy. Obstacles can be overcome, and there are obstacles in every walk of life. But there are also results which reward those who persevere many times over. As part of my business, I read about success stories every month in the magazine I get as part of my business, stories that come from all over the world. People overcome incredible hardships once they put their minds to it.

I believe network marketing provides an opportunity to take yourself out of the ranks of the unemployed or underemployed, if that’s where you are, and to “promote” yourself to a position to secure your financial future. Don’t let the lack of money stop your mission in life. I got into the business to help a family member improve his circumstances. I was well past normal retirement age when I signed up, but I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “better late than never.” So its not too late, or too early for that matter, to get started.

At a business convention I attended recently, Donald Trump was one of the featured speakers. Among other things, he said that he wants to see America great again. Amen to that! But also, importantly, he emphasized that mindset is important, vital, to success. Do not quit. Be tenacious. Make up your mind you’re going to succeed. Every person living in this great country and enjoying its many freedoms has an obligation to make it better, to give something back. You can do your part by helping yourself, and others, to a happier life.

Copyright 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Filed under active voice, clear writing, good diction, sound sentence structure, tips for good diction, Writing Improvement

Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

It’s an old Chinese proverb that says, the best way to begin a long journey is to take the first step.  So it is with writing.  If you want to improve your writing you have to take the first step.  That step is planning and organization, or getting ready to write.  It’s the all-important first step in any writing process.  There are three stages involved: preparing a preliminary plan, information gathering, and preparing an outline.  This may sound a little daunting, but it really isn’t.  Once you develop the habit of doing it, planning and organization will become second nature to you.  It’s the warm up, so to speak, before you actually begin to write.  Without taking this step, your writing will likely be disorganized and you will flounder.

Preparing a preliminary plan is the starting point for any writing project.  You shouldpreliminarily decide how and what to write and who you’re writing for even before words, sentences, or paragraphs are put down on paper.

First, decide exactly what you want to accomplish and how you are going to do it.  This is your game plan for attacking the project, the master approach.  It should be developed first, even before you write anything, much as a builder conceives a project or a golfer envisions a shot.  Think of it as driving to an unfamiliar destination – if you haven’t been there before, you must figure out what route you’re going to take.

Well organized writing begins with well thought out preparation.  Therefore, reaching your ultimate goal to write clearly begins with a thoroughly prepared preliminary plan followed by a detailed outline.  This is the foundation for your writing.   If this foundation is weak, your final document will suffer.

A good outline, the outgrowth of your preliminary plan, is akin to the blueprint of a building.  No self respecting architect would build anything without a blueprint; likewise every successful sports coach prepares a game plan, every general a battle plan.  So, preparation of a preliminary plan comes first.    

The preliminary plan should be a concise summary of what you intend to write.  This plan is essential to clear writing, which cannot be achieved unless you know what is in your own mind.         

Begin by writing out the purpose of your document and its bottom line.  This is for your use only in preparing the plan and does not necessarily belong in the final document.  The plan should be done in detail, carefully and thoughtfully, to reflect the essence of your writing.   It is your roadmap to a clear end product.  Thorough preparation is the key.                       

Secondary to plan preparation is the task of information gathering.  Unless you are writing about a subject that you know like the back of your hand, you will need to gather as many details about it as possible.  This in turn entails knowing what type of writing you are going to pursue, whether expository, educational, persuasive, descriptive, narrative, creative, research, report writing, writing a grant application or even a simple letter.  Whatever form of writing you decide to pursue, it is essential to have fully investigated the subject before writing anything.  You cannot write clearly without having excellent content.

Comprehensive note taking to help develop your plan is vital.  Notes usually provide a viable starting point for any plan.  As part of your mental preparation, write down thoughts as they come to mind.

Your subconscious, or “inner person” as it were, undoubtedly works best when you are relaxed.   Put a sheet of paper and a pen by your bedside when you go to sleep at night; take pen and paper with you while walking or jogging.  Don’t lose any thoughts; they may never surface again.

Use your notes to avoid any writer’s block.  When it’s hard to get started on a writing project, which all writers experience at one point or another, brainstorm by referring to your notes.  Then, just start writing at random.  Once you begin writing, thoughts should come to mind as to both organization and content.  They can then be collected and used as part of the process of preparing a comprehensive outline.

As you are proceeding, keep in mind the moral of the story of the tortoise and the hare from the old Aesop’s Fable  –   perseverance and determination win every time.

 Copyright © 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.                   

                  

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Attacking The Root Causes Of Unclear Writing Can Be Done Universally

Over the stretch of time since I began this blog last Janauary,  different aspects of clear writing have been discussed.  As I’ve mentioned in recent blogs, my thoughts on clear writing are now encompassed in my new eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” which was published on amazon.com/kindlebooks on July 25, 2012.  It sells for $9.99, but can be reviewed without charge.

The eBook contains basic, reliable writing insights which will help anyone willing to put in the time to become an improved writer.  All of these insights have been covered in this blog over the last several months.  A major benefit of the eBook is that the guidelines can be applied universally to attack the basic root causes of unclear writing.  That is to say, the guidelines can be applied to languages other than English.  Here’s what I mean.

The very first point stressed in the eBook is to develop confidence in your writing. There is probably no more important point to make than this one.   It doesn’t matter what language you speak or write,  lack of confidence in your writing will trip you up every time.  The underlying premise of the eBook is that clear writing is an art form, meaning that anyone can learn to write well but you must have the desire and dedication to do it.  If you’re willing to put in the time and learn the skills, the satisfaction and rewards will come.  Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still learn and significantly improve your writing ability by following the suggestions in the eBook.

Begin with a positive attitude toward your writing.  Clear writing depends to a large extent on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing.  When you have that confidence the reader will see it, no matter what language is being used.

Other guidelines also apply to this premise.  Clear writing flows from good organization, which depends on a well thought out preliminary plan.  The creation of a preliminary plan before writing applies whether you are writing in English or any other language.  Begin the plan by preparing a comprehensive outline; then use the outline to prepare appropriate paragraph headings and subheadings.

Other clear writing guidelines should apply universally as well.  Understanding your reading audience is undoubtedly as essential if you are writing in a foreign language as when you are writing in English.  You must be aware of your reading audience and write to address your reader’s needs.

You must also become an expert on your subject matter.  This requires in depth research of the subject using effective research techniques.  Only after you have thoroughly researched your subject will you be able to write with authority on it.

Finally, you must polish your writing.  This is important in all languages.

All of the foregoing is covered in section I of the eBook, dealing with guidelines.  Section II covers writing techniques, including vocabulary, diction, syntax, punctuation, and others.  I can’t speak to the use of all of these techniques in foreign languages, but certainly some should apply.

There’s one more matter I would like to repeat in the context of this blog:  It’s never too late to learn!  This is a subject I’ve mentioned before but it deserves emphasis.  One of the email messages I read recently from noted sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer was about the famous French painter Claude Monet.  Apparently he was 74 years old before he began painting his Water Lilies series.  So,  you can start to improve your writing no matter how old you are.  This subject is emphasized in my eBook and without doubt should apply to other languages besides English.

Copyright © 2012.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Kudos For Clint.

By now many people have seen Clint Eastwood’s video ad about “halftime” for America.  His video hits the nail on the head.  It is indeed time for America to get moving in the “second half.”

And you can do your part.

You can help the comeback, particularly if you’re out of work, stymied in your present job, or just in a rut.  One way you can help is to improve your writing skills.  If you’re one of those who lament that “I can’t write,” learn to harness the power of the written word.  Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still learn and significantly improve your writing ability.

Language is more important in today’s world than ever before.  If you can’t communicate well you face an uphill battle to get ahead.  You can prepare yourself to be part of America’s second half by learning to write clearly.  Be ready to take advantage of job opportunities or for job advancement.  The written word can help you – learn to use it.  Remember:  good writing sells itself, and you.

Finally, bear in mind the impact that good writing can have.  Even as far back as early 1776, Thomas Paine’s little pamphlet, Common Sense, which argued for independence of the American colonies from the British Crown because it made good sense to do so, had a wide ranging impact on the colonists.  It became a runaway best seller with over 100,000 copies in circulation, and played no small part in the emotional run-up to the American Revolution.

There is no time like the present to improve your writing skills.  Establish yourself as a good writer and be better prepared to take advantage of all  opportunities.

Copyright 2012 Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Finding And Using The Right Word Is Pivotal.

“Cherry picking” is often sneeered at as the needless attention to small details, but when it comes to finding the right word for your writing, cherry picking is not only acceptable but desirable.  It’s the writer’s job to be clear, not the reader’s job to figure out what you’re trying to say.  The March Hare’s admonition to Alice, “…you should say what you mean,”  also applies perforce to writing.  So, find and use the right word – it can be pivotal.

As any business expert will tell you, the key to a successful business is “location, location, location.”  With writing, the key is “words, words, words.”  The first “secret” for improving your writing is to develop a powerful vocabulary.  It is the jumping off place to achieve clarity in writing.  A strong vocabulary’s influence on successful writing is unquestionable.  Vocabulary building is probably the single most important step you can take on the road to successful writing.  It cannot be overemphasized.

A powerful vocabulary at your disposal is necessary to write compellingly and to avoid dry, colorless prose; the right words will enable you to become expressive and to develop a flair for writing.  Words are your most important writing tools to command the reader’s attention.  Properly used, they are potent weapons of persuasion.  The breath and depth of your vocabulary will have a direct bearing on the effectiveness of your writing.

Words are the basic building blocks in any writing.  They should fit together evenly like bricks in a wall.   Properly used words will allow your sentences to flow smoothly like an unobstructed stream of water and avoid having the reader stop and look back to see how your ideas “hang together.”

Learn the meaning of words that can help you, then learn how to use them.  Nothing will make your writing come alive faster than using the right words in the right places.  Precise word usage will  help elevate you  in the eyes of the reader and convince the reader that you’re an accomplished writer.

Because words definitely matter, begin building your vocabulary by becoming a wordsmith.  Obtain command over the specific words necessary to clearly express yourself.  Otherwise you’re batting with two strikes against you.  To write clearly and compellingly you need to know the precise words needed to crystallize your thoughts and how to use them.

Your writing should not be obtuse or complex like many government regulations or instructions.  Nor should it be like reading an autopsy report – a straight forward recitation of facts with no emotion.  On the other hand, you are not writing the great American novel either.  It’s usually inappropriate to use flowery or picturesque language unless you are writing fiction.  Use of the right words will help you achieve balance in your writing.

Study and use a good unabridged dictionary and thesaurus.  These resources will help you find and use the right words, acquire a keen eye for language, and help in achieving correct diction.  (Diction will be covered in a separate blog).

Because words are a writer’s most important tool, acquisition and use of an effective vocabulary should be considered an immediate and ongoing challenge.

 

Copyright 2012 Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Better late than never.

Looking for a new job?  Want to increase your productivity?  Learn to harness the power of the written word.  It is far reaching.  Don’t get stuck in that “I can’t write” syndrome.  You can start NOW to learn to write clearly.  “Better late than never” is one of my favorite mantras.  Even lawyers, with all their education, take writing courses to improve their writing skills. So, it’s not too late for you.

If you’re looking for work or want to get ahead, if you feel like you’re stuck in your present situation because of self doubts about your writing, then learn to acquire the right writing skills.  You can’t compete in today’s marketplace if you can’t communicate clearly.  Language is predominant.  Sell yourself by learning the fundamentals of clear writing.  Your success will depend on how well you express yourself.  Remember, unclear writing wastes both time and money.

Coming blogs will feaure fundamental guidelines and techniques for clear writing.

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