Education Archives

9 Steps To Gain Control Of Your Business

9_steps_to_gain_control_of_your_businessFocus is a word that you will hear and read about online until it’s “done to death.”  However, it is a very important part of working online.  Until you decide that you are going to focus on and hold yourself accountable either in a group or create your own goals, then you are destined to spin your wheels and fail. 

We all make jokes about the SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) but it is a very real monster that will creep in and take hold of you again many times over, if you keep allowing it to do so.

I came back to work full time on November 14, 2016 and as ashamed as I am to say it, the “monster” took hold on me again and I allowed it.



Before I realized what had happened, I had signed up for three different programs.  I was in the middle of a course about Pinterest (actually 2 of them) and I had created a new website, along with my already existing sites

Well as it happens and many times things just don’t work out as planned.  We found it’s very hard to find a full care Alzheimer’s unit in Indiana or at least close to where we wanted her to be.  So Friday, December 2nd, I will be flying up to Indianapolis to bring Mom back home.  Hopefully we will find a more suitable Alzheimer’s Care Facility here in SW Florida.

I will be caring for her again here at home until a definite and acceptable place can be found to ensure that she will not walk out of the facility on her own, as what has happened already.

focusBack to my point of this post, I took a good long look again at my business online. I realized I needed to scale back and decide for the last time what I am going to focus on and “NOT” change my mind.  I need to learn to ignore new things that come along and we all know there will be new things coming along.

Writing and Self Publishing will always be a priority for clients and myself. To start with, I listed all of what I was involved in and set a priority to each.  I then proceeded to drop the things that I thought I would work with but in actuality, I know I will never follow through with them.

As we don’t know how long Mom will be here at the house this time, I have to keep things to a minimum and in my “Bullet Journal,” I’ll plot out a weekly plan on what I will be working on and the most efficient way to do this.

9_steps_to_gain_control_of_your_business9  Steps To Gain Control Of Your Business

  1. Make a list of everything you are involved in.
  2. Go through the list and be honest with yourself as to what you are really interested in working with and delete or cancel the program, membership, etc.
  3. Assign a priority to each of the things you have left on your list.
  4. First thing each day – you should work on something that creates an income for you.
  5. Use a timer on each task that you work on.  The timer should  be mandatory for things like email, advertising, social sites and connecting with people.
  6. Be consistent each and every day working on the money tasks, blogging/writing and email and social media.
  7.  Don’t be discouraged if you are sidetracked by life occurrences but be very aware of any people or things that will distract you from your intended work for the day.
  8. At night, evaluate your progress for the day and list anything that distracted you and keep notes on things that you are prone to let get in your way.  I find that writing something down on paper seems to embed it deeper in my mind.
  9. Plan your “consistent tasks” for the next day and get a good nights sleep.

This is an example of my “Bullet Journal” for this next week.  I’m not done planning the week yet but this will give you an idea of my accountability system.



9-steps-to-gain-control-of-your-businessWeekly Business Priority List:

  1. MLE Blog
  2. Blue Jean Writer Blog
  3. Double Wedding Ring Quilts Blog
  4. Self-Publishing for clients and prep-work for publishing
  5. MCA – My Weekly Checks (aff.) (since I now have a car) 
  6. The Women’s Connection (aff.) encouragement and accountability) 


243px-lux_minute_minder_timerDaily Tasks by Priority (Using Timer):

  1. Writing (mystery novelette – release date planned for February 2017)
  2. Reading blogs and commenting
  3. Social Media
  4. Advertising
  5. Email
  6. Exercise and water intake

I hope I have provided some ideas for you to begin your own method of prioritizing and getting consistent and organized.

We are coming to the end of the year and a new year is ahead.  Now would be a great time to start thinking about how you can streamline your business and your life for 2017. 



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Why You Need A Creative Writing Course

Why You Need A Creative Writing Course

creativewritingDon’t think of it as going back to the beginning. Look at it from the perspective of jogging your mind and keeping your thought processes active, sharp and in motion, like exercising your mind. We are all aware of how exercise benefits the body in more ways than one, creative writing provides a workout for your mind.


Exercising the mind will improve your life in so many other ways too. It doesn’t really matter if the creative writing process subject is relevant to your story, your blog or whatever you write, it’s a matter of keeping your brain active and many times working your brain on different topics will sometimes open up the flood gates to new ideas and story lines that is relevant to your “niche.”


Even those who are not pursuing a writing career but work at a job that requires problem solving, a creative writing course will be of great benefit to you. Creating new many times gives way to solving old problems that maybe you have hit a wall with.


If you are a writer or want to be a writer, a creative writing course will provide new learning experiences about writing and how not to let “writer’s block” become a hurdle and cause you to stare endlessly at a blank screen or blank piece of paper.


Even technical writers and journalists can gain from the exercises involved when you take a creative writing course. You will be able to create better story lines or plots and different views on articles that may take you in different directions you’ve never thought of before.


Expanding your mind will help expand your career and you may realize you would like to take your writing in a different direction. There are so many possibilities and options to a writer.


Look for creative writing courses online or in your local community. Some community colleges offer courses like this with nominal fees and they will not take a lot of time but will encourage your writing, whether its for your business or just a hobby.


When looking for a creative writing course online, be sure to do your research and talk with people who have already taken the course.


Whether you are doing this for business or a hobby, you don’t want to waste your money or time on a useless course.


Udemy (Non Aff.) has quite a few creative writing courses available that run from anywhere from $20.00 to $50.00. I have not personally taken any of these courses, so please do your research before you pay for anything.


Taking an online course will probably also work better for you in terms of time management if you have other things going on in your life.


Most of the time, the online courses can be taken at your own pace and during the hours that are most convenient for you.


I have also joined with Alice Seba and Ron Douglas in their new venture for writers called; Writer Help Wanted (Aff.)

If you are a writer and looking for paying writing positions, then don’t hesitate to sign up with Alice and Ron. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a great list of places that you can find writing jobs that are on topics that you are interested in. It’s not a matter of “take it or leave it.” Spend some time looking through the posts and find what interests you because the more passion and interest you have for a writing gig, the better you will write a piece that both you and the client will be proud of.


And if the content already offered is not enough, you can get to the “The Elite Writer’s Lab” (Aff.) membership for $1.00 for 10 days and if you decide to stay, you will be billed $27.00 per month after the 10 days.

See what “The Elite Writer’s Lab” (Aff.) offers:


EliteWritersLab EliteWritersLabUpgrade

monnaellithorpe-curvedarrowAs a Free Gift and for taking a look, Click Below and enter your best email and name to get your free guide;

“34 Ways to Profit from Your Writing Free Report”


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To Your Success,

Monna Ellithorpe




10 Ways To Waste A Perfectly Good Day Online

10 Ways To Waste A Perfectly Good Day Online


A little bit of humor in the day of an online marketer. You get up at 8am and make yourself some coffee and say to yourself, “I’m going to have a very productive day today” but instead at the end of the day you have found, “10 Ways To Waste A Perfectly Good Day Online.”

This piece was rejected by an online writing site but I think my readers will get a chuckle out of it, so I’m sharing it here.

1. Check email. You have to check your email to make sure you see those notices of commission received. You glance over the subject lines and don’t see any notices of earnings, so you continue on taking care of the rest of your email, even though most of it is now unwanted email, newsletters and general waste your time notices but you are being productive. So go ahead and read every one that you didn’t delete.

2. Then off to check your Facebook account. You’ve got to wish everyone a Happy Birthday who is listed on the right side. You notice the newsfeed and you have to look through those. It’s only right to keep up with what’s going on in the world. Make sure you answer each and every Facebook notice you received. You are building relationships, so you can’t ignore anyone.

3. If you are accustomed to scheduling tweets for the day, head on over to Hootsuite to set those up. Half an hour later you are done and thinking of your next task to do. Oops, you get an email (you noticed the email coming in at the right bottom corner of your computer screen). You can’t close your email program, you might miss something. Your scheduled tweet failed to send. Okay, so you head over to Hootsuite to see what happened. You look through the help files and Google for Hootsuite scheduled tweets failed to find an answer. Another half an hour later, you still haven’t found the reason why your tweets failed. Oh well, take the tweets and set them up in Buffer. Now you are moving along. Oh wait. The tweets were scheduled for tomorrow, so you have to go back and change the dates on your scheduled tweets. Okay, NOW you’re done and ready to get started with your day.

4. Now we are ready to start our day of focused work to build our business online. You then remember that you promised “so and so” that you would look at their opportunity and give them your opinion. You read through the hundreds of words on the sales letter page. It drones on and on and about halfway through, you realize this is another SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) getting in the way and you are letting it eat away at your productive time. Fast forward to the bottom of the page, yep, the program is $49.95 per month and you only have to recruit 4 people. Argghhh, another hour wasted.

5. Now it’s time to focus and get some work done. But wait, I need to update to Windows 10 before the July 29th, 2016 deadline. Hmmm, wonder how long it’s going to take? I know, I’ll Google it. It looks like it varies for different computers as to how long it will take to upgrade the operating system. No problem. I’ll do that one night this week.

6. I saw some more email coming in. I’ll rush over there right quick and check through the email. It won’t take but a minute. There is a new social site just starting. I’ll have to go check that out. We always need as much exposure as possible. Not a good idea to focus on just one or two, or is it?

7. I think I’ll make a video today. I start my video recording program and it’s not coming up. Now what? I have to search for an answer why this software is not working today. Google it and find the answer. It will be quick and not take very long. Two hours later, I still haven’t figured out what happened. I could have used another program for now and kept on moving forward instead of wasting time.

8. OMGosh an acquaintance from high school just messaged me on Facebook. It would be nice to talk to her again. I didn’t know her very well in school but it seems people change and those who would not give you the time of day in school will now talk to you like a new best friend. Another hour gone. How in the heck did that happen? We just talked for a few minutes.

9. I received an email from a marketing friend who is trying out a new WordPress plugin and they thought I would be interested in it. Sure, I’ll go check it out. I’m always looking to update my blog and make it look better and I can write a review if this plugin works well for me.

10. Oh no, it’s time to fix dinner. I’ve worked so hard today, I didn’t get a chance to start supper. Let’s look over the hard work I’ve done today. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve done absolutely nothing today except waste time on email and Facebook.

The list above is just a comical look but seriously, this does happen to many people day in and day out who work online. You have to be self-disciplined and focused to make a success of your business online. Plan your day. Use a timer to work on projects and move on to something else when the timer runs down. Think in terms of “Long Term.” Will this that I’m planning to do create success and grow my business or be a little chunk of waste to my day?

arrow5-aThank you for taking the time to read.  Sharing is appreciated.  Do you have any “time wasters” to share?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Kindle Version Should Come First

Kindle Version Should Come First1I’m in the process of proofreading and formatting the first book for a new writer, Alicia Osmera.  I’ve proofread, formatted and published quite a few paperback books through CreateSpace and for Kindle through Kindle Direct Publishing before this but with this book, I decided to do some research since we all know how fast things change online. I always want to provide the best service and do my best work for my clients.  It came to me that maybe I should publish the Kindle version first this time instead of the paperback version; Kindle Version Should Come First


The reason for this, we all know how much faster it is to purchase, receive and start reading your Kindle E-Book. Kindle books are most generally reasonably priced and definitely an “impulse buy.”  So after doing my research, I believe I am going to advise my client(s) that we should publish their Kindle versions first and I will be doing the same for my future books. 


Kindle versions of electronic books can be edited and approved most of the time within 24 hours.  If you see a mistake or decide you want something changed (book cover, title, dedication, etc.) make your changes, upload the file again and usually in my experience, the changes will be approved in a matter of a few hours.   Read the rest of this entry

Self-Publishing Your Own Book The Pros And Cons

Self-Publishing Your Own Book The Pros And Cons

Self-Publishing Your Own Book The Pros And ConsAs a new writer, naturally you want to see your book published. There are different options for you in this area, including finding a publishing house that will accept you. New authors most generally will be fighting an uphill battle with this option.  So now we will look at the “Self-Publishing Your Own Book The Pros And Cons.”


The second option is to hire to have your book published and printed and then you run into the risks of having boxes of books sitting in your garage that you have paid good money for but you are not getting any kind of return.

Read the rest of this entry

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