Here are my September 2012 posts from my defunct Empower Network Blog.
What is Empower Network missing?
by The Rambler | on September 13, 2012
What’s wrong with Empower Network? It definitely isn’t perfect, so what’s it missing? I can’t say I know because I really don’t know much about it. I haven’t spent nearly as much time with it as I’m supposed to. So am I doomed to fail at this endeavor since I haven’t been blogging exactly every day and haven’t been marketing much? Maybe. I don’t know.
What about you? How did you find out about EN? You see, the thing is, those who don’t stay committed to the network, those who drop out, or those who leave before even committing to anything, simply get tired of hearing the same things over and over, and that’s why they leave. Things like “Get all in!”, “Don’t be a wussie”, and the rambling of EN’s top earners and founders gets pretty darn annoying after a while, wouldn’t you say?
Hold on. I’m not bashing Empower Network
There is value in these annoying techniques. Repetition is the best way to remember things. Most of the things I remember from college are the things that my professor drilled into my head, and at the time I was thinking, "Please stop repeating that over and over again already. I got it. I got it!" But now, magically, five years later those are the lessons that are still stuck in my head and actually helping me in all areas of life. So I get it when EN speakers do the repetition thing too.
And as for the rambling, you never know what great truth you’re going to find in a person’s tangent, if you choose to continue to pay attention. You may just learn the very thing you need to learn to have a breakthrough. Some of the things that seem ridiculous to you now may end up being the very reasons for your success in the future. My username isn’t The Rambler for nothing. I get that technique too.
So what is EN missing? Well, it’s missing just about everything except what you need to make lots of money online. What do I mean? I mean I didn’t just join to make money. I found the link to EN by searching for writing gigs on Craigslist. What happens when you gear everything toward making money? Things get superficial and eventually people will long for more depth.
What should EN do to fix this? It should become more than an online marketing network. It could be anything. It has the platform to be a network of dialogue for any subject, any topic.
I’ve actually had a lot of thought about the potential of EN in arenas other than online marketing, but for now I’m just going to leave it at that and maybe leave things open for people’s imagination. Ha! I said ‘people’. Who am I kidding. No one’s actually reading my blog.
A post about my life these days
by The Rambler | on September 15, 2012
My brother and I are living on a small horse farm in NJ. He deserves most of the credit for keeping it running, but I help out every here and there, mowing the grass, feeding the horses every once in a while and what not, when I have time between my two jobs and when he needs the help.
Here in central New Jersey, believe it or not, horse boarding is a big business. Everyone either has at least one horse or wants a horse, and wants a nice place to keep it. I heard it said once that our county has more horses per square mile than Kentucky.
So we can get by, just my brother and I. It’s just us on the farm now since our mom left for Tucson to help her father. Things change, and when they do it doesn’t seem good sometimes, but in the long run you learn that it’s all for the best. God knows what he’s doing. We fight it, and fight each other, when life doesn’t go our way, but that’s no way to live.
I’m just wrapping up another day, and there’s no one else to talk to, so I figured I’d write on my blog that no one reads anyway. There are so many things I want to say, but I’ve learned there’s no point in saying them. I’m actually trying to do the opposite, trying to forget them because I see how foolish I’ve been in continuing to think the counter-productive ways I’ve been thinking.
I’ve been pursuing the wrong things, chasing vanity. In fact, my involvement with Empower Network is among the more sincere endeavors in my life. Some day this investment is going to bring success if I stick to it. I need more things like that in my life. I need more things that give me hope, because I’ve been compromising by taking difficult, low paying jobs, saying "That’s all the work I can get at this time," and these jobs are hardly getting me anywhere.
Despite the hard work in the beginning, I think EN will pay off. God, I hope it does.
Taking the narrow road
by The Rambler | on September 16, 2012
The road less taken is chosen by its risky traveler not simply because of what he expects to get at the end of it; he doesn’t self-righteously assume that he’s headed to a better place than those who took the more popular road. He chose the less traveled road for its own hidden gems.
Whatever he hopes to reach at the end would be lost if he put too much hope in that goal, because too much hope eventually turns into expectation and expectation is very different from hope. Whatever reward sits at the end of his road can only be received through grace, so he couldn't receive it if he expected it, as if it were his reward for reaching the end.
He is “saved in hope”, not in expectation. That subtle difference between hope and expectation is what makes all the difference. And that’s the main difference between the one who takes the road less traveled and the one who takes the popular road: those who take the popular road take it because of what it promises. But when those promises end up being false promises, they regret their decisions and only by the grace of God can they find their way back to the narrow way. Lord knows, if it weren’t for that grace I would be on the road of false promises as well.
Do what’s right. Come what may.
It’s not in our nature to seek out the easiest way. It’s in our nature to do what’s right. That’s why when we do what’s right, even though it hurts, even though we wonder why we even bothered to do the right thing while everyone else around us seems to be taking the easy way, in our heart of hearts we know that we are acting in accordance with our nature. We were made by the ultimate Good One, Perfect Goodness, and he put his image in us so we have the desire to do what’s right. He’s not the ultimate easy way. He’s not the easy life. He is Goodness, and goodness is often difficult. The hardest way and the right way are usually the same.
Right now I’m stuck in traffic, probably late for work. I’m going through the hardest time of my life probably, the toughest year of my life. But I’ll tell you, I’ve never felt closer to God. I’ve never felt so right even though I’m hurting to my very core, and I hate it because it makes me feel self-righteous! But there’s nothing in me that says I’m going the wrong way, that I’m on the wrong road.
I just keep pushing and pushing. How badly I don’t want to get up in the morning and work at a stupid under the table job, or even get up and face the reality that is my life. But everything in it is right. I’m not on the wrong path. In fact, I know that I’m on my way, and these are just growing pains. These are just the steep inclines that have already been mapped out on this path. They said this road would be tough. That’s why most people don’t take it.
I know I still have my faults and weaknesses, but I’m on my way and growing transformation hurts. If it doesn’t hurt then you’re not getting closer to God.
Commitment, changes and how I’m balancing them
by The Rambler | on September 18, 2012
How things must change
Today I worked at my grunt work job, unloading supplies and tools from two of the company trucks, and at the end of the day I told my boss I have too much on my plate to keep up this job full time.
I didn’t burn any bridges this time, but I acknowledged the need for another change in my life. This one was very small since I only worked at this job for about a month. That’s how you have to live. You do what you can, you take whatever work you can find and you learn from your experiences, successes and failures.
My family and I are trying to divvy up the expenses of this farm. Property taxes alone are about $16,000 a year. Once utilities and other necessities are factored in I figure I have to make $4,000 a month just to run this farm smoothly. That’s just not happening with the work I have now. I don’t see that happening if I freelance write full time either.
Can Empower Network be the answer?
For some time I’ve been considering EN to be my ace in the hole, my back up plan, my little secret that will dig my family out of the financial crisis it’s in. It seems everyone in EN has similar stories. Either they aren’t making enough money to make a living, or they’re so bogged down by their job that they may be making a living but they don’t have a life.
There are so many other things we all want to do, but just can’t because we have to spend so much time and energy working, and/or we don’t make enough money to do them.
I would love to take piano lessons and Spanish classes, and maybe dance classes, but where would I find the time and money for that? I would love to spend time working on two book ideas that I’ve only been fiddling with for years. But the need for money always wins out, and all of these other goals get pushed aside.
So today I make another 180. Enough with putting money first. Part of the whole EN concept involves being a little careless about your money now so that you can invest in your future. I still only bought the blogging system, affiliate membership and Inner Circle membership. I don’t have the money for the rest yet, but I will get it. I will make this investment because I’m convinced that it’s a good idea and it’s worth it.
It’s time to do my own thing, to take charge of my life. Learning online marketing is not easy, but it is something to be proud of once you learn how to do it. No matter what profession you enter in life, knowing how to market online will help you tremendously.
The time I’ve 'wasted' hasn’t been wasted
by The Rambler | on September 22, 2012
Sometimes I get discouraged when I look back at my life and recall the many phases that seem wasted, but as I grow older I notice that those phases weren’t as wasted as I may first assume.
Today is a good example. With just my brother and I living on the farm now, I’ve taken on the responsibilities my mother had. It’s a tedious role. In today’s profit-and-career-oriented society it involves many duties that may seem like a waste of time and even counterintuitive.
At a time in my life when I’m trying to find all the work I can and save up money, I have to do things that not only take away from time I could spend making money, but that also take away money from my bank account; things like going grocery shopping, buying household necessities. Our culture gives so much credit to the breadwinner that we forget the value of the bread-fetcher.
The need for a partner in life becomes apparent when trying to run an entire house on your own. As I was picking up groceries for my brother and I at Walmart today, I couldn’t help but think of how much better it would be if there was someone off at work making money for the household as I was spending it. Or, oftentimes when I’m working all day I’m thinking, "How the heck am I also going to get done all of the errands I need to get done for the house?"
As I look back at especially the past five years, it seems like I’ve wasted a great deal of time, but as I think about it a little more I notice that my past five years have simply been spent trying to learn how to make it on my own and, now and then, help provide for others. It’s a long learning process that can only be learned by trial and error.
They used to teach home economics in high school, but I never took the class. The importance of domestic management is easily forgotten today. I believe this is because the value of family is also not understood. If we understood why the family structure is the backbone of every society, we would better notice how important it is to have everything in a household run smoothly. Most domestic disputes start with some simple problem with the house, whether it be a broken appliance, an unbalanced budget or just a messy kitchen.
So this week I worked at that grunt work job on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I worked at the farm. On Monday I helped remove sheet rock from an apartment. On Tuesday I cleaned out two work trucks. On Wednesday I began cutting down a tree that fell down in the back yard, until the chain fell off my chainsaw. Then I spent about four hours trying to fix it myself. Wednesday evening I went to a planning board meeting for freelance work. Thursday I sent the chainsaw to a repairman who fixed it for ten bucks. Then I got back to cutting the tree up again. I got most of the tree out of the yard before the chain fell off again. But this time it broke so I had to buy a new one that will take at least a week to be delivered. In the evening I went to Panera Bread to work on a story from Wednesday’s meeting (I needed public wifi since we didn’t pay our cable bill).
On Friday I switched the cable account to my name, worked a little more on the planning board story, and mowed the lawns. After that I drove to my boss’ house to pick up my pay for last Friday, and this Monday and Tuesday: $160.
The past five years have been similar to this week in a few ways. First, they’ve been a mixture of work that makes me money and work around the farm that actually costs money in one way or another. Also, the past five years have been filled with so many random happenings that it’s hard to make sense of it all.
But if I take a closer look I think I’d notice that I’ve spent the time fairly well, even though I haven’t accomplished anything worth mentioning. But so what. The greatest life isn’t the one with the most accomplishments. Rather, the greatest accomplishment is getting the most out of life.
About The Author: The Rambler
This is where I try to bring all of my random thoughts about life together. I was raised in the suburbs and countryside of New Jersey and now live on a small horse farm between Trenton and the Jersey Shore. I went to public schools up until college, when I decided to attend a small Catholic liberal arts college. While that decision did change my life inwardly, I still had the same outward struggles like finding a job. After working for four years as a journalist for local newspapers, I'm now leaving technical staff writing behind and venturing into the vast world of freelance writing. This blog is like a workshop as I explore several different ideas for my writing. I aim to cover everything from poetry to marketing on here. It should be fun.