Experts Speak: Starting Over – What Would You Do Differently?

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Ever wish you could just call a “do over” in your business?

Eliminate all the crazy mistakes you made when you were first starting out?

Or maybe you are just starting your business and wonder how you can cut down mistakes that will cost you both time and money.

Wouldn’t it be great to get the advice of some of the top bloggers and business people in the Online Marketing industry?

You bet it would!

Check out Previous Month’s Questions after you Finish Today’s Installment:

Experts Speak: “How Do I Come Up With Great Content Ideas For My Blog?”

 

Experts Speak: What Was Your Biggest Business Breakthrough in 2011?

 

Experts Speak! — Who Needs All This Mindset Crap?

 

Experts Speak: How to Stand Out From the Masses and Build Your Brand Online

This month’s question comes from our own VaNessa Duplessie, who asked our experts,  What if you could call a do over?

Knowing then what you know now, what would you differently?

What would you keep the same?

I can’t wait to hear the answers on this one, can you?

“If You Had To Start Your Business or Blog All Over Again, What Would You Do Differently?”

 

kim castleberry imageKim Casteberry of Just-Ask-Kim.com

If I had to do it all over… I’d have wrote my optin offer first… and then 10 supporting articles that set up the need for the offer… before launching!

Sites are overwhelming and distract us from the business end of lead and income generation with their day to day maintenance.

Read Kim’s Popular Post:  Current Trends in SEO:  From Tactics to Strategy

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adrienne smith imageAdrienne Smith of AdrienneSmith.net

“When I first started I was really all over the place. I was one of those people who dove into something, put my all into it and fell flat on my face. I didn’t understand much about this industry so I admit being extremely confused.

After falling though I would get back up and start all over again. I didn’t have a clear direction back then so if I could do it all over I now have that direction and knowledge so I would focus on one area and one area only.

I have the support and training from a top income earner so I would suggest to anyone just starting out to definitely either partner with someone of that caliber or hire a coach that could help put you on the right path.

I know I wasted so much time but I have to look at this as one huge lesson. I appreciate things so much more after having gone through that but I definitely would stick with just on specific area.”

Read Adrienne’s Latest Post:  How To Easily Download YouTube Videos

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michelle pescosolido imageMichelle Pescosolido of Online Wealth Partner

“I focused on what I was passionate about and felt comfortable doing. In the beginning of my internet marketing career, I followed my mentors advice to master one marketing method at a time. That’s why I focused on Facebook to build my brand.

Through my testing and making many mistakes, I realized I was becoming a master at marketing on Facebook with the results I was getting. After buying a few “”guru”” courses on Facebook I quickly realized I really had something better to offer the people in our industry. Something that would be “”real”” and ‘step by step””. No hype just REAL content and VALUE. Something I noticed others were not offering.

My focus remained on building my brand on Facebook and helping others do the same. By offering massive value to those who have followed me I became known as the Facebook Marketing Queen. A brand that was not intentionally meant to be built but happened naturally through my efforts of teaching others to do what I had done to be so successful in my own business.”

Read Michelle’s Latest Blog Post:  Easy Tracker Pro

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jerry chen imageJerry Chen of Build a Magnetic Network.com

“Great question as I’m “”starting over from scratch”” in a specific project to show my teammates how to go from zero to hero right alongside me.

The one thing that I’m teaching now that’s different than what I did is I’m taking a stronger position in what my blog is about and what I believe in. The clearer the message and stance, the more targeted the audience you’ll attract. And the more targeted the people you attract, the easier it is to market to these people. That’s it!

This is something that I had to learn over time, and while doing it the other way made me money… doing it in this way is actually EASIER, MORE PROFITABLE and allows me to help more people.”

Jerry’s Latest:  Real Work-at-Home Profits

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richard goutal imageRichard Goutal of Fitting The Pieces

“The most important thing is that I would not start the blog without first having done these things:
1. Written down the characteristics of the niche audience I was attempting to attract.
2. Listed at least 3-5 needed, relevant products and services that I could sell to this niche, at varying price points.
3. Organized at least two of these products into an initial marketing funnel.
4. Created at least one of the products (for sale) myself. Others could be affiliate or mlm products, but I would be sure to have my own product to set me apart from the pack and to make attracting niche members easier.
5. Created a short, intriguing giveaway that is congruent with my funnel products and set up an optin form with an autoresponder series of messages.

THEN I would start blogging. In other words, I would see my blog as just part of the traffic generation for my business, not a “”hub”” – which I consider a bit misleading.”

Richard’s Latest:  Create Your Funnel Plan!

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timo kiander imageTimo Kiander of Productive SuperDad

“I would hire a coach from the get-go.

Although I had a coach when I was starting my blog (I hired him just for the launch phase), I would have wanted a longer-term relationship to help me focus on the essential stuff only (and stay away from time wasters).

First of all, I would have known my niche to concentrate on. It took me quite a bit of time to ponder it by myself. However, when I had a vague idea about it, my coach suggested even more specific area to focus on and that’s the path I’m following now.

Also, I have always been distracted by all the “rules” of blogging – for example that you have to publish a new blog post many times per week or that you have to be on social media to become successful.

Having a coach helps you to put things into perspective and make you realize that you can do things otherwise – and still be successful.

For example, just recently my coach advised me to slow down on my blogging activities – from two posts per week to two posts per every other week.

This advice was relieving and I felt that finally I have a chance to create new things (better content, test new things, create case studies, engage better with my list …).

These two advices alone gave me more self-confidence and more motivation to move forward with my blogging.

Anyway, as the saying goes: “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” so I guess I was ready for my coach only couple of months ago and not any sooner :).”

Timo’s Latest:  222 Tips to Becoming a Productivity Superstar (Free Ebook)

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emma tiebens imageEmma Tiebens of The Relational Marketer

“It has been 3 years since I started my blog, “”The Relational Marketer”” and at that time, all I wanted was to “”Encourage, Empower and Equip”” Entrepreneurs, making sure that I remain to be ever so subtle about my services, products and offerings.

While I thought for sure I was doing the right thing, it was really a disservice for myself and those who connected with me. One thing I realized is that:

“”When you give value, people will fall in love with you and when they do, they are more likely to want more of you by way of your product and service…””

If you have no product or service, then you risk losing business to those who do…

Regarding my business – what would I do differently?

I would IMMEDIATELY invest in a Mentor, Consultant or Coach that I trust and who has proven track record of success I don’t get it when people invest thousands into a business and skimp in hiring someone who can help them to stop playing small, clarify their brand and message, attract ideal clients, sales conversion and positioning them and their business online to be a Trusted Authority.

What I’ve learned the hard way is that I thought I was saving money by buying courses, attending seminars, etc. Big misconception… Looking back, I could have just invested the same amount of money in a one-on-one Mentoring or a complete Done For You and it would have saved me years of learning curve, frustration and money down the drain.

I don’t regret the learning curve as now I am able to pay that forward and help many entrepreneurs but I still would have loved to shorten that learning curve and get profitable immediately…

Now I truly understand what one of my Mentors taught me:

“”If you’re not willing to GIVE IT… you’re NOT READY TO RECEIVE IT…””

It’s amazing how most entrepreneurs I speak with say, “”I need clients to invest in my product and service, now!””

Then I ask them: “”Are you investing in others?””

They say: “”No, I don’t have money… “”

I say: “”There is your answer… the people you are attracting are the same as you… they think they have no money to invest in you too…””

That’s Law of Attraction at work… we simply attract who we are… So who and what are you BE-ing and DO-ing dictates what you’re now HAVE-ing in your life…”

Read Emma’s Popular Post:  I Am My Father’s Daughter… My Loving Tribute

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george fourie image

George Fourie of ThatMLMBeat.com

“Create a simple business plan and be as clear as possible on EXACTLY what you want to achieve. This might change as you move along, but when planning a blog or a business, the old adage of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ doesn’t apply.

Yes, you can just jump in and get started, but you’ll save yourself endless hours frustration and the painful process of starting over by knowing where you’re headed first.

Good questions to ask yourself before getting started (or if you are rethinking your approach)

– What is the perfect desired outcome?
– Why am I building a business / blog?
– Who is my ideal customer / business partner?
– What problems do they have?
– How can I help them?
– What value can I offer them?
– What are my core strengths? (if you love writing, then stick to writing, if you don’t, create a video blog instead)
– How frequently will I create content?
– How will I position myself in the marketplace?
– What is my unique selling proposition?
– How will I stand out amongst the crowd? (easiest way, just be yourself, there’s only one you!)

Once you know why you’re doing what you’re doing and who you want to attract, most of the bits will fall into place.

The above process is simple to skip (I did the first time round – at a significant cost) cos you might need to dig a little deep to find the answers you’re looking for.

Just keep digging though and get clear, then go ahead… READY… FIRE! ”

Watch George on ThatMLMBeat.TV:  Announcing the Top 50 MLM Blogs of 2011

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teach jim imageTeach Jim of Inetin.com

“If I were to do it again I would leverage my learning into solutions more quickly.

1. Recognize my value in the marketplace more fully.
2. Stayed with what I know and added to it just the elements I needed to make the business breakthroughs.
3. Jumped to delivery more quickly so I would do #4.
4. Interacted with my audience in a social learning way more completely.
5. Delivered on real needs for others first with what I have to offer from what I know.

I would then enjoy the rewards of empowering many more people to become authentic valued friends along the way.

With these, my friends, empowered to magnify their contributions and expand their expertise we can positioning ourselves together as a source of value to those in need.

Hey now that I think about it everyday is our chance to do it all over again. It is still not too late. We are continually rediscovering and reforming ourselves. Maybe we can connect to magnify your value through what you already know! Let’s leverage your learning into significant solutions for those you serve! (It will not be too bad for you either!)”

Read Jim’s Latest Post:  Service Solves Self Pity

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natasha nassar imageNatasha Nassar of NatashaNassar.com

“I already DID have to start over again! My first blog was an attempt to grow my first Network Marketing business. Of course, I wrote post after post about my opportunity. So, when the company gave me 48 hours to delete ALL of my blog content, I was devastated! Moral of the story- if you’re a distributor for a company, do NOT make your blog all about your company or product! I’ve started over by branding myself and that has worked out very very well!

If I had to start all over AGAIN, I would probably hire outsources to do a lot of the technical stuff and graphic stuff that I waste my time doing. I would also make sure that every single post has a very clear Call To Action to direct the reader to the “”next step””- be it another article, opting-in for more information, etc.”

Read Natasha’s Popular Post:   The Scoop on Pinterest

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vanessa duplessie imageVaNessa Duplessie of VanessaDuplessie.com

First thing I did a few months after I got into this business was spend thousands on a mentor.   While I would still do that and get a mentor, I would have prepared and budgeted for advertising more before I hired that mentor and focused on building a list more right out of the gate.
I focused on my brand first and didn’t spend enough time building a large list. The money really is in the list.
Brand building is important but when you first start out you many not know your brand or be solid in it.   Mine continues to evolve.
As far as list building my small list is loyal and wonderful but I would prefer a large loyal list.   You know that optin-box we have on our blogs?
I would focus on getting more people to see it and input their information right out of the starting gates.  Then build a relationship with them through the value I provide.
That’s it, that is the most important thing.
Its not what widget you have or what plug in you have it is the relationship you have with your followers.   That would be my focus if I started today.
3 years later I’m still here, still going strong, making money in my business and I have some cool wins and great relationships that came out of it.
So I’m happy where I am as it is all a process and I and ready to step it up a notch the next 3 years.
.
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ken pickard imageKen Pickard of The Network Dad.com

“Thanks VaNessa for putting out a great question! We always hear hindsight is 20 / 20, so taking a few minutes to reflect on what we would do differently if we had to start over again is a good thing to do. There’s one point I want to make before I share my answer.

Everyone must pay their dues on their way to their success. The only reason why anyone may have some insight on what they would do better is because we all have made mistakes, took risks, and were unsure of the outcome.

Without this knowledge we wouldn’t know what works or what doesn’t work.

What I would do differently if I was to start all over is the very thing I coach my students to do now. list building.

I knew this was important and yet I put it off for quite sometime. I worked more on marketing and helping others get things set up that I neglected my own list building efforts.

All the marketing in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have something for people to buy. So the simple breakdown for me is…1 list building. 2. driving traffic to that capture or squeeze page. 3. Learn what works by measuring your conversions.

It’s a lot more about taking ACTION right out of the gate and learning to fly on the way down instead of picking up another course or how to manual. Again, how will you know what works for you if you don’t get your own campaigns up and running.

The last thing I want to mention is to hire a coach.  This is a must if you want to shorten the learning curve. However, to make the most of a coach is to give them data to work with.

Read Ken’s Latest Post: Pinterest Traffic – Blog Roll Style
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My Turn

bob clarke imageDr. Bob Clarke of Part Time Entrepreneur

Wow, after reading the responses of our other Experts, I realize that there is a common thread among most of us, and I echo this:

Find a mentor!

But I’ll take it a step further.

If I were to start over again, I’d first realize that, while a sponsor can become a mentor it is not necessarily so.  When I first started, I listened to everything my sponsor told me as if it were Gospel, because… heck!  I didn’t know anything!

But I later realized that my sponsor didn’t know that much more than I did.  And a lot of what she told me was flat out bad advice.

But you live and learn.

So, YES I would find a mentor soon after starting my business.  I’ve published on this subject many times here on this blog.

Read:  How to Choose the Best Network Marketing Mentor

But here’s the next thing I would do (and this is for all those Network Marketers in the audience) — I would be absolutely certain that I was PASSIONATE about the product I was marketing.

I’ve had many experienced and successful marketers tell me, “it shouldn’t matter what product you market.  When you learn marketing, you can sell anything”.

I suppose technically this is true, but not for me.

When I joined my first company, I originally thought the product was rock solid and could benefit many.  But the more I saw of it and began to understand it’s drawbacks, I “fell out of passion”.

My passion diminished and so did my sales.  I just couldn’t in my heart recommend something that I wasn’t sold on myself.

Now, Rosemary and I have gotten back into MLM after some time off, but only because we are marketing a product that we 100% believe will benefit anyone who purchases it.

It’s now easy to pick up the phone and have that all important initial conversation, because we believe 110% in what we are doing.

Never settle for less.

Read Dr. Bob’s Latest Post:  My Rant on Facebook and the Surprising Response

 

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29 Responses to “Experts Speak: Starting Over – What Would You Do Differently?”

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  1. Amazing post and it’s boost myself. Thank you to all experts sharing valuable opinions. your advice very help full for me and other guys who read this post.
    Rishabh Misra invites you to read..Responsive Magento Template KirigamiMy Profile

  2. vicky says:

    Thanks for sharing the experts knowledge with us. It is really very helpful and useful for every one who like such things.

  3. Ileane says:

    Hi Bob! This is my first time visiting and it was great to come here and find advice from the great ones. I do believe in the importance of finding a mentor but I don’t think I ever considered hiring a coach. I’d love to hear who everyone is recommending. The list building topic is one I mulled over for quite some time before diving in, but I think my timing was right. Thanks for bringing these people together so we could get their insights all in one place.

    Enjoy the holiday! Chat soon.
    Ileane invites you to read..Take Your Small Biz Videos to the Next Level with ViewbixMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      You’re welcome, Ileane… and thanks for visiting!

      One resource I’ve been telling people about in terms of hiring a coach is Coaching Cognition (http://coachingcognition.com). It’s the brainchild of Mike Klingler and Barbara Silva — its a conglomeration of trainers and coaches who have been through their coaching program (me included!) and there are some very high quality coaches available there at a very reasonable cost. If you’re interested in hiring a coach, go check it out.

      Thanks again for visiting and commenting!

  4. Bob says:

    Listen to Kim. She is masterful! http://just-ask-kim.com

  5. Charles says:

    The most common advice seems to be; get a mentor, coach or consultant. My question is: How do you properly locate and vet one? That was one of the first things I did 8 years ago and it was a total waste of time and money. There’s so much hype and BS on the net that I don’t trust the big fat claims (lies?) made by most.
    Charles invites you to read..Tutt & Tutt’s new makeoverMy Profile

  6. Nicky says:

    Loved all of these tips – especially loved Richard Goutal’s suggestions – that really is the perfect blog funnel and I wished I had seen that when I first started blogging too, but having said that, the technical “how to” stuff can be really overwhelming when you first start out and my advice to anyone is to outsource the things that really are holding you back from getting you to your goals.
    Great advice Bob, loved it.
    Nicky
    Nicky invites you to read..Setting Up a Blog is Easy When You Know HowMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Richard is an amazing marketer and business person… everyone should definitely study his blog, right Nicky?

      Outsourcing is a funny thing. Beginning marketers think they have to wait until they become more succcessful, but the reality is that outsourcing those things that you are weakest at or don’t like to do will jumpstart the growth of your business. And if cost is an issue, it doesn’t get much cheaper than Fiverr.com. You can’t get everything there, but you’d be surprised how much people will do for $5 nowadays! :-)

  7. Hi Bob,

    That’s a great collection of individual tips that sure can help anyone starting a blog today.

    When I started blogging seriously in 2008 I made a lot of mistakes. I was actually publishing my best content outside of my blogs on article directories and using my blogs more like some advertisement sites for my products.

    Well, obviously with time, I finally came to the realization that this was the wrong way to go about it and last year I got rid of 70% of my blogs and kept only three blogs where I now publish only great content meant to inform 100%. Therefore, I dropped my article directory publication about 80%.

    Thanks for sharing such great tips :)
    Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..Five Simple Steps To Overcome The Challenges Of Blogging In English As A Second LanguageMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Great move, Sylviane.. that was smart. A blog can be an amazing business asset when used correctly.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It will be helpful to others just starting out!

  8. Charmaine says:

    I will be flying high because I will have most of my debt paid off. Also, I will that much closer to my retirement. I will probably retire in 2014 or 2015, if the world still exists by then. Yes, the end of 2011 should be a happy time for me.
    Charmaine invites you to read..PR Company DevonMy Profile

  9. Ken Pickard says:

    Bob,

    This is a great gift you are giving your readers. I know it takes a lot of work to gather everyone’s comments and assemble these incredible posts and I want to personally say thank you, and I know many others appreciate it as well. To have all this input in one place is priceless.

    One thing I’d like to mention is what others have said is the common thread. Getting a mentor. Isn’t it funny how we are suborn in the beginning either wanting to try and do it ourselves or simply not justifying the cost. But truth be told we end up spending much more in the long run with time AND money as well as frustration that could have been avoided with simple direction.

    This post is a reflection of a mastermind or as I’d like to say a tribe. And that’s how I finally had my breakthrough online. i started a tribe of like minded people. We shared each others content and we brought tips and tactics to the table every week. For those who can not afford to hire a mentor, find a couple of others who you can mastermind and leverage ideas.

    Thanks again Bob for continuing this great series.

    Ken Pickard
    The Network Dad
    Ken Pickard invites you to read..Pinterest Traffic – Blog Roll StyleMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      This is a great point, Ken.

      Although I am a huge believer in finding (and paying for) a mentor, someone who can cut your learning curve and actually end up saving you money, the reality is that, for some people at this time, the money is just not available.

      Finding people to mastermind with and leverage each others content can go a long way, although I still believe working with someone who has already done what you’re trying to do is the way to go.

      Appreciate your insightful contribution, Ken!

  10. Carol Lynn says:

    Great insights. I love hearing what people have to say about their trials and successes, it’s not only fascinating but often useful and inspiring. I don’t think anyone can be truly successful without failing somewhere along the way or making mistakes. The fact that all these people wish they could have done something differently is GREAT – because it means they LEARNED. If you don’t make mistakes, if you can’t look back and say “wow, shoulda coulda woulda…” then you really haven’t learned anything. You’re either just damn lucky or… damn lucky! We can learn conceptually from other people’s mistakes, we may even be able to avoid making the same ones because we are a little wiser thanks to some insight – but we ARE going to make mistakes, and learning from them, looking back and turning them around is what makes all these awesome people different from the losers who just complain that things didn’t go right the first time. Thanks for inspiring!
    Carol Lynn invites you to read..Mobile Matters: The Stunning Statistics That Should Convince You To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly (With Tips For How To Do It)My Profile

    • Bob says:

      We all make mistakes, even with a mentor to guide us. We all find ourselves wishing we could have a “do over” in a certain situation. That’s just life and being human.

      But you’re right Carol — we wouldn’t be the people we are today without experiencing those mistakes. They are part of who we are.

      But it sure would be nice to cut the number down a bit, right? :-)

  11. abhinav says:

    Really its very valuable and informative post for me and others thank you so much for sharing this post.
    abhinav invites you to read..25 Free Desert Textures CollectionMy Profile

  12. Teach Jim says:

    These posts from peers are so meaningful.

    It seems like every week we have a chance to evaluate where we are and where we are going. The beauty of a blog and so many good people working with you is you can bring in new topics of interest as they apply to the situation.

    This blog has been very helpful in nudging the reflective and re-inventive process. Thank you for setting the standard in quality content.

    Thanks again Bob and Rosemary!
    Teach Jim invites you to read..Dr Bob and Rosemary Clarke’s Blog Lead Generation InvestigationMy Profile

  13. Adrienne says:

    You are so right Bob, there is a common thread among us all. Find a darn mentor…

    Admitting that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing would have really benefited me if I had teamed up with someone who could have explained all of this to me and pointed me in the right direction. I know so many others knew what they wanted to do and probably understood a lot more than me. But when you look at all those courses you purchase and time spent wasted on not getting any results would have definitely been worth the investment in a mentor right from the start.

    No wasting years trying to figure this out and get into information overload only to realize you are headed in the wrong direction.

    I really enjoy these posts Bob and learning from some really great bloggers and successful entrepreneurs. I truly appreciate you putting this together and it’s been a great learning experience for me as well. I’m still so honored to be included among all these awesome people.

    Thanks for sharing all of their input with us Bob.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..2012 Is The Year Of No ExcusesMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      What an amazing group of — not just marketers, but people, right Adrienne?

      It’s great to have you in there with us providing insights that will help others. I’ve had so much great feedback from other people who are so appreciative of what we are doing.

      As for getting a mentor — yes — it can be hard to admit we need help, and even more tempting to think we can do it ourselves.

      But in the end, it’s always the same. A mentor just plain old makes sense from every angle.

  14. Bob, I always finds these posts insightful, fun and helpful. Mainly because it is nice to see what my peers think on the subjects. What I’ve found over the months of doing this is that we are all similar yet different. We’re all people who want the same things – success in our business while helping others. And therefore, wanting the same things also leads us at times to need the same things in our business. Finding a mentor is critically important to success. And mentors change as time goes on. I have had various mentors in my life and they have all helped me get where I wanted to go faster. Thanks again for the opportunity! VaNessa
    VaNessa Duplessie invites you to read..7 Day Coaching email series now availableMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      That’s such a great point, VaNessa – mentors change as time goes on. I’ve had a few mentors during my years online. You find a person who can help you at the stage you’re at right then. When it’s the right time, you move on, acknowledging your mentor as a key to your growth and development. It’s a win-win for everyone.

      And you are such a great mentor and coach, VaNessa…. thank you for what you bring to the table and how you help others. You are an inspiration to me.

  15. Charmaine says:

    I don’t really know what I will be doing in a year. I will have graduated high school by then. I might end up going to college.
    Charmaine invites you to read..Master Cleanse ReviewMy Profile

    • Bob says:

      Oh Charmaine you have your whole life ahead of you! Good for you!

      I wish you luck in all your decisions! Keep us posted!

  16. Jane from Blogging 101 says:

    Wonderful! Amazing information all in one. I know, I missed the boat :)
    Jane invites you to read..How To Stand Out Among 989756329 Bloggers With Your WritingMy Profile

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