Private Practice Strategies: How to Develop Multiple Streams of Psychology Income

Mental health professionals have a wealth of valuable, even crucial, information and expertise in which many people are in need.

One-on-one therapy is only one way we can deliver this expertise and help.

There are a number of possible ways therapists can create revenue streams while sharing their talents, expertise and skills with people in need.

Some of these ways are traditional and common, but others are rather innovative ways therapists are beginning to put their abilities to good use. In doing so, they are creating revenue streams.

Traditional Services

Although its time for therapists to think out of the box and develop new services that creatively meet the felt needs of niche markets, there is a place for the traditional therapeutic services.

These include psychotherapy for the DSM diagnoses, psychological testing and evaluation, marriage and family therapy and behavioral health care.

And, yes, people will forgo managed-care reimbursement and pay out of pocket for services that are of higher value because they are higher quality, offer real privacy and are truly customized for the individual needs.

One of the frustrations I hear from mental health care service consumers is that they can’t find a specialized therapist in their managed-care insurance network.

It’s as if managed care’s philosophy is, “We’ll help you obtain access to psychotherapy, but we don’t care whether the therapist we connect you with is a specialist. A generalist is fine.”

Set yourself apart and demonstrate your true value in the marketplace through specialization. Many people in the market for therapy value specialization.

Getting Published

A book is a powerful way to affect lives. It is also a good way to establish credibility, highlight your practice and services and position yourself in your niche.

And, it’s easier than you think if you self-publish. It has become very affordable to do so, and it puts you in charge of the content, price and reprints.

It can actually be more profitable, too. You keep every dollar above your costs. If you went through a major publisher who sells a few thousand books, you would only receive the author’s fee. You can make as much selling a few hundred copies of a self-published book yourself.

If your book is successful, you may even attract a large publisher to take over your book.

Writing a book opens doors to speaking engagements, media opportunities and a reputation in your niche market.

It also helps you to crystallize your thinking and enhances your effectiveness as a practitioner; it’s a great exercise in that sense. You will learn a lot both in breadth and depth.

Take the opportunity now to brainstorm ideas for a book that’s inside you.

It doesn’t have to be long. One hundred pages is plenty.

Teaching

Teaching courses part-time at a local college or university can be an attractive stream of income.

I have been teaching as adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program at Widener University outside Philadelphia for several years and find it both rewarding and enjoyable.

Think about areas of special interest on which you could teach a course. Courses that adjunct faculty teach can be core curriculum in a graduate program, an undergraduate course or an elective.

I find that part-time professors who are practitioners have a lot to offer because they are immersed in what they teach. Students seem to appreciate this as well.

E-books

E-books are another medium in which you can package and share specialized information.

And e-book is a written piece of information that is distributed via the internet electronically. It is offered free or for a cost (typically $10 to $30) on a web site.

You can also submit an e-book to web sites that list hundreds of e-books to make them available to the public.

Tens of thousands of e-books are downloaded each year, and are changing lives for the better.

Perhaps you can make yours one of them.

Do you have a solution to a specific problem or can you research the answers?

The best e-books share answers to a specific problem.

E-book topics I have heard of recently include: how to write a eulogy, how to cope with a hysterectomy and the topic of recovering from fibromyalgia.

These are e-books written by non-mental health professionals. Imagine what information psychotherapists can offer in this just-in-time format.

E-books cost very little to produce and nothing to distribute. You can attach the file for an e-book to an email or make it downloadable from a web site.

A great e-book is not long. Many of the best are 10 to 35 pages long.

E-books offer short answers to problems readers want to solve, and are available to people quickly.

Good e-books are specific and do not contain general information. The key to marketability is communicating your precise answer to a specific problem.

E-Courses

E-Courses are similar to e-books, but they may be lengthier and delivered to readers one segment at a time. As the name implies, these can be formatted as guided self-study programs.

E-courses allow for the content to be integrated over a specific period of time. Each lesson can be a simple article or more in-depth with guided self-study. Write between five and 10 lessons, and you have a good e-course.

Written by a professional, a good e-course can bridge the gap between a reader learning new information and the reader applying that information to his/her life and making a behavioral change.

Personal Coaching

In sports, coaching is important to help an athlete develop a winning strategy, develop skills and execute the plan. The coach knows how the athlete can progress and move forward. He/she urges the athlete to set high goals and provides motivation, support, focus and encouragement.

Over the past 10 years, the field of professional coaching in personal development and business arenas has grown tremendously.

What is coaching? Personal coaching is a one-on-one professional relationship in which a client is assisted in achieving a personal, business or career goal.

What is the difference between coaching and therapy? Although coaches sometimes assist people with challenges and problems of various kinds, they do not try to help people overcome problems related to diagnosable conditions as found in the DSM.

Rather, coaches assist well-functioning people to attain greater levels of achievement and satisfaction in their personal lives, businesses or careers.

While therapy is remedial and restorative, coaching is developmental and growth-oriented.

Therapy heals mental and emotional infirmities, while coaching helps healthy individuals achieve more or reach important goals.

Personal coaches work with clients on a wide range of issues, such as coping with a problem or crisis, focusing their efforts on achievement, making career transitions, living more fulfilled lives, achieving life goals and building better relationships.

Other coaches assist people with business development or managerial or leadership development. These coaches are called business coaches or executive coaches.

While coaching is not always based on psychology, it often is. And many of the skills a coach uses are the skills in which therapists are trained. So, there is considerable overlap between coaching and therapy.

This is why many psychologists, counselors and therapists have found coaching attractive and transitioned into coaching either entirely or as a part of their practice mix. I am one of them.

In many ways, therapists have an ideal background to be coaches. But the differences between coaching and therapy are significant and important to keep in mind.

Therapists can make great coaches because of their insights into human motivation and behavior, their understanding of human development and life transitions, their communication and relationship skill and their sense of professional ethics, knowledge base and experience in helping people.

Live Workshops, Retreats, Trainings

Presenting live events such as seminars, workshops, retreats and training programs can be a very lucrative stream of income.

And, it can be a powerful way to affect peoples’ lives.

The group setting allows learners to engage with your material and benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of the group.

Live programs can also be an introduction to your other services. Brief programs, such as a “lunch and learn,” can be delivered for free as a solid marketing vehicle for your practice.

As a therapist, if you have developed and packaged your message into a program as recommended earlier, you have the makings of a great seminar or workshop.

Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Promoting a workshop or retreat is promoting your practice at the same time — and may be psychologically easier to do.

Consider adding a post-training element to your program. It could be a follow-up mini-workshop, a series of workshops or one-on-one work.

You can leverage the energy of a live event in many ways for additional revenue streams.

And, it is likely that some participants will choose to work with you after the event is over.

You will want to casually present your other offerings at the event. You may make it easier for them by having a sign-up sheet.

Teleseminars

A teleseminar (also called a teleclass) is a seminar held over the telephone, like a conference call.

The advantage of a teleseminar is the convenience. No one has to commute and the consumers dial to a bridge line at the specified time. No physical accommodations need be arranged; you only need to rent a telephone bridgeline.

Teleseminars can include people from all over the country, even internationally, at the same time.

Classes are typically 60 minutes long, but can vary. Often teleseminars are offered in a multi-class series.

Teleseminars are another way to offer your packaged content and introduce people to your services. Teleseminars can be offered for free to attract prospective clients and let them sample your services.

See [http://www.teleclass.com] for examples of what various professionals are offering. Or, do a search on Google for teleseminars or teleclasses. There are hundreds to browse and attend.

To get a better feel for how to conduct a teleseminar, attend some yourself.

Consulting

The goal of this book is to help mental health practitioners build thriving managed-care free private practices.

One of the themes I hope I have conveyed is that psychology is not just for DSM diagnoses.

While we have discussed ways to market traditional services, diversification is important, as it increases the chances we can generate sufficient income to operate outside of managed care.

Multiple streams of psychotherapy income can be developed in one’s practice.

When I decided to build a manage-care free practice, I gave considerable thought to how

I could provide private-pay services. I explored how I could use my skills in ways that people would readily pay.

Many psychologists and other mental health professionals are successful in consulting in the workplace for the benefit of employees and employers. Business consulting can be a very lucrative income stream.

Like many practitioners, I found my skills could be applied in the business arena. Today, through a business I started called Leadership Concepts, I offer services in the areas of business consulting, executive, business and career coaching and seminars and workshops for businesses. This has proven to be a solid and growing income stream for me, and it is work I really enjoy.

Other ways to diversify into consulting include behavioral medicine, forensics and sports psychology.

Consulting is a very broad and diverse area, so I won’t scrape the surface of the possibilities here. But perhaps I can give you good directions for exploration.

If this area is new for you, you will be surprised to find out the many valuable ways our psychology and mental health expertise can be of benefit to people in the workplace.

Our background makes us capable of assisting businesses with many different barriers to productivity.

To familiarize yourself with this terrain, I suggest you do a Google search using the keywords “business,” “consulting” and “psychologist” and browse the web sites that come up.

Forensic Consulting

Another specific type of consulting is worth considering separately.

Forensic consulting has to do with psychological or mental health service specifically related to the court system.

Often times, a court has to deal with issues that impinge on mental health issues.

Some of these include:

Criminal cases

  • Competency to stand trial
  • Mental status at time of offense
  • Mitigating factors in offenses
  • Risk assessments, violence

Civil cases

  • Emotional damages in personal injuries
  • Assessments for malingering

Family cases and other

  • Child custody evaluations
  • Court-ordered psychological evaluations

In addition, attorneys often need help sorting out the issues when questions of a psychological nature occur in their cases. They retain psychologists and other experts to review files and help them prepare for depositions or cross-examination of experts.

Psychologists and other professionals can inform the court on issues, perform assessments and testify as experts.

Consultants in this area testifying as experts typically receive $1,000 to $2,000 for their testimony.

I find that this niche is an attractive one for several reasons:

  • It is completely managed-care free
  • It is interesting work
  • It makes good use of our background
  • It is lucrative
  • It is a specialized area that many professionals find intimidating,
    which means less competition

If you find this an interesting prospect as a part of your practice, then I encourage you to begin taking some training workshops to familiarize yourself with the terrain.

Web sites

Revenue streams can be active or passive. Therapy sessions, therapy groups, workshops and consulting services are all active forms of revenue streams. You exchange your time and skills for a fee.

Passive revenue is revenue from streams that do not involve service delivery, but once set up, occur automatically 24/7. A common form of passive revenue is income from products sold on a web site.

Can you see the advantages of passive revenue? Can therapists develop passive revenue streams? You bet!

Therapists can productize their most useful expertise and offer information products to benefit others.

Some of these we already looked at, like books, e-books and e-courses. These can all be offered on a web site for web seekers to obtain and utilize to fill their needs.

There are other possibilities as well, such as licensing programs.

As an example of a passive revenue web site effectively offering information products to a specific niche, see TeachMeTeamwork.com.

Passive income streams utilizing the internet via web sites are a burgeoning area for many service professionals, but few mental health professionals are taking advantage of the potential so far.

This will be changing soon.

Active income streams can also be marketed on the internet.

Web sites can also be effectively used as a marketing tool for your fee-for-service practice. More and more therapists are putting up web sites and for good reasons.

A web site is your practice brochure, available any time, day or night, to seekers on the internet. People you meet, people who hear you give a presentation and people referred to you by another professional, can be directed to view your web site, find out more about you and, hopefully, be stimulated to contact you.

A simple, attractive, intriguing postcard sent to a mailing list can direct your niche market to your web site. Or, your yellow page ad in the phone book can include your web address.

A web site is much more than a brochure. It is also a potentially powerful marketing vehicle, when combined with internet marketing strategies.

If you decide to have a web site for your practice, or for a particular niche service, make it full of resources (articles and free information) that will attract people to it and make them want to spread the word.

Although beyond the scope of this article, internet marketing strategies can be developed to drive people to your web site.

Increasingly, people are beginning their search for products and services on the internet.

The yellow pages are not the first choice for many.

Are you effectively represented on the Internet?

Licensing Programs

After you have developed effective structured programs for your niches, you can license the use of these programs to other professionals.

Other therapists have been doing this for years. Psychologist Dr. Daniel Dana, a conflict resolution specialist, certifies mediators and licenses his program at MediationWorks.com.

Another example can be found at DifficultChild.com, as we mentioned previously. Howard Glasser, M.A. offers a parenting approach and program, as well as other materials, for ADHD children. His program involves a book, a training program for parents and a training and certification program for therapists.

His program is called “Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach.”

One of my coaching clients is certified in this program and speaks highly of it.

Howard Glasser’s web site actually models several streams of income, including a book, workshops, training other professionals, licensing or certification and internet marketing for all the above including his practice.

These “programs in a box” are typically complete turnkey therapy, counseling or consulting programs that therapists can purchase. They are usually complete, including the structured program itself, instructor materials, workbooks and also include marketing pieces you can use to generate business.

For those of you who want to do niche marketing but prefer not to do the creating part, you may want to find out whether someone has developed a program you can utilize to serve your niche.

Someone may have done the work for you.

If you can find a program suitable for your niche market, you could be a few days away from having a marketable service in your repertoire.

Training Other Professionals

When you have developed an effective program, you can leverage it by training others in your approach and methods.

Innovators in therapy have been training others for years. If you develop a specialization, program or niche service in a growing area, you may find many other therapists would like to learn from you.

Sometimes the innovation is mainly in how a service is packaged.

You can train other professionals via live workshops, self-study program packages and teleseminars.

Diversification by developing a number of streams of psychotherapy income increases the chances you can create sustainable income and can be rewarding in other ways too.

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5 Takeaways That I Learned About Businesses

Hair and Nail Salon- Choosing the Right Salon for Your Hair and Nail Care

To look beautiful every time you attend a special occasion is necessary for most women. Plenty of things can be done and applied to achieve the look that you desire. You might think of coloring your nails and styling your hair that speaks your personality and mood. These things can be offered by some salons in your area. However, you might feel overwhelmed with the many choices around.

If you are going to ask the owners of the available salons, you will sure hear them bragging about how great their services are. However, you have to bear in mind that only a few of them can actually stand by their claims. The reality is, there are superior and inferior salons. To help you make a great choice, here are some things to consider.

– Ask around can be a great tip to find the best hair and nail salon. You can ask your relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers who wear the style you like. You will know a good salon through the looking into the quality of their work. Do not hesitate to visit salons having excellent works.

– You need to spend some time going to place and see the salon by yourself. Of course, you want a salon that is neat and clean. Another thing is to determine if they have friendly staffs. Take this time to ask about the possible treatment you can get. You have to choose a place that helps you feel relaxed. The next thing you have to do is to set an appointment.

– After you have an appointment, you might need a little while before receiving the services. It is usually the receptionist that will ask about the type of services you want. Upon giving them the idea on your needs, the professionals will properly attend to it. In case the person is making the other way around, don’t be afraid to let them know. After all, it is your hair and nails that will suffer. So, it is just right to ensure that you get the services that you exactly need.

If you have followed all of the tips and you just love how your hair and nails look, then you sure have made the right decision. There are some cases wherein you need to try few salons to find the right one. It is a bonus for you to find the right salon right away. In case you don’t, then do not worry because there are still many more choices to try.

You have to bear in mind that you need a little effort in order to find what you need. You sure would want a salon that is worth all your investments.

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NYCeWheels Introduces New Line of Folding and Electric Bikes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(New York, NY) NYCeWheels is excited to introduce a new line of products providing consumers with alternative transportation. Electric bikes, folding bikes and kick scooters are now offered to provide consumers with a fun, eco-friendly way to get from point A to point B. Transportation has never been so affordable, healthy, efficient or environmentally friendly. Folding and electric bikes, as well as kick and motorized scooters, can help expand a rider’s mobility while saving money and time. In the past, factors such as distance, steep inclines, portability and storage space were discouraging factors; however, with this new line of innovative and proven products, new possibilities for getting around are a reality.

“We invite you to come try a kick scooter, electric bike or folding bike for yourself,” stated nycewheels.com representative, Connor Sargent. “Our products are guaranteed to transform the way you move around and in the process, may even transform you, your life and your community. Our shop is located on the east side of Manhattan and read to serve your alternative transportation needs.”

NYCeWheels was originally founded by Bert Cebular in October 2001. When Cebuler passed away in 2013, his brothers Phillip Adolf “Adi” Cebular took over. In the past few years, the products offered by have become more innovative and eco-friendly. Now the location is known as being a leader in the alternative transportation industry and specializes in portable, fun and health products.

“When the company started, we offered a selection of electric scooters, but now, we have worked to expand our stock and offer a larger selection of more unique human and electric powered bikes, kick scooters and folding bikes,” Sargent continued. “Our goal is to only carry the very best products availability. Each item is high quality and has been thoroughly tested and selected by our staff.”

The team is dedicated to continuing to research products to learn what is effective, practical and reliable for commuters, as well as recreational riders. Regardless of if a person is traveling through the sprawling suburbs, a bustling city or rural areas, electric scooters, kick scooters and folding bikes are viable and fun methods of transportation.

ABOUT NYCEWHEELS

NYCeWheels shows off products in the mainstream and green transportation festivals taking place throughout the Northeast and is active in the Transportation Alternatives, as well as The National Bike Dealers Association. The company also participates in a number of regional and local events and rides and ride the products that are sold. The company envisions a bright future providing alternative modes of transportation for those who want more options. With these products, communities can experience an improvement in air quality, easier parking, enjoyment, improved personal health and reduced traffic.

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Book Length – Average Length of a Non Fiction Book

One of the questions that new writers always ask is “How long should my non-fiction book be?” In this article I’m going to attempt to answer that question.

However, part of the reason that new writers find it difficult to pin down an answer is because the answer is so difficult. It isn’t as straight forward as it seems.

First off, you need to make two decisions. Specifically, you need to decide what type of book you will be writing and how you will be publishing that book. For example, are you going to write an eBook and give it away as a bonus? Or are you going to sell it on Amazon? Are you going to write a popular how-to and use a traditional publisher? Or are you going to write a textbook and sell it through university bookstores?

The form of the book often dictates the size of the book. While the topic will have a great deal of influence, there are many other elements you need to take into account. Many of these are marketing related.

First off, you need to establish a standard length of a page. Some writers will claim there is only one standard length of a page. Unfortunately, they never agree on what the standard is! Typically, fiction uses 250 words per page, although 300 is also a common value. Non-fiction typically has longer sentences and less white space because it doesn’t have dialogue. 300 to 500 words are sometimes used as the yardstick, although 250 is also used. Personally, I, somewhat arbitrarily, use 250. But like all the numbers when discussing book length, you should consider them as yardsticks rather than firm numbers.

Now that we have the length of a page — even an arbitrary one — we can go on to estimate the size of books and articles.

Take a look in your business library. You will find that almost all your books are more than 100 pages long (about 25,000 – 50,000 words depending on your style). By fiction standards that is considered very short – novella size in fact. In fiction, a short book is between 50,000 to 80,000 words (roughly 200 – 300 pages in paperback). Although Science Fiction and some other genres have been creeping up and can now exceed 400 pages (200,000 words). A typical “popular” business book runs 25,000 to 75,000 words. Over that size is the territory of the academic or technical business book.

Typically you will find that books groups naturally after about 100 pages. The reason for this is related to the pricing of a print run. The cost to produce each book is related to the format size (e.g. trade paperback, paperback, letter etc.), the binding, and the number of pages. This latter tends to be priced at the 100 page mark so preferred lengths tend to come in multiples of 100. For example most short fiction runs at 200 pages (about 50,000 words (romance, westerns etc.). The next step is long fiction at 300 pages (about 75,000 words). Extra long is usually around 400 pages (100,000 words) although it can go beyond.

Ultimately, you need to check the local bookstore to determine the appropriate size. You’ll find that certain markets have a preferred size (or sizes). Some publishers will also list their preferences in directories like Writers’ Market, although most now prefer to make the writer guess.

Of course, what you wish the length to be, and what the actual length will be can be quite different.

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My Journey Out of Abuse, Depression and Homosexuality

I guess I grew up like any other kid in the suburbs, looking for ways to enjoy life. Bike rides, building forts, swinging on the backyard swing set, playing ball and swimming, anything to make me feel ‘alive.’ I was passionate, active and fully alive. As a youngster, though, my passion for life was suppressed. Very early I became acquainted with walls or boundaries that limited my ability to embrace life and experience it fully. An overly legalistic church and very restrictive parents kept me from venturing too far into life outside of our little world and instilled in me a timidity in my approach to life. Their motivation was good and loving; the world was changing rapidly in the ’60’s and ’70’s, and there were many unfamiliar and sinful behaviors being promoted as legitimate. The fences that were built for me – far from the actual lines of right and wrong – did keep me from wandering into many areas of sin, but the timidity that grew out of my fear of breaking the rules kept me from embracing life fully and contributed to the secrecy that nearly destroyed me.

At an early age, I responded to an invitation at church to receive Christ as my Savior for the forgiveness of my sin. My decision was fairly utilitarian. I needed my sin forgiven in order to get to heaven and I was afraid of going to hell. In spite of this, I did enjoy some times of spiritual life and growth as a child. I considered myself a Christian but really had no idea about a relationship with God. We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday night and something about the system of that small world felt safe. I knew I was a sinner, we were reminded of it every time we went to church, but I had no idea what to do with the tremendous amount of guilt and shame that this sin brought. When I was forced by others to cross lines into what I considered “horrible” sins, I did not know how to handle the feelings.

I was about ten years old when the name calling began. I was slight of build, intelligent, uncoordinated and musically inclined. The labels of “sissy,” “mamma’s boy,” and “fag” were quickly attached to me by the set of older boys in the neighborhood. It has always been natural for bigger, stronger boys to bully those they see as weaker. This derisive verbal ridicule quickly escalated into physical abuse. Causing me physical pain, watching me cry and reveling in my reactions to their torment became a favorite pastime of these boys. On one occasion they knocked the wind out of me and then stood around and laughed when I couldn’t catch my breath. On another, they led me to a bumble bee nest in the ground, threw a rock and then ran while I stood there, ignorantly, and was stung multiple times. I can still hear their laughter. It wasn’t long before some of the physical activity, fueled by their adolescent curiosity about sex, deteriorated into sexual abuse. I was held down and forced to perform sexual acts with them. I was younger and smaller than they were and the taunting about the size of my genitals and my smooth skin went deep into my mind. This was the final step in shutting me down spiritually and emotionally and the beginnings of my obsession with sex. I knew that these acts, outside of marriage and with the same sex, were wrong, perverted. Any mention of this kind of activity at church came with words like “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “abomination.” It would certainly not be safe to mention any of this at church! To add to my shame for participating in these acts was the shame of knowing that there was some pleasure involved. The pain of abuse would inevitably lead to the exhilaration of sexual release, something I had never experienced before. The combination of adrenalin from fear and hormones from sexual climax made an indelible mark on my young psyche. The enemy began to articulate a lie that ran through my mind; I MUST be at fault if I enjoyed any part of this! The fear instilled in me about these kinds of sin and what happened to “those” people who indulged in them kept me from sharing anything with anyone at home or at church. I suffered in silence, letting the message of the wound sink deep into my soul. I was a pervert! I could not see myself as a reflection of the Father who created me and redeemed me but saw myself as a reflection of my sin and wounds. The label was pervert and the lies built up a stronghold in me that would take years to tear down!

From that point on, I “knew” that there was something wrong with me. The deep sense of shame made me hate myself. Because of my timidity, I didn’t have the courage to face my abusers or my own sin and turn to God in repentance. Instead my shame became contempt, self-contempt in the form of self-hatred. I took every opportunity to put myself down, laugh at myself and I refused to engage in any activity in which I could not be the best. I shied away from anything athletic because my lack of coordination would be a clue to others revealing who I “really was.” The part of me that I hated the most was my masculinity. I hated the “macho” in others but at the same time was drawn to the strength that it represented. I equated the perception of strength with a false definition of masculinity that I knew I didn’t have. Gender confusion had set in. I was so weak, I had given in, I had been dominated, I was not a real man.

The gender confusion only increased my sense of shame. The shame of who I perceived myself to be is what motivated me to look for a way to hide. I was terrified that someone would figure out who I thought I was. Part of me, the true masculine part, simply withdrew. The other part decided that I would disguise my identity of “pervert” by being “perfect.” No one would be able to see past my perfect mask to the pervert within.

This mask of perfection evolved as I discovered ways that my flesh could compensate for the broken parts of my positive identity (virtue, community, power, gender). Having lost all sense of value (virtue) in the depths of my shame, I tried to perform in perfect ways that would generate affirmation. I had to have straight “A’s” in school, I had to be the best son, the first chair in orchestra, the teacher’s pet. When I performed well in these roles, I felt good about myself for awhile and was able to temporarily block out the shame. The problem with this mask, as with any mask, is that it had to be maintained. I could never rest. I must always become better and better in order to keep the affirmations coming. I graduated from high school at 16 with nearly a 4.0. Graduated from college at 20, married at 19, was ordained to the ministry at 20 and became a youth pastor at 21. I must be perfect… in school…at home… at church. I presented myself as self-assured, self-confident and superior but nothing could have been further from the truth.

My sense of my power to choose had been completely destroyed by the acts of abuse. Repeatedly, I was overpowered by the strength of others who were bigger and stronger than I. Regaining that sense of power required that I be in control of every situation in which I found myself. I manipulated the teacher into making me the teacher’s pet, became the president of my youth group, planned family events and bossed my friends around. Closely associated with this need to control was the need to belong to a community. Because of who I thought I was, I never felt like I fit in. My ticket into community was my ability to be in charge. Any group that I controlled became my community. They had to include me because I was in charge. That control was my way of showing strength, it was my masculinity. I had community but it was forced and shallow. Deep inside I believed that if they knew who I really was, they would not include me at all. My career choice was motivated by this desire to be in control. Besides my family, the only other community that I had been involved in was church. The Pastor was in charge at the church, so I was going to become a Pastor.

The greatest part of my wounding was the damage done to my sexuality. I believed the lies and labels that others had placed on me and secretly harbored those thoughts as my identity for years. My secret fear was that I was gay. I hid my true masculinity and used my control to ‘feel’ masculine and ‘look’ masculine to others. As far as leadership was concerned, I was the man. Inside, though, I was confused about my sexuality. This confusion continued to fuel my shame in spite of the mask. This cycle of shame and performance was an emotional roller coaster that was both exhausting and painful.

So, now shame had moved me into bondage. I was now living in bondage to my mask of religious performance and control. I worked hard to prove that I was okay and to distance myself from the labels and lies that plagued my thinking. While it appeared to others that I really was that “masked” person, the thought of who I believed I really was never left me. I was a pervert, trying to come off as perfect.

In my pain, I sought relief. Self-medication is a natural coping mechanism for anyone in pain. What do we do when we have a headache? We look for the pain reliever! Emotionally and spiritually we are no different. We look for something that will bring us pleasure, something that is available and that works to reduce the pain. My medication was closely associated with my journey. Pornography, masturbation and sexual fantasy provided an escape from the pain and pressure of the constant performance required in my role as Pastor but increased the sense of shame. Religious performance eased the pain of feeling like a pervert but led to exhaustion and further acting out. I entered a period of my life where I lived in the destructive cycle of striving and indulging. I worked hard to be the best and most caring Pastor I could be, but then when exhausted or criticized, I indulged my flesh in pornography, masturbation and sexual fantasy. The repetition of this cycle led to a deep depression.

The enemy used depression to create a fog that would lead me down a path of despair. The truth became even harder to discern through the fog and the lies increased in strength. The stronghold of lies and labels was so strong that the truth couldn’t even penetrate it. I began to feel more and more that the wounded identity was the true me and that I would never overcome it. I begged God to take it away but I never addressed what was driving it. I went forward at church invitations and retreat campfires and promised God over and over that I would never act out again, that I would be faithful. The repeated unanswered prayers and the repeated broken promises worked together to create a great disillusionment about God. Maybe it was all made up. Maybe God wasn’t real. Maybe I was meant to be this way. Maybe He just didn’t care. Maybe …

The suicidal thoughts started very subtly, and in the fog, I didn’t even recognize them for what they were. I was tired, exhausted from the endless cycle of striving and indulging. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. As this thought grew in my mind, I began to formulate a plan to make it happen. My double life had already taken its toll on me physically. I was experiencing high blood pressure, passing out spells and migraine headaches. No real medical cause was ever found for my symptoms but the doctors were more than happy to medicate them. I started taking more and more of my medication to help me sleep and help me to forget my struggles.

Finally, the day came when I didn’t care if I woke up or not. The thought that I kept repeating in my mind was that I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I had preached morning and evening messages at church the day before and felt emptier than I could ever remember. I went into my bedroom and began swallowing pills.

I don’t even remember how far I had gotten in the process when my wife came in and I fell apart in front of her. By the end of that day, just 24 hours after another religious performance, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and labeled suicidal. It was a humiliating experience. I was stripped of my belt, razor, shoe strings and anything else that I might use to harm myself. I was put in a room where I could be watched so that I would not attempt suicide. I was heavily medicated. I lost my church, nearly lost my family, lost my perfect mask and lost my capacity to maintain the facade of my past.

The psychiatric hospital was not the answer to all of my problems, but the Lord did use it to provide me with a safe place to let down my guard and share with my wife and others what was really going on inside of me (wouldn’t it have been awesome if the church had been that safe place!). HONESTY. This was my first choice toward life. Maybe it will help you make this choice as well!

When my journey was held inside in secrecy, it had great power over me. I felt like I was the only one who experienced these things or felt this way. Since sharing my journey with others, I have come to understand that we all have a story. Some involve much more pain than mine and some less but we all have a story and we all need to choose life.

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Don’t Cancel Your Powerpoint Presentation – Project Away inside of Small Places with a Short Throw Projector

Projectors happen to be a necessary tool that lots of companies, educational institutions, researchers, and collectors desire to use so as to provide their info to teams of individuals. Many such groups generally convey assemblies involving personnel, college students, employees, and other intrigued individuals, that are inclined to accumulate in a wide array of venues, not all of which will be well suited for the intention of making use of typical projectors. Common sense says that necessity tends to be the mother of new technology, and this adage was surely taken to heart at the Projector SuperStore, for they sell short throw projectors simply for the requirements of people who need to offer a competent display inside of a less than perfect situation.

Organizations often are forced to collect in places that were not really first intended for the application of projectors, and as a result a projector with a less demanding throw ratio becomes necessary. A lot of these projectors can be installed much closer to the screen and still be equipped to create a big and adequately defined impression. Short throw projectors are helpful pertaining to classrooms, boardrooms, and then for many home entertainment arrangements. Tensioned, fixed or even electric screens would be best applied with these types of projectors in order to prevent distortion. A short throw projector will be able to supply the same exact sized image at three or less feet from the display screen as a conventional projector can at seven feet.

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9 Hidden Secrets to a Powerful Mortgage Marketing Letter

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #1: Know your readers well – You can’t influence everyone, so why waste time and money contacting consumers who have no interest in your mortgage services? It’s vital that you thoroughly research the most appropriate way to reach your target audience.

How you generate the contact information for the people you’re sending your mortgage marketing letter to is not as important as who receives that message. There are numerous companies that will create worthwhile lists of potential customers who might need your lending services. Most likely, the names were collected because the person showed a prior interest in purchasing or refinancing a home.

You could also create a list yourself. Organize a free giveaway that entices the people you want to reach. In return for the complimentary product/service you give away, ask for each person’s name and mailing address. Be prepared, though, as some people might be hesitant to offer this information. You’ll want to emphasis the information is for internal use and will not be shared with outside parties.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #2: Grab your reader’s attention immediately with an offer – You only have seconds before a reader gets bored and moves on, so use your time wisely. How is your lending company different from the competition? Whether the benefit(s) you’re providing to your customers is a risk-free offer or a unique service, make sure it’s the first point your reader sees.

Your offer might include free information, a no obligation consultation, a contest, an exclusive invitation or a limited-time discount.

One of the most common mistakes marketing writers make is to focus their writing toward an aspect of the lending firm that is too obvious. How many times have you seen a mortgage marketing letter praising a company’s customer service as its competitive edge? As a consumer, you assume any lending firm you work with will be able to service your needs at a high level. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t contact them in the first place. So determine another facet of the business that sets you apart from your competitors. With a little creativity you should be able to find something that makes your lending firm unique.

Also, avoid the urge to copy the marketing techniques used by other companies in your field. Not only is this unoriginal, but it will cause you to duplicate a plan that might not be effective. No one else knows your business better than you, so don’t be afraid to take a risk with your mortgage marketing copy.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #3: Tell your audience what you want (your call to action) – How are your readers going to know what you want from your mortgage marketing letter if you don’t tell them? Yes, I know this seems obvious, but far too often this important step is forgotten.

For example, if you want your potential customer to call for a free consultation, include a phone number (toll-free is always best) that will allow your readers to talk with a live person. The fastest way for your new customers to lose interest is by answering the call with a recording – especially when you’re encouraging their phone calls.

The popularity of the Internet has led some lending companies to use a call to action that encourages readers to visit their websites (e.g., Visit us online today at [http://www.xyzlendingcompany.com] to fill out your loan application).

Another common request in lending companies’ marketing letters is to have the reader respond back with a postage-paid mailer. This is effective because many people view filling out a card and returning it less of a hassle than a phone call. Here’s a reminder for your return mailers: Be sure to clearly restate your offer because some people will skip your mortgage marketing letter altogether and go right to the response card.

In addition to explaining your call to action, let readers know what type of person is ideal for your lending program. If you’re a large firm specializing in helping people with bad credit secure loans, tell your readers. On the flip side, if you don’t want to deal with low credit scores, make this fact known. By narrowing down your audience, you’ll demonstrate a niche, which often leads to increased credibility.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #4: Establish a deadline to encourage immediate action – Once you’ve hooked your readers with the offer and explained the action you want them to take, set a deadline for responses. You could even present discounts or special deals as incentives for acting quickly. This would also be a good time to re-introduce that magic four-letter “F” word – FREE. After all, when was the last time “free” failed to grab your attention?

For those times when you need your readers to act even faster, take the deadline a step further by making your offer available to only a select number of customers. A benefit of this technique is that the readers who respond will feel like a select member of an elite group.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #5: Back your offer up with a guarantee – Your writing won’t persuade anyone unless you’re convinced first. So state your message confidently and back it up with a guarantee. A lending company that uses a guarantee will almost always be perceived as more credible than a firm that doesn’t apply this writing tip.

Your guarantee can cover your pricing, customer service, response time, the time it takes to close the loan, etc. The benefit of a guarantee is that your readers will feel like there is limited risk when contacting you or trying your service.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #6: Use basic words or phrases that create visual images – Active verbs and attention-grabbing adjectives are the best way to create visual images in your readers’ minds – but don’t get too carried away. Also, write to your audience in a tone and vocabulary they understand (studies show most people read at an 8th grade level). Frequent use of the words “you” and “your” is one effective way to communicate directly with a reader.

Creating mental images in the minds of potential customers will require separate techniques for different audiences. A wealthy, well-educated businessman doesn’t develop the same visual images as a young newlywed who just purchased his first home. This statement might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many mortgage marketing letters I see that are improperly targeted to a mass audience of varied and unrelated consumers.

Connecting with a reader on an emotional level is the primary key in getting your message to sink in. You want your readers to feel like the text is speaking directly to them. So put yourself in their shoes. Why would your offer be appealing to your readers? If you don’t know, ask your customers why they’re funding their mortgage with you. This can be done through a mailed survey or over-the-phone conversations. Not only will you receive valuable feedback, you’ll also find the most effective ways to write your mortgage marketing copy.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #7: Use testimonials from satisfied customers – Consumers relate to people who are similar to them. Luckily for you, satisfied customers are more than happy to volunteer praise. To back up your marketing message, get a few flattering remarks in writing and match those testimonials to the needs of your target audience. What are the unique selling propositions you stress? Get people to praise those specific aspects of your lending company.

For any testimonial, the two questions you want answered are the following: Prior to using XYZ’s lending services, what challenges were you facing? And, now that the service is complete, how is your situation different? Vague statements such as “Your service is great!” or “This lending program works well.” fail to give details as to why your lending company is better than the competition.

When it’s time to collect testimonials, don’t wait. Timing is an essential component when developing an effective testimonial. The longer you wait, the less likely your chances are for getting useful feedback. Approach your clients with a testimonial request while their satisfaction is still at its peak.

And a final point about your testimonials – always use your source’s full name and location. Limiting a person’s name to initials only leaves a reader guessing the validity of the statement. When people put their names next to comments about your lending company, you can be sure they support your services.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #8: Use an appropriate length with bullets and subheads – The length of your marketing letter will depend on the situation, but longer is not necessarily better. As with any type of marketing copy, strive for quality over quantity and make certain each word is a necessary component to the sentence.

A common rule of thumb in direct-mail writing is the more expensive the item or service, the longer the letter. If your offer is strong enough, your audience won’t mind reading a lengthy explanation.

When it comes to formatting your mortgage marketing letter, don’t forget about bullets, subheads and white space. Your reader will feel overwhelmed when presented with large blocks of text without any spaces between the paragraphs. Bulleted text gives readers an opportunity to pause while scanning for the most important points in your letter. Shorter paragraphs (1-3 sentences) allow your audience time to fully comprehend the information without feeling the need to keep reading.

Mortgage Marketing Letter Tip #9: Conclude with a postscript (P.S.) – One of the most popular techniques used by letter writers for encouraging immediate action is through a postscript, that is, a “P.S.” Some studies have shown that many readers scan down the page to the P.S. before they read anything else. That means there’s a chance some of the most essential components to your letter won’t even get a glance.

So, whether your reader jumps to the last few lines of your letter or reads every word, you want to make sure your P.S. statement is convincing enough that your reader wants to take action. You may even want to restate your proposition in the P.S.

Additional ideas to consider in your mortgage marketing letter:

• Test your letter on a small group of people before mailing to your entire list.

• Make sure your letter is formatted so it meets postal specifications.

• Be honest. Readers know when you’re trying to trick them with false offers.

• Find a successful marketing letter and hand-write it word for word. As you do this more and more, your subconscious mind will begin remembering the effective techniques used by other authors.

• Spend some time testing teasers for your envelope.

• Come up with a reliable method for tracking your mailings (e.g., codes, phone numbers, etc.)

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SWOT Analysis — Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

When conducting strategic planning for any company — online and/or offline — it is useful to complete an analysis that takes into account not only your own business, but your competitors’ activities and current industry happenings as well. A SWOT is one such analysis.

Completing a SWOT analysis helps you identify ways to minimize the affect of weaknesses in your business while maximizing your strengths. Ideally, you will match your strengths against market opportunities that result from voids in your competitors’ products and/or services.

Traditionally, a SWOT confines strengths and weaknesses to your company’s internal workings while opportunities and threats refer only to the external environment. Here, I suggest a twist to the “text book” approach. To get a better look at the big picture, consider both internal *and* external forces when uncovering opportunities and threats.

A Basic SWOT Analysis

You can develop the basic analysis in a brainstorming session with members of your company, or by yourself if you are a one-person shop. To begin the analysis create a four- cell grid or four lists, one for each component:

| Strengths | Weaknesses | Opportunities | Threats |

Then, begin filling in the lists.

Strengths. Think about what your company does well. Some questions to help you get started are: What makes you stand out from your competitors? What advantages do you have over other businesses?

Weaknesses. List the areas that are a struggle for your company. Some questions to help you get started are: What do your customers complain about? What are the unmet needs of your sales force?

Opportunities. Traditionally, a SWOT looks only at the external environment for opportunities. I suggest you look externally for areas your competitors are not fully covering, then go a step further and think how to match these to your internal strengths.

Try to uncover areas where your strengths are not being fully utilized. Are there emerging trends that fit with your company’s strengths? Is there a product/service area that others have not yet covered?

Threats. As with opportunities, threats in a traditional SWOT analysis are considered an external force. By looking both inside and outside of your company for things that could damage your business, however, you may be better able to see the big picture.

Some questions to get you started: Are your competitors becoming stronger? Are there emerging trends that amplify one of your weaknesses? Do you see other external threats to your company’s success? Internally, do you have financial, development, or other problems?

Expanded SWOT Analysis

You can take an additional step beyond a traditional “text book” SWOT analysis by delving deeper into industry dynamics. A more in-depth SWOT analysis can help you better understand your company’s competitive situation.

One way to step beyond a traditional SWOT analysis is to include more detailed competitor information in the analysis. Note Internet-related activities such as trade organization participation, search engine inclusion, and outside links to the sites. This will better help you spot opportunities for and threats to your company.

You can also take a closer look at the business environment. Often, opportunities arise as a result of a changing business environment. Some examples are:

A new trend develops for which demand outstrips the supply of quality options. Early on, the trend toward healthy eating coupled with an insistence on good-tasting food produced a shortage of acceptable natural food alternatives, for example.

A customer segment is becoming more predominant, but their specific needs are not being fully met by your competitors. The U.S. Hispanic population experienced this phenomenon in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

A customer, competitor, or supplier goes out of business or merges with another company. With the demise of many pure- play “dot coms”, examples of this abound. As each went out of business, opportunities arise to gain the defunct business’ customers.

You can also expand the reach of a SWOT analysis through surveys. You can learn more about your own as well as competitor’s sites and businesses. Areas to consider researching include 1) customer awareness, interest, trial, and usage levels, 2) brand, site, and/or company image, 3) importance of different site or product attributes to your customers, and 4) product and/or site performance.

Whether using a basic or more advanced approach to SWOT analysis, you are sure to come away with newfound insights. Use these to increase your company’s effectiveness and as input into your business or marketing plan.

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Why not learn more about Services?

The Facts You Must Put in Mind About Funeral Cremation The decision on when to avail of a funeral cremation service basically depends on you since you can preplan for it or if your family decides for themselves when the time comes. One of the benefits you can get from cremation is its cost-effective service especially when the family needs time to mourn after the tragic loss. Some people don’t really prefer cremation due to the fact that they lack information about the service unlike if they choose to avail the normal funerals, burials and caskets tradition. That is why this article will introduce you to the basic information about cremation so that you will know what it is really about. A question often addressed about cremation is whether there is still a need to conduct or hold a normal ceremony. There is no need to hold a ceremony for a cremated person but funeral directors still recommends families to at least hold a simple one. That is why it will depend on the family whether they will allow viewing before the schedules cremation and hold a beautiful ceremony wherein there is the usual speeches, music, pictures, and more.
Why not learn more about Services?
Still, the family will be the one to decide to hold a cremation or not anymore. They may want to have it hold in churches, private ceremonies and more. The family can also choose embalming and viewing and followed by the cremation service. If you can’t decide for it, you may want to hire a funeral director for assistance.
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The family will always be the one to choose for the burial outfit. If it is time for the cremation, the clothing must be removed and folded neatly to be placed beside the deceased. But the family still has the option to include the clothing during the cremation. So what are the processes in cremation? First, the deceased’s body is removed from being refrigerated and then placed in a combustible alternative container. Next, it will be transferred in the cremation chamber and that is where the pulverization process will happen. Afterwards, the remains of the deceased will be transferred to a temporary container just like the size of a dictionary and it will be forwarded to the family. The family will then transfer the remains to another container such as the urn. Before the cremation is even granted, there are legal documents that must be submitted first. The family of the deceased is the one to process and submit all the necessary documents. Therefore, you need to secure the following: death certificate, the cremation authority duly signed by the next of kin, the burial transit permit as well as the medical examiner’s cremation permit.

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What Has Changed Recently With Trips?

How to Choose a VIP Airport Chauffeur Service If you want to travel and see a new destination in luxury, the renting out taxis may not be an option for you. Instead, you may prefer chauffeur driven cars because of their luxury and the comfort they provide. You can have the ultimate exploration adventure in Ibiza with a chauffeur driven car. The vehicle are popular with both tourists and business travelers. One of the important things you have to determine before your trip to Ibiza is which chauffeur car hire service you will use. There are a number of car hire companies you can hire in the city. The companies provide luxurious vehicles driven by professional drivers. However, since it may be your first time in Ibiza, knowing which companies are the best in the market can be quite a challenge. Things can however be easier if you follow the two tips below. Do a Thorough Research If you want to find the best chauffeur services in Ibiza, you simply need to research. Use the internet to search for companies that offer chauffeur driven cars for hire. These companies usually have a variety of vehicles that will fit different budgets. Another thing that makes the company better than rental taxi companies is their flexibility. So, whether you will need to be chauffeured during the day or night, the companies have you covered.
Where To Start with Trips and More
Before choosing a company providing chauffeur driven service, check their online reviews. You can determine the caliber of service to expect from the companies when you go through the reviews. You should not have a problem hiring a company that has many positive reviews. On the other hand, if there are complaints about a company, you probably want to avoid them.
A Beginners Guide To Options
How Much Will You Pay? Another important factor to consider when choosing a chauffeur driven car is the cost you will pay. The price will usually depend with the type of car you will be hiring. Moreover, you will generally have to pay for the transport service on an hourly basis. The easiest way to find out how much various companies charge for their services is by researching online. To determine the companies to go with, decide on how much you would like to spend on transportation services. Find out whether the companies that are within your budget. You should also check whether there are additional fees that may be charged for the service. For example, will you be charged some penalties if you do not show up on time? Some companies will charge you more for services rendered during the weekend or at unconventional hours. Before choosing any particular company to work with, it is important to know the exact fees you will be paying.

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