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If you want a thing done right . . . June 9, 2009

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When it looked like a choreographer was NOT about to materialize, I worked all day Monday to figure out the choreography for the Tango part of “Your Surrender is Your Gift” from “The Passion of Persephone.” I studied the little 5-minute series of lessons on You Tube called “Dario’s Tango Guide,” and out of that, strung together a series of steps that would work. I even added a few steps that weren’t included in those lessons, but which are more dramatic, including a couple of moves from Al Pacino’s dance in “Scent of a Woman.”

THEN, I wrote it all down! I created a chart with the coordinates marked like a clock, so as to make clear which directions we would be either facing or traveling at any given time. I don’t know dance notation, so I had to improvise. But one advantage to this is it’ll enable me to remember everything so I don’t get confused as I teach Chris the steps. AND it’ll give HIM a memory jog to internalize the pattern after the actual rehearsal is over.

We’ll be performing it, both singing and dancing, Wednesday night at Art-O-Matic in DC, on Half Street near Nationals’ Stadium. We arrive at 6, and start as soon as we’re set up.

SO: Sometimes, you just gotta do it yourself!

AND: When you do, you find that you’re better than you think you are.

 

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Know Your Audience June 4, 2009

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The cast at Greenbelt Arts Center; I'm the white-clad figure in the middle

The cast at Greenbelt Arts Center; I'm the white-clad figure in the middle

Whenever you are looking to manifest anything, it may help you to ask yourself, “who am I really doing this FOR?” Who is the “end user” of the thing you want to manifest?

A case in point is the first full-length musical I ever composed in 1997, “According To Us,” which I wrote in collaboration with Charles Butler. He wrote the book and lyrics, and “thunk up” the melodies, while I took his musical ideas and fleshed them out into full orchestrations. It’s the story of three homeless people who’ve been willed the garden of a church by its Rector, and they each tell of how the Rector rehabilitated them and gave them a sense of direction.

Since Charles is the son of a minister, he knows firsthand the kind of people that he turned into these characters for the show. And at first he thought the show would make a good “chancel drama,” as a fundraiser for homeless ministries..

But despite the obvious merits of the show, both musically and narratively, it wasn’t “pulling.” We kept putting on the show in church fellowship halls, to extremely meager attendance. And I knew that the challenging music wasn’t being done justice by the amateurs he was recruiting. Playing the Rector, I was routinely the most professional person in the cast – and a performer is only as good as his/her co-stars. But, as Charles was so often “poor as a church mouse,” having to put this thing on with a shoestring budget, he didn’t think he had the wherewithal to make it a professional production, with FOUR equally strong leads!

We had a bit of a falling-out over this. With my musical theatre experience, I also came to the conclusion that we were playing the show in the wrong places, for the wrong people. “Churches don’t know how to promote musical theatre,” I pointed out. “That’s not their job. It’s no wonder that hardly anybody from the congregations are even showing up. You need to get this show picked up by a legitimate theater, with its own marketing department, that can promote the thing PROPERLY!” I challenged him to do this, and “THEN come back and talk to me!”

A year later, he saw me actually “put my money where my mouth was,” mounting a professional production of my own show, “The Passion of Persephone,” at a theatre festival – and did it with an even more challenging score and a larger cast. And he knew I was serious. If he wanted to keep me, he was going to have to step up, and go beyond what he thought he could do.

Over the next year, he DID IT. He found a local community theatre with an open weekend, and he booked the show into that time slot. He recruited several players from the “Persephone” cast, expanded the show to include four more supporting players, and actually devised a proper set and lighting cues. Even better, sponsor-funding materialized to cover the set design, and one of the performances was recorded for airing on a local public-access cable channel. Best of all, we actually had decent audiences! For five performances in a row!

On closing night, he was astonished at himself. I congratulated him, saying, “Now you can’t go back. Now that you know you CAN pull it off, you won’t ever be able to settle for anything less..” And he realized that I was right, both about this and about WHERE the show should be played, and for whom.

As Manifestations go, this one was pretty good. And I’m pleased to know that I was the “Catalytic Converter” that lit the fire under him.

So: Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re right.

And: If you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too.

On the Radio Again! June 2, 2009

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I’m the featured guest on Gary Glasscock’s “Manifesting Your Life” radio show on Wednesday, June 3 at 7 pm EDT. Tune in at www.blogtalkradio.com/gary-glasscock .

The Show Went Great — REPLAY available! May 15, 2009

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Overall, my debut on BlogTalkRadio went VERY WELL. Although my connection got dropped briefly at one point, H.Les Brown and I were able to get back on track very quickly. I answered questions like “What impact does the current economic situation have on midlife issues?” and “What are some of the dangers you see in re-inventing yourself?” A call-in from a Restorer of Rare Books added to the fun! The replay of “Do’s and Don’ts of Re-Inventing Yourself” is available NOW on the “MidLife Matters” show. Go to www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Midlife and scroll down to “On-Demand Broadcasts” to find it and hear it. At the end, I have a giveaway offer for a FREE 2-hour video!

New Date for Debut May 11, 2009

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My BlogTalkRadio debut just got moved up! H. Les Brown of ProActivation Coaching will be interviewing me THIS THURSDAY at 8 pm on his “MidLife Matters” show. Topic: “Do’s and Don’ts of Re-Inventing Yourself.” Tune in at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/midlife. It’s FREE!

Does This Unexpected Income have a Greater Meaning? May 8, 2009

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Prototype of large-format hanging file folder system

Prototype of large-format hanging file folder system

 

For those of you who clicked-through to here from Facebook, Twitter, or one of the other listserves I’m on, your curiosity piqued by the teaser, “What Do I Do with Class Action Check?” I’m betting some of you are facetiously thinking, “I’ll take it — sign it over to ME!”

But seriously, folks – let’s look at it from the perspective of the Law of Attraction. I was totally shocked when I opened up the envelope from the Federal Trade Commission and found a check inside for over $800. When was the last time you got paid for doing absolutely nothing?

This check has a history. It’s part of a class-action settlement that I didn’t even know about.

One thing that most of you don’t know about me: In addition to being the author of Don’t Start a Business without ME! and composer of The Passion of Persephone, I am also the inventor of an office product. It’s a hanging file folder that’s legal-size in width, but 3.75 inches taller, so it can accommodate newspaper articles and other large-format documents without excessive folding.

To make it, I cut a legal-size file folder apart at the fold, then cut a 3.75” length of another file folder at its base, cobbling the resulting three pieces back together with duct tape. (Yes, duct tape reaily does hold the world together!)

I even devised a storage unit with 3 drawers that are tall enough to accommodate these folders, by modifying a closet unit from Ikea. Everybody who has seen the prototype, believes “you’re going to make a ton of money with this.”

And that’s why I contacted Davison Inventegration, an R&D firm in Pennsylvania, in 2005. They were really excited about the concept, because they could see that it met a need that wasn’t currently being satisfied by anything currently in the office-supply market.

I signed a contract with them, authorizing them to do a patent search, file a trademark application, and develop a working prototype. They would also go to bat for me in negotiating the best possible terms of any licensing deals. I had a choice of contract terms: $8000 and a 20% commission payable to them out of any royalties I’d receive from licensing the product,  or $10,000 and a $15% commission, or $12,000 with a 10% commission. I chose the last of these.

They developed a portable prototype that was smaller than my file cabinets, something that could be easily sold for $24.95 retail. Several months later, they were ready to make a presentation to Fellowes, the makers of Banker’s Boxes.

This was a process that took several months of waiting – getting onto the manufacturer’s calendar (which often required at least 2 months’ lead time), then going to make the presentation, and then waiting a month or two to hear the result.

When Fellowes turned them (and me) down, it was back to the drawing board, so Davison Inventegration could rework the packaging of the prototype with the name and logo of the next manufacturer to be pitched.

Each time they had to do this, they would charge me another $335 to revamp the prototype.

It was a long, slow process, and I myself did not get to actually go with them to any of the presentations. After 4 tries, Davison came back to me again, with another prospect, another contract for me to sign, authorizing them to proceed – and another request for $335.

The kicker was their description of the latest prospective target: “In the past, we have made 14 presentations to this company and secured 0 licenses.”

Not exactly a track record to inspire confidence!

It was now November 2008, over three years since I’d begun working with Davison. By this point, I was really mad. I called them up and pulled a Donald Trump on them: “I’m not going to sign this contract. You’re Fired!”

Over the next six months, I pretty much just gave up on the project, as a new one claimed my attention: the writing  and publication of my book, Don’t Start a Business without ME! . . .

Until, out of the blue, I get this check from the FTC. The letter accompanying it reads: “The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, settled a lawsuit against Davison Design and Development, Inc., formerly known as Davison and Associates, Inc., and its principals. According to the FTC, the defendants enticed consumers with false claims about their invention promotion operation.

Of course, I was shocked, delighted, and grateful for the unforeseen income. But it also got me to wondering about how the Law of Attraction is playing into all of this: “Is the Universe trying to nudge me to pick up this project again?”

This happens in the same week that Warren Buffett sounded the death-knell for the nation’s newspapers. Believing that they will be entirely replaced by online communications, he “won’t buy them at any price.” And when Warren speaks, Wall Street listens.

And yet, even if people are buying newspapers less and less . . . they’re still keeping articles, and even entire special sections when their favorite sports teams win the World Series or Super Bowl, or some other really historic events that mean a great deal to them . . . aren’t they? Could a home product that preserves them for posterity still be a viable idea?

If so, how do I re-activate the project . . . without signing anything away to a so-called R&D firm? What manufacturers should I approach?

Anybody out there want to be a venture partner with me on this?

Your comments are welcomed below.

Courage in Fearful Times April 30, 2009

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I know I said my next blog post would be about “Charisma On Command,” but this is too good not to pass along. Try not to smile as you watch street performers from every corner of the globe singing “Stand By Me.” http://tinyurl.com/b4w6vl

How NOT to make a Good First Impression April 28, 2009

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Sometimes, you can just TELL when somebody’s about to “bomb”…

 

I go to a lot of business networking meetings in my area – even before I wrote my book, I’ve been doing this. When you go to them, you can easily see who’s really got it “on the ball,” and who doesn’t.

 

At a networking meeting, everybody gets to stand up and do a 30-second Elevator Speech that tells the others what your business is. As you might expect, some of these pitches are snappy and memorable, others are real snoozers.

 

And then there are those who look like they have no business being there at all.

 

Case in point: A woman who stood up to say that she had just become a distributor for a well-known cosmetics company. But to look at her, you would never have known it.

 

For starters, she didn’t dress the part of a professional, but instead looked like she was getting ready to clean out her attic. She wore jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, with a lumberjack shirt on top.  

 

By itself, that would have been bad enough. But when she spoke . . . she was OOZING “no confidence.”

 

Instead of standing still and tall to convey Strength, she not only had a bit of a slouch, but she swayed back and forth as she talked. Such a stance conveys uncertainty, insecurity. It even makes a person look like they’re a bit embarrassed to be saying anything.

 

But the most damning thing of all was when she said, “I’m still trying to figure out how to make this thing work.”

 

Ouch!

 

Not One WORD about the benefits of the product line, or about what she herself would do to provide service to her prospects.

 

I don’t know how old she was, but she came off looking like a college sophomore who hadn’t even figured out what her Major was going to be, let alone what she was going to do with her Life!

 

Even without making any claims to be psychic, I could read virtually her entire life’s story, right there. She had gotten involved with this cosmetics company, not out of any particular love for the products, but because she was broke, couldn’t get a job, and didn’t know what else to do, “hoping” she’d be able to make some money at it.

 

THAT is the reason why I wrote “Don’t Start a Business without ME.” Because if, in your mind, YOU are doing the same thing, you are putting the cart before the horse.

 

And you won’t make ANY money at all.

 

Listen: when you stand up to give your pitch, your listeners are only interested in TWO things: “Have you got something I can use? And can I trust YOU to give it to me?” People will buy YOU, before they buy anything you are promoting. And you have to convey that you LOVE what you are promoting, so you can get other people to love it too.

 

If, with your body language, you are not silently saying, “I can solve your problem” . . . you are dead in the water.  

 

Even worse: Can you imagine, if this had happened in a roomful of men? A man, betraying such insecurity, would have been regarded by the other men as a milquetoast, a total wuss! A minnow, ripe to be eaten by sharks. At the very least, they would think, “Well, next time I have a problem, I’m certainly not going to turn to him for advice.”

 

And that is the reason why I make the bold claim that “Don’t Start a Business without ME” will also Save Your Sex Life. When times get tough, as they are now, the LAST thing a woman needs is the terrible feeling that her man is going to be part of the problem!

 

For all that women say they want men to be “sensitive,” in reality, the most sensitive thing a man can do for a woman, especially in a crisis (financial or otherwise), is to be powerful, self-assured, and protective of her. She needs to hear him say, with calm confidence in both word and deed, “We’re going to get through this.”

 

If he can’t, she will gradually but inevitably come to lose all respect for him. She won’t want to love him, and she won’t want to have sex with him either.

 

“Don’t Start a Business without ME!” shows you how to grow your career from the Inside Out, rather than latching onto a prefabricated business model that may not be a true reflection of who you really are. If your career is The Most Fun You Can Have Outside of Sex, you will be irresistibly sexy! Find out how at www.DontStartABusinessWithoutMe.com.

 

In this economy, you need Charisma on Command. Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll tell you about a special program that helps you how to get it.

 

 

 

I just scored my first Webinar! April 26, 2009

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rtufts_241sm2Set the date NOW! I’ve just been invited to be a guest on my very first webinar! Wednesday, June 3, 7 pm  (EDT), I’ll be interviewed about my new book, “Don’t Start a Business without ME!” — and YOU can be there! The host is Gary Glasscock, a life coach at www.ManifestingYourLife.com. Listen in at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Gary-Glasscock.

Stepping Up to Save Lives April 23, 2009

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People are killing themselves over this recession. Yesterday a New York man, shacked up in a Baltimore hotel, wiped out his family and then hiimself. 

How many more, before this is through?

 

To Step Up and Save Lives, I proposed the following to the Baltimore Sun’s reporters on the story. Stay tuned to see what happens:

 

Suggested title:

 

 Man’s Get-Rich-Quick Schemes Eats Through Wife’s Inheritance

Wife stages miraculous comeback by becoming a local author

                                                                               

Thank you for writing that shocking, moving story about the murder-suicide in Towson.

I have another story for you, that you HAVE to get out, NOW, before more people kill themselves over this recession.

My name is Rosanna Tufts, and I inherited a million dollars – only to lose it when my then-husband got into a whole bunch of

get-rich-quick schemes after he retired. This began in 2004, back when the economy was still good!

 

He impulsively charged all of these “programs” to credit cards. Each time, he believed he would be able to turn the expense around in 3 to 6 months. But when one didn’t start producing an income right away, he was off chasing the next “opportunity” that got waved under his nose. Pretty soon he was trying to manage as many as FOUR “businesses” at once – and could not give enough sustained focus to make any of them work!

 

After a couple of years of this, his credit card debt got so high (well into 6 figures), that I had to cover his bills out of my inheritance money – until I had almost nothing left. I ended up leaving him, and began the arduous process of rebuilding my life, even through the midst of my own job loss.

 

That story is chronicled in my new book, “Don’t Start a Business without ME!” It is Rx for displaced workers and other people who have lost almost all their resources, and are desperate for financial alternatives. Some of them are inches away from suicide. Others are on the verge of getting into a “business” for all the wrong reasons, as my ex-husband did. Such people will end up even worse off than they are already.

 

I have Been There, Done That, enduring financial and emotional strains that would literally have killed anybody else. But “when the going gets tough, the Tufts get going.” Now, I am making my hard-won wisdom available for everybody who is faced with similar crises. In my book, I show you:

 

  • Strategies to manage your own Great Depression 
  • Why Real Wealth is whatever you have left … AFTER all your money is gone, and how you discover what that means for you 
  • How to determine if a money-making opportunity is right for you (not all of them are “too good to be true!”)  
  • The Top Three psychological skills for success, and how to grow them within yourself

I wrote this because I don’t want to see anybody unemployed, under-employed, or mis-employed — or dead by their own hand because of economic forces they can’t control. There is ALWAYS a way.

 

My book is available as a downloadable ebook, at www.DontStartABusinessWithoutMe.com.

 

I have been in The Sun before — last year, Mary McCauley interviewed me about my rock opera, “The Passion of Persephone,” which was then playing at the Capital Fringe Festival. I would be pleased to make myself available to you for an interview. I can be reached at (410) 300-2015.

 

This is a story that needs to be told, before more people go over the edge. Call me ASAP; your readers’ lives may well depend on it.

 

Thank you,

 

Rosanna E. Tufts

https://ozsomesuccess.wordpress.com

(410) 300-2015