inspiration

All posts tagged inspiration

Take the High Road, Don’t Low Ball!

Published January 31, 2019 by Maryanne

Maryanne summerDon’t let anyone low-ball you! 

As a self-employed business woman (ghost writer, blogger, Facebook updater, author, speaker) each year I compare the market as to what others in my genre are making. That’s how I come up with my prices. I’ve been self-employed since 2009 and for the most part, I’m living the dream.

Every now and then, I get a potential client who wants to price haggle. That’s when I have to pull the reins in and say, “This is not a good fit.”

You can read my article “The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter” and see why you shouldn’t say “yes” to every potential client: https://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/bp–the-four-types-of-clients-youll-encounter

I am writing this blog to encourage self-employed people, especially those who are just starting out, to not let anyone low-ball you. Know your worth and increase your prices each year, or every other year.  AND I would also like clients to stop price haggling business professionals like they’re at a yard sale! It is not cool!

Since 2009 I’ve been helping people write their books. Many of them are now on Amazon; some doing incredibly well. I’ve written four books myself, two picked up by a traditional publisher. My fifth is a self-help book. It’s is going to be published by KiCam and is set for an October 2019 release (see here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/).

With all that, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about the publishing industry. So, it’s highly insulting when a potential new client asks me, “Is that your final price?”

Yes, it is. Or should I go much higher so you can haggle me down to my “final price”?

A few days ago I met a woman who had an incredible story. In fact, it was so incredible that one of my friends in the traditional publishing industry said she’d take a look at the story and possibly publish it.

Do you know what that means? As opposed to self-publishing (which most unknown authors do) it means the publisher was going to consider taking on this project and financing it. So, to use me as an editor, this potential client would still be way ahead of the game even though she thought my services were pricey. She wouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to a self publisher. She wouldn’t have to pay an agent to find her a traditional publisher. I could have helped her save so much time and money. But, no, because my per-hour price was too high, she took it upon herself to disrespect me and yell at me. Whoa, what a foolish woman!

I politely told her, “This is not a good fit. If you are worrying about money now, the project may never be finished.” And I hung up on her.

Nothing comes easy in life. If you want singing lessons, you pay by the teacher’s price. If you want therapy, you pay the psychologist’s price. If you want a health consultation, you pay the nutritionist’s price. So, if you want a good ghost writer/book editor, you pay their price. Get it? Got it? Good!

Try price haggling your doctor next time you go for a flu shot. (Or whatever it is that people do when they go to doctors. I don’t know, I don’t do doctors…but that’s another blog). My point is, if you want a good product, from a professional (that would be me) who has over 20 years in the publishing industry, you are going to pay for top quality.

Clients who have succeeded in working with me, from start to finish, have nothing but good to say about my work ethic. If I wasn’t that good, I wouldn’t be in business for so long. And it just keeps getting better because everyone who I helped write a book, tells their friends about me and I get their service too.

I’ve had many happy customers over the years, but I have to say, the happiest was Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi. I helped them write and publish their book 200 Letters, 62 Years and a War which was their love story. Soon after they started dating, Domenic went to serve in the Korean War. During that time, he wrote Antoinette 200 love letters. When I wrote the book in 2015, they were together 62 years. To this day, they send me a Christmas card every year, with a handwritten note, “Come visit us.”

But that’s besides the point. I don’t have to convince readers how good I am. I know I’m good. If I wasn’t, I still wouldn’t be doing something I love all this time!

So, if you hire me–or any professional–take the high road, don’t low ball. If you can’t afford a service, it may be God’s way of telling you to “wait, it’s not time yet.” But that’s between you and God, not you and the professional.

It’s more respectable to say to someone, “I can’t afford this…yet” instead of taking a shit fit over a price you feel is not affordable (as that lady did to me.)

If you want a ghost writer to help you write a book, it’s simple. Save your money. Or just own up to the fact that you’re not ready to write a book. If you want to do something, you’ll make it a priority. It’s as easy as that. Otherwise, this is not something you’re dying to do. Unless you want something so bad you can’t breath, you probably should be dreaming about doing something else.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Why I Left Young Living

Published January 22, 2019 by Maryanne

young-living

Perhaps “left” is a strong word. I didn’t exactly “leave” Young Living. I just decided to forfeit my status as a Young Living Star and save $100+ per month.

When I was first exposed to Young Living oils,  it wasn’t a bad thing. I loved the oils. And I still do. For four years I was excited to try various oils each month as well their soaps and body lotions, which are incredible.

Sales is not my forte, but I did manage to get a few people on my down line simply by speaking, organically about the oils and products in passing. I had a decent run of receiving small checks each month as well as free product for accumulating reward points.

There were times when I had a full bathroom cupboard stocked with about four YL toothpastes, five soaps, and three body lotions. In my kitchen cupboard were over 20 oils from their Vitality line that I’d never use in food because they are way too potent. Honestly, I’d rather use fresh herbs as spices than Young Living oils. And while some oils are great to use to help you get over certain ailments, hey, I’m a very healthy person. So, to be honest, I rarely use Young Living oils for my health! And, finally, there was all the stuff I’d never try–stuff I just wasn’t interested in. Currently, I have some favorite oils that I use as perfumes, but they are definitely going to last for at least the next 10 months.

When I gave up my Star status, and forfeited my Essential Rewards and the ability to get a check each month, which had now dwindled because the people on my down line who purchased the most had also left, I stayed on board because as I said, I do like their stuff. But four months later, there must be close to 100 bottles of oils in my house that I rarely use! When I thought about their fabulous body lotions, I signed in to get some for the winter. Then realized, there are body lotions by other companies that are just as clean and smell just as lovely, but cheaper.  I didn’t order anything. But who knows if I will in the future? As of now, I’m just not feeling it.

But, then, the biggest reason of all–Young Living is not my passion or my dream job.

When it comes to work, there are two things–and two things only–that I am passionate about. That’s writing and public speaking. I’ve been incredibly blessed that I’ve been able to make a living as a writer since 1995. Not that many people are as fortunate. For me to give up writing and public speaking, to invest in Young Living full time would be like Cher doing  infomercials; a total waste of talent!

Why on earth would I want to sell oils when I could be (and am!) writing books?! It just doesn’t make sense, right?

For years, in the business world, people have been saying, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.” Well, that’s me, especially since I ditched Young Living.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Giving Goals

Published January 19, 2019 by Maryanne

baby and mommyPhoto by Mistretta

People have been busy writing down their goals for 2019, which is great. Then it dawned on me, it would be awesome to have giving goals as well.

There are three ways to give: money, time, and sharing (in other words, being vulnerable). Below are ways to up the ante for all of them!

  1. Money. Even if you’re on a strict budget, money is the easiest way to give. You can put a dollar in a veteran’s can and get a free poppy. For some, it’s the best we can do, but I think in our hearts we always want to do more. In my younger days I know I did. When the basket went around in church and I was only able to spare a few dollars, I secretly longed for the day I could throw in a $20 bill or more. Then that day happened! My next goal was for the Go Fund Me pages. I wanted to give more than $50. And that happened too. As we earn more, we can focus more on giving to others. It’s great to share!
  2. Time. Time is a very precious thing to give someone because life is short. You hear so many stories about children who have had successful parents that were never around. This is a lesson to balance your time so you can be more giving to people you love. While being spontaneous is wonderful, it’s also important to balance your day so you can be able to balance your time. Since I work for myself, at home, I have the luxury of making my own hours. That said, there’s a time I plan to shut down and devote to my husband and cats. Of course I also like to donate my time to good causes, and fun stuff. But always remember, to take time for yourself because if you’re not healthy and happy, you won’t be able to make others happy. Then when you feel optimal, you can give time in so many ways–volunteering, listening, offering your help, surprising someone by doing something nice unexpectedly. The list goes on and on! With little money to spare, you can always be creative with your time. Or even if you have a lot of money, perhaps someone would appreciate your time more? It’s something to think about.
  3. Sharing/Being Vulnerable. Sharing and being vulnerable is the biggest and best way to give, in my humble opinion. Time and money are the easy way out because ego isn’t involved. But when you take the time to pour your heart out to someone who desperately needs to know he or she is not alone, that is GOLD! Many people are afraid to share because of their ego. They want to put on a facade that they are perfect. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the most inspiring people are the ones who are so free and open about sharing. They have truly made the world a better place. By “sharing” I don’t mean venting. I mean digging deep inside, no longer feeling the shame, and going with your heart and gut that by sharing something bad that happened to you, you are going to make another person feel not so alone! How great is that?! It takes a strong person to say, “Screw it, I’m going to try to help someone else. I don’t care if I am judged!” Anyone who has gone that route should be super proud of themselves. Put aside any shame you are feeling, because it’s not your fault that something bad happened to you if some loser took advantage of you. Because it’s a horrible person who should feel the shame–not YOU! So if you want to be a better friend, or a better person in general, make a point to get vulnerable. It’s the greatest way to give! You never know who you may help!

What do you think? What are your giving goals for 2019?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Best Speaker Award Toastmasters

Published January 11, 2019 by Maryanne

dscf3291

Best Speaker Award for “David Bowie Tribute”

I was ecstatic, last night to get the “Best Speaker” Award for my “David Bowie Tribute.”

It was the third anniversary of his death, so I figured what better way than to honor him with a special tribute.

My assignment was to give a 5-7 minute speech on any topic. I went the extra mile and learned a bit of mime to start it off. I spoke passionately about the highlights of David Bowie’s career, and then shared an intimate story about my friendship with Cyrinda Foxe, who was the model in David Bowie’s “Jean Genie” video.

I knew my speech was well-received, but I didn’t expect to win “Best Speaker.” I was a deer in headlights when my name was announced. I actually said, “Really?”

I’ve only been a member of Toastmasters since October, inspired by Lewis Howes when I saw him speak at Summit of Greatness. I’ve been a public speaker in libraries since 2014, but I decided to up my game and try to get into schools, corporations, and even stages. Why not think big for 2019?!

DSCF3288.JPGShowing my “Best Speaker” medal

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author and speaker. She is available for events. For availability and pricing, contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

She is also a professional blogger, book editor and ghost writer. Contact today for rates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero

Published January 9, 2019 by Maryanne

kicam cover

I am ecstatic to reveal the cover, and the landing page of my upcoming book Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways To Become Your Own Hero, published by KiCam!

Release date is October 2019, and you can order yours today here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author and speaker. She is available for events. For availability and pricing, contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

She is also a professional blogger, book editor and ghost writer. Contact today for rates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Best of 2018!

Published December 29, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF29105-4-3-2-1 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Looking back a year ago, I was sad to see 2017 go, because it was a great one, mainly because no one close to me passed. However, 2018 was a year of visiting loved ones in the hospital; therefore not the best. But me being the eternal optimist, I’ve once again compiled a “Best Of” because so many super cool things happened. Mainly with my husband, Dennis, as we’re always seeking out music of old and new; great friends; and always something cool is going on in my career. Let’s take a peek back at the highlights, shall we?

January 2018

My popular library program, The Learn & Listen series, kicked off the year right as I had the opportunity to work with Charlie Fusari. We gave the presentation, “The Life and Music of Michael Jackson” at the Elmwood Park Library, Elmwood Park, NJ. I spoke about the career of Michael Jackson, followed by a stellar performance from Charlie, which even included moon walking!

February 2018

The Learn & Listen series continued on it’s full force when I gave the presentation, “The Life and Music of Freddie Mercury” featuring Rob Fusari at Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon, New Jersey. This was a dream come true, to not only share my feelings about my favorite band’s front person Freddie Mercury, but to work with three-time Grammy Award winning producer, Rob Fusari. A great time was had by all!

June 2018

June was unbelievable! I was thrilled to be a guest on the Health & Wellness Show! You can view the show here on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3w8p-4nIk&feature=youtu.be

And Sunday, June 9, 2018, I was incredibly honored to speak on anti-bullying at Montville High School, Montville, New Jersey. I was invited by teacher Anthony Sia who started the Coalition for the Human Condition (https://www.facebook.com/Coalition-For-The-Human-Condition-209170233169424/) with Alus (https://www.alusofficial.com/).

I was up first, then followed by a powerful performance from Alus, and later, the incredible Montville School of Rock (https://www.facebook.com/msorrocks/).

Supported by my husband Dennis and some friends, I was happy to speak for the first time in front of a high school. Prior to that engagement, I’ve done mostly libraries and senior citizen groups. I didn’t have much time to get into how I was bullied as a child and teen (though I am writing a book about it!) but I did get to speak about teen spirit. And that the one most important thing we need in this world today is love.

August 2018

My birthday month! Yes, birthday MONTH! Celebrations for my 55th happened all month long, being spoiled by good friends, family, and my amazing husband!

September 2018

September I was ecstatic that my fourth book was published by Higher Ground! It’s also available on Amazon and is climbing the charts! My book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is my memoir about being bullied as a child. You can get it here, from Higher Ground: https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

And, once again, I was invited to read my poetry at the West End Arts Festival, in Long Branch, New Jersey.

September was also the month, that my husband and I took in another cat. A beautiful feral we named Bennie. He’s just the sweetest thing! He loves, loves, loves to cuddle! The vet told us he has feline auto-immune disorder, but we promise to give him the greatest life for as long as he lives!

BennieBennie

October 2018

There was so much movement in October! It all began with a road trip to Columbus, Ohio, with my friend Jayne for “Summit of Greatness.” Exploring the town, and spending full days being inspired by great motivational speakers was a life-changing experience. In fact, I ended up joining Toastmasters as soon as I got back home, so I could also hone in on my speaking skills and become greatness myself!

I also launched my anti-bullying channel Be YOUnique on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

December 2018

The year ended in a bang, career-wise, as I got invited as a guest, once again, to the Health & Wellness Show. Here’s another great time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3OIu7as40

And in addition to all of this, so many beautiful times spent alone with each other and with our great friends. These things, my husband and I choose to keep private.

ALSO, a major book publishing company gave me an advance to write my fifth book! It will be published early 2019–STAY TUNED! AND, I continue to help people edit their books, blogs, and websites; as well as ghost writing, memoir writing, and book editing. Clients include: Brute Force!

AND WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY 2019! 

The Best Acts We Saw in 2018 

In no particular order: Jackknife Stillettos; Tommy James; Sheila E.; No Future; “Ladies of The 1980s” with Rob Fusari, and Taylor Dayne; and Cher in Oxen Hill, Maryland. (As of writing this we also have tickets for Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish’s Rascals, with Carmine Appice on drums!)

Also, John Cusack  Live -“Q&A: Say Anything” was amazing!

Ric Ocasek, in person at his art show, Short Hills Mall, New Jersey.

Favorite Movies of 2018

“Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mr. Rogers: Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Rest in Peace

In 2018 we’ve lost so many in the media, but the one that most hit home was author and spiritual guru, Shatki Gawain. The date of her death was November 11, 2018 –11/11/11 (2+0+1+8=11).  Eleven is the most intuitive of all numbers, a master number associated with faith and psychics. I always kept her books at my bedside, my favorite of all “Creative Visualization” which I first read in the 1980s. I had the book so many times, and gave away so many copies. Yet another copy always finds its way back to me. 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an international author and speaker. She is available for events. For availability and pricing, contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

She is also a professional blogger, book editor and ghost writer. Contact today for rates: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

The Health & Wellness Christmas Show

Published December 22, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF3192.JPGLeft, Maryann Castello of “The Health & Wellness Show”; Right, Maryanne Mistretta

It was super exciting to return to The Health & Wellness Show as a guest a few evenings ago. While I was the featured author, there were also two chiropractors. This event was fun and inspirational. We also sang some Christmas songs.

You can view the whole show here on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U3OIu7as40

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a prolific author and motivational speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Her latest book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261