motivation

All posts tagged motivation

How to Spot a Spam on Facebook

Published January 9, 2020 by Maryanne

scam+alert28

Before I get into it, first I want to say that both Facebook and Craig’s List are great tools for people who work for themselves. As an author, ghost writer, blogger, editor, and public speaker, I’ve been successfully self-employed since 2008, in part thanks to Facebook and Craig’s List.

From time to time, I’ll post an ad on a Facebook community page seeking work as a ghost writer or editor. I’ve met many clients this way and it gets my name/info out there for referrals.

The other day I was thinking about posting in a local community again and I saw something suspicious. It was an ad offering a large sum of money for a simple task of posting real estate ads on to Craig’s List. After some investigation, I realized it was a scam. A person in real estate “hires” someone to do their busy work posting ads on Craig’s List. But then they don’t pay their hired help for doing the work (which is promised after a two-week period). The person makes all kinds of excuses why they can’t/won’t pay. If you Google “Craig’s List Real Estate Scam” you will find many stories about this scam.

Now, what makes victims fall prey to these scams is that the scam artist will create a beautiful Facebook page. They will steal photos of an attractive, approachable looking woman (or man) and create a fake page, with a fake name. The person will be featured in various photos taken over the years, on glamorous vacations, with a cute pet, with friends or a lover. The punchline is — LOOK CLOSER — there will only be a few “likes” for each photo and hardly any engagement with so-called friends/family. This is the dead giveaway! Do not walk away, RUN!

As we know, the majority of successful people on Facebook have reached their friend limit and engage with their friends/fans/family on a regular basis. For real accounts you’ll see hundreds of comments.

Scam artists can never have enough time to create a seemingly true picture because they are too busy scamming. This particular page I saw was one of the more elaborate ones I’ve seen. Others are the more obvious type of fake with just simply a few photos (of a very good looking female or male) with limited engagement. But those are the types that seem to want fake love and fake relationships, not necessarily money (or your time to work for them at no pay).

With what I already knew, and some further investigation, I exposed a scam artist and he/she was banned from the job hunting community!

It breaks my heart reading real stories about people in vulnerable situations (the one I read yesterday was home bound in a wheel chair) getting scammed.

If you’re self-employed, or seeking work in between jobs, or just need some extra cash, here are ways to avoid being scammed:

  1. Ask for a phone number and an email address. Do not EVER work directly from Facebook Messenger and/or Craig’s List addresses.
  2. When you get a phone number, call it at least once for any reason. Make up a dumb question. You need to make that verbal connection to know the person is real.
  3. Over the years I’ve worked with clients all over the country and in other countries. But I’d suggest if you first start working for yourself, remotely, stay as local as possible. Unless you know for sure the person you’ll be working with is honest and sincere.
  4. If you’re asked to create a fake Gmail account — DON’T DO IT! The person can use this to find out your passwords and get information to your other important stuff like bank accounts.
  5. Do not provide a social security number over the internet. Only send a W-9 form to a legitimate email address that belongs to a legitimate company/organization.

If you have anti-scam tips or stories you’d like to share, feel free to comment below! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

2019 – Year in Review!

Published December 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Hustle2019 — The Hustle was real! 

Wow, when I look back at 2019, I have a huge smile on my face! I mean, I am glowing! It was filled with lots of love and stellar career moments. I am forever grateful that it happened. Below, I share just some of the highlights–after all, a girl’s gotta be private about some things!

January 2019 

My year started off on the most amazing note. I was only in Toastmasters a few months and I won “Best Speaker” for my deliverance of a David Bowie Tribute I wrote, which I gave on January 10, 2019 — three years after his sad death.

February 2019 

This was the only month of the year that sucked. We had to put down our beloved Bennie cat. He was a feral who was only 3-years-old. We took him in the summer of 2018. The vet checked him out and we were told he had FIV and wouldn’t live long. Sure enough, a few months later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts; my husband and I were devastated to lose such a sweet, loving cat.

Shortly afterwards, a few friends passed away too. It was a bad, bad month for so many.

SAM_3266 (1)Bennie Hemingway, Rest in Peace little angel

March 2019 

It’s always a blessing to have great friends around to cheer you up!

Jayne - NYC Cher ShowMaryanne and Jayne (aka Romy & Michele) in NYC! 

April 2019

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club! Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

May 2019

During the month of May, my husband and I welcomed our newest family member, Sammy! I adopted him from St. Hubert’s in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy is 9-years-old and he spent most of his life in a shelter. We are honored to have him in our family, he’s a perfect little angel and we love him to pieces!

DSCF3932Sammy, our dear little angel! 

May was also significant because I was extremely honored to present my workshop “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83 Spring Conference. It was an excellent turn out and extremely well received. (Note, The “Be Your Own Hero” workshop was based on my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” which was published later in the year by KiCam). 

DSCF3631Be Your Own Hero

June 2019 

June was super cool because my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” became available on audio! You can get all versions here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

July 2019 

My husband and I were thrilled to take some much needed private down-time, both by ourselves and with very dear friends. Hashtag GRATEFUL!

Facetune (4)Dennis and Maryanne (Photo by Jayne DiGregorio) 

August 2019

August is my birthday month. And I do mean “month” because it takes a whole month and then some to get together with everyone who is important to me. So, I say to all of you, Thank you for the LOVE!

DSCF4045I love you! 

September 2019 

Once again, getting away and spending time with our super awesome friends! Hashtag HAPPINESS!

DSCF4128 Dennis and Maryanne

October 2019 

This month was a double whammy of greatness! If it wasn’t cool enough that my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227) was released, my fictional book, “Love Cats” which was out of print, got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media! (https://www.pinkflamingo.com/). So look forward to a second printing of “Love Cats” in 2020!

Love Cats front and back cover

First printing of “Love Cats” now out of print. Second edition to be published in 2020 by Pink Flamingo Media!! 

During the month of October, I completed writing the play, “Ain’t Life a Beach” for actor, Jesse Walker! It will be presented during the summer of 2020. Jesse Walker was also the first person to interview me to promote “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero.” Check out the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_O5ZdsVNo

November 2019 

I was honored to perform my poetry at Neighborhood House Association. “All About Eve” was well received! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLorsfQig4

December 2019

While many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s actually a wind-down time for me. I stay at home, sipping keto cocoa drinks and working on my next projects. I have some great ideas in the works…as well as some super cool surprises for 2020 which involve writing, speaking, and poetry!

I wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous 2020! 

BEST OF 2019

My husband and I do so much and see so much, it’s hard to keep up. I used to write about all the shows we saw in this blog, but it’s time-consuming especially when I also keep private journals. However, the following are truly stand-outs for 2019.

BEST NEW ARTIST – SIERRA FERRELL

Well, I’ve been picking winners since I was a little girl. I’d watch the Miss America contest with my grandmother and right from the beginning I’d say who was going to win. When I accidentally came across the music of young artist, Sierra Ferrell, my mind was blown. She is truly the bomb! (Do people still say that? Well I do!)

When I first heard her song “Jeremiah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEYSUpPirJM) I knew she was something special. I spent two hours watching her videos on You Tube (the perks of being self-employed). And, by chance, she happened to be performing, just an hour away from us in upstate New York.

For a mere $10, it was a kick ass show. I got to meet Sierra too, and she’s a little sweetheart. The punchline is, two weeks later, she was signed to Rounder Records! Hell, yeah! Now we can look forward to some new music from her in 2020.

DSCF3957Sierra Ferrell and Maryanne 

BEST NEW ARTIST RUNNER UP – BILLIE EILISH 

Not that I’m going to run out and buy tickets to her show … but then again, never say never … I do have her CDs. Wow, I’m just so impressed with her cool, catchy, innovative, strong-spirited songs. I love Billie Eilish! Thank you for existing!

BEST LIVE SHOW – PETER MURPHY, (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last August Peter Murphy did a ton of shows, performing full solo albums and a few Bowie tributes. I had tickets to see the “Deep” show (and one of the David Bowie tributes, but it was canceled because Murphy had a heart attack — he’s okay now and performing again). Anyway “Deep” was one of my favorite Murphy albums and to see it performed live was nothing short of euphoric. My friend Jayne and I got close to the front and Mr. Murphy was so on the money; always a class act entertainer. As an encore, he did “His Circle and Hers Meet” from “Love Hysteria” — and wow, that just blew me over the top! This was truly the show of the year! I was so bummed that the Bowie tribute was canceled, but a taste of Murphy is better than none at all!

BEST PLAY – THE CHER SHOW BROADWAY

I’m so glad I caught this earlier this year because it ended this summer. It was very cool. There were three Chers (my favorite vocal — and look — was the young Cher, Babe), a Sonny, and even a Greg Allman. It was a fun-filled musical time-line of Cher’s life.

BEST MOVIE – “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT”

I like Bruce Springsteen, but having just one CD, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But this movie totally spoke to me because it was about a writer who was inspired by music. (I’ve often been judged by  intellectual types who shunned me for being a writer inspired by music not necessarily other writers, so watching this movie it was like, “Ha-ha, fuck you!”)

There were so many moments I related to, especially the frustrations and ripping up your own work and throwing it out the window.

In the movie, there’s a scene where the main character’s father rips up his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Parents in my generation, Generation X, rarely understood their kid’s dreams. Generation gaps were huge and parents didn’t make an effort to know their kids like young parents today do.

I still cringe when I look back at the day my mother got mad at me, jumped on my bed, and tore all my Queen posters off the walls. Queen was the band that inspired me to write and be more creative.

So, this movie isn’t just for Bruce fans, it’s for any Generation Xer who had communication problems with their parents.

Rest in Peace

February was just horrible with one death after another. Our dear Bennie cat, our dear friend Daniel Popp, and WFMU radio icon, X-Ray Burns. Whew, it was a terrible, terrible month. May all these young souls rest in peace.

And of course we lose so many celebrities throughout the year, but the one that hit the worst was Ric Ocasek, who died on September 15. I was a Cars fan when I was just 15 and had their first album. I never saw them perform live, but my husband and I went to one of his art gallery shows.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Wave to him.” We did, and he smiled and waved back. God bless his soul, he was an original.

DSCF3060RIP, Ric Ocasek (Photo courtesy of Maryanne and Dennis Mistretta)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

The Show Must Go On!

Published November 15, 2019 by Maryanne

Freddie Mercury - in Retrograde

Freddie Mercury

I just came across a website that features a poem I wrote about Freddie Mercury, way back in 2001 (or maybe even earlier!) Here’s the link to the site (scroll down past the discography): http://www.hotshotdigital.com/WellAlwaysRemember/FreddieMercuryDisco.html

Or just read here!

The Show Must Go On! 

by Mary Anne Christiano (copyright 2001)

news of the world/made sad

fans of old (and new ones too)

those songs/wore the grooves to the bone

a vocalistic promenade

a charmed delight!

i watched you prance about on the Midnight Special

a Harlequin in a grand parade

School girl dreams evoked in many (those naughty diary entries!)

sought tidbits in Circus and Creem magazines

Mega Rock Star of my restless youth

Time turned you into my dear dear friend

i never met you,

yet all fondness remains

Freddie Mercury

a classic

much more than a memory

you’re still the Champion

Show Must Go On!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

World Kindness Day

Published November 13, 2019 by Maryanne

Be Extra-Ordinary

#worldkindnessday

Happy World Kindness Day! In my new book, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to kindness. “Be Kind” begins on page 51!

Order HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero

Published October 17, 2019 by Maryanne

Be Extra-Ordinary.png

I am thrilled to announce that my fifth book, published by KiCam is now available!

For your copy, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel, Be YOUniquehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

Anti-Bullying Talk and Book Signing

Published October 5, 2019 by Maryanne

Photo by Jayne.JPGMaryanne Christiano-Mistretta (photo by Jayne DiGregorio)

This afternoon I was honored to do a book talk and book signing at The Caldwell Library, Caldwell, New Jersey. The event was sponsored by The Caldwell Library and The Women’s Club of Caldwell. NJ Hills Media Group was also there.

My book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” shares my experiences growing up in the 1970s and being bullied relentlessly.

The moral of the story is that it’s bullies who should be shamed, not the victim! According to psychology, it’s never the victims fault, but the bully’s fault.

How did my experiences end? When I fought back! My sweetest revenge is having an amazing life and a beautiful marriage. But I do forgive the bullies. My wish for them is that they have changed for the better and if they have children they are raising them right; that they have learned from their mistakes.

By sharing our experiences and being vulnerable, we take the “shame” out of bullying. The more we speak out against it, the more we evolve and have something done about it! I’m in my mid-50s, and God willing I’ll have another good 40 years left on this planet. I’d like to see us evolve as a human race to the point where bullying no longer exists.

Let’s make bullying extinct!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA?view_as=subscriber

 

Ghosting or Honesty? Which Do You Prefer?

Published September 10, 2019 by Maryanne

GhostsPhoto by Maryanne 

Unless you married your high school sweetheart, or were very lucky in love with one great romance after another, you probably had some (or in my case many) ugly break-ups until the right one came along.

While getting dumped hurts, I truly believe it hurts more to dump someone, because even if you’re the one doing the dumping, you still go through a bit of a mourning period before that feeling of relief happens. And you’re doing the dirty work, which is harder.

There are two ways to get dumped (or to dump). The best policy of course is honesty. Then, there is ghosting. Ghosting is the easy way out. Have you ever been ghosted? It’s when you are left hanging, and then finally figure it out, you’re not going to hear from a certain person anymore. The person stops returning your phone calls just like that.

I admit, back when I was dating, I’ve ghosted. Back in the old days (in my case, the 1980s), guys would just show up at your house without calling! Imagine that?! I’d say to my grandmother, “Tell him I’m not home!”

I was only in my teens then, but as I grew older, I grew a conscience.  If I was no longer interested in a guy, I’d tell him directly.

Of course it’s easy to break up with a guy who is a jerk. But what about someone who is a nice guy, but he makes you cringe? When you’re single and not getting butterflies in your stomach when you think of someone, that’s reason enough to break up. Hell, I’ve broken up with a guy just because I didn’t like the way he said “cheddar.” This is acceptable and there’s nothing wrong with it. He wasn’t the one for you. End of story.

But what about friends? Did you ever have a friend that no longer excited you? 

Ghosting happens not only in a romantic sense, but in friendships too. We politely call it “drifting apart.”  Wouldn’t it be more adult if we were all just honest with each other? Easier said than done.

A few years ago I met someone I thought would end up a great friend. At first it seemed we really liked each other. We hung out a few times and it was fun. Then the friendship fizzled…just like that. I started avoiding her because after the initial friendship infatuation wore off, I realized she was…uh…boring. I tried spicing the friendship up by adding other friends to the mix, but she always stood out as the conversation killer. Whenever the conversation got good, she drew attention to herself by making dumb grandpa jokes. Or started talking about tragedies like car accidents or cancer. Or whipped out the phone to show photos. (Remember the old days when no one wanted to be that boring person who whipped out the vacation or wedding photos?!) Her friendship bored me to tears. I was getting nothing out of it. Simple as that.

I replayed the last time I saw her over and over again in my head. She wasn’t a BAD person. She was actually sweet. However, over the course of a year and a half, I began to feel like I was being choked. It was weird and uncomfortable. I just wasn’t happy being around her. I compared the friendship to being in an unfulfilled romance that I wanted to escape. She did nothing wrong, but I didn’t like her.

I felt so guilty for my feelings. How can I not like a nice person?  I felt evil.

Then I read this in Psychology Today online:

“We’re no more in control of our attraction to friends than we are our attraction to lovers. And to reject someone as a friend isn’t to declare them unworthy of friendship any more than to reject them as a lover is to declare them unworthy of love…
We are who we are and shouldn’t criticize ourselves if we find we want to end a friendship. We’re not evil because we no longer like someone, or because we never did. Or never liked them as much as they like us.” — Alex Lickerman, M.D.

 

That nailed exactly how I was feeling! So now what? 

I spoke to two trust worthy people about the situation. They supported my decision and suggested ghosting; or more nicely put, drifting apart, as mentioned above.

Bottom line, I couldn’t ghost her. If I didn’t invite her to events, she’d see photos of me with my other friends on Facebook. Sooner or later she’d call me to talk; or send an email (and she did!). Eventually I’d have to face the music.

Plus, my honesty was eating away at me. I felt I had to let her know that she irked me. Her grandpa jokes were not funny. I prefer talking about fun things while dining, not awful things that can turn my stomach. And at the dinner table, I don’t want to keep digging my glasses out of my bag to look at pictures. Let’s just drink wine, eat, and laugh. Put the phone away, please!

Of course she got defensive and there was some back and forth phone and email banter. Then I got what I set out for; it was all over. At first I was sad because I’m human and I have a heart. I mourned. And now I am relieved.

If a friendship isn’t going anywhere and either party is not getting anything out of it, it’s time to end it — now matter how nice the person is. You do not have to feel guilty or bad about it.

I’m far from a perfect person, but one of the things I am most proud of is my honesty. Friends never have to second guess how I feel about them, because I will let them know.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. People know when I’m happy with them; and when I’ve had it with them. If only others would be as honest.

Which do you prefer, ghosting or honesty? Share your experiences! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261