Last week, I blogged about what to do before you start, but I also want to share some ways I’m initiating a fresh start this fall season.  Here are a couple “to dos” on my list as I continue to strive to grow as a communicator:

Mine Resources

Notice I didn’t say “Read Resources”.  I used the word “mine”, because I want to dig deep, go below the surface and implement.  Too often I have the habit of reading through books, blogs and websites, thinking “Wow!  That was great!”, and moving on without any change.

This summer I found out that a friend and I are both reading the same book, Platform by Michael Hyatt.  She suggested meeting every two weeks to discuss, make an action item list and stay accountable.  It’s been wonderful!  Instead of racing through the fantastic content without any implementation, I’m taking a few tangible steps toward growth every week.

Here are the other books on my list right now:

The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick (If God’s given you a message, then you’re a leader! I’ve started the book, and it’s wonderful.)

Resonate by Nancy Duarte

Saying It Well by Chuck Swindoll

Start by Jon Acuff

Have you got any resources you’re ready to mine?  I know we’d all love to hear about resources that are helping you learn and grow.

Work on My Website

These days when I’m working with Next Step clients on biosheet and website development, I always beg them NOT to look at mine!  There are two dynamics going on here.  One, my online presence is sorely in need of updating.  Two, the more I teach other people, the more I learn myself.  I’m DYING to rewrite lots of my own promotional materials.

I have limited financial resources (and you probably do too), but here are the pieces of my plan to update my personal website:

  1. Study some well-done websites to see how people with professional  help are setting up theirs.  I look for creative elements to get my juices going too.  I don’t want to copy anything that makes their site unique, but it helps with my own inspiration.  For example, Renee Swope has photo albums on her site.  I love how she’s included a very personal way to allow people to know her better through pictures.  Take a look by clicking here.  I’m not going to copy her albums, but I’m thinking and praying about my own way to allow visitors to know me well.  I do plan to copy effective website elements that help with social network sharing, enlisting subscribers, graphic techniques, etc.
  2. Have new photos taken.  I’m very blessed to have a super-talented niece with a fancy-schmancy camera, and I’ve decided I’m going to pay her instead of a professional photographer.  She has an artistic eye, and I’ve seen pictures she’s taken for family and friends that exceed many of the professionals I’ve seen.  Yay for digital cameras!
  3. Write new content for each page.  I’ll have several friends in ministry give me feedback.
  4. Hire a professional graphic artist.  This is where I’ll invest, and I’ve found that it’s an investment that can’t be beaten.  Be very, very careful about working with a friend who is doing it “for free”.  I won’t say that it never works, but very often you get what you pay for.  Paying a professional ensures that you can see a portfolio, get multiple samples to choose from and say honestly what you like and don’t like.  Working with a friend can get sticky on many levels, and I’ve seen a few websites developed this way that just didn’t measure up.
  5. Get feedback and make changes.  I’ve got one friend in particular who is in ministry, savvy and brutally honest in the loveliest way.  She’s the one I’ll ask for feedback before I launch the new site.

I’ll let you know when I hit “refresh” on my new website by the end of Oct.  Maybe we’ll do some kind of fun sharing party there to celebrate!

What are your plans for the fall?  Let’s make a list and start together.



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  1. Working on my blog site is probably at the top of my list, but of course it’s the one thing you simply can’t get done without putting some type of financial muscle behind it. Needless to say my “muscle” isn’t very “strong,” but I appreciate your suggestions for making it happen, even on a budget.

  2. This is so what I need to read today and I love the resources -Thank You! I’ll be launching a new website and life coaching career this fall. I’ve been so stuck on designing my website, logo, and tag line.

    From your post I’m reminded I cannot do it alone. I need to reach out to friends and experts for insight and advice. I struggle with ‘bothering people’ instead of understanding I have friends and connections believe in what I’m doing and want me to be successful for God’s glory.

    How ironic…that is what I’m offering as a life coach… a safe place for women to go and discover the real you! They won’t be bothering me because that is what I love to do…help others. YIKES, I need to practice what I preach 🙂

  3. Hey Amy,
    Great post! I am still laughing about last week’s “appointment with Jesus” being confirmed by Siri!!!
    The Duarte book Resonate is one of my favorite resources. There is SO much to mine in there. You are going to love it. The one that. Keep coming back to though is the one you use in your message coaching sessions Comminicating for a Change with Andy Stanley. This book, and your help, have changed the focus of how I speak.
    The idea of partnering with someone while reading is so good that I will out that in my fall planning list today!
    Happy mining!!!