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Let Go Of The Five Things Holding Back Your Success

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As you evolve from the person you once were to the person you want to be, you cannot take everything with you. A necessary stage of progression is letting go of old possessions, beliefs and ties. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This is a vital stage in your growth. You are unwrapping layers of baggage as the real you emerges.

Let go of the five things holding back your success
Here are the five things to let go of, that might be holding back your success:
Personal grudges
Every time you felt wronged or that you were a victim was a chance for you to become stronger. So let it go. Let go of everyone who was unkind or didn’t consider your needs. Stop revisiting the stories and remove them from your headspace and life. Fill the space with happy conversations instead.
Some people think of doubters and haters when striving to do better, but the healthiest state is indifference. Where you can wish them well because you really don’t care. They don’t enter your mind and there’s no backstory to tell. If someone else mentions them, you smile and nod along. There’s no past, there’s no bad blood, there’s no narrative around any encounter that needs mentioning now.

Reach the stage where you are so confident with your life and your path that you wish everyone well, no matter how much trauma they may have once caused you.
Principles of the past
I must not fail. I must be respected. I must not be hard done by. I must be compensated for my time. Which principles are serving your future, and which are just holding you back?
Consider a joint venture that didn’t work out. Your principles say you must recoup everything you can, which should be at least what the other founders get. It was their fault it didn’t work out and you can’t stand the thought of them earning a penny more from it than you. But that viewpoint is unlikely to serve the best version of you. It might be far better for you to walk away, leaving them with everything and wishing them well. But will you refuse, “on principle”?

The best version of you is prepared to forgo your principles in favour of doing the right thing and moving forward. Even if you’ve sunk big bucks, even if you’ve poured your heart and soul into something. If you keep falling back on outdated principles, you’ll keep holding onto projects and people and places that you should just let go of. What beliefs are you living by that you haven’t questioned?
You’ve only been hard done by if you tell yourself you have been. It’s only failure if you learn nothing. You could drag it out on principle, or you could skip away happily.
Behavioural habits are strongest when they are linked to your identity. You’re more likely to go to the gym every day if you identify as a health-conscious person than if you just think you should or because your doctor said you really ought to. Identity drives action.
Which identities are you holding that aren’t serving your future? Do you believe so strongly in veganism that you alienate those who don’t? Do you identify so strongly as Republican or Democrat that you’ll defend whoever is leading the party at any time? Being led only by identity is a form of tunnel vision. It impairs your ability to make great decisions because you are influenced by what someone like you “should” do. It can close your mind to new ideas and opportunities.
Fixating on identity can be limiting to growth. Seek changes of perspective to learn and adapt for the better.

Let go of the five things holding back your success
Ego and self-importance
How often does self-importance set you back? Whether it’s athletes who ensure anyone they meet knows their personal bests, or the business owner who wants everyone to know he started from nothing; self-importance is not endearing. Staying humble is the goal.
It doesn’t matter what awards you have won or titles you have amassed, or your career longevity or number of YouTube subscribers. Let go of the need for someone to know how much of a big deal you are. It’s not important. Instead, connect on a personal level. If someone wants to know your credentials, they will ask. Or google you. Let them find out from someone else, don’t tell them in your opener. Resist the urge for instant gratification. Release the need for others to know your prominence.
Let your amazing personality and your winning conversation be what connects you to others because everything else is secondary.
Happiness is proportionate to the difference between your expectations and your reality. If you expect amazing things and get average ones; you won’t be happy. Having high standards is fine unless it’s limiting your happiness when it turns out they are unreachable. You can have just as good a time at a fried chicken stand as you can at a Michelin star restaurant, as long as you don’t expect the same from both evenings.
Let go of having inflated expectations for things you cannot control. Experiences, results, other people. Release judgment whenever you can; let things just be. Retain high expectations of yourself and the energy you put into your work and health and friendships. You can meet your own expectations through commitment and intention.
Be proud to be laid back or a perfectionist when each is appropriate.
In order for the real you to be uncovered, the old you must drift away. Identify those things that are linked with the person you once were and not the person you dream of becoming. Let them go with gratitude and ease.

5 Free Content Promotion Strategies That Make You Thousands

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“Content marketing is 60% more affordable than paid advertising—and more effective,” says Dayana Mayfield, a digital PR expert and the founder of Pitch & Profit. “One of my clients stopped running paid ads altogether because my free strategies not only worked much better at attracting new clients but also saved him thousands of dollars.” 
If you have any presence online, you are most likely doing everything you can to drive traffic to your website. Paid advertising is usually a go-to for traffic, but there are also lots of ways to drive traffic without having to pay for it – an most of it has to do with content creation.
The secret isn’t coming up with endless blog posts. It’s actually writing less content that is higher in quality. “In this sense, you’re thinking like a content producer, not like a content creator, to get a significant return on investment from offering free content,” says Mayfield, who created a blog post 5 years ago that continues to drive free trial sign ups to her client to this day. Maximize your reach with one (or all) of her five best strategies for promoting free content that translates to cash for your business. 

5 Free Content Promotion Strategies That Make You Thousands | Stephanie Burns
Kathryn White

1. Create An Infographic Or Multimedia Resource
“People in your industry will be much more likely to promote your content if it includes something valuable that they can’t find elsewhere,” notes Mayfield. “Rather than writing up ten blog posts that all lack resources, produce one high quality SEO post with a step-by-step infographic, a template, a checklist, a video tutorial, or other resource that serves your audience. Then, when you share the post on social media or with your email newsletter, you’ll be much more likely to generate organic shares from your audience and ambassadors. One of my clients created an infographic with useful statistics that yielded over one hundred shares and a top Google ranking in just a month.”

2. Write A Guest Post That Links To Your Original Content
“This is my personal favorite strategy for promoting SEO content, because it yields quality backlinks—mentions of your site on another site—while also providing more content to share on social media. Google notices when your site has a lot of backlinks and ranks you higher on their search engine because you have so many endorsements from other sites,” says Mayfield.
“After I write a blog post that targets an important keyphrase for my business, I pitch a related topic to a few online publications in my industry. In my guest post, I’ll include a link back to the original content on my website. Then, I share both posts on social media. The backlink increases my chances of ranking for the valuable keyphrase I’ve targeted. Meanwhile, my social media posts keep me top of mind with my audience.”
3. Pitch Your Own Statistics To The Media
Every year, Upwork releases its U.S. Independent Workforce Report, providing the media with fascinating insights into the rapid growth of the gig economy and how companies utilize freelancers. The statistics included get covered in the media and hundreds of blogs. Yet very few companies are taking advantage of the opportunities like this to release their own findings. 
“A few years ago, I helped write a report for a major corporate client on how innovative companies travel. It transformed data from their customers into travel statistics on tech startups.” explains Mayfield. “My team got the report covered in Inc. and we also turned it into a blog post that still ranks in the top three for a valuable keyphrase.
“To execute on this idea, survey your audience to generate insights or responsibly analyze existing customer data and release it while keeping the participants anonymous. Then, pitch the stats to industry journalists. If you make this an annual tradition, you’ll optimize the process over time, and the media will be waiting to cover your insights.”
4. Promote Your SEO-Optimized Freebie On A Podcast
“Podcast guests miss out on an opportunity to get SEO traffic when they mention their website URL—instead of an SEO-optimized freebie—at the end of an interview. This means they’re only generating links back to the home page of their site—not other, more important landing pages,” explains Mayfield. 
“To make the most out of your podcast interview, you should drop the name of an SEO-optimized freebie on your website instead. The podcast host will link to it in the show notes. For example, if the freebie is a list of sales email templates, then you can SEO optimize the landing page for the keyphrase “sales email templates.” When you get backlinks to this page from podcast show notes, you’ll increase your chances of ranking. Follow this strategy, and you get to access new audiences, drive backlinks to SEO pages, and generate content to share on social media all at the same time.” 
5.  Email Your Best Blogs To 50 Influencers 
“When you’ve published a really high quality blog post that beats anything out there in terms of educational or entertainment value, let people know about it,” notes Mayfield. “Make a list of fifty people in your industry, including marketers from non-competitor companies, consultants, influencers, and more. Email them about your new post and mention what makes it special. Maybe that’s an interview with a well-known thought leader, proprietary research or one of those infographics I mentioned. By targeting top tier individuals with your best content, you increase the likelihood of it being shared with their large and influential audience—and that can translate into sales for you.”

5 Zoom Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

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After nearly a year of working remotely, it’s time to step up your Zoom game. Now that Zoom is basically second nature, you might be inadvertently letting a few things slide. Here are five mistakes you might be making, and how to easily rectify them.
Looking at yourself.
There’s no reason to see yourself on the screen, other than for checking to make sure your background is tidy and you look presentable. After that quick check, it’s time to turn on ‘hide self-view’. With this option enabled, everyone else can see you, but you don’t have to stare at yourself for the entire duration of the call.
Looking at the screen when you’re talking.
Looking at the people on the screen when you’re speaking makes it appear as if you’re looking down. You look at the screen periodically to gauge reactions and check for comments and questions, but the majority of the time you’re speaking you should be looking directly into the camera.

Does that feel a bit awkward? Yes, but it won’t look that way to your audience. A helpful trick is to put a picture of someone you care about on the wall behind your laptop, and look at that picture as you’re presenting. That makes it feel more like you’re talking to someone instead just your webcam.
Having a messy background.
Always check to make sure that your background is clean and tidy, and there’s nothing in view you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see. Don’t get caught with a messy house, or worse, a not suitable for work object in the background.

Always give your space a once-over before joining a call, especially if it’s not a spot you typically Zoom from. Pro tip – to show less of your background, sit closer to a wall. The closer your background is to you and your laptop, the less of it will be in view. When you’re farther away, the camera shows more of the space around you.  
Not muting yourself.
Unless you’re speaking, your mic should be muted. Microphones pick up a lot of ambient noise, so if there’s someone talking in another room or a loud noise outside, that often can be heard on your call.
Having everyone on mute eliminates some distractions and ensures that the speaker can stay focused on what they’re saying rather than policing microphones. This means that no one has to hear ‘could whoever is making noise please mute?’ being asked repeatedly during a meeting. It will be replaced with a few instances of ‘could you please un-mute yourself?’ until people get used to un-muting to speak, but that’s a worthwhile tradeoff.
Sharing more than just your screen.
Ensure that you’re not over-sharing when you share your screen. Rather than choosing ‘share screen’, choose to share only the specific file or browser window you need. Close all other browser tabs or documents that are open so there’s no chance of you accidentally sharing the wrong one. You should also mute your notifications – you don’t want anything to pop up as you’re screen sharing.
One final word of advice – beware of filters.
Don’t get caught like the lawyer turned cat of Internet fame! Always check your video before logging on to a call, especially if your children have been using your device or you’re using a different device than you usually do for work calls.

COVID-19 Slows But Doesn’t Stop Africa’s Craft Beer Brewing Women

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Rwanda — Brewer Josephine Uwase of Kweza Craft Brewery
Kweza Craft Brewery
Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela doesn’t know if the brewery she owns will survive if South Africa bans the sale of alcohol for the fourth time in a year. Currently, the first Black female owner in the country is working under the partial lift of a third ban, implemented by the federal government as a safety response to COVID-19.
“We have started trading again but it’s very difficult. I won’t lie,” she says.
Nxusani-Mawela has been the subject of many an African news article since she opened Brewsters Craft as a female-focused brewery, contract facility, lab and beer education space, in 2015. Yet here in the States, most people don’t know the highly educated microbiologist and former SABMiller brewer exists; or that a handful of women also own, manage and brew at craft breweries across the continent. 

Akagera National Park, Rwanda — Kweza Craft Brewery managing director Jessi Flynn
Kweza Craft Brewery

Josephine Uwase and Deb Leatt number among them as brewer and chef, respectively, at Rwanda’s Kweza Craft Brewery. Like Nxusani-Mawela, they have gotten their share of coverage, in part because Kweza is Rwanda’s first brewpub; in part because Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company in Ottawa has very publicly supported Kweza with fundraising and consultation; and in part because managing director Jessi Flynn is Canadian and knows how to attract English-language media attention.
Compared to these colleagues, Peace Onwuchekwa toils in relative obscurity as director of quality control at Nigeria’s Bature Brewing as she focuses her attention, for now, on teaching people in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and in the city of Lagos the very basics of craft beer. 

“We do have our local beverages made from palm tree sap, sorghum and other adjuncts,” she says. However, “A lot of people in these areas can attest to having their first ever glass of IPA or Pale Ale in our tap room.”
What Kind of Beer is Popular in Africa
You might consider beer brewing in Africa somewhat dichotomous. Women have traditionally brewed beer made with sorghum, cassava, maize and other native starch sources and still do on a very small scale for their male neighbors in the villages and for relatives on big holidays like Christmas. But most young people strongly prefer the mass-produced international lagers that dominate the landscape, even though it costs a great deal more than what the women make. 
Despite some younger women still professing to learn brewing skills at their mothers’ and grandmothers’ knees, brewers like Onwuchekwa say their countrymen and women do not necessarily associate their product with her gender.
“We have ladies show up at the taproom but will rather prefer a glass of gin and tonic or a glass of wine rather than beer. Some say beer is too bitter, others think it’s not ladylike to drink beer,” she says.
The processes the older women use and the liquid they produce vary by ethnicity and by region but some generalities do commonly apply. For instance, because traditional beer remains very much a rural cottage industry, these brewers tend to rely on hand tools, open flames, wooden vessels and calabash shells or clay jugs as communal cups to serve their customers.
And although some of these women have formed loose affiliations, many lament their craft is dying out.

Abuja, Nigeria — Bature Brewery quality assurance director Peace Onwuchekwa
Bature Brewery
What Are African Craft Breweries Like 
It’s into this void that some craft brewers are stepping. Though the total number across Africa remains relatively low — around 225 in South Africa and seemingly none other than Bature in all of West Africa — they are cropping up as entrepreneurship, value-added natural resources and other factors create more disposable income for swaths of the population in places like Rwanda. 
Some breweries, like Bature, focus primarily on western styles, mostly using imported malt and hops to make fairly straightforward stouts, pale ales and IPAs. But even the most European among them tend to bring at least a little bit of African flare to their fires. 
At Brewsters, for example, Nxusani-Mawela is launching a line of Tolokazi beers, which she named for her clan, as is the custom for Zulu women, and uses exclusively African ingredients like African Queen hops and rooibos tea. 
“When we were naming the beer, I knew that I wanted it to be a brand that will carry the legacy of women as the original brewers in African culture,” she tells the Herald Live media site. “Everything we do is about celebrating SA and Africa.”
Sometimes indigenous ingredients are a necessity. At the beginning of COVID-19, Flynn couldn’t get imported ingredients. So she improvised by making an alcoholic ginger beer using entirely hyper-local inputs.
“It was brewed literally in mop buckets with saran wrap ‘airlocks’ because it was all I could get my hands on, as there aren’t homebrew shops in Rwanda, and with borders closed, I couldn’t get my pilot equipment in yet!” Flynn emails. 
When Did Brewing Start in Africa?
At the very beginning. While some people mistakenly believe Germans invented brewing or that it dates back to the ancient Middle East, brewing likely traces its roots to Africa. Though it’s impossible at this point to say for sure, scientists are fairly certain humanity began in South Africa more than 4 million years ago. Once our early ancestors developed two legs and the ability to walk, they likely began wandering north, foraging for food. Some archeologists believe between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago they probably stumbled on puddles or small pools of naturally fermented sugar water made from grains. They tasted it and found they enjoyed the buzz. Though history has taught us that people started planting cereal crops for beer in ancient Sumer (today’s Iraq) by 4,500 BCE, evidence is mounting that our forebears began building sophisticated commercial breweries in modern-day Egypt and perhaps Ethiopia earlier than we thought. 
Just this month, archeologists confirmed the discovery of a 5,000 year old brewing complex in Egypt. It’s not the oldest evidence of grain-based brewing but it appears to be the most sophisticated. 
What’s more, while it’s known that women brewed for their families and for religious purposes in these early civilizations, the world’s top beverage archeologist feels strongly that women would have brewed as far back as hunter-gatherer days in eastern Africa.
“While men were out hunting, women were out gathering the ingredients they needed to make other foods and drink to go with the wooly mammoth or mastodon. Women [were] the ones who [made] the household fermented beverages,” says Pat McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Breweries in Africa
While hunter-gatherers would have faced a good many threats to their lives, they didn’t have COVID-19 to threaten their livelihoods. Bature has dealt with it much like we have here in the States by pivoting from draught to bottles and producing sanitizer for frontline workers. 
In Rwanda, the Kweza team hasn’t had to make many adjustments since early on, thanks to the fact that an Australian think tank has ranked their nation’s pandemic response as the sixth best in the world and case numbers have stayed low. Flynn says she and her team used any downtime to network with other African brewers and hit the media circuit hard to promote what they’re doing. She also feels that the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 generated welcome interest in hers and other African breweries. 
“We’re defying expectations, we’re a year ahead of schedule, and breaking all the norms. I think it’s a story of hope and growth in an otherwise hard year for everyone,” she says. 
In early March, Kweza will launch a round of crowdsourced fundraising so that the Rwandan women who are involved can take on more equity instead of relying on outside venture capitalists.  
Unfortunately, Nxusani-Mawela’s anticipated crowdsourced financial campaign is designed to simply help her get through the most severe pandemic-related alcohol restrictions on the planet. 
She’s already laid off two workers, creditors have launched legal proceedings and retailers are hesitating to stock much beer, especially at the higher-end, because they fear a rumored fourth COVID-19 wave and alcohol ban in May or June. 
But that doesn’t paralyze Nxusani-Mawela into inaction. Rather, the always busy entrepreneur is amping up her online sales platform in case the government allows direct-to-consumer purchases. And just in case, she’s readying yet another specialty line of beer. This one’s non-alcoholic.

Three Ways To Monetize A Podcast: A Pro’s Tips

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Many people start podcasts, but often, they end up being a money-losing proposition. Either the podcasts end up taking more time than the founders expect, and they end up abandoning the venture (and stowing the gear in the attic) or they don’t know how to make the most of opportunities to monetize their efforts. 
It doesn’t have to be that way, according to Jason Allan Scott, who runs A Podcast Company, where he teaches clients how to create podcasts. “Anything that has value can be monetized,” says the Lond0n-based entrepreneur.

Jason Allan Scott tapped his knowledge of event planning to launch his podcast. Now he teaches … [+] others how to start their own programs.
A Podcast Company
Scott has a lot of experience in earning money from what he knows. He drew on what he learned as a meeting professional when he founded the Smarter Event Planning podcast. He now sells a software-as-a-service tool to help podcasters get up and running, along with a master class for aspiring hosts. He’s built a strong presence as a YouTube influencer, as well. 

Beyond these activities, Scott runs MICEOFFERS, a deals site for the meetings industry, and Lokkima, which rents cryotherapy machines to hotels and spas. He recently raised funding for Pynk, a block-chain based investment platform. In 2020, he participated in the YCombinator Startup School’s Future Founders program. And most recently he launched Kopus, an app that allows owners of restaurants and other public spaces to turn them into flexible workspaces. Collectively, his efforts generate seven-figure revenue, he says. 
It takes an effort to keep all of these ventures in motion,  but Scott believes working for himself gives him more security than he would have in a traditional job. “When you work for someone, you only have to upset one person to lose your job,” he says. “When you have a multitude of clients, you’d have to upset every single one of them to lose your business.” Besides that, he says, “It’s never been easier for a creator to make a living. It’s never been easier for someone who doesn’t fit the traditional box to support themselves.”

Here are some of Scott’s tips for creating a podcast that generates revenue for your business. 
Keep it niche. It’s hard to stand out with a podcast on a broad topic like business or the arts—the podcast world is too crowded. It’s easier to break in if you specialize in a specialized area you know well, as Scott does with his event-planning podcast. When choosing a topic for your podcast, take stock of the areas where you have knowledge or expertise that other people may not have. “You have innate skills from all of the other work you’ve done for so long,” says Scott. “Through podcasts, you can monetize that.”
Cultivate your “true fans.” Author Kevin Kelly coined the term “1,000 true fans” in his book by the same name. Scott believes that finding these passionate followers is essential to building a successful podcast. One way to attract listeners who are not only willing to listen to you but also to spread the word about you is to create a 2-3 minute trailer that you play before each episode. That requires a lower commitment than listening to a 30-minute or one-hour podcast and will give you a chance to attract people who like what you have to say. “You’ll have higher chances of converting from a passive listener to a fan,” Scott says. 
As you attract these fans, keep two objectives in mind, he recommends.  First look for a way to create enough valuable content for them to spend $1,000 with you over the year and generate at least $100 in profit from each. “That is easier to do in some businesses than others, but it is a good creative challenge because it is always easier and better to give your existing customers more than it is to find new fans,” says Scott. 
Make sure to build a direct relationship with your fans—newsletters can be helpful on that front—and set up a way for them to pay you directly. Some podcasters are turning to Patreon and OnlyFans, sites where fans can contribute. Podcasting makes it easy to maintain an ongoing relationship with fans because your podcast will not live on any platform. “It’s the last great medium,” says Scott. “If you’re on YouTube and YouTube goes down, your business is gone. With a podcast, you own your podcast. iTunes doesn’t hold your podcast—they have a way of sending your podcast out.” 
For some podcasters, monetization mainly comes through selling related products and services, such as T-shirts, coaching, mentoring, or a Mastermind course. Scott has published more than 30 e-books in his areas of expertise, such as The Ultimate Podcasting Guide, on Bookboon; some are as short as 15 pages long. “You slowly build this up over time,” Scott says. 
Include a call-to-action on every episode. When you produce a podcast, your programs will be sent through different syndication networks. The end of every show is an opportunity to attract new followers. Make the most of it by asking listeners to take action that will help you build your following. For instance, “If you’ve enjoyed me, please subscribe to the show,” “Please give me a 5-star review and please leave a comment,” or “If you’ve enjoyed this, please sign up for my newsletter. I’ll tell you about what I’m doing and how I can support you.”
“Syndicates have made it difficult for people to rate podcasts,” says Scott. “If someone is willing to go from the show to opening up the app, that shows to the platform you have real fans. It’s not easy. It takes work.”
Aware of this, platforms reward you for any love your fans send your way with added visibility.  “Apple is amazing,” says Scott. “If you do well in your first eight weeks, Apple will promote you for free. You are driving people to your platform.” The more visibility you have and the more listenership you attract, the easier it will be to generate revenue through other means, such as advertising. 
Fortunately for aspiring hosts, podcasts show no signs of losing popularity. Some estimates say the number of U.S. podcast listeners could exceed 100 million by 2024. “People get Zoom fatigue,” Scott says. “No one is getting podcast fatigue. They can listen to podcasts when they want.”