What is the Meaning of Life?

Insights inspired by Kelly Clarkson's New Album "Meaning of Life"

I was honored to be selected by Atlantic Records & The Mom It Forward Influencer Network to be a blogger for the Kelly Clarkson Meaning Of Life Campaign. I was given a digital copy to listen to and I am being compensated for this post. All of the opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone, but rest assured, the only reason I agreed to be part of this, is because I love Kelly Clarkson and I felt it was an honor to be included in this cause. With that, I hope you’ll keep reading.

My dad passed away in 2003.  I miss him everyday, but he left a legacy for me and my family that we will always remember.  Whenever he saw us, he asked: “What’s the meaning of life?”

He was known for it far and wide.  Aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews remember being asked at every family gathering. Friends remember insightful conversations that began with my father asking this question.  It was a common theme at his memorial service.  Many family members and friends came up to me at the service and expressed how this question, and my father, shaped their life. He didn’t just share it with friends and family, he’d ask strangers on the street and fellow shoppers in the grocery store line.  It was both awesome and awful at the same time.  😉

Meaning of Life - Kelly ClarksonPerhaps that history explains why I was specifically drawn to Kelly Clarkson’s new album Meaning of Life.  I’ve been a Kelly Clarkson fan since she walked into see the judges on American Idol.  She’s kept my attention for over a decade with her powerful voice and the passion that she puts into her craft.  On the last season of American Idol when she sang “Piece by Piece” live on stage she was overcome with emotion.  I cried then, just as I cry now every time it comes on the radio.  Her ability to raise emotions in her listeners is her gift.  Over the years I have felt with her heart broken, independent, deep love and confidence.  She has a gift.

Meaning of Life is fun and new, with the same Kelly Clarkson we have loved forever.  Her voice is perfect and full, her songs and lyrics are meaningful, witty and deep.  She has the same alternative, pop-rock feel but this time she’s added a flare of Hip Hop mixed with the occasional power ballad (my fave!)

The song Love So Soft (the album’s single) is fun and peppy.  It’s got a catchy tune and I find myself singing it long after the song has turned on the radio.

Meaning of Life is more about love than my father’s deep questions, but I love how she reminds us about relationships that change us.

I love the power ballads Cruel and Would You Call That Love.

But honestly, my favorite part of this album is that when I put #meaningoflife in social media, she has her own emoji that comes up.  My social media heart soars right along with her music.

So, perhaps you need a gift for yourself this holiday season, or perhaps you can give this as a gift, but whatever you do, listen to a little Kelly…

And perhaps imagine if you met my dad at the grocery story.  How would you answer his earnest question, ‘What’s the meaning of life?’

Check out the video I made about Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life album here.

For more information about the album, to listen to sample songs and more go here: https://atlantic.lnk.to/MeaningoflifeMb

6 Reasons You Should Attend The Marketing Blueprint Workshop

Live and Livestream Tickets Available

It’s my favorite time of year. I get to wear sweats and hoodies AND I get to prepare for my annual marketing planning event.

In it’s 5th Year, The Marketing Blueprint Workshop is designed to help you create your 2018 marketing plan in two days. But it’s more than that! Here are the top 5 Reasons you should attend the Marketing Blueprint.

1. Write your marketing plan for 2018 in two days. I’ll walk you through a checklist of structured exercises to help you target the correct market,
define your key marketing messages, set your budget and choose marketing mediums. Repeat attendees will tell you that their favorite part of this event is getting so much done to prep for the new year in a short amount of time.

2. Learn the latest in social media marketing. The social media landscape changes every year, but this year, big changes are in store. We’ll talk about how to make the most of the algorithm changes and how to use social media best in your business.

3. Learn how to make your small business budget get BIG results. Your budget doesn’t have to be huge to make an impact, but I’ll guide you to make the best decisions for your business, and the best bang for your buck.

4. I’m funny. I mean, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but Jana Finch called me the Melissa McCarthy of Marketing. Two days can be hard to get away from work and life, but not only will it be jam packed with valuable info, I’ll make sure you have a good time, too.

unnamed5. Learn how I got 20 TV segments in the last year For FREE. I didn’t pay for the spots, but I used my unique formula to reach out to decision makers and now I have two regular segments on the NBC and FOX affiliates in my market. I’ll lay all the cards on the table and show you how to be successful with media!

6. New this year, live and Livestream attendees get a new addition to their workbook: Market Plays. I’m creating 10 ready to go market plays. You plug in your content and decide the reach but you can use my checklist to create a powerful campaign, on demand.

I hope you can join us. Use code SPEAKMICHELLE to save 30% off between now and November 15. And, anyone who purchases this week will also receive my How To Get Noticed By Local & National Media CD as a bonus! ($50 value)

www.marketingblueprint17.eventbrite.com

 

 

What to Do If Your Kid is A Cyber Bully (AND How to Prevent Your Kid From Becoming a Bully)

KSL Browser 5.0 TV Segment

October is National Bullying Awareness Month and with a cell phone in the hands of almost every teen, the subject of cyber bullying deserves attention and discussion.

In yesterday’s post we talked about what to do if your kid is getting bullied online.  Today, we’re talking about what to do if your kid is the instigator (AND a few thoughts about how to prevent it from happening in the first place).

What to Do About Cyber Bullying

KSL Browser 5.0 TV Segment

October is National Bullying Awareness Month and with a cell phone in the hands of almost every teen, the subject of cyber bullying deserves attention and discussion.

If your kid is being bullied:

  1. Take it offline – but ACT
    1. Remember the 3 Ds – Document, Discuss, Delete
  2. Make adjustments to schedules and activities.
  3. Make sure they get additional help and support if needed.

Check out our next post for what to do if your kid is the bully and how to prevent your kid from becoming a bully in the future.

Announcing Dates for 4th Annual Marketing Blueprint Workshop

Learn the Latest in Marketing Strategy AND Write Your 2018 Marketing Plan in TWO Strategic Days

I’m excited to announce the dates of the 2017 Marketing Blueprint Workshop

Final details, registration, pricing and location will be coming.  For NOW, save the date!

November 30th & December 1

2018 is coming, is your business ready to grow? The Marketing Blueprint Workshop (in it’s 4th year) is designed to do two things: first, you’ll learn the latest in marketing tactics, and second we’ll walk you through creating your own marketing plan for 2018 in two days.

At this event you’ll ALSO get:
-The Marketing Playbook – the digital marketing planning tool! (A $197 value!)
-10 Ready-to-go Market Plays (New this year!)

At this event you’ll learn:
– How to Balance Traditional & Emerging Marketing Strategies
– The 2/2/15 Social Media Business Blueprint – Updated & Expanded for 2018 (How to effectively marketing your business via social media in 2 hours a year, 2 hours a month and 15 minutes a day! You’ll also learn how we grew our following on twitter to over 320,000 followers!)
– How to Create a Simple yet effective online Content Strategy
– How to TRACK your campaigns so you can evaluate their effectiveness
– Create a Marketing PLAN That will help you GROW Your Sales this year & NEXT

This event was designed to help you create your marketing vision AND give you the tools and resources to create the plan you need to take ACTION on your marketing strategies every day.

Each session will be taught by Michelle McCullough

Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting businesses all over the world. She is the author of three books including “The Make It Happen Blueprint”. A seasoned speaker, Michelle teaches success principles and leadership insights that help boost employee engagement and higher performance.

In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”. She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. She’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Ancestry.com, among others. She’s been featured in entrepreneur.com, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show. She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads.

Why Travelling with My Kids is SO Important

  • be980738-92ad-4db3-b081-6d3ee06769adI come from a long line of world travelers.  Some ancestors pass on dimples or bushy eyebrows (I got those, too…sigh), my grandparents passed on the travel bug.  My dad’s father was a travel agent and toured the world many times over.  In his home he has a map with all the places he’s been marked by colored pins – different colors share the number of times he’s been to a specific location.  My mom’s father was a tour guide for Brigham Young University’s Travel Study program.  He, too, was a globetrotter visiting every continent multiple times.

My mom carried on this tradition and took us kids on a family trip once or twice a year.  Even as a single mom she carted four kids all over.  We went to New York City, San Francisco, Anaheim (Disneyland & Universal Studios), Mexico, Idaho, and what felt like hundreds of national parks.  She didn’t let her single status stop her from taking us on amazing adventures. I’ll be forever grateful.

I know that’s one reason I LOVE my job.  Opportunities to speak and consult all over the country help me scratch the itch of travel.  I dream of the days when I take my kids on solo trips, paid for by event planners.

This year included many travel memories I won’t forget. In October I went with my mom to see the Northern Lights in Alaska, a bucket list trip in celebration of her 60th birthday.   In September I got to go with my husband to Germany where he checked off his bucket list item: driving a German car on the Autobahn at unlimited speed.  (We topped out at 240 kms, which is about 150 miles per hour).  In both cases I went along for other people’s bucket list’s and my mom asked, “What’s on your bucket list?”

Quite frankly, I feel like travel of any kind checks things off my bucket list and I don’t have to go far.

This summer I took my kids to Universal Orlando Resort.  My brother Merlin joined us from Philadelphia and my sister Melinda flew with us from Salt Lake we had a great time!  My kids enjoyed interactive wands and we explored the new Volcano Bay.  It was a week I’ll never forget.

I live by the philosophy, experiences beat stuff, hands down.  We can fill our kids room with things (that never get played with) or we can take them on trips, take a bajillion pictures (I’m still an avid scrapbooker) and talk about the fun we had for weeks and months to come.  Seeing a new place, or even visiting an old favorite lasts longer – even if the price tag is higher.  Yes, yes, my kids still have stuff, but we save our pennies for trips.

I also believe that it’s important in our family to let my kids earn money and pay for trips – they’ll appreciate them more.  One of the reasons I love being an entrepreneur is because I get to create my own money.  I want to teach my kids that money doesn’t show up, you get to work for it. Both of my kids are under the age of 10, but they have been earning their trips since they were little.  Now they earn money, but then they earned stickers.  We don’t do this for family reunions and ALL trips, but we love to have them earn at least souvenir money, but often it’s a lot more.

Whether we can afford to pick up the tab or not, something magical happens when my kids get to earn their own money.  They learn the value of money and that trips aren’t cheap, and they get to have a sense of pride when they’re there – they appreciate it more than if mom and dad pay for everything.  It was super nice this year to tell them that they needed to earn all of their Universal spending money.  My son spent every dime in the Transformers store (his favorite ride from the trip) and my daughter spent $5 here and $5 there buying churros and pretzels and her last $12 was spent on a Minions fanny pack, but there were no fights or begging for me to buy stuff.  They had the money or they didn’t and it was great all around.

They sold cookies and ties, did extra jobs for me and others and worked really hard.  I want my kids to know that if they want something, they can work hard and earn it. While we were walking through the Diagon Alley and riding Gringots for tenth time I was so grateful that I hadn’t just caved and paid for it.  I probably spent 50 hours in the kitchen helping the kids make cookies, and if I had spent that time in my business, I would have made 50 times the money.  But it felt good to teach the kids the value of a dollar and it turns out we all liked the trip a bit more because we put some time into it.

In the end I’m collecting memories.  Sure, I’d love to go to Italy or see the Great Wall of China, but right now, travelling with my kids and helping them make solid memories is my bucket list.  I love the theme from the park, “Dreams are Universal.”  Being with my family this summer felt like heaven and I’ll have those memories forever.

The Moments That Define You & Make You Better

I had this experience flying home from a speaking event 3 years ago. It came up in my Facebook memories and I wanted to share it with you. Have you had moments that remind you about the bigger picture? – Michelle

I am at a loss for words and an abundance of tears. A series of divine events had me seated next to two teens with prosthetic legs on my flight tonight. The boy next to me immediately started up a conversation. These “make it happen” kids are friendly, fun, and cute. We chatted for five minutes before I noticed. They told me their stories, that they both want to go into prosthetics when they grow up and that they were in Utah for a white water rafting trip with 16 other kids from all across the country. I did a very good job of holding back my tears for these sweet kids. They showed me their craft activities they did and this one particularly touched me. They ARE magic and so was the experience sitting next to them. God is good to me on delayed flights.

michelle-mccullough-airplane-miracles-life-lessons

Three Tips To Better Email Management

KSL TV Segment

Studies show that employees waste 17 hours a week on pointless work email.  Take 17 and times it by all of your employees and that’s a hefty expense for businesses.

Here are three tips to to be more productive with your email:

Schedule Time For Email – Don’t Keep It Open All Day
Cut Back On Junk – Opt Out of Emails You Don’t Read
Make Email Work For You – Create Folders

Watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kDwTLZ-hhM&t=4s

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=45538208&nid=1194