Building Your Brand: How to Develop a Business When Working from Home

One of the most frequent questions people ask me is whether or not they should leave a full time position and become a freelancer. Every situation is different, and no matter how much you may hate working for someone else, working from home has its own challenges. So I asked my friend and freelance writer Jenny Holt for her advice. It’s worth noting if you’re thinking about launching out on your own:

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How To Know It’s Time To Drop Your Idea And Move On

I’ve written about resilience, and how important it is not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –

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Why Leaders Are Encouragers

The Inspirational Power of Thanks

There’s plenty of books, websites, and leadership resources that talk about the importance of encouragement. As Goethe said in 1768, “Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” So rather than say more about why you need to be an encourager, let me give you a brief but powerful example of something I personally experienced:

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Taking Initiative: The Difference Between Success and Failure

My wife Kathleen and I had the opportunity to meet with Tina Konkin recently. She’s an internationally known speaker, counselor, and coach on the subject of relationships. As a result, she’s been on major networks, spoken at national conferences, and helped thousands of couples heal broken relationships. We were discussing some potential television projects with Tina, when she said something that I realized applies to so many other areas of life – including

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The Power of a Great Tagline

What Missionaries Can Teach Us About Marketing

While reading the book “131 Christians Everyone Should Know” by the editors of Christian History magazine, legendary missionary William Carey reminded me of the power of a creative tagline. Carey, who many consider the father of the missionary movement organized a missionary society in 1792 and launched an evangelistic meeting with the line:

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How to Pitch Your Ideas Successfully

The Key to Making Your Dream Happen

How can you make your dream their dream?  It’s a great question if you’re a creative person. In many ways, the ability to present or “pitch” your ideas is one of the most important things you can learn in business – or life. Whether you’re trying to produce a movie, publish a book, get a raise, launch a business, find donors, or whatever, your ability to inspire others to your way of thinking is critical. So to make you better at presenting your brilliant ideas, here’s 10 important principles to keep in mind:

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Past Sin Does Not Make You A Better Spiritual Leader

At Cooke Pictures, we’ve developed a reputation for helping churches, ministries, and nonprofits handle crisis communications. No matter how well intentioned you are, sooner or later, things can sometimes go terribly wrong. As a result, we’ve coached organizations on how to survive in the wake of leaders who have fallen because of sexual, financial, drug or alcohol, and other issues. Through it all, there’s one persistent myth some pastors have in particular about continuing ministry. While many

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Rebranding Your Church, Ministry, or Nonprofit? Here’s Five Questions To Ask First

At times, we all get frustrated with how few people are responding to our message, whether it’s in books, on social media, or broadcast radio or TV.  It just seems people aren’t listening the way they should. It could be a lot of things, including repetition, competition, or maybe the culture has simply changed. But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” you’re simply not telling your story well.  In that case, what we call a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order.  But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency.  Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions.  They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a complete re-brand, or just a refresh:

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