Lena Hunt

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05
Jan

Lena Hunt’s Testimony as a Travel Correspondent and Photojournalist

DSC08082This may sound like a cliche but I think-no, I KNOW- that my entire life has been geared for the very moment that I became a published writer, author, and travel correspondent. From my love of writing and dreams of traveling back in my younger days on a small farm in the Midwest to my education in Business Administration, Fine Arts, and Sports Medicine, I am finally able to compile my entire life’s experiences into a life work that I absolutely LOVE!

This opportunity of a lifetime means more than traveling, writing, and photography. It’s about meeting people from various cultures, sharing what you know, and learning what they know. It’s about bridging the gap in the differences of this world. It’s about helping others and letting them help you.Not only have I been able to travel to dream locations but the connectivity that I have found are priceless! Rock climbing and sleeping on the desert floor of the surreal Joshua Tree National Park allowed me to overcome my fear of trusting others and giving up control as I depended on my belayer to get me down from heights I’d never imagine myself to climb. My greatest motivator was a senior citizen who was always the first one to try anything. I thought to myself as I watched her, if she could do it then I can do it. I would never have guessed that it was her first rock climbing experience also.Surfing in southern California the CORRECT way without getting bashed in the head and wiping out each time was quite an accomplishment. I’ve always dreamed of being a surfer girl. Never did I realize that my teenage dreams would come true long after my teen years were over and this was only made possible by learning from females and with females only. It was a much easier learning process. I’m realizing that it’s never too late to fulfill your dreams! Kayaking through the monstrous surf of San Diego was another amazing adventure! The crashing waves don’t seem so intimidating anymore. Suddenly, the fears I’ve faced as I deal with them head on aren’t so scary after all and having experienced locals teach you the ropes makes it even better.Watching the sparkle in my daughter’s eye as she sailed a boat for the first time and shared the sailor’s lingo with her private instructor was not only my wish come true but hers also!Hanging with celebrities in Palm Springs and having them share with me some of their fears and dreams as if I’m one of their old buddies from days gone by is beyond words.

Spending five weeks on my beloved Caribbean island (and eventually living there) was only possible through travel writing. Shedding the materialism and rat race stress of every day life, I was able to live as a true islander. To have no time restraints, laze under the shade of a coconut palm, and to focus only on the person and conversation at hand without my mind racing from one thing to the next. Complete and unindisturbed quality time and connectivity with another person. This is what living should be all about!

I have made friends from all corners of the world for a lifetime through my travels. From the dive instructor whose father was the teacher of Jacques Cousteau to the British Commander sent by the Queen on a diving expedition to Belize to world famous yoga masters, I could list them all and tell about each person and every experience but it would take more than a lifetime. I just know that what I have gained from being a photojournalist is worth more than all the riches in this world.

I started as a writer but now I am more than a writer. I am a photojournalist, a VIP, an Ambassador for the region I come from and the area I travel to. I represent the media, women, athletes, parents, teachers, artists, readers, travelers, students, and many others of this world. I, being one simple person, am able to make a difference by touching one life at a time. Who knew that a gal from the midwest could accomplish such a tremendous thing?


 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Travel  
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05
Jan

LinkedIn: Are You Getting the First Degree?

Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, the former Vice President of PayPal, LinkedIn.com is an online professional contact database where members can connect directly with people they already know and trust. Unlike other networking sites, you have to know these contacts directly by having worked with them, attending the same school, or being in a similar group or organization . This immediate connection with people that they already know is considered, according to LinkedIn, as a first-degree connection.

Then members can form second-degree connections by linking with their first-degree contacts’ connections. Then third-degree connections can be developed by going through their contacts’ contacts’ contacts. And so on and so forth. (Wow! Does this get confusing?) Actually, it’s quite simple. Through your friends and contacts, you can connect with their friends and contacts.

This method was created to protect LinkedIn members’ privacy and to develop trust. It was also developed to keep spam and unwanted solicitation at bay.

The power of belonging to such a trusted network means that you can connect with someone who knows someone who knows someone else. Can you imagine contacting the owner of the company in which you wish to gain employment through a friend or colleague of his/hers? Or how about connecting with someone who you might never get a chance to meet or talk to in real life? This increases your chances of success and meeting your goals as well as helping others succeed. This is the power of LinkedIn.

So getting the first degree isn’t such a bad thing after all, is it?


 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
   
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05
Jan

A real life success story. A real life recommendation.

yes

Many people ask me why I don’t write fiction. “Because all of life is a story,” is my answer. Without the actual experience, this recommendation could not have been written in the way that only real life can tell it. My recommendation of my Consultant Daniel Stoica:

“I’m so frustrated. I am working on an all-commission basis for two companies and I’m supporting this specific cause. I’m spending twelve hours per day, six days a week, and even a few hours on Sundays and getting nowhere! On top of that, sales are extremely low due to the economy yet the result of my work are obvious such as ads being placed in print and online magazines, banners are all over various sites, and back-end linking are being created but I’m not getting income because I’m on all commission.” I told Daniel Stoica. He could hear my frustration over the phone.

My new Consultant, Daniel created a word picture so that I could see my life’s scenario in my mind’s eye. “Okay, imagine three circles and each represents your various business endeavors. One is for this company. One stands for the other company. The last one stands for the cause where you donate your time and efforts. Each circle also has to do with luxury, or in other words, things that are more desired in a better economy. Now I’m drawing a big circle around the three smaller circles. This big circle represents Lena. You are working on all three yet none of them belong to you. You’re spending all this time without pay to build someone else’s business. Not only that,  you’re promoting things that aren’t really that needed right now.” Daniel told me quite honestly and I listened very intently.

He asked me what my passion is and said he already knew and had it written down. “My passion is writing, photography, creating artwork, designing and sewing, creative marketing. It is fitness and traveling.” I went on to describe the things I truly enjoy. “Those are parts or factors of your passion but what is your passion?”

I searched my heart. it took a few minutes because I kept coming up with favorite interests and hobbies. Then suddenly, it came to me although my gut instinct had been nudging my mind to pay attention. “OH! I know my passion! Whether I’m jogging on the beach or writing a magazine feature, I do everything with such creativity, I have to say that my passion is to be intensely creative.”

“Exactly!” my Consultant exclaimed. After that enlightening conversation, in a month’s time he helped me to revamp my love and experience for writing, photography, marketing, public relations, and people skills into a business that is mine and that will help others in a time when people are needing to network. Business networking is the new revolution as people turn to this form of connecting to find jobs and to reach their business goals.

thumb“Celebritize You,” said Daniel. And this is how CelebritizeYou.com and Lena’s working on something for Lena was born. I assist others in redoing their profiles and digital presence. I help them find the right words and use SEO web copy and writings to get the attention of their target audience (user friendly) and to climb the search engines (search engine visibility).

Celebritize You allows me to assist others in their success. By taking my passion (which I have been doing as a writer, photographer, and creative marketing expert) and creating a niche, the phone is ringing again and the e-mails are coming in.

Having Daniel Stoica as my full time Consultant has changed my work from a daily frustration to a daily joy of looking forward to helping others meet their goals as I meet mine. It makes all the difference in the world when my passion is my profession!

By Lena Hunt



 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Lena Hunt Photography  
   
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05
Jan

Turn your passion into your profession.

Why settle for clocking in and clocking out doing what you’re told to do and when to take coffee breaks and lunch breaks? Why work night and day only to long for some free time when you can play your guitar, travel the world, or tear apart that computer to see how it’s built? Why wait for some day to do what you really want to do? I had decided over ten years ago that seeing the world, taking shots of my trips, and writing about the great time that I spent with my family would be my profession. I gave myself a goal of six months. It happened in two. By submitting a short article that I had written about a recent trip to a Caribbean island, my article was published within the first week of submission and began a decade-long journey of making my passion of travel writing into my profession.

Now I have a full-time Consultant who guides me throughout my business endeavors to help me to continue on the the path of turning my passion into my profession. Regardless of the various business ventures that I come upon, Daniel Stoica insures that what I do professionally will always be done passionately. It’s a WORLD of difference when you have someone who makes it his passion to turn your passion into your profession.

lenaphotog



 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Lena Hunt Photography, Travel  
   
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05
Jan

The WRITE of Her Life!

words

Julia’s eyes lit up and her voice exuded confidence when she talked about fitness and showed others how to set the machines. As a gym floor attendant, she had just started her own personal training business. She had no problem passing on her hard-earned knowledge and assistance but when it came to telling a potential client about her training services, she just couldn’t gather up the nerve.

She wanted to find a way to be more confident, know what to say to people, and how to present her new training service to others. Yet when she tried, she stumbled through the words and before she could get them out, people were already telling her no and she continued to give away her personal training skills.

Amidst crocodile tears, Julia told me that she did not graduate high school. Then she married young and spent many years caring for her children and taking them to work with her. Janitorial work was her job. She gained that employment after many failed interviews and her self esteem wilted away. The message, “You’re no good. No one wants you.” was what she heard repeatedly as she was turned down job after job.

I worked with her for a year. It all started with the words that she told herself. The words that she heard from those who told her that she was not worthy were allowed to play in her mind repeatedly. Together, we rewrote her story. As typing was a skill she did not acquire, I had her type out her story on the computer. I asked her to write about herself from my eyes. “But you view me in such a great way” was her cry. I told her that I view her in a realistic way.

Day by day and month by month, she poked at the keyboard, typing out her story again but this time, in a more positive, realistic manner. During each biweekly session with Julia, I directed her to locate her strengths. At first she said that were none. I told her to explore and refused to move on until she could see what others see when they asked her for fitness advice.

As she rewrote her life, she found the right words to use for her biography, her introduction, and a way to promote her new business. She found a way to help others by offering them her personal training services. Julia is now a successful personal trainer with many clients. She was also able to do something else that she had always dreamed of which was to type her husband a love letter and e-mail it to him as he had no idea that she learned how to type and use the computer.

To this day, I still get cards and letters from Julia….




 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
   
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05
Jan

It’s 5:00 somewhere…but it’s 5:30 p.m. in Chicago, 6:30 p.m. in New York, 12:30 p.m. in London, 11:30 a.m. in Japan!

clockYou’re just in time for the connection of your life. Celebritize YOU by joining others around the world at the above times on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, for The Big Chicago Blitz #6 phone networking event.

Use your phone to crank up your networking efforts by several notches with one-on-one conversations with people from around the world. The Big Chicago Blitz #6 gives you the opportunity to:

  1. have one-on-one phone networking events and the opportunity to grow your business without having to leave your home or office
  2. participate BlitzTime phone events according to your schedule
  3. choose your networking events and groups and creating your own
  4. create your profile and audio introduction before the phone networking event
  5. select who you want to talk to before a phone conversation event have phone conversation events with people nationally and internationally while  eliminating long distance phone costs (using VoIP Internet phones, international callers can take advantage of these events)
  6. send follow-up e-mails to those you have just spoken to immediately after an  event
  7. help you find people, clients, customers, partnerships, work, and more
  8. conduct meetings and mastermind and brainstorm with others
  9. strengthen connections from other networking sites such as Linkedin, Ecademy, and Facebook, from the convenience of your home, office, or even country
  10. Celebritize YOU by sharing with the world via phone networking

Now is the time to celebritize YOU and start seeing results from your networking efforts by signing up at http://www.blitztime.com/events/3284-1128767286-160379


 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship  
   
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05
Jan

Google, Yahoo, and MSN have just laid off all their employees?!

Have these search engines decided that the visitors and users can do the job without any paid staff? Are they now encouraging the world to continue supporting their businesses by providing the content, images, videos, ads, and culture?

Have the major search engines really given their staff the boot? No!

But they do have their doors wide open, as always, for anyone to contribute by continuing to take part in the production and publishing. In other words, the success of the Internet is due to the participation of the users.

This has led to the new buzz word “social media”. The best way to describe social media is that it is the content that has been created by its audience, its society. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter are forms of social media as the content is created by their members.  Although you may not work for the search engines or social media sites, you are helping to create their content and culture. How amazing and powerful is that? Wow!

So the next time you sit down and tweak your profile, post a blog, or add a comment think about the tremendous step that you are taking in expressing yourself to the world. It is indeed much bigger than your 140-character tweet!


 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
   
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05
Jan

Networking is the New Revolution!

thenetwork__.jpg

Here are some of the reasons why networking is growing at lightning speed:

The ability to express yourself.

Connecting to others locally and globally.

Connecting with people you may typically may not get a chance to talk to.

The economy crisis leads more people to post their profile and resumes on line in order to look for work, switch careers, and/or promote what they have to offer.

Higher prices lead to staying home more which means more time so it helps to beat boredom.

Networking sites are usually free to use.

Networking sites come in many formats. They offer a wide variety of applications, allowing users to be able to add profiles, photos, blogs, articles, classified ads, upload videos, and much more.

Joining different groups of interest has also made networking such a hit.

There are many more reasons why networking has become the new revolution but there’s not enough room in this blog. Here are some of the most popular networking sites according to InsideCRM:
  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a popular networking site where alumni, business associates, recent graduates and other professionals connect online.
  2. Ecademy: Ecademy prides itself on “connecting business people” through its online network, blog and message-board chats, as well as its premier BlackStar membership program, which awards exclusive benefits.
  3. Focus: Focus is a business destination where business professionals can help each other with their purchase and other business decisions by accessing research and peer expertise. Most importantly, Focus provides open, quality information for all businesses that is freely available, easily accessible, and community powered.
  4. YorZ: This networking site doubles as a job site. Members can post openings for free to attract quality candidates.
  5. Xing: An account with networking site Xing can “open doors to thousands of companies.” Use the professional contact manager to organize your new friends and colleagues, and take advantage of the Business Accelerator application to “find experts at the click of a button, market yourself in a professional context [and] open up new sales channels.”
  6. FacebookFacebook is no longer just for college kids who want to post their party pics. Businesses vie for advertising opportunities, event promotion and more on this social-networking site.
  7. Care2: Care2 isn’t just a networking community for professionals: It’s touted as “the global network for organizations and people who Care2 make a difference.” If your business is making efforts to go green, let others know by becoming a presence on this site.
  8. Gather: This networking community is made up of members who think. Browse categories concerning books, health, money, news and more to ignite discussions on politics, business and entertainment. This will help your company tap into its target audience and find out what they want.
  9. MEETin.org: Once you’ve acquired a group of contacts in your city by networking on MEETin.org, organize an event so that you can meet face-to-face.
  10. Tribe: Cities like Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Chicago have unique online communities on tribe. Users can search for favorite restaurants, events, clubs and more.
  11. Ziggs: Ziggs is “organizing and connecting people in a professional way.” Join groups and make contacts through your Ziggs account to increase your company’s presence online and further your own personal career.
  12. Plaxo: Join Plaxo to organize your contacts and stay updated with feeds from Digg, Amazon.com, del.icio.us and more.
  13. NetParty: If you want to attract young professionals in cities like Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando Fla., create an account with the networking site NetParty. You’ll be able to connect with qualified, up-and-coming professionals online, then meet them at a real-life happy-hour event where you can pass out business cards, pitch new job openings and more.
  14. Networking For Professionals: Networking For Professionals is another online community that combines the Internet with special events in the real world. Post photos, videos, résumés and clips on your online profile while you meet new business contacts.

You’re an amazing person with a lifetime of experiences, skills, and talents to share. But if these qualities are not shared or properly displayed, the world may never know. No matter where you are in life and what your goals may be, people are the most important resource to help you meet your goals and dreams. Others need you, as well, in reaching their needs and wants.

This is why networking is so important. But only the right type of networking and not the ones that lead you to frustration, spending needless time, effort, and money. Genuine, positive, and mutual connections and relations should be the focus when networking. In other words, relational-business connections should be the goal as it is the balance between social and business networking. For example, if your connections are strictly business, then this may work a few times or temporarily but approaching someone with a business-only approach won’t be effective in the long run. In fact, it usually is a quick way to make a not-so-good first impression. You know these types of connections by their immediate e-mail or chat, “Hi. Check out my website and get a 20% discount if you purchase within the next seven days.” People tend to want to flee from the all-business “introduction”. Like in reality, many people, when approached with a sudden sales pitch, want to find a way to get out of there fast, make excuses, or if they do make a purchase, it’s very unlikely that they’ll buy again or tell their friends.

On the other end of the spectrum, those who are too sociable and/or mix too much social networking with business tend to run people off due to their lack of professionalism and unclear goals. You can spot these people by their profiles, websites, and conversations. “Hey, how ya doin’? So I have this commercial fishing business and, well, you should hang out with me some time and we can throw back a few beers, and, hey, check out the prices of each trip at my website.” Their pages and sites contain a mix of personal photos, some professional links, some scanned letters from loved ones, and their posted comments (whether written by them or posted by others) are extremely varied. This is not effective when trying to conduct business and to network for professional purposes.

A balance between the two (business and social networking) which I shall call “relational business” networking provides the best approach for positive, genuine, and mutual connections. These connections are similar to the way we successfully conduct business in the real world. A little bit of getting to know someone on a personal level mixed in with talks of business projects and collaborations. A conversation about a possible conference blended with a hint of humor. You get the point as it’s just natural and logical. In other words, just be REAL.

So go out and network to your heart’s content but keep it genuine, positive, and mutual. Then you will find much success through your networking efforts.


 January 5th, 2011  
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 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
   
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05
Dec

Jobs are at an all-time decline. Business Networking is at an all-time rise.

newsTwo million in the USA lost their jobs since March 2009. This brings the total up to 5.1 million people having lost their jobs since the beginning of 2008, reports CNNMoney.com. This is the highest unemployment rate that the United States has seen in 25 years. The unemployment rate has climbed to a staggering 8.5%. The industries hit the hardest are manufacturing and construction. The amount of hours for the work week has also been cut in all industries. People have to turn to different methods in order to look for work, promote themselves, and their businesses, and to increase sales. This is one reason why networking has become so popular. Networking is not just for socializing anymore. By networking with others, one can reach his or her goals faster. There is only so much time and energy in which an individual has to accomplish things. Yet if he or she has a network of people with whom he or she can turn to, then much more can be accomplished. Business networking is seeing an enormous rise and the popularity of business networking sites have soared dramatically. Yet many still fail to understand networking. The biggest problem is that most people begin with a first impression –their profile — that is incomplete or even nonexistent. Having a profile that truly reveals the personable you and the professional you is the first impression that you send out to the world. This is the one chance that you have to get the world to take notice and to take action. So don’t blow it. Make that profile work for you! Don’t be shy to celebritize you. You do it all the time naturally. You did it when you landed your jobs before using your resume and/or phone calls and interviews. It’s not different online other than the fact that it is called a profile. Make that profile completely reveal who you truly are!


 December 5th, 2009  
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 Entrepeneurship, Social Media  
   
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