In the Image of God

Rowan, my 9 year old daughter, says many wise things. 

Some on purpose, others unintentionally.

A friend recommended that I should listen to a “Bible In a Year” program, and, always open to new ways to become inspired as I do my exercises, I started today.

My daughter happened to walk in as Nicky Gumbel was discussing how we are all made in God’s image.

To this, she made the sort of quip that 9 year olds are wont to do, that contains wisdom they do not realize.

She made a face and said, “It this in God’s image?”

Email Image

(Not the actual face the she made, but close enough for the story)

First, I chuckled at her expression.

At first, I was about to give the adult answer that, no, that’s not what it means.

But I stopped myself.

I paused to hear the wisdom in her childlike humor.

That is not all of what it means, but it is some of what it means.

That precisely the image of the God who created the platypus.

It is the image of the God who puts a hilarious billboard on the highway next to the traffic jam we are stuck in.

It is the face of God who, in the midst of our most serious and weighty world creates regular moments of levity, humor, and joy.

Take a look at your own face.

(Take a selfie if you don’t have a mirror handy)

Created in the image of God that is.
Take a moment to think about that. 
Every wrinkle, blemish, and imperfection, created in the image of God.
All of your foibles, errors, mistakes, and weaknesses are created in the image of God.

And what if you don’t believe in God?

That’s okay. But even if you don’t, I encourage you to try this little exercise of looking at yourself and saying “That is in the image of God.”

Just try it on. See how you like it.

No need to take it too seriously. It’s just some advice out of an email from some guy.

Maybe make a funny face while you do it.

Did you know I produce a daily podcast called Morning Motivation?

It’s true, and it’s a lot of stuff like this: thoughts to get you motivated in the morning (thus the name)

You can find it here.

SEO and Networking

Brandon Leibowitz asked me to share this article for him. SEO is all about backlinks, so it’s an easy way to help him out, and my audience might learn something, so here you go!

How Would You Tie SEO to Networking

In the vast realm of the digital landscape, where websites jostle for attention like eager vendors in a bustling marketplace, the art of SEO strategies for networking emerges as a beacon of connection. Imagine your website as a charismatic storyteller and SEO as its megaphone, broadcasting its tales far and wide across the bustling crowds of the internet. But here’s the twist: this storyteller doesn’t just want an audience; it wants connections, interactions, and relationships. This is where the synergy of SEO and networking comes into play, weaving a narrative that’s not only discoverable but also intimately engaging.

The Dance of Algorithms and Relationships

Picture this: You’ve just launched a captivating website, a virtual art gallery showcasing your mesmerizing paintings. You’ve adorned it with alluring keywords like a gallery hung with the finest masterpieces. Now, what? Well, it’s time to beckon the search engine crawlers, those digital bees that buzz around, collecting nectar in the form of keywords to pollinate search results. This is where your SEO strategy takes its first steps in the grand dance.

But wait, isn’t this article about networking? Absolutely, and here’s where the twist comes in. Imagine if your art gallery not only captured the attention of those curious bees but also enticed art enthusiasts, critics, and fellow painters to mingle amidst your digital canvases. That’s networking in the virtual realm. Your SEO keywords serve as the opening lines of introduction, while your networking efforts are the vibrant conversations that keep the art connoisseurs returning for more.

Content: The Magnetic Host

To intertwine SEO and networking seamlessly, consider your website as a grand hosting event. The heart of this soirée? High-quality content. Just as a charismatic host can make or break a gathering, your content plays a pivotal role. It’s not just about stuffing keywords; it’s about crafting an engaging narrative that resonates with your audience. For instance, if your website revolves around pet care tips, your content should be a delightful mix of informative advice and heartwarming anecdotes about your own furry companions.

Here’s where SEO waltzes in. Sprinkle those strategic keywords naturally throughout your content – in titles, introductions, and sprinkled like confetti throughout. But remember, just like a host wouldn’t bombard their guests with the same topic, don’t overstuff keywords. It’s like adding too much spice to a dish – a little enhances the flavor, but too much ruins it.

The Art of Linking

Imagine you’re at a glamorous gala, where every person you meet introduces you to someone new, expanding your circle and creating potential collaborations. In the digital realm, these introductions are akin to backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites that direct visitors to your site. They not only drive traffic directly but also indicate to search engines that your site is credible and relevant.

Let’s say you run a blog offering gardening tips. If a renowned horticulturist links to your blog when discussing practical gardening techniques, that’s like a glowing recommendation from an expert at the gardening gala. It’s a nod that can make search engines like Google raise an intrigued eyebrow at your website, potentially boosting your rankings.

The Social Media Shindig

Ah, social media – the bustling bazaar of the digital age. Just like a lively street market, social media platforms are teeming with people, conversations, and opportunities. This is where networking transcends the confines of your website and ventures into the vast realm of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Let’s say you have a fashion blog. Sharing your latest post about vintage fashion finds on your social accounts is like hosting a fashion show. As your friends and followers applaud and share, the spotlight on your post intensifies. This is where our keyword, “SEO strategies for networking,” takes center stage. Your social media captions and updates should elegantly weave in these keywords, enhancing their visibility. It’s like whispering secrets at a party – people lean in to hear what’s intriguing.

The Ripple Effect

Imagine dropping a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples spread. Networking, too, has a ripple effect. Engaging with your audience isn’t a monologue; it’s a dynamic exchange. Respond to comments on your blog posts, engage in conversations on social media, and participate in relevant forums or online communities.

Now, think of each of these interactions as a ripple. The more ripples you create, the broader the impact on your network. As these ripples extend outward, they also reach the shores of search engines. This is where the magic happens. The more your content is shared and engaged with, the more search engines interpret it as valuable and relevant, potentially pushing it higher up in search results.

Conclusion: The Unbreakable Bond

In this journey where SEO and networking entwine like dance partners, remember that it’s not about mere coexistence. It’s about building an unbreakable bond. Your SEO strategies illuminate the path, while networking enriches the experience. So, how would you tie SEO to networking? It’s like weaving a tapestry, where keywords and connections thread together to create an intricate, captivating narrative.

As we conclude our exploration, imagine your website not as a static entity but as a living, breathing entity that thrives on connections. Much like the fragile ecosystem of a coral reef, where each creature relies on others for sustenance and survival, your website flourishes when nourished by the synergy of SEO and networking.

And now, as a parting gift, a treasure map to further insights awaits you at SEO strategies for networking. Go forth, explore, and continue the journey of weaving your own masterpiece in the digital realm. Just remember, the dance of SEO and networking is ongoing – a rhythm that harmonizes discovery and connection.

As we bid adieu, may your website’s symphony echo far and wide, a testament to the artistry of tying SEO to networking.

Brandon Leibowitz is the founder of SEO Optimizers, a Digital Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, California. He is also the founder of, a social media news log. He has been involved with search engine optimization and internet marketing since 2007.

The Corruptors of Networking

Why do so many people hate networking so much?

🤝Networking is about building relationships, sharing resources, helping people, finding support, building a community. 🤝

Who could hate that?

We hate networking because the concept of networking has been Corrupted.

REAL Networking is about collaboration, relationships, and communities.

But Corrupted Networking is about elevator pitches, prospects, leads, sales, and predatory tactics.

If something is corrupted, then someone corrupted it, and I have come up with 5 archetypes of networking Corruptors, which I then asked DALL-E to draw for me. (I’m not sure which one is which in the picture)

Continue reading “The Corruptors of Networking”

I was a 15 Year Old Coach

The first time I used the skills of what I would later come to call coaching was at the age of 15.

I’m going to get into some fairly heavy issues in this message including abuse and suicidal ideation, so if you’d rather not continue, you can read this article about how I married the most beautiful woman in the world instead.

OK, on with the story.

Friends, especially female friends, would come to me and share their problems, and I would listen. 

Some of these problems were quite serious. 

One friend’s father physically abused her. 

Another dealt with powerful body image issues. 

Yet another had developed tremendous insecurity from the medical establishment telling her that she was defective.

Self harm and suicidal ideation were common.

Various adults told me that if a friend expressed suicidal thoughts to me, that I should tell the authorities and let the professionals handle it.

Except I didn’t trust the authorities. Many of these friends had been through the system, and many had come out worse for it.

Taking someone in crisis and ripping them away from all coping mechanisms and support structures to put them in a strange place surrounded by people with more severe issues overseen by an overworked and exhausted staff doesn’t always yield the most positive results. 

The overreaction of their parents leading to an increase in their already overprotective and authoritarian tendencies didn’t help either.

Add to that the inherent sexism of a mental health industry in the 90s that saw teenage girls as inherently defective, and I did not see that as a respectful choice to make for them..

When you’re young, everything seems possible and everything seems normal. Whatever your life is is what it is, so this seemed perfectly normal to me.

Doesn’t everyone talk their friends in high school out of suicide attempts?

Looking back, two and a half decades later, I realize that the fact that, every week or so, I’d be the one talking someone down from a potential self harm or suicide attempt is not the typical teenage experience (although more common that we might think.)

I didn’t have training for this. I didn’t have any support, because if I did ask anyone for help, they would call in the authorities. I didn’t even have the Internet in 1995.

What I did have was a desire to help, the gifts of intuition and empathy that God had granted me, and the arrogant sense of duty of a 15 year old boy placed in a situation where he could step up.

No one I was talking to ever made a suicide attempt.

Did I prevent them? Who can tell?

Did I give them an ear and a shoulder when they needed it? I think so.

A few years ago, one of these friends reached out to me after not talking for 20 years because she was in crisis again, which tells me I must have been doing something right.

I learned a great deal from the experience. 

I learned about the challenges of growing up female in the 90s (many of which continue to exist today although some things are improving), trying to make impossible compromises among competing needs, drives, and expectations.

I learned the importance of a parent understanding their child and working for their best ultimate outcome, rather than seeing them as an extension of the parent.

I learned that the worst way to prevent a kid from doing something is strict, authoritarian rules.

I learned that the authoritarian parenting style that many parents were taught (and too many are still taught) is ineffective at best and destructive at worst.

I hadn’t thought much about this in a long time, but for some reason, I woke up thinking about it today.

The skills I used in high school are the core talents of a coach. Since then, I have gotten coaching certifications and more formal training, much of which gave me some great clarity on why things I did instinctively worked so well.

I don’t do much crisis coaching anymore, but I do help people to identify their blocks, clarify goals, and uncover power they didn’t know they have to achieve their best life.

This is what I do for my coaching clients.

If you feel called to explore becoming one of those clients, let’s have a call.

I will share more about what a coach does, what I do as a coach, and how I might serve you.

If that’s not you, but you know someone who it might apply to, feel free to forward this to them, or just share the call booking link.

Could you run a summit in a single hour?

Could you host an entire summit with only a single hour of your time?

That’s a good question, and I’m glad you asked it.

I offer a fully done-for-you summit running program. Unlike many other summit running programs, this one requires an absolute minimum of involvement from you in the planning phase. I set up the pages. I find the speakers. I write the copy. I push the speakers to promote. And, I’m there as an MC to help everything run smoothly. You show up and get the elevation of being the host.

What I assume my clients do while I set up their summit

The exciting thing about having an offer like this is thinking of new applications.

Continue reading “Could you run a summit in a single hour?”

Don’t Let Legacy Projects Ossify Your Organization

“How can we take on that new project when we can’t even find the people to run the projects we already have?”

If an organization has been around long enough, it has legacy projects. A legacy project is a project that was created in the past by a well respected member and does (or used to) create powerful outcomes.

It could be a fundraiser. It could be a community service project. It could be a social event.

What is important is that it’s been around for a while and the club feels an obligation to keep it running. It has gone from being a project of the club to being a core function of the club, whether it is or not.

And if you’re not careful, it could destroy your club.

Continue reading “Don’t Let Legacy Projects Ossify Your Organization”

The Pitch Pretending to Be Training

Recently, I attended a webinar and I learned something very important.

However, I didn’t learn it from the content of the webinar because the webinar was thoroughly devoid of educational content.

I learned it from what happened next.

The fellow teaching the webinar I knew to be a smart guy. I had gotten some good advice from him, and then saw him speak. In that talk, he shared a concept that seemed interesting. He invited us to attend his webinar the next week to learn more about it.

Continue reading “The Pitch Pretending to Be Training”

Build Community for Your Funeral, Not Your Financials

“My first business was wildly successful except for never making any money,” is something that you’ll often hear me say.

That first business was Phoenix Games, and it created a robust and valuable community that was a great value for many of the people who were part of it.

Ultimately that community was done in by the scarcity created by the lack of money and by my own youthful arrogance.

I’ve always been a community builder. I personally crave connection, and I have never been terribly good at keeping track of individual friends. When I build a community, a space, whether physical or virtual, where the kind of wonderful people I like to associate with can come together, I can find the connection that I seek.

I hope that this also helps the other people in the community to find the connection, support, and love that they seek as well.

As I have been building the Entrepreneur Mentor Community, I have been giving a lot of thought to what would make it successful. Yes, I would like it to be profitable. It’s not a charity. It is a business. But money is a side effect of doing it right.

Too many people try to build “communities” that are nothing more than sales funnels. They are icky and gross. They are a pale simulation of community. Worst, they feed on our deepest desires as humans and feed us fake connection with the intention of manipulating us out of our money.

Then there are some who do an amazing job at building a loving and supportive business community. Joint Venture Insider Circle does an incredible job of this. When I attended their live event in October, it was like a family reunion. Hugs and smiles all around. Sure the event had good content, but what made it worth the trip was the feeling of connection.

So, what is my KPI on the Entrepreneur Mentor Community and other communities I might build? It’s my funeral. And my anniversary. And my birthday party.

I have come to realize that the ultimate measure of success for me is not how much money I can get in my bank account. It’s how many people will show up to my funeral. You show up to the funeral of someone who has touched your life, someone who has made a difference for you.

I want a community where there is true connection. I want the kind of place where if someone in the group hears that you’re coming to town, they’ll say “The door’s unlocked. Come on by.” I want a community of people that I’d trust to teach my daughter.

It’s not that money’s not important. My first community failed because money is the lifeblood of any enterprise. Without it, you can’t keep the lights on.

Money is so important that it must be made the right way.

And the right way is to build that community of trust, support, and love. People want to do business with people that they can trust. Not some artificial “know, like, and trust” but honestly and authentically knowing, liking, and trusting them.

That cannot be achieved through any funnel or any marketing strategy. It can only be achieved by putting good people in proximity (physical or virtual) over time to develop relationships.

As I look at the list of people I have invited as Mentors, and those I am continuing to invite. I give no thought to how much revenue they can bring to the project. I invite people who have the right spirit, the right energy, and the right character. I invite people who can help build this kind of space, and who, hopefully, are as excited as I am to be part of it.

Sure, we’ll make money, but my mission is to create something so much more valuable than that: a community.