This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Artist's Way

It's official. I started another 12 weeks of working with Julia Cameron's masterpiece, The Artist's Way, today. It's a book that's been on my reading list for years, probably since the first time I read it in 1999. I've read it at least four more times since.

I especially encourage it for personal growth--and not just what it was written for--to unblock your creative energy.

The book and all that you do because of it becomes a great outside motivational force that transforms into an internal motivational force during the 12 weeks of reading it. But it's not just a book you read. As I mentioned, you do things because of it. It's 12 weeks of DIY therapy.

First, you learn about the benefits of journaling. Only Cameron calls this the act of writing your Morning Pages. You write three pages every morning for the full 12 weeks--and then hopefully continue the process once you've finished the book.

You are also required to take an Artist Date with yourself. This is the kind of date that you do alone, no one else allowed, to help open your mind to see and acknowledge new insights, inspirations, and guidance. Sometimes, we have to be reminded we need to be open to that. These special dates help unblock a stagnant life. And this is the main reason I was drawn back to Cameron's book--I knew I needed to revisit the Artist Date. I've been starved of this kind of self-nurturing. Without it, creativity is stymied, and you don't know what to do exactly with the creativity you have. My creative self has been in need of nourishment for quite some time, in very specific ways. And I am finally acknowledging my Killer instincts, which apparently were not as honed in as they needed to be. So I'm correcting that by working this book and scheduling the Artist Dates. Cameron calls this "filling the well."

After each chapter, for the next 12 weeks, Cameron has her readers doing exercises. There are several listed, but you don't have to do them all. You may spend approximately 10 hours a week with the book and its processes for the next 12 weeks, but it's worth it.

You see results: You'll gain clarity. You'll find solutions to inner challenges you knew you had but didn't know what to do about. You'll free your mind to think more creatively. And you'll get work done. I've doubled my productivity and my income each time I've committed fully to the process.

If you are in need of this kind of motivation and are willing to set aside the time to work this process, you will see positive results. Julia Cameron will change the way you think. And you don't have to be an artist to benefit from her wisdom. Lawyers, teachers, engineers, and artists of all kinds have experienced positive growth because of The Artist's Way.

If you've already heard of this book and have benefited from it, share with us your success story. If you're interested in going through the process with me, I'll be publishing a weekly check-in and would be happy to include you in on the process. We can work the program together for added motivation. Just let me know by posting a comment below.

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good news from Google Analytics

On occasion, I check my blog stats for specific information and just learned the link to this post below (dated in May of 2009) is the favorite all-time post. The post,"Crazy is as crazy does," earned the most page views of all of the 400+ posts I've written here at B.I.K.E. WITH JACKIE since 2007. That's good news to get from Google Analytics.

When was the last time you checked your stats for such detail? Why not check them now? Post the link to your blog's all-time favorite post, either here or on your own blog, and let's share comments back and forth to keep the dialogue going--and maybe attract a few new readers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lessons from International Freelancers' Day

One obstacle I've been experiencing lately is lack of ENOUGH work. It's getting harder and harder to find regular work in my industry. Magazines are dying out. Publications that do still exist are buying less from freelancers. And it just takes more and more work to prospect for whatever opportunities are out there. At times, I feel very frustrated about the whole idea. BUT, prospecting is still a large part of my job, and as they say in show business, "the show must go on." I still have to prospect. If I intend to stay in business -- and I do -- I still have to do what it takes to find the work, no matter where it is. I just have to dig deeper and learn something new, if that's what it takes.

So to overcome this obstacle, I'm participating in International Freelancers' Day.

I'm watching the introductory videos this morning. But I've already learned so much and am including a few tips for you in today's post. Even if you're not a writer or a speaker, but are somehow self-employed, you'll get a few take-aways from the lessons I'm learning. Here are a few:

If you're not using LinkedIn's service to prospect for clients, you should be. It's free, and you can use the Company search (Advanced) function to find just about anyone you might like to contact, especially if you know the job title and company. Just make sure you search for "current" contacts.

If you don't have a large network on LinkedIn, specific names may not show up. But you can still find the contact names once your search is complete, and you have a title for that company. Just copy/save the title and company names that show up in your search and post them on Google. Your Google search will then likely lead you to the correct person to contact by phone or e-mail.

One way to be sure you're getting as much as possible out of your job search or client prospecting is to follow up. If this is an area you struggle with, it's a good bet you're not tracking your efforts well enough. It's a good idea to either invest in or create your own tracking program. Copywriter Ed Gandia says a tracking program, or some formal way to track your contacts, will help you stay on top of your pitches, quotes and introductions. And you'll likely land more jobs, clients or assignments.

If you're selling a specific skill, talent or service, creating a FREE report that you can offer via your Web site could be an effective way to attract more clients. Steve Slaunwhite, one of the conference co-founders, says in one of the introductory videos that the time -- and sometimes money -- it takes to create a 10-page example of your expertise can be well worth the investment. He suggests these tips to ensure it's effective:

A) Pick the right topic, one that is both related to what you do and that would be of high interest to your target market.

B) Write it well. Your free report must include exceptional writing, especially if that's what you're selling, and solid content that is well-researched. If you can afford to hire an editor, do that as well.

C) Make it look good. Slaunwhite says you want to offer something that is well-designed, including an attractive cover and a clean layout. This is going to present an image of you, and you want that image to look good. He suggests it might be wise to hire a designer for this part of the job. One suggestion from me: Find someone who will trade services with you if you cannot afford the cost.

D) Be sure to pitch your services on the last page. This is where you include your bio, your relative background, and also how your readers can connect with you. In order for them to get the free report, they would have given your their contact information. Now it's their turn to get yours. This doesn't have to be a hard sell. Just let them know if they need your services, you're available, and here's how they can reach you. Include your name, phone number, e-mail address and Web site address. If you're just starting out or starting over, offering a free report can be a great way to help launch your business.

If these tips are helpful, I encourage you to sign up for the conference. Just click on the link above.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remove the sexting district attorney from office now!

There can be no room for a district attorney who uses his office to intimidate a crime victim. None.

Which means to me that the story in the news this week about the Wisconsin district attorney in Calumet County, Ken Kratz, who has been accused of sexting a domestic violence victim, suggesting she date him (among the 30 messages sent to her via cell phone), is a story about a DA who no longer has a job.

Or at least it should be. News reports today suggest that the governor will attempt to use his constitutional right to remove the elected official, but some people aren't so sure that will fly.

My question to anyone who has read this news and anyone who lives in Wisconsin, or anyone who has any interest in this case whatsoever: why not?

The guy should be out of office, and he should be out today.

Just the mere thought that Kratz would use his office to intimidate a women, let alone a victim who comes to his office for help, surely cannot be acceptable, especially since his behavior isn't merely suspected behavior--He's admitted it and claims he's seeking counseling.

Who cares if he's seeking counseling?! Clearly, he needs it. As many as two other victims have since come forward, and I suspect there are probably others. That's not the point. Counseling, in this case, is just the start of this guy's fix. This kind of behavior requires several years of professional help, and that's not really a fix. That's a repair, a repair that is in no way ever guaranteed. No county can afford to have at the head of its criminal investigations team a guy like this one. There should be no second-guessing here.

Yes, I realize, he's merely been accused. BUT the text messages are out there, and he's actually admitted the offense. Yes, he's even apologized. But that's not enough. He needs to go. Neither should it be enough that his colleagues suggest he step down. He doesn't want to. His arrogance won't allow him to do the right thing. So his higher up, the governor, or his constituents, are going to have to lead the charge and boot him out. Make it today.

Tomorrow, the only news we should be reading in the paper about this guy is that he's cleared out his office and has left the building--and won't be back unless it's to be booked for his crime.

Then, the county and state better be prepared to deal with the lawsuits that will follow. This guy is not going to pay for his crimes. Nosiree. But you can bet the county and state surely will. So, get the guy out now before there is even more hell to pay.

Anyone disagree with me out here?

If you haven't seen the article and want to know more, here's the link:

Let's talk about this.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Five Ws of Motivation

In J-school (The J stands for "journalism" for those of you who may not know), one of the first lessons I learned involved how to get the information I'd need to know to write a story. In other words: What questions would I need to ask? The information derived from my sources, based on the basic questions asked, would help motivate me to ask more questions, get to the specifics, and write the story for each of my assignments.

I can use this same lesson to motivate me today, for just about any task. For instance, the questions are as follows:






Not only do these questions work well in gathering information for a story, but they also work well when I'm feeling less than motivated to start a new project of any kind. When I'm feeling unmotivated, I can simply start asking myself these questions:

Who am I working for on this particular project? No matter if I'm working for an editor or the president of a specific company or organization, they need me to get the job done. I'm accountable to them. It helps to be reminded of that.

job do I need to do first? This question will help me prioritize my list of things to do.

When should I get it done? If I don't have a deadline, I can set one for myself. That action step will help me stay focused.

should I go to gather the information I need to complete the task? Are there people I can call? Is there a resource I can use? Knowing the answer to this will help limit the time I spend on research.

Why am I doing this job, anyway? Is this a project that furthers my personal business goals? If it doesn't, and I find myself procrastinating, that could be the reason for my delay. It's a good question to answer ahead of time, before taking on the project in the first place.

If you find yourself in need of a quick fix in the motivation department, try using the 5 Ws to determine what questions you might need to ask yourself first. They could generate exactly the answers you need to get the project started.

Hope "The Five Ws of Motivation" help you get your week off on the right path. And, by the way, you can engineer the questions to fit your specific line of work. Just start with the Five Ws and go from there. And let me know if this works for you by posting a comment below.

See you soon.

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: Try exercise

I'm in need of a quick burst of energy right now, and the only way I know to get it is to wear myself out doing some form of exercise. I prefer biking but also love hiking and walking. Running I'll do, but it's not my favorite. I do that only when I need to be challenged in a physical way.

What's your favorite form of exercise, and does it motivate you to take action?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What awareness of Inner strength can do for you

What if you woke up one day to learn that your own father had tried to kill you when you were just a child? What if you also discovered your own father had killed your own mother and your own brother, that that's why you live with your grandparents?

This was the story Chris Keith learned about his life when he was 12, though he was 5 when it happened. At 30, he's now telling his horrific story to youth groups and juvenile justice centers across the country, teaching struggling youth that they are not alone in this world.

Despite his initial anger at the world, with a lot of help from a best friend, his church pastor, counseling, and his grandparents, this young man was able to move beyond his pain and create a new life.

"Even when we feel we have no inner strength left, you can make it," he says, in the story that ran on CNN last week. It's a powerful testimony to the miracle of awareness and what we can do with it.

Have you read any stories that also speak to this truth lately? If so, would you post a comment and let me know?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Motivation for Mondays

It's Labor Day. I'm sort of taking the day off, but wanted to remind you about the weekly gig I have going on with a fellow tweep over on Twitter...

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Sunday challenge

Yesterday, I walked for a mile backwards along the Arizona canal. The key is I walked BACKWARDS. Not the normal way to move forward, is it?

The reason I chose to walk backward? To change things up. On my walk that morning, I wanted to sort out a few thoughts I had going on inside my head about an upcoming presentation. Once I'd warmed up on the first two miles, I realized I could change things up and maybe that would take my thoughts in a more creative direction. So I turned around and walked backwards for the next mile.

What happened?

_I saw things from a different perspective.
_I became more aware of my surroundings, as I had to keep looking from side to side so I wouldn't walk into anyone coming my way, get hit by one of the cyclists, or walk smack dab into the canal itself.
_I worked on a different set of leg muscles.
_And, yes, I did work out a few kinks in the presentation, ironed out the last detail, and came home to write it all down before I forgot what I wanted to include in the message.

From time to time, it's a good idea to change things up, to do things differently than you normally would and go outside that box. It's like working a different muscle. You'll work a part of your body not generally used, you'll feel differently, think differently, and may wind up with a better result. It's good exercise all the way around to change things up, to surprise yourself with what you can accomplish under different settings, and to challenge yourself to consider an alternative to the norm.

This works especially well when you feel boxed in to an idea or format. If you catch yourself feeling that way, it might be time to force yourself to approach a problem differently. Find someone you know who will expand your own point of view and discuss the problem with them. Open your mind to the possibility that the answer to your challenge is the opposite of what you thought it might be. Maybe it's actually somewhere in the middle. But to get there, you'll have to stretch the boundary a bit. You might have to "exercise" a little courage and risk judgment from others. You might also be very pleased with the result.

Today's challenge for you: Pick one thing you undertake today and do it differently. If it's the dishes, and you're used to stacking the dirty ones in the dishwasher, try washing them by hand today. If you generally use lists to run your errands, skip the lists and see what happens. Will you remember everything? Will you do more than the list might limit you to do? Will you do less because you forgot something? Will the list become obsolete because your idea of what needed to be done changed altogether? At the end of the day, evaluate the change you took. My guess is you'll be surprised by the result. Tell us what happened by posting a comment below.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An epiphany leads me to action

If you have a minute, spend some time here today reviewing my pages. I've made some changes, based on an epiphany I had in a car ride to a meeting yesterday morning. I have big plans for the future, and they will be revealed to you as I take the necessary steps.

Of course, it all has to do with the first change I made in the title of my blog. It's a subtle change, but you might have noticed it; I added dots (or periods) after each letter in B.I.K.E. I'm expecting more clarity in the days ahead. So please continue following me.

I have a lot of positive work to plan, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.