If You’re An Expert, I’m Oprah Winfrey

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“If You’re an Expert, I’m Oprah Winfrey”

In the digital world, there’s TONS of ways to learn, but there is a pandemic of people claiming to be experts in various areas, and going on to teach faulty methods and give bad advice — And, of course, hurting people in the process. It just makes me CRAZY!

So, I have developed this: The ‘Discerning’ Litmus Test for Spotting Psuedo-Experts

1) Does this person have social credibility? Are they active and engaged in the digital world? Are they a “real person” or hiding behind a fake name? Are they actually successful in the field for which they
claim to be an expert? For example, does your potential “Social Media Expert” have more than five likes, one of whom is his mama, on his Facebook page? Don’t be afraid to check up on people. If they’ll lie
about who they are, they’ll lie about how they can help you.

2) Have they “faked” their reputations? There are a ton of ways to “buy” likes these days. Sock-likes and some others… people do this and get big numbers, meanwhile they don’t know JACK about JACK and they take
people’s money and give them nothing of value in return. You can tell if someone has purchased likes and followers by scrolling back through their list of followers and look for profile names made up of nothing but symbols, or people who speak languages that aren’t the same as the “expert” (Twitter) and by checking their engagement levels (Facebook). If someone has THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of likes/follows, but their news feeds get zero engagement, they’re probably not as awesome as they claim to be.

** Bonus Tip — DON’T buy follows. I’m not talking about getting likes through legit ads that target relevant
demographics, I’m talking about literally, “buy 20,000 followers for $39.99.” DO NOT DO IT, it’s algorithmic suicide. Engagement speaks way, way, way, way louder than numbers.

3) Are they adding value?
Has this person been putting out things that are of high value, useful, problem solving, uplifting, and generally helpful? Typically, expert-level knowledge comes out of a person on its own. If this person has genuinely given of themselves in service, and the other aforementioned boxes have been checked, you could be on the right path!
But, if they have never put out anything of value, I mean, for FREE, they might be full of it. If EVERYTHING they do is ‘pimp-ish’ and every other phrase is “pay me, pay me, pay me…” pump the brakes.

4) FINALLY – there’s no classy way to say this — most actual experts don’t call THEMSELVES experts. I mean, most people who are considered experts have been named as such by another verifiable source. They may
admit to having been coined an expert, but they, themselves, usually don’t jump up and down going “look at me, I am an expert!” If the only person who thinks they know everything is THEM, they’re probably not the one you’re looking for.

Good Luck — If you have questions, or you’ve been burned by a psuedo-expert, please comment and tell us your story!

Small Business, Big Pressure: Getting The Help You Need

Are you a small business owner? Are you an entrepreneur trying to establish a customer base and eke out a living from your passion? There is great pressure involved in running a small business. Issues such as paying rent on a storefront or hiring and training the right people can take priority over other issues that also deserve attention. The truth is, most small business owners cannot, singlehandedly, effectively manage every single part of a smooth, profitable operation.

In addition to pressing matters such as rent or payroll, there are a myriad of challenges facing modern entrepreneurs. For example, business owners should establish an online presence, both with a quality website and through social media. Building a website, managing profiles on Twitter and other sites, along with the day-to-day operations of a business can quickly become overwhelming. Burnout is a real possibility for the individuals vigorously pursuing the American dream, which is why it is important to get qualified and knowledgeable assistance.

At Virtue Marketing, we cannot order new merchandise or train your employees, but we can help with components that are vital to the success of your business. Our team can build an effective website, completely tailored to the needs of your company. We can also manage social media accounts, helping you to establish a comfortable, beneficial relationship with your clients and customers. If necessary, members of our experienced team can also provide counsel on certain business matters and help you get organized.

Tweets, blogs, website design, copywriting, SEO–who has time for all of this on a day-to-day basis? Allow us to free you from these tasks, provide you with a quality product and allow you to focus on what you do best–communicating your passion to your customers.

Small business, big pressure? We can help.

Not Living Your Purpose at Your Job? Build a New One!

Do you dream of finding that perfect career that exemplifies every aspect of your purpose? You are certainly not alone in that wish, but finding a ready-made job that truly fulfills a purpose is not the easiest task in the world. Why? Well, somebody else with a very different purpose created that job or opening.

Before giving up and settling for a less-than-fulfilling career, understand that living a purpose cannot always begin in the classified section. Instead of filling a position in someone else’s purpose, build a career with its foundation solidly formed upon your very own purpose. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners started out by searching to fulfill their own purposes, and what better way to live that purpose than to create the means to do so?

First, it is important to understand your personal definition of purpose and how it contributes to achieving various goals and milestones. Imagine the type of work you could ideally envision doing and the associated type of lifestyle you would have. Create a clear image of what you would be doing and how it would fulfill your purpose.

Now, get it down on paper (digitally or not). List all of the goals related to creating a purpose-filled business and then outline the steps necessary to get the ball rolling on your future success. Make sure you leave out the opportunity to procrastinate by including a timeline for each goal to be completed.

Reached the end of your list? Congratulations! You are well on your way to living the best possible purpose-filled life.

Are You a Business Hoarder?

Hoarders can come in all varieties, ranging from those who can never part with a single piece of clothing to the lady down the road with 20 cats roaming through her house. Some of the more common types of hoarders can be spotted by the contents of their homes, but there are still those who slip by unnoticed, including the business hoarder.

Unable to let go of any aspect of their businesses — even the unprofitable aspects — business hoarders hang on for dear life to even the most useless products, services and money-drains. Business hoarders are also less likely to succeed at growing a healthy and sustainable company.

Business hoarders might also try to grow too big, too fast by adding in as many products and utilizing every business service possible. Even when those things begin to steadily drag a business into the red, letting go can be too difficult and too painful for the business hoarder. When it comes to the 11th hour, there’s only one thing left to do…

Rip off the Band-Aid.

If hoarding unprofitable business practices and products has run a startup into the ground, there is nothing left to do but start unloading the dead weight as quickly as possible. The results likely will not be immediate, but slimming down and reworking the business model can give a company the boost it needs to eventually overcome the ill-effects of business-practice hoarding.

Open up New Pipelines for Better Wealth Accumulation

Sure, accumulating wealth through a single pipeline of income might seem like a great idea, but even with an enormous amount of hard work and effort, that single flow might not produce the kind of measurable results for which dedicated business owners strive. In order to see the kind of growth in wealth for which they are looking, many owners turn to second sources of income. And no, they are not frothing milk behind a bar or bussing tables at the diner around the corner.

Instead of placing all of the proverbial wealth in one income basket, establishing a secondary business or startup can provide an additional and stable flow that can contribute to desired wealth growth. However, before racing out to start that second business, take the following into account:

Required Effort

Even with employees, freelancers and contractors, starting a business requires a commitment of time and resources. Even those who have been in the business world for years cannot escape the dedication that new startups require. For a secondary business, keep it simple.



The secondary business is not only to help solve a problem or meet an unmet need but to also help one reach a personal goal. Completely depleting any previously accumulated wealth to start a smaller, sidebusiness will not necessarily produce a desirable return on investment.


New Isn’t Always Better

Instead of creating another business from the ground up, purchasing another already-established company can be a viable option. Buying out a supplier can increase income and introduce cost-saving measures at the same time.


While no new venture should be approached without caution and in-depth knowledge of the possible risks, seasoned business owners are typically already intimately familiar with everything involved with the startup process.

Getting Things Done, With or Without the Motivation

Maintaining a productive and goal-oriented day might seem easy enough after hitting the first cup of coffee, but soon after reality usually hits and daily tasks and goals can take a nosedive. By the end of the day, to-do lists remain as long (or longer) as they were in the morning and many goals can still sit just out of reach.

Tired of the daily grind that produces little (if anything) to show for all of that work? It is probably time to shake up the system a little.

  • Make big goals little. Taking huge, long-term goals and breaking them down into a series of smaller, short-term goals can provide consistent feelings of accomplishment and help people stay focused and encouraged on reaching the next step.
  • Outline every step. Sure, it might seem unnecessary to tell someone, “Open up the trash can, remove the bag, tie it at the top, carry it outside and place it in the garbage bin,” instead of simply saying, “Hey! Take the trash out,” but for the unmotivated, spelling it out can be undeniably useful. Not up to the to-do list today? Try taking a few of those baby steps and notice how fast the ball starts rolling.
  • Do it anyway. Fire up the coffee pot and turn the TV off, it is time to just get it done. Motivated or not, some things just need to be completed.

Try listening to music with a quick beat or taking a quick walk around the street before settling in with the new and improved daily list. A bit of physical activity and some engaging music can be just the trick to help jump start motivation when it is noticeably lacking.

What If I Just Don’t Have a Purpose?

For those wondering if they happened to be absent on the day when purposes were doled out, day-to-day life can feel empty and unfulfilling. While this can understandably leave individuals feeling drained and disappointed in their outlooks on life, it is far from an indication that they were not lucky enough to snag a purpose. Instead, all it means is that their purpose is still there, waiting for them to dig down deep and discover what it truly is.

But what if those feelings of emptiness are not quite so sharp, or experiencing unfulfillment is not a daily occurrence? These people might feel mostly satisfied while floating through the years under the impression that there simply is no purpose for their lives. Instead of accepting that an exciting and fuel-driven life is simply out of the question, grab a pen and piece of paper to answer the following:

  • Are you living every day to its full potential?
  • Does daily life fill you with passion and excitement?
  • Do you spend enough time on the things that you truly love and love doing?

And finally:

  • If you could be doing anything at all, what would it be?

Take some time to review what you wrote down. Is there a common theme winding through your words? If so, consider what that means. There is a possibility that you might have just written down your purpose without ever realizing it.

Increase Productivity Without Trying

Do you find it difficult to complete tasks or finish your to-do list by the end of the day? No matter their employment situation, many Americans are constantly searching for ways to increase their productivity and get more done. There is a mindset in the business world that encourages longer work days and fewer vacations, all in the name of higher profits and pulling ahead of the competition. However, there is research that indicates that people who wish to increase productivity should take a long lunch–as long as two hours. It is possible that the key to getting more done is to actually do less. 

In many European countries, it is a standard practice to take a significant break in the afternoons. Despite the fact that they are working fewer hours, workers are still productive, effective and competitive. Research indicates that it is good for the brain to break from work in the middle of the day. During a lunch break, try intentionally giving yourself a mini-vacation by trying a few of the following:

  1. Read a book
  2. Visit with friends
  3. Take a nap
  4. Exercise
  5. Engage in a hobby

Two hours in the middle of the day can rejuvenate the brain, provide the motivation to finish tasks and actually increase the amount of work that you can get done during the duration of your work day. A significant midday break may seem counterintuitive, but it could be the key to increasing personal productivity and that of your employees.

Do not be afraid to take a break. Your brain will thank you–and so will your to-do list.