Category Archives: Resources

Author Week: “Lemonade Stand Selling” – Diane Helbig

Lemonade Stand Selling: Accelerate Your Small Business Growth 

Diane Helbig

(Author’s Note:  Diane is a local author I met at a networking event and earlier this year I attended a workshop where she was a presenter.)

“You will realize as you read through this book, sales is simple.  As simple as having a lemonade stand and selling your lemonade.”

Diane Helbig

That is the premise behind “Lemonade Stand Selling.”  Diane breaks down the sales process using easy to understand language with a conversational tone.

Now you are probably thinking “I am not a traveling salesperson selling copiers or widgets, so why should I get this book?”  Well if you are in career transition – you are selling yourself.  If you are employed – you must sell yourself everyday to keep your job.


Diane’s goal in writing the book is:

“… to leave you with the ability to put these ideas into practice and create a strategy that works for you.”

(pg xviii)

She accomplishes her goal by simplifying the sales process and using down to earth language.

Beginning The Process

There is one crucial thing you must have to be successful in sales:

“…a belief in yourself and your product or service.”

(pg xix)

This applies no matter what product or service you are selling and whether it is a company you own or the company where you are employed.  Without this belief you will never succeed in selling anything.

In transition you are selling yourself as the solution to a potential employer’s problem.  If you do not believe in yourself and what you can bring to the company, you will not get hired.

Topics Covered

Diane starts with a chapter on identity, Clarity, and Value and walks you all the way through the process, including chapters on Marketing and Networking, and ends with chapter 11 “Review” in which she hits highlights from the sales process.

Helpful Quotes

Here are two more of my favorite quotes:

“Action cures a lot of things – fear, anxiety, inertia, etc.  So give yourself a nudge, a push – however slight.”

(page 78)

“There is an overriding topic throughout this book, and it is that sales is about relationships.  It’s about the relationship you have with your company, your clients, your prospects, and your network.” 

(pg 86)

Final Thoughts

The book is helpful whether you are a beginner or experienced sales person.  It is well written and belongs in everyone’s library.

Thank you Diane for taking what is a scary subject for most people and making it easy and simple to put into action.

So let your action, your nudge or push be to buy this book.  It is available on Amazon.  You can find out more about Diane and her business coaching products and services at Seize This Day Coaching. 

(Disclaimer:    The above links are  not affiliate links.  I have not received any compensation in exchange for this review.)

Author Week Kick-Off With A Special Event

Welcome to author week.

Reading is one thing that brings me joy.  While married, I did not do a lot of reading  so I am making up for lost time.

Every day will be a review of a recent book.  It is my hope that you will find these reviews helpful and enlightening.

I am going to start author week off with an announcement of a special event, hosted by local author Nanci Gravill,  for visitors to and/or residents of Northeast Ohio.

Nanci’s book is wonderful and filled with lots of resources for life’s ups and downs.   I hope if you are in the area on October 25th you will attend the event.

Special Author Talk + Book Signing ~ October 25

On Thursday, October 25, I will share stories, thoughts, and wisdom at the Gathering Place’s Westlake location at 6:30 p.m. Soon I’ll be a nine-year breast cancer survivor so you’ll learn the influence cancer had on my life and how I came to write my first book Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times. It’s a book that can be a blessing to each of us traveling life’s highway. Join us in a comfortable living room setting at the Gathering Place West followed by a book signing with books and literature for sale (books: $20 cash or check to: Fresh Hope LLC). Everyone is welcome whether your life has been touched by cancer or not. ~ Author, Nanci J. Gravill


Register online or by telephone. Information below. Everyone is welcome!

1. Online: or

2. Call: 216-595-9546

3. FYI: See the Book Signings + Events tab on the author’s blog at

~ Never Heard of The Gathering Place? The Gathering Place is a caring community for those touched by cancer.

If you are in treatment, actively supporting someone with cancer, dealing with emotional/physical effects of treatment, or grieving the loss of someone from cancer you and a friend will enjoy Nanci’s talk on this Thursday evening. If you’re a cancer survivor or interested in the facility and/or my book, we’d love to have you on October 25 as well.

  • Location/Time: The Gathering Place West ~ 6:30 p.m.
  • Address/Phone: 800 Sharon Drive ▪ Westlake, Ohio ▪ 216-595-9546

New Additions

Hello.  No long, deep, thought provoking post today.  Just a quickie to update you about 2 new pages installed late last night.  Both are located in the top menu.


FAQS contains answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to grief and widowhood.  New questions and answers will occasionally be added.

If you have questions about grief and/or widowhood you would like to see answered, please email me at michele dot kearns at

In The News

In The News contains the link for the Cleveland Business Connections Magazine’s article about me and JoyReturns.  Links to other news articles will be posted on this page.

Have a Happy Hump Day,


Bio: Michele Kearns is an expert on grief and widowhood having lived through 10,000+ hours as a widow.  She is becoming an expert on blogging and other forms of social media because of her ability to learn by doing and attending online webinar’s.  Michele can be reached at Michele dot Kearns at with questions, requests for interviews, or blog consulting. Michele has a B.A. in Rhetoric & Communications (emphasis on public speaking) from Kent State University. 

“Fresh Hope … Cleveland” Ideas For Everyone, Everywhere

(Note from Michele:  Sorry there was no fresh post yesterday.  On Wednesday I had issues with WordPress and could not get past the sign-on screen.  Now on to my review of “Fresh Hope … Cleveland by Nanci Gravill.  FYI – I paid for my Kindle version and the links to her site in both today’s and Wednesday’s article are NOT affiliate links.)

I Don’t Know How

Many times people want to help widows or others going through a nasty life event, but do not know how.

Here’s how – buy Nanci Gravill’s book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times.” (order through her site to get a signed copy.)

What A Challenge!

My challenge was to write a blog post without giving away all the information in Nanci’s book.  There are so many resources and ideas and you do not have to live in Cleveland to use this book.  

So I narrowed it down to what is the one idea,  project or quote that would be the most valuable for people who want to help widows?

The 1 Idea –  “Start An Encouragement File”

I LOVE this project and you can find it on page 56.   Since the weekend is here, now is a good time to at least get it started.

5. Start an encouragement file ~ Read it once a week or more if needed. Sometimes there are people who encourage us, but for the most part, we must continue to encourage ourselves. Therefore, save cards and notes that others have given you. Write down the great comments also that people have made about you.


Nanci J. Gravill (2012-02-22). Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times (p. 56). WestBow Press. Kindle Edition.

Michele’s Idea On How To Implement This Project

Make one for a widow and one for yourself. Then take the folder over to the widow and explain this project’s purpose.  Once a week mail the person something encouraging for them to put in their file. Yes, send it snail mail.  You have no idea how excited she will be to receive something in the mail other than bills, political ads, and grocery store flyers.  Getting an uplifting note from you will give her something to look forward to each week.

Even if you write a fantastic new quote you found on a piece of paper and mail it to her, it will be enough.  You do not have to send elaborate cards each week, just something simple.  It is the simple little things that people cherish the most.

Remember while you are doing this for her, you are also keeping a copy for your encouragement file as well.  There will come a time when you need encouragement.

Works Both Ways

If the widow finds something encouraging, she is to mail it to you for your file.

My Challenge To You

This is not a project that will help you support only widows, it will help you support anyone going through troubled times due to:

  • Divorce
  • Job Loss
  • Health Issues
  • Any other issue


This project fits right in line with one of the philosophy statements behind this blog:

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Thank You

Thank you Nanci for including “starting an encouragement file” idea in your book.  Many people will be blessed by it.

So Much More

There is so much more valuable information in this book than what I can discuss in a blog post.  

I am confident it will spark all sorts of ideas of how you can not only help widows get through tough times but also how to help yourself navigate through troubled times.

“Fresh Hope … Cleveland is for everyone, everywhere who wants to help themselves, help widows, or help friends/family going through another type of nasty type of life event.   

How An Author Turns Misfortune Into (Fresh) Hope

(Note from Michele: I am pleased to introduce you to local author Nanci Gravill and her book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate Through Unsettled Times.” (Link to Order Form)   We were introduced to each other by Chuck Miller, a mutual friend.  Thanks Chuck!

Enjoy this article about Nanci and her book.  There is a link to her website where you can order a signed copy.

I am reading the Kindle version, so coming tomorrow will be a post regarding my thoughts on Nanci’s book.  I will tell you this much – I wish I had this book when Joe passed.)

How An Author Turns Misfortune into Hope

Local resident Nanci J. Gravill has written her first book entitled Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times.

“What’s It All About…Alfi?”

In this one-of-a-kind comprehensive workbook and guide, Nanci shares information and the successful strategies that helped her navigate through five years of difficulties. People think because she had breast cancer her book’s about cancer. “Oh no!” Nanci tells them astonishingly. Fresh Hope … Cleveland is all about the great things she discovered along her journey. It’s all about RESOURCES.

“We Have Nothing To Fear”

As the summary on the back cover states, sometimes in life it’s a good thing we don’t know what’s ahead. Through a series of events, Nanci lost everyone and everything in her life. It all started with breast cancer in late 2003. As she began to recover from this Job-like experience, unable to return to her temporary teaching position, Nanci was forced to live off all of her investments and retirement money. Instead of giving into fear, she called countless community agencies and used her creativity to come up with other ways to stretch the money she had left. She also found healthy ways to deal with her emotions and cope with her circumstances. Above everything else, she put her trust in God.

“Everywhere Around The World”

While the title mentions Cleveland, Fresh Hope … Cleveland can be helpful to anyone even if you live in Australia or Idaho. That’s because the text gives a variety of ideas and points you in the right direction. These ideas will open up your mind to new opportunities and possibilities available right in your own backyard. With only a few pages of things just for Cleveland, Google any specific resource to find it in your community.Nonetheless, Fresh Hope … Cleveland offers inventive ways to manage life’s challenges along with money-saving tips, healthcare services, job and mortgage information, creative and healthy living ideas, financial boundaries, how to feel your best emotionally and much more. Nanci’s book is a “fresh” and hopeful solution to today’s poor economy and the circumstances it has created for many.  It’s simple.  Fresh Hope … Cleveland provides wisdom at a time when it’s needed most.

About Nanci

Ms. Gravill has enjoyed writing in public relations, corporate communications, marketing, as a contributing writer for Northern Ohio Live magazine, ghost writer in sales, and created/sold her own handmade greeting cards. She also enjoyed teaching language arts to middle and high school-aged students. Nanci has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Promotional Communications and three years towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individual and Family Development (social work minor).

Get Your Signed Copy

Fresh Hope … Cleveland published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, is available in both eBook ($3.99) and print versions ($19.99). While the Cuyahoga County Public Library system just purchased several copies of Fresh Hope … Cleveland, signed copies from the author can be purchased off the “Order” tab on her blog at, local book signings/classes,,, Strongsville Family Christian Bookstore, and through order at your local bookstore (ISBN-10:1449730116 and ISBN-13: 978-1449730116).

Meet & Greet Nanci In Person

Nanci will be teaching a free class from her book in Broadview Heights on Friday, September 7. She’ll also be speaking at the Gathering Place on October 25. Registration is required. To learn more about the book and upcoming book signings and events, visit Nanci’s blog at

Get Black & Blue

I hope this idea will help anyone on a grief journey.  To my knowledge it was not designed as a grief recovery tool, but as a tool to help grumpy people adjust their attitude.

Wish It Were Mine

This is not an original idea, as I have heard two speakers during the past year discuss it.  One suggested using marbles, and the other beads.


1 bowl or a vase (any size, shape but preferably clear)

1 package of blue beads/marbles

1 package of black beads/marbles

2 containers – one to store each color bead/marble


Drop one blue bead in the bowl for every good thing that happens during your day.  You will decide what a “good thing” is based on your life.   Some ideas include:

1) Receiving an unexpected gift.

2) Having a wonderful talk with a friend.

3) Surviving a day or even just an hour without the grief monster ambushing you.

Drop a black bead in the bowl when something bad happens.  Again, you decide the “something bad” based on your life.    Some ideas include:

1) Being ambushed by grief

2) Receiving an unexpected bill

3) Having someone say an insensitive remark

The Finished Dish

Before bed take a look at the bowl.  You will see lots of blue beads.  The point is to look at all the blue beads and realize you had a good day, in spite of the bad moments.

Depending upon how far along you are on your grief journey, there will be days when you see lots of black beads.  When this happens, pour out the beads and  channel Scarlett O’Hara by saying –

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Because it is another day, another day filled with lots of blue bead possibilities even in the midst of grief.

“What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?”

Keep doing this for the rest of your life.  It will keep you focused on the good and not the bad or the ugly.

Known About This Sooner

I wish I heard about this after Joe died as it would have been another tool to use during my grief journey.  I needed lots of tools, help, and advice during the first year.

My Prayer

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,   I thank you for this beautiful day.  Bless everyone reading this article.  Let the black and blue beads bring attitude change to those embracing this idea, whether or not they are grieving.

In your Son Jesus’ precious name I pray.


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