Interpretation and social media. Your filters make all the difference.

What is your interpretation?

Trish Ross from Dominion Stores 1979Write a story, ask 10 people for their interpretation and I would bet you get 10 different results!  Why do you think researchers do “blind studies”?  They know there will be different results and are looking for commonalities.

When faced with a particular situation or challenge, you are applying your personal filters before making an interpretation and deciding on how you will react.  You won’t be wrong.  But, you may not be reacting the way the person sharing information intended.  Be careful not to judge “lest ye be judged”!  Rather than applying only your filters, put yourself in the shoes of the person sending the message.  What is their personal dynamic?  Thinking that through, what do you think their interpretation may be?

What is your interpretation now?  Did it change?

(eg. In the picture above, you might think this boy and girl were dating and visiting family at Christmas.  He was dating someone else at the time and she took the picture!)

What are filters?

filtersThink about coffee filters.  There are different types.  Bleached versus unbleached.  Thicker and thinner, and so on.  Using a different filter will affect the end result.  Look at metal filters versus paper filters.  When you use a very fine grind and a metal filter, there is a higher likelihood of sediment in a pot of coffee than if you used a really dense paper filter.  With the paper filter, the coffee actually brews longer and fewer coffee grounds pass through.  The result changed because of filters.  There is a different taste or “interpretation” of the coffee.

For most of us, the filters are things like ethnicity, social status or sometimes, just the hormones that are raging that day.  Tell a teenager and a 40 plus the exact same thing and I would venture to say there will be very different interpretations of your message.  Their filters are life experience based on what they have been exposed to by that time and the effects of hormonal activity!

Social Media and interpretation.

When using social media, who is responsible for interpretation?  Ultimately, you are.

The person posting has no idea who you are or what your life experience is.  They can’t anticipate what your day has been like or what life has thrown at you.  The post you are reading may have nothing to do with you but for some reason, you feel it is about you personally.  Places like Facebook and Google Circles have such a great reach that you can’t help but have a very large cross section of readers.

writerFor writers, by all means try to anticipate how your message will be received.  But, when it comes to your personal stuff, don’t be fake.  Share your feelings and accept that sometimes, others will assume it’s about them and become upset.  They are applying their filters, not yours, and have no way of knowing what your filters are.  If you can’t accept that others will sometimes have a different interpretation, then don’t get involved in Social Media.

Conversely, take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions.  Anyone who tells you they have no control is full of beans.  They just don’t want to be responsible for their interpretations!

Make it a great day!


P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for Social Media, it’s like a giant public diary.  I’m thankful for our differences.  I’m thankful for the circle of life.

What are you thankful for today?

Leave The Junk In The Trunk!

We all carry junk. Whether it’s the person that just cut you off on the way to a meeting or you just had a fight with your partner, leave your junk in the trunk!

What Do You Mean By Junk?

When I talk about junk, I’m referring to all that negative stuff that gathers throughout our day.

  • junkYour partner is mad at you because you didn’t put out the garbage
  • Your teenager is mad at you because you said no!
  • You’re mad at your business partners because you don’t like the direction they want to go.
  • You were just pulled over speeding on the way to your meeting.

In the grand scheme of things, how much of this really matters? I don’t see how much of the above is really life threatening or changing. I have to say, for the most part, it’s just junk. Junk happens.

Junk Collection

Some of us seem to go out looking for junk to collect. Others seem to attract it. Either way, most of us have certain amounts of junk in our lives. Whatever you do, don’t look in my garage! The biggest challenge is deciding what junk to keep and where to put it.

Imagine one of those days when you are late leaving for an important meeting. You are presenting to your team who looks to you to set the example. Half way out the door, you spill coffee on your white shirt. Now you have lost 10 minutes changing. The time pressure causes you to put a little pressure on the gas pedal and the cop behind you doesn’t think it’s a good idea. There goes another 20 minutes and likely more than a few dollars. Now you’re mad!

Junk In The Trunk

car trunkRemember, the most important element in leadership is duplication. Whatever you do, there is a good chance they will copy. It’s quite OK to get mad, even healthy. The trick is to learn how to put it away when it’s in the way.

Imagine you have decided to clean out the car because you are taking prospects or clients to your meeting. Inevitably, we find a lot of junk we didn’t even realize was in there. All of a sudden you realize you only have a few minutes before you have to leave. You have a bag full of junk but you don’t have time to sort it out for recycle, resell or reuse. What to do? Put your junk in the trunk. Deal with it after the meeting is over and there is no one around to see you dealing with your junk.

The Direction of Junk

Never dump your junk downward. Just as you shouldn’t expect your kids to clean up your mess, you shouldn’t expect the people you are training to deal with your junk.

For example, my wife and I work as a team. There are times when we agree to clean up after each other in order to achieve a combined goal. Unless the kids have been working directly with me and contributed to the mess, I don’t ask them to clean it up. That just creates resentment and then perpetuates the problem for generations to come. On the other hand, it’s quite OK for my kids to come to me for help when they just feel overwhelmed and can’t figure something out.

It’s the same in business, MLM or otherwise. We are directors in our business. If I need to dump on someone, it’s executive director or higher. It’s their responsibility to help me work through things when I feel overwhelmed and yes, sometimes it may be personal. I will do the same for the people who look up to me for leadership.

A true leader knows when it’s time to leave the junk in the trunk!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great leadership, great business partners and each new day. What are you thankful for today?

Pure Leverage

WordPress Makes Web/Blog Design Easy!

WordPress makes designing your website or blog easy and is quickly becoming the dominant content manager on the internet. It’s used by companies like large news publishers and as a result, there is a lot of third party support supplying plugins.

WordPress On A Self Hosted Site

WordPress is easy to install and easy to use!


Although you can find places to have a “free” website or blog, I recommend self hosting using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). This way you truly control all content. For example, when you have a site with another provider, you are subject to their terms of use and they can arbitrarily remove or block content. Always read their terms!!! By self hosting, you set the terms. Keep in mind, this doesn’t exclude you from common sense, legal requirements and liabilities.

For a self hosted site, you will need a domain and a web host. Pureleverage and Global Virtual Opportunities (GVO) make it really easy! Pureleverage has the basic site set up for you and you can modify. With a GVO hosting account, you can have multiple domains and WordPress installations to keep your different businesses or hobbies separate. You might even want a combination of Pureleverage and GVO depending on your business needs! Just as an aside, they both have business opportunities.

Using GVO hosting, a self hosted WordPress site is really easy to install and not really that difficult to set up. There are many templates and plugins included and they are easily activated within the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Installation

First you need to log into your control panel. With GVO, it would be Cpanel. Once you log in, go to the Softaculous section and look for the WordPress icon.


This is where you click to start the installation. Once you are on the installation page, it’s pretty much intuitive. Fill in the blanks. Some things to think about before you start the installation are:

  • whether it will be the primary site or secondary,
  • what will you call it,
  • will it be multi site (visit Exclusive Vogue Networking for an example),
  • what do you want it to look like (I recommend Graphene. Visit for a sample)

WordPress Installation

The reason I recommend Graphene is its simple clean design and responsiveness. It automatically adjusts to present well whether you are using a computer, tablet or smart phone.

WordPress Plugins

Now that you have installed WordPress, you need to decide what plugins to add. Plugins are add-ons that provide further functionality to your site. Here is my list of preferred plugins.

  • BulletProof Security
  • Social Media Feather
  • Tiny MCE Advanced
  • WP Super Cache
  • Yoast SEO

BulletProof Security provides some spam protection, helps block hackers and includes a backup option. Social Media Feather give you those icons people can click to go to your social media sites or automate their posting your blog to their own social media sites. Tiny MCE Advanced provides extra editing functionality when you are creating your blogs. WP Super Cache helps speed up loading your site pages and Yoast SEO helps make sure your posts and pages are found.

WordPress Makes Blogging and Web Design Easy!

WordPressDon’t let the thought of putting your business online scare you. If you can create a document using a word processor, you can create a website and/or blog using WordPress. There are numerous YouTube videos and web sites that can walk you through the process.

Alternatively, there are many service providers out there that can look after it for you. Just make sure they are willing to take a little time to show you the basics so you can make changes afterward.


Make it a great Day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for WordPress, GVO and the Internet! What are you thankful for today?

Why I like Blurb over Chatbooks and Shutterfly

Blurb is my personal choice over Chatbooks and Shutterfly. I have only just begun using Blurb on the advice of my friend Joe Chrvala. Joe has been doing some great photography over the years and I have seen the books he produced. Another friend referred Chatbooks and someone else recommended Shutterfly.

I invite you to check them all out if you have ever thought of producing a photo album or even something like an eBook to sell!


  • Free program (Blurb BookWright) to create on your local computer
  • Use your own high quality images
  • Great templates, both free and fee based
  • Great pricing
  • Deliver internationally

Photo of Dad and Daughter

My daughter was married recently and will be moving to the UK shortly. I wanted something she could take with her that won’t take much space and that she could give to her new family. I remembered Joe talking about Blurb and called him to get the address. Wow! So easy to use. I created the book and ordered copies for the kids to take the UK, plus one for us of course! I could have delivered directly to UK for the same shipping cost but they were going anyway and I didn’t want to pay once for here and once for there.

If you ever thought creating a book to sell, they make it so easy! No, I’m not pitching this to you. You wouldn’t have any reason to be interested in this album other than as a sample. Click here to see the book preview.


My friend said she found Chatbooks really cheap. If you only order the basic $15 book, she would be correct. For myself, I take way too many pictures and wouldn’t like to limit myself that much. Too hard to choose! Feedback I found online indicated that when people use the connection to social media to make the books, this seems to be optimized for Instagram, you run the risk of the images being too low quality when you produce a book.

Chatbooks offers a phone app to produce offline but that doesn’t help on my laptop. This is a big factor for me.


  • Upload your own images or pull directly from social media (You control the quality)
  • Offers pre-formatted layouts
  • Offers service to do the work for you
  • Can be reasonably priced but watch out for add ons

I went to Shutterfly and set up an account where I tried to create a similar book but for a trip I did last year. I think if I limited myself to the same number of pages, pricing is only a little more than Blurb. I did like the layout options. I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t figure out how to work offline when creating the book. When I traveled on my bus commute to work, I couldn’t work on the book because the WiFi on the bus is really limited for upload and download. I gave up!

Blurb Wins! (For me.)

Blurb book coverI prefer Blurb because I can work locally with high quality graphics to produce a reasonably priced book whether in hard cover, soft cover or as an eBook. We all have different needs and I can’t choose for you but I hope this gives you a place to start. If you have ever thought of creating and selling a book, Blurb makes it easy including the “Store front” with a shopping cart!

When will you write your first book?

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my friends, Blurb and Lenovo! What are you thankful for today?

Website Design, Are You Easy To Read?

Website design is fairly easy these days with hosting packages like Pure Leverage but are you sure everyone can read your writing?

Website Design

First, consider the design of the page. I use Pure Leverage and my site is driven by WordPress. There are many great templates available but you need to be careful. Be sure you choose a template that is mobile friendly. In the graphic below, you can see that one of my social media posts was mostly clicked on mobile. In this case, 86.5% of hits were on Facebook Mobile. Just as an aside, I love for the insights you can get about who is clicking your links!

website hits by platform


Take the time to visit sites that are similar to your business and see what works. How do you feel when you visit those sites. But, be careful not to fall into the trap of just doing what you like to see. Have friends you can trust to be honest give you some feedback.

  • What is “above the fold”?
  • What is the message?
  • Are there too many or not enough graphics?
  • Can it be read by an electronic reader?
  • Are fonts and their colours friendly?

If you want to see what your page looks like on mobile, visit and test it out. Visit to learn more about making sites more accessible and there are some links to useful tools to help you.

The Message

Who is your message aimed at? Now you have to think about your target. Who do you want to be reading your blog or website? If you take a look at the graphic above, you will see that there were hits outside of North America. Is it written in language they understand? I’m not referring to English/German/French etc. I’m referring to the ability to understand your words.

InternationalHaving taken in international students who have come to Canada to learn English, I have learned that we often use very confusing words. For example, I was talking to a person who speaks Spanish first, French second and English third. It was a beautiful day and I said “it’s days like this that I want to play hooky”. You should have seen the look I got! Total confusion.

Try your best to use plain language that is easy to understand. Plain language is not necessarily simple words. We often use unnecessary words or use slang when communicating. When you use slang language, understand that the message may be different than the one you intended to convey.

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple. Make sure your website is easy to read and understand.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for all of my international students, new foods and Pure Leverage. What are you thankful for today?