Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is an award-winning entrepreneur,  media maven. national speaker, philanthropist and author of six books.  She is founder of The Fig Factor Foundation focused on unleashing the amazing in young Latinas.  Jacqueline is a regular guest on local and national TV, radio and print publications.  As a two-time cancer survivor, Jacqueline possesses wisdom about life well beyond her years.  She lives in the Midwest with her husband and business partner, Juan Pablo, and her two children.

 

Take a few minutes to learn about the key secrets to powerful marketing for your brand by viewing her Vlogs and reading her blogs here.

 

 

JOURNALING: THE SECRET OF ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS

Before you start reading (did you mean reading?) this entry, ask yourself the following questions:
Have you ever wondered…
…what it takes to make things happen in your life?
…what is one of the most powerful tools to make your dreams a reality?
…why some people achieve incredible success while others don’t, despite their hard work?
…why it is so hard to bring the physical manifestation of your desires to life?

For many years, I have used journaling as a way to manifest my dreams. It was especially important to journal when my German teacher told me that, “writing is an extension of your soul.” I thought that phrase was so beautiful that I decided to commit myself to journaling constantly to extend my soul.  In high school, I remember a big goal that I set out to achieve: writing in my journal for 365 days without skipping a day. I knew that if I achieved this goal, I would be able to achieve any other big goals in life through testing my discipline.

My husband has witnessed how journaling has allowed me to manifest all of my dreams, to the point that he is now using his amazing drawings as a way to journal and manifest his dreams too. He was skeptical, but when he noticed that the things I was writing were manifesting, he said, “be careful what you write, everything is coming true.” This comment brought my commitment to journaling to a whole new level.

Over the years, I have become an expert in journaling, applying many techniques that work magically in my own life. For the first time, I am ready to share my secrets to the rest of the world, with real tangible results over the last 15 years that everyone around me has witnessed.

Here are the top 19 proven techniques that will help you manifest your dreams:

1.     Gratitude– This is the top technique as gratitude is the biggest accelerator of your dreams. Open up the journal, on the left side, write down all the things that your are grateful for now, the things that are tangible in your life by starting the sentence as follows: “I am grateful now that…<insert the things, people and circumstances currently present that you are grateful for>.” Feeling gratitude in your heart is very important. On the right side of the page, you can write the things that you want, physical and nonphysical (i.e. a loving relationship with your family), but the magic happens here: you write them in the same format as the list on the left, in present tense and with the same format, feeling an intense gratitude in your heart as if you already had them.

2.     Inspirations– Inspirations are ideas with an amazing positive feeling. When you receive an inspiration, not only must you write them down, but also take immediate steps to make them happen. Your intuition and positive feelings will determine if that thought is a true inspiration. Pay close attention to these as they are amazing propellers of success in your life.

3.     Ideas– On some occasions, you might get simple ideas that might not have the same strong positive feeling of an inspiration, but it is important to capture them as well. Keep them in a special section for further analysis. You can go back to this section once you have collected a few ideas and then rate them, prioritize, organize them and decide their feasibility. If they are not worthy of your time, simply discard them and come up with new ones.

4.     Affirmations– These are positive statements that conduce to empowerment, usually written with an optimistic connotation. For example, if you would like to lose weight, you would say something like this “I have a beautiful and perfectly healthy body” rather than “I want to lose all this weight.”

5.     Lessons– Life is all about learning and applying lessons that make us better individuals. Capture your lessons to improve your life constantly. Go back and review them when the same lesson presents itself. Remember that life will continue to present you with the same lessons over and over again until you learn them. Writing them down could be the difference between “getting it” and not.

6.     Realizations– Sometimes we are presented with “Aha” moments. There is no better way to capture those moments of awakening and realization, than writing them down. Review them constantly to stay on the road of self-betterment.

7.     Smart Goals– Every goal should be a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Use your journal to create a solid commitment to your goals and see how they become a reality.

8.     Quotes– Many times our inspirations in life come in the form of quotes from leaders of our world, take time to write them down as gems that will help you expand your horizons.

9.     Experiences– Write down your professional and personal experiences to ensure that you remember them, they can be either a positive experience or a negative experience. If it is something that you don’t understand why it happened, then write down a list of questions…the answers will be revealed to you either right away as you create objectivity by simply asking them or at a later date through other people, inspirations or ideas.

10.  Vision– A journal is the perfect place to encapsulate your vision through drawings – a mind mapping exercise. Infuse a positive feeling when capturing your vision for the new month, year or 10 years. Start out by writing down the vision in a circle at the center of the page, then write down all the thoughts around the page.  Once you have exhausted all the ideas related to that vision, go back to each one of them to elaborate with additional details. Finally, organize them by category, feasibility and create action items for each of them to complete a cohesive plan of action.

11.  Planning– “For every minute that you plan, you save ten minutes in execution,” is a famous quote by Brian Tracy. It is true. Use your journal to plan your day, your week, your month and your year. Be as specific and realistic as you can to create a timeline that works for you, depending on the objective at hand.

12.  Processes– Everything has a process, from brushing your teeth to exercising. Become a thought leader in your field by encapsulating your intellectual property through the development of processes. A process is an asset and you have them. You can capture the steps you take to do a certain project by brainstorming about the frequently asked questions on that specific topic. If people keep asking you the same questions over and over again, that is a sign that they consider you an expert. Enhance that status by developing a process and increasing your value.

13.  Drawings– Some people love to draw. You can use your talent as an artist through imagery rather than the written word- another powerful way to physically manifest your dreams. You can apply a lot of the techniques shared here, but instead of using words, you can use images and pictures to convey your desires or you can use a combination of both.

14.  Action Items– ‘To-do’ lists are part of our everyday life. Write them down in your journal and feel the sense of satisfaction as you cross them off as completed. Then go on and create more lists to complete. This is a powerful ongoing process.

15.  Financial Goals– Finances are always on top of mind of most people. Write down your financial goals, monthly expenses, savings, and innovative new ways to generate income to grow your financial stability.

16.  Compliments– All of us receive compliments, whether it may be for the necklace (or necktie) we are wearing or a something we have done, write them down so that when you are having a difficult time, you can go back to them and rebuild your self-esteem. Very powerful.

17.  Research- Life is a constant evolution and our interests might change with time. You can use your journal to write facts or statistics about a new hobby you are considering. You can do your research online or gather information from other sources, but keeping them in one important place, will keep your thoughts organized.

18.  Testimonials– Have you received unexpected testimonials about your work or talents? Take the time to write them down so that they become part of your nomenclature, part of who you are. The way others positively perceive you might become a propeller to achieve more in your professional and personal life.

19.  Accomplishments– This is one of the most powerful techniques to use in journaling, especially for those who are working on building their self-esteem. You should capture your accomplishments every 2 to 4 weeks so that when times are difficult you can go back and review what you have done. This technique has two major benefits: it reminds you that if you have done them, you can do them again and it reminds you that you are a talented individual.

I have used and continue to use every one of these techniques for at least 20 years of my life and they are all proven techniques. I have been able to start a successful marketing/PR agency, publish six books, travel around the United States to share a message of positivity as a public speaker, started a foundation for young Latinas, and my most important job: mother and wife, all by the age of 31.  All of this brought to their physical manifestation through journaling.

It is up to you to embrace this art form to manifest your own dreams starting today…you can use one, two or all of the techniques, it’s up to you.

BONUS:

Selecting the perfect journal for you

Journaling is a spiritual process and oftentimes, your feelings will guide you through the selection of the best journal. When you go to the store, look at the various journals and become aware of the feeling that you get with each. You have to feel the connection to it as it will be your partner for months or perhaps years. You have to feel happy every time you look at it – it might have a beautiful picture on the front, a nice texture that reminds you of something significant, a special lock or key, a color that you love, etc.. Once you select the journal, you will feel joyful and it will allow you to fully express yourself.

Initiating your journal

The start of a journal is very important.  The name of your journal sets the tone for its feel and emotion. I named one of my journals “The Journal of A Young Successful Entrepreneur” per my mentor’s advice – this happened when I was just starting my business and I did not consider myself a successful entrepreneur at all, but every time I saw it, I started to feel it was more and more real, until it actually became tangible. Then, you want to set a special day to set the intention of your journal, put on the start date and write your first entry.

9 PUBLIC SPEAKING SECRETS

Most people are terrified of public speaking, but if you are ready to take your career and business to the next level, this powerful tool can help you reach your goals exponentially faster by having access to a multitude of people.

1.     Know your audience
Take time to analyze your audience, to recognize common ground in each other to make your message relevant and relatable to them. This is one of the most important secrets to public speaking.

2.     Avoid notes
Memorize the speech in a way that flows naturally and from your heart. By standing in front of the audience, you are already considered the expert and if you make a mistake, they will not know it unless you make it known. Graciously go back to your speech and engage the audience.

3.     Make eye contact
Making eye contact with your audience will make you approachable and will allow you to connect with them.  Analyze their engagement; you can take cues from their physical posture and gestures to your presentation. If you notice boredom, it’s time to spice it up.

4.     Infuse your speech with stories
Stories are powerful tools to make your presentation memorable as people remember them more than pragmatic content or processes as they are infused with visuals that are hard to forget. You can use your own personal or third party stories to make your point to ensure that the audience gets it.

5.     Strong opening
A quote, startling statement or a joke are great ways to start a presentation. You have to be careful with the latter as a joke might offend people from different races, ethnic backgrounds or those with other special interests.

6.     Fluctuate your voice
When you want to emphasize a point, use your voice volume and pitch to make it known. When you are talking about something serious or sad, lower your voice. Use your voice as a catalyst to infuse emotion throughout the presentation and take your audience on a magical journey.

7.     Use hand gestures
Hand gestures are a great way to emphasize key points, make a special connection with the audience and make your presentation come to life. Overuse of hand gestures can be detrimental and distracting if they are not used strategically. Use carefully.

8.     Memorable ending
Leave the audience feeling “wow, what just happened?!” every time by having a strong ending that either connects to the beginning of your presentation or closes the presentation beautifully by emphasizing the overall theme. They should feel energized, empowered and motivated to learn more.

9.     Clear call to action
Know exactly what the outcome of your presentation is and make sure it is sewn throughout your speech. Is the goal to inspire them, motivate them to take a step, buy your materials, engage your services, connect with you on social media, read your books? Every single presentation has a purpose and you have to clearly define it before it begins.

THE POWER OF PR STUNTS

Many businesses wonder how they can land media opportunities, feeling as though they are not worthy of “feel-good” stories that can be shared with others. There is always an opportunity to share valuable content that activates the audience- through clever, strategic PR Stunts…but what, exactly, are PR Stunts?

PR Stunts are either events or initiatives that connect two or more organizations (typically a local business to a nonprofit) with a clear intention to benefit both. The receiving organization (i.e. nonprofit) gets the financial support or goods for their constituency and the giving business gets the positive “feel-good” exposure with their client base and local community through media placements (i.e. radio and TV public service announcements or newspaper articles).

Selection of a nonprofit:

The selection of a nonprofit is critical.  Some things to consider:
a) It should align with your vision or personal connection (are you recommending they use a personal connection or establish one?), b) It should have a substantial constituency that can expand the reach of your brand, c) It should be proactive to collaborate on the initiative, d) Be grateful for this new relationship so you can infuse other ideas for partnership opportunities in the future.

Identifiers when considering a PR Stunt:

1. Strategic- Every PR stunt should be carefully planned and executed to ensure maximum benefits and exposure.

2. Collaborative– PR stunts are founded on collaboration with nonprofits or other groups in need – communication and ongoing support is very important.

3. Resourceful- Due to the nature of PR stunts, they are typically done with limited resources (either time, money or support) and the person coordinating them should be very resourceful in order to connect opportunities that are not easily found.

4. Creative- Creativity plays an imperative role

Important items to know when conducting a PR Stunt:

1. Photos- It is important to capture photos or video that depict the story in every one of these initiatives in order to get the full benefit of this promotion.

2. Sharing- Use the photos and videos to share on social media vehicles, send them on an eblast or newsletter to your contacts, add to your blog or email signature, but most importantly, send to local media with compelling captions for possible inclusion in their publication offline and online.

3. Follow up- Media outlets receive hundreds of emails every day. Follow up with media outlets a few days after you have sent the photos, especially because they contain attachments. Ideally, you want to give the media outlets heads up that the large high resolution image(s) are coming.

4. Releases- Make sure to have a public release announcement or individual model release if you plan on taking photos during one of these PR stunts, especially when children are involved. If you don’t have their permission, you may still take photos, but make sure their faces don’t show (i.e. if you have a presenter, you take photos of the speaker from behind the audience).

5. Tracking- Make sure each PR stunt is properly documented and shared, if not, it might be a waste of efforts. It is important for each business to be strategic about these initiatives in order to get the maximum ROI and ROO.

Here are 19 ideas to consider:

Idea 1: Buy books from a local author and donate them to a local school- put in a note inside of each book that says: “Book courtesy of <insert name of business here>”

Idea 2: Choose a local family to give gifts to through a local nonprofit organization (i.e. Mutual Ground)

Idea 3: Buy food or coats/gifts to deliver to the local homeless shelter (i.e. Hessed House)

Idea 4: Provide free coffee from a local coffee shop to bring joy to the local community, totally unexpected. Put up a sign outside that says “free coffee today courtesy of ________.”

Idea 5: Holiday gifts to an underprivileged group, such as young Latinas. Ask them to come to your office to pick them up on a certain date/time and take photos to capture their appreciation.

Idea 6: Gather a group of employees to volunteer at a local food pantry while also donating money to buy more food.

Idea 7: Have local fireman and police officers decorate Christmas trees, partner with a local nonprofit organization to deliver them to local needy families.

Idea 8: Share inspirational books with local victims of domestic violence.

Idea 9: Collect t-shirts from local runners, make a quilt and donate it to a local charity to be used as a fundraising item.

Idea 10: Provide giveaways to a TV show audience in exchange of live mentions- have the host surprise the audience with the special giveaway

Idea 11: Partner up with a local nonprofit organization and name that day “the <insert the name of the nonprofit here> day at <insert the name of your business>.” Through a powerful partnership, you can harness the power of media. The non profit gets the exposure as well as the business from the joint marketing efforts. Donations can be collected on that day for the nonprofit.

Idea 12: Volunteer to teach at a local school through Junior Achievement.

Idea 13: Hire a local author to bring an inspiring message to an underserved school followed by a book signing.

Idea 14: Run a 5K or half marathon in honor of a local nonprofit organization.

Idea 15: Bring joy to a kid’s camp by providing entertainment or special gifts.

Idea 16: Invite local young ladies to feel like “princesses” for a day, sponsoring an inspiring event where they share their dreams, write in a journal you provide and vote for the person that inspired them the most.

Idea 17: Provide free advice and support to a local nonprofit for a special event or initiative; capture the challenge, action and results of your contribution.

Idea 18: Rent a hot air balloon to provide rides in order to raise money for a local nonprofit.

Idea 19: Select a local sports team, chorus or a band and provide them with gear, instruments or a trip, especially if they have no resources. It will make a positive impact in their life and they will be emotionally connected to your company for a long time.

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