Happy Birthday To Me, Free Books For You!

Today is my birthday! And I remembered I had a blog!

To celebrate these two amazing feats, I’m offering up free copies of my four books published on Amazon Kindle.
The first two books in the Monday Series, ‘Welcome To Your Monday’ and ‘Welcome to More Mondays,’ So Forty Happened,’ and my newest release, ‘Quick Steps To Your Better You.’

These books will be free until tomorrow, September 30, 2016. You get free stuff, and I get a bump in my Amazon author’s ratings. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.


Every Day I Write Something

Every day I write something.

Some of it turns into copy for radio broadcasts and recordings.

Some of it turns into online postings for blogs and podcasts.

Some of it eventually turns into long-form articles and even books.

Some of it languishes in digital limbo for a long time. Some of it will never turn into much more than unfinished thoughts and incomplete ideas.

Some of it takes longer to compose than others. Some of it gets more time in proof and editing than others.

Some of it is garbage. Some of it may make you pause and think. Some of it may make you laugh.

Some of it gets read. Most of it does not.

Every day I write something.

Every day.


J Cleveland Payne is a writer that wishes he was more famous. You can help him reach his desired level of fame by reading his writing on Medium, at the Your Better You Project, or right here at jclevelandpayne.net. Like everyone else on the internet, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

For Review: Rule #2: Don’t Be A ______ (insert personal expletive of choice)

So for over a decade I have been working on a book that was a collection of tips on how to live your life right. It’s had different titles and different numbers of rules. I’m in the process of getting out of the ‘working on’ and getting into the ‘publishing’ of this book. I am periodically dropping chapters on Medium for review. So…feel free to review.

Rule #2: Don’t Be A ______ (insert personal expletive of choice)

These rules themselves are not meant to weigh so that any one is more important that another. Each rule is written to live on its own. However, I did purposely choose this rule, ‘Don’t be a _____,’ as the lead rule on the list for many reasons. It was difficult to supplant Rule #1 with ‘Don’t Die,’ but that was necessary. ‘Don’t be a _____,’ taking a new reign in the number two spot is also necessary.

The main reason this rule has always held such high regard for me is that the rule itself sounds so much like basic common sense, even if the general populace cannot seem to make the connection.

I wrote this rule (and by wrote I mean I put it in this form) to sound simple. Then again, I suspect you do not remember half of the Speed Limit signs you pass on the way to work.

That is why I am so in love with this rule for those who quickly get it, but it is not flawless. The major problem with putting out a rule like ‘Don’t be a ______’ comes from your particular position in life. To be totally and brutally honest, there are many times in life well it just might pay major dividends to be a _______. I worked through plenty of days personally where from my view at the time, it seemed a whole lot easier just to be a _______ and then move along with life.

Yes, being a _____ is an effective, even if not socially acceptable, production tool. It can actually help you to get more things done, help you keep people moving and focused, and is most effective when used to help keep people away whose full intentions are to keep you from getting things done (because they get something out of being a ______).

Effective, but often not right. At the end of the day, what do you really accomplish by being a _____? How many friends can you really keep if you go around constantly being a _____? How many can you expect to put up with your foolishness if they can’t figure out when you’re going to be a _____ and when you’re not going to be a _____?

The definition of a ____ will vary from person to person. The point will always remain the same. You will definitely know one when you see one, and there presence is rarely a pleasant experience.

The rude abruptness of being a _____ can be an effective, albeit abrasive, motivator. It also has about as much subtlety as using a cattle prod to keep a toddler from wetting the bed. Being a _____ is definitely a quick way to stop the momentum of a group that has found its cohesion. It’s also a quick way to turn someone against you, and generally a quick way to alienate yourself from the rest of humanity.

The quickest way to ensure you will gain a reputation as torturous and will lead a generally unsuccessful life is to spend your life being a ____ and making the lives of all of those around you a living hell. The only thing worse would be to be a ____, and not even realize it. You could actually see yourself as being the opposite, progressing ahead with behavior that is really a complete turn off, while envisioning yourself in a hero-style journey.

You do not have a right to impose your _____-iness on others. Your ugly behavior is a reflection of you and the world you choose to live in.

Despite any positive that could be pulled from being a _____, don’t. Just don’t.

But feel free to substitute _____ with whatever expletive that suits you.

Three Types Of People You Should Think Of Giving More To

One of the various famous quotables attributed to Zig Ziglar is, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” This is a statement that has launched many an entrepreneurial journey into a dragon’s lair with no hope of survival.

A good entrepreneur should offer goods or services that fulfill a need. A great entrepreneur is looking to solve a specific problem. All entrepreneurs are looking to help other people in hopes of those people helping out the entrepreneur by handing over their money, but how does this really work?

And who does an entrepreneur needs to help?

Begin With Having The Ability (And Resources) To Help

Another famous quotable repeated universally by airline pilots and flight attendances across the world is, “In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.” This quickly reminds anyone who might attempt cabin decompression heroics that these isn’t much you can do for anyone but be a burden if you pass out. The same reasoning applies when you decide to hang your shingle across a shop door downtown without the means to produce the goods or services you think could help the masses, and earn you a living. Your product and service, as stated above should at least fulfill a basic need and should aim to solve a real problem of a real customer.

Karma Is About Caring

For a moment, we need to back away from the sales aspect you offer a potential customer and just focus on the value of helping. You always need to help those who can’t help you. Even if you don’t believe in concepts of karma or ‘higher powers’ keeping tabs on us puny humans, there is a power that comes from sending out good energy. You don’t have to give indiscriminately, but you do need to give to people with little to give back to you that you believe are worthy–and can capitalize on–whatever help you can possibly provide. If this sounds a lot like charity, that’s because it basically is. You know how much publicity a good show of charity can generate?

Reciprocity Is The Word

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with helping a person that can open doors and grant you access special access. Having the ‘universe’ eventually pay you back for your efforts is great. Even better is having a real person for can offer real useful stuff due the ‘Law of Reciprocity,’ which kind of states a mutual exchange of privileges where a person who receives is compelled (by the universe, need to keep their ledger clean, guilt, whatever) to return the favor eventually. Reciprocity does not demand new retail value, but something that inherently useful. Assuming you have offered up something inherently useful to begin with. Just make sure to pay your park back when the Law of Reciprocity is played on you.

Provide Unseen Help For The Unseen And Needy

Offering up help to those unseen is not the hardest to do, but it is very difficult to score for both business and personal concerns. Think of a ‘Pay-It-Forward’ line at a Starbuck’s drive-thru or feeding parking meters in front of City Hall (which is actually illegal, and will cause more trouble than it is probably worth if you get caught). Why would you offer up hard earn stuff to the ether to not even know if it gets used possibly? Mostly, just because. Because you can, because it feels good, because the opportunity just arose at the right time. Because you got stuck doing it and didn’t want to look like a jerk, which is what you look like if you break a ‘Pay-It-Forward’ chain. You have every right not to give to the questionable those, but be prepared for a short bout of public shaming.

How Much Help Are You Offering To The World?

Think about the butterfly effect, the thought that a butterfly flapping its wings in Detroit can eventually become a dust storm in Phoenix (a haboob!) The thought about free and cheerful giving by one single person snowballing into world peace is a pipe dream for sure, but having the ability and willingness to give a little back in gratitude for all that you have been given not only makes sense for you as a person. It can add up to real, tangible dollars as a business owner when word of your generosity spreads between grateful and impressed customers.