How To Be More Self-Aware Of Your Knee-Jerk Bad Habits (Or: Poker + Depression Pasta)

Want to be more self-aware? Break some bad habits? It starts with actually realizing what your go-to bad habits are! Click through to find out how!I’m at a bar in Alaska, nursing an eight-dollar screwdriver, when the bartender asks if she can change the tv channel. I’ve been absorbed in picking apart my cardboard coaster so, no, I don’t mind.

She surfs through the channels, skipping Fox News and a fishing show, till she finds what she wants: a live broadcast of a poker game.

I know less than nothing about poker. How many cards do you get? How much are those little plastic coin things worth? Why is it fun to watch a bunch of dudes play cards?

I pick at my coaster and half-listen while the announcer says “Now, that’s a common tell. We’ll have to see how this plays out.”

And my former English teacher ears perk up because TELL IS NOT A NOUN WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???

So I do what anyone in 2017 does: I google “poker tell.”

In poker parlance, a ‘tell’ is a change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player’s assessment of their hand. A player gains an advantage if they observe and understand the meaning of another player’s tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable.”

There are huge listicles and even entire books devoted to spotting these tells.  Experts have written thousands of words about unconscious behavior changes that belie someone’s belief about their state of mind.

I thought about the ‘tells’ in my own life, the things I unconsciously do when I’m tired, frustrated, or unhappy.
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How To Get Clients To Trust You + Listen To You

Struggling to get clients to trust you? This one easy change can increase client satisfaction and even allow you to charge more! Click through to start implementing it today


The subject line was just an unimpressed emoji face, which is not really what you’re looking for in email communications with clients.

“I’m not sure what to tell you, Sarah. I love your blog and what you do but it’s been two months since we worked together and, honestly, I haven’t seen much change in my blog traffic or social media following. I don’t think it worked.” 

Reader, I don’t mind telling you it was with a dry mouth and shaking hands that I clicked through to look at her website. Was I a fraud? Was I about to get my first request for a refund? WAS I A FAILURE AS A HUMAN???

Instead of discovering that I was an impostor who should never be hired by anyone again ever, I discovered that my client had ignored 85% of the suggestions I’d given her. 

Had she fixed any of those broken links? No.
Was she using headings to make her blog posts more readable? Nope.
Did she optimize her posts? She did not.

Unsurprisingly, my initial reaction was to draft a not-entirely-polite email to this client who’d spent a lot of money to ignore my advice.

But then I realized that I was just as much at fault for this as she was. I hadn’t told my client why she needed make these changes. It’s hard to get excited about embedding code, scheduling Facebook updates, or re-jiggering old blog posts if we don’t understand how + why it’ll benefit us.

You can't expect someone to do something if you don't tell them WHY they should do it. Click To Tweet
Dur, right? But it’s so easy to forget!

And there are tons of (somewhat) valid reasons we forget the why.

Maybe we’ve been doing something for so long we can’t even remember the beginner’s mindset. We don’t remember what it’s like to struggle with SEO/white balance/classroom management. It’s been years since we learned about alt text, so we forget to even explain it.

Why we should explain why

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The Cheapskate Guide To: Lisbon

Can you make visiting Lisbon cheap? Of course! Click through for from-a-local cheap travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat in Portugal's capital city!


Can you make visiting Lisbon cheap? Well, that’s sort of trick question because Lisbon is already one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe! It’s hard to argue with $18 a night lodging, $2 sandwiches, and $1.50 river ferries. Luckily, I brought in a local to give us the low down. 

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True Story: I Have Borderline Personality Disorder

What's it like to live with Borderline Personality Disorder? Click through for one woman's story and tips on how she manages it
What’s it like to have Borderline Personality Disorder? To navigate life with a mental illness that many therapists can’t/don’t want to treat? Today, Rebecca shares her story.

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