Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Underground Railroad Slave Station: Josiah White's Log Cabin

Yesterday, I visited a 'station' - a safe house along the Underground Railroad in Southern Illinois. The Josiah White Log Cabin sits behind the Cheney Mansion, as undetected as one could imagine. If you're not looking for it, you'll drive right by.

Amazingly if you Google "Cheney Mansion" there is very little mention of its role in helping the slaves. Cheney was a politician and an active abolitionist. In fact, many abolitionists lived in Jerseyville, Illinois. When Harriet Tubman was helping slaves to freedom, she needed help, she needed a network of people who believed what she did that slavery was wrong. So she helped as many slaves as she could get to freedom. "The railroad truly was the feet of the escaping slaves or a silent trip hidden under the hay of a horse-drawn supply wagon of a "conductor." If you can, imagine walking from the deep South up to freedom, the north. Think about traveling only at night where it made it harder for slave trackers to catch them. Think about the conditions Harriet Tubman and her escapees had to survive under. Surely there was rain, cold, heat, and of course the wildlife that lived in those wooded areas. How about what they ate? No one had coats, only the bare clothing on their backs the night of the slaves escape. So it was important to have a conductor and stations in which to rest in order to get to the next stop on the Underground Railroad.

"The conductor was a person who assisted the slaves in getting from one station to the next. A "station" was a code word for the next safe stop on the railroad. And this railroad ran from the south to north into Canada (the promise land or freedom). Conductors suspected or caught helping fleeing slaves, risked being fined as much as $500, as well as threat to their life, limb and property. Alton's riverfront location was a vital hub in helping slaves create connections to freedom in the north. Free blacks and hired slaves who worked on riverboats were able to spread the word about the Underground Railroad to other slaves. Because St. Louis, down river from Alton, was one of the largest slave-holding areas north of New Orleans, historians believe many slaves escaped through Illinois as it was a free state."

The Josiah White Log Cabin was considered a "safe house" -- a place in which slaves traveling to freedom to the North could rest, get a good meal, before they left out the next night towards their journey to freedom. I must admit this was a daunting experience, it left me feeling humbled and very appreciative for what the slaves went through so I could have freedom. So we could have freedom. This is the 3rd in a series of articles on various historical relevant Black History events and locations in and around the St. Louis, Missouri region. Come back each day to enjoy more! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Elijah Parish Lovejoy: Abolitionist, Martyr

Though he only lived 35 years, Elijah Parish Lovejoy made a lot of Missouri slave owners angry. You see, Lovejoy lived in Alton, Illinois a the time and was an abolitionist who believed slavery was wrong, and he used his newspaper to write about it. This didn't go over well with the slave owners on the St. Louis side of the river. Lovejoy, "published a religious newspaper, The St. Louis Observer, and began to advocate the abolition of slavery. Despite the bitter feeling against him., Lovejoy persisted in arguing the fights of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom from slavery. After seeing a slave, Francis J. McIntosh, burned at the stake, his editorials became so strident against slavery that he became an object of hatred by both Southerners and slave-holders. His press was wrecked by a mob in July, 1836, and he moved to Alton in the free State of Illinois."

That was the first time. However, Lovejoy would not be stopped. He believed what he believed and wasn't afraid to stand up against an angry mob intent on making slavery legal in all states. Anyone opposing them, were intimidated or even killed. "In Alton, Lovejoy became the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery in 1837 and the first pastor of the present College Avenue Presbyterian Church. He actively supported the organization of the Anti-slavery Society of Illinois which enraged the Alton citizens. He continued writing and publishing the Alton Observer even after three presses had been destroyed and thrown into the Mississippi River."

"On the historic night of November 7, 1837, a group of 20 Lovejoy supporters joined him at the Godfrey & Gilman warehouse to guard a new press until it could be installed at the Observer. As the crowd grew outside, excitement and tension mounted. Soon the pro-slavery mob began hurling rocks at the warehouse windows. The defenders retaliated by bombarding the crowd with a supply of earthenware pots found in the warehouse. Then came an exchange of gunfire. Alton's mayor tried in vain to persuade the defenders inside to abandon the press. They stood fast. One of the mob climbed a ladder to try to set fire to the roof of the building. Lovejoy and one of his supporters darted into the darkness to over-turn the ladder, for they knew they would be doomed if a fire was set. But again a volunteer mounted the ladder to try to ignite the roof with a smoking pot of pitch. As Lovejoy assisted Royal Weller in putting out the fire on the roof of the building, Lovejoy received a blast from a double-barreled shotgun. Five of the bullets fatally struck Lovejoy. He died in the arms of his friend Thaddeus Hurlbut. The mob cheered and said all in the building should die. Amos Roff tried to calm the mob and was shot in the ankle. Defenders of the press then laid down their weapons and were allowed to leave. The mob rushed the building, found the press, and threw it out a window to the riverbank, broke it into pieces and dumped the broken parts into the river, The body of Lovejoy was left undisturbed, remaining there until morning, guarded by friends who finally carried him home. He was buried on his 35th birthday, November 9, 1837."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Why Was The Dred Scott Decision So Important?

This month I will be writing a post each day on an event in Black History in celebration of Black History Month. I live in St. Louis, Missouri, and had no idea of the historical gems I was living around. All photos are mine, and original. I visited these places and took pictures just for the purpose of this series. I hope you enjoy it.

Why Was The Dred Scott Decision So Important?

“Dred Scott was a slave whose owner, an army doctor, had spent time in Illinois, a free state, and Wisconsin, a free territory at the time of Scott’s residence. The Supreme Court was stacked in favor of the slave states. Five of the nine justices were from the South while another, Robert Grier of Pennsylvania, was staunchly pro-slavery.”

“Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote the majority decision, which was issued on March 6, 1857. The court held that Scott was not free based on his residence in either Illinois or Wisconsin becausehe was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution–in the opinion of the justices, black people were not considered citizens when the Constitution was drafted in 1787. According to Taney, Dred Scott was the property of his owner, and property could not be taken from a person without due process of law.” --

Basically, the court ruled that no slave or descendant of a slave could be a U.S. citizen, and therefore had no rights, nor could they sue the court for freedom. This court decision rendered slaves again powerless further stating that Dred Scott must remain a slave. The court took his freedom away, nullified it, and made this man a slave when he had only known freedom for many years. This trial went on for 11 years, making the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. This trial took place in St. Louis, at the Old Courthouse, a now historical landmark.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

How To Target Your Customers

Reality check time.

I was doing some reading last night and came across a couple of well thought out concepts that I felt could help generate more traffic to my website.

These two things were interesting enough to cause me to take notes, and rethink parts of my ad campaign. I can report though, that just by coming up with these two things, my marketing is more focused and targeted.

My Most Wanted Response (MWR) as well as my Unique Selling Position (USP). These were two components I needed to incorporate in my marketing program ASAP! Inserting them was going to breathe life into my campaign and distinguish me from my competitors.
An MWR was explained as being the thing you want your ad, your website to ultimately do. Whether that MWR be a sale, a signup or a telephone call, you should structure your marketing efforts toward obtaining your MWR.
Your USP is the thing that separates you from your competition. Having a solid USP will bring you higher conversion rates as well as loyal customers.
Your USP could be the fact that you are the only one providing website reviews; with your information customers can now make an intelligent decision on whether to do business with that online merchant.
The next time you look at a website, see if it incorporates an MWR and a USP. The way you can tell if you are getting traffic to your site.
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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Why Your Email Marketing is Failing


Some 34.8% of consumers said the main reason they unsubscribe from marketing emails is because they receive emails too often, and 20.8% said they unsubscribe because they find the content irrelevant or not useful. About 16% said they had never signed up for the email list, and 13.7% unsubscribe because they don't trust the source for the email. [SOURCE: Email Marketing Daily]

I found this guide from Aweber (email marketing client/platform) that may help your business reap the benefits from successful email marketing. I know I'm learning to get better at it because email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%! It's invaluable that I learn this, and you might want to consider it too.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How Do You Make It Rain When The Sun Always Shines?

You hear sales professionals talk about the mysterious 'rainmaker.' A 'rainmaker' in sales is a top performer, the one who makes all the sales all the time. For those of you that like to go to the strip clubs you are also familiar with the term 'make it rain,' because that's what is done when you toss money at a stripper who makes you happy. The common denominator in both these situations, is when it rains with money, people are happy. The sales professional is happy because he just made money, and the stripper is happy because she just made money. This is the only time in life when rain makes us happier than sun. In sales, when the sun is shining, pockets are empty, and you've hit a dry spot like out in the desert. No, sunshine is not a good thing for sales, because everybody wants to make it rain.

Let's break down the word rain and discuss why RAIN is a good thing!

R -- that stands for Rapport. That's right we are going to really break this down to the ridiculous! When you get in front of a prospect or have them on the telephone, the first thing you want to do is build rapport. Do this by having a conversation with the person. I don't think of them as a potential sale, but of a person that is looking for a solution to a problem yet to be discussed. Why else do you think they returned your phone call, or agreed to meet with you? They are curious how you can help them with something they've been trying to resolve but have been unsuccessful. Here is where you become a professional listener! (You're going to need it soon!)

A -- stands for Affliction. What keeps your prospect up at night? What bothers them? Are they worried about their mortgage? Wondering if they'll be able to afford college for their kids? You have to listen for those clues. Sometimes your prospect won't come out and say them, it's the words they don't say that a rainmaker hears and weaves those pain points into the conversation. Right here is a perfect opportunity to make it rain for you and your prospect! Here is where the prospect kind of goes off into a 'I wish I had' or 'that would be nice' state of mind. It's a real quick moment, so pay attention! The prospect wishes or 'aspires' to accomplish something. Grab that umbrella, it's about to rain!

I -- is for Impact. Now the rain is coming slowly but steadily. Here you want to make your prospect aware of the consequences and advantages of acting or not acting today. Basically, spell it out for them. If you leave without them taking advantage of your offer, your prospect will still have the same problem they had before you came in. However, if they take advantage of your offer today, right now, they are on their way to getting rid of that mortgage, stopping those bill collectors from calling, etc. Make it real to them by using their words they said to you at the 'Affliction and Aspiration' stage. Just repeat what they said they want to do, or what they want to happen but haven't been able to make happen. Help your prospect by guiding them into your 'Rain!'
N -- this is the New Reality of where the prospect is now. Here is where the rain comes! The prospect signs the contract, shakes your hand and looks forward to using the new solution to their problem(s). Right here is where it has been made real for the prospect. Realizing they need you more than they thought and the new reality of the situation is that their life will be better once they have your product in hand.
I enjoy writing about these kinds of things because I'm always able to reference real life situations I've experienced to the content. I'm not asking for a donation, but feel free to do that if you care about me drinking enough coffee to keep my brain amped up!

Or you could join me in this weight loss journey I'm on with ViSalus. Click on the word 'ViSalus' to get more info -- get paid to give parties, and lose weight! Sounds like utopia right? It is.

Monday, June 29, 2015

People Aren't Rejecting You, They're Rejecting Your Opportunity

I want to continue the conversation about making cold calls. I realized that I hit a nerve with that last post, and maybe we need to dig a little deeper into why we dread making cold calls.

Rejection is Progress

Cold calls are dreaded because we don't want to be rejected. Being rejected is not a good feeling, as a matter of fact, we fear rejection so much that it makes us not want to make those calls to strangers. It's takes rejection to make sales, so when those prospects tell you no, or hang up the phone on you, think of it as progress. Nothing else. It's not a setback, rejection is making you better, stronger. Your presentation is getting better, it's the practice that makes perfect. If you want to be taken serious, be consistent.

People are not rejecting you, they are rejecting your opportunity.

Brandon Janous, Global Ambassador for ViSalus was rejected 6 months by his best friend before he decided to join. Keep in mind it takes rejection to make sales. So expect it. Understand that rejection is normal. They are only rejecting you now. It has to be the right time for someone to join you in your business. Maybe it's not the right time, understand you can't quit, you can't give up. Stay consistent in what you do. Think about what it took for you to join your opportunity. You joined when it was the right time. So, if you're rejected today, it doesn't mean you're rejected forever. The more rejections you get, the faster you're going to get. It makes it easier to overcome those rejections when you keep going. Keep calling. Where some won't, one will. Remember, it's not about you.

You don't need them, but they need you

Think of it this way, you know you're presenting an opportunity to a prospect and they need what you're presenting. But, they tell you no. Don't sweat it. You have an awesome product to share, you can help them increase their bank accounts, you have the power to change their lives, if they let you. So, understand you hold the keys to their prosperity. If they are not ready to act on that, don't worry, go to the next one. Whatever you do, don't give up!

Listen to motivational tapes or read the books

When you are down go up, when you're up go down--Get out of your comfort zone, that's where your success lies! Whatever you do keep your head up, the more rejections you get, the more confident you'll become. I make 40-50 calls a day to small and medium business owners, I leave voicemails when they're not there, and send emails when I have their email address. Out of all those activities, I usually have a 10% success rate. But, I am simply calling to discover their business challenges, not to sell them anything. If I got down on myself doing this job, I would have quit a long time ago. My job has given me confidence to call on prospects to build my network marketing business. All things in divine order right? I also read motivational books, to keep my mind off the negative and to focus more on the positive. At the end of the day, just keep smiling and dialing. Trust me, that major sale is just around the corner.

Your Challenge Kit awaits you! Why wait? Contact me by leaving a comment below or go to my page and check out the video: Click here to see the video