Welcome to the 1st entry of my behind-the-scenes journal of our efforts to launch the inagural 2020 BestEducationPossible.com Masterclass for Parents.
We launched the course 3 days ago on August 1st and I thought it would be a good idea to place a few ads on Facebook and Instagram to increase exposure and hopefully also drive sales. Half of the equation was achieved, we got a lot of exposure, which means plenty of clicks and likes. But what was elusive in this initial effort was the CONVERSION. People were curious, they took a look, but the current funnel that I have developed (my first true effort in this vane) does not drive conversions. My rookie analysis tells me that our ad copy is partially to blame for this shortcoming. How does the copy make the potential customer feel about the purchase? Does it create any urgency?
Well I plan to keep you informed of our progress in this endeavor, sharing the ups and downs along the way. Just another day in the life of your favorite wandering polymath. Stay tuned, hopefully we will figure out conversion rates and get this wonderful resource into the hands of as many parents around the country as need it. That is our goal, to reach every parent in need. To leave no child behind for the ’20-’21 #covid19 school year.
What do you think, is it the copywriter? Do you know about driving conversions in the e-commerce and specifically the e-Course space? Leave me a comment or suggestion if you have some knowledge or experience to share. Thanks, in advance!
I cannot recall exactly when it occurred but at some point back in 1988 while a freshman at Huntsville High School I set three goals for myself: 1) graduate from the place; 2) get a date with this beautiful girl in my homeroom who was named Tracy Yarbrough; and, 3) while it seemed an unreasonable long shot for a tiny freshman who literally was only 102 pounds soaking wet with football pads on holding a 10 lb dumbbell, the first time I set eyes on the big red boards hanging in our school’s gym that I wanted to be in that club. I wanted to be a state champion high hurdler.
Obviously, I had to have this on my resume, not for any other reason then that my father was one of the most heralded high hurdlers to ever run for Abington High School in the suburbs outside of northern Philadelphia. This third goal made the list because I live the life of a junior, as a child not only did I have to look up to this godlike figure and role model, but I had the glorious joy of also carrying the great man’s name. This formula can possibly create a marvelous environment for a healthy competition where the younger seeks to overtake the elder and the elder seeks to maintain as much of their advantage for as long as they can.
We are only going to focus on the third goal here, in case the pictures were not a spoiler. But I will share that although both took what seemed like years, I was able to accomplish both goals one and two. Fast forward to May 1992 and the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 6A Boys Outdoor Track & Field Championships held somewhere in central or southern Alabama. Over the course of the previous four years I had committed myself to the goal of being the best high hurdler I could possible be.
Persistence, hard work, and dedication definitely pay off and while I now only stood at 5’7″ tall and weighed a slight 147 pounds I had the fastest qualifying time as we were set to run the finals of the 110m high hurdles. I was in the middle of the track positioned in lane four as a result of having the fastest qualifying time in the preliminary heats.
The table was set for me to win the Alabama state title. The entire universe had organized the events so my dream could come true. I would be a state champion and my name would go up on those big red boards in the school gymnasium. It is probably important to interject a regular mantra offered to me by my mother, “stay focused.” It is important that she was always telling me that I had to stay focused because decades later I would receive a diagnosis of adult ADHD and most likely had a touch of good ole childhood ADHD as well. When discussing this point with my mother years later, she chimed, “Baby, they didn’t have any names for what you had when you were a child, so we just did the best we could.” Little did I know, my mother’s admonitions would come into play in the finals of the Alabama high hurdle championship race that very day.
Crouched in the starting blocks I cleared my mind of all thoughts coiled every muscle in my body and awaited the signal of the starting gun to burst into action. Bang! I exploded out of the blocks due to the combination of my explosive start and abnormally quick reaction time to the sound of the starter’s pistol.
From the first step out of the blocks I was in full command of the race and firmly shot forward into first place as we cleared hurdle number one. One, two, three, step. One, two, three, step. I raced over hurdles one thru eight running a smooth clean race, victory was close at hand. At this point there was literally nothing and no one that could interrupt my triumph, no one that is, except me.
As I cleared hurdle eight and approached hurdle number nine I couldn’t see anyone in my peripheral vision and I couldn’t feel the presence of any other competitors. I felt victory was mine. And here in this critical moment of high stakes competition I opted to commence a vivid daydream montage featuring post event festivities.
First, that evening when we returned to Huntsville, (we would be rushing back to attend our senior prom), I saw myself surrounded by my fellow Crimson Panthers mutually adulating in my win. The scene morphed to those big red boards and the new 1992 entries, including Don West 110m High Hurdles. It was glorious. It was worth all the sweat and the pain. The days when I pushed myself so hard that I was compelled to throw up the high quality vittles that were served up to us in the HHS cafe. Did I mention this was all happening as I was in the process of finishing a race that takes less that 15 seconds total from start to finish.
Needless to say, this was a major violation of my mother’s edicts throughout my childhood to stay focused. As I reached the mid-point of crossing the tenth hurdle my victory montage was rudely interrupted by something in my peripheral vision to my left. The kid in lane five was closing fast. I snapped to it in a flash and commenced to finishing the business at hand as I touched down from clearing the tenth and final hurdle now with a kid pulling up fast right next to me. We raced to the finish line both bending as far forward as we could without tumbling over as we reached the tape. A photo finish.
After the race it took a long time for them to announce the winner. A council of officials was concerned and these men poured over the photograph of our finish. Finally, our team’s head coach, Coach Fletcher and I walked up to the official’s booth. There the officials allowed Coach and I to look at the photograph and we both swore that it could be called either way from our viewpoints, to us the photo looked to be a tie. Well, if you looked closely at the photos at the beginning of this post you already may have noticed my name does not appear anywhere on those big red boards. The powers that be ultimately did not see a tie, rather they awarded the race to the other guy, saying, that he defeated me by one one-hundredth of a second. His winning time was declared to be 14.62 and my disappointing 14.63 was awarded second place and unsatisfying all-state honors. All that hard work, all that dedication, spoiled because I failed to stay focused. It was a hard and painful lesson to learn.
(This article was updated on 3/10/2018 to add an eighth dimension to the pyramid, the financial wellbeing dimension was added as level four.)
We recognize that our purpose here on earth is greater than doing things or collecting things. Here at the Legacy Institute, we seek to provide our practitioners a holistic set of tools and information to empower them in increasing their clients’ happiness and satisfaction with their life’s journeys. The search for balance in life leads one to examine their holistic wellbeing. Holistic Wellbeing is the pursuit of continued growth and balance in the eight dimensions of wellbeing. A lot of people think about “wellbeing” in terms of physical health only. The word invokes thoughts of nutrition, exercise, weight management, blood pressure, etc. Wellbeing, however, is much more than physical health. Holistc wellbeing is a full integration of all six dimensions of our physical reality, as well as our mental and spiritual wellbeing. It is a complex set of interactions that when balanced together leads to quality of life.
Holistic Wellbeing is commonly viewed as having eight dimensions. Each dimension contributes to our own sense of wellbeing or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps the others. At times one may be more prominent than others, but the neglect of any one dimension for any extended length of time may have adverse effects on overall health and often is the cause of “dis-ease.”
Exploring The Eight Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing
Many people focus on the grander scale of the environment when discussing this particular dimension focusing on cleaner air, oceans and conservation efforts. We like to think of it in a much more personal sense. We define our environment as the places where we spend our time. This does include the oceans and the great outdoors, but more directly we see it as our bedrooms, homes, offices, cars, etc. These are our personal environments. Environmental wellness is an awareness of the unstable state of balance in our homes and communities as well as across the entire earth and the effects of our daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony within our homes and throughout the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment. It starts will cleaning and organizing our personal quarters.
Tips and suggestions for optimal environmental wellness:
Explore the Chinese principles of Fung Shui for your home and/or office
Deep clean and organize the place you spend most of your time
Stop your junk mail
Conserve water and other resources
Minimize chemical use
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Renew your relationship with the earth
Level 2 – Physical Wellbeing Dimension
Physical wellness encompasses a variety of healthy behaviors including adequate exercise, proper nutrition and abstaining from harmful habits such as drug use and alcohol abuse. It means learning about and identifying symptoms of disease, getting regular medical checkups, and protecting yourself from injuries and harm. Developing such healthy habits today will not only add years to your life but will enhance the enjoyment and quality of those years.
Tips for optimal physical wellness:
Get adequate rest
Use seat belts, helmets, and other protective equipment
Learn to recognize early signs of illness
Eat a variety of healthy foods
Control your meal portions
Stop smoking and protect yourself against second-hand smoke
Use alcohol in moderation, if at all
Level 3 – Emotional Wellbeing Dimension
Emotional wellbeing is a dynamic state that fluctuates frequently with your other six dimensions of wellbeing. Being emotionally well is typically defined as possessing the ability to feel and express human emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger. Our clients have found wellness in this dimension more attainable when once they recognize they are the Observer of their own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Having an awareness that you are not these things and separate seems to promote wellness. It means having the ability to love and be loved and achieving a sense of fulfillment in life. Emotional wellness encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance and the ability to share feelings.
Tips for optimal emotional wellbeing:
Tune-in to your thoughts and feelings
Cultivate an optimistic attitude
Seek and provide support
Learn time management skills
Practice stress management techniques
Accept and forgive yourself
Level 4 – Financial Wellbeing Dimension
The financial dimension challenges us to master our economic landscape. In this dimension we seek to develop satisfaction with both our current and our future financial situations. Financial Wellbeing includes our relationship with money, skills to manage resources to live within our means, making informed financial decisions and investments, setting realistic goals, and learning to prepare for short-term and long-term needs or emergencies. Part of this dimension includes an awareness that everyone’s financial values, needs, and circumstances are unique. Most express a need to expand their knowledge of financial matters and understanding of the tools available to find mastery in this dimension.
Tips and suggestions for optimal Financial Wellbeing include:
Develop and stick-to a balanced and written budget
Personal finance author and lecturer Robert T. Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective from two very different influences – his two fathers. One father (Robert’s real father) was a highly educated man but fiscally poor. The other father was the father of Robert’s best friend – that Dad was an eighth-grade drop-out who became a self-made multi-millionaire. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his poor dad pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his rich dad. Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at 47.
Beloved by millions, this timeless classic holds the key to all you desire and everything you wish to accomplish. This is the book that reveals the secret to personal wealth.
The Success Secrets of the Ancients—
An Assured Road to Happiness and Prosperity
Countless readers have been helped by the famous “Babylonian parables,” hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simple as that found in the Bible, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime. This is the book that holds the secrets to keeping your money—and making more.
Level 5 – Intellectual Wellbeing Dimension
The intellectual dimension encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. People who possess a high level of intellectual wellness have an active mind and continue to learn. An intellectually well person uses the resources available to expand one’s knowledge and improve skills. Keeping up-to-date on current events and participating in activities that arouse our minds are also important.
Tips and suggestions for optimal intellectual wellness include:
Take a continuing education course or workshop
Learn (or perfect) a foreign language
Seek out people who challenge you intellectually
Read, Read, Read
Learn to appreciate art in all its forms
Level 6 – Social Wellbeing Dimension
Social wellness refers to our ability to interact successfully with our global community and to live up to the expectations and demands of our personal roles. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support network of friends and family members.
Social wellness includes showing respect for others and yourself. When we see those we interact with as mirrors of ourselves, we have opportunities to grow and develop a deeper understanding through what we see. Contributing to your community and to the world builds a sense of belonging.
Tips and suggestions for optimal social wellness include:
Cultivate healthy relationships
Contribute to your community
Share your talents and skills
Communicate your thoughts, feelings and ideas
Level 7 – Spiritual Wellbeing Dimension
Spiritual wellness involves possessing a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that help give direction to one’s life. It encompasses a high level of faith, hope and commitment to your individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose. It is willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence, to question everything and to appreciate the things which cannot be readily explained or understood.
A spiritually well person seeks harmony between what lies within as well as the forces outside.
Tips and suggestions for optimal spiritual wellness:
Explore your spiritual core
Spend time alone/meditate regularly
Be inquisitive and curious
Be fully present in everything you do
Listen with your heart and live by your principles
Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are
See opportunities for growth in the challenges life brings you
Level 8 – Occupational Wellbeing Dimension
Occupational/Vocational wellness involves preparing and making use of your gifts, skills, and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in your life. Oprah instructs us to seek to find our bliss, the thing that brings us joy, and then seek to find a way to make money or monetize whatever it is that brings you such joy. The development of occupational satisfaction and wellness is related to your attitude about your work. Achieving optimal occupational wellness allows you to maintain a positive attitude and experience satisfaction/pleasure in your employment. Occupational wellness means successfully integrating a commitment to your occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying and rewarding.
Tips and suggestions for optimal occupational wellbeing include:
Ask yourself if you would do anything at all with no limitations
Consider what your life’s journey has prepared you for that is unique
Create a vision for your future
Choose a career that aligns with your personality, interests, and talents
Be open to change and learn new skills
Now that you have reviewed all eight dimensions of holistic wellbeing what are the first things that come to mind? What are you going to do differently in your life to achieve more balance and wellbeing? Do you have a better understanding of how everything in our entire world impacts our holistic wellbeing?
Last week Marilyn shared with our Life Coaching group a wonderful piece by Marianne Williamson from her 1992 book, “Return To Love.” Many people inaccurately attribute this passage to former South African President Nelson Mandela due to his inclusion of its wisdom in his Presidential Inauguration Address.
Our Deepest Fear
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Today, I was intent on being a part of our 11am Advanced Life Coaching Group with Marilyn Jhung at the West Central Mental Health Center, (WCMHC), in Los Angeles, California. Because I am staying in Orange County, California, in order to achieve this task today, I first needed to take three buses in Orange County to the Irvine Train Station, where I would take a train to Los Angeles’ Union Station. From Union Station, I would conclude my journey by hopping two buses to Crenshaw Blvd & Stocker St., where I can easily hoof it up to the little red brick building we loving call, WCMHC. I check all the various schedules and lay out my transpo plan.
Here is a recapped synopsis of my day so far:
6am – wake up 20 minutes before my 6:20 alarm.
6:01am – look out the window to see the most Amazing dawn.
6:50am – leave the house.
7am – arrive at bus station for 7:10am bus. Realize I am at the wrong station. Began to jog the 0.9 miles to the correct bus stop arriving at 7:09am, just in time to catch the bus.
8:10am – Exit second bus.
8:30am – Take a bus stop selfie and notice same route go by on other side of the road.
8:40am – Jump on 3rd bus to head to train station to catch 8:52 train. The last northbound train of the am.
8:45am – Think to myself, we should be there already AND nothing going by outside my window looks familiar.
8:47am – Exit the bus realizing I have missed the last am train to Union Station.
So, NOW comes the query inside my heart, AM I INTERESTED OR COMMITTED?
Here is the set-up, I had already spent $22 bucks on a useless train ticket. I am sleepy because I stayed up late working on my current book project. I check Uber to see how much it will cost, because I still have time to make it if I am COMMITTED. Uber has a driver three minutes away and wants $74.53 to make the trip. I haven’t had any breakfast and I feel even more sleepy thinking about how I only have a few more than $75 in my account today. What will I do?
I ordered the Uber. (I am literally writing this piece from the back seat right now.) I went all in. I put my money 💰 where my COMMITMENT is, I put it toward making it to our group.
Bottomline, I am COMMITTED to my role as a Volunteer at WCMHC. What are you COMMITTED to?
10:55am – Group calls to ask if I am gonna make it today. I say, on my way.
10:57am – I walk in the front door of WCMHC. Tell everybody, “Mr. West is in the building!!!”
The Legacy Pyramid™ was created by Don West, Jr., who serves as the Director of Education to the American Institute of Legacy & Estate Planning.The Legacy Pyramid™is a visual depiction model for a twenty-two part system for multi-generational well-being, happiness, success, and prosperity.
The Legacy Pyramid’s™ methodology integrates lessons and teachings from history’s greatest coaches, thinkers, and teachers including: Coach John Wooden, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Hill, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Og Mandino, Stephen R. Covey, Prentice Mulford, Carl Jung, John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, John Kotre, Don West, Jr., James E. Hughes, Jr., and many more.
The Legacy Pyramid™is rooted in life long learning, which is the underlying principle of the Intellectual Wellbeing Dimension, the fourth dimension of the Seven Dimensions of Holistic Wellbeing. Further, Don emphasizes the Legacy Pyramid™ is a living system and is intended to integrate and adopt new knowledge and teachings as they become available.
The twenty-two components of the system are:
Stone 1: Humility & Service (Foundation); Stone 2: Industriousness (Cornerstone #1);
Stone 3: Enthusiasm (Cornerstone #2);
Stone 4: Definitive Chief Aim;
Stone 5: Junto/Mastermind/Universal Mind;
Stone 6: Iron Grip Control & Management;
Stone 7: Imagination;
Stone 8: Excercise/Physical Fitness;
Stone 9: Habit of Giving & the Law of Saving;
Stone 10: Initiative & Leadership;
Stone 11: Concentration;
Stone 12: Acute & Accurate Thinking;
Stone 13: Pleasing Personality;
Stone 14: Cooperation;
Stone 15: Intentness;
Stone 16: Practicing the Golden Rule;
Stone 17: Universal Law;
Stone 18: Generativity;
Stone 19: Competitive Greatness;
Stone 20: Self-Control;
Stone 21: Self-Confidence; and,
Stone 22: Temet Nosce/Know Thyself.
Don often shares how he developed the Legacy Pyramid™ in his speeches, frequently citing what he calls, #AmazingThoughtz from the books and programs the Pyramid draws upon; he credits two initial influences in developing the Legacy Pyramid,™ they are, Coach John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success,” and Napoleon Hill’s “Laws of Success.”
“As I was reading Napolean Hill’s The Law of Success, I began to wonder how other great systems would interact with his, and thus, began the quest that resulted in the eventual creation of the Legacy Pyramid.™ Having long been a fan of former UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach John Wooden – the ‘Wizard of Westwood,’ and his legendary Pyramid of Success, I sought to utilize and incorporate Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success as the primary model out of respect to his pioneering body of work and high standards of excellence, but also as an homage and continuation of the Mt. Everest-sized legacy Coach Wooden and his Pyramid of Success have become.”
And also by one person that I have never met- Catherine Zeta-Jones. So now I have shared the goal and the inspiration, but you are probably asking why does he feel tethered in the first place? Well, for the past four years I have lived in “the cave,” hiding from the world ~ trying to hide from the truth. (I know your like Donald’s been in a cave the past four years? Wait till you see me when I get out of the cave at the end of this…) I have felt as though there was a rock, a weight, a burden so huge and big on my back that I could not look to face the warm rays of the sun, nor the cool sparkle of the stars. So here goes my statement, the truth shall set you free…
Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be an attorney, many people have heard me tell my story. Then very late one evening on Miami Beach in 2001, my old roomie from law school, in his capacity as a Florida Notary, swore me into The Florida Bar. Well, my life’s quests were complete, I was an attorney and a sports attorney at that – done and done. What next, where is the next great insurmountable mountain to climb? Boy if I only knew then that the little molehill I was looking for was actually a tiny foothill at the beginning of the great Andes Mountain range. So here is the deal, in or around 2001 I became aware that I was different than other people. I say aware because prior to attending law school I had obtained a degree in psychology from Florida State. More than once during many an undergrad psychology class reading assignments or during a bit of self-reflection I would think, boy that sounds a bit like me. And in 2001 at the age of 27 things began to change with my mood and energy levels.
Like many others before me impacted by all sorts of challenges I had and have developed coping mechanisms to appear as ‘normal’ as all of you. So, let’s fast forward to the end 2008 when Kaynaz, (my then girlfriend, now wife), was in Dubai completing her MBA and I was state-side in Miami, Florida working as you guessed it – an attorney. Some things had changed, I was no longer working as a sports lawyer, I had refocused my practice on the estate & legacy planning areas of concentration, but to keep revenues flowing to my solo practice my caseload looked much more similar to a general practitioner.
I was rocking things, I had clients, I had co-authored a book, launched a publishing company was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association in Trusts & Estates and then in December 2008 ~ a bi-polar episode. This was not the first and probably will not be the last that I will experience in my life, but at least in this case, as well as others in the past, this episode proved to be life-altering.
Much of this was due to the fact that I always worked to keep it quite, hidden – I felt compelled too, was wrongly counseled by fellow attorneys and even a therapist or two who’d say, ‘Don’t let anyone find out.” But that is like trying to hide crutches under a trench coat. Bottomline, “I was taken out of the Game.” The result was that I had to step away and take some time to take care of myself. Don West, Jr. required an unscheduled sabbatical. These types of sabbaticals often have dire and long-lasting consequences. Mine was not any different. I failed to properly close out numerous open items, including several of my legal clients’ cases. I made errors in managing my condition prior to the episode and am responsible for all the consequences of said mismanagement.
I am guilty of being an ineffective and consequently dishonest lawyer during this period. In the end, I have failed to communicate with the Bar because I was too ashamed, to tell the truth. It has consequences; everything does. So the truth is that Don West, Jr. is a ‘wee bit’ bi-polar, currently in the midst of serving a one-year suspension [that was extended to three years in total for delays in making restitution and failing to communicate] from the Florida Bar for being a “Dishonest” attorney and I still dream of building on the work of Leigh Steinberg and changing the world in unbelievable ways. I am a dreamer and I always have been. But I also make my dreams come true – I’ve been doing it all my life. “Imma be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtedly.” Lucky for me that I am also a high hurdler, cause I got a hella lot of hurdles to get over….
Here is the clipping from the Florida Bar News as it appeared on March 11, 2011:
That is all folks, that is as juicy as the skeletons in the closet get. But now that they are out – I am UNTETHERED!