Feeling Trapped? The Impact of Relying on Your Instincts in the Wrong Environment

This morning, as I walked out into my garage, I was taken aback by a peculiar noise.

Being partially deaf in one ear, I struggled to locate its source, but the sound was unmistakable—a distinct flapping that echoed through the space.

As I looked around, perplexed, I soon discovered the source of the commotion: a trapped female cardinal.

Observing the frantic bird, I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t losing my mind; there was indeed a trapped creature in my garage. My initial instinct was to open the garage door, allowing the cardinal to escape into the open air. I hit the switch, expecting her to notice the light and fly out to freedom. However, fear had taken hold of her, causing her to fly upward, repeatedly colliding with the ceiling.

With each collision, tiny feathers flew and her struggle marked the ceiling with tiny red smudges of blood.

I felt helpless, unsure of what to do next. I didn’t want to exacerbate her panic, as it would only lead to more collisions. I held onto the hope that she would eventually spot the vast opening and take flight to safety. So, I stood patiently watching this unfold quietly in the corner of the garage, giving her the space she needed.

Eventually, she made it out, but not without enduring significant trauma.

As I watched her fly away, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between her situation and our own experiences. There are times when we find ourselves in environments that initially seem inviting but gradually become confining. We begin to feel trapped, and in our desperation, we push harder, employing our strengths to overcome the perceived obstacles.

Like the cardinal, we might panic and act impulsively, causing further damage. Yet, we fail to realize that the problem lies not in our ability to fly but in the unsuitable environment we have unwittingly entered. In such moments, we need to take a step back, reevaluate our perspective, and acknowledge that a change of environment may be necessary for us to thrive.

When we are too frightened to change our approach, seeking guidance from someone with a different perspective becomes invaluable. Just as a person lost in a maze may keep bumping into the same walls, we may become blind to the solutions right in front of us. The cardinal, unaware that the ceiling would not yield, needed someone with their feet firmly planted on the ground to help it understand the nature of its predicament.

Are you currently feeling trapped in a box of your own making? Despite your best efforts, do you find yourself unable to achieve the desired outcome? The cardinal’s ordeal teaches us a valuable lesson—we must not solely rely on our own perception and strengths. Sometimes, all it takes is an outside perspective to illuminate the path forward.

Instead of berating ourselves and believing that flying harder or being better will solve everything, we should examine both the environment we’re in and the possibility of seeking help. By recognizing how our surroundings may deceive our natural instincts and embracing the importance of diverse viewpoints, we can regain the ability to soar.

Many of us may find ourselves in this predicament, struggling with problems that seem insurmountable. But as long as we continue to spread our wings in an environment that stifles us, each collision will reinforce the belief that the task is overwhelmingly difficult. It is during these times that we need to humble ourselves and seek out the perspectives of others—those who know the environment and possess insight into our nature.

Let us learn from the cardinal’s journey and not underestimate the power of a fresh perspective. By doing so, we can break free from our self-imposed limitations and discover the hidden possibilities that lie beyond our perceived boundaries.

Are you feeling stuck?  If so, consider talking to a friend or loved one.  You might be surprised at how easy their external perspective makes it to resolve your dilemma.

But whatever you do, don’t doubt your wings or your ability to fly.  Don’t question your nature and who you are or what you bring to this wold.

You may have just wondered into and environment out of alignment with your strengths.


“How I Lost 115 Pounds…” (w/ Laura Richardson)

As a mother of two young kids, newly divorced Laura found herself at a crossroads and became determined to make a change. This change was largely motivated by wanting to be a better role model for her kids (especially her daughter.)

During Laura’s journey she went from not being able to do a single pushup to doing grueling Camp Gladiator workouts several times a week.

In this interview we discuss her journey. The tools she relied on to shed the weight, transform her attitude and become an inspiration for others.

Some of her tools included:

  • Free Apps
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Exercise
  • Developing a Support System
  • Requesting Help Where Needed

Enjoy this interview and please feel free to leave a comment below.

How to Track Your Email Marketing Results

One of the greatest attributes of web advertising is its ability to be tracked. Without tracking its difficult to tell how many visitors are responding to your newsletter advertisements unless they order from you and tell you where they saw you.

Wouldn’t you like to know how many people clicked on your offer even if they don’t order?

This information is important. The following tracking strategy has been used for several Digital Harvest campaigns and is fairly easy to implement. This strategy does require some minor HTML skills. Primarily it requires the ability to cut and paste a tracker code to the bottom of your offer page and change the two variables where necessary.

Set Up a Relay Page

The easiest way to track clicks on a newsletter advertisement is by setting up a relay page that has a code to show each time it’s loaded. This relay page (also known as a refresh page) is where you will send your visitors. The refresh page is set up strictly for tracking purposes. You’ve probably seen them before. These pages load quickly and before you have a chance to do anything, magically take you to a new page.

You’ve just been tracked.

You can see an example of a refresh page by visiting the following URL:


You will notice that the page loads and after a second or two you are automatically taken to the destination page, which is our newsletter signup page. The refresh page quickly tracked your visit and since this is the only location in which we publish the above URL, we know that visitors to this page have read our report. If it were an ad we could name these refresh pages.

Sample Refresh Code:

“n” is the number of seconds it takes before the visitor is forwarded to the web page listed as the “http://www.destination.com.”

Be sure to place the refresh coding in the webpage’s header tag.

You can now use different URLs in your advertising so you can learn which ads performed the best. By setting up different refresh pages, each named after a different creative, you can quickly track click-thrus.

The 5 Most Expensive Web Mistakes Industrial Firms Make…

I’d like to start by saying, I love industrials!

Many of my best clients are industrial firms helping to keep America running strong with heavy equipment, generators, air compressors, forklifts, diesel repair teams and skilled technicians that work with their hands and get shit done!

Over the years however, I’ve had to repeatedly witness common mistakes and misconceptions that cause a negative impact on a client’s website.

In this article I’ll outline those issues and roadblocks to increase profits and growth.

1: No Idea What Is Going on With their Website

Anytime I have begun work with the client, the very first thing we do for their website is to check if it’s set up with analytics, so we can see what is going on with their traffic.

Who are their visitors, where are they coming from, what pages are most popular and what pages are responsible for generating new leads.

With so many people using the Internet to find service providers, it is critical that you have a good understanding of what is going on with your website and if your content and website is doing what it needs to do.

Google analytics is free and relatively easy to set up, so there is no excuse to not take advantage of it.

The most important things to check are:

  • Top 10 Pages
  • Unique Visitors Count (trends)
  • Traffic Sources
  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Time on Site/Page
  • Conversions!

2: Assuming Only emails Come From Website

The web only produces email inquiries?  This could not be further from the truth!

However I repeatedly hear this response from new customers when asked if they get any business from their website.

They usually say; no we only get a few emails a month.

And usually I follow up and ask how many phone calls they get via their website and they say not very many at all.

When I ask them how they know, they reply by saying; we have our receptionist ask callers how they found us.

Usually with some coaxing they allow me to put up a trackable phone number on their website.

Typically we find 8 to 10 times the number of calls versus emails.

We also find when we listen to the recordings that nobody is ever asked how they found the company.

Relying on people to ask where a customer found you is very unreliable.

3: Ignoring Local

One of the most exciting advertising developments to evolve over the last 10 years has been Google local and local search marketing.

The yellow pages are dead.

Unless you have an audience over the age of 80.

However most companies do nothing to take advantage of the hundreds if not thousands of searches that occur locally for their offering.

We see websites all the time where the area in which they do business is not even mentioned.

Where the GMB page is not claimed. Where there are no reviews. Where there are no local directory citations.

There is still a tremendous amount of business to be easily had in many markets and only a few businesses are paying attention.

Ladies and gentlemen, let there be no mistake about it …

If your Google My Business listing isn’t showing it’s a huge missed opportunity!

At the very least request a company to do an audit of your locations.

Knowing if your website has a fighting chance is half the battle.

4: Incorrectly Referring to Their Territory

This next point expands on the last.

You want to reference the areas you serve in the way that customers reference them.

All too often businesses make references to the county or counties that they serve.

However, people typically use the name of their city or the next largest city they live near.

Most companies we see don’t mention their territories at all, but when they do, make sure it is done correctly.

Simply adding a big list of, separated locations will no longer cut it.

It’s time to take this seriously.

5: Testimonials / Reviews

Prospective customers like to check out reviews, if you have a Google My Business listing, there is a good chance people are leaving a review on it.

The amount and type of reviews can offer some insight into the success of the company and the quality of the product(s) or service(s) being offered.

Reviews are also taken into account by Google as a ranking factor for localized search.

So reviews are a big deal, not kind of a big deal … they are a big deal, period!

When we see a business not paying attention to their reviews, ignoring them completely, or not engaging with customers that leave reviews (Good or Bad) in a timely manner we know that is an area that needs to be looked into.

Make sure you have a system in place to engage with reviewers and obtain reviews, because it plays such an important role for the way people perceive your business and ultimately how it affects your profits.

The Biggest Mistake I Routinely See Businesses Making with Phone Leads

I’ve talked with many companies who remark that by the time they call a lead back it’s often unresponsive or already being serviced by another company.Response time is critical in lead generation.  In fact, research shows that an alarming percentage of leads do business with the first company to call them back!

Not the best.

Not the friendliest.

Not the cheapest.


Being fast often causes the customer to view your firm as responsive and professional.  “Wow, if they called me back this fast, I can just imagine how responsive they will be when I become a paying customer!”

If you are purchasing phone leads, do yourself a favor.

Come up with a plan.  Measure your response time and work on improving it.

It will help you close more leads and grow your profits.