Sunday, November 11, 2012
This next summer he will be biking across the United States. He will go from Harrisonburg, Virginia and arrive in San Diego, California. He will do this in a very short period of just 8 weeks. His desire is to raise funds for Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer, that mainly strikes kids under the age of two.
This is an ambitious effort and he needs funds to support his ride but also ultimately, he wants what I want, a CURE for childhood cancer. I am asking that you support him by either helping fund his effort directly or during the week from 11/12/12 through 11/19/12 go to my website Dragonflywings4Emmalee.com and purchase a book or shirt and I will give 50% of the proceeds to his cause.
Here is his page http://www.gofundme.com/projekt3k and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ProJeKt3K
Please join with me in this great young mans effort.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
In one of the stories a Nordstrom customer brought back some tire chains that apparently were not even sold by Nordstrom. I have done that before, not on purpose, but brought something I bought back to the wrong store, only to hear, "I am sorry sir we don't sell those shoes here." Then it hits me, I bought them at that other store. "Well, I guess I will go shop at the other store since I have to go there anyway," I think to myself.
Well, this Nordstrom employee returned the tire chains and gave the customer a refund. Nice!
I have heard that one of the mandates from Nordstroms during training is to, "Use good judgment with customers." Then they tell stories like this one. Talk about trust and believing in your employees.
In the second example, one of the Nordstrom employees was out in the parking lot warming up the car, in the dead of winter, for a customer. No one has ever warmed my car up for me. I am still waiting for this to happen. Maybe I need to shop at Nordstroms.
When you train your employees through stories and examples like these, it feeds the creative side of your brain and allows your mind to naturally fill in the gaps to find your own solutions. The wheels in your mind begin to spin and you go through different scenarios and find out how you can incorporate these stories into your daily work. When the time comes to act on their own the Nordstrom employees can recall the story and use good judgement to guide their actions.
On the opposite end there are companies who train with step-by-step instructions. 1. Smile and look the customer in the eyes. 2. Greet them with a happy hello. 3. Ask them if there is anything in particular they are looking for. 4. Be available for them if they have questions. 5. Be ready to ring them up.
Stories tend to help people rise to the occasion and allow them think independently, and then decide how they might do something similar. Step-by-step instructions tend to put people's creativity in a box and stifle personal growth and creativity.
I love to share stories with clients when doing therapy and when I am doing seminars or speaking engagements. More often than not you will retell a story to someone versus step-by-step instructions.
My hope is that Emmalee's story will send you mind on a creative journey and ideas will flow as to how you can love more deeply, serve others more diligently or just gain new ideas as to how to be a better person. What would you do if you were diagnosed with cancer? Would your thoughts turn dark? What if my child were diagnosed with a terminal illness? How would she cope? How much information would you share with your child about their diagnosis?
I have received so many e-mails and feedback from people who have read Dragonfly Wings for Emmalee and been changed permanently. I know you will be a different person after you read her story.
Steve Havertz, LCSW, is the author of Dragonfly Wings for Emmalee. He has been a licensed counselor in the mental health field for over 20 years. The end of the book has helpful advice about how to cope with a loss and what not to say to those grieving. It can be purchase on-line at amazon.com and on-line or at stores Barnes and Noble and Deseret Book, bn.com and deseretbook.com.
Friday, September 28, 2012
They will need to intubate her today because of her heart failure, which means they put a breathing tube down her to make her breathe. She will then basically be sedated. Intubating her may put her into cardiac arrest. We need to decide what direction we want to head. It does not look good right now either way we go.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I have certainly not hit the big time yet, but I have gone from a self-published author to having my book in book stores. I have been able to land some impressive TV and radio gigs. There have also been some newspaper articles written about "Dragonfly Wings for Emmalee". (Visit www.DragonflyWings4Emmalee.com for more specifics)
What I have learned so far.
1. I thought, after my interview with Carole Makita on KSL-TV, an interview on KSL radio, being on the morning news with Fox13 and being a guest on The Morning Zoo 97.1 in Salt Lake City, that my book would be a hot commodity. It sold a couple of copies after each of those interviews. The same thing for all of the other press that I have received. Do you go out and buy a product after just seeing or hearing about it one time? Usually, people need to hear about it and see it many times before they are convinced to purchase it. Press builds your credibility more that it creates sales.
2. To create a "World Wide Rave" you have to be different and do something that is out of the ordinary. If someone has already used a particular marketing strategy, it is not likely to capture attention. Who was the second man to walk on the moon? Not many people know because second does not get the attention. I spend hours trying to think up new ways to get peoples attention without overtly selling. Trying to be the first person to come up with that attention-grabbing creative idea is the hardest part.
3. You have to find a distributor in order to get your book into bookstores. As a self-published author, you will not be able to sell your book to bookstore on your own. Between the distributor and the bookstore they take half of your profit. Getting your book on Amazon is a lot easier that getting your book in a bookstore.
4. In order to get press build relationships with media people. Join conversations on Twitter and Facebook. Send them relevant and good information about potential stories. I have done this many times and got lucky the few times. I still send out information periodically, most of the time receiving no response.
5. Find the problem you book solves for people and use that as your hook. Emmalee's story gives people inspiration, pushes parents to love their children more, helps others with cancer feel more normal, helps people know what to say to the grieving, and helps people grieve a loss. Being a counselor allows me to help others solve some of these problems with, hopefully, some credibility.
6. Know who your potential buyers are. I have learned that a higher percentage of my readers are women who have children. I would love more men to read the book, but I think they are too afraid of crying. Market to your audience.
7. Create memory hooks that will trigger people to think about you and your book. Naturally, a dragonfly often times reminds people of Emmalee or her story. It has been really nice to have people send me photos, pictures of dragonfly products, or tell me how they were strengthened by seeing a dragonfly. Find images or items that will remind people of your book.
8. Once your book is in bookstores go and talk to staff and tell them about your book. They often recommend books to their customers. If they put your face to the book and story they may just do some marketing for you. I took some t-shirts into Deseret Book for the staff to have. Hopefully, that will help them recommend my book to their customers.
9. When you walk into a bookstore and see all the competition it is very humbling. It is hard work and you have to try to do something everyday. Blog, e-mail, FaceBook, t-shirts, sending information to press, give-a-ways, and mostly trying to find ways to be the first to come up with the creative idea that makes your book "tip". I have not found this yet, but am still working on it.
"Dragonfly Wings for Emmalee" is available at Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book and Amazon.com It is available in e-book form on www.bn.com
Steve Havertz, LCSW has been in the mental health field for over 20 years and is an expert in grief and loss. He also advocates for pediatric cancers and speaks on these two topics.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I still relish in the moments when someone asks me about Emmalee. Even though I may tear up talking about her, it still helps me cope with her loss. It also lets me know that people have not forgotten her. Don't worry about the emotional response. If your up to it ask more questions and just listen. Just don't say some of the phrases below.
One of the phrases I dislike most is, "She is in a better place". The implication is that it is okay that she died. It is similar to saying, "God must have really needed her on the other side". Which is another phrase I have come to abhor. I am sure Emmalee is at peace and happy, so there is no need to tell me what I already know.
Unless you know someone well keep it safe. "I am sorry for your loss", "My condolences", "I love you", "Lets go take a walk", "My thoughts and prayers are with you", "Tell my your favorite memory", and "Here is my number" are safe things to say.
Some other things to avoid saying, "She is your angel now". I would rather her be my daughter still, than my angel.
"You must be strong now". No, It is okay to acknowledge my feelings and express them. Anything that suggest I should push my feelings aside is not helpful.
"She is out of pain now". Yes she is, but it is not the right thing to say.
Bottom line is keep it safe, but if you know the person well you can add to the safe things according to their belief system. Would you say to a grieving Buddhist, "I know she is with God now"? Know what a person believes before you go outside of the safe things to say.
Steve Havertz is the author of "Dragonfly Wings for Emmalee" an inspirational book about the life and death of his daughter Emmalee. At the end of this book he shares his personal and professional experiences with loss and give advice to those who are grieving. He has been a licensed mental health therapist for over 20 years and an excellent speaker and motivator.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
There are many daily decisions that can fit into this category. Pornography, food, sex, alcohol, language, attitude, attire... the list could go on. If there were immediate negative consequences to these behaviors then people would not do them.
When an adult contracts AIDS for the most part and informed choice was made. A risk was taken and consequences resulted. The spread of AIDS is sad and those who have HIV deserve treatment. However, how do we measure how much attention and money is given to a particular disease? When the government gives $254 million to AIDS research from a finite budget that is getting smaller and only gives $26 to ALL pediatric cancers, what message is that sending? I believe it is sending the message that children are not our priority. Children and their disease are not worth looking into. Did any child ever make an informed choice to get cancer? Did risky behavior result in a child being diagnosed with cancer? Did a child's risky behavior or lifestyle cause him/her to be diagnosed with cancer.
Every day 46 people die from AIDS and everyday 4 kids die from cancer in the United States. I guess that is how the National Cancer Institute (NCI) makes there funding decisions.
A few comments and questions: AIDS is not a cancer but money is taken from a budget designated just for cancer research. No new drugs have been developed for pediatric cancers for around 20 years. Funding for pediatric cancers have gone down every year since 2003. Is an innocent child's life less important than an adults who made and informed decision?
I say instead of relying on statistics to decide funding for diseases lets rely more on our heart. This may upset people, but I believe those who have made informed choices and get diseases deserve less funding than those who are innocent victims. As we look to fund research for disease part of the equation needs to be related to lifestyle and choices. There are natural consequences to things and this would be a natural consequence to making wrong choices. What do you think?
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
There are the cool reminders that sometimes cause a broad smile to sweep across my face and even laugh. I love those times. I don't know if I would have accepted the range of conflicting emotions if I had not been a counselor for 20 years. I may have been one of those people thought to themselves, "Wow, this person is dwelling way too long on this loss of his child. He needs to get over it." Interesting how life experiences allow us to gain such depth into issues that were never even conceptualized in our youth. I would have never even imagined I would have experienced the things I have when I was in my youth enjoying sports, food and fun. However, I realize that life is what we make it.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Why are pediatric cancers the forgotten by our society? According to a Forbes Magazine article breast cancer got $584 million dollars for clinical trials, even AIDS got $254 million for research. Guess how much ALL pediatric cancers got? Only $26 million. AIDS is not even a cancer but the National Cancer Institute (NCI) gave $254 million for research out of a finite bucket of money. Why???
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
My first live TV interview. Thought it went pretty well.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A reminder that we are all Dragonflies.
Eulogy Story : Dragonfly
Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.
Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.
So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!
Not sure who the author is
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
My mission is three fold:
Friday, March 02, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I have been receiving some amazing feedback about Emm's book. Some can't put it down and others have been strengthened by her story.
"I just read your book and I’m so glad you wrote it! It is a very powerful book. I didn’t want to stop reading (except to blow my nose and compose myself after agood cry). I just fell in love with Emm! I had to stop reading a few times (okay all through the book) because I kept crying but it was well worth it. I’m glad you wrote so openly and honestly. It felt like you really put your heart into it. When I was reading and even now
just thinking about Emm I can feel her love and it makes my eyes water. Thank you writing this and allowing us (the world) to read it." Michelle R.
Friends, this is a MUST read book. I just finished it myself and it is life changing...I highly recommend ordering it. DeAnn
Just finished the book!! AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing such a tender part of your life! I know that Emm is near your family and is so proud of all the good you are doing in her name! Thanks again Steve! God bless you and your sweet family! Jodi
Steve I sat down and read Emmalee's book from cover to cover in a couple of days and I am so at a loss for words to describe how it made me feel. Steve, thank you so much with your courage to write it and to get it published, and to share this very painful part of yourself. I feel like I've known you my whole life. Much love and gratitude, and for a very beautiful 2012! Suzy