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Read TLC publisher, Steve Hays at musingsaboutus.com

Steve HaysTime for Changes at TLC;
and a note about Debbie Ford

We’re in the process of making changes that we want to tell you about. We’re expanding and looking for more ways to live up to the “connection” part of our name. Basically it’s about evolving with the times. It’s time for us to do more online—with an emphasis on more.

We’ve always focused on the print magazine and, with a few exceptions, what appears online is what we printed. We have included several MP3s online so people could listen to the interviews we’ve done in print, we’ve added some banner ads and it’s formatted differently, but otherwise, its been pretty much the same content—what’s in print is what’s online.

What we will be doing next month, with the help and skills of a very talented team (more on that later), is to begin offering more ways of connecting, more articles and more resources than we are able to offer in print. There’s a lot more we can do online, if only because we are not as limited when it comes to the space we have.

There’s also technology you can’t use in print. One thing we’ll be doing, for instance, is offering a group of free videos that are part of a series by Beth Green on “How to Lead a Guided Life.”

We haven’t offered videos before, and we haven’t taken advantage of all the ways we can interact with people, or interact as often. That’s difficult when you consider yourself a monthly print magazine.

We’ve been online for years. A couple of people have accomplished that. Ann Diener did it for a long time. For the last several years Tim Brittain, TLC’s graphic designer (for almost forever), does it now. He picked it up, almost by default, when Ann couldn’t do it anymore, and has expanded it. He’s done it in spite of a very busy schedule and without my giving him any input or meeting about it.

That’s been great for me, because I’ve been involved in other things. Online has not really been something that I personally have taken a close look at or, really, any kind of look. A couple of people have tried to push me in that direction, but weren’t successful. Recently, I’ve started to think about it in terms of how it can take connecting people with people, groups, ideas, tools and events to another level.

We will still be printing, but the way the world is changing so quickly, who knows how long anyone will be printing? Maybe TLC in print will be the best of what’s online. I don’t know. We’ll take one step at a time and see how it evolves. Next month will be the first step. It’s exciting—a time of new connections and renewal. We’ll remind you next time to look.

The Other Direction

One thing I discovered this past month is how tough it can without the Web. I called information from a Cox phone and asked for the number of someone who has an AT&T phone. Cox didn’t have the number in their system. Curious about that, I called from an AT&T line and asked information for the number of a business with a Cox phone and AT&T didn’t have that.

I had to go online to find everything I wanted. For that matter, when was the last time you saw “white pages” that listed everyone? People are simply relying on the Web more, and some times it seems to be the only way.

I mention that because I know there are others out there, like me, who prefer print. I want you to know that those of us who do are becoming increasingly invisible—and literally harder to find—if that’s the only way we engage with the world.

Since the beginning, we have received calls—every week—asking where to pick up the magazine. I tell them and for years have mentioned that it’s online too. It used to be that almost always people responded with, “Oh, I don’t do that.” Now, that’s the exception.

I have to say the online expansion goes against the grain for me. It seems that the Web is more of a secondary approach. I’ve always been a print guy. I even subscribed to two newspapers until recently when they merged. I enjoy holding what I’m reading. Recently, however, I’ve even stopped my daily newspaper subscription.

I have to admit that, these days, newspapers and even television are terribly inefficient ways to get information. Reading newspapers has turned into a déjà vu experience where I always feel like I’m reading something I’ve already heard or seen somewhere else—and usually I have.

What’s missing with print, as far as news, events, and current resources goes, is real-time and respond-ability. When was this written? Am I responding too late? It’s a faster world.

I do realize, and have heard people say, that being able to get away from that fast world is what they want and appreciate about this print magazine. Soothing is a good thing. “A rejuvenation time,” I’ve heard.

I’ve always tried to focus on offering people tools and perspectives that allow us all to be more efficient in life, refresh and renew the mind and spirit while keeping the body at optimum health. It’s been about living a more satisfying life. For me that means offering many different approaches because one approach or system, one size, just doesn’t fit everyone.

Purpose

This process of looking at what’s next, has also had me thinking about my purpose, both when I started this and where I am now. What I realize is that it hasn’t really changed much. Before I started this I was doing a monthly publication for Terry Cole Whittaker Ministries. When that ended I realized that I didn’t know much about what else was going on in town. I noticed how hard it was to find out what was going on in this community.

There was another publication that came out every other month, but, as I discovered later, it’s tough for people to plan that far in advance and get their events into print a month or two in advance. Even if they did there were rarely articles about the people who did events, so it was difficult to know much in advance. We became event-oriented, focusing on telling people what was coming.

I’d still rather tell people about something coming up, compared to telling them what they missed. Even now, every month, I get requests too late to get into the issue. I think that what we are looking at will enable us to respond better.

That’s where I started: wanting to discover how best to empower me, know how to achieve optimum health and be more environmentally conscious. What’s missing with just a print edition and a monthly online edition is timely and more effective ways to connect. For me, whether it has been The Light Connection or The Life Connection, it’s always been about connections.

Why?

Why is that important? Isn’t that what life and living is about? We may get ideas from thinking, reading, meditating and even think we “know”—then we come out of our cave and interact with people. It’s then that we see how well our philosophy works and also how people really are different. There are many wonderful and diverse ways to live.

Haven’t many of us noticed lately that those that are having the worst of times are those imposing their beliefs on others? I mean the ones who have their principles in a row and know exactly how things should be and then go over the edge and say it should work for everyone else, too.

We do things differently and get different value from what we do because we are the ones that “take” that value from the opportunity in front of us. We involve ourselves when we find something that works—or not. The way I look at it, it takes us engaging—not figuring it out in advance—to get full value.

The more that people have opportunities to participate, discover for themselves and “take” the benefit into their life, the more I feel I am accomplishing what I want. I’ve heard some great stories through the years about how people got together and accomplished things out of meeting through TLCboth TLCs.

One married couple I know, who are great friends of mine, met through the magazine. Our new look online will come from similar connections and relationships.

This month I wanted to let you know what we are thinking about and working on—growing into—and ask you to look at the possibilities for youself when the time comes.

Have a great month,

Steve Hays signature

For more see musingsaboutus.com

A Note About Debbie Ford

I talked with Debbie Ford at events around San Diego, but didn’t know her well. When Marlene, my ex-wife, and I did The Light Connection together, she interviewed Debbie several times, took most of her workshops, and even volunteered to assist in them in San Diego and later in Florida. She loved her work. They had lunch together occasionally, sometimes with Debbie’s sister Arielle. When I told Marlene what happened she recalled those times and remembered being with her when she helped paint the bedroom of Debbie’s son, Beau. Funny what you remember.

We worked with her sister, Arielle, for many years. She had a company that represented many of the top authors that we have featured. Arielle and her husband Brian Hilliard used to write a relationships column for us also.

It was sad to hear that Debbie died. Fifty-seven seems so young these days. When talking to Marlene about it, we recalled some of our interactions with her. The one that stood out for me was when Marlene interviewed the Ford sisters together. I listened to the interview afterward. Marlene at one point talked to them about growing up together, and the conversation led to Debbie confessing something that Arielle never knew.

Debbie was a few years younger and from time to time decided to borrow, without asking, some of Arielle’s clothes. Debbie had a slighter build than Arielle, so she altered the clothes to fit her. When she returned the clothes later, she didn’t bother to alter them back to their original size. After she said that Arielle remembered that from time to time she’d put something on and notice it was a little tight—and just assumed that she had gained a little weight. Debbie never revealed what she had done until the interview. She had fun recalling it.

Debbie obviously contributed a lot in her time. How many of us appear on Oprah and reach all the people she did? For all her accomplishments, however, when I think of Debbie I have to laugh fondly, recalling her “confession” in that interview.

—Steve Hays

Steve Hays signature

For more see musingsaboutus.com