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Creating a successful brand is not just about offering a quality product, but also creating a brand identity that resonates with your clientele.  When your buyers, feel a connection to your brand this will influence their purchasing decisions and generate customer loyalty. Here are some helpful tips, and marketing strategies to help you create and build a quality brand identity.

  1. Identify your target market and create a marketing campaign that reaches them personally.

For example, if your product or service is geared toward mothers in their twenties and thirties then it’s important to make sure that your marketing conveys an acute understanding of the concerns that mothers face such as the health and education of their children.  Another way to reach your clientele on a personal level, it is to interact with them across social media platforms. This way you can learn about the specific likes and dislikes of your customer base and cater not only your product but your marketing to their unique tastes.  For example, if health and nutrition are trending topics across your Twitter account, then you should not only create a social media marketing campaign that addresses these topics, but also create content to be featured on your website that addresses these topics as well.

  1. Make sure that your brand has a specific message.

Whether it’s that your company offers quality services for a reasonable price or that all of your products for animal cruelty free having a specific message that your clients can identify your brand by is as important as having a quality logo.

  1. Don’t be afraid to exploit your competition’s weaknesses.

Researching your competition is important for any company.  But when you’re establishing a new brand it is imperative that you find a way to stand out from the rest of the pack. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by identifying how your product or service excels in an area where your competition have fallen flat.

When you use these steps and create a brand identity, it can truly help your company obtain and maintain success. The longevity of your brand can truly be linked to the identity you create for your brand and your customer’s connection to the brand.  A stellar example of this is JC Penney, whose name has been synonymous with quality products for reasonable prices for decades.

Physical exercise can often be the prescription for fixing problems stemming from bad joints, spinal misalignments, damaged tendons or ligaments or weak muscles. However, these problems often make exercise painful or even impossible to do. It is a catch-22. You know you have to exercise, but doing so is miserable. Here are a few tips that can help you through and around the pain, so you can get in shape and alleviate the pain.

Check with your doctor

Before starting any exercise program, it is good to check with a doctor first. Make sure your heart is able to handle the type of exercise you want to do. The doctor may also do tests to tell you what exact part of your body is causing your pain. Incorporate their advice into your plan for becoming pain free.

Recognize the purpose of pain.

Pain has a purpose. It alerts you to something that is not right in your body. It can show you where you need to put your efforts to get better. However, sharp, severe stabbing pains are a warning that you should stop doing things the way you are doing. For example, if you feel a stabbing pain in your elbow when doing a barbell curl, you may have torn something and should either stop or modify the exercise. You could still find alternate ways to exercise forearms, biceps, triceps and forearms, in a way that can stabilize that joint and facilitate healing.

Use isometric and bodyweight exercises.

Many people make excuses about why they don’t work out. One of the most common is not having the time or money to go to a gym or have necessary equipment to workout.  All you really need to exercise is your own body and a tiny amount of space. Yoga moves, stretches and simple exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups can give you an amazing physique. If you would like some advice and inspiration, check Youtube for videos for bodyweight exercises and calisthenics competitions. It may blow your mind that such simple things could make you so strong. Don’t worry if you are weak or injured and can’t even do a push-up or pull-up when you start. There are many variations that can help you build the strength needed.

Try a chiropractor or massage therapist.

A chiropractor or massage therapist can not help you by directly building muscles you need to feel healthy and pain free. However they can relieve pain and misalignments that hold you back from being able to do the exercise that will give you long term relief.  Plus, getting a massage can relieve mental stress and increase your general circulation.

Eat well and get rest.

While you are healing, be sure that you give your body what it needs. Be sure to drink sufficient fluids and eat as healthy as possible. If you are building and repairing muscle, that takes protein. Those building blocks can take many forms, such as meat, beans or even protein powders that you mix into a drink or cook into other foods.  This could be as simple as eating a steak for dinner or adding protein powder into your morning pancakes.  Be sure to get plenty of sleep, because much of the body’s repair goes on while you are sleeping. If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t drink much alcohol. It might help you get to sleep one night, but it will disturb your sleep pattern for days after.  Try taking a melatonin tablet about ½ hour before you want to sleep. It is a natural sleep hormone and is non-narcotic. Taken consistently, it will greatly improve your sleep pattern. You may start finding yourself waking up at the same time every morning, or waking up without an alarm clock.

Follow these tips and keep at your exercise program. You can heal up and realign your body, to prevent future pain.

Transition at Provident Plan

Corey —  March 12, 2012

After a lot of prayer and careful thought, I have decided to sell this website. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing and getting to know some of you through the comments. But God has presented me with an opportunity I cannot pass up, and it is time for me to move on from Provident Planning. I want to give my next project my full energy and attention, so I have decided to sell this website to enable me to do that.

Why I’m Selling

Although I could simply keep this website myself, it would eventually drop in the search rankings without fresh content. There are also administrative tasks that I’d need to keep up with even if I’m not writing any posts. Updates to my publishing software and plugins, responding to comments, and various other tasks eat into my schedule, which is stretched as it is.

So when I received an offer for the Provident Planning website, I was excited and relieved. Selling the site will take the administrative tasks off my plate and eliminate the mental drain of running it. (Yes, there is still a mental drain even though I haven’t been writing lately. I think it’s just the idea that it’s sitting here languishing that bothers me.)

What I’ll Be Doing Next

I want to minimize the distraction of having this site to maintain because I’d like to focus completely on my next project. About a year ago, Kevin Tupper and I began talking about a project we’re calling Christian Simplicity.

Christian Simplicity is focused on living a lifestyle that is inwardly rich toward God and outwardly rich toward our neighbors. We will encourage people who identify themselves as still having thorny soil where the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and desires for other things take precedence over the kingdom of God and choke out the Word, making it unfruitful. We hope to share the truths that life is not measured in the abundance of possessions, that God can be trusted to take care of us, that we don’t need to rely on our own ingenuity and ability to secure our future, and that we can live in the creative goodness of God.

We also want to work with people who desire to manage their finances in light of the reality of the kingdom of God and in a way that supports the unique dreams and goals that come from a life in Jesus; however, this may happen as a project of Christian Simplicity rather than being the main focus itself. We won’t be charging for this one-on-one counseling because our desire is to help anyone who wants to manage their finances in this way.

We are in the process of setting up Christian Simplicity as a non-profit. I will be focusing my time on running Christian Simplicity, writing for our website, and working one-on-one with people are attracted to our approach. So even though I probably won’t be writing here at Provident Planning any more, you can still find me at Christian Simplicity or email me at

If you are a client of my financial planning and tax preparation services, you might be wondering what will happen next. Well, I’ll still be running my business through the end of this year, but I will be having a discussion with each one of my clients about my transition to Christian Simplicity. I will work with you to determine if you’d be a fit for Christian Simplicity or to help you find a trusted advisor to work with in the future. The business side of this website will be maintained here at Provident Planning until I have finished this transition process, so you can still find any information you need or get in touch with me there.

If you have any questions about Christian Simplicity, feel free to check out the website or email me. I’d be glad to talk with you about it.

I have come to think of many of you as my friends because of our conversations in emails and the comments on this site. I do hope we’ll keep in touch and you’ll check out what we’ll be doing at Christian Simplicity. I wish you all the very best of God’s blessings. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Who Is Buying Provident Planning?

Now, with all that said, you’re probably still wondering who is buying Provident Planning. I’m pleased to announce that Corey from 20’s Finances will be buying the website. I’ll let Corey introduce himself below and he’ll take it from here.

A little about me (Corey)

I’d like to take a brief minute and introduce myself to all of you. My name is Corey and I am currently in graduate school at a seminary. I will be finishing up my Master of Arts in Theology in December of this year. When I initially approached Paul, asking him if he would consider selling Provident Plan to me, I was primarily interested in the site due to it’s connection with finances.

Even though I am studying religion in graduate school, I have become fascinated with personal finance. Personal finance has become an obsession a hobby because I have been forced to grapple with the many questions about finances that adults are forced to answer. As I have transitioned into adulthood over the past 7 years (which involves going to college, graduating college and getting a job, getting married, and returning to graduate school to follow another passion of mine), I have learned to face some of life’s important questions when it comes to finances. I realize the difficulty of this task and I want to share my story in order to help others with the same difficult questions.

What to Expect on Provident Plan

Provident Plan will continue to be a great balance between Christian values and personal finance. I hope to utilize my religious education and training to provide you all with insightful information. I promise not to bore you with Greek or Hebrew (too much), and instead focus on the everyday things that both you and I struggle with. Because this is a finance site, you can expect to see some of my thoughts on giving and tithing, but I envision this site to be much more than that. It will house important information about living below your means, investing and planning for your future, as well as some reflections on my life in general.

While I will be the first one to admit that my faith informs and shapes my approach to personal finance, I also believe that it is not the exclusive influence in how I approach finances. We are all influenced by a variety of factors and I want to reflect that here as well. Much of what will be written here will continue to be applicable to everyone, regardless of their faith tradition, while still being true to my Christian heritage.

I am looking forward to this new adventure and I look forward to getting to know you all through comments, emails, and other interaction.

Space Shuttle Discovery STS-133 by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on FlickrAfter a long hiatus, I’ve decided to relaunch the blog. I’ve done some sporadic posting over the last year mainly because of increasing demands on my time. Things have been busy but I’m starting to find a better rhythm now. I feel like this is a good time to begin writing here at Provident Planning again.

My posting schedule is going to be much more relaxed. I’m only planning on roughly one post per week at this point because I have some other significant writing obligations coming up. (Details to come soon…) But I might publish one or two additional, shorter posts if inspiration strikes and time allows.

The posts are going to be a mix of new content and revisions of old content. I feel like I’ve been growing a good bit spiritually over the last year, and I want to go back and tackle some of the topics I’ve written on before with a slightly different approach and some (hopefully) better wording. I may remove some content altogether, but most of it will probably just be rewritten a bit. I know this will be fruitful for me, and I hope it will be for you all as well.

If you’ve visited the site lately, you’ll also notice I’ve redesigned the look. I’d be really interested in what you all think. Just let me know in the comments below.

Finally, thank you for all the support you all have continued to give me during this past year. Even though I haven’t been writing much I still get comments and emails from you all that stir my desire to continue writing. I’m looking forward to getting the conversations going again and talking with you all more. God’s richest blessings to all of you!