Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 14, 2014
Because of a challenge from my long time online friend Sunny, I had to put together a list of 10 books that I feel were influential in my life and why. Unlike how some other folks might have done it, I chose books because of their significance, not necessarily because they were the best. In explaining that, on my list I have the first book that got me thinking a certain way or doing something specific without really naming the best book in a particular series.
I think influence can be a different thing that “the best”, if you will. For instance, though many people say Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time, my favorite player, Wilt Chamberlain, made basketball change rules because of his dominance.
With that said, below are my top 10 influential books. The links… well, if you’re interested you can check the books out, and if you buy… I earn affiliate money. I think that’s fair! Here we go:
1. Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss. This wasn’t my first book but it’s the first book I actually remember reading on my own, which I still own, and loving it for not only its bright colors but because it taught me the words Constantinople and Timbuktu lol
2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In my preteens I was introduced to black history on a fluke and this was the first book I read on the subject. It changed the course of my life in realizing the legacy of black people in America.
3. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card. My introduction into sci-fi other than Star Trek books, well written that became a 4-part series (5 if you count one book that concentrated on a different character from the original). I was surprised I got into it because I hadn’t read much fiction at the time; I have now because of it.
4. Secrets Of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker. Not only a business motivational book but one that helps break down the barriers to what keeps people from having money in their life, even if they get rich a couple of times only to lose it all. It’s what helps me keep my eyes on the prize.
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. I was already working on my own when I came across it and in a story form it helped me to see wealth in future terms as opposed to having and wanting things now.
6. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowlings. This is an odd choice because it’s actually the 5th book in the series. I didn’t know it was a series and I had no real idea what the entire story was about but after reading this one I went back and read the others in order, have read everyone by now, and continue reading them (actually listening to the recordings) over and over; I can’t think of any other books I’ve read more than three times. (the link here goes to a page to buy all 7 books)
7. Clemente!, Kal Wagenheim. Roberto Clemente is my favorite baseball player ever, but this was the first book I read on him. Since that time I not only have read every other book that’s come out about him, but it inspired me to start reading biographies of all sorts, athletes, musicians, presidents, scientists… whomever.
8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I actually read this twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, and I’m glad I read it as an adult because it’s a much deeper book with a lot more truth and understanding than I could have taken in when I was much younger. Strange enough, in his way he predicted some of what’s going on now in the states.
9. The 100; a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael Hart. Very intriguing look at famous people (it’s about 20 years old now) and ranking them based on significance in historical consequences and not by popularity. Something that might intrigue some of you is that Muhammad is at #1, Jesus is at #3; try to figure out who’s at #2 (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite person lol).
10. Feiffer’s Album, Jules Feiffer. This is the only other book I’ve read at least 3 times but it’s different than all the other books here. Feiffer was a political cartoonist for almost 50 years and his take on life, politics and presidents are both spot on and funny. Seeing Gerald Ford depicted with a little tin can cup on top of his head… classic! (unfortunately, this book’s out of print, so you might have to go to eBay to see if someone’s selling a copy)
There’s mine. As a meme, why not do the same thing on your blog and then let me know, or go ahead and share some of your favorite books here. As a blog topic, it’s one that will make you think, and it gets others thinking also. So, get ‘er done!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 11, 2014
Last year I didn’t write about this because I was traveling and tired and… well, it’s no excuse. Not that I have to write about it every year, because overall I’m getting more comfortable with its reality with every passing year, as I am with my dad’s passing, and of course we finally got Bin Laden didn’t we?
And yet, even though it feels like we’ve gotten some redemption, it also feels like something that will never go away because of the proliferation of new terrorist groups, all with the same intention of being stupid and thinking that they can change the entire world with their stupidity. All it does is make most of us angry and make us want to get vengeance. Hasn’t anyone learned from World War II when Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto reportedly said “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve“?
I’m not going to lie. I’m still angry about it all and it’s because of the exacerbation of these terrorist groups, and even some governments, who decide that they have the right to eradicate their own citizens under the guise of religious preference while calling out the United States and daring us to do anything about it. They even say they’re coming here to pull another 9/11 stunt; haven’t they realized what we’re capable of?
Goodness, for all the hate former President Bush got, I’m not mad at the guy for what our country, along with a coalition of other countries, did in Afghanistan. It’s just too bad their criminal element pretends to be upholding proper principles of leadership while other factions aren’t buying it and it looks like we’re never getting out of either Afghanistan or Iraq.
How do I really feel? Sometimes I feel like a real example needs to be made. In World War II President Harry Truman realized he could save multiple lives and end a war by dropping an atomic bomb on two cities. We have bombs capable of actually taking out total cities, probably millions with one shot. Every once in a while that’s just what I want to do, figure out where the majority of ISIS or Al Queda members are and just drop the big one and let the chips fall where they may. Would that be glorious?
No… unfortunately it wouldn’t be. True history teaches us that when something is done in the name of revenge that most of the time there’s nothing satisfying about it. Indeed, more often than not that type of thing comes back to hurt in more ways than one, and severely in fact. If you don’t believe that one just ask the Palestinians whether they still think attacking Israel in 1967 was one of their smarter moves; yes, I went there.
Sigh… I’m not big on forgiving and that’s one of my major faults; probably my only real personal fault. Sometimes, the only way I can get past a negative thought is to find something positive to feed my soul. I still can’t watch any documentaries on any of the September 11th events, but I can watch and feel proud of what occurred in the brief documentary video I’m sharing below, which I also shared on my blog post in 2012. Frankly, even now most people have no idea this even happened and what its significance was. Nope, I’m not telling you; just watch it and be amazed. This, after all, is what America is all about, and one of the reasons I’m proud to be a New Yorker and an American.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 8, 2014
I just have to say this; if you don’t know who Yosemite Sam is, you’ve been living under a rock or on a volcanic island.
Yosemite Sam was the 20th century’s greatest marketer. I say that because he always knew how to get a new job (when he wasn’t trying to take your money forcefully), always knew how to promote himself, was loyal to whatever organization he happened to be shilling for at the time (even if it was just him), had ultimate self confidence, and by being loud and obnoxious he was able to promote others by extension, even when that might not have been his ultimate goal.
Truth be told, if all of us ran around extolling our virtues like Yosemite Sam we might be carted off in a white jacket with belts and never be seen again. But in such extremism we can find things that we should be applying to our own marketing processes which might help both our online and offline efforts in getting business. Let’s take a look at some of those things.
1. Every time you meet Yosemite Sam he tells you who he is and what he does. Many of us run into someone we think we know or have met but either have forgotten their name or what they do. It might seem strange telling people what it is you do up front every time you run into them, but telling people your name gets both parties out of the embarrassment of short term name recognition failure. I’m suffering this one more often lately, forgetting people’s names even if I’ve known them for a while, as I’ve gotten into my 50’s. However, being able to tell someone where the two of you might have met, if possible, can replace telling people what it is you do and get a positive conversation started.
2. Yosemite Sam gives off supreme confidence in who he is and what he can do. Most of us were taught not to brag about ourselves, to be modest, and I tend to think that takes away some of our swagger when we interact with people, especially in business situations. We don’t always give off the vibe of confidence; we’re more likely to give off the vibe of desperation because we’re trying to get someone’s business.
3. Yosemite Sam is relentless; he never gives up trying to get his job done. Whether he’s trying to rob you or put you back in jail, he lets setbacks bounce off him and comes back for more. Many of us give our marketing or sales a try, and when we don’t get the type of response we want we bail, say that kind of thing will never work, and often don’t try it again. There’s only so many ways of marketing that if when we adopt these principles we reach the end quickly, and they are sitting around wondering what the heck we should try next.
4. Yosemite Sam is nothing but pure energy. If he weren’t a cartoon character, you’d admire him for his energy. He might be energetic to the extreme, as he never goes on vacation and is relentless, but he’s obviously someone who realizes that without hard work no one succeeds, and he’s had some great jobs over the course of his life.
There are a lot more things I could come up with but let’s hear from you; what marketing lessons do you think you could learn from Yosemite Sam?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 5, 2014
LinkedIn is a social media site that’s different than the others because its main purpose is for business networking. Almost no matter what you do, being on LinkedIn will help give you a business presence you can’t get anywhere else.
Let me preface the rest of this by saying I’ve been ranting a little bit about it lately because suddenly there are all these fake accounts that keep trying to get me to accept them, which I won’t do. I don’t know if this means it’s less secure than it used to be, and it’s somewhat of an irritant, but for business purposes there’s nothing parallel.
Whether you’re an employee or a business owner of some type, LinkedIn is where you need to be in some fashion. Here are 4 reasons why:
- The networking opportunities. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn gives you a real opportunity to not only meet people locally but people all around the world. If you sell anything your market could be the entire world. You might find a supplier or a buyer or even a job if that’s what you’re looking for. And though LinkedIn isn’t crazy about people marketing their businesses, reaching out to individuals that you feel might help you or that you have something you feel might help them is encouraged; after all, that’s what business networking is all about.
- Publicity. Although LinkedIn will help you set things up so they look like a resume, you can pretty much go in different directions to highlight whatever you want to highlight. On my page, for instance, I list my businesses and a couple of positions I’ve had, but I spend a good portion talking about one thing in particular that I market myself for. This gives those who are looking for that particular thing a great opportunity to find me; after all, LinkedIn has a search function for people who are looking for something or someone specific.
- Information. Information goes both ways on LinkedIn. You can decide to put out current information on some regular basis or you can decide to just read what others are saying. There’s a timeline like Twitter, but there are also groups like on Facebook. I do a little of both, and you never know just who you might talk to that might push you forward in some fashion.
- Backlinks. LinkedIn is one of the top 20 sites in the world as far as traffic goes, so getting a link from that site to your site is a good thing. It allows you to link to more than one site, including a blog, and of course this helps make you just that much more visible online. Frankly, if you have a website this is probably one of the more important things to do to help your SEO processes.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 2, 2014
I once wrote an article titled Blogs or Articles. That article was kind of a discussion on whether people should concentrate more on either having articles or a blog on their site.
In my opinion, the truth is that you need both since they serve very different purposes. In this post I’m only going to talk about why you need articles.
Let’s say that you teach people how to play poker. On your main page you optimize yourself so that you tell everyone what you do and which types of games you teach. You have your title tag set well, and you’ve made sure to match your first page’s content to what you say you do in the title tag.
Something that search engines love is what’s known as “anchor tags”. This is when the keyword you’re talking about is also a link to another place If it’s within your own website even better because it shows that not only do you value your keyword, but you’re about to enhance everyone’s knowledge by addressing that particular keyword. Yeah, I’ve read all the noise about anchor tags and Google supposedly not liking them anymore; I addressed that along with other bad SEO advice last year.
On your first page you indicated that you coach people on how to play no limit hold-em poker. Now you have a link underneath that which, if clicked, takes people to a page or article on that type of game. On your new page you have a new title tag, and many opportunities to highlight what and how you’re going to teach this type of poker. By doing this you start to move yourself up the ladder of success on the search engines because you’re letting them know that you didn’t just throw in a term and move on. Instead, you know what you’re talking about by writing an article that flows well, isn’t spam, and offers value to others.
Now only that but it remains static, which means it’ll always be there. If you did that for all the different types of poker you taught, then backed up your entire page by writing a blog, which would always have new content, search engines will love you and you’ll be able to compete with anyone.
Of course you can always write articles and put them on other sites to help drive traffic to your site but it’s more important to boost your own site first. If it’s all done well you won’t need to post articles anywhere else.
At least this is how I see things; what are your thoughts?