Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 19, 2014
Can I tell you a secret? It’s personal but I figure if you’re a regular reader you won’t mind it. There might even be something in this for you.
Quite often I’m holding in a lot of anger and a bit of depression. I don’t know that the first has always been with me but the second has.
What makes me angry? Goodness, what doesn’t make me angry. I get angry with a lot of things I read in the news. I get angry when I see a lot of the things I read on social media. I get angry when I have to hear things about politics or religion or racism or… name anything where people show hate towards someone else.
I get angry when I feel someone demeans what I do. I get angry when people speak to me in a manner I don’t like. I get angry when people don’t show courtesy to me or others when I’m in their presence. I get angry for many of the bad ways that people treat each other.
Because I fight all these things, as in work hard to keep them suppressed, I then get depressed. I get depressed because at a certain point I realize that there’s nothing I can do to stop any of it. There’s probably little I can do to change anyone’s behavior because, frankly, if people don’t already care about themselves then what the heck would I ever be able to say so someone to get them to change right?
Now that I’ve said that I want to say two other things.
One, luckily I don’t manifest my anger all that often in public. There are so many people I just want to smack or hurt in some fashion for their being jerks. But I don’t, which is smart for more than one reason. Instead, I get quiet, get introspective, and try to find something to move my mind to a calmer place, a happier place, a place where I can regain my perspective if needed. After all, no one wants to hang around a person who’s angry all the time, right?
Two… I know I’m not alone. As a matter of fact, I’d bet that most of you are angrier people than I am and probably get even more depressed than I get. But you probably have outlets for your anger, things you do that maybe you want to or need to apologize for later on, things that I don’t do.
See, I’ve never cursed, never had a drink, never taken any illegal drugs. I’ve never hit anyone first, never really beat anyone up, rarely have said hateful things to intentionally hurt a person’s feelings… wanted to, but didn’t.
I have been sarcastic though, and I’ve had a mean streak. For me, my mean streak is to make someone feel belittled without my having to have said anything.
One of the reasons I push myself is because I want to be better than any detractor who ever believed I was less than them, or couldn’t achieve something I said I wanted to do.
Yeah, I can be spiteful. I never forget, and I’ve never quite gotten that forgiveness thing down. Most of the time I let things go, or so I tell people, but I never forget; of all the gripes I’ve had about my short term memory as I get older, I want to smack myself because it would be nice to forget the slights, or perceived slights.
Why am I talking about all of this stuff?
One, because it’s a bit cathartic, as today I end my self imposed week away from all social media. I needed time for myself, time to do things like editing my latest book some more, time to lay back and relax and watch a few movies.
Two, because of the words of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix coming back to me when I felt like I was being split in two:
“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Of course that’s just a version of an old story where a man tells his grandson a story about two wolves going through the same battle, mentions that each person has this within himself, and answers the grandson’s question of which one will win by saying “The one you nourish.”
I know many of you go through these same things. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of you are probably like me in not hurting someone else physically, trying not to hurt someone unintentionally, holding those emotions in until you’re alone and then finding your own way of dealing with them. Hopefully, you recognize that you’re not evil and that you are a good person and can and will eventually overcome these feelings and distractions.
And if you need to step away for a while to do so then do it. If you have to write about it then do it. If you have to eat lots of cake and ice cream and cookies… well, do that also!
Man, I hate thieves… makes me so angry…
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 9, 2014
In what could be seen as a controversial stance I take, I actually consider today, July 9th, the real Independence Day. That’s because, for me, the day the 14th Amendment was passed, which brought equal rights and protections to all citizens of the country, was the real Emancipation Day, which many misinformed people think was January 1st, when Abraham Lincoln gave his decree known as the Emancipation Proclamation.
What’s the truth? The reality is that when Lincoln freed slaves, he only freed slaves in the southern states during the Civil War. And let’s face the fact that it didn’t free a single slave, and probably 99% of them never even heard of it at the time. Not that he didn’t have encouragement to do so, as it was believed that putting it out there would encourage free black people to join the army and fight for the cause, which did happen although Union military leaders really didn’t want them… that is, until the losses started to pile up.
What many others don’t know is that many of the states that voted for it did it under threat of not being established as a state again, which pertains to those southern states that had to bite the bullet after losing the Civil War. And in truth passing it did little to equalize things or make them fair in any way… at least at the time. Actually even now, even so many years, a bill has to come before Congress known as the Civil Rights Bill; that’s just a shame…
I don’t get political on this blog all that often and I don’t necessarily want to go there now, but I feel like I have to. I go that way because of the topic of immigration and how there are so many who are fighting this, even though it’s a protection that was granted, to a degree, by the 14th Amendment.
There are many who believe that just because someone was born in this country that it shouldn’t automatically give them citizenship. Not only would this violate the Constitution because of this amendment (which was supported by United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, but it throws out history in general as that’s how this country not only came to be in the first place but how it grew.
The attack is also against those who came to this country in an unorthodox manner (I’m preferring that to “illegal) and have not only lived here a long time but many have served in the military and done great deeds for this country. Many people say they should be deported and not be allowed to remain, that they’re a drain on the financial resources of this country (like they care since they don’t want to take care of people who have been citizens of this country for centuries) and that they bring heavy crime (uhhh, who’s in jail more than anyone else by the numbers?).
You know what? Yeah, there’s some criminal elements, and there are some folks who live off governmental benefits. That’s going to happen. But the overwhelming majority work hard, travel hard, make little but are honest, proud people who have tried to be great examples of the opportunities this country has to offer.
I’m not saying that the borders shouldn’t be tightened so that people would be forced to go the correct route to get into this country; goodness knows that if uneducated people can get in from one country terrorists with a bit more education can also get in, and do. I’m saying that if someone has been here a long time and proven their worth, which is the majority, that they not only should be allowed to stay but should be given the opportunities for citizenship that, in my opinion, they’ve earned.
There; that’s my political post for the year… I hope!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 7, 2014
Some of you know I own a blog about financial stuff. Some of you also know I used to accept guest posts on that blog, but ended it last December after being bothered by the types of requests I was getting, the lousy editing and, well, just the time it was taking away from doing other stuff.
Even though I still get those requests, I can easily deflect them. However, if the offers are good, I still entertain letters about advertising, although so far I haven’t found any of them to be up my alley. I’m just not going to allow links or banner ads to any businesses or companies that aren’t aligned with finance on that site; that’s the smart way to do business right?
One type of email I get, that most people get, is the form letter. You know it, where you see the same language all the time, the lies about how they’re impressed with your site, yada yada.
One rule I’ve always had, even with the guest posts, is if my name isn’t in the email I ignore it and move on. When I was accepting guest posts, if I got a second email I’d write back quickly informing them that they hadn’t read the guest posting policy; yup, I had one of those, fairly extensive. Nowadays I’ll ignore that second email and move on with life.
Well, the other day I got a third email from someone. However, in both the second email and the third, instead of writing something new, and still not having my name anywhere in it, the emails said “contacting you again; see message below.”
Since I got a third email from the guy, I decided to write him back. This is what I wrote:
I’m responding to this email because it seems ignoring it hasn’t taught anything.
Yes, I saw the other emails. Why have I ignored them? Because every single email is proof that you or nobody else who works with you has ever visited my website. If you had you’ve have seen that I have a name, I have an about page and I have an advertising policy.
Frankly, it’s always been my assumption that if people who say they want to work for me show that they’re too lazy to look at anything on the site that I don’t trust them to keep their word on anything they have to say, thus I’m not working with them. I’m only writing you because you’ve sent this more than once.
If you’re actually representing the company you state you are, you’re doing it poorly. Maybe you’ll treat your job and give the people you hope to work with a bit more respect after this email. In any case, at this juncture I’m not interested. I wish you well as you pursue your career, hopefully with a bit more circumspection on how to contact potential customers and partners.
Was that too harsh? I didn’t think so, and I actually felt it was a good lesson that might help make this guy a little bit better at what he does and how he works.
Y’all know I’m an independent consultant in health care. Because I can’t call all the hospitals within a 7-state radius all that often I have a set of marketing letters to help introduce myself to the people I need to talk to.
What I have done is researched every hospital I wanted to send something to and found the names of the people in the position, as well as the actual title they hold, and that goes on the letters I send out; almost never email. I do that because I know if a letter is a bit more personal there’s a better chance it’ll at least be opened, and hopefully read. I also try to mention something about the hospital that I’ve learned that might flatter them in some fashion, such as acknowledging a new service they have or an award they’ve recently won.
Sometimes you get a name wrong because, in health care, people move around pretty fast. But that’s not a big deal because you’ll get the correct name when you follow up by phone. And that’s interesting because at least someone will talk to you, maybe not your intended target, if you have a name.
It’s just lazy marketing if you don’t try to find out someone’s name, or if you haven’t even looked at the website or blog of a person or business to see if maybe the information you’re looking for is there already.
Add this to the process of networking, where you reach out to someone without even attempting to know something about them. At many networking events I go to people only talk about themselves, and are pushing their business card at you before they’ve even told you their name. Sometimes I don’t even reciprocate by giving my card out because I know this is someone who could care less about me. Who wants to spend money, or sometimes even make money, working with someone who doesn’t care about you in the least?
Am I in the wrong here? Am I not being forgiving enough to those who obviously don’t know any better? Or do you see where I’m going, what I’m saying, and possibly agree? Let me know, and thanks for reading.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 2, 2014
On Monday I finally ended my video project. That project was first mentioned when I wrote my post about creating content.
The main idea was that I needed more videos on my business YouTube channel. I had fewer than 30 videos overall, and now I have 58 on that channel because I did a video every single day for the month of June. I shared a couple on that other post, and during this month I celebrated my 13th year of having my own business with a video post giving 13 business lessons for those 13 years, the longest video of the series coming in around 29 minutes. I’m sharing that one now:
One doesn’t undertake such a project without having some ideas and beliefs of what’s going to happen and what the goals are.
My first goal was to see if I could do 30 videos in a row, and that was only challenged once, when I knew I’d be on the road coming home and wouldn’t get in until after midnight, and since I’d be working all day I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do a video unless I did it beforehand and uploaded it just after midnight, which I did. Other than that… I did one every single day.
My second goal was to see if I could get more viewers to that YouTube page and possibly increase my subscribers in some fashion. I had a few viewers but overall I’m not sure it was more than what I’d had before. As for subscribers, I only got 2; I’ll take what I can get.
The third goal of course was to increase the number of videos that not only helped enhance what I tell people I do, but also to have some videos in reserve that I can go back to and embed in blog posts whenever I touch upon those subjects. That’s something that not all that many people do who create videos, but it’s also one of the reasons why I tell people all the time that they should create more videos.
With that said I did learn some things, and I’m going to share 5 of them with you here. I’m not sure you’ll be able to use them all but hey, I think lessons can be learned in many different ways, in many different formats. Let’s see if you get anything from what I’m going to share; after all, this IS I’m Just Sharing lol:
1. You don’t have to plan every step way in advance for anything. For this series, the only video I actually planned was #24, the one I’ve shared above. In a way, that’s how I write most of my blog posts; I come up with an idea, then I write about it. I put this out there because so many bloggers tell people they have to come up with a blogging schedule to help them figure out what they want to write about; nah.
2. Almost every subject has a lot of different things you can talk about. I concentrate a part of my main business on leadership and topics surrounding that. Except for the last video and the one above all the other videos were on some type of leadership topic, which includes motivation. Truthfully, I could have probably done 30 more, but I think I made my point.
3. Marketing is a bear when doing that much content producing. Other than weekends, I worked or traveled every single day in June. I created the videos, but since they’re on my business channel they automatically go to my second Google Plus channel but no others, and I only have 4 people I’m connected to there. Also, if you create a video via Google Hangout you have to share the video links on your own, which is different than if you create a video and upload it.
Because I did a video every day, sometimes around 11PM Central time, I’d do the video, wait about 15 minutes for it to show up, and then post the title and link to my main G+ account and Twitter. I only posted two videos to my Facebook page, and neither got 20 views; cursed Facebook. lol And because it was daily I only posted each link once except for the video above, which I felt had a chance to reach a much larger audience.
The marketing of videos, along with the time period for trying to let people know when I was going to do one, wasn’t great and I think I suffered in that manner. This taught me two things.
One, I need to put out a message asking people to let me know if they want to be informed when I’m going to do a live video on certain topics and base it on those channels so I can add those people to their own circle.
Two, for the most part it’s better to do videos at a time when people are actually awake and not about to go to bed. It a way it’s not enough just to have the content. If I did a video around 7PM instead of 11PM and only got to share it with people afterwards, they were more apt to see the link while they were still on Twitter or G+ instead of being asleep and possibly seeing it when they awoke (yeah, like that happens for most people). I don’t think the pre-notification would have done much but posting afterwards much earlier in the evening or during the day on the weekends… way smarter thing to do.
4. Don’t do videos if you have a mirror in front of you. In the second hotel room I was in there was this large mirror in front of the desk. Sometimes I start moving my arms when I talk, and most of the time you don’t see that in the video because I have the camera mainly on my face. However, I’d keep distracting myself because I’d see something moving, which of course was me. I could have covered up the mirror or gone out to the living room / dining room area to do the videos but I was too lazy. Still, trying to avoid as many distractions as possible is smart.
5. Sometimes you have to go with the flow. When I did the video above, which was long, I had multiple times where I had to scratch my nose or face. Initially I was fighting it like a boxer but eventually I had to succumb because there was no way I was going to make it through without scratching. If I knew how to edit videos I could have stopped and then come back, but that would have looked choppy and I’m not sure that would have made the video look better.
So I announced it the first time, and every other time I had to scratch or rub my face I just did it. Hey, it was hot, and I didn’t want to turn the fan on because I didn’t want the noise messing up my audio.
Sure, you want to look as professional as possible, but there’s a thing about live, that being that, well, it’s live! When I do live speaking engagements, sometimes I get an itch, or need to cough, or will pause and drink some water. When I interact with people in person, sometimes that happens as well. I don’t think that was an issue on any of the short videos because I pretty much spoke on my message and got out. But 29 1/2 minutes? Wasn’t going to happen.
There 5 takeaways that you may or may not be able to use. In any case I hope some of you watch the video above, especially if you’re thinking about starting your own business or have your own business and might feel you’re missing a few things.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 25, 2014
Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my being in business, and I did both a video and a blog post on my business blog.
Today is unofficially known as Leon Day in some circles of the country, Eli Wallach passed away at age 98 (great actor; you young folks need to look him up), and it’s also the 5th anniversary of the passing of Michael Jackson.
I have spent most of the day listening to Michael Jackson songs and watching some Michael Jackson and Jackson Five videos. You know, when you listen to the songs it’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since he’s been gone because every song sounds fresh and new. Truth be told, this is probably what every generation feels when they listen to the music they love, thinking they’re actually younger than they are because they can remember where they were or what they were doing when they first heard the songs that made them feel wonderful, which happens for most of us when we’re younger.
Want to know a truth? For probably the first couple of years, after the first few days of shock, I couldn’t listen to any of his music. It just freaked me out, knowing that a new MJ song (that he approved) was never going to be released again. Also, I felt like my own mortality was in question because he was only a year older than me; if he had all that he had and left the world like that, what did it say for my chances?
All of us go through stages like this when family members pass, and probably when someone famous, that we never knew but admired for one reason or another, goes away. I have to admit that sometimes it extends further for me. For instance, there have been a couple of bloggers who have passed away that I miss here and there, and at the time I lamented their loss.
Most of the time we probably won’t know that someone we read all the time has suffered a life ending demise. We might think that they’ve just gone away, decided not to blog anymore or participate on social media anymore, and we get on with our lives. There’s really nothing else for us to do because, when all is said and done, probably 99.95% of all relationships we make online will end without much of a resolution. Think about it this way; how many people who used to visit you blog when you started not only don’t stop by anymore, but aren’t even blogging anymore? Do you know what happened to them?
Scary to think about isn’t it? Want to add to the fear? It’ll probably be you one day, and if you have a significant other, he or she probably has no idea how to tell anyone you won’t be back, let alone will even think about it. My wife has no presence on social media; if I go, the overwhelming majority of you will never know it. I’m betting it’s that way for you also.
I think that’s why we grieve a bit when famous people we know and like pass away. For everything they had they couldn’t stop it, and we also think that if they weren’t famous then they’d be just like us, with a few family members sad that we’re no longer around but us not making even the smallest dent in life. What’s our legacy right?
What’s our legacy? Well, for me it’ll be my blogs, my videos, and other articles I have on the internet. I think that’s another reason I keep creating so much stuff and putting out so much stuff. I think someone will care at some point, and maybe one thing I write will help someone or help change their mindset or make them feel pretty good, even if it’s just for a short period of time. One can only hope, right?
See, even in death Michael Jackson’s got me thinking about stuff. Let’s see if my sharing the song below, my favorite song of all time, gets you thinking about you legacy also: