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Stepping Away From Social Media; The Risks, The Rewards…

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 14, 2013
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Last week I did another one of my experiments. After what turned into a draining holiday week I decided that I was going to step away from social media for a week just to see what would happen. I pretty much thought I knew what would happen on one front; absolutely nothing. I even made a video about it and popped it up on YouTube that I didn’t promote, figuring almost no one would watch it and thus it wouldn’t matter that I announced it somewhere, as it’s the only place I did announce it; that sucker only got 5 views and it got 2 thumbs up; not a bad ratio. lol

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I was chillin’

First let me qualify what I considered as social media during this time. It included Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Empire Avenue and Twitter. I didn’t respond to anyone from any of those platforms, and I didn’t even go look at those pages, although I admit it was tough initially. After all, I did get email from many of those sources, although I didn’t get a single thing directly to me on any of them; that was somewhat prophetic.

I also didn’t write a single blog post after Sunday, though I did respond to comments if I received any; I’d never disrespect anyone who took the time to comment on a blog post. So, even though I consider blogging to be a big part of social media, that was a courtesy call. But I didn’t read or comment on any other blogs during this time. The only deviation from totally disappearing was having a guest post on my financial blog go live during the week; nothing I could do about that one.

I did respond to email though, and I did go online to play chess against a couple of people on different sites, as well as going to Nationstates to play, since I don’t interact with anyone there. Thus, I didn’t abandon the internet; I even watched some YouTube videos. But I didn’t talk to anyone; overall, I was invisible.

The first thing I noticed was the craving come Sunday night. I stopped participating after midnight on Saturday, but I was on airplanes and in airports until close to 4PM and wasn’t in the hotel until around 4:45. Thus, I didn’t start missing anything until around 8PM, when I decided I was in for the night and wondered what the heck I was going to do with myself. The same for Monday night, except I had WWE wrestling to help me take my mind off that for awhile. lol

Otherwise, once the craving was gone I wasn’t really missing anything except Empire Avenue, which is a game but offers the opportunity to interact with people, thus my reason to stay away from it.

I got really comfortable with things and it took some pressure off… some that is, and I’ll come back to that. However, I still didn’t really know what to do with myself. I had hoped that I would be productive, write a lot of stuff, read a lot of stuff, etc. I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I played this sudoku game on my Nook, went to bed early, slept terribly because I wasn’t used to trying to sleep that early, and didn’t produce anything. What a major waste of time that was; and people say social media wastes time.

The second thing I noticed was that I felt more alone than I expected I would. Without having people online to talk to or interact with, and being out of town, I felt a little bit lonely. I did get to go out with the one friend I know living here Wednesday night but that was it. So, for the week I had to deal with cicadas, working out and hurting myself, and my food pictures on my own because I couldn’t share a thing.

And yet, I also felt a release of a certain type of pressure I hadn’t thought of before. The “need” to share certain things waned a bit. I didn’t share any news stories that intrigued me. I didn’t share pictures or links to anything that I enjoy doing. I was suddenly anonymous; I could do anything I wanted to, not read anything if I didn’t care to because I knew I wasn’t going to read with the intention of finding neat stuff to share with anyone.

I hadn’t thought about it before but participating in social media can be stressful. When it comes to blogging, even though I write fairly easily, the idea that I should be producing so much content to keep people visiting my blogs and websites is crushing when you step away from it. It’s amazing how much the traffic on my blogs and websites has dropped as I’ve slowed down on how much I’d been producing before I left town; amazing. I was always cognizant of having to do it and enjoying doing it, but seeing what I see… mind blowing.

Finally, the third thing I noticed is that no one noticed. I didn’t get any messages asking where I was or if anything was wrong. I didn’t see anything coming through the email stream noticing that anything had changed. Actually, when I finally reappeared, it wasn’t until late Saturday that someone actually said that he noticed I’d been quiet lately; one guy. lol

And yet, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might. So, when I was ready to end the experiment I wasn’t quite ready to end it, though I did. I started slowly, starting with Empire Avenue, doing a quick check on Twitter and Google Plus, and leaving Facebook for the next day. I also popped a couple of images up on Instagram; I love that program! lol

What my time away did was reinforce things I’ve talked about in the past about working on being fascinating, working on being more important and being seen as an expert and putting myself out there in more focused and distinct ways.

In the long run I have some goals and dreams to reach, and I can’t do it by being away. Thus, I’m going to be working on producing more and being more visible in a couple more places. I’m also going to be more circumspect in what I share of myself and from others because I want to maximize my time a bit more towards focusing on how I’m perceived; when I finally write my review on The Charge by Brendon Burchard, it’ll be understood better.

So I’m back, whether you missed me or not. And I’m not going away any time soon; I’m coming back in spades… whatever that really means. 😉
 

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More On Influence – Being Fascinating

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 19, 2013
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Y’all know I’ve talked about being influential in the past. I need to talk about it more because, as I always say, the more influence one has the better opportunity one has to make money and make a difference. There’s nothing wrong with either so if your mind is in that place leave it immediately and never go back there.

Blogging Meetup02

A couple of days ago I was watching a video of Marie Forleo’s, and if you’re looking to grow your business and also need boosts of positivity you have to check out her video page on YouTube, which I check into often. She was interviewing a lady named Sally Hogshead, who has a business that teaches people how to evaluate how fascinating they are and how to become more fascinating in the eyes of others.

Now, initially that can sound strange until you hear her talk about it. In essence she sees the topic of fascination as a way to be in people’s minds so that you’re the only thing they can think about at certain times, if not all the time. It’s kind of like the fascination people have with certain musicians or actors or models. Her premise is that everyone is born being fascinating but over time we start to diminish ourselves, either by our own means or by listening to the words of others. Then when we need to be more fascinating, such as those of us who work for ourselves, it’s hard to turn back on. So she teaches people how to recapture that and gives 7 triggers to getting there in her latest book which is called Fascinate.

Here’s where things get interesting. One of the things she said in the video, which I’m putting at the bottom of this post, is that we need to look at ourselves and determine how other people see us, then figure out how to be more fascinating. My interpretation on this is that we do this to either try to figure out how to impress those people enough to want to hang onto our every word or buy from us or to even like us.

In other words, self reflection time; scary isn’t it? I’ve written on this blog & another blog that one thing most people hate to do is self evaluation. It’s scary because we’re all critical about ourselves and find it hard to find or talk about the good things that are within us. We’re not smart enough or tall enough or pretty enough or anything enough; isn’t that how it goes? Sure, every once in awhile we start feeling special, and yet it’s not often that many of us can sustain this. And that’s a shame.

If I had to go first, and I do since I’m writing this, I’d have to admit that more often than not I’m not feeling fascinating at all. I’m certainly not feeling influential. And yet, a few days ago I went to another local event where bloggers in the area got together and talked and networked, and I had a great time. Not only that but I can truthfully say that I felt a lot of people enjoyed my company and were happy to see and meet me. Heck, I got hugs all around; what’s better than that?

And yet, there are other meetings I go to where I feel like I’m the pariah in the room. Sally actually mentioned in the video that people get feelings from others and often ignore them in one direction or the other, but that we really do know what we’re feeling. Trust me on this one, often in my professional networking ventures I feel like people are working hard “not” to see me. That’s disconcerting and bothersome, and I either react by leaving pretty quickly or looking hard to find someone I know well enough to hang with. That means I don’t meet as many new people as one would hope, thus limiting the possibilities of being influential in any way or even attempting to be fascinating.

That’s part of the key, isn’t it? If one demures and doesn’t say anything, how will anyone even have the opportunity to see if you’re fascinating or not? For all the stories I have and the experiences I’ve been a part of, if I keep them all to myself who would ever find out if I was someone worthy of knowing? For that matter how could I ever determine whether I was fascinating or not, or what I might need to change? Blogging’s a nice thing, but is it enough to express oneself? Not in public it isn’t.

Enough about me; your turn. Do you think you’re fascinating? If so, why, and if not, why. What holds you back and what are you willing to do to try to break out of it? As you’re reading this I’m in the middle of 5 videos in 5 days, an experiment I’m trying out. My attempt at opening up some, being more personable, seeing if I can be fascinating or if I’m just goofy. You can check them out here if you have the guts. lol Meanwhile, check out the video below; both of these ladies are fascinating:


 

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Dealing With Our Own Irrelevance

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 20, 2013
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Last year around this time, I was asking people on all 5 of my blogs to vote for me in blogging in the Shorty Awards online competition. This year I’ve decided totally against anything like that for my own sanity, pride, and peace of mind.

me 1991

What’s the deal? Last year at this time I was feeling as though I was actually something sort of special. I had a highly ranked blog, was writing lots of posts everywhere, starting my Black Web Friday series because I just knew that I had the juice to get things done, to change some minds, to actually make a difference.

You know what; none of it made a difference. I got 26 votes in the Shorty category after working it hard for almost an entire month. Not only did the Black Web Friday series mean nothing to almost anyone but it didn’t mean much to the people and websites I profiled either; they didn’t care. And even though my blog was ranked nicely then, around 78,000 on Alexa (don’t give me any grief about Alexa; I don’t want to hear it), the rank is now sitting around 160,000, even with consistent posting, and feels like it’s falling fast (although traffic has been up since the beginning of January & Alexa works on a 3-month model so within a couple of weeks it should start moving up again).

Some of you know that I’ve written a number of posts on the topic of influence, and why having influence can help you not only make a better income, but get things done in ways that being more anonymous, or irrelevant, can do for you. Well, while that’s still true, it seems that irrelevance is destined to follow all of us around for a long time, which is basically our entire lives.

That almost sounds depressing doesn’t it? Well, I’m not going to let it go quite that far, but I do need to explore this topic a little further. How many of you folks who read this blog know the name Chris Brogan? What about Scott Stratten, or Gary Vanderchuk or Marcus Sheridan or Ileane Smith? In blogging and social media, these are pretty big names. Take them out of blogging and put them on the street, and maybe one day in six months someone will walk up to one of them and say “Hey, aren’t you…” So much for influence or relevance.

Want more examples? How many people think of Tony Orlando these days? What about Brittany Morgan? Ric Ocasek? Michael Anthony Hall? Robert Townsend? All of these were super huge names at some point, all had influence in multiple ways, and all have, or seem to have, disappeared; I bet most of you have no idea who any of those folks are.

You want more? The nominations for the Academy Awards just came out last week. I knew almost none of the movies and almost none of the actors and actresses who are up for those awards. Last year’s Grammys, I asked myself why I would even think of watching it when the only name I knew that I’d heard of previously was Taylor Swift; that will be the same thing for this year’s ceremony, another one I won’t be watching.

See, we’re not alone. And truth be told, the guy who got the most votes for blogging last year was totally unknown in the United States, so even though he got an award, what did it get him in the long run? Maybe in his country he was elected Pope (I know, I know…).

What does all of this mean? Do we stop trying for significance? Do we stop participating in social media, in blogging, in our local activities and such? Do we crawl into bed, watch TV and eat chips and give up the rest of our lives to this reality?

Ain’t no way! Here’s another truth; we’re not as irrelevant as we think we are. For all the lack of relevance I’m talking about here, there are nearly 375 people who are subscribed to the feed for this blog. There’s lots of people higher but I’m happy with that figure. There’s nearly 300 subscribed to my main business blog. And I have a nice number of people subscribed to my business newsletter, though I couldn’t tell you if people are reading it or not.

The videos I do with my Hot Blog Tips Hangout crew have reached close to 8,000 views; that’s not bad for just over a year of videos; at least I think we’ve been doing it that long. My own video channels are quite paltry by comparison, yet I have had some views so I’m not complaining.

In other words, irrelevance doesn’t mean obsolete; it doesn’t mean hidden, and it doesn’t mean useless. Each of us, through our blogs, our outside actions, what we do at work, etc, are relevant to someone. That’s important to note because sometimes we feel as though no one notices what we do. We want more comments on our blogs; we want to make more money across the board; we want people to call us up and tell us how much they want us, need us, can’t live without us.

Tough to be us isn’t it? Well, here’s the thing. We are what we are. We can decide to try to be more, we can decide to try to be better, or we can try to be ourselves. Frankly, being ourselves might or might not put us over, but what more comfortable spot is there when all is said and done? Strive to be the best you can be, strive for bigger and better things if that’s what you want. But when you start thinking about insignificance, think about someone else. You are special; we all are.
 

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