All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

The Importance Of Health In Going For Your Dreams

Two weeks ago I put out my post on the dream I’m going to complete by next September 1st. I wrote out 10 things to consider while going for one’s dream, but I want to concentrate on this one for the moment:


don’t eat this

4. Define when I’ll work and rest. This one’s important because I don’t take enough time out to rest or workout or even eat, and if I don’t take care of me, I won’t be able to take care of anything.

I put this one in because there are a lot of motivational business books on the market that say if you want to be successful in business you have to be willing to put in more hours than anyone else. Some books actually advocate working 16-hour days even on weekends. Foolishness!

Sure, you have to work hard, and you have to be willing to commit to putting in more time if your goals are really that important. But if you work yourself sick then you’ll have to shut down, and at that point there’s nothing you can do to move forward.

There has to be points where you rest your mind and take care of your body. It’s also especially important to know yourself and be honest with yourself about your patterns.

Here’s my tale.

Many of you know that I’m diabetic. This means that when I’m not in good control of my glucose, I can have bad days and sometimes I can go into a depression if it stays high for a long period of time.

What this means is that I need to try to make sure I eat when I should, watch what I eat, and watch what I eat at certain times. This one is strange to some people so let me explain.

I’m not a morning person. This means that I don’t do my best work most mornings. I’m also not one of those people who can eat when I first wake up; often I’ll wait 4 or 5 hours before eating my first meal of the day, or anything for that matter. That includes even drinking anything; not good.

I also can’t eat certain foods early in the day, and that includes either breakfast time or lunch time. And I can’t overeat either, which is a misnomer because I don’t always eat until I’m full. If I do any of these things, I tire quickly and need a nap, otherwise my head is fuzzy. And sometimes, if I eat the wrong stuff without thinking about it, I’ll nap for hours and wake up feeling horrible, if I can move at all; that’s not good either.

But I can eat anything after 5PM or so, including late into the night, and it doesn’t make me tired at all, unless I stuff myself. Also, my best time of working if I need to produce things is between 9PM and 11PM: go figure.

Add to that this leg problem I have, called sciatica, which is supposedly related to my back. This means I have to do at least stretching exercises to help my leg feel a little better, and when it gets cooler again I’ll go to the gym & do strengthening exercises as well.

I gave you all of that to show that you have to know yourself well so you can plan your time to fit everything in, including the time to take care of yourself. On September 4th I started scheduling my work days, which includes evening hours. I start my mornings with the back exercises because I know that if I don’t do it then I probably won’t do it later.

I give myself the first 45 minutes in the day to get that done, get online to check email & social media, and then it’s time to get into the work day, no matter what I’ve planned. Then I break at noon to see what’s going on in the news and, once again, to tell myself to eat. I do this because I know I probably haven’t eaten earlier, but now it’s around 2 or 3 hours, depending on when I’ve told myself to get up, and at least I’ll be feeling the stirrings of hunger. The thing is I can’t take any medication until I eat, so that’s important.


this is much healthier

I plan breaks during the day. I diversify the projects I work on during the day. If I finish something and have time left over before the alarm goes off, it’s fun time!

Yes, I do have evening hours as well. But I work for myself, so since I’m home, that’s fine. The past 2 weeks have been amazing for me because of the scheduling. I know some people say they can’t work that way, but for me it’s perfect.

And because I feel better, my mind works better and helps me stay on the path towards my dream. Of course, my little vision board doesn’t hurt either, and maybe one day I’ll show you that.

Make your health as much of a priority as you make everything else. You don’t have to overdo it; just be cognizant of it and don’t hurt yourself. Be honest with yourself; you deserve it.
 

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5 Problems With Guest Posting/Writing Requests

Yeah, I’m revisiting this topic again. I’m doing it because I know that there’s a lot of us that accept guest posts somewhere (I don’t for this blog but do for my finance blog) that try to be accommodating to those who ask us if we’ll accept it. I know that it not only helps them but helps us because we don’t have to write everything for those particular blogs. In my case, those guest posts are helping me to earn money from that blog, so I’m not overly mad at the process.

Go ahead; make my day
Nora Arias Loftis via Compfight

But some of the writers themselves are getting on my nerves. I also have to add those people who ask me to write a post for them and include their links in the article now, which is something I do for a fee (you’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay me to to that… sort of). I will be including that in my little list of gripes that I’ve already titled above, and thus I’m not going to repeat it again… oh, who am I kidding, of course I’m going to repeat it again. Here’s 5 problems I’ve had with guest posting and writing requests.

1. I have this in my guest posting policy on my finance blog:

I do accept guest posts geared towards financial issues on this blog, and by having a guest posting policy, it means in your query you don’t have to ask me about it, you don’t have to have all that extraneous stuff about how it will help this blog work better or have better SEO; please, I get that and your letter looks canned, which it obviously is since most of the requests that come aren’t from writers but from people marketing for someone else. If you’re supposed to be some kind of writer then write something original; give it a shot, it won’t hurt.

You’d think people would get that message, but no. At least 70% of the requests I get are those canned letters; sigh…

2. I have this in my guest posting policy:

When you write me, give me an idea of what you’d like to write about so we can start from that point. I have to review the site being linked back to and then determine if it’s a site that should be paying for advertising or one that I allow a free link back to. If you’re actually reading this then please send the link to the site you want your article going to; I’m always having to tell people that I need to see their link first and that’s wasting a lot of my time.

Nope, people who aren’t reading the first part aren’t doing this either. This includes those people that I know have read the policy, and I’ve got it highlighted just like you see above. Now, how do I know the difference between people who are actually reading the policy?

3. I know because of this:

To request a guest posting opportunity, or to ask questions about advertising or anything else on Top Finance Blog, write to Mitch. If my name isn’t in the email, I’m not reading it and you won’t hear from me (unless you’re willing to pay for it); I don’t have the time.

This is true; 90% of the requests I get are to sir/madam, webmaster (really?) or just “Hi” or something like it and nothing else. And I don’t respond to any of them; I delete them immediately.

4. When I have to send people my advertising policy, they don’t get it.

I’m not going to post that here because either people ask me for it up front or I look at their site & determine it needs to be paid for and then they ask me about it. At that point I sent them a standard email with the policy already typed up. The policy specifically says two things. One, no blatant advertising for their company unless they want to pay me twice the rate it costs for me to write a post. Two, if I write a post, I’ll use your keywords unless their blatant advertising, in which case the twice as much as writing a regular post thing kicks in.

Someone asks me to write a post for them at the individual post rate. I do it, add their links, set it up to go live, and expect them to pay me when it goes live. No one sees the post before it goes live; sorry, but I was burned once and that’s never happening again. Anyway, they finally see the post, then they write me and ask if I’ll include the company name in the post. I refer them back to the policy and say that if I do that they have to pay double. Then they get upset; well, a couple of them do. And then they don’t pay and I dismiss them forever.

You’re probably asking why I don’t charge them something up front so I don’t get burned. I don’t do that because I write articles for the blog as well, and in a way they get credit for giving me a topic to write about, so I’ll take it, but I don’t like not getting paid my fee for writing it. Why? Because it’s in the policy!

5. People who don’t come back to address comments.

I wrote about this one on another post on guest posting. I’m not the only one that’s written on this subject, although right now I can’t remember where I read someone else talking about it. No matter; if you write a guest post you have to be willing to address comments or questions because the owner of the blog just might not be qualified to respond to everything. And even if that person is, you’re losing the chance to establish yourself in the eyes of others by doing a posting hit and run, so to speak.

Those are my main 5 issues at this moment. If I write this same post 2 weeks from now I might have different gripes, but you won’t see that one coming from me. All I’m looking for is a little bit of courtesy, a bit of professionalism. By the way, I also share this little funny video in my guest posting policy; for those of you who get requests, I’m betting you can identify with this:


 

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Following Others In Social Media As A Growth Strategy… Let’s Talk

I’d actually like this one to open up into a discussion of some sort because I’m wondering if someone can convince me that I might be wrong. Yeah, it’ll be hard to do I know, but if someone has other ways of thinking about it that make sense, I’m open to hearing it.

The Glamour Of British Summer
James Kendall via Compfight

About six weeks ago I wrote a post titled What Will You Do For More Followers, and I added a video to the mix. First, although I ended up getting probably the appropriate number of comments to views of the video, it’s only been viewed 22 times; come on people, I ain’t making these things because of my good looks! lol Go ahead, watch the video; I know it’s 10 minutes long so watch at least some of it, okay? Don’t make me beg.

Anyway, on Sherryl Petty’s blog Keep Up With The Web, she had a guest post almost a month ago where the writer’s topic was How To Grow Your Google+ Followers. One of his recommendations stirred something in me, which happens often. It was to follow people at random and try to follow people in your niche.

Me being me, I commented, and since I wrote it I’m going to quote a small part of it here:

I always end up asking myself this question whenever someone makes it a point in an article and now I’m going to ask you this… what’s the deal with following people in one’s niche? I mean, I know the expectation is that if you do this those people will get to know you and you’ll make connections with those people.

However, experiments have proven that most of the time people in your niche don’t want to connect with you because they’re worried you’ll take potential customers away from them. In the area of leadership, which I write a lot about on one of my blogs, I’ve found only one person who seems to not be threatened by my visiting his blog, as he visits mine often as well. The others… well, half the time they won’t even approve the comments, and other times they never respond, and don’t ever visit my blog.

Of course some of you remember my post talking about commenting on similarly niched blogs and how it seems to be a failed concept. However, this is something a bit different. The question here is in growing one’s connections on Google+, and you might as well add Twitter to this conversation because it’s almost the same recommendation I’ve seen on other blogs.

Here’s the question. How do you feel about following a lot of people with the intention of trying to get more people to follow you? Here’s my take on it, just to establish a baseline.

I think when you first get to a place such as G+ or Twitter, the first thing you do is look for people you already know that are there. That will help you at least get established to some degree. What I did after that when I first got on Twitter was see who they were connected to and if I knew any of those people, I followed them as well. It wasn’t until much later when I started following some people who were talking about things I was interested in, but I still can’t say 4 years later that I’ve gone out of my way to find people in any of my niches, if you will, that I follow, or went looking to follow.

When I got to G+ it was pretty much the same thing. I went looking for people I already knew first, which I knew a lot more people in 2011 than I did before, and few of them were local. Then things started to take off, but it was mainly people following me and my connecting with them later on. And the only niche, if you will, that I really have is that many of the people I’m connected with are bloggers. That’s it; they aren’t even mainly people in my fields of expertise, but bloggers in general.

So I have people I’m connected with, but the numbers are relatively small. As I received a request to connect with someone a few days ago on Twitter that is in one of my niches, someone with 75% fewer tweets than me but is following and has followers around 25,000, it got me wondering if, as I wondered before, are my social media standards too strict for what I’m trying to do? Yes, personally I’m very comfortable with doing things my way, but does business suffer in some fashion because I’m not “everywhere” for “everyone”?

And there’s the conundrum, and thus why I throw the question out there. I know some of you have fewer connections than I do, but some of you have way more as well. Hopefully this will be an interesting discussion, and I ask you to see what others have to say on this topic as well when you come to comment (I know you’re coming lol). I’m really interested in knowing your thoughts; someone go get Marcus Sheridan and tell him to get into this discussion as well (heck, while you’re at it, go get Chris Brogan, as I bet he’ll offer some great perspective also).
 

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September 11, 2001; 11 Years Later

I wasn’t sure I was going to have a post on this tragic event this year, but decided I wanted to add something special that I found back in June that I had on my other blog. See, that day was horrid, and we’ve seen so many things that happened on that day, and the planes hitting the towers (Flight 11 and Flight 175) in NYC and hearing about the plane that hit the Pentagon (Flight 77) and the one that crashed in Pennsylvania (Flight 93) was horrible. Seeing people jumping out of buildings to their death and seeing other people running once the towers started coming down and feeling inadequate and mad and empty and angry and hateful and scared…

Yes, even now some of those things still come up. Not as much anymore because there’s something in that spot now, something replacing what was there and something that’s honoring that day and those people who died and the heroes that sprouted up and did what they had to do, felt compelled to do, even if for some of them it wasn’t their job to do.

And then there’s the people in the video below, some unsung heroes that I just heard about this year. This was truly amazing, and if you have an ounce of decency you’ll watch the video, which was narrated by Tom Hanks, and you’ll feel something good deep inside. That is, if you have an ounce of decency; yeah, I’m calling people out. This video is that good, that special, and it deserves to be shared and seen by as many people as possible. The only reason I’m not putting it out separately on Facebook and Twitter is that I did so back in June. Now it’s your turn.

Never forget tragedy, but grow from it and try to make things better, be better, and never let terror win. With that, please watch this video:


 

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I’m Black…

I just thought I’d get this out of the way: I’m black. I know you probably didn’t notice that from the picture over there on the right but yup, I am. At this point you’re probably wondering why I wrote that; you know I’m going to tell you.

photo of Mitch Mitchell I'm Just Sharing
See, black: photo courtesy
of Custom-Photogenics

Just about two weeks ago a young man named Christian, definitely an up-and-comer, wrote a post titled I’m gay. The fact that he typed “gay” with the small “g” was interesting and probably poignant in its own way. Frankly, I’m not typing anything in my titles with small letters, especially “black”.

Anyway, it was a very personal post, and by its tone I’m thinking that somewhere along the line he must have taken some heat from someone who probably made a comment based on his look, since I can’t figure out any other way they could have made the determination. I knew he was gay (don’t ask how) but my thought was “who cares”. That’s always my thought; if a person isn’t racist or hateful I could care less what they are.

Anyway, he put some of his feelings out there, basically stating his case that he is what he is, other things that he is, and that’s that; you either liked him or you didn’t, but that was that. I thought it was an interesting and powerful post, and it got lots of comments that, unfortunately, he didn’t respond to. Probably too close to him in a way.

So, what’s my explanation for my statement? Because it’s the political season, a presidential political season, and President Obama is going for a second term as president of these United States. And, well, those folks who didn’t vote for him are of two minds. One, he doesn’t really count as black, and two, black people only voted for him because he’s black.

I’ve heard it over 4 years, and it’s starting up again. I could make the argument that all things being equal Obama just might be way more qualified than Romney for the job, but it wouldn’t make much difference. Frankly, I hate getting into those types of political discussions because neither side is going to convince the other, and it won’t be long until either I’m being accused of voting one way “because” or I’m having to say their voting against “because”.

And then a friend of mine wrote something on Facebook Friday night that made me feel good. So of course I’m sharing it here:

For those of you who are proud of having Obama as the first African American president don’t allow people to make you feel bad about it. You have every right to your feelings. Stop letting folks make you feel like you are wrong for doing so. Stop letting folks pigeon hole you and try to attack your intelligence because you like Obama. Don’t allow folks to try and make you feel that you are incapable of making informed decisions because you like Obama. Especially don’t let anybody insult your intelligence by saying the only reason you voted for him is because you are black. Your intelligence and ability to make decisions runs much deeper than that.

We still live in a time where black folks are still having firsts after what over 400 years in this country. The first black president, the first black mayor in a town, the first black governor in a state, the first black legislator in a state and the list goes on. We are still having firsts. Having a love of your own does not mean you hate someone else. Be proud of who you are. Peace

Yes, that’s how I’ve been feeling since 2008. I wasn’t going to vote for Obama because he was black; I was a Hillary Clinton fan. But when all was said and done I wasn’t voting for McCain – Palin and that was that. But the accusations… I don’t back down from those kinds of fights in person but online, it’s an argument that makes no sense to have.

So it’s been stated, I fully agree and feel vindicated, and that’s that. If I don’t have to deal with any stupid mess from this point until the election I won’t be talking politics here. If I do, as I had to do late in October 2008, I’ll do it, but man, please let’s hope I don’t have to go there again.

Yeah, I’m black. With some Cherokee & some other southern tribe as well; none of us are totally one thing, right? 🙂
 

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