All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

I Found A Dream; Now The Goals…

Back on August 12th I shared a post here talking about my friend Rasheed and his living his dream of driving around the country, meeting people he’s known for years. At that time I said that I didn’t have a dream, and that I needed to work on finding one.

Just about 3 weeks later I think I’ve come across a dream. No, I know I’ve decided on a dream, because it’s strong, it’s big and audacious, it’s crucial, and I know if I apply, work hard, accept opportunity and make myself more vulnerable than I’ve been in the past I can get it done.

Vulnerable, I hear you asking? Actually yes, and once again this came from Rasheed. During our in-person meeting, he started telling me about a woman he saw in person named Brené Brown, who gave a talk on the subject of vulnerability. He tried explaining it to me and I have to admit that I didn’t get it. I didn’t argue it with him all that much because he was having problems explaining it to me. But once I saw the video, which is about 20 minutes, I got it, and I had to agree that it’s probably one of the most important business worthy and personal worthy presentations I’ve ever seen, and needed to see. Here’s the video:

If you didn’t watch it, shame on you. I’ll give you this much of it though. In essence, the biggest problem most of us have is marketing and sales. Brené states that every person that’s succeeded at anything has had to make themselves vulnerable to the possibility of being hurt. That’s because no one succeeds on their own, but you have to view it in more ways than one.

If you work for yourself, like I do, it means you have to market in some way. You either sell yourself to potential customers or to those who know how to make contacts so you can work and get paid for it. Even if you create things you need to sell yourself to someone so that you can sell your products. And it’s not easy because we have to be willing to be vulnerable, to get our feelings hurt, and to try again. And it’s easier to do if you have a dream and a goal worth achieving.

So, back to the dream. I’m not going to tell you what the actual dream is, though I could. And strangely enough, it’s not because of a conversation I had with my buddy Mitch Allen, who believes that no one should tell anyone anything about their dreams because studies have shown that when people put their dreams out to the public they don’t come true. Truthfully, other studies have shown that people not afraid to share their dreams will succeed, so that’s null and void.

I’m not sharing the dream because that’s not what’s important. “When” I attain the dream in the time I’m allowing myself to reach the dream, it’ll be more satisfying talking about it then. I’m giving myself a year to reach this dream. It’s a big, audacious hairy dream. It’s a six-figure dream. And I know I can reach it, track record or not.

So why am I writing about the dream if I’m not going to tell you what it is?

Two reasons for now. One, because I want to share my thought process, things I’ve been putting together, things I feel must be considered as I work towards this dream. If you have thoughts about setting plans for attaining your dreams and goals, something like this could benefit you. Or you might look at it and say “man, that’s just too much”; at least you’ll have something to compare it to. Two, because it’s possible that you, the public, will end up helping me reach my dreams while I help you reach your dreams, and frankly, my thinking is that the more people willing to take some chances, becomes a bit more vulnerable, and go after their dreams and goals at the same time is inspiring enough.

And let’s get this out of the way. Even if I don’t hit my dream exactly the process and forward thinking towards the dream is still a good thing. Jack Canfield talks about his goal of making $100,000 the first year of marketing his Chicken Soup book and making $92,000 or so instead. He wasn’t disappointed in that because it was more money than he’d ever made in his life to that point. That’s what we’re after here; who’s with me?

Here’s the thinking process, things that need to be considered:


paul (dex) bica via Compfight

1. Defining why I want the dream and what it will mean to me long term.

2. Defining how much money I need to shoot for to accomplish the dream and still take care of my present bills. Break down how much has to be earned monthly, weekly, and daily, possibly hourly.

3. Define how I’ll physically take care of myself. I must remember to take my medication and I must workout.

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.

5. Define all the ways I can make money, prioritize them, plan the marketing and sales and to whom and how.

6. Define if I need an accountability team or partner. This one is a crapshoot because it would be nice to talk to people who decide to join in on coming up with a dream and then setting up a once a week video call on Skype or Hangout to work on encouraging each other. Support systems are always nice.

7. Define all the people I already know that I need to contact in some fashion and then figure out which other industries and people I need to be contacting.

8. Continue with the things I do now that help market myself and brings in some money, which includes blogging of course. No, I will not give up blogging. As a matter of fact, it’s my intention within the next year to suddenly be in the mix of names that people mention when they start talking about the most influential bloggers in the world. That, of course, will depend a lot of those of you who stop by and read and comment, and I thank those of you who do it now.

9. Define what I do now that doesn’t get me closer to the dream and determine if it’s worth continuing with it. That one’s going to be tough to figure out because it borders on thinking about what wastes time versus what brings me a little bit of mental comfort and joy even for a few minutes.

10. Define how I can help others that help me. Did I mention that this isn’t something one does alone? I’ve always put out the offer that I’m willing to help others. Anything long will require payment but truthfully, sometimes people won’t accept help they don’t pay for.

I’m going to get this done, or I’m going to work myself to the bone trying to get there. I already have a goal charting system to work with; I just have to define everything else, stay on point, maximize my time and get to it. Everything truthfully starts on Tuesday, as the holiday is Monday (Labor Day to those not in the country), but I’ve already put a few things together in preparation; never wait until the last minute where your dream is concerned.

That’s it. I wish me luck, and I wish you luck in reaching for your dreams and goals as well.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Posting Times On Social Media?

I’ve always been someone who has given a lot of thought into when I should have my posts show up on Twitter and on other social media platforms. I really didn’t have anything to go on so I used my own judgment.

21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1
Βethan via Compfight

For the last 2 years I’ve had the posts on my blog go live between 9 and 10AM Eastern Standard time. In my way of thinking, it would be the time that most people on the East Coast, where I live, would be alert, probably already at work or have started their working day and have some energy.

Then, later in the evening or early morning, I find myself reposting my links to Twitter, often between midnight and 1AM, trying to reach a second audience that I figure is either on the West Coast or in other countries that might just be coming alert or waking up.

Anyway, these were my preconceived notions. I never had any data. Now I do, as this post on Kissmetrics titled An In-Depth Look at the Science of Twitter Timing was kind of illuminating. In essence, the person who wrote the article found some statistics that pretty much blew my mind.

The article is mainly about Twitter but in my mind if it works on Twitter it probably works on other sites as well. The main thing it stated is that 80% of the American audience on Twitter is in Eastern and Central time zones; that’s just wild! It also stated that based on user patterns, the majority of people who are apt to read and retweet posts do it between noon and 6PM, but that 5PM is the best time of all.

Talk about something that freaked my mind out. I’ve never thought about posting in the afternoon as a strategy. My mind said that’s when people were looking to go home from work and thus would be otherwise engaged. But numbers don’t lie, do they?

What to do, what to do… Well, that’s the blessing of having multiple blogs, isn’t it? Since I have 4 blogs that are the most regular, I’m going to split the times up better so I can do my own testing. I’m not sure as I write this, which is about 2 weeks in advance, of which blogs will post when. I do know that this particular blog’s feed goes out around 7PM every time I write a post, so I’ll have to take that into consideration.

What do you think of some of these stats? And if you’re in other parts of the world, do you think they’ll hold true for you as well?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

The First Year Of My Grandmother’s Passing

Last year on August 25th, at this very time, my grandmother, Hazel Beverly, passed away. She was 90 years old, and she had a pretty good life as an adult, even if there were some years before that which were pretty tough. Yet she wasn’t the type to ever complain about anything; she was the epitome of cool. If you’d like to see any of what I wrote last year about this, you can check here and here.

You know, I almost missed this anniversary, and I feel kind of ashamed of that. It’s not that I didn’t remember the date; it’s that I wasn’t sure what the date was now. One of those things that happens when you work for yourself is that sometimes you have no idea what the date is. Sometimes you don’t even know what day it is, but I knew what day it was because I always know when Friday comes. Even though things have changed, there’s something about Fridays that I absolutely love.

You know, sometimes we get engrossed in so many things that we forget things that should be important to us. In this case it doesn’t mean that the first year of my grandmother’s passing wasn’t important; it’s that for whatever reason it’s not relevant in my life and that’s depressing. I remember dates all the time. I remember my dad’s birthday and when he passed away. I remember my mom’s birthday, as well as my wife’s. Heck, I know the date my wife and I met, December 7th 1994.

But these days everything comes down to planning and what’s planned. I have all the dates I need to remember in my Palm or phone. I just hadn’t remembered to put this date in my calendar; so unlike me.

I bring all of this up because next week I have a post going live that talks about some things I’m going to be working on, in a way. There are plans, and there are time frames. All of these things will be important to me over the next year.

But what can’t be lost in any of this are the personal things. Family, health, motivation… things people often forget when they’re working on their professional life. We all have to consistent work on ourselves, and that includes our family, friends, and anyone else we feel is important to our lives.

Or our past. I hope your rest has been peaceful so far Miss Hazel; miss you.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Ways To Get Quality Backlinks – Blah!

Time for another Mitchell rant, and this time it’s on the topic of “quality backlinks”.

Here’s the deal. I understand that many people are looking to find ways to get backlinks, which to me means getting something for nothing. Yeah, that’s not quite fair, but I say that because I keep seeing post after post with titles like “5 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks” and every single one of them says almost the same thing.

Sugar Chain
Windell Oskay via Compfight

You know, Google has messed up again because they tell people that the thing they look at in ranking websites and blogs is backlinks to other sites of quality. To this I say “blah”. What they’ve done is once again set people up in doing all sorts of stupid stuff, just so in two or three years they can come out with the Wolverine update and slam all of those sites for once again doing what they told them to do, saying “you idiots, we didn’t mean for you to do it that way.” And they’ll be laughing at you when it happens.

I say “you” instead of me because if you’re doing all this stuff to get backlinks and that’s your only goal, you deserve to be laughed at. And I say that while having one blog that I actually allow people to write guest posts for, which gives them a backlink to their site. But really, who’s benefiting more from that, them or me?

What are these genius recommendations I keep seeing, that you’re also seeing over and over? Here they are:

1. Write guest posts
2. Comment on other blogs
3. Write in forums
4. Post links on social networks
5. Ask others to trade links with you

Oh yeah, the sidebar 6th is to make sure you do all of this on both similarly themed websites and high ranking websites. And I saw one that talked about making sure you have quality content; didn’t I address that topic once before?

Are there problems with these recommendations? Well, some of them anyway. Guest posts are great for gaining some publicity but just how many guest posts can you write, or have someone else write for you, that’s actually going to do you any good? How many comments can you or will you actually make in a forum that’s going to help you? And don’t you hate when someone you know asks you to trade links with you and that they’ll make sure your link will be on a PR2, 3 or 4 ranked site?

The other two?

Blog commenting is more about joining the community of bloggers and having people learn who you are rather than creating backlinks, although it’s probably a benefit if you comment often and are on dofollow blogs. But if that’s all you’re looking for you’re kind of shallow.

Posting your links to social media sites is smart, but not necessarily for backlinks. Once again, the idea is getting your link out to others who might be interested in what you have to say and share and be willing to come back to your site to read your content, and they might even stick around to read other content or even buy something.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that backlinks won’t do you any good. What I will say is that the ways everyone else is telling you to do it makes no sense. Who has that kind of time? And is your motivation legitimate?

Of course, some of you now want to pin me down on this question; what would I recommend in getting backlinks if I’m saying it’s not a bad thing to have them? My recommendation; write well, and write something compelling.

I’m not using the term “high quality content” because who can really define that? Instead, I’m saying to write something that others will look at, read, possibly comment, and then might be intrigued enough to want to link to you in their content. Wow, what a novel idea!

How do you do that? It’s a combination of 3 things:

1. Write things that are entertaining and challenging that makes people think and gets them to want to share your stuff without you asking them to

2. Try linking back to someone else’s blog post or article every once in awhile to show how it’s done. People not only like returning the compliment but commenting on what someone else had to say shows you read the post, were touched by the post, and that maybe your own stuff is worth looking at. You don’t always have to agree by the way; if you’re a consistent reader of this blog you’ll see that I’m always pulling a link from someone else’s blog and commenting on it.

3. Go get people to come to your blog by commenting on their blogs (good comments, not drive by’s) and by sharing your links on social media. This is a combined effort, but you have to be diligent with it. I’ve made this recommendation before and I’ll make it again. If you don’t have lots of time, find 5 blogs that you like and only concentrate on those 5 for awhile. But put your links out everywhere you can think of, that you like, at least once.

That’s it. Do that stuff, keep doing that stuff, and you’ll build up more juice for your blog or website than you can imagine. You’ll get quality people coming to your blog and the search engines won’t penalize you; who can ask for anything better than that?

Well, maybe one more thing. In this video myself and the rest of the Hot Blog Tips Hangout group talked about finding motivation in blogging, and we broached the subject of this post as well; enjoy:


 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

Would You Recommend Something Unethical For Money?

Before I forget, I want to let you know that I wrote a guest post on a blog called Marcie Writes, which works well since the owner is Marcie Hill. It’s titled 5 Steps Towards Blogging Integrity and I think it’s a very good post, not necessarily because I wrote it but because I wrote a guest post for someone who asked for it and I wanted to make sure it would be really good. That’s how guest posting is supposed to work when you ask people if you can write a guest post for them or if they ask you; always give your best. In its own way it segues into today’s topic.

A Man Without His Word Means Nothing
Catherine Rankovic via Compfight

How many of you have heard of something called “payday loans“? If you haven’t, the concept is that if you need money and know you’re getting paid on Friday, if you will, but it’s Wednesday, you can go to an establishment, take out money now, then pay it back on Friday at a “nominal” interest rate.

To some people it sounds like a great way to get an advance on their pay, but the way I see it, and if you follow the link above you’ll see more reasoning, it’s a scam perpetrated against those without a lot of financial acumen and can lead to both untold debt and dangers people aren’t ready for. It’s people allowing themselves to be taken advantage of, with interest rates that can skyrocket at a moment’s notice and, in some cases, being charged daily, and eventually leave a person not being able to keep up and, well, leaving bankruptcy as a final decision to make if they’re not able to pay off the entire amount immediately.

Yes, I think this is unethical, and I’m not the only one. The Federal government is now investigating mainstream banks that are participating in this, including many that were bailed out by the government back in 2009. Eventually they may get to everyone, but this shows that they’re concerned enough to worry about it.

It’s under this belief in ethics that I was dismayed when I came across a post some weeks ago by someone I usually think is pretty cool, Zac Johnson, who wrote a post titled Is It Time You Started Looking At Promoting Pay Day Loans? In the article, he talks about how it’s one of the fastest growing programs in the world and how some affiliate marketers might want to think about hopping on the bandwagon financially, even though there’s a “slight” disclaimer near the end of the article: “No matter what your personal opinions are on pay days loans and whether they are ethical or not, you need to think of the situation from an advertising stand point.”

I’m sorry, but I personally disagree. The statement alone proves that even Zac knew there was an ethical standard being crossed when he wrote it, and he talked about it in a positive way anyway. There are a lot of people going to dog fighting matches or watching videos of the clubbing of baby seals; would you promote that in positive ways if they were making lots of money?

Along the lines of when I asked the question What Will You Do For More Followers, I ask just what will you do for money? If you truly believed payday loans were the greatest thing on planet Earth and decided to promote it, that’s one thing; if you know up front that there’s an unethical component to it, are you going to do it just because it might pay well? If racism paid well would you promote it if it didn’t fit in with your morality? What about child porn, videos of death, cruelty to animals, etc?

There may be things you find unethical that you’ll complain to someone else about that doesn’t find it unethical. In that case it’s more on you than on the other person. But if you know it’s unethical and you promote it anyway, or the other person knows or believes its unethical and promotes it anyway, what does that say about your commitment to principles? Is making a buck, no matter how much it is, really worth your self respect, let alone the respect of others?

I know what I think; what say you?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell