All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Are You Planning For Your Success?

I had a pretty good week this past week. The week before I felt like I was leaving way too many things to chance, so I thought it was time to regain a bit of perspective. After all, one doesn’t just fall into success; no matter what it is, you have to work it, and it works better if you have a plan of some kind.

So I worked out a plan based on a marketing plan I’d put together for 2011, things I want to do to earn the bulk of my cash for the year. I’ll do other things hopefully but you have to start with something. The next step was putting together a monthly plan of attack, which I started at the beginning of the month. In doing that, you also have to put together a portion of three types of things; things you want to do daily, things you want to accomplish during the week, and things you can to complete for the month.

After that I decided I needed to plan my time daily as well. So I did, and I got to everything I wanted to do that I planned for. This coming week is going to be kind of a mess since it’s Thanksgiving week and I’ll be out of town for a couple of days, but that’s okay because the plan helps me be prepared to have most everything done before I leave; whew!

As Snoopy shows, I got a lot of things checked off my list. See, I’ve been asked in the past how I get to so many things, and how I can find the time to write so many blog posts. When I plan my time, when I have plans of attack, I’m very good at it all because I don’t have to think about it. Everything’s written down in some fashion, or logged somewhere, like in my computer calendar associated with my Palm; that’s my alarm system, as well as my cell phone (remember, the stupid alarm on my Palm doesn’t work anymore). And I make sure to plan breaks and meal times as well. And weekends… I don’t plan those, but if I stick with my plan, then weekends are mine to work on my other projects, or just to try to relax a little bit; I don’t do that often.

So, I plan my blogging time, both for myself and some clients. When I’ve got other contracts to work on then I plan that time as well. I need to readjust my plan some because I’ve been thinking about trying the Chris Brogan thing and writing at least two posts a week in the coming year; kind of hard to do with multiple blogs though, but who knows right?

Are you planning for your success, or are you just waiting for it to happen? Maybe you need a planner; look at the cover below.

Classic Legacy Binder with Snap Closure - Black

Franklin Covey Classic Legacy Binder with Snap Closure – Black






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I’m Supposed To Ask You To…

It’s Friday, and I figured it was time for something a little intriguing, more of a question and comment and a wish that I could remember what got me thinking about this.

Actually, that’s not quite accurate; I remember what got me thinking about it lately. I was reading a post by Larry Brauner of Online Social Networking, whom I mentioned as one of my early commenters, called Top 10 Ways To Get Facebook Page Fans. As I was reading each of the points, I smiled when I realized that half of them involved asking people to join in some fashion that was more direct than just writing about it on one’s blog, which I’ve also done, as well as adding a widget, which you see there to the right.

The thing that made me smile wasn’t so much that Larry had half of his points saying that as much as the reality that I’ve read often how we’re supposed to ask people to sign up for this or that, or help us out in some fashion. As a matter of fact, I did that very thing just over 2 years ago when I first stated that I wanted more RSS subscribers, and here and there I’ve asked that question again, adding a failed contest along the way.

It’s strange because days ago I wrote about how bad I’ve been in promoting my own products, and now I realize that I’m pretty bad at asking people to sign up for anything on this blog, or other blogs, or my website, or even to follow me on Twitter. What is this thing all about? What the heck is wrong with me?

Actually, I think it ties in with a conversation Sire and I were having in a comment area about talking ourselves up. He felt it was kind of unseemly, while I said if you can back it up and were actually telling the truth that it’s not such a bad thing. And I truly believe that; yet, here I sit, not really talking about myself all that much in the things I do for work, and the things I believe I could do for others.

True, this blog isn’t necessarily a blog to market myself, but it has been a component over the years. Early on, I used to talk about all these different methods I’ve tried in making money online, and I used to disclose my monthly income all the time; not so much now. The truth is that I believe I’m kind of a talented guy. Sure, you wouldn’t know it by that image above; yeah, I drew that for one of those online survey things.

I’m definitely not an artist by any means. But I have been a songwriter, have written two books now, helped a hospital make more than $700 million in revenue in one year, helped a guy get an $80,000 contract two weeks after just one business coaching session, had articles in many magazines over the course of the last 8 years and gave a keynote presentation at a health care conference in 2007. And I make a mean meatloaf, even if I might mess up tuna every once in awhile (only once; read the story).

Other than writing the books, who knew any of that other stuff? For that matter, what else don’t you know about me? And trust me, there’s plenty more. That’s my fault because, though I feel I disclose a lot, I really don’t promote myself all that much. It’s one reason why next week I’ll be having those evening posts about my products; gotta promote something, right?

Anyway, Larry’s right, and it does me little good to go out kicking and screaming against it because, well, overall it’s just not my style. But I did talk about wanting to be known as a big time blogger, so it behooves me to just come out and ask. In my way, of course.

So, as humbly as I can, I’d like to ask that, if you participate, you assist me in this fashion, and of course I do it as well when I can, and we can all win:

1. Hook up with my Facebook business page (I hate that it’s still called “fan” page, but oh well), and of course hook up with me on Facebook as well.

2. If a post grabs you enough, whether you comment on it or not, and you’re on Twitter, click that “retweet” thing at the top right of the post and share it with others. I went with Topsy because it doesn’t make you add an application to your Twitter account to use.

3. If you like a post, whether you comment or not, think about clicking on that little “like” thing at the end of each post. If you want to know the truth, I really have no idea where that goes or if it shows anywhere else except on the post, but it’s there looking pretty lonely most of the time.

4. If you’re predisposed to do so, ask me to write a guest post for you. For this one, you’ll have to send me an email, which is under the “contact” tab at the top of the blog. I refuse to ask people if I can write a guest post for their blog, but I’ve asked people to write guest posts for this blog, and I have written a few here and there this year, but nowhere close to as many as I had thought I would. And I know the guest posting rules since I wrote some, and our friend Pat wrote a wonderful one last week on someone else’s blog and has responded to every person that’s commented; great job Pat!

That’s all I have. Now, other than next week, watch me go another year before remembering to ask for something; oh well… 😉 And be on the lookout closer to the end of the year, because next year I’m going webinar crazy; well, for me at least.

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster - thenerds.net

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster






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2 Followups On Negative Customer Service Issues; eBay And AT&T

I’m big on customer service. When it’s good I’ll point it out; when it’s bad, I’m also going to talk about it. I’ve had a couple of negative things occur lately, so to speak, and I’m going to talk about the aftermath of both of them; neither has ended well.


by Piez

Let’s start with the tale that I told on this blog about buying something used on eBay. The overview is that I bought something, a Palm T/X, it didn’t work right, sent it back, guy fixed that issue, something else immediately broke, I sent it back again, and then I hadn’t received anything, ever. Guy wouldn’t return either phone calls or email; very irritated. And the thing is I knew he wasn’t going to fix it, and he wouldn’t even think about just sending me a different one.

Here’s the aftermath, since I wrote that post on 10/5. I wrote the guy 2 more times and left a phone message once more; nothing. I kind of outed the guy on Facebook by mentioning his name, but I never pursued it, as I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, and my heart really wasn’t in it to go that route. Finally last week I talked to a lawyer about my options; it was a quick down and dirty thing. He said I really didn’t have any. Sure, I’d paid m money and I had a registered note saying he got it, but if I wanted to file a small claims suit against him I’d have to go to his state, which was Michigan, and for the $151 it cost me I’d lose more money than I’d get back.

Knowing that, I figured I’d write him one more time. In that letter, I threw in that I had spoken to a lawyer, which I had, and that it was recommended that I try to work it out with him, which was kind of true. That letter got a response, and the guy said he thought he’d sent it back months ago; yeah, right! He mentioned in the letter that it bothered him that I went to a lawyer. I wrote back that all I wanted was my Palm back and asked what he’d have done if he’d been in my shoes and hadn’t received his product in almost 4 months.

That didn’t get a response, but today, finally, I did get my Palm back in the mail. The alarm still doesn’t work, but everything else does, and man, I really have found that I need my database and my calendar with me, even without the alarm. That plus it can connect to the internet if need be, plus I can use it as a reader and for a host of other things; I’ll deal with it. So I have it back, but I really still can’t say it all ended well.

The next story is new to some of you, especially if you don’t read my business blog. It involves the negative process of trying to get a replacement phone from AT&T, then finding out that we had insurance where my wife could have gotten that replacement instead, and how the processes for everything were very long and convoluted. I complained that in this day and age it shouldn’t take an hour just to set up on a new plan, or, after I learned about the insurance, to put in a claim. If you want to see more of the setup, go to that link.

Here’s the follow up. My wife and I started thinking about all of this and we got irked. It cost us $50 to replace her phone after I’d been paying insurance on both her phone and my phone for more than 2 1/2 years. At $5 a pop, that’s around $300. The replacement phone they sent her looked nice, a Samsung Propel, but when I looked it up it was a 2-year old phone that they don’t make anymore; and it was refurbished! Come on, they couldn’t send her a new phone after all these years for what I’d been paying for insurance, even after spending another $50 for it? All for the privilege of not having to sign a new 2-year plan?

And that’s not all. My wife loved the look of the phone and loves the keyboard, but it’s a power hog. We thought that the phone was brand new, and it still might be, but the battery wasn’t holding a charge. So I spent another $20 to buy a new battery from a local battery company, only to see that the new battery also won’t hold the charge. That means it’s the phone; sheesh!

At this point there’s no recourse for that, so we’re stuck with it for at least a little while. I did call and cancel the insurance, and I told the guy why. I mean, if we’d just stuck with the new phone after the rebate it would have only cost $20 and it would be working great. Turns out phone insurance is a joke, and that’s irksome. Turns out you can just keep buying new phones, even if your plan isn’t completed, as long as you’re ready to sign a new one, but you can still keep whatever you had on your old plan; that’s what I have now. So, I feel like an idiot of sorts, but what can you do, right?

So, nothing else on eBay that I can see, and I’m going to have to think about my association with AT&T after 15 years when I’m ready for a new phone and a new plan, since I figure the next time around I’m probably going to have to get a new plan anyway. Kicking and dragging into the new technology; thy name is Mitch!


Get Virtual Phone for Your Small Business! phone.com

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100 Greatest Sports Movies?

Y’all know that I like list posts; truthfully, who doesn’t? Many of them leave us having great debates, although I’ll admit that I wasn’t really expecting much debate when I wrote my opera post. Be that as it may, when we know what the topic is, we love debating it, and I think there should be a few people around ready to talk about this one.


Baseball Night In America
by J. Ryan Wall

Only it’s not my list. I got this list from a site called the Bleacher Report, which writes only about sports stuff, and they got together and put out what they called The 100 Greatest Sports Movies Of All Time. It’s an interesting list, especially because some of the movies aren’t sports related at all; what the hey? Still, they’ve got a list, and it was pretty ambitious. Way more ambitious than I’m ready to be, so I’m only going to comment on their top ten; this isn’t going to be pretty.

No. 10: Slapshot – this is a movie about a rogue minor league hockey team, and you’d think I would like it more because it was filmed right here in Syracuse. But it was filmed before I got here, and even with Paul Newman it just got on my nerves.

No. 9: Hoop Dreams – this was actually a documentary that followed two kids for many years that had dreams of becoming professional basketball players; no, they didn’t make it. Roger Ebert really loved this movie; once again, I didn’t get into it.

No. 8: Caddyshack – one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, even if it was surrounding golf, a sport I don’t like all that much except for Tiger Woods (now don’t start with me). It had Rodney Dangerfield in one of his best performances and Chevy Chase and Bill Murray at a time when not only were both at the top of their game, but they had to bury the hatchet to make this movie together. And it had the gopher; ’nuff said.

No. 7: The Natural – one of my favorite movies of all time; if I’m turning the channels and it’s on I stop what I’m doing and watch it until it’s over. It’s a baseball movie about a guy who gets derailed as a young player and comes back many years later and shows everyone he’s a star, only because they didn’t have 24/7 access to TV or sports back then no one remembers who he was. This is a beautiful movie, start Robert Redford, and you’ll love it whether you like sports or not.

No. 6: Rocky – I’m actually surprised this was so low on their list. Like everyone else, I had no idea who Sylvester Stallone was, but I knew who Burgess Meredith was, though I only knew him as the Penguin from Batman; now that’s a shame! There can’t be anyone who has no clue who Rocky is, so I’ll just leave it with this: “Adrian!!!”

No. 5: Bull Durham – I liked this movie, but for the life of me I really can’t figure out why so many sports guys think it’s so great. Sure, it had Kevin Costner before he started irritating all of us, along with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (who hooked up and lived 19 years or so with each other), but as a baseball movie I keep thinking there were better performances, or at least other movies that touched or entertained me more.

No. 4: Rudy – never saw this one, and I haven’t been compelled either. I just know it’s the supposedly true story of a team manager for Notre Dame that got to play in a game; maybe someone else can enlighten me and tell me why I need to see this.

No. 3: Raging Bull – now this is what I’m talking about. A movie about the one time middleweight champion of the world Jake LaMotta, it was one of the best performances by any actor in history, and in this case it was Robert DeNiro. He had to first get into great shape for the boxing scenes, then gain more than 60 pounds to play the same character as an older guy; it was the first time any actor did that. And it was filmed in black and white; great stuff. The funny thing is that the real Vicki LaMotta was prettier than the actress who played her; that rarely happens.

No. 2: Field Of Dreams – another baseball movie, and once again one that has never really captured me; my favorite baseball movie, very apparent now, is The Natural. But almost everyone knows this line, even if they don’t remember it came from this movie: “If you build it, they will come.” Another Kevin Costner movie.

No. 1: Hoosiers – Gene Hackman won an Oscar for this movie as best actor, and that’s about the only thing I know about it because I never saw it. It’s about a small town high school basketball team in Indiana that ends up winning the state title. That’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, that’s my commentary on someone else’s list. Of course you know that within the next couple of months I’ll be putting together my own list of top whatever number of sports movies I determine I need. And you can bet my top 10 list will have some “real” football movies on it; yeah I said it!

The Natural



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Talking About My Products Again

You know, I’ve mentioned often enough that I have products that I’ve created. Most of them are regarding management and leadership, but still, they’re products I’ve created.

The funny thing is that whenever I’ve talked about my own products, what usually happens is that I hear crickets in 3-part harmony. It’s as if I’m okay to talk to if I’m talking about what’s going on in my life or talking about blogging or something else that fascinates me, but when I start talking about things I’ve created I’m suddenly an insurance salesman.

The last time I wrote a full post about all the products I’d created at the time, I only had one comment, that from my buddy John, and he asked why I thought people didn’t comment; heck if I know. That was on this post in 2009 called Creating Your Own Products; Let Me Talk About Mine. Before that, I had written a post on my book Embrace The Lead, which got 9 comments, my CD series Embrace the Lead, which got 10 comments, and my ebook Using Your Website as a Marketing Tool, which got zero comments; ouch! Oh yeah, on those other two, realize that half the comments were mine responding to the few comments I received.

Actually, some of this might be my fault. I don’t promote myself nearly enough. It’s a part of what I talk about often enough here, promotions, influence, and marketing, and I have these things that I’ve created and not talked about all that often. That’s just a shame. I’m lucky to have made some sales here and there, but it’s certainly not because I’ve promoted enough.

So, next week, which is Thanksgiving holiday week in the United States (since I have a lot of visitors from elsewhere), I’ll be having two posts a day. The morning post will be a regular post. The evening post will highlight one of my products. Some will be a second round obviously, but I’ll introduce the rest of my products as well. Will I make any sales? Probably not. But I will drive some publicity to my products, and by extension to my businesses, and after all, sometimes that’s what it’s all about.

Of course, if you want to get a jump on three of my products by visiting those links showing my products, I won’t be depressed one bit. 🙂
 

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