All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Embrace The Lead

This is the first of products I’ve created that I’m going to talk about this week. In this case, I’ve written about it on this blog before. Advertising is going to be a little different from the norm. I’m going to give links to the main sales page, and if I’ve written about it here before I’m going to link to that as well. But in general I’m going to tell the story of what got me to create the product instead of doing the hard sell here. Anything to stand apart from the crowd.

The name of my first book is Embrace The Lead. That wasn’t the original name. The story of this book actually starts in 1998. The hospital I was working at had merged with another hospital, then become part of a larger hospital system. Then the powers that be decided to bring all management level people together for a big retreat. They gave us tools which were supposed to help all of us come together at one; didn’t work, and that was the first time I thought about putting together my own theories of management and leadership.

Then in 1999, a strange thing happened. My hospital decided to set up leadership classes, and hired a guy who I was less than impressed with. He took a major dislike to me on the very first day, and trust me, if you didn’t like me, you were going to have problems with everyone else at time. Over the course of 8 weeks we clashed because I thought his material was great, but his theories were stupid. That and he had this way of talking down to everyone.

The ninth week he actually threw me out of class. It was within 30 minutes, and I have no idea what I did, but he decided to “dismiss” me. The powers that be kept telling me not to take anything he’d been saying to me personally, but it’s kind of hard when he kept messing with me, and when he threw me out, it definitely was personal.

Then a funny thing happened. At the end of that particular class he decided to ask what they thought about how he handled throwing me out of class. They took that as permission to tell him what they thought, and for the first time in all those weeks people let him have it. I had been the only one not putting up with things, but finally they let loose. They told him how bad he’d been treating me, how bad he was, and many other things. I got wind of it later on, actually feeling happy beforehand because I didn’t have to go back.

Once word got out, he knew he was in trouble, and I knew he was in trouble as well. Upper management put the last couple of classes on hold, and suddenly this guy was blowing up my phone; I knew it because of the caller ID. And I wouldn’t pick it up; I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted him to squirm. I wanted him to come to me. But he’d been banned, so he couldn’t come to me.

I talked to one of my friends about it all eventually, and he told me I deserved to talk to the guy and set him straight. So one day I did pick up the phone. He apologized, then asked my opinion on where things went wrong. That was my invitation, so I spent the next 90 minutes telling him pretty much how stupid he was and how he’d messed up. I wasn’t that harsh, as I never am directly, but in general I told him that he hadn’t taken any time to understand his audience, nor any time to figure out just what I actually meant to all of those people. And he’d also missed that his behavior made him look racist; none of those people were putting up with that, as I wasn’t either.

At the end of all that he thanked me, then said I knew as much, if not more, about management and leadership than him and that I should write a book. And that was confirmation number two.

Number three… I started the book in July 2001 with an outline, then started actually writing. And then, September 11th… you know what happened. It bothered me for a long time, so I didn’t touch the book for 2 months. Then we learned my dad had lung cancer, and suddenly I knew I wanted to finish the book so he’d have a chance to read it. I did get it finished, but unfortunately he only got to read the first 60 pages or so before his mind just wasn’t there anymore. But he told me he liked what I’d written; I’ve carried that with me all these years.

And there you have it. Embrace The Lead is a book on leadership and management, yet I tried to write it in a conversational style. Of all things, Ken Blanchard, author of One Minute Manager, read it and critiqued it. He said it sounded like I was giving a seminar; it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I took it that way because that’s how I meant it to be. If you follow the link back to the sales page, you’ll see that I have a cross section of people who read it, and all seemed to enjoy it. And I sell it as a softcover book and as an ebook, so two different prices; I’ll even sign the softcover book. And I even talked about how I self published my book on this blog.

It’s not pretty, but it’s my book, and I talked about how I published it. And now I’m done. Embrace The Lead; take a look at it, because you might know someone who’s a bad manager that could use it. 😉 No ad since the book is there on the left side; actually for all of these posts it makes no sense advertising something else at the bottom, so you won’t see it on the second day’s post this week.

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You’re Not A Social Media Expert If On Twitter You…

One day last week I felt it was time to trim the number of people I’d hooked up to follow on Twitter again. So I opened up the link to Twit Cleaner, ran the sucker, and stopped following nearly 100 people.


by Dalbera

I don’t say that to be smug; I lead with that to get to this. Out of those 100 people, probably half of them indicated they were some type of social media expert. I like to use the term “specialist”, but I may have to revamp my thinking on that word one day. But I digress…

The issue at hand is that the people I decided to stop following had, in my view, in some way violated the concept of what I feel social media is all about. What were the sins? Let me point them out:

1. Not posting on Twitter. To me, it’s okay if people don’t want to use Twitter. However, if someone says they’re a social media expert, they need to be doing more than just having a Twitter account. What possible advice could they give to a client if they’re not using one of the most popular social media outlets in the world? By the way, this also goes for not having made a post in months, whether you used to be active or not.

2. Not being social on Twitter. One of my biggest gripes with some people on Twitter is that they never talk to anyone. Thanking someone for retweeting your post is not a conversation; neither is just saying “thanks” (that part also goes for responding to comments on blogs). Something Twit Cleaner does is asks if you want to see how your account is seen via its tools. I decided to check, and it said I was fine and perfect; well, I don’t remember the actual words. However, Twitter really was set up to be a communication device, for people to talk to each other. Sure, we can’t do it 24/7, but if you’re claiming to be a social media expert, you have to show that you indeed know how to talk to people.

3. Talking to yourself. Goodness, there is a lot of this! It basically takes 3 forms. One, the person keeps posting links or quotes, whether it’s links to their sites or the sites of others; two, the person keeps writing about everything going on in their day, only pausing minutes here and there for a breather; three, consistently marketing, talking about themselves… all 3 of these never including talking to a single person at all.

4. Not having a true link back to their website. This one I usually forgive early on if I’m following someone, but after awhile I won’t let it go. If you’re some kind of expert, which means you’re doing this for a living in some fashion, you need to have a website or blog or something you link back to showing some of what you do. If you’re linking to your Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook account instead, well, I’m the kind of guy who’s going to be suspicious of that.

5. Doing the “Follow Friday” (FF) thing all the time, whether it’s Friday or not, and only doing that, posting all those names without every doing anything else. True, appealing to someone’s vanity is never a bad thing, but if they see it all the time without any substance it starts falling on deaf ears; y’all don’t have anything on Eddie Haskell!

It’s true, there are no officially written rules for Twitter. But it’s obvious that there are things that help people stay engaged in some fashion. I still follow more than 1,000 people, and I have a lot more people who follow me. Everyone knows that if they actually write me about something I’d said I will respond to them. I don’t always respond to the people who just retweet me, especially if they do it often, but if it’s a new name, or someone I don’t see often, I will thank those people. I also don’t always respond to those “FF” things if it’s listing a bunch of names all at once.

Of course these are just my opinions, which means someone else might have a different thought on this one than me. If so, lay it on me; after all, I’m not calling myself a social media expert… yet. 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Sunday Question – Have You Thanked Anyone Recently?

Back in 2008, on my business blog, I wrote a post called Mitch’s List. It was an idea that came from a long time online friend of mine named Dean, and I thought it was a great idea.

That idea was to thank everyone who’d help to make the previous year or other years successful and fun. In that post, I also linked to as many people as I could to thank them for however they helped me, and that included friends as well. Of course, if they didn’t have anything for me to link to then I just mentioned them by name and moved on. I also let all of them know that I’d mentioned them in the blog post by email.

That felt good, but it also was one of the longest and most complicated posts I’d ever written. However, I realized that there were a lot of people I probably never really said “thank you” to that deserved it. I tend to be someone who says it a lot when someone is in front of me, but if not then I just forget; I talked about that memory thing last weekend.

Of course, as usual I’m writing this a few days beforehand, so I can’t tell you who I thanked on Saturday. But I can tell you that on Wednesday, when I didn’t see a lot of people, I thanked the guy who rang up my purchases at the grocery store; I thanked a friend of mine for visiting and for letting me talk about some things; I thanked my wife for bringing me home chili from work; and I thanked a lot of people for commenting on the blog.

I like to think I’m a fairly thankful guy, for the heathen that I am. lol And this being Thanksgiving week, I’m thankful that I get to go visit my mother and grandmother with my wife, and have a few nice meals there as well. I guess that’s what it’s all about.

I’m thankful to anyone who reads this post and comments on it as well. Have you thanked anyone lately?

Martha Stewart Flourish Wreath Thank You Note – Set of 25 by Crane & Co.






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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






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell