Category Archives: Motivation/Inspiration

Influence Versus Wasting Time

Anyone who’s been checking out this blog for at least a year knows that I talk about the concept of influence on a fairly regular basis. I’m one of those people that believes that not only will influence allow you to have a voice in what goes on around you, but it offers you the best possibility for future financial success. You probably find influential people a happier lot as well, though I know someone’s going to pull out “I know so-and-so who’s not very happy”. Doesn’t apply to everyone but I’m betting it applies to the majority.

As this post goes live I’ll be at a live event that I briefly mentioned in this post hoping to increase my influence locally by hopefully giving a presentation that will at least put my name into the light. It’s a long and hard road to get yourself known by more than just a few people, isn’t it?

The same goes for being online. It’s really hard judging how influential you are online. Sure, there are lots of ranking services, but none of them seem to agree just how well you’re doing. One of the problems with being a social media consultant is having clients and potential clients wanting you to tell them all the things they can or should be doing to become more prominent online. I’ll say this; no matter what it is one hopes to do, it all takes time. And some of that time, in my opinion, is wasted time. What do I mean? Let’s take a look at some of these major time wasters.

I’ve talked about Klout a few times now. It’s supposedly one of the top online ranking systems to tell people just how influential you are “across the board.” I put it in quotation marks because it doesn’t look at a lot of things. One, it doesn’t look at blogs or websites at all. Two, it doesn’t follow your comments, even on sites that it checks on such as LinkedIn and Facebook. And three, if you’re engaging in conversation but with only one or two people on Twitter at a time, it doesn’t give you any bonus points for that. It pretty much follows two things; how much you’re participating in the couple of things it’s following and how much others are passing your stuff along if you happen to put stuff out there.

And no one really knows how it works; I’m not sure they do. Back in the summer when I had my post on 21 Black Social Media Influencers, my Klout ranking soared. Now, they’ve made a change and my score has dropped drastically. Not that it wasn’t slowly coming down anyway because who could keep up with the amount of activity needed to keep a Klout score high? How much time would I have to consistently waste on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, doing specific things, to get my score up? And I hear there are employers that are judging people based on this; ugh.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about Empire Avenue. At that time my score kept going up, but truthfully I had no real idea what it was all about; I still don’t. Turns out that the only real way of keeping your score up is to promote your site and have people buying “stock” in you. Sure, you earn your fake income by acts you do, but that doesn’t influence what your stock price is.

I mention Empire Avenue because in my previous post I wondered how it helps with social media, or even if it was supposed to help. On that front I’d have to say it has helped some. My Facebook business page has had a lot of folks from Empire Avenue sign up, and a few people have visited this blog and left comments; that’s pretty neat. So it hasn’t been a total waste of time, but for the amount of time one would have to put into promoting yourself, which in essence is promoting the site, I could write 3 blog posts for each blog I own.

Then there’s Technorati, Delicious (is it still going by that name?), StumbleUpon, etc… all those intermediary sites that people seem to love but I seem not to love. Like many other people, when I first started trying to get more recognition for my blogs I tried social bookmarking. And once again I found myself spending lots of time trying to get good rankings on these sites, only to learn that it not only takes a lot of time but you never know what any of those rankings mean anyway.

For instance, I just took a look at my Technorati account. This blog has an authority of 450; my business blog and finance blog have an authority of 101. I’ve never listed my other two blogs and won’t. Traffic has drastically gone up on my finance blog, but the way Technorati works, people have to “name” your blog, or at least a post, for you to get recognition. You can add a link on your own, but it still only works if others decide to tag along.

The same goes for all those other sites. I hate when I click on a link on Twitter and it takes me to StumbleUpon or any of those other sites, with those big clunky toolbars. And it’s people posting their own links; why not post the link to your blog instead of one of these other sites? Isn’t that a major waste of time? Someone please school me on this one because I’m missing it.

There are so many other ways of spreading your influence online that don’t take a lot of time wasting. And of course one can spread their influence without worrying about these rankings all that much. We all get so caught up in the numbers; I know I can from time to time. But you know what? This past Saturday I took a day and basically sat in front of the TV watching DVDs. I had my laptop, but I rarely checked it. And it felt good; the chase was over for at least one day.

If you’re going to waste time, waste it in making yourself feel better. If you want influence, don’t restrict it. Find ways that fit into your schedule that don’t become overwhelming. Get out there and have fun with it, while getting things done. This is one of those dreams/goals I’m shooting for as I retool what I hope to do in 2012.

I’m Mitch Mitchell and I approved this ad. 🙂
 

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What If Your Dreams Came True?

Last week I listened to an interview on a blog by Ray Edwards with Carrie Wilkerson, whose new book called The Barefoot Executive has just come out. I bought it and I’m about 1/4th of the way through and it’s very good, so I’m recommending it to you as a great business purchase.


 

Anyway, I was drawn to one particular point where she talked about dreams and how people will have dreams of things they want to achieve, yet sometimes it scares them to think about getting there and then, if it comes, what to do about it or where to go from there. She used two great examples from two of my favorite movies (y’all know I’m just a big kid, right?), Tangled and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Continue reading What If Your Dreams Came True?

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You Don’t Have To Accept Bad Criticism

Some time ago I’d written a post about something local on this blog. I shared it with some local people just to spread the word. None of them commented on it, which is the norm it seems. However, one wrote me back on Twitter and his comment was “Man, that’s an ugly webpage.”

What the heck was that? Where did that come from? This is a guy who 1) doesn’t have a webpage; 2) has a Blogger blog in green and brown that he’s never tried to sculpt; 3) basically writes one post a year on that blog, usually when he’s mad; 4) couldn’t say a thing when I asked him why he said it and then; 5) never responded once again when I said it’s a blog, not a webpage, but it suits my purpose.

All of us are going to be criticized in some fashion at some point in our lives; some of us hear it daily. There’s nothing wrong with people who are giving you advice that might help you as long as you’re ready to hear it; I’m one of those people who doesn’t want it unless I’m asked unless it’s something really egregious like a misspelled word or a phrase someone doesn’t understand. And, for a blog, there’s nothing wrong with giving our opinions in public, especially once an article it out there, as long as you don’t get personal and keep things confined to the article in question.

However, there’s a lot of bad criticism out there, things that people say with no intention except to cut other down. They’re not trying to help; they’re not trying to be constructive. They’re only trying to build themselves up by whatever means necessary, and if they can take it out on you at a moment’s notice, so be it.

I remember years ago when I shared a portion of my book early on with someone I was playing email chess again. His response back to me was “have you ever read a book”? That was it; nothing else. It hurt; I won’t lie. I stopped writing… for about an hour. Then I was back into my writing mode because my mind realized his criticism meant nothing. One, nothing constructive; two, he’d never written anything himself. And three, of course I’d read books; how did that help push anything positive through?

If you put yourself out there and ask others for opinions on something, you obviously open yourself to someone busting on you for something. Sometimes what you get back makes sense; sometimes what you get back in invective. You don’t have to take that; no one has to take bad criticism.

For the record, bad criticism means there’s no attempt to give a person an opportunity to improve in any way. Bad criticism is “I hate your webpage”. Good criticism is “Having light green against a pink background is hard to read and might be hard for other people to see easily”. Bad criticism is “I hate what you wrote here; your opinion stinks”. Good criticism is “I disagree with your point because….”

Back in September I had kind of a row with someone on this blog when I wrote a post questioning modesty of today’s kids and blaming it on parents. Parents tend to get defensive because they say it’s hard controlling their kids; I don’t tend to let them off the hook. Yet, parents also take things like this personal even when it’s not against them specifically. Bad criticism is “you don’t know what it’s like being a parent”; phooey. Good criticism… well, in this case I’m not sure what good criticism is. It’s a post where people either agree or disagree, but I’m not sure it’s a post where anyone can support the argument for what some might deem salacious outfits by young girls and not being able to control what they wear. That’s what parenting is supposed to be, folks.

The general point is that no one should allow the potential of bad criticism stop them from doing or saying what they feel is necessary, as long as they’re prepared to accept the consequences of those actions or feelings. And if there are consequences and you feel you’re in the right, then go ahead and keep doing it; unless someone else is paying you, you really don’t have to acquiesce to bad criticism. Most people who criticize you have nothing to offer other than the criticism.

Anyone want to criticize that? lol

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Are Your Views On Money Holding You Back?

A few days ago I introduced a guy to you named Brendon Burchard, who wrote a book I recommended called the Millionaire Messenger.

Over the course of signing up for some of his free videos, I have had a chance to check out some of the comments after the videos. Most have thanked him for the information he’s given and have written that they felt inspired to look at things in a different way. But what has surprised me is how many people are put off because he talks about how much money he’s made in such a short period of time, saying it’s distasteful.

I often wonder if some of us are kept from success because of our beliefs about money. In another book I’ve talked about here, T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he talks about how he would make a million, then lose a million, and how this pattern was perpetuated a few times before he realized that, because of how he was brought up, he was equating wealth with being evil, and since no one wants to be seen as evil he’d then lose it all each time. Once he came to grips with the inaccuracy of the belief he started holding onto his money and life improved dramatically.

Let’s get this one out of the way; there is no such phrase in anyone’s Bible that says “Money is the root of all evil.” No matter which Bible you believe (if you do), every time the statement is used in 1st Timothy, it begins “The love of money…”, and then goes on to explain what it means. Basically, it’s not the idea of having money or being wealthy it believes is evil, it’s how one gets that wealth that might be evil.

I don’t think anyone can gripe with that one. We’re allowed to applaud titans of industry who saw a lack of something, created what was missing, and made millions of dollars. Anyone who faults these people for filling a void, no matter what it is, and making lots of money from it is a hypocrite because all of us probably wish we could do the same thing. How many of us see something and say “man, I had that as a thought years ago; I wish I’d followed through on it”? I certainly do, and often; ugh.

The fact is that most of us don’t have a love affair with money; we can’t because we never seem to have enough of it If we did most people wouldn’t fall for the scams I talked about. We’d already have the money we needed and wouldn’t give these things a second look.

Think about it another way; why are there so many “make money now” blogs? Or so many posts, including many of my earlier ones, about making money in some fashion? Because we don’t have enough, and we want more.

Some of you have seen my buddy Sire and I debate the merits of those people who promote themselves and talk about themselves because they’ve made money, and they want you to know it. He sees it as bragging; I see it as telling it like it is. If I’ve succeeded I want to tell you I’ve succeeded and I want to tell you how I did it. Who wants to follow someone that hasn’t succeeded if the intention is to make money? And if we have the big name bloggers that we know have done it and achieved financial success, what’s so wrong with them letting us know about that success?

I say all of this as I celebrate my first $600 month blogging income. It may be a fluke but it was the next step up after mentioning my first $500 month some time ago. No, it’s not enough to live off just yet, but at least it’s moving forward. Of course I’m looking for other ways to make money because I have things I want to do, things I need to do. All of it takes money.

And if I have to find and listen to the guys who can tell me how much money they’ve made, I’ll do that.
 

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Only Concern Yourself With What You Can Control

I was on a roll last week. After reading a post on Ileane’s Basic Blog Tips I was inspired to write a post titled Is Your Work Worth Nothing. It seems that, for this person, just because he didn’t understand something he felt it prudent that the people doing SEO work for him should be paid based on results and not based on the fact that they did the work. Of course when I asked him if he wanted to be paid that way he said no, but that SEO work is different; no it’s not.

My comments on that post and then my post here got me an invite to write a guest post for Ileane, which I’ll do when asked, and I came up with one I called 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post got a lot of responses, and I appreciate everyone who participated; it was a lot of fun. And I didn’t gripe about anything I haven’t griped about here every once in awhile, but it ended up being a pretty long post; I’m glad Ileane was okay with that.

I had been on a pattern of criticism, all of which started with how my grandmother was treated while a patient in the hospital. Oh, people were nice, but overall competence wasn’t up to standard; being a health care consultant, I know. I even wrote a small bit of that criticism here.

Funny thing about criticism; once you’ve opened up your eye and started looking for things that aren’t going well, you get really good at it, focused on it, and suddenly all it seems you’re seeing is incompetence everywhere. And man, it’s easy to find. It’s a place that’s easy to get into, but in the long run it might not be all that much fun.

Hence, the day after writing that post, being on Twitter and complaining about the weather. Yeah, the weather. lol In central New York, it’s like we jumped from winter to summer and totally skipped spring except for the rainy part. The temperature hit 92° (33C), and I’m sorry but that’s just way too hot for me. It was already over 80° around 9:30, and I was griping about that as well because I had hoped to cool the house off before it got really hot.

That’s when one of my online friends, Shirley George Frazier of Solo Business Marketing said: “Concentrate on the things you can control, and the rest will fall in line”. Goodness, what a thing to say to me at that moment. She hadn’t known what I’d been going through and what I’d been like, yet it was a very timely statement. I needed to see it and hear it; heck! Of course, being cool, I wrote back with “You mean I can’t control the weather?” She wrote back “Controlling the weather — something to add to your wish list!”

Funny lady, but the point was taken. It’s easy to complain about things, but harder to think about those things that we could actually do something about. There were a lot of things I was complaining about that I actually did something about, but others that I knew there wasn’t anything I could do. In an odd way I didn’t get all that depressed about any of it, but I also wasn’t as content and happy as I could have been, as I had been before my grandmother got hurt.

An important lesson for those of us who blog is to not get so into complaining about things that we don’t try to fix and resolve what we can. For all the complaints I wrote in the post on Ileane’s blog, I could control only what I do on my blog, and I don’t do any of the things I find irritating. For what happened to my grandmother I had a meeting with a representative at the hospital, and so far have also ended up talking to a couple of department directors on how things could have been improved. I feel good about that because I know that everything I say, if they fix it, will help the next patient that they encounter.

If you’re going to complain, do something about it as well; otherwise, maybe channel those thoughts towards something more positive. I think I can say that most of the time when I complain about something I’m also about to do something about it as well, or have done something about it, like when I talked about our smartphone issues. Are you making sure you’re doing something about those things that irritate you? Are some of those things on this tolerations list (it’s a pdf)?

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