Tag Archives: inspiration

Make Blogging And Social Media Be What You Want It To Be

You might not know this about me, but I used to lift weights. I wasn’t very good at it, and never got my arms the way I was shooting for, although I did it religiously for almost 2 years. I did develop my shoulders and upper back muscles though and my pecs looked pretty good; that’s the best I could do, no matter how hard I worked at it.

I’ve always had the strongest legs. Even before I was weight lifting regularly, I got on a universal leg press machine and was able to push it up to 500 lb when I was 15 years old. Later on, when I was doing weight lifting for real, I regularly pushed 500 lb, and every once in awhile would take a gamble and push up to 750 lb. Yes, my legs were strong.
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Why I Try To Help

Back in June of 2001, I decided it was time to try to work for myself. I was tired of losing jobs because of things that weren’t within my control. On June 22nd of that year, I went and registered myself as a business with New York state and was on my way to a bit of independence.

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In October of that year I was kind of in recovery mode. I’d had one short gig, given a presentation on leadership in Ohio, my first live presentation, but was mentally still in recovery from what happened on September 11th of that year. I was starting to realize that I wasn’t really sure what to do; after all, when you work in most hospitals in the country there’s not really much advertising going on because most markets only have one hospital. Also, the business of health care is much, much different than any other, although at the time I was trying to be a consultant/trainer in the area of leadership and diversity; I still had no idea how to proceed.
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There’s Power In Positivity – By Kelvin Ringold

Over the course of just over 8 years of blogging I’ve had 15 guest posts here, the last one in 2013. Except for 2 of them, all the other guest posts were because I asked someone I knew to write about something I thought was pretty interesting.

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Kelvin Ringold

In this case I’m highlighting my friend Kelvin Ringold, who I’ve mentioned in multiple posts on 3 of my blogs over the years and in many of my videos. Many local people know who Kelvin is, so I figured it was time for him to introduce himself to the other masses by writing a post on his main vocation, which is writing and talking about positivity. I owe this guy for lots of things over the years, so he gets a guest post; for the rest of you, don’t even think about asking. lol
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Creating Products That Already Exist… Kind Of…

Five years ago today, I wrote a post highlighting a product I’d created about 5 years earlier as it pertains to my leadership coaching and training business. The post was titled Mitchell Employee Evaluation Module because that’s what the title is of the item as well. If you want to skip the post and just check out the item itself, click here.

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Although I talked about the item in that previous post, it was fairly clinical and pretty short. I just told what it was then; I was in a period where I remembered that I had products and wanted to get the word out. The strange thing is I never wrote about it on my business blog; I’m going to have to rectify that, and soon.

I didn’t talk about the process of creating it and a moment of indecision about it. I figured this was a good time to talk about that because, though it’s not a fascinating tale, it’s an inspirational one, if I say so myself. 🙂

If you’ve ever been an employer, you know it can sometimes be difficult to conduct interviews to find the right people for the position you need to fill. The problem is that for most positions there are a high number of people with close to the same qualifications and it can be hard to figure out which person to take. You also have to guard against perceptions of favoritism, racism, sexism, and a host of other isms. Truthfully, I hated having to go through the hiring process as a director.

If it’s that stressful to hire employees, try imagining what it might be like hiring someone for a leadership position. Then imagine what it’s probably like for people who might be looking for someone with certain qualities on one day of interviews, then suddenly changes the next day. It can get pretty ugly for many people.

It was never a problem for me though. I always knew the type of people I wanted to put into leadership positions. As you can imagine, I was also kind of different than the norm, and in the right position to do so.

Health care billing is one of those positions where a person without a college degree can actually be promoted into a supervisory position. Depending on the hospital, many can also get promoted into director positions if they show they have the skills in bringing in money and managing what we call the front end of the revenue cycle process. You don’t need to know all of that; what you need to know is that those types of jobs don’t always require a college degree.

Or do they? That actually depends on the hospital. There are many hospitals across the United States that not only require a degree, but want some kind of certification as well. There’s very groups that offer certifications in that respect, which means it’s pretty expensive to get those degrees. Therefore, not everyone has one; I don’t. However, I’ve done pretty well; I did help a hospital increase their revenue by $730 million in one year after all (yeah, I’m bragging lol).

It was the “do they or don’t they” question that prompted me to create the module. I sat down and came up with categories I felt were important in deciding what type of person an employer might need. Then I came up with different qualities under each category. In all, I ended up with 46 qualities.

I then created a spreadsheet for employers to use. The basic idea was to first answer a series of questions that lead hiring parties to determine what they were actually looking for. The next step was to go through the 46 qualities, based on the other answers, and pick 10 overall qualities they wanted in new managers.

This helped for two reasons. One, it made those who had to do the hiring actually evaluate what they needed and why. Two, it gave them the option of deciding if they needed that degree or not.

Just so you know, most of the time when people are hiring and ask for a degree, they don’t really need someone with a degree. It’s use is aimed at reducing the number of applications that come in for a position. Some might not want me telling you that, but I’m not in HR. lol

It was during the period of creating the spreadsheets when I had a minor dip in faith. This led me to talk to my friend Kelvin, who now runs a business called Intensely Positive. I hadn’t told him I was creating the product until I’ve reached this point, so he just listened as I explained the whole thing to him.

My issue wasn’t that there were other products on the market that could help employers figure out how to hire people. They weren’t exactly like mine, so I had that going for me. My issue was that I was creating spreadsheets that would become part of the package.

I said to Kelvin “These are just spreadsheets I’m creating in Excel. Anyone could sit down at a computer and do this.”

His response was quick: “They could, but they didn’t. You did.”

Truthfully, that’s all it took for me to go ahead and finish, which I did by the end of the next week. Other than my books and CD series, it was the first product I created. Not that I’ve sold a lot of them, but I have sold some. Back then I actually had to mail them out; now it’s a quick download. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be updated either; whew!

This is the beauty of creating products. Sure, there might be something similar, but nothing is actually a total copy when you think about it. Our buddy Troy Sweezy convinced me to read a book titled Steal Like An Artisticon, and the author pretty much said this same thing, that being very few things are actually new in today’s world. People either improve them or make them different in some way so that people believe they’re totally new.

If you’re using the excuse that “it already exists” or “why would anyone buy from me”, get rid of it now. Create your product, put it out there, market it, work it, and sell it; go ahead and do your thing. Even if it doesn’t become the next blockbuster thing that makes you a millionaire… you created a product! 😀
 

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10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Write About In Your Niche

Something that’s rare for me is writer’s block. Whenever I’m ready to write something, most of the time I think of a theme, give it a little bit of thought, and start writing. I’ve got to tell you that feels pretty good.

Knowledge Wall - Transmission Global Summit 2011 - Victoria, BC
kris krüg via Compfight

However, I’m not a machine. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to write on a topic that’s popped into my mind. If I can’t flesh it out I don’t want to put out total garbage. And sometimes I just don’t have anything new; it happens to the best of us.

Every once in a while I just skip a post. Nothing wrong with that except I hate skipping posts on Monday; if I skip the second post of the week I’m okay with it but I hate missing the first one.

Therefore, when I need to find something to write about, I do a few different things. As I said it’s rare, but I have these things to fall back on that I’m going to share with you.

1. Visit some of your favorite blogs and write on something one of them touched upon.

I don’t want you to copy what someone else has said. Instead, either write a post agreeing or disagreeing with what someone else has written. Basically it’s a long form comment that you’re writing for your blog instead of leaving it on someone else’s blog. Just make sure you link back to the other blog; whether you’re yay or nay on what they wrote, they’ll appreciate the link.

2. Visit blogs you don’t normally visit and do the same thing.

In this case, you’re going to throw some love at someone who you might not know. What you can do is go to Google, search for your topic and add “blog” to your search term. There are tens of millions, if not hundreds of million blogs, so there’s probably not a topic you won’t find. As a courtesy here and on the first one, it wouldn’t hurt if you found a way to let them know via Twitter that you’ve talked about them & linked to them.

3. Scan the news for your topic.

If I want to write about blogging, I can bet there’s a news story every single day somewhere about the topic. Often there’s some kind of top 50 or 100 blogs in some category that’s fodder for commentary, especially if I’m not on it… did I just say that? lol Anyway, you can go to Google again, put in your search term, and once you’ve hit search you can choose the news link that’s normally on the same line that images is.

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Jimmy Hilario via Compfight

4. Write about a book related to your subject.

Book reviews are always pretty cool, especially if they touch upon one of your subjects. Sometimes they won’t, but I write book reviews here when people send me their books. If you’re also creative you can find a way to take a book and turn it into your niche topic.

5. Think about something in your day and relate it to your topic.

I once wrote an article comparing blogging to traveling through airports while I was sitting in an airport in Washington DC on a 3-hour layover. It just seemed to fit, though I’m betting a few people thought it might be a stretch.

6. Write about a favorite fictional or historical person and relate it to your topic.

A post of mine that four years later seems to be very popular is one I wrote on my leadership blog talking about the leadership qualities of Harry Potter; yeah, I’m a big fan of the series. lol Matter of fact, months after I wrote that post I was contacted by en entity in the Philippines and asked if they could use it as an educational article for one of their middle schools; that was pretty neat. I’ve written about a lot of fictional characters and leadership including Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog; people like that because they can relate.

7. Think about an event that occurred in your life and write about that, relating it to your subject.

Joan M. Mas via Compfight

All of us have something that happens in our lives every day. Often it’s pretty mundane but sometimes there’s a bit of significance in it, along with a lesson. I wrote one of those types of posts in July when I talked about ethics in social media based on a conversation I had with this kid in Germany and his personal attack against Serena Williams that caused a bit of a scandal for a short time after she’d won Wimbledon.

8. Write a compilation post of some kind based on a seminal date or event.

This one should be easy because you might already have all the material you need on your blog. In case you need an example you can check out my post talking about 15 lessons from 1,500 blog posts or 55 tips about blogging which I wrote highlighting my 55th birthday last year.

9. Do an interview post.

By the way, have I mentioned that I’m looking for people to interview me, either on their blogs, podcasts or videos? Regardless of if I have or not, interviewing people who talk about your subject or pretty much anything else always ends up being a double benefit. When people like being interviewed they’ll help you promote your post and if you do it well, which means your questions aren’t boring, it can be pretty cool The thing about them is that the other person is doing all the work, so this one should be easy.

10. Whenever you have an idea, save it in your posts area.

I get ideas at the weirdest times. I get so many that I used to forget a lot of them. So, first I started carrying a 3×5 index card spiral bound notebook so I can write things down when I think of them. Then when I get home I’ll create a new post, pop the ideas in and then save it as a draft. That’s actually where I got the idea for last week’s post about marketing products you didn’t create, as it was on my mind earlier in the week while I was on the road. Ideas coalesce well with reminder words and phrases.

That’s 10 ideas; do you have any others? I hope this helps some of you on your way to continuous blogging.
 

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