Tag Archives: wasting time

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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5 Dangers Of Working From Home

I don’t think of it in these terms all that often, but overall I work from home for the most part. Every once in awhile I go on the road for a few days to a few months, but in general I do most of my work from home. What brought me to thinking about it was that I made a list of Work From Home blogs, #21 in fact, and since it’s always nice to be recognized I thought I’d point it out and thank it for giving me an idea of something new to write about.

Before You Quit Your Job

I’ve often encouraged people who are out of work to at least look into the possibility of working for themselves while they’re collecting unemployment. There are many people with great skills that could translate into a profession where they wouldn’t have to deal with weak managers or poor working conditions.

However, there are realities to working for oneself as well. I would recommend that every person who’s even thinking about working for themselves start by reading Before You Quit Your Job by Robert Kiyosaki. Although I probably wouldn’t have changed a thing, I’d have learned some things to watch out for ahead of time.

If you’re not in the mood to read the book just yet you’re in luck, because I’m going to talk about it for a brief bit. In essence, I have 5 things to tell you about working for yourself that you have to watch out for, or that you need to get more information about before you embark on your quest. Here you go:

1. You need to learn more about marketing. I have to say that marketing is the thing I’m the worst at, even after almost 10 years; gasp! I can tell you what doesn’t work, but I can’t tell you what does work. The issue becomes what can one do to captivate their particular audience. For me, the main audience I’d love to reach right now doesn’t do social media, doesn’t do “out of the box” thinking, and doesn’t really do minorities telling them what to do; that’s just being honest. However, my long term career goal works well for each of these, which makes me work on finding a balance between the two.

2. Money will almost always be up and down. I’ve had years that have put me in one of the highest tax brackets that barely kept me middle class. Then I’ve had years like 2009 where, because of the economy, I was scratching every week just to have enough money to pay bills and eat every once in awhile. It takes a lot of discretion not to spend unwisely when it’s coming in like water and a lot of planning to make sure you have enough to spread around and last awhile when things slow down.

3. Wasting time can be easy to do. Man, I feel like I waste time every day. I do, but when I look at it overall I also work more hours than a person working a 9-5 job does. Unless I’m working a project that someone else is paying me for I tend to work in spurts. That means that oftentimes business and pleasure get mixed together. For instance, when I’m checking email, there’s always more business email than personal email these days, yet I tend to do both around the same time. Also, something I learned as a manager is that you have to have “thinking time” because that’s how you come up with ideas for things such as writing or creating stuff. That could be seen as wasting time by some, but I find it crucial, and I find that not enough people take those moments out of their schedule for it.

my desk
My Work Space

4. You can overwork yourself. How many of you remember my 10-hours a day experiment? Hopefully things will change some as it starts to get warmer, but I normally sleep 4 to 5 hours a day, get a couple of 30 minute naps in here and there, and most of the rest of the time I sit at the computer working and thinking and wasting time. I joined the gym to try to get myself out of the house and into shape, but that’s often only an hour, if that. So that pans out to 14 – 16 hours or so at the computer on a regular basis; no wonder my mind feels shot here and there. I need to take more time off, although I know time off means I don’t get paid, but one’s mind just can’t stay sharp working that many hours. However, most of the people I know that work from home do the same thing.

5. You spend a lot of time alone. Why do I write my blogs so much? Because other than when my wife comes home I don’t have many other interactions with people during the day, unless I’m going to a meeting, networking, or I’m out of town. Some people think we just sit around drinking whatever in our pajamas or underwear all day and how nice it is, but there’s something to be said for engaging other people every day, even if it’s only for minutes at a time. If I decide to work out I’m still sitting in Barnes & Noble or Wegmans or the library by myself, even if there are other people around. It’s not always easy mentally, but it’s something you’d have to be ready to get used to.

Did any of that scare you? If not, you might be ready to explore doing this type of thing for yourself. You won’t have to deal with weak or mean managers anymore, but you just might find that your worst and meanest critic is actually you. But if you can get paid well, it eases things dramatically. 😉

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