Who’s a bit confused on how to get 140 characters working for you and your brand? My hand’s up.
At least it was until I finished up Shama’s new book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing. I have been aggressively learning about social media marketing for the last few months and I was still having trouble connecting the dots.
Shama got me excited to the point that I started making changes before I finished the first couple chapters. On top of that, Twitter finally is starting to make sense. And it actually is useful. And she more than fully covers the others as well: Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and video. In fact my last couple articles got more Facebook and Twitter mentions than the previous ones combined. I love immediate results.
I used to refuse to “waste” my time on social networking sites. But before long it was too hard to resist. I couldn’t look at a website without being bombarded with it. So this year I made it a goal to become an inbound marketing/social media marketing expert. Then I realized that was shooting a little high… So I changed it to “start becoming an social media expert.” The learning curve has been steep and amazing.
The more I learn, the more I realize that the leverage of these social networks is unreal. Forget the fact that it’s a fun way to connect to friends and network. The leverage you can get on your exposure is something that I believe is going to be the primary way to market a business (or yourself) in the years to come. Just in a few months of putting this stuff to work on ReadingForYourSuccess, I have seen a 300-400% increase in traffic and almost as big of an increase in my subscribers.
The beauty of it: it’s not costing me a dime. That’s why it works. People are connecting with each other because they actually want to. Everyone gets value from the connections. This isn’t the type of exposure you can buy. You must participate and be genuinely interested in adding value to the networks in order to experience the leverage. But do this and it will be massive. It’s no different than deciding to add value to every one of your in-person interactions… which I hope we all have as a goal.
With social media, as with anything else, success comes from putting in more than you take out. The next stage of marketing and positioning will be in adding genuine value to the people you come across. The smoke and mirrors of traditional methods is working less and less (not to mention entrepreneurs can’t afford it). Those who are prevailing are the ones who actually care and who are indeed finding their own social media marketing zen.
Shama’s book serves as an ideal how-to book for those brand new to the space and it also provided plenty of new ideas despite what I’ve learned over the past months. When done reading, I ended up with 25+ action items for ReadingForYourSuccess. Then I logged onto the book’s companion site to find an awesomely helpful Workbook and followon resources. This is about as much handholding as you can get without Shama showing up on your doorstep. Although with how responsive she was to my tweets and emails, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did.
10 Most Powerful Marketing Zen Take-Aways:
1. Create a strategy. Social media can absolutely kill your productivity if you just surf around all day. Set up time limits and boundaries for how you’ll spend your time. Limit yourself to 30 minutes a day for all networks. Remember these should leverage your time. Spend much more and the leverage may reverse. And you certainly don’t want to get too caught up in the chatter.
2. Have Simple Daily Routines: This is how you execute on your strategy. Shama suggests simple daily social media interactions of wishing your friends happy birthday, posting a useful link or two, update your status in a fun way and check to see if there are any comments worth responding to. This should take all of 10 minutes. She also has great weekly and monthly routines for each network.
3. Use Tweet Deck. The head of marketing for a hot tech company in Santa Barbara turned me onto this a few days before picking up the book. Then Shama added fuel to the fire. This is a killer time saver app. It allows you to see all Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Status updates without all the other distractions. You can set up specific lists and search terms for your favorite tweeps and quickly submit status updates without getting caught up by all the other things on the network’s website like pictures and videos. Very cool tool.
4. Add Value. The social networking system will only work as long as each member continues to add value to the network. If you are not adding value, chances are that the leverage isn’t working for you either. Don’t make a big deal about it though. For many people, all the value they need to receive is an unexpected smile, laugh or comment. If you are constantly promoting your own brand and site, you will miss the train.
5. Set Limits. This might sound a bit repetitive but it’s crucial. The average person spends way too much time on these networks. Set limits. If you don’t, you will drain your day. This is of course assuming you have something better to do than connecting online. If you’re not sure what, go out and meet someone face to face the good old fashioned way. These networks can’t do it all.
6. Add New Connections After Each Event. The moment you get back from a networking event or anytime you meet some new people, go through all the business cards you have and send them friend requests. This becomes the perfect rolodex. And it will even remember their birthdays.
7. Own Your Own Domain Name. If you don’t already own your own domain name then go out and buy it. Set it to forward to your Facebook or LinkedIn profile, or your personal website. I own www.ScottDinsmore.com as well as a few others and they all forward to ReadingForYourSuccess. Don’t miss a chance to build your brand. Get your name before someone else does.
8. Think Like a User First and a Marketer Second. This goes with adding value. Think of what your readers would find benefit in reading or learning. Provide those links to your network. Offer this benefit and the marketing will come naturally. Think like a marketer and your network will lose interest.
9. Help Others Promote Their Stuff. As long as their content is useful, don’t be shy about sharing it. It has felt amazing when I’ve seen someone promote an article of mine for no apparent reason. I love doing it for others too. Being part of a community means supporting the other members. It’s much more fun this way.
10. Be Authentic and Be Human. Show your colors a bit. People want to get to know a person, not some brand name. Talk about your life. Post some pictures and open up.
Social media is not just for promoting yourself; it’s about communication with your audience. Add some value. Many people have yet to dive into social media due to fear of being overwhelmed. It’s a very real possibility if you don’t have a plan. Shama does an awesome job of making it manageable and approachable. I’d even say exciting. In the process she’s made herself a pretty impressive model to follow. And she’s more than eager to help you on your journey.
It’s a given that this is a must-read topic for entrepreneurs and marketers. But I see it as required reading for all of us…No joke. You can’t be asleep at the social media switch if you want to sincerely have an impact. Look around. What known brand, charity or figure does not have a Facebook page or Twitter handle?
It’s no longer ok to say you don’t get it and it’s not worth your time. I assure you it is. Maybe to help your division at work, or the spread awareness for your own business, or the charity you volunteer for or maybe just to continue molding the way the world perceives you.
There is not one of us who doesn’t have a massively important brand to promote and position–Your own. There’s nothing more crucial to get right than Brand You. There has never been a time where so much free leverage existed for promoting your values and those of your business. All you have to do is be interested enough to use it.
Whether you do something about it or not, social media will shape your brand. Manage your reputation before someone else does. I know you’ll have a ton of fun doing it. I hope this gets you started.
How has social media marketing affected your personal brand or business? What have you found to be your most useful tactics? Share with us below.
If you liked this article, please get social with it and Tweet about it or tell your friends on Facebook using the links below. I’d appreciate it.
Read more inspiring articles from Scott Dinsmore at Reading For Your Success where he is committed to making your life and career a success through "action-based reading". Subscribe here to Scott's future articles. http://www.readingforyoursuccess.com
Other books and articles you might enjoy:
Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs
Sham is a stand up guy and a great investor and author. I have known him for years and had a blast reading his latest. As fund manager my self I can a...moreSham is a stand up guy and a great investor and author. I have known him for years and had a blast reading his latest. As fund manager my self I can appreciate the education that this book offers. Thanks Sham!(less)
Why You Should Read It: The principles in this book can literally add hours to your days and compound your happiness. It’s worth a look. What’s more i...moreWhy You Should Read It: The principles in this book can literally add hours to your days and compound your happiness. It’s worth a look. What’s more important than having time?
Average Read Time: 4.5 Minutes
We’ve all surely heard of the 80/20 Principle, or Pareto’s Law as it’s more formally known. It goes something like this:
80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. It’s often thrown around in business as nothing more than a buzzword. Few actually do a full 80/20 analysis of their business and almost no one I’ve come across has applied the same to their life as a whole. Other than two people that is: Richard Kock and Tim Ferriss–and the people who have since followed in their footsteps (me included). The 80/20 Principle is the source material for what Tim wrote in The 4-Hour Work Week. It took me reading it a couple times to grasp the simplicity and life-altering implications of the principle. The time saved and gained will blow your mind.
The amazing thing is that the studies in this book show the principle working in just about every possible scenario. Of course it’s not always 80/20. Sometimes 90/10 or 95/5 or even 70/30. But the point is it works–without fail.
Richard’s purpose was to explain this ancient principle in a way that would inspire action and application to every part of life. When applied to work, productivity will go through the roof, but when applied to your life outside of work, happiness and fulfillment do just the same. All it takes is a shift in thinking. Try the following for a few weeks and the time in your life will never be the same.
5 ways to apply the 80/20 Principle to enhance your life:
1. Do the 20% of your work that leads to 80% of your results: Track all the time you spend on projects each hour of each day for a week. How many of these things were necessary? How many got you closer to your goals? How many were a waste of time? How many could someone else have done? Pick the 20% of your tasks that yield 80% of the results and outsource or simply discontinue the rest. Wondering what to do with your remaining time? Enjoy life. I outsourced a significant portion of my work to two very reliable virtual assistants in India starting in 2006. Ravi and Vikash now do that 70 or 80% for me. At $3-5/hour it is very hard to beat. Check out eLance.com if you’re looking to out source. Search “Virtual Assistant”. Once you start outsourcing, you’ll never go back.
2. Locate the 20% of your customers who drive 80% of your profits: Find your top 20% customers (by profit, not revenue) and fire the rest. Yes, fire them. The goal is not to work your life away. It is to make a good living to enjoy your life. If you must work more, then list out the characteristics of your 20% customers and go out and find more of them. You will not believe how liberating it can be to fire a customer who’s been a real pain in the ass.
3. Prioritize the 20% of your friends who provide 80% of your support and enjoyment: If you apply 80/20 to your relationships you will surely find that a few people in your life provide the majority of your support, excitement, laughter and feelings of connection. On the other side, there is likely another 20% group of people who account for most your sleepless nights, tears, anger and frustration. If you don’t want to feel this way, stop spending time around your bottom 20. Fire them and work on duplicating your top 20. This may sound a little calous, but it’s not. It’s practical. The quality of our life comes down to the quality of the people and experiences that fill it.
4. Fill your life with the 20% of your experiences that provide 80% of your happiness: As humans, our two biggest priorities are to move towards pleasure and away from pain. As mentioned above, find the few people, things, places and experiences that provide 80% of your happiness, fulfillment, pleasure and excitement. Also find the things that cause you to feel the majority of your negative emotions. Focus your time on the top 20% and avoid the bottom 20% like the plague.
5. Do the 20% of your workouts that lead to 80% of your physical gains: The majority of fitness results come from a small portion of most workouts. 80% of the muscle is built in the last 20% of the reps. Crossfit is a great example. The workouts are 7-14 minutes long on average but they provide more physical benefit than most hour-long workouts. Spending more time on something is not always a good thing. If you believe your workouts must take an hour then you’ll likely miss a lot more of them. What if they only took 7 minutes, but that seven minutes really tested your limits? You’re likely to show up a lot more often.
I know this sounds simple. But few people stop to actually do it. It is truly possible to spend the majority of your time doing the things that you love. The only way to get there is taking Pareto’s 80/20 principle seriously. It will make all the difference.
Do not let more than 3 months go by without performing a full 80/20 breakdown of all areas of your life (especially your personal life). It will only take a couple hours and those hours will likely save days before you know it… 80/20 in action yet again.
Somewhere along the path of life, most of us were taught to associate fulfillment and worth with the number of hours spent–thinking the more the better. This has lead many of us to working aimlessly just to say we filled the day. This IS NOT the goal. The goal is be fulfilled, happy, efficient, effective and more than anything else, to enjoy life. Happiness is a daily right. It is not something we need to work our ass off for years to finally achieve. That is what Pareto stumbled on all these years ago. I encourage you to do the same. (less)
Why You Should Read It: Time is the only real scarce resource. We are all battling for more of it. The only way to have more is to spend it wisely.
Rev...moreWhy You Should Read It: Time is the only real scarce resource. We are all battling for more of it. The only way to have more is to spend it wisely.
I just finished Getting Things Done. I know. I’m a little late to the game. It was a quick read and I loved the premise. There were no doubt some clear productivity “ah-ha’s” as I read. I have spent a lot of time learning and developing my own productivity system over the years and I’m excited to implement a few more of Allan’s nuggets. Most of the things he mentions are not totally novel but the package he puts them in catches an eye.
Top 6 Ways to Quadruple Productivity and Have a Little More Time to Enjoy Life:
1. “What is the next task that will get me toward my desired outcome?” This is the biggest point Allen drives home. Always ask this question upon completion of a meeting or task. This alone will put your productivity through the roof. Let this be the last time that you leave the site of a goal, plan or meeting without a clearly defined and scheduled next action item to make it a reality.
2. Plan Your Week. Spend at least a half hour or an hour at the beginning (or end) of each week taking stock of what you accomplished the prior week, what you didn’t accomplish, what you learned and what your desired outcomes are for the week to come. Many people dive right into the week with no plan of what they want their week to look like. And then get frustrated when nothing gets done. Be intentional and get committed. Things will start to happen. Spend an hour sharpening the saw to makes the week’s cutting all the easier. I have been doing this every week for years.
3. Schedule It. Things do not get done unless you schedule them. By definition in order for a task to be completed it must physically occupy some portion of your life. Lists have become so arbitrary. They get longer and longer and are rarely prioritized, leaving you overwhelmed when everything doesn’t get checked off. Also, the average person drastically under estimates how long something will take (at least we’re optimistic). This causes them to put 27 hours worth of work on one day’s list. Reserving time on your calendar forces you to be honest with yourself and get completed only what is reasonable in the time you have available. Proper expectations are a huge part of getting things done.
4. Schedule A Buffer. We have now come to grips with the fact that everything takes longer than expected. Now except the fact that things always come up that we didn’t plan. They take time and sometimes they have to happen right away. Schedule buffer time for these. I literally block off an hour or two each day that simply says “buffer time”. It almost always gets filled up with something urgent and unexpected and when it doesn’t, I have an hour of my life back–an amazing feeling. That’s when it’s time to get outside and have some fun (or do whatever you like to do with spare time–other than check email).
5. Give Yourself Strict and Short Deadlines. This is not contradictory to Schedule It. Yes, things take longer than expected, and they also will take up as much time as you have available. We call this Parkinson’s Law. The time required to complete a project is directly proportional to the time you have available. In other words, if you have time to waste, you will waste it. You have a day to study for an exam. It takes a day. You have two weeks to study. It takes two weeks. Give yourself enough time to complete a task but not a moment more. Set these limits up in advance.
6. Don’t Check Email First Thing in the Morning. If you haven’t heard this before, you have not been listening. This is huge. No matter what you’re doing, email will immediately throw you off and suck the time and energy out of your life. Get your most important things done in the first 2-3 hours of the day. Then check some email and a little Facebook. I know I do not need to convince you on merit of this. I just need to break you from your addiction.
7. Do Your Most Import Things First. This goes with the above. First thing in the morning (after a good workout and breakfast), since I already have a plan for the week, I know what’s most important for the day. So I dive into those 2-3 tasks first. Often before even opening my computer or connecting to the internet, and definitely before checking email. You will feel mountains better about the rest of the day with your major items behind you. Then there’s plenty of time to waste away on email.
8. Get a Good System to Keep Track of Your Life. Everyone does things differently and no system will be perfect for all of us. But there are some amazing tools out there for free or almost free to get you started. Whatever the cost, if it gets you organized and motivates you to get things done, it’s worth the investment. I use a combination of the Tony Robbins Time of Your Life Planning System, 7 Habits and 4-Hour Work Week in conjunction with my iCal, Google Calendar, Things and Evernote, all synced to my iPhone for what I feel has become my own little work of art. Can’t forget a good clean work space of your own and maybe some physical file cabinets either. It took a while for me to get the right system in place and its always changing, but it’s empowering once you get it. Find some sexy productivity toys and have some fun.
These steps are easy and any one of them alone will dramatically transform the way you go about your moments, days, weeks and life. Take advantage of them and let me know what you do with all your free time!
If you liked this article, please Tweet about it or tell your friends about it on Facebook.
What have you found most useful to manage your life and create time for the things you really care about. Share them with us in the comments.
~Reading for Your Success
Other books and resources you might enjoy:
Parkinson’s Law- an article Things- Task management app for iPhone and Mac. I just started using it and love it. Designed perfectly for Getting Things Done 4-Hour Work Week 7 Habits of Highly Effective People How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life The Art of Time(less)
Why I Read this Book: Health is a constant area of study for me. These women have done the research and have a simple lifestyle that works. I’ve exper...moreWhy I Read this Book: Health is a constant area of study for me. These women have done the research and have a simple lifestyle that works. I’ve experienced it.
I know what you’re thinking…”What on earth is Reading For Your Success doing posting a review on a book with a title like this?” How could that possibly be related to true health or success? Well, as my mom taught me early on not to judge a book by it’s cover, it took me a couple years but I finally got past this one. And I’m glad I did. The books written by Rory and Kim have turned out to be incredible wealths of information. Useful, empowering tools that can dramatically change the way you feel and look–as they have for me. Not to mention they’re about as entertaining as a nutrition book (or any book) can be.
After some deliberation, I decided to post the review. I wrote this based on having just read Skinny Bastard but it fits just as well for this book’s testy older sister, Skinny Bitch, too. They’re equals, just one for the ladies in your life and one for the guys. The message is the same (which I’ll get to in a minute). After reading them, I believe the Skinny books are one of the most useful and easy to digest books on health that I’ve seen. In Defense of Food takes the cake but these gals are a relatively close second.
They obviously chose these titles to ruffle some feathers–and you know what they say, it takes something out of the ordinary to really break a pattern. This book will likely disturb you, maybe even disgust you, but in an informative good way. It’s a very in your face way of saying something pretty simple–eat your fruits and veggies and stay away from just about everything else. That’s the skinny.
This approach to eating first hopped on my radar at a Tony Robbins Unleash The Power Within event. He spent one full 12-hour day dedicated to energy, health and vitality. After 30 years of research he found that the diet most consistent with high energy, low disease and longevity is one that involves nothing but whole grains, fruits and a lot of veggies, especially the leafy green type. After two more years of self study and a few personal experiments on my body, I must say the data is pretty compelling. And this is coming from a guy who didn’t use to be able to have a meal without some form of meat on my plate. I will spare you all the details for now but there is plenty of science behind this stuff both in the 1,000+ sources these girls cite and the books listed below.
“But what about getting enough protein??”
This is the first thing 99.9% of people ask in response to someone who labels themselves as a vegetarian or a vegan (which I am neither). If I had a nickle for every time I heard that, I’d be laying on a hammok in Tahiti somewhere. This was my major limiting belief before switching to mostly plants and I believe it is the biggest roadblock to sustainable eating for most folks. Guys especially are convinced that they need a ton of protein to get through life and especially if they want to pack on a bunch of muscle.
I couldn’t have agreed more. I was as skeptical as they come. So what did I do? I decided to test it. One of my goals last year was to put on a few pounds of muscle–5 to be exact. So I picked a pretty rigorous program, P90X. I did the full program–13 weeks straight (I highly recommend it by the way–perfect workout for at home too). But I decide that I wouldn’t eat any meat and next to no dairy during the program just to see what was possible.
I set out to gain 5 pounds of muscle, and at the end of week 13 I had put on 9.8! I was sold. Society has brainwashed us on this whole protein myth. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe it. And don’t worry, even if you stop your protein shakes and 20 oz of white chicken breast a day, you will still get your fair share of protein from all the things no one pays attention to–legumes, veggies and fruit. What are you afraid of anyway–suffering from protein deficiency? Have you ever even heard of that problem in our country?
If you’re stuggling with what “your plate after meat” will look like, take advantage of the dozens of delicious recipes in this book. You’ll never know the animal is even missing.
And if my little anecdote wasn’t enough, you would not believe the list of vegan olympians, pro athletes (including NFL players) and body builders that these girls list. There must be a full page. There is comfort in numbers–especially big, fit and strong ones.
Here are the main things to keep in mind:
1. Keep your food sources simple: Think about where most food and meat really comes from. It is scary if you ask yourself too many questions. If you can pull it from the ground, it’s not too hard to figure out where it came from. The graphic descriptions of the sources of some of our foods and meats will make your stomach churn.
2. Trust no one: We spend our lives reliant on others for health advice–doctors, commecials, FDA, food industry. Every one of these either has a huge conflict of interest or has little to no nutritional training. The only one to trust is yourself. Do your own research and know exactly what you’re putting in your body and where it come from. You’ll find whatever program you choose much easier to stick to if you understand what’s behind it.
3. Alkalinity=Health and Energy: The pH level in your body has a great deal to do with your health and energy levels. Your body thrives in an alkaline environment. Most fruits and veggies (especially leafy greens) are incredibly alkaline. Dairy and meats are very acidic. According to the studies, in an acid environment your cells retain fat to protect themselves from the acidity. Diseases and viruses also thrive in acidic environments. Why do you think most cancer patients are told to adopt a vegan diet?
4. Sugar is the devil: This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The stuff jacks your body up like crazy and leads to a ton of health problems, not the least of which is major weight gain. Avoid added sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup) whenever possible, and stick to the natural stuff like stevia, molasses, honey or agave nectar when you need a fix.
5. Don’t drown yourself in protein: I think this was covered plenty above. Ask yourself why you believe you need so much protein. Who taught you this? Have you ever tested whether or not it’s true?
6. Moderation in moderation: This is my favorite. While these girls are hard asses about what to put into your body, they spend plenty of time letting you know that everything in moderation is crucial. Including moderation. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t follow everything perfectly–no matter what you’re tackling, life’s just not that fun when you totally stick to the rules. When in doubt, just adopt Pareto’s famous 80/20 rule. Do what you know is right for your body 80% of the time and the other 20% just go with the flow. Before you know it you’ll be so accustomed to and enjoying that 80% lifestyle, that it will become the norm and flow of the rest of it.
So what do you say you take the time to explore your body a bit? It’s our most magnificent and powerful tool. When nourished properly it can be unstoppable. Test some things out and let me know what you learn. And of course, moderate your moderation.
What have you learned while exploring a mostly-plant diet? What surprised you? How did you feel? Share a fun story (or recipe) with us.
~Reading for Your Success
Other books and articles you might enjoy:
In Defense of Food Eating Our Way to Death, Literally The pH Miracle for Weight Loss Skinny Bitch The China Study Food Rules Your Bodies Many Cries for Water The Omnivore’s Dilemma(less)
Why I Read this Book: Fulfillment comes from finding meaning for your life and feeling free. Viktor found both those things in the most unlikely of pl...moreWhy I Read this Book: Fulfillment comes from finding meaning for your life and feeling free. Viktor found both those things in the most unlikely of places.
Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning has been recommended to me by everyone from Tony Robbins to Tim Ferris and for some reason it still took me years to finally dig in. Having just put it down I must say that I’m moved and encourage–Inspired actually. Moved first off from learning more of the horrific things that happened in Viktor’s 3+ years in Nazi concentration camps. But even moreso from how he chose to deal with that life situation.
This is not simply another recount of the terrible conditions of life inside a concentration camp. It is a bit of that, but it is much more. Frankl, a lifelong devotee to psychology and hispersonally developed technique of logotherapy, found himself in a concentration camp totally stripped of everything that previously defined who he was.
He tells his story to get across two fascinatingly simple yet unbelievably applicable ideals or approaches to life and one’s situations. They are the foundation of lifetimes worth of study and healing through the likes of Tony Robins, Robin Sharma and all kinds of practical and practicing psychologists.
They are as follows:
1.The quest for meaning is key to the mental health and human flourishing. One must always find a meaning for their life to find day to day happiness and fulfillment.
Without meaning one quickly loses any reason to live. Frankl quickly learned that without finding some meaning while in the concentration camp, his fate would surely and quickly be death. While many people around him could find nothing but anger and fear and revenge inside of them (who could blame them), Frankl (having felt those emotions as well) realized that he needed a reason to get up each day. He needed a meaning. He found this in dreaming of the future. Of spending time with his wife upon his release. Of staying alive so that he could greet her on the other side.
He also found meaning in is writing. He had started a manuscript prior to the camps and knew no one else could complete it. Identifying meaning with being able to finish his book one day and share it with the world allowed him to endure conditions that no human being should ever be subject to.
People often refer to the meaning of life as some unattainable idealist thinking. An unanswerable question of sorts. But often they are over thinking it. Meaning can be so simple. It can be saving flower, raising a child, teaching a classroom, making you wife smile. Anything as long as you associate meaning to it.
The most widespread lack of meaning may very well come from those who retire and soon find themselves bored and without purpose. They spent years identifying their meaning with their career. And now that it’s gone, feel they have nothing left to live for. This begins to explain why so many many die within a few years of retirement. As soon as one meaning fades another one must be found. If you find yourself unemployed then for the time being find meaning in volunteering and helping someone who needs more guidance than you (because there is always someone in such a place). Do something to shift the thinking from yourself, to that of others. With a meaning to life, anything is possible and Viktor Frankl showed us in his endurance of those years in the camps.
“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche 2. No matter what happens, one always retains the freedom to respond to their situation (or their suffering in Frankl’s case).
This I believe warrants less explanation. Freedom can be found anywhere. It is a value that so many of us but on such a pedestal. Yet we often give it a rule that makes it almost impossible to achieve. Maybe we feel we must be free to travel anywhere we’d like, whenever we’d like. Or perhaps, to own our own schedule. These are huge rules and almost impossible to satisfy (especially if one wishes to have much relation and accountability to the rest of the world). To be honest, these used to be my rules for Freedom.
What Frankl learned in camp was that man’s freedom in its simplest form comes down to his ability to choose his reactions to things. To choose the emotions he feels. It’s true that you cannot control what others do to you but the only person in the world who can control your reactions to those things is you. To most it looked like the prisoners of the concentration camps had every right known to man stripped from them. But no matter what the guards did to Frankl there was one thing they could never take from him–his ability to choose his reaction to things. He was free as long as he could choose what to think and how to feel, and no one can take this from another person.
With this definition how could you ever be anything but free? Imagine the weight lifted off your shoulders as soon as you decide to define freedom in the way Viktor has as opposed to the stringent way of the past? You would (and will) live freedom every moment of each day.
As I sat down this year to review my values for 2010, this was something that completely changed the game for me. I had Freedom as my top value yet my rule was what I described above of being able to do travel wherever and whenever I wanted. But I am an entrepreneur. I have clients. I have a fiancee. I have charities and organizations which depend on me. So how could I ever feel free? The answer was I could not. Not until I adopted this new simplified definition of freedom. I cannot explain the difference in feeling. The lightness the flows through so much more of my life.
Sometimes it’s the worst of conditions, the crucibles as George puts it in True North, that define us and force us to find the best and often the simplest answers. Viktor’s tragic time in the camps did that and the world is so much the better as a result. As you go into this new year, stand guard at the window of your mind, remember your freedom to choose and do not overthink your meaning. No matter your circumstances there is a meaning, a purpose. If Viktor found one, we all can as well. Live with some freedom and meaning this year and enjoy what life has to offer.(less)
Dramatically increasing traffic to your website or blog Inbound marketing Online positioning LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the future of...moreTopics Covered:
Dramatically increasing traffic to your website or blog Inbound marketing Online positioning LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the future of online marketing
How many of you have web marketing down cold? Do you totally understand how to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg and all the other less than intuitively-named social networking tools out there? There are few people who can answer yes to either of those questions and those of you who can, it may be the case that you might not know what you don’t know.
The space is endless and for many, overwhelming. Ever since I used what I learned in Internet Riches to launch Reading For Your Success almost four years ago I have barely kept up with all the tools that have hit the web. It’s easy to get frustrated. And generally frustration leads to demotivation, which is exactly where many of us are today (I know it’s where I’ve been). We have no idea how to use the unbelievable set of nearly-free tools available on the web. So we launch websites and write blog entries hoping they will get found. That’s just not good enough anymore. The good news is all that’s required is dedication and a fire in your belly to learn and grow–which happens to be all we’ve ever needed for success.
Armed with those two things, I highly recommend you dive into Inbound Marketing. It is the answer to your social networking and marketing prayers (or at least it seems to be for me). One of the 2010 goals I set for Reading For Your Success was to become competent and begin my journey towards mastery of web marketing and social media. Then out of nowhere this book fell into my lap. A long-time mentor recommended it to the members of his company’s board and before long I was deep into it. I could not put it down. For me, a how to book does not get any better than when it’s written in just that format–step by step explanations followed by instructions and a case study of it actually working in the field. Every chapter flows just like that. First teach, then provide an example from real life, then end with a numbered list of what you can do to put this stuff right to work. I bet you could even become an inbound consultant of your own after digesting what these guys have to teach.
Inbound Marketing is written in such a simple format. The chapters are short, there’s plenty of useful diagrams and you know exactly what to do at the end of each chapter. Sure, the authors might not win any literary awards for their work but it’s about time an author wrote directly on purpose without trying to be overly cute and eloquent and just get to the point: The world wants to understand how to get loyal visitors to their site, and this book is their teacher. The old way of outbound marketing (high-priced media ads, PR firms, direct mail and email marketing) is dead. The new way of inbound marketing (using online social networking and media tools to create and spread remarkable content and intrigue users to visit your site) is what is taking our concepts to prime time. Who knows, it might have even helped our president get the title he currently has. The tools are that powerful.
After reading it cover to cover and then going back through with a fine-toothed comb, I sketched out an action plan that is going to get my 2010 goal off to just the start I needed–for Reading For Your Success, for my investment fund and for myself.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
Give your brand a top Google ranking–find your place on the first page of search results Become a celebrity in your extended network using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media Start and promote your first blog SEO and SEM–what they are and how to use them to multiply the eyeballs on your site Methods for creating remarkable content Test your web offering to get the highest conversion Youtube as a means to drive traffic and get your audience raving about your content Discover and leverage your most efficient online marketing channels Analyze your current inbound marketing effectiveness and create a game plan for getting to the next level Clear criteria for hiring the inbound marketers of tomorrow Not only are these skills essential for having a chance in getting your website, blog or product seen in an evermore crowded and competitive marketplace online, but these skills are becoming table stakes for the job descriptions of the future. Whether you’re making your own as an entrepreneur or hope to bring something unique to the table at someone else’s business, you cannot ignore the social media tidal wave for much longer. It’s a new year. You likely have an idea you want to run with. And if you see the wave headed your way, I say you grab a board and paddle out. Inbound Marketing is the best way yet I’ve seen to ride that wave. Now go get found!
~Reading for Your Success
Other books you might enjoy:
Internet Riches Positioning Origin of Brands The Four Hour Work Week
Other Resources: Hub Spot: Inbound Marketing companion site Website Grader: Gives a free detailed analysis of your site’s current inbound marketing effectiveness(less)
Why I Read this Book: Michael Pollan’s last book was the best I’ve come across regarding what should be put in one’s body. This is a fantastic compani...moreWhy I Read this Book: Michael Pollan’s last book was the best I’ve come across regarding what should be put in one’s body. This is a fantastic companion.
I’ve been dying for Food Rules to come out ever since seeing Michael Pollan speak on his campus at UC Berkeley late last year. He’s an incredible writer, knows how to tell a joke, and as it turns out, has become one of the more informative experts on what to put in your body…possibly ever. Simply because he’s a great journalist. Funny the way the road can go. Journalist one day. Local Food Movement and health expert the next. His last book, In Defense of Food, is the best book I’ve come across regarding what to put into your body (and what not to). Food Rules is a great follow on companion. 64 simple (and entertaining) rules to keep you out of trouble at the dinner table and in your current pant size (or smaller).
Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. That’s what it comes down to.
I’ve chosen what I found to be the 14 most all-encompassing and useful rules from the book. May they keep you fit, healthy and energized in the new year!
1. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
2. Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
3. Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
4. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
5. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
6. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
7. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.
8. Have a glass of wine with dinner.
9. Stop eating before you’re full.
10. Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.
11. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
12. Do all your eating at a table.
13. Leave something on your plate.
14. Break the rules once in a while. “All things in moderation. Including moderation.”
Amazing how much a few simple rules can change your life, energy and body. Given that success comes form within, what a perfect place to start. Bon appetit.
~Reading for Your Success
Buy Food Rules at Amazon
Other books and articles you might enjoy:
In Defense of Food Eating Our Way to Death, Literally The pH Miracle for Weight Loss Skinny Bitch The China Study Your Bodies Many Cries for Water The Omnivore’s Dilemma(less)
Pretty entertaining and definitely makes you think a bit. I first got excited about A.J. when reading about his outsourced life from Tim Ferris' 4 Hou...morePretty entertaining and definitely makes you think a bit. I first got excited about A.J. when reading about his outsourced life from Tim Ferris' 4 Hour Work Week. That's the best life experiment for sure! Well then again there's the never telling a lie for a month... Hm. Hard choice. Fun read and super quick.(less)
Good read. very quick and pretty exciting. Seemed a little fluffy to me but maybe that's because this book focused on how to figure out your business...moreGood read. very quick and pretty exciting. Seemed a little fluffy to me but maybe that's because this book focused on how to figure out your business idea and I already have mine (at least for now). Gerber's other book, E-Myth Revisited, was amazingly useful for someone who already has a business. Enjoyed it over all though. (less)
What an inspiring story. I had no idea Steve had seen success is so many industries and this is before he took over the mobile phone. Shows what a vis...moreWhat an inspiring story. I had no idea Steve had seen success is so many industries and this is before he took over the mobile phone. Shows what a visionary can do! (less)
Inspiring to see what some passionate kids can do when they dive into something. Must have been an amazing thing to be a part of. I would have expecte...moreInspiring to see what some passionate kids can do when they dive into something. Must have been an amazing thing to be a part of. I would have expected a little better story telling from Mezrich after reading Bringing Down the House and Rigged but still really enjoyed the adventure. (less)