And maybe this is the sort of thing i ought to think quietly to myself, and not publish.
I’m trying to be kinder.
But I don’t want to learn to be a better leader.
And if I did, I would hope that crisis or circumstance would baptize my becoming.
Not a blog post.
I don’t want to get feedback from my friends on how to amp up my alpha male mojo.
I don’t want to stress and obsess and find the fractures in the facade that need fixing if I’m going to inspire others to follow my lead.
I just want to be.
We are all drowning in bullshit.
Drinking from a ferocious firehose of bullshit that just won’t quit.
I know I’m guilty of it, too. I read some of my words, and it makes me cringe.
But you need blinders on – fluff filters – to even open your eyes and absorb anymore.
Everyone wants to tell you how to be.
And yet, the emperor has no clothes.
We are all naked and afraid – the silliness of our specialness something that don’t survive the slightest scrutiny and certainly ain’t found in the wisdom of our words.
This morning I got an email from an online marketing “guru” who I happened to follow from years back – he wrote a 5000 word post on why he no longer was going to working in the “show people how to make money niche”.
Instead, he was launching something brand new. Something passionate, and purposeful that wasn’t going to be about teaching others how to do something he had grown so tired of doing.
He had all kinds of reasons. Reasons that resonated well with me.
Good for you, I thought.
And then….at the end of this emotive, expressive data dump of exposed nerves and raw emotion, he said – “now pay X to watch me do it”
(but only till Tuesday when the price goes up. Twice)
Usually i’ll wait 2 weeks before i backtrack that badly.
He managed to slip in the bait and switch a slender sentence away.
And I know him. He’s a good and likeable guy.
But he’s drowning in bullshit.
So thick now – he can’t even scrape it off to see how silly it’s all starting to sound.
So many examples.
So little time.
I signed up for a free trial for what is advertised as a pretty expensive piece of software a few weeks ago.
$4K for a license.
Impressive but expensive.
I was excited.
On day 2, I woke up to an email offering a “rare” opportunity to save 50% for 24 hours.
It opened my eyes, but I knew it was bullshit.
3 hours later, I got an even “rarer” offer to save 75%.
I laughed and shook my head.
But doubt…and disappointment, and the feeling of being deceived – those seeds were starting to sprout.
And then today….after spending a friendly hour on the phone with the sales rep earlier in the week, yet another notice that the “one time once in a lifetime discount” was about to expire.
I love the software.
And I’m excited about buying it.
Why the bullshit?
I’m already there.
Why must you lie?
Why not be the Tiger Woods of Trustworthiness?
The Kobe Bryant of Communicating clearly?
(And why can’t I pick two better athlete examples to punctuate this point?)
Because it’s now almost 4am.
And I’m optimistic, hopeful, helpful, aware, aware and inspired.
But tired of the bullshit.
Just like you.
“Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the crack in that mother fucker’s reflection.”
One of the problems I’d like to overcome this decade is my propensity to think up informercial-esque titles for my blog posts.
It’s sort of strange, because I’m a pretty subdued guy, but my brain works like a bad Don Lapre infomercial ad, complete with the “how much are YOU spending on small classified ads per month” soundtrack in the background whenever I sit down and think about business.
And if you don’t know who Don Lapre is, don’t ask. It will date me. (and depress me) Plus he’s dead. Which unlike most inspiring stories, feels like a bad place to begin.
I like to get the bad news out of the way first.
The good news?
I have a ton of what I think are good answers to some really great subscriber questions that have been asked in one form or another over the last 3 months or so, all pretty much ready for publication.
I’ve decide to include them here as well as part and parcel of an ongoing series……and to serve as an example of one of the simple ways to use content curation to re-purpose your content (or in this case mine) across multiple mediums and marketplaces, to enhance exposure and the appearance of expertise.
LAUNCHiT! 101 Things Worth Knowing about building BUZZ for your books, brand, blog and business……on a bootstrap budget and 100% from ScratchI’m going to cover 101 frequently asked questions about building buzz for your books, brand, blog, business (and bank account) using simple, scalable marketing strategies for literally creating something out of nothing.
(other than a powerful sense of passion and purpose about doing what you love for a living)
A little background before we begin….
About half of these questions have been asked over the course of the last few months via email (both my entrepreneurial list…and my mindful marketing list) and the others i’m going to codify and curate from other (older) Q and A’s – or other ideas i think are really valuable – or things I’ve picked up a long the way that I wish i learned earlier, and think will help you as you go and grow your own suite of services, products or programs in the area you have expertise.
As always, remember….this is just MY experience – my thoughts, my opinions and my perspective on this process.
I could be wrong. (but i doubt it)
Or, your experience may vary.
The truth is, it’s the journey that matters most to me – the art of attending – of painting something new on the canvas of my creativity – that’s what inspires me and makes me want to get up and do “work” that makes me happy.
There often are more practical or pragmatic paths to profit that you may want to explore…..that I probably ignore, and i always try to offer that advice where possible. (even if I take a more circuitous route myself)
Also – feel free to ask me anything – and i’ll include all Q and A’s in this evolving section, and ultimately, in the product that is going to be come from this Q and A.
(an Amazon book, a recorded audio/pdf combo, and quite likely, an inexpensive service as well)
I’ll do as many of these per day as I can – rather than waiting to have the whole thing done and posting it at once, I’m going to allow it to grow and flow over organically and then compile the final Q and A into one master doc, which will also be available for download here in a big fat juicy PDF.
I’m going to keep them short and sweet, with 1-3 questions per post.
(And if God is on my side – which he (or she/it/they) has conspicuously not been for the first 40 + years of my life – I will be adding at least one of these per day, for the next two weeks, until it’s ready to be published in full form.
They will be unedited and hopefully super easy to implement and follow, and i truly believe that if you try and apply these ideas with care and consistency, you will see an exponential improvement in both your ability to implement your ideas – as well as a pretty immediate increase in your income as well.
Also note – if you’ve asked a question and you see it in a slightly different context below……forgive me as I’ve edited a few of the questions as they’ve been submitted or asked for clarity, but i think (and hope) I’ve captured the spirit of what was asked in each in the answers below.
Before we begin……START here!
The big piece of the puzzle in one sweeping series of small statements.
THESE are the Core Principles to the LAUNCHiT! Strategy.
The 6 c’s
Content(articles, amazon books, blog posts, pdfs, social media updates, surveys, quizzes, images, slideshares, audios, videos and otherwise)
Character (your public persona)
Community (your tribe)
Conversation (what you say to engage, inspire and entertain your community)
Curriculum (codifying your content into something structured and saleable – a coaching program a book a product or program or ideally….a combiatino of all of the above)
Conversion (the process by which you move a small percentage of your community into clients and subscribers into sales)
The 4 S’s
Strategy (what is the goal?)
Structure (what does it look like on paper)
Sequence (what goes where and why)
Story (why it all matters to you….and to us)
The Strategy of Straight Lines
Keep things simple.
Focus on turning strangers into subscribers, your content into a curriculum (books, products, prorgrams and services) your community into clients (and cash) and your ideas into income.
Go get this whole project off the ground…….You really ought only need to focus on:
Opt in’s (newsletter subscribers)
Offers (a cacaphony of creative ways to build perpetual profits from your passion, while still focusing on contribution over cash, meaning over marketing and purpose and over pure profits)
Said differently –
You need a LIST (a community of subscribers who are paying attention, much like the 9 of you are paying attention to me right now – HI Aunt Myrna!)
You need to have something to teach, preach, sell or service to a small percentage of your subscribers to make money. (I promise, Aunt Myrna…..last time, you can pay with PAYPAL, too!)
The POWER of Purpose. What does the world want from you?
Ask yourself empowering and clarifying questions that allow you to get ferociously focused on your unique skills and strengths – while doing what you love….and how you are going to change the lives of those who need you most.
This is SO huge….please don’t overlook this exercise. This process is probably the single most important idea I can share, and it’s not even mine. (it’s word for word the life purpose exercise I watched Adam Leipzig teach at a TedX…and it’s probably not his, either!)
Who am I?
What do i do?
Who do i do it for?
What do they need?
How do they change when i do it for them?
Note: the art of getting hyper clear and ferociously focused works for products, programs, books and services equally as well.
You can ask the same questions about your “stuff” as well.
What is this book/blog/brand/business about? What does it do?
Who is it for? (who is your ideal audience)
What does it teach/preach/inform/educate/inspire in my audience?
What do they need?
How are they better by having bought/read or experienced it?
You can play with these concepts in all sorts of cool and creative ways…..but it’s amazing how many “A-ha” moments you can give yourself (or your clients, if you are a coach) simply by re-identifying who you are – what you do – who you do it for – what they REALLY need – and how they change for the better by having invited you (or your ideas) into their world.
I can’t count how many times I’ve lost my way and have felt trapped or disillusioned in a bad decision or pattern of poisoning my own sense of purpose……only to come back to these questions, and remember what is so enlightening obvious about my own strengths (and weaknesses) that a failure to keep them stapled to my forehead should almost be a crime.
“Oh……now I remember. THIS is who I am. and THIS is what i do. And THIS is who I do it for. And THIS is what they need. And THIS is how they change for the better when I do what I do BEST for them”
When I do anything else – it just ain’t the same.
Everything I really believe about doing meaningful work in my own small corner of the universe grows and flows from the basic concepts above, and they are the “cornerstone” of what I hope to communicate going forward as well.
365 Days – 52 New Books, Products, Programs, Sites or Services. Today is Day 1. The challenge begins. I haven’t even named it yet. April 8th, 2015.
I’ve got a bunch of suggestions and things people would love to see – if you have anything you’d like to see developed – let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) or connect with me on Facebook here.
These little updates are going to come pretty much everyday, and largely be thinking out loud style stream of consciousness thoughts about where i am in each weeks creation process, and what I’m learning along the way. Read More
Here is a 50 minute audio I recorded earlier today on some of what I’ve learned about using the authority site model, in combination with growing an online agency style service, that works wonderfully well.
10 things worth knowing about building an online community, niche authority site or passion portal
I have this perpetually procrastinated blog post always quasi prepared, loosely titled – “What to do when Google hates You”.
I just can’t really come up with the time to flesh the whole idea out in it’s entirety, so it never gets posted, which is a shame…..because one of the things I do know for sure is that Google does in fact hate me.
I don’t think it’s a personal hate per se….because I’m a pretty good guy deep down where it matters most. But on the surface, and that’s really where Google tends to look, I’m easy to dislike.
Have a high value FREE service to offer that has empirical, real world value.
Have a back end “THIS is what I do” value proposition to extend the offer beyond free.
Simply pick 10 or 12 local professionals who are in your ideal audience, or who you’ve identified as your target market, and copy and paste the basic email template I’ve included at the end of the post.
Join our brand new beta marketplace of coaches,consultants, teachers, trainers, artists, authors, marketers, mentors, enlightened entrepreneurs and PASSION professionals who want to wake the WORLD through your work!
The truth is, it’s amazing how many amazing opportunities there are these days to leverage TOOLS, templates and technology to offer world class services to people of passion and purpose who really CAN use them, without having to reinvent the wheel, or be super duper smart yourself. (everything from ROLL YOUR OWN crowdfunding campaign plugins to viral launch frameworks like the one I write about in today’s newsletter)Read More
I know that many people who read this blog aren’t on my email list…..so I wanted to share this simple, exciting, enlightening and exhilarating exercise for picking a niche that CAN transform your life, your focus and your sense of passion and purpose…..all in about 5 minutes.
It is….i can confidently state with 100% certainly – the only niche picking exercise you’ll ever need to do. Read More
(I wrote it after the critique I received from a friend that my book was a little too “Deepak” for her taste….when the whole idea of this series of books was to be a NON Deepak Chopra take on a “spiritual” subject that unfortunately, is infected with far too much new age nonsense)
And again….for the record, I happen to like Deepak. He’s certainly smarter than I am and there is something about his style that makes me smile. It’s his propensity for lumping all sorts of smart sounding but specious combinations of scientific words to weave a word salad of speculative spiritual silliness that’s a problem – as it does a huge disservice to the subject matter at hand.
(and convinces many smart people who are well informed on those very subjects that it’s ALL snake oil and silliness, and not worthwhile to explore, which I think is a shame)So here is the Random Deepak Chopra Tweet generator – it takes real words found in Deepak’s tweets, and randomly combines them to generate social media magic. You can also tweet these mini morsels of magic to the Universe, and probably…..find yorself with a devoted fan base of 100 thousand followers by the Summer solstice.
And, if that’s not good enough for your cynical side, her is The New Age Bullshit generator,which will actually write your sales copy for your spiritual product launch for you….using a similar approach that’s literally, better than many sales pitches I’ve seen.
Here is a quick multiple choice Q and A I thought I’d run by the last 14 people who are still reading my blog.
What I love about not leaving the house all that often before 5pm, is it gives me an inordinate amount of time to:
1 – Lounge around the house in footsie pajamas and bad bed head without worry
2 – make lists of all of the people who fall into the “I’m going to show them” category
3 – peek through the tightly drawn blinds every few hours to check for strangers
4 – Check out lots of new blogs penned by passionate people i’ll probably never meet……doing cool and creative things that make me laugh or learn something new. (preferably both at the same time)
If you said all of the above, you are 100% incorrect.
The right answer is 1. And 4. I don’t make lists. And I don’t peer through the blinds. Ever. That would give away my location in the house, and everyone knows that’s when you are most vulnerable to snipers.
With that in mind – I love this.
First – because I’m usually a no show. And, because I’m perpetually plagued by the proverbial presence of generational Jewish guilt that was downloaded into my psyche at birth, I also tend to be an obsessive post party re-planner.
(hey – sorry – will explain later – what about next tuesday at 4 – or, wed anytime after 7?)
For more creative and cool and serious stuff – check out the full blog post a the link below.
A Plan: Once heralded as a firm commitment to an event in the future, a plan is now largely considered to be a string of noncommittal text messages leading up to a series of potential, though unlikely, events.
A Cellphone: Your primary device for making plans. More specifically, the medium with which most plans are conceived and later altered. It’s imperative that you keep your cellphone on your person at all times, as you can expect all plans to dissolve into an amorphous cloud upon conception.
Reconfirmation: A reconfirmation is a neurotic reiteration of plan that has already been confirmed. There may be dozens of these leading up to your plan’s intended start time. “hey still on for tonight?” “excited for tomorrow, 7pm right?” etc. Despite the fact that your plan may have been concieved less than 24 hours before, reconfirmations are necessary because people have no calendar management skills.
Optimizers: An optimizer is in a constant state of choosing which plan to execute due to the fact that they have confirmed multiple overlapping plans. Common SMS phrases include “maybe, where is it?” or “are their girls there?” Optimizing is a term used to describe everyone that uses a cellphone to make plans.
Latecomers: Despite the remedial time-management skills necessary to arrive on time, these guys will always be stuck in traffic, still at work, or looking for parking. “Sorry running 5min late”, “OMG so much predictable traffic, where you going after?” and so on.
No-Shows: Every plan has a few no-shows, especially at the last minute. Be prepared to endure a flurry of attempts to reschedule or “meet up after” texts. The ease with which they can send their excuses insulates them from what otherwise might be considered rude neglect.