What Well Over 10 Years Of Blogging & Consulting Have Taught Me

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.”  That provides strong principles and values, a useful framework, to live by but is it a useful definition of purpose?  I offer a simpler take:

The purpose of life is to find your true purpose.

This article will explore my journey, not for the sake of mere self-indulgence but for the purpose of helping you on your own journey and perhaps getting to know each other better.  I hope that, by the end, you’ll realize just how valuable and accomplished you are.  If you’re at a crossroads in life, this may be the article for you.  If you have any thoughts to share, please don’t be shy.  This one will be quite the journey!

This epic collection of stories and scattered thoughts will cover a lot of things, including, but not limited to:

  • How writing can be a tool of self-discovery and self-improvement
  • What I’ve learned through running Y3B as a vehicle for consulting
  • Going beyond establishing expertise and credibility
  • Toxicity and the dangerous brand of knowledge (i.e. bad advice)
  • Why culture/personality fit trumps technical knowledge and experience

Tomorrow, on April 6th 2017, Y3B turns 11 years old and it will mark an over 20-year journey.  While I’ve dabbled in just about everything and worn many hats, writing and technology have always been passions.  The challenge is translating those passions that into what Mark Schaefer calls sustainable interests, a concept that I have long taught and believed in before the book “Known” was published.  That said, you really should read “Known” and check out the discussion groups on it.

known-book-mark-w-schaefer

I believe blogging is still one of the most powerful tools for those wishing to be known.  On a greater scale, if you wish to establish credibility and visibility, the written word is still one of the most compelling ways to do so.  Writing forces you to really think through your ideas in a way you may not do on a podcast and certainly not video, where you may be more preoccupied with production quality instead of the relevant, uniqueness, and importance of your message/stories.  Writing is easily the most powerful form of communication and it is something everyone should strive to improve upon, if for no other reason than to structure your ideas and self-identity better.

 

I’m Not A Blogger, This Is Not A Blog

When folks have asked me over the last few years what it is that I do, I never answer with blogging.  It’s not my focus or core competency.  I believe that calling yourself a blogger diminishes the value of what you do; furthermore, your blog should be a catalyst for bigger things.  The term “blogger” has become synonymous with hobby or passion, not profession or purpose.  That’s fine if your blog is truly a labor of love but, if it can be so much more, why wouldn’t you develop it as such?

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Jackie Chan Is NOT Dead: Internet Hoaxes & Lazy Content Marketing

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A few days ago, my oldest son told me Jackie Chan was dead. Naturally, my immediate reaction was great sadness and a feeling of immense loss. Like most other red-blooded males, I love kung-fu flicks and often annoy my significant other with them. I also love Jackie Chan as an actor, director, and person. That’s besides the point, though.. Jackie Chan’s death would be the worst celebrity loss since Michael Jackson, in my opinion.

There is an awesome success story too deep to discuss here (Wikipedia has a wealth of history and it is mostly on-point, if you are curious). My love for Jackie Chan runs pretty deep, and I don’t idolize celebrities like most. He possesses traits and core values similar to my own and, in many ways, I aspire to be half the man he is. Jackie’s antics, warm smile, and quirky personality are enchanting, as Guy Kawasaki would say. His sense of humor is tops, which is something my wife would say I lack, in spite of my own beliefs. *smirk*

Being a bit of a Jackie Chan fan boy, I could not simply accept this news at face value. A quick Google search for “Jackie Chan death” revealed that it was yet another Internet hoax. I was relieved and annoyed at the same time.

Are people so devoid of original ideas that their content must be limited to mere pandering and silly hoaxes/stunts? That’s a rhetorical question, BTW.

This is not by any means the only or last Jackie Chan Internet death hoax. It seems anyone who wants site traffic or attention simply panders by writing about celebrity gossip, famous deaths, and silly pop culture. Some may consider Jackie Chan’s sense of humor or comedy style rather corny or over-simplified.. But he is still far more entertaining than most online content today. Truth.

Sadly, there is more to this story. Part of the issues here is that social media and SEO will always be abused. That means there is a lot of junk and lies spreading around! I blame laziness mainly.

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Analysis Paralysis: When To-Do Lists & Goal Setting Fail

Ask any successful person how they consistently get great results and they will likely tell you it takes combination of focus, passion, and persistence, above all.  Many of us are tired of hearing that.  What does that really mean, anyway?

Ultimately, this boils down to setting goals and what better way is there to do that than using to-do lists, right?  Chances are you may feel to-do lists are pointless or they haven’t worked for you.

Why do some use to-do lists to great success and others do not?  What are the wealthy and truly successful doing differently that we may not be?

In my own personal experience and from what I observe with others, there are  whoopsies that happen often when working with to-do lists.  Here are some of the worst ways to handle to-do lists:

  • Stash your lists where they will be misplaced or ignored – your list will not magically complete itself!
  • Fill your to-do lists with mundane stuff you are likely going to do anyway (i.e. watching television, taking a shower, shaving, etc.) – to-do lists are best suited for things you may forget.
  • Place your lists where the kids or pets may eat them, spill stuff on them, or write all over them (hey, you know the coffee mishap is going to happen again so why not avert disaster).
  • Make your goals lofty with deadlines too far away – what can you get done today?
  • Keep moving items off your to-do list so you can do them tomorrow or “when you get around to it” (be honest with yourself: if not now/today, it may not ever get done).
  • Don’t stick to the list or bother to get others around you to use them too; instead, stick to firefighting and “going with the flow”, which inevitably leads to chaos – YAY!
This to-do list is not specific or actionable enough..  Fail.

If your to-do list isn’t specific enough, you’re doing it wrong.

Thomas C. Corley, author of Rich Habits and a slew of books on retirement and financial planning, makes note of the vast difference between the poor and the wealthy.  He defines wealthy as making at least $160K a year with over 3.2 million dollars in holdings/assets while .  Tom then goes on to define poor as earning under $30K a year with 5 thousand dollars or less in assets (of course, this may be extreme if you live in an area with a very low cost of living).  The stark contrast comes down to the simple daily disciplines or rich habits.  It’s really a matter of mastering the mundane!

So let’s start with the simplest of things: using a to-do list.  I’m a big fan of to-do lists and often push for friends, family, and clients alike to use them (though some fight against it because it’s “not their style” – honey, I hope you are reading this LOL).  These tools keep us self-accountable and create the urgency to get stuff done..  But often they fail or create more of a distraction if you don’t do it right.

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