Archive for July, 2012


Social Spasm

Are you having a rough time wadding through all this social media? Worse yet are you putting a lot of time into it and not getting a following yourself? Let dissect this a little bit, I promise it will help you improve your social media standing! 

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Recently I was following a bunch of people on Twitter, I will admit that I was follower fishing.  Then I got a limit warning and I was not able to follow any more until I have as many followers as I was following.  So then I went over to Facebook and friended a whole bunch of people that it suggested and then I got a warning that I was not using that feature the way it was intended.  It was then that I realized that I was having a Social Spasm…

I will be dissecting the reasons why I was doing this, and I imagine that it is the same reason that you and many others are doing the same.

1.  I want to have a large following:

If we will be honest with ourselves we all want a huge following, it is a badge of honour, it says that people care what we think and say.

2.  I want the law of averages to work in my favour:

I may get on Twitter in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.  I would love nothing more than to get on and have someone to have a real, intelligent and profitable conversation with.  I almost wish it were a chat room.  I have around 400 followers now and it is still conversations with the few people that actually chat back when I had about a dozen followers.  And those chats only happen if they are online.  Hence why I am grouping in the dark to get more followers.

3.  Somehow a large following will solve my money problems:

I hear all the time how someone wrote an ebook and then put links to it on their social media, they have 20,000 or more followers and about 2% buy their book… all their money problems dissolve and sexy parties abound. The only problem is, how did they get that many followers in the first place?

The reality is that it is still a social conversation, you have to give as much, or a whole lot more, than you receive.  People don’t want to be endlessly sold too either.  Also social media is not a replacement for actually being social, so we have these spasms whenever we are desperate for interaction.

The Buffer service is a great tool for people like me who have a truck load to say in one sitting, it will take your tweets and Facebook posts and que them up, then post them spaced out so that you are not spamming people.

I am really interested in what you do to get more followers and have success in the social media area, please leave me a comment!

We live in a time where negativity is force feed to us daily.  We are overwhelmed by it and then we perpetuate it to all those around us.  We need to combat it if only to not end up wallowing in depression for the rest of our lives!

I thought of this when I was having a session with my marketing coach and we talked about how we can talk Dave Ramsey language since we both listen to him.  We also brought up Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, and Dale Carnegie.  I finally had to give him the explanation on why I listen and read from all these people.

It was because of the overflowing surge of negativity that I deal with everyday!  At first I could blame it on all the external factors of people telling me I can’t and that they just won’t. Then the news and politics.  But then my own internal powers of perception and overthinking fuelled that negativity to the point where I sit in front of my computer and the first thoughts ate “why do you even bother?”, “You know this will be a waste like everything else you have done…”, “I just want to blown my brains out….”  Forgive me for being so gross about it, but these are the thoughts that dominate my mind if I do not aggressively seek to replace them with something better.

And I have replaced it with something better, over and over and over again.  And I need to keep doing this until the day that I die an older than dirt man in his 90’s who did not blow his brains out.

The marketing coach was extremely impressed with what I did to win his business.  He contacted me on Twitter and gave me a free session, then told me the price to continue.  I was loathing in my self pity because I am broke and I really wanted to continue with the marketing coaching cause I so badly want to work for myself.  I was listening to a 48 days podcast by Dan Miller and he spoke of the mobile app developer that just made an app and presented it to him, and the chain of events that lead that person to be working full time making apps and was very happy.  So I shook of the despair long enough to make an app for this marketing coach and told him I would love to barter for some coaching sessions…and he agreed!

Just think if I had succumbed to the negativity that oozes all around me and would not even make the effort to listen to that podcast, I would not have made that app and I would not have the coaching and mu problems would have for sure worsen by the hour.

So what are some ways to fight back again negativity? Here is my list:

1. READ!!!!!

I read scriptures, motivational books, and twitter feeds from motivational people.

2.  Listen to good podcasts

Yeah if you listen to the same podcasts you will get a lot of the same, but hearing a person’s voice who has struggled and then succeeded and now offering you hope and nuggets of wisdom to become better, you tend to keep those things in your mind.

3.  Eat healthier

Trust me, unless you are a freak of nature or you have always watched you diet, you are not eating healthy enough.  I drink a bunch of soda and wonder why my body feels like trash all the time.

4.  Find people to improve yourself with

This is really hard, people want to do things for themselves, and somehow doing something with someone else takes away from them…I have not been able to enact this fully yet, but I know that it is important.

Feel that Despair

Tell me honestly, has there ever been a day that you got in front of your computer and thought, “I am going to get so much done today, I will implement some ideas that will make my life just a little bit better…” only to find that nothing really comes together?  Or the idea that you do have will take a little while to implement and you just need a little bit of success right now to soothe the needs to pay rent, groceries and all your other bills?

Well this is a little bit of a scary picture of me, I believe this was at a branding for cattle somewhere in Alberta.  I wanted a picture of me looking absolutely despaired in my car…but for the life of me I could not find that stupid picture, and I know that I have seen it just recently.

Anyhow, I have been crazy in despair lately, just can’t think straight, and the tight money is of no help.  Nothing to do but buckle down and get to work on something better…

Twitter is absolutely awesome, I really do love it. I had no desire for it when I first tried it out, but after reading some business material and how B2B relationships start over Twitter I was excited to start it back up again. I have gotten in touch with a few web companies in Alberta but nothing that has panned out just yet. My good friend Dianna @dsuzzette has taken to Twitter like a moth to a light, and she is promoting her new book there!

But despite the large number of users there needs to more, much much more. Here are some organizations and people that should be on and why:

1. The Further Ed Schools:

These are the post secondary, non-credit schools that help with oil field tickets, software courses, or learning the guitar. They are community builders and life improvement centers…and they are struggling, barely getting by on grants. If they were on Twitter they could constantly update about what classes they offer, events they are holding, and get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

2. Staffing Agency:

This is a no brainer! An organization that is suppose to alert weary job seekers of all the opportunities that are out there…Twitter!  What about small gigs that only last a day or a couple of days…Twitter!  Help with resumes, interviews, hygiene Laughing out loud….Twitter!  This is so needed that it kills me, I went to the local Staffing agency and asked if they would do this…only if I took an admin job and rode a chair for the majority of the day…no thanks….but they still need to get on Twitter!

3.  Baby Sitters:

Maybe I am getting a little bit silly here, but how nice would it be to have your pick of babysitters?  That show there commitment by having a fluent twitter feed?  How much insane business would they get?  And think of that mother who has to have constant updates?  Just have a Tweetdeck feed to #mylittlebabychloeandmercedes … (those are my two little ones).  I dunno I just think it would be neat.

4.  Small Oil Field Outfits:

Living in Rural Alberta there are quite a few small oilfield outfits.  They go through people like crazy, some stay a week, others a months, very few stay much longer than a year if they ever stay that long.  This field needs all the new blood it can get, but here is the thing, the oil field industry is fickle.  With booms and bust there may be times where there is no work.  Another thing is that it is a life style to work in this field.  When things are going they are going, and you could work all day everyday.  It is easy to burn out.  So using Twitter people could job hop, keeping their oil tickets current, but also have the freedom to take a break from this work and pick it up again when they need to.  Also oil field companies could always find people when they need them.  So tweet when you need people, and when it is slow, talk about how cool your company is!

5.  Event/Convention Centers:

The only event center that I am really familiar with is the one in Salt Lake City that had Brainshare at it so many times. I got to go when my dad worked for Novell, when he didn’t anymore the jerks would not let me in!  But they have so many crazy cool conventions that they need to keep people up to date, yeah it may be the vendors that are using the center job to market their events, but what would it hurt them to keep their center super busy all the time?

These are just a few ideas that would most benefit me at this time in my life, but still, if these 5 people/organizations were to utilize Twitter, I can only see great things for them!  And there are probably a 100 more great examples…. So please use Twitter so we can make this dream a reality!

From my book “How to Survive as a Complete Failure” http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

Failure is a lonely thing, and always being a loner might be one of the causes of your failure. If all your successes are in a vacuum you might as well go back to day dreaming.

What do I mean by vacuum? In Wikipedia it states “Vacuum is space that is empty of matter.” So if you are doing things that no one knows about what good is it? If I told you I made a killer website but you never see it, what do you care? If I claim that I am a hard worker but have nothing to show for it, how can you know if I am telling the truth? We need to go public people! We need people to see and understand what we have done and what we are doing.

Think of it like a fisher man, or rather that you want to fish. Your goal is to obtain fish, and the more the better within reason. You go to your family and friends to learn more about fishing, you learn how to tie fishing knots and what all the equipment is. Then you go and get all that equipment. Then finally you get a boat and get out on the lake. This is exciting, you are so going to catch a ton of fish! Then with the fishing rod in the boat, you just sit there, maybe too worried that you are doing it wrong, worried you won’t catch fish, or that if you do they won’t taste good, or since you will not catch as big a fish as others there is no point in trying. The point is that if you do not have your line in the water, you are 100% guaranteed to not catch ANYTHING!

You are your own fishing line, and the world is the lake. You can catch all the fish you want whatever the metaphor for the fish might be (for me it is usually money). But you got to have your line in the water!

Now please understand that just because the line is in the water does not mean that a conveyer belt will appear and start dumping fish in your boat. It takes time, you will learn what kind of fishing bait works, what doesn’t and about how long it will take. Even with the best bait and fishing equipment time is still an element that you cannot skip. They may notice the bait and ignore it, then make another pass and think about it, and then when it bites, it is still up to you to hook it!

So volunteer! So what if you are not making money or accomplishing your goals? You are not doing those things sulking at home anyway. Why not at least have your line in the water?

There are endless ways that you can volunteer, the public library, your church or even someone else’s church, highway clean up, senior centers, hospitals, or furthering education institutions. Just start asking around and you are sure to find something (put your line in the water for finding ways to volunteer!).

Stop with the Pride and Anger

From my book “How to survive as a Complete Failure” http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

It is funny that even as complete failures we can still have major issues with pride. That we are too good to ever allow ourselves to do the lowly jobs that are meant for the people who are even more pathetic than we are…

I think that much of this is taught by our surroundings. “You don’t want to end up as a construction worker, or janitor, do you?” Well that being said about a hundred times makes you never ever do those jobs, and if you do you will feel like a huge failure. Odd thing is that I have met many construction workers who have BMW’s, nice houses and are actually rather happy and proud of the work that they do.

I am a computer guy, take that however you would like, and have met many people who made good money before things changed and now refuse to do anything unless it will pay a certain amount…so they stay unemployed for years. Also I have met and known people who made great money in programming and worked with me making websites for $12/hr and thinking how pathetic that was.

My thought here is that idleness is the worst thing for escaping failure. Now don’t misread me here, do not do work that is worth a $100/hr and get paid $12/hr, but do some work, if you are capable of 100 and hour work and there is none to be had, then go do that 12 an hour and keep your line in the water!

The next big point of this chapter is anger. We are an angry people! We love to blame other people for our problems, if someone is more successful or happier than we are, then they are direct enemies and derive their happiness from our misery! At least this is how it seems we are thinking and acting.

When I was younger my friends and I would walk everywhere we went. I remember one time walking and someone with a really nice truck drove by and I said, “What a ***hole, he does not even need a truck like that, and I bet he is in debt, all so he can look cool.”
My friend sort of paused and said, “Or he just worked hard and wanted a truck so he got one.”

What a slap in the face! But a much needed one. Why was I so bitter toward that guy? In reality I would have loved a truck like that, and I would really be using it mostly for looks. He had and I didn’t so a natural inclination was to demonize him (I said other stuff but can’t recall and I really don’t want to broadcast my ignorance).

The same thing happened when I was doing tech support, my co-worker would always say how he wished rich people would get knocked down a peg. I was a little more mature at this time and it always rubbed me the wrong way. Why do they need to be knocked down? What did they do? Is it bad to be successful? The short answer is…yes.

For whatever reason it is terrible to be successful, how dare someone be better or do something better than someone else! How dare they save money and stay out of debt and lead happier less stressful lives! If you cannot tell that I am being sarcastic, know that now and re-read the last few lines.

Heal and Keep Moving

From my book “How to Survive as a Complete Failure” http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

We have all been hurt in one way or another. For me it was the credit card company jacking up my interest rate when we were desperate, or the border guard who made life harder just because he could. Even worse was all the business deals I had in making websites that just simply would not pay and wanted everything for free.

Also the extended period of failure, fear, and depression have really taken their toll. You may feel that there is no way out…so you stop trying, you almost completely stop moving, and that is the worse thing of all. We can’t stop moving, if we completely give up then we accept and perpetuate being a complete failure.

Seek professional help if you need to, I finally broke down one semester in college and went to see a doctor about anxiety, he asked if my wife and one kid were suffering because of my issues…I remember bawling all the way home at the thought that not only was my life in shambles but that I was destroying my family’s lives as well. The doctor did prescribe me something and it really did help me even out. He also gave me some kind of panic attack pill to take for extreme cases, and they worked really well! I wish I could get that stuff over the counter!

Forgive others who have wronged you. By holding a grudge you are hurting yourself the most. Of course seek to have the wrong righted if at all possible, but don’t stew and fret and put the rest of your life on hold until you exact revenge, again you will be doing the most damage to yourself.

Seek forgiveness from others that you have wronged. You feelings of self doubt and failure may very well stem from things that you have done that have hurt other people. If you are reading this book (and made it this far) I can only assume that you are trying to become a better person. Mend those relationships with people that might think otherwise!

MOVE FORWARD!

You are not dead, you are not a permanent failure, you have time and ability to change your life and to overcome the obstacles that may seem so numerous. It is much harder to shoot a moving target!

What is holding you back from healing and moving forward?

Take Your Advice

It is absolute insanity how we ignore our intuition! How many times have you known that you should do something and blatantly ignored it? How many fantastic ideas have entered your mind only to have a moment pass and everything wrong with the idea kills it?

I know that I should not drink cola all night long or I will have trouble sleeping. When I got to my second job as a dishwasher at a restaurant I get free drinks. I keep thinking that I will just drink water. The dispenser gun has a big water button and a small cola button. Sometimes I will try and hover my thumb over the water button and keep telling myself to just do it, just press the button and get water and things will be better for you in the long run. Then, almost like it is out of my control, I press the cola button and repeat that throughout the night.

Writing a book is one of those things that I ignored for a good while. I was thinking that I should write about what I know and that is web development or software coaching. I don’t have the credentials to write this book…but the thought persisted, and not like a thought that is tied to an addiction, but a thought of helping people and helping myself, this book is needed!

So I wrote it!  Here is a link for a free download.

http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

What great ideas are you ignoring?

Don’t be Afraid to Fail!

The fear of failure how done so much to destroy my life.  There are so many good things I could have done if I was not afraid if I had failed.  And the more I look back the more I realize that I would not have failed if I had just really given it a good try.

A big portion of feeling like a failure, or actually failing, is tied to money. If I can’t provide for my family, I am a failure; if I can’t afford to get a car to get to work, I am a failure; if I can’t afford needs, then I am failing financially. And for whatever reason, that seems to be the failure that cascades down to all the other failures that I experience.

No need to fear, there is a big, bright beacon of hope! If money is all you can think about, you can go out and get some! I know I have read about just making more money in many different books and heard it on multiple podcasts, but until you discover this truth by enacting yourself, it will just be daydream that you use to numb your fiscal fears.

I was working for a gas station and had just got pumped up by some great reading material and podcasts. I was working on my attitude and keeping myself alert to opportunities. The owner of a gas station chain that I previously worked at came in for some propane. I said hi and told him that I use to work for him (not directly under him so he might have known my face but not who I was). I chatted about how I want to be working all the time and trying to get out of debt, and that if he had anything that I could do for him, I would be excited to do so.

He told me to stop by the main office and chat with him. I showed up and he started me painting gas tanks, barrel lifts, and forklifts. It was a fair bit more than minimum wage, and I was able to come in whenever it was convenient to me!

Learning From my Daughter

My daughter is almost 3 years old and seems so happy all the time…or at least super active, she gets pretty cranky if she does not get her way which happens all the time too.  She has started this habit where she will get in the stroller and just sit and chat to herself.  She does not want to go anywhere and likes it better if we don’t bug her at all.

I don’t why it got me thinking about it, but I am jealous of her ability to just take some time to relax and ponder or imagine.  We should do that from time to time.

She also has no problem just getting in my lap no matter what I am doing.  She wants to social and just seeks it out and obtains it!  How often do we want to be with someone or around people and we feel too shy and awkward that we just sit alone by ourselves?

There are so many other little things that she does that I want to start emulating, crazy how children can teach us!

What are you learning from your child?