The Death Of Quality Content As We Know It

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I recently finished Trust me I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday. One of the big takeaways he discussed is that in the media world today, information, more than anything, is all about the speed and not about the value. So much so, information doesn’t even need to be the truth, it just needs to be circulated as quickly as humanly possible. This was troubling to hear at first… but sadly, it happens to be true.

We are coming dangerously close to the point where we will overdose on information and the quantity will overpower the quality to the point that no one will know how to separate the good from the bad. The more information that is created, the more is diluted and the more the quality content gets hidden.

For example, a few years ago Amazon opened up the doors to self-publishing. While this was great in many ways as it allowed unpublished authors to publish their own works, it has also increased the amount of books by such a tremendous multiple that it is now nearly impossible to differentiate the good content… from the fluff.

So how this this information addiction going to affect us in the future?

I think this addiction to quantity over quality is going to make a mess of our content. I also believe we need to get a handle on some other things that are contributing to the problem… like new innovations and new platforms.

New Innovations And New Platforms

I believe we are chasing new platforms as opposed to investing in a few that we can get really good at. The speed in which people jump to new platforms and new mediums to promote content is mind-boggling. Ditch Digg for Reddit. Ditch Reddit for Stumble Upon. Ditch Facebook for Twitter. Ditch Twitter for Google Plus.

For lack of a better example, it is like the new drug syndrome. Before one antibiotic gets a chance to prove itself, there is a new and improved drug that everyone jumps ship and starts taking. The same thing for new fad diets, new vitamins, new ways to make money, you name it people will dump one thing for the next quicker than the speed of light. One article in Tech Crunch will have you dropping what you’ve been working on for the last two years and playing with the newest and shiniest object people are talking about.

Note: For all the articles on this blog on branding and brand strategy, click how to brand a company.

The Good & The Bad Of Innovation & Disruption

Don’t get me wrong. Innovation and disruptive technology is great and it is vital to keeping companies on their toes and preventing them from being complacent. Innovation can, on the other hand, be detrimental, as people who start working on one platform and then switch to another, often times lose all the momentum they have gained from using the platform they have spent so much time learning and getting good at.

Jack Of All Trades… Master Of None

Back to social media for a moment…First there was Facebook, then Twitter, then Google Plus. When most people added Twitter to the mix their Facebook time went down. When they added Google Plus, they diluted their time even more. Personally, I don’t have the time to operate on all three platforms, nor do I want to. I generally stay on Twitter to promote content and I try to perfect myself as much as possible in one area…

Naturally, people came up with the answer to everyone’s problems… AUTOMATE!

Automation

When people stopped having the time to sit around all day and post their content manually, naturally a solution was created. Enter Tweetdeck, Buffer, Hootesuite and a number of other tools, which enabled people to put out their content at alarming speed and what’s more, bounce the same information across all the platforms at one time.

At the end of the day, there is a lot more coverage, but the fact is it’s automated… it’s all quantitative, and has nothing to do with enhancing quality. If we were focused on quality we would actually handpick what was right for each platform.

If you read N2ITIV, you know I very rarely talk about social media and I am not really doing so here either. I am simply using social media platforms as an example of how quantity is starting to kill the quality of content. It is how media works in general.

As Ryan Holiday states repeatedly in Trust Me I’m Lying, quality and accuracy are not important anymore, just the speed in which the information hits the media. Personally, I think this is a tragedy as too many people believe what they hear. For this reason, too many people are drinking really bad Kool-Aide… and they don’t even know it!

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

Pick Your Niche

I strongly suggest we slow things down a bit and focus on the quality of our content.

People need to find their own niche and stick with what they are good at. Some people can rock a great Vine. Some are Kings and Queens of Instagram. Guy Kawasaki is rocking G+. Gary Vaynerchuck is killing it on video. Mari Smith and Amy Porterfield are great on Facebook. Lewis Howes on Linked In. Neil Patel kills it in the technical articles he writes on his blog.

Pick what you are good at, find your lane and stay in it and gain the traction you deserve!

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Humble!

 

Gary

How To Look Fear In The Face – A Case Study

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polls_HHN072_0649_769174_answer_2_xlargeRecently, I finished Robert Greene’s, The 50th Law, which was a follow-up to his book, 48 Laws Of Power. The book was about rapper (and now business mogul) 50 Cent and how he attributed all of his success to overcoming fear at a very young age.

Last week, I was in yet another conversation about the idea of overcoming fear with Big John, who is my (& Gary’s) business partner in our newest venture.

One of the greatest characteristics I admire most about Big John is that he is fearless. Not fearless in the bravado way you may think, but fearless in a very rational, intellectual, and strategic level that I will talk about in a moment.

Fear’s Strangle Hold 

I am a firm believer that learning how to overcome fear is the key to living a successful life (both professionally and personally). Fear subconsciously kicks our asses in so many ways that we are not aware of. It is the reason why we stay stuck on stupid so to speak…

Fear is is why we procrastinate.

Fear is why we don’t ask for help.

Fear is why we don’t ask the pretty girl out to the prom.

Fear is why when we do ask the girl to the prom and she says no, we don’t ask anyone else

Fear is why we don’t knock on the doors of potential customers to buy what we are selling.

Fear is why we go home after the customer who we  finally do ask says no… as opposed to knocking on the next door and trying again.

Fear is why we don’t go to the gym because we are afraid people will judge us.

Fear is why we stay at jobs we hate.

Fear is why we stay within our comfort zone.

Fear is why we accept complacency over eagerness to be better no matter how far we have gone.

Fear. Fear. Fear.

Big John… And The Man With The Gun

Big John’s route to overcoming fear has a lot to do with his extensive training in martial arts and Eastern discipline. He studied with a grand master who taught him that fear serves no purpose.  Naturally, I challenged him as certainly he would be fearful in extreme circumstances. He said he wouldn’t. He re-assurred me that fear is fear and has no purpose no matter what the circumstance.

“OK, Big John,” I paused…then I asked him, “Would you be in fear if someone held a gun to your head? “ His answer I did not expect.

He replied, “Would I be in fear if someone held a gun to my head or do you mean when someone held a gun to my head?”

As it turns out, Big John was no stranger to a gun being held to his head…

I’m not going to go into all of the details of the story but what you need to know is that he had no fear. To him, if he had been in fear it would not only serve no purpose but may have hindered his judgment.

John gave the man his money and his watch and then told the man, “OK, we’re done”… The man told him “What do you mean you’re done? You’re done when I say you’re done”…

John explained to him, “you have my money and my watch, we’re done.” John then turned around and with his back to the man, walked away and headed toward the entrance of his home.

I asked John if he was afraid that the man would shoot him. His answer was that it was not his decision. Either the man would shoot him or he wouldn’t so it would pointless to worry about it. He had already accepted the decision either way.

As you can probably guess, the man didn’t shoot John but very sadly, the man shot and killed another innocent person a few hours later as John was doing a ride along with the police trying to find him after the incident.

{Here is a pic of Big John and I about a month ago}

Big John MJ

Looking Deeper Into Fear

The principles of why Big John was not afraid gets deeper…

When John competed in martial arts tournaments, his grandmaster used to train him to accept death before he got into competition.

He explained to me that the trick is that you have to already have died before the fight.

He explained that when you have already died your opponent can’t do anything to you that you haven’t been through already. It’s only then when you can fight without fear.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs .

Just Scratching The Surface

John and I talk quite a bit about fear and how to overcome it. I have had about a million talks with Gary about fear as well. He was the one who turned me on to the 50th Law.

I will talk about Gary’s take on fear in the next post. I will, however give you a hint…

What is the opposite of fear? If you know the answer you will have an idea of what the post is about.

Have a great day!

MJ

 

3 Words You Never Want To Say On Your Deathbed

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kenny I recently finished the book Unlabel by Marc Ecko, a book that hit very close to home to me as his fashion brand and mine were in the same stores at the same time for a very long time… until I eventually went out of business and he went on to become a billion dollar brand.

The reason why I went out of business was not unlike why I lot of other companies go out of business. I have learned that there is an extremely thin line between success and failure. Sometimes you realize that line is so thin that it is hard to identify until you are on the other side of it.

Destination vs. Process

I eventually managed to start another brand and then another, building one bigger than the next only to find myself on the wrong side of the line once again. I kept struggling until I finally realized that being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with the destination but with the process. I also came to the understanding that the successful entrepreneur is not the one who wins but the one who loses and keeps on going.

Note: This is the follow-up to a post I wrote last year entitled, 4 Words That Will Destroy Your Life (& Business)

I not only expect but also know for a fact that I will have a lot more stumbles, failures, bumps, lumps and bruises in my life before I punch my ticket. I have accepted that and so should you.

Marc Ecko said a few things about failure that I very much admire. He said “You will only stop having failures after you take your last breath.”

He also said “anyone that doesn’t talk about failure being part of their path to success… is full of sh*t.”

I am only slightly paraphrasing because I only read (listen) to books on Audible and cannot find the bookmark where he said this but I think you get the point.

My Business Bucket List

I have a lot of things on my business bucket list. I understand some will not happen, however at the end of the day, I will only regret the things that I never took the time to at least try my best to accomplish.

Some of these things I have consciously made a decision to put off in order to focus on what I have in front of me as I try not to dilute my energy and wear myself too wide and thin so to speak. Those are conscious decisions I have made and I am cool with those choices.

That being said, I think that it is important that we be very careful with what we decide to focus on and what we decide to put aside as, if the world ended tomorrow, or if we were on our deathbed, there are 3 words I think you will agree we never want to say…

IF… ONLY…. I

In business as in life, if you are lucky, there will be a lot of goals that you will not achieve. I say if you are lucky, because if you consistently set goals throughout your lifetime, you are being proactive and going after what you want in life, as opposed to being reactive and just letting life happen.

To me, a big part of my life is setting short-term goals, accomplishing them (or not), only to set new goals in order to go out and achieve them as well. Some goals take longer to accomplish then others and, at the end of the day some of those goals will never be met. That is a fact.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

Setting Goals & Being Proactive

Setting goals and proactively going after what you want is the only way to prevent you from saying if only I on your deathbed, however let me clarify… goals are not etched in stone and should be changed and modified if and when necessary.

A lot of times what we think we want changes and some things become less important and some more important allowing for new goals take their place. Again, that is part of life and the flexibility to change and modify can only happen if we are open to change and modification.

One caveat… changing and modifying goals can be tricky. In my opinion, goals shouldn’t be changed simply because they seem too difficult or impossible to attain. History shows us pretty much everything within reason is possible. I say within reason because if your goal is to be able to fly… that is not within reason.

Your Homework

Not to be morbid, but close your eyes and pretend you are on your deathbed. Pick up the voice recorder on your phone and record what you regret you haven’t accomplished.  You will notice these regrets fall into one of two categories.

In the first category are things you have not accomplished but are currently proactively working on. The other list is what you have given up on or have been putting off.

Write down those items on your list that you have put off, print it out and put it in a place where you will be forced to read it every day. Prioritize them. When one of the goals you are focusing on is achieved, move the most important one from the given up on or put off  list and add it to currently working on list.

Keep up this pattern. You will find the more you accomplish the more new goals get added to the list that you never thought of, simply because you have scratched something off your bucket list so there is room for something new to take its place.

Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice

The Wrap-Up

Accept the fact this list is never-ending and will never go away… and know that it shouldn’t. The moment we have achieved all of our goals we will have nothing to look forward to. Tony Robbins explains this well when he talks about people who reach their goals and then think to themselves, “Is that all there is?” …

Your ever changing, ever evolving goals in life will enable you to accomplish more than you ever possibly imagined.

Have a great day!

MJ

How To Lose The Fight & Win The War

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jack-johnson-bYou may be aware that Jack Johnson was the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing champion of the world. What you may not be aware of is how he managed to achieve such a seemingly unattainable goal. The reason why I say “seemingly unattainable” is because he was poor and had no money to pay for anyone to spar with him or train him.

How could a person who couldn’t afford any coach, teacher, trainer or sparring partner become the world champion?

Turns out it seems to have everything to do with being willing to lose some of the battles in order to eventually to win the war…

The Misconception Of Success

In my opinion, there seems to be a preoccupation that many people have with focusing on winning every battle they come across. I believe that this line of thinking not only hurts more than it helps but can be devastating in an entrepreneur’s path to success.

Every experienced entrepreneur I know has come to terms with failure being part of the process of being successful. People who don’t accept failure as a stepping stone to success are either part of a very rare and exclusive club who have not only won the lottery, but won the lottery the first time they ever played it (which is quite a small club if a club at all) … OR… they are not successful and just like to hear themselves talk.

A Quick Digression…

Someone recently tweeted me saying (I’m paraphrasing) “Aren’t you tired of talking about your failures? Do you only attract losers who fail?”

I didn’t take offense to the comment as I come across this quite a bit in some way shape or form being that I wrote a book about failure (and what we learn from it). I was actually about to respond to the woman but figured I would check out her twitter stream to see if she really wanted an honest answer.  I have no problem with genuine questions however, If I am going to take the time to answer someone I want to make sure that person really wants an answer and is willing to actually listen to my response.

As I looked at her stream I saw she didn’t want an answer as she was simply just lashing out to everyone and everything in her entire Twitter stream. I truly wonder why people do this. It is one thing to challenge people in their thinking but a different thing altogether to take the whole day to tell people you don’t agree with them without saying what it is in fact that you DO agree with! To me, it is a huge time suck with zero payoff. That being said, I move on…

Back To The Story

 So Jack Johnson was poor and could not afford a trainer. Because of this, the chips were stacked against him. The only way he could get any practice was to actually book live fights, despite the fact that he was completely unprepared to fight in them. As you can imagine, he had to fight quite a bit more fights than any other fighter in his time, as he needed to get in all of his training inside the ring. But he didn’t stop there…

Losing To Win

Not only did he take more fights than anyone, but when he got into the ring he would specifically stay in the ring far longer than he had to in order to learn as much as possible.

Back then, fights were 20+ rounds and he would make sure not to make the mistake of knocking anyone out since that would end the fight prematurely and he never wanted the lesson to end short. To him, getting hit by punches were lessons on how to avoid getting hit in the future… so he took a lot more hits than he had to. So much so, he was known to hold his opponents up when he would hit them too hard so they wouldn’t fall.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

The Lesson

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest business examples a person can get as it has everything to do with getting experience any way you can… even if you have to lose a bit or prolong your pain in order to get it.

In my opinion, the smartest entrepreneurs are quite often the most prepared and preparation comes only from experience, as you obviously cannot prepare for something you have no experience with.

Nobody wakes up with experience and no one comes into the entrepreneurial world being a skillful entrepreneur. All experience starts with complete inability. Babies finally walk only after they fall a million times. We only hit a ball after a ton of strikeouts. No one I know of dunked their first time, except maybe Manute Bol whose wingspan was taller than the rim.  Bottom line, in order to win the war you have to accept losing a ton of battles along the way.

Know you are going to take hits today and look forward to it. It’s the only way you will learn how to hit back.

 Have a great day!

MJ