Happy Personal New Year!!!
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The Ambitious Misfit's Guide To Getting More Clients (And Keeping 'Em Longer)
“You are NOT a problem. You are a person”
Yes, you may have been called a “problem child” as a kid.
Yes, you may have been referred to as a “problem” occasionally – in a particular context – and were proud of it (anyone else in this club?) …
And yes, you may sometimes FEEL like a problem. Or “the problem”.
But be careful of taking counsel from your feelings.
Feelings lie …
Heck, you may even find that you were – or are – the problem, in a particular context, in a particular project, or … in a particular relationship.
At a particular time.
You may be THE problem. But you are NOT A PROBLEM.
Here’s the thing.
Being the problem – at any one moment in time – means that you can change that.
As soon as you realize you’re the one being difficult, the one standing in the way of compromise, or instigating a conflict, you can make the adjustment.
You can change the approach, change your tone, or change a behavior.
On the other hand,
“You are a problem” – as a statement, whether in your mind, or directed by others – assaults your identity.
It essentializes you as a problem – or a problematic person – by definition.
It paints you as “essentially” problematic.
You should never take your identity from a negative feeling.
Instead, anchor your identity in the positive aspects of your attributes, and of your wealth matrix.
What’s your “wealth matrix”?
I plan to go more in-depth into the “wealth matrix” concept in a later post. For now, let’s say it’s the collection of relationship and resources (internal and intersectional) associated uniquely with you as an individual.
So taking your identity from your wealth matrix is a bit of a circular, chicken and egg, concept.
It’s unclear which comes first.
But what does it matter. It affirms you. It doesn’t bring you down.
Till next time,
Happy Valentine’s Day To You!
I hope it’s been great for you already.
A few days ago I watched a funny (but potentially cruel) music video, and it really inspired me to create a Valentine’s Day blog post and video. Ordinarily, I tend to ignore Valentine’s Day publicly while I do my thing privately (you know how we do!).
But not this time.
The video that caught my attention basically had a young man and his crew singing to a girl he’d asked out, pointing out that she’s lonely on Valentine’s day and has “no boyfriend”.
I have to confess. I laugh out loud at first. I laughed, but … after a moment, I realized how unfunny many people would find that video. A video like that might really hurt if you’re experiencing any kind of sadness, depression, or otherwise feeling down about dating, relationship, or marriage issues on Valentine’s Day.
So below is just a reminder from me to you.
Be kind to yourself, radiate love, and then let the chips fall where they may.
Donald Trump understands it.
Donald Trump understands this.
Elon Musk understands this.
Lebron James understands this.
The next 14-year old YouTube millionaire understands this.
“Attention-seeking”, once the reason for school yard bullies to descend on you, or for envious classmates (or irritated siblings) to pick on you, is now the most important skill for starting at the bottom and getting to the top.
Whether you’re a front line supervisor in a soulless factory, a starving generalist with a liberal arts degree, or an ambitious startup entrepreneur looking to conquer your industry, attention pays disproportionate dividends today.
It has to do with the law of supply and demand … and how that law of economics translates the relationship between information, attention, and perceived value.
A few decades ago, Nobel Prize winning economist Herbert Simon made the following statement:
“A surfeit of information creates a poverty of attention”
He was describing information overload. More importantly, he helped us understand that an environment of pervasive information ubiquity makes the ability to get and keep attention (i.e. “celebrity”) very, very valuable.
When most people have too many choices of what to pay attention to, they focus on a few. Those relatively few people or brands that can command the attention of many people will get disproportionately high levels of power in the marketplace.
This is why Donald Trump is President. It’s why Elon Musk has gained billions in government subsidies and funding, and why Michael Jordan is a billionaire today.
It explains the wealth of entertainer Kim Kardashian and her little sister Kendall Jenner, and it explains how the musician Kanye West (Kim’s husband) could go from $53 million dollars IN DEBT to earning over $150 Million (and a BILLION DOLLAR BRAND) in RECORD TIME.
Significant parts of today’s advanced economies are built on the logic of an attention economy.
Industries ranging from movies, TV, media, publishing, direct selling, e-commerce, to professional service business, training and consulting franchises, and more, are built on the back of getting and keeping the attention of select audiences.
One of the “key lessons” I shared in my last post on how to succeed in 2020 was to run a positive “attention trade” account. In other words, “grab attention” … And keep it.
Of course, you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s easy for those people. They’re famous. They’re celebrities. They’re entertainers. How does more attention help me?”
The first thing you should understand is that Attention isn’t just for celebrities anymore:
There’s almost no endeavor that can’t benefit from your willingness and ability to attract targeted attention, keep it for awhile, and to direct it to your specific purposes. I have even mentored ministers and non-profit leaders on how to stand in the flow of targeted attention, and how to build a tribe from that attention to support a movement, a ministry or a charitable project.
Having said that, …
Not every kind of attention is self-enriching or soul-nourishing. Grabbing attention in a way that clashes with your core personal values will likely be a gross experience (cringe-y, slimy, and all that) that generates self-loathing or self-disgust.
The good news is, you don’t need to do anything crazy to grab attention in a profitable way. There are MANY ways to grab attention in healthy ways, WITHOUT self-degradation.
Here are some examples:
Public Advocacy & Cause Leadership
Publicly advocating for, or popularizing certain ideas, sparking conversations or bringing attention to previously neglected issues of societal or public concern. If you have a burden regarding a societal issue, you can blog about it, write op-eds to newspapers, develop research reports and contact media, or host a virtual summit or online membership community around that topic.
Developing innovative concepts and content of concern to a particular industry, market or business sector, and spreading your ideas via the typical means of publishing and media: publishing in trade publications and business magazines, authoring books, blogging and content marketing, podcasting, and webinar/seminar/stage speaking.
When you see someone build a massive audience via YouTube, or through a network of local meetups, you might ask yourself, “How did they do that?” Most likely, they identified a sliver of the population that have some defining characteristic in common. We refer to such a sliver as a “niche”. Niches can be defined based on common needs, wants, cultural affinity, identity, demographic attributes, or even business category (in the case of business niches). You can become a celebrity – within a niche – while remaining completely unknown elsewhere. (Media Empire Builder / Movie Studio Owner Tyler Perry was like that for many years).
Maven Business Models
A “maven” is someone who represents knowledge, expertise or wisdom in a particular domain. The word apparently is borrowed from Yiddish, and means, “one who knows”. I use “maven” to describe people in the “expert” or “thought leader” business. In the case of “maven business model”, it’s not just that you are a thought leader, author, speaker or influencer, but you also build a whole business around packaging and monetizing your intellectual capital.
Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You
This is drawn from the title of a book by Cal Newport. In my coaching, I highlight 2 divergent paths to becoming THAT GOOD.
Depending on the context, you can either be so masterful they can’t ignore you, or so innovative they can’t ignore you.
These are the 2 pathways. Mastery, is for domains where the rules of success are fixed and known. Innovation, is for those domains of success (like comedy, fiction writing, entrepreneurship or other creative endeavors) where mastery isn’t clear until after success is attained.
So you now have at least 5 pathways for attracting attention without necessarily sacrificing your dignity, your self-respect or your values.
On the other hand, if you’re pretty much open to anything, and if your personal values are more “expansive” (a.k.a. What the rest of us think isn’t that important to you, life is like a big game to you”), then in my next post, I’ll hook you up.
You’ll get some, um … “less conservative” … attention-grabbing methods you can work with. You won’t want to miss this!
Till Next Time.
Happy New Year and Welcome To 2020!
2020! A year that lends itself to “double double” (a.k.a. “growth”, “asymmetrical ascent”, “double double” “double blessing” “multiplication” “replication” etc etc) … numerologically speaking, of course!
… If you pay attention to such things of course.
In this New Year post, I’m going to try to do 2 things with 1 blog post (not recommended by the experts).
First, I’m going to try to communicate the most important lessons I’m rehearsing to myself this year.
Next, I’m going to share a poem I wrote 20 years ago at the turn of the millennium. Okay? Okay.
First, the lessons:
2020 VISION – Have Your Most Impactful Year Ever (The Lessons)
Here are a few thoughts on getting the most out of your New Year:
Give yourself permission to re-attach your plans to your biggest dreams (read: “embarrassingly large in scope, potentially naive dreams”) and to unlock them from out of the closet where you locked them. Risk the embarrassment. Risk the failure.
The Age Of Politeness Is Over. The memory of the lessons of the era of global wars have been forgotten. Arm Yourself With Wisdom … And Wealth. Escape The Middle Class. I’m talking about this from a geopolitical/grand strategic view point, but this has domestic implications in every wealthy country, and significant economic and political implications for less wealthy societies as well.
The thing that information eats is “Attention”. Yours. There’s more information than ever. Guard your attention like your life depends on it. Practice “Coach Gogo’s Offense-Defense Theory of Attention”. Attract attention aggressively, dispense your own attention stingily. Run a positive “Attention” account trade balance.
Another thing that the “Inundation” (information flood) eats is a sense of contentment or “average satisfaction with choices made”. How? It gives too many “choices”, and thereby raises the “opportunity cost” (or options foregone) of any individual choice made. Read “Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz. Guard against this kind of “spiritual gluttony” as well. Like your serenity depends on it. Because it does.
Make this your PLATFORM LAUNCH YEAR: Plan a really big strategic move this year. Attention, information, networks, specialization and personality are levers. Be like Archimedes: find a lever, plant your foot on a difficult-to-move pivot point, and then … move the world.
Attack Asymmetric Ascent With Fury, Conviction, and Investment.The status quo is like gravity. It will take an unthinkable amount of momentum and force to break free from it. It’s that highly unlikely if you don’t attack it with force, fury, social support, and social network. Escape the middle class myth.
Work on Gratitude. Some people keep “Gratitude journals/notebooks”. Others just count their blessings every time they pray. Others actively meditate on their blessings. Do whatever you can. Find someone else to give to and fight for. There’s always much to be grateful for … if you look.
Work At Reality (Yes. W.A.R.!) This is seems to be the opposite of gratitude. But it’s not. I teach my coaching clients that we each have a hidden “Wealth Matrix” which we have to work hard to see. Of course, there’s also the “logical thinking”, “propaganda awareness”, “cultural/cosmological paradigm/bias awareness” etc aspects to “working at reality”. The idea is, ….Think. Actively. Rigorously.
Track Your Systems Not Your Goals. Set up (a) Strategic Catalytic Projects, (b) Spiral Growth (Flywheel looking, learning, launching and leading) Processes (c) Systems (Temporal/Calendar, Technological/Automation and Transactional/Processes) into a rhythmic regimen/schedule. Systems eat Willpower or “Goal tracking” for breakfast. (d) Support Circles/Social Networks – for your success. This will likely get you further along than old fashioned “Goal tracking” (See “Systems vs Goals“). In short, translate your goals into supported rhythms (see the alphabets above) and fight for/track those rhythms, not the goals.
Adopt a leverage mindset. Hypnotize yourself with weekly or monthly exercises where you simulate strong desire for what you already have. Pretend you were someone who didn’t have that thing (or that loved one) and desperately desired it. Why? What would you do with it? So much of us are caught in a perpetually wasteful state (me included). See if you can be a worthy steward of your gifts, talents, assets, personal attributes, and “personal privileges”. Force maximum output (fulfillment) from what you already have.
Assume Power. This is a two-fold instruction. Assume you are powerful. That’s the first. Second, prepare yourself for the responsibility and challenge of personally wielding power. Then go for more power. If you don’t, the jackasses will. Whoever you think they are.
Schedule Your Success. Consider the calendar the most effective personal productivity technology “app” of the last 6,000 years. Reverse engineer a “Platform Launch Year” around big catalytic projects (quarterly projects?) and cyclical retreat/recharge/renewal rhythms and “Learn ==> Launch ==> Lead ==> (re)Learn Spirals. I’ll teach about this later this year in “September Strategy” (look out for this).
Also, before you go on to the Y2K Bug poem below, go over and sign up for my “flight path” email newsletter. If you’re interested in upward ascent through digital marketing, online business, entrepreneurship and “expert business” income streams.
The Y2K Bug Poem – Some Background
I’ve kept it “secret” for 20 years, only sharing it with my wife (since she doubles as my best friend) and 1 other person previously.
It’s not so much that I “kept” it secret, as much as that I didn’t care about sharing it. Who was I going to share it with? I was going to collect my poems and publish them together in a book, but I don’t really care about doing that anymore. I don’t really relate to a lot of the poems I wrote anymore, so I’ll just release them as I feel like.
This one is like some of the others. Probably violates a lot of the conventions of good poetry. Or modern poetry. Or whatever. I don’t even read poetry … but for a few years in the 90’s and a bit afterward, I wrote poetry. And I generally liked my poems after I wrote them.
I still do.
In any case, here’s the poem:
Y2K BUG (Written in year 2000, publicly published now – January 5, 2020)
The noise was heard of his coming
first in the hilltops
and then in the market shops.
The town meetings so full of noise
that elders and leaders were losing their poise.
From patriot to idiot, every soul had his say,
and at the end of the tumult, confusion reigned that day.
“Store up grain and water in your basements” cried one
“These instructions are amusements”
jeered another, who was clearly having fun.
Many hurried and worried and wondered how this could be
that with all our patches and appeasements,
he would not let us be
But surely assured us of his terror
At the turning of the year,
when disrupting much between us,
he’d seek to make us pay.
Finally came the hour
as breathless we waited together,
seeing there was nothing left to try
nor even an army to defy.
And at that moment’s arriving …
For at the moment of truth
the fang that once had threatened
now silently sheathed his tooth.
With great joy, the celebration erupted
which they had feared interrupted
For the plague from that distant ridge
had left off his menacing siege
and did to his own home return
to watch the millennium turn
(Note: All rights reserved. Gogo Erekosima 2000)
Did you like it? (Not that I care if you didn’t.)
It’s interesting looking back at it 20 years later. I still don’t know if I think the “Y2K bug” was an I.T. industry / consulting industry scam, or if it really really was a real thing. Perhaps it was what they said it was. I worked in the telecoms/networking industries but I didn’t have the sophistication in the field to know whether it was a real thing or not. I tend to be somewhat suspicious so … there’s that.