Find A Lifetime of Success in 2012 by understanding “Time” & “Why?”

Ready to understand why some people are far more successful than others?

Brace yourself! I am going to share my perspective on why 2011 was such a success for me and give you something to think about in 2012. Here’s the funny part, I made more money in 2011 than I have ever and that little fact actually has little to do with why I was so successful in 2011.

I have had some great mentors and it’s all due to listening! You see those that know me might think that I am more of a talker, but I do a lot of listening. The fact that I actually hear what I am listening too makes it all the more effective. A lesson that’s valuable for life and Social Media.

TIME

In the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” the Character Gordon Geckko turns to a young man and tells him that “time is the most precious commodity that I know of” a statement of absolute truth! While Einstein argued that time could be something of perception, in the case of the “theory of relativity” scientists make assumptions and simulations that space-time and other aspects of physics and astronomy  do not change the current state of time, in relation to the phenomenon of life.

During my masters program, we studied a concept that fascinated me on its own, supply and demand. The wildcard here was that demand was driven by perception. The concept became even more exciting when later we talked about the monetary value of leisure! The economic evaluation for leisure comes when there is not enough value to make the individual work more, or in the tipping point where the individual is willing to work during a time period traditionally reserved for leisure.

Time is clearly something that holds financial value, and in the case of supply and demand, we have a market where supply is consistent. There is only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and so many months in a year and so many years that we live. However, what if life is not as long as we believe it to be? The supply may be shorter or  longer then perceived. Demand seems to be the one thing in America that we do not have in this equation.

Whatever you choose for your profession, do not let it dictate your life. Travel, Family, Exploration and the Art of Doing Nothing are just as important and I believe a healthy part of a successful life.

WHY?

I will tell you right now, if you work for or with someone who answers “Why?” with “because I said so” or “that’s how we do it” RUN!

That person is likely, lazy, selfish and/or just plain ignorant! Yes, ignorant! I have had these people just like everyone else and it made for a negative professional career experience in the fields of education, banking and sales. There is probably nothing more dangerous to the health of an organization, its culture, and our economy then these people. “Why?” is crucial to success!

Why is how we learn, grow and develop. It is crucial to success both for individuals and organizations. A supervisor, manager or superior has an fiduciary responsibility to both the organization and the client to teach their subordinate everything they know. I pride my work in student affairs with the notion that I had started teaching my staff from day one what I do and why so. In my absence, everything, for at least a while could run as consistently as if I was still there. If you don’t believe that you should prepare for your absence, then what will you do if you should be promoted? Do you not believe that your people are  more effective contributors to a culture where you have empowered them?

A small business owner should have the same relationship with their consultant and media professionals, if you do not invest the time to teach them about your business how will they be able to understand its culture? If you do not understand “Why?” the consultant or media professional is doing something then how will you know what to do in their absence or to communicate the evolution of the business. You may not be able to do what others due, either because of talent, skills or time, but you still better understand why they are doing it.  

Both “Time” and “Why?” are a crucial part of life, not just business or professional development. Adapt a plan that encompasses learning and educating the “Why?” to those around you, and you will find “Time” which will bring you prosperity in 2012.

It was a great 2011, I am looking forward to an even better 2012! Hope you’ll Join me!

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Who Are You?: A Life Balance & Social Media Practice

Who Are You?: A Balanced Life & Social Media

A concept introduced at the #140Conf, Basil C. Puglisi believes that the engagement that takes place on the internet, specifically through Social Media, has identified an issue in our life balance. As a society in general we have become obsessed with objects and titles, social media has amplified this for some, if not almost all.

A Short Review:

Social Media is just another communication tool or stage. How we use this, in fact, should be no different than how we have socialized throughout history. However, this is both the problem and the opportunity.

Who are you? This is not only a great Social Media question but a great life question. I believe that some define their life by names, titles, employment and status, while others have a fuller more genuine approach to life.

How you answer this question may help define your life. If you answer with a name and a job title, function or status, then perhaps you are narrowing your life experiences and therefore in many cases, your social life and social media experience.

Social Media has a life lesson for us all, depending on the platform and how we use it, it may describe us better than we do ourselves. The key is in the balance to our message and the brevity with which we share it.

Social Media is a path with infinite crossings that move with life’s experiences. In many cases, when we get to know an individual in real life we are most bound to those that share similar interests and or experiences. While history is full of superficial affiliations based on money, power and title, one could argue that histories most influential people came from humble but genuine interactions. This is the experience that social media offers us, a chance to interact and learn from one another in real time.

If you think of Social Media Sites and Platforms as a communication tool, you find that each has its own purpose and in many cases its own crowds. Social Media is in fact a opportunity with which, “you get from it, what you put into it.” If you choose to talk only about work, you will find that the others you interact with will also be those that talk about work. If you are a mommy blogger then you will likely find that those you interact with will also be mommy or parent based engagements. If you choose to be a poster and only speak at people, then in turn you will find your connections limited to those that do the same.

Why Dating Sites are ahead of the Social Media Sites:

Treat Social Media as a genuine full experience, just like the one you want for yourself in real life.

Engage and be engaged, talk about what you do, how you do it, what your hobbies are, your education, family, issues surrounding your age, health concerns, vacations or lack of, your dreams and so on.

Many treat social media as if life was meant to be a secret! Life is something that happens all the time, you experience it just as everyone else does, secluding “who you are” will only hinder your ability to make genuine relationships and explore the power of people and humanity, in both its most tremendous aspirations and its disappointing moments.

Dating Sites have evolved to a science of compatibility, they are succeeding in their mission because they are not asking for a photo, name and job title only! Dating Sites want to know “who you are” with questions about everything from religion to sexual orientation. Social Media can learn from this practice and in fact, Facebook did by adding relationship status in its early development.

Who You Know:

It has been a long standing tradition that jobs and opportunities come from who you know, don’t risk not knowing or being known!

I once heard someone speak about how they didn’t want to know what restaurant that others liked, or where they had visited. Surprisingly, that same person today makes decisions on how to spend their money, where to go and who’s opinion counts based on those same topics. Social Media offers us shared experiences that provide insight to how we might experience something for ourselves, be it an event, location or product. If you do not share experiences and communicate, how can you learn or request advice without a basis for justifying or qualifying the response?

People want to work with people. The day and age of robots is behind us, if most business owners speak about wanting real life interactions with real people, then the hiring process is going to require a more in depth look to social media practices in order to find a fit for a community, function or career. If a resume only outlines education, past employment and is followed by a credit check, then you have absolutely nothing to work with as a hiring manager. The purpose of interviews have been to take a look into the personality of the potential candidate and how they behave. “Who are you” is the most distinguishing feature for employment fit. Will you interact with the team, clients, product/service in a way that will be efficient, positive and successful?

Social Media may have gotten its first distinguishing mark from drunk college kids on the cover of Facebook, or rants about customers and clients on Twitter, but the very transparency that has scorned some, is the path to relationship solutions in business. The law prevents companies from asking personal questions in an interview or during the hiring process, but yet companies and education institutions all have unofficial policies to “google” the candidate before hiring.

While some choose not to engage, I argue that this practice is already starting to hurt them. Social Media offers the chance to humanize and qualify the candidate. It allows people and businesses to learn, do they (candidate) really care about this? Do they interact and network like they presented? These can be the distinguishing factors in fit for employment, education and other opportunities. Unless there is something to hide, you should be who you are, this is a best practice for both you and the employer.

A Sustainable Practice: You as a Brand

The greatest part of being a genuine engager on social media comes from the fact that you are investing in you!

While the last decade has been full of amazing technology, platforms and software, none has had the potential to empower people more than Social Media. While some have engaged from business accounts and company profiles, others have taken the initiative to learn, write and speak for themselves. These people have created their own brand, a sustainable practice that allows them to seek employment as who they are. This combination of learning, networking and sharing has positioned them to be successful in any roll, be it one representing someone, something or themselves.

If you build a following and engage an audience, it is likely because you share common interest, values and/or experiences. This has value, it speaks to who you are and why someone would interact with you. It is this practice that has value both in employment and in entrepreneurism.

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The State of Now – The #140conf

Jeff Pulver is an interesting character. Not the most charismatic of speakers, yet his words make a lot of sense. He started “in computers”, as he calls it, 17 years ago. He was one of the co-founders of Vonage, and invested in Twitter back in 2007. Here is, paraphrased, what he says about the State on Now and why #140conf. is needed.

Our world is changing very quickly with the new technologies. Things we can do today were unthinkable just 20 or 30 years ago. In his opinion, one of the biggest changes happened with the invention of Twitter. He compares it to the invention of the telegraph or the radio.

Here is why:  Social Media has brought with it a new opening for people to express their thoughts and feelings and share them with others.  The ordinary, everyday folks could voice their opinion. The more people think and feel the same way, the bigger impact the citizens have on what is going on in their world. We saw the power of the internet in raising funds in the 2008 elections.

At the same time, our modern world has made us all Short Attention Span sufferers. We want the information now, and we want it fast and accurate. And we want it short. When it comes to voicing our opinions, not everyone is a good writer who has the patience and the stamina to hold a blog. Twitter combines those two elements and allows composing only a short message that even the untalented writer can do. It opens the door to so much, Jeff Pulver says, that we are still incapable of determining what kind of impact it will have on our future world.

Social media changed advertising, changed reading habits and changed politics. Even though Jeff Pulver said those things in 2009, he was right on the money when you look at the last event in the Middle East.

What Jeff does now is provide a platform for people who spend time learning all those new technologies and implement them on a daily basis, to share their knowledge and observations. He does it in the form of #140 Conferences all over the United States and Canada. He invites interesting people to speak, and the interested to listen and learn.

These conferences, like the June, 2009 #140conf. in NYC have a theme. The New York one talked about the role of news media in the world of Twitter. The uprising in Iran was on everyone’s mind at the time and the experts pointed out that the world was watching – not on CNN but on Twitter.

This year, the conferences are held in NYC (3/9), in Austin during the SXSW (3/14-17), De Moines (5/9), Vancouver (5/19), Twain Harte, CA. (5/24) and Long Island (5/26). An international conference will be held in NYC (6/15-16)

The #140conf. provides an opportunity for the Twitter community to connect, listen, share, engage and learn while exploring the effects of the real time internet on business. As an example some of the invited speakers in the NYC International conference are as diverse as:

Alicia Yarbo, producer of the Today Show and co-author “Today’s Moms”, Alon Nir, founder, Tweet Your Prayers, Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist, Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ and Hank Wasiak, partner, The Concept Farm, together with other founder of small and large businesses, educators and writers, media and non-profit organizations representatives.

The Long Island #140Conf is set for May 26th 2011 at Touro Law Center, this event could be one of the biggest Social Media Events to hit Long Island, especially given that it has been often overlooked in the shadow of NYC. Long

Island has long been host to some great social influence all the way back to the days of AIM. With Long Island boasting a social landscape that forms the bridge between NYC and the coveted Social Elite of the Hamptons, this Social Media Valley is ripe for such an event.

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New Media Press: Paper.li a Social Media Tool

Do you get a bit intimidated by data mining or researching through your Twitter or Facebook accounts as they scroll by at light-speed? If you are like many business owners, large and small, you have likely been just as torn as others who know that their social media sites are littered with incredible information, free tools and professionals offering free advice that could mean the difference in a crash-and-burn or soaring to the top, but approaching them may be a different story.

The Good with the Bad

The great part is that if you have this problem, you likely have plenty of friends and followers which was the ultimate goal in the first place. However, reaching those friend or follower goal numbers will also mean that your visits to check on your preferred topics and URLs will take longer each time.

Then there was Paper.li.

SmallRivers, Big Currents

A private startup that was incorporated in Switzerland, SmallRivers was co-founded by Iskander Pols, and Edouard Lambelet. They wanted to devise a method to help cultivate what users want out of their social medias that they have built on for their businesses. One of many ventures between this dynamic duo, Paper.li has become their main focus in recent months which is becoming very obvious with its increasing Alexa rankings.

Survey Says!

Paper.li’s current global ranking is at #808 while about 35% of its viewers are U.S. based where it has achieved a ranking of #508. It is also very popular in the United Kingdom where it is currently ranked at #307. Statistics show that it is used most widely by white, educated females between the ages of 25 and 55 who browse from both home and work. Average annual incomes for these viewers averages $30k USD.

Small Business Benefits

Whether you are marketing a product, service or even yourself, you can always use any tool that helps to organize the information you need. In fact, there is an entire industry built on and successfully creating expensive tools for this exact function.

Whether used alone or even in conjunction with other helpful Twitter tools, Paper.li will help you to take any specific interest or niche, and create an easy to manage and read newspaper out of the chosen keywords or hash tags you have designated.

  • This can greatly reduce cost spent on data mining for the social media aspect of your marketing campaign by providing you with the most relevant return for your set keys and phrases.
  • It can help to build social media relationships with those you pull content from.
  • You can gain consistently valuable information about topics relevant to your small business.
  • You can implement Paper.li fully into your content marketing campaigns.

Who Uses Paper.li?

Many personal marketers and small business owners have begun to implement Paper.li as part of their SMM campaigns. One such company, SBA, a financial service, has begun to utilize it to market in the areas it specializes in as well as to branch out to other markets that other Paper.li users share with them.

They currently use them to span wide markets in the Financing and Accounting of:

  • Jewelry
  • Sports
  • Fashion
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Small Business
  • Restaurants
  • Pro Job Listings

And these are just a select few of the niches as they plan to continue to add more.

Why Not Paper.Li?

Since most wise business owners know that achieving a balance in advertising and satisfying the bottom line lies with great time management, organization and social interaction, it seems almost irresponsible to not use Paper.li to cultivate the lucrative aspects of your social media websites.

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Google’s New Algorithm

Do you stay glued to financial news for the biggest trends, or failing ones, to keep your business thriving and productive? If so, you may want to take a seat for this one. Designed to improve search results, Google has initiated a new algorithm.

For those who have made a habit of providing the highest quality content, you are about to be rewarded. However, low ranking sites that regularly copy content or provide low quality information, should expect to take a bit of a beat down.

The new algorithm will target a few key issues about the way content is promoted by their search engine. Content that is rich in helpful informative information, charts and graphs,  properly key worded and updated regularly, will get high priority by the new implementation, while those with second hand content and low quality outlines will be bumped further down on the search results regardless of their current page rank or unique visitors. In fact, the new algorithm is likely to change the latter aspects for those fluffy sites altogether.

Google’s Goal

Google says their goal is to provide users with the most relevant answers to their search engine queries, and as fast as possible. They intend to achieve this while also reducing the search engine rankings of things like content farms and over advertised spam ad.  Considering the user ship of Google, it is fair to say that when we refer to us, we really do mean, the huge collective US, that will be greatly affected by these changes. This could literally make or break some online businesses.

Although an algorithm change such as this may likely turn the search engine world as we know it upside down, the service it should begin providing, with the changes having taken place immediately, should definitely be a positive one.

Positive for the effectiveness of the search engine users that is. For sites who may have raised their page rankings and traffic with less than notability informative content, they may have already noticed a significant loss of traffic due to their new rankings on this algorithm system.

Some Win, Some Lose

Google also acknowledges that any changes to their algorithms, including the most recent ones, can cause some websites to achieve much greater results in readers or consumers, it can also cause previous winners on this path to suddenly be set back greatly.

However, take note also that if your rankings have dropped you may either be the false positive, or a unfortunate casualty of Google’s new algorithm, or you may need to sit back and take a longer look at your site and determine the best course of action to ensure that it provides helpful and informative content, not spun or copied content.

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