Taking online messages as if they were fact and letting people talk to you like you’re a moron

There are a couple of things I observe weekly online that make me wonder: Does everybody really buy into this type of messaging?  Does everybody really believe what they see and hear online without questioning it?  Let me expand on what I am referring to and also, why, if you don’t take time to question what you see and read online, you might do so moving forward.

The few things are: messages that sensationalize things as if they’re already a trend, when they really aren’t; and talking to someone not with someone, so basically lecturing them, as if they had a really low level of comprehension.

A perfect example of sensationalization messaging is how rumor has it that screenshots are the new Snapchat likes.  This one really gets a giggle out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, the more people are saying this, the more it will become true.  But nowhere in Snapchat’s creation were screenshots meant to equal likes; Snapchat is not Facebook, it doesn’t have a like button.  But it’s interesting how more and more people are spreading the word as if this were a fact nobody else knew, when in reality it’s not a fact, it’s a behavior that is being instilled on people who are onboarding Snapchat, most likely for businesses and marketers since they are the ones who use social as a means to an end and not just to socialize with friends, family and the world.

Don’t get me wrong, not all marketers and entrepreneurs use social only to sell.  There are plenty who believe in social and love it for its relationship building characteristic.  However, a good portion of them use it strategically from the very beginning for the sole purpose of increasing sales.  Is it wrong?  No, but the difference between online marketing and traditional marketing has always been the relationship building factor.  You don’t sell on social, you offer value and understanding and care and within the mix you include what you can provide to your community to help solve a problem or need.  And a small FYI, people leave or diminish their use on social channels and look for new ones to stop getting harassed by marketers and businesses.  They are not interested in being sold to, they are interested in communicating and engaging with people online.  And if they don’t leave, like they tune out TV and radio ads, they tune out social ads.  I personally do it every day, just skip right over them, it’s like an automatic reflex.

For the second point: talking to and not with.  This one really gets to me.  It gets to me because ultimately it feels as if the person who is talking to me thinks I don’t understand.  And even if that is not their intention, that’s exactly how it feels and it definitely doesn’t make me want to listen to them.  I will add, I am not the only marketer or human being that has this feeling.  I’ve asked colleagues and have read articles that talk about this aspect. Although I’m only one tiny person in this vast world, and even if I wanted to add up all the colleagues and influencers or industry experts I’ve come across that feel the same way I do, we wouldn’t add up to a significant percentage of the human population; I am still inclined to think most people who can read, hold a job and live their day to day life, feel the same way.

Also, if these individuals who talk to people would take the time to learn a little psychology 101 and human behavior 101, they would realize that people don’t like to feel like they’re dumb.  They don’t like to be talked to, they like to be treated as peers and made to feel that they belong to a group, to a group that cares about them, not the opposite.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who are looking online for basic information and who don’t even notice the talking to component.  Maybe they actually prefer to be told what to do as if they were a 4-year old; but at some point those individuals will have understood the basics and will move on to wanting to continue to learn in a setting that makes them feel as if they’re a part of it, a part of it that understands the value and logic behind what is being shared.

Granted, we each hold expertise in one area or another, but there are ways to teach someone without talking to them.  Using your words and composing inclusive sentences, relating to the community you’re talking to instead of talking to them as a separate entity from yourself and a group of people that don’t know what you’re talking about.

I’m not sure if it’s only entrepreneurs and marketers that talk like this or take this approach, but since those are the people’s content that crosses my path, I know for sure they use this approach; and I can only hope that they take the time to reflect on their methods.  As for the reader, I hope they come across entrepreneurs and marketers who talk with them so that they can see and feel the difference.  I guarantee there will be a shift in who’s message they will want to follow and it won’t be the one where they are being talked to.

In regards to sensationalization messaging, well, that’s a marketing tactic and something that has existed forever and ever or since mass consumerism took place.  On this point, all I can say, we as humans on the planet decide what becomes a trend and true.  We define the world we live in and we steer it in a specific direction.  Don’t let others tell you what is true or not, or at least if you are going to let this happen, keep your feelings in mind and keep in mind that trends are born from us.  Without our support no company or tool or system would come into existence.  It is thanks to our vision and actions that things come to be.

So tell me, what do you think about people taking everything they read online as true from the get-go and how do you feel about people talking to you and not with you?

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Allocating your precious time because…

Allocating your precious time because…

In one way or another people value their time.  Time is that thing we appreciate more and more as our lives get busy with work, hobbies, family, plans, and so on and so forth.   I’m sure this isn’t news to you or anyone else for that matter, but something I’ve noticed over time is the tendency to allocate that time.

I have seen article after article on how entrepreneurs and individuals can manage their time to get everything done or to be more effective or to avoid burnout.  I’ve had conversations with colleagues and friends on the challenges with finding time to do everything.  It starts with the feeling of being overwhelmed or the desire to have time to accomplish set things that each one of us wants to get done daily, weekly or even on a project basis.

If we take a moment to look at the process of getting older, we realize that the “time challenge” stems from how life is set up once we’re adults.  We go from being able to use our time to do all the things we love to becoming a member of society who needs to be financially independent in order to continue living within that society (at least that’s the case for most of the world for now).  The transition happens naturally, but that’s when our set 24-hours a day starts becoming more and more noticeable.

Time is going by too quickly or there isn’t enough of it to get everything on that to do list done, or it’s finding the time to squeeze in more things to do.

We also start to look to balancing the need to be financially independent with the passions we hold dear to our heart.  This is exactly why, more and more people talk about doing something you’re passionate about as your means to make a living.  Personally, I think the way society works will change at some point, but we’ll save that topic for another blog post.  In the meantime, passion and allocating time do tie together.  How?  Well, what I see besides all the tips and tricks on managing time is the human tendency (rightly so) to use their time to do the things they are happy to do.

In addition to our so called societal “duties”, we want to spend time with loved ones and take part in leisurely activities that make us smile.  Even those who may be miserable in their job will at some point try to minimize the time they spend doing things they don’t want to do or spending time with people they don’t want to be around. This is only fair since we don’t really know how much time we do have on this earth.

Allocating your time for the things and people that fill your heart with beautiful feelings and experiences is something that we all do; but if you find yourself upset more often than not, this is probably an indication that you’re not investing that precious time in the things that make you happy.

If this is the case, take a moment to reflect on where and who you are allocating your time to.  You’ll quickly spot the things that don’t feel right and the people that make you feel “blah.”

As soon as you’ve identified them, start looking for your solutions to minimize the time you spend in these areas and with these people; and if you can totally remove yourself from both.  Your life will greatly improve; this is a guarantee!

How do you allocate your time? And what are some of the decisive factors for you?

Relationships and the one mistake and you’re out nonsense

Relationships and the one mistake and you’re out nonsense

Something that’s always fascinated me about human behavior is how quickly some can call it quits with someone like a friend or family member for one mistake.  Obviously, the one mistake isn’t being late to a birthday party or missing out on a wedding (even though for some people that’s all it takes); I’m talking about what one would define as a serious mistake like an act of betrayal or lack of respect.

While I understand that the issue is serious, I still think if someone has done nine good things out of 10, cutting ties just because of one mishap is something that doesn’t necessarily make sense.  I mean, if the person is physically harming you or your family, or causing problems for you that threaten your life and stability; you can’t have that (of course).  However, if the mistake is based on a decision they made, even if a wrong decision in your eyes, but their intent wasn’t to hurt you, then don’t the nine things they did do in support of the relationship count for something?

In my lifetime I’ve only had one friend I cut ties with for some time (after about eight years or so we met up again and rekindled the friendship), and it wasn’t so much for what he did or because our friendship was done with; but it was because through his actions he showed that he didn’t hold value for our friendship.  Even though I knew it was a character trait of his (to be superficial in his relationships); I never thought it was to the extent I realized it to be following his mistake (which by the way, was lying to me about something for a couple weeks, almost an entire month).

Anyways to make a long story short, when we rekindled I found out something even deeper about this character trait of his in treating relationships superficially.  The reason for his lack of depth was in self-defense, to avoid being hurt.  And when we think of humans, every one of us is trying to live life, resolve fears, avoid being hurt; we each have specific character traits and make judgement calls; and they all stem from and our based on our own perspective and thought process.

Essentially, we’ve all hurt someone’s feelings or done something wrong in the eyes of someone else; we’re all mean or selfish; or whatever other adjective we tend to use with mistakes made that end relationships.

In light of this, if you know the person you’re dealing with; and I mean really, really know them, this means you know their heart, the way they think, and have accepted them for who they are; or at least you should’ve, since relationships are based on accepting and supporting each other, and not on wanting the person to be how you think they should be or give you what you want them to give you.

It’s interesting to see so many good and loving relationships end when they don’t have to.  At the same time, I realize that there’s a lesson to be learned for each of the individuals in that relationship as they go through the experience; but, going back to the logic of nine good deeds out of 10 and one mistake…well, it still doesn’t add up if you ask me.

What about you?  What do you think about “one mistake” and you’re out?

What does it take to be fully invested in what you are doing in life

What does it take to be fully invested in what you are doing in life

A couple days ago I posted my Coffee Break Question Of The Day on Snapchat regarding investment in doing something.  Specifically, I asked: What does it take to be fully invested in something?

The question arose from various weekly interactions and conversations about the lack of investment in doing something by some people.  Basically, dealing with situations that needed to be resolved due to the lack of full investment on the end of others.  This is an interesting dynamic if you ask me and the answers I got to my Snapchat question varied in what it takes to be fully invested.

Confidence, passion, and motivation were three of the answers I got from my Snapchat peeps.

Obviously, confidence helps in that if you are confident in your abilities you will be fully invested in what you do due to the knowledge and experience you have on the thing in question, be it your job or a hobby.  Also, if you’re confident in something, that confidence should arise out of the interest you’ve had throughout the years in the thing you’re doing.  So, even before confidence there has to be a level of interest, which brings us to passion.

I think it’s safe to say that passion is one of the biggest driving forces for any human being.  When you look up the definition it clearly states that it involves a strong feeling for something or about doing something.  When someone is passionate about something it comes through at a first glance; it’s as if that thing embodies them entirely.  You see it in the person’s words, body language, facial expression; everything. Passion is also extremely contagious, which is beautiful and powerful.  A person who is passionate about what they do spreads that passion and actually motivates others at the same time, which leads us to our third answer: motivation.

You definitely don’t invest in something without the motivation; and while passion stems from within, motivation comes from a slightly different place.  When you look at the definition of motivation it includes the following:

  • The act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something: the act or process of motivating someone.
  • The condition of being eager to act or work: the condition of being motivated.
  • A force or influence that causes someone to do something.

Although the second definition mentions the “condition of being,” which can stem from within; the other two statements make it clear that at least in part, motivation is brought about by a reason for doing something or a force or influence that causes.  When witnessing motivation in others, I’ve always noticed that it’s an external driving force that derives from the value they hold in that external thing.  So, for example, some people are motivated by money, while others by making change happen and still others are motivated by the recognition they will get from doing that thing.  What happens with motivation is that it can go missing if the person doesn’t see or receive the external driving forces that make them motivated.  This renders motivation less constant than passion, which means that in the absence of motivation someone will not be inclined to invest as much in doing that something.

I would say it’s important for individuals to consider what level of investment they’re putting into something because if they’re only half invested that’s a clear sign that something isn’t right or doesn’t resonate with their purpose, their being; and what they’re occupying their daily life with (whether it’s a job or a hobby).

When I see people who clearly invest half of themselves into doing something I wonder why they’re not considering change or asking themselves questions in regards to what’s going on.

What do you think?  What does it take for someone to be fully invested into something they’re doing? And what does not being fully invested tell you about their choice?

When first impressions take precedence over depth

Question: how many of you read the social media posts you share?  Follow up question, how much time do you have to read all the online articles that cross your path throughout the day as you browse your social media networks?

I just finished my guest blog for Leaderswest where I took a look at an article and some stats regarding social media post consumption.  I will link when it’s posted, but in the meantime I wanted to carry over the conversation here, to look at it from a different angle.

A brief summary of the stats: Six out of 10 users don’t read the social media content they share.

Are you surprised?  I’m not, but not because I think users aren’t interested in reading.  I think they lack the time and they share those posts because either the source is one they trust or is a known brand that has gained trustworthiness (possibly even trending status) online or because they are emotionally attracted to the post at a first glance and it is something that resonated with them and created a reaction (the reaction to share). With that being said, the article also points out how this means viral news is viral in it getting shared, but not necessarily read.

As an online marketer, the notion of viral content has always made me laugh.  Not in a good or bad way, but laugh because of unknown brands wanting something to go viral and thinking they can somehow make it happen with the click of a button.  Viral happens by chance for unknown brands or people, and by good content crafting for known brands, plus the positive emotional bond followers have with that brand.  Actually, more than followers, they are loyal fans of those brands.

The fact that most people don’t read content, but share based on an exceptional title also leads me to say that even though first impressions shouldn’t make or break something or someone, they obviously play quite a big role in perception and value given to something or someone.  In the long run, first impressions only last so long.  Eventually, the deeper level behind a brand or person comes out and that’s where the continuation of what was perceived and the value given by that first impression will continue or end.

It is only normal that in a noisy and busy world people notice something or someone that stands out, but it is also natural to go deeper as time passes.  Experiences with a business or a person always reveal what’s behind the scenes, what’s below the surface (that first impression); it is inevitable.  Can it be frustrating to know that depth isn’t the primary source from where great brands or people are born?  Yes, but instead of being frustrated, knowing that true value will always come to the surface can help.  Also, taking a close look at our own habits can help to keep things in perspective.

Shiny objects attract everybody’s attention; the only difference is that some people dig deeper sooner, while others go with the flow until the next shiny object comes along.  It’s just a matter of what you choose to look at versus wanting everyone to look at things the way you do.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Did you expect a majority of people to share online content without reading?

Relationships and intent go hand in hand

Relationships and intent go hand in hand

Relationships and intent go hand in hand.  Do you ever wonder, why some people click while others don’t or why some relationships disappoint you?  Do you ever ask yourself when pondering these questions, what your intent was or is when it comes to the relationships you’re questioning?

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it is that relationships are meant to be or they’re not.  As humans we’re led to believe that we have to work to get anything, and that there’s a give and take; the reality is that as you live life you are automatically building something, you are automatically giving and taking.

The intent behind your actions are what define what you build, what you experience, and what you surround yourself with. 

It doesn’t take work to make a relationship work or not, it takes genuine interest in that relationship without motives or needs.  If you don’t care, if you’re interested in a relationship to get something out of it, even if that something is getting the relationship, that is exactly what you will get in return.  You get that return because it is that type of relationship you are building.  A relationship to fulfill a need.

This isn’t bad or good, but if you build based on need, what you’re building and receiving will always be based on getting something, and it will always go both ways. 

This means when you or the other person no longer need each other the relationship will dissolve.  It also means that you will attract the same type of people, those who invest in relationships to gain something from them.  This gain doesn’t have to be monetary, it can be emotional too.  And the reality is that most people define relationships based on give and take.  It is what we’re taught, and it is how it seems the world works.

However, I will say this, from personal experience it doesn’t have to be this way.  Our own intent changes the outcome of what takes place with that relationship.  If you don’t have expectations, if you are genuinely interested in purely sharing a moment, interested in the other person’s life, not because you need something from them, but just because; then that relationship, whether it lasts a minute or years, will be an added gift to your life, to your person, or for sure it will be an experience that you will cherish.  It will not have taken from you, if anything t will have added to you; added to you without you having initiated that relationship in order to take something from it.

Of course one could argue that since you did get something from this relationship, then you fulfilled a need; but if your intent was not to fulfill a need, but simply to listen, relate to or live for one brief moment through the eyes of another, your gain was not a need to fulfill, but more the appreciation of other life than your own.  If one or both people shared a mutual connection and appreciation for what was shared in the relationship, did not both people incorporate that relationship within their being?  Meaning neither took from the other, but more than anything, each added to each other’s life.

Let me try expressing this thought in a more concrete way.  Yesterday I was watching a blab of the S.M.A.C. Talk podcast by Brian Fanzo (Twitter: @iSocialFanz) and Daniel Newman (Twitter: @danielnewmanUV); which by the way, is what inspired this blog post in the first place.  These two individuals are two of the most amazing people that I have ever met.  They are genuine leaders, successful entrepreneurs, who care about what they do, who know what they’re talking about, and who want to make a positive difference in this world.

Being an online marketer, I’ve seen my fair share of leaders (from multiple industries) who are in the spotlight.  A majority of them (or at least half of them) want to help the world and they are doing it, and it’s great!  However, a lot of them have hidden agendas (that they may not even be aware of on a conscious level), their intent comes from a different place.  I know this because when someone talks about helping the world to become a better place and wanting to build relationships and collaborate, but that person doesn’t give others the time of day or doesn’t set up a system to ensure that others can collaborate; then the intent isn’t really on building relationships and collaboration to help the world, but it is focused on building relationships and collaboration based on a set criterion that this person views as important and meaningful.

The intent is a need for building relationships that they consider will increase their value and add something to their mission, their goal.  The intent is not, let us all work together and build something to help the world. 

And even though these leaders’ intent and actions will get things done, will make a positive impact in people’s lives and the world; it is not genuine or purely to help the world and that’s it, it comes from a strategic thought process of how they can grow the movement they believe in.  Granted, nobody has all the time in the world, nobody can build a relationship with every human being on the planet, and each of us values our time and has limited time, and there’s also the reality of life, which includes having to make a living to live and be a part of society, and having a family to take care of and do things with, and so on and so forth; but if you genuinely want to help the world, then you also automatically value everyone’s opinion and you automatically want to try and get as many people involved as possible.

These leaders’ intent shows through their actions and they will surround themselves with those people that will help their intent, and they will help the world, but they will also leave others disappointed and they will also find a lot of people who will connect with them for the same reason they are connecting with others, that is to fulfill a specific need and/or end goal. 

Again, it’s not good or bad, and it’s not the end of the world, but the underlying difference comes through one way or another.  As John Lennon’s song goes, maybe I’m dreamer; however, out of about 15 leaders that I’ve reached out to so far, I’ve gotten four that replied, that engage with me, and that I call friends, and hopefully one day they will call me friend too.  This is proof of genuine intent behind their words “building relationships and collaboration to help the world.”

My intent in reaching out was not to add to my number of friends or establish a connection to grow my influence or position, but it came from the desire to share how amazingly inspiring and heartwarming it is to see what they are doing and that they are in the spotlight, to tell them that I would love to help in any way I can, to create a relationship that could assist in helping them to help the world become an even better place than it is today. 

The ones who did not respond to me, I still follow and still help where I can; but their lack of response to me and others shows that their intent is to build relationships and collaboration with those they deem worthy.  Even though they will accomplish what they’ve set out to do and they will continue to be leaders, they have closed the door and continue to do so to others based on the fact that they don’t need those other relationships.

So I leave you with this question…

What does that say to you about their intent and how does it/will it affect their relationships?