Thursday, December 29, 2016

Will You Perish if You don’t Publish?

In the past, if you heard people talking about the whole “Publish or Perish” paradigm, you’d probably think they were having a discussion about the pressure colleges and universities put on their professors to publish the kind of book that brings both attention and endowments to a campus. You’d be less likely to think about how this might apply to you as an entrepreneurial leader in your field. But times have changed, and entrepreneurs who aren’t publishing, are starting to find themselves choking on the dust of those who do.

The reason this is happening is because the definition of the word “publish” has expanded beyond just publishing a book. It includes publishing blog posts, reports, white papers, articles, newsletters, free resources, eBooks, Kindle books, and even emails. Yes, on the surface this looks like a very daunting list of content publishing strategies and opportunities. In reality, you aren’t required to pursue all of them. In fact, you want to start by picking only one.  

For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to have a blog. If you have, here are a few inner strategies that can help get started:
  • Start simple:  Start with a strategy to post once a month. That may not seem like a lot, but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen fail because they try to post too often. Posting just once a month still gives you a reason to reach out to your audience once a month. When you’re comfortable with this posting schedule, you can decide if you’re ready to kick it up to once every two weeks… and after that… maybe even once a week. Just take your time getting started. Blogging isn’t a sprint—it’s a marathon.
  • Create a list of topics for your blog ahead of time:  Waiting for inspiration to strike 8 hours before you’re supposed to post is a strategy for disaster! If you’ve decided you’re going to post once a month, then sit down and come up with 12 ideas/topics for 12 posts in one sitting. If you’re going to post 24 times a year, then come up with a list of 24 post ideas/topics in one sitting. That way, when you can’t think of anything off the top of your head to write about, you’ll still have a list of things to write about.
  • Think “specifics”:  Too many people try to write about everything all at once! Get specific. You can’t solve everyone’s problems in one post. But you can narrow your focus down to one aspect of one of your audience’s problems and provide your readers with an insight, some information, or a strategy they can use to take positive action.
Remember that people are scouring the internet for solutions to their problems every single minute of every single day. You might be the person someone is searching for, but even if you are, how will that someone find you if you aren’t publishing content they can find online? 

Becoming proficient at even just one of the above strategies will expand and enhance your platform, help establish you as an expert/leader in your field, and provide potential clients with a legitimate reason to reach out to you. 

Is it time for you to sit down and plan out your own content publishing strategy? Yes. Do you have to do it on your own? No!!! When you’re ready, I can help you design a content strategy that will work for you.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Grit Part 4

Grit from the Inside Out Continued
According to Dr. Duckworth the author of Grit, knowing that the little nuances that non-experts can’t see is what keeps the experts going, and thinking back to developing a passion and career that goes along with that passion, one can now more clearly see how it could be difficult to know if something is a good fit until you try it for a while and learn to see some of those nuances… And furthermore, learn to enjoy those nuances…
            Learning to stick it out long enough to really learn what hard work is all about is a good thing. Finding joy in the simple nuances that others can’t see is also a good thing. And taking your time to develop your passion over the long run is also a good thing too. All of these are good because they build us grit, and in the end make us happier and more successful. Besides, think of the opposite of this. Mindlessly going through the motions without every really improving can be its own form of suffering. And many would say that this kind of suffering is way worse than the 10,000 hours or 10 years of deliberate hard practice that it took them to excel and become an expert.
            So, what is this deliberate practice and how do we get the most out of it so we too can march down that 10,000 hours or 10 year road to greatness? Well, to start, experts try to do things that they can’t yet do, fail, and then learn what to do differently. And how do they do this, you ask? First, they clearly define a stretch goal, then they use their full concentration and all-out effort. Next, they look for immediate and informative feedback. Then they use repetition with reflection and refinement until they master their stretch-goal. The once difficult then becomes ordinary for them. Finally, they repeat the process of picking a new stretch-goal and do it all over again.
            I know this doesn’t sound easy. As a matter of fact, I know this sounds hard. And that’s because it is hard. However, there are a few things that we can do to make the hard more doable. First, set a routine where you do these hard things at the same time every day. Routines are godsend. You get up every morning, lace up your running shoes and just go. It’s just what you do… Having to decide every single day to do a hard thing would be a nightmare for most of us. Few of us would ever consistently follow through on doing our hard deliberate practice that is needed to make us champions if we had to make up our mind about it every single day. The brain is very good at coming up with excuses for not burning extra calories.
            In addition, believe it or not, we all can learn to embrace challenge rather than fear it. And we can embrace this embracing by simply relieving ourselves of our own judgement that gets in our way of enjoying the challenge we really want to and really need to face.
            Let’s think about this for a moment. When we were babies or even toddlers, learning from mistakes didn’t bother us at all, right? So, why do we let it bother us so much now? If we did that as a baby we would have never stood upright, taken those first few steps, and then kept right on taking those steps right into a walk and then eventually a run. Doesn’t the grownup version of ourselves have a spine just as strong as or even stronger than the baby and toddler version of ourselves?
            The truth is that not only are our backbones bigger and stronger, but so is our grit as we age and mature. Growing grit is just a natural progression. When we are young, we don’t really know yet what we want. As we age we experience enough to know a lot more about the world and what we really want. Furthermore, we better understand the big picture and the role synergy and legacy plays within it.

            Are you willing to put in the time and effort through hard deliberate practice to grow some real grit and become that expert?
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at: