Archive | April, 2013

Think Your Way to Success and Happiness

I got this thought-provoking snippet from Dan S. Kennedy, who is considered to be this century’s marketing genius. Think about where you might be in this scenario.

“Take any hundred people at the start of their working careers and follow them for forty years until they reach retirement age, and here’s what you’ll find according to the Social Security Administration: only 1 will be wealthy; 4 will be financially secure; 5 will continue working, not because they want to, but because they have to;  36 will be dead; and 54 will be dead broke – dependent on their meager Social Security checks, relatives, friends, even charity for a minimum standard of living. That’s 5 percent successful , and 95 percent unsuccessful.”

Obviously, we want to be one of the 5 percent. But how do you do that? I’ll be offering a detailed on-line course this summer on the complete formula for success and achievement. But in this post, I want to share the most important part of that formula which describes where the quest for success and achievement begins. You can begin using this part of the success formula right now and actually see results. Let me explain.

The first thing that you have to do is change you. Specifically, you have to change the way you think.

Why? Before I answer that question, let me share a personal experience with you. I’ve been, exactly where you might be right now. After a 25 year career working for two Fortune 100 companies and enjoying a comfortable living, I realized that I still didn’t have the feeling that I had been successful at anything.

Being a naturally curious person,  I spent the next 4 years researching why I felt that way. And I learned that I was the obstacle to my own success. I needed to change ME and the way I think about everything. The issue was not my chosen career, it was not where I lived, it was not my environment, it was not my work habits, nor my education, or anything else; but ME.

And here’s what I learned during my 4 year search to solve my issues with success.

Before I jump into this important topic, I want you to give this some serious thought. I want you to read a bit, take your hand off your mouse, and sit back in your chair and think about what you are reading and how this might apply to you. While you are thinking, I want you to roll that video player in your mind while you envision and begin to apply what you are reading, to your own personal situation. If you don’t see what I’m trying to share with you, then you are not ready to receive this information and change your circumstances. That’s OK. Just close this tab in your browser and come back to this post when you think you are ready to move on from where you are at today.

I’ve shared this information with my own children and many others. Some poked at it to see if it was alive but most let it go in one ear and out the other. They were not at a point in their lives where they were ready to receive this information. And that’s OK.

If you are still reading, then here’s the answer to why you need to change the way that you think in order to be one of the 5 percent who seek and find success beyond anything they imagined.

Think about when you were a child and what you learned when you were growing up. Who were your primary teachers? Your parents, right? What did they teach you? Sit back and roll that video player in your mind. Recall those times.

If you were like 99% of most kids in their maturing years, your parents taught you their beliefs and values. And their beliefs and values probably went something like this. Get an education, find a good job, work hard, work your way up the ladder, find a mate, get a nice house, have children, save your money, and your life will be complete and prosperous. Is that what you see in the video that you are watching in your mind? That’s what I was taught when I was growing up. And that’s exactly what I did. I followed that advice to the letter.

And that’s likely what you did also. Yet your life has been a tough road to travel complete with financial stress, worry, and a nagging feeling that your life is still not complete. You didn’t find happiness and financial security.

You did what your parents, your environment, and society taught you. And that’s the problem. You set limits according to what you were taught as a young boy. You created a comfort zone. You defined your box and your routine and you lived in it. That made you feel safe, secure and happy. What more could a person want?

If you are still in your career, or nearing the end of your career, or if you have been in your career long enough to realize that it has become a bore, you are probably asking yourself the same question that I did – what about success and affluence?

Success and affluence cannot be achieved once you set limits for yourself. Success and achievement resides “outside the box”, outside your routine, outside what others have taught you. You’ve heard this mantra many times; “think outside the box”. There are no limitations. Realize that the only limitations are the ones which you set up in your own mind. Once you eliminate them, you can achieve anything you want.

Success and affluence come to those who get outside the box that their upbringing defined for them. Success comes to those who take control of their minds and think for themselves, while recognizing no limits.

It’s not your fault that success and affluence somehow has passed you by. It’s not your parent’s fault either because their parents taught them exactly the same thing. It’s not the fault of the school’s you attended nor the teachers who taught your classes. You cannot learn success and affluence in school or college. Those institutions teach general knowledge. They don’t go any further than that and teach you how you can turn that general knowledge into success and achievement. You have to figure that out on your own.

The fault lies with the society in which we all live. We all learn that an education,  a good job, and work hard, and then harder, is the road to success and affluence. But it isn’t.

So now you need to start over again and change how you think. But relax. It won’t take forever and it’s easy; well not that easy. It’s hard. Changing the way that you think is hard; not hard as in blood, sweat and tears. But some folks don’t like to think. It pains them.

However, success and affluence are in your head. We just need to get it out, put together a plan and take action on that plan. As long as you have an open mind, are willing to learn, and ready to take control of your own mind instead of listening to what everyone is telling you, you have everything it takes to be successful and affluent.

Now shut everything else out of your mind and think about what you just read and saw in the video that you were playing in your head. Think about it for a day or so and then come back to this post and read on.

We’re going to teach you how to think. We’re going to teach you how to be successful at everything that you do. And with success will come affluence.

Here’s the most important part of the success formula and where everyone who seeks success should begin.

 

Step One – Decide What You Want

 

First you must decide what you want. What is your strongest desire? Do you want to be financially secure? Do you want to get out of a career that bores you yet still be financially secure? Is it wealth in general?

Heck when it comes right down to it, don’t we all want to be millionaires, have our own successful business, be our own boss, live where we want, do whatever we want, drive what we want, and vacation whenever and wherever we choose? That’s OK. I don’t want to influence your primary desire. I just want you to think. I included these ideas just to stimulate your thinking.

This is important. So take some time to think about what you desire. You must be passionate about this desire. It has to be something that you want so badly that you can whip yourself into a “white heat” of passion every time you think about this thing that you want.  When your desire becomes clear, write it down on a piece of paper.

Let me give you an example to aid your thinking. I want peace of mind. What is that? I don’t want to make every decision based on money and cost. If I want to spend my winters in the Caribbean.  I just want to go without having to consider cost. If it’s time to replace one of my autos, I want to do that without first thinking if I can afford it. I don’t want to worry about the cost of health care, or taxes, or whatever else the government may demand of me. I don’t have to be rich. As a matter of fact, I loathe greed. I just want to stop thinking about money and whether there will always be enough. Money is just a means to an end. It should be nothing more than that. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works in our society. Money is everything. And that perspective becomes more prevalent every day. Does that make sense?

I do want to mention that a desire or objective of peace of mind is rather broad. So I break that down into smaller pieces for clarity. This allows me to better measure progress towards my primary desire. For example, the smaller piece that I’m working on right now if to finish creating a half dozen on-line courses. By what date? I’ll get to that.

So write down your most passionate desire and allow yourself to think big.

 

Step Two – Money – How Much is Enough?

 

Everything in this life comes with a price. So how much money would be enough for you to achieve your desire and live comfortably without having to work for anyone besides yourself? Write that down and don’t hold back.

I know how much money per month it takes for me to maintain the standard of living which I now enjoy.  But my wife and I measure everything in terms of cost, and I don’t want to do that anymore. So, I’ll put that amount at $100K/month. Write down whatever you think will do the job for you and don’t be timid.

 

Step Three – Something For Nothing? Not Quite.

 

There is no such thing as something for nothing. So what will you give in return to accomplish this burning desire that you have, and receive the money that you want? Service? A new idea? A new venture to create a new income stream? Don’t say I’ll work harder at what I’m doing because parents and society say that will always work. The fact of the matter is, it never works.

I’ll commit to the principles of the formula for success and achievement, while seeking to study and master a new principle each week. And I’ll commit to creating and finishing the on-line courses that I’m working on and doing whatever else my mentor ask of me. And I’ll do all that while asking for nothing in return.

Write down what you will give in return for your most passionate desire and the money that you require to achieve it. You can revise this as your situation changes, as you acquire more knowledge concerning your desire,  and as more detail pops into your mind that will allow you to enhance this portion of your plan. Your plan doesn’t have to be flawless at this point in time. But before you are handed your burning desire, it will have been revised by you to the point of being flawless.

 

Step Four – Assemble the Plan

 

Now that you know what your primary desire, the amount of money that you need to achieve it, and what you will give in return to accomplish this desire, outline a simple plan of the steps that you will take to achieve this desire, acquire the money, and provide something in return since you can never have something for nothing.

You can revise your plan while acting upon it so that it is always up-to-date with new information and new ideas. Don’t labor over this part. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. Write it down on paper.

My plan is documented below as an example.

 

Step Five – We Need a Date!

 

Select a date by which you will have completed your plan, achieved your desire, provided something in return and received the money which you requested.  Write it down on paper. Write it on the same sheet of paper on which you have written everything else.

 

Step Six – The Power of Self-Suggestion

 

This is the most important part of achieving literally whatever you desire. Now you are going to program your subconscious mind. We never know what is in our subconscious minds except when some of that stored information is revealed to us in dreams. And then we forget those.

Science knows how the subconscious mind operates. But they don’t fully understand why it operates the way it does and when. Hypnotism is now used by law enforcement to reach into the suppressed thoughts of crime victims for new information that potentially resides deep in the subconscious mind. Medicine has technologies for reaching subconscious memories when seeking to help patients with unexplained pain or those who cannot sleep.

To our benefit, the subconscious mind can be programmed through repetition. I’m sure that you have heard of programs where an individual will place speakers under their pillow at night and play a tape or CD in order to teach them new information through repetition. They are programming their subconscious minds. The technique is called subliminal learning. The conscious mind goes to sleep. But the subconscious mind operates 24/7.

This programming is based on one little-known fact of human nature, which is not understood by science nor by medicine; but it is accepted and used by both. Whatever thoughts are dominant in the subconscious mind have a habit of translating themselves into their physical equivalent whenever those thoughts (or orders that you give it) are reinforced by constant repetition.

Nature has built man so that he has absolute control over the information and thoughts that reach his conscious and subconscious mind. That’s not to say that we use that control. Most of the time, we don’t.  But you can trick your subconscious mind into acting upon your deepest desires simply by handing over orders to it through repetition, coupled with belief (that becomes faith), and persistence. This takes practice. So don’t expect immediate results.

Have you ever heard the expression, you can’t become a millionaire until you first learn to think and act like a millionaire? Same concept. And the concept doesn’t just apply to millionaires.

Take the sheet of paper on which you have written your primary desire, the amount of money you will need to achieve that desire, what you will give in return for realization of that desire, the plan of action for accomplishing your desire and acquiring the money, as well as the date by which you will complete your plan, and recite aloud what is on the paper twice a day; once in the morning and once before you go to bed. If you are doing nothing else during the day, put that piece of paper in front of your face and go over it again. The more repetition, the better.

Concentrate. Remove anything that will disturb your concentration. Visualize in your mind, the steps being taken, the results coming to you, the money arriving in your mailbox or being handed to you. Visualization reinforces the details of your plan and plants those details firmly in your mind.

The subconscious mind readily accepts thoughts that are mixed with a little emotion. Your “white hot” desire to accomplish your objective can be that emotion. Faith and belief are appropriate emotions. The thrill that you feel in taking steps towards the accomplishment of your plan is a good emotion. Get excited. You are taking action on a desire that is extremely important to you.

Do this and once you have mastered this technique, you will begin to see results. The technique itself is often called self-suggestion or auto-suggestion. You have complete control over your mind. In fact that is the only thing over which you have complete control. Use that control to get what you want. Self-suggestion is powerful once you take action and master it to get what you want.

 

A Couple of Important Suggestions

 

There are a few characteristics that will sabotage what I have outlined in this post. You need to be aware of these. I won’t expand upon them in this post as it is getting rather lengthy. But I will address them in upcoming posts.

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is a must because you are going to need faith in yourself and faith in your plan in order to implement it and achieve your objective. Faith and a negative attitude cannot exist in the same place (your mind). They are contradictory. How do you develop PMA? It’s a decision. Just get the negative crap out of your life. Don’t speak it, don’t listen to it, don’t think about it,  and don’t watch it. Especially on TV which is loaded with negative information.

Fear, especially fear of poverty, plagues all of us. You may not know it, but it’s there in your deepest thoughts. Fear paralyzes you and negates faith. You have to get rid of fear, doubt, and worry. Getting rid of worry is easy once you realize that worrying about things that are outside your control is a complete waste of time. Push fear, doubt and worry out of your life. It’s a decision. It’s not easy. It will take some time and effort. But if you truly want to take full control of your mind, you will be surprised how quickly you can block these things from your thinking when they try and creep back into your thoughts.

 

My Goal Sheet as an Example

 

Here is an example of one of my goal sheets. As you can see, the plan is very simple at this point. Details will be filled in as that information comes to me.  This is what yours should look like.

 

Primary Desire – Peace of Mind requiring the elimination of money/cost as a major consideration for everything that I do.

Timeframe = by December 31, 2013

Amount of Money – $100,000/month

What I will give in return for the money

  • Commitment to, and application of the success formula.
  • Commitment to building an on-line coaching/mentoring business per <a private program> with <a private individual> serving as my mentor. (success in anything is unlikely without a mentor)

The Plan

  • Complete the success formula course by May 1.
  • Find 30-60 days worth of new ideas for new courses that will identify a common problem that people are facing, and provide a solution.
    • Find and Create the promotional, material that will reach potential students.
    • Define the traffic plan(s) that you will use.
    • Set up the campaigns, videos, and additional resources and run them.
    • Define a routine for yourself including exercise, reading, PMA, spouse support, in order to keep your life in balance.

Reminders (optional)

POWER  – See yourself (via faith) in possession of your objective above. Conduct your activity as if you already have your objective and the money in your possession. What is in your subconscious, your dominating thoughts, will translate themselves into their physical equivalent through repetition mixed with emotion. 

Expect failures and accept them  as a learning experiences. Failure is not an excuse to quit.

 

Keep fear, doubt, and worry, at bay as they negate faith. Fear of poverty must especially be avoided.

 

AUTHOR NOTE – The formula for success and achievement referenced in this post is a creation of the author. It represents the output of the authors four years of research into success and personal achievement. The success formula exist only in the author’s notes and thus cannot be included here as a reference.

Photo of Napoleon Hill drawing of the mind

28

Social Signals – A Graph of What Readers Like Most

[loveclaw_graph]

Another Change at Google!?

Yes! Google changed the rules of the game again, but did not announce their intentions. What will give your websites the highest rankings in the SERPS today  is what Google calls “social signals“.

The graph above is a running total of how readers voted their like or dislike for posts on this blog website, and whether they shared any portion of the content. These totals are updated in real time. Want to know if there is anything worth reading on this website? Just click over to the graph above and see what folks think about the articles, and whether they are sharing posts with their friends.

So what are Social Signals?

Social signals are indications of how much time your readers spend sharing your content with others, the amount of time that they spend interacting with your content (time spent on page), and whether or not they are socially engaged with your content – as indicated by Facebook Likes, comments, and social votes. The more votes, likes, and shares there are, the more Google favors this specific site and the higher it will be rated in the SERPS.

What is truly shocking about all of this is that social signals are favored by Google even more than traditional SEO. SEO is tedious and time-consuming. Even the most intensive SEO often produces disappointing results. SEO has always been “king” with Google when it comes to rating websites and content. Not any more. If you are putting countless hours into SEO on your website, you are wasting your time and will receive very little payback from Google.

That doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. Google still expects relevant keywords, keyword highlighting in posts, and appropriate post format using h1, h2, and h3 headers. Backlinks are still important. But not as important as they used to be. If you are trying to improve the rankings for your website by buying backlinks or surfing the Web looking for blog sites where you can leave a comment and a link back to your website, your time would be better spent enhancing social signals on your site and engaging your audience to use them  and share engaging content.

How Does This Apply to Me?

If you have no opinion of the articles that I post and you really don’t care about sharing engaging articles with your friends, this information is of little value to you. If you do not own a website that you would like to see highly placed in the SERPS, than this subject likely does not interest you. But I would ask that everyone use the buttons below each post to express your opinion of the article and potentially share it with someone you know who would also be interested in that post. Why do this? Because I write and share with all of you and ask for nothing in return. And because I care.

After all, the Internet is a social network and is becoming more social every day whether we like it, or not. I’m not a proponent of spending endless hours on Facebook. But I can handle a quick share or like with little effort.

Here’s Social Proof

Chris Munch of Muchweb did a case study on the impact of social signals using a product that he created called LoveClaw. LoveClaw is the application that places the voting icons below each article on this website and handles the sharing as well as the tallying of all votes for display in the graph above.

So what about the social proof and the case study that Chris Much completed? He and his team created a test website that consisted of nothing more than a few engaging photos. Other than the photos, where was no other content on this website; just photos and some headlines and captions. No SEO of any sort had been performed on the website. They launched the website to see what would happen.

The site received a mediocre amount of web traffic and most visitors clicked on the Facebook Like button above each photo to indicate that they found the photo to be interesting and engaging. I confess that the photos WERE pretty interesting and funny.

Then the LoveClaw voting and sharing icons, like the icons at the bottom of this article,  were placed below each photo. The LoveClaw icons allowed visitors to indicate how they felt about each photo and to share their opinion and the photo with friends.

The mediocre traffic that the test website had been receiving began to grow exponentially as news (via sharing) of the photos rippled through the Internet. Google, who seems to have a way of being aware of everything that takes place on the Internet, began to take notice of the test website, even though the site had no content other than a few photos. But what the test website DID have was a spike in visitor traffic accompanied by massive social signals because most visitors were sharing the engaging photos with their friends.

The test website rose dramatically in the SERP rankings and the photos on the website wound up on Google page #1, even though there was no real text content on the website. Mission accomplished. The goal was to create proof that Google will highly rate a website with their decision solely based on social signals from a site,  in the absence of any other content or SEO.

One photo on the site showed a close-up of a cat sleeping on the back of a sofa. The headline reads, “Obama Wins!” and at the bottom of the photo it says “Cats still don’t care”. Cute cat. Great headline that made an interesting and controversial point. The photo is the thumbnail that accompanies this post. Click on it to enlarge it.

And the Conclusion Is?

I wrote this little snippet of an article because I wanted you to know what the new icons are, below each of the posts on this website. And I wanted you to understand the purpose of the graph and know that its results are tabulated in real time.

At the same time, I read all your comments and I know that the majority of you have websites or blogs of your own. The fact that Google highly regards social signals, even over standard SEO, is not widely known. So I wanted to inform you of that development.

About 25% of the comments that I receive for new posts mention that it is hard to find this website in the SERPS. Many just stumble across it by accident while looking for something else. Yet, I am always working on SEO in order to get this blog ranked higher in the SERPS. I already know that the Home Page text needs to be re-written. I need to get the websites policies in the page footers (a Google requirement). And I need to work on keywords for each page and article; all very time-consuming. I tend to put writing new content for your reading pleasure at a higher priority on my list of things to do. But the SEO work will get done.

Now YOU can move this website higher in the SERP rankings much faster than I can by addressing the SEO nuisances. How? By giving me your opinion of specific articles using the voting buttons at the bottom of each article. And by SHARING! Those actions both produce social signals, Google takes notice. and more visitors come to this site. And finally, Google responds by ranking this website higher in the SERPS, while I’m still twiddling around with other boring SEO tasks.

Interesting concept, huh? My own readers can take my website someplace else while I watch helplessly. The power that only I once held has now been passed to YOU.

Actually, I think that’s great that Google cares more about satisfying visitor’s needs than it does about satisfying the needs of website owners or bloggers. Those that surf the Internet SHOULD have more power to get to the information that they are looking for. And their searches should yield the best information, and not pages of advertising that no one wants to look at. So SHARE!

If you are a website owner or blogger and want to incorporate social signals into your site and boost your traffic and rankings, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Grab LoveClaw now while it’s cheap. It’s in the $35 range. A one-site license was at $25 the last time I looked. I recommend the BETA version which is sometimes called BETA T+. It’s $45 for a lifetime, multi-site license. What is also attractive about it is that it will be the first version of the plugin to receive new features. And as a BETA user, there will be no cost to you for those features. I know that you see this all the time in ads, but seriously, move quickly. LoveClaw will only be at these prices for a week or less. And then they will increase dramatically. Based on the “webbie” series that Chris Munch is doing now, I’m betting the discount prices will be gone when the “webbies” are done on Thursday April 25th. Just a hunch.

This is not a product review. But I couldn’t just drop the subject and leave you in the dark when the whole concept of social signals  starts to ring true in your mind. To find LoveClaw, just click on any one of the LoveClaw links in this post. And no, I do NOT receive any compensation for promoting LoveClaw or Chris Munch.

And I forgot to mention that when you click on any of the voting icons at the bottom of each post, you can share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Stumbleupon. Stumbleupon doesn’t work yet. Evidently, there is a weird requirement at Stumbleupon where  the page that you are sharing has to exist on Stumbleupon before you can share it to Stumbleupon. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I already publish to Facebook and I will be publishing to Stumbleupon also.

67

The Money Tree Method

Background

Most of you already know that I dabble or have dabbled in various entrepreneurial pursuits on-line over the last three years. My current interests in the world of Internet marketing are CPA marketing and media buys. But this Money Tree Method sounds interesting. And it’s right up my alley. In a nutshell, you identify a problem that people are having, research a solution, and then present the problem and solution in an on-line course or special weblog series.

I can tell from all of your comments, which I faithfully read every day, that most of you also have entrepreneurial interests. Once you learn how to leverage your course offerings and student interests into other learning opportunities, your business income will grow exponentially; a virtual “money tree“.

Like most online entrepreneurs, I floundered for over two years while trying various strategies, attending “webbies”, sitting in on workshops, and then I got a bad case of “shiny object syndrome”. I assume that you know what that is. It’s a common disease amongst newbies that drives them to waste insane amounts of money on that next best strategy, only to meet with failure once again. And like the majority of Internet marketers (IM), I wasted a lot of money, a lot of time, and I never made one thin dime online.

However, this experience taught me a lot about what I should have done and what I didn’t do. I picked up many “golden nuggets” along my bumpy path and I’d like to pass that learning onto you in hopes that you can avoid many of my mistakes. My mentors and coaches over the years have been many; Mike Filsaime, Brendon Burchard,  Alex Jeffries, Rich Schefrens, Russ Rufinno, Russel Bronson, just to name a few. They all taught me most of the following . And the rest was learned through trial and error as well as personal experience.

Internet Marketing Tactics that Work

It’s hard to earn a passive income via IM and it gets harder every year. Google doesn’t make that task any easier. For example, I hope that all you entrepreneurs are aware of Google’s latest priority. If you are spending your time on SEO acquiring backlinks and doing keyword research, you are wasting your time. Google’s priority for website rankings is now “social signals”. That means shares and likes on your pages. The more your readers are sharing interesting posts and Liking them using the Facebook Like button, the more Google will pay attention to your website. They want to see users who are engaged with the content on your website. They even pay attention to how much time users spend on your pages. A quick visit counts for nothing. Fifteen to twenty minutes to consume content counts for a lot of social signals. This is new and trending. So if you need to know more in order to bring your site up to snuff, Google “SEO social signals” and you’ll get more SERPS th