Tag Archives: Mitch Joel
Jan 2, 2013
My 3 Words for 2013
Wow, it’s 2013. Happy New Year to all! Glad we’re together here instead of being mired in some sort of Jerry Bruckheimer-ish Mayan catastrophe. That was certainly a nail-biter, wasn’t it?
Now, what are we going to do with this 365-day clean slate? Resolutions are usually in order, except that I don’t normally make them. I have resolved to get in better shape ever since the age when that resolution starts making sense (age 24? 25?). Also, I’ve never enjoyed the arbitrary nature of starting really cool initiatives on January 1. If it’s worth doing better, then start doing that thing right now!
In lieu of making New Year’s resolutions, author Chris Brogan chooses three words with which he aims to shape his year. He’s been doing this since 2006. This year, I see people like Mark Schaefer, Jason Konopinski, Justin Levy, Christopher Penn, Mitch Joel and C.C. Chapman choosing their three words, so I decided to give it a try.
Write – This one kicks everything off for me. I am writing a book. Besides getting married and having children, this is probably my life’s most important work. A few months ago I did a Facebook post announcing I had submitted a book proposal to a publisher. It was an exciting post to make, an exciting time for me, and …. I still haven’t heard anything from the publisher. This is something I had better get used to. I’m just going to have to keep plugging away on the deal, but I should not forget that, regardless of whether I get a book deal or not, I have a book to write. I can always self-publish it if every publisher tells me no. Out of 45,000 to 60,000 potential words, I have about 15,000 written. This year, I must write, write, write.
Ship – Part of my problem with writing is that I’m a former CPA. I didn’t gravitate towards a math-laden profession because I’m an awesome writer. Sometimes, the words flow. At other times, great prose escapes my pen, a sort of brain constipation. Seth Godin talks about shipping creativity – watch this David Siteman Garland interview and zero in on the 12:30 mark. Everyone can be creative; everyone has thoughts and great ideas. The trick is to ship that idea – to release it for public consumption and ridicule. Most people do not like to be ridiculed, and because of that, they won’t execute on their best ideas – they won’t deliver. They won’t ship it. I have this really cool book premise (no, it’s not a social media book). I believe very strongly in the idea of civility and happiness in the workplace (and our lives) and want to dedicate a book to it. I’m afraid. I must get over the crippling fear that none of you are going to like it. I must get over the idea that the people I look up to, like the authors I linked to above, are going to laugh at the book’s premise. Truth be told, some will laugh and scoff – that’s just the world we live in. I have to plow ahead and worry about writing the very best book I can, while simultaneously not worrying about what the very worst book review is going to sound like. My creative bent is this book called The Impossible Contract; I must ship this idea.
Bacon – Wait, trust me, it’s not what you think. After 100,000+ tweets and 5 or so bacon-themed t-shirts on my website, I am now known far and wide as a lover of bacon, as the preeminent authority on bacon, as the guy that needs to know when anything bacon-related is going on in the world. Without even really trying, I branded myself as Mr. Bacon, or the Baron of Bacon as Shelley Satke Niemeier donned me. I know the bacon t-shirts helped this self-branding take place. But I had no concerted strategy to be known as the Baron of Bacon. I don’t think I even tweeted about bacon all that often. Again, and I’ve publicly admitted this before, I will sometimes go weeks without consuming bacon. And yet, all of a sudden, people are tweeting me pictures of their bacon Trapper Keepers, bacon toothpaste, bacon cigarettes, bacon shaving cream, and hundreds of other bacony products.
I sometimes question how the hell this happened. It might have been preferable had this been a plan, because I would be able to definitively say it was a smashing success. Go read this article and pay special attention to no. 1. I want to better understand who I am and how people think of me. If I had a better grasp of that, it might allow me to get bigger things done. If I had grasped this bacon phenomenon sooner, I might have jettisoned every non-bacon t-shirt I have on my site and focused only on bacon products. In 2013, I want to better understand what I’m good at, and what I have to offer the world.
Please let me know what your 3 words are in the comments below, or link to a blog post of yours where you offer your three words. And let me know what you think of my choices, as well. Happy New Year.
Jan 26, 2012
Four Great January 2012 Blog Posts to Read
Playing the role of Internet DJ, here are four great blog posts worth reading.
1.) Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says that social media is a bright spot in the challenged world economy. “This is about growth, jobs and empowering people.” App makers, advertisers, small businesses and civic groups are all using Facebook to promote their work and connect with people. And Facebook is the number two driver of web traffic (guess who’s #1).
2.) Author and friend John Morgan offers 10 reasons we won’t support your business. So much of it seems like common sense, but alas, it is not. See numbers 2, 7 and 10.
3.) Mitch Joel is thinking smarter. He asks us to think about where our learning is taking place. The digital generation (which I just barely squeaked into!) is learning on their iPhones and iPads. As Joel writes, “Every day, new content comes online that can and will make you smarter.” For example, if you want to know how to start a t-shirt company, you can ask me “How did you start your t-shirt company?” Or you can thoroughly research the subject via Google and ask me the very specific left-over questions you have. Technology has made it possible to “set your own curriculum,” Joel says. Do that!
4.) Chris Brogan gives a fantastic list: 97 Ideas for Building a Valuable Platform. I read this from a personal branding perspective. Your personal brand is being more heavily weighted by employers every day. There will come a day (we’re close) when CPA firms will hire junior auditors and consider their social graph when doing so. If I’m hiring, I want to know about your valuable platform and how you plan on using it to help me advance my business agenda. It’s less about being a clock-watching cog in the wheel and more about being a team member. For me, this piece is another “Beethoven’s 9th Symphony” post from Brogan. Read it twice.
Sep 7, 2011
Make Social Media Personal, Not Spammy And Icky
May I point out that I love Scotts Turf Builder lawn products? May I also point out that, when you’re doing your all-important “listening” on social media, be sure to get the banana out of your ear. This tweet exchange between Mitch Joel, Scott Stratten, Amber Brooks and Scotts Lawn Care’s social media team is just so wrong.
Amber is referring to Scott Stratten in her tweet but fails to use an apostrophe when she types “Scotts step by step process.” Scotts Turf Builder feels a discussion about lawn care is taking place and jumps in with a toll-free number.
Do better next time!
P.S. Mitch and Scott were tweeting about something rather serious. Please consider buying the book “End Malaria,” where $20 of the $20 purchase price ($25 for paperback) goes to buying malaria nets that save lives.
Rather awesome postscript – the tweet below came through from Scotts the day after. A worthy response by Scotts – well done