In-demand skills for the content revolution

For my 18 year old son Ben embarking on his journey

In today’s digital landscape, platforms like YouTube shorts, TikTok, and Instagram reels offer an incredible opportunity for those who dare to create. It’s time to unleash your creativity and build a devoted following, and procrastination only leads to regret, so start now.

Attention is the currency of the digital world. These platforms provide a stage where educational, enlightening, or entertaining content can shine. The key to gaining attention and followers is consistent posting—multiple times daily, every day.

Are you a consumer or a creator? Be the author, not the passive audience. Sell yourself through remarkable communication, not scripted sales pitches. Combine this with consistency, and success becomes a matter of when not if.

Developing in-demand skills is the pathway to freedom and financial success. Let’s explore these skills:

Creativity: Let your ideas flow without hesitation. Present them in captivating ways that resonate with your audience.

Communication: Share your ideas and experiences authentically. Connect with your audience on a personal level.

Technical Proficiency: Master video editing, audio production, and lightweight graphic design tools like Canva. These skills set you apart.

Marketing and Promotion: Collaborate with fellow creators, engage with your audience through direct messages and comments, and relentlessly promote your content.

Time Management: Effectively manage your time, balancing content creation and audience interaction.

Adaptability: Embrace change and stay sharp by adapting to new platforms, technologies, and trends.

Even if your brand doesn’t take off as expected, your skills open doors as a service provider. Help others build their businesses remotely, leveraging the power of the internet for both income and flexibility.

Remember, these sought-after writing, video production, photography, audio, and marketing skills are valuable assets. You can monetize them by offering your expertise to those who need it.

So, unlock your potential as a content creator. Be educational, enlightening, and entertaining. Take action today, captivate your audience, and seize the endless opportunities in the digital realm. Your journey starts now.

Chip-on-shoulder motivation

Sometimes I put a chip on my shoulder to win.

I adopt an attitude of assertiveness to motivate myself or prove my worth to others. I purposely create a sense of challenge or competition within myself to drive my performance.

In the busy greenhouse shipping season context, I needed to take the lead and stand out in a demanding environment. By putting a “chip on my shoulder,” I get an edge that helps me demonstrate my best skills, exceed expectations, and win over the challenges that come with the season.

Reflecting on this experience, there are a few things I can take away:

Motivation and drive: The fact that I use this strategy during a busy season indicates that I have a strong desire to succeed and perform well. I acknowledge and appreciate my motivation and drive.

Self-imposed pressure: By deliberately adopting an assertive attitude, I notice I place additional pressure on myself to excel. While this can benefit short sprints, it comes with stress and burnout if I hold onto that chip for too long.

Healthy competition: The competitive mindset pushes me to achieve more, but I caution myself to maintain a healthy perspective.

Self-reflection: Consider why I needed to put a chip on my shoulder. Was it due to external expectations or my internal drive? Understanding my underlying motivations can provide valuable insights into my work style and help me balance healthy competition and self-care.

Ultimately, this experience highlights my determination and willingness to push myself. However, finding a sustainable approach that allows me to excel without overwhelming myself or compromising my well-being is crucial, too.

Rise and shine stories

Introducing “Rise and Shine” – the remarkable stories that illuminate the true essence of your business or organization.

One such inspiring tale belongs to Open Roads, a non-profit youth development program dedicated to empowering local youth through bicycles, job skill training, and apprenticeships. Their premiere program, available to students aged 8-16, offers a transformative experience that fosters independence, self-sufficiency, and a healthy lifestyle within a supportive community.

A shining example of the program’s impact is the story of a young participant who, thanks to Open Roads, made life-changing decisions that may have eluded him otherwise. By immersing himself in the program, he discovered newfound confidence, resilience, and a sense of purpose, steering his life towards a brighter future.

These “Rise and Shine” moments not only highlight the profound effects of organizations like Open Roads but also inspire others to embrace opportunities for growth and positive change.

And that speaks to the heart of what marketers who embrace the role of “remarkable communicator” do. They make change with story. Mining out the “Rise and Shine” stories is one way to get started.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a valuable resource or incentive offered by businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers to potential customers in exchange for their contact information, typically their email addresses. It serves as a tool to attract and capture leads, allowing businesses, brands, marketers and influencers to establish a direct line of communication and nurture relationships with potential customers.

The purpose of a lead magnet is twofold:

First, it aims to provide immediate value to the target audience. It offers helpful information, actionable insights, or solutions to problems that align with the audience’s needs and interests. By offering something valuable upfront, businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers demonstrate their expertise and build trust with potential customers.

Secondly, a lead magnet is a gateway to initiate and cultivate a relationship with leads. Once a potential customer provides their contact information to access the lead magnet, businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers can continue engaging with them through email marketing campaigns, newsletters, or personalized offers. This allows for ongoing communication, building awareness, and ultimately guiding leads toward making a purchase or taking a desired action.

Lead magnets come in various formats, such as ebooks, whitepapers, checklists, templates, webinars, free trials, or exclusive discounts. The choice of design depends on the target audience, the nature of the business, and the specific goals of the lead generation strategy.

Overall, a well-crafted lead magnet is a powerful tool for businesses, brands, marketers, and influencers to attract, engage, and convert potential customers, providing value while establishing a foundation for long-term relationships.

I will be creating and sharing the making of a lead magnet here on this blog. Stay tuned.

Dips & Winners

Vince Lombardi built the Green Bay Packers into a five-time NFL championship-winning team and famously commanded, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” This is a famous motivational saying that you’ve likely heard many times.

Seth Godin is a marketing guru, blogger, and bestselling author. I love Godin’s stuff. I recently came across his book, The Dip. In the book, Godin challenges Lombardi’s viewpoint, stating that it is “bad advice.”

Instead, Godin offers an unconventional insight: winners do quit but choose the right moment and place to do so, allowing them to focus on areas where success is more likely.

Godin’s book revolves around the concept of “the dip.”

The dip refers to that critical juncture in any business, project, or task when you must decide to keep going or quit. It’s a decision point where we must choose whether to persist in the hope of overcoming the challenges or abandon the work and move on.

A critical problem, according to Godin, is our failure to recognize when a dip is actually a dead end.

Working through a dip can lead to personal growth, while a dead end is just that—a dead end.

Godin said, “Quitting holds importance because winning matters.” As a self-identified winner, I love that quote.

In relationship to this quote, Godin shares this insight:

“Extraordinary benefits await those who push slightly longer than others, and the gutsy minority who quit early and refocus their efforts on something new also enjoy exceptional benefits.”

In other words, leap smart or hold tight.

This resonates with me because it opposes settling, making do, or coping. His message is clear: persevere through the dip, aiming for greatness, or seek a different path.

“Mr. Inbetween,” as he terms it, represents the most common response to the dip — playing it safe, doing blameless work beyond reproach.

However, we know that coping wastes time and misdirects energy, never leading to exceptional performance or mission-based work.

This book reinforces my thoughts about mediocrity, which is an admitted fear of mine. I don’t mind being in a mediocre place with intentions of working out of it. But to settle into mediocrity is shameful.

Mediocre work rarely results from a lack of talent but rather from being stuck in a cul-de-sac. Coping squanders time and misdirects energy. If coping is your best, quitting is a better option.

And that requires an intelligent exit strategy.

In summary, my big takeaway from the dip book is:

Strategic quitting or persevering through the dip opens doors to exceptional achievements. Avoid settling for mediocrity. Embrace challenges, conquer the dips, and strive for greatness.

This relates to me because we’re faced with this decision at my day job. This relates to me as I look toward growing my freelance writing business.

Are you a Mr. or Mrs. Inbetween? Are you pushing through the dip? A strategic quitter? If we’re doing anything worthwhile, we’re all bound to face it.

Less worrying, more action

I’ve spent the previous seven days sprinting to empty a four-acre greenhouse full of annual flowers. With deadlines hanging over my head and the viability of a business on my shoulders.

Here is the resounding take-away:

Choose action over worry. Over and over again, choose action over worry for each moment during the day. Doing is for daytime hours.

When our small world starts to whirl, and everything feels chaotic, action is the only thing that saves the day. Worry achieves nothing.

Waiting for normalcy is tempting, waiting for easier days is a waist. Time only slips away while we wait. A new normal is constantly arriving before we have adjusted. Time is precious.

If you can cut back on waiting and worrying by 50%, you will notice the possibilities unfold.

Time will pass regardless, so let’s use it wisely. Discover, learn, and transform your perspective with action taking.

It’s simple, but the worrying mind often makes it difficult. Reduce the amount of time spent worrying and increase the amount of time spent taking action. The emphasis is on the action as a useful alternative to worrying.

Curiosity over loneliness

Loneliness rarely visits me because curiosity is my constant companion. The power of curiosity to conquer loneliness is profound, and I’ll explain how.

Firstly, it starts with a simple shift in perspective: be curious.

When your interest in others grows, the world unfurls like a ball of string, tied to a soaring kite. While some avoid people, I embrace them. While some advise against talking to strangers, I find joy in engaging with them.

Secondly, true inquiry demands shedding the weight of others’ opinions. As you release this burden, your mask will fall away, revealing an unfamiliar version of yourself. Embrace the freedom of not caring what others think.

The more you nurture your curiosity, the less alone you will feel. Every genuine question becomes a cause for celebration, transforming the mundane into something captivating.

Thirdly, embrace silence. Sometimes, we need moments devoid of conscious thought, without labeling them as meditation, which has lost its essence through overuse. Silence is a divine space to exist in.

In the stillness, I notice traces of curiosity emerge. At the very least, I can be curious about myself, even if I can’t fully grasp it. Allow yourself to sit in silence, without a whisper, without a care, and simply observe.

Curiosity lies at the heart of authenticity, freeing us from the clutches of loneliness.

When curiosity extends beyond the surface, it delves into the depths of our being.

Personal writing

In my cedar trunk are cherished artifacts from my past: calendars, notebooks, letters, and photographs. I’ve carefully curated them, hoping they’ll be discovered by future adult children, or their children or their children, etc. seeking wisdom, like browsing a website or favorite social media feed. These treasures embody the essence of my life, transcending mere desk-bound tasks.

I write at varying frequencies, driven by the seasons and my preferred platform at the time. I find solace in journaling with a dollar store notebook and a thin-tipped Sharpie, clarifying my thoughts. I sometimes send letters on my Smith-Corona typewriter.

I photograph my children to capture fleeting moments, storing the memories securely in the cloud, and use these pictures as writing prompts.

Ultimately, how I express myself matters little; writing, collecting, or documenting. What’s essential is faithfully recording life’s significant moments. Each entry, like a precious bookmark, holds immeasurable value to me.

To look away from the pack

What would this look like for you?

Alternatively, I could look away from the pack instead of do something similar to everyone else. There’s more room to move. There’s more room for growth. More room to spread my wings. More room for error, too, and that’s part of what is scary because it’s unknown.

For example: SEO company websites look and feel the same. Freelancers, too. Most florists sell exactly the same flowers, maybe wrapped in different paper. The gyms have similar training schedules. Real estate agents run the same mailers.

For most, if the formula looks like it’s working we’re happy to follow it. Of course, follow the well trodden path!

But… if we stick with anything long enough, heading away from the pack could be best because most people don’t take the risk of going where everyone else isn’t.