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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Time to Get a Little Emotional!

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Have you ever met a an ambivalent success story? Have you ever admired someone or aspired to to achieve their state of nonchalance?

The polar opposite of indifference is obsession. Is this a more favorable disposition? if someone described you as pathologically compulsive, would you feel flattered?

Somewhere between these two states lies our default zone, and as a direct consequence, our capacity to shape our destiny.

Ambivalent people are mostly bit players, and extras in the comedy of life. Life indeed, is something that happens to them, rather than something they direct. Motivation is the fuel that allows one person to run through a brick wall in the pursuit of a goal, indifference provides barely enough fuel to get out of bed.

On the continuum of emotions from indifference up to obsession there are a myriad of complex stimulators and inhibitors that aid or hinder our quests. The problem with obsession is that the narrow focus and lack of peripheral insight repels rather than attracts the object of the obsession. It is an addictive and often self centered pursuit of self gratification.

If you could choose your emotional state (which of course you can), which emotional state would be most conducive to your pursuit of your dreams, goals and aspirations?

This is a simple scale of emotional states you CAN choose from.

  • Ambivalence/Indifference
  • Wish/Hope
  • Vague Interest.
  • Strong Desire
  • Passion
  • Obsession

Very few changes in the conditions of our life will ever occur, unless we can find the inspiration and hot button to move us into the state between Strong Desire and Passion. That is the zone in which common folks find the energy to accomplish uncommon goals.

Sadly most people live in the zone between Hope and Vague Desire, which provides neither the energy or motivation to set goals, take action and move out of the comfort zone.

All of us have unimaginable potential to achieve great things, but a combination of lack of belief and unempowering mindsets, inhibit our ability to achieve fulfillment.

Try being a tad obsessed about achieving a significant goal this year, and if you lose traction perhaps you'll slip back into the zone labeled passion!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Social and Business Networking Sites-what rocks and what sucks! Top 191 Sites

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Unless you’ve done a Rip Van Winkle and have sleep walked through the last 5 years you’ll be aware that the social and business landscape has evolved, utterly.

The plethora of social networks has compounded rapidly. We are reaching a point, if not of saturation, definitely a stage of potential overload.
There must come a point where hard choices need to be made and energies focused. A few years back, anyone who was cool needed to be a Myspacer- I was never quite cool enough!

Most of the literate global population now has a Facebook account. They may only use it at Christmas or Thanksgiving in order to connect, but it seems almost old fashioned not to at least have an account.
Below is a link to 191 Social and Business Networking sites. If you have the time and energy to engage, you can dive in and network 24 hours a day. Obviously this is not practical. So what is practical?
For a more comprehensive overview of 40 of the more popular networking sites for business entrepreneurs click HERE
As a business networker you need to establish what your primary objective is. Personally I go against the grain somewhat in that I don’t believe that those with the most connections WINS!
Internet Marketers are probably familiar with Frank Kern who I believe is pretty inactive in this arena.
My goal is engagement.  I have lived in big cities, such as London and have felt less connected than in small rural towns. Don’t get me wrong I prefer city life, but massive geographical connectedness does not equate to real engagement.
This is not a pulpit speech about the merits of connections and engagement, but rather to pose the question: Which forums provide the best return of investment, of your time, energy and perhaps money.
I have provided a couple of links to sites that I think do justice to reviewing some of these sites and let you judge where you believe best matches your aspirations.
Below are about a dozen social networks that I have experienced with my brief thoughts. As with all things in life, we all have different expectations and my thoughts will totally contradict many others, but anyway here we go.
lINKEDIN: Content rich dialogue. Can be a bit dry and less social than other networks and seems geared mostly toward business job seekers. Pretty low on the fun scale
MY SPACE: A bit yesterday? this will upset some adherents and it is still a very relevant hub, but the lustre has worn off a bit.
TWITTER: Ubiquitous and almost a compulsory forum for online connections. I particularly like the fact that you can LIST groups that appeal to you and you can really get a feel for what someone’s all about by checking out their tweet History
FACEBOOK:  Doesn’t really require a review, and who doesn’t know about this monster? Some people are becoming concerned with some privacy issues, but is still the Big Daddy of networking
YOUBUZZ: founded my Internet Marketer Darren Gaudry. Geared towards online promoters and fairly easy to navigate, but I disliked the promotion of the dislike icon. It’s a little too easy to attract mean spirited types with an agenda and makes it less social in my mind.
ECADEMY: I joined this Site after having read and reviewed Penny Powers great book on social networking -"know me, like me, follow me". To tap into the real conversation requires a modest investment of $5 per month. The jury is still out on this one. 
There is a bit of a bias toward UK networkers and I found the navigation a bit messy. I did observe though that an article that I submitted to Ezine Articles that had attracted just over 200 views, attained over 500 views on this forum. Some similarities to Linkedin, in look and feel.
SWOM: I did a short review on this monetized networking site awhile back. Personally I gave it the flick quite quickly. I was continually inundated by barely coherent and inane pitches with negligible content value.
YOUTUBE: This is virtually a must for any online business promoter. It is becoming really user friendly and there are so many friendly online forums to assist in educating yourself on its benefits.
AAACHOO:   This promises to be a true monetized social/business-networking site. It is geared heavily towards those with an MLM mindset. (I’m not an MLMer but many of my business colleagues are) Its promoted as a legitimate latest generation network, with a FREE and paid for component and a 3 x 9 matrix. 
After studying the program and talking to those who have been in it for awhile I'd suggest avoid like the plague! The marketing plan with its spillover is misleading and members get no updates other than reminder of recurring fees. All gloss but no substance
 What’s the best? Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it depends on what you are searching for. I’m biased towards those that offer the maximum potential for engagement and would love to delve into many more especially Squidoo and Hub Pages – but you know what? There’s only so many hours in the day and at some point you’ve got to make some decisions and I’d recommend focusing on just 3 or 4, unless you want to outsource. Don’t get me started on what I think about outsourcing on social networks!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Real Secret To Conquering Your Demons Revealed

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Have you ever been frustrated?  Have you ever played that game in your head that starts off with the mindset 'if only..."?  If I could just figure out the secret to generating a tonne of traffic.... If I could just get my Blog readership up to 1000... If I could just find 1great leader for my business...

All great copywriters earn their fortunes by tapping into this need for answers, by alluding to but never actually completely providing the solution, before leading you into an ever more intricate maze of enticing possibility.

Successful Soap opera's rely on hinting  but never revealing any real secrets or answers, without first baiting its audience with an ever bigger and juicy riddle.
A few years ago there was a tipping point in the personal development pop psychology publishing world. The release of Rhonda Byrne's book "The Secret" with more than a little help from Oprah created a feeding frenzy of interest, discussion and almost religious zeal in extolling its message.

There were echoes of the Blair Witch Project. You just had to investigate, what all the fuss was about.

Yep, it was all about the magic of hype and uncovering THE SECRET. Secrets sell.

For those of you that remember the early 80,s "Who Shot JR?" was a cultural phenomenon with no apparent logic.

Which brings me belatedly to my point! Why are we consumers so seduced again and again by the promise of withheld answers, that we are willing to part with much hard earned coin and emotional energy for THE ANSWER?

The success of any soap opera is dependent on the producers never answering a question, without posing at least another even more vexing question.

Weight Loss
2 acquaintances of mine, recently shocked me, with separate stories of how they managed to lose upwards of 40 Kilos!

What was their secret? Well here's the thing, and don't tell anyone in the weight loss industry! It's not the strategy, the pills, the laxatives, the self flagellation. It's not the new Ab Master, Home Gym. The key to their independent success was... Tune in next week, only kidding.

The key to both successes was the strength of their DECISION.

Bob (not real name) made a real decision after a family intervention. No threats or tears simply family concern triggered an emotional response that was life changing.

Rick woke up one morning looked in the mirror and just decided. Personal responsibility and making a real decision triggered actions and motivation never found in a supplement or diet book.

Thirty years ago my father an 80 cigarette a day smoker also made a decision, with no fan fare, to stop smoking. No patch, self talk, nicotine gum, or promises, just a real decision. He never smoked another cigarette.
Real decisions foster immense motivation to act. Rhonda Byrne's book, tells us that we attract into our lives that which we think about. Sorry if I've spoiled the plot. The packaging is so much more enticing than the answer.

What's the slogan? Just do it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Richard Bandler Reveals his NLP secrets - Book Review

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The foundations of the modern Personal Development industry were quarried out of a new world view and away from traditional Freudian analysis.

Through the codifying of behavior to identify what works, why it works, and how it works, a new path was forged with the objective of facilitating change, not by virtue of hours of talk and endless questioning, but instantaneous change born out of simple techniques.

This new direction was manifested in the NLP movement of the late '70's. Change is rarely universally popular, particularly if it confronts the very fabric of a lucrative, if somewhat arcane industry. That industry was traditional psychology.

The first superstar of this movement was uber-celebrity, Coach to the stars, Author, and Seminar leader extraordinaire, Anthony Robbins. Love him or hate him, his impact is powerful and ubiquitous, and he will go down as one of the great salesmen of his generation.

This Review however is not about Mr Robbins, but the rather less known, though hugely respected in his field, Richard Bandler. Bandler co-founded Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with John Grinder and coached the likes of Robbins who then packaged, rebranded and sold it to the world.

GET THE LIFE YOU WANT will be looked on as the bible of NLP. Bandler is an innovator, a doer, a worker bee and queen bee at the same time. He is not however an entertainer. This book strips the mysticism, magic and psycho babble from this oft derided "behavioral technology". Ironically one of his earlier masterpieces was titled the THE STRUCTURE OF MAGIC

There is no strong premise to the book. Rather Bandler ascribes to the Keep It Simple lesson. His assertions are all backed up by practical examples of his methodology and results. The key message is that desired change; change of attitude, elimination of Phobias, eliminating emotional baggage, changing beliefs and overcoming any number of obstacles, does not need to be a gradual process. Change can and should be quick.

He contends that all beliefs, fears, addictions, worries and self doubt are learned, and therefore can be unlearned. The key is to mirror and model the thought processes, breathing patterns, posture, and physiology of those that are better adapted.

Phobias are a mentally created fear and mostly can be eliminated by "noticing" the thought processes that precede the utter fear. The question is asked "how do you get in to that state?" 'what do you think about and focus on to create the fear?" "what is the voice in your head saying preceding this fear?" Now let's look at how non-phobics react in the same situations. Notice what's different and mirror it.

This is a book about the techniques that produce results. Good and bad. Even the cynically minded will feel somewhat seduced by the actual stories of profound success, and the speed of change.

A more diluted presentation of the world of NLP than Anthony Robbins' best seller "UNLIMITED POWER". From the Granddaddy of NLP, this is a remarkably clear introduction, and unadulterated with academic references, as one might have expected from a lifetime scientist. As they say if you only ever read one book on the topic, this is probably it. Big title, little hype. 

More Reviews of inspirational books including those of Friedman, Ferris, Hill, Tracy, Anderson,  Koch, Trump, Alborn and Sharma click below

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do you Remember 1996? OJ, linken Park, Nintendo 64, Bill Clinton....

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Consider this:
Remember 1996. Let me refresh you. That was when the Atlanta Olympics were on. Linken Park were band of the year, OJ Simpson’s first trial, Nintendo 64 released, and Bill Clinton was elected president.

I don’t know about you but that doesn’t seem too long ago.

In 1996 there were less than 20 million people online. Today there are well in excess of a Billion! It is estimated that more than one in five people on the planet is connected. The landscape has changed utterly, and you know what? It’s virtually untapped. It’s like the dawn of the industrial revolution. We’re just stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out what’s happening. 

There has never been a more exciting time for your average person to embrace entrepreneurship. 

The internet has dissolved all the boundaries and obstacles that previously stopped ambition in its tracks.

In the offline world you need a kings ransom to create any reasonable traditional business or franchise. Stock, premises, staff, shipping, accounting, human resources, stationary, signage, and a marketing and advertising budget that would bring tears to your eyes. And all for what?  80 hour weeks, stress, and a scary statistical probability of losing your shirt. Excited?

Sure online business opportunities do not represent a free lunch. There’s no secret formula that allows you to plug in, do nothing and make your fortune. But what you can do is plug into an unbelievable reservoir of mostly free resources, invest some time and energy and a relatively small financial outlay and create an empire, with little risk.

Despite this, most people will sleep walk through this historical period of unlimited opportunity only to awake years later and wonder what happened! hype?

The message is this. Tap in fast. Get involved and evolve with the technology. Those that embrace the medium will attain successes that previous generations could only dream about. For one simple reason. It’s called Leverage. The ability to leverage other peoples’ skills and resources is absolutely phenomenal.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wake up and Smell the Roses-Coffee-Chocolates-The Life Balance Paradox

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Why is it that so many people love Fridays yet don’t like Mondays? This is not a trick question, as the answer perhaps seems obvious.

Many millions of commuters identify the daily grind of competing with the masses as a necessary evil in the pursuit of the wherewithal to pay for life’s bare necessities.

The weekend however provides the opportunity to indulge in social activities. Catching up with friends for drinks, coffee, meals and good banter. Perhaps to pursue hobbies and crafts. Paint landscapes, re-build old cars, write the grand novel go for long treks with loved ones whilst contemplating the marvel of life.

The reality of course is somewhat different. Monday comes around all too quick. The weekend is spent cleaning, gardening, taking kids to sport, paying the bills, catching up on the news and worrying about work.

Is your work complementing your life or getting in the way of family time and meaningful endeavors. Are you energized, enthused, motivated and empowered or stressed, frustrated, constantly tired, and on edge? If so surely there’s got to be another way. Is the alternative to work, the pursuit of a hippy life on some commune?

Millions of people are now searching for alternate solutions to the 40-hour week x 40 years to retirement existence that will be the default life for the masses.

The exciting news is that we currently live in the midst of greater opportunity and accessibility to knowledge than ever before in the history of the human race. There are more choices available regarding how to spend our time and earn a living than we can count.There are people working in their pajamas at home earning more money and spending less time doing it than most of their friends spend just commuting to and from their labour of love

One of the great paradoxes of life, is that so many will spend their precious and finite hours in quiet desperation working to a plan that if successful will not even provide them with their desires.

Life balance is precious. There are alternate ways to live your life.
 Change jobs. Learn a new language. Live abroad for a year. Work from home. Try something new. Just do something different once in awhile! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's The Big Deal About Personal Branding?

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There's a contradiction between what we were taught as kids, that is; to be modest and listen don't speak etc. Well that might work as a parenting strategy but it's the kiss of death in business and even more so if you're building an online business.

Everyday literally thousands of people are starting online ventures. Some will plod along buying E-Books and signing up to countless affiliate programs before eventually sighing and heading back to the relative safety and predictability of the weekly pay. Others will achieve successes beyond their imagination and proceed to live 5 star lives of fun and excitement.

Is there a common denominator between the latter and the former? Invariably both are in the same market place. Presumably both have access to the same information resources ie: Google and yet.....

My firm belief is as follows. It doesn't make any difference what online venture you pursue unless you have a recognizable and accessible Online Brand/Profile.

You might live in a trailer without a pair of shoes to your name, yet have a significant online brand. 

Why is this so important, and consequently be the area where you focus your initial efforts?

Whatever business you join and attempt to pitch to me, it is unlikely I'll join you unless.....I feel like I know and trust you, and feel like you have credibility. What I will do, alas to your misfortune, is Google your opportunity, that you've spent time and money getting in front of me, and possibly join someone else. Ouch!!

That's just not fair, is it? The good news however is that you can position your self on the right side of this equation and reap untold benefits. How?

The Internet is still expanding at a colossal speed and everyday more people are jumping on board, with no idea how to market themselves. This leaves a big gap that you can fill. All you need to do is position yourself as an authority on something and become ubiquitous on the search engines in this niche. 

What happens if I Google your name? Alternatively what happens if I Google your business opportunity name-does your name come up on the same page?

Don't be intimidated by the term 'authority'. In the offline world you may have to acquire a PHD in some obscure field of research to attain this elevated status, followed incidentally with a subsistence income thereafter! Online however the story is different. All you actually need, is to have ACCESS to information and be found.

Your first steps to Branding You Inc!

Establish your Niche area of interest that you wish to monetize.  Garden Gnomes for instance. Do some research, join some forums add some comments and add a link back to your Blog.

Obviously this is a Blog and it's not too flash is it!? But that's OK, simple can be good, AND simple can be achieved by all as well as be found by the search engines. 

If you are an online marketer this point is worth reinforcing -are you so professional looking that it intimidates the life out of a prospect to your business- or are you attracting people who look at you and figure 'yes I could do that! It's a fine line. In other words can the masses duplicate you?

Anyway back to the search engines and your 'visibility'. So what? 

What visibility means, is that if I type in Garden Gnomes I need to see YOU on page 1. If that's my area of interest.  I'll click on your Blog and read your stuff. I may Bookmark your site and return periodically. One day I may do a Youtube search (now the #2 behind Google) and again I see your name and a 2 minute video you shot in your backyard discussing, you guessed it, Garden Gnomes.

Oh did I mention Facebook? Twitter? Myspace? Ezine Articles? etc Don't be put off. These all have at least one thing in common. They are FREE. Incredibly easy to participate in and contribute to you building your brand. 

On the increasingly tiresome Garden Gnome analogy. You'll find those with similar interests will seek you out and befriend you on these social networks. They will share information and resources and before long your voice will start to rise above the din. 

Then you can venture into creating simple websites.  Not like a few years ago when you had to be a nerd to accomplish web creation. You can even start selling E-Books, created by others simply by linking to other sites with an affiliate tag.

Businesses come and go, but when you get to the point where a couple of dozen then maybe 100+ join your Tribe or Community, they will follow your lead and recommendations as you proceed down different paths and then the whole game and your position in it changes forever..

Hope I haven't rambled on too much. 90% of the content in my Blog is to assist relative newcomers and those who have struggled Online, to assist them get their ventures up and going. 10% is about recommending my particular programs. I want to keep that ratio.

If you'd like to partner up with me now or sometime in the future that's great but if not I welcome you to return for regular content rich resources and worthwhile 'freebies' as I find them.

Any comments are valued and I welcome you to visit me on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube

Cheers Kiaran 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Could've Been a Contender!

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It was one of the truly memorable great quotes, uttered by Marlon Brando over half a century ago.

"You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, Charley, let's face it." Terry Malloy-On the Waterfront (1954)

It resonates, because so many can identify with the plaintive message. We all know people who live in the past and regale us with their stories of what they could’ve done, what they could’ve been, what they could’ve had, if only…

There lies the rub. No one really cares. Lost perceived opportunities exist in the realm of science fiction parallel universes. If you had asked that girl out, if you had got that dream job, if you had given up smoking, if you had started your own business, and any number of alternate choices had been taken, are fodder merely for idle day dreaming and the sustenance of frustration.

The only thing that will ever impact our current reality is that which we actually do in the moment.

We can all be contenders. There is however one very significant hurdle to be cleared, one that very few people will ever scale. Virtually every conceivable and measurable achievement we ever attain will be defined by the limits of our comfort zone.

If ever there was a mislabeled term or misnomer, it has to be ‘the comfort zone’

The gap between our potential fulfillment and the reality of our experience is mostly a factor of fear. Not only fear, but more accurately, perceived fear.
Fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of intimacy, fear of success, and fear of any number of illusory shadows in the dark, that are in fact rarely based on actual evidentiary fact.

The ability to extend our comfort zone, will, more than just about any other activity, redefine our future achievements.

Imagine, if you had a momentary insight in to that parallel universe in which you lived the alternate life you were capable of living. Imagine glimpsing the person you could be. Successful, happy, respected by your peers, with an awesome family life, healthy, wealthy and wise.

I would imagine that would be a thoroughly depressing insight to have on your deathbed.

The message therefore is as follows: expand your comfort zone, even incrementally, on a daily basis. Take little risks. Ask for a pay rise. Ask your next-door neighbor, the supermodel, out for coffee. Set some real tangible hardcore goals for yourself that you want to achieve in the next 12 months, and start acting ‘as if’ you can’t fail.

You are a contender, every instant of your life, and the shackles around your neck are imaginary, as is the comfort zone that you inhabit.

Just a thought!