Tag Archives: influence

Understanding Your Socical Currency is the Key to Success

 


Understanding Your Socical Currency is the Key to Success

By Gerard Adams @IAMGerardAdams

The way you value people, and the way people value you, isn’t perfectly measurable. However, we can see trends that occur between different types of people.

Many entrepreneurs, including myself, believe that the people we spend the most time around will dictate who we are as people. It was perhaps best described by entrepreneur Jim Rohn, who stated that we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. While the math may not be perfect, the idea is pretty clear. We pick up the habits, thoughts and actions of those we spend time with. If we surround ourselves with hard workers, we tend to pick up their hard-working ethic.

Conversely, the people we spend the most time with are picking up habits from us. If we are hard workers, people will naturally want to keep us close. The closer you look, the more you’ll see that you’re picking up the habits of those close to you — and they’re picking up yours.

While we may not be the average of just five people, we are an average of our circle of influence. The more successful people we know, the more likely we are to be successful ourselves. I like to measure the value of people within your circle of influence with something I call social currency. Social currency is your value, and it can mean everything if you’re striving to be an entrepreneur.

Social currency isn’t a label that says one person is better than another. Instead, it represents your value to the world. By developing your social currency, you can move closer to living the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Developing your brand.

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of branding. But we can brand much more than a business or an idea. Everybody is their own brand, and they’re trying to sell themselves to other people. We tend to attract certain types of people based on our brand, and we can influence our own value to others by the way we brand ourselves.

There are plenty of ways to develop your brand, but the easiest might be by changing your circle of influence. This can develop your brand in three separate ways.

The first is based on how you interact with others. As you surround yourself with people who live the entrepreneurial lifestyle, you’ll begin to get associated with certain people, projects, ideas, etc. If people know you’re spending time with successful entrepreneurs, it will gradually change the way they view your personal brand.

The second is based on your subconscious development. The more time you spend around entrepreneurs, the more likely you are to pick up on the subtleties that make them unique. You will then tend to act similarly, and this will help fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. Others will see this, and it will be represented in the way you brand yourself.

The third is through content, an idea that I’ll explain more in-depth at a later time.

Your circle of influence.

Your circle of influence is going to be the best way to increase your social currency. The better the quality of your circle of influence, the more social currency you’ll command.

When you think about your circle of influence, who is in it and what you want it to look like, remember that there’s more to a circle of influence than other people. You’ll be responsible for creating a strong circle, and people will be hesitant to join your circle of influence if you aren’t holding yourself to high standards.

If you want to expand your circle, expand yourself. Don’t wait to be surrounded by people who will gradually improve you because of association. You have to start somewhere, and you need to do some of it on your own.

Think about what your current value is, and ask yourself this — would you want to keep you close? The entrepreneurial lifestyle doesn’t happen just out of the blue. You need to work hard to get anywhere, even if your circle of influence offers you the connections you need.

Build yourself as an individual. Think about what sets you apart from others, and begin to develop that. Of course, there are plenty of other steps to take after this, but this is the first step if you plan on getting anywhere as an entrepreneur.

The next step.

Social currency is an idea that doesn’t start and end with your circle of influence. Your social currency is going to be constantly changing, and it requires constant attention if you want to try and maximize your value.

At the same time, your circle of influence isn’t going to be the only way you can change your social currency. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be much bigger than the people you know. Others will want to see what you’ve done, how you sell yourself and what you can do for them before they buy in.

A big factor that determines your social currency is the content you produce. Content can be just about anything, from a business you create to a blog post you write. The better the content you produce, the more people are going to respond to you. This, in my opinion, is the real key to growing your social currency.

Making sure you’re developing the right content to grow your social currency isn’t an easy task. Just like the path to entrepreneurship, it takes hard work, time and dedication. However, those who are able to commit themselves will expand their own value, and they’ll reap the benefits through the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

When Get Becomes a 4-Letter Word

By Jonathan Fields

I’ve been asked the question in a wide array of contexts…

How do I get people to buy my stuff?
How do I get people to open my emails?
How do I get people to join my community?
How do I get people to sign up for my list?
How do I get people to promote my stuff?
How do I get people to take this action?
How do I get people to blah blah blah?

Here’s the thing…

You don’t “get” people to do anything!

The use of the word “get,” and the framing of the question signals a deeper psychology that is rooted in a mindset that elevates taking and control over generosity, delight and value.

When you lead with the word get, you always lose.

Even if you seem to “get” what you want in the short term, the motivation and manipulation behind it will circle back to bite you. Immediately following your “get” will be a wave of buyer’s remorse, followed by feelings of anger and betrayal. This is not how you want to build a living. It is not how you want to build a brand or a career. It is not how you want to build a life. Walking around constantly trying to figure out how to “get” people to do things.

A far better, more sustainable, conscious and elevating approach, one that is steeped in longer-term relationships, generosity and value, is about not “getting” people to do something, but rather creating an experience of such generosity, value and delight that they “yearn” to participate in it. To contribute, to connect, to consume, to share, to stand in the story you’re telling and help bring others into it.

Not because you “got” them to do something, but because you created something so appealing they couldn’t not do it.

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So, when you’re writing copy for launches, subject lines for emails, brand stories for products, services and companies and descriptions for offerings…

When you’re crafting positioning, marketing, advertising and sales. When you’re developing values, missions, visions, structures and process…

Take the word “get” off the table and lead, instead, with “give, delight, invite.”

By the way, part of the reason it’s fresh in my mind is because I realized that a small, but alarming bit of “get mentality” had found its way into my own creation and marketing efforts. When you’re creating vast amounts of language, launching new things and making decisions under unforgivable time-constraints, that tends to be when the siren taunt of “get” most easily lures you in.

It’s easier to yield to the pull of smallness when you’re in the distorting heat of the cauldron.

When everything’s on the line.

But, that’s also the moment it’s most critical to hold fast to your values. Because, the pressure of any given situation may not be optional. But, whether it deepens or dissolves your commitment to integrity, that’s where the work lies.

I just keep reminding myself, in business and life, in the way I contribute to the world, I want to live from a place of generosity and grace, not grasping and greed.

That’s my work. Our work. The work.

I hope you’ll join me.

About the Author: Jonathan Fields is a dad, husband, author, speaker, A-list blogger and serial wellness-industry entrepreneur. Fields writes about entrepreneurship and creativity at www.JonathanFields.com and interviews emerging world-shakers at www.GoodLifeProject.com. His latest book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, was named the #1 personal development book of 2011 by 800-CEO-Read.

How to Turn Procrastination into Productivity

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” ― Mark Twain

How to Turn Procrastination into Productivity

By James Altucher

When I publish this, many people will respond, “I’ll read it… later,” or some variation of that.

First, that’s a funny joke. I get it.

Second, while I was writing this, I procrastinated pretty heavily. No surprise.

And what’s even better, I employed almost all of the techniques below to get over the procrastination. In fact, one of the techniques I mention below is to start in the middle.

It’s worth mentioning then, that the words I am writing now I am writing after finishing the article.

So here are the 11 ways to make your life more productive via procrastination.

1. Make a list (AKA, Plan B).

Make a list right now of 10 things you can do that will make you feel “productive.”

When you’re procrastinating, go down the list and do the tiniest thing you can do for each item on the list.

For instance, if I am procrastinating writing on a book I can take a break and start sending emails to potential podcast guests.

I procrastinated on writing this post. I even responded to emails from six months ago (that I procrastinated on responding to then).

The respondents appreciated it and I kept those business connections alive.

It doesn’t even have to be something related to “business productivity.” I can exercise, for instance. That will improve my ability to focus better in the long run.

2. Play.

Whenever I’ve been deeply unhappy in my life, I play games.

Games are actually good for you. They make you strive to improve. They improve various brain functions (spatial reasoning, problem solving, etc). They improve your ability to deal with failure (since often you will lose) and learn from your mistakes (if you study what you did wrong in lost games).

But games can also be escapist.

I was afraid to get married in my first marriage. I was scared I was too young. Twenty minutes before I was supposed to be at my own wedding, I was at my office playing one-minute chess against the Swiss Chess Champion. I figured, “I can’t stop doing this. I’m winning!”

That was bad.

Escapist gaming is no good. Try to do productive gaming instead. As long as I focus on improvement, it will make me better able to focus on the task at hand. I try to play in some way. I recommend Charlie Hoehn’s book on play (Play it Away), to see how he used it to decrease his anxiety and become more productive.

3. Experiment.

Everywhere I look I’m reminded of the importance of this.

A great example is Chris Rock. He goes on stage, does his act, and everyone laughs. Again and again.

But that’s not how he starts. He goes to “The Laugh Factory” in my hometown of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and takes some crumpled notes and just starts reading them out loud in his regular voice.

If people laugh at a joke, he knows he has something that can be developed. If people don’t laugh, he throws that joke away.

He experiments with thousands of jokes before he has an hour of material he can use on an HBO special.

If I am working on a project that is stagnating, I try to back up one step, try a different direction — experiment to see if this excites me more.

When I first started a company, we weren’t sure the best way to make money. So we experimented. We made software to see who would buy it (nobody). We started a record label (we almost signed one act and then they disappeared). We thought about starting a database for people in the entertainment industry (then IMDB came along).

We thought about making an automatic website developer but it was a lot of work (think WordPress). We even thought about making a tea company but we knew nothing about distribution.

But it wasn’t bad to experiment. Learning about each of these businesses gave me useful information.

Ten years later the lessons learned from how to start a tea company were useful in making a fund of hedge funds (you send out your tea/money to distributors/other funds and once a month you collect information from everyone and compile the data. Similar risks occur in each business.)

The ways we explored making money on the Internet in 1996 helped in 2009 to figure out what were the best things to invest in with the sharp rise of social media.

And even experimenting with a record label enabled us to land the job of doing the websites for many record labels (Loud, Bad Boy, Interscope, Jive, etc).

When I am less productive with writing, I try to experiment with the form a bit more. Or be creative in some other way.

While I was procrastinating on this article I wrote the first and second draft on a children’s book, an experiment I have never done before.

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4. Consider that smaller is better.

When I am procrastinating on a book I take a step back and stop thinking about the whole book. I just try to outline what I want to accomplish with the exact page I’m working on.

The process is:

  1. Find a smaller task within the bigger task;

  2. outline it;

  3. set a mini-deadline for doing it;

  4. drink coffee;

  5. do.

When writing this I worried whether or not I really had ten things. Finally I said, “do one thing.” And BAM!

5. Don’t allow anxiety to take over.

It’s important to remember: anxiety will never solve tomorrow’s problems and will only steal away energy from today.

6. Surprise yourself.

If something is not interesting to me, I have a hard time finishing it. So I try and surprise myself.

If it’s a writing project I try to think of the most outrageous thing that has happened to me recently and put it down on the page. And when I put it down on the page I try to start with a word that is a surprise to me.

If you can surprise yourself, it’s a guarantee everyone else will be surprised — hopefully in a good way.

7. Start in the middle.

Starting a new project is often the hardest part.

Start in the middle so you don’t have to worry about the “official” start.

This reminds me of a Neil Gaiman graphic novel, “Black Orchid.” There’s a superhero, the Black Orchid, which “stars” in the comic book. BUT, right in the first few pages she is shot and killed.

What a genius thing. To create a pseudo-climax right in the first few pages. It’s almost like he started at the end.

I started this post with the list. Then I will go back and write the beginning.

And, by the way, the last line I wrote in this post was this one.

8. End in the middle.

Ernest Hemingway would anticipate his own procrastination when writing.

He would sometimes end a writing session while in the middle of a sentence, or paragraph. Then he would be more excited (and be more aware) of starting up again when he came back.

For instance, if you are a programmer, end right in the middle of an “If” statement before putting in the “Then” part.

9. Redefine the project.

This is similar to the breaking it down into smaller chunks, except… actually change the project so it is smaller.

When I was building the website, Stockpickr, which I eventually sold for significant money to thestreet.com, I launched with only a few features.

I had planned for many more. But it feels good to “launch,” and I wanted that good feeling.

The same thing can happen now with other types of projects. For instance — books. The definition of a “book” used to be mandated by the big publishers and big bookstores, i.e. 200-250 pages and 60,000 – 70,000 words.

Now this is out the window. Amazon and the rise of self-publishing have thrown out the definition of what a book is. I was just looking in the Entrepreneurship category where my 270-page book, “Choose Yourself” is #2. I sweated over that book for years.

At #1 is a 24-page book probably written in a week. Power to him. He had a solid idea, he wrote it up, he published it, and now it’s #1 in the category. A person can do that every month and write 12 books in a year and make a living that way.

Another time I was moving into a house I had bought (the last one I will ever buy and has long since been sold).

The construction workers wanted six more months to work on it. I said, “no” and moved right in. They felt so awkward with me right there that they finished up in a week.

Launch first, then finish.

10. Read.

I often get inspiration in the middle of writing by reading.

I’ll go back and forth between inspirational, informative, or well-written books. One will inspire me back to what I’m doing.

I can never underestimate the ability to absorb someone else’s life by reading about it. I’m a vampire sucking out their knowledge and making my brain more powerful.

11. Give up.

Not every project is meant to be finished.

You might be procrastinating because your body and mind might know that the project is simply no good but they have neglected to tell you that yet.

One time I started a company, built a site, and raised $500,000 for it. But it was a bad idea. I woke up the day after raising the money and I was shaking. I literally didn’t want to get out of bed and start to work on the site.

All I kept thinking was, “this is a bad idea and a year from now I’m going to have to explain where all the money went to all of the investors.”

So I ate the cost I had already put into building the website, I wired back all of the money, and shut down the business.

There’s a cognitive bias called “The Sunken Cost Fallacy” that applies to procrastination.

When we put time (or money) into something, our brains feel like, “Now I have to finish this.”

But it’s just not true. We don’t have to finish anything.

Often it’s good to take a step back and wait a long time (months or years), or simply give up.

It’s always good to have about five projects (no more and no less) going on at the same time. This gives you constant fuel as you go back and forth. You won’t create your way into a hole with just one project and you won’t feel overwhelmed with too many.

“Giving up” is often the most productive and efficient thing we can do to move onto the things that are more rewarding in the short amount of time we have.

I procrastinate on everything. On all 18 of my books. On all 20 of the businesses I’ve started.

In fact, this post is the result of procrastination on another post I’m writing on FAQ on quitting your job.

This post was my “Plan B.”

Sometimes I procrastinate calling people back and then I end up feeling guilty and never calling them back.

And there are things I am mid-procrastination on right now that I might never finish.

Who cares?

When I die those projects will remain unfinished forever.

But when I die my kids and loved ones will be crying for other reasons.

Or not.

About the Author: James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, angel investor, chess masterand prolific writer. He has started and run more than 20 companies and is currently invested in over 30. His writing has appeared in major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer,Tech Crunch, The Financial Times, Yahoo Finance and others. He’s followed up his WSJ Bestselling book Choose Yourself with the Rich Employee to share daily practices that can lead you to be rich, without quitting your job. It’s available on Amazon for only $0.99.

HOW TO LIVE THE GOOD LIFE

How to Live the Good Life

By Alex Green

What does it mean to live a good life? What is true happiness? How much is enough? And how should you spend the time you have remaining?

Aristotle asked these important questions more than 2,000 years ago. And he called the answer the golden mean.

Aristotle (384 B.C. — 322 B.C.) was a student of Plato and tutor to Alexander the Great. He taught logic, rhetoric, metaphysics, poetry, music and ethics. He introduced the structure of logical thought that laid the groundwork for empirical science. And his writings became the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy.

Yes, the world today doesn’t look much like ancient Greece. But people themselves haven’t changed a whit. Then, as now, the conventional view was that a “successful” life is about career advancement, power, prestige, material goods, sensual pleasure and social approval.

Aristotle rejected this line of thinking — and devoted his life to exploring the best way for human beings to live.


He insisted that genuine happiness is not about fulfilling our wants and needs. (Even animals do that.) For reasoning, morally aware beings like ourselves, happiness is the result of something that sounds old-fashioned, even quaint: virtue.

Only the virtuous life, Aristotle insisted, leads to real satisfaction.

Where can virtue be found? In the middle, he said, between the extremes of excess and deficiency. He gave plenty of examples:

In almost every area of our lives, the disproportion is the thief of real happiness. Even positive things — wealth, love, exercise — pursued immoderately, can become a source of misery. The trick is to find the right balance.

I learned years ago that this “middle road” leads to success in the investment arena, too. For example, many investors are so risk-averse they find themselves in ultra-low-yielding investments that make it impossible to reach their financial goals or beat inflation. Others roll the dice and lose their shirts in options, futures, penny stocks, and other speculative vehicles. The solution is not to fear risk — or ignore it — but rather to embrace and intelligently manage it.

Always look for that golden mean, the middle ground between too much and too little. This is what leads to real satisfaction and contentment, to what Aristotle called eudaimonia.

Recognizing these virtues is one thing, of course. Embodying them is another. “It is no easy task to find the middle,” Aristotle conceded. But if we don’t, we may regret it.

People are often drawn to Aristotle’s ideas in the second half of life. By then, most of us have set aside our youthful fantasies about money and celebrity and are focused instead on knowledge, awareness, companionship, and community. Plus, you’ve gained something you didn’t have before: perspective.

Aristotle’s natural audience is mature, thoughtful people who have a healthy dissatisfaction with their current lives. They want to feel that they are not just living but flourishing.

That requires wisdom. And the highest wisdom, in Aristotle’s view, is to care about the right sorts of things: other people, truth, freedom, justice — and virtue.

To be human is to realize your potential for growth, to develop your higher aspects.

Happiness, Aristotle declared, isn’t something you feel. It’s something you do.

Influence of Entertainment Media Paper

Americans spent great amount of times on media, whether it is sports, music, movies and games. They relax through entertainment medias, their television are getting bigger and better. Social influence of entertainment media is mostly positive than negative.

They love the media culture, they are obsessed with celebrities and enough exposures online anyone can become a celebrity. “Public attitudes toward stars and toward some stars’ extravagant lifestyles were divided, much as they are today: On the one hand, these celebrities were idolized and imitated in popular culture, yet at the same time, they were criticized for representing a threat, on and off-screen, to traditional morals and social order.” (Lule, J. 2012).Some used reality shows to sell their brands, for examples the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and many more.

The culture in America is diverse and at a fast speed. There is radio impact on culture, television, internet and videos games on culture. Producers exposed their artists to different people by created their presentations to attract different cultures. Artists delivered their messages about politics and events of concern via their songs. Some used sexy outfits to get more audiences to pay attention to them, for example, Lady gaga.  Almost all Americans have videos games in their homes, even though they are rated, their children copies the bad behaviors of the characters. Violence is increasing and the blame is gear toward the games with violent and sexually contents. The MPAA set up ratings because of the showing of sex, violence and the popularity of drugs in the scenes.

People complaints about headaches and nausea from wearing 3-D glasses on top of their glasses. Technology pushes the envelopes when it comes to movies and the tickets are more expensive. The special effects are spectacular; take for instance the movie Avatar. Some movies shape the culture beliefs such as Flashdance in 1986; torn t-shirts and leg warmers became fashionable. The social influence of entertainment media is mostly positive, whenever a catastrophic event happens as a hurricane; artists get together for concerts and give the profits to charities. They supported presidential nominees that increase the chance for the nominees to win.

 

References:

Films Media Group (2007). Media culture: America’s obsession. HYPERLINK “http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=39582&loid=60592″From Title: Paris Hilton, Inc.: The Selling of Celebrity.

Films Media Group (1997). Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” HYPERLINK “http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=7967&xtid=8566&loid=36056″From Title: Radio History.

  • Lule, J. (2012). Exploring media and culture. Irvington, NY: Flat World Knowledge, Inc.