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A news refresher

Are you informed?

And if you believe so, who delivered your news?

How well do you know them and how they make their living? (Hint: someone paid them.)

These are just a few question to ask before you read one more article in a newspaper, blog or watch one more pundit on TV, Youtube or your Snapchat Discovery.

Even more important, find out before you share any of it with others.

How do we find the answers? It is easy. For years sites like Journalism.org has worked to keep a very thorough list of media ownership and practices. Digest it. Look up your local paper. Find out.
Here is their latest summary: http://www.journalism.org/2015/04/29/state-of-the-news-media-2015/ .

For a deeper look, I try to keep this post updated every quarter.

-All the news that’s tailored to read

Jab It! A Review of JJJRH

I actually did say that (Jab It) to a friend recently who is building his online presence and engaging his growing tribe. Those who have read Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It will be very familiar with his iconic words used to remind his audience to throw their best effort in building a business, brand and influence. In other words, Crush It.

In Gary’s new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (JJJRH), he has the voice of someone who has been through the startup phase, the middle of tasted success and is now on the top with a hand down to those who follow in his incredible path. In Crush It, he came at the reader with a fervor and near maniacal energy of a man on a rant. (he actually dictated the whole book!)  In JJJRH Gary has slowed down to an even pace of someone who has made many right moves but also plenty of mistakes. There is a humbleness and seasoned approach here that stands out. That is truly new. And if you have ever watched his Wine TV, you know the man has plenty to say and the energy to sustain it. And please don’t read that wrong. I attribute Crush It to being one of the main forces that got this blog through 5 years and over 200 hundred posts. It was an incredible manifesto. I have referred back to it many times.

gvpromo2013JJRH is a brilliant look at not only the uniqueness of social media and its growth to becoming a standard for any brand, but also in Gary’s call for the reader to never get too settled on any method or assumption when it comes to an audience or a tribe.

The first section dives into how JJJRH is a compilation of all things good in his first two books, Crush It and The Thank You Economy as well as new insights, mainly on how to not just survive but thrive on the leading edge of an ever changing horizon of social engagement.  For me being able to immediately apply something I gained from a book is one of the best signs of value.

I lead a team of relationship ninjas at Saddleback Leather Company. In the past year we have branched out into new social platforms. We already knew that each one needed to be approached carefully with sensitivity to how the people on those platforms speak, share and operate. Gary’s guidance on how to do that well is first class. The meat of the book dives into the biggies with dedicated chapters for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. There are also forward looking treatments on emerging networks as well.

A good look at JJJRH means you will have everything to plan your next move. I highly recommend it to CEOs and those in the social trenches.

Reading Shakespeare And Being Nobler In The Mind

hamletThis year I celebrate my third involvement for the Blogging Shakespeare ’s Happy Birthday Shakespeare Celebration. As usual, part of that is filming myself reading one line of one of the Bard’s works (see video below).

This year it was from Hamlet and that incredible monologue beginning with one of the most famous lines of English, “To be, or not to be.”  I was thrilled to have the very next part: “whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. As I practiced I took the opportunity to go back and read the whole section. I had just left a retreat where I had spoken on deep subjects. One of them was on soberness. Not the kind of sober that is associated with drunkenness, although that of course does dull the mind, but the type that keeps us in that place of right perspective and judgement of ourselves.  You see, I was speaking about topics like, posing, being the true person you are, your place and calling in life, as well as hearing God and following the divine call.  Those might be a bit foreign to some of my readers. Stick with me here. You see, when we look at our lives with sober judgement, we can often find plenty that we are not happy about. We also may find delight.

That is why I thoroughly love Shakespeare’s work. There is something in those words, and the whole section of Hamlet’s speech, that is so full of soberness. He really was in a dire situation.

Yes you can take his words as depressing, but really there is the ups and downs of a grand assessment as he contemplates his own mortality.

But it isn’t all about the sadder themes alone.. Think of the delightful moments in the romances and comedies. There too while one might argue that it is a case of being drunk with happiness, laughter and love, I say that that is often some of the best soberness of all. To live is to both hurt as well as love. All of life’s moments in their varying degrees of emotion are invitations to feel fully alive.

When I want to reflect on my own experience, when I have lost touch with my own heart, I go to Shakespeare’s works both old and new adaptations, to feel once again. And to that I say thank you William Shakespeare and happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Shakespeare 2013 from Misfit, Inc. on Vimeo.

Margin To Connect

marginJust think of your day, week, or year as a piece of classic ruled notebook paper. All the space in the middle is where we fill up with as much content as we can. But the margins are the areas that are mainly left blank. In school this is where we received back comments from our teachers. If you are like me it is the place in book where I leave notes about a great passage or a quote I want to use later. The point is that there is space…..for more. For more thoughts, dreams, corrections and….in life time for friends.

This week I had lunch with an old friend from my early college days. Mike was one of my pack and we shared so many great adventures, challenges and formative experiences. But like so many people in our lives we lost track of each other until a mutual friend, Matt Singley, brought us back onto each others radar.

Over our lunch Mike wanted to know more about my digital shabbats or what I refer to now as my online fasts. (You can read about those here) Where the conversation quickly went to was margins. Mainly that none of us have any left. We both realized that if there was space we quickly filled it up with busyness instead of deeper things like quality time with friends and family. As I have travelled around the world I have noticed that in the US we lack any significant relationship time. There are no after lunch siestas or 5 hour dinners starting at 9 pm.

What I think suffers most in our lack of margin is our connections to each other. And I am not saying that mainly because we don’t have time for connections. We suffer most because we lose ourselves in our busy lives. We lose what Seth Godin calls “wall time”. We lose quiet moments with our maker. We begin to blend with everything around us and find at the end of the day that we have no grounding and little identity left. And from that we don’t connect with each other because we are lost ourselves.

About a year ago my wife Kristine told me she wanted to start getting up at 4am. I told her she was crazy. But I decided to try getting up with her. Now it is a habit. We rise at 4 am at least three days a week and around 5 to 5:30 on the days we don’t work out. I accidentally found a huge margin in my life. Instead of filling it up with more busyness I decided to read, pray and enjoy the very quiet hours of the early morning. If my day gets crazy I am not as stressed because I already have a reserve from every morning. And around 9pm I am too tired to stress about the day. All I want to do is be asleep.

I am currently reading Andy Traub’s book Early to Rise with a client. She wanted to start getting up early after hearing about my experiences, and asked “how do I do that too”. I had to answer, “I have no idea”, but Andy does. As I have been reading the book, a chapter a day for a week, I have noticed that it is mainly about disrupting many bad habits like going to bed late and choosing new healthy ones. One benefit is that I have found that I have a significant amount of time everyday for margin.

Do you have any margin in your life? If you had some who would you mindfully connect or reconnect with? Here is a challenge. The next time an old friend comes to mind, go one step beyond thinking about the good ole days and call them up. Invite them to coffee or lunch. Reconnect. And if you are finding yourself never having much to say in a conversation, then take a close look at your life. You may need some margin.

Busy with my own world domination

This weekend I kept seeing friends post from Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit here in Portland. While I felt a bit regretful for not going I had to remind myself that I really did not have the time or space right now. I am busy executing my own world changing plans as well as making new ones.  I really enjoyed seeing some of the biggest change agents today that I personally know tell their stories. What excites me the most is hearing some for probably the first time decide to step out of their comfort zones and make their own world changing plans.

So here is a shout out to good friends already out there and an even bigger one to the friends just showing up on the scene. Go make it happen. Find someone who will disrupt you daily and keep you on track. I have only come this far because of friends like that.

And if you have not read Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity, I highly recommend it. It made me mad the first time I read it, mainly because it exposed dreams I did not feel were possible. I am now doing those exact things.

Here is C.C. Chapman’s Flickr Slideshow I have been enjoying as the weekend rolled by.

 

Chattering?

The first thing I read this morning was “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 10:8 NIV). Then I went to Facebook and read a quote posted by my friend David Schroeder, “Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”-Mark Twain. So, I decided to take pause and reserve all the things I had to say…. and say them another day.

Dailies, Flipboard, Alltop…: consumption vs engagement

I have written a couple times about the usefulness of tools like Paper.li, Flipboard and Alltop. They help me stay engaged and informed. (You can read about this process here. I update the blog post as the way I get my news changes.) When Flipboad came out for the iPad, I added my favorite public lists to it and used it for a while. I used Alltop to get my news. I don’t anymore. Now I only use my Facebook friends updates and four lists on Twitter. As you can see, this is a process. And like any process, there will be bumps and misfires along the way to finding something that works well.

I believe we need two things to be successful today. We……

The role of your tribe

We all lead a tribe. We have communities who look to us to guide them, such as: your family, small church group, employees, co-workers, customers, bridge club, and neighborhood watch. The list goes on and on. Some are small and some big. What we don’t often talk about is the role they play.

You have decided what nascent group to lead, gathered them together, and created something for them to go crazy about. Now the work really begins. Give them ways to share, connect, engage, hang out, play, take part in and create …….

Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness Delivers

A few months back I received an advanced copy of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness. I try to only read books that come highly recommended by someone I trust or ones written by individuals I respect in the business world. There are just too many books being written to try and wade through the junk to find the gold.

Chatting with Hemingway in your study..?

A few years ago authors never would have dreamed of interacting with readers outside of book tours, signings and readings. Now authors and readers are communicating via many formats.

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