Monthly Archives: June 2015

Don’t choose a programmer, choose a team!

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Choosing Programmers is Hard
Many small companies have a huge dilemma choosing programmers. Most programmers are busy and unreliable, especially to new clients. But you need good programmers for your site to function, so what to do? It is a common mistake for a company to choose “a” programming company only to be let down. Smarter companies might test companies or freelancers out before hiring. But, in real life, companies and freelancers get busy, quit, or become incompetent the minute a task gets complicated. You need more than one entity helping you out with your programming no matter how small your operation is.

Hire More Than One
So, the key in hiring programmers seems to be pairing. If you want a programmer who is smart enough to handle difficult tasks, but fast enough to handle quick fixes, you might need more than one person. You could ideally hire a fast programmer who might not be that sophisticated to handle last minute problems, but also hire a more refined programmer with a tighter schedule to handle more critical yet less time sensitive tasks.

Which Programmer; Which Task?
I like to have overseas companies work on less critical tasks as a rule. I’ll often have a company in India working on a new project whose outcome is not tied to my income while my regular programmers work on existing projects. It is good to test programmers out on less critical tasks to see how they do and how fast they finish. Critical tasks should be reserved for programmers who have stood the test of time and who have proven themselves.

Wine Pairing vs. Programmer Pairing
Pairing programmers with different attributes is a great idea. Have fun with it. If you get really bored, think of it as something like wine and food pairing! Pair an advanced programmer with a less experienced programmer. Pair a fast & limited programmer with a slow but good programmer. Pair an overseas programmer with a domestic one. That way you can work at night with the Indian programmer and during the day with the American one. There are many ways to pair programmers, and I strongly suggest having backups for your pair as well. Good luck!

You should give people “x” days to follow you back on Twitter, right?

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There are Twitter experts who have hundreds of thousands of followers who advise others. Should you take advice from these “experts?” Well, they sort of are experts since they have proven their ability to gain followers that engage. However, they don’t know your individual business. Specific knowledge about how to market your particular business is much more valuable than generalized industry knowledge about social media. If the industry standard is that you should tweet at 4pm, but you get better results at 7pm, then post more at 7pm. The key is to know how to do your own analytics and your own quick experiments and get valuable results even if they are not fine-tuned to NASA standards.

How many days do you give?
I was advised to give anywhere from 2-14 days for someone to follow me back on Twitter. Since I am aggressive on Twitter and follow up to 1000 individuals per day, I need to unfollow people so I can follow more people. I don’t have fourteen days for someone to follow me back. What I observed was really interesting. People involved in Marketing follow me back much more quickly on Twitter than those involved in technical trades such as programming, web design, call center, medical billing, etc. I can get excellent results from the Marketing crowd if I give them two or three days. But, the techies need more like three to five days. Of course on Twitter, the law of diminishing marginal return does apply. I tend to get lots of follow backs the first six hours after I follow people. Each hour or day that passes the follow back rate diminishes. It is up to you how to decide how many days to wait!

One trick I use
Rather than unfollow people at the top of my follow list after two or three days, I unfollow the next day in many cases. However, I don’t unfollow from the top. I will scroll 1000 listings down, so I get the folks I followed 48 hours ago and unfollow them if they didn’t follow me back. This technique enables me to follow and unfollow large quantities of people daily which allows me to grow a lot more quickly. You have to have more people following you than you are following to be able to use this technique.

If I follow 8000 and 10000 are following me, then Twitter will allow me to follow up to 10,000 + 10%. So, I’ll follow 1000 per day until I get to 11.000 and then unfollow from 1000 down the list the next day. That way I am always following 2000 new people at any given time.

Jeremy’s 11 tips for better business decision making

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If you read my blog, chances are you are involved in a business of some sort. Unfortunately, most business people get caught up in the daily grind of overworking and have not enough time to make really good decisions. Warren Buffet is much wiser than this and works only 2 hours a day. That way he has plenty of time for last minute meetings, emergencies, and engaging in deeper thought about the decisions that really matter. But, enough about Warren, let’s talk about you. What techniques can you use to make amazing decisions?

Also see:
Bathe & meditate before making business decisions!

(1) Work Less
Most people work too much. As a business person, you make more if you produce more of value. But, a lot of the tasks you engage in are what I call “busy-work.” Many experts recommend finding a way to outsource your busy work to a younger employee or to someone else. That way your time will be freed up for more important tasks and decision making. As a manager or executive, your primary function is as a decision maker or a lead at important meetings and not to do menial tasks.

(2) Sleep More
What? This blog is crazy. What type if idiot is telling me to work less and sleep more? Me! If you are stressed out all the time running around like a rat on a rotary, you will be in a crazy state of mind. If you want to make good decisions you need to be well rested and in good physical shape.

(3) Eat Healthy Food; Diet Matters More Than You Think.
I recommend a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables (I bet you’ve heard that before) and regular exercise. Fruits nourish the body with lots of fiber and vitamins that you need for keeping calm and energetic. Additionally, they don’t have the same level of toxins that meats and processed foods have. Fruits are easy to digest too and easy on the liver and kidneys. Too much meat can make you feel heavy and sluggish! Your carbohydrates are best gotten from brown rice and oats which have many health benefits you can read about on the internet! Vegetables have fiber and minerals which your body desperately needs. Additionally, fresh or open-net salmon is high in omegas which is essential for your eyes and your circulation among other benefits. The details of your diet are up to you, but in most countries, the national diet is very unhealthy!

(4) Brainstorm Before Analyzing
Most bad decisions are made in a hurry. Other times, bad decisions are made with insufficient data. If you are new to making particular types of decisions, you won’t know how much information is necessary to make a good decision, and you will undoubtedly make a bad decision. If you are making a hiring decision, you need to compare dozens of qualified applicants before making up your mind. If you compare only three and pick from them, your pick is not likely to be optimal, and then when they quit you will be high and dry.

(5) Analyze Yourself & Then With Another Business Person
I prefer to think up multiple methods and variations for methods of solving a business problem. After I think of all of those methods, I think them over for myself, taking notes on the benefits and downfalls of each system. I will often talk each idea over with several people who are good business thinkers as well. These talks can take over an hour at times, so be disciplined about this painstaking but critical process. A business process may involve multiple steps. Getting those steps in the correct order may not be easy. You need to figure out what can go wrong if a particular step is in a particular order for example.

(6) Create a Board of Mentors
It is difficult to schedule time with others to compare business ideas. However, the input of others could be quite valuable. If you are making a business decision that could be worth $50,000 in long term extra income, how much time should you put into that decision? In my opinion, a decision of that caliber could take months of refinement and perhaps more than 20 hours. Plan on spending that type of time with your board of handpicked advisors or consultants.

(7) Enjoy Nature
Go hiking, relax at the beach, and enjoy nature in all types of places. Nature is the best place to get your body balanced, get in shape, and reduce your stress. People who are stressed out cannot focus on deeper decision making activities. They will overlook critical factors and impatiently jump to conclusions. In fact, you might be better off having your most serious meetings at the beach after sunset — I kid you not!

(8) Refine your Decisions
In my experience, my best decisions were not made on the first attempt. It took me years to figure out what made my business tick, and even more years to implement optimal policies. Your first big decision on a particular business matter such as hiring, pricing, business process optimization, etc. will most likely be wrong. But, don’t cry! Decision making is hard, and requires refinement. As you gain more information and experience, refinements in your processes, pricing, interviewing and hiring analytics and processes will ensue! Whatever business decision you make, make it with the intention that more brainstorming, more analysis, and more discussions will need to happen on a regular basis until you have gotten things to the point where they don’t seem to be able to get any better!

(9)Use Alcohol With Care
Too much alcohol will dull your thinking. If you are going to make critical decisions, you need a clear head. On the other hand, a glass of red wine every day will relax you, and is considered to be healthy for your heart, reduces stress, and can help you live longer according to some researchers. The right amount and the right type of alcohol makes the difference.

(10) Think Outside the “Box-fice” & Bump Into People More
Most people cannot think outside the box. Your office is like a box and is good for cranking out routine work. However, if you need to think strategically, your office might not be the best place. Many people have their best thoughts while dropping in on a friend, bumping into someone at lunch, or driving on a road near the beach. Google understands this and they engineer their buildings to have more common spaces where people will bump into each other and have stimulating conversations about innovations and other topics. You need to mold your life to integrate this Google concept of bumping into people. Try to have more unpredictable activities, do unusual things, and talk to a wider circle of people about business issues. If you limit the people you talk with to a narrow circle of people, your thoughts and decision making will reflect that narrowness. But, if you expose yourself to new people (preferably thoughtful people,) as well as reading books by great thinkers, your thinking will evolve.

(11) Evolve Your Mind Over Time
Your current mental state might be fine, but to make even better business decisions next year or next week, you need to widen and refine the way you think. Reading books about great business people, widening your social circle, and thinking more deeply and intricately about business decisions will help your brain to become more adept at handling complicated issues. If you make it your life mission to become refined at making great decisions, you will evolve into that state. But, if you are constantly bogged down with busy work, stress, eat improperly and don’t go to the beach enough — you will just be another scatterbrain!

You might also like:

Do you see yourself as an Entrepreneur, or CEO?

A coffee house guy hired by corporate America

How to create a company culture like Google’s

Passive Social Media growth is exciting

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Many of us are very active on social media. It has been my obsession because my SEO power depends on it. Maybe one day if I get a little smarter, people will hire me to be a consultant. I have read many blogs where the “experts” tell us to focus on one social media account and really grow it big. This makes sense. If you have ten little social media accounts, you will publish your article ten times and get hardly any clicks for your labor. But, with one big account, you can publish one post, and get a landslide of activity. This is the reality of my Facebook account. Our best post got us 1000+ clicks, and we get tons of new customers from this network! Lucky me.

I work hard on my Twitter campaign, but it has little to show. However, I just started a Google+ group for my notary directory. We are getting people coming out of the woodwork who already know us, who want to join my network. I don’t have to do much other than to just have a presence with a few posts and I get hundreds of followers.

I’m using the wisdom of Aikido which is a Japanese martial art where you use the force of your opponent against him. It is sort of a Zen principle of sorts. The same can be applied to social media. If you are unique in your industry, just be being present on a particular social channel, people will come looking for you. Let them do the work instead of you.

We started a Linked In campaign a few years ago. We didn’t promote it at all. We just added a link from our home page and we got almost 2000 followers (many are very active too) in a few years. But, we did almost nothing. Now, we are publishing really interesting articles and discussion topics and growing even more.

I’m not encouraging anyone to be lazy, but there are ways to benefit from social media while doing the minimum. These ways should not be overlooked!

Your next amazing business idea might come to you in a dream

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Do you dream much? Do you have a journal to write your dreams down? It’s hard to remember all of your dreams. But, I have a secret. If you regularly write down your dreams and try to reflect on their meaning, you will remember more of your dreams as time goes by. Your brain will develop new channels that pay attention to dreams and their interpretation and you might remember a lot more details the more attention you spend on this art.

Also See: Does your downtime make you a better business person?

The Art of Dream Interpretation
Some people go to experts to interpret dreams. There are dream dictionaries to help you as well. The thing you need to understand about dreams is that their meaning is based on symbol interpretation. A dream about a basement is not really about your basement, but it is likely to be about something in your subconscious. A dream about falling might be about some fear, anxiety or insecurity you are having. Learning a few dozen of the most common dream symbols can help you understand a lot about many of your dreams. Parts of the house, your car, animals, vehicles, foods, and parts of the body are the most common symbols. Many dream symbols can also be interpreted in more than one way, so there is no “correct” interpretation of any particular dream, although some interpretations might make more sense if you compare them to what is going on in your life, or what is going to happen!

Premonitions Come in Dreams
I have many dreams which are premonitions. I generally do not interpret them correctly. But, since I write my dreams down, I see what they meant a few days or weeks afterwards which is very interesting since dream interpretation is a meaningful past time. I once had a dream about an earthquake in China and Greece. In my dreams, China represents technology as many Asians are strong in programming and technical issues. Greece represented the boss of the programming company as he is very philosophical and great at dialogue. A week after I had this dream, my programmer quit. Incidentally, he happened to be Chinese, but that was more of a coincidence. I also have dreams about people from India, and those dreams are more about my spiritual life as spirituality is more centered around India, Tibet and Nepal in today’s world.

Business Ideas Can Also Come in Dreams
I had a dream many years ago where I was given a wonderful business idea. A Rabbi came to me in a dream and told me to meditate on business after midnight every Tuesday night. I started doing this and came up with amazing ideas. Of course the dream didn’t have any specific business ideas, but it gave me a wonderful key to unlocking amazing thoughts from within. I believe that Rabbi was a spirit who knew some of my relatives in a past life and I am very thankful that he came to me out of the blue. I had another dream where my guru appeared next to the home page of my website. The meaning of the dream was that he was helping me on a spiritual level deal with the problems in my business. He has been a great help, and I am slowly solving my worst business problems which have to do with unreliable help!

What About Your Next Business Idea?
The best business ideas often do not happen in the office. They happen when you are driving, daydreaming, swimming, talking with friends, traveling, or even sleeping. So, what is my advice to you? Work less; Sleep more! You’ll be more successful and have better business ideas as a result! And in the mean time, my best suggestion is to go and buy a journal that you use to write down your dreams and deeper thoughts. If you look back on it years later, it will be a meaningful trip down the memory lane of your most philosophical moments!

You might also like:

Think big, but start small in business!

Having a Thai side of your personality helps keep calm in business

The best thing I did as a child was my small business

What is an hour of your time worth?

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If you knew what an hour of your time was worth, you probably wouldn’t be wasting it reading this stupid article. Or maybe you would spend an hour per day reading my brilliant articles. Hmm.

Many of us work for an hourly wage, and others work for their own business where they can calculate their income and divide it by the number of hours they have invested in their income. However, the real value of an hour of your work is more complicated than the immediate result. There are several factors you must consider when making this valuation.

If you are doing some type of work, are you learning from it? Are you learning skills that will affect the long term success and growth of your career? Or, are you just doing mindless tasks over and over the entire hour? If you are paid $15 per hour, but are learning, then the value of your time would be in excess of $15 per hour. Although it is hard to evaluate the exact long term value of the educational benefit, consider how much extra money you will be making twenty years ago if you continue learning and rise in the ranks vs. if you don’t. You might find that the value of your time might be worth more like $40 per hour when learning is factored in. Although the benefit from the learning might roll in slowly over time, the benefit could be worth hundreds of thousands if you continue learning. You can compare that value to what your money would do in the stock market if you took a higher paying job that didn’t include any learning.

I feel that my work time is worth $70 per hour based on what I am making now. Of course if I can learn to be a little more sophisticated, my time might become worth $400 per hour very quickly. I keep telling myself that in order to feel better along with multiple pats on the back. However, if I am doing something that involves stress, it really drains me and affects my mood for days to come. For stressful work, I would not want to do it unless it was worth more like $200 or more per hour as it is so distressing!

Long Term Benefits
If you are building a business and cementing ties with mentors, customers, or building a good system, you might not get paid big bucks right away. But, if you pour your love into that business, and keep it going, eventually your hard work might pay off. It is analogous to planting a tree. You might work for years growing the tree before the fruit comes, but when the fruit comes, your revenue will be generous. Base your hourly value on the harvest which might not come right away. Making this type of valuation has to be adjusted for opportunity costs, risks, and other factors. It is not easy to make long term assessments. However, the mark of a capable business person is exactly his ability to do exactly this!

Multiple Tasks Multiple Values
I do all types of things every day. I try to calculate the value of each task. I learned that each task I do has a vastly different value which is why I cut down on doing certain tasks and increased my time investments in the more valuable tasks. Of course, since I run a business, sometimes the payoff doesn’t come right away, but when it comes, it can be a landslide (which is a good thing unless you live in Malibu.)

The on hold message

Categories: Outsourcing Articles | Leave a comment

What’s your on hold message? How is it helping you?
Don’t let your on hold messages be friendlier than you are.
It’s difficult when you’re competing against an artificial version of you.

(1a) If you make your on hold messages evil, then by the time you pick up the phone they’ll want to marry you compared to what they’ve been enduring on hold.

“Your call isn’t very important to us. We know your time isn’t valuable, so rest assured that someone will be with you with we fricken get around to it.”

We realize that being on hold may be boring. But, I assure you that you’re having a better time than I am. After all, I’m just a dumb machine. Would you like some on hold music, or would you prefer to listen to this rant. Enjoy this on hold message until it repeats endlessly and makes a wormhole in your head.

I know you’re on hold. So, I’m going to talk about the same things I would if I thought I had hung up, but hadn’t.
Hmmm. Is that website still down? Why’s my internet? Oh, that last customer was such an idiot. Oh, and her voice was like fingernails on a blackboard. She sounded eighty years old, and fat. Her husband must have divorced her the minute he married her. I could practically smell her breath over the phone. I really have to pee. (customer’s voice) “So go to the restroom.” Oh, are you still there? Did you hear all that? Oh my God I can’t believe I didn’t hang up? (customer’s voice) “I only heard the part about your homosexual tendencies.” (rep’s voice) “Oh my God, you heard what I was thinking too?” (customer’s voice) “I read minds. But, in your case, I just browsed.” We here at XYZ Outsourcing believe that talking about our personal lives is entertaining for customers. Please don’t let this detract from your perception of our professionalism — or our sexuality.

The world’s longest drum solo would be the worst possible way to torture your clients.

Are you patient with yourself?

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Many of us go through life either slacking off, or being impatient with ourselves. I know people who are supreme slackers half the time and the other half of the time are beating themselves up. There are people who yell in traffic, and scream at their computer. They are never satisfied with how they are doing either. If you run a business, you need a clear head. Sure, you should aim for the sky, but being impatient all the time will just make you a nervous wreck.

The practice of meditation is a great way to become more patient. The results of meditation do not come overnight, so you will have to be patient. Thoughts come into your mind during meditation. Be patient with those thoughts. If you are impatient with yourself, perhaps you are impatient in general. But, it is odd that some people are super patient with some people and extremely impatient with others? Why is this? Ask them and find out!

Being reflective and introspective is another way to get a clear picture of what is going on within yourself. Additionally, you need to take time off regularly to get a mental break. Your brain cannot be on full drive twenty-four hours a day. You will come back with a new perspective if you take breaks of varying lengths. You might need a day off sometimes, or a weekend at the beach to recharge. From time to time a two week break far away will be in order to keep your perspective three dimensional!

To do well in business you need to be patient, calm and calculating. Hard work and skills will help a lot too!

What’s the relationship between workers and their boss?

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Every work relationship is different. But, certain ways of managing relationships work better than others.

I noticed that people in business go out to dinner with each other frequently. This actually improves their business relationship and productivity. It is a proven fact that people who are chummy with each other will treat each other much better in a business relationship.

Office Distance
However, employees tend to be more distant, especially the ones I have dealt with. They rarely want to go out to dinner, especially not with you. They want your money, not your dinner! They don’t want to be your friend. So, how do you handle them?

If you are too distant, they will not do good work for you. They will know you are not watching, and know their work doesn’t matter. If you are overbearing the employees will resent you. If you show favoritism for one person the others will get jealous. So, what do you do?

Office Friendships
If you are friends with your employees, that can turn against you as they will be more able to manipulate you. You will be tempted to talk about private personal things with them that you probably shouldn’t as that can get turned on you as well. The worst situation you can create at work is a romance between people of different levels. Those relationships are usually a powerful older man with a younger beautiful woman. Don’t do this! It can lead to a lot of complications and trouble.

Being in a position to fire someone
You need to always be in a position to fire someone on the spot. People tend to not do very good work these days. If you lack replacements for someone, you are stuck with them long after their work has gone down hill. If you are emotionally attached to someone, if their work goes down hill, you won’t want to fire them which is another handicap. The boss always needs to keep the upper hand, so don’t put any bindings on your hand that will inhibit your power!

As a boss, you need to be there to answer questions, mentor, and encourage. You need to set limits, and be an authority too. Being a nice authority who is caring, but firm seems to me to be the ideal characteristic of a boss if you want to be liked and also get things done. Too nice and the work will suffer, and too mean and you drive people away emotionally. Instead of spending time socializing, spend time mentoring, and teaching people new skills that will give them a future. Many people want a work future, and if they think you can give it to them, they will be more loyal to you which in turn gives you more power! You gain power from helping others and keeping efficiency, not by being people’s friends or being too mean!

The way you keep your relationships with those you do business with is different. If you are on the same level as a supplier, or contractor, you can be friends. In real life, that can work. Just remember that your assessment of their work is business, and friendship is friendship. Don’t let the friendship interfere with your standards for their work. But, you shouldn’t be friends with those in a lower position in your company or in other people’s companies as that tends not to work well. They resent the fact that you are above them, and workers by nature tend to be unfriendly towards management. It is a sad rule of life. But, remember, that life is like a National Geographic documentary. There are rules to the jungle, and you need to obey those rules. By the way, I have to go because a lion is chasing me. I need to remember not to run as that would identify me as prey. Hmmm. I’ll let her sniff my finger instead of running. Bye!

You lose 90% of your blog traffic by requiring membership

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I’ve seen many of my favorite blogs do this. They restrict the quantity of their blog articles you can read without getting a membership. For my absolute favorite marketing blog by Marketingprofs I stooped to the level of letting them have my email address. Yes, this way I can be on their mailing list and yes, Marketingprofs and I have both independently come to the conclusion that an email list is your most potent form of clicks to your blog.

But, how many clicks to your blog do you lose by restricting non-members from reading? You might lose 90% of your repeat traffic and perhaps a lot of retweets on Twitter by making such a restriction. Yes, a serious reader will sign up for your membership. Yes, you will get them on your newsletter which could lead to a long term relationship. But, you also lose many serious readers too. Here’s why. If you have several favorite business blogs, are you really going to sign up for ten different memberships? Most people will choose a handful of memberships for their favorite publications and skip the rest. So, if they like you but don’t love you they might never come to your blog again since you locked them out.

In the long run, I’m not sure how much more you gain by gaining a few emails at the expense of locking many people out. On the other hand, maybe the equation should be more about when you lock people out. If you let people read twenty articles per month instead of five and let them know they can come back next month, you still might be able to get a few emails, but you wouldn’t lose quite so many readers! The goal of catching emails is to have more readers, yet you lose your readers by forcing them to sign up. It is a double edged cyber-sword!

Most likely to succeed; What does that mean?

Categories: Success | Leave a comment

Were you voted most likely to succeed in high school? Or did your friends think you were most likely to fail? The truth is that school is not at all like life. In many ways school doesn’t prepare you for life. The types of things that are important in life are relationships, marriage, being a good parent, work skills, and getting along with those at work, health, spirituality, and enjoying yourself. How many schools teach the principles of child-rearing or how to pick a good spouse? Sex-ed maybe, but not the other useful skills. I always joke that the only useful classes I took in Junior High that gave me information I actually was able to use were typing, and sexual education (scared me more than it taught me, especially when we got to the part about AIDS — yikes.)

I had a friend who did really well at school. He even studied at Harvard extension. But, in life, he couldn’t hold a job. His inability to relate to people and commit to developing a career got in his way. I did particularly poorly at school, but had the passion to start a business and succeed. So, although in high school I was not someone who others thought would succeed, I did anyway!

I think that we need to lead ourselves in many ways as school doesn’t know what we really need. Try to challenge yourself daily to deal with your weak points. What are you worst at that will limit you in your future? Do you think you should work at that? I think you should make a list of things you are bad at or don’t like to do that limit your success and work at those. Are you bad at relating to people? Maybe it is time to start meeting more people. Are you bad at organizing your time? Start working at that — at a time that is convenient for you of course. Are you timid around authorities? Start hanging around with professors, police officers, and others in high places (even if they don’t want you around.) It is hard to know what we need to succeed, but I can guarantee you that school will not furnish you with what you need other than some boring math and history classes. Good luck!

Expand your reading base & your social network

Categories: Of Interest | Tagged | Leave a comment

If you visit the same accounts on social media over and over again and retweet only from those sources, your social media profile will get stale. Your followers want to see new content from new sources. Sure, your old and steady might offer generally interesting and relevant articles, but you need to spice it up a bit. Additionally, if you only read from the same sources, your frame of reference will become very limited.

Challenges to social media diversity
I use many social media channels and have done well on several of my handles. However, the battle has not been easy. My favorite social media channel is Twitter because it offers immediate results and can be grown very quickly if you have the right skills. To get a huge following, you have to follow and unfollow several thousand accounts per week. The problem with this is that your inbox will get filled with junk. There is no way to screen all of the people you follow except by scanning over their profile wording to see if they have any relevant keywords such as “marketing” or a business name (both of which create desirable followers for my main account on Twitter.)

Filtering my inbox
Every day, I spend a minute or two in my Twitter inbox unfollowing people who tweet boring content. I want to see content that I might want to read or retweet, otherwise you get canned! This process doesn’t take that long if you do it daily, but the result is excellent. I am now able to find a high percentage of quality articles and great photos in my inbox, and I get over a hundred new ones every minute! You snooze you lose! I normally retweet business and marketing articles from Inc., MarketingProfs, Entrepreneur, and other well known names. But, sometimes I get some very unusual and interesting content in my inbox which I have shared and gotten many favorites on. To get this type of successful diversity takes work, but the work pays off!

Other ways to diversify your reading
Many of the blogs with a smaller audience have weak materials. But, sometimes you can get some unusual point of view by browsing around. Additionally, by looking up keywords on Twitter, you can find accounts you don’t normally read, or unheard of people with viral content in your interest range. That is the perfect opportunity to read some content from new sources which might not only be new, but might be popular as well.

Your social network
Forget about social media and lets focus on live socializing. Most of us tend to talk to the same people over and over again. Ideas are stale and conversations can be like a broken record player. If we branch out, we normally talk to the same types of people we are comfortable. But, to grow as a person, you need to talk to people you don’t normally talk to. So, why not talk to some strangers at a comedy club, a bar, or on the bus? Why not exchange ideas with them? Normally they will be very boring (if they live in Los Angeles) but, you will eventually meet someone with some wacky ideas that will help you be a more broadminded person. If you meet a lot of people and exchange a lot of ideas that will help you be a blog writer or innovator. But, the two are really the same as a blog writer has to innovate ideas and strategies for making their blog popular!

What can you do?
Use the keyword search on Twitter and other social media platforms. Filter your inbox and read what the “smaller” bloggers are saying. Try some new and related keywords that you researched too. That way you can expand your interest. And if all else fails, try and see what Guy Kawasaki recommends!