Have you ever found yourself day dreaming, you see some people and they seem to have it all going for them, and they make everything look so easy. We all have people like that in our lives, we see the grass greener in those people, they’re luckier, they get all the breaks, and you don’t. Come on, admit it, you’ve done it, and you’ve probably done that your entire life! I know I have at times, and I’m 52 years old, and have been around a short bit, which means I have probably thought it a million times over the course of my life. There’s a problem with that kind of self talk, many problems actually, far too many and they are far too deep.

Negative self-talk takes us to a place where fear can get a firm grip on us, it can immobilize us, and we start the downward spiral of feeling sorry for ourselves in a heartbeat. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, walk with me a bit.

I’ve had many careers, jobs, and have been on my own over the years, and I can tell you that self-talk is critical to your success. I don’t mean getting yourself all jacked up with unrealistic expectations, they will almost always fail, and when things don’t go as planned, you’ll lose your momentum. I didn’t say, don’t have big dreams, that’s not what I’m saying. Big dreams need to be broken down into manageable parts & goals, why, because we need the little victories to keep us going.

Those people in your life, or the ones you might know, aren’t as happy as you think they are, and I’m certain things weren’t as easy as you perceive them to be, they too needed the little victories to get them to where they are today. I struggle daily with not having enough small victories to keep me in a happy place, to keep me motivated, I have to get out of my comfort zone most of the time to get them. I hate that!

I’m willing to wager that when you find yourself having these little envy chats, it’s almost always related to money. I hate money actually, there I’ve said it. Money makes us focus on all the wrong things, it distracts us from whats really important. I’ll let you decide what’s important to you, but what’s important to me is my wife & two boys. I have never heard anyone say on their death bed, I wish I had more money. They will say, and I mean everytime….I wish I had spent more time with _________,you fill in the blank.

So what are those little victories, sometimes we can’t recognize them because we are focusing on the wrong things, or we’re distracted. Most of the time, these little victories are as simple as writing a Blog Post, a chance meeting with someone you never thought you would meet, an opportunity to help someone, it could be a phone call that helps you secure the next project or job. They could be even smaller, telling your wife & kids how much you love them, thank your neighbor for letting you use the lawn mower. But for most of us, it’s usually business related, that’s where the little victories really gets us charged up. Why? Probably because we made money, and we like money. Money is what we measure success by, I think we need to get back to something more valuable for measuring success.

I know in my business, I need to have something positive happen everyday when it comes to cash-flow, when it doesn’t, I start the bad self-talk. We all do it, I’m a failure, what could I have done different, or better? Recognize the questions, we start asking what we did wrong instead of what we did right, and what the next right step should be! One of the problems is, we rely on our own knowledge to solve problems, and you know what? We don’t know, what we don’t know. Success always requires other people, they are the ones who give us perspective and possibly vision. They are also the ones that give us those small victories 9 times out of 10.

I have found over the years, other people helped move me along to the next step, they either encouraged my, gave me an idea, and more importantly, they believed in me. It’s the affirmations, it’s the validation of others that gives us the courage to stand in the gap when times are bad, so we can stand tall with our chin up. Don’t believe me, watch this video and tell me what happens to you while you are watching it.

So, everytime you catch yourself thinking how someone has it better than you, is doing better than you, is smarter than you, STOP IT! Find out what motivates you, and then list the small victories you need from it. Yes, it’s hard work, life is hard work and it sucks, but you are not different than everyone else, why? We all need the small victories too.

I recently held a workshop and some of the smartest people in my community were there, great things happen when smart people meet, all you have to do is get out of the way. The workshop was on the topic of how to give your content away and generate revenue, the open & free business model, or free content business model. We discussed what was happening out there on the interweb, and we talked about what it meant to each one of them. The reality is, many of us are still trying to find our way, and most of us don’t know someone with arms length that has figured it out. Maybe it’s not important, maybe it’s more important to participate, build your plan, and then work your plan.

One of my goals in 2010 is to help 100 businesses with the new (old) business model, to show them which direction the tidal wave is coming from, and then help them ride it rather than get wiped out because they were looking the other way, Denial to foresight. When talking to business owners, the Internet is still just an add-on to their existing business. The concept of a social business or an open business is so foreign to them, a glazed look comes over their eyes after a few moments, which tells you they don’t understand. I suspect, many of these business owners don’t want to look stupid, or be viewed like they don’t know, so they act like they do. But when a business owners says ya I need to learn this stuff can you help me, I get pretty passionate about sharing and helping them.

I can tell you this, if you find business owners with an open mind, with a little humility, a desire to improve, feel they aren’t using the Internet effectively just yet, be gentle, then share the future with them before the details of what to do next. The future is actually easy to see if you’re looking at the world of business with the right perspective. Being out of the box means you are willing to adopt new ideas, it doesn’t mean you make poor decisions. Some things are right under your nose, like cell phones, everything is going mobile. In the future this mobility will be embedded into everything, your prescription glasses, contact lenses, even our blood stream once Nanotechnology matures. Our automobiles will be driven by computers not us, they will have sharper senses than we do. It’s already happening, just look around, the challenge is that this technology is not in the mainstream. It’s over most of our heads, so we tend to stay in and work with things we understand. Why, we are wired to be in control, being out of control feels like CHAOS, so we are very uncomfortable in it. The open & free business model promotes that chaos, we don’t know how to embrace it and more importantly trust it.

The best way to learn this new way of doing business is collaborate, to connect with those who are working on it, understand it, and show you how to get comfortable with the chaos. Is to create an environment where people can succeed, it’s as simple as putting a team of smart people together in a room and asking some key questions, then sit back and listen. Just get out of the way and take notes. When smart people meet, great things happen.

I mentioned I have been reading alot over the holidays on building a successful blog, a successful business, or whatever else you might be building. I love to learn, but I hate the details. That means I need to build a team of solid people that can ensure the details are getting looked after, it’s in my plan. In my last rant I suggested to you that sitting still is not an option when you are building a business, a following, or even a Blog. But before you can get all wound up with busy, you have to have some sense of preparedness, or have a plan to work from. Because winging it, is really planning to fail.

I would also suggest to you that in my 52 years, I have failed (learned) more than not, from my perspective anyway. Other’s would say I’m a huge success and have my bleep together. Ya right. I’m actually very insecure and tend to over analyze, I am very calculating to the point of doing nothing sometimes. There, I feel better now, you now know my biggest weakness.

Getting back to being prepared, do you prepare for meetings, do you prepare before going outside in sub-zero temperatures, do you prepare and plan your vacation well in advance of leaving? I think you are getting my point here. The truth is, we only really prepare if its important to us, it doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s important, we prepare for it. In fact, studies have been done proving that we plan our two week vacations more than we plan any other event in our lives! That can’t be good, Gary Vaynerchuk once said, if you are working for the weekends and holidays, your crap is broken.

I play on a Worship team in my church, I handle the lead vocals, we try to practice every Friday night, when we do, Sunday goes very, very well. When we don’t practice on Friday’s, like this past week, Sunday morning looks, sounds and feels like we were under prepared. That’s what it’s like when you’re not prepared, it falls apart quickly and comes off bus league, don’t do that. A bad performance is what you get when you’re not prepared. Worse yet, embarrassment. You can’t do most things without being ready, without being prepared, so why do we try to get by without being prepared? The question is perplexing at times.

The same principle applies to Blogging, business or anything else you hope to realize a positive result. Success is not an accident, it takes time, effort, planning, and being prepared. Oh you might get lucky once, but I doubt you will be able to wing it and realize the success you want. Why is it that all the Internet Marketers sell you their plan on how to do what they did? To sell you their success system, their new Book or eBook. They went through the long process of being prepared, they had a plan long before they did anything, they prepared by doing the research, all the writing, the video’s and they worked out a system from start to finish before they launched. Those who do the work, most likely see the results they prepared for.

Do you want success or do you want the result from when you’re not prepared?

The secrets to blogging successI rarely ever review Books and or eBooks, in fact, this is probably 1st one I have ever taken the time to write about that I can remember. At my age I wouldn’t be surprised if I reviewed a book a week ago. <grin> Now, I’m not saying books or ebooks are good, bad or otherwise, but lets face it, books are not what they used to be due to the Internet and the digital movement. I do like to having something in my hands I can use a highlighter on, so many times I’ll print the ebook off just to put chicken scratches all over it, but not usually. Enough about my stuff, let’s talk about this new ebook by Nathan Hangen & Mike Cliffe Jones called, Beyond Blogging – The Secrets to Blogging Success! (Affiliate Link)

I have to admit I was hesitant to spend $47 bones on this digital effort, but sometimes your gut talks to you and you just have to invest in your future based on that alone. I bought the ebook, afterall I have some serious goals set for 2010 so invest I did. I started going through it and for some reason I felt kinda weird and deja vu-ish. Maybe it’s because I have been following those interviewed in this ebook and knew alot of their content based on videos, interviews and reading their Blogs. I’ll even admit I didn’t know some of these successful bloggers even existed.

You’ve probably heard already that this ebook is not a step-by-step how to ebook on Blogging. Its actually written more like Think and Grow Rich, you have to actually dig in and figure out what your passion is and what track you should be on. Oh, these guys even include a worksheet to help you work through the exercise. The layout & presentation of this ebook is actually pleasing and easy to read, color choices are pretty good too. After reading through the table of contents I felt like this ebook was more about name dropping and leveraging relationships. But I moved on and to my surprise I found myself enjoying the stories and struggles behind some of these successful bloggers.

There is actually some solid content and advice given throughout the ebook, some smart interesting ways to monetize a blog or website. You will read much of what you may have already learned in Social Media circles. One thing you will get from this ebook, blogging is hard work and requires patience. Blogging is not for everyone, much like driving a forklift, you have to have a passion for what you do.

I recommend you use the shopping cart method when it comes to reading this ebook, some things you buy into and some things you won’t. The things you don’t buy into, just leave them on the shelf and keep the things you do agree with in your cart.

Like Norman Vincent Peale’s Think & Grow Rich, you have to study the book and read between the lines alot to figure out why your stomach has a nervous feeling. That feeling is the not knowing whats coming, it’s ambiguity, it’s knowing there’s something there but you just can’t put your finger on it. You will feel something similar when you read Beyond Blogging, I think there is value in this ebook and what it’s trying to show, tell and lead you through. You will also see a common denominator throughout this ebook, there is a system, a plan needs to be developed, a road map if you will, you need to know what the end will look like to make the principles in this ebook work for you. Keep the end in mind.

You will invest in something, it should be you, it should be books or ebooks, systems,and  strategies that provide knowledge you don’t have already. Don’t get stuck on price, approach your journey with a positive attitude and humility, you will go much further than a bad attitude will ever take you.

So, I recommend this ebook as I do Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents and Gary Vaynerchuk’s CRUSH IT! (both affiliate links) I even make them all available for you here on my Blog. Enjoy Beyond Blogging – The Secrets To Blogging Success, I’m certain you will earn, learn and make more than the amount you pay for this 202 paged ebook.

I hope you like the ebook, I would like to hear what you think of the ebook as well.

Happy Learning and Happy Blogging.

Technology is growing at an exponential rate; we truly have no way of keeping up via traditional means when it comes to tracking. Organizations struggle to stay focused, struggle to maintain, and struggle to provide systems and services that meet their business objectives. The shift in how business gets done is making it more and more difficult to maintain profit margins and business lifestyles that most are accustom to.

Today’s I.T. Strategic Planning is shedding its skin and taking on a new look and meaning. Ramping up I.T. staff is no longer the norm; reducing I.T. Teams and virtualization is; it allows organizations to be more financially responsible. CIO’s have a tougher time justifying their existence, the role is becoming more and more extinct, and is easily handled without the large investment in overhead. As much as it pains me to say that, I have to accept the new landscape of how Information Technology is implemented and managed. There’s still a need for CIO’s in large organizations but new companies are building streamlined teams, technology allows for startups to have fewer management roles. This new model allows for higher profits and less management of people.

Customer service is making a huge shift in what it means, Customer Service or Support is NOT fixing or adding a new feature, it is about Communication and Solving problems. This gap is hurting far too many businesses, they need to pay attention and listen to what their customers are saying about them, what they want from them.

Small businesses are literally taking a fetal position when it comes to understanding the change taking place, that the Internet is empowering the individual rather than the large organization. The power of the person has been lifted to a level no one saw coming, all because of the Internet. The Internet is the game changer; the Internet was and is clearly misunderstood by the smaller Mom & Pop businesses. The Internet solved the problem of digital distribution, this is an Access Based Economy where we click to get. The transition for small business can be easy to most difficult, undertsanding technology or how technology will help them is the key.

If there ever was a need in your local marketplace it’s helping those small business understand that they won’t be able to continue as they have and enjoy the life they hoped to build when they opened the doors. More importantly, those business owners need to learn about humility, be willing to say they don’t understand and do indeed need help with the Internet. Most small business owners had an Entrepreneurial Seizure, they thought because they knew how to do the work they knew how to run a business. I recommend reading Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (Amazon Affiliate Link) to get a clear understanding of what I’m referring to.

Today a couple of things scream for attention in my humble opinion:

1.    Listening – Listen to what is being said about your brand and or business.
2.    Filtering Content is more important than creating it.

Listening & Filtering Content are two key factors to your Social Media success, small & big businesses at large still haven’t grasped these two concepts with any kind of clarity.

We are in an Extreme Reputation Economy, popularity is becoming a Social Capital, and it will be as valuable as real money in the coming months if it hasn’t happened already. How you present yourself, your product, and your business will generate a reputation, take the time to craft your reputation.

What do you think?

<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307280?ie=UTF8&tag=owengrea-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0887307280″>The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=owengrea-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0887307280″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />