Month: December 2012

The Price of Fame: You’ve Been Deleted

I was notified a Wikipedia page was created about me. Then I understand it was deleted because after review it was deemed as “self promotional.” As my great-grandmother would say, “Well then!”

I think it’s actually pretty funny because when I was first alerted rather than be perturbed or upset, I actually began laughing that I’ve been forthrightly “deleted.”

I’m to understand that “self promotional” can be anything from giving too much information on a subject, to not giving enough. References and citations, or not enough foot notes can bring reason to be summoned then,”deleted.”

From what I understand the term “self promotion” is a catch-all for anything the inquisitors over seeing entries at Wikipedia see fit, and used as a default for pages built for people of interest.

However,  unbeknownst to the curators of the site, I now have something I consider more effective and fun for me to use in my (Lord forbid) – marketing.

Mark St.Cyr famous enough to have his own Wikipedia page?
or…
Mark St.Cyr infamous for being to self promotional for a Wikipedia Page?

I actually like the sound of the latter!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

A Fist Full of Mark’ers update 2

I write these updates only for empirical examples as to show I’m not blowing smoke like so many others. I believe if you want to espouse thought provoking ideas or concepts; you had better be ready to put up – or shut up. To wit, I present the following.
(This will probably be the last for awhile hence the length.)

I woke Christmas day like so many of us with great delight, and expectation. Least too say I had just as wonderful surprises with my book launch as I did with the presents I unwrapped with family.

As stated in an earlier update. I expressed some results that not only were rewarding they also fell into the remarkable camp.

Some of you are aware of the ground breaking site Squidoo™. Earlier this year they moved to crack being one of the top 50 web sites in the U.S. Some will shrug their shoulders and think “So what.”

I can accept that. However, while some are focused only on what they’re familiar with – even more aren’t noticing the real disruptive changes happening everywhere. I think it’s fitting to show some statistics to give context because as I said – far too many just aren’t aware of how quickly the business landscape truly is changing.

Currently Squidoo has:

  • 17 million + US People per month
  • 21.5 million + Visits per month
  • 30.5 million + People Globally per month
  • 38 (37,989,563) Visits Globally per month
    (all stats per Quantcast™ viewed on 12/26/12 )

These current stats impressive as they appear at first glance are actually the low side. Like everywhere traffic for most sites goes down during this time of year. I myself prefer to use the lower numbers as to prove points rather than trying to fudge adding anything and everything including the neighbors kitchen sink let alone just mine.

On the morning of the 12/25 my cross reference web page (or lens) for “A Fist Full of Mark’ers”  was ranked at just over 62,000. In other words of the millions of pages (on Squidoo they’re called a Lens) I was number 62,440 from the top. I know that sounds like another shrug the shoulders moment. So let me express it using simple math using no gimmicks. Also using (as I like to say) empirical evidence.

Using myself as an example here’s a lens (or web page) I built a while ago on Squidoo that cross references my blog. (If you want to show the good – be prepared to show the ugly!)MSONS 2.5mmThat is not a misprint. That’s the actual ranking. Using 1 as the top then 2.5 million is way down there don’t you think? It should be the bottom, yet it’s not. However, let’s use that number as the bottom – this way my math and rationale has more merit. Because if there were even one lens lower – then my math would add up even better to my favor. So I believe it adds more credibility for this example.

As of 12/25/12 (Christmas morning) my 3 day old web page (or lens) on Squidoo had moved to just above 63 thousand.
FFOM 62K*footnote: the red minus and green check denotes how the site is stacking up. Green is good – red is not too good. Everything else was just because of how the screen shot was taken. It’s the numbers that are important.

So if we use my own as the benchmark or bottom of the rung. i.e., dead last. It goes like this:

  • 2.5 million divided in half is 1.25 mill or within the top 50%
  • 1.25 million divided in half is 625 thousand or in the top 25%
  • 625K divided in half is 312.5 thousand or in the top 12.5%
  • 312.5K divided in half is 156.25 thousand or in the top 6%
  • 156.25K divided in half is 78.1K putting me into the top 3%
    of all the other millions competing for rankings on the site.

As I write this update on the morning of 12/26/12. Just 1 day later. I have moved from being in the top 3% to the top 1%. Because as on this morning I moved from 62K to now 28K.FFOM 28K

  • 78.1K divided in half is 39+K  or in the top 1.5%
  • 28K puts me solid into the Top 1% of the U.S. Ranked #50 Web site.

Those are real, quantifiable numbers. Easy math. (I know I could have used a simple math equation- however, the above expresses the point better.) And it uses examples that are not cherry picked. I could have said I’m even higher if I found just how many are below my 2.5mm. However I think using examples that err on the low side beg more credibility as to express a point.

If the equivalent moves were on Amazon®, or iTunes®, I would be in the “Best Seller” or “Front Page” areas of those respective sites. Of course I’m not, but I believe they are worth putting into context.

It’s quite possible the rating could go higher. However, at this point it doesn’t matter. I only post this to show while everyone else is spouting “new” ways or ideas on how one should move in this ever changing economy and evolving business landscape you would want to see or hear from someone actually doing what he expresses to others.

Still shrugging your shoulders about the web site Squidoo? Here’s a quick point. Squidoo currently gets more traffic or visitors than: CBSnews™,DrudgeReport™, and a quite a few others that would probably surprised you.

I don’t think I would be writing a line of this, nor would have written a line of anything over the last few years had I done what most people are running around screaming and charging people for. i.e., Writing for SEO, commenting everywhere, and anywhere, engaging every social media platforms for likes, comments, and more. Redundantly spamming people via Twitter™, or blanket emails and the likes. Or placing banner ads, spamming campaigns, or what I think is down right stupid (and far too many do it) paying for followers, likes, and reviews.

So I’ll finish all this with one last point:
In the midst of his own book release which happens this month. (the 31st) And all the craziness, and requests for interviews I would imagine he has. As well as the holidays, and more. A person who is arguably single handily changing (or causing a ruckus) in the publishing world. Who doesn’t allow comments on his site, (as well as I) went out of his way to be the first one to post a comment on the most visible place where my book is referenced.

Seth's Comment on my bookYou can’t buy (or have the audacity to ask) for that. Especially in this time period. Which makes me even more grateful. It’s far more gratifying (as well as humbling) when you look and out of the blue – there it is.

I must say so far, I’m still pretty amazed. But there’s much more to do. Stay tuned.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Please note: The Icarus Deception “How high will you fly?” by Seth Godin (2012 Portfolio/Penguin) will be released and available at retailers everywhere December 31st. I highly recommend you go out and get it. I personally have already read it, and as everything Seth puts out – it’s once again a home run.

Starting A To Do List? Don’t…

Many of us are going to wake this week and once again try to make or adhere to some form of “to do” list. My advise is to save yourself the time – and don’t.

This is heresy for the “getting it done” crowd and I can fully appreciate that. However, there is a far greater number of people who’ll sit down with good intentions – start making a list – only to have feelings of overwhelm as this list morphs in length with something rivaling Rte. 66.

You start out thinking “OK, just five or so.” Then as you start writing your mind begins rambling and prompting you as in: “How about this one? Oh, and what about that one? And – oh crap I really need to get that one done.” Followed with so many more you begin having anxiety flashes caused by what now seems like an endless list you’ll never get done.

So the greatest of all reasoning to cure this dilemma comes forward: “This is useless. I’ll never get these done. I’m just kidding myself.” And you put down the pen, the phone, the pad, or close the program which believe it or not gives you an immediate “Whew! That was a waste a time. At least I can cross that off the list.”

Here’s a normal progression of what “To do lists” look like just after a few hours never-mind days later.

  • To do turns into: Try to do
  • Try to do turns into: If I Have Time to do
  • If I Have Time turns into: I Would Like to do
  • Like to do turns into: I Might do
  • I Might do turns into: It Would be Nice to do
  • Nice to do turns into: Maybe Someday I’ll do
  • Someday I’ll do turns into: I’ll Probably Never do
  • Probably Never turns into: Just plain never.

We’ve all been there. So why does this happen? The reason for the vast majority of people is they treat “to do” lists as if it were a reminder list. That is where the crux of the problem exists for a great many. To do lists are exactly that – to do. However, with no real consequence for not finishing or doing; why would one think they’ll do them?

To give a real example of a to do list one needs only to look at what’s called in the trades a “Punch list.” These are lists made by contractors et al. for the sole purpose of making sure specific items or tasks are completed. Not just because they are required as to sign off on a project. It’s also for the purpose of insuring against charges of breach of contract, or other monetary damages. Not getting done that last item on the list could end up not only costing serious money. It can mean the difference in some cases of profits evaporating into complete losses.

These “punch lists” are the real example of a “to do” list. Lists with real consequences. If your list doesn’t hold the same perils of penalty as this; then all you’re doing is writing reminders for yourself while acting like they’re something more.

Many will begin feeling all the guilt or blame one wants to throw at oneself for not being able to get things done. It’s a vicious circle – self-imposed – and causes more frustration than if one did absolutely nothing. (Yes. I did just say that.)

If you truly want to make a “to do” list that has actual impact you first need to get it in your gut the difference between “to do” – and a reminder. Most make lists calling them “to do,” when in fact there merely only a reminder list.

If they are not the same, then feelings of guilt or frustration should not carry the same weight either. Seeing, and understanding the difference between the two can make all the difference in the world if applied correctly.

A proper “to do” list should probably be anything but – a list. If you really want to make a change and start moving forward you should have only 1 – possibly 2 things written down that must get done before you sleep. Something that you commit to with all the sanctity of a vow, legal contract, or promise to your mother. Something you’ll do no matter what. No excuses if for an act of God will you be relentless as to complete it. Period.

Whatever task or “to do” must be something that carries some weight in your personal hierarchy of tasks to complete. (I shouldn’t need to say or explain this but, we’re experts on looking for loopholes) Don’t pick a task that’s so easy the bar to jump is actually recessed into the floor. i.e., checking your Facebook® status – again.

It doesn’t need to be the hardest either. (though that isn’t necessarily bad) Just something that carries some weight that will actually improve your day knowing you did it. Which allows you to move onto other tasks tomorrow. This gets you into the habit of taking charge over your schedule with true, meaningful, accountable action.

Everything else treat them for what they likely they are – reminders. (You can make this list as long or short as you like while adding or deleting on the fly when ever the need hits in a dynamic fashion.)

Some might scoff at such a proposal. Far too many will look and think, “C’mon, just one? How does doing just one thing make any real difference or change?” It’s a fair question.

The problem is we don’t feel we’ll make the improvements or changes necessary without some great bold plan that feels overwhelming when we reference it. Thinking goes: If it isn’t big, it’s not worth it. However, more often than not immobilization is what normally follows because, now that inner voice shouts; “Are you crazy! You’ll never get that done. Maybe you should re-think this?” And you fall right back into your old routine.

If you want to see the power of incremental change there’s probably no better example than what’s expressed in Alan Weiss’s “One Percent Solution®.” If you improve by only 1 percent per day – in 70 days you’re twice as good.

Don’t take my word for it. Do the math. I suggest thinking about the ramifications of such an improvement and what it could mean to your life or career as your first “to do” for the upcoming days.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

A Fist Full of Mark’ers update

When I first proposed releasing this book the date, the price, and a few other parts were met with not only skepticism but with quite a few snickers. Here’s a few: (I’ll keep this lite for brevity’s sake)

  • “You’re crazy. No one is going to even go to your site let alone download a book. People are in holiday mode. Postpone it.”
  • “Free? Why would you release something for free? I thought the purpose of a book was to make money? Sounds foolish if you ask me.”
  • “Without a media campaign, or book signing event to get some press no one will know about it let alone spread it. I would re-think your strategy if I were you.”
  • How will you get anyone to see it 3 days before Christmas? Everyone’s shopped out and the last thing they’re going to look at let alone go to is another site for any reason.”
  • Nobody will see this without a mass email or banner ads or something. You might not want to spam – but 1 out of million is better than zero out of none right?”

I could go on but you get the point. So here’s just a quick update of what has happened:

  • Within the first 24hrs (The most important time frame to get an idea if you might be right or wrong) the book was downloaded 100’s of times in over 13 countries.

They are US – Canada – Singapore – India – Italy – Spain – UK – Turkey – France – Japan – Taiwan – Malaysia – Netherlands (There have been many more since)

  • Traffic to my site in a time everyone agrees is the slowest time of the year for anything not shopping related (3 days before Christmas) has exploded over normal traffic. And is still amazing me with new viewers, and subscribers.
  • Although currently the US is leading my stats in traffic I am absolutely astounded by the international traffic downloading my book.
  • The idea of allowing the book to be spread, or passed on unencumbered by not trying to trick people into filling out forms, getting a credit card, or some other gimmick as to try to capture data seems to have its merits. The traffic stamps that assessment.
  • For those that understand the numbers, formulations, calculations and more used by the industry itself. It could be argued that my release is on par if not better than most book launches of authors trying to be on some “Best Seller” list. All done by not only avoiding their methodology, but by avoiding the industry as a whole. (It’s actually not that difficult to buy yourself onto or game the system of most best seller lists if you want to take that route, and is routinely done by more authors than one might think. Yes…even that “Best Seller” list.)

Again for brevity I’ll stop here.

I would just like to conclude with this. Everyone that told me I was nuts, said I didn’t understand the business, went out of their way to express doubts in my reasoning’s and more have been quietly silenced by you. I do not have the words to express how grateful I am to each, and every one of you for making what I’m typing at this moment possible. You have made this Christmas for me one of my life’s best. I am at a loss for words. And for those of you whom know me. That’s rare indeed.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

A Fist Full of Mark’ers

A FIST FULL of MARK’ers  (StreetCry Media Press)
26 pointed essays for today’s entrepreneur
by Mark St.Cyr

FREE Limited time PDF Release. – Has Concluded as of Jan. 10th. Thank You for participating during this limited time. It was a huge success!

The new book available from Mark St.Cyr.
26 short straight to the point essays where entrepreneurs of all stripes will find something to take away and apply to today’s turbulent business environment.
Written to be concise, and easily read on your mobile device or phone.
No need for one to bookmark or highlight a section like other ebooks only to forget where it was or what it related to. The articles are your bookmarks for later or future reference.

The FREE Download period has concluded as of Jan 10th.

It is now available on Amazon in Kindle™ format, and will be available on iBooks™, Barnes and Nobles™, and others shortly after their wait periods.

Due Out 12/21/12

Released 12/22/12

A Fist Full of Mark’ers PDF Click link
for a FREE PDF copy of Mark’s new book.

No gimmicks, No forms, No credit cards,
It’s truly FREE.

It will be available here in this form for a limited time until the pay for edition goes on sale at Amazon®,iBooks®, and others right after Jan 1st or there about. So don’t hesitate
because once it’s over – it’s over.

You are encouraged to email or share it through what ever means you wish – with anyone – or as many that might enjoy.
However please DON’T SPAM anyone!

If you prefer a Squidoo link:
http://www.squidoo.com/a-fist-full-of-markers

I would think this needn’t be said, however, just to be clear: This PDF is NOT for you nor anyone else to sell. This is a free edition, and in no way, shape, manner, or form available to be sold, resold, or reproduced in any manner. Or to be used commercially in any way, shape, manner, or form, for anyone – or any reason. (I’m trying to be clear without sounding harsh, but it must be said.)

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr in Assoc. with StreetCry Media. All Rights Reserved

Well So Far… I’m Still Here

The Mayan’s end of the world hourly countdown is still progressing. However, there are many that will read this and think: “Yeah but the day ain’t over!” So…What is one to do?

Although the day is far from over I just want to reiterate one of life’s oldest axioms far too many of us know, say, laugh at, and more.

“Live for today – Plan for tomorrow.”

Because tomorrow just might happen!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Addendum: We just crossed over into tomorrow via GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) also referred to as “mean solar time.” If the Mayan’s used the sun and the stars, then I think it’s fair to say there officially is a tomorrow. Hope everyone made plans. I did!

Mark

Finding X Reasons For Why

This weekend will be one not remembered for the joyous times we all should be having with family and loved ones, but for a senseless mindless tragedy that will bring many of us to question everything. As it should.

The problem with such heinous acts of evil is we want to lash out at anyone, and everything. We want answers, and we want them now. Sometimes there are no easy available answers which will enrage some of us even more.

Some will focus on the easiest of targets as the reason, some will draw conclusions where they shouldn’t. Both sides charged with emotion defending their sides rightly, but maybe for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes there just isn’t a correct answer, an easy fix, just do this and this won’t happen. Which escalates the anger even more. To paraphrase an old axiom: “These are the times that try one’s soul.”

We quest for answers now. We want to know how could someone do such a thing, and why. Vagueness will not suffice we believe. We want answers and we want them now. And if we can’t get answers then we’ll make broad accusations and assumptions because we feel the need we must do something – anything.

Though that can be true, it can also be dangerous. However a pure emotional based discussion can leave any issue unsolved, just as trying to fix something using only logic. The two go hand in hand. One without the other usually results in unintended repercussions that make the original problem worse.

I once listened to one of the F.B.I.’s top criminal profiler’s speak about the mind of individuals he had to try to anticipate as to apprehend them. For me it was both insightful and sobering at the time.

In a shorthanded response to the question of why these people do the things they do he said: (I’m paraphrasing) “You don’t. You can estimate and work out reasons, but the actual why you can’t. And you don’t want to get that deep into it either, because to get to the point of truly knowing the real why you have to psychologically become them – literally. And normal people can’t get there. Which we shouldn’t, because that’s why they’re them, and we aren’t.”

So as we reflect on our own lives this weekend we’ll be bombarded in every form of media blaming people, places, or things in some form or another. The debates will be highly charged. Some will make sense, some will be moronic. However just remember to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Because in the end no one can protect us from everything. Even ourselves.

I wrote the article below for Upmarket Magazine back in June of this year. I offer here only because we forget far too quickly why we’re arguing. Or what for.

Emotion vs Logic Is The Wrong Debate

Many times we hear arguments based on pure logic, or pure emotion. When this happens — more often than not — one side is absolutely convinced the other side is wrong, and usually there is no reconciliation between the two. The same drama that unfolds in a parent vs. teenager debate also unfolds across the spectrum of business, regardless of age or stature. One side defends their position based purely on logic, while the other is wrought with emotion. Neither side will be able to persuade the other, and this confrontation usually ends in deadlock (or worse).

Sometimes, we hear the term “passionate” used to describe a fiery debate. Although this word conjures up an image of pure emotion, a passionate debate is also laced with logical reasoning as to why the participant cares so deeply. In order to find a workable conclusion or middle ground, both sides must include logic and emotion in their arguments. If either side focuses only on logic or emotion, there’s no reason to continue the debate; nothing but frustration will result. If you are aware of this in your challenging debates, you will know when you can end an argument politely — because there are some cases where nobody will be happy and no progress will be made.

Think of emotions as the sails on a ship, and logic as the ropes that bind them. Without the strength of the ropes and points of restraint to hold the sails in place, the sheets will whip to-and-fro aimlessly. The sail won’t have any power to move the ship, and will become tattered and torn as it flails, untethered. It won’t be long before it wears itself out, and frays beyond repair.

In relation to the size and scope of sails, ropes are fractional — yet they are what give the sails their power and strength. The ropes allow the force of the wind to be captured and to move the ship forward. And ropes, as important as they are to this equation, are meaningless if all they do is stay coiled in some container. It’s the combination of ropes and sails that give both their ability to harness the wind with astonishing results.

When you’re in a debate, discussion, or argument you must be the one who is on the lookout for signs that the emotional and logical sides of the argument are present in both sides of the debate. Once you’re able to do this in real-time (or watching from afar), you’ll be able to spot the brewing storm clouds, and adjust your course of action so as to avoid being swept into more turbulent weather.

A passionate — successful — debate has both sides pleading their case with emotion tied down with logical reasoning. When a debate is structured in this way, the murky waters of business become as exciting as being at the helm, navigating a ship at the Americas Cup. But one without the other, and you’ll never get further than the dock.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Mark’s Upcoming Book: An Update

We received some questions about the free PDF version Mark is offering to everyone as a thank you for being part of his blog’s community. However what we didn’t realize in the original plan was in releasing to subscribers of the blog via the email notice left out all the people who use Mark’s app or RSS feed as a way of subscribing. That was an oversight, and thanks to everyone that pointed that out.

So this is just to let you know we’re currently figuring out a way where everyone will be included leaving no one out.

As always a sincere, Thank you! To all of you.

Regards,

V.V. at StreetCry Media