Monday, October 03, 2011

The New ScLoHo Website


On Sunday October 2, 2011, I launched a new website, Scott Howard aka ScLoHo at http://www.scotthoward.me/ .

While I set up domain redirects for the 4 separate blog sites, like this one, you will most likely need to resubscribe to the RSS and newsletter feeds on the new site.

Why the move? Here's the answer = http://www.scotthoward.me/2011/10/03/welcome-to-the-new-scloho/


:)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Yes, Bowling is a Sport

Wrapping up best of Really? archives this week with:

Last time I went bowling, I had all of the above except the beer. Mt. Dew was my drink.

The next time I go, I'll be better prepared thanks to this piece from the AOM blog:


How to Bowl a Strike

Bowling has a long and thoroughly manly history.

But if you’re like me, then your contribution to this legacy of manliness hasn’t been anything to write home about. Which is to say, for much of my life I was a pretty sorry bowler. I liked going bowling with my friends and reveling in some manly camaraderie, but being a competitive guy, it was hard to enjoy a game while getting trounced by everyone else.

And I rarely got to experience the sheer joy and ecstasy of bowling a strike. There’s nothing like seeing all ten of those pins disappear from the lane. So lately I’ve been trying to up my game. With some practice, reading, and advice from guys who bowl strikes on a regular basis, I’ve been able to improve my strike ball. I’m not bowling perfect games by any means, but I’ll get three or four strikes in a game now.

And so to help my fellow floundering bowlers, I offer a few tips on how to bowl a strike.

Be flexible. Flexibility and the ability to adapt are essential to consistently bowling strikes because every lane you bowl on is different. Why? Well, have you ever crossed the foul line and found yourself on your butt? That’s because bowling lanes are oiled and the amount of oil and the way it’s spread on the lane can differ from lane to lane. Heck, the oil pattern on a single lane can change throughout the game. Changes in oil amount and pattern can cause your ball to break differently. So be prepared to adjust your approach.

If you're right-handed, aim for the ball to hit the pocket in-between the 1 and 3 pins.

The key is in the pocket. The key to consistent strikes is to angle the ball into the “pocket.” For a right-handed bowler, the pocket is between the one-pin and three-pin. For a lefty, it’s between the one-pin and two-pin.

Choose a lighter ball. Yeah, I know. You want to show off your manly strength by hurling an 18 pound ball down the lane like the thunder god Tor. And yeah, it’s fun to see the pins fly in the air when a heavy ball hits them, but if you want to bowl strikes, consider lightening up a bit. To bowl strikes, you want the pins to hit each other, and not just fly up in the air. Heavy balls make pins fly in the air; lighter balls make the pins hit each other. Many pros these days have started using the 14 1/2 or 15 pound balls because of the advantage lighter balls provide. So go ahead. Use that girl ball without shame.

Focus, but not on the pins. The pins are your target, but you don’t want to focus or aim for them. Instead, pick one of the arrows in the middle of the lane and aim to have your ball roll right over it. If you’re a right-handed bowler, aim for the second arrow from the right. Lefties, aim for the second arrow from the left. Because most lane oil is in the middle of the lane, throwing your ball on the outside will give it more traction down the entire lane.

Line up your approach. Before the foul line, you’ll see three rows of dots that parallel the lane–one row right before the foul line and two rows a bit back from it. Use one of these latter rows to line up your approach to the foul line (which one you choose is determined by how many steps you take before releasing the ball). If you’re right-handed with a slight hook, place your left foot just to the right of the middle dot. If you’re left-handed, your right foot should be placed just to the left of the center dot.

If you consistently hit the pocket from that approach, you’ve found your strike ball. Keep approaching from that spot. If you’re missing left, move a bit to your left on the approach. If you’re missing right, move right. Yeah, that seems sort of counter-intuitive, but a righty bowler misses left because his ball hooked too early. Sames goes for a lefty. Moving towards the direction you’re missing and aiming for the same arrow will force the ball farther down the lane before hooking into the pins. Try it. It works.

It's all in the toes.

Make your approach. Start your approach towards the line. The four step approach is the most commonly used approach by the pros, but if the Fred Flintstone twinkle-toes thing works for you, then do it. Keep your eye on your target arrow the entire time and make sure you’re walking in a straight line.

Keep your arm straight. On the backswing, keep your arm straight and close to the body. Your hand should come up to shoulder level.

Step of power! The power step is the second-to-last step in your approach and it gives your body a bit more momentum which adds to the leverage of your armswing, giving you a stronger release of the ball. If you’re right handed, your power step will be with your right foot. Lefties, with the left. Your power step leg should have a nice bend to it which will help you slide on your left foot. Watch that you don’t cross the foul line!

Release the ball at the bottom of your downward swing. You want to time the release just right. Too early and you can lose velocity, too late and you’ll cause the ball to bounce.

Curve it. Remember, to bowl strikes we want the ball to hit the pocket, and to do that effectively, we need some curve to our throw. This takes some practice to perfect, but here’s some general advice to get started. If you’re right-handed, rotate your thumb to a 10 o’clock position as you release the ball. If you’re left-handed, rotate your thumb to a 2 o’clock position. This will give your ball a bit of spin as it hurtles towards the pins.

You want the ball to curve into the pocket.

Follow through. A mistake that many novices make in bowling is not following through after releasing the ball. Failing to follow through reduces rotation on the ball and consequently decreases accuracy. Once you release the ball, keep your arm going in the pendulum motion until your hand is above your head.

Be like Frank. Take it nice and easy. Don’t rush. It’s easy to get in a hurry especially when you get flustered. Maintain a slow and smooth approach and release.

Fist pump/air pistols/Jesus Quintana Dance. Revel in the sweet sound of a strike with a celebratory fist pump. Or you could go with the classic Pistol Pete air pistols and pretend that you’re shooting all the pins down with your fingers.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balance

This is a transition week, and I've scheduled a few Best of Really? posts from the 2011 archives. Like this one from January:

Living in Real Life too


Before you had a computer and a cellphone, (if you are that old!), you had an off-line life.

In order for you to spend time online, you had to reduce time you spent doing something else.

Do you know what that was, that you used to do, before you started spending time online?

Do you spend less time watching TV?

Do you spend less time talking with your spouse?

Do you spend less time exercising?

Do you even know what you used to do with the time you created to be online?

Please use your time online appropriately.

This means different things to each of us.

If relationships are being neglected, make changes.

If there are other projects that are being neglected, make changes.

One more point on this subject, and it's about giving.

These days, my kids are grown, getting married, making grandkids and doing the things I did 25 years ago.

My wife and I have more freedom with our time than we did years ago. Yes, we both work at least 5 days a week, but without kids we really enjoy being able to pick and choose what to do after hours.

One of the things I do is give of my time. Some of the organizations that I am involved with include the Fort Wayne Central Lions Club, The Anthony Wayne Area Council (Scouting), The Fort Wayne chapter of the American Advertising Federation, The Gus Macker Basketball tournament, The Three Rivers Festival, and a few other events and organizations as they come up.

We also attend a weekly worship service at our church and have launched a couple of businesses.

And just because our kids are in their 20's, doesn't mean we are not involved with them. Between last year and this year, we have 3 weddings, another college graduation, my stepson had a daughter, his third child; and my youngest and her husband are expecting their first child.

Everything that I'm aware of right now with our kids will be over by mid-August, but they will be replaced with new things.

I challenge you to keep a balance in your online and off-line lives, use the online world as a tool, not a replacement for life in the flesh.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In Case You Missed the News

I am preparing for an online transition this week, so I have scheduled some repeats from earlier this year including this one from July:

Link
Thought I'd take a moment and let you know what I've done this summer in case you missed the announcement a few weeks ago.

After 8+ years working in sales and management with the Summit City Radio Group of stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I decided to accept an offer from Cirrus ABS, also headquartered in Fort Wayne.

This new opportunity is wide open as I help Cirrus find clients for their Net-Centered Marketing Agency.

Every year, while working in the radio business, I had people contact me asking me if I would consider working for them, and I always said no thanks.

This time was different.

I get to apply my marketing consulting background to the web world and help businesses and organizations find solutions that are cost effective and make good strategic sense.

I don't need to know how to write code to build websites, because we have 30 others at Cirrus ABS who handle those details.

I'm here to to act as an interpreter between the geeky-tech world and your business world.

Quite frankly, it is amazing.

I'm also in my 5th year on the Board of Directors for the Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne and involved with multiple other volunteer organizations.

Anything I can do to help? Just ask.

And please think of me first when you are needing anything web related.

My contact info is:

SHoward@CirrusABS.com and 260-255-4357


:)

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Silly?

This week I'm featuring Best of Really? posts from the 2011 archives. This is from February:

Make Room for Silly

I read this yesterday from the DLM Blog.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

The Happiest Day of a Dying Marine's Life

Posted: 25 Feb 2011 10:12 AM PST


A few weeks ago, while packing up after a speaking program for a high school’s support staff, I had the privilege of chatting with one of the custodians. His name was Frank.

Frank shared with me a story from his childhood, starring his father, a career Marine. The family operated pretty much as you might expect under the head of a someone who’d spent his whole life in the service and saw action in two wars. The kids had buzz cuts. The household was in perfect order. And when Dad spoke, you listened.

One day, during a family drive, Frank’s father came to a stoplight. He abruptly put the car in park and announced, “Alright everybody! It’s time for a fire drill -- everybody out of the car!” The rest of the family was temporarily stunned, but what choice did they have? An order was an order! Within moments, they joined the 5-foot-8-inch spark plug outside and did several laps around the parked car. Then he commanded the eldest son, who was only 13 at the time, to get in the front seat and drive.

“But Dad,” the son exclaimed. “I don’t know how to drive!”

“You can drive. Let’s go!”

Well, the son did what he was told, and after a few shaky, herky-jerky blocks, the dad ordered the car to a halt, saying with a chuckle, “You’re right. You can’t drive. I’ll take it from here.”

The family’s shared laughter lasted for miles and miles and years and years. According to Frank, from that day on, his dad was a changed man.

Frank’s father died last February from emphysema. While he was in the hospital, in the middle of his final battle, the old man reflected back on his years. With tears in his eyes, he declared that day to be the happiest day in his life. Not the day he was married. Not the day his kids were born. The day he ordered the Chinese fire drill. The family that was with him on that memorable day was with him as he shared his deathbed reflection. And that night, he passed way.

Not only had Frank’s dad seen war firsthand -- with an abundance of wounds to prove it -- he also watched his brother die in the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time of the famous fire drill, his duty to turn boys into men and train them for war weighed heavily on him.

It’s hard for me to imagine the burden he carried and the nightmares that must have perpetually haunted him. But what a testament to the power of a small rebellion! Imagine it with me: a disciplined, serious, strait-laced Marine who one moment is navigating the family station wagon and the next is circling it wildly with reckless abandon, amidst a chorus of silly giggles and hearty chuckles.

Today, there are many people who are being asked to do more with less. Our world is still wracked with war. We hear story after story of people losing their jobs, their homes, their battle with cancer. Perhaps you are among them.

Life isn’t easy. Sometimes it seems too hard to bear. But no matter how hopeless or heavy it seems, hang in there.

You see, as difficult as things can get, I am encouraged and inspired by the fact that sometimes, a tiny action -- a decision to zig instead of zag -- can be more powerful than corporations, governments, or an army of powerful tanks.

So even if the cause seems lost or a solution out of sight, try instigating a small rebellion. Who knows? A random act of silliness may just turn the tide and turn today into the happiest day of your life.

Written on 2/25/2011 by Jason Kotecki. Jason is a cartoonist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escaping adulthood.Photo Credit: Jason Kotecki

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Monday, September 26, 2011

96% of the world can't see this

This week I'm featuring Best of Really? posts from the 2011 archives:

Because you have a computer you are in the Top 12%.

Internet access puts you in the Top 4%.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Transition Time for ScLoHo


This week my afternoon updates that I post at 4:08pm are going to be some "Best of Posts".

Here's why:

This summer when I transitioned from my 8+ years at Summit City Radio to a new career with Cirrus ABS, my co-worker Kevin Mullett challenged me to create something new.

Since 2003 my online persona has been as ScLoHo.

It actually began back in the 1990's when I was looking for a unique email address. Then when I launched my first blog on the Blogger platform I began using ScLoHo as a 1 name identity.

My given name is not unique. Google Scott Howard and you'll come up with the character that Michael J. Fox played in the movie Teenwolf; you'll find doctors, basketball players, crooks, restauranteurs, just about any profession has a "Scott Howard" in it.

ScLoHo is a mashup of my First, Middle and Last names: Scott Louis Howard. And while I have not purposely hid my identity, there are some people who know me only as one or the other.

The challenge that Kevin gave me was to create an online identity as Scott Howard.

My challenge was the transition. This is not a simple task, but there is enough stock in the ScLoHo personal brand that I decided to accept these challenges.

Earlier this year I bought domains for each of my websites and Blogger made it simple to change from their domain to the custom domain without losing any of the "juice" that I had built.

After talking with Kevin, I bought another domain which will be the new home of all of the blog posts that I post starting in October. ScottHoward.me is the domain in case you want to check it out as I am still developing it.

One of the challenges I'm learning is WordPress. Blogger (also known as Blogspot) which has been the home for most of the websites I've been working with, has been very easy to use and even customize.

While WordPress has plenty of options, the Dashboard interface and posting is different from Blogger and it took awhile for this limited geek to learn the differences.

ScottHoward.me already has over 100 posts that I imported from my other sites. In my learning process I discovered how to export then import over 4000 blog posts, out of the 11,000 that I have created in the past 8 years.

For those of you that have been using WordPress all along, you probably haven't had some of the struggles I went through.

I was also looking for a way to organize 4 separate websites into one new site with 5 or 6 categories.

I needed a theme that gave me the option of presenting all the updates, or the updates according to category, in a layout that would be easy to navigate for both you and me.

And I wanted to be sure I was employing Search Engine Optimization along with Social Sharing options. Quite frankly, these were not a big priority until recently when I started working for Cirrus ABS.

Cirrus is the largest website development company in the area and what attracted me to them was their understanding of marketing which is the heart of what I have been doing since 1986. Cirrus developed their own Content Management System which is the heart and engine of their Web platform and makes SEO and Social Sharing very, very easy for our clients.

But I decided to initially build ScottHoward.me on the WordPress platform so I would have that background knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of WordPress which is commonly used by many website developers.

One thing I have learned off the bat is that WordPress is not out of the box friendly to non-professionals the way the Cirrus Small Business Suite is very friendly.

(If you want more info about Cirrus's website solutions, or net-centered marketing, just drop me an email: Scott@ScLoHo.net and mention Cirrus in the subject line.)

One of the ways I have promoted my 4 blogs was social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These will continue to be a factor with the new website.

In the past year I have posted 46 updates per week spread over the 4 blogs. There will be a new strategy in place with the new site as I continue to strive for quality over quantity.

I still have lot's of work to do to be ready for the official public launch of ScottHoward.me, but am confident that most will be put in place over the next 7 days.

:)

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

You Don't Need the Weather Channel

From my archives:

from the AOM Blog:


Forecast the Weather Like Daniel Boone

Technology has brought the world a long way, enabling us to consume more information in a few short minutes on Google Mobile than folks decades ago could locate in a week by plowing through books at the local library. And yet, with all this readily available information and the focus on being able to find information, the need to actually know and retain information has been decidedly diminished. There is still something to be said, however, for retaining the knowledge and skills that the men of yesteryear needed to survive, such as navigating by compass or starting up a respectable campfire. With that in mind, and with hunting season just around the corner, let’s look to the skies and sharpen up our skills in forecasting the weather.

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning. -George Carlin

Now keep in mind that if the national weatherman equipped with Doppler radar and satellite imagery gets it wrong from time to time, you will too. Taking that into consideration, it is probably best to avoid making high dollar wagers with your buddies when you are confident that it will begin storming in the next few minutes. And yet, by utilizing nature’s telltale signs, you can make some fairly safe assumptions regarding what is around the corner weather-wise. Let’s take a look at some of the basics:

Cloud signs

As far as nature’s weather signs go, clouds will provide you with the most accurate indicators of things to come. Clouds are essentially water droplets or ice crystals (depending on altitude) that mass together in the atmosphere. There are many types of clouds, far too many to list, but some of the basic cloud types can indicate what weather patterns to be prepared for.

Cumulus

Cumulus clouds themselves are most often associated with pleasant weather. It is cumulus clouds that often take the shape of various characters in the imagination of creative youngsters as a result of their puffy, continuously changing appearance. While they are a sign of agreeable weather, it is not uncommon for cumulus clouds to form into cumulonimbus clouds, aka thunderheads, which are a sure sign that it is time to batten down the hatches.

Stratus

Stratus clouds are flat and featureless and often completely blanket the sky. As opposed to cumulus clouds, which are flat on the bottom and rise dramatically on the tops, stratus clouds are flat both above and below. While they usually do not indicate extreme weather to come, they do often produce a light drizzle or flurries.

Cirrus

Cirrus clouds are high altitude clouds which resemble wispy brush strokes. When the wisps curl at the end, they are often referred to as mare’s tails. These clouds are regularly associated with approaching storms, but can also come directly after a thunderstorm has passed.

Nimbus

Nimbus clouds can refer to any of the above clouds which have taken on a dark color, thus indicating high moisture levels within the cloud and rain to come. For example, a cumulonimbus cloud is a cumulus cloud that is uncharacteristically dark and foreboding, and is associated with thunderstorms. Cumulonimbus clouds often rise like towers into the sky and sometimes take the shape of an anvil, with the longer end of the anvil head typically pointing in the direction the storm is heading.

Proverbs That Stand the Test of Time

Weather proverbs are likely nearly as old as language itself, with the earliest recorded proverb dating back to the New Testament of the Bible when Jesus noted that “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’’’ (Matthew 16:2). While some proverbs add up to nothing more than old wives’ tales, many are based in scientific fact. Here are some notable examples of the latter:

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

and

Evening red and morning gray, help the traveler on his way. Evening gray and morning red bring down a rain upon his head.”

When looking west in the evening, a visibly red sky can be taken as a clue that dry weather is coming (or staying). The red sky is caused by dust particles in the atmosphere, which only occur in dry weather. Since weather systems typically move west to east as a result of jet streams, you can safely assume that this dry weather is heading your way. A morning red sky in the east, however, denotes that the dry weather has passed you by and that a moisture rich weather system is likely to follow.

“Flowers smell best just before a rain.”

and

When ditch and pond offend the nose, look for rain and stormy blows.”

Everyone is familiar with that smell that occurs after a good summer rain, when the air is rich with the smell of plant life. This is a result of an increase in air moisture or humidity, which drastically increases the strength of smells in the air and the distance they carry. Also, it is believed that the smells of swamps and marshes are held down near the surface when atmospheric pressure is high, but low atmospheric pressure allows these foul odors to rise and carry. Both the increase in humidity and the drop in atmospheric pressure associated with these proverbs are signs of wet weather to come.

Chimney smoke descends, our nice weather ends.”

Keep an eye on the smoke from that roaring campfire you just built. If the smoke rises in a straight stack, you can anticipate fair weather to come. If the smoke rises in a stack as normal, but appears to be buffeted downwards once it reaches a certain height, you can bet that a storm’s a-brewin’.

Beware the bolts from north or west; in south or east the bolts be best.”

As mentioned above, most weather systems travel west to east. This proverb simply infers that visible storms in the west are most likely headed your way, while those in the east have passed you by.

A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow coming soon.”

The visible ring sometimes appearing around the sun or the moon is a result of ice crystals in cirrus clouds refracting the light off these celestial bodies. Since cirrus clouds generally indicate foul weather to come, you can assume that it is time to start waterproofing your camp.

When clouds appear like rocks and towers,
The Earth’s refreshed by frequent showers.”

A reference to the cumulonimbus cloud patterns mentioned above, this proverb serves as a simple reminder that such clouds indicate that a storm is likely coming your way.

Tools of the Trade: The Barometer

Some of nature’s signs cannot be understood simply by observing them but require tools to measure. By utilizing a barometer, you can measure the atmospheric pressure which can provide you with a great deal of information on what type of weather is just around the corner. In the most basic sense, a barometer indicating high pressure in the area lets you know that fair weather is likely, while low pressure is a sign that you can anticipate wet weather to come.

Before you can get started you’ll need to be sure you have the proper equipment. Most personal use barometers are known as aneroid barometers and contain no liquid. These barometers contain a spring which is calibrated using a dial or knob located on the back of the unit. In order to calibrate your barometer properly you will need to head over to http://www.weather.gov/ and get a local weather report, which will include the current barometric pressure. Adjust your barometer to match.

While a general understanding that high pressure is good and low pressure is bad is a start, more advanced and accurate information can be gleaned from the barometer as well. The following barometer reference card, taken from Skills for Taming the Wilds by Bradford Angier, will assist you in your short term weather forecasting forays (Keep in mind that these measurements and what they indicate are only representative within the U.S. and Canada).

BAROMETER WIND WEATHER
High, steady SW to NW Fair with little temperature change for one to two days
High, rising rapidly SW to NW Fair with warmer weather and rain within two days
High, falling rapidly E to NE Summer: rain in 12 to 24 hours

Winter: snow or rain with increasing wind

Very high, falling slowly SW to NW Fair, with slowly rising temperatures, for two days
High, falling rapidly S to SE Rain, with increasing wind, in 12 to 24 hours
High, falling slowly S to SE Rain within 24 hours
High, falling slowly E to NE Summer: light winds, fair

Winter: precipitation in 24 hours

High, falling slowly SW to NW Rain within 24 to 36 hours
Low, rising rapidly Shifting to W Colder and clearing
Low, rising slowly S to SW Clearing soon and fair for several days
Low, falling slowly SE to NE Rain for one or two more days
Low, falling rapidly E to N Northeast winds heavy with rain or snow, followed in winter by cold

Source Material/Further Reading:

Skills for Taming the Wilds by Bradford Angier

The Book of Survival by Anthony Greenbank

National Geographic’s Complete Survival Manual by Michael S. Sweeney

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time to Unstuck yourself?

from DLM:

5 Crippling Beliefs That Keep People Stuck, Unsuccessful, and Mediocre For Life

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 09:48 AM PDT


Is it just me, or is the whole “fitting in” thing highly overrated?

Yes, there’s a certain comfort in going with the flow, being one of many, and following the same path as millions before you. Yes, it’s easier to not be stupid and put yourself way out on a ledge and risk your predictable and stable life. Yes, it’s fun to fantasize about one day someone walks in and “discovers” your hidden brilliance and plucks you from your normal life and drops you into the one of your dreams.


But eventually, it becomes obvious that the “discovery” will never come and that stability and security is an illusion. I know, because I’ve been there. For years I took a typical approach to my life. Follow the crowd, get a decent somewhat stable corporate job, and avoid rocking the boat by making any drastic changes. But eventually I realized three things...
  • No matter how stable or secure you think your situation is, everything can change in an instant
  • The longer you go with the flow and wait for someone to give you an opportunity, the harder it gets to break out and make changes
  • Pretty much the only future that comes with following the masses and taking the “safe” path is a life of perpetual mediocrity
Sooner or later, you begin to reconsider. I mean, no, you don’t have to be a daredevil, quit everything, and go run away in an RV – not that kind of drastic – but would a little change and excitement be that bad?

Hell, a little risk might even make you more secure.

So, you embark on your quest to stretch your comfort zone. You explore different ways to expand your horizons. You think about going back to school or traveling. You think of quitting your job or starting a business online. You consider starting a blog or finding a hobby. You brainstorm all the possible ways to break free of your everyday-average-boring life and forge a new path.

And if you’re lucky, you find something that works. No, maybe you don’t get your dream life, but maybe you pick up an interesting hobby or get a better job. Maybe you add just a little bit of color to all that mediocrity. It’s nice, but you still haven’t really changed anything in a meaningful way, and you wonder why.

In my experience?

It’s because you don’t have your mind right. You have these little devils sitting on your shoulder, feeding you lies about how the world works and how you should act in it. You probably picked up some of these ideas from your parents, others from your teachers, and still other from your friends and co-workers.

And if you let them, they’ll cripple you. You’ll go through your whole life feeling like you were meant for more than this, like you have enormous potential just waiting to come out, but never quite sure why you’re always living an average, mediocre, boring, uneventful life.

We can’t let that happen.

Below, you’ll find some of the most common beliefs that hold people back. Take a look, and see if any of them look familiar:

Crippling Belief #1: It’s gunna happen because I deserve it
Many of us grow up with a feeling of entitlement. Now I’m not talking about the bratty spoiled valley girl who thinks the world owes her something – most of us aren’t that bad.

More often, the feeling is more along the line of thinking we deserve a decent job because we got good grades in college. Or we should be paid well because we’re smart. Or we received that competitive award or internship that we worked hard for, so the world should reward us for being so awesome and hard working.

And that’s where we really get screwed up - the hard working part. When lazy people feel entitled to success it’s just sort of neurotic. If you just sit on the couch doing nothing 24/7 of course you don’t deserve success. But we live in a “by your own bootstraps” society that says that if you work hard, you’ll succeed.

The fact is none of these things mean you deserve anything. Not school, not grades, not work, not awards, not even a good work ethic.

What you deserve is equal to whatever value you can bring into the world. You can be the hardest worker in the world, but if you never create anything new and valuable with that hard work, you’ll always be held back.

And you’ll be frustrated as all hell.

The fact is people who never bring something new into the world, who never create, who create new value that wouldn’t exist without them, will live a mediocre life. Work ethic leads to massive success when it’s focused on bringing new value into the world. Work ethic leads to frustrating mediocrity when it’s focused on maintaining value that already exists.

Stop maintaining value. Start creating it.

Crippling Belief #2: Big changes take a while to happen
One of the biggest explanations people have for why they’re not successful is that building a success takes time. Sure, I may not be successful now, but if I just hang in there, keep working hard, things will snowball, and eventually everything will be alright.

It seems reasonable. After all, no one (but those Jersey Shore people) gets famous overnight, right? Everywhere you look, there are stories of successful people persisting when there was no hope, trudging forward one weary step at a time, unwilling to quit, clinging fiercely to their dreams, manifesting success through sheer power of will.

It’s inspiring...but it’s also deceptive.

Yes, becoming successful often takes time and yes, you should slap anyone who claims to have the “secret” to overnight success. But it’s not because after you pay your dues the clouds will suddenly part and you’ll be handed that one lucky break that you’ve earned through years of toiling.

It’s because, in the beginning, you do everything wrong. You do things that don’t work and screw things up royally. Most of us get beat up by the journey for a few years until we figure out the right path. It’s not about working hard until it happens. It’s about struggling to figure out how it works for you and working through all the mistakes in the process.

In other words, you’re not waiting on the world to present you your opportunity. The world is waiting on you. It’s not the action of working that leads to success. It’s the action of seeking solutions to the last set of mistakes you made to find the best path from where you are now to where you want to be.

Yes, persistence is important. Yes, learning takes time. Yes, it’ll probably be slow and painful. But the sooner you learn, and the more you focus on solving your mistakes and moving forward intelligently, the sooner it will be over. So get busy.

Crippling Belief #3: My current situation is secure
A lot of people are crippled by a thought process that goes something like this:

I’d really like to do something different. Find a new job, start my own business, kick off a new blog – I’d love to forge my own path. But I don’t want to rock the boat because my current situation is secure. I’ve got a decent job. I’ve got a decent income. There’s a chance of career advancement in the next 3 to 5 years. Sure I hate it, but I need the security for me, my family, and my future...

And that makes sense. Why throw away your secure situation for a huge risk, a huge gamble, that could possibly lead to the independence and freedom you really want?

Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, that security is an illusion. It’s fake. That security just doesn’t exist.

Ask any number of factory workers about job security. Many of them worked at the same job and the same company for years. They were extremely hard working and good at their job. But overnight their jobs were replaced by machines, the factories downsized, and all their hard work, time, and security disappeared in a blink of the eye. And what were they to do? Their skill set depended on factory jobs that no longer existed...

But many people say, “but I’m not a factory worker...I have more transferable skills.”

Heh.

That’s always the fall-back plan in job security. In the unlikely event that I get fired, at least I have a set of skills that are transferable.

But here’s the thing about transferable skills. Most common “transferable skills” basically everyone has. Yes, things like communication, writing, organizing, web savviness, managing, and spreadsheet-making are useful in almost every work situation, but almost every person in the work force could claim those same “transferable skills.”

And it’s a simple question of supply and demand. If everyone has the same skills you can prove you have, then those skills aren’t all that valuable to the marketplace – and that makes people expendable.

Real security is tied directly to the skills and knowledge that you have any that you can prove you have. Saying you have good writing skills is one thing. Having a well-written blog that demonstrates your writing skills is quite another. Saying you are a good salesperson is one thing. Having a spreadsheet of your successful sales data is another.

Real security means not having to rely on one job, or one career, or one boss. Real security means owning your market value and that means having actual valuable skills that you can prove objectively.

If your situation is different than that, then your security is an illusion and you better start working on building your own security as soon as possible.

Crippling Belief #4: I’m already smart, skilled, and talented
So, let me guess:

You’ve always been pretty smart and pretty good at a lot of things. No, you haven’t been featured in Time Magazine, but your teachers loved you in school and your family and friends think you’re swell.

Maybe you’ve won some sort of recognition or award even for something you’ve done – and it went straight to your resume.

You believe all of that makes you different. When you set out to get success, get a great job, start your own business or blog, you believe things will be easier for you than all of the other half-wits out there. Unlike them, you are talented and if they can have success you’re guaranteed to succeed.

...good luck.

I wish I could say this thought process amazes me, but I had this same damn mindset for the longest time. That’s why something like 80% of people believe they are “above average,” which is obviously impossible. But because we tend to be deluded into believing we’re different, because we believe we’re smarter, skilled, more connected, or more talented, we’re just about guaranteed to succeed.

We’re kidding ourselves. The difference between believing that you could be better than everyone if you just put yourself out there and actually becoming more successful than them is like the difference between being really good at NBA Jam and playing professional basketball.

It’s one thing to imagine the potential world where you’re the great success you believe you could be and actually building that real world success.

The bottom line is this: if you don’t want to be perpetually mediocre, you have to be serious about building value in the “real world”. You’ll need to commit to ignoring theoretical things like “if I put myself out there, I could be great.”

Your potential is pointless. Potential by definition does not exist. The only thing that exists is what you’ve achieved in the real world. Anything without a tangible result – all your elusive talents, skills, and possibilities – just doesn’t count.

Crippling Belief #5: I’m not good enough yet

There is an opposite crippling belief, though. Maybe you don’t think you’re smart enough, skilled enough, or talented enough to start making real achievements in your life. Well, at least not yet.

You need to learn more, have a bit more experience, get a couple more connections or find a different situation. You’re meant for something great, but there’s a bunch of stuff that you need to do first before you can really make something happen. You’re good, you’re just not good enough yet.

And you know what? You’re right.

But then again, no one is “good enough.” The most successful people in the world aren’t “good enough.” In fact it is precisely that feeling of not being good enough is what motivates many people to do more.

It’s not a barrier, it’s motivational dissatisfaction.

The totally not kept secret is that you can’t wait yourself into action. The more people wait for something to happen before they can act the easier it is to find something else to wait for. I see it all the time in online business. People wait until they know how to set up a beautiful website. Then they wait until they know the best traffic strategies. Then they wait until they have the perfect lead generation bribe. Then they wait until they have a successful blog. Then...well, you get the idea. There’s always something to learn or do before actually selling something.

Waiting to get good enough to act never works and it’s not even smart. People don’t actually learn from studying, not in a way that lasts. People learn from mistakes. People learn from all the little and big failures that steers them to the right path. Waiting to be good enough is just being afraid to fail, which is a shame because failing is precisely how you’ll become better.

So, don’t be crippled

The real lessons here are ones you’ve heard a million times. Take immediate action and build as much value as possible. That’s really it. And as most advice, it’s much easier said than done.

And some of the path forward is obvious. But if you ask me, the root thing we need to do is change the standard we hold ourselves to when it comes to our own lives. We need to own the value we provide the world. We need to do whatever we can to take action immediately. We need to stop giving ourselves credit for potential and focus on giving ourselves credit for the things we’ve achieved in the real world.

And if we haven’t achieved much, we should be grateful when we realize it because that’s when you’ll have to start achieving...

...because you’ll know the other option is a life of mediocrity.

Written on 8/23/2011 Joey Weber. Joey teaches people how to improve themselves while getting paid to do it (that sexy intersection of personal development and online business) over at Find Your Damn Purpose. Photo Credit: Hudson Gardner

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


This is the day for the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I have been featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, or just show up!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fort Wayne is a Terrible Town


That is what some folks say.

Maybe it's the numerous Mens Health Survey that say we are stupid.

On the other hand we rank #3 in sexual satisfaction. And #23 in overweightness.

I wonder if it's all tied together, but that's not really what I want to talk about.

Usually people who have a negative attitude about, well just about anything.

I disagree.

Fort Wayne is not a terrible town.

Maybe it is my age, or perspective that time gives, but I really think that we are much better than the naysayers believe.

My family moved here in the 1960's when I was 6 years old and I stayed until 1978 when I took my first full time radio job.

I returned in 1980 for about 3 years, but came back for good in 1998 after my Dad died.

I wasn't planning on staying, but when I met my wife and she showed me what she loved about Fort Wayne, I was hooked.

Hooked on her, and on Fort Wayne.

Now that our kids are all married off and living on their own, we've decided to stay.

This past weekend I visited the Johnny Appleseed Festival.

The weekend before, it was Tourist in Your Hometown weekend.

There are always more things to do than I have time for.

Believe it or not, one of the reasons we live in Fort Wayne is also that we like to leave town.

It could be a short trip to the Grabill Fair which we did this month.

Or a weekend trip to Indiana Dunes and Illinois and back again.

We've made trips to Ohio, Michigan and other parts of Indiana and explored Bed & Breakfasts all over the region, all is possible because we live in Fort Wayne.

I often will run into people I know, or those that know me on a daily basis, because I get involved and reach out.

(Sidenote: I'm more of an introvert than extrovert, but I push myself because I also like people and those connections.)

I could go on and on, but what inspired me to write this today was an awareness of a project that Nick Arnett is embarking on to make our area even better. It's called 12 Cities 12 Months and you can learn more about it by visiting the website.

In the past 12 months, I've been involved due to a couple of connections. I was nominated and selected as one of 101 Connectors in Northeast Indiana. I am also on the Citizen Advisory Panel for Vision 2020.

I have to admit that when I first heard about the Vision 2020 project I was a skeptic. But over time, I have seen the value and now am wondering how to make it real. That's what Nick's journey is all about.

What are your thoughts on Fort Wayne?

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Join The Cool Kids


And not just kids.

Adults too.

Of All Ages.

With one thing in Common.

A desire to learn more about Social Media.

The last Tuesday of the month is when we have the Social Media Breakfast Fort Wayne.

We almost always have it at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. (Map is here).

The cost = free.

We ask that you reserve your seat by signing up via Eventbrite since seating is limited to 80 due to the size of the room.

Keep tabs on the Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/smbftw

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Better Than Dancing With the Stars

It's Monday.

That means ABC will be alternating between Bachelor Pad and Dancing with the Stars for the next 9 months.

I'm waiting for the season premiere of House on Fox.

If you really want to see some dancing, go here: http://pogpog.com/v/the-greatest-dance-number-ever-filmed/

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What A Mess?

I saved an article that Chris Brogan wrote about relationships that I believe all of us should read.

It starts with...

Untangled

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:03 AM PDT

Tangled fishing line

We go about our lives quite tangled up with other people’s lives, whether we want to admit that or not. We carry with us tangles from our past connections, and tangles from worries about future events that haven’t even unfolded yet. These tangles affect our choices and decisions and feelings all the time, if we let them.

Untangled

This has been on my mind for a while, as I’ve been learning to see my own tangled self. I wrote about taking back your strings not too far back, but with the context that we let other people twist us up with their own choices. The more we come to see this, the more we can help ourself get untangled.


Continue reading on his site.

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

From my disco days:


Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour



One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour



One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are you Really More Productive?

I worked for a few years as a thermoformer operator in a plastics factory.

My job was to produce the maximum number of parts in a 12 hour shift while keeping quality within the spec guidelines.

I kept records of "recipes" that I used for setting oven temperatures, water cooler temperatures, cycle speeds and factored in external factors such as room temperature and other variables.

My creativity was used in a semi-scientific process with an end goal in mind. I was pretty good. i was promoted a few times. I was a mentor and teacher to others. But eventually I quit.

I wasn't passionate about plastic.

I returned to the marketing world where my creativity involved writing ads and advertising campaigns and all the other stuff that wasn't as easily measured. Formulas were more theoretical and less concrete.

Now I work in a combination of those worlds, with my position in sales as a Solutions Consultant for a website development company.

There is the creative marketing/sales side and the hard numbers analytics provides via the actual web technology.

DLM has some thoughts on the subject:

Is Your Passion for Productivity Hurting Your Career?

Posted: 24 Aug 2011 11:21 AM PDT


Confession: I’m a productivity junkie. I love the “more with less” mindset. There isn’t a time management technique I haven’t tried.

But, as a career coach, I’ve seen many cases in which passion for productivity has actually been a hindrance to career success

What do I mean? Well, being productive is obviously a good thing. We all need to get stuff done. But an over-emphasis on doing can sometimes cause performance problems in the professional world.


To help you understand what I mean and figure out if your passion for productivity is harming your career, take a look at the statements below. Do any ring true for you? If so, it may be time to focus on doing less—and thinking more.
  • You’re dividing your attention.
    Multitasking sounds great in theory but it doesn’t really work. When we attempt to split our attention between tasks, one—or both—will inevitably suffer.

    When we multitask at work, we end up making mistakes that ultimately have to be repaired. It’s a time suck and it’s also a poor representation of your capabilities. Multitasking can also be downright rude. People feel disrespected because you’re not giving them—or the work—its due attention.

    The real skill to hone in the workplace is concentration. Improve your ability to focus on the task at hand and then smoothly transition that concentration wholly to the next task. Avoid the temptations of multitasking and learn to engage fully in the moment.

  • You’re rushed.
    The “go, go, go” mantra of corporate America keeps most professionals in a permanent state of urgency. With an ever-growing to-do list, they feel compelled to constantly rush through their work and get to the next thing. In the process, careless errors happen. This mentality also contributes to huge amounts of stress, which can end up damaging your professional relationships and reputation even further.

    Never sacrifice accuracy and good work for speed. Moving quickly is not the sign of productivity. The faster you move, the more potential there is for trouble. Slowdown. Pace yourself. Be intentional in your actions.

  • You’re focusing on quantity over quality.
    All too often, productivity junkies get into a mindset of “more is better.” The more time you put in, the more successful you’ll be. The more you do, the more you’ll achieve. However, this isn’t always the case.

    Productivity is not about doing everything. It’s about doing the right things well. It’s
    not about working all the time; it’s about using your work time wisely.

    It’s far better to complete just a few important items on your checklist rather than tons of unimportant ones. It’s better to work really productively for a shorter period of time than semi-productively for a longer period of time. In the workplace, it’s always smart to focus on quality over quantity.

  • You’re doing too much.
    Productivity junkies like me are notorious for biting off more than we can chew. But systems and time management techniques won’t help you if you can’t help yourself. Say “no” once in a while. Set limits. Establish realistic expectations. Stop accepting more and more work just because you want to prove that you’re productive. We get it.

    I’ve seen it time and again: Taking on too much inevitably leads to anxiety, stress, missed deadlines, and mistakes. It’s a sure-fire way to perpetuate the negative productivity cycle. Break out of it. Use your passion for productivity in the workplace for good, not evil. Get it under control so it doesn’t accidentally drag your career down as it has for others.
Written on 8/24/2011 by Chrissy Scivicque. Chrissy is a career coach and the founder of EatYourCareer.com. She helps professionals develop strategies and take meaningful action toward achieving career goals. Pick up a copy of Chrissy’s FREE career workbook to find out just how nourishing your career really is and how you can make it even more so.Photo Credit: orcmid

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour






September 22nd is the date for the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are You Making a Difference?


First of all, you are.

Unless you have absolutely no friends, relatives, communication with anyone what so ever, you are making a difference.

I define difference as influence.

You are either a positive, negative or neutral influence.

Truth be told, no one is really a neutral influence.

Last evening I was invited to a working, brainstorming dinner with "101 Connectors".

While all the details are not important at this moment, towards the end of our meeting, I realized that we were a small handful of people who connect, influence, and make a difference .

Your words, your actions, your appearance, your attitude, your willingness to give and to take are all being observed.

Not by big brother, but by strangers whom you may never meet face to face.

You have the power to (be):

Thoughtful

Considerate

Share

Help

Give

Teach

Train

Encourage

Change a life

Save a life

These items and the dozens more I could list do not require money, lots of time, or anything more that what you currently have.

It's a challenge to you and to me to take an additional step out of our comfort zone, open our eyes a little more, listen a bit louder, and make a conscientious decision to make a difference.

Join me, won't you?

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour



September 22nd is the date for the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bad Words

I admit it.

I've used them.

Not regularly, so when I do, if there is someone around, they know I must be really upset.

Harvey has some wisdom on losing our temper:

A person who loses his temper usually loses

By Harvey Mackay

Lately it seems like every night when I watch ESPN to get the day's baseball scores and highlights, I see another pitcher throwing a temper tantrum in the dugout after a poor performance.

brian wilson

San Francisco Giants star relief pitcher, Brian Wilson, had one of the more visible meltdowns when he was pulled from a game in the ninth inning. He proceeded to storm into the dugout where he picked up the water cooler and heaved it against the bench. Then he grabbed a bat and pummeled that same water cooler, and then punched a cardboard box.

What was more alarming was what Wilson said afterwards, "Give yourself 30 seconds to completely lose it, then come back and be part of the team."

Did I hear that correctly?

Does that mean that it's okay for your teenager to come home and trash the house after a rough day at school -- just for 30 seconds? Or should the employee who blows up at work be forgiven for knocking over the water cooler? That only takes 5 seconds. How about people who go crazy verbally and cuss a blue streak? A lot of very nasty and damaging words can be uttered in half a minute!

Is this out-of-control behavior acceptable?

Absolutely, definitely, positively, most certainly NOT! When you blow your stack you add to the world's pollution. These hotheads don't understand that every time you lose your temper you advertise yourself -- and you're not selling a positive. Nothing cooks your goose more than a boiling temper.

I spend a lot of time on the golf course and I've seen more than my share of temper tantrums on the links. As an avid golfer, I understand frustration -- and a temper is the first thing a golfer has to control. A little white ball shouldn't tee you off to the point of ugliness.

Since golf is half mental, those who take a grim delight in being temperamental usually are more "temper" than "mental." I always say, if you lose your head, what is the use of the rest of your body?

Maybe this is why baseball Hall of Famer and Cubs great Ernie Banks said, "Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it."

But back to work. Keeping your temper in check is not just essential, it's the mark of a professional. Where two or more people work together, disagreements are an ever-present part of the landscape. There are plenty of ways to be unhappy about a situation without being unpleasant. Consider these ideas:
  • Figure out what you're really angry about. Are you upset at the current situation, or is your discontent a carryover from previous events?
  • Count to ten -- or twenty or thirty if necessary. Just as you can't un-ring a bell, taking back angry and hurtful words is next to impossible.
  • Excuse yourself for a few minutes if possible. Walking away from a volatile situation gives you a chance to collect yourself and measure your reaction.
  • Take care of your health. Studies show that people who eat properly, exercise and get enough sleep are better equipped to handle stressful situations.
  • Share your concerns calmly. It takes two to tango, but things slow down if one of them does a waltz instead.
  • Give the other side a break, even if you think they're wrong. You may discover there are other unrelated factors at work that are guiding the discussion. Diffusing the tension can lead to a better resolution.
  • Choose your battles according to how important the outcome would be. Never fight a battle just so you can say you won. You won't be perceived as a winner, you'll be labeled a bully.
  • Accept that some things are just beyond your control. As competitive as I am, I have come to realize that I can't have my way in everything.
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry and tempermental. The other wolf is loving and compassionate."

The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"

The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

Mackay's Moral: When a person's temper gets the best of him, it brings out the worst in him.