I’m inundated by information. There’s just so much of it out here at my fingertips. I love it though. I wouldn’t want it any other way really. I just have to learn how to manage it. That’s what this week’s episode is all about, managing the things we see, feel and experience.
The trees outside are dropping their flowering budgs and replacing them with this year’s stable of vibrant, green leaves. I wonder if that’s what information is like. I think it is. I think information is temporary, but beautiful at the time we see it. Information has seasons. But some of it is evergreen. I want to produce as much evergreen information as possible, the question is, how? I think the way lies in producing as much true content as possible. Funny then, that the book I’m reviewing this week is called, “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday. I’m also sharing about how I gather and process as much of the information I come across as I possibly can. And in Cool Process I show how I make sense of all this information on behalf of my clients. This is going to be a fun show today. I hope you come away some great tips that produce solid results in your business and your life. Now let’s get to it!
In this week’s episode …
Mindset Minute: Curious Much?
I chose curiosity as this week’s Mindset Minute to show the power of it and also the immense dangers involved with it. I know both sides and thankfully I had and still have people around me who help to put the information I gather into context. And for the information I’m not able to process, I have a way of making peace with it. Although sometimes that peace can be quite tenuous. And I have to remind myself of that peace over and over again.
Curiosity reaps great benefits in that it allows for invention, innovation, improvements, and other cool things that start with the letter ‘i.’ When I was in school, I loved reading so much, I would get lost in a story. One day my fourth grade class was reading. The bell for recess rang and I kept reading. My friend told me to come outside. I kept reading. Finally my teacher told my friend, “Just leave her alone. She’ll come out when she’s done with her book.” About a half hour later I did finish. When I looked up, I was in an empty classroom wondering where everybody was. That’s a mild down side of curiosity and it’s something I’ve experience every day of my life since then.
The upside of curiosity is I’m a creator and I’m able to constantly ask the question, “what if…?” And I have what it takes to answer that question no matter what. My encouragement for you today is to let your curiosity fly. To really let it take over you, but in a controlled way. In one of my Tomato Timer sprints, I leave it simply for research and the indulgence of the things I’ve written down that I’m curious about. I have pages and pages filled with questions and ideas. Those 25-minute increments aren’t really enough to allow my curiosity to truly spread its wings. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, I’ll be looking up and I’ll be in a dark café with the owner impatiently standing over me, wondering when I’ll leave or an empty library, etc. It’s good to put limits on such powerful mindsets because it gives me the chance to step back, collect what I’ve gathered and learned, and then implement. My encouragement for you today is, Be Curious!
Cool Process: Video Tutorials
I love providing my clients with video tutorials. This is a way to produce more results. I usually have a rapid-fire delivery when it comes to my recommendations and the information I provide my people. They love it. But once our sessions are over, it can be hard to re-capture much of what I’ve said. I love it that my clients leave our sessions inspired, but our ultimate goal is results. That’s why I added video tutorials to my coaching practice. This where I use a screen recorder and I walk through step-by-step exactly what my client should do with the resource I have recommended. It’s fun for me to do and it is immensely helpful to my client because she can take the information and rewind, fast forward, pause, or stop the coaching session at any point and time. I use a variety of tools for this kind of thing and it doesn’t take up a lot of time for me to do it. One tool I use is screencastomatic. It’s obscure in that not a lot of my fellow coaches seem to be using it but it’s also one of the most dependable tools I have at my disposal for helping my clients. I love it.
But there are tons of other tools like it out there. The process and the secret to the success of it is to record the things you’ve done well on video and refer back to them at a later date. This is also a tool I use in my outsourcing arsenal so that when I’m handing off projects to my team, they know exactly how I want things done. It’s also great for accountability. Use this tool and let me know what you think!
Best Resource: Pocket
I’m postponing our Instapage review until I’ve had more time to test its virtues. In the meantime let’s talk about Pocket. It’s a handy little app I use for holding onto the articles I want to read. I’m on a never-ending quest to organize my digital life. I refuse to stop being curious so I’ve decided to make being super curious work for me. Enter, Pocket. It’s a website, chrome extension, and app for saving links to articles. I love it because no matter where I find an article, it keeps everything in one place. The kicker is: The app for my phone reads the article out to me. I love this! Now I’m able to consume the information I need while I’m doing mundane tasks such as folding laundry, food shopping, or house cleaning. It’s perfect! I usually get my reading material from recommendations from friends on Facebook. Sometimes I’ll look something up while I’m watching the news. I especially find myself saving articles into pocket when I’m researching content for my clients. This is just another tool that helps me to stay on track while feeding my insatiable desire to know more, understand more, and do more. You can find it at getpocket.com.
Book Review of the Week: Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
Confession: I bought this book to see if I could pick up a few pointers from the man behind a few high-profile media wins in the digital world. I got a rude awakening. I learned you can have a national bestseller filled with missing punctuation and other grammatical errors. I learned it’s important to understand the terrain and the rules of engagement before playing the media game. And most importantly I learned I’m not publishing nearly enough content and that I have to get busy writing more quality content pronto.
Overall Ryan Holiday made some solid, eye-opening points. I noticed, though, that much of the content in the book is very dated. Even though he recently updated and expanded the book, the core content is from its original publication date back in 2012. In the digital world that feels like nearly a decade ago. In addition to reading for pointers, I also had to read for universal truths transcending the dated references in the book. Holiday provided the most poignant connection for me when he referenced George Orwell’s 1984. “The exhaustion of the cell is the machine’s vigor.” Holiday paints a picture of a digital sweatshop where blog writers churn out less-than-truthful articles of 800 words or less on subjects such as celebrity scandal, corporate misdoings, and political chicanery. They do this all in the quest for the almighty page view. Ryan posits himself as the puppet master who manipulates the writers and by extension their publishers, and also by extension us the readers all on behalf of his clients, some of whom are writers of books and one in particular is American Apparel.
I fell in love with the way Holiday exposed lazy journalism, which I absolutely deplore. But I lost respect for his work with every missed comma, non-existent period, and absent conjunction. I really did try to hang in there and not be the grammar snob I know I am but it finally got the best of me. I came away from the book seeing Holiday not as insightful media player he presented himself to be, but as a cog in the media wheel – and a not-so-high quality cog at that. Some may think, “Lisa, it’s just a comma. Get over it!” I should get over it. Yes. But to me, consistent mistakes of these kinds tells me the writer doesn’t have a good system around him to correct mistakes. That shows not a lack of skill or grammatical expertise but rather a disrespect for the craft of communicating well and with purpose. Of course you should read the book. The core content is okay. Just be prepared fill in a few blanks here and there when it comes to storytelling, grammar, and overall insights.
There’s another reason I chose this book. I often feel Christians are given a really bad rap and are chosen as clownish, silly, bigoted, closed-minded figures in the eyes of the media. I wanted to get to the bottom of that and find out how this portrayal has taken shape. On a deeper level, I see it as spiritual warfare and a way to dampen what I believe is a message of true hope, redemption, and salvation for the world. The bottom line, as Holiday points out in “Trust Me, I’m Lying” is the emotional side of things. Anger moves people to click and to comment and to somehow take digital action, which can then be presented to deep-pocketed corporations as justification for ad buys.
I read the book to find out if I could turn the tables on this system and use it to show not all Christians are hateful people. Some of us are thoughtful and we do embody the love Jesus Christ spread across this earth during his thirty-three years here. I did gain insights, and these are insights I hope to use in the very near future to strongly show who I am and hopefully who others are who believe in the same way I do. Sorting through all of the grammatical errors, the self-aggrandizement, and some convoluted ideas, I am still grateful I read this book.
Closing Out the Show
As I was recording this show I noticed a theme of managing how to gather, process, and re-distribute information. I hope you found it valuable as I use these systems to make sense of this super-crowded digital world.
Next week I’ll be sharing more cool processes such as The Power of One and I’ll review Dan Heath and Chip Heath’s book “Made to Stick.” Until next week, go out there and Be Heard!
Resources from the is episode: