Inside The Yellow Studio

Answering Questions From The Audience

Links for today’s show

Podcasts I listen to…well, some of them anyway…

Freakonomics podcast with Stephen J. Dubner and Steve Levitt
Mixergy with Andrew Warner
The Sales Lion is Marcus Sheridan
Marketing Over Coffee with Christopher S. Penn and John Wall
Music Radio Creative with Mike Russell
Ryan On The Radio with Ryan Drean
Internet Business Mastery
Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn
This Is Your Life by Michael Hyatt
Podcast Answerman is Cliff Ravenscraft

I’m planning a future “podcast review” show talking about the various shows I listen to and why. I just looked inside my iTunes account and I currently have 49 podcasts in my feed, including my own (just to make sure it shows up like it’s supposed to). How many podcasts do you subscribe to?

The last book I read…

Wrecked: When A Broken World Slams Into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins (I’m planning a review of the audiobook soon)

Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History by Jeremy Rifkin

Thanks for listening, watching and reading. Got questions? Email them to me or leave me a voicemail.

Webcam Settings By Mactaris (an Apple App)

This week I bought a little Apple app called Webcam Settings. Here’s the link to the app store page. No affiliate link or anything (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

For Apple Mac owners it offers greater control over your webcam settings. I’m sure that’s why they named it, “Webcam Settings.” (smile)

I operate both the internal Apple Mac iSight webcam and an outboard Logitech C910 webcam. I was primarily looking for a way to control focus. I tend to move my arms too much I guess. Well, enter Webcam Settings and PRESTO! Problem solved. It likely solves many other problems webcam owners experience.

Check it out.

Episode 141 – Michael Jordan Was A Great NBA Player, But He Failed In Minor League Baseball

Podcast: Download | Non-Flash Playback

Look over at that cartoon by the great Jerry Van Amerongen. That’s me starting at that road kill squirrel.

Well, that was me, back around the beginning of 2009 (probably much sooner, actually). I had been in the same industry, doing the same kind of work for going on 37 years. Professionally, I was as dissatisfied as I had ever been, but I was still energetic and ambition. In a few months I would turn 52.

It was time for an encore career.

It was time for what Marc Freeman, the founder of Encore.org calls “the big shift.”

I’d been pondering such things for a long time. I can’t be sure for how long.

By the time Spring rolled around in 2009 it was time.

For the BIG SHIFT.

With one successful career behind me it was daunting to chase success in a new one. It was especially difficult because the new one was undefined. Oh, I had some ideas. And I tried some things. But nothing worked.

Age, maturity and experience have benefits, but they also have a downside.

On one hand I was grounded and stable. I wasn’t one paycheck away from homeless. I was debt free, but I was far from financial independence. That is, I couldn’t just sit back and enjoy my money – because statically, I knew my wife and I would outlive our money. Besides, I wasn’t ready to sit back and enjoy leisure. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that. It’s not how I’m wired.

On the other hand, age makes adjusting difficult. And I’m prone to change. Given to embrace it. But there is something to the realization that you have more past than future. That restricts your choices. Practically speaking, older folks tend to approach life in a more reasonable, perhaps less ambitious fashion. Not me.

For me the downside of age, experience and maturity was how I defined myself professionally. When you’ve spent the better part of 4 decades doing something (the same thing) and being something – you tend to feel defined by it. Deep down you realize that your “job” isn’t who you are, but it sure feels that way.

The identity decompression took much longer than I planned. It lasted from the Spring of 2009 through the end of 2011. That’s right. Two and a half years passed with me trying to figure things out. Along the way I was podcasting, but I was working…doing work I really didn’t want to do. Feeling as though I had jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

2011 ended and more shifting happened.

And now, I have more clarity. I’m sure things will continue to morph, but as the Encore.org tagline says, “Encore careers combine purpose, passion and a paycheck.”

I have starred at the road kill and pondered the very thing Bob is wondering. I’ve been driven by the practical realities of the paycheck. Yes, I’ve sold out my fair share and done things that didn’t fulfill me because the money attached was high enough.

Today, more than ever before in my life, I understand how Michael Jordan felt riding on a minor league bus failing at a new game. Just because you made it in one career doesn’t mean you’ll make it another. It can be very tough work to figure out what you’ll do for an encore.

Life is a story. It’s being written daily by our choices and actions. But first, it starts in our head – wondering whether we shouldn’t do more with our remaining days. Some of us have fewer remaining days than others. We have to get busy.

Thank you for listening. I’ll do better by you in the future!

 

P.S. Maybe it’s fitting that today’s show lacks production elements due to one of the PreSonus FireStudio Project firewire interfaces failing. Lord willing, I’ll send it off, have it repaired and all will be back to normal Inside The Yellow Studio. Well, as normal as things ever are around here.

Episode 140 – How Breaking Bad Changed My Life: When Who You Are Is No Longer What You Want To Do

Podcast: Download | Non-Flash Playback

We use a variety of terms to talk about it.

Pivot.

Morph.

Adapt.

Iterate.

Adjust.

If we’re wise, given enough time and introspection…we figure a few things out. Just a few things, mind you. The most brilliant among us can figure out many things, but I’ve never stood among those folks. I’m out here hanging with you, and the rest of the people trying to figure things out.

Some of us figure things out enough to make some changes that will alter our performance. Slight or major, we adjust things and the outcome is different from what we’d been experiencing. We’re onto something. And we know it. Hopefully, it’s quickly noticeable.

A rare few stumble toward a level of success they may have never imagined. They soar. Above most all the rest. They go sky high.

Leaving some of us jealous. Envious.

While leaving others of us with evidence that it can be done…and if they can do it, then why can’t we? That’s the fool’s gold in the quest for the key to success. We falsely believe that outliers are the norm and wonder where we’ve gone wrong. All the while, unaware that we may not be going wrong at all. We just need to keep pushing, not forgetting to adjust.

So many variables are in play making the key to success so evasive. So much noise. So many distractions. We’re all kittens in a world filled with balls of yarn!

Natural aptitude. Desire. Skill. Connections. Timing. Experience. These all contribute to our performance.

And then there’s the magic of serendipity.

Or known by a more common term, luck.

Our egos often prevent us from giving luck more credit. It must be us. Yes, that’s it. It’s all us. We’re special. We beat all the others. We did what they could not. There’s no way luck was involved. All skill, baby! Right. Dream on, dude/dudedette.

Up’s and down’s. Toiling. Battling all the adversity. Trying hard to figure it all out and feeling like we’re running into a wall, over and over and over.

I wish I could tell you it gets easier over time, but who am I? A middle-aged guy who has made it a time or two. Assuming that it is money. And assuming that it is money sufficient enough to not have to worry much financially.

That doesn’t mean I can tell you how to do it. Fact is, it doesn’t even mean I can do it again.

The real issue – for the past couple of years – has been HOW do I want to do it? Enter a new word not listed up there at the beginning, reinvent. That’s hard. Really hard.

It begins with another difficult word – redefine. The HOW has been my approach, but when you really boil it down it’s really WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and maybe most importantly, WHY.

Beginning journalism classes learn to ask and answer those word questions in order to fill in the blanks of a story. But those word questions serve each of us. The answers to those define our lives. Professional and personal.

For the better part of four decades I made my living in business, particularly in running the businesses of other people. Retail companies. Managing inventories, purchasing, merchandising, advertising, marketing, sales and payroll. Lots of moving parts. Complex businesses.

Along the way I’ve helped a few other people – namely, business owners – figure out ways to do things better. Years of business problem solving fueled my propensity for strategic thinking.

Sometimes the key to success isn’t to repeat what once worked, but to realize that what you once did and found rewarding…is no longer rewarding enough.

It’s time to break. Walter White decided to break bad by becoming Heisenberg. No, I’m going to start cooking meth, but I am breaking from my previous direction. Today’s show pulls back the curtain to share with you this change.

Mentioned in today’s show:

Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink
BarCodeRadio.net
LogHomeRadio.com
LeaningTowardWisdom.com

 

The Bula Network New Media Niche Project (Join Me And We’ll Learn Together)

We’re all interested in seeing what other don’t see. Bands often sell VIP packages at premium rates to give well-healed fans an opportunity to go back stage. Authors will often invite rabid reading fans to a high priced luncheon where they can interact, ask questions, hear the author speak and get a signed copy of the latest book. We crave greater access.

Equally compelling are the stories people share of their struggle. We watch the Biography channel and see how our favorite stars rose from obscurity to fame. It’s all very intriguing.

In business – especially online business – we’re all drawn in by people willing to share how they went from an idea to launching a website that gained thousands of daily faithful readers. We hear people talk about starting with an email list of only family members, but growing it to hundreds of thousands. How did they do that? It’s the question we all ask. It’s the question we all want answered.

Our assumption is, if they did it, then maybe I can do it, too.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Still, the lessons are worthwhile. Whether we can ever replicate their success or not, there’s surely something valuable in seeing how they did it. If nothing else, it’s fun to hear the stories and to learn a thing or two along the way.

No, I’m not indifferent about learning. Or teaching. I’m quite ready to get on with it. So brace yourself.

Today, I begin a project that you can be part of. Wait, wait, wait. Don’t get too excited because I don’t know enough about all this online stuff to teach you much of anything – other than what doesn’t work!

I’m going to invite you to join me on my journey as a student. I’ll be studying some things. Investing in some things. I’ll tell you what I’m doing and why. I won’t promise you that I’m going to get it right. Shoot, I don’t even know if I’ll be approaching it correctly, but I’ll share with you anyway.

The project is quite simple:

to launch a successful website in a targeted niche and have that site serve as a lead generator for a client

My overall plan is to launch a WordPress site consisting of a blog, podcast and videos.

The content will be aimed squarely at people and companies who need a particular problem solved. It’s a targeted niche.

Many niches have a decent retention rate. That is, people are interested in something and their interest remains or grows over time. Every niche has folks who fall away, but hopefully we pick niches that grow.

For instance, people who are interested in classic pickup trucks enter that niche and continue to remain interested in classic pickup trucks.

The niche I’m going to dive into isn’t like that.

One, it’s a business to business niche. Specifically, it’s a high-end software solution whose target market are companies with annual revenues of $3M and up.

Two, it’s a niche that addresses a specific problem.

Three, when the proper solution is found and the problem is solved, the prospect has no further need for information about this niche.

So I strongly suspect the people who visit the site or listen to the podcast will consume the content as they’re trying to figure out a solution to their problem…but they’ll leave once they find that solution. That’s fine. Expected.

I could be wrong about that, but given the nature of the niche it just seems logical. The plan is to create as much useful content as possible for FREE. Along the way I want to attract as much traffic as I can, but I need that traffic to have high interest in the niche. It will be especially useful if the traffic needs a solution. It will be even more helpful if my client’s solution fills that need. But no matter, greater exposure for my client will benefit their business.

In conjunction with this, I’m going to launch another website with another blog, podcast and videos talking all about this niche project (we’ll call it the Bula Network Niche Project for now). This will be my behind-the-scenes, VIP project where I share with you what I’m doing to make this niche project successful.

What do YOU think? Send me a Tweet.

P.S. Insert your name and email address in the upper right hand corner. I’d like to send you exclusive stuff from Inside The Yellow Studio. Thanks!

 

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