Is Visibility More Important than Ability?

Can you think of one of your competitors who is very successful even though they aren’t nearly as experienced or skilled as you? The one that leaves you scratching your head about why they are on top and you are not? I’m going to tell you why, and I will offer a glimpse into the harsh reality (sorry) and the truth about why inferior products and services often end up as the market leaders.

When it comes to branding, size matters. Or better still, the number of eye-balls counts. The more visible you are, the more you win. It doesn’t matter if you’re more skilled or have more talent. The most visible brands are those who have opportunities come their way while invisible brands do not. People get paid for who they are more than for what they do. We see this happen with celebrities every day. Kim Kardashian doesn’t get paid to attend events because she’s a riveting conversationalist. She gets paid to attend events because of her name recognition. People don’t always choose the most deserving person or company to work with. Business is often a popularity contest. Now, I’m not suggesting that you can succeed with bad products or services just as long as you focus on brand visibility. That is a surefire way to make sure your brand is known for all of the wrong reasons. You will never get any repeat business or referrals if you can’t deliver on the goods. You still have to have the ability. Most people fall into a trap that is commonly called the Field of Dreams approach to marketing. They believe that if they build it, they will come. If you think this way, I’ve got terrible news for you. No one is coming for your product or service. No one is going out of their way to discover you. Just because you have a product to sell doesn’t mean anyone will buy it. You may have an incredible product or service, and I truly hope that you do. But having a great product or service isn’t going to be enough. If no one knows you exist, the best product in the world isn’t going to save you. An overwhelming number of good products are on the market. However, just because a product is good, doesn’t mean it’s worth talking about. Producing a good—or even a great product—doesn’t mean people will come busting down your door to buy it. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be found everywhere, as traditional branding would suggest. You just want to be found everywhere within your niche, everywhere your audience is hanging out. Visibility is all about being consistent. You must be active and be “out there” every single day. You want to maintain your visibility and momentum. There’s no time to slow down.


Self Doubt is a Killer

Like a real killer. With a Knife.

How much you believe in yourself plays a huge factor in how successful your business will be.

Self-belief is the best strategy I know. When you are full of self-doubt, you will have a very hard time moving forward. It will hold you back more than you can possibly imagine. Self-doubt is the number one cause of failure for most entrepreneurs.

Self-doubt leads to fear. Fear keeps you from ever taking action. Fear keeps you from progress. Fear keeps you from success. Fear keeps you from happiness. It’s impossible to be 100 percent fearless. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a simple idiot. You’ll never get rid of it completely, so choose something better to fear- like poverty.

Without self-confidence, you’ll constantly struggle. No one wants to spend money on someone who isn’t confident. Your belief in your products and services matters a lot. It shows that you have great pride in what you have to offer.

You have to be confident in what you do. You must honestly believe you are the best option for people. If you lack confidence, people will see it and they will never become buyers. If you’re not confidant in what you do, how can you expect prospects to have any confidence in you?

Success for your business is greatly determined by your beliefs and not your circumstances. No excuses are acceptable. As the saying goes, you have to believe in yourself before you can expect anyone else to. Take this to heart. Customers and employees will pick up on your confidence or lack thereof. They will either become confident in your business or lose faith in it. They will feed off you.

How confident you are in your product or service determines how aggressive you will market it. If deep down you know your product is not 100 percent awesome, you will be tentative with your marketing approach. Being timid isn’t going to get your business at the top of the food chain. When you lack confidence you lack the courage to try new innovative ideas.

No matter what industry you are in, you are in a competitive environment. It’s easy to allow yourself to become intimidated by your competition. Don’t worry about larger competitors. Believe in yourself and trust your abilities.

You need to have the mindset that people would be foolish not to buy your product or service.

You might not want to come right out and say that, but you should be thinking it. If you are not the best at what you do or at least are working your butt off to become the best, then what’s the point?

I should stress that I’m talking about confidence and not cockiness. Confidence is attractive. Cockiness is not. It is never cool to be an arrogant jerk. No one wants to work for that gal, and no one wants to do business with that guy. Believing you are the best in what you do is all about confidence in yourself, never arrogance.



21 Ways to Get Motivated Right Now!

HEY YOU! Do you need some motivating RIGHT NOW?


Then you’re in luck. This post will give you 21 proven ways to get you motivated quickly.

Disclaimer: This post is extremely REAL and there will be some yelling involved. But heck, a little yelling never killed anyone.

The point of this post is to get your ass in gear, PRONTO! Once you feel pumped, get to work! Don’t just read this and get back to your procrastination marathon. Take this seriously! It may take more than one of these to get you working. It may take 3 or 4 but as soon as you feel inspired, get to work immediately. Save the rest for later. Yes, I’m actually asking you not to read through this whole post if you don’t need to.

Do you want to get productive and get stuff done right now?!? Do you want to stop feeling embarrassingly pathetic, pitiful and lazy? Then let’s get started!

1.   GET UP

If you are sitting down, physically stand up right now. Get on your feet. Get the blood flowing. Move around. Motion creates emotion.

2.   Stop Complaining

Why? Well, not only is being negative the opposite of being motivated but complaining is like a high-powered vacuum that sucks up any positive spirit you may have. When you complain, you focus on the negative. Inspiration can never come from that place.

Instead, focus on what you are grateful for. There is plenty…like the fact you have something to work on.

In addition, complaining is for losers and that’s not you!

3.   Go for a 15-minute walk

If it’s cold, wear a jacket. If it’s raining, take an umbrella. Get some fresh air.  Stop making excuses and just do it. Going for a walk clears your head and allows you to see things with a better perspective. This really works if you are demotivated because you are feeling overwhelmed with all the work you need to do.

4.   Crank up The MUSIC

Music has the power to alter our mood. Play your favorite playlist that gets you HYPED and play it LOUD!

Play some songs that were played during some amazing moments in your life like a championship game you were in or a wedding or graduation party. Music plays an important role with our neuro-associations. By simply playing a song that was played during a high-energy time of your life, it can put you in the same exact state of mind. Be carful though, the opposite is also true.

Oh! And get up and dance. Why not?

5.   Grab a pen and Paper

Write down all the reasons why you need to get these things you need to get done, DONE. Think big picture like: “If I don’t get these Podcast show notes done then I can’t release this podcast and get the exposure I need to be successful so I can live the life I want already!”

6.   Get face-to-face with your task

Shut off all distractions. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other social procrastination network you are apart of. Close your email. Close any notifications you got on your computer, iPhone, iPad, iWhatever. A part of being motivated to work is getting focused. Having distractions and interruptions kills your focus.

Have nothing in front of you that is NOT the task at hand. If you need to write a post for your blog, have your text editor open and NOTHING ELSE. Insane, I know. But when you are face-to-face with your task and you start working, you’ll be motivated to crush it in minutes. Trust me, this just happened to me when I started writing this post now.

7.   Get MAD

Get angry at your current lazy self. Get yourself worked up about how much you hate not being where you want to be and how your lazy state is not helping your cause.  Don’t be self-loathing. The idea here is to be your own 10th grade gym teacher telling you to climb that rope!

 8.   Listen To This Story

Trust me. It’s amazing and it will get you pumped to do what you need to do immediately.

If you want anything bad enough, you can make it happen.

9.   Call someone that picks you up

Call a friend that always makes you feel good. Tell them what you are struggling with and they will give you a piece of their mind, in a good way J. They will remind you why this is important to you and how you can do this.

10.  Read these quotes

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. – Henry Ford

The dreamers are the saviors of the world. – James Allen

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become. – Oprah Winfrey

11.  Read a few pages from War of Art

Steven Pressfield gave me the biggest kick in the ass when I read his best selling book The War of Art. This book will call you out on all your lazy-ass excuses and get you motivated to tackle what-ever you are trying to accomplish.

Just a few pages will get you going and remind you that your art, your business, your work, is worth doing and needs to get done. PRONTO!

12.  Brew a Cup (or 2) of Coffee or Tea

Sometimes you just need a cup of your sweet elixir to get your mojo going.

13.  Take a Cosmo Kramer Shower

This particular shower technique was made popular by the 90’s sitcom Seinfeld character, Cosmo Kramer. Take a warm shower and then inch the water temperature to get colder and colder every 30 seconds until you’re taking an invigorating cold shower. As Kramer says “It will give ya a ZING!”

14.  Look at these GIFs

A good laugh lifts the spirits and can give you boost of energy. Spending 2 minutes to have a good laugh can make you feel like your old self again and ready to get to work.




15.  Look at Your Accomplishments

Read an old blog post you’re proud. Watch a video you shot that got some great comments. Reminisce on your first sale. Remind yourself that you are capable of great work and that all you need to do is…you guessed it! WORK.

16.  Let Al Pacino Motivate You

17.  Make a deal…with yourself

Tell/ promise yourself that once you complete the task(s) you have to do, you will treat yourself to an ice cream or one of those fancy frozen yogurts you crazy kids are eating these days.

18.  Do the Easy Part First

Just get started. Even if it’s the easiest part first. For example with this post, I did the easiest part first- I listed the 21 ways then wrote about each one after that.

19.  Give Your Self a Deadline. Make it Public

One of the most powerful motivators is a public deadline. I personally experience this in our launches. No mater how small the task, put a deadline on it and tell others. Announcing it infuses the feeling of accountability. Something as simple as tweeting out “Releasing an amazing post on how to yodel underwater. Coming at you in 4 hours. Watch this space!” DO IT!

20.  Do this Workout

Do the Entrepreneur Workout by Amy Clover. It only takes 5-10 minutes.

21. Act like it

If you don’t feel motivated, ACT LIKE IT. Funny thing is that within a few minutes you actually start to feel enthusiastic for real. Physiology is powerful. Depressed people have their head down, their breath is shallow. Motivated people have their shoulders back and head up. Get in a motivated physical state and the rest of you will follow.

Well, there you go. If you are still here, I love you, but please get to work. GO! DO IT! You deserve to make it happen.

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Great Advice I Received in 2013

Instead of using this time of year to bask in reflection I rather share some useful bits with you. A lot of people like to give advice. Most of it is bullshit. Actually, it’s worse than bullshit because at least you can use bullshit as fertilizer to grow some crops in your backyard. I found that the majority of insights that people want to share with you has no real substance and is based on ego and not experience.

So in this post, I’ve done you the favor of filtering the best nuggets I received this year from people worth listening to that really helped me and our business this past year. Many of these really helped me see things clearer and prompted me to make small adjustments that made all the difference.

Resistance is real and it’s my enemy – Steven Pressfield

If you haven’t read Pressfield’s book War of Art, then make sure you do ASAP. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in 2013. If you are trying to build a business, create a new product, write a book or pursue any creative endeavor, the take away you need to know and learn (read the book) is there are internal forces that keep us from doing the work we need to do. This is beyond procrastination and combating it is not as simple as playing your favorite pump-up song to get your ass in gear.

Pressfield calls this Resistance and explains why it is our enemy. Without making a total mess of his work in trying to explain, resistance is real and you have to be on your guard at all times if you expect to get anything of value done.

The take away: Just knowing what you are up against and being conscious of the fact you are fighting resistance always, is a takeaway in itself.

Design is in the message- Justin Jackson

In an earlier post, Design, Words and Justin Jackson I shared how Justin Jackson drills home the importance of starting with words when designing a website in his This is a web page post.

Justin makes the compelling argument that design is all about augmenting your message, a message that starts with your words. If you have a message that isn’t compelling enough to your audience, your snazzy design isn’t going to do much good. A great design does wonders for your brand only when your brand’s message is strong. It only augments your message, it doesn’t create it.

The take away: Starting with words and ensuring you have something meaningful to say that resonates with your audience is where design gets its direction. When you start with words, with a message, you end up with a design that leaves them remembering you.

We all believe in something. What does my Audience believe in?- Seth Godin

One of the most powerful reads I enjoyed this last year was Seth Godin’s best selling book Tribes. The book is packed with many insightful bits, but the one that really was a work of art to me was his take on faith. When Seth speaks about faith, he is purely talking about one’s beliefs.

We all believe in something. Without faith, we would never get anything done. If I didn’t believe that this post was worth writing and publishing, I wouldn’t be in front of my computer now. If you didn’t have faith that the sun would rise tomorrow, you wouldn’t set your alarm for the next morning.

So the question is what does your audience believe in and is your message supporting those beliefs? Are you creating things worth believing in?  If you’re creating an eBook, is it in line with your audience’s beliefs? And if not how do you make them believe?

The take away: This is such an insightful way of looking at product creation and marketing. Beliefs are stronger than we may give them credit. Leveraging that, in a good way, makes complete sense to me. Create with beliefs in mind.

You can do anything, IF you want it bad enough.-  Grant Peelle

We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Grant Peelle this last year. Grant has been a great friend and if you don’t already know who he is, you ought to. We interviewed Grant for People Who Know Their Shit and the message he sends in that interview and in every thing he does is: You can do anything, IF you want it bad enough.

Grant walks the talk. He left his comfortable life in real estate to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker. He  documents this event in his directorial debut, I’m Fine, Thanks. Grant is one of those people that just pumps you up just being around him. Not because he is shouting affirmations at you but because he is passionate about going after what you want.

Grant reminds me that there are no excuses. If you want it, go get it. I often feel a sense of comfort when speaking to him because I feel like he sings the same song as we do. And even determined people need support.

The take away: Find out what you want more than anything in this world and go for it with everything you got. Don’t stop. Keep going. Keep trying because those who ‘make it’ really only make it because they’re the only ones standing after it’s all said and done.

Grant works with Stillmotion to tell amazing stories. Check out his latest, #standwithme.

Stop making up things to be afraid of. Only you can be you.- Leo Babbouta

I’m a reader of Zen Habbits, Leo Babouta’s simple yet powerful blog. I learned a lot from Leo but the most powerful lesson I learned was not a post or book he has published, but his use of uncopywright. His entire blog, and all his ebooks, have been uncopyrighted since January 2008.

This means he has put all his written work in the public domain. He explicitly states there is no need to email him for permission and you may use his content however you want, with or without credit.

He is not a fan copyright laws but more importantly this statement on his website has me respecting Leo at a whole new level. He isn’t afraid of copy cats or competitors. He isn’t consumed with ‘what if’s’ and protecting information that he believes is best if it is spread freely. He understands that it’s just chatter in our heads and if someone wants to copy your work, they’ll do it and chasing them down is not worth your effort. Moreover, he encourages others to improve upon his work.

The take away: Stop worrying about things that don’t matter and get to work. This is insanely useful advice.

I really don’t have much to add to the above mentioned but I do want to close with this. Steven, Justin, Seth, Grant, Leo, if you happen to be reading this- Thank you. You have impacted us. We appreciate you.



What do you stand for?

At some point you have to draw a line in the sand. I have no doubt in my mind you have a strong stance on something in your industry. Whatever you do, don’t hold that opinion back!

Don’t be afraid to take a stand. Agreement with how things have always been said and done is not only boring; it slams the door shut on innovation. It leaves you very little room for creativity. Innovation and creativity are what keeps your brand fresh. Sometimes you’ve just got to rant and rave.

People love people who are passionate. When you feel strongly about something and your passion shines through, then your audience will get behind what you believe in.

When you are confident in your message and take a stand on something, you are standing out and positioning yourself as an authority. Your business must stand for something.

Fans are very attracted to a strong stance on something. All great businesses have a point of view. A business’s philosophy or anchor belief, as I call it, is that thing that motivates you to do what you do.

Your business’s anchor belief is your brand’s philosophy or viewpoint. It’s a big idea that is the focus of all of your products, services, marketing, presentations, and any other element of your business. Its premise becomes the backbone of your brand.

Any brands that can identify and develop their own anchor belief will end up making a lot of money and find themselves ahead of the pack.

Your anchor belief is presented in a way that is new and interesting. It makes your target audience eager to find out more about you and your business. It helps cut through the marketing noise and becomes a valuable asset for your brand.

Your anchor belief is exciting. It’s exciting for you and those who are exposed to it. It makes people want to share it because they agree with your philosophy and stance in the marketplace.

You must be completely focused on your anchor belief. It helps define your brand and gives prospects clarity about you. This is why it’s absolutely critical to ensure your philosophy and message is a part of all you do, whether that be a marketing campaign, video, blog post, product, webinar, or presentation.

Because your anchor belief is unique to you, you create distance between you and the rest of the competition. It gives you great leverage in building and strengthening your audience and community.

You should create positioning that is unique to you. When people attach themselves to your anchor belief, you not only create brand advocates but you establish yourself as a leader and authority. This enables you to sell more of your product or service and opens the door for more opportunities.

It’s easier to get someone to buy into your philosophy and anchor belief than it is to buy a product. Once they’ve bought into your philosophy, it is super easy to sell your product.

Keep your message simple. Prospects hate complexity and confusion with a passion. Confused prospects will never buy from you.

I leave you with a song that you’ve probably heard before. But after reading this post, there’s a fair chance you’ll hear it differently. Enjoy.


How To Self-Promote Without Looking Like Donald Trump

Let me be perfectly clear when I talk about self-promotion and bringing in the noise. I’m not talking about bragging. “Brag” is a dirty word that our society frowns upon. There is a huge difference between bragging and self-promotion.

Donald Trump has built a very large brand both for his company and his own personal brand. Although there are a lot of things Trump does well to build his brand, he is too boastful about it. He takes credit for things he had little to do with and constantly claims to be the best at anything he does.

Don’t be the guy or gal who brags all the time and is a show-off. No one likes that person. Maintain a sense of humitly. Even though it’s “self-promotion,” it is not about you. It is about your target audience.

Marketing that is purely ego driven does not generate results.

Your brand and marketing campaigns should never be just about you. Yes, it is self-promotion, but you are promoting yourself because you have value to add to people’s lives.

Self-promotion needs to be geared towards and focused on what makes you remarkable, different and ultimately better than what’s out there. Self-promotion works when people see you are doing something that benefits them.

This is going to sound a bit contradictory considering we’re talking about self-promotion. A big secret of self-promotion is to promote others more than yourself. We at The $100 MBA often talk about our friends in the industry and our favorite clients. Talking about how good your customers are is still self-promotion because it’s still about you. Let them do the talking through testimonials.

The more you focus your self-promotion efforts on showing others what value you bring to the table, the more people will be convinced you are worth paying attention to. You don’t really matter. What you can offer you audience does.

In conclusion, don’t be this guy…