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Archive for the ‘Lessons Learned’ Category

In case you missed any of February’s Lessons Learned, or didn’t learn anything yourself, the following is a short list.  Now get out there and learn something!

Nun with RulerFocusing on CONTENT over design

Lesson Learned: If you are going to spend valuable resources (time and money), on web development, be wise and spend more on content than design.

Delete your e-Goo

Lesson Learned: The e-life can keep you connected and enhance your life, or it can drown your time and attention in a cesspool of digital e-goo.  Your choice…

think less…DO MORE

Lesson Learned: Stop thinking so much. Don’t wait until tomorrow or until the goal or plan are crystal clear. Get out there and do something.  Trust your intuition and take chances.

Is Your Homepage Sending the Right Message?

Lesson Learned: Be crystal-clear about who you are and what you’re offering.  Spend as much time as needed clarifying your message so that it can be quickly and easily understood by your audience.

What do Elephants and Google Have in Common?

Lesson Learned: Protect your personal brand at all costs.  The world, or more appropriately “Google”, is watching, listening and won’t be forgetting any time soon.  As Google puts it… “Don’t be evil.”

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thinking monkeyDisclaimer:  Thinking less can be dangerous and must be used wisely, serious action may occur.  Not advised while driving, with credit cards, or taking exams.

Why can it be so hard to take action?  Is it fear of failure that paralyzes us, or perhaps laziness?  I am not one to think of myself as neither fearful of mistakes nor lazy, yet at times I can find it difficult to take hold of a goal and take immediate action towards the fulfillment of that goal.  As odd as it sounds, I would advise myself to do less thinking and more doing.

Action starts with conscious thought.  Physically, we must think, before we act.  But can we think too much?  Growing up, undoubtedly we have all heard that we must “think before we speak” and to “think about the consequences of our actions” before acting on them.   But for some, we can think “too” much before we act.  Over-thinking our actions can paralyze us into inaction.

In his blog post, Task Ninja: Form the Action Habit, Leo Babauta advises to;

“Stop thinking so much. Thinking is a good thing. Overthinking isn’t, and it gets in the way. Put aside all the thinking (analysis paralysis) and just do.”

Lesson Learned: Stop thinking so much. Don’t wait until tomorrow or until the goal or plan are crystal clear. Get out there and do something.  Trust your intuition and take chances.

Update (2/20): Just before posting this, I happened to find a great post I would recommend reading. Check it out; Is Analysis Paralysis Stopping You from Taking Action?, Vincent offers 7 Tips for combating the Over-thinking virus.

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Delete, unsubscribe, remove, cancel; these are a few of my favorite things. Lately I have been a huge advocate of the frequent use of these powerful tools:
delete button

  • Checking myspace.com once every 3 months? Delete!
  • Getting newsletters you don’t read? Unsubscribe!
  • Subscribed to a blogger that doesn’t blog or worse, blogs about irrelevant topics? Remove!
  • Using, or rather not using a SaaS (Software as a Service) that you’re paying for? Cancel!

The Internet is a wonderful resource and can provide loads of value to our lives. But its use tends to fill up our cups everyday with e-goo that, in the end, provide little or no value. It took me a long time to become a fan for the delete. With time (or lack there of), I began to notice that I was wading through useless emails, having accounts with useless websites, and not reading blogs I subscribed to. From this, my passion for eliminating the unnecessary was born.

Is it really that hard to remove the e-goo from our lives that does not provide us with value? On second thought, e-goo with no value can be easy to delete, but it is that stuff that has just enough value, even a small amount, that can be the problem.

Consider Pareto’s 80/20 Principle. You use 20% of your e-stuff, 80% of the time or 20% of your e-stuff makes up for 80% of the total value. Would I be able to find this website again without bookmarking it if I needed to? Yes. Ok then don’t save it. The more you wade through your own e-goo, consider how much time it sucks out of your day. Whether it’s 2 hours for 40 emails or 2 seconds to find that bookmark amongst the thousand, it all takes time, your time, and that is something that you cannot get back.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and flex those delete muscles, throw out that old pair of shoes, and take back your time. Value your time, and use delete as daily practice.

Lesson Learned: The e-life can keep you connected and enhance your life, or it can drown your time and attention in a cesspool of digital e-goo. Your choice…

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In the world e-Business and online marketing today, entrepreneurs must focus on developing KILLER CONTENT over creating a flashy design. As the SEO/SEM landscape continues to unfold, it is quickly becoming a mandatory topic for research and understanding. Especially on a medium as large and vast as the Internet, it is content much more than design that will be the fuel that drives your online business.

Do not mistake me, it is important to have a website that has a clean and professional look and feel to it. However, in comparison to content, the look of a site has little to do with its success. A perfect example of this is Craigslist. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give Craigslist a 3, and only that high because I would award some merit for simplicity. But it wasn’t its sexy look that boosted Craigslist to the height of our awareness, but its usability and content.

Seth Godin talks about this lack of importance on design in one of his blogs entitled How to create a good enough website. He says:

“For most people, that’s all you need. A website that’s good enough. Not that breaks new ground, establishes a new identity, discovers new ways for people to interact online. Just a good enough website that didn’t kill you to launch…I’m going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design.”

What Seth understands by saying this, is that the success of a website/e-business doesn’t hinge on a beautiful design. It is the content that fuel that appeals to your target market, drawing web visitors to your site, which turn into leads, opportunities and finally customers. Sure a great design doesn’t hurt, but realize that it is not critical to your success.

A point that is driven home in a awesome webinar by Hubspot.com called ‘Doing a Website Redesign with an Internet Marketing Strategy in Mind.’ In it, Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing, discusses how and when to redesign a website. Emphasizing that the goal of the redesign has to be to increase traffic and leads, not make it better looking.

Lessons Learned: If you are going to spend valuable resources (time and money), on web development, be wise and spend more on content than design.

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