Internet Marketing Funk Recovery
I’m back; where was I? That’s a really great question. Thank you so much to everybody who sent cards, letters, tweets, and Facebook posts, or the electronic equivalent of all of the above wanting to know when the next podcast was coming out, where I was, whether or not I was okay. It was really pretty cool.
I’ll tell you where I was. I was in a little bit of a funk. I don’t know how else to describe it. Nicole Dean over at NicoleontheNet.com used to tell me about this phenomenon that sometimes you get into a funk and a funk is kind of when you just don’t want to do a whole lot. For me it kind of started with a little bit of procrastination. I was tired. At episode 40 I had come back from Asia and had been recording on the road, I was kind of burning the candle at both ends. I got home in plenty of time to do episode 41 (this episode) on time, I try to publish on every Thursday or late Thursday night into early morning on Friday so people can have the episodes to listen to over the weekend. I just didn’t quite get it done. I told myself, “That’s okay, I’m tired and I’ve been doing well lately so I’ll just put it off.”
So it started off with a little procrastination. Then days turned into weeks and I started violating my own rule; one of my big rules is to try to work on the business a little bit every day. Before I knew it, I was kind of dropping off the face of the earth.
I apologize to you guys. A lot of people were like, “Hey man, where’s the podcast? We’re looking for you to put out some content.” And I wasn’t doing that. So I’m sorry about that.
First of all, apologies to all of you who I disappointed by not having regular podcast episodes coming out.
I got to talking to people about it, I talked to some of my friends that have a part time gig and they told me, “We have this problem too, we get into this funk.” I wondered, “What is this funk?” A funk is something that I guess is some kind of combination of procrastination and maybe a little bit of self-doubt, and possibly some just bad vibe kind of thing that you’ve got going on, and it results in a lack of productivity.
The more people I talked to about this the more people I found were having this problem periodically. It’s the big guys that you’ve heard about and little guys and gals that you haven’t heard about that all go through these down times. So I started Googling this and I thought, “I’ll see what is a funk and how do you get out of one.” Sure enough, if you Google how to get out of a funk that’s a well-written topic on Google that you can find out all about.
For me, I’ll just kind of peel back the curtain here and let you know what got me into my funk, I mentioned I was a little tired and I had kind of been burning the candle at both ends. But that’s pretty normal for me, I’m doing that all the time. There was some other stuff going on in my life as well, some high stress stuff going on at my day job.
Now, you guys know I have a rule that I don’t talk about my day job very much and I don’t call my employer out by name. I mentioned in a blog post the other day I really still feel like I work for an excellent employer and one of the ways that I show respect to them is by not talking about the things that go on at the office.
They had announced publicly back in November that they were making some financial restructuring changes that were going to affect 1,700 or so people. I knew some of those people that were affected and, in fact, the kind of work that I do at my day job has changed as a result of this restructuring.
Even though my employer does an amazing job of respecting people and treating them well in these sorts of changes and handling things in the most professional and human way that you could possibly imagine, incredibly generously in most cases, it still represents change for people and sometimes that change isn’t easy to take. If you’re a manager dealing with giving that information, that’s pretty stressful. If the change is effecting you in some way, that’s pretty stressful. It turns out these kind of high stress situations can be triggers for funkedness.
I also mentioned being tired. I think one of the things that goes along with that in my research is if you’re not getting the right kind of exercise. I’ve always heard this all my life, that you need a healthy body for a healthy mind, and you need to exercise in order to be in the right frame of mind. I really do believe that if you have bad health practices, you’re not eating right, you’re not getting the right kind of exercise, it leads to a lot of things; low energy, maybe poor self-image in some cases. None of those things are good for productivity.
All of this sounds a little bit like maybe depression. I’m not a clinical psychologist and I don’t play one on TV, but you just kind of are feeling a little down. While I wouldn’t characterize myself that way, but people who have an issue are always the last ones to admit it. You get into a little funk and it’s a thing that can lead to this productivity problem.
One of the things I started to research was how do you get out of these funks, what do you do in order to get out of them. Of course the first thing I did – this is so great – one of the great things about the internet is that you run across people that you know. This guy I don’t actually “know,” Michael Hyatt, I don’t know him personally but I feel like I do. I listen to his podcast, we have friends that know each other, he’s friends with Cliff Ravenscraft and I’ve talked to Michael on Twitter a couple of times.
He’s a big shot, he was a huge CEO of a huge publishing platform and he has this great bestselling book out there called Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, which is exactly the kind of stuff that people who have blogs need to be paying attention to.
He talks about his small funks that he’s been through and he talks about his solutions, about the things that he does to work around funks. He talks about focusing on positive things, moving your body, setting an upbeat environment through music and things like that. One of the ways if he feels this particularly feeling coming on he’ll get out and go exercise, so that’s kind of cool.
The other thing that he talks about, and that fortunately I have this to lean on, is he gets support from his support system which includes his wife. That’s one of the reasons that I’m back on the mic. In fact, I’m back on the mic for roughly three reasons.
One is I have great support from my wife. I’ve told this story before, she’s the reason I’m in all this internet marketing stuff. She says things to me like, “Hey, if you want to grow this internet thing you’re actually going to have to work on it,” after she noticed I was watching NCIS Los Angeles instead of working on my internet business.
That’s quite literally the kind of thing that was going on and she said, “Hey, what’s up, what’s going on?” That can be really helpful. You always want to surround yourself with people that can help you.
The second thing was just this kind of outpouring of emails, phone calls, and notes from people who wanted to see the show, “Where’s the show? Are you okay?” that kind of thing. That perked me up and me had me going on.
The other thing that was really groovy was I have a six year old son, his name is Zach and he’s totally cool, and he likes to play Minecraft. For those of you that don’t know what Minecraft is, it’s this game that you play on the computer, you can play with other players, and basically you mine for resources and you craft things with the resources that you mine.
For example, you might cut down a tree and make a wooden pickaxe. Then you’d use that pickaxe to mine cobblestone out of the ground and then you’d use that cobblestone to craft a cobblestone pickaxe. Then you might mine iron and make an iron pickaxe, and so on. You can build cities and all of this stuff is happening while you’re being attacked by zombies, skeletons with bows and arrows, these things called creepers that sneak up on you and blow up, and giant spiders.
This is an incredibly popular game, if you haven’t heard of it it’s really cool. The graphics are kind of unique in the sense that the whole thing looks a little bit like Lego’s. It’s all laid on sort of a three-dimensional grid where everything is made out of these squares. You have to see it to totally understand it, but if you follow Minecraft you know what I’m talking about.
Well, my six year old likes to watch videos on YouTube about Minecraft. And you know all of the crazy stuff that’s on YouTube, you cannot just set a six year old lose on YouTube. So we’ve restricted him and luckily my six year old is the kind of kid that likes to follow rules. Our rule is you can only watch videos by this one guy. I went on YouTube and I found this guy named Paul Soares Jr. and he teaches people how to play Minecraft, he has a lot of very entertaining and high production quality videos about Minecraft on YouTube and this huge following, so we let my son watch these videos.
After my son and I had watched 1,000 hours of these YouTube videos together on Saturday mornings I just tweeted to Paul and said, “Hey, just wanted to say thanks. My son and I play Minecraft and it’s because of the great stuff that we learned from you. Thanks so much.”
I get this reply from Paul and he says, “It’s my turn to thank you. I want to thank you and Pat Flynn for influencing me to do something that I really care about online.”
So if you ever want validation, you reach out to somebody at random and they know your name at all … Paul Soares Jr. is huge in the Minecraft world, he might be the biggest Minecraft celebrity, millions of viewers. The fact that he even knew who I am was just quite amazing and it made me feel really good about doing this kind of work. If I can help a guy like Paul Soares Jr. do just a little bit, if I can help him just a little bit, just a tiny bit, enough to be mentioned by him in a sentence on Twitter, that just absolutely makes my day.
Make no mistake, Paul is famous is because he creates awesome content about a topic that people care about and about something that he cares about himself. The fact that he would mention me in that way was just totally flattering.
That combination of inputs really had me sit back and say, “Hey, time to de-funkify. I need to get up, start moving around, start exercising, get a plan for 2013, figure out what’s going on here and get back on the mic.” So here I am and that’s my story.
Why tell you all that?
There’s two reasons. One is it’s cathartic for me, it’s helpful, it’s good for me. The second reason is I felt like I owed you an explanation for where I’ve been. I said two reasons, but really a third one…
One thing I’ve learned from following Pat Flynn – and I don’t mean really following him and learning how to make money online, I mean following what he does, watching his behaviors – it seems to me that the more transparent Pat is and the more real he is about what’s going on, the more people enjoy his content. I know that’s true for me. The more I hear from Pat about what’s really going on in his life the more I love it. So I’m following Pat’s example. That’s really what’s been going on for me. I hope you find that interesting and I hope I didn’t bore you to death.
Now, there’s one more thing I have to tell you about and this one is kind of another pull back the curtain ah-ha moment and I hope you’ll enjoy that as well.
Apology & Retraction from Episode 40
While I’m peeling back the curtain here I wanted to make a public apology, retraction, whatever. In episode 40 I made this kind of cavalier statement.
I recorded episode 40 on the road in a hotel room and I was very off the cuff, kind of like I am tonight. I was referring to whether or not you needed a nondisclosure agreement and I referred to the fact that it didn’t make any sense for you to go suing a developer in a hut in the Philippines.
I got this comment from a listener named Glenn who said, “A developer in a hut in the Philippines, really? Poor showing, Mark, especially from someone who claims to have traveled a fair bit in Asia.”
That made me sit forward in my seat a little bit. First of all, let me say that I’m very sorry that I said that in that way because it sounds very demeaning to people in the Philippines. I have friends in the Philippines, coworkers both in the internet world and the electronics world, and I certainly did not mean for that to come out the way it did.
But I said it. And one of the things about having a podcast is that you have a responsibility to behave yourself. The things that you say, your words have meaning and people listen to them. You have to own what you say and I said that and I should not have said that.
I wanted to thank Glenn for pointing that out and giving me an opportunity to point it out to you for a couple of reasons. One is that people make mistakes and I certainly did, I do all the time and there’s one of them. The second thing is to say feedback from your audience and your community is incredibly valuable and you should pay attention to it.
One choice that you could make when someone sends you some feedback like that is to say, “Oh be quiet,” and get defensive and maybe attack Glenn. My response was, “Glenn, you’ve got that right. I’m sorry and I need to publish a correction. Thanks for calling me out on that. This is that correction.
The Philippines is actually known as The Republic of the Philippines and it’s in southeast Asia, for those of you that don’t know much about geography it’s sort of in the western Pacific. If you go across the straight there from the Philippines you would land, I guess, in Taiwan.
It’s basically an archipelago of islands, thousands of islands comprise the Philippines and the capital city of the Philippines is Manila. So it’s not some tiny little country, it’s a giant economic engine with more than 92,000,000 people. In fact, it’s the seventh most populated Asian country and the 12th most populated country in the world, according to Wikipedia. In addition to that, there’s over 10,000,000 people from the Philippines that live overseas.
I’m disappointed, I have a really strong record on diversity and being sensitive to people. I participate in a lot of diversity awareness activities at work and I’m really disappointed in myself for suggesting that developers in the Philippines live in huts. Of course I know that’s not true.
My apologies to each and every one of you who might have been offended by that offensive comment that I made. Again, one more thanks to Glenn for calling me on that. You’re awesome, Glenn. Thank you very much.
What’s to Come
That leaves our last topic, which is what’s to come. Here’s what you can expect from me in 2013. I have some serious goals in 2013, I’m highly motivated to take Late Night Internet Marketing up a notch.
You’ll notice the rebranding is moving forward, the LateNightIM.com site is up and limping along with the transitions. Everything is not mapped out as far as having everything working and all the content there populated that I want to have.
Basically my intent for this is to be a resource for people who want to get started or who want to continue making money on the internet as a part time activity. I want it to be the best resource, particularly for beginning internet marketers on the internet.
The reason I say beginning is because once you’re not beginning anymore I think you need multiple resources, and I think it’s pretty hard to be all things to all people for that. You have to know what you want to be. What I want to be is the guy who people can say, “Hey, if you want to learn how to do this, go talk to Mark Mason because he has a ton of free content that will help you get started.” That’s really what I want this to be about in 2013, so the podcast will be going in that direction.
I hope to answer more questions in 2013 than we did in 2012. I love the format of Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast Answer Man show where tons of people, more questions than he can get to, are calling in and asking questions. In that case, about podcasting, about internet marketing. In my case, I’d like to have about one interview every month, so I’d like one of my four shows each month to be an interview. I’d like for the podcast frequency to get back to once a week, that’s definitely the goal. I’m going to try and publish every Thursday and I’m going to build a great resource for you.
In order to do that, more feedback is always better. I can always use that. Please feel free to contact me, there are lots of good ways. You can go to LateNightIM.com and you click on the feedback tab there on the right hand side, that will allow you to leave me a voicemail, which is really cool. You can use your microphone from your PC and there’s a button there that says “Talk to Mark” on the right hand side, you can leave a recorded message and it’s very high quality. As always, you can call the voicemail feedback hotline at 214-444-8655. I would love to hear from you that way as well if a telephone is more convenient for you. Or you can send me an email and I’ll read it on the air and try to get to your questions.
So that is the plan for 2013. I want you guys to hold me accountable and feel free to poke at me if I’m not meeting your expectations.
In the next week or so on the blog and on the podcast I’m going to be talking a little bit about my 2013 goals, a little bit of information about the importance of goal settings, and I have some questions in the queue from people who have left feedback but I’d like to hear more.
And I’m happy to say that Paul Soares Jr., my hero in the Minecraft world, has agreed to come on the show. Hopefully in January we’ll have Paul on the show, because he is truly awesome. When we talk to Paul you will see a guy who has just grabbed a hold of something that he’s passionate about and is doing some stuff that approached replacing his very nice full time income. We’ll get into all of that when we talk to him on the show in January.
So that’s what I have planned. I hope this was interesting to you. We’ll be a lot more internet marketing heavy in the next coming episodes, but for this episode I really wanted to hit the reset button.
I hope you’re having a fantastic holiday season wherever you are in the world, if you’re just spending time with family or enjoying spending alone, I hope you’re having a great end of the year. I’m very glad that the Mayans had it wrong and the world did not end, that makes me very happy. It’s all good and we’re going to have a lot of fun in 2013.
I will see you next Thursday; you have an absolutely fantastic week.