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7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People

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Habits of Effective Mediocre People

The following article is by a highly interesting author by the name of James Altucher, who outlines the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People. With a plethora of great points and amazing lessons to learn, read on my friends and you’ll see why it may not be so bad after all to consider yourself as “Mediocre“.

The following is an excerpt from Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher,  founder of  StockPickr,  and writer for TechCrunch, HuffPo, and Forbes.

 

 

 

7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People

 

I’m pretty mediocre. I’m not even being sarcastic or self-deprecating. I’ve never done anything that stands out as, “Woah! This guy made it into outer space! Or…this guy has a bestselling novel! Or…if only Google had thought of this!” I’ve had some successes and some failures but never reached any of the goals I had initially set. Always slipped off along the way, off the yellow brick road, into the wilderness.

I’ve started a bunch of companies. Sold some. Failed at most. I’ve invested in a bunch of startups. Sold some. Failed at some, and the jury is still sequestered on a few others. I’ve written some books, most of which I no longer like. I can tell you overall, though, everything I have done has been distinguished by its mediocrity, its lack of a grand vision, and any success I’ve had can be just as much put in the luck basket as the effort basket.

That said, all people should be so lucky. We can’t all be grand visionaries. We can’t all be Picassos. We want to make our business, make our art, sell it, make some money, raise a family, and try to be happy. My feeling, based on my own experience, is that aiming for grandiosity is the fastest route to failure. For every Mark Zuckerberg there are 1000 Jack Zuckermans. Who is Jack Zuckerman? I have no idea. That’s my point. If you are Jack Zuckerman and are reading this, I apologize. You aimed for the stars and missed. Your re-entry into the atmosphere involved a broken heat shield and you burned to a crisp by the time you hit the ocean. Now we have no idea who you are.

If you want to get rich, sell your company, have time for your hobbies, raise a halfway decent family, and enjoy the sunset with your wife on occasion, here are some of my highly effective recommendations.

 

1 – Procrastination

Procrastination is your body telling you you need to back off a bit and think more about what you are doing. When you procrastinate as an entrepreneur it could mean that you need a bit more time to think about what you are pitching a client. It could also mean you are doing work that is not your forte and that you are better off delegating. I find that many entrepreneurs are trying to do everything when it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to delegate, even if there are up front monetary costs associated with that. In my first business, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head the first time I delegated a programming job to someone other than me. Why did I decide finally to delegate then at that particular point? I had a hot date. Which was infinitely better than me sweating all night on some stupid programming bug.

Try to figure out why you are procrastinating. Maybe you need to brainstorm more to improve an idea. Maybe the idea is no good as is. Maybe you need to delegate. Maybe you need to learn more. Maybe you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Maybe you don’t like the client whose project you were just working on. Maybe you need to take a break. There’s only so many seconds in a row you can think about something before you need to take time off and rejuvenate the creative muscles. This is not for everyone. Great people can storm right through. Steve Jobs never needed to take a break. But I do.

Procrastination could also be a strong sign that you are a perfectionist. That you are filled with shame issues. This will block you from building and selling your business. Examine your procrastination from every side. It’s your body trying to tell you something. Listen to it.

 

2 – Zero-tasking

There’s a common myth that great people can multi-task efficiently. This might be true but I can’t do it. I have statistical proof. I have a serious addiction. If you ever talk on the phone with me there’s almost a 100% chance I am simultaneously playing chess online. The phone rings and one hand reaches for the phone and the other hand reaches for the computer to initiate a one minute game. Chess rankings are based on a statistically generated rating system. So I can compare easily how well I do when I’m on the phone compared with when I’m not on the phone. There is a three standard deviation difference. Imagine if I were talking on the phone and driving. It’s the same thing I’m assuming: phone calls cause a three standard deviation subtraction in intelligence. And that’s the basic multi-tasking we all do at some point or other.

So great people can multi-task. But since, by definition, most of us are not great , it’s much better to single-task. Just do one thing at a time.

Often, the successful mediocre entrepreneur should strive for excellence in ZERO-tasking. Do nothing. We always feel like we have to be “doing something” or we feel ashamed. Sometimes it’s better to just be quiet, to not think of anything at all. A very successful, self-made businessman once told me, “Never underestimate the power of a long, protracted silence.”

 

3 – Failure

As far as I can tell, Larry Page has never failed. He went straight from graduate school to billions. Ditto for Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and a few others. But again, by definition, most of us are pretty mediocre. We can strive for greatness but we will never hit it. That means we will often fail. Not ALWAYS fail. But often.

My last 16 out of 17 business attempts were failures. Ultimately, life is a sentence of failures, punctuated only by the briefest of successes. So the mediocre entrepreneur learns two things from failure: First, he learns directly how to overcome that particular failure. He’s highly motivated to not repeat the same mistakes. Second, he learns how to deal with the psychology of failure. Mediocre entrepreneurs fail A LOT. So they get this incredible skill of getting really good at dealing with failure. This translates to monetary success.

The mediocre entrepreneur understands that persistence is not the self-help cliché “Keep going until you hit the finish line!” It’s, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence.

 

4 – Not Original

I’ve never come up with an original idea in my life. My first successful business was making web software, strategies, and websites for Fortune 500 companies. Not an original idea but at the time, in the 90s, people were paying exorbitant multiples for such businesses. My successful investments all involved situations where I made sure the CEOs and other investors were smarter than me. 100% of my zeros as an angel investor were situations where I thought I was smart. I wasn’t. I’m mediocre.

The best ideas are when you take two older ideas that have nothing to do with each other, make them have sex with each other, and then build a business around the bastard, ugly child that results. Look at Facebook: combine the internet with stalking. Amazing!

And, by the way, it was about the fifth attempt at such a social network. Twitter, combine internet with antiquated SMS protocols. Ugly! But it works. Ebay, combine ecommerce with auctions. If Justin Bieber sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” it would be a huge hit. I might even listen to it.

 

5 – Poor Networking

I’m that guy. You know the one at the party that doesn’t talk to anyone and stands in the corner. I usually say no to very nice networking dinner invitations. I like to stay home and read. When I was running businesses I was often too shy to talk to my employees. I would call my secretary from downstairs and ask if the hallway was clear, then ask her to unlock my door and I’d hurry upstairs and lock the door behind me. That particular company failed disastrously.

But many people network too much. Entrepreneurship is hard enough. It’s 20 hours a day of managing employees, customers, meetings, and product development. And then what are you going to do? Network all night? Save that for the great entrepreneurs. Or the ones who are about to fail. The mediocre entrepreneur works his 20 hours, then relaxes when he can. It’s tough to make money.

 

6 – Do Anything To Get A “Yes.”

Here’s a negotiation I did. I was starting stockpickr.com and meeting with the CEO of thestreet.com. He wanted his company to have a percentage of stockpickr.com and in exchange he would fill up all of our ad inventory. I was excited to do the deal. I said, “Ok, I was thinking you would get 10% of the company.” He laughed and said, “No. 50%”. He didn’t even say “We would like 50%”. He just said, “50%”. I then used all my negotiating skills and came up with a reply. “Okay. Deal.”

I’m a salesman. I like people to say yes to me. When I started a company doing websites we were pitching to do “miramax.com”. I said, “$50,000″. They said, “No more than $1,000 and that’s a stretch.” I used my usual technique: “Deal!”

But the end results: in one case thestreet.com had a significant financial stake so that gave them more psychological stake. And for my first business, Miramax was now on my client list. That’s why Con Edison had to pay a lot more. Often, the secret poor negotiators keep is that we get more deals done. I get the occasional loss leader, and then ultimately the big fish gets reeled in if I get enough people to say “yes”. It’s like asking every girl on the street to have sex with you. One out of 100 will say “yes”. In my case it might be one out of a million but you get the idea.

 

7 – Poor Judge of People

The mediocre entrepreneur doesn’t “Blink” in the Malcolm Gladwell sense. In Gladwell’s book he often talks about people who can form snap correct judgments in two or three seconds. My initial judgment when I meet or even see people is this: I hate you.

And then I veer from that to too trusting. Finally, after I bounce back and forth, and through much trial and error, I end up somewhere in the middle. I also tend to drop people I can’t trust very quickly. I think the great entrepreneur can make snap judgments and be very successful with it. But that doesn’t work for most people.

At this point, when I meet someone, I make sure I specifically don’t trust my first instincts. I get to know people more. I get to understand what their motivations are. I try to sympathize with whatever their position is. I try not to argue or gossip about them before I know anything. I have to do this because I’m mediocre and I’m a lot more at risk of bringing the wrong people into my circle.

So by the time I’ve decided to be close to someone–a client, an employee, an acquirer, an acquiree, a wife, etc–I’ve already done a lot of the thinking about them. This means I can’t waste time thinking about other things, like how to put a rocket ship on Jupiter. But overall it’s worked.

“I thought being mediocre is supposed to be bad?” one might think. Shouldn’t we strive for greatness? And the answer is: “Of course we should! But let’s not forget that 9 out of 10 motorists think they are ‘above average drivers.’” People overestimate themselves. Don’t let overestimation get in the way of becoming fabulously rich, or at least successful enough that you can have your freedom, feed your family, and enjoy other things in life.

 

Final Words

Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of NBC

James Altucher is the author of Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples–including his own heartbreaking and inspiring story– James Altucher’s new book will show you how to illuminate your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old by choosing yourself.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jay

    Jul 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

    A mediocre article…

  2. Reuben

    Jun 23, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I think you made a very good point about procrastination. It can be debilitating but installing a trigger to stop and look more deeply at what’s going on is a great idea. Thanks.

  3. Jason Bennick

    Jun 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    A good read. A humorous take on mediocrity without branding it as a failure or success. Anyone reading this will get out of it what they want to.

  4. Motivational Speaker

    Jun 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Written tongue in cheek surely.

  5. tangomike88

    Jun 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with Jeremy

  6. Jeremy Wiseman

    Jun 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    you lost me right at justin beiber. i must not be anything like you at all. subtract from mediocre i have just branded you pathetic.

  7. Edward Rapka

    Jun 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

    It’s absolutely true that talent, skill, competence and just about every other human characteristic exists on a statistical curve where most of us fall in the vast middle, “average” — or mediocre — portion. Only a few populate the ends as the truly great, or the abject worst. Nevertheless, the equation in Life is: Success = Talent (inate) + Skill (learned), and there have been countless numbers of quantifiably mediocre people who have achieved moderate, and even great, successes in life, by having the intention to be successful. Opportunities abound for those with a drive to succeed, if they choose to competently use the tools available to them, as I explore on my site. As James stresses, acknowledging your own “mediocrity” can be the first step to greatness, and to achieve your destiny the world.

  8. Nicola Jones (@nicolajonesTV)

    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Great article, fresh perspective, continued success and mediocrity.

  9. Nancy Whitney-Conway

    Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve learned so much from this article. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Steve May

    Jun 6, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Okay this article is freakin awesome. You are right Joel this writer is interesting. I will make sure that I share this with my friends and family now. thanks

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Success Advice

Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

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For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

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7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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Success Advice

Starting A Business On Instagram? Here Are 7 Things You Need to Do

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Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms today with over 700 million monthly active users, a more engaged audience, and less competition than any other social networking giants such as Twitter or Facebook. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to market their products to a more interested and targeted audience without spending a ton of money on paid advertising.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

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Marketing-Facebook-Advertising-Bot-Rebate

For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jay

    Jul 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

    A mediocre article…

  2. Reuben

    Jun 23, 2013 at 2:50 am

    I think you made a very good point about procrastination. It can be debilitating but installing a trigger to stop and look more deeply at what’s going on is a great idea. Thanks.

  3. Jason Bennick

    Jun 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    A good read. A humorous take on mediocrity without branding it as a failure or success. Anyone reading this will get out of it what they want to.

  4. Motivational Speaker

    Jun 13, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Written tongue in cheek surely.

  5. tangomike88

    Jun 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I agree with Jeremy

  6. Jeremy Wiseman

    Jun 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    you lost me right at justin beiber. i must not be anything like you at all. subtract from mediocre i have just branded you pathetic.

  7. Edward Rapka

    Jun 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

    It’s absolutely true that talent, skill, competence and just about every other human characteristic exists on a statistical curve where most of us fall in the vast middle, “average” — or mediocre — portion. Only a few populate the ends as the truly great, or the abject worst. Nevertheless, the equation in Life is: Success = Talent (inate) + Skill (learned), and there have been countless numbers of quantifiably mediocre people who have achieved moderate, and even great, successes in life, by having the intention to be successful. Opportunities abound for those with a drive to succeed, if they choose to competently use the tools available to them, as I explore on my site. As James stresses, acknowledging your own “mediocrity” can be the first step to greatness, and to achieve your destiny the world.

  8. Nicola Jones (@nicolajonesTV)

    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Great article, fresh perspective, continued success and mediocrity.

  9. Nancy Whitney-Conway

    Jun 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve learned so much from this article. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Steve May

    Jun 6, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Okay this article is freakin awesome. You are right Joel this writer is interesting. I will make sure that I share this with my friends and family now. thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

Why I Had to Drop My Superman Complex and Hire a Marketing Genius

Joel Brown

Published

on

Marketing-Facebook-Advertising-Bot-Rebate

For many years I had the Superman Complex. I thought I could handle every aspect of my business, no one could do it better than me, I knew it all and if anyone else put their hands on it, they would stuff it up. I credited much of my business success to the fact that I had done a lot of it myself. The truth was, I had achieved a lot in the first few years utilizing my own skills and creative ignorance, but as the Addicted2Success brand sky rocketed so did the demands for new levels of execution.

So I hired 3 awesome individuals: Tyler, Armando & Joe to help with content management and administration and it wasn’t long after this that I discovered that in order for Addicted2Success and the community to reach the level of impact it deserved I would need to find a marketing analytics and SEO development guy.

That was when I decided to give Joseph Lazukin a shot.

At only 25 years old, this college dropout turned whiz kid has been making a name in all the right circles, and out of good humor and fun, I decided to put Joseph to the test here at Addicted2Success to see if the rumors were true, and here were the results…

Within two weeks of working with Joseph, he doubled our site traffic and increased our revenue by nearly 300%, while at the same time ranking Addicted2Success.com for more keywords than our closest competitor.

Here is our SEO graph :

learn SEO

After having such a massive impact, I decided to interview Joseph and pick his brain on the advice he had for up and coming entrepreneurs struggling to market their businesses, and to also share an exciting announcement to all of our A2S readers…

So what do you ask a million dollar consultant? I had a few ideas, and I think you’ll enjoy the golden nuggets we extracted out of our conversation below:

“What is the biggest mistake you see business owners making today, and what is your advice on how to prevent our readers from making the same mistake?”

The biggest mistakes I see business owners making today is when it comes to social media, hiring the right talent, and technology. Almost every company I’ve ever come across, whether client or a big brand name like Best Buy, Sears, or even Dell, I notice they have all not placed their Facebook pixel or even set up their Google Analytics correctly to make informed decisions, yet they’re spending millions of dollars a year marketing on these social platforms.

I’ve never seen such a waste of revenue, because even the slightest change to the way they integrate those two elements of their digital marketing strategy, would save them millions in annual spend.

It may sound crazy, but what almost every business owner including Fortune500 business owners and CMOs do not know, is that a growing majority of traffic coming through popular ad networks is bot traffic.

It’s why Facebook was sued a few years ago when a questionable amount of traffic was thought to be bot traffic, and why Google just issued a refund to advertisers.

cost of ad fraud 2017

In fact, bot traffic has become such an issue that by 2025 it’s expected to cost advertisers $50BN USD, which I can send you a link to later, and by the simple fact that these major companies aren’t implementing policies to protect against bot traffic, is tell tale that companies are in desperate need of outside consultants to help educate and help them understand the landscape and risks of marketing in the digital age.

Small tweaks, have saved my clients millions of dollars on ad spend, whether it was in the form of implementing services like Siphon to block and potentially get rebates on that bot traffic or simply delaying their tracking pixels to avoid click jackers, bots, and other nefarious traffic sources from being lumped into retargeting campaigns, and increasing CPAs (cost per action). It’s a 10 minute fix, that has a profound effect, but nobody is doing it!

get refund on facebook bot traffic

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Facebook™ ads campaign

“Every day we see increasing amounts of click fraud coming into our client’s websites, with some clients seeing as little as 8% with their AdWords or up to 40% on Facebook campaigns. This problem is only getting worse and anyone who doesn’t make the effort to stop it on their accounts is throwing money away. “

– Richard Seppala (CEO of Siphon)

how to get refund from bot traffic on google ads

Analytics showing bot traffic detected by Siphon on a Google Adwords™ campaign

As for anyone reading this who is looking into marketing online, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you need to be diligent and learn how to read and interpret data. Everything moves a lot quicker in the digital world than it does in the real world, one day you could be at the top of page one on Google or getting a 20x return on ad spend, and the next day an update can come out that wipes away your profits and offsets your quarterly projections. A year in the real world is like four years or seven years on the internet, staying stagnant and not adapting to new marketing practices is dangerous, and in the coming years we’ll see a lot of the big name brands get disrupted if they don’t adapt before another more agile competitor essentially takes their lunch.

“Wow! That was a lot of advice jumbled into one answer, so if I am understanding you right, advertisers are paying more because of bot traffic and they aren’t even aware of it? Or even how to fix it?”

Yes, and I actually have posted about the subject a few times on social media as well as fixes on how to prevent bot traffic from eating away at your margins. One of the biggest discoveries I made recently is when I ran “Engagement” based ads on Facebook vs “Traffic” based ads, and saw a huge disparity between the number of clicks that were being reported and the number of clicks that were being counted by Google Analytics and other 3rd party platforms.

Now I totally understand that there will always be some percentage of drop off, because of people becoming impatient due to load time, and that every analytics platform counts viewers differently, however all things considered when I ran a split test between the two ad types and the number of clicks reported, I saw a much greater disparity in the number of clicks reported by “Traffic” based ads, than I did with “Engagement” based ads, and I’m not talking a few percentage points, I’m talking upwards of 20%, and when I shared my findings, I was turned onto Siphon and other services that have sprung up in the industry that track bot traffic and are accredited for helping customers receive refunds from major ad networks like Facebook and Google and can issue copies of your traffic logs that you can then hand over to your ad network and receive a refund on that malicious traffic.

“Woah! So you can get a refund on your ad traffic?”

Yeah a certain percentage of it, but I would highly recommend companies implement best practices and try to prevent the malicious traffic in the first place.

“That makes sense, it’s better to prevent it than ask for a refund. So what other mistakes have you seen business owners making?”

Honestly, there is a pretty long list of things, but the main thing that businesses hire me for that has been possibly the biggest pain point, would have to be customer experience and follow up on cart abandonment.

So let’s say there is an e-com store that is doing around $10M a year, based on the universal industry average that 2 out of every 3 people abandon their cart, there will be around $20M in cart abandonment. That is an incredible amount of money, and those are not cold leads either, they are warm, they have already been to your site, experienced your brand, and yet when I ask most company owners and CMOs where their marketing dollars are being spent, it’s not on converting this low hanging fruit, it’s on bringing in more hard earned, cold leads.

It is a little insane to me, but hopefully that trend will start to shift as companies continue to adapt with consumer trends, and improve end to end customer experience.

“Interesting, so is that what you do, or what exactly is it that you do?”

I have worn a lot of hats, but most notably I am known as a CRO (conversion rate optimization) specialist. So for example, I’ll come into an e-com or SaaS business that is doing $10M a year in sales, that has $20M in cart abandonment like I mentioned previously, and I’ll use a handful of strategies to recoup around 30% or $6M of those abandoned sales. That is what I am mainly hired for these days, but on the other hand, I can also come in and optimize a site from a technical level so that it ranks significantly higher on Google and other search engines, like I did for Addicted2Success.

It really depends on what the client needs, but mostly companies hire me to recover abandoned cart sales, and put more points on the board to make investors happy. Recently however, I’ve been hired directly by investment groups to speed up their return on investment in the companies they’ve invested in by auditing their portfolios, launching growth hacking campaigns, and implementing the marketing strategies I have bulletproofed across several industries.

Often times, the difference between profitability and ending the year on a deficit could be as simple as implementing a bot filter like I mentioned above, tweaking your site structure to index better on Google, or implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy. If you have ever read Think & Grow Rich and the chapter about being 3 feet from gold, that is where most of the businesses are at when they approach me, I help them achieve those last 3 feet by shifting, optimizing, and re-aligning their marketing efforts.

“That is a really interesting perspective, I myself am a huge fan of Think & Grow Rich and I couldn’t agree with you more a lot of businesses often are on the edge of greatness and may need that fresh pair of eyes and outside perspective or consultant like you to help them achieve it. So all of this is really amazing, and I am glad to make the following announcement, but before I do, where can our readers follow or get in touch with you if they want to learn more about marketing and about what you do?”

The easiest way to follow me would frankly be on Facebook via my personal profile and for anyone interested in learning more about marketing and the strategies I implement for my clients, then joining my strategic marketing group will give you the greatest insight. I cover everything from paid advertising to SEO to social media hacks I use on client campaigns, and every other week I jump in and do a one hour live Q&A where you can ask me anything about marketing or about how to solve a problem you’re experiencing in your business. It’s something of a side project of mine, and although I could charge significantly more for the information I share, I wanted to make it expensive enough for people to pay attention and take action on the content, but low enough for any small businesses, startup, or business professional to be able to afford it.

“That’s a great way to give back, so I guess that leaves us with the big announcement you’ve all been waiting for…”

After working with Joseph and seeing his work ethic and simple dedication to the craft, we are excited to announce that we have brought him in as a permanent partner here at Addicted2Success!

So to all of our followers here at Addicted2Success, please give Joseph Lazukin a warm welcome to our A2S family! We look forward to the growth and expansion of A2S under his direction and the lives we will touch as we continue to grow the world’s #1 site for motivation and inspiration!

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7 Everyday Methods Go-Getters Use to Train Their Minds

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train your mind

A lot of importance is given to physical fitness, yet have you met anyone who says, “I am training my mind?” The world gives so much attention to a pretty package but what about the inside?

Training your mind is just as important as training the body, thus here are 7 everyday methods to train your mind:

1. Learn one new thing a day

The brain goes through a good amount of work every time you learn a new skill. Various studies prove that the most challenging task for a brain is to learn a new language.

Learning a foreign language is a complex process giving the brain a good workout in order to improve one’s Cognitive skills and overall brain function. In addition to this, there are many other benefits such as better focus, mental flexibility, and listening skills.

To train your mind, learn one new thing every day. Get to know a new fact or if you have a lot of time, learn a new language. Fun Fact: The toughest language in the world is Mandarin. (Why don’t you give it a try?)

2. Solve a Puzzle

The next obvious way to train your mind is to solve puzzles. Crosswords, Sudoku, and other puzzles can activate the synapses of your brain and improve its functioning.

Studies have found solving puzzles can help you remember things better along with boosting your productivity and memory.

There are many apps to train your brain. Lumosity, Personal Zen, and Happify are a few apps which have simple and complex levels of games which can challenge your brain.  Lumosity gives you a brain performance index which will denote your mental performance. The next time you have some free time on hand, solve a puzzle instead of watching a movie!

“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?” – Tony Robbins

3. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become very rare these days. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets are so addictive that we do not end up getting proper sleep. Research by the University of Pennsylvania shows sleep and memory to be strongly connected. Missing out on adequate sleep for a couple of days can significantly erode your memory.

There are 3 primary mechanisms involved in learning and memory. Acquisition is the first step in which your brain learns the new information. Consolidation is the process where the memory becomes stabilized into your mind. Lastly, recall is the ability to access the information after it has been stored.

While acquisition and recall happen when you are awake, consolidation happens when you are asleep. When you miss out on sleep, the second step fails, and you have difficulty recalling information.

4. Follow A Healthy Diet

What you eat also plays a role in training your mind. There are many memory superfoods which can significantly improve the functioning of your brain such as, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, and omega-3 fatty acid rich foods all fall under this category.

Since fresh fruits and vegetables protect your brain from harmful free radicals, it becomes a superfood. Another great diet is the mediterranean one which includes nuts, legumes, fish, blueberries, avocado, and beets which are great for your brain functioning.  

5. Arts and Crafts

My favorite class in school was arts and crafts because it was incredibly fun. Science proves that it’s more than just fun because creative activities such as painting, handicrafts, and origami significantly improve the functioning of the brain.

Doing things which involve repetitive actions such as knitting improves your focus. It was found in a study that, crafts can calm the mind and effectively treat depression. Practice brain boosting hobbies like painting, dancing, or playing a musical instrument to stay focused.

6. Challenge Your Mind

When your day involves the usual chores, there is obviously no challenge to the brain. It enters into a stagnation mode as there is not much change. To avoid this from happening, it is essential you challenge your brain often.

Use your non-dominant hand to do stuff like brushing your teeth and writing in order to activate your other senses. For example, close your eyes when you take a shower which will use the sense of touch to find things. These things are fun to do, and at the same time, they throw a challenge to your mind.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

7. Read

Reading is one of the best methods to train your mind. It relieves stress and tension of the brain cells, and most importantly it can help you get a new perspective on things. When you read, there is a lot of acquisition happening, and this boosts the functionality of the brain. Practice the habit of reading every day even if it can even be the everyday paper.

Conclusion

Training your mind can be a tricky business as it takes time and effort yet it will eventually pay off. Other than these hacks I told you, the most important one is to keep learning because it is a never-ending process that will get you going forever.

Which one of these tips was your favorite? Let us know by commenting below!

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Starting A Business On Instagram? Here Are 7 Things You Need to Do

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Instagram business

Instagram is one of the hottest social media platforms today with over 700 million monthly active users, a more engaged audience, and less competition than any other social networking giants such as Twitter or Facebook. This presents a golden opportunity for businesses to market their products to a more interested and targeted audience without spending a ton of money on paid advertising.

Whether your business strategy needs an update or you are a social media novice, the following 7 tips to start an Instagram business will be extremely helpful:

1. Beta Testing (And Involve the Community)

When you are launching a new business, it is critical to get feedback on your new concepts, ideas, and product in the early stages. But in order to make your business successful on Instagram, you will want to include Instagram members in your testing for useful feedback.

Beta testing is a type of testing where a sampling of the intended audience tries out the product before it is launched on wide scale. The goal of beta testing is to place your application in the hands of actual users outside of your business development team for the purpose of discovering any flaws or problems in your final version.

2. Make Instagram the Hub of Your Social Media Marketing

If you are planning to launch your business on Instagram, it is important to make your Instagram the one spot to visit with relevant information regarding the product offerings, launch date and anything else you will want to talk about. By diverting all traffic to your Instagram account from emails, blog posts, and your website, you will have a head start on establishing your Instagram community.

Keep in mind that this strategy may not be the best for all businesses – some businesses might want to divert all of their traffic to newsletter sign up page, for instance – however, if your aim is to make a stir on Instagram, your best plan of action is to push everyone to your Instagram profile before you launch your product or service.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper

3. Create a Buzz Before You Launch

Keeping your customers interested in your product or service is a key part of any effective marketing strategy. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content, and let them be the first ones to know about your new products, events or services. Create a range of fun and interesting teaser photos or trailers that will arouse anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new stores, office openings or releases. This type of screening makes your Instagram followers feel curious and special, and likely to keep coming back for more insider information.

4. Create an Eye-catching Preview of Your Instagram Feed

Before you start attracting new followers to your Instagram account, make sure it is in the best condition possible. You shouldn’t have an empty profile when you send your followers, family, and friends to your Instagram channel because it gives off a bad impression. You should have already uploaded 4 to 5 posts to give them an idea of what to expect from you, along with captivating visual content communicating what your brand business is all about.

Make a habit of updating your bio section every now and then, and think of creative ways to use that opportunity for your own good. Think, app downloads, purchases or event registrations. Instagram has also introduced an option of adding phone numbers in bios, especially for businesses through Instagram Business profiles.

5. Choose the Right Name

Another important thing that acts a make or break factor for many potential customers is your Instagram name. Besides wanting an Instagram username that is already available, you will also want to think about the hashtags.

Since creative hashtag schemes are rapidly popularizing, having a dynamic branded hashtag that your followers and customers really want to use is the key to success when it comes to establishing an Instagram business. If you are initiating a new business, you need a brand name which doubles as an aspiring hashtag as this could be the pot of gold at the end of your Instagram glory.

6. Offer Instagram-Specific Rewards

Once you have built your Instagram fan base and have a killer Instagram feed, you will want to retain your followers and community, and this can only be done by keeping them engaged and curious about your brand. An easy way to do it is by offering Instagram-specific rewards, incentives discount, or perks. Whether it is a reward that your followers can only find on Instagram, or an Instagram giveaway, giving a little can guarantee a lot.

Another good idea is to host an Instagram contest, as it will help you build a fan base, increase awareness, increase engagement and boost sales. There are various ways to host a contest, and the best one will depend on your audience.

“Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart

7. Don’t Forget Hashtags

Expanding an Instagram business takes determination, patience, and proper planning. Scheduling your Instagram posts beforehand is a good way to keep your business organized and ahead of the competition. Once you have launched your business, you will want to invest in connecting with other Instagrammers with the help of hashtags. To do this, you will first need to find hashtags that your audience is scrolling through. Next, you will need to start using those hashtags in your posts so people can find you.

Hashtagging is a great way to deliver a strong call to action. When you post content for your Instagram account, make sure all posts include a strong call to action in the form of a relevant hashtag. Some of the popular forms of call to action on Instagram that you can ask your followers to incorporate include “double tap”, “tag a friend in the post”, and “sign up today for free” to receive newsletters/emails. Instagram allows a minimum of 30 hashtags per post, but many users fail to make the most out of this ability.

Do you use instagram for social purposes or have you tried to build it into a business? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How Writing For 1000 Days Straight Made Me A Real Man

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Writing was never my thing. I didn’t think of it as an art although in school I was told I was good at it. I never believed this compliment ever.

For more than 1000 days straight I’ve written consistently. While on holiday in San Fran, New Zealand and Japan I wrote. Waiting at the doctor’s office, I wrote. In line at the local vegetarian burger joint, I wrote. The things I’ve learned from writing have changed me from a spoilt little kid, into a real man.

Writing for 1000 days straight taught me:

 

Writing is my therapy.

My mentor Joel got a bit annoyed at me one day because he saw a few swear words in a blog post I published. I quickly realized what I’d done and then it came to me: I was swearing because it was how I released my frustration.

By writing about the things that upset me, I somehow felt less compelled to be angry at the world.

 

I found that my problems could be a source of inspiration for others.

You may not believe me but now I actually look forward to having problems.

Problems are what give me the fuel I need to write. Every problem becomes a solution for all of the readers that sit down and absorb my writing. Writing can inspire others and that’s what has helped me become a real man.

A real man, I believe, does things for more than just himself.

 

It taught me to stop chopping and changing.

I used to be a kid and would always throw in the towel when my passion or hobby got hard. Instead of pushing through the pain I’d just start something new. Writing made me a man by helping me realize that mastery and sticking at it is the real magic trick.

 

Happiness can be found in the strangest of places.

My dad was a writer and I always thought it was dumb. I never thought I’d ever do it myself. Doing something for more than 1000 days straight teaches you that you can find happiness in places you’d least expect. Try new things, find something that feels cool and stick at it.

 

It doesn’t have to be a book or blog.

Some days when I’m busy, I count my writing as inspiring emails to fans that can help them. Other days it’s replying to comments that people leave on my social media. We can fall into the trap of believing that writing only happens when it’s in the form of a book or blog post.

Let yourself off the hook. Write whenever you can and stop being so hard on yourself. Writing is writing chief.

 

Energy will determine the outcome.

I used the following to get more energy:
– On writing days I would sleep more the night before
– I didn’t drink alcohol on days where I planned to write a lot
– I drank mushroom coffee (recommended by Tim Ferriss) for a quick fix
– I ate energy-rich foods like fruits, veggies, and the odd avocado for brain power

“If you’re a sleepy zombie then you’ll never be able to find the energy to keep pushing through all of the hurdles you’re going to encounter with writing or any pursuit for that matter”

 

The power of a deadline.

Here’s an awesome little hack I used. I’m the biggest procrastinator you’ll ever meet. If I have all day to write, then I’ll spend the last hour before dinner writing if I’m lucky. What I did instead was book in social catch-ups, trips to the cinema’s, outings with the girlfriend and anything I could that involved other people.

This gave me a perceived sense of urgency and a deadline I couldn’t miss. What’s funny is the tighter the deadline, the more productive I became. Here’s what’s even crazier:

The blog posts I’ve written, that had the tightest deadline and the least amount of time to write them, have been my most popular.

Over thinking kills creativity and so does having too much time to fluff around. These deadlines have allowed me to produce lots of writing that have contributed to me becoming a real man.

 

Writing has uncovered raw emotion in me.

Raw emotion has changed the game for me. As I got past the 10-day mark, I stopped giving a F more and more. This brought out raw emotion in me that couldn’t be faked like an Instagram filter. It’s this raw emotion that got me more readers and allowed me to make a bigger difference in the world.

There’s something about someone who makes the bold decision to wear their heart on their sleeve. Writing heaps forces you to think deeper and to dig deeper every time you sit down at the computer.

Writing for more than 1000 days became like a game to see how much I could learn about myself. The words began to paint a picture of me that I had never seen or even dreamt of.

“These words that became pictures redefined who I was”

I used these pictures to become a new man and one I could be proud of. I want you to discover raw emotion for yourself. I want you to paint beautiful pictures with words that come from deep inside of you.

 

Just get started.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered writing. I found that once I got started, the words would pour out of me. It was as if the words were dying to get out of me some days. Instead of giving yourself excuses, don’t try and have every day be the day you produce your best work.

Some of the blog posts I’ve written I thought were barely okay. These same posts have been highly shareable more than my so-called serious stuff. 1000 days of writing teaches you to disconnect yourself from the outcome and focus on the practice itself. Discipline has made me a real man.

 

You must like the topic.

I tried writing about stuff that people told me too. I found myself hating the process every time. Have a list of suggested topics that you’ve come up with and then write about the one that makes you feel good at the time.

 

Make it up as you go.

I invent words all the time like self-disrupt, fakepreneur and too many other ridiculous ones to mention here. I break grammar rules to suit myself and to make my writing easy on the eye. What will separate you from everyone else is when you decide to make up the rules.

It’s easier to be different than it is to be a better writer, or saxophone player or artist. A rule forces you to conform to everyone else’s expectations. What made me a real man was discovering the power of my own creativity and not listening to all the hype out there.

There’s a lot of noise and people that will tell you they have the secret chicken sauce. They’re selling lies to you to benefit their own selfish goals.

Be you and make up the rest as you go.

 

Reading fuels your creative brain.

I get asked all the time “Tim, where do you get all these writing ideas from?”

I wish I could tell you that I was some idea factory that could mass-produce amazing writing pieces. The truth is I’m not that smart. In conjunction with writing, I’ve also been reading like a KFC junkie addicted to hot sauce.

Books have opened up my world to what’s possible. Books have helped me see things in my life that I had previously ignored.

“Books sold me a truth that I couldn’t get from the Internet or TV”

Every word you read get’s stored in your computer brain and can be recalled later on without you probably even realizing. Reading has taught me the lessons that have made me a man and a blogger.

 

Authenticity and transparency, plus brutal honesty, is where it’s at.

In the beginning, I was a bit of a pussy. I hid parts of myself and didn’t tell the full story. In the first 10 days, I tried to be brutal. By the 1000th day, I had enough practice and had seen the audience react enough, that I showed everything in my stories. No detail was left out.

People read my stuff because they know it’s authentic and real. I’m brutally honest and not afraid to make fun of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that I too have once been a self-obsessed, immature, coward too. It’s okay; we’ve all been there.

This brutal honesty helps you be honest with yourself too. Through these honest moments, you learn a lot about who you are and who you can become. I think real honesty helped me become a real man. A man I can be proud of.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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