Screw what people say about emotion. Emotion is everything. Emotion is what has allowed me to keep gaining a massive online audience.
Here’s an example: Last Friday, I posted a photo on LinkedIn of two surgeons who had just finished a 32-hour surgery. The photo had a lot of emotion and I backed it up with an emotional question for people to ponder.
Humans can’t resist this type of content. What’s even funnier is that business humans especially can’t resist this content. It’s these business humans that need and crave emotion more than anyone on the planet.
Spending hours at your job or startup can suck the life out of you. Emotion brings all of that life back again. For the next three hours, this post went crazy. Emotion was pouring out of people and I too was feeling the same emotion. I responded to every single comment in real-time.
It had been a tough week for me full of disappointment. This opportunity to deliver emotion and have it come right back at me was impossible to pass up. Lately, I have become an emotion junkie chasing the next piece of content that is going to inspire me and help me stay focused.
Here’s why emotion is so incredible:
1. Emotion unites us
Linkedin proved this to me last Friday. People united around these two surgeons I posted because they are heroes. They gave everything they had to save another humans life. They did it without thinking about anything else.
Emotion united everyone that read my post because deep down we all want to be heroes. Heroes bring out the emotion in all of us and we all want that feeling. We don’t need to be ashamed of this wish; we need to go out there and make it come true.
Emotion is what creates a human life and it’s what can destroy a human life as well. Emotion is what made you start your business or take a job and it’s what can end it as well. As humans, we are united by emotion because it’s part of our DNA.
Even the grumpiest son of a gun can become an entirely new person when they come into contact with raw emotion – that’s part of my dream. I hope that one day one of these grumpy, worn out souls can read one of my posts and change the way they think.
If that happened just once, then I’d die a happy man. Emotion drives me to do what I do and emotion is what unites all of you reading. Let emotion bring us together rather than allowing hatred to win.
Don’t let war fuel your thoughts, let love take control and drive you towards emotion.
That one thought right there has the power to change every problem this world is facing. It’s one simple, dumb, sentence and yet it’s game changing. I used to think changing the world was so incredibly hard.
Now I know that I can achieve that goal by sitting behind my laptop and making people feel emotion. I want that dream for you too.
2. Hiding from emotion is never going to work
To display raw emotion is tough. I’ve done it for long enough and it’s hard work. As much as you try and avoid it, sometimes you think to yourself, “What are people going to think? Are they going to feel I’m a total screw up?”
The answer to this question is that it’s far worse to hide from emotion than it is to embrace it, and unleash for all to see.
“Those lifeless souls you see whipping their employees and saying the word “revenue” every five minutes are the ones hiding from emotion”
On the outside, they look like hardasses, but inside they are destroying their souls. One day all of that hidden emotion is going to bring them down like the twin towers. You can’t hide from emotion. You can’t hide your real feelings about the world or the people you share it with.
So if you can’t hide from it, why don’t you embrace emotion? That’s the whole point of this article. I’ve done it and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like I bought a Toyota Corolla (emotion) which turned out to be a Ferrari when I took delivery of it.
3. Emotion will always dominate social media
I’ve studied every top post on Facebook and LinkedIn for the last four years. There’s a pattern and it’s emotion. The top posts are always loaded with emotion. They pull at your heartstrings and they’re real. These stories are popular because emotion brings us in.
The fact is that emotion is the real story. We don’t want to hear about a story; we want to feel emotion. In a world where we’ve become numb, emotion acts as a mindfulness trigger. Emotion brings us out of our messed up past and back to reality.
Think about the social media posts you’ve loved the most over the last 12 months. I guarantee it’s the ones that are full of emotion. Don’t deny it, embrace the emotion. Forget what your friends think.
4. Emotion takes you to the next level
The way to up your game is to add emotion. Whatever you’re doing right now, you need to add more emotion. I was blogging for a long time about dry subjects like business. I repeated the same advice you can read on any startup blog.
I added boring stock photos of men in suits and wrote what people wanted to hear from a so-called business guru such as myself. Then I started swearing and showing the world who I was.
“I added emotion into the meat pie I called blogging. Then, that pie started to taste bloody delicious. Everyone wanted to take a bite”
The only thing I did to get to the next level was add ten times more emotion. I layered every blog post with a whole raft of emotions. Some blog posts I dumbed right down and focused on one emotion.
Emotion is not about me, though, and my stupid looking spiky haircut. Emotion is about getting to the heart of what you do. It’s sharing the emotion of what you do rather than the raw strategies and advice. When you connect with people using emotion, they start to listen.
This one magic trick allows you to go to the next level and create more of the following: money, influence, followers, outcomes * insert success metric. *
This list of things won’t help you win at life though. If they’re the reason you’re playing the game, then you’ll lose big time. These things will help fuel the burning desire you have inside of you. The challenge is they will only become real when you throw emotion to that same fire inside of you.
5. Emotion shows who you really are
For years we all hide behind a mask. We do what society, our parents or Instagram tells us we should do. We go and get that university degree, buy that house, marry that person or get that dumb luxury car we don’t need.
When you’ve done all that, you end up right where you started. You don’t get to pass go and you don’t collect $200 like society tells you that you will. It’s only when you throw that goddamn mask over the bridge like Jim Carey does in his iconic movie that shit get’s real.
The mask comes off when you start showing raw emotion. People always thought they knew me and then when I started showing emotion, people realized they didn’t know me at all. It even scared some people to the point where they stopped talking to me or thought I joined a hippie cult.
Well, the good news is I didn’t join a hippie cult folks: I just learned how to show people who I really am. Emotion is what allowed me to do that. I showed emotions such as love, happiness, disappointment, frustration, sadness and excitement. Sometimes I even showed all of these emotions at once.
That picture of those two surgeons is who I really am. I like to celebrate people that are changing the world and making a difference. I want people to feel something so that I can feel something too.
Think about you for a minute. Who are you really? How do you want to inspire people and what’s your vehicle? Once you work this out and start showing emotion, everything will change for you. This change will occur because emotion will make you more human.
Being truly human is relatable, sexy as hell and infectious. That’s who I believe you really are.
6. You need to be vulnerable to show emotion
It takes guts to be emotional. What I’ve talked about today ladies and gentlemen sounds like a bunch of advice for pussies if you are some hard hitting, success junkie that does one hundred push ups before sunrise.
Obviously, this advice can look like that if you’re not someone that understands the rules of the universe yet. But the real point is that yes emotion looks weak from the outside in some ways. It’s not though. What’s hard to grasp is that you can’t display raw emotion until you embrace vulnerability.
You have to put yourself out there and wear your heart on the front of your blazer. Emotion looks strange to people because to display it 100% of the time is very uncommon. It’s more common to hide what you’re thinking and say what you think society wants to hear.
I encourage you to rebel and fight against that idea. Be vulnerable and show people who you are using emotion. Use emotion as a tool to improve the lives of others, thus having the same effect on your own beautiful life. Become a patriot. Show emotion whenever you can.
***My advice to you***
Go out there and create some emotion. Stir people up. Change their thought patterns.
Wear your heart somewhere that everyone can see it. Chase your dream. Be bold, vulnerable and courageous all at the same time. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re not phenomenal.
Tell stories with emotion. Tell stories about your deepest darkest fears. Wear a big fat smile on your face. Be cool, loving, outrageous and fantastic all at the same time.
Life’s short too short to live any other way.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive
“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!
Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.
Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.
Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:
1. Wasting Time
Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.
Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.
“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks
2. Inaccurate Responses
An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.
Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.
3. Constant Back-and-Forth
Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.
Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.
You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.
A Better Approach to Emailing
For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.
Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.
Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:
1. Checking Them Less
I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.
2. Responding Quickly
People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.
“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk
3. The If-Then Technique
The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”
This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”
I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.
The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.
If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.
Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!
4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave
It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.
It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.
Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:
1. Where Are You?
No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.
The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
2. Where Do You Want to Go?
When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.
There’s this saying: When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.
Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.
So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?
3. Why Do You Want It?
Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.
You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.
So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?
“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins
4. How Are You Going to Get There?
And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.
For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”
To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.
In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.
Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.
Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.
Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work
A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.
The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.
A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.
Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.
Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:
1. By being unafraid to share her own story
Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.
When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”
Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.
“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson
2. Committing to a strong value system
VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.
With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.
Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.
Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.
3. Listening with action
As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.
Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.
Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.
“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:
“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.
I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.
From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.
What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!
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