Social media is an incredible way of marketing and making more money for your business. If you do it right.
After spending thousands of hours on social media content across very old (MySpace) and very new (Musically, Snapchat, Vine, Peach, etc.) platforms, I want to share with you what you need to know on social media to succeed in business and more importantly prevent failure.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the results social media can bring for a business. But when you simplify it, there’s only four.
1. Social Media Amplifies How You Treat Your Customers
If you treat a customer horribly or delight them, their experience will be amplified and spread much further thanks to social media. It’s the biggest revolution in the century for businesses.
In the old days, if a business pissed you off, you might might tell a couple friends or family. Now, that customer can tell 500 friends on Facebook, 5,000 on Twitter, or 100,000 on YouTube. You don’t know who’s walking into your store; it could be an influencer.
Notice how I didn’t say “millions of people.” While there are social media influencers who can do this, don’t believe the people who hype it up. It’s possible for posts to hit a viral reach that large, but it’s rare. Those events usually can’t be manufactured and numerous factors have to align. A YouTuber or Instagram influencer can have millions of followers but only maybe tens of thousands engage with an average post they release.
Here is an example of amplification in a good way:
Karim took a joke about his last name by the receptionist at the Hyatt the wrong way. He tweeted about his frustration, and the Hyatt responded with a handwritten letter and complimentary food and beverage.
Let’s put aside whether or not he should have been offended. The point is that he shared his story and how great he felt at their response. It quickly went viral and 13,580 people commented, 61,438 liked it, and many more probably saw this. Now, that’s incredible, free, positive PR that couldn’t have happened any time before in history because it was started completely by a consumer.
Here are examples of amplification in a bad way:
United Airlines offered money for passengers to get off an overbooked flight. When everyone refused, they had security guards forcibly drag a passenger off. Another passenger immediately caught the experience on his smartphone and shared it online. The video got millions of views.
Thousands of people reacted in outrage to the incident. PewDiePie, the most subscriber Youtuber with 55 million+ subscribers, parodied the video. It got over 3 million views. If you look at the video, there are plenty of Tweets bashing he shows in it bashing United that got thousands of likes. Plenty of other influencers like Ellen, Joe Rogan, and Jimmy Kimmel covered the topic, attracting millions of views.
Another parody on Facebook got over a hundred thousand likes. Just one comment expressing their disgust towards United got thousands of upvotes.
A day after the incident Emirates Airlines released their own video addressing (and maybe even poking fun) at the CEO of United Airlines and explaining why they’re better, which got over a million views. Emirates is known for its premium flying experience. Many of the comments praised Emirates and got hundreds of upvotes.
Thanks to the mass market of smart phones and 4G, any customer can capture a customer experience and upload it to social media or the Internet in a matter of seconds. That is huge for businesses. It essentially punishes horrible businesses more and rewards good businesses more.
But there’s also a time when copying should be done:
When you’ll be left behind by the competition if you don’t.
When you know it’s better for the consumer to make your product this way.
When it’s perfectly legal to do so (therefore, you should not copy when there’s a patent or it’s a song).
Sam Walton didn’t start Walmart initially. He ran a convenience store. Then, he saw all the other convenience stores go out of business when discount retail stores started coming in. He could’ve moped and complained like everyone else while he watched himself go out of business. But he started his own discount retail store instead.
I’m not saying it’s right at all for a relative to rip off your idea behind your back. I think that belt guy will rightfully face some consequences from his family because of his dirty actions. It shows how low self-esteem he is that he can’t come up with his own idea that he’d steal from his family.
What I am saying is that business can be cut-throat and you need to expect that someone will copy you. I’ve discovered a lot of successful CEOs, like the billionaire Martha Stewart, has said that she never cries over money or business. It’s not something to feel like you’re wronged. When you screw up and lose money, you assess what you did wrong, learn, and try again. Sitting around crying does you no good.
It was a dick move for that guy’s cousin to copy the belt design… but someone would have copied him eventually. In fact, many people will copy you. To sit around and complain about it for too long on the Internet is a waste of time. It implies that you haven’t considered the possibility that new competitors will come in and copy you.
Literally every industry has been like this. Where there’s money to be made, competitors will emerge.
China is rampant with copying:
They’ve made copycats of the iPhone.
They’ve made their version of Google called Baidu, which dominates.
They have their own WhatsApp-type service called WeChat.
Rather than complain or freak out if someone copies you, you should consider doing what Warren Buffett suggests:
“In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.”
What the heck does that mean?
A moat is basically your competitive advantage. Buffett suggests that you should be looking to increase that advantage everyday. Apple is generally unphased by the Chinese knock-off products because:
They’ve build a ton of brand loyalty and recognition. Something that performs the exact same will be passed over for one with an Apple logo.
They’re constantly staying on the cutting edge of new technology. Rather than only being the reactive copycat, they’re always coming out with something new.
Copying isn’t anything new. Microsoft copied the iPod with the Zune and stole parts of their graphic user interface from Apple. Google tried to copy Facebook with Google Plus (and failed).
Facebook Ripped Off Twitter’s Periscope Too
If you weren’t plugged into social media news, Periscope used to be the hottest thing ever during the start of 2016.
Well, kinda. I think it was a bit over-hyped and it seemed like it was mainly marketers and adults with online followings who wanted to get “ahead of the curve” who used it.
…And around May 2016, Facebook really went serious with Live video and then stole the emoticon feature.
Will It Work Or Will It Flop?
I don’t know. Research has shown that expert predictions in most fields (from economics to finance) tend to be wrong so I’ll keep my predictions to a minimum.
I will say this:
The Periscope copy was more subtle and something they could (and seemed to) get away with. And the potential was clearly huge: I literally see girls my age glued to Facebook all day. They’ve never heard of Periscope. By simply adding a Periscope-like feature to the Facebook mobile app, they’ve got the best of every world:
Individuals have a pre-existing following of their family and friends to spread their Facebook Live video too.
These set up Facebook to stamp out possible reasons for Periscope to exist and take over market share (Periscope still has the “discover people by location” option as one of its unique features though. But they do seem to have lost quite a bit of ground other the other big fronts.)
As far as the Snapchat copycat… That’s may be another story because Snapchat is considered one of the big social media platforms already. And this type of blatant copying is a slap to Snapchat’s face. They’re not even trying to hide at all the fact that they copied.
I’m wondering how the people at Snapchat HQ are reacting to this right now.
Arguably, it may be similar to when Google Plus came out or when Facebook copied Twitter by allowing status updates. But maybe bigger. I don’t know.
It’s interesting to see how it’ll progress. Will Snapchat file a lawsuit? Will they have to rescind this or will they still get to keep this feature even after a long, drawn-out lawsuit? It’s clear that Instagram is going for a similar strategy of “take their features and build it on our pre-existing social media infrastructure to allow for more discovery.”
I personally like this change. Things were starting to slow down a bit in the social media world. Snapchat seemed to be (or may still be) at the height of its popularity. It was getting old for me.
I like a new change. Plus, it’s arguably more convenient for some of us. We might be able to just build a following on Instagram rather than having to build one on Snapchat AND Instagram.
The fact that it’s basically an exact clone could make it less appealing though. If it simply does everything Snapchat does, then what’s the point? It’s not adding anything new and there might not be much of an appeal. I’m curious to see how followers engage with this new feature. If it’s good, it could do well.
In the book Rework, the author said that if you’re simply copying, you can never be #1 because you’ll always be a reactive clone at best that’s just like somebody else. In fact, Instagram Stories is currently a worse version than the original right now because it doesn’t have any of Snapchat’s iconic face filters (which are obviously harder to copy) or any filters at all yet.
An article by Next Web argued that it’s better because it makes it clearer for tech savvy adults who aren’t into social media, which helps them understand Snapchat easier. First off, I don’t think those people are even on Instagram – Insta isn’t that straightforward. And the features they say make it easier are stuff like “a button that says Submit rather than just an arrow.” Minor stuff.
I’m excited to see what the future holds but I really have no idea. I’m just guessing. But this is definitely an interesting year for tech and social media businesses with Virtual Reality and all this other stuff.
What do you think about all this?
P.S. It wasn’t just Zuckerberg behind this. Facebook has thousands of employees. I’m sure it was a multi-person decision to do this.
Why do some people get millions of views per day while others get none? It’s actually quite simple.
There’s a thousand free tutorials online about things like how to set up and create a Youtube channel.
This is not one of them.
This is for intelligent individuals who already know how to create a Youtube account and upload a video. Even if you don’t, you already know that there’s a thousand free tutorials online for basic, beginner stuff like that.
This is on how to Successfully Promote your Business on Youtube.
Although I am writing this guide specifically for a business who wants intermediate to advanced strategies on successfully use Youtube marketing, this guide will also be useful for people who want to start a Youtube channel and grow it to a large audience as a personality or brand.
Why this is different:
Let’s be honest. I am not a marketer or want to be.
I am a millenial, who understands Youtube from the consumer perspective and business perspective as well.
I grew up in the social media space. Over the years, I have become a fanatic about social media platforms. I know more about growing a following and the ins and outs of platforms than some of the most tuned-in teenage girls. I have went through the Top 500 most subscribed Youtube channels, all of which have over 1 million subscribers and hundreds of millions of views, and studied all the small nuances people don’t notice ( titling, metadata, tagging, production, engagement, endcard, etc.). I have consumed hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of content from the top podcasts, articles, and paid courses from the top social media experts. These include people who have grown Youtube channels from scratch and helped others grow it. One of those is Tim Schmoyer, who helped a recent gamer go from 0 subscribers and 0 views to making six figures this year and a projected 7 figures (that is over 1 million dollars) in 2016 on Youtube. I enrolled in his $1000 Youtube Academy.
You can find Tim at videocreators.com I have also worked with Derral Eves, another Youtube expert, who helped a young girl who is still in middle school go from zero subscribers to paying off their parents’ large mortgage with her Youtube channel. I recently attended a VIP summit with him which costs $500, not including room, board, and food. You can find Derral at derraleves.com In addition to this, I have watched thousands of videos from Top Youtubers who have made their own 30 minute courses on how they achieved success. I literally sat down day after day and watched anyone who had a Subscriber count of 50,000 or more teach their strategies. These are free on Youtube but I think I am in the top 1% in terms of the amount of advice content I have consumed. People don’t have the time, interest, or patience to go through the tens of thousands of channels with 100,000 subscribers and watch each of their content. I have. I’ve tested and tweaked numerous things myself. And I still do constantly.
I have got some very valuable advice from some of the top creators on the back-end, from Google Analytics personnel to Google’s very own Creator playbook detailing what the analytics and statistics tell you about engagement, their algorithm, and so forth. I have studied other social media platforms in depth and have gone similarly deep. I have gotten some great advice and strategies from some of the top players in these platforms as well. From there, I have seen incredible results in terms of growth on my Instagram, Vine, and other platforms. However, Youtube is my bread and butter. It is probably one of the platforms I love the most.
Long story short: I have consumed an extensive amount of paid and free Youtube advice from the best in the industry and have learned a lot about the business side. I have also watched over 10,000 Youtube videos in my lifetime, if not more, on almost every topic imaginable under the sun: toy unboxing, beauty, make-up, and so on. Why? To learn more about the platform and culture. And because it is fun.
I have run into countless small business owners who want to expand their reach online. Some of them work as a solo act and are paid per hour or per gig for their services. Others are part of a small business but they are not tech-savvy and do not understand social media, making websites, or the internet.
People have been searching for someone to teach them or manage that for them. They realize that tens of millions of eyeballs are going onto social media platforms like Youtube and Facebook every single day.
In this post, I will do a couple things.
Youtube Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide to your first 1000 Youtube fans
Imagine getting thousands of more customers discovering you every month and willing to pay. For FREE. You are missing out on enormous potential. This strategy is all about organic growth. That means that everything can be down for free. It’s all Youtube SEO and Youtube channel and video optimization.
First, let me not lie to you.
This is not easy. This will not happen overnight.
In fact, tens of thousands of customers means tens of thousands of viewers. That is actually tough to get. It takes years of growing your platform online to get to.
So let’s begin with a more tangible goal: 1,000 subscribers. This will equate to maybe 50 to 100 views per video. And will set you up to keep growing exponentially.
A general rule of thumb is ~1% will purchase.
That is still 1 new customer per week assuming you are posting only one video per week.
Again, I am trying to be really conservative here as you will probably get more but we need non-overwhelming goals to get started.
So let’s begin.
Here is a FREE 20 minute video showing you how to optimize your Youtube channel and what potential that holds. This video was made for a comedian who is doing fairly well offline but doesn’t understand how he could utilize social media. For a business or online service that is scalable, the potential is even greater.
What they don’t tell you
What no one tells you is that what’s really important are views, not subscribers.
Subscribers are not useless. Subscribers help grow the channel because they keep coming back, which hopefully leads to more views.
However, for some people, it is better to just create Youtube videos that get a lot of views and drive it all back to your website or capture emails with it to sell them stuff later.
I’ve seen a lot of strategies on Youtube. There’s two I want to highlight.
1) This is my type of strategy. It works well for a lot of fitness or sports topics like Athleanx and quite frankly, my suggested method for everyone who wants the biggest long term benefit. The downside is it takes time and hard work. You really have to enjoy it.
What you do is you treat your Youtube channel has your home base, almost like a blog. You post a high quality video at least once a week for a few years. You use the high-level strategies I will mention later, and your growth will be exponential: the first year will be quite slow but you will have tons of traffic over time.
2) The second strategy is more of a one-shot type thing. It can technically be used in conjunction with Strategy 1.
Here’s the idea: You don’t care about anything: Youtube banner art, channel trailer, etc.
You’re just going for just views. You don’t care about consistency.
To do this, you utilize the highest source of Youtube traffic: Youtube SEO.
You craft titles, thumbnail art, and descriptions that are really good. And you’re aiming to capture a good chunk of search traffic. You literally post when you want and not post again for many months if you want to.
I don’t prefer this one because it’s missing a few elements that might get you more traffic and brand recognition in the long run (years down the line).
High-level Strategies: Maximize Viewers, Subscribers, and Earnings
Here’s a YouTube video explaining the process if you’d prefer to watch:
For Youtube videos, these are the big hitters that matter:
Thumbnails (the pictures that show to preview your video)
Secrets of Youtube Thumbnails and Graphics
Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world. So treat it like a search engine.
In fact, a lot of big channels on Youtube still get a large majority of their traffic from search. (Not every single one but a decent amount)
Therefore, it is important to utilize this.
Spend a good hour studying the thumbnails of the best Youtube videos with a large amount of views.
You will notice that they have spent a ton of time crafting them to be eye-popping and engaging.
Imagine having a giant image be displayed under every listing you have on Google. What would that do to search engine optimization?
That’s exactly what Youtube is like. You are competing with others with your thumbnail, not just your title.
As you’ll see, the best on Youtube know its power and so they spend an excruciatingly large amount of time crafting eye-catching thumbnails that make people curious and want to click.
The more I study thumbnails, the more I have an appreciation for it.
It’s easy to understand but hard to execute one. Everyone seems to have a bias that makes them think their thumbnails are better than they actually are.
Here’s a video I did on Youtube thumbnails:
Now, imagine reading an article you found on Google Search and having a large sidebar of related articles you can click on that are from other websites not affiliated with the website you are reading right now.
Youtube is even more awesome because you get a free chance to get people to click on your video through the Related Videos on the right. This is the #2 (and sometimes #1) source of traffic for Youtube channels.
The crazier part is that for Related Videos, all you have to compete on is Youtube Thumbnails and Titles. That’s all that you have to get people to click on your video versus someone else’s. That’s why they are so important.
Almost Everyone Gets this Wrong: Proper Youtube Titling
You know how some top bloggers spend up to 50% of their time writing an article on the title?
Well, the same thing is true for Youtube.
Listen to this:
Titles are one of the most important things to your Youtube video:
They are one of the biggest factors for Youtube SEO and what people search for
They are one of the first things viewers read
It can be the biggest think to drive someone to click (you can use curiosity, mystery, excitement, awe, etc.)
They can make or break a video. The same video with different titles can get wildly different number of views. I’ve seen results like this all the time with cat videos.
Long story short, really spend some time on your titles. Study other Youtube videos.
Enough said. If your video doesn’t provide tons of value in the form of entertainment, community, story, information, or something else, it’s a flop.
The best measure of this is Youtube retention time: how long the viewers on average stay on the video. You can look this up for free using Youtube Analytics.
Always strive to get this higher as it is probably the biggest factor in determining if Youtube ranks your video really well or puts it in the trash.
Titles matter a large amount. I try to go for two things in a title: Good keywords and phrases that will be searched and an intriguing title that gets people to click on your video to find out more.
You can do both but if I had to choose, I would go with just the former.
There are vloggers who go for just the second one but I don’t recommend this for 99% of people because these vloggers already have large followings and they are now banking of related videos.
For anyone with few subscribers, you want to go for evergreen, search-engine friendly content.
If you’re going for the long haul, this one is huge.
The same thing applies to any blogger.
For whatever reason, the most successful Youtube channels have posted one video per week and done that consistently for years.
Those who drop the ball end up sliding.
Bloggers have done the numbers and the same thing applies to them. In fact, Neil Patel has had to put in 3 months of extra work for the 1 month he forgot to post on his blog.
There’s many reasons why this is the way it is: your audience subscribes for a reason, possible SEO ranking reasons, etc.
The point is it is important for people who want a long-term brand.
Can you still succeed without doing this? As I’ve mentioned, it is. But you will have to go for extremely interesting viral content or evergreen content that is searched very often that you can rank for.
But what about engagement numbers?
There’s probably a hundred other things you may be worried about: what about number of likes, dislikes, comments, shares, etc. on a Youtube video?
Just do this:
Work on the 5 fundamentals I have mentioned. They make up the bulk.
Most people don’t even have those down or even close to decent quality. If you focus on the big wins, the rest will take care of itself.
The other stuff have a minor impact and aren’t worth the effort compared to what I have mentioned.
Only if you are really doing well and thriving should you even consider worrying about the other stuff.
In fact, engagement in terms of likes and comments are close to negligible in terms of Youtube rankings. source: Tim Schmoyer
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm upon it’s release. I’ve personally been waiting for it for months ever since the trailer came out.
Tons of top influencers on social media and every media outlet has covered it. And for good reason. It’s going crazy. People are stampeding the streets in major city to play this game. It brings tears to my eyes.
See these videos as examples:
What is Pokemon Go?
It’s basically a mobile app game that requires you to travel around in real life (using your phone’s location) to “catch” Pokemon. It plays on the nostalgia of the Millenial generation, which I love since I am one of them.
… for now. It may be a trend. I’ll talk more about that later.
How you can use this to make money for your local business
Buy a Lure. A lure costs $1 an hour. In a major city, it can attract hundreds of real players to your chosen location to catch Pokemon. In a town, you can attract dozens.
That’s pretty cheap.
Note: just because they are there doesn’t mean they want to buy your product (yet). You need to merge your offer with the traffic somehow.
Find a creative way of getting them to buy your product while they are there. If you don’t do this right, you could get cheap traffic, but it won’t convert.
Multiple zoos, like the San Diego and Maryland Zoo, are setting up lures inside their zoo. You need to pay entry to get in.
Restaurants who know the lifetime value of a customer and value of their service know that they can make more money on the back-end if they can just get the first purchase. Therefore, give free menu items to Pokemon Go gamers depending on their level in the game (level is determined by how far they have walked and how many Pokemon they caught). See the video below for an example:
This video below explains why this means so much to me. I was a huge Pokemon nerd and back then, I was one of the only people in the world to be crazy about it in school. It was a niche hobby. I’m glad it’s gone more mainstream.
Towards the last 2 minutes of the video, you’ll see what I don’t like about the game:
The Pros and Cons to Pokemon Go
The pros (good stuff):
Pokemon Go really brings a lot of enthusiastic fans outdoors.
The frenzy unleashed was an ingenious move by Nintendo. I saw it coming for a while and they were a bit slow with releasing it, but I applaud them for it.
Nintendo has created an ingenious global sensation that’s also a symbiotic relationship for any local business to straddle off of. They’ve created a local advertising platform for any business based off a globally recognized game. And, right now, it’s cheap. Wow!
As I explained in my video, the technology is still primitive. The server overload makes the game barely functional. It’s been like this all week. Plus, you can’t challenge others on the street. You can’t really battle Pokemon before catching them. The main premise is that you just throw balls at Pokemon that appear based on your location in the world. Having said that, there’s a lot more potential in the next 20 years though. I’m excited to see what they will do when they merge virtual reality and whatever product wins in the space (Occulus Rift, Google Glass, etc.), 360 degree cameras, and mobile apps. I expect to be riding a Pink Gyarados that’s battling my neighbor’s MewTwo in 20 years. And it better be indistinguishable from real life.
It’s most likely a trend that will get old in a few weeks. The amount of players will diminish. As explained in my video, this has been proven fairly true with past video games like WiiFit and GBA games that tried to get people outdoors with solar energy technology. People prefer sitting indoors with their XBox controllers… right? Yes and no. I think time will tell but I’ve been severely surprised over the years. As a gamer and Internet addict, I saw a lot of proof that showed that the world was the same. Everyone from sorority girls to gamers are addicted to computers. Having said that, I’ve also met a lot of people who LOVE the outdoors: beach tanners, sports fanatics, Crossfit athletes, etc. Perhaps Nintendo will be able to leverage this group efficiently.
Great moves Nintendo! You have done it again.
You have kept with change by not sticking to just consoles and delighting your customers. You can’t go wrong if you keep pleasing us and over-delivering. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are very interesting companies. And they hold deep places in my heart from years of gaming, especially Nintendo.
Nintendo illustrates the power of a brand. Gary Vaynerchuk said another business could have created the exact same game without the Pokemon brand. It could be called “Creatures” but wouldn’t have recognizable Pokemon, just creatures. And it would get 1/1000th of the attention. Pokemon is a recognizable brand that brings nostalgia, pre-eminence, and economic goodwill. There’s a whole story line behind the framework and people get it, trust it, and love it.
When you think about getting your work out there in a bigger way or coming across interesting, do you ever get caught by thoughts like…
“But what if the hobbies I love to do are boring to other people?”
“What if my business industry is the most boring industry on earth? I’m having a really difficult time seeing how my products or work would seem interesting to anyone besides me!”
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” -Seth Godin [Tweet This]
While that might be a bit far to say that people buy stories, people do have a genetic connection to story and have for thousands of years.
By putting your words into a story, people are more likely to listen. People have passed information down this way by a campfire for thousands of years. Books and computers are a new thing in the grand scheme of things.
Most of us have a hard time valuing what we do, especially if we do it everyday. We let awesome, interesting things in our life slip by unnoticed.
I’m a culprit of this myself. I’ve found myself painting my life as much more boring than it should be to others.
It’s can be tougher if what we do is generally seen as “boring” by outside standards… or is it?
What if you could turn what you do into a beautifully, interesting story that wows anyone you share it with without changing a thing about how you do things?
If you’re an artist, you’re known for being interesting and creative. But even you have periods of writer’s block or blank ideas.
If you want to look at creativity in a new way and learn how to be more interesting with stories, watch this now. It will work even for boring lifestyles or industries.
Here are the books mentioned in the video (affiliate):
Today’s challenge is important and should take you less than a minute. Please don’t be the lazy person and actually take action on this one.
In the comments below, give me at least 1 story about your life. Make it as interesting as possible. If you’ve got more, keep writing.
It doesn’t matter how successful or amazing your life is or isn’t. I’ve started to realize that the most interesting people in the world make what they have interesting.
Having said that, I bet there’s another level of potential waiting for you to unleash. Actually having a more interesting life helps.
My second challenge is to commit to making your life more interesting on a weekly basis. Maybe that means going to the farmers market or signing up for an archery class. Come back in a week and tell me your story.
One extraordinary thing I have found studying the history of success in a lot of successful businesses is simplicity.
Businesses succeed by keeping things simple and easy to understand and use for the customer.
To drill down even further, what they do is increase ease of use and lower user wait time.
Market share is what percent of the industry your business is in that you hold as a total of everyone in it, including your competitors. To gain market share or increase the quality of the product or service, sometimes it is as simple as keeping it simple:
You reduce unnecessary wait time.
Many businesses have grown bloated or slowed in their profits because they got overly complicated.
Can you think of that have?
Here’s a few: Infusionsoft, League of Legends, Runescape, and Yahoo.
These are services, software, and video games, that have got overly complicated for the new user as they kept adding on new features.
To this day, Google.com is super simple.
Two buttons. (Honestly, I think they could cut the Getting Lucky button)
And this is Google we’re talking about. There’s a thousand things you could be tempted to add to the homepage.
And that’s precisely what Yahoo.com did.
And who won in that search engine battle?
Tinder is a dating app that swept the world by storm.
Because it did not require a lot of time to understand and use.
A new user could easily understand:
Swipe left if you think they’re hot, right if you don’t.
If you both match, you chat.
Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank
Shark Tank is a show where these millionaires (and sometimes billionaires) sit in a room and decide on whether or not to invest in business ideas and businesses.
There’s one episode where one judge, Kevin O’Leary, goes ballistic.
This guy has a decent business selling pies, but…
He’s stressed out working hard producing numerous different flavors of pies.
Even though one flavor accounts for 95% of his profits.
Kevin blew up and told him to stop making the other flavors. And double down on the one flavor.
Sometimes, variety is not what you need.
You need to drill down on that one thing that will double your profits. You don’t need 50 items on your menu when 49 of them are taking up 90% of your time and making you 1% of the profits.
Kevin O’Leary’s book Cold, Hard Truth – good book about money and life. 4 out of 5 stars. There’s a part about getting a pre-nup, gold-diggers, and marriage that’s 5 out of 5 in terms of advice given.
Five Guys follows Kevin O’Leary’s formula to a tee.
It’s my favorite burger place.
And I’m sure they’ve been tempted to add more items to their menu because of how large and successful they have become.
However, even to this day, they have kept their menu very minimalist.
Businesses That May Need To Work On This:
This is a social media type app created by billionaire Mark Cuban.
I think he’s a cool guy, but here’s my thoughts on the app after trying it out for the first time from the perspective of a millenial:
Too overly complicated. Too many things going on.
There’s too many bells and whistles and features and things you can press.
I wouldn’t know what it actually did if I just stumbled across it.
I knew ahead of time because Mark described it succinctly in a video: send text messages that are erased moments later.
It’s a Snapchat for text messages.
And yet, when you open the app, it’s this monster of things and hard to figure out.
Apparently, you can send videos and photos too with other features.
People are busy.
You have to expect that they’re only to give your app 30 seconds or less.
Some tweens and millenials I’ve seen will give it much less than that: 10 seconds. 5 seconds.
You have that much time to get them to understand it and like it.
Burbn – Instagram’s first prototype:
Instagram succeeded by listening to their users.
The first model was called Burbn. It failed.
It was overly complicated. A jumble of confusing features.
How did they succeed?
They used analytics to monitor what their users did.
They keep tweaking their app based on how users were using it.
They found people only used it to share photos.
They double downed on JUST photosharing.
They saw people liked filters, they added filters.
Simplicity was their main focus: They made is to that you could post a photo in 3 clicks.
They saw a GAP in the market and drilled it down: Facebook’s app sucked at the time for photo-sharing. Hipstamatic was the other big competitor, which had good filters but bad photo-sharing.
Too many people try to make a social media app, just to make one. There has to be a gap in the marketplace and need. You have to listen. Stop trying to make one simply to make money or drive up your ego.
That’s why I think Casey Neistat’s beme will fail too. It’s just too similar to Snapchat. People haven’t been going crazy about it because it doesn’t provide much greater value than other things out there.
Make it 10 times better than anything else out there
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel said in Zero To One, there has to be a 10x order of magnitude greater value than your competitors.
A small change or advantage or convenience isn’t good enough for people to turn their heads or leave the brand that they’re loyal to.
My family and many others were really against Apple and iPods. My parents said that using earbuds were bad for your ears.
Years later, we all own many of their devices. Like many others, the change occurred because of the magnitude of convenience Apple’s products provided beyond any competition.
An iPhone is literally a computer in your hand that lets you browse the internet, listen to music, watch Youtube videos, go on social media, text, call and more from almost anywhere on a simple, convenient touchscreen.
It’s just too appealing.
make It Free. Even If It Mean’s That You’re Not Making Money.
It’s simple and obvious, but not everyone does it. Not everyone is willing to. Companies, especially big ones, are pressured by stock analysts and investors who think short term. Although it may sound easy on paper to “think long term”, the pressure from ill-informed people for short-term profit results can cripple a leader who can’t ignore them or doesn’t know the importance. Alibaba vs. Ebay is one of the best modern examples. Alibaba is now a monopoly and one of the largest Internet companies in the world but it wasn’t always this way. The founder was rejected from over 12 jobs including KFC. He was laughed at by the “experts of the Internet” back in the 90’s. Alibaba used to be a tiny company competing against Ebay, who had 90%+ of China’s market share. How did he do it? He did what Ebay did but decided to charge zero percent in fees and commissions. Ebay was unwilling to do so because of its size and all the reasons I just described. In the short term, people made fun of Alibaba. For years, they called Alibaba stupid because they weren’t making any money. In fact, they were losing money keeping up their services. But over time, they pushed the foreign giant away. Over 5 years, Ebay slowly lost market share until they went from 90% to 0%. Despite Ebay trying to form a partnership, the native Chinese company had won. The lesson is clear. For the Internet or tech industry, certain niches are winner-take-all. Alibaba forced Ebay out by playing the long-term game by giving the best service to its customers possible: a free auction service for goods. In the short term, it seemed like they were making a stupid move because they weren’t making any money. In the short term, it seemed like they were making a stupid move because they weren’t making any money. But over time, customers naturally flocked over to the free service that the more expensive service did. Also, be careful of “Internet experts” especially on such a new field. Note: this advice is exclusive to the Internet tech companies listed. It probably won’t hold true completely to other industries. Sometimes, raising the price gets more sales surprisingly. I think this works especially for tech-based mass-scale companies because they depend on tons of people buying small purchases. The few dollars really matter there. For something like a luxury product worth thousands, things could be different. However, the core principle of doing what your customers will like best may still apply.
Make It Cheaper
Walmart is a great example of this.
Sam Walton and his company were the underdogs. People don’t know that. Just like Microsoft, they had competitors who were 10 times bigger when they got into the game.
Sam was smart. He realized how discount retailing was changing the world. Rather than letting it run his little shop out of business, he got into discount retailing himself.
Even to this day, we know his slogan: “Everyday low prices.”
That level of quality products and affordable prices was so appealing that they made up for the small profit margins by sheer volume.
Costco has used a similar strategy in recent times with bulk purchases and more premium products to great success.
Henry Ford did the same thing with the Model T car. He kept reducing the price of his car while almost all of his hundreds of competitors raised prices every year.
Note: This strategy isn’t always the best way. Sometimes, if you want to position yourself as a premium brand, you don’t want to be cheap. The point is to understand the big theme behind all of this, which I’ll go more into detail in the conclusion.
Long story short: provide long-term convenience and value to the customer beyond anyone else.
Conclusion and special note
You don’t have to use these suggestions listed. In fact, they may not exactly apply to your industry.
What should be done is to understand the big theme behind all of these: exceptionally convenient, valuable customer product and service.
Companies like Walmart or Alibaba did this by having ridiculously low or free prices. Other companies like Five Guys or Tinder this with simplicity and ease of use.
Netflix made things convenient by providing affordable, instant-access to movies.
See how you can do this 10x better than your competition. In the short term, nothing will change. In the long term, they will flock to you.
Give the customer and user the best experience possible. You can do this by lowering the price, increasing customer service, increasing quality of the service, increasing quality of product, and many more areas.
Make things simpler and easier to understand and use for the first-time user and repeat user.
Listen to what customers and users tell you. Your opinions and ideas are often not what customers actually prefer.
In conclusion, how can you make things simpler and easier to understand and user for the first-time user?
Some industries and businesses may be better off with complexity.As a special note: this is not a conclusive rule that applies to every business under the sun.
It may depend on your specific situation.
It’s a theory.
However, I think it personally holds true for a lot of businesses in a lot of industries, as I’ve illustrated.
An example of how it would not work would be a company that has decided to go after the market of gamers, customers, or software users who delight in advanced, complicated services or video games.
Arguably, other businesses like Facebook didn’t focus on simplicity. Facebook focused on growth and their service wasn’t exactly simple: there was photo sharing, chat sharing, and all sorts of stuff (though it was still fairly simple and easy to understand).
And you can tell my examples have been mainly social media and tech based, so it may not apply outside of this area.
They both begged their parents to get them into the entertainment industry.
And it worked. Because she had the musical genius and hard work to back it up.
But what makes her songs such a success? Obviously, she writes her own music (which many artists don’t) and does a great job at it. But let’s examine her lyrics. My theory is that one of the big reasons her songs are such a hit is because they often talk about timeless, common, biological themes that most girls have to go through.
I recently watched a documentary about her early years and I discovered that a lot of record labels rejected her. But one day, a man got smart and played her song (Teardrops On My Guitar) to a woman to test if it would be a hit. And the woman immediately got it. She broke down crying because she could relate.
Today, we will be dissecting some of her lyrics, showing how they relate from an evolutionary biological perspective, and giving you some advice on how you can use this to improve your dating life. The insights I mention I have got from the book Mate: Become the Man Women Want, which dives deeply into the decades of scientific research done on attraction to give advice to men.
I will order the songs on a chronological timeline to show the progression as she gets older. So let’s get started.
Teardrops on My Guitar
Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see That I want and I’m needing everything that we should be I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about, And she’s got everything that I have to live without.Drew talks to me, I laugh ’cause it’s just so funny That I can’t even see anyone when he’s with me He says he’s so in love, he’s finally got it right, I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night
In these lyrics, you can see that Taylor really wants to be romantically involved with his friend Drew. She likes him so much that she thinks about him every night. And she is sad (and maybe a bit jealous) that he is with another girl that he thinks is perfect. She doesn’t want to interfere so she fakes a smile and stays in the friend zone.
Realize girls are also competing in a mating market with each other. They value a man that can make them laugh and they value a great relationship with an awesome guy (which are in short supply).
Find out how you can become that man. Take some comedy classes. Learn how to be more funny. Improve your other attractive traits.
Realize a girl values the right type of man to the point where she might even think about him every night. By becoming this man, you let her be the one chasing.
He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I doDrew walks by me, can he tell that I can’t breathe? And there he goes, so perfectly, The kind of flawless I wish I could be She better hold him tight, give him all her love Look in those beautiful eyes and know she’s lucky ’causeSo I drive home alone. As I turn out the light I’ll put his picture down And maybe get some sleep tonight.
She is so sad about this that she actually cries about this to the point of losing sleep. She also notes that she wishes she could be more flawless and acknowledges her insecurities.
Realize girls get friend-zoned too. I’m willing to guess that not every girl cries like this at night. But a lot can relate on some level.
Realize that even some of the hottest girls have insecurities because they compare themselves to someone who is “flawless.” Show appreciation when she’s feeling vulnerable (and not when she’s bombarded with compliments from other guys) and you will turn out ahead.
You Belong With Me
This is and always will be one of my favorite songs by her. The melody and lyrics work so well together. Anyhow, let’s dive in.
You’re on the phone with your girlfriend She’s upset, she’s going off about something that you said ‘Cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do.
I’m in the room, it’s a typical Tuesday night. I’m listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like. And she’ll never know your story like I do.
Taylor has a male friend she romantically likes. On a personality and interests level, she connects more with him than his girlfriend. She’s a bit put off that he is with a girl that doesn’t connect well with him and is always fighting.
As you can (especially in high school), she is in a situation where her friend has valued other female attractive traits more than the personality connection…
But she wears short skirts I wear t-shirts She’s cheer captain And I’m on the bleachers Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.
Taylor is the average, somewhat nerdy, Marching Band girl. In terms of popularity, she is lower mating value in her high school mating market because of her fashion, social status from her clique, and physical appearance.
The takeaway: Realize that mating market competition is in effect for both genders. If you are a guy being friendzoned, realize girls experience this too. There is a mating value competition at play. Also realize that high school has a small “fishbowl” mating market. If it doesn’t work out, have faith that the world will get bigger as you age and your life can turn around. Taylor’s a great example.
If you could see That I’m the one Who understands you. Been here all along. So, why can’t you see You belong with me,
Walk in the streets with you in your worn out jeans I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be. Laughing on a park bench thinking to myself, “Hey, isn’t this easy?”
Taylor believes she connects and understands him so much more than his girlfriend and is frustrated that he cannot see this. One of the reasons that this song was possibly such a hit was because so many girls related.
You say you’re fine I know you better than that. Hey, what you doing with a girl like that?
Oh, I remember you driving to my house In the middle of the night. I’m the one who makes you laugh When you know you’re ’bout to cry. I know your favorite songs, And you tell me about your dreams. Think I know where you belong, Think I know it’s with me.
Standing by and waiting at your backdoor. All this time how could you not know, baby?
Taylor knows this guy inside and out. She is a little outraged that he would be with a girl that does not understand him as well at all.
The takeaway: Note that this is a pop song. Not every real life high school situation is as crazy as you hear about in the songs and movies. The girl who understands the man well doesn’t always lose the battle. If you look at the music video, Taylor ends up winning at the end by improving her style and showing herself in a new light. This shocks the guy into thinking of her in a new way, effectively pushing her out of the friend zone.
So I sneak out to the garden to see you. We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew So close your eyes, Escape this town for a little while. Oh, oh.
‘Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter, And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet.” But you were everything to me, I was begging you, “Please don’t go.” And I said…
Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone. I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run. You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess. It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
Romeo, save me. They’re trying to tell me how to feel. This love is difficult but it’s real. Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess. It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
Ever wonder why Disney princess movies like Frozen or Snow White do so well and made so much money?
Well, my theory is that one of the reasons is that little girls are wired genetically to love romantic love stories with princesses.
Why? Because the romance is a way for a woman to assess if a man will truly commit to her. One of the biggest dangers for our female ancestors was a husband that abandons you. The chances of a baby’s survival drop dramatically when a father leaves.
Therefore, women have used romance to test to see is if a man is faithful and loyal. They value extra attention or effort spent on a specific woman that expends precious energy because it shows the man is giving special treatment and commitment. Animals do this too. Peacocks show off their feathers to prove their genetic health because it’s near impossible to fake since it requires so much energy to create all the colors.
Of course, it’s still a tough world. Despite all those genetic, unconscious behaviors to help ladies, I still see a lot of Baby Mamas with absent fathers.
Anyhow, the point is that there is a ton of romantic references here, even to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Women eat up that romantic love stuff.
The takeaway: Give extra energy and energy in ways that show a girl that you are doing more for her than other girls. This shows commitment. Examples include surprising her with special flowers or taking extra time to get to know her interests and organizing a unique date based on those interests.
I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around. My faith in you was fading When I met you on the outskirts of town. And I said…
Romeo, save me. I’ve been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you, but you never come. Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think. He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said…
Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone. I love you, and that’s all I really know. I talked to your dad – go pick out a white dress It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
This is important. Girls, from an early age, are biologically wired to start dreaming about marriage. Little girls are already planning their dream weddings. Taylor wrote this song at only 19 and it was a major hit among girls. It might seem like a young age to talk about marriage but realize this:
Culturally, women are now able to marry a lot later (even into their 30s and 40s) as they get their careers in order. But for thousands of years, women married before 21. We are still genetically wired for that time and women still hit their peak fertility around their mid 20s.
Also, note the emphasis on being “tired of waiting.” A common genetic theme among women (and girly pop songs) is that this question: “Is he going to be ‘the one’ who actually commits or just another player who leaves me?” This is a common theme because they have to deal with this issue all the time and failure to get this right spelled doom for thousands of ancestors in their pursuit of producing and raising children that survive.
How can you use this to improve your life?
Realize that women fantasize and care about marriage more than men. Take extra effort around wedding and proposal time.
Really showcase that you are a loyal man that can commit.
Of all the girls tossing rocks at your window I’ll be the one waiting there even when it’s cold. Hey Stephen, Boy, you might have me believing I don’t always have to be alone.
These lyrics remind us that females are also in a mating competition with other females. The social proof from all the “girls tossing rocks” shows that a lot of more women desire and chase this man compared to the average guy. This raises his perceived value due to his scarcity.
There’s also a reference to the female twinge of wishing for a relationship rather than being single all the time.
‘Cause I can’t help it if you look like an angel, Can’t help it if I wanna kiss you in the rain… Can’t help it if there’s no one else. Mmm, I can’t help myself.
As shown in these lyrics, she can’t help but feel attracted.
A large portion of attraction is unconscious. It’s not a choice; it’s a pre-programmed, complex genetic reaction to what her ancestors found attractive. The book Mate: Become the Man Women Want (affiliate link) goes into great detail on how you can improve this naturally (and it’s more than just looks and money). Understanding this is crucial because so many guys try to convince a girl logically that he’s attractive when he should be going the other way.
I could give you fifty reasons Why I should be the one you choose. All those other girls – Well, they’re beautiful But would they write a song for you?
This is a reference to female mating competition and differentiation. She is cleverly choosing to display her other attractive traits (song writing) rather than compete with other girls on the same plane (how pretty she is) because it’s much tougher. Its interesting to note how you can stand out by being different. Men can do this too.
You were in college working part time waiting tables Left a small town, never looked back I was a flight risk with a fear of fallin’ Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts
This song is so old yet I still hear it play constantly. Anyhow, the last line is what’s important. The first few lines set up another romantic story, and I have talked about why that’s important.
Here, she is stating a common female theme, “I am tired of relationship with guys that never last. Why do I bother with trying to find love?”
Well, the answer is that genetically and culturally we want to. Not only does it feel good, but society looks at you weird if you are a woman that never gets married. Genetically, she is constantly screening for potential suitors even if she consciously says she’s “on a break from guys.”
Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together, And there’s a drawer of my things at your place. You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded, You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes.But we got bills to pay, We got nothing figured out, When it was hard to take, Yes, yes, this is what I thought about.Do you remember all the city lights on the water? You saw me start to believe for the first time You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.And I remember that fight Two-thirty AM As everything was slipping right out of our hands I ran out crying and you followed me out into the street Braced myself for the “Goodbye.” ‘Cause that’s all I’ve ever known Then you took me by surprise You said, “I’ll never leave you alone.”
This one’s rather touching and may not relate to everyone. It tells the story of a girl who had childhood trauma from a father that never cared about her. After they marry, their life gets financially tough and she expects him to leave after a fight. Her husband surprises her by showing he will commit, which she’s never experienced before.
What’s important here is that there is a theme of a husband that will hang in there and support a woman despite tough times financially and emotionally. A woman can value that over someone who does not have that.
Some women can have a biased view of the world because of their past memories. Just because you or anyone else was abandoned, forgotten, or bullied in the past does not mean it will always be this way in the future.
A common theme of commitment shows up once again. Make sure you show those traits. (The book says that in short-term relationships and hook-ups, you should show fatherly and commitment traits but be open and honest with your intentions from the start to improve how attractive you are but keep everything honest.)
Back to December
I am not sure if she wrote this about her own life or as a story depiction (like Mine). However, it has some common female themes worth mentioning.
I’m so glad you made time to see me. How’s life? Tell me how’s your family? I haven’t seen them in a while. You’ve been good, busier than ever, We small talk, work and the weather, Your guard is up and I know why. Because the last time you saw me Is still burned in the back of your mind. You gave me roses and I left them there to die.
So this is me swallowing my pride, Standing in front of you saying, “I’m sorry for that night,” And I go back to December all the time. It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you. Wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine. I’d go back to December, turn around and make it all right. I go back to December all the time.
These days I haven’t been sleeping, Staying up, playing back myself leavin’. When your birthday passed and I didn’t call. And I think about summer, all the beautiful times, I watched you laughing from the passenger side. Realized I loved you in the fall.
And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind You gave me all your love and all I gave you was “Goodbye”.
I miss your tanned skin, your sweet smile, So good to me, so right And how you held me in your arms that September night The first time you ever saw me cry.
Maybe this is wishful thinking, Probably mindless dreaming, But if we loved again, I swear I’d love you right.
I go back to December all the time. All the time.
This is a sad, mopey song that puts me in a sad mood so I do not like playing it. Having said that, it has a catchy melody. Here’s what’s important:
1) The Work and Weather Small Talk
If you have ever wondered how to keep a conversation going and prevent it from fizzling out, this is a good illustration. Even someone as famous as Taylor Swift still mentions how she begins a meeting with someone she has not met in a while with small talk about work and the weather.
Now, some people will tell you not to do this because it is boring. But according to the book Mate’s counterpart podcast, The Mating Grounds, you should start there. A good conversationalist tries to find something interesting about another person, listens intently, and finds common ground.
Almost everyone ends up talking about the weather or work first because they are topics that everyone has to deal with. We are all affected by the weather. Nowadays, the weather is viewed as more boring thanks to technological advancements that keep us safer. But for most of human history, the weather was a interesting and important topic because getting caught in a natural disaster meant death for yourself, your family, and your career. You wanted to prepare your farm if you knew a tornado or hurricane was coming.
2) The Love Story Theme
Do you realize that you can talk about anything in a song? Yet how come most songs end up coming back to a love story?
Well, first off, I am glad that some artists like Macklemore are talking about other topics (like Mopeds and Thrift Stores) because it is getting old. But let’s explore why they keep popping (and why they will continue to).
Because it’s fresh and new for every new generation. There are babies being born all the time and these are common emotional, pressing themes that are in the front of women’s minds as they grow older.
This song talks about a woman declining a man’s love for her and abandoning him. This man has gone on to have a family with another woman and continued with his life. The woman regrets her decision and the song is filled with this sadness. This is a topic older women can relate to and there plenty of them.
Another huge song that made millions off this theme was Someone like You by Adele.
3) The Emphasis on the Small Details
Notice the emphasis on details. Most men glaze over details when it comes to anything romantic.
Taylor uses words like “tanned skin”, “September night”, “birthday passed and I didn’t call.” Women care about the small details that make the experience even better. These lyrics are not even that detailed or emotional as they can be.
A better illustration of this would be Erotica books. The female porn industry is very small compared to the male porn industry. Why? Because females prefer emotions and the experiences building up to an event to the visual aspect, so they read Erotica books instead. 50 Shades of Grey, one of the top books in this genre, sold over 125 million copies. It’s clear that women care more about the feelings and small details.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
I remember when we broke up the first time Saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” ’cause like We hadn’t seen each other in a month When you said you needed space. (What?) Then you come around again and say “Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.” Remember how that lasted for a day? I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you.”
Ooh, we called it off again last night But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together,
Ooh, you called me up again tonight But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
I used to think that we were forever ever And I used to say, “Never say never…” Uggg… so he calls me up and he’s like, “I still love you,” And I’m like… “I just… I mean this is exhausting, you know, like, We are never getting back together. Like, ever”
This music video got over 400 million views. I am guessing a lot of girls could relate. The theme is straightforward. But why does this happen? How come girls keep breaking up and getting back together with equally ignorant guys?
I cannot tell you. Perhaps it deals with complicated human dynamics. Or maybe it’s simpler. Maybe guys are just very persuasive yet choose bad partners. And they continue on a cycle of poor relationships until it exhausts the girl.
Take a look at the phrases I bolded. It’s important to note that the guy keeps calling back and promising that he will change. And it seems like he never does.
Also, note what Taylor’s body language is like when she says “I love you” in the music video. It’s a clear example of feminine energy and idealism. They really care about love and finding that perfect partner. I know I have mentioned it many times but it is worth emphasizing as it keeps coming up.
Persistence can pay often, but only if you execute on what you promise to.
Girls really idealize true love. They hope and believe in it to a point of sometimes deluding themselves and making poor decisions with men who talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
The Story of Us
I used to think one day we’d tell the story of us, How we met and the sparks flew instantly, and people would say, “They’re the lucky ones.” I used to know my place was the spot next to you, Now I’m searching the room for an empty seat, ‘Cause lately I don’t even know what page you’re on.
Taylor is expressing her interest in finding the one she marries and “lives happily ever after” with once again. As you can see, most women emphasize a long-term relationship over other dating objectives. That’s why she writes so many songs about this and women listen to so many songs about this.
She’s really great at infusing stories into her songs. This time, she is talking about a relationship that she was expecting to work out and potentially turn into that marriage but ended up ending abruptly.
Oh, a simple complication, Miscommunications lead to fall-out. So many things that I wish you knew, So many walls up I can’t break through.
Now I’m standing alone in a crowded room and we’re not speaking, And I’m dying to know is it killing you like it’s killing me, yeah? I don’t know what to say, since the twist of fate when it all broke down, And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now.
How’d we end up this way? See me nervously pulling at my clothes and trying to look busy, And you’re doing your best to avoid me. I’m starting to think one day I’ll tell the story of us, How I was losing my mind when I saw you here, But you held your pride like you should’ve held me.
Oh, I’m scared to see the ending, Why are we pretending this is nothing? I’d tell you I miss you but I don’t know how, I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.
Some type of miscommunication and situation lead to the relationship ending. They still bump into each other from time to time and it’s killing her that they are not talking. And she’s sad it did not work out. She ends the verse with “Next chapter” signifying that reality is that their relationship has ended.
This is made to be vague and potentially interpreted in many ways by a listener. One example is this: a girl has a sexual encounter with a boy. The girl wants more romantically, but the boy does not. After the one night stand, interactions get awkward when they meet. The girl is a bit let down and the boy avoids her.
What Taylor more likely went through (based on the line mentioning pride) is some sort of miscommunication caused by her constant traveling that offended him, which ruined the relationship.
This is looking like a contest, Of who can act like they care less, But I liked it better when you were on my side. The battle’s in your hands now, But I would lay my armor down If you said you’d rather love than fight. So many things that you wish I knew, But the story of us might be ending soon.
Both sides seem to be acting like they could care less about the past relationship. But Taylor cares a lot about it deep down, though she’s hiding it. Notice the emphasis on “love.” Women really emphasis long-term relationships and the theme of “finding true love” is common throughout pop songs.
I Knew You Were Trouble
This one was a huge hit when it came out. I cannot help but say that the background guitar combined with the melody was so on point. Anyhow, let’s get into it.
[Music video spoken part:] It just all comes back. But he never does. I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen. It’s not really anything he said or anything he did, It was the feeling that came along with it. And the crazy thing is I don’t know if I’m ever gonna feel that way again. But I don’t know if I should. I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright. But I just thought, how can the devil be pulling you toward someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?
As you can see by just the title or just the intro, the song is about getting into a relationship with a man that she knew was trouble. This is a very common, timeless theme among women. Why do women go after men who they logically know would be a horrible fit (and will possibly abandon them or hurt them)?
Well, it’s because it’s their genetics that influence their behavior against conscious reasoning.
Based on the music video, it seemed like this man had enough universally attractive male traits to override his moderately unattractive traits. At least for a short time. These traits seemed to be: popularity (fame), wealth (resources), fashion and style, confidence, and we’ll talk about the others later on.
The reason I say “moderately” is because of this lesson in the book Mate:
Some universally attractive traits will attract some women some of the time. But universally unattractive traits will repel all women all of the time.
By this definition, being an unkind douchebag is not always unattractive, but having horrible hygiene that you smell like garbage is always repulsive.
Once upon a time a few mistakes ago I was in your sights, you got me alone You found me, you found me, you found me I guess you didn’t care, and I guess I liked that And when I fell hard you took a step back Without me, without me, without me
And he’s long gone when he’s next to me And I realize the blame is on me
‘Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in So shame on me now Flew me to places I’d never been
Taylor goes into detail here. She mentions that:
She’s made a few mistakes in the dating scene (which are more focused on choosing the wrong long-term partner compared to a guy’s dating mistakes).
She was attracted to an attitude of not caring too much. This can be considered a subsection of (or related area to) confidence: the ability to not be too spineless or put a girl on a pedestal by worshiping her or being over-reactive.
He used his wealth to fly her to incredible places, winning her over with the glamour.
When she fell in love with him, he moved away.
She admits that it is her fault, not his. Because she went after the “bad boy” that she knew would treat her wrong and abandon her.
Realize women make mistakes in dating too. They are trying to succeed in this world just like you.
Win-lose relationships where one party is hurt can come back to bite you. This song does not go into detail about why but the book Mate does.
Get some of the attractive traits that the man in this song has, but remove the unattractive traits as well. By doing so, you become the ultimate attractive male. You have none of the bad stuff (unkind behavior, emotional volatility, unpredictable nature, deceitful abandonment) and attract all the women.
Wealth can dazzle but it does not guarantee dating success. The book goes into more detail on this, but a quick summary is that there are many rich men who still suck with girls because their other attractive traits are not up to par.
No apologies. He’ll never see you cry, Pretends he doesn’t know that he’s the reason why. You’re drowning, you’re drowning, you’re drowning. Now I heard you moved on from whispers on the street A new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be And now I see, now I see, now I see
He was long gone when he met me And I realize the joke is on me, yeah!
I knew you were trouble when you walked in So shame on me now
And the saddest fear comes creeping in That you never loved me or her, or anyone, or anything, yeah
A common timeless theme through music appears again. This time, the lyrics talk about being tricked by a player who was only looking casual, short-term fun and an ego boost. This is a common feature of many (but not all) men. You just have to look at Male pop songs (like Want to Want Me or Talk Dirty with Me by Jason Derulo) to see it.
Why are men like this? Genetically, they are made to spread their sperm as far and as wide as possible, as illustrated by Genghis Khan, who had so many children that 1 in 200 men living today are descended from him. This was so that the “winners” with the best traits could pass them on fast. Therefore, men have evolved these tendencies and still have them even though we now have monogamous (one husband, one wife) cultures.
The takeaway: Ladies (and men) should seek people who are after the same relationship goals. Therefore, if you are a lady looking for a long-term relationship or marriage, find men looking for the same thing. Believe it or not, they are out there (an example is Ed Sheeran or many of the classmates I have met who have married their high school sweetheart).
Midnight, You come and pick me up, no headlights A long drive, Could end in burning flames or paradise
The last line is what matters here. She is referring to what most females think of as the ultimate dating success: marriage. Attractive women can have lots of sexual relationships if they want to. But that is usually not what they want.
They want a long term partner because they have few eggs over their lifetime, while males have millions of sperm that they can use to fertilize thousands more eggs.
For most men, having sex could be considered “paradise”, but for most woman having sex could be considered “burning flames” if it ends without a great long-term partner that does not end in marriage. Note: I used the word “most” because not all women are like this. Some are looking for more casual encounters.
Find girls who want what you do. Seek girls who want short-term relationships if that’s what you are after so there is no-misalignment or misery. The same process applies for girls who want long-term relationships: look for guys who want the same. They are out there.
Understand the difference of values for women and men to gain an advantage in the dating scene. Understand that women care less for sex since they can get it easier. They care more about finding a guy who is actually cool, fun to be around, a great potential partner, etc. Even if you are looking for hook-ups, by displaying these traits, you can come out ahead.
I should just tell you to leave ’cause I Know exactly where it leads but I Watch us go ’round and ’round each time
This is a common (and timeless) example of a women who logically knows a guy is not a good fit but biologically cannot resist his universal attractive traits (whether it’s popularity, willpower, wealth, emotional intelligence, etc.). She knows the relationship will not end how she wants it to but ends up following the same behavior over and over.
The lyrics are made to be somewhat vague, so it could also mean that their lifestyles just are not a match but they keep trying.
So it goes He can’t keep his wild eyes on the road
Again, Taylor makes this intentionally vague. But more than likely, it refers to the common practice of a young male who can’t stop looking at other hot girls that pass by while he is with his girlfriend (or partner).
Women unconsciously assess a man’s loyalty because of their genes. Their ancestors succeeded and passed on these traits because those who weren’t lost their partner as a potential father and caretaker because he left. Studies of hunter-gatherer groups found that an absentee father doubled chances of child survival and success.
The takeaway: Women notice this stuff. When you are on a date, have some decency and respect. Also, realize how much women care about loyalty. If you can show that you are loyal, you will get bonus points.
I say, “I heard, oh, that you’ve been out and about with some other girl, some other girl.”
He says, “What you’ve heard is true but I Can’t stop thinking about you,” and I… I said, “I’ve been there, too, a few times.“
Taylor confronts him about rumors that he has been fooling around (or at least dating) another girl, not a uncommon behavior for a young man in his prime.
This man returns with a common timeless behavior of men: owning up to it, but saying that “you are all I care about though.” Sometimes this lie works, but sometimes girls are skeptical of it because they know guys lie about this to get sex. They are genetically evolved to be biased for jealousy for partner protection.
This part comes from interviews where she explains this line: Taylor has matured over the years, and realized that it’s not always the guy’s fault. She fools around and acts immaturely too as a young lady. She admits that she has done the same thing before.
The takeaway: It may be better to always be honest rather than lie. If you want a polyamorous open relationship, you will win out in the long term by being honest with everyone about it. Girls are savvy to lies. And if not, it can come back to bite you.
Out of the Woods
Looking at it now Last December (last December) We were built to fall apart Then fall back together (back together)
(Are we out of the woods?!)
Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? Twenty stitches in the hospital room When you started cryin’, baby, I did, too But when the sun came up, I was lookin’ at you Remember when we couldn’t take the heat I walked out and said, “I’m settin’ you free,” But the monsters turned out to be just trees And when the sun came up, you were lookin’ at me You were lookin’ at me You were lookin’ at me, I remember, oh, I remember
Another reference to theme of getting back together in a relationship after breaking it up (the endless cycle continues). Taylor has talked about the meaning behind this song. It’s about the theme of feeling paranoid about keeping a relationship secret. In the song she mentions how the man could not take it anymore, and they broke off the relationship to be free from the paranoia. But their suspicions that they would be found out turned out to be false.
1) The Details
Once again, notice the details she mentions: “twenty stitches in the hospital room”, “you started crying and I did too”, and “sun came up.” Can you imagine a man talking about that or singing about that? It happens, but maybe not as often.
My theory is that women focus and remember experiences, feelings, and small details more than men. Therefore, take some extra effort to make those small moments special and feel good. You will have an edge over other guys.
2) Female Social Status
At play here is female social status. According to the book Mate, even if a girl thinks you are an attractive mate, she still has to deal with the judgement of her family, friends, and society. If your status is too low or different, it could affect hers. Therefore, she may end up keeping you hidden, rejecting you, or trying to boost your image so she has a better chance of a good impression for her friends and family.
In this song, it could be that Taylor simply does want others knowing of her private relationships. And it could potentially be that she is also a bit embarrassed how others will judge the male she chose.
This is not theory either. You probably already had a sense of this when you were in high school. And I have real life examples. Sandra Bullock, a famous actress, took a lot of backlash when she married Jesse James because he was not the stereotypical image of what they expected her to marry (he had lots of tattoos and drank lots of beer).
Note: Taylor has mentioned in interviews that this song was written as an imaginary depiction of what the media made Taylor Swift into. It’s not actually a model of her life. Having said that, there are some interesting themes in the song.
Saw you there and I thought Oh my God, look at that face You look like my next mistake Love’s a game, wanna play?
Taylor’s mentioned mistakes in other songs like Trouble (“a few mistakes ago”). It always refers to a failed relationship decision. The emphasis women can place on this is notable. Men do not immediately think of one concept when they hear the word “mistake.”
She also mentions an attractive male face. Biologically, women prefer a symmetrical, stereotypical male face because it implies great health and therefore, healthy offspring. There are new books about this topic that breaks down the studies behind it, such as In Your Face by David Perrett and Facial Attractiveness by Gillian Roades.
Although I have mentioned in other content that looks can be improved by working out, the face is something that’s harder to change. But there are ways of improving symmetry through grooming and fashion. Choosing the right shape of glasses is one huge way. There’s plenty of good content online about this.
Grab your passport and my hand I can make the bad guys good for a weekendSo it’s gonna be forever Or it’s gonna go down in flames You can tell me when it’s over If the high was worth the pain Got a long list of ex-lovers They’ll tell you I’m insane ‘Cause you know I love the players And you love the game
Taylor once again talks about the theme of “Is this a relationship that will turn into marriage or another failure?” She mentioned this in Style (“burning flames or paradise”). I have talked about this enough so I won’t break down why this matters.
Second, it’s important that she used the word “lovers.” Taylor has used this before in interviews. This is important because most men would never use this word. It’s more emphasis on how she values “true love.”
Now, this is not technically Taylor but a imaginary persona. But there are girls out there who love players that “play the game” who seek to “make the bad boy good.” See the section on the song Trouble for explanation on why girls go after Assholes they do not like.
You’re the King, baby, I’m your Queen Find out what you want Be that girl for a month Wait, the worst is yet to come, oh noScreaming, crying, perfect storms I can make all the tables turn Rose garden filled with thorns Keep you second guessing like “Oh my God, who is she?” I get drunk on jealousy But you’ll come back each time you leave ‘Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream
Note the reference to king and queens. Although it’s been forever since the Medieval ages where there actually are King and Queens, we still see it referenced and romanticized in Disney movies and songs. Girls particularly seem to be attached to this concept because of the romantic nature.
The takeaway: Romance is clearly an overlooked yet incredible edge for men to use to be more attractive.
How To Get The Girl
Girls have written songs about what they want in a boy. Yet no one listens. Take some time to read the lyrics. Nicki Minaj wrote Superbass. Meghan Trainor wrote Dear Future Boyfriend. And Taylor wrote this song in 2014.
And what a fitting song to end this article with.
Stand there like a ghost shaking from the rain (rain). She’ll open up the door and say, “Are you insane (‘ane)?” Say it’s been a long 6 months And you were too afraid to tell her what you want.
Why do girls fantasize so much about men going through great lengths to kiss you in the rain?
Well, it’s actually biological, believe it or not. Women are wired to look for signs that a man will be faithful. As mentioned, having a father that stays and raises the child increases his or her survival rate.
Romantic films are filled with stories of girls saying stuff like, “Are you insane? You walked 16 miles through the rain just to see me one last time?” And the reason is because it’s a display by the man that he is spending extra energy on a specific girl (which is a show of loyalty).
As far as being “too afraid to tell her what you want”, it demonstrates honesty and a display of love (something women fantasize about).
And that’s how it works. That’s how you get the girl. And then you say,“I want you for worse or for better, I would wait forever and ever, Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together. I would wait forever and ever.”
The takeaway here is from the bold lines. Make it a point to verbally express your commitment when you are ready to do this. In this case, he is emphasizing that you will stick with her even in tough times. That is common theme of Taylor’s songs. She values a partner that can stick with her and support her in future tough events, a trait women assess and look for.
Another theme we see is the classic romantic prince pledge that “he will wait forever for her.” This is another pledge of loyalty and commitment that women value and swoon over. And it works, which is why it’s in many Disney and romantic films.
Remind her how it used to be (yeah, yeah) With pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks (cheeks) Tell her how you must have lost your mind. (uh-uh) When you left her all alone, and never told her why (why).
The takeaway is to remind her of the experiences and memories you had because women care about those elements. Admit and apologize for your mistakes and bad decisions. Admit and explain why you did something (like leave her without explaining why) that left her confused.
It’s important to acknowledge why Taylor wrote this song. There could have been some frustration there. She might have failed yet another relationship that did not end in marriage and was so fed up she wrote a song that literally told him how to fix everything.
I saw in an interview that Taylor said she dreamed of an ex coming to her door and begging her to come back. Notice how much she thinks and even dreams about this. Many guys would rather dream about lucking out with a hot girl f or the night. The clear distinction between what women and men are genetically evolved for can help you win over a girl when it is time to look for a wife and when you are courting a girl for more short-term relationships.
If you ever wondered why pop songs always sound the same, now you know why. There are timeless themed that are rooted in evolutionary biological behaviors that most men and women go through. Every new generation naturally tends to feel certain emotions. It’s no wonder that most female pop songs have to do with love and “Is this man the faithful Mr.Right?”, while most male pop song has to do “I have lots of money. Are you down tonight?”
Now, I want to hear from you. Think of a popular pop song and look at it from this new lenses. Let me know what insights you can learn from the song that you can use to improve your life. Ask yourself questions like “Why does she sing about this? Why does she care so much about this?”
I’m excited to hear your insights in the comments below.
Many people are overly focused on numbers: “How do you increase the number of people reached? I have a flat conversion percentage into sales.”
Instead, this marketing campaign has decided to go a different route:
By truly utilizing the eccentric personality of the character in the film to make a DEEP impact on every fan who views any piece of the marketing campaign.
It’s more focused about depth by really being creative and capitalizing on the humor that this character brings.
Thanks to the viral nature of social media, people who are the farthest thing from action hero fans, let alone Deadpool fans, are talking about it.
I saw a middle aged man who was the farthest thing from a superhero fan share this in a motivation group for 40 to 50 year old’s.
Look at what they posted as their office Facebook page cover:
To the average individual, it just seems like another Romantic Film ad.
To any Deadpool fan, they know it’s satire.
It’s intentionally against the character and nature of how Deadpool is as a personality, which is why the ad is made to make fun of that with a romantic comedy spin.
It’s a clear example of going deep with a unique spin for its fans.
What’s interesting about this stuff is that nowadays, there’s no excuses.
Anyone can duplicate a similar Romantic comedy design for FREE with resources online like Canva and Picmonkey.com.
I have very basic skills and this is what took me about 2 to 3 minutes to make:
It’s not an issue of budget to make a beautifully graphically designed image, especially if they have at least some level of Photoshop skills.
For over a year leading up to the film, there’s been unique promotional videos being released on Youtube. It seems like the traffic has been mainly organic. The budget was in creating the film. Then, they let the internet do its own thing of sharing it.
I think attention to detail is something that is overlooked by most on social media.
Here’s one of the small things: On the official Deadpool Twitter, it only follows one account: Hello Kitty.
The entire film Deadpool was made possible because of an incredible amount of fans begging it to be created.
The marketing team could have been lazy but they went the extra mile to really cater to its fans by using the character’s personality.
Deadpool’s marketing team has gone above and beyond showing that they understand modern social media and pop culture. They have even subtly advertised on the well known dating hook-up app Tinder as a match. The profile is set to show up like every other one on there.
I still think he could have done more. There’s only been a few I’ve seen.
I’m interested and almost sure that at some point in the future, tons of in-character appearances in top influencer’s content, such as Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and Youtube, will be a much more common thing. It already is but it can be SO much more. It rarely happens on Snapchat as it’s still new.
Honestly, I think this isn’t even that bad. There’s even crazier things that could be done. Perhaps, a Instagram and social media influencer surprise appearance.
That’s actually what Ben Stiller did to promote the film Zoolander 2.
This one was to Jeromme Jarre’s 8.5 million Vine followers:
He did a few appearances in character on huge influencer’s platforms, including the model Cara De Lavigne, who has 26.5 million subscribers and growing.
As you can see, these campaigns work because they are creative, in-sync with the film character’s personality, and pleases fans in a way that only those in the niche would understand.
More importantly, they do it differently from everyone else.
Right now, there’s different levels of internet and social media marketing:
Many businesses are confused about social media and don’t even use it. Some do but suck at it
Others are testing the waters or doing well with more standard practices. For example, they will pay an Instagram model to use a protein shake in a photo.
Others, like Deadpool and Zoolander, are trying out new ways: reacing out to influencers and doing in-character guest appearances.
Right now, social media marketing, sponsorships, and ads are still fairly cheap. It’s a new, weird playing field because anyone can jump on board. EVERYONE can start a social media following (though that doesn’t make it easy to grow one). Because of that, we get new problems that never occurred before, such as amateur influencers who are still pretty young acting unprofessionally and/or selling sponsorship deals for bargain prices.
The message is NOT to get starry-eyed with social media.
I’ve seen a TON of middle-aged and elderly business owners and marketers who are jumping on every new social media platform that comes their way and getting minimal results from all of them because they are stretched too thin.
Quite frankly, as a millenial, I was very surprised to find the social media marketing niche online filled with mostly older people who had stretched themselves way too thin with platforms that most millenials had not even adopted or aware of yet: Peach, Periscope, Meerkat, and so on.
Don’t do that.
Instead, just use this as inspiration to look to see how you can be more creative with your own marketing and to understand that social media as a whole should not be avoided. It’s an incredible new and fast way to communicate immediately to a large amount of people directly, which is a double-edged sword.
Deadpool’s marketing team at FOX did an incredible job. Keep up the great work!
Would you like to learn how to get 5 times the results with half the effort?
Would you like to have one extra hour of free time in a day?
Would you like to have more time to relax even though you are getting more done than people working harder than you?
This is not another one of those BS generic viral articles. This is real life. This actually happens.
CEOs like Gary Vaynerchuk have mentioned numerous times in interviews that they live three times the life of an average person because the average Joe is not aware of how much time he wastes (or cares to change it if he does).
There is a reason why those other articles on success and productivity do not work:
Just because it is shared with hundreds of thousands of people does not mean it is good advice. Just because some random editor wrote the article on a well-known site that get’s millions of views does not mean it’s good advice. Just because it’s arranged pretty in a list does not mean it will get you results.
The truth about those types of viral articles is that they are churned out daily without any regard to helping you. They will go so far as to make up tips to get another article out.
Today’s article will be quite different from the typical fodder like “Spend time with your family” or “Wake up early.”
Having studied thousands of successful individuals, I want to show you how successful people work less and do more with these 14 tips.
Here’s a video version if you prefer to watch:
1. Make Small Decisions Rather than Large Ones
Let’s examine human psychology.
Studies have shown that people always tend to backwards-rationalize their poor decisions. They stick by their poor choices to protect their reputation or whatever else.
I have seen this play out in the dating and business world.
This is made even worse when you make a big decision.
A bad marriage or hook-up. A monumental business decision gone wrong. Even though it is clear that the marriage is terrible or the business decision lead to massive losses in profits, the decision maker sticks to his decision.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Now that you know, you can do better.
Make smaller decisions. Rather than these big monumental decisions, you can look to make small, incremental decisions that can be changed or fixed. You are less likely to attach your ego onto such things.
Having said that, you will still have to make some big decisions at some point. But with this understanding, you can realize that a great majority of these big decisions have the ability to be broken into smaller decisions.
And if you do make a bad big decision, the best way of progressing, learning, and becoming better is to acknowledge your responsibility and see what you can learn from this experience.
This applies to day-to-day activities as well:
If you have now dedicated 5 hours to a task that should have been completed in 25 minutes, don’t let your ego keep you working at it. Analyze the situation and stop working on it for the day if that’s the best route forward. Perhaps your task is not the best use of your time.
2. Know Yourself
To effectively schedule yourself, you have to know how you work best.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
Are you most efficient in a crowded location, surrounded with successful people, surrounded with anyone, or alone?
I do my best work late at night, silent, with no noise. Other people like to do things in a buzzing coffee shop in the morning. Test and find out based off your results.
3. Stop being a perfectionist
Rather than helping you, it can cripple you. If you are trying to get thing’s 99% right, you are usually getting diminishing returns.
Even worse: you could be stalling a release.
I recommend the book the Lean Start-up for this. The basic idea is have a minimum viable product.
If your product is perfect in your eyes when you release it, you’ve waited wayyy too long.
It’s better to push it out first because you can always make it better later.
Plus, according to the Pareto Principle, 80% of the results come from 20% of the work.
4. Hack your productivity with short, time-sensitive, measure-able victories (STSMV’s)
Want to know how to stay focus on your goals?
If it takes a long time to accomplish, it usually delays you actually accomplishing it.
You want to be able to finish things.
To do that, you need to keep your motivation sparking. You can do this with quick goals that take less than a day to finish. By doing this, you can celebrate and see your results. This will keep you motivated and charged to continue.
Keep in mind:
These must be goals in line with effective results.
Baking a cake or leveling up in a video game is NOT a good STSMV when you are trying to get an A for the year in mathematics.
5. Stop Multitasking
I’m a millenial, so I used to love to multi-task.
People older than me would comment on me and my peers. They would be amazed because they couldn’t do all the things I could do at once.
I used to think it was so cool to be able to text, talk, and do homework.
Guess what? Turns out studies show it’s horribly ineffective.
The people who multi-tasked the most performed worse on multi-tasking tests and were more susceptible to distractions.
A study from Stanford found that chronic multi-taskers paid less attention, had worse memory, and had more difficulty switching tasks. They had difficulty focusing on the task at hand rather than previous tasks.
A University of Sussex study found that frequent multi-taskers had less bone density in the region of the brain responsible for cognitive and emotional control.
Remove start-stop schedules.
Studies have shown that your brain has to re-orient each time you stop a task and start a new. They estimate we waste up to 28% of our day because of this start-stop dilemma.
This is a start-stop schedule: 20 minutes of work -> 10 minute call -> 41 minutes of work -> interrupted by coworker tapping your should -> 7 minutes of work -> lunch break -> walk back gets interrupted -> 39 minutes of work -> meeting -> 14 minutes of work
What is worse is that people waste more time in between activities in what I call Shift Friction: the extra few minutes that you add as you walk to lunch text messaging on your phone… the few seconds of small-talk on your call that shifts into 3 minutes of small talk… you get the point.
I don’t think you think you should be a time-Nazi but you should at least be aware of this concept.
The average person is not cognizant of any of this.
Here’s a digital example of start-stop multi-tasking you can cut out:
Switching between tabs in your browser, doing Twitter for 5 minutes, then back to writing a blog post, then to Facebook for 5 minutes.
Cut out social media.
Focus on just writing blog posts for the next 30 minutes.
6. Avoid The Hidden Traps of Social Media
The biggest social media platforms have been designed by genius programmers to do everything it can psychologically to get you to stay on there watching more videos and clicking on more recommended videos.
Youtube, for instance, uses watch time and session watch time as some of its highest ranking factors. Watch time is how long you stay on a single video and session watch time is how long you stay on Youtube.
These factors determine how well your video ranks in search results and recommended videos, both huge factors when you realize Youtube is the #2 search engine in the world.
Therefore, many of the content creators have been groomed to do everything in their power to psychologically keep you watching: eye-catching thumbnails and titles, attention-grabbing change of scenery in the videos, and calls to action to get you to watch another video.
It may be better to turn off Youtube to keep yourself on track.
7. Buy back time with delegation
If you make $100 an hour and your time is worth that much, why do you spend 1 hour a day cooking, 30 minutes a day cleaning, and 2 hours a day on a job that you could pay someone $25 an hour to do? You must be willing and able to delegate. Nowadays, you can get cheap, efficient, happy employees who work virtually overseas for pennies on the dollar. Sometimes, you may get better results having someone you meet in person, especially if you want to build a culture. But very rudimentary tasks should not be done by you anymore and should be paid off.
8. Identify the most important, eliminate the rest
Have you ever been just frustrated with your progress?
You’re doing a thousand things and getting ZERO or marginal results.
Your day is filled up to the brim with things you have to do but you just feel like you’re spinning your wheels.
I was like this for a LONG time. And quite frankly, it’s because that’s what average people do. They think they’re working hard but 90% of what they’re doing is fruitless and unproductive.
What makes it worse is that there are tons of guru’s who are telling you that you have to do a thousand things: jump on the latest social media platform bandwagon, start live streaming, etc.
It’s a bit of a tragedy when there’s so much bad advice out there and people follow it mindlessly.
Bill Gates learned from Warren Buffett to only do what’s critical.
It’s why Mr. Buffett has so few meetings. It’s also why you should make a checklist of the top 20 things you have to do and throw away the last 19.
The first person you will lie to is yourself.
There are things you could do that you will rationalize as important that aren’t the #1 thing.
You have to be disciplined in being truly honest with yourself and doing the things that are the highest impact only. Even if you don’t enjoy them.
Don’t lie to yourself.
9. Use the 4-Bucket Identification technique
This is based off President Eisenhower’s Matrix box.
Here’s the technique:
Organize your goals into 4 buckets: Important and Urgent, Important and not Urgent, Unimportant and Urgent, and Unimportant and Not Urgent.
I suggest using a paper and pencil. There’s experiments done that show the greater results of writing down your goals versus just having them in your head.
Don’t do tasks in these 2 boxes: Throw away the Unimportant and Urgent and Unimportant and Not Urgent.
Outside of wasting time in those 2 boxes, the biggest problem with the average person is he spends 95% of his time in the Important and Urgent box only.
Do not ignore the Important but not Urgent box like most people. This is what you should address in order to succeed. Successful people address important issues they don’t want to do but should. Most people push it off indefinitely because they don’t want to do it and it’s not urgent.
Figure out what your priorities are. Don’t forget to take into account down-time and time spent with your family and on your own health. Those are vitally important and many entrepreneurs skip over these to make more time. It’s a short-term decision that screws you over for the long haul.
Also, as I say in most of my content, if you can make your career something you are ELECTRIFIED and love to do, it all becomes more fun and productive.
“By focusing on the things I am passionate about, having fun, enjoying some downtime, and prioritising the things I care about the most (my family and my health), I have been able to avoid having a work-life balance burnout.” –Richard Branson
Alaska Airlines did this by using cardboard boxes to build a model of their airport rather than relying on drawings.
11. Use rituals to prevent yourself from quitting
There’s a variety of reasons that make you want to give up.
Therefore, there’s strategies to plug up each of these holes.
One is goals that take too long. To solve this, see Step 3 with STSMV’s.
The second is to use WHY Motivation:
We tend to forget or disassociate from why we’re doing things. I personally believe that some goals just cannot be accomplished if the why is too weak. If you’re simply in it to make money, you’re easy to quit. And that’s fine. I learned that I just wasn’t interested enough to go to med school despite how hard I pushed.
Identifying the motivation can rekindle the spark to keep working.
Why are you doing this work? Is it because this will be on the fore-front of technological advance?
Is it to change the world? Save lives?
Next, figure out if this is really worth doing.
Some of your activities don’t need to be done. An example are all-nighter’s. I found them stupid and an sign of a procrastinator. One night, I ended up trying it out because everyone else was doing it. It destroyed my sleep schedule and the last 8 hours of time were a complete waste since my focus and concentration were in the negatives at that point from lack of sleep.
Ask yourself: Could I just do it tomorrow rather than draining my health with an all-nighter? Does this actually add value? Is this actually worth paying for? Do I need to spend so much on advertising?
Key things you should ask:
Will this actually change anything if I do it?
What could I do instead that’s important?
Can I do this an easier way?
Can I automate or outsource this for pennies on the dollar?
Is this adding value?
Is this solving a problem?
Why am I bothering with this?
Sometimes, it’s the small, simple things that you overlook that can be the biggest bang for your buck.
Richard Branson says that you should work on starting any project, meeting or task when you told everyone you would. Stop coming late to things!
“Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, ensure you are there when you say you will be there. This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, but it has served me well for five decades in business.” –Richard Branson
12. Remove interruptions
Map out how you spend your time on paper.
A few years ago, I mapped out how I spent every minute of my day for the entire past week.
I was beyond shocked.
I was wasting up to 60% of my time.
How was this so? Distractions and useless activities.
Small things add up. 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Soon, the whole day was gone.
I highly suggest you map out your week. It helped me identify hour long blocks of activities that really did nothing for me.
Let’s talk about how to remove interruptions.
They’re a huge danger.
It’s no coincidence that you get most of your work done when there’s very few people around: probably in the morning or at night right?
For creative-based companies like Pixar, discussion could be considered collaboration. But more often, a tap on the shoulder and 20 minutes of chat is just another way for employees to spin their wheels and get nothing done so they can exchange their hours for dollars.
Don’t be like that.
A study done on top-executives of a company found that they waste up to 28% of their time to distractions. If you’re paying those executives $50 an hour and there’s 30 executives, that wasted time adds up fast:
That’s $3,360 a day down the drain assuming a 8 hour work day.
Note: Jason Fried of 37Signals and Rework argues you shouldn’t be so strict as to allow no time for your employee’s to recharge. 5 minutes on Facebook might be really healthy and it could cost you more buying expensive equipment just to monitor them.
Instead, use these techniques:
Step 1. Lengthen Zone time
Zone time is when you are in your state of flow and groove.
You are fully concentrated on what you’re doing, time flies, and you love what you’re doing.
This, of course, should almost always be lengthened for someone at work.
To do this, it usually means shutting off all distractions: your phone, your emails, any pings/sounds you get, people knocking on your shoulder or tapping on your door, meetings, and so on.
Some people believe that for 100% of people, the more alone time you have, the better.
I personally believe that there is some truth to this but for some organizations and jobs, collaboration is key.
Talking and communicating with others, within reason, on a team is instrumental for certain creative industries. The book Creativity Inc. goes into much greater depth on how a team should do this productively. It’s for companies such as the author’s company, Pixar, Inc., which rely on creativity to spark awesome ideas for new films. Incredible book. I highly recommend it. It’s amazing seeing the back-end of these iconic films: Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, etc.
Step 2. Try out passive communication
Use email and things that don’t require face-to-face meetings or calls.
I suggest making it clear somehow in a FAQ or footer in your replies how you do things.
I think you should cut out instant messaging and text messaging, but if you’re one of those who still want to use it and you’re sick of people instant messaging you “Hello, are you there?”, have a footer message or tell them in your briefing, “Message me your problem and question and I will get back with you when you can. Do not ask me if I’m there.”
EMAIL IS A HUGE DISTRACTION!
Only open your inbox when you have free time. It’s a huge distraction because most of the emails in there aren’t as productive for you as you think. They will distract you to click on them and reply back. Just because they are there doesn’t mean you have to respond to each one. I’ve seen people believe this and spend incredible time on emails that are 90% a waste of time.
Emails are other people’s priorities shoved in your face.
Zero in on the critical emails and respond quickly and briefly to those.
13. Have fewer or no meetings
There’s a reason why Warren Buffet and Richard Branson both have very few (if ever any) meetings:
They interrupt. They don’t accomplish anything. They waste time. They’re abstract and never anything concrete.
Everything is vague: the agendas and goals aren’t very clear. The list goes on.
Let’s be a little more concrete here: Are all meetings bad? No. Some of them are helpful.
However, for most businesses, they have become a stereotype of culture: done simply because everyone else does them.
When you could accomplish the goal of a meeting in 7 minutes but you keep it going for 30 minutes because the company schedule out the meeting for 30 minutes because everyone else does, you have now lost 23 minutes of employee work time you have to pay out. 7 minutes is all you should spend.
Trust me, I see this a lot:
Employees will stretch out any time they are doing nothing because they are in the employee mindset: I’m trading dollars for hours so the more time I can waste doing very little, the more money I can make. If I can stretch out the meeting so that all I have to do is sit on this chair, I’ll do that.
Now, of course, not every person is like this. It always frustrated me when I saw others doing this. But for a good portion of people, especially average people, they have this thought on some level in the back of their head.
And you can’t really blame them when you are the one who scheduled out the meeting.
If you must have a meeting, do this:
Have a timer with a loud (and preferably pleasant) noise.
Only invite the critical people you need
Have a clear and distinct problem and agenda
End with a solution and make clear who’s responsible
14. Kill Procrastination with Short Checklists
Long-lists never get done.
When’s the last time you finished item #94 on your to-do list?
Keep in mind that people are different and some perform better with their own quirky habits and techniques. But as a general rule, long lists don’t get done. Don’t take my word on it, ask Jason Fried of the company 37 Signals. That’s what he says.
That long list of 100 items causes needless anxiety and overwhelm.
It causes you to extend your procrastination.
Cut that list into something that has 10 items MAX on it.
Then, turn it into a checklist.
There’s a book called the Checklist Manifesto. It’s highly acclaimed and recommended by numerous successful businessmen including Ramit Sethi and Mohnish Pabrai.
The basic conclusion of the book is that checklists are incredibly important no matter how sophisticated your skillset or what industry you are in. In fact, it’s more important for really complicated jobs like a doctor because they have so much going on that they skip the simplest of things by accident. The book goes into incredible amounts of detail with statistics on how checklists increased success rates, survival rates, and so forth in numerous industries from plumbing, architecture, all the way to medicine.
The point is: USE A CHECKLIST!
Have definitive goals.
Dr. Kim, President of the World Bank, has set a specific, measurable goal and deadline year for ending extreme poverty. Why? because vague goals never get accomplished.
You want to set a specific deadline year and a specific goal.
Break down your time-frames and goals into smaller ones
Why do companies constantly come out with things late and spend billions more than they expected to? (examples: “Boston’s highway project – 5 years late and billions over budget; Denver Airport – 1.5 years late and $2 billion over budget)
Because everyone is over-confident in their estimates.
Now, the smart people are not. Why is this the case?
Because they understand that the average person is chronically good at underestimating how long things take:
A walk of the dog – expectations: 20 minutes; actual time: 38 min
Groceries for the week – expectations: 30 minutes tops; actual time: 149 min but it’s because I went to the pet store too spontaneously!
How to fix this:
Cut your time-frames down: Rather than a 2 year project, cut it into measurable, 1 month objectives with goals you can concretely define.
That’s all folks! A great book on productivity is Rework by Jason Fried. I kept hearing successful businessmen rave about this book. Now, I have been in the business books space for a while, but this one intrigued me because of the credibility of the people who talked about it. Billionaire Mark Cuban said he’d choose anyone who read Rework over anyone who got an MBA. Businessman like Russell Brunson said that it would have saved him years of time in his business if he read this. Long story short, this is one of the best books of the decade. Check it out by clicking here. I’m all about getting ahead, which is why I got it immediately. A good portion of this article was based on his foundation. Fried is the founder of a company called 37Signals.
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