5 Questions to Gain More Time (plus a content tip)

NOTE: My wife asked me not to write about AI in this issue, so there will be no discussion of AI outside of this note. This note was not written by AI.

Be On My Podcast in Cleveland!

In the history of my podcast This Old Marketing (with Robert Rose), we’ve had four guests in 11 years. In May, we are adding our fifth.

At the welcome reception for Content Entrepreneur Expo (CEX) 2024 in Cleveland (May 5th to 7th), This Old Marketing will be live…with a special guest. If you’d like to be our special guest on this exclusive live show, just register and use discount code TOM100 (which also saves you $100). We’ll be selecting the winner from those people who use the TOM100 code. I hope you can make it and see you soon.

To Value Time (5 Questions)

At the Guardians/Mariners Spring Training Game

My youngest Adam (now 20) and I visited my best friend from high school while in Arizona for spring training (see the image above from the Guardians/Mariners game). The conversation revolved around time.

This was Adam’s first flight using TSA pre-check and we were talking about the time we saved.

My friend is an accountant. He lives and breathes in 15-minute increments. He told story after story about how he values time over almost everything else. Time, to him, is the one thing we cannot make more of. I cherish the fact that we had this conversation in front of my kid.

Simply put, most people don’t value their time.

I’ve seen people close to me take three flights and save $200 to go somewhere but lose 10 hours in the process.

Most people I know don’t have a plan for each day, or for the upcoming week.

I know people who go into meetings without any idea of what they want out of it.

At the airport yesterday, I saw countless people scrolling through social media, giving their quality time to strangers and companies.

Sometimes this is understandable. When my wife and I just launched the business in 2007, I took the cheapest flight I could find to LaGuardia Airport in NYC, and then a SuperShuttle downtown (fyi, I will never take SuperShuttle again). Both these decisions cost me three, maybe four hours.

We were strapped for cash, and I didn’t believe we could spend any more money than we already were. So, I get it…sometimes you can’t make the best choice to save your valuable time. But looking back, I don’t think I valued my time enough. I would make different choices today.

I’d like to challenge you to think differently about time.

The first question I’d ask you is, how valuable is your time? How much is an hour worth to you? If it’s a relatively small amount, then none of this matters.

Last year I lost a loved one. Right before he passed, I had a chance to have some important conversations with him. Many of those conversations revolved around time. More time to be with his kids. More time devoted to his passions. Regret for how he spent his time during his life.

We always think we have all the time in the world…until we don’t.

Some things to think about as you move forward:

  1. Have you set goals for things you’d like to accomplish? Are they measurable? Is there a timetable?
  2. Do you have a plan for tomorrow? Or the next day?
  3. When you go into meetings, do you jot down what you’d like to accomplish in that meeting?
  4. Are you on time for your meetings with others? Do you respect the time of others?
  5. How much time do you spend on social media per day (if you don’t know, your phone can tell you)? Can you reallocate that time toward your goals, dreams, and desires?

There’s so much more, but you get the gist.

And you can start small. Do one or two things that will save you 30 minutes a day. Great job! Now, what can you accomplish in that new-found 30 minutes that will help change the world?

David Bowie on Getting Uncomfortable

Last week I spoke at Social Media Marketing World for the 7th time. My presentation was on the seven steps to content marketing success, but I spent most of my time talking about the content tilt. As you already know, the content tilt is that area of differentiation, or hook, where you can break through all the content clutter out there and build an audience.

Most creators and marketers are mired in sameness. What most are creating is so similar to what’s already out there that it’s hard to break through.

So, then I watched this short video from David Bowie on creating art. Here’s what he said that I believe is very relevant to finding your tilt.

David says, “If you [the artist] feel safe in the area you are working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

Think about your own writing, videos, podcasts…whatever it might be. When I think back on when I started blogging on content marketing back in 2007, I remember sweating and feeling a little sick inside right before I pushed the publish button on some of those early posts. In those days, I was really pushing the establishment custom publishing industry. I was telling people they were wrong. I was setting new terminology. I was totally audacious, and it scared the crap out of me.

But I believed I was right, and people needed to hear these things. So, what I was creating was different than everything out there. And it was not safe. And it worked. That blog today has over 250,000 email subscribers to it and the business continues to flourish.

My best and worst job is talking to content entrepreneurs and having to tell them that if they continue creating content around their current area, the way they are doing it, no consistency or promotion is going to help them build a loyal audience.

I saw someone at the conference who was really struggling with their career. For the past five years…five years…they continued to talk about the same area of marketing. No flair. No differentiation. Kind of like blocking and tackling. Can’t get new speaking gigs. Consulting is struggling. I felt horrible for them. But you could see it coming.

So be honest with yourself. Challenge yourself. Get uncomfortable with your content. It’s the best thing you can do for your content business.

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