Posts Tagged ‘ Innovation ’

How To Develop A Mission Statement

It’s 2010. So what?

You have “New Year resolutions” I’m sure.

“I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to exercise more.” “ I’m going to live a happy life.”

All valid goals! But if you’re like most people you’re going to fail.

What? Did I really just use the F-word? I expected something higher on aptitude, man!

Let me be the first to say that I have new year resolutions too.

I want to take my blog to the “next level.” I want to eat healthier. I want to exercise more. I want to build even deeper relationships than I already have.

Just like you I’m human. I desire for a better life.

But you see the thing is many of us fail to implement our new years resolutions. Many of us revert to our same old negative habits with in months, weeks, or days, perhaps even hours.

Why is this?

Because you don’t have a purpose. A mission.

Let me say that again you don’t have a purpose or a mission.

Before you scream back but… but.. “ I want to help people!” “ I want to be skinny!” “I want to be rich!”

Let me quickly say this:

Those are not missions. Those goals. Those are universal desires, not your specific mission.. Let me explain.

The people that get what they want. The people, who REALLY get what the want, have a mission. Missions, which, come rain or shine, day or night, they live for.

They live for.

Now look back at those things you supposedly want. “To help people.” “To be skinny.” “To be rich.”
Are you doing everything in your power to accomplish these things? If you haven’t discovered your true life mission, probably not.

I’ll be honest; developing a life mission isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and deep thought, week’s perhaps even months of reflection.  Trust me I learned the hard way. It not happen overnight. But developing a life mission is essential for success. This isn’t new.

Ask any truly successful individual what their life mission is, and I assure you they will respond back with a crystal clear response. Steven Covey author of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘, a must read (as well as MANY other authors) discusses this topic in great detail.

Why?

Let me make myself clear. Mission statements are essential for success.

“Ok. Ok. A mission statement is important I get it. What do I do next?”

The answer is simple. Develop your own mission statement.

How do I do this, you may ask?

Reflect, reflect, and reflect.

I’m going to share with you my current mission statement. I update this constantly to fit my current dreams and intentions; therefore you must do the same. A mission statement is to remain flexible as you continue to learn and grow. So as of right now, the first of the year this is MY mission statement, one that I will base my values and success off of for the 2010 year.

You ready? Here it is.

“My purpose in life is to live passionately and courageously, to enjoy life, to radiate with energy, passion, and love, to share my knowledge in hopes of improving the consciousness of others, to continue to grow daily, sharing my passion for growth a long the way. To share my idea’s and thoughts through my passion for writing, which  I believe to be one of the best mediums for expressing humanity. I live for a larger purpose than myself.”

Deep… eh? Notice how detailed I was? This wasn’t just a common goal shared by humanity. This was MY mission, MY purpose.

What is yours?

When developing a mission statement it is of great importance to remember that it is YOUR mission. Not your mom’s. Not your dad’s. Not your wife or husband’s. Not your friends or your kids. But YOURS.

Write down what you really want. Leave all your socially conditioned beliefs behind.
Want to be the best chef in the world? Want to be a vet? Want to help the homeless?
Feel it. Visualize it.

Go on. I’ll wait. NOW! This is the time!

Be as specific as you can. If you are not absolutely filled with energy after this exercise, you still have a ways to go. The goal is be filled with energy when mediating on your mission.

Once you have discovered your mission, your true life mission, continue to build on this momentum daily. Review and meditate on your mission each day. Always remember to keep it congruent with the person you are. Change is ok. It means your growing.

I personally like to carry a card in which I have my mission statement written on in my wallet. This reminds me of my purpose numerous times thought-out the day. You may perhaps, post it on your wall, your fridge, anything…Just keep it in your mind and heart…daily! All the time!

Now I must warn you. Developing a mission statement will not, I repeat will not, rid your life of unfortunate circumstances. You will still have bad days. You will still have doubts. You will still have fears.

What a mission statement will do however; will give you the will to push through and to persevere. That is why developing one is essential to truly succeeding.

Simply recognizing your life mission will enhance the quality of your life tenfold. Your subconscious mind will begin to develop ways in which your mission can be carried out. With your whole mind, body, and soul behind your mission, rather than just your ego, you can begin to truly live in this boundless world.

May you have a wonderful 2010.

13 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments

I’ve been an ardent reader of various blogs, and hopped around various blogs to read interesting stuffs. Then suddenly I thought there is a kind of regularity in the content of posts and the number of comments. So, I decided to carve out a complete list of it, after some analysis.

It’s no surprise that these types of posts got a lot of comments – for one I found had been specifically asked for comments and there was a tangible benefit for commenting in each case (the chance to win something and the chance to promote something) – but what other types of posts get lots of comments?

Here are 13 types of posts that were most common in people’s responses with a few links to examples.

Note: some of the examples could have been used in multiple categories and some get more comments than others – but that’s because they are from smaller blog where the blogger doesn’t normally see loads of comments. I could have found bigger more well known blogs as examples but decided to go mainly with ‘normal’ blogs from readers as I think it is probably more useful than highlighting just mega blogs that get lots of comments on most posts.

1. Competitions

Lets start with the most obvious – give people the chance to win something by leaving a comment and you’re well on the way to drawing people into leaving a comment. Example:Giveaway: SKIL 4-piece Power Tools Combo Kit.

2. Personal Stories

Sometimes sharing something personal really draws people into what you’re writing. I know when I’ve shared something from my personal life on my blog – either as an off topic post or as a way to illustrate something that I’m talking about that it always draws people in. This is particularly powerful if you share a problem overcome, a failure or something that people can relate to. Examples: I’m a Mom and Exposed.

3. Show Off Posts/Share a link

These types of posts ask your readers to show or share something that they’ve done, written, created etc. The ’show us your photoblog’ link above is an example of this. So to was another of my posts – ‘Share Your Best Photo‘.

4. Creative Posts

posts where the blogger has gone to extra lengths to do something out of the ordinary and creative often have a ‘wow factor’ that gets people commenting. Example: Disney’s “A Whole New World” Sung in Pictures.

5. Hacks

Walk people through a process or show them how to do something for themselves (DIY). These types of posts are great for traffic but I find that they also tend to get reactions – particularly if it’s a good and helpful hack. Example: Apparently My Bling Likes to Swing.

6. Meaty Posts

It was fascinating to read through the 80-90 links to most commented upon posts that people sent me – one thing I noticed is that it was often quite long and in depth posts that seemed to be getting commented upon. Longer resources that really looked deeply at a topic or that gave comprehensive advice. Example: How NOT to Suck at Blogging (this post probably fits into some of the other categories too – it is strong, opinionated and pretty in your face – all of this elicits a strong response).

7. Relatable Posts

Many of the posts talked about were on topics that a lot of people would have been able to relate to. Not always personal stories – but on issues and problems that lots of readers might face. They draws out people to tell their story or personal reflection on their own experiences with the topics. Example: Why Do Women Let Themselves Go (this post also has a strong headline and perhaps some controversy attached to it).

8. Question Posts

Ask a question and those who hear it are wired to answer it. I find when I include a question in the title of my posts that comment numbers tend to be at least double normal posts. Do Young Entrepreneurs Need to Go to Collge? (a post that had a question it its very title – as long as some opinion and meat to it). Also What Camera Gear Would You Buy if you were Given $1000 to Spend? (this post not only asked a question but was a hypothetical/fun post on a topic that I knew would also create some debate between readers loyal to different types of cameras. Also Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox (while this post isn’t a pure question post there’s a strong call for people to react in it and the blogger highlights other people’s posts on the topic/reactions).

9. Debate or Controversy Posts

Put two or more opposing arguments to your readers and step back to see what happens. Example: Which Digital Camera Manufacturer is Best? (this is an old post when we only had a few readers – I’m too scared to post the question again as this question always gets people so fired up). Also Adam Lambert’s Jacket Auctioned for $2000 (not a debate but certainly stirred up some controversy).

10. Opinion Pieces

Expressing your own strongly held opinion on an issue will generally have your readers examining their own opinions. If you do express it strongly you can expect your readers to share what they think strongly also. Example: I like Dave Ramsey, But He is Still Wrong. Also Why our Current Education System is Failing (also some controversy/debate in this one too).

11. Humor

Humor evokes a natural physical reaction (smiling and laughter) which sometimes also comes out in other ways (like sharing a reaction, passing it on to a friend etc). Example: I took 1,973 pictures of my children on vacation and all I got was this lousy blog post (also a personal type post).

12. Group Projects/Challenges

This is one I’ve used quite a bit over the years – getting readers all to go and do something and then come back and share the results. Examples: Top 5 – Group Writing ProjectEnter the Passion to Profit Challenge and RED: Weekend Photography Challenge.

13. Mega Lists/Resources

There is nothing like a mega/over the top list of resources or links relevant to your niche to draw in traffic and comments. These posts are a lot of work but tend to do well in social media – but also at getting comments. You get comments from those in the list, from those who want to be in the list, from those who find the list useful, from those who think your list is skewed and biased…. etc. Example: 87 Great Photography Blogs and Feeds.

So…Am I going to get some Comments?;)

Apple and the Economics of Elitism

GAME CHANGER? After months of anticipation, Apple unveiled its iPad tablet computer last week.

The more, the better. That’s the fashionable recipe for nurturing new ideas these days. It emphasizes a kind of Internet-era egalitarianism that celebrates the “wisdom of the crowd” and “open innovation.” Assemble all the contributions in the digital suggestion box, we’re told in books and academic research, and the result will be collective intelligence.

Yet Apple, a creativity factory meticulously built by Steven P. Jobs since he returned to the company in 1997, suggests another innovation formula — one more elitist and individual.

This approach is reflected in the company’s latest potentially game-changing gadget, the iPad tablet, unveiled last week. It may succeed or stumble but it clearly carries the taste and perspective of Mr. Jobs and seems stamped by the company’s earlier marketing motto: Think Different.

Apple represents the “auteur model of innovation,” observes John Kao, a consultant to corporations and governments on innovation. In the auteur model, he said, there is a tight connection between the personality of the project leader and what is created. Movies created by powerful directors, he says, are clear examples, from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” to James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

At Apple, there is a similar link between the ultimate design-team leader, Mr. Jobs, and the products. From computers to smartphones, Apple products are known for being stylish, powerful and pleasing to use. They are edited products that cut through complexity, by consciously leaving things out — not cramming every feature that came into an engineer’s head, an affliction known as “featuritis” that burdens so many technology products.

“A defining quality of Apple has been design restraint,” says Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and consultant in Silicon Valley.

That restraint is evident in Mr. Jobs’s personal taste. His black turtleneck, beltless blue jeans and running shoes are a signature look. In his Palo Alto home years ago, he said that he preferred uncluttered, spare interiors and then explained the elegant craftsmanship of the simple wooden chairs in his living room, made by George Nakashima, the 20th-century furniture designer and father of the American craft movement.

Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”

His is not a product-design philosophy steered by committee or determined by market research. The Jobs formula, say colleagues, relies heavily on tenacity, patience, belief and instinct. He gets deeply involved in hardware and software design choices, which await his personal nod or veto. Mr. Jobs, of course, is one member of a large team at Apple, even if he is the leader. Indeed, he has often described his role as a team leader. In choosing key members of his team, he looks for the multiplier factor of excellence. Truly outstanding designers, engineers and managers, he says, are not just 10 percent, 20 percent or 30 percent better than merely very good ones, but 10 times better. Their contributions, he adds, are the raw material of “aha” products, which make users rethink their notions of, say, a music player or cellphone.

“Real innovation in technology involves a leap ahead, anticipating needs that no one really knew they had and then delivering capabilities that redefine product categories,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “That’s what Steve Jobs has done.”

Timing is essential to make such big steps ahead. Carver Mead, a leading computer scientist at the California Institute of Technology, once said, “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you.”

Mr. Jobs is undeniably a gifted marketer and showman, but he is also a skilled listener to the technology. He calls this “tracking vectors in technology over time,” to judge when an intriguing innovation is ready for the marketplace. Technical progress, affordable pricing and consumer demand all must jell to produce a blockbuster product.

Indeed, Apple designers and engineers have been working on the iPad for years, presenting Mr. Jobs with prototypes periodically. None passed muster, until recently.

The iPad bet could prove a loser for Apple. Some skeptics see it occupying an uncertain ground between an iPod and a notebook computer, and a pricey gadget as well, at $499 to $829.

Do recall, though, that when the iPod was introduced in 2001, critics joked that the name was an acronym for “idiots price our devices.” And we know who had the last laugh that time…!