Quick Workout for Busy People

Whether you’re the CEO of your company or your household, time often becomes the scarcest of resources. Between career goals, parenting, social obligations and all things time consuming, exercise is usually the first thing put on the back burner. Yet working out is probably the one thing that improves the quality across all areas of your life. From enhancing mood, preventing/fixing ailments, building confidence and a billion other scientifically proven benefits, it’s something every human being should engage in.  However, if you’ve lived life long enough then you know it’s hard to play the balancing act, or is it?

Those that work out everyday view others who don’t as lazy, but often what “looks like resistance, is often a lack of clarity.” Truth is you haven’t started because you haven’t found a sustainable way to continue doing it in a way that compliments your busy routine. If it can’t be part of your routine, then you don’t want to do it, if it’s not sustainable you don’t engage in it. I understand you, I’m the same way. As an entrepreneur, I understand that time for self-care is rare. While building my first startup, 12 to 16 hour days, 7 days a week, was the norm. However, after experiencing a burnout, I realized the least sustainable thing for me to do as a former athlete, was to not workout. For that reason, I developed this quick workout routine over time while jumping from one workout to another. I’ve bounced around from power lifting, bodybuilding, boxing and calisthenics, to in the end, land on this workout. This workout will have you feeling and looking your best while building strength and endurance.

quick workout quote

Resistance vs Cardio

Many people always belong to one cult or the other. One group swears by weightlifting and calisthenics, scoffing at those that do cardio. Others scoff at the muscle heads who are out of breath walking up the stairs. Any good fitness expert, fitness junkie, personal trainer, or “fit fam” member will tell you that if your goal is to look good and feel good, you should do both. Both have their benefits and if you aren’t a bodybuilder or a professional marathon runner, there is no reason to stick to just one. But let’s not forget, you’re here because you’re busy, so how do you find the time for both? You make it one workout.

Borrowing Concepts

Because people like to cultify(not a word) their workouts, they usually stick to one school of thought while avoiding the other. This causes you to miss out on a lot of benefits from other workouts. The crossfiters judge bodybuilders, bodybuilders judge crossfiters, power-lifters judge everyone, and calisthenics junkies think they’ve unlocked the secret to the universe. What I’ve done with this workout is throw everything in a box, shake it all up, and used what came out. I encourage you to use this workout to jump start your routine, but feel free to modify to make it more interesting for yourself.

The Workout

The workout is very simple and it follows the “Every Minute on the Minute(EMOM)” rule. This helps not only condense the time it will take, but increase the resistance, the intensity and number of calories burned. It’s a combination of calisthenics, weightlifting, and HIIT training that makes it start as a cardio workout, and ends with feeling like a power-lifting workout. Without further mountain dew, here is the workout.

The workout alternates between two days, depending on whether you’re at the gym or at home, you can get creative with the way you do it. For example, for squats, you can do body squats if at home, or weighted squats if you’re at the gym.

EMOM to failure

Before you get to the workout, you should be familiar with how EMOM works. You will simply set a stop watch to run and do your set without counting, until you simply can’t go anymore. Once the the clock strikes 1:00, you start your next set, in the same fashion. No matter at what point you ended your set, you must start once the timer hits 2:00. Hence, every minute on the minute. There is no numbers here, every set is to failure. Whether that’s 2 reps or 20. Every time the clock strikes the next minute, you start your next set, even if you finished your last one 10 seconds ago.

Day 1 – Chest, Triceps, Shoulders – EMOM, each set to failure

  • 20 sets of push-ups
  • 6 sets of triceps extensions
  • 3 sets of shoulder press
  • 3 sets of front or lateral raise.

Total time: 32 minutes

Day 2 – Back, Biceps, Legs – EMOM, each set to failure

  • 15 sets of Pull-ups
  • 3 sets of dumbbell curls
  • 3 sets of Hammer curls
  • 15 sets of squats

Total time: 36 minutes

That is the workout in a nutshell. I personally do it 6 days a week. You can do two days on 1 day off or 7 days a week. If you have any questions or want tips on how to switch it up or implement this logic into your existing workout, simply contact me here. The best advice I can you give you though, is this:

Make it Your Own

While you should follow the overall layout of this workout to save yourself time, you can still switch up based on your environment. For example, if you’re working chest at the gym, you can replace the push-ups with a bench press, or even dumbbell press, or both! Instead of triceps extensions you can do pull-downs, or if you’re at home, do dips. If you can’t do a pull-up you can do rows, or pull-downs. The point is, don’t be rigid in the way you do this work out.

Who it’s For – Get Big vs Get Lean

The obvious is that this workout is for anyone who is strapped for time. However, you will get the bro scientists coming here and saying that this workout isn’t going to result in “gains.” To put it simply, they’re wrong. Science has proven over and over again that your body doesn’t count reps, it only knows the strain that it is experiencing, the very strain that results in muscle growth. This workout starts as a calisthenics workout, or high rep workout, but just about every forthcoming set ends up feeling more and more like a power-lifting workout. It truly is an all in one. If your goal is to lean up it can be done with this workout, if your goal is to gain size, it can also be done with this workout. The key to size or definition, is diet.

If you’re looking to get big simply up your calorie intake to well over the recommended daily value. Usually one extra meal or two per day topped with a shake will do. If you’re looking to lean up, simply cut your portions down and consume a little less than the daily recommended intake, or replace a meal with a protein shake. For reference, here is calorie chart I borrowed from cnnp.usda.gov.

calorie sheet

 

For the bro scientist that will say its over training or not enough training, I challenge you to do this workout for 1 month and see if you still feel that way.

workout quote arnold bodybuilding

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading 3 books if you’re looking to make changes in your body and your overall fitness life. These books take an unconventional look at exercise which will help you escape the fitness box in which most people’s routines take residence.

 

Go Out There and Kill It

The key to success in any workout is sustainability. To see results, follow this routine for at least a month. The first few days you will be ridiculously sore, push through it. After a while this workout will go from hurting you to making you feel amazing daily.  Are you too busy to exercise? Try this workout and let me know how you feel after a week. Personally, this has been the only workout that I could do consistently and it never seizes to challenge me. All that’s left to do is implement this into your life, and watch your body and your mind improve. Everyone can afford 30 minutes, no excuses.

I’m Sean Dudayev and this was my tantrum.

Mike Tyson Wisdom That Can Help You Crush It in Life

Mike Tyson isn’t just the youngest heavyweight champion in history, he was also the most devastating fighter this planet has ever seen. He was a brute among brutes, a man that made the toughest of men fear him.  He made guys that got hit for a living, afraid of being hit. How did he do it? He was born into what seemed to be the worst of circumstances for any kid, and then grabbed the one opportunity that life gave him as a youth and working ridiculously hard for it. Which is why everyone in the world knows his name and his story.

Having achieved all life has to offer, losing it all, and then getting right back, Mike Tyson knows a thing or two about life. He’s often praised for his fighting ability but one of his most underrated talents, is his wisdom and a genius way of looking at life. His philosophies can go toe to toe with likes of Aristotle, Seneca or Marcus Aurelius. Combine his gritty work ethic and unique brain, here is some Mike Tyson wisdom that will help you crush it in life.

Mike Tyson discipline quote

“Discipline is doing what you hate doing, but doing it like you love it.”

Mike has a unique view on discipline. Many self-help gurus will tell you that you have to “do what you love” and that if you find your passion “you will never have to work a day in your life.” Well Mike is proof that it’s all nonsense and its bad for you. Mike Tyson found passion in progressing his craft and as much as he loved the sport and desired to rank among the greats, he also had a disdain for the monotony.

Many fighters agree that training gets boring after having to rigorously follow the same, grueling routine, day after day. Early on, Mike Tyson’s schedule was full of training all day followed by studying fights. Having to fight weekly and monthly he was in shape year-round. What he considered out of shape was still a notch above other fighters best.

Mike proves that doing the same thing every day and expecting different results isn’t insanity, it’s progress. He was quoted saying that many people say they want to be in his shoes but “if they were in my shoes they would cry like babies.” That’s because it took boring old discipline to get him to be the powerhouse that he is today. Eventually your passion will fizzle out, and that’s where discipline takes over to keep you going.

mike tyson plan quote

“Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”

Perhaps one of the most famous Mike Tyson quotes, this quote describes life as much as it does fighting. Most fighters come in to every fight with a strategy on how to take out an opponent. Many of Mike Tyson’s opponents had such strategies. They were going to “walk him down” or “out box him” by “flicking the jab and using our speed…” and then they got hit. Once their jab was countered and that right hand rocked them, their plan was rendered useless because they were rigid in their strategy.

This happens to most of us in life because when we plan, we assume things are going to go according to plan. Then when the proverbial punch in the mouth comes, we’re left in a desperate depression scrambling for yet another plan. As if we didn’t learn our lesson the first time. Of course, it’s important to have goals, the last thing you should do is move through life aimlessly. However, we need to leave enough breathing room in those plans for the unexpected. Better yet, instead of building a strategy to survive 12 rounds, demolish your goals the way Mike did his opponents. Don’t plan a time, give it one hundred percent with bad intentions behind every “punch.” You may be surprised to find out something you thought would take 12 rounds, only took half of the first.

mike tyson criminal record quote

“One of my friends once saw another guy’s (criminal) record and said, ‘Look, this guy is a born troublemaker, just a loser.’ I had to tell him, ‘No, that’s my record—and it doesn’t include my juvenile history.”

One of the most thought provoking things that Mike Tyson has ever said. It opens the eyes of those that grew up living a normal life and were handed opportunities as well as the eyes of those of us that weren’t. Mike Tyson is the perfect example of “where you start is not where you finish.” Mike didn’t have a lot of opportunities growing up. He couldn’t go to school because bullies made life hell for him and that turned into a life of running with gangs, robbing and selling drugs, at the tender age of 10. Consumed in that lifestyle, Mike was in and out of juvenile jail, which ironically is what led him to meet the world famous Cus D’Amato. He was given one opportunity, and he did everything in his power to take advantage of it.

Sometimes all it takes is that one opportunity to turn our lives around. Don’t ever let your background be the deciding factor of where you end up, and if given the opportunity to change course, take advantage of it. On the other hand, if you are in the position to provide an opportunity, look deeper than someone’s background to make your decision.

Another lesson this teaches you is to not judge, yourself or others. You will hear many people talk about “what it takes” in life and its usually just a few character traits dropped into annoyingly cliche silos. If you’re unlike anyone you admire, its completely okay. Blaze your own path and let those who are like you know its possible even if you do things differently. A lot of the bad things that came from Mike’s extreme personality were also responsible for the amazing things in his life. In his biography when his friend asked him why he doesn’t seek “professional help” to get “fixed,” he responded by saying(paraphrasing) “I’m afraid I won’t be Mike Tyson.”

mike tyson wisdom

 

“You can’t be disturbed by anything. There’s no emotion involved. You can’t feel sorrow, you can’t feel pity, there’s nothing you feel. The job has to be done.”

A lot of times we can get caught up in how we feel about situations and dwell on those feelings. The reality of the situation is most of the time we must proceed with action regardless. The only thing being accomplished with feelings is the draining of energy and time that can be used productively. Mike was no stranger to the roller coaster of life, yet always found his way back to the gym to compete at the highest level. From divorces, to lawsuits, to 3 years of prison time for a crime he didn’t commit, Mike always bounced back from all the turmoil in his personal life.

This also ties in perfectly with Mike’s quote about discipline. A lot of people spend too much time getting motivated and getting inspired, which leaves very little time for actual work to be done. Jerry West was famous for saying “”You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” This is a harsh truth that just about everyone who is trying to crush it needs to hear. You won’t feel inspired every day, and it’s those other days that count the most.mike tyson different quote

“We want to believe that we’re different than the average guy that’s working 9-to-5, that our thoughts are different than his. Our inspirations and desires are different than his, that’s why we succeed and he didn’t because we want to believe we’re different, but he just didn’t get the break that we had, or he wasted it on something else.”

Coming from someone as high up the ladder of society as Mike Tyson, it is refreshing to hear these words. The biggest thing in your world is probably your ego. Whether you know it or not but it runs your life daily. Your decision making, your thoughts and especially your relationship with others. If you’ve achieved a measure of success in your life, it is important to realize that luck and opportunity had as much to do with it as you did. When someone isn’t where you are it by no means makes them inferior or inadequate, which is why you should never underestimate someone’s ability due to their current position. Whether it’s your opponent in the ring, or an employee you want to hire, keep an open mind when evaluating their track record.

On the other hand, if you’re still trying to achieve your idea of success, don’t get down about others that have what you want. We are all offered different opportunities at different points in our life. Keep your eyes open for yours and when it comes don’t squander it. Mike has seen every spectrum of life that life in the modern world has to offer, and through it all he ended up with the conclusion that being humble is the key to sustained inner peace. That’s something that we can all learn from Mike.

Thank You Mike

For me personally, Mike Tyson was the first person I ever looked up to. At a very young age I became a huge fan of Mike and as I got older I realized that what he was in boxing, I wanted to be in whatever profession I pursued. He exuded excellence and even in his losses, you knew that the only reason he was on the other end of the winning side is because he didn’t dedicate himself to that moment. However, when Mike was focused, he was the epitome of mastery, a truly unstoppable force, and in my eyes, the greatest pound for pound fighter of all time. He continues to be a daily inspiration in my journey as an entrepreneur and I often borrow from his wisdom in different situations, and for that, thank you Mike.

Are you a fan of Mike Tyson? Share some of your favorite Mike Tyson Wisdom in the comment section below.

If you’re interested in reading more about Mike’s story, checkout his autobiography “Undisputed Truth” which, in my personal opinion, was one of the best autobiographies ever written. You can purchase the paperback or the kindle version below.

 

 

I’m Sean Dudayev, and this was my Tantrum.

How to Work Hard, A No Fluff Guide

In recent ages, hard work has been celebrated and with good reason. It has been the most recognized ingredient for success by icons across every industry. Almost every individual at the top of their craft, has attributed hard work as the major reason they were able to reach those heights. Many can argue that without it, success isn’t possible, and the evidence would suggest that they’re right. Don’t take my word for it, let the icons speak for themselves.

  • Bill Gates is often quoted saying that he “didn’t take one day off” in his twenties.
  • When Arnold Schwarzenegger was told that someone just spent 12 hours working, he would ask what else they did. Also, made sure to mention they have more time left in their day.
  • Floyd Mayweather is famous for his mantra: “hard work, dedication,” and being found training at 3 a.m.
  • Elon Musk was known to sleep in his office, while working on a shoestring budget with his brother.
  • Mark Cuban is known to not have taken a vacation for 7 years while building his first company.

I can go on and on about guys like Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, or Steve Balmer, but the truth is, it isn’t a secret that the harder you work the luckier you get. You will always hear whispers from the “work smarter, not harder” crowd which has a minimal truth to it. Only because punching the sidewalk 12 hours a day is hard work, but if your goal isn’t to toughen or break your knuckles, then it is largely a waste of time. Working hard aimlessly is fruitless. However, between two guys who are working smart, it’s the one that works harder and for longer that will win.

As far as introduction length for an article goes, this one takes the cake. But before we get into how to work hard, lets talk about what hard work is. Because everyone talks about working hard, but no one really talks about the activity that they define hard work to be.

Let’s make it all relative.

What is Hard Work?

Hard work is whatever your profession requires you do to either make you better or make you more. If you’re an athlete it can mean working out beyond what you thought your limits for that day. Pushing yourself for more time with higher intensity. For an entrepreneur, it can be mean staying up all night to prepare for a pitch or reading information necessary to grow his company to the next level, and doing this with sustained effort for weeks, months, or years. For an actor, it can be spending more time reading the same line over and over until you finally learn to tap into the emotion necessary for that one moment. Hard work is whatever makes you cross your previous limits, whether it’s the limits in your mental growth, physical growth, or financial growth.

man of steel limits quote

What I consider to be a breath of fresh air in regards to hard work has been the recent discussion of deliberate practice. Made famous in the book “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin. In his book, Colvin discusses deliberate practice as what makes world class experts. Deliberate practice isn’t just doing an activity, it’s doing it with a purpose. Its pushing your limits and correcting every microscopic error in your craft.

Let’s use a boxer as an example. Most boxers just jump on the heavy bag and hit it for an X number of rounds and call that hard work. Deliberate practice for a boxer would mean to throw every punch with intention, with a coach nearby to critique the speed, form, and power of every single punch thrown. Each punch would be thrown with more effort and precision than the last, until excellence becomes the norm.

Hard work is whatever makes you more. More smart, more rich, more talented, more of whatever it is you’re looking to be. Its a combination of BOTH, the quantity, and the quality of the hours put it in.

Now that we defined what hard work is, let’s discuss what we’re here to discuss: how to work hard.

How to Work Hard

The way to work hard will depend on your nature. There are two ways to work hard that both require different methods to optimize your performance. There is the marathon runner or the sprinter. You’re either the tortoise or the hare.

Tortoise vs Hare

If you’re not familiar with the old tale: The Tortoise and the Hare.

The are a few morals to this story which include being humble and being patient. But I see this story differently. One thing I see different is that the hare is more than capable of winning the race. Two, is they both cross the finish line. While the tortoise is patient and resilient, the hare is confident and explosive. Both personalities have their place for different people and different situations. Whichever you are, here is your guide to working hard.

The Hare

Maybe the hare is your personality type. You live on the extreme end of life. There is no in between for you. You either can’t stop working or you can’t find yourself making the bed because you can’t get out of it. Some days you’re in the mood to stop and smell the roses and others, you just want to smell the roses burn. You’re either going hard, or at a complete stop. You’re an extremist. Now this can be discouraging because of everyone saying how important discipline and long term thinking is. But don’t listen to them, success is there for the likes of you, and many people have proven it. Or maybe you are the exact opposite but tight deadlines require you to be a hare. Either way, here is your guide.

thinkers tantrum quote 2

Short Term Goals

The most important part of being a hare, is to set short term goals. The long-term plan is important, but you must create a staircase process for your goals. Set one goal, let’s say developing a mobile app, attaining a certification or simply learning a new skill. Then write down every single short term goal that will get you there. Then, the fun starts.

Crash and Go

Now it’s time to get to work. You will follow simple step by step process to demolish your goals. One goal at a time you will lock in, and give everything you have, to that one goal. If you’re a hare, this will be up your alley because it will require full blown extremism. This can be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Here is how it’s done.

Lay out a plan for your goal on paper. What the goal is and what actions you have to take to get it done. Then use all of your productive energy to get it done. Intense focus is the key . Once its done, rest for 10% to 15% of the time it took you to get it done. Rinse and repeat for all subsequent goals. With these intense sprints followed by short breaks, you will make it to the finish line. Instead of the checkered flag, its success that you’ll see.

Throw Out All Schedules

Don’t worry about what time you have to wake up and what time you have to go to sleep. This is a sprint and in a sprint, you don’t allocate your energy, you give it all you’ve got in one go. Do this every day. Don’t focus on how much time you spent doing something, just do it as long as you can. Only stop when you simply are incapable of being productive.

Cut Out All Distractions

Again, this doesn’t matter if its daily, or weekly, or monthly, get rid of all distractions. This means no text messages, no Friday night drinks, no phone calls to friends and family. You need to zero in on your target. This is a sprint, and in a sprint, you don’t allocate your energy, you give it all you’ve got. Put your phone on airplane mode, cancel your Netflix subscription, get a website blocker. This is the time to cut yourself off from the world.

Push Yourself

When you work hard without a vice you will get tired, there will be a time to rest, and that’s when you’re done. Until then, there are things you can do to push yourself. This isn’t the time to worry about how tired you will look or keeping your stimulants to a minimum because you don’t want to get jittery. This is a sprint, and in a sprint, you don’t allocate your energy, you give it all you’ve got.

“But I Get Tired”- Solving the Energy Problem

If you’re human you will get tired after long periods of focus, often it won’t even take an entire day, 60 to 90 minutes will usually do. There are two ways to reset your brain, short breaks or stimulants.

Short Breaks

This can include anything you consider a break. Whether you like to take short walks, play video games or just get ten minutes of shut eye. The key to working hard as the Hare is to keep going until you can’t, then shut off for a bit. This works on a long term and short term scale. If you get tired in the day, take a short break. Using the steps system can help with this. One of my favorite things to do for a quick recharge would be to nap or meditate. I would put on binaural beats and get 15 minutes of shut eye, or 30 minutes of meditation if I was too wired to sleep. This is the only thing that made 16 hour days a possibility.

Stimulants

Perhaps one of my favorite methods of shutting off the safe guards in your brain that tell you to stop. There are many to choose from so discuss some of the ones that are most widely used. Starting with the heavyweight champ of stimulants:

Caffeine

If you’re reading this article then you’re curious about how to work hard, which can only mean you’ve made yourself very familiar with caffeine. Most of the time, people use the same source and the same amount of caffeine daily. Which is smart, unless you’re in a sprint. I recommend staying consistent with the source but upping the dose slightly once you reach tolerance.  Upping it by 15% every week or so will do, if your source of caffeine makes it possible to calculate.

You can also throw something else into the chemical cocktail.

Nootropics

If you’re reading an article about hard work and you’re not yet familiar with nootropics, then you’re in for a treat. Nootropics are essentially any kind of drug or supplement that provides mental enhancement. Here is a more eloquent definition of it.

nootropic defintion

Before I go on, I have to say please see a professional before consuming any of the nootropics that I mention here and know that I do not condone the obtaining of any of these illegally.

Now let’s talk about some nootropics that are most widely used by hard workers worldwide.

Adderall

Originally created for people who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. It is not used by people who have a deficit of energy due to their demanding lifestyle. Adderall isn’t a drug to be taken lightly but it does have some very potent effects on energy and focus. This drug can help keep you up and keep you going. My personal experience with Adderall has given me an increase in energy, creativity, optimism and a sharp decrease in sleep. I’ve never consumed the drug for long periods so never suffered any real side effects. If you don’t suffer from ADD or ADHD, then it is best only used as needed and not daily. I’ve personally only used it for sprints not lasting longer than a week.

Provigil(Modafinil)

Originally created for those that suffer from a narcolepsy, this drug does wonders as a nootropic. It is often prescribed by doctors for those that have irregular working schedules and can aid those sprints to push yourself further and give you the energy you need. So far I have been using sprinting as an analogy,but it has actually been known to be used by actual sprinters to improve athletic performance and studies have shown that it does, in fact, improve cognition. You can find it advertised as the “real life NZT,” a reference to the drug from the movie “Limitless.” Anecdotally speaking, this drug is way different from Adderall. It kept me up for longer and helped me plan things for the future much better. It tapped into my creative juices like no other nootropic and gives you a sense of “I know what I’m doing.” The longest I have ever taken it is a week straight, with the only side effect being a severe lack of sleep.

Vyvanse

Vyvanse is another drug that is prescribed for ADHD and is supposed to improve focus. For me, however, it did the exact opposite. It made my wander in a million different directions, but not in a negative way. Maybe I tapped into the female brain because I could focus on multiple things at once, something men are usually incapable of. It provided a tremendous increase in energy and positive feelings, almost to the point of euphoria.

If I haven’t said it enough, please don’t engage in these activities without first consulting a medical professional and always follow the prescribed dose.

Alpha Brain

Now we start getting into things you can buy from your local vitamin shop or Amazon.com. Alpha brain is often listed as a nonprescription alternative to Adderall. From my experience, it’s not quite the same. Alpha brain provided me with more energy and focus but more of a calm feeling then any of the drugs mentioned above. It provides the same level of optimism alongside a calm confidence rather than energy in the form of restlessness. I also had no trouble falling asleep on it. In fact, it is recommended to be taken before bed to enhance lucid dreaming. If you’re interested in trying alpha brain you can buy it from the link below.

There are many other nootropics out there, but these are the main ones that I have experience with. Use them at your own risk.

Use Them Once You Get Tired

When it comes to hare style working, you must manage your energy because you will get tired. It’s not easy to push yourself at a consistent pace. I personally never started hare type projects with nootropics, but instead saved them for when I started to burn out. At that point you need a second wind, and nootropics serve that purpose.

nootropics for hard work

The Real Crash

Once you have used the stimulants and nootropics to push yourself eventually the real crash will come. You will get burned out, and that’s okay. It’s important to recognize this crash and whether you are done with your project or not, it is a must that you reset. This is the point where another cup of coffee, more nootropics, a day off, or more sleep will simply not make you more productive.

Your mind and your body are saying enough is enough. Now you must completely shut off. Take time off work, about 10% to 15% of the time that you’ve been working. My ritual was getting off all stimulants, including caffeine so that I can reset my tolerance, then binge watching movies and shows.  I did this until the horrific headaches and withdrawals were over. It took anywhere from three days to a week depending on the length of the binge. Once I felt like my batteries were recharged. I’d start the cycle all over again. This is the time to catch up on all personal things you’ve been neglecting.

Enjoy the Roller Coaster

The hare isn’t a routine for the faint of heart but most entrepreneurs are familiar with it. You’ll go between grandiose highs to manic lows, even when not much has changed to make you feel that way. If you can do it right, in the end you will have demolished your goals in record time.

The Tortoise

If you carry this personality, then you most likely have what is called German discipline. You know one of those people that are early to bed, and early to rise, starting their day with a workout and a well-balanced breakfast. Even if you don’t quite have the discipline yet, you’re probably very patient and plan your life in years and decades vs weeks and months.  Or maybe you’re the hare but a new life goal has required a new you. Whatever your situation, lets discuss how to optimize your efforts to work hard as a tortoise.

Long Term Plans

Whether you’re the tortoise type or required to be, make sure to set long term goals. Include short term goals that will get you there so that you can track your progress, but make sure your long-term plan spans years or decades. With your short-term plans spanning months or years that all lead up to the end goal. The key to accomplishing this will  be writing down a daily routine that will help you work on the long term plan.

Routine

Think about what activities you must do daily to accomplish what you set out to accomplish, and write them down. Check back into your notebook daily to make sure you’re following the routine until it becomes natural to you. Consistency is the key. Unlike being the hare, this is a marathon, and in a marathon, you must be strategic about your allocation of energy to make it the finish line. Adjust your schedule so that you’re starting work at the same time every day and finishing it at the same time every day. Whatever doesn’t get done, gets put off until tomorrow. You must be strict with your consumption of energy. Make sure to plan your breaks the same way and take at least one day off every week.

tony robbins tools of titans hard work quote

Separate Work and Play

One thing the hare and the tortoise have in common is that they cannot be bothered while they’re at work. Make sure work time is always work time. If anything gets in the way of work on a Monday, make sure it doesn’t repeat itself on a Tuesday. Constantly optimize your day so that when you’re at work, you’re working. However, don’t take your work home with you. When you’re at home or out with friends, forget what happened at your place of hustle. This is the best way to prevent burnout.

Sustainability

As the tortoise, you must follow the most important rule of success: if it’s not sustainable, don’t do it. This is a long-term game and if you’re going to succeed you must bring this rule into every area of your life. This includes exercise routines, diets, schedules and habits. Before you decide to do anything, ask yourself if it’s sustainable, if it’s not, don’t do it.

Health

Unlike the hare routine, which isn’t great for your overall health, as the tortoise you must do the opposite. You must outlast your competition and be able to stay in the game for a long time with all of your faculties remaining sharp. Make sure to take care of yourself with the things you put in your body. Every time you put something in your body ask yourself if its nourishing you or if it’s hurting you. The decision becomes very simple at that time. For the most part it can be common sense like “candy = bad” and “salad = good.” However, most people don’t realize things like getting a good 8 hours of sleep is detrimental. That’s not your mom and I talking either, that’s multiple scientific studies. Lastly, whats being healthy without a good exercise regimen? Implement one that is most fun for you, so that you can do it consistently.

Stimulants

With the tortoise, the stimulant game is a little simpler, with a lot less choices than the hare. Stimulants do help us work harder but this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and in a marathon, you must be strategic about your allocation of energy to make it to the finish line. You’re better off staying 100% stimulant free. However, If you decide to take any stimulants on the long-term path there is a simple formula you should follow to be successful with it. That formula is this:

The same amount, at the same time, every single day.

Don’t skip days, don’t add dosages, don’t wait until later or do it earlier. Get your body on a routine to consume the same thing every day to avoid the roller coaster. Which so eloquently brings me to my next point.

Avoid the Roller Coaster

If you’re the hare you have no choice but to enjoy the ups and downs, as the tortoise you can’t afford it. Following the rules above will help but this goes for mental and emotional health too. Avoid all things that can cause you to spiral out of control, whether they’re arrogant bouts of optimism, a state of rage, or dark sadness, you can’t afford to veer into the extremes of emotional imbalance. Do your best to stay calm in all situations that life throws at you and if you find yourself distressed, find a way to destress. This can include doing things you enjoy, whether its walking in the park, going on a dinner date or reading a book outside as the birds chirp. It’s a must that you find ways to destress, daily.

Tortoise vs Hare – Who’s Better?

There is no such thing as “better” in this case. The hare is great for getting things done in a shorter amount of time, but will lose in the long race. The tortoise on the other hand, isn’t good for short term goals. You will find yourself constantly falling behind because you are trying to find balance in a situation that has no room for it. It is though, the sustainable approach that you would need to get you to a finish line that is some distance away. There is one thing to keep mind when working hard towards your goals: sometimes it’s not about who you are, but who you have to become, to be successful.

Hard Work Comes in Different Shapes

Hopefully that gave you an idea that hard work isn’t a once size fits all. It will always depend on who you are, what you do, and what your goals are. Hard work is whatever activity will give you the result you are seeking. The reason it’s often celebrated is because it really is the opposite of easy. It requires you to fight the part of your brain that hasn’t evolved, that same part of your brain that is wired to rest and conserve energy because it’s what was necessary for our ancestors to survive in the wild. But I encourage you to push your pre-frontal cortex beyond what you thought was capable. Work hard, and don’t stop until you reach your goals.

Michelangelo hard work quote

Key Lessons for Everyone

It doesn’t matter who you are, there are a few things you must understand in regards to hard work.

Stamina Doesn’t Come Over Night

One thing that is required to work hard is putting in hours, day after day. If you’re just starting out on your road to success, its completely okay that you find yourself collapsing in exhaustion after just a few hours of work. Your mind is a lot like your muscles and must be trained accordingly. No one wakes up being able to run a 20-mile marathon. First you run one, then two, and work your way up a mile at a time. Hard work is the same.

All those legends you read about, all went through an “I suck and I’m tired” phase and some of them still experience it to this day. In the book “Tools of Titans” by Time Ferris, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about how after one hour of intense concentration, he absolutely has to take a break. Sounds familiar? And this is coming from the poster boy of what success looks like. Bodybuilding champion turned highest paid actor turned governor of California. Don’t be so hard on yourself and trust the process.

You Won’t Always Love it

There is a lot of talk about following your passion and loving what you do and if you can do that “you will never work a day in your life.” It sounds great and it’s also false. No matter how much you love what you do, there will always be an element of work attached to it, that is where discipline will pull you through. In Mike Tyson’s words discipline is “doing something you hate doing, but doing it like you love it.” Your passion will mostly revolve around things you love doing, but no passion or road to success is paved without fighting your reluctance to do the monotonous tasks. Find out what they are and demolish them with the same energy that you do the tasks you love.

Prioritize

It’s easy to pretend like your day is happening to you and all these things are “distracting” you from work. But the truth is the procrastinator in you is letting those things distract you on purpose so that you have a poor excuse later for why you didn’t get it done. The fact is you let those things distract you because you were being lazy. In fact, some psychologist theorize that procrastination and laziness stem from a lack of self belief. So fight your subconscious demons with action. Make sure you prioritize your life in such a manner that the only things that get done before work are once in a life time emergencies. The rest can wait.

Get to Work

The most important thing in hard work is sustained focus. Sit down with a notebook, create some goals, create an action plan for those goals and then make sure you see that plan daily and stick to it with sustained focus. One of the best fighters of all time who went undefeated after 20 years straight says it best, it’s all about “hard work, dedication.”

If you’re still having a hard time figuring out how to work hard, contact me here and I will create a game plan for you to work hard and tell you exactly what you need to do and how to do it, personally customized to your craft.

Now I’m going leave you off with my favorite quote about hard work:

sean dudayev hard work quote

Work until excellence becomes the norm.

I’m Sean Dudayev, and this was my tantrum.

How to Name Your Business, a Brainstorming Guide

You finally decided that you’re going to take that leap, you’re going to start your own business. Ideas start rushing in faster than you can remember them, adrenaline fills your body, plans start being put to into text with frantic typing of the keyboard and then it all comes to a screeching halt. You have no name. It’s a downer and it often quite literally brings things to a complete stop. You can’t file the paperwork, you can’t buy the domain, and you have no idea what the logo will be. What’s having your own business without a cool logo you can show off to all your friends. Because you don’t have the big funds to shell out to branding experts, you resort to “Insert Last Name Here” Incorporated, or “Insert City and Boring Industry Here” LLC. That’s the worst things you can name your business. It’s boring, lacks effort, lacks creativity, and is the exact opposite of everything it means to be an entrepreneur.

There is, however, good news. Coming up with a name for your business isn’t a blessing that comes from the marketing gods in the form of a lightning storm. There are steps that you can take to create a business name that you will love, and your customers will fall in love with.

Here are some brainstorming tips for  you to name your business.

Define Your Business

The first thing you want to do when trying to come up with a name is to define your business. This will help get the ideas flowing. Not just the industry that you’re in but what you’re doing for your customers. If you own a marketing agency what you do isn’t just marketing. You help your clients reach their customers, deliver their message, and help them make a larger impact in their niche. Whatever your business, start by writing down a list of things that you do for your customers while keeping the fact that you’re trying to come up with a name in mind. Sometimes you can come up with something brilliant with this step. However, don’t stop even if you think you found a winner. This step will be the foundation for every technique below. You must first define what you do.

Make it Personal

Please do not include your last name, or your first name, or your dog’s name, anywhere in your business name. When I say make it personal, that is the last thing I’m recommending. The next step you want to take is the time to reflect on who you are and why you’re in this business. To illustrate the point, here‘s how the name for The Thinker’s Tantrum was born.

I had the concept and idea behind the venture but I had no idea what I was going to call it. Since initially it was going to be just me, it had to be something that resonated with who I am and the kind of like minded individuals that I wanted to attract. I spent weeks coming up with one horrible name after another, but being familiar with the creative process I didn’t let it discourage me, and neither should you, ever.

Then the day came. It felt like any other day that would end in a successful failure to come up with anything worthwhile. That is until 9 pm. My brother and I were sitting in the office ready to wrap up our day when the topic of the name came up again. He said a few very powerful words: “It has to be something that is YOU…you’re a thinker.” In that moment, everything in my brain exploded and the name came rushing to be in a moment of eureka. “It’s a place for thinkers to vent, to throw their tantrum” I said to myself. “The Thinker’s Tantrum” I said out loud. Viola!

Find something that defines you and add it to the list. At this point you may have your first, or another winner, but don’t stop yet.

Name Your Business

Going Back to Grade School

The third step is to go back to all those years in English class you thought you would never need because you thought as soon as you graduated high school you’d become an entrepreneur and make your first billion before you turned 20. “Who needs homework? I’ll just hire everyone.”

When coming up with a business name, English can help.

Homonyms and Homophones

Homonyms and Homophones can provide an interesting play on words to add a little fun to your name. Just in case you need a refresher course, here are the definitions.

homonym business name

 

Play with all the names you have thought of and think of words that either sound the same and mean different or are the same and can have a double meaning. For example, think of a company that helps men with a bald or receding hairline. When you’re losing hair, your hairline receding. What you help clients do is regrow their hair. So, turned into a homophone of what you do and you can call the hair therapy company “Reseed.” As in your re seeding their hair for growth and you’re helping those who are experiencing hair loss. If that’s not fun and creative I don’t know what is. I wouldn’t run with it, but its a start. Experiment with this in your field.

Alliteration

It wouldn’t be appropriate to write an article about picking a cool business name on a website called The Thinker’s Tantrum without including alliteration. Here is what alliteration is.

alliteration

Once you’ve defined yourself, your business, and did some brainstorming, try at brainstorming some names that include alliteration. If you start thinking I’m crazy to consider all the companies whose products you either use or come in contact with on a daily basis that use alliteration. Have a look:

  1. PowerPoint
  2. Best Buy
  3. Dunkin Donuts
  4. American Airlines
  5. Coca-Cola
  6. Muscle Milk
  7. BlackBerry

Okay maybe BlackBerry you don’t come in contact with anymore. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the list of companies who have used alliteration goes on and on, from Kit Kat to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Double Meaning and Wordplay

As you’re reading and trying to come up with something, remember that the first step is to define yourself and your business. That’s the foundation that will help you come up with a good name. A great option to explore is double meaning. When coming up for the name of my first startup I remember being obsessed with the concept of chance. Little did I know it would later become the perfect catalyst for what I consider, one of the best brand names ever. I may be a little biased, but I bet you’ll agree once you know what it is.

I remember it clear as day. My partner and I were sitting outside of a Starbucks on a cold day, which is 70 degrees in Florida. We were discussing what we should call our startup and we started the same way I recommend you start: define what you do. We were grinding it out trying to crystallize what exactly this is all about. Then one of us said “well it’s about insuring the chance that something may happen to you, that’s what insurance is.” Of course, you insure, chance, with insurance. InsureChance!

Eureka!  Followed by doubt. After hundreds of years of insurance companies in existence, there is no way that name, and domain, aren’t taken already. No way at all. Impossible. The doubt was followed by a few taps of a smartphone on GoDaddy.com which showed the magical words: “this domain is available.” We now had a brand name worth millions in our hands for just over $10. Not only did it directly sound like the word insurance, but it has a double meaning, it defines what we do and sounds like exactly what we do, zero confusion. It’s a perfect trigger and play on words that was the result of a simple brainstorming session.

Rhymes and Acronyms

Rhyming isn’t just fun, it also makes things much easier to remember. If your business name rhymes it’ll be much easier to remember for your customers. Remember that song that last got stuck in your head? Its back now that you read that question, isn’t it? Sorry. But that’s what rhymes do and many popular brands like StubHub, 7 Eleven, and Fit Bit all rhyme. So, define your business and flex your rapper muscle, it’s time to bust a rhyme.

Acronyms and shorts provide an easy way out. Just take what you do and think of a quick acronym or shortened version for it. Take Federal Express for example. Don’t know who that is? Of course, you do, they probably deliver half of all your packages and are today known as FedEx. Or you can look to American Telephone and Telegraph for an example. More popular as At&t. Things get really crazy when we mention the Government Employees Insurance Company, GEICO.

come up with business name

When All Else Fails, Go Latin

If some how you still haven’t been able to come up with something you love, then that means your business name is destined to live among the Greek gods. I’m half kidding. One technique I’ve found useful in the past is trying to find a Latin word that defines what the business is about. In some instances, it can provide for an awesome name, and in most cases, a great logo idea. I would only recommend this for more traditional business where a ‘strong’ name is required. Latin meaning behind words evoke a philosophical feeling. If you’re doing something light hearted like selling puppies, stay away from Latin. However, if you’re an online construction retailer, you may have some luck finding something that makes you seem tough as nails. Pun intended, because I’m punny like that.

Do it Your Way

The best advice I can give you is to use this as a guide but do it your way. You can either take this step by step, choose one thing to focus on, or just combine all of the above. What you must absolutely do is brainstorm.

Brainstorm

At the end of the day a good name can come to you after 5 minutes or 5 days. Don’t rush the process and put in the work. It will take some brainstorming but this isn’t something you want to dismiss. Your business name is the first thing a customer comes in contact with, make sure it displays an aura of effort and creativity, not laziness. All the success I have ever had coming up with a name has been the result of rigorous brainstorming. You’ll know its the one when  you fall in love with it. You will come up with many names you like, don’t settle for those. Keep thinking, keep brainstorming, it will come. Trust the process.

Most founders out there don’t try when it comes to picking business names, not even large conglomerates. Either because they’re lazy or they think it won’t affect the bottom line. Put in a little extra effort and stand out from the crowd. Just remember:

Creativity is hard work, not a stroke of insight.

If after all of that you’re still struggling, contact me here and I’ll be glad to help you come up with a good name.

I’m Sean Dudayev and this was my tantrum.

Digital Marketing on a Budget

When you start your own business it quickly becomes evident that you’re in a ship, and in that ship you’re the captain, the navigator, the quartermaster, cabin boy, carpenter and passenger all rolled up into one confidently helpless entrepreneur who knows it will all somehow work out in the end. In short: you’re on your own. It’s hard to come across a helping hand and get the necessary funds to get growing. Because of this the only option often becomes to bootstrap your marketing efforts to acquire new clientele. The good news is there is a few ways to bootstrap your digital marketing efforts on a budget, and they all work.

Digital marketing offers the best ROI for a small marketing budget by far. It consists of Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Videos, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, and it’s all tied together with Content Creation.

Let’s get into what each one is and how to do it right.

What You’ll Need to Get Started:

Website/Blog

You can use a service like WordPress to create one without spending thousands on web designers who are going to do the same thing.

Now let’s get started, first up….

Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

SEO is by far the best Search Engine Marketing(SEM) technique when it comes to bootstrapping your efforts. If done right, it provides the best long term strategy that requires nothing more than sweat equity and provides the best return on investment.

What is it?

SEO is optimizing your website for the algorithm of search engines so that your website will rank on the first page of organic search results for specific topics. Organic means that they are right below the paid advertising that you see on the top of the search results. Here is a picture to illustrate it easier. This is a #1 ranking on organic search of one of my companies, InsureChance Inc.

organic-results

It doesn’t take money to rank on the first page of organic search, only a near perfect SEO strategy. Because Google has over 60% of market share as a search engine, most marketers optimize their website based on Google’s guidelines.

To rank on Google’s first page, you must take the sustainable approach to your SEO typically called the White Hat approach. This means that you do not try to manipulate your websites rankings with spammy techniques that are built to trick the algorithm. The spam approach is called Black Hat SEO and in some cases, Grey Hat SEO. Here is a simple breakdown.

White Hat – consists of following Google’s best practices and guidelines to rank your website for specific topics. This includes things like creating infomrative content that earns traction online and gets cited on other sites and social media pages. Content that goes viral is a good example of this. Essentially, its online marketing without the dirty tricks. This is by far the best, and only approach you should take if you’re building a long-term business.

Grey Hat – this falls into a grey area. It’s a technique that if caught, will be penalized, but because it is in the grey area it is harder to catch. This involves things like guest posting purely for building links or paying for advertised posts to build links. You are trying to manipulate your rankings, but you’re being very sneaky and erring on the side of caution.

Black Hat – this has been out the door and ineffective for a long time. Google has updated their algorithm many times to eliminate black hat practices. This included writing one word repeatedly on a page and then cloaking it into the color of the background or building links with a software on many different websites that aren’t relevant or of low quality. Anyone who has practiced the black hat approach is now in the abyss of search engine rankings. Therefore, it isn’t recommended to take the Grey Hat approach. It’s only a matter of time before Google catches on and they’ll suffer the same fate.

How to Do SEO the Right Way

There is one way to build a sustainable SEO campaign and that is by doing marketing the old-fashioned way. A good SEO campaign consist of three things: keyword research, content creation and link building. In order to do SEO successfully, you will have to become very familiar with these 3 and know how to do them well. Let’s briefly describe them here.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is how you will determine what clients in your industry are searching for and how many of them are searching for that very thing. Whether they are looking for rates, certain colors, sizes or just more information. Usually some keyword research will determine what you should focus your content on. Many blogs you will read about SEO will recommend that you “just write” and forget about keywords and they will come. That is a lie. Google’s algorithm is far from human and it uses bots to determine what your content is about. If the title of your content and the content itself does not include the keywords that your clients are searching, Google won’t know to include it in the search results. The best place to do keyword research is Google’s Keyword Planner or tools like Long Tail Pro.

Content Creation

Once you’ve done your keyword research you will have some direction as to what content you should create. The one absolute must with the content is that it is informative. Make sure that your blog posts and articles aren’t just talking about how great your company is. You want to make sure to include your contact information, but let them decide if you know enough to earn their business. Make sure the publications teach them something about your industry that they never knew before, teach them the process and only then include a call to action. By the time they’re done reading they shouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

Sean Dudayev Thinkers Tantrum

One of the best sources of advertising online is a company blog. The modern-day customer wants to know everything about their purchase before making the call. Make sure that all the information necessary is right there for them so they don’t have to go anywhere else. If you can educate your costumers, you will earn their trust and their business. Make sure that your content is targeted and has over 1,000 words. In the world of the internet the phrase “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply. For the articles you publish to be read you must do thorough keyword research and optimize your article appropriately. If you’re an expert in your field this can often happen naturally but make sure the titles of your posts are something people are searching for online.

Link Building

If you don’t already have some ranking power in search engines, then unfortunately all your new content will go unseen. But how are you supposed to earn links from other sites if you can’t show up on the search engine rankings until you have links? That is the double edge sword most SEO’s face and the answer, again, is good old fashioned marketing. You should reach out to other content creators and people of the internet to earn links. Make sure you’re using all the social media platforms to advertise your content to your following. The other way is to reach out to industry leaders and share your content with them. Ask for their input and hope that your post provided enough value to be quoted in their next post. You can also quote experts and send the final pieces to them so that they can mention your posts. Everyone loves sharing a story they’ve been published in. Be careful with buying links on other sites or exchanging links as Google can see this as a manipulation tactic.

The Costs

The costs associated with SEO are mostly a lot of hard work. Most of your money should be spent on books and if you already have a website then you know the costs associated with having one are minimal (if you did it yourself). Today there isn’t a reason to pay thousands for a website that there are WordPress templates for. Also, if you’re trying to bootstrap your marketing efforts, I would discourage you from buying links or advertorials on other sites. That can not only run up the costs, but get you penalized. Writing articles yourself is also a better idea as some information can only come from an expert who does the work rather than someone who simply researches. If you decide to hire a writer, your costs can range from $25 to $200 per thousand words, depending on the quality. Essentially, how much your SEO efforts end up costing you is up to you.

Learning Resources

Here are some of the resources I used to learn SEO.

  1. The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization – beginner or expert, every SEO should read this book at least once.
  2. MOZ Blog – A community of experts, all with great SEO advice.
  3. Web Marketing for Dummies – One of the most simple reads on Web Marketing available.
  4. Lynda – the courses here on just about any subject offer incredible gems.

Outside of that the best way to learn is always by doing, so get to work!

Videos

Not everyone likes to read, most people that browse the web want to be entertained, even when they’re attempting to be more informed. Give them both in the form of videos. Videos are a good way to present information in a way that drives the point across and prevents your consumers skipping the most important information. Most article readers are article skimmers. Most importantly, though, adding videos as part of your content marketing allows you to reach a wider audience and cast a larger web (pun intended).

How to do it Right

Making videos is one of the most exciting things to engage in because you either get to show your awesome extroverted personality or exercise your introverted creativity muscle. Whichever you are, it sounds fun and is an attractive endeavor to get into. However, it isn’t as easy as pressing record. Making good videos that are engaging is time consuming and requires a decent amount of effort in comparison to other forms of content marketing. So here is what you should do before you turn on the lights and the camera: take action.

Research

The last thing you want to happen is to spend days creating a script, shooting a video, editing it, putting blood sweat and tears into an amazing video that in the end, no one will watch. Like any business endeavor, every branch of digital marketing will require research prior to action.The opportunity cost of not doing so will result in wasted energy, resources and time. To avoid this, make sure you do the something you would do for Search Engine Optimization and that is a little gem called Keyword Research. Essentially YouTube is the Google of videos; they’re a search engine for video content and should be treated as such. They offer their own tools and analytics so make sure you research the potential topics that you wish to cover. In addition, you want to do keyword research in Google and Social Media platforms as well because your video content can be marketed through those channels. A video posted alongside your blog article makes your content that much more engaging, and that much more likely to be shared.

Sean dudayev video quote

For your videos, I recommend YouTube because it’s the largest audience for an online video marketing platform. If you need more encouragement than that, here are some interesting statistics for YouTube. Just in case you don’t want to click over, here is a highlight:

  • 6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV
  • In a month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube
  • On mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any broadcast or CABLE TV network
  • YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook

Once the research is done its time to create the videos. There are a few things you can do to make them better. As mentioned earlier, people want to be entertained, give it to them, but people also want to learn something without falling asleep, give them that too.

Make it Funny

Unless humor would be distasteful in your industry, then funny almost always work. You may not always get sales, but you will command attention. Funny makes us happy, and humans are always drawn to the things that makes us happy. Funny also makes your content much more likely to be shared, which means you will get in front of more eyes, which is always the goal with good marketing. When you make someone laugh, you occupy real estate in their mind and good vibes are associated with you. If you need further convincing to be funny, here’s a great article on it that links to this Harvard research study about humor.

Make it Informative

Most sales and marketing books talk about a Unique Selling Proposition(USP). Yet so many well-read business owners seem to ignore this advice routinely. When it comes to content marketing and digital marketing, your USP is information that you can provide that isn’t available elsewhere. When creating content online take your consumers deep into your industry and teach them not only how they can get the best of the best, but also how you make sure they do. Drop gems about your industry that they haven’t heard already, and they will pay their gratitude in the form of trust. You’re the expert, act like one. If you’re not, become one before you market yourself as one.

Plan Your Shoot

The quote “the harder I work, the luckier I get” couldn’t be more true for creating videos. Its possible that you grab a camera, start shooting and magic will happen. However, it is highly, and I mean highly unlikely. Unexpected magic CAN happen while the camera is on, but that is usually after careful planning has been done for an already well crafted, and well planned video. Make sure you spend some time creating an outline for the video, and a short script that leaves room for a natural flow. Don’t overdo it and read everything word for word. It’s important to let your personality shine. Unlike standing face to face with someone, reading your personality on camera may be harder. Because of this you should turn it up and exaggerate yourself to a few degrees. This will make the video livelier. If you’re doing purely animations, you don’t have to worry about this, however, you should still focus on making your videos informative, funny and noteworthy.

Post Video Shoot

After the video footage is compiled, the work finally beings. This is where you want to take the due diligence and edit anything that is questionable, if you’re unsure, take it out, if you can’t stop being excited about it, leave it in. Also, make sure to get rid of any hiccups and gaps in conversation to prevent the viewers’ attention from waning. Including breaks in the form of clips or images helps keep the viewers focus on the video to prevent them getting bored. You want to make sure your videos are long enough to be informative, but short enough to not take too much of their time. Unless you’re literally entertaining in the form of movies, keep your videos short, fun, and to the point.

Sean Dudayev funny quote

Learning Resources

That is an overall guide to videos but far from and in depth guide. The key to crafting great videos, or great anything for that matter, is a lot of learning followed by a lot of trial and error. Here are some great learning resources and tools to shoot great videos.

  1. How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck – a simple book with a few hints on how to shoot good video.
  2. YouTube Channels for Dummies – with anything I learn, I always pick up a dummy version of the subject.
  3. Phillip DeFranco – I include his channel here because he is funny, informative, and super successful on YouTube. If you’re going to do some face time in your videos, he is a good guy to watch because he keeps you interested with the camera simply pointed at him the entire time.
  4. ASAP science – when it comes to animating videos, these guys do it right.
  5. Browsing Google and YouTube is also a great place to start to learn from some experts who share their secrets.

Tools

You can use different tools to fit your own way of doing things, but here are some I’ve used with success in the past.

  1. Cannon Rebel – This camera is on the low end of cost but shoots great video.
  2. Backdrop and Lights – Not always needed because you can use nature or the inside of your home/office. If you will be including yourself in the videos, the green screen can help.
  3. For editing there is no need to buy software unless you really want to. Usually Windows Movie Maker if you have Windows or IMovie if you have Apple, will do the job.

Social Media

What SEO and PPC advertising was back in the early 2000’s(a gold mine), social media advertising is today. Because most small businesses and even big brands have no clue how to do it right, it remains largely untapped. Social media as a place of business remains a mystery, and yet, it’s probably the what mirrors the real world the most, of all digital marketing efforts.

When it comes to social media marketing you can pick one platform to focus all your efforts, or attack all the most popular networks and squeeze all the juice you can(recommended). All social media pages, however, aren’t created equal. In his book “The Social Media Guru” David T. Price breaks down the most popular social media platforms as such:

  1. Facebook to foster a community
  2.  Instagram to build the brand visually and tell a visual story
  3.  Snapchat to Vlog and take visitors behind the scenes
  4.  Twitter to chat with your audience
  5.  YouTube as your own TV station

These aren’t the only platforms but by far the most popular. For most small businesses, this is where you want to start your focus. Before I move on here are some encouraging facts to do so.

Facebook
• 1.79 billion monthly active users
• 1.18 billion daily users

Instagram
• Over 400 million active users
• 60% of users log in daily
• 48.8% of brands are on Instagram. Predicted to rise to 70.7% by 2017

SnapChat
• 150 million daily active users
• Snapchat’s daily video views have increased 400% Year-on-Year
• Snapchat’s ads are viewed up to a million times per day
• 60% of all smartphone users are now on Snapchat
• Snapchat has more users than twitter

Twitter
• 310 million active users
• 120 million unique monthly visitors
• 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in their tweet

If those numbers don’t show the fact that there is a market you can take advantage of then I don’t know what will. A fraction of that is in your industry, and if you can tap into just a percentage of that fraction, you can turn a lot of viewers into consumers. Most importantly, social media is the best way to create a brand.

How to Do it Right

Most small business owners have one thing in mind when it comes to all forms of advertising: “we need to sell stuff.” However, when it comes to social media marketing, plastering how great your product is with the same digital flyer across platforms will get you ignored and unfollowed. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when getting your social media campaign going.

Entertain and Educate

Avoid using a sales message at all costs. People are on social media to unwind from the day and see something that peaks their interests. If they wanted to be bombarded with ads they can watch daytime television. You either want to the content you share to be interesting or to be funny. An interesting fact about your industry can go just as viral as something funny. Which brings us to our next point.

Be Viral

Just not cliché. Many companies have cringeworthy attempts at going viral and it hurts to watch. Usually this comes in the form of imitation of something that went viral, and that never works. Going viral isn’t always something you can plan, it’s a lot like catch phrases in a movie, often you’ll have no clue that what you’re about to say will spread across an unpredictable amount of people. But there are ways you can up your chances.

The first is to make sure your content is unique. Don’t waste your time repeating the same old tired information that your competitors are giving out. Give your consumers something new, something interesting, something that evokes an emotion. If you make them feel something, they will share it, and if they share it, you earned yourself another brand ambassador.

social media sean dudayev quote

Reciprocate

Don’t simply be one of those brands that uses digital channels to shove product. Social media allows your business a unique chance to start a conversation with your clients. So, if a client shows you love, shouts you out or mentions you in any way, return the favor! Statistics show that people have a more positive outlook on a brand when they engage with their customers. Track those hashtags carefully and engage with your customers, you may learn something that can change your business forever.

It’s Like the Real World

To take the mystery out of social media marketing just remember you’re dealing with people, that’s it. People online are just like the people you meet in the real world: they want to be heard and they want to be valued. If a customer or a follower has a question, answer it, if there is a problem, solve it right then and there. Launching paid ads on social media is easier (and it works) however if you’re looking to budget your marketing efforts, engaging with your customers is the best way to have impact without impacting your budget.

Entertain, Educate, Reciprocate

Give people fun and informative posts and they will share your stuff and others will follow you for more. When social media shows you love, show it back! Keep in mind that if your social media efforts aren’t catching traction its either because your content needs more creativity, or you need to get in front of more people. Again, social media, is just the digital version of society. So if you want to be heard, you have to be within talking distance. If you need your posts to be in front of more people, then get in front of more people! Just make sure you’re targeting the crowd that cares about your conversation. Don’t go speaking paddle boarding to a biker gang. The formula for success in social media marketing is simple: entertain, educate, reciprocate.

social media marketing quote sean dudayev

Your Competition are Your Friends

In the olden days if you saw your competitor the gloves came off and it was on! These days, especially in the digital world, the leaders in your industry, or those at your heels, can be your best friends. Creating unique content with influencers in your niche and building relationships with them can help get you and your brand in front of more people. Use that to your advantage. Play nice, and people will play nice back. A mutual benefit only hurts those that aren’t willing to participate.

Don’t Stop till You Get it Right

Social Media Marketing isn’t something that works overnight. It takes time to get traction and figure out the beat that your crowd dances to. It is a process of learning followed by trial and error. Here are some great learning resources to get you on you’re A-game.

  1. The Social Media Guru – a great book breaking down each platform and examples on who does it right.
  2. The Art of Social Media – Guy Kawasaki doesn’t disappoint in this book with idea provoking content.

A Simple Email

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is far from dead. It works, but in today’s market its more of a supplement to an existing strategy, much like everything I mentioned above. When pursuing digital marketing, you will be spending a lot of time creating content. Not giving people a chance to follow up on that information or get a notice up when you have something new released, would be a shame. That’s where email comes in. Like any relationship, from romantic to business, it won’t last if you catch someone’s attention only once. You must court them continuously, usually with new and creative ways. Like all forms of digital marketing, you don’t want your emails to sound like a sales piece. It should be much like the emails you send your friends: “Hey, I thought you might find this interesting, check it out.” Just make sure it is, in fact, interesting. Don’t go emailing steak recipes to vegetarians.

How to Get Emails

Giving it out free information, think white paper or e-book, is one of the most common ways of getting your visitors emails. However, most of the time your online content can do all the talking for you. If they found you trough Google, YouTube, or Facebook and bothered to follow through to your site, they’re interested. At this point, all you must do to earn a subscriber is make sure your website is designed for conversions. In layman’s terms, that means make sure there is an obvious and visible space somewhere on your site that screams “Want updates? Leave your email.”

Make Sure to Follow Up, Just Not Too Much

Collecting people’s emails and not following up can make them nervous and cause them to distrust you. That is the last thing you want. Make sure you have drip emails set up to get in touch with your consumers to let them know about all the action, or even the lack of it. A good Customer Relationship Management(CRM)  software can help you out with that. However, no one likes to be nagged, so in the case of emails follow the Golden Rule, send them emails as you would like them to be sent to you if you were interested in something: enough, but not too much.

If You’re Going to Do It, Do it Right

The trend continues, all of it is a learning process. If you hope to bootstrap your way to success you better get your reading glasses on and focus on acquiring the knowledge you will need to succeed. Here are some resources that helped me:

  1. The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing – great tips to get your head in the right space before you start sending out email blasts.
  2. Email Marketing Rules – Another book on emails that is good for a beginner read.

Everything is Content

In the end, the centerpiece to your digital marketing masterpiece will be your website and your blog. Make sure to include high quality content on your site that has unique information that people in your industry, both customers and competitors, have a hard time attaining. If you aren’t already an expert, then become one so that you can educate your consumers. One you’ve created high end content, use all the different channels to market it. At that point your content becomes your product, your marketing, and your sales, all at the same time. Your business depends on the content that you, the expert at what you do, can create. So make sure it’s always top notch.

To maximize your bootstrapping efforts, I always recommend you, your partner, or your key employee create the content yourself. This way your consumers get the expert point of view and not some researched combination of everything your competitors are saying that comes from outsourced writing. No PHD in English, no matter how smart or great at writing, can know the ins and outs of the business you’ve dedicated your life to. Nor can they break it down in a way everyone can understand. However, keep that industry jargon to yourself. Make sure everything the consumer needs to know is right there so that they don’t have to go elsewhere. The modern-day consumer wants to know everything before they make the buyers decision to even speak to a salesman or click that buy button. It’s your job to make sure they do.

In my many years of doing business in the digital space I have learned one absolute truth about digital marketing: If you educate your consumers, you will earn their trust and their business. I’ve been giving this marketing advice for a long time.

A few books to help with content creation:

  1. Web Copy That Sells – one of the few books that had a direct impact on the content that I create.
  2. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook – An excellent guide to writing any kind of marketing pieces.
  3. Trust Agents – not exactly a how to guide, but an excellent read on the digital consumer.
  4. Everybody Writes – actionable tips on how to write good content.
  5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On – A must read for most marketers that explains how things go viral.

Get to It

As you can see Digital Marketing on a limited budget can be a lot of hard work. The upside though, is that this hard work can allow you to compete online with giants like Coca-Cola, Apple, MetLife or whoever the big kahuna is in your industry. This can be accomplished with nothing more than sweat equity. It’s hard in the beginning but once it gets going it all starts working in perfect harmony. Doing business in the digital world truly does follow the law of exponential growth. If you can stick through the rough beginnings, great things will come.

Nothing left but to get to work!

Feel free to drop a comment or contact me here whether you have a question or just want to say hello!

I’m Sean Dudayev, and this was my Tantrum.

 

Raising Capital vs Bootstrapping, A Startup Founder’s Guide

You can read many compelling stories of companies that found success after relying on investors to get the capital they needed. But how often do you hear about company founders who bootstrapped their way to success, opting for modest surroundings while using their own funding with no venture capital and little to no angel investing?

If you’re the founder of a startup, take these points into consideration before you make the big decision on whether to raise funds from outside sources or do it all yourself.

Manufacturing Cost

Do you have a tangible product that needs manufacturing? Do you need to increase production to meet high demand? Whether you employ bootstrapping as part of your business model or seek a boost from venture capitalists, you need to examine the manufacturing costs and if there are any. If your product is in high demand, it may be appropriate to jump on the venture capital bandwagon and get money from investors to make increased production possible and take advantage of the demand. On the other hand if your business is service related or web based, you can build a website and partake in digital marketing with nothing more than sweat equity. 

Complexity of Business

A company’s complexity, whether high tech, bio-tech, or any other research driven market, can be a valid reason to seek venture capital rather than build from the ground up. Perhaps you have scientists working to cure a disease or solve a problem with a not-yet-discovered solution. Funding for research and development may be imperative for that company. If you have the skillset to make your venture successful, put in the work to get as far as you can, then raise the funds to build a team and get the resources you need for further growth.

Market Opportunity

Are you sitting on top of a huge opportunity that needs to be capitalized on swiftly? Do you face competitors that are looking to fill that market void? Is there something you can do that has a good shot at pushing your company to the top?

Perhaps you’re in a race to be “the real thing,” That’s where Coca-Cola was when it banked on its “Real Thing” campaign to win the Cola Wars and stay on top. Actually being the real thing helped them do so. (Although it could be argued, good marketing can turn that around).

If time is of the essence and you truly believe that you need to strike quickly to be first in the mind of the consumer, by all means, raise the capital and make it true.

Opportunity Cost

The costs of doing business includes opportunity cost:

“The loss of potential gain from one alternative when another alternative is chosen.”

Consider the opportunity cost of raising capital to grow your business. The process will take time and energy and may hold progress back in your business. The loss of potential gain in this scenario is the progress you could make in your business if you focused most of your resources on building the company rather than seeking capital.

Also, it may be a bitter pill for an entrepreneur to swallow, but you shouldn’t assume things will go your way. You may not get the valuation you need, get the funding at all, or you may not receive it in time to keep your company afloat.

Scalability

Anything can be scaled, providing you have a strong product or service and a strong business model. But are you positive you have figured out a way to do so? Are you in an industry in which scaling can be done in a timely manner, and is the market really there for you to scale? Forecasts can be tricky. 

It’s not always possible to build a market for your product in time to take advantage of venture capital. If your company still has some hoops to jump through, you could end up burning through your funding and end up having to give up more equity, only to find a solution after giving up most of your company to investors.

Profitability 

Can you bring your company to profitability? In the end, no matter how much you want to make a difference, you won’t be able to do so if you’re not bringing in the necessary revenue to grow. You have to make dollars before you can make change. If you don’t bring in profits, you won’t have a company through which you can make a difference.

Ideally, you should raise capital if you have a winning formula and you want to scale it. Unfortunately, most founders raise money to find that formula, which is a huge mistake. You want to raise funds to pay for results, not to pay for mistakes.

Don’t be the founder who hides weaknesses with capital. Make your mistakes on a smaller scale to avoid making them on a larger scale. Once you work out the kinks, slowly hire the people who can do what you can’t.

Even if you raise funds, don’t jump into hyper-growth phase. Use the power of exponential growth to make progress that keeps progressing.

In the end, you want to make sure to focus on results. Don’t do it for fame or glory or any other intangible cliche. This is the real world, and business must be tended to accordingly.

Make Your Own Way

Use these points for consideration, but don’t rely on the advice of others; find your own way. Business owners who raised their own funding may look back and advise people to look elsewhere for funding new businesses, while those who did not raise their own funding may look back and say fundraising is the best way. Because let’s face it, bootstrapping is exhausting. 

Everything looks different in hindsight. You can’t know for sure what the future will bring, but you can make smart decisions based on who you are and what your business is all about. Propel yourself into the future by using these guidelines and make a decision based on your own values.

Spoil Your Customers: Competing With the Standard

I often listen to music while I work and find myself on different music platforms each time. Last night I was on one I use often and I found myself getting frustrated when a song I’ve searched for numerous times wasn’t the first one to pop up in the results. I was upset that the service didn’t intuitively know what I wanted to hear based on my past usage. Then it quickly dawned on me. There isn’t anything wrong with this service, in fact this service was amazing. It allowed me to do everything I’d wished I could do with music just a few years ago, but yet I was disappointed. Why? Because I’ve been spoiled. Spoiled by the standard set by every innovative company out there for speed, convenience and personalized results.

Sounds irrational? It is, welcome to your modern day consumers. The modern consumer doesn’t care how much better you are than the rest in your industry, they care about the same amount of convenience they receive from the companies they interact with daily. Their thinking is, Amazon offers one click purchase, why don’t you? Apple’s products are intuitively easy to use, why aren’t yours? Netflix knows what I like, how come you don’t? This changes the way “competition” is viewed. Your competitive advantage will no longer be being just a tad bit better than the next company in your industry. Your competitive advantage lies in doing things as good as the best company out there or better. Better yet, finding your own way to spoil your customers.