Burnout, Balance and Bad Grades: Why the Latter Don’t Matter

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Joe Fernandez, this Fernandez don’t care.

Heeding the advice of concerned family and friends, I finally took up Paul Roetzer’s aforementioned challenge, the Unplugged Experiment.

For a little over a week, I took a hiatus from the internet. Went home out West, traveled a bit. Reflected on the clear distinction between career obsession and motivation, and the recent burnout because I had lost perspective on maintaining work/life balance.

Admittedly, I cheated here and there. (Checked in once in a while via mobile…)

But I learned some valuable lessons, thanks to said vacation and continued webinars/courses with HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University:

  • Oversharing: No one expects nor wants to hear from you 20x a day. Even with the best of intentions, blowing up people’s feeds eventually grinds their gears enough to solicit a swift, quiet unfollow, unfriend (and now uncircle). Make it count.
  • Impatience: Sense of urgency is one thing, desperation another. As my 26th year approaches, I’m beginning to realize life in the fast lane starts to catch up with you (pun intended?). Sometimes a screeching halt to pause and really think about the who, what, when, why, where and how of things imparts new insights, but you have to be looking for it.   
  • Listening: PR folk are notorious for the gift of gab. We’re just that fun and cute, right?! But sometimes it’s not cute anymore, and as I’ve read time and time again: No one likes the guy at the cocktail party that simply can’t resist babbling on about how awesome he is

Similar to liking and +1ing your own posts (because apparently we weren’t aware you think highly of what you’re sharing), or begging for RTs (great thread David Meerman Scott recently began on G+).

From an inbound perspective, how do these practices compel people to act on your content, brand? I’ve actually noticed those that Like or +1 their own stuff garner little to no engagement. Sandbox not big (albeit, unassuming) enough…

As Joe Pulizzi puts it, creating and sharing awesome stuff should speak for itself. I might actually have an aneurysm if I start seeing incessant RTing of people’s own tweets next.

Moving on.

The greatest lesson I learned over the past few weeks? How fun it is to disappear for a while. The value and perspective gained from observing and listening, offline and online.

Of course, with every gain there’s a loss, which, though frustrating, I mostly found liberating (and now amusing):

My Klout score plummeted from 57 to 49, blog score from a 92 to 91 (reminders that I should probably post now have been noted and sent to HR somewhere between Vegas and San Fran reprieve).

Whoop-de-do. Freedom, getting out and actually living (feeling the salt and breeze of the Bay on my face for the first time in years) for once was worth every single, solitary punitive demerit.

Speaking of, all the fuss over Klout scores has gotten cumbersome and in extreme cases, pretty alarming. Dabney Porte recently told me women were coming to her, distraught over whether or not to link their Foursquare accounts to KLOUT — but were doing so anyway out of fear their scores would suffer. I was appalled…and kind of disgusted.

Seriously? I’m not active on nor a proponent of location-based apps, but at some point reason needs to take precedent over popularity and ego-mongering.

Final lesson from the last few weeks:

I didn’t pass my first attempt at the final exam for IMU, which requires a 75% passing grade. (Close, but no cigar). I also have never been one to just get by on the minimum. Learning you can earn certification with honors only invigorated the challenge for me.

After all, in this realm close is not enough.

 

RELATED LINKS

Nellie Akalp via Dan Holowack >> Work Life Balance: How to be an Entrepreneur and Stay Sane

HubSpot >> 5 Marketing Metrics Not to Obsess Over

Joe Pulizzi >> Content Marketing World: Why Cleveland?

Inaugural HubSpot User Group (HUG) comes to Cleveland

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CLEVELAND – A highlight of the summer and excellent segue for Junta 42’s upcoming inaugural Content Marketing World in September, good food, fun and company was shared by all at the first HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup hosted by PR 20/20 in Cleveland’s historic Caxton Building.

Making the rounds through the 7th-floor loft inspired by Paul Roetzer’s vision and his wife Cheryl, a gifted local artist, the usual inbound buzz could be heard over the lounge music, sights and smells of veggie/fruit trays, shrimp cocktail, buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and other refreshments: value, content, agencies, outsourcing, in-house, lead generation, blogging, PR, marketing, ecosystems … hacking and hackers?!? (Never a dull moment when Susie Sharp’s in town!).

Aside from customary shenanigans with Lake Erie Moose and Ohio Blogging Association friends, HubSpot inbound partners from Lorain Websites and some fresh faces also shared their success stories with inbound marketing campaigns, as well as brief histories of their PR and business backgrounds.

In addition to celebrating Content Marketing World with friends from Junta42 Joe Pulizzi, Pam Kozelka and Joe Kalinowski, Paul also shared with us further details about his debut book through WILEY, The Marketing Agency BluePrint due in early December. Techies get ready: expect some Matt Cutts and Steve Jobs influence.

Roetzer will also be the opening speaker for HUG Boston in September, as an early adopter of the Value-Added Reseller (VAR) program and testimonial for how a PR firm can transform into an inbound phenomenon: In the last four years, PR 20/20 has grown from 4 employees to 10 with 467% revenue. 

Special thanks to all who attended, and congratulations once again to everyone on their PR, content and inbound achievements. As Paul said in Rise of the Inbound Marketing Agency, it truly is an amazing time to be a marketer. 

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*Photos courtesy of Susie Sharp, Lake Erie Moose Society and Morand Architects, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

HubSpot: Internet Marketing Vision

Paul Roetzer: An Idea, A Book and An Opportunity for Change

Joe Pulizzi: Content Marketing World 2011

Lorain Websites: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot partners

Back to School: Content and Blogging with Mack Collier and Ann Handley

Rounding up a week of techgeek firsts, I only have one thing to say: feels good to be taking classes again  

  • First webinar and demo on Small Business Lead Generation Optimization with Adam Mavrikos, Sales Manager at HubSpot
  • Weekly Marketing Update on HubSpot live TV, hosted by Brian Whalley and Samantha Coren from Student Advisor

Via IMU’s first assignment here are 3 main takeaways from the video and intro course:

1. Blogs do not have an expiration date. Either you have the time or you don’t, and if you don’t commit for the long-term you probably shouldn’t start.

2. Passion – If you are passionate about your ability to write and create, your brand and everything in between will thrive. But you have to commit the time, resources and energy — or you’ll flounder, let the blog die and ultimately let your users, readers and followers down.

3. Navigation – Keep your blog or website neat, clean and easily navigable. Each touch point should be easy to find, and as Joe Pulizzi recently said, all points should connect. Consider how each touch point will create value and position itself as a resource for your readers.

RELATED LINKS

Joe Pulizzi >> Like It or Not, Your Content Marketing is Channel Agnostic

Dan Holowack >> TwitSprout, Data and Analytics and personal blog

Tony Ramos >> Powerpoint Design, the Presentationist