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?

TopRank Marketing feat. From Juilliard to Blue Note: Cottone to Debut Album

Thanks again to the folks over at TopRank for featuring Mike’s upcoming album piece on the front page of TopRank Marketing Daily. 

The article is the first listing under Arts/Entertainment. As always, I will update the link when it is archived.

And for those of you who’ve asked, I still haven’t had the chance to sit down with Spotify. One of the first things on the to-do list ;)

As I mentioned earlier in the week, you can use Klout perks to try to get in, but like Plus it’s still invite only (in the US) for now.

Keep me posted, and enjoy the weekend!

RELATED LINKS

From Juilliard to Blue Note: Mike Cottone to Debut Album August 3rd

TopRank permalink: http://paper.li/toprank/2011/07/15

Official website: MikeCottone.com  

Twitter: @mikecottone

Gunther Sonnenfeld on Gladwell, GaGa and Organic Communities

As I continue down the rabbit hole that is Google+, it’s been exhilarating to connect with some of the thinkers, writers, bloggers and storytellers in my social networks, mainly Twitter and Facebook, but also from Quora, LinkedIn and Klout.

One of my favorite bloggers is Gunther Sonnenfeld (@goonth), the author of ThinkState and (any surprise here?) also a native of Southern California.

Though I’ve yet to break through the soundwaves of his 4k strong Twitter following, he added me back on Google+ circles. Geeked :)

We’re all like this. Who inspires you (other than yourself)? Who invigorates, challenges and amps you up for the day, week, month? The lovebuzz and insights we get from this is nothing short of a ripple that flows outward. At quantum levels, as Zian Silverwolf likes to put it.

So cool.   

Among many things, Gunther mentions observations on the direction of community and social interactions, in life and online. Storytelling, Gladwell, passion, organic references…and of course, GaGa.

Obviously this was my favorite part:

The Lady Gaga Misnomer (the truth about “superfandom”).

” Speaking of meaningful action… At breakfast this morning, a friend and colleague of mine shared a great story about the phenomenon that is Lady Gaga. He had been talking with her manager at a dinner party, who said that amid the 32 million plus fans she has acquired in her young career, only 60 – that’s right, SIX-ZERO – are her real fans, her “superfans”, who make or break her career and its respective paths. They essentially do all the talking, all the doing and all the marketing for her. This might not be entirely surprising when we think about how careers, especially in music, are so easily made and destroyed. But perhaps there is something far more kinetic in this equation, which is the idea that influence is borne from an intention so strong, a passion so alive, that what springs from it cannot be stopped. It can’t be confined to words. More importantly, it defines the path of the ordained. Lady Gaga is just a woman who had an imagination and a heart bigger than her own self — she played the role of a superstar, an inspirational icon, even when she was only performing for audiences of 30. Imagine what would happen if we were all influenced in the same way… If we all conveyed the emotion she does through her work (whether you like it or not…) and through those she so profoundly influences. “

Basically, it’s pretty simple for the Gags and those who “get it” »

” Being provocative is not just about getting peoples’ attention.

It’s about saying something that affects people in a real way — and a positive way… “

RELATED LINKS

Gunther Sonnenfeld >> The Future Now of Influence

Necessary GaGa Masterclass Comes to American Idol

The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google goes GaGa