In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield outlines and fleshes out the battle of creativity and artistry that any entrepreneur goes through in order to give birth the things of real value from which others will gain benefit.

Through his own experiences and reflections on humanity, Pressfield powerfully makes the case for the releasing of the artist (or artisan) that lies within the creative higher self we each have.

Although Pressfield doesn’t use the word artisan, but artist, in my book the only tangible difference is the territory traditionally ascribed to each.

And, it’s in the idea of territory that he asserts his premise that this is only real ‘place’ where every true artist can flourish, whether they are a fusion researcher, scientist, entrepreneur, body builder, fashion designer, or writer.

‘Territory’ in essence, as Pressfield defines it, is the region of expertise or influence within which the true artisan flows with purpose and energy, giving birth to what is hidden within, purely for the purpose that it must be released into the world.

On the other hand, the opposite of territory – hierarchy – is a stultifying and inhibiting framework of operation. In a hierarchy, the artist is reduced to being a hack: someone who produces only for affect; not for the higher ideal of releasing inspiration into the world, but for the egocentric accolades they wish to receive from others as a consequence of their creation.

As Pressfield defines it then, the hack has sold out on the higher goals of sharing their intrinsic creativity, to a baser version which is only interested in producing something that will promote the hack’s ego contra his or her peers.

In plain English: the hack does his or her work thinking of how their potential audience will or won’t like the results, but the artist does her work to bring forth of what is within, whether or not an audience exists to receive it.

The artisan gains his or her energy and sustenance from doing the work itself, and not from the praise they hope to receive.

So, is it better to be an artist/artisan or a hack? Clearly not a hack, because at worst a hack is a sycophantic people-pleaser, pandering to the perceived opinions of those the hack is trying to impress, with the hope of receiving some positive affirmation or recognition.

When none comes, the hack is devastated, not having any internal reference point from which to seek solace.

The artist/artisan, on the other hand, travails like a mother-to-be in labor, and as Pressfield beautifully describes, and cries in awe when the miracle baby is held in her arms.

So, can only the hack become wealthy? The answer I believe, is that the hack is never wealthy, even if they are a multi-millionaire, because their offering is never given: instead, the hack always remain the victim of the approval of others, always seeking to compete in a hierarchy rather than operating with skill in their own territory or expertise.

Can the artist/artisan be wealthy? My point is that they will always be wealthy, whether they live in a wooden shack in a shanty town, or in a grand mansion in Beverley Hills. What defines the artist is not the approval of of others’ praise or money showered upon them, but the satisfaction that comes from within at having completed the work that they ached to bring forth, regardless of onlookers’ nods or shakes of head.

Make up your mind then, to be an artist/artisan, and not a hack.

And if you are in any doubt, read Pressfield’s book, the War of Art.

Chris Pearson is a great model of what business should be like: he is using his skills to help others. Not only that, but he is willing to put himself out there and let other people know what’s happening. You can read more about Chris at his Blog here.

What I love about the video about is what he says (5:30 onwards) about Twitter (& yes, I’m an avid Twitter user, so I’m not shooting down what it offers, by any means!):

“The bottom line is, if you keep getting capital to the tune of $200 million, it’s much harder to make that money back- it becomes more and more of a speculative thing where you’re hoping to get bought out by one of the few players with billions dollars. And that’s a bogus play. Why can’t your goal with your business be to..make your business awesome and not rely on a buyout down the road?  What’s so bad about that – I don’t know….

He pulls no punches with what he says next – but you’ll have to watch the rest of the video to find out! What I particularly like about his diatribe, is that I passionately believe in the same model of doing business: aim for just offering a solution to your clients that is simply the best that it can be. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to promote it, because it’s no use waiting for an angel investor to come along and discover your talent. You are the best person to do that.

So, a big round of applause to Mr Pearson for ‘doing the thing’.

By the way – in case you are wondering how I know about Chris, it’s because I buy his stuff. In particular, the Thesis framework theme that this website runs on. Thesis is incredibly flexible, and customizable compared to the bucket-load of themes I’ve used before, that I’m now using it exclusively on web development projects for local businesses. Click on the image below to take a peak at what Thesis can offer. And yes, that is an affiliate link.

Thesis: An Elegant & Customizable Theme Framework for WordPress. Once you've got Thesis, you won't want any other theme.

Who are your Internet Marketing Heroes?This is a no-fluff, fun post! I want your feedback, so scroll to the end, past my mugshot/signature, and add your comment! If I start getting some replies, I’ll turn this into a Twitter poll, which takes about 5 seconds to do.

All you need to do is use the text below as your template & you’re good-to-go.

My Internet Marketing Heroes are (in no particular order, you understand):

  • Frank Kern
  • Jeff Johnson
  • Mike Dillard
  • Jason Fladlien
  • Eric Holmund
  • Ryan Deiss

(I always open their emails).

Reasons why:

  1. They’ve learned the art of giving before getting
  2. Their emails contain useful, actionable content that I can use without having to buy any of their stuff.

There ya’ go. That was pretty quick ‘n’ easy. Now it’s your turn 🙂

If you found this post via Twitter, also please ReTweet it using the ReTweet icon.

If you be involved with marketing for sometime, you almost certainly have heard of Frank Kern.

Frank Kern is an Internet marketer who is famous for his surfing antics, but more importantly he has built an Internet marketing business over the last five years which is almost as legendary as his guitar playing.

At the time of writing this blog post, Frank is just about to release a new product called list building control. He outlines some of the principles that have helped him build a multimillion dollar business over the last few years in the following video: http://bit.ly/ds1CwY.

If you are a busy person like I am, perhaps you haven’t got time to watch the video right now. If that’s the case then here is a summary that I’ve done of Frank’s video which will help you understand the core principles that have helped him to go from rags to riches.

He calls these five principles the five pillars of kindness, and in essence the five pillars are all to do with giving people what they want, so that they move closer to their end goals, whatever they might be.

So without further ado here are Frank’s Five Pillars of Kindness that every Internet marketer should be focusing on as they market to their lists and provide value:

The 5 Pillars of Kindness

1) To know your subscribers’ desired outcomes – what they want to accomplish, and generate good will by giving them what they want.
2) Overcome their skepticism with shock & awe coolness: understand that they are likely to be skeptical.
People join your list because they want to get one step closer to their desired outcome. So lead with your best foot forward – give something of great value to your subscribers with something that will massively help them.
Give people the most valuable thing you have upfront.
3) Demonstrate that they can do it! Deep down inside, many people suffer from self-doubt which sabotages their success. It’s up to you to prove to them that they can do it…by showing them past experiences of others who’ve started exactly from the same point who have become successful.
4) Don’t just show them that they can do it: give them the tools with which they can actually succeed.
People are not on your list for fun. They are there to get help.
5) Motivate them to go further: make an offer to them which will help them accelerate their progress, and which will genuinely help them.
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Lastly, if you want to progress with your internet marketing skills but  can’t afford Frank’s price-tag (and it is still excellent value by the way), then  you have the chance to access free training every Monday (yes, I mean it!) from the community that I’m part of.
Yes, you will be asked to sign up for this training, but you don’t have to buy anything, and you can unsubscribe any time. Just click here to get started.
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If You Want Access To The Top Training, Networking & Internet Marketing Education Then You Couldn’t Find a Better Place to Be on 31 March 2010

Want to know More?

Fill in the box above or opposite to find out more, or if you’ve got the message from Gregg, Andrew & Michael (and you want the chance to network with these amazing fellas like I did last November in Las Vegas), then click on the image below to get started.

Dez.

If you’re a social media news watcher, you will know about the recent Yahoo Twitter Partnership. In essense, here’s what’s happening – either right now, or very soon:

    * People will be able to access their personal Twitter feeds across Yahoo!’s many products and properties, including the homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Sports, and others, letting them check in more easily on what’s happening with the people and things they care about while on Yahoo!.
    *

      People will be able to update their Twitter status and share content from Yahoo! in their Twitter stream, so they can easily share their Yahoo! experiences with their friends and followers on Twitter.
    *

      Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! media properties like News, Finance, Entertainment, and Sports will include real-time public Twitter updates across a variety of topics. Yahoo! Search users will immediately see real-time Twitter results today; go to Yahoo! and try it out.

The Yahoo press release goes on to say that the partnership:

"…lets people bring together and unify their activity from their many social experiences across the Web. Because of these connections, anyone with a Yahoo! ID can update multiple social networks simultaneously and stay in touch with the people and information that matter most at every moment of the day."

In other words, what you might already do with Posterous, PixelPipe, Ping.fm or many of the other communication mashup tools, as a Yahoo user, you can now do under the Yahoo umbrella instead.

The REAL purpose behind this partnership, however is revealed here:

"…This will drive deeper user engagement, and create new and compelling opportunities for developers, advertisers, and publishers."

In other words, Yahoo is developing an integrated and demographically targeted advertising platform, which uses Twitter as part of the Social Media mix. If you’re thinking that this is beginning to sound a bit like FaceBook, then you’re right.

No doubt Yahoo wants a slice of the revenue from the advertising cake which FaceBook currently dominates, and ultimately it would want to position itself at the top of the pile in terms of the go-to place for this kind of close integration between companies and clients.

The major challenge for Yahoo will be to be roll this out across the complete "socialosphere" to the extent that their services become sufficiently embedded that they eventually become the natural place for businesses to gravitate towards.

Yahoo is under no illusions that FaceBook and other big players present it with a challenge, but the partnership with Twitter is but one of many integrations Yahoo seeks to play its part in the communication revolution that is now in full swing.
 

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The message of the above video is surely that with the advent of the MIT (Media Interwoven Trio) of Facebook, YouTube & Twitter (not fogetting the hundreds of socialbookmarking sites!!), there has never been a time in history when the people of the planet are so inextricably interconnected.

Socialnomicsaff link, subtitled " How social media transforms the way we live and do business" contains a message that every business needs to get hold of in this time of economic uncertainty.

If you run a business, and you don’t yet have a Facebook Fan page, Twitter account or YouTube channel, then you are missing out on a huge swathe of potential customers. You owe it to yourself to get online as soon as possible. Your savvy competitors might just get there before you otherwise.

Don’t believe that this is scaremongering hype either. Comcast, (US-based) after all, has seen a massive rise in popularity since it decided to meet customers on Twitter.

If you run an offline business, you should be there too.

Time to get a move on!

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Click here now to go to the videos: http://dezfutak.com/holygrailsuccess

I love the stories that Tony Robbins, Frank Kern and John Reese tell in the videos I mention in the above clip.

All three come from humble beginnings:

Tony was a janitor

Frank sold cash machines for shops

John worked in a video store.

If they looked at their circumstances they would have never had every reason to think that they were never going to aspire to anything great.

So what changed?

Very simple: Mindset.

They all worked on what goes on between their ears.

And they didn’t give up until their dreams were realized.

Their hidden secret?

Certainty.

They knew that if they just kept going, sooner or later their visions would happen.

By the way, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how big the vision had to be be: BIG.

It seems that we all too easily believe the lie that life’s knocks are meant to help us rid ourselves of child-like dreams.

Whereas, in fact, life’s knocks are meant to help us find the diamonds in the tonne of coal that surrounds them in each one of us.

And the knocks must continue until the diamonds are found.

If you don’t relish the prospect of the pain that you have to go through to get to that point, then maybe that’s because you’ve let others, or even yourself, shape a small vision or no vision mindset.

But what if you chose to embrace the pain?

What if you decided to accept that the inevitable pains of this life are there to focus your attention on what really matters.

I’m hungry to find the diamonds. Sure, I don’t like the pain. It hurts.

But for every bruise to my ego, I see more clearly the diamonds being slowly revealed.

And when I glimpse at the diamonds, I see the most amazing colors, patterns and almost unimaginable pictures of what like could be like.

So I’ve decided to keep going until all the coal is gone and just the diamonds remain.

That’s the journey that Frank, Tony and John have travelled on, and now they no longer have to clean toilets, sell cash machines or work in video stores.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good people who do these things.

But there are few who reach the summits of their lives, stopping short of the high views that life can bring to those who are hungry.

How about you?

If you’ve been hanging around the IT world for a while, you might know that at one point (and maybe they still do), Microsoft adopted the policy of "embrace and extend".

Translation: take what others are doing, and make it waaaay better.

Often this involves buying companies (and I’m not going to "Microsoft bash" in this post by the way) and working with their existing teams to rapidly move a research project forward to its commercial phase.

Market place dominance becomes possible in an increasing number of meshed niches once a company establishes its brand (think of how many products Amazon now sells compared to 10 years ago).

Is embrace and extend good news for the consumer?

It all depends (of course).

Ubiquity is probably the elixir of life that a company will chase, either to its ultimate ruin, or its universal success, depending on the wisdom and tenacity of its leaders. Becoming a household name on the lips and in the minds of billions of people is a rare accolade only achieved by a few hundred worldwide brands.

In a sense, positioning your company to be some kind of service or infrastructural  backbone almost guarantees your immortality.

I say almost because of course, the environment which sustains brand  dominance is ever-changing, and successful companies ignore the ever-shifting sands of their surroundings at their peril.

So what about Google? Has it drank from this elixir, never to die?

Nobody knows that – but the evidence looks in their favor. Today when Google announced Google Broadband the world almost forgot that just 24 hours ago, we were told about Google Buzz. So, that’s two major innovations within a day.

Talk about ‘stacking’.

I freely admit that the actual rollout of gigabit home broadband is ‘only’ for a pilot group of a maximum of 500,000 North Americans, but nevertheless, Google is clearly straining (perhaps "steam rolling" is more apt) its way into becoming as well known as Coca Cola.

Think about this: less than ten years ago, the small startup had a cool idea about a new way to do to search.

Now even my 3 year old daughter knows the verb "to Google". And every internet marketer around the globe who uses the ubiquitous search engines knows the phrase "Google slap".

And we have the Google phone. And Google Mail. And Google video (aka YouTube). And now a Google Twitter/Facebook mashup that looks like it just might scratch in more places than Google Wave ever will.

And global(?) Google broadband soon…

And Google has its eyes on many other prizes that might well be within its grasp.

Truly embrace and extend.

Truly good for the world?

It all depends, as always, on the character of the leadership of the company. Are they motivated to make the world a better place? It certainly seems so. Google is treading its way to lead ("drag"?) red-necked dollar-driven, hard-nosed multi-nationals into a new era of social capitalism in a way that no-one thought possible – like a Moon-landing-4-minute-mile-water-into-wine extravaganza of "unliklihoods" all rolled into one.

On the other hand, how it all pans out depends, as always, on how Google copes with such universal acceptance. Will it remain able to hold to its open-handed philosophy of "do no evil" (as I alluded to in yesterday’s musings)?

Let’s hope so. Now is a good time to foster the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset like nobody’s business.

Or everybody’s business, perhaps.

Dez.

 

 

Google is in a tricky place at the moment – some would say a rock & hard place, perhaps. China, on the other hand, has all aces on the table, making it clear that it reckons it has the superior hand.

Maybe Google forgot some incredibly important things about the Tiger: it has a long memory,and it has a proud cultural identity that won’t back down when cornered, especially if it perceives a pressure to humbly bow before a force claiming moral superiority.

This may seem like strong langauge, but if history shows us anything obvious about China, it’s that it won’t back down when it’s cultural and national identity seem threatened.

As you may know, China already has its own popular search engine – Baidu. Google won’t ever be able to stake its claim in exactly the way it would want, so rightly or wrongly, they’re going to have to put up, or shut up.

In this case, perhaps shut up shop.

Google does face perhaps the most significantly difficult business AND ethical decision in the light of China’s diffidence.

It’s not clear how they can best behave from now on. They’re in troubled water with the western democratic conscience if they stay, and economically they’re in trickier waters if they pull out.

The latter option would certainly appease those of us in the west who can afford to take the moral high ground, but Google knows that China is perhaps the biggest single player to help them maintain and stablize their existing market dominance for some time to come.

“Do no evil?” Not so easy now that they are so big.