How do we Measure Success – A Reader’s Take!

 

 

What is success? It seems that the world defines success as money and material possessions. And that continues to be more apparent every day.

I have chosen to determine success by asking if ones success is “perceived” or “true”.  If we take a drive down any wealthy area in any city and look at the expensive homes (with all the luxury cars parked out front) we right away come to the conclusion; “those people living there are really successful”.

But if we were to dig deeper (which I have been able to do in my career as a financial planner) we would find out that many are far from being “truly” successful. Behind some of those beautiful homes and luxury cars lies a mountain of debt – and if those living there had their incomes dry up it would cause serious financial distress within weeks. I suggest to my clients to define their own “true” success. And even though we can’t live our lives without money, it usually comes in 4th or 5th on the list when determining success.
 
Can we actually control our success? Yes and no. I worked at one of Canada’s largest banks for close to 20 years and my last two were horrible. I hated it. We had completely different views on what a client relationship should look like, what was a good use of my time and what wasn’t, and how/what I was going to be compensated for. Many people (if not the majority) have to put their values and beliefs aside for those of the employers. Generally this isn’t a compromise, but a one way street! If we did and said what we truly believed, most would be out of a job by end of day.  And as I alluded to in my first thought above, people become defined by the incomes they earn and, more troubling, the debt they have accessed to maintain “perceived” success. It’s pretty rare someone leaves a higher paying job to go back to school and pursue their dream job. In most (and I mean 90+%) cases that is impossible. So yes we can control our success, but choose not to because we are not willing to change our lifestyles.
 
Most people “hitting the reset button” are not doing that by choice. Not at all. It’s usually because they have not held on to their employment (rightfully or wrongfully so). I see it all the time; People working for the same employer for 20 years and doing a fine job (I assume so otherwise they would have been let go years prior) and one day they are shown the door (sometimes with a decent severance and other times next to nothing).

People become expendable – at least their incomes do. Thankfully a vast majority find new or similar careers fairly quickly. For me, my “reset” was by choice. I loved my job. But I lost respect for my employer. So I made the choice to reset 18 months before actually stepping off the proverbial cliff. I was going to control my destiny, not the bank. I made sure I was in a good place financially and mentally (hard to say which was more important). And I did everything I could in those 18 months to make sure my move was going to be successful. And 36 months after making that decision, I can happily say I am in a better place emotionally and getting there financially. I left a job that paid me over 6 figures a year to become an independent planner with a starting income of $0.00. So easy to see how that could have prevented me from ever leaving.
 
Why do we care what others think? Years ago you would have never caught me eating lunch alone in a restaurant. Yikes what would people think? Am I a loser? Now I don’t even care about the people around me when I’m out for lunch or dinner. That person you met that day at the concession stand had nothing to feel embarrassed about. They obviously were concerned about your perception of them and regardless you resolved yourself to having a view of them (based on their job?). We all do it. And unfortunately by looking a certain way (wearing a suit), living in a nice home, driving a fancy car that is how we are judged by those around us (for the most part). These are all material things showing our success (either “perceived” or “true”). The best way to make an accurate assessment of someone is to get to know them. I think we would all be shocked by who is really successful and who is not!
 
How can I get people to think differently (going beyond that first impression)? I can start with my kids. The great thing about being a parent is we can help shape the way our kids think. My advice to my kids is be a good person, try not to judge others, and most importantly don’t overly concern yourself with what people may be thinking of you. Easy to say but harder to do. By staying true to yourself and your values people will gravitate towards you. Even if they are friends that drift away – they will be back. I know from experience.

This was an email sent to me from a university friend (Kevin Kuryk) in reply to an email that I sent out to my list. I was blown away, tremendously flattered that my content resonated with him enough and inspired this type of reply.

 

  • I’d love to hear what your definition of success is today?
  • Has that definition changed as you’ve gotten further in to your career?

 

Leave a reply below, or if you’d rather email me, shoot me a note at: TimMushey@gmail.com

 

Daily Goals are the backbone of your business. Consistency is key. Write down goals and look at them frequently. Without excuse, complete them every night before your head hits the pillow.

Tim Mushey

My First Post From The WordPress App!


I’ve been struggling to post with the hectic pace of my life this year. Today, I finally took some time to experiment with the WordPress app on my phone. 

It’s really cool! 

My hope is this springboards me to more consist blogging.

I had an amazing time corresponding with so many people on my recent LinkedIn discussion. Currently it’s at just over 40,000 views. The topic was my decision to disconnect with unresponsive contacts.

I didn’t agree with a lot of things people were saying. There were a lot of comment like,

“Connect with anyone, you never know.” 

There are arguments for that, but only to a point. I have 3,200 followers and nobody has offered me a $250,000/yr gig yet! 😀 Maybe some day right?

Some people said I was too sensitive 😰

Others said I shouldn’t expect a response at all. People are too busy or not on LinkedIn much. Some said they get too much email to reply.

Most people continued to skirt the issue of not replying to the email itself. It takes 30 seconds to say “thanks” with a quick note. People are not getting many personalized notes unless they have a massive following.

Some people said “good for me” -everyone should be more selective in who they connect with. 

One of the best points that was brought up several times is, 

“You need to know what you want out of LinkedIn. What are your expectations?”

Fair point.

This is a social network. People should be social. I’ve always answered emails that were not generic garbage, or spamming me.

Want to set yourself apart from the crowd who are trying to take shortcuts? 

Reply, engage & care!

In case you missed the LinedIn post, Click here to be redirected to it.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend wherever you are!

Thanks!

Tim

TimMushey.com

The Power Of A LinkedIn Conversation!

I posted this question on LinkedIn last week, and the amount of engagement has been amazing! Over 35,000 as of today.

The question was,

I really need your opinion on something. I’ve started to delete selected new connections for being non-responsive and now I’m second guessing myself. Here’s one example. A recruiter reached out with a generic invite to connect. I decided to accept, as an experiment. I sent my typical personalized welcome email, with a note of places to connect with me on social media. But then I took it a step further. I asked if there was a specific reason they wanted to connect. Was there an opportunity that wanted to discuss, or something else. I gave them 7 business days to reply, and if they did not, I decided I would delete them as a connection.

Surprise surprise no reply. HELP! Was I ….

  • Too harsh? I should just connect with everyone and not be so sensitive
  • I did a good thing, we all need to be more selective with who we connect with
  • I have to respect people’s busy schedules and not expect replies
  • Thinking about this is a time suck and I should just get back to more important things 🙂

I can’t wait to hear back from you all. This is going to be fun!

The amount of comments and responses on my LinkedIn post has been truly overwhelming. I would LOVE if you stopped by and gave your two cents.

Click here to see the post!

Click here to connect with me on LinkedIn!

 

I publish a weekly newsletter called “Moosh’s Monday Mashup”. Swing by and join us. What do you have to lose 🙂

Don’t focus on quantity of followers. Aim for quality. The most connections doesn’t necessarily win! Be authentic, engage with your audience, and it will grow. Patience is key!

Tim Mushey

Social Media Follies

I’ve started a weekly section on my “Moosh’s Monday Mashup” called, “Social Media Follies“.

It’s a collection of strange, funny, and sadly entertaining things that I see online.

You can join the newsletter by clicking here to never miss the follies again, and my other weekly musings.

Here’s the follies that I’ve discussed so far:

I recently started seeing a guy all over the place on Twitter. His name kept coming up, and he was following me on 2-3 of my different accounts. When I did more research, I realized he was duplicating his bios, had the same background, and the website link never changed either. I’ve seen an account as high as “BobSmith044” so I don’t know if he has 44 accounts, but he has a lot. My assessment is 4 letters long. L-A-M-E.

 

If your bio is mostly hashtagged words on Twitter, or all hashtagged words for that matter – you need a better strategy for getting eyeballs looking at your brand. My analysis consists of 9 letters: D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E. I’m always confused by people who do these things to give their brand a bad name #dontbelazy #dothework #getitdone #justdoit

 

I recently heard a story about a speaker who audited the social media content of many employees of a company before he spoke to them. They were all producing content on a regular basis. He was blown away that none – I repeat NONE, had interacted with people who had taken the time to leave comments as he looked back through several of their posts. How sad is that? So often, people think there is a “secret sauce” to building a solid following/community online. But really, there’s not. How about doing the simple things properly, and on a regular basis; like giving people the time of day who have taken the time out of their day to reach out? Like I always say, it will be a great day when you need to hire a personal assistant to help with online interactions with those who’ve commented.

 

Direct message on Twitter provide me with quite a bit of comic relief. I LOVE when somebody’s DM asks how I’m doing, I reply, then I never hear from them. Or, they ask what I’m working on, I reply, then nothing. Or… the best one, they say that I’m awesome or something comparable, but they’ve never even seen my content. Most of you know how I feel about these messages. But if you are going to ask questions in them, you sure as heck better take the time to answer.

 

Just a friendly reminder to “think before you post“. The long-term repercussions for your brand can be catastrophic from one momentary lapse in typing judgement.

 

I stopped by a couple of LinkedIn groups this week that I don’t go to very often. I noticed several posts from a few weeks ago, where the authors had received a handful of comments on each, but never took the time to stop by again and reply. If you are not prepared to engage and reply, then don’t bother posting! If you know you are going through a busy period, don’t post a question until you have more time to get involved in the conversation.

 

95% of people DO NOT respond to my “Thanks for connecting” email that I send as a follow-up to connecting on LinkedIn. I’m not mad or feel like they should give me the time of day; just really interested in why people bother to connect in general. Click here to see my blog post.

 

A huge “non shout-out” to those social media accounts that just blast out content and never engage. I’ve touched on this before, but I’m seeing it more in my daily travels online. If an account is clearly just looking to get you to click on ads and buy stuff, I’m out. I actually tweeted at an account the other day why there was no content based on what their bio said, but later deleted it. What was the point, nobody would reply anyways 🙂

 

Every week or so, I stumble across the same person on Twitter that is asking a specific question; I assume looking for follower participation. I keep an eye on the tweet for a few hours, and the number of replies is low. But they’ve never replied to me, or even liked a comment I’ve made. Weird hey? We are connected so it’s not like I’m a total social media stranger. Oh well!

I expect people to be better than this, when building a following online. And I hope this inspires people to stop some of the insanity out there!

My Moosh’s Monday Mashup newsletter is gaining momentum! Why not join us, and never miss an update? Enter your details below and let’s connect!

Some Fun Social Media Experiment Data Coming Soon!

Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about topics that I want to teach, and what I REALLY enjoy doing. I know, it might sound crazy to do something that you actually like to do, but that’s what the experts recommend. All joking aside, I’m making a short list of things that fascinate me, and one of those things is the lack of socialness by many people on social media. I’m excited to do a social experiment over the next while.

In case you missed this post, this has been one of my more popular articles over the past several years, and discusses that topic.

Click here to check it out: 95% Of People On LinkedIn Say “Whatever” To This!

I wasn’t bitter, or feel like the world owed me something, but I was somewhat surprised by the lack of response.

Fast forward to today.

I have a new Twitter account that has been created specifically to develop a community of like-minded social beings by replying to and sharing tweets.  Yes I copied that right from my bio!

 

You can follow me at:

Tim Mushey “In Reply To” on Twitter

And I most certainly will follow back.

 

To be honest, I think it’s thrown some people off who stumble across me, because it’s the furthest thing from,

What’s in it for me, driving traffic, creating leads etc.” that you will see on Twitter.

I’m approaching 1000 followers and I have not published one blog post, video, or podcast episode. Nothing original!

I’ve been having a BLAST connecting with people from all backgrounds, and proving the point that you can create a following with minimal original content. I’m trending at about 99% sharing, commenting etc. With 1% –  the very rare original tweet.

I’ve met:

  • authors
  • speakers
  • mom bloggers
  • dad bloggers
  • fitness bloggers
  • health and nutrition peeps
  • affiliate marketers
  • leadership types
  • those darn sales people 🙂
  • musicians
  • artists
  • comedians

The list goes on and on. It’s been nice to meet so many new people, and reconnect with those who follow me elsewhere.

 

 

For the experiments, I’m going to reach out to a predetermined number of people over the period of one day in each iteration of the experiment, and give them a reasonable amount of time to reply.

I will look at things like:

  • Thank people for connecting, and follow-up with a question
  • Reply to a question that somebody has already posted that is clearly seeking a response
  • Retweet a post with a comment and ask a question
  • Send out a tweet suggesting that two people in my network get to know each other
  • Reply to some of the classic tweets that people post.. like when they are starting a vacation, just checked in somewhere, or clearly want to start a conversation
  • Thank people for retweeting my comment and then ask a question

If you are thinking that I’m going to be reaching out to Tony Robbins, Oprah or Ellen and am expecting a response, that’s not the goal. I’m going to reach out to every day people who have a moderate amount of followers.

I’m so excited to share my experiment results. If you have anything else that you want me to research and report back with, comment on this blog post, or send me a note via social media.

Let’s get social and keep this community growing!

I’m building a community of social beings, one by one, who want to be more social online & build just awesome personal brands. Never miss an update of my weekly Moosh’s Monday Mashup newsletter. Sign up below!

7 Simple Face-To-Face Networking Tips

 

A conceptual vector illustration of an apple and orange shaking hands. Opposites attract or different but equal or perhaps a diverse partnership.

If you’ve been following my content for a while, you know that I’m a big proponent of taking social media connections and getting to know them better with face-to-face interactions. You can grab a coffee if they are local, set up a Skype call – whatever. Every online connection that I have seen and heard has always taken our “relationship” to the next level.

But what about casting even a wider net and attending local events with the goal of meeting new people?

This can be a little scary, if you are new to this type of networking. But trust me, if a guy who still stutters can put themselves out there, you can too!

I went to an event recently by myself, which requires a different strategy than going with a friend. I’ve found that going by yourself forces you to be more social. That “security blanket” of having somebody with you makes it easier to avoid contact with complete strangers. I highly recommend getting uncomfortable and going by yourself some time to take your networking to the next level.

Here are seven tips that I came up with after attending the event:

  1. Break the ice by making your first interaction of the night an easier one. If there are trade show booths set up, chat with somebody at one of them.  Or do a “warm intro” with somebody you are connected with through social media that you recognize, but haven’t actually met yet. If you see any of the organizers of the event, those are great people to speak with too.
  2. Listen more than you talk when meeting new people.  Be ready with a quick elevator pitch about what you do, but focus on asking them open-ended questions and sitting back and listening. It’s a good idea to have at least 5 questions ready to ask, even if you only use 2 or 3. There’s nothing worse than that awkward moment when you (or the other person) don’t know what to say next. Over time, make a list of questions that people seem to like answering the most, and use those again.
  3. Get other people’s business cards – then you are in control. If they only get your card, you are in trouble. Now you can only hope that they reach out, if you did not remember their name. Follow up with an email or social media interaction shortly after the event. What’s your next step to developing that connection?
  4. If you see two people that you know, that may benefit by knowing each other, introduce them. Get the reputation early on in your networking career of becoming a “master connector.”
  5. NEVER ever be salesy on that first interaction. Imagine how silly you will look if you’ve known somebody for 30 seconds, and get pitchy about what you do! They obviously can’t unfollow you at a networking event, but they can quickly make up an excuse to walk away 🙂
  6. Relax! You won’t be an expert at these events right away. Some days you will be on your game more than others, but your skills will get better over time, if you are open to learning from your mistakes
  7. Smile a lotALWAYS a great strategy!

This is what actually happened:

  • I approached a trade show booth as soon as I got there, and interacted with one of the people working at it. It was a bit of an awkward conversation, but served as my warm up for the night
  • I then recognize a contact from a referral group that I used to belong to. It was a great way to get social early in the evening, and catch up with somebody that I knew at another booth
  • I started a conversation with two people from vastly different industries and had a long chat with them. They were at the event together, and I made sure to ask questions specific to each of them, so one did not feel left out
  • One gentlemen came right up to me, and said he knew me. After I blanked for a moment, I realized that we had coffee before, and corresponded several times over the last few years. We sat together during the formal part of the event
  • I wanted to talk to a social media connection that I recognized, but she was very busy speaking to other people. I sent a follow-up note that I recognized her, and complimented her for asking a great question during the Q&A period of the presentation
  • I noticed one other person that I thought I knew, so I reached out after the event to see if it was them. I lost them in the crowd when the event was at its busiest
  • I had a brief chat with one of the organizers of the event, after they saw me signing up for email updates from their group at an event table
  • Thanked the two people at the event that had invited me, and made sure to connect with them on social media when I got home, followed by thank you emails

As I wrote this out, I realized that a lot happened in two and a half hours at that event! Every time I walk in to a new situation, there is that momentary pause where I have to take a deep breath before diving in and making it all happen. But once I do that, things just start to flow for me, and should for you as well.

I’d love if you shared some of your face-to-face networking stories, even if things didn’t work quite out as planned. This is an AWESOME topic to learn from each other.

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