Why You’re Stuck In A Job You Hate

Let’s face it, if you’re like most people, you’re likely stuck in a job you hate. Even if you quit your job and start your own business, you could find yourself stuck in a job you hate forever?

Despite finding success in the corporate world, I often found myself longing for a better way. I didn’t hate my job, I just hated things about it. I tried relentlessly to fix those things. After years of trying, I finally realized that the only way to fix a broken system is to destroy it and start over.

The One Reason I’m Keeping Meerkat and Deleting Periscope

Meerkat might have been the biggest star of this year’s South By South West (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas.  Just as quickly as it grew, it began to fizzle when Twitter launched Periscope a few days ago.  It doesn’t matter to me, I’m sticking with Meerkat for one simple reason.

Streaming through Twitter is a feature people have wanted for a while.  In January, Twitter purchased Periscope to bring the people what they wanted.  But Meerkat grabbed the first mover advantage by taking over SXSW.

How To Be A Visionary Leader

visionary leadership

On Christmas night 1776, General George Washington visionary leadership carried his troops across the Delaware.  On the other side they faced an opponent far larger, and more skilled and warfare than they. 

Michael Dell once arrived at a shareholders meeting wearing army fatigues.  He made a valid point.  The computer industry was warfare and he was planning to do battle. 

When Competition is Not Healthy

Competition is not healthy all the time.  There is a cliche that competition always brings out the best in people.  That is a lie. 

Competition always brings out a winner, but that may not always be the best person.  Tom Brady is a prime example.

The Why is the Way

Being a leader is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Leaders are those that are willing to take the tasks that others won’t do and ensure that they get completed in the best way possible for their team.

The journey is incredibly long and difficult, and it’s often one that others have a hard time seeing. In fact, many people who follow leaders don’t understand why it is that they are being asked to do something in particular, which may lead to discontent among the ranks.

What Happens When You Lose Your Voice?

Thursdays are my direct report days.  I have back to back meetings with the people who report directly to me.  But today, I’ve completely lost my voice.

Losing my voice brings into light just how much I rely on those around me.  Times like these reveal just how well a team meshes and I’m very impressed with mine.

This One Trick Increases Deep Sleep By 20%

I used to need 9 hours of sleep before I learned this one trick that increased my deep sleep so much, I now sleep less and have more energy each day. This is how it’s done.

This simple trick requires little more than tapping into our primal sleeping patterns. In 1992, the Journal of Sleep Research published research results in which participants had no access to clocks or sunlight. Interestingly enough, the participants soon had no idea what time of day it was and thus relied on their primal instincts to decide when to go to sleep.

How Long Should A Blog Post Be According to the Top 30 Bloggers

If you’re a blogger who has ever spent sleepless nights wondering if you’re doing the right things to become a top blogger, you’re not alone.  In fact, you’re in the majority of bloggers. Fortunately, this article will tell you exactly how to write the perfect blog post.  Don’t just take my word for it; this information is from the top 30 bloggers in the world.

How Long Should A Blog Be

To grow your blog, there are very few things you must do.  If your traffic isn’t rapidly growing, you’re missing one or more of these important things.  Don’t worry; this post will detail exactly what the top 30 bloggers in the world do to grow their traffic.

We’ve conducted extensive research on the top 30 bloggers in the world.  To do so, we used this list of the top 50 blogs in the world.  We ruled out the blogs that had multiple authors, since they were really just online magazines.  What’s left is priceless data that you can use on your own platform to become a world-class blogger with all the traffic that comes with it.

The first topic every blogger wants to know is, “How long should my posts be?”  This question is all over the internet with no definitive answer.

Michael Hyatt, a blogger on the top 30 list is an advocate for 500 word posts.  Seth Godin has made an insane impact on the world 40 words at a time.  Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Work Week, has built a tremendous online presence, 5,000 words at a time.

With all these successful bloggers writing posts anywhere from 40 to 5000 words, how is a new blogger supposed to know what to do?

Here is your answer to “how long should a post should be?”

450 Words – Of the 30 bloggers we researched, 20 bloggers averaged 450 words.

1800 Words – The other 10 bloggers averaged 1800 words per post.  This proves that it is possible to build a highly successful blog by writing long, intense and very deep posts.  However, our study shows you’d be two times more likely to succeed writing shorter, more frequent posts.

Scannable – The consensus among top bloggers is that your posts should be scannable and easily read.  Use bulleted or numbered lists in your posts.

Frequency – The 20 bloggers who posted 450-word posts averaged 3 posts per week with some delivering multiple posts per day.

The objective of a short post is for the reader to consume small amounts of easily digested information on a frequent basis.  This increases a bloggers overall exposure by releasing more potential landing points on search engines.  Studies also show that shorter posts are less intimidating and tend to be read more frequently. This post is an example from one of the top 2 bloggers in the world.

Do you prefer writing longer or shorter posts?

Real Artists Ship – The Difference Between Tools and Art

Steve Jobs was famous for writing on an easel during a 1982 company retreat, “real artists ship”.  This mantra would change Apple forever.  It solidified two things that would define the company for decades to come.

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The events surrounding the retreat forced Jobs to focus his team on product delivery.  They had dedicated themselves to creating a perfect machine.  The only problem, like many perfectionists, they had no product.

A product is not a product unless it hits the market.  Before the day it hits the market, it is just an idea.  Jobs recognized this and spurred his team to deliver a product, hence “real artists ship”.

This phrase, Real Artists Ship defined two aspects of Apple that would later make it the United States’ largest company.

1. Apple creates art.  While most computer companies were building machines that would help people work smarter, Apple was creating an experience.  This was evident by their unwillingness to license their software to “clone” manufacturers.  There are two rules to being a company of artists:

  • You must create an experience.  If you’re creating a tool to perform something, you are not an artist.  Art is not about the product.  Art is about the emotions one experiences when they interface with the product.  This is evident in paint, music, and movies.  No one buys a DVD to own a piece of plastic. They buy the DVD (the tool) to experience the emotions of the artwork (the film).
  • Your experience must WOW your audience.  If you interact with a piece of art that does not evoke strong emotions, it is bad art.  A tool simply has to do its job to qualify as a tool.  Art must answer a higher calling.  Art must perform.  It must reach into your soul and pull out something you didn’t know was there.

2. Apple delivers.  The MacBook Pro that I write this article on is proof that “real artists ship”.  A dent in the universe cannot be made by an idea.  It is made through physical impact.  Proof of that is the currently “anticipated” Apple watch.  The idea has made ripples, but without a product on the shelves, it cannot make an impact.  To deliver you must do these two things.

  • Accept your work.  You can always make something better.  This is the plight of a perfectionist.  If “real artists ship” then real artists must accept their work at some point as good enough.
  • Exceed expectations.  You’re only as strong as your weakest link.  If there is a flaw, people will find it.  The only way to get people to look past the flaw is to blind them with fascination.  Deliver art that exceeds expectations and people will be able to look past your shortcomings.

The genes of America’s biggest company share the heritage of it’s artistic creators.  If you desire to succeed in the marketplace, take a page from the Apple playbook and become a company of artists.  Everything you create should be art that delivers.  And never forget “real artists ship”.

5 Reasons Why Natural Gas is the Future Fuel of Choice

When I graduated from college, natural gas prices were at an all time high.  The industry was booming and everyone was saying that natural gas is the energy of the future.  When prices fell by half almost over night, I was still saying‚ “natural gas is the energy of the future”.  It is as true a statement today as it was then.

Natural Gas

My career has been spent in the natural gas industry.  No matter what the price has been, the fundamental economics of natural gas continue to be solid.  Natural gas, more than any other fuel in the world, has all the makings of the best fuel choice for our future.

As oil production continues to decline around the world, we are forced to begin looking into alternative sources of energy.  No other readily available fuel has what it takes to maintain our economy as a whole.  Nor is any other source as abundant.  The kicker of natural gas is that it is domestic.

This is what our future natural gas fueled society will look like.

1. Security – Gone will be the days where the United States is dependent on fuel from hostile nations.  We will no longer need to protect our interests in the Middle East.  The North American continent will be mostly energy self-sufficient.

2. Transportation – 94% of our imported oil is currently burned via transportation.  In the new natural gas fueled society, all our vehicles will run on CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas).  The stations look and operate the same as traditional gasoline/diesel fuel stations.  These stations currently exist and are rapidly being installed along the highways of our country.  Allied Equipment is the nation’s largest manufacturer of CNG Storage Spheres for these stations.

3. Pollution Drops – With such a drastic reduction in particulate matter, our climate will have a chance to correct itself.  Global Warming will no longer be a threat.  Gone will be the smog of LA.  Air quality will improve and so will the health of the nation.

4. Costs Remain the Same – Thanks to an abundance of natural gas and the relatively low cost of production, natural gas prices shouldn’t exceed the $10 to $15 a Mcf (million cubic feet) range in the future.  This will result in gasoline gallon equivalent prices of an average of $3.00 or less at the pump across the nation.  Many natural gas fired power plants are currently supplying power to the grid at competitive rates.  Increasing the number of these plants will keep electricity prices from rising.

5. We Export – The United States currently will become a net exporter, funneling money from other nations into our own economy.  We are the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas”.  With current Asian demand at $16 a Mcf, the price should only continue to rise. Two new LNG export ships are currently on order and the Panama Canal is being expanded to accommodate these ships.  The United States could export LNG within a few years.

This natural gas fueled society in the United States is a likely scenario as oil production continues to fall, conflict continues in the Middle East, and Americans become more comfortable with hydraulic fracturing.  My personal hope is that my 2-year-old son is able to live his adult life in this natural gas society.

People may think I’m crazy about natural gas.  The truth is, I’m crazy about America.  I’m crazy about our economy, our health, and our security.  For these reasons, I guess you could say I’m crazy about natural gas.