Category Archives for "Personal Development"

Transparency in Social Media

What is Transparency in Social Media?

Let’s talk a little bit about Transparency. Transparency is one of those social media marketing terms that you probably hear when being pitched a social media campaign, but what does it actually mean?  Traditionally, the term transparency is referenced in news media to tell the public why and how information is gathered from different sources.

What’s it mean in plain English though? You know…for the average person like you or me? It basically means I tell you who I received the information from so you know that it’s credible and that I was not the originator of the information. Online when you are doing business, transparency leads to credibility, it builds the trust from someone reporting information(me) by providing credible sources to the end viewer(YOU).

Transparency in social media especially when it comes to blogging and/or covering a product, brand or service means that’s I’m giving you an honest non-biased opinion or truth when I write or cover a particular topic. I do this a lot with book reviews and share what I learned from the books!

What does this mean for online business owners or people looking to get online? Online this can mean that, I am who I say I am online and that my reason for posting or having a discussion about a product, brand or service does not have any hidden agendas.  Or if I’m posting or having a discussion about a product, brand or service and was paid or hired to do so, you’ll know about it up front or it will be included in the conversations.

Why is transparency so important in Social Media Marketing?
Transparency is ALL about trust. With everyone trying to grab your attention online whether it is through a video, blog post, facebook ad or a tweet, trust that relationship marketing will be one of the key ways that brands will try to sell their services to customers. In other words brands and businesses will contact you saying ” you should blog out this, or can you tweet this”. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this but will you let your readers or subscriber know that you were paid to post content about a particular brand upfront or at all? If you are lying in your videos or product reviews, then people WILL find out. It might suck for those of you trying to “SCAM THE SYSTEM” but you shouldn’t be doing that anyway!

Will you sell using Social Media?

We’re in a time where companies will try leverage individuals who are community leaders or have a large audience for brand awareness. This is considered taking advantage of huge followings or the “People of Influence” in social circles. If you have a lot of followers on twitter, blog subscribers or subscribers in an email database you have the opportunity to leverage your community and establish a few relationships with brands who may want to reach your targeted audience. It’s something that we will call “selling their eyes”, to where you’re willing to push paid content to your community via product placement or sponsored ads. The best way to let your community know what you are up to is to be straight up honest with them about who you are and what you do, and also the fact that you get paid a small commission on each sale you refer.

Do you trust me?
There’s a lot of good and bad examples of transparency in social media and I’m not going say that I know everything about Social Media but I share what I learn and hope that it helps you. Anyway, I have an example about what happened to me over this past weekend. It’s quite a silly story actually and involves a heart being drawn onto my hand in PERMANENT MARKER!!! Then the next day I had a business meeting with someone who will be hosting a Social Media Marketing seminar in Buffalo, NY and I’ll be speaking there…. Oh boy it was funny :-p

How Can I Change Myself? The Power of Change.

“My life is a mess” Henry said softly.

“Yes, it is,”Jones agreed, “but only up to this moment.”

The younger man looked up. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that you can change. Now. You can change how you do business, how you treat your family, and how you treat the people whose working lives have been entrusted to you. You can change how you treat them. Right now.

Jones peered carefully into the eyes of the younger man as he continued. “Most people think it takes a long time to change. It doesn’t. Change is immediate! Instantaneous! It may take a long time to decide to change… but change happens in a heartbeat!”

This quote is from the story, The Noticer . The link is a link to a book review I did of this story and I recommend you check that out at some point. However, this post is all about YOU and CHANGE.

I decided to make a change after I had a difficult summer in 2009 and a relationship of 3 years was ended. I decided that I needed to take a look at myself and who I was becoming and make a difference in who I was becoming. My change started on September 7th, 2009 when I decided to listen to a Tony Robbin’s cd instead of go out drinking at the bar to drown my sorrows in a way that I was all too familiar with up until that point. After listening to the audio, I decided that on that day, I would change my life. It’s been quite a journey and I’ve changed a lot about me, limiting drinking, working out daily , eating healthier, and making the biggest change in my business. So enough about me…

The real question…. “What’s it take to change?”

One second is all it takes to change your life. However, actually living and staying with the change takes commitment and hard work. You can get through hard times and prosper. Everyone who has ever become anything has gone through difficult points in their life. Those difficult moments caused them to look at themselves, the place they were and to declare to themselves that they were going to make a change for the better. You hold the same power inside of you to make any change that you want.

The thing to remember

We are exactly where we are meant to be in this moment. No matter if you are a salesperson at a car dealership, a cook at a restaurant, a CEO of a major corporation, or a kid working as a dishwasher(my first job) you are exactly where you are meant to be at this moment.

You may think “but what did I do to deserve this life…” and you may be right in thinking that. However, you need to realize that it was our past decisions that brought us to our present moment. The great thing about this is that since we are in the present, we get to choose which decisions we make that will impact our future!

If you want to make more money you need to be either working during your free-time or educating yourself on how you can make more money in the current job that you have. There are millions of books out there that teach you any type of skill that you could ever imagine. If you are passionate about something, there are books written to teach YOU how to become an expert from someone’s who’s done it. If you want, you can learn to CRUSH IT!

We live in a time where information can be delivered to you instantaneously thanks to the Internet and if you want to get a book, you can head to your local library and rent a book for free or instantly download it in 60 seconds to your Kindle(affiliate link to buy a kindle). However, you can’t just read a book, you need to take action and apply the principles that are being taught in the book.Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and you don’t want to waste time!

Change is all about making the commitment.

As a man, commitment is hard as hell for me to grasp(typical man hehe). However, I’ve learned how to make commitments to certain things. One of these things is the concept of Kaizen or continuous incremental improvement and I have made the change to continuously improve myself in all aspects of my life.

I have found throughout my life that whatever is hard to accomplish is usually more than worth the commitment. If you want to be successful, you better be ready to fail and fail miserably at first. However, failure is temporary and if you commit to improving everyday, you WILL succeed. It’s just how life works, crazy I know but that’s how it is 😉

The BIG question… Are you ready to change?

If you are serious about wanting to improve yourself you must make the change. There’s no if’s and’s or but’s about it. You can change and it is in this very instant that you must make the decision.

Here’s an exercise to help guide you along on your journey of changing.

  • Take out a piece of paper
  • Write what you would like to change
  • Set out achievable goals to help you along your journey of change
  • Specify time periods to when you want each of these goals to happen

Simple, yet SUPER powerful….by writing down your goals you are making the commitment to making a change.

If you don’t follow through on what you have planned it is no ones fault but your own. I’m not going to tell you that because you quit you are going to succeed. I’m here to be a little in your face and say that if you fail…there is a reason and that reason is YOU.  You alone can control your destiny. Are you going to continue living life saying “What if?” and “if only I would have worked harder” or other BS things that people often find themselves saying when it’s 10 years down the road or are you going to say “man, I sure am glad I listened to Chris Hughes’ advice and made a decision and stuck with it”?

I recommend that you take my advice and make the changes…

Change is yours, TAKE IT!

Michael Phelps wouldn’t be where he is at right now if it wasn’t for the hard work and perseverance he put in in his past. He’s a great example of what can be accomplished if you work hard enough.

Feel free to share this post with anyone who might need to change and needs a little kick in the rear to get on the right path. Please share your comments and concerns as well! I’d love to help you with improving yourself!

How To Get Through the Toughest Times

“Big stuff is made up of small stuff, so you better sweat the small stuff!” 

We all experience tough times in our lives, it is what we do during these times that decides where we will be in a few years. These experiences shape our future and we can choose to power through them, or we can choose to do absolutely nothing. For both of our sakes, I hope that you choose to power through them!

If you believe that your life is getting worse and worse, whether it be physically, financially, and emotionally your life really is getting worse and worse.

However, there is something that you can do about it. This thing is to change your perspective on how you view each individual situation and how you react to it. Life’s opportunities for advancement and financial achievement come from people. Verbal and written encouragement come from people. It is true that specific people are put in our life for a particular reason, but in general, it is the people who are the delivery vehicle for opportunity and encouragement.

The reason that you may feel your life is getting worse and worse is because you are receiving fewer opportunities and encouragement than you could use.

Knowing that your opportunities and encouragement comes from other people, why are you not getting your fair share of these? The simplest reason for this is that NO ONE WANTS TO BE AROUND YOU.

If no one wants to be around us, we are not going to be offered opportunities and encouragement because they flat out don’t want to be around us, let alone offer us opportunities to be better.

The opposite of this is also true. There are certain people who seem to be getting opportunity after opportunity as well as a ton of encouragement. People who’s lives are getting better and better by the day. Each day they are offered a new opportunity or offered encouragement to do better than they previously have and this helps them to constantly improve and be better. This individual also never seems to be discouraged, but WHY?!

The reason why is that this person is a ‘people magnet’

This person is fun, happy, and exciting. This person is offered more opportunities and encouragement because they naturally attract it to them by being a people magnet.

“If you want folks to believe in you, then it really helps if they like you.”

Simply put…You want to become a person that others want to be around! No matter where you are in your life, you can change. You can become someone who people want to be around but it will take time.. A good book to read about this is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and if you click on that link, you’ll get a review of the book.

By becoming a person that others want to be around, you are granted the greatest success secret in existence. “A man or woman who has become someone others want to be around holds the world by the tail. He can get a meeting with any executive. Why? Because he is loved and appreciated by the executive’s assistant! He gets the listing, gets the sale or the promotion. He gets the extra help, the extra time, and the pay. He gets the chance, the second chance, and the benefit of the doubt. And all because people like him.” -The Noticer

“What is is about me that other people would change if they could?”

This single question can help you to become more liked by people. It may be hard to deal with up front, but it’s supposed to be. Life isn’t meant to be easy, now is it?

Other great questions that you can ask yourself are:

What is it about the way I dress that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I act that other people would change if they could?

What is it about the way I talk that other people would change if they could?

These are life changing questions and I hope you take the time to answer each one of these.

If you are in a difficult situation in your life, you should take the time to answer these questions and be absolutely truthful to yourself about your answers. Don’t fluff up anything, get down to the core. You may be going through one of the hardest points in your life, just remember that it can and will get better BUT you must take certain steps to getting to the best parts of your life.


Public Speaking Tips I’ve Picked Up

fearpublicspeakingPublic speaking is a common source of stress for everyone. Many of us would like to avoid this problem entirely, but this is hard to do. Whether we work alone or with large numbers of people, eventually we’ll need to speak in public to get certain tasks accomplished. And if we want to be leaders or achieve anything meaningful in our lives, we will often need to speak to groups, whether they are large or small, in order for us to be successful.

I’d like to share with you the top 10 list of global fears among people

Some surveys and research results show that most people rather die instead of talking in front of a live audience. This is a global fears top ten list that I found:

1. Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia)
2. Fear of death (Necrophobia)
3. Fear of spiders (Arachnophobia)
4. Fear of darkness (Achluophobia, Scotophobia or Myctophobia)
5. Fear of heights (Acrophobia)
6. Fear of people or social situations (Sociophobia)
7. Fear of flying (Aerophobia)
8. Fear of open spaces(Agoraphobia)
9. Fear of thunder and lightning(Brontophobia)
10. Fear of confined spaces(Claustrophobia)

What in the world is causing us to be so scared to speak in front of groups?

You know from experience that the typical presentation is average and not many people remember it anyway, so why are we so scared to give these presentations? I’d like to address this in this post and provide some practical advice that I have used to help me become a more effective communicator.

Let’s face it, people buy you with their eyes and if you are not portraying that you are comfortable and in charge of the presentation, people will question your authority no matter what information you present them.

The reason that I am writing this is because today I have given one presentation already(9am) and am giving another presentation at 3pm for two different classes on two different subjects. The first one I gave I got to incorporate juggling into as a plan of reducing stress during finals for college students. This seemed to have come at the right time for everyone seeing as how finals are coming soon…

The biggest reason for fear of public speaking is not understanding the content

During my college years, I have been asked to do presentations on certain topics that I truly did not understand when I first learned that I would be presenting on these topics. Literally, when I first found out about the presentation I thought to myself “Oh man Chris, you’re in trouble this time”. However, this is one of the first steps to fixing the fear.

What did I do next? I took the time to research and started to make sense of the information that I was to be presenting. After realizing that it was okay that I knew very little about the subject, I made it a point to LEARN about the subject and learn to teach the subject in a simplified way.

Let’s face it, the reason that we are scared to present many times is because we aren’t sure of ourselves with the information. If we take the time to learn it, we will become sure of what we are sharing and will be more than likely to have a presentation that accomplishes our goals.

The best way to learn is to teach…

If you have a presentation that is on juggling I recommend learning how to juggle first and then teach someone else how to juggle! However, if you have a presentation on nuclear physics, then I sure can’t help you with that but I bet that Wikipedia and a few industry experts have already broken it down for you so that you can even teach a certain segment of that to a group in a presentation. Start off by teaching even the basics, the simplest of things and finding a way to communicate these things to another person. We often learn a ton more by teaching another than we can ever learn by ourself.

Understanding the audience

When you are doing the research phase of your presentation, you want to understand who the audience is that you will be presenting to. Do they have any knowledge of the subject? Are they new, amateurs, experts? You need to take this into consideration when doing your presentation however if you are a newbie presenting to experts, you may be in the wrong area :-pbored-seminar-participants1-300x199

After you realize who your audience is, find out a way to present the information in a way that is entertaining and educational.

Edutainment– “Education through Entertainment”

More often than not, presentations are flat out boring. Snoozefests and non-memorable.

When presenting, find something interesting and fun to keep your audiences attention. For me, I personally try to incorporate juggling into my presentations as much as possible. The reason for this is because the majority of people are interested by juggling and it brings the attention to me at once. You don’t necessarily need to juggle to keep the attention of your audience but you could try some other things, many people incorporate jokes into the presentation and this helps to lighten the mood a little.

Things to remember

You Don’t have to be Brilliant or Perfect to Succeed: If you aren’t the worlds foremost expert on the subject you are presenting, it really doesn’t matter that much as long as you share some relevant information that will benefit your audience.

All You Need is Two or Three Main Points
: Don’t try to do too much, remember to Keep It Simple Stupid. Trying to cram too much into a presentation will make it unfocused and you will more than likely lose your audience.

and the last thing to remember is
Your Audience Truly Wants You to Succeed: think about it, the majority of people are happy to see someone succeed and are rooting for you to be a successful presenter. They aren’t out to get you and don’t want you to ultimately fail.

So, the next time you are worried about speaking in public, just remember these few tips! If you have any other tips or questions, I can write up another blog to get more in-depth on the subject 🙂

Is Positive Self-Talk BS?

self-esteem cat lion
You’ve probably read about it at least once in your life. Maybe you have read it in a book or heard about it on Oprah or any of the other TV stars who have had shows featured on positivity. You may have even heard of the book/movie The Secret. But do you really believe that positive self-talk is good for you?

Too many of these books, movies and TV shows just give you the basics to improving your life through positive self-talk. They tell us “you can become whatever you want if you are positive”. When I first heard this, I decided that I can make $1,000,000 in Network Marketing without any knowledge of marketing, business, relationships or anything. I sure fell for that!

Well it’s worked for the people in the movie and the book

I saw The Secret AND read the book. I was ready to make my million dollars. I wrote down my goal of making that money and thought about it everyday. I got excited when I was thinking about it and told myself that I already had the money. Getting excited each day I found myself having positive thoughts each day that the money was on its way to my bank account.

Too bad that just THINKING about the money and having positive thoughts didn’t bring me that million dollars. Boy was I disappointed. I waited a year trying to be positive the whole year. Still nothing. Wow, I must not be trying hard enough…

What I was missing….

After noticing that the money wasn’t just magically being deposited into my bank account I got a little pissed. I mean, what the hell? I am being positive and waiting for my money, WHERE IS IT!?!?!

Well, it turns out that there is something called the ACTION step that wasn’t mentioned too much in the book or the movie. I realized this about halfway through the year….I’m a slow learned sometimes. I started working more on improving myself and reading as much as I could about ways to succeed. I would read books on personal development, business building, entrepreneurship, identifying and capitalizing on strengths, books on time management, books on influence, books on sales, books on finance and books about anything that I could possibly learn about success and what needs to be done in order to succeed.

It was only after reading these and starting to implement and take action on the ideas I had that I started to notice a difference.

The change happens when you are ready for it…

I definitely was not in any position to be successful and that is the reason that I was not successful. I thought that I was ready and deserved to have a million dollars. Why wouldn’t I deserve it? I was 19-20 years old and I thought I knew it all. LOL. Little did I know that life knows when you are ready.

It took me a while to truly understand the fact that life wasn’t going to just give me something because I had positive thoughts about it. I needed to include a plan of action along with my positive self-talk in order for me to see even the slightest change in my life.

Life truly changes when you realize this. I accepted the fact that it was me who was responsible for my success. It was the actions that I take on a daily basis, the people I connect and surround myself with and the experiences that I have that create true success.

So, is positive self-talk complete and utter BS?

No. Positive self-talk is the first step along the path of improving yourself. It is an essential step and one that is easy to implement. Don’t try to control every single thought that you have, that’s flat out impossible…believe me, I tried 😉 Just take notice when you are having negative thoughts and make a little change to try and find the positive in everything.

Today, you can start to change your life. Let’s face it, you control your life. For me, I have chosen to be positive and to try to bring positivity into the lives of those around me. Feel free to join me on my journey, it’s going to be a fun ride.

If this post helps you, feel free to share it with everyone you know and leave some comments. I’d love to know any experiences you may have had.