Managing The 6 Inches Between Your Ears

The Internet Marketing Mindset – Managing The 6 Inches Between Your Ears

For internet marketers and SEO’s, 2013 served up a bunch of challenges and controversies;

Google flexed their muscles on web-spam, black and white animals spoilt weekends, posts claimed “SEO is dead”, in-fighting amongst industry peers, clients demanding more for less, silos being ripped apart and new buzzwords that confused more than helped. Yep, 2013 was not for the squeamish.

So I’m going to set a challenge for each and every one of you: make 2014 the year you thought for yourself, followed your instincts, invited tomato throwing (seriously) and stood on your own two feet.

Is this a rant? Nope. It’s a wake-up call to managing what’s goes into your head, how you mentally process stuff and how you can move forward and kick arse in the way only you can.

It’s also a nudge to remember why you do what you do – otherwise known as your “why”.

Managing What Goes Into Your Head

montybrainRemember GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)? The online search industry is awash with (stupid) blog posts preaching everything from the use of comment spam and link networks to dis-avowing “all the links” and forgetting SEO altogether with “content marketing”.

They’re everywhere, but I can’t stress this enough: separating the wheat from the chaff and learning from those who know what they’re talking about should be your priority in 2014, if you want to learn and grow. In fact, if you serve clients and they look to you for advice and guidance, it’s your responsibility to do so.

With cowboys and cheap, low value firms rampant in our market-place, let your knowledge, understanding and integrity be the reason why new clients choose you, not the reason they look elsewhere.

This could mean investing just ½ day a week in re-educating yourself on how search is evolving (semantics, entities, spam, trust and authority). Tell your boss that your agencies’ reputation (and survival) depends on it. If they don’t listen, find a company that does.

And Twitter? Don’t get me wrong, being helpful, advising and sharing is great and builds your authority. But treating your feed as an hour-by-hour source of divine knowledge can really mess with your head, especially if you sub-consciously disagree with comments. My suggestion: add reputable online marketers to a Twitter list and take a little time every day to review it – not minute by minute. Yep, gold-dust can wait ‘till you’re ready.

How You Mentally Process Stuff

Those who read my comments online know I tend to get a little “mental” once in a while. That’s because how we process things within the 6 inches between our ears is a biggie. And like a garden, if your 6 inches isn’t continually tended too, weeds grow.

Emotions and SEO don’t appear often in the same sentence online. Yet emotions often dictate how well or poorly we perform our daily tasks.

Take “creativity”. When you’re feeling on top of the world, nothing fazes you and you create, write or design master-pieces. But when you feel like you’ve been hit repeatedly by Mike Tyson, excelling at what you do becomes a lot tougher.

So every day, work at improving yourself internally. The better you become at processing and managing emotions and feelings, while validating information and concepts, the more rewarding your work (and life) will become.

We’re all in an industry that solves problems and your ability to solve complex problems can have a direct impact on your earnings potential, career prospects and overall state of happiness and satisfaction.

Moving Forward: Kicking Arse In Ways Only “You” Can

This is the part where we get more personal. Ask yourself:

• Why am I in this industry?
• What floats my boat?
• What part of internet marketing sends me into hysteria?
• With all that 2013 threw at me, how will I make 2014 count?

This might be the first time you’ve been told this, but here goes: you’re unique!

There’s not another person on Earth who thinks, feels or lives exactly like you. Nor is there anyone who has experienced exactly the same as you and nor will there ever be. Kind of liberating, isn’t it?!

What the hell has this go to do with the internet? Everything.

Instead of trying to emulate so-called digital “rock-stars” or social guru’s, take stock of your unique talents, experiences and strengths and begin to think for yourself, trust your beliefs, follow your instincts and stand on your own two feet.

Let me repeat: there is so much within you that others need to hear, so dare to be different, tenacious and say what you mean. Play to your strengths and don’t hide behind others viewpoints if yours are different – speak out and follow your heart. Your sanity, your clients and your livelihood depends on it.

The best part? The more “you” you are, the more you can help colleagues, peers and clients build authenticity, trust and credibility by being “themselves” too – it’s a win / win upward spiral and it’s un-duplicatable.

To strengthen those 6 inches in 2014, here are a few pointers to consider:

• Constructive criticism is good – if someone offers it, see it for what it is: an opportunity to grow
• Search engines will continue to become smarter – work with them while keeping the user a priority
• Don’t cut corners – if it’s immoral, unethical or downright dirty, don’t do it. Mirrors don’t lie..
• Start with the end in mind – work towards positive outcomes and adapt where necessary
• Resist the temptation to call someone out – none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes
• Take time out – if you feel overloaded or too stressed, walk away and return with a clearer head
• Enjoy your successes – don’t be so busy to not enjoy the fruits of your labour
• Learn from your failures – you have a choice to become bitter or better. Choose the latter..
• Manage your time – we all have 24 hours a day, it’s what you do with yours that determines your success
• Saying “no” and walking away – pre-qualifying and avoiding bad-fit clients saves migraines later

Let’s raise a glass to mental toughness and in ending 2014 as better and stronger people. What do you say?

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