Most people who make money, generally choose to keep quiet about it because it brings unnecessary complications into their lives – one being beggars. If you know me, I’m not necessarily good at keeping attention off myself – or maybe it’s the mystery and vagueness about my work that attracts so much attention.
I get hit up on Twitter and Instagram more often than I would expect by people looking for handouts. Sometimes they want free consulting, or sometimes they want money.
The world owes you nothing
Contrary to what you may think, nobody owes you anything. No one owes you health, love, respect, loyalty, friendship, happiness or money. For some reason people think they’re entitled to my help and get upset when I don’t offer it. If you can’t respect that, then I probably won’t respond.
I already helped
The reason I wrote a book is not to make money. In fact, it costed more to write it, edit it, promote it and launch it, than it generated in royalties. The book was my way of telling my 60,000 word story to as many people as possible, as I was getting tired of repeating the same story to everyone in my life. So when someone hits me up for help and they haven’t even read my book (not even a pirated version), I lose interest in helping immediately.
Okay so $8.00 is too much to spend on an ebook that I sunk thousands of hours into. You could ask your library to stock it. Every library has a form you can fill out and they’ll buy and stock a book for you – just go request it. Or, have you read my blog, or any of the content I put out across the web? I’m chatty and I’m always writing or giving out free knowledge somewhere. Google me and scroll through the first 10 pages. You’ll find lots of material to keep you busy for the evening.
People pay for my time
I charge for my time – shocker, right? You don’t work for free and neither do I. My consulting starts around $300 per hour and companies are happy to pay for it when they think I can help them with something.
As always, if you’re an enjoyable and pleasant person to be around or to talk to, I don’t mind helping with the odd question, and neither do most entrepreneurs. You can send me questions via Twitter, where I often reply.
Until recently, there has been little effort on trying to create retirement income plans except for the formulation and acceptance of the 4% rule. Pfau has built a short career in the retirement field, but he is one of the best in the economics of retirement planning. In his book, he explores through models for retirement planning and approaches driven by expectations. The volume is for readers good with statistical analysis and have the financial expertise to implement high-level recommendations.
The author in a methodical approach and lengthy analysis of historical data and projections defines every method that he has suggested for retirement income planning. He lays out the processes and assumptions that he has merged in his simulations using Monte Carlos simulations which have become a fundamental ingredient in financial planning.
Pfau suggests spending and investment tactics with possible outcomes based on predictions of the future economy.it also states the relationship between spending and returns with ways to modify to compensate changes which occur in conjunction with pensioner’s personal goals and risk tolerance. The book focuses on critical investment advice, highlighting the benefits of delaying Social Security payouts and explaining ways to come up with bond portfolio.
Wade groups his approaches as either probability based which require analysis using simulation software or safety first depending on its risk of failure. He generates a sampling table (pg. 32) of retirement income strategies that classify them into two approaches. Using graphs, he illustrates and makes it clear to those planning to be involved in managing their retirement funds should be patient to study to study the possibilities to invest wisely.
With analysis of William Bengen’s 4% rule which state that safe spending rate from accumulated wealth is 4% for the amount at the beginning of retirement and the same inflation-adjusted dollar amount annually for the next 30 years at most leaving no money at the end of that time. He finds the process as justifiable due to its high chances of success but that not all as other factors can come in.
In chapter 3 which familiarizes us with the sequence-of-returns risk whereby one could fail due to considerations in costs of investments based on the analysis of the returns to wide-ranging indices of asset class returns.
Finally, he sums up with the description of how to approach retirement planning. He describes an outline approach used by McLean Asset Management; his advisory firm which he is the director of retirement research in developing plans for his clients. His approach is reasonable and detailed and assumes that clients have an assured degree of investment sophistication thus allowing them to make informed choices but that not the case as many clients may be highly educated but lack sophistication. The final chapter lacks the summary of all that had come before and did not recommend the approach one should use among the analyzed. The volume is a comprehensive and well-written guide to retirement preparation for those with financial knowledge.
The author starts by claiming that the world has become a lonely place and no one feels indeed connected with someone. The world over the last century has increasingly become detached from our societies and that a large number of Americans have never interacted with their neighbors.
In social media, big businesses have introduced new tools to make it a mass marketing platform to mass audiences. Marketers have come up with automation tools like HubSpot and Buffer to pump out streams of generic memes and article reviews. Social pages such as Facebook and Twitter are now filled with ads and company promotional posts. Tools such as Instagress, Salcedo, and Archie have been used to set out automation to make company likes, comments and follows. This has taken out the ‘social’ out of social media.
The power of Intimate attention.
The secret is connecting with one person at a time. While prominent organizations are sending emails to thousands of subscribers based on their list, you will send one email to one person. As ‘goliaths’ are sending filling their social media pages with memes, you just answer a question for one person in an online group. While Goliaths are using social channels, i.e., Bullhorn you will start a real conversation with a person. Kevin states that it helps in beating the competition from big companies.
He clarifies in simple terms and handy techniques on ways to create a loyal fan base who will respond to call for action and ways to deal with trolls, beggars, and complainers.
Kevin pointed out businesses and individuals who don’t give their responses even though having given them a lot of money for products and services and when he asked for contribution to his book he got no response
Kruse emphasizes the value of personal attention, intimate attention (as he called it) in a modern world of fake or shallow connections. He claims that it is better to have a small and an engaged list than huge list emails and followers. Stories from high profile folks such as millionaires, rock stars, and celebrities have confirmed that it becomes a nuisance when they attempt to develop personal connections with their followers.
Kevin states that the real key to intimate attention is the consistency such as replying to each mail and messages on social media.
The book also has a portion where there are records of highly successful people’s mini-interviews as it provides more understanding and perspectives on how Intimate Attention can be cultivated on difficult platforms which are suitable for their businesses and it increases revenue.
The content of the book is useful and functional to readers. Through practical illustrations especially in “text me” part, it becomes an effective method of leaving a mark in a reader’s memory. He shares his experiences which becomes an essential aspect in couching readers. The book is a useful guide for small business owners, freelancers, bloggers and leaders who want to grow their active audience.
According to the author, crowdfunding for social good is about aiding someone to invest yourself as a social entrepreneur. It’s useful in fundraising, and it’s determined by your ability to access money from your network. It has proven to be successful in raising a startup without debt or equity crowdfunding.
The book states that there are four models useful today for crowdfunding;
Donations – offered only that you will carry out the stated purpose, i.e., feeding orphans.
Rewards – there are many ways in which one are offered rewards. I.e., Bands promise CDs to fans to get funded.
Debt – this is when money is raised with the exchange of repaying it back with interest.
Equity – though it’s still not regulated one is allowed to raise funds.
Devin states that most campaigns, however, raise much less money but equity crowdfunding raises much more money than rewards and donations. There has been fast growth and has become an important means of raising funds for nonprofit organizations and many social ventures.
The book profiles instances in which people or organizations have had success in their crowdfunding efforts.
In chapter 2 some events occurred to Jennifer that made her change her life mission. The diagnosis of her mom with lung cancer who was in Nebraska while she was in Phoenix was behind her creation of the SMAC (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer). Her passing increased her passion for campaign awareness on funding for lung cancer. Jennifer turned to crowdfunding site Start Some Good to launch her social enterprise.
For instance, eight-year-old Vivienne Harr chose to pursue to put to an end child slavery and made her life’s work. She has been successful in raising half a million dollars through crowdfunding to achieve her dream.
Another example is Martha Griffen who wanted to help her son who was born with a birthmark on his face. She wrote a book called Sam’s Birthmark to celebrate what makes him different from others and was able to get $35,000 to publish it through funds.
Thorpe lists some issues that affects the success of your campaign. The image you portray increases the cause’s appeal. The urgency of the more tragic and sudden the situation, the easier it is to raise funds for disaster relief. Campaigns work best when a project or an event is associated with them. It is easier to raise funds if you are already a part of a community who are connected with your cause. The more the people you have in at the center of your network the higher the chance of having a successful campaign.
For one’s team to be effective it is comprised of partners, champions, and boosters. Partners are officially involved in the project, i.e., startup partner. Champions are people outside the circle but help in the campaign. Boosters are fans and friends you can count on to help but not formally committed to the cause of the campaign.
This book distills the teachings learned from successful social entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations into actionable and applicable steps that anyone can follow to raise money for their purpose.
The book is meant to help companies to cope up with the change that is happening all over the globe. It’s called Future-proof because it gives the reader a framework, a methodology, and tools which will transform any organization into the sort of the company where change often turns into opportunities and success. It focuses on companies which are highly adaptive such as Nike, Ford, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. The book states that if you are a business owner today, the business will either radically change in the next ten years by fading or dying.
Young companies have focused their attention on a possible approach to technology incorporation and market leadership that combines the best of the old and the new.
It studies how choices are made and achieved to make the right decisions while other companies fail to do so. It also figures out ways to evolve with the changing times. The results show that the companies focused on seven fundamental pillars that when they are combined they created a right mix of mindset, skills, and abilities that are adaptive, fast in innovation and turns change into a strategic advantage. These seven pillars of the area of focus are; experiences, people, change, leadership, culture, technology, and innovation. Every company studied showed that it invested and prioritized in its ability to make itself future proof
Good business has continuously been about creating a consistently fantastic experience. The success of a company is determined mostly by one’s emotions this is because decisions made whether logical, facts and real-world are never immune from feelings since preferences and personal bias towards a particular brand or a good influence the purchase. Some companies can impress their customers consistently and includes Apple, Disney, and Tesla.
By 2020, millennials will comprise about half of the global workforce; this helps in understanding the changes in transforming workplace and collaboration tools. Millennials rely on efficient workflow which is largely different from those of our predecessors that has vastly led depression of millennials due to limitations of productivity and collaboration tools by past eras. This has led to developing apps, mobile devices, and social media. Tools such as emails which are full of inefficiencies are being replaced by fast messaging apps, desktops by laptops which has reshaped workplaces to fit their collaborative styles.
Most successful companies put change at the heart of their business model. This is because customer behaviors progress faster than companies, therefore, it is essential to respond quickly to make the difference between winning and regular brands.
Unlocking innovation potential and become game changers in their own right.
As stated in the book; deep awareness of data is vital in planning and implementation of strategies. Collection of useful information and requires knowledge to convert data obtained and prioritize developments.
Culture is the most important as it’s the building blocks of a future-proof business. The business should be set according to their beliefs and ways of life to be accepted.
Pia Silva’s latest book narrates how the author and her husband Steve changed fortunes of her graphic design company Worst Fall Design from being in credit card debt of $40,000 to making $500k within 12 months. They achieved this through making their brand unique and standing against the particular aspects of their industry that were damaging. They gave their ideas to clients who were struggling and helped them gain success on their terms.
Pia first had to let go two employees that were increasing their debt monthly trying to pay them. This made her feel crushed as she anticipated her plan to work on creating a traditional agency that grows according to expectations. Money saved from letting the staffs leave reduced the pressure they had and prevented them from going deeper into debt.
By stepping back from traditional agency model, the company formed a smaller product that they enjoyed and became a favorite among their networking clients whose picks had become high-priced. The product was called Brand Up Whereby Pia and her husband were able to sit down with the firm and do all in a day. After a brief discussion with the clients, they would come up with graphic design elements, business cards, and websites.
By the time Pia revamped her business she had stalled deals like most agency owners. She reached out to her clients and offered them the Brand Up process; a focused and unique service for a fraction of the price. She managed to close four out of five deals.
Chapter four lays out a formula including four angles in which an entrepreneur can achieve his plans. This includes;
Determining your target market who are most paying and profitable
Developing your brand personality to stand out from the crowd to grow competition
Offering your lead product which you can sell at flat and affordable rates and should be visibly defined
A superior version of lead product that you want to upsell
In her book, she claims that you have to be passionate about your small business to accomplish success, and that a company without profit is not a business but a profession without security. Pia claims that building a business is tough and one should put in all the effort even if they don’t like. Also, there is the fast-technological advancement, and it’s important when one learns on ways to take advantage of your knowledge in a new technique to get you stability back.
The author is anti-corporate to a point where she turned down a client since it was an e-commerce website, which wasn’t their firms’ field.
The book fits with the author’s narrative through storytelling as a method of influence and coaching. You get a sense that through the initial stages, they are learning lessons then implementing them in chapter 4 and later chapters to prove the legitimacy of the teachings. She emphasizes that she and Steve are going through a jungle with the reader and the path they discovered kept them and their self-employed friends.
Most creative people have tons of ideas. Regardless of what you or others may think, most of your ideas could probably be profitable. Lately I’ve been looking at new ideas in a different way. I’ve been sorting them by time – in two ways.
First, time to market. How long is this idea going to take to get users, and eventually sales? I am getting bored of doing software companies that are 6-18 months in development before I start seeing money and that is on the quick side of things in the startup world. I am starting to turn to my ideas that show signs of potential revenue within 30 or 60 days.
Second, is the idea reliant on time? Is there an advantage to launching the idea now vs waiting 6 months? If it can wait 6 months, you should always wait and look at something that needs to be done now. There’s very little benefit in rushing to market if the idea isn’t time sensitive.
When I get a new idea, I like to sit on the idea for a few weeks, sometimes months or even a year. You can only do this if the idea isn’t time sensitive – something evergreen. What happens with most people is they get a new idea and execute based on spur-of-the-moment emotion, then few weeks later, they’re either burned out due to overworking on something they had no interest in, or it wasn’t as good of an idea as they initially thought. Usually bad ideas can still be executed into profitable businesses, but if you truly can’t stay interest after the honeymoon phase has passed, you’ll have a tough time bringing your venture to profit.
This is an informal response and my initial raw thoughts on The Follower Factory. Excuse any typos.
Saturday, The New York Times published The Follower Factory, which explains the age-old story of celebrities purchasing fake followers. The article exposes Devumi, a company that manages 3.5 million fake social media accounts so they can offer social-boosting services to high profile people. I was first surprised when I heard the company was based in America, as it’s quite common for companies based in India and other countries to take advantage of the offshore benefit by offering social media services and software. FollowLiker is one off-shore software that can be blamed for millions of spam likes, comments, follows and DMs sent to Instagram and Twitter users every month. If any social network knew who was responsible for it’s creation, a lawsuit would commence as they regularly have in the past against its competitors.
The NYT concluded the company has likely provided over 200 million followers, which I don’t think is that many in the big scheme of things. FollowLiker generates more than that on a monthly basis. Kim Kardashian has 106 million followers, which I’d bet more than 50 million of those are fake. Some may argue she runs engagement rate that averages a solid 2%. While 2% is an impressive engagement rate at that level of fame, the likes, to a degree would also be purchased. There’s too much money at stake for her to not keep that rate above 1%.
The problem with a lot of Devumi’s competitors, is the purchased followers look fake. The names look fake – the biographies, the profile picture, the location – it usually just doesn’t make sense and the profiles can be spotted easily. They are one of the most unique services on the market, since they’re able to offer American names, with realistic profile photos and the whole bit.
What writers Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Richard Harris and Mark Hansen don’t understand is that these services aren’t just used to benefit others, but also to harm others. Allow me to explain.
Being someone of moderate success at a young age (for those who don’t know me), I’ve gathered a few people who are jealous of that and look for ways to harm that or disrupt my wellbeing. Yesterday I woke up to the notification of hundreds of followers being added to my Instagram account every few minutes. For one thing, that’s sure to annoy me for the duration of the campaign, but also put a real cap on my future engagement rate and not to mention the embarrassment of someone calling me out for buying followers when I really didn’t.
I can block the followers. I can report them, too. However, I don’t have the time to do it for thousands of accounts that can be added at the click of a button. I can turn my profile to private, but that just leads to thousands of follow requests that I don’t have time to individually deny. Instagram does not have the methods in place to handle such an incident, and frankly, they don’t care.
The NYT also drew some far-fetched conclusions on the customers of Devumi. They say there were court records on this but I didn’t see any links to sources, so I’m going to conclude that because NYT discovered that Devumi has accounts that follow celebrities, they believe those celebrities purchased followers from Devumi.
First, understand that companies like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram understand exactly how normal users act when signing up for a social network for the first time. There are specific actions and mistakes that a real person makes when signing up. They click in certain places. They pause on certain pages for certain amounts of time. As soon as someone doesn’t correlate with the data of real users, an account is locked, the IP address is flagged and it causes a lot of issues for companies trying to create fake accounts at scale. It gets complicated quickly.
There’s a page in the Twitter signup process where Twitter asks you if you’d like to follow any famous accounts and it suggests about 20. I dare you to click the little “skip” button and see if your account gets locked. I’m sure it will. So, to properly scale out a mass account registration campaign, you’d need to follow celebrities. Either when you’re prompted at registration, or later on, you mix in your followings with celebrities so it seems natural. Most people follow celebrities, so fake accounts should too.
Another reason why fake accounts would follow celebrities is so that Devumi’s clients cannot get discovered. What if their arsenal of accounts only followed people who paid for it? Well Twitter could wipe all of Devumi’s clients by looking at the followings of 1 fake account, which is what happened to one of my Twitter accounts upon testing this.
So just because an arsenal of fake accounts follows a celebrity, it doesn’t mean that celebrity volunteered to be involved. A company like Devumi would just be using that celebrity, to fool the social networks – and apparently The New York Times reporters too. I’d expect Michael Dell’s name to be removed before he realizes what they’re accusing him of.
What’s amazing is that if they actually control 3.5 million accounts, they’d need 3.5 million unique, low-risk, residential IP addresses to manage those and the only company on Earth known to provide that is of course, Luminati, but that’s a story for another day.
Questions? Comments? Hit up myself or any of the writers on Twitter. Kudos to the writers, it was a fun read. Good work.