Great Things Come to Those Who Act

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying…

“Good things come to those who wait.”

It’s solid advice for having patience and understanding that timing is important, because it is.

But, it’s also an easy excuse for procrastination and complacency.

Sometimes we just need to take action. Sometimes we’ve already been given what we need (ideas, permission, resources, etc) but we let fear hold us back.

GOOD things do come to those who wait, but I’m of the opinion that…

…GREAT things come to those who act!

Only you know which you REALLY need to do.

Measuring Facebook’s Most Engaging Pages & “People Talking About This” Percentage

A few weeks ago I started to evaluate some of the Most Engaging Facebook Pages (ranked by interactions) to see what their ratio of total Fans to “People Talking About This” was. My goal was to establish what their “Talking About This” % might be so that I could use it as a guide. I’ll share what I found after analyzing the Top 20 Most Engaging Facebook Pages below but first let me set the stage with some perspective on social media and engagement.

If you are trying to build a brand, sell a product or create a following (aka Tribe) with social media, you need to understand something that is extremely important for your long-term success.

It’s NOT just about the number of fans / followers that you can accumulate!

You must have fan engagement in order to truly succeed.

There are plenty of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages with hefty follower counts but horrible engagement. You don’t want that. You want good, quality followers who interact.

Think of it like this… if you throw a party and 1000 people show up you would be pretty excited. You might even brag about it. Some might consider the fact that you got 1000 people there to be “Social Proof” that you have an audience or a platform. At first, from the outside looking in, it might appear that you’ve succeeded. But have you?

Just getting them there is only a small part of the equation. It’s what you do after they are there that really counts.

Pick up from the party idea… what happens if those 1000 people don’t engage? When they just sit around, lean up against the wall and don’t interact? The party would be pretty lame wouldn’t it? Most people would soon get bored and stop paying attention or just leave.

On the contrary if your party is happening and people are talking, finding value and having a good time… they will stay and most likely invite their friends to stop by as well.

You see, social media is like a

The Danger of a Habit Becoming a Ritual

When you think of a habit, what comes to mind?

For me, my first thoughts are: good habits, bad habits, and Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

We all know bad habits are those that we need to break but what about the dangers of the good habits?

I rarely hear much about that.

Since habits are really just behaviors repeated to a point where they become regular, somewhat automatic actions, they also can create a hidden pitfall that we must intentionally be aware of.

It’s what happens when a good habit becomes a ritual.

And by ritual I mean a set of actions that over time become performed mainly for their symbolic value.

No one intends for it to happen but it does.

It’s when those good habits become “the motions” that we go through because we know we need to do them but we begin to lose the real meaning of why we are doing them in the first place.

Know what I mean?

I’m not talking about common tasks… I’m talking about the habits that really matter.

For instance, before every meal my family prays. It’s a habit because we do it at every meal but there is also the danger of it being a ritual because… we do it at every meal. There is that underlying opportunity for us to just go through the motions of the “good habit” and lose the real meaning of what the habit is supposed to be about. I don’t want that to happen so I am choosing to recognize it, discuss it with our family and make sure we don’t slip into the trap of complacency that even a good habit can bring.

It’s not just about habits at home or in our faith though either. It’s just as important at work.

Every day we show up and go through the tasks and the routines, many of us even developing outstanding habits that make us efficient and productive BUT if we lose the meaning… the WHY… then we’ll begin to see a decline or experience those feelings like we’re just going through the motions. No one wants that so decide to be aware and not let that happen.

The dangers are there but if we stay conscious of them and intentional about them, we can be more than effective with our habits… we can be people who have habits that really matter.

10 Tips for a Meaningful New Year (and Life)

Most of us start the new year focused on ways to maximize our productivity, health, finances, etc. While each of those are certainly good, it’s also important to start the year with the right perspective.

Below are just a few simple thoughts / reminders on how to have not only a meaningful new year but also a meaningful life. Feel free to add a comment at the end and share a few of your own tips as well.

1. Put God First. Your relationship with God is what matters most. Seek Him, trust Him, obey Him, and let Him guide your life! It’s not about a religion, it’s about a relationship (with the God who loves you and who wants great things for you)!

2. Make Your Family a Priority. No matter what goals you have or what you want to “achieve,” don’t let those “things” get in the way of your family’s happiness. Spend time with those you love, be present, make them feel important, and let your actions prove how much you care. Your family matters more than money or your accomplishments.

3. Treat People Right. Be intentional with others, treat them as you want to be treated, take time to appreciate them, spend time with them, encourage them, support them and make them feel like they matter (because they do). Do this at home, at work, at school, at the grocery store, etc. Do this with people you know and with people you don’t. Try your best every day to make someone else’s day.

4. Don’t Settle. You were called to do something more. Don’t live a life simply seeking “comfort.” Comfort leads to mediocrity and you’ll regret it in the end. If you’re feeling called to make a difference, you can, but you must take action now.

5. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters who say that it is impossible or you can trust that with God, faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible (because they are).

6. Focus on Solutions. Don’t focus on problems, they are plentiful and never ending. Instead be a Solution Seeker, one who looks for opportunities in everything. Remember, where there is a will there is a way.

7. Overcome Adversity. We all face challenges and hard times. The key is to remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome. Rise above, don’t let your circumstances stop you. Circumstances are temporary and with determination, perseverance and faith… you will overcome.

8. Don’t Chase Success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you.

9. Stop the Negativity. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, negative people (aka Energy Vampires), issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in what you can control… your own thoughts and actions. YOU have the power to choose a positive path or a negative one. It’s not up to anyone else but you.

10. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation. Be grateful.

What are some of your tips for having a meaningful year / life?

Leave a comment below.

*Some of these tips were inspired from my friend Jon Gordon and his “20 Tips for a Positive New Year,” another outstanding list. (Read here).

A How to Change the World (and Your World) Manifesto

It’s one thing to talk about changing the world…

It’s something totally different to actually do it.

And by “do it,” I mean to set out with an intentional goal or plan to create the change that we wish to see.

And, “the world” doesn’t have to just mean “the world” as in the planet with its 6 BILLION + people. “The world” can mean your world too… your individual sliver of it and sphere of influence within it (but here’s the neat part… when you change your world, you also change the world at the same time).

A lot of us talk about wanting to make change but what do we do? Keep talking? Dreaming? Searching for the roadmap or the “3 Easy Step Guide” because we’re feeling overwhelmed or like we don’t know where to start?

Honestly, that’s all an excuse and most of us know it.

Excuses are plentiful and convenient even though we don’t like to call them that. They help us justify not doing anything but they keep us talking. They help us feel better about pushing it off yet another day or bowing down to the busyness of life that wants us to settle instead of break free.

In Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” commercial campaign it said this:

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

And while that may indeed be true… thinking we can alone isn’t our main problem, is it?

It’s what comes next.

It’s the action part… the follow through… the hard work… the sweat… the tears… the risk… the being uncomfortable in a society where we’re taught that our primary goal should be to remove risk and seek comfort in all that we do.

I’m sorry to break the news but real change… I mean REAL change… doesn’t happen like that. It’s not found in the pursuit of being comfortable.

Real change comes at a cost.

But the question is… do you want it bad enough to pay it?

Whatever it is that you want to change… either in the world or in your world… you must ask yourself that question.

Do I want it bad enough?

Talk is talk and ideas are a dime a dozen but if you REALLY want it then you’ll go after it and do whatever you can to make it so.

That’s when change occurs. That’s when we make a difference that really matters.

I can talk all day about wanting to help end poverty or I can get off my rear and do something about it NOW. I can sponsor a child via Compassion International or donate to sustainable solutions like Kiva. I can start something in my local community to help those in need or I can simply go and volunteer to help where I can.

I can talk all day about wanting to write a book and inspire millions of people or I can start writing and inspiring NOW. I don’t need to take a class or follow every bestselling author on Twitter or learn the secrets of whatever… what I need to do first and foremost is write and inspire.

Do you see the point?

It doesn’t have to be complicated but we tend to over complicate it, don’t we?

It’s really quite simple.

We just need to start.

We need to take action… not tomorrow but TODAY and every day thereafter.

No, it’s not going to come easy. After all, nothing worthwhile is. But, if it’s worth it and if you really want it… stick with it and it will come.

We don’t have to change the world overnight but we can change the world every day.

Are you crazy enough to believe that you can?

More importantly, are you crazy enough to actually take action?

I hope so. The world, your world, awaits…

TRUE INFLUENCE: Followers vs Fans and Why the Difference Matters

This post takes off of the Quality vs Quantity post from last week but expands on it in a different way…

This may be shocking to some of you and perhaps not to others but I’ll lay it right from the beginning…

Numbers can lie.

But we’re still fascinated by them, aren’t we?

It’s so easy to take the numbers at surface value and THINK just because someone has 100,000 followers on Twitter that they are more influential than someone who has 2,000. Right? You probably do it…, I know I do sometimes… a glance at someone’s profile, see they have X number of followers and immediately our brain ranks their perceived influence (based really on their perceived popularity).

Same goes for Facebook. Same goes for email newsletter subscribers. Same goes for just about anything we can try to quantify based solely on what we perceive by the numbers.

But it’s all perceived.

That’s part of the problem when we try to measure influence simply by numbers. The numbers can be manipulated… quite easily in fact. There are plenty of ways to manufacture a following or to inflate the numbers these days.

True Influence isn’t just something you can measure at a glance. Its more dynamic than that.

I know plenty of people who have a very small presence on Social Media but their ability to create an impact is BIG. And the reverse is true as well… I know many who appear to have influence (because their following is big) but in reality, they can only move a small % to action.


The difference is this: Followers vs Fans

Fans are easy to come by. They aren’t committed believers, their more like casual acquaintances. There’s really no relationship built there yet… they might just like something you said once or have downloaded something and been placed on your list or even followed back out of courtesy.

Followers are something else entirely. They are the people who support you, who champion the cause and who are engaged. They are invested and there is usually some sort of relationship there than causes them to act when you encourage them to do so.

Fans can certainly become followers and that is the goal but the point of this post is this…

Don’t confuse the two.

Fans are not followers.

Just because someone else has what appears to be MORE, it doesn’t always means their influence is greater. Don’t worry about trying to be popular, going wide but seldom deep. Instead, focus on developing relationships and building up those who are engaged. As you do, followers will act and they will help bring in more followers instead of just more fans.

It’s much better to have a 1,000 who you can actually lead than 10,000 who aren’t really listening.