This week’s theme is ‘broken’. It was a week where not every broken thing was harmful. Sometimes breakage can be a good thing, a very good thing, especially when it comes to rules. There’s a bit of an anarchist in all of us and when I can find a societal or business rule or convention to challenge, it’s almost as lovely as cuddling a friendly llama.

BROKEN word made with wooden tiles set on a timber background

Give value without expecting anything in return

Something keeps coming up for me over and over again. I keep seeing the signs and I know I need to pay attention. It’s my reticulating activating system (RAS) at work – my brain, not the universe, not a divine message.

Here’s one of those signs:

In a thoughtful piece on Medium, Tim Denning recently wrote 19 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Hear But Must (You’ll Be 10 Times Better For It).

Number 11 is the one that got the attention of my RAS:

11. Create value ahead of everything else.

That’s why I have no payment walls, masterminds or courses. When you create massive value for free, everyting you need comes at you at 100 miles an hour.

The question is whether you’ll help other people get what they need so you can get what you need.

You’ll never to have to worry about money again when you focus on creating the most value you can growing through personal development.

Tim Denning

I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuck and his Youtube Channel. Gary turns the traditional model of digital marketing on its head and advocates giving away everything for free. Even your best material that you think should be behind a paywall. That course you spend weeks or months creating? Give it away.

I came across this gem from Gary this week:

Put as much content out there as you can. There are people in your field who will hate you because you’ll be offering up information for free for which they often charge. That’s okay. When viewers need accounting help, who are they going to want to do business with, the guys who hoarded information or the person who proved himself to be open and honest and generous?

Gary Vaynerchuck

My RAS is telling me to give away all my valuable resources and knowledge for free via this website. I’m listening.

I will admit though that I’ve not yet created anything of significant value yet that makes me suck my breath in through my teeth at that thought. I get why some people might suck their breath in at the thought. I’m starting with a clean whiteboard.

The passive income Kool-Aid

I admit it. I’ve taken big deep slurps of the passive income Kool-Aid myth in the past. It’s not that I believe in true passive income or a 4-hour work week. But I’ve been dabbling in the online passive income world for a long time, about eight years, and actively for about three. I’ve made a modest income from my online adventures. A bit of extra pocket money here and there. And I absolutely love doing it. But it’s certainly not enough to replace my income or retire to my country property where I pat my pet llamas all day.

And that’s OK because I enjoy the consulting work I do. I enjoy trading dollars for my time. Yet I always come across people telling me that trading dollars for time is limiting my ability to make money. But for me, it’s not all about the money. I live a simple life, by choice.

And that work I do keeps me sharp, gives me more experience and makes me a better all-round content strategist. I know where I’m best suited – to the longer-term, big enterprise content projects – and that’s where I’ll focus to bring in more work, at least for the medium term. I feel good about this goal. I want to keep being a do-er, not a tell-people-how-to-be-a-do-er.

Maybe there’s a disconnect between this site and my consulting site, but maybe it will funnel the right people and the right kind of jobs through. I’m somewhat ironically calling it my ‘anti-sales-funnel’ funnel.

I’m looking at breaking the business norms of creating something of value, giving something small but valuable away to build my email list and then sell my high-value item to said list.

If you want it, you can have it. If you want to give me your email address, cool. If you don’t, that’s cool, too. You can still have my free things. Including the big ticket things I create.

Other lessons learnt this week

The Big Government Project went into meltdown this week. Somebody (not me) authorised a major upgrade of GatherContent. It broke. Not the good kind of broken, either. Support and communication to our team was almost non-existent (plus the time zone difference causes delays) and many GC team members were off to the US for a conference (also not ideal in the middle of a major upgrade).

It’s been rolled back, thank goodness. Back to regular business next week.

Shiny new online software toys tools

But the upside of my whinging about GC is that I discovered an Australian alternative. It’s called Content Snare and it looks really affordable for smaller budget projects. I’m going to look into it as an alternative to GC, not because of the upgrade issues, but because GC is like driving a Ferrari to the supermarket when sometimes all you really need is a reliable Corolla. I’ll check it out further and if it’s worthy of a write-up, I’ll review it.

I also discovered Coggle, a collaborative mind mapping tool. Who doesn’t love a good mind map? Looks like this tool will be freeing up plenty of space on my whiteboard. And it’s so pretty!

Over to you.

Is anything broken in your world? Anything that needs shattering? Let me know in the comments.


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