Lessons Learned: 1 Year Anniversary of Hustle or Bust: Where Old School Meets New School

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Looking in the rear-view mirror can be fun and enlightening.  I took a sentimental look back on July 4, 2013 at my 2 year mark on twitter: A Twitter Anniversary on America’s Birthday and learned a few things that shaped much of my current thinking.

Another “mini milestone,” is the 1 year mark of this blog:

Hustle or Bust:  Where Old School Meets New School.

This has been a fun project, one that started with few expectations other than to “unload the brain’s filing cabinet” at the near midway point in a career in business.  I compiled these lessons from a review of Google analytics plus some conversations along the way with my network.

Lessons and the value of experience

Overall Learning’s

  • It became clear early on that there is an entire industry on “building a perfect blog” that encompasses SEO, traffic generating tactics, plug-ins, commenting, theme design, social media promotion, etc.  It can be downright overwhelming!
    • My strategy?  Block it out!  Learn enough for an appreciation, but it’s easy to get consumed with it and spend 90% of your time in this space vs. putting out content.
  • Writing is like a muscle: It only grows stronger when you work it.  Correction, muscles only grow stronger when you work it hard enough to tear them down, so they can re-build.  One session in the gym won’t do anything, writing is no different.
  • Life tends to “blur” in a social world (and the real world too).
    • Some people do a nice job of “compartmentalizing” their life between work, family, friends & play time.  I simply do NOT, it all blends together.  It is hard to distinguish where blogging starts, social media ends, and everything in between.  They all need to work together with one cohesive (authentic) voice.
    • For the record, I hate the word “authentic.”  It’s one of those buzz words.  Give me the OLD SCHOOL “Real Deal.”
  • Like the marketplace, its very difficult to predict what resonates with people.
    • If I were handed a list of my 100 or so blog posts titles and was told to RANK the top 10 traffic generators, I would have only been 50% accurate.  Its borderline damaging to the ego to see (in your mind) brilliant posts that don’t get half the traffic of posts you thought were average at best.  There’s a lesson here for those planning-obsessed MBA types…..
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.  Mike Tyson
Image Credit: twicsy.com
  • By far the greatest source of satisfaction comes from the connections and relationships that result.  While not completely attributable to H&B, it certainly plays a role.  I cited 11 such relationships in The Coffeehouse Test for Online Relationships

Now For The Geeky Stuff:  Top Posts by Traffic According To Google Analytics

2 Critical Experiences for a CPG Marketing Career

When A Million Smiles Beats a Home Run

Innovation Rocket Fuel: Moms On A Mission

Want a Surefire edge in business? Start early!

A Wake-Up Call To Sales

The “4 P’s of Marketing”: The Professors Missed 2 Critical P’s

The Brutal Reality of the Bell Curve

A “Think Different” Case Study in Hiring: Walgreens

The Transformational Story of Johnny The Bagger

A Simple Primer on Organizational Culture

2 Posts (the bottom of the traffic ranking) provided some great discussion.  Probably because they hit “nerves,” either near and dear to their own industry, or just a strike to humanity.

Smart Marketing or a Loss of Humanity @ Abercrombie?

If it Works for Selling Cereal, It Works for Selling a House

For those that have followed Hustle or Bust, a heart-felt THANK YOU for reading, commenting or sharing!

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A Twitter Anniversary on America’s Birthday

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I came across an interesting article about downloading your twitter archives, and viewing your first tweet, so I thought:  “That may be fun to look at on a day off.”

First surprise:  Independence day of 2011 marks the anniversary of my first tweet.  I had to hold back the sentimental tears.

First Tweet:  7/4/11

Happy Birthday America! Land of the free, where people start businesses, pursue their dreams, and tweet in peace!  No place like the USA…

I ran through my first month on twitter, July 2011.  Other observations?:

  1. Not much has changed.  My first month on twitter had nearly identical topics as today, 10,000+ tweets later
  2. Twitter clearly was the ground floor of the themes on this blog……


I laughed at some of these 2011 tweets, cringed at others, also surprised at a couple of observations from left field that turned out to be true.  I’ve pasted in a representative sample of my first month, typos and bad spelling included, and grouped them by category I tweet about.  Try downloading yours, it will be fun!

Business Principles: (Later to be marked by favorite Hashtags:  #Hustle #Optimism #Leadership, and later evolved into HustleorBust)

  • The second half of 2011 is now 4 days old…good time to review your goals and progress, make sure youre at least half way there.
  • Wonder how many people say:  “TGIM”:  Thank God its Monday!  LIfe’s too short for this not to be your goal.  Make it a great week.
  • It still amazes me, the best advice I ever recieved is rarely followed, especially by those that want to get ahead in life: “Start Early!  “
  • Friday is the best day of the week to open new doors….people start day dreaming, hustle is not high enough as weekend nears.
  • If your weeks game plan is not built Sunday evening, than you just need to #hustle a bit more Monday am.  Have a great week.
  • Its hard, but getting a workout in, a stop @starbucks and at the desk at 6am is the best legal headstart on the chase.  #motivation


Ideas & Shout-outs

  • 2 birds w/ 1 stone: 55 minutes on treadmill while listening to a podcast featuring @HarveyMackay. IPOD nano is awesome, great content better
  • Still the best daily read for consumer products and retail pros @KevinCoupe morningnewsbeat.com
  • @barefoot_exec love your story, just watched your videos.  Admire the impact you have made, especially with a child w/ special needs!

Big Picture Ideas,  Observations & Criticisms

  • Unemployment still over 9 pct.  Wonder if the days of 3 percent are long gone?  Thoughts?
  • Here’s an idea. Eliminate interest tx deduction. Discourage excessive debt and apply tax code mre evenly against consumption, not debt
  • Another idea. Allow grads to deduct student loan debt on taxes. This is requirement for country to compete, and kids have massive debt.
  • Moody’s reviewing US debt for possible downgrade, same geniuses rating sub prime mortgage backed securities AAA helping to start this mess
  • The “elusion of exclusivity” creates demand, #google played their #google+ launch smart. Witnessed multiple people celebrate their invite.
  • Amazed at the growth + size of #groupon.The economics work great for them, but I don’t understand how its sustainable for their customers.
  • Probably late noticing a hot #trend, seems like there is a self serve frozen yogurt shop on every corner, all have edgy #brands
  • #RIMM with its rock solid balance sheet, golden brand name and what seems to be unresponsive mgt, Looks like a case study for #HBR.
  • I’m not a financial wiz, but the #aapl balance sheet and p&l are mind boggling.  #Design + #Brand + constant pipeline = wealth creation

Attempt @ Wit & Humor

  • Wondering the % of #memphis population that is from #nj + #italian?  My guess is less than 2%.  Endangered species this would make me.
  • Call me old school but a pool at a ball parking is a bit much.

The Yankees

  • Would have been nice for the Core 4 to celebrate DJ 3K.  Instead you had the key 3.
  • The Yankee captain had a day for the ages!  @newyorkpost Report: Jeter is master of the dramatic –
  • A great moment:  @RobinsonCano lifting his home run derby trophy up with his father. You don’t need to be a Yankee fan to love that sight.

By far, the most fun is engaging with like-minded people vs broadcasting a thought.  Something about the simple thrill of sparking or jumping into a chat…

hustle or bust.  God bless America


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