“Make the best out of it”

Nov 7, 2008

That’s something that lots of people have told me, with regards to my National Service.

But I’m starting to realize, I don’t agree. Instead of making the best out of the situation that you find yourself in, why not move yourself so you’re not in that situation?

The former is safer, of course, and will bring you good results. The latter is riskier, but provides more opportunities for you to become exceptional, and remarkable.

Playing Safe

Oct 5, 2008

I was talking to another student about my quitting school. Here’s what she said about why she’s still in school – “education is the safest insurance plan”.

I understand where she’s coming from. And I’ve heard that statement so many times, especially when people ask me about why I quit school. But I don’t agree. The question is, why play it safe? As Seth Godin has said, in today’s world, ‘safe is risky”.

The semi-finals of the World 10-Ball Championship between Niels Feijen and Darren Appleton was a great example. Feijen consistently went for safety shots. Even when he could make the offensive shot, he chose to go down the safe path. And eventually, he lost out.

If you play not to lose, you won’t win. You won’t make the right decisions, and ultimately, you won’t come up on top. As the book “Sway” by Ori and Rom Brafman points out, fear of loss is one of the main reasons behind bad decisions. Kathy Sierra has talked about “death by risk aversion” as well.

If you want to be the best, you have to take risks. And why settle for anything less than the best?

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Fixing it in the mix

Feb 20, 2008

When you record audio or video (or even take a photo), with today’s technology, there’s a lot you can do after the original recording. If it’s an audio file, you can EQ it, filter it. If it’s a video, you can put transitions, color correct. If it’s a picture, you can change the brightness and contrast, you can cut out different parts.

And with technology, it’s so easy to edit. The problem with that, is that it makes it easy for the person to settle for a recording that’s not the best. When it’s so easy to edit, there’s the temptation to go, “that’s good enough, we’ll fix it in the edit”.

That never works out well, though. If the original recording is poor, it’s almost always very hard to fix in the mix. You’re better off doing a better recording. If the video recording is shaky, no matter how much you edit it, it will still be shaky. If the audio is distorted in the original recording, there’s nothing much you can do to fix it.

And the same can be said in any situation. It’s easy to settle for something that’s not the best, and convince yourself you can fix it after – by marketing it better, etc. But it’s always better not to settle for anything less than the best.

The Best Way to Get Traffic

Dec 20, 2007

A new, free ebook by Seth Godin. You can download the ebook directly from here.

It’s a short ebook, that will only take you 5-10 minutes to read. But it has a good message. It’s about how to gain traffic to your website (or blog/podcast/whatever content you’re creating).

Yes, there are a lot of articles on search engine optimization, etc. But I agree with Seth, that the best way to get traffic and clicks “is to create content that is updated, unique and useful”.

I can’t say that I’ve mastered this yet (I’ve got less than 60 subscribers). But hopefully I improve with time.

Those of you who don’t create online content might be wondering what you have to gain from this ebook. Well, the principles apply in pretty much any field. No matter what your message might be, and where your field is, you’ll probably want to have people listening to what you’re saying. And Seth Godin here shows us the best way to achieve that.

Yes, you can try to game the system. You can come up with all sorts of strategies for marketing and advertising. But at the end of the day, if you don’t create a good remarkable product (whatever that product might be), all the marketing and advertising strategies in the world won’t create a lasting impact. The best (if not only) way of getting attention in the long run, is to create a product that is unique, useful and updated.

As they say, the cream always rises to the top.

How are you creating content that gets people’s attention?