Read this article:

“Where Facts Were No Match for Fear – Civic boosters in central Montana hoped for some federal money to promote tourism. A disinformation campaign got in the way.”

Then you’ll know it’s hopeless trying to convince people of the truth if they’re invested in falsehoods.


I know, this sounds ridiculous, but today it’s all about the individual and their efforts. There used to be a totem pole, with many markers along the way: college, graduate school, job, spouse, money, children… The hierarchy has been completely blown apart, if you’re judging yourself based on other people’s opinions the joke is on you. There is no center, there is no pecking order, there’s just you and your own little life. The Spotify Top 50 doesn’t reflect music accurately nor does any other Top 10 or 50 list. And there are endless lists, endless rankings. Publications put out rankings believing that the public’s attention span is so short they won’t bother to read anything, whereas the truth is today it’s all about longform, streaming television taught us this, it’s all about bingeing. Those who won’t go deep are uninterested, forget them, don’t try to appeal to everybody, it’s impossible. Just appeal to those who like what you’re doing, there are enough of them to make a living, and chances are you can’t reach the rest of the world anyway.


This is so hard in a world that tells you to conform from day one, where they do their best to beat out the creativity and individuality of kids in school. It’s the nonconformists who change the world, not the sheep. And in the internet era you can align yourself with other nonconformists easily, it’s not like you’re living in the middle of nowhere as the only person of your persuasion and viewpoint yearning for connection, just go online, you’ll find your people, and that’s all that matters.


This is how you keep up today. The news is the solidifying point of our society. And you don’t get news on television, you get talking heads, opinion, and maybe if there’s an accident there will be some footage. No, the news is in print. Whether it be in a physical newspaper or online. If you want to be truly informed subscribe to the “New York Times.” You don’t even have to read the Opinion pages if you’re of the right of center persuasion, although there are right wingers contained therein, like Ross Douthat. Every educated, intelligent person reads the “New York Times.” It’s the Bible at Fox, they may criticize it, but they get their info from it. DON’T get your news from secondary sources, like Facebook. Go straight to the heart of the matter, directly to the “Times” site. If you want more, subscribe to the “Washington Post.” And if you’ve got a business focus, subscribe to the “Wall Street Journal” (but beware of their right wing Opinion page, so biased it’s laughable). The “Times” is the best education you’ll ever get, better than college. You’ll be up to date, you’ll have a wide perspective. Invest in your future, read the “Times.”


Funny in a world where Donald Trump says he loves the uneducated. It doesn’t have to be traditional book learning, you can be an expert in fly fishing, anything… The key is to find a subject that you just can’t get enough of, that you have a passion for. Information is free. You go down the rabbit hole online. And since you’re interested, you’ll start intersecting with others with the same interest and they will note the breadth of your knowledge and you will ultimately be rewarded. Here is where it’s important to know how to get along with people, that’s how you get ahead on the micro level. It’s fun to argue, but arguments are much less valuable than raw knowledge. In fact, if you have expertise you’ll find that you don’t even want to bother arguing with most people, they’re too uninformed. But if you’re with other experts, you can get into the nuances, where the excitement and the change is. There’s a bleeding edge in every vertical of life. You want to work your way to it. You can’t jump from zero to a hundred without doing the work in between.


The road well-traveled is heavily advertised. But thinking for yourself and going through the weeds is not. Why go where everybody else has traveled, the odds of you standing out are almost nil.


There is no lifetime employment, put your faith in your employer at your peril. You must not only navigate your own career, if you want to be truly happy you must strike out and forge your own way. First you must have confidence, based on knowledge. You must risk to get ahead, and if you’re not risking you’re falling behind. You’ve got to determine your own path. If someone says they’re bad with money, the joke is on them. You can learn about money online, there are a zillion resources. It’s everybody for themselves these days and you don’t want to be at the mercy of anybody else.


You want to have enough not to worry about it all the time, but the truth is happiness comes from career satisfaction and your family and friends. Period. Focus down, not up.


I’m not talking about your local food bank, I’m talking on a bigger level, especially political people. They’re mostly doing it for THEMSELVES! To burnish THEIR image. Sure, they want to help the “little people” along the way, but they’re primary. Remember this.


Rejection feels so bad, but if you don’t ask you don’t get. You’d be surprised how many people will say yes who you’re convinced would say no. Then again, don’t knock at the door of the hospital asking to be a doctor if you dropped out of high school. But if you’ve got the qualifications… Same deal with love, but there are qualifications here too. If you want to date someone desirable, you must be desirable too. You could be good-looking, rich, smart, analytical, a good storyteller…or maybe you could be all of these things, then again if this was so you’d be hobbled by always being treated differently and won’t be able to deal with failure. If you want to date a better class of person, you’ve got to better yourself. That’s the way it is, it’s just true.


If you got a response…FOLLOW IT UP! People are busy, it’s not their job to do your work for you. But if they open the door a little, be sure to keep knocking. Persistence is key. As long as you’re not an annoyance. If you get no response, chances are the person doesn’t want to be bothered, maybe try to connect with them again, but if they continue to be silent, move on. Someone who rejects you out of the box won’t accept you until others do, until you’ve made a name for yourself. Rail against this all you want, but this is the way the landscape is. And nobody likes a pest.


If you want to be an online influencer, you must be posting all of the time, to the exclusion of everything else other than your job or school. You need to sacrifice so much. Hell, you need to sacrifice so much to be successful at any thing, and you’re lucky if you can make it in one vertical. If you’re not willing to sacrifice, if you want a little bit of everything, move away from the coasts and focus on lifestyle, because it’s going to be damn hard to get ahead.


Followers are secondary to content. Marketing is secondary to content. They teach how to market in school, but as far as creativity…the best seems to always come from outside of the educational system, because education is rote, within boundaries, and true leaders can’t be constricted. Your work speaks for you. It almost doesn’t even matter whether you market anymore. Your underlying product must be so damn good it sells itself. So anybody exposed to it wants more. If you’ve got to convince someone they want your artistic work, you’re already losing. But know, most people won’t like what you’re doing. But we live in a country of 330+ million and there are billions of people outside the U.S., there are plenty of people around to hook and make you if not rich, at least comfortable.


Sure, there’s a major label record business, but you can be just as successful and make more money OUTSIDE IT! And chances are they don’t want you anyway. Same deal with publishing and Hollywood. But you can write online and post videos on YouTube. Don’t rail against the system, use the tools for yourself, take advantage and get ahead.


Most entrepreneurs, most limit testers, are not. There’s a club in every industry, everybody knows everybody, it’s hard to penetrate and there are unwritten rules. If you don’t want to conform, stay out.


Yes, you could do the job better. But if you want it, being good enough is not enough. You’ve got to create your own base, establish your own business, and then you’ll oftentimes find you don’t want the job you thought you did to begin with.

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