The Power Of A Third Party Endorsement

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles


When you make an appearance on radio, podcasts, television, etc, it gives you more credibility to what you are saying in your work.

The most interesting thing is that no one will pay attention to you if you call yourself an expert in a certain subject like public relations, business, social media, etc.

However, when you have a third party endorsement, then the game changes for you.

Whether you like it or not, the media is still the go to source for anyone to find out information on a product, news, sports, etc.

What is really more impressive is that social media especially blogs, podcasts, Youtube, has given everyone the power to showcase their knowledge.

And the most unique thing is that Twitter chats are becoming the “new media” to a huge degree.

Many “superstars” in social media either have their own chat or attend these chats if they are promoting their new work or book.

It is a huge opportunity to not only get exposure for your work, but to meet new people and share quality content that will uplift the community and also build lasting relationships.

With that being said, I want to say that I had the honor of making a guest appearance on #contentchat this past Monday to chat about podcasting.

I will admit, I was nervous before the chat because I wanted to make sure that I shared valuable information with the #contentchat community.

However, it got easier because of the support from the regulars who I dare say have been on other Twitter chats.

It was a family atmosphere.

So if you want to build your reputation and credibility, you must make the concerted effort to reach out to people on podcasts, etc.

Also, you must think about providing value for their audience and not think about pushing your product alone.

Here is the link from the highlights of #contentchat.

Always Reinvent Yourself To Maintain Success

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Frame Angel

Photo Courtesy of Frame Angel

The most popular advice when starting out as an entrepreneur or podcaster, etc. is to pick a niche.

That is great advice to a huge degree because you do not want to spread yourself out too thin.

The thing about it is that sometimes that advice could get outdated in the long run.

Many college students have been specializing in a major which they believe will allow them to get a quicker path to getting the job of their dreams.

At first, it works out to a degree because they land a great job with an awesome starting salary.

When that skill is shipped off overseas, they are in trouble because they only are good in that particular skill.

One of the things a person can do when they are about to get laid off because of their department getting shut down is to reinvent themselves and learn new skills.

The reason being is that they will avoid being caught off guard when that layoff occurs.

They will be in a fantastic position to be at the right place at the right time when the company posts a job opportunity that they are qualified for.

Like Carlos Gil and Hank Blank.

Mr. Gil was working as a banker before he unexpectedly got laid off from his job.

He took great advice from his mother and set up an account on LinkedIn and connected with important people which allowed him to become a thought leader, speaker, and also landing a job in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, he got laid off again earlier this year in St. Louis.

Though he was surprised, he did not panic because he already had a strong social media presence and had established himself as a thought leader which led him to his current job as a Senior Social Marketing Manager at the very place which help him to reinvent his skills, LinkedIn.

As for Mr. Blank, he also is a strong advocate for reinventing your skills because he has been reinventing himself for over a decade as a self-employed consultant.

Before that he was working in advertising for about 25 years before he was unexpectedly fired from the agency where he was partner in 2001 over the phone.

Undaunted, Mr. Blank created his own business cards and launched his consulting practice.

He has leveraged LinkedIn and has built a solid reputation as a consultant.

Even though it is important to have a niche, it is always important to go outside of that niche and learn a new skill because when times get tough and you are looking for something new, you will be ready for the “hard times.”

Now, I want to share about another person who has reinvented their skills: myself .

I consider myself a sports writer because I have spent over two years freelancing for a daily newspaper in Huntsville, Texas.

Thought it was great and I loved the fact that I could cover sporting events and share stories of athletes who have succeeded, I was “trapped” because the sporting events happened during the fall and spring seasons.

So in the summer times, I was out of work.

I was over-specialized in one skill, which was covering sports and I could not continue to freelance for the paper during the summer times.

That was when I learned the importance of being knowledgable in other subjects in addition to sports.

That way, I would be able to better my chances at gaining other gigs which could supplement the “dry” months while waiting for sporting events to happen.

Now, I can say that I am learning other subjects like social media and I am a contributing blogger to Millennial CEO, which deals with social media, business and leadership.

It is also safe to say that I had reinvent myself because I am about to be a guest on a Twitter chat called “Content Chat” tomorrow at 3 p.m. eastern, 2 p.m. central to chat about podcasting.

So you see why it is important not to overspecialize in one skill.

Though it is important to have a strong expertise in one skill, it is always important to reinvent yourself and learn new skills everyday even if it is outside your comfort zone.

When you reinvent yourself, you will be in a much better position when the company decides to cut your department.

Sam Houston Advances In College Insider.com Tournament

By Cheval John

Sam Houston State rebounded from their Southland Conference Tournament Finals lost with a 87-71 win over the University of North Carolina-Wilmington last night during the first round of the College Insider.com Tournament at Johnson Coliseum.

In the process, the Bearkats achieved their 26th win of the season, the most ever since they moved up to the NCAA Division I almost 30 years ago.

The Bearkats shot 43.8 percent from the field and shot 47.4 percent from behind the arc.

What is even better is that Sam Houston State shot 66.7 percent from the three point line in the first half.

Most of those treys in the first half came from Lithuanian national, Aurimas Majauskas.

Majauskas came off the bench and was the main reason why SHSU’s bench outscored UNC-Wilmington’s bench 38-8.

Majauskas led all scorers with 27 points.

The Seahawks (18-14) tied the matchup at 17 with 8:04 left in the first half after Addison Spruill, who finished with 11 points, made a layup in the paint.

That was as close as UNC-Wilmington got as Sam Houston exploded on a 14-2 run, which included an ally-hoop play from Jabari Peters to Michael Holyfield, to expand their lead to 31-19.

By halftime, the Bearkats was leading 46-25.

Holyfield finished the game with a double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds) while Peters had 11 points and 6 rebounds.

Sam Houston plays host to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette this Saturday in the second round of the College Insider Tournament.

UL-Lafayette brings a 21-13 record to this matchup and also former Bearkat coach Bob Marlin in facing his former assistant, current Sam Houston coach Jason Hooten.

Hooten will try to get his 100th win of his head coaching career in this contest.

Leveling Out The “Madness” In The NCAA

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Naypong

Photo Courtesy of Naypong

It’s that time of year again as tonight begins March Madness.

This year’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, which consists of 68 teams, will be very intriguing because of the fact that the University of Kentucky is trying to become the first undefeated team to win the national championship since 1976 when the University of Indiana won the championship undefeated.

Though the focus will be whether they will finish undefeated or suffer a loss at the worst time that can derail their hopes of a great season, I want to chat about how as always how this whole system works.

You might have noticed in my last blog post, “Choose Yourself In Order To Earn Attention For Your Talent,” I shared how the only way for teams from mid-majors and lesser known schools to gain the same exposure as the big named schools is if they are in the NCAA tourmanent.

The sad thing is that many schools who have mediocre records are in the tournament because they are in the top conferences (SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, Pac 12) and they are perceived to have played a tougher schedule than the schools who are in lesser known conferences.

So if a school in a lesser known conference had a great season, won the regular season title and then lost in the tournament, they don’t have a chance to make the tournament.

I think that in any professional sports like the NBA, anyone can make the playoffs if they had a great record and are in the top 8 of their conference.

Except for the NCAA.

If you are not in the big five conference, possibly a few mid-majors or a school like Gonzaga who have made 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and have given the chance for the West Coast Conference to have other at-large bid teams, then you have no shot.

Merit does not rule in most NCAA sports like football, basketball and baseball.

I suspect that the name of the game for these tournaments is money.

Of course the big name schools like the University of Texas, Notre Dame, etc. has a large fan and alumni base.

So if they are many big name schools in the tournament, that gives the NCAA a better chance to make more money because it has a bigger draw to television viewers.

It is a big reason why they are in the midst of a 14 year, near 11 billion deal with CBS/Turner Broadcasting to showcase the men’s basketball tournament.

That means the NCAA has to put out a great showcase of top talent every year in order to prove to CBS/Turner that they made the right decision to spend all of that money for them to be the exclusive home of the tournament.

Of course, many mid-majors and lesser known schools have to compete every year with the big name schools and also schedule to play these big name schools even if they are going to lose.

Not just because they want to make their team tougher, but it helps to possibly improve their Rating Percentage Index (RPI), which is one of the metrics that the NCAA selection committee uses to choose the teams who will be in the tournament.

So even if a team have a mediocre record like a 18-12 or 17-11, etc., if they are in one of the Big 5 conferences, they have a much better chance to make the national tournament even if they did not win their respective conference tournament.

It is unlikely that the system for selecting teams in the NCAA tournaments will change anytime soon.

All of what the teams in the lesser conferences can do to make the big dance is to win their respective conference tournament, schedule tougher non-conference teams in the Big 5 conferences, or advance in the tournament like Gonzaga has done in order to show the nation that their conference is not as easy as they think it is.

Perhaps, this will level out the playing field of collegiate basketball at the Division I level.

What are your thoughts on the way the NCAA basketball tournament is run? You can leave your comment below.

5:13 Seconds That Led To Second Championship For Stephen F. Austin

By Cheval John

KATY, TEXAS-When Sam Houston State narrowly defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 70-67 on Friday night to advance to the finals of the Southland Conference (SLC) Men’s Basketball Tournament, they shot 20% from the field in the first half.

The Bearkats, who were the No.2 seed, had to play near perfect basketball if they wanted to defeat their arch-rival and No.1 seeded Stephen F. Austin.

Unfortunately, the Bearkats was not able to meet the challenge of playing near perfect basketball as horrendous shooting in the closing minutes of the first half led to the Lumberjacks pulling away with an 83-70 victory to claim their second consecutive SLC tournament championship and clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

In the process, Stephen F. Austin (29-4 overall) became the second team to repeat as SLC tournament champions since former conference member, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, won four straight tournament titles (1990-93).

After a back and forth matchup in which Sam Houston State took a 25-24 lead on Kaheem Ransom’s three pointer, things started to fall apart in the final 5:13 of the first half.

The Bearkats (25-8 overall) missed shots and turned the basketball over while the Lumberjacks capitalized with a 13-2 spurt to close out the half with a 37-27 lead.

The dagger that shut Sam Houston’s coffin during that run happened with 02.5 seconds when the Lumberjacks inbounded the basketball and found Tanner Clayton, who hit a buzzer-beating trey from 40 feet.

Sam Houston shot 30 percent from the field in the first half and finished the game shooting 36.1 percent from the field.

The Bearkats also shot 15 percent from three point range.

Lumberjack basketball player, Thomas Walkup, who won the tournament MVP, led all scorers with 24 points and 8 rebounds.

Bearkat senior Michael Holyfield, who made the all-tournament team, led SHSU with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Stephen F. Austin will find out later today who they will face in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday that will air on CBS starting at 6 p.m. eastern, 5 p.m. central.

The Bearkats also have a strong possibility to make a post-season as well, but not the NCAAs.