Archive | August 2015

The Power of Being Vulnerable

By Cheval John

We see stories of how high profile A-listers are living the dream that everyone aspires to.

Whether it is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Shark Tank star, Sir Richard Branson, of the Virgin Group or Barbara Cochran of the Corcoran Group, we think that that we can’t achieve the dream life.

We don’t see the journey of how the people achieved their success.

We think that there is a silver bullet to achieving success in your business, life, etc.

What we fail to understand is that the most successful have faced failure in their lives and business.

We also believe that if we share our failures with the world, then we will lose the respect that we have earned.

We don’t want our vulnerability to “tarnish” our brand that we built.

We want the masses to see our strong side.

If businesses want to succeed in this social media world, then they must be vulnerable because people deal with people.

They have to be more vulnerable because millennials only will deal with brands who are authentic.

Millennials don’t want to feel like they are being sold to.

Who can blame them.

Most were about to enter the workforce during the Great Recession of 2008.

They saw their parents suffer because of the wreckless decisions that people on Wall Street made.

That is why they are so sensitive and wary of the broadcasting that brands are doing to sell to them.

And if they see that you are not being transparent with them, they will showcase their frustration on social media.

That can hurt your business and your brand in the long run.

For businesses that are waking up to the reality of being more vulnerable, here are two people who shared their journey to achieving success and in the process have built a strong following.

Pat Flynn

Many might have heard of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.

If you have not, then here is a summary.

Mr. Flynn had got laid off from his architecture firm in 2008.

He was figuring what he was going to do next.

Earlier in the year, he passed the exam to earn the LEED Accredited Professional credential.

This credential is huge if a person is an architect.

After participating in forums, he saw a way to help architects pass the LEED exam and also create income.

So create a course on how to pass the LEED exam and was able to generate money.

As a person who wanted to stay as transparent as possible, he started the Smart Passive Income blog to show everyone how he makes money and also share valuable information about the struggles of running an online business.

In addition to his blog, the Smart Passive Income podcast has brought more traffic to his website.

As a result of his success, he has spoken at conferences across the world and has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times.

For most people, the success would go to their minds because they feel that they arrived.

However, Mr. Flynn is not most people.

He has remained true to himself and has showed his failures along the way.

In his keynote address at Podcast Movement 15, he shared with us the first episode that he did in 2008.

Though it was entertaining for us, which the episode was bad, he was willing to be vulnerable with everyone to share that we should not allow fear to stop us from pursuing our goals of podcasting.

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte has written four books and runs her successful business, Duarte.com, and is a LinkedIn influencer.

You would say that she has everything together.

However, she shared her vulnerability with everyone when she nearly lost trust with her employees.

In her LinkedIn article, “It Took Me 20 Years To Fail Fast,” she chatted about her presentation on how to prepare for an economic downturn during a staff meeting.

As she was finished with the presentation, most of the staff told her that they had lost respect for her because of the way she shared the presentation.

In her words, it took a long time before she earned back her credibility with her staff.

Her willingness to share her vulnerability allowed her to gain more respect with potential customers and clients.

So if you are still on the fence of whether to share your vulnerability, here are two simple steps to get over that fear:

1. Be Yourself: No one else can replicate your unique personality

2. Drop Your Pride: Remember that people are probably going through the same thing that you overcame.

Have you felt scared to share your vulnerability and if so, how did you overcome your fear?

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Achieving The 200th Episode Of What’s The Word?

By Cheval John

The journey to podcasting has been a fun and challenging.

There have been times when I thought about giving up on my podcast, “What’s The Word?” on numerous occasions because I “felt” that no one was listening.

Also, I thought about giving up because I had some cancelations of some guests almost at the last minute.

I could have been like the majority who quit their podcasting journey by their 50th or 100th episode because the average downloads of a podcast episode is 141 according to the website, School of Podcasting

However, I knew that I could not give up podcasting because I loved to interact with the people who did not allow self-doubt, naysayers, etc. to stop them from achieving their goals in order to make the world better.

I can say that I am apart of the few who have continued to podcast because I had my 200th episode last night and interview a great friend by the name of Nicole Welch on the platform, BlogTalkRadio.

Check Out Podcasting Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cheval John on BlogTalkRadio

Mrs. Welch host a fantastic podcast called “Real Time, Real Men Only.”

She is a person who knows how to lift people up and her journey to podcasting is very unique.

I could have done the 200th episode without a guest and shared some of my favorite episodes from my show.

However, I felt that it was important to stay in the routine of bringing on guests who are making the world better by sharing with the audience on how they overcame their obstacles on their journey to success.

I will say that podcasting is not easy because you have to put in the work and dedication to make it work.

For example, last week, technology did not coorporate and I could not get the episode of my show at the designated time at 7 p.m. central on Monday night.

I could have thrown in the towel at the moment and said, “It was not meant to be for me to record the 199th episode of the show.”

As I learned during my time as a podcaster that if you want to be successful, you must be consistent in putting out your show at a scheduled time that will allow you to grow your listener base.

In this case, I knew I had to get the episode in for that week even if it was not at the designated time at 7 p.m. central on Monday nights.

Luckily, I was able to record the 199th episode with my Twitter friends, Chris Barrows and Bree Kelley and share the show on Friday afternoon.

Check Out Social Networking Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cheval John on BlogTalkRadio

The episode was great because both Mr. Barrows and Ms. Kelley shared valuable insights on Twitter chats, social media and the fact that Ms. Kelley was going to be the community manager for Mr. Barrow’s podcast, “Why I Social.”

The other lesson I was reminded of when achieving this milestone of the 200th episode of What’s The Word? is that no one can succeed in life without help from their friends.

Mr. Barrows and Ms. Kelley helped me to get to the 200th episode by when they took time from their busy schedule last week to be on the 199th episode.

I am forever grateful to the both of them.

Another thing that will separate the minority who are successful in their careers as a podcaster, writer, etc. and achieving their goals of living a fulfilled life for the better is that success does not happen overnight.

They understand that they will have to put in the hard work and dedication in order to achieve their dream life for the better.

They also understand that people are looking up to them to be successful in their careers as a podcaster, author, writer, author, etc. because they want to be inspired to be successful for the better as well.

So I can say that achieving the milestone of the 200th episode of What’s The Word? will inspire me to achieve my goal of being financially independent so that I can live a fulfilled life and make the world better.

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Achieving Career Success Is Hard Work

By Cheval John

Sometimes things might not go the way you planned it if you are trying to build your business or achieve your career goals.

Life always “gets” in the way of your plans.

The ones who are successful are the ones who understands that they must adjust to what life throws at them.

At times, they might complain about the fact that they did not get into the desired university like Harvard.

Or complain that they were not drafted by a specific team if they are a professional athlete.

However, they decided to push through their shortcomings on not achieving their desired goals and work very hard to be successful.

That is what separates the most successful people who are in the minority and the rest of the world who decide to complain and feel sorry for themselves.

Jerry Rice, who is the all-time leading receiver in the National Football League (NFL), was overlooked by many major universities because they thought he was not the right fit for their football programs.

So he ended up playing football at Mississippi Valley State University in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

During his time in the FCS, he excelled as a wide receiver and even had a huge campaign during the 1984 season when Mississippi Valley State scored 629 points that helped them to gain national attention.

After his collegiate career was over, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ners, where he won two Super Bowls in 1989 and 1994, respectively.

In the process of winning two Super Bowls, Mr. Rice became the all-time leading receiver in the NFL.

Mr. Rice did not allow the setback of not playing in a major collegiate football program to stop him from making it to the NFL.

Instead, he worked extremely hard to become one of the best receivers in the game of football and was able to achieve greatness as an NFL wide-receiver.

It is always important to never allow setbacks to ruin your chances of achieving your dreams as a writer, podcaster, professional athlete, etc.

If you put in the hard work and dedication, you will enjoy the richness of achieving success in your dream career.

Have you faced any setbacks on your journey to a dream career? You can leave your comments below.

Video courtesy of the NFL Network

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Pushing To Achieve Your Career Goals

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles


The thing about chasing your dreams as a writer, public relations practioner, sports professional, etc. is that things will not come easy.

You might think there is an easy path to achieving success.

That is not the case.

For example, those who aspire to play professional in Major League Baseball (MLB), have to go through the different levels of the minor league system.

If that person is really good, they will get called up to the Majors within a few years or even a year.

Now let’s delve deeper into the minor leagues.

The people who are in the minors don’t have a huge salary like their counter parts in the majors.

They have to travel for most of the year and probably have to pay their own way as well.

That can lead to them having stress and even doubt their abilities to be a major league baseball player if they have been in the minors for such a long time.

Most might think about quitting their journey to become a major league baseball player and will end up giving up on their dreams of playing baseball in the MLB.

For those who keep their dreams alive, they will eventually achieve their goals of playing baseball in the Majors.

People like Alan Zinter.

Mr. Zinter spent a long time trying to make it to MLB.

At that moment, he had a family to support and it seemed like he was not going to achieve his dreams of playing baseball in the Majors.

I can guess that they were times that Mr. Zinter wanted to quit.

But he saw that he had to keep on chasing his dreams because people were looking up to him.

Eventually, Mr. Zinter kept his dreams alive and made it to MLB in 2002 with the Houston Astros and again in 2004 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Though it was short lived, Mr. Zinter achieved his dreams of playing Major League Baseball.

Maybe you had thought of quitting your podcast, blog, writing career, etc. because not many people were listening or reading your blog.

You might have been feeling a sense of defeat because you see others are successful with their blogs or podcast with the high number of downloads or viewership.

The truth of the matter is that everyone have faced that sense of defeat and wanted to quit at one point or another in their writing or podcasting journey.

I know I have at one point or another wanted to quit podcasting or blogging.

The thing that has kept them going with their podcast or blog is they understood that it is a marathon and not a sprint.

The truth is that people are watching you whether you see it or not.

You have to keep on pushing towards the obstacles in order to achieve your goals as a writer, podcaster, professional athlete, etc.

You might never know who you will be impacting for the better when you finally achieve your goals of succeeding as a writer, podcaster, etc.

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There Is No Silver Bullet To Success

by Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles


One of the most important lessons about achieving your dreams of being a writer, etc., is you must be persistent.

If one door closes, you must be aware that another door will open.

Sometimes we forget that lesson because we are afraid of experiencing rejection.

It is true that rejection hurts because we want to be liked by everyone.

The problem is that some people will not like you even if you are a nice person.

They will always try to find something to put you down if they see the opportunity.

If you are building an online business, you will certainly experience rejection along the way because no one has ever heard of you.

You can keep on trying to associate yourself with an A-lister within your industry in order to gain traction in your business if they mention you to their audience.

The only problem is that everyone else is trying to do the same thing in reaching out to the A-listers.

If you want to achieve success with your online business, you must put in the hard work and dedication to make your business succeed.

You also must build your audience from the ground up because you will achieve greater rewards from finding the right audience.

I was very fortunate to attend the Self-Publishing Success Academy class taught by Kimanzi Constable and Jimmy Burgess earlier this year.

The program was excellent because both of them shared with us how to achieve success with our self-published books.

They did not taught the lessons from theory, they taught from their experience on achieving their own success with their self-published books.

They also taught us that a person must build trust with the people who are the decision makers of the large websites or podcasts because if you send a generic pitch, you will end up being on their bad list for your disingenuous approach to being a contributor to their websites.

I applied one of the strategies that helped me to get on a couple of podcasts including Caryn FitzGerald’s Coffee And Coaching Podcast.

And yesterday, I “made” an appearance on “The Travel Wisdom Podcast,” hosted by Ladan Jiracek.

Mr. Jiracek, a world traveler who currently lives in India, interviews people who are also world travelers, authors, speakers, polyglots(a person who speaks three or more languages) etc.

I did my research on his podcast and felt that I could share valuable information with his audience because I had studied abroad in Mexico for a month and studied/interned abroad in Chile for 3 months.

So I sent him an e-mail about the possibility of making an appearance on his show.

I was happy when he said that he would like to interview me on his podcast.

The cool part was that I was able to interview him on my podcast, “What’s The Word?”

I can say that the lessons that Mr. Constable and Mr. Burgess taught about doing your research on the podcasts that you want to make an appearance on and the large websites you want to guest post on, helped me to make those guest podcast appearances.

I also believe that it is just the beginning of achieving my goal of financial independence because I understand that running an online business is a marathon and not a sprint.

So if you want to succeed in your online business, you must put in the hard work and dedication to succeed.

In the end, you will enjoy the success that you achieved because you did not take any shortcuts to succeed.

What are your thoughts on achieving success in your career whether it is writing, etc.?

You can leave your comments below.

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