Your 3 Step Process to Surviving and Thriving the Fickle Realm of Social Media

by Craig McBreen · 12 comments · Blogging, Breaking out, Content Marketing

Surviving-and-Thriving-the-Fickle Realm-of-Social-MediaThe online realm is filled with “high priests” instructing you to “fail-fast.”

It’s also brimming with men and women behind the curtain telling you to live an epic lifestyle, where your feet are always in the warm sand.

But guess what?

Failing fast can be a lousy strategy if you want to put food on the table.

And running a business while sipping margaritas on a hot, sandy beach is a mirage engineered for quick sales.

I could go on, but I really do want to get to the point. So, let’s make this easy …

Think about one thing you’ve accomplished that made you smile. You know, that memory where you sit back with a shit-eating grin thinking … “Man, I did THAT!”

If you’re like me, here’s how that moment came to be:

1. You combined years of learning, business acumen, life experience …

2. Your creativity acted as chief catalyst …

3. And here’s the most important part … ya ready? … you stopped trying to follow a tired formula. You just kind of got jiggy with your bad self.

As bestselling author, James Altucher would say, you chose yourself.

You feeling me?

Good …

But today, we are talking about making it in the online jungle.

So now, let’s break this down so an average business owner, or one trying to make his or her way into the crazy world of content marketing / blogging / social can create their own outline.

Here you go …

1. You Already Possess the Know-How You Need to Get Started and ROCK social media.

Some people will try and convince you that you can’t and won’t make something big happen.

That you’re not smart enough, experienced enough, or creative enough.

Basically telling you you’re not ready for prime-time, and probably never will be.

And by “people” I’m including … you! (Negative self-talk is a killer).

You do need an end-goal, but most of what you need is already inside just screaming to get out. You just need to ignite that fire.

Let me give you an example:

Just under three years ago I ventured into the world of social, first resurrecting my Twitter account, then starting to comment on blogs.

It was a wild and wonderful world and … completely alien to me.

But once I launched my blog and started to write, interact, and learn, I was in love.

Time-traveling to that period makes me smile.

In 2011 I was a graphic designer.

A visual branding guy.

A rube who wanted to start a blog.

I had a few bumps, but now I’m expanding my business with a mix of completely new services. I’m also building a new destination I’m just as excited about.

The above mix is my “there” and I started to put it together after the practice of blogging woke me up from my stupor.

I was doing fine, but I needed to reach another level.

My foundation (learning, business acumen, life experience) was perfectly fine, thank you, I just needed a swift kick in the ass …

And the practice of blogging provided the kick.

After a few years in this space, I’ve seen more than a few people launch into the stratosphere.

And I’m guessing after years of hard work and struggle, something finally clicked and everything they had learned and experienced started working in harmony.

Sometimes I think that is all you need, a spark to ignite the fire within.

2. You Have Creativity, in Spades. 

Oftentimes, your daily struggle comes because you’ve never embraced your creative side.

You don’t have to be an artist, photographer or poet.

Creativity comes in many forms, from code-weaving to business-planning, to … wait for it … building an amazing online presence.

Look, I spent years designing logos, websites and more, but as strange as it may seem, I wasn’t being creative.

I was more like a highly disciplined factory worker doing a good job.

THAT is the trap that is so easy to fall into, whatever you do.

It doesn’t have to be like this, and often the best way out is falling in love with your innovative spirit.

Pick one creative practice (mine is writing every morning) and run with it. Experiment and don’t stop until you find something you can’t get enough of. It will make you better and richer in every way.

3. Just Do It, Your Way.

And finally we are getting back to the fantasies I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Okay there are exceptions and a few people in the online space are living the dream, but guess what? It’s their dream.

They had a plan, put in the time, and labored for years, and I’m guessing they didn’t follow someone else’s formula … their formula was all their own.

Of course it was.

So, today forget the gurus, ignore the naysayers and get busy. This is about surviving and thriving your way. (Sing it, Franky baby!)

Many “gurus” within the online realm beat the drum of “failing fast,” but their foundation is a mirage in the ether.

And more than a few have mastered the craft of artful deception. They suck you in and spit you out.

Your way past this facade is by embracing what you already have, firing it up with creativity and doing it the only right way … your way.

Get rolling.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen Lahey July 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

Small business success (online, or otherwise) starts with picking a good group of people to help and helping them. Of course, being aware of the fundamentals of sales, marketing and human nature helps a lot, too. But to get anywhere – you have to start somewhere. :)
Stephen Lahey recently posted..Steve Gordon on Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Your Referrals with Half the EffortMy Profile


Craig McBreen July 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Hi Stephen,

And oftentimes I have to convince the owner or partner to let one of there good people do something else … related to content marketing ;) Not always an easy fight, but once this happens we are golden and I see it as part of my job to bring someone in-house up to speed on all. Thanks for the visit :)


Arleen July 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I can sure say that I did it my way. The good news is that if it doesn’t work out, I can rethink it and go a different direction because I have no one to blame. I started blogging about a year ago. It has been an interesting journey and one that has been very rewarding. Have picked up a good following. That is something I thought I could never do as my forte is selling NOT writing. I try to come with analogies that relate to what is going on today and business,

Haven’t seen you around in a while. Hope all is goo with you Craig


Craig McBreen July 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

Hi Arleen,

Good to see you and it has been awhile. Many people think their forte is anything else but writing, but if they are an expert in their industry, like you, some amazing things can happen when those fingers meet the keyboard.

I’m happy for you and so glad the practice of blogging is making a difference … I’ll try and get over and check it out.



Adrienne July 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I love this Craig!

I did it their way and didn’t do so well so I did it my way and that’s when things started really happening. Isn’t that a hoot!

Now I’m not saying that their way didn’t work but it’s kind of like going on a “diet”. I hate that word but we all know what it means right! So you can lay out the plan that people should follow and they can each follow it to a tea. They do the work, they eat the right foods but some lose, some don’t and some gain. I don’t understand it for the life of me but I’m the one that would gain.

My point is that it’s not always a one size fits all scenario. We can take their advice, learn from them and then tweak it to suit and fit our needs. All I know is that it sure worked for me.

Great share Craig and thanks for this. Hope you’re doing well and looking forward to the weekend.

Adrienne recently posted..How To Learn From A SuperheroMy Profile


Craig McBreen July 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

Hi Adrienne,

Funny you talk about diets, because I tried everything, but it wasn’t until I figured out what works for me that I kept the weight off. Also, … I hate the word “diet” too, it’s really about changing habits and lifestyle … long-term stuff. This is where trying to create, and sustain an online presence is no different. Do it your way, but prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.

Hope you have a great weekend as well.


Maxwell Ivey July 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hi Craig; Thanks for sharing with us. Two of those moments for me were one achieving the rank of eagle scout and two selling a double decker carousel last year in only 30 minutes online. The first happened before computers much less the internet and social media. The second was a direct result of my linked in network and having what a buyer was already looking for at the right time and price. I recently started a second blog at the urging of friends. In it I share more of my personal experiences. It has gotten good response and comments so far. Now, I am in the process of setting up social media pages for the blind blogger and building additional networks. thanks for the encouragement and take care, Max
Maxwell Ivey recently posted..using click to tweet adding google business pages and finding a pinterest work aroundMy Profile


Craig McBreen July 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Hi Max,

Great moments, and thanks for sharing them. Not sure if I’ve ever seen a double decker carousel ;)

Congratulations on the second blog, that is great news! Great idea, so glad your friends urged you on. I wish you nothing but success, and now that you have two online properties, you’ll be a very busy man.


Carrie Morgan July 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

Love this! Not everyone is comfortable going their own way and boldly striking out into the unknown.

I’ve learned that it can help to surround myself with similar people, those who don’t fear what comes next, and having no friggin CLUE what the future looks like – but they know they don’t fit into the boring cattle call.

Thinking differently and unleashing creativity is SERIOUSLY HARD WORK. It’s far easier to follow everyone else than risk ridicule and even, for most of us, risk success.

If you haven’t read Chris Brogan’s new book, Freaks Inherit The Earth, I highly recommend it. It’s on a bit of a similar theme, but about how those who push forward with their own unique creativity and ideas are the change leaders.

Be brave. Push on.
Carrie Morgan recently posted..A Delicious Facebook Brand Page Case Study: Smash CakeryMy Profile


Craig McBreen July 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hi Carrie,

Thank you, and you’re so right. The boring cattle call … ha, I like that. But it’s true, get to know those you are okay dealing with fear and uncertainty, ’cause they’re always there if you’re trying to make things happen.

Thinking differently is seriously hard work … indeed! But it’s also a much more enjoyable process, because trying to follow some by-the-book formula is kinda like pulling teeth … labor intensive, but zero fun ;)

I’ve been wondering about Chris’s book, now I think you’ve convinced me to pick it up :)

Thanks for the visit.


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