4 Essential Practices For Online Success (or How To Choose Yourself)

by Craig McBreen · 18 comments · Branding, Breaking out

iStock_000002716328XSmallWhenever I listen to a Seth Godin interview, I come away smarter.

And this interview is no exception.

When discussing the Connection Economy, he dispensed this splendid little nugget …

“In 1740 there was zero percent unemployment because there were no jobs. If you worked, you worked for yourself. We are heading there really fast, again. And it’s going to be bumpy and painful along the way. And the question is do you want to get out in front of that?”

And a little pearl of wisdom …

“No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.”


Who knows how long it will take for traditional jobs to drift off into the cosmos.

Really. Read Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity is Near” and you’ll start to realize how quickly the factory model (and life as we know it) will disappear. It might be more “overnight” than you think.

But let’s get back to our humble world of marketing, the Connection Economy and your part in this promising new age.

My glass is half full. Is yours?

Maybe we should think of ourselves as Renegades, because:

1. I like that word and

2. This hopeful new era will be fueled by creative disruption

Renegades disrupt.

And in my little orb of branding done right, I’m more excited than Paul Allen at a “Star Trek” convention.

Ingenuity wrapped in rebel spirit will rule the day.

We’re just getting started and it’s pretty damn diggity dank.

So how do you jump on board (read: get as excited as I am) and bust a move?

1. Give your online community a crushing bear-hug.
Since I mentioned Seth I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “tribes.” And the 18th Century model he describes will soon be back, but in a fancy new and improved package.

I’m preaching to the choir here, but show your online community some affection and seek those who want what you got, ’cause the gatekeepers are dying on the vine and never, ever in the history of this big, beautiful planet have you had such amazing opportunities.

Choose yourself, then connect with the right people, over and over and over. Finding “your” people is now more important than ever. You know this, but it needs repeating. If your main goal is to make money, start over. If it’s to really truly help someone on the other end, I think you just might be onto something.

2. Do NOT fear transparency.
I’m now thinking about sales and what Daniel Pink has written regarding information asymmetry – the old world where the salesman knew more than the buyer and could scheme like a lying dog. A “buyer beware” world. Today we are much closer to information parity or “seller beware.”

The old “secret” information is now there for all to see and the old “master of deception” trick has been burnt to a cinder. Because of technology it’s getting easier to spot the phonies by the day, but more importantly … it’s easier for you to be a modern day George Bailey. Honesty and hard work win in the end.

frank sinatra3. Belt out “that” Frank Sinatra song like you mean it.
You know the one … work to convey Your message Your Way. Wrap that fat content in big, bold personality. Kick fear to the curb and “bring it” like nobody else can.

This brings people back. It’s like the honest you from number 2, with a semi-sized cherry on top. Genuinely engage, don’t be so boilerplate and see where it leads. And for God’s sake, please have fun, because all work and zero play will make a dull boy (or girl) of ya. Excuse my redneck grammar.

4. Disrupt daily.
Take a sledgehammer to convention. Shake up your day and realize that connecting things is often a chaotic and slightly painful process.

Like I wrote here, a crazy ass pass (or path) is often your best option. And the process of disruptive thinking (doing the opposite of what is expected) is a powerful practice to create something new and exciting.

So, embrace small, intimate communities; be true to yourself and your peeps; bring it like ya mean it; and let that ingenious spirit spring forth.

Creativity, hard work and authenticity now rock more than ever. And it is time to become the digital gunslinger you know your are.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaarina Dillabough March 21, 2013 at 4:09 am

As Frankie says: I’m doin’ it my way. Disrupt. Shake up. Change up. Rock on. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. thanks for the pingback…much appreciated:)
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..How to Stand Up and Stand Out: Getting Attention for your Book through MediaMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

Hi Kaarina,

Frankie sure knew how to live ;) You are most welcome!


Sarah Li Cain March 21, 2013 at 5:49 am

hahaha…crazy ass pass. I agree with being transparent. I have always been happier and more successful whenever I’m honest with other and myself.

I have the sudden urge to do a fist pump.
Sarah Li Cain recently posted..What’s Love Got to Do With It?My Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hey Sarah,

It’s fun trying a crazy ass pass, at least every once in a while. Yes, being honest makes everything else easier. How about a fist Bump? Cheers!


Josh March 21, 2013 at 6:34 am

Got a double dose of crazy but I like it that way. If you don’t do it your way than what and who are you.

That is not just rah rah speech either, when we let our personalities and passion come out we tend to be happier.
Josh recently posted..19 Ways You Can Make Money While Blogging From The BathroomMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 7:58 am

Hey Josh,

Me too ;) I say … just not so boilerplate and please have some fun while your at it.

And yes, I agree, we tend to be much happier campers this way.


Ralph March 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

Now before any taxpayers show up and say making money is the end game and nothing else I have to say making money is the residual benefit of doing what you suggest. The path is so much more important. The means to the end so to speak.

Craig, you could offer some ideas on how to get there. Some best practices or some tips. Personally, I would find that extremely helpful. You see, as I mentioned I am starting down a new path within the firm where I work. It is very entrepreneurial in nature which is very exciting and scary at the same time.

I love your motivational writing and would love to tie some of that passion together with some application tips. I am sure you can relate.

Sorry if this is all bunched together. My smartphone doesn’t like paragraphs. Hope you are well. Cheers and thanks for listening.

Hey, anyone can pipe in here!
Ralph recently posted..QOTW 2013: Week 10: Do you think your advice will make things better?My Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hi Ralph,

The path is indeed much more important, plus I don’t know about you, but I wanna have some fun along the way.

You want to shoot me an email and let me know what you’re looking for? The reason I ask is because I have several projects in the works (and a few ideas similar to what you suggest). “Things” in the works and the project framework might be built on new posts.

Thanks, and not bundled together at all.


Rob Skidmore March 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

Love it Craig!

It’s scary but I’m so excited to be living during these times. I feel like our world views are changing; people are living leaner, getting by with less, working for themselves rather than putting in a a lifetime of indentured servitude at some corporation. People like Seth and Daniel get it. I can’t wait until those thoughts trickle down into the general public.

Hopefully I can get out ahead of the curve.

Also can I just say that I really enjoy the way you write posts; bold statements and fonts, short sentences. You have a great rhythm. It makes all of your posts feel dense and heavy hitting. Love it.
Rob Skidmore recently posted..Why Everyone Needs SEOMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Hey Rob,

Thank you, Sir!

It is indeed the new normal and sometimes I get the sense that guys like Seth and Daniel are not just trying to sell books, but to warn us. This whole choose yourself thing is no B.S.

“Hopefully I can get out ahead of the curve.”
– I’m sure you will, from what I’ve heard from you so far!

Thanks for the kind words, that made my day! Onward and upward Mr. Skidmore!


Andrew Stark March 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hi Craig,

This post really resonates with me, as the company I work for is rapidly downsizing and I know that without the deep pockets of the corporation I will have to give up my science career as the overheads are gigantic.

It will become survival of the fittest, and the sooner people wise up that you can’t rely on government or corporations anymore as these organisations are lead by people who are have MBA qualifications but no life skills and are scared of losing their own job they just do whatever they can to cling onto what little power they have left.

Here’s to Seth deciding to get into politics and change the world for the better.

Andrew Stark recently posted..The ONLY Real Way To Make Money Using The InternetMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Hi Andrew,

It’s so interesting. The blogosphere is so full of very smart people with amazing skills and years of eduction, because of the weak job market and this new age Seth Godin writes and speaks about. People doing amazing things and learning completely new skill sets.

I think you’re second paragraph sums it all up rather nicely.

Those who learn to stay ahead will not only be okay, but may just flourish like never before. Scary but strangely exciting. Like I said, I’m a glass half full guy ;)

Thanks, Sir!


Mary Stephenson March 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi Craig

So odd, unique, a bit crazy and engaging might really work! Did read the article you are referring to. I know traditional jobs are no longer secure. You think my mailman would care more about not folding my letters in half and sticking them in the slot so they won’t go down! I guess he feels his job is secure and it probably is for him. But most everyone else could be out the door tomorrow, no matter how good of a job they do.

Mary Stephenson recently posted..Conversations With Myself!My Profile


Craig McBreen March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Hi Mary,

Yes! ;)

I honestly wonder how long tradition jobs will be around at all. With advances in technology over the next 5-10 years we’re in for some interesting times.

We have a locking mailbox, but the mailman often leaves the letters hanging out ;) But guess what? The USPS is in trouble too. No such thing as job security, that’s for sure.

Thanks for stopping in!


Sheila Berqguist March 22, 2013 at 12:06 am

I love this post! I am so glad that honesty has become the best route because I would never make it trying to scam someone…just not good at that, thank goodness! Times are indeed changing and it is both scary and exciting. I always enjoy reading your wise words!
Sheila Berqguist recently posted..Getting Rid of Cat HairMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 22, 2013 at 8:06 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks! I’m not a good scammer either, but that’s a good thing. Cheers to the demise of the slimy salesman!

Thanks for popping on in!


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