2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, my blogs were private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.
Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey as a blogger. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.
So, really what is blogging to me? My blogs are the canvas for my words. Words which stem from dreams, thoughts, observations, analysis, learning’s, conversations, view-points, outlook, views, emotions, perspectives, achievements, mistakes, failures, lessons learnt, comprehensions, experiences and conclusions.
As of date, I run two popular blogs:
(1) VERVE : The Quintessence of my Life – Which is my personal blog and covers a broad range of topics around Life, Creativity, Parenting, Relationships, Human Experiences, Emotions, etc.
(2) Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions – Which is my professional blog in which I about topics of professional interest which revolves around Social Media, Marketing, Leadership, Innovation and Strategy.
In addition to the above, I also publish guest posts in several reputed sites of global repute.
Blogging can transform your life in more than one way. Once you start actively blogging, you will see many aspects of your life can change drastically. Physically, you become more aware and observant of the world around you – Simply because you need things to write about on your blogs, and most bloggers typically draw in from real-life experiences. Emotionally, you will feel more balanced and happy; because you get an opportunity to express your emotions through your blogs. Intellectually, you need to think to write a blog – So it provides good exercise to the “gray matter” in your brain. Socially, it can help you build new networks and connections with like-minded people, and also interesting people – Whom you would otherwise never have known. In some cases, it can also elevate your social standing in select circles. If you are good in blogging and consciously work on blog monetization, it can add to your personal finances. And of course spiritually also, blogging can help you re-connect with yourself!
So it really has the potential to touch impact and influence every facet of your life.
Personally, there have been several positives. If I had to list the top benefits and life skills which are enhanced along my blogging journey, they are:
- Blogging enables you to be a lifelong learner
- Blogging enhances your self-discipline
- Blogging enables you to prioritize better
- Blogging helps you truly understand a subject; The best way to understand any subject is to teach someone about it or to write about it
- Blogging enables you to hone and refine your written communication skills
- Blogging enhances your “thinking skills”
- Blogging helps you accept and deal with compliments and criticism in a better way; It makes you open to feedback
- Blogging compels you to improve your personal time management skills
- Blogging makes you dream; and dreams are vital to the journey of life
- Blogging give you a new-found respect for every other writer / blogger; and a new-found respect for your blog readers
In conclusion, I’d like to say that Reading and Writing can be your two best friends in life. And the blog-o-sphere can enable you to do both – So why would you not extend your hands in friendship to blogging?
At the end of the day, a blog is really a creative piece of art. And a blogger (is like an artist) who need to be true to his / her blog-art.
Blogging can change your LIFE! – Give it a chance today….
Happy Blogging and Have a Great Day!
Originally published @ here
As a writer / blogger, I have found Social Media to be a blessing! Be it Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – They all prove to be invaluable for any writer..
So How can Social Media really help a writer / blogger?
One of the best ways Social media can help any writer / blogger is for research. Research is an integral part of the writing / blogging process; and most writers / bloggers spend time in active research on the internet. Searching in Blogs, or on Twitter using specific Hashtags, or even simply following an expert on a specific topic on Twitter can significantly simply your research process and reduce effort!
Most writers / bloggers need a periodic dose of inspiration to bring out the best pieces of creative output. We all have different triggers / things which inspire us, and Social Media provides it in abundance. The only pre-requisite is you should know what kind of things inspire you (quotes, pictures, emotions, others experience’s, etc.) and you should know the fastest way to get your dose of inspiration on Social Media. trust me! Its there everywhere – Blogs, Tweets, Pinterest, etc. etc
Many times, a write / blogger needs ideas – On the topics to write about, how to articulate, how to take the story further – And you just can’t seem to move ahead. Again, Social Media can come to your rescue. Sometimes reading totally unrelated articles fuels your imagination (I don’t know how the brain wiring works, but it does!) and propels your forward, Sometimes reading a tweet gives you food for thought, Sometimes a picture / infographic does the trick, and sometimes it is a blog post which gives you that killer idea! Sometimes it is your own past Social Media activities which trigger new ideas and thoughts
4) Easy access to samples of other writers / bloggers
Many writers / bloggers like to read samples of what other writers / bloggers have to say. It can be for very many reasons – To get exposure to alternate styles of work, to gauge audience sentiments, to figure out tips, tricks and best practices of the trade, or simply because they enjoy others work. Again, Social media provides easy and instant access to sample the work of other writers / bloggers
5) Promotion & Marketing
Sharing your blogs / writings has never been more easy, efficient, quick and global as it is today. Any blogger / writer can share their work at the click of a button. So Social Media can aid significantly in Promotion & Marketing
6) A Social Network
Writing / Blogging are lonely activities. It is just you , your thoughts , your words and your tools (Whatever hardware and software and systems you use!). So many writers / bloggers do like to have social interactions with others – After all, it is a basic human need! And the best part of Social Media is you can converse at any time you wish to, and with anyone who is willing to converse with you on any Social Media channel (Be it Twitter, FaceBook chat, etc etc). This virtual social network sometimes is a blessing for most writers / bloggers.
7) Writing / Blogging Groups and Communities
The other good thing about Social Media is the presence of online Groups and Communities. They exist on almost all channels (FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+, etc.) and are formed by individuals who have common interests on specific subjects. Such groups usually share knowledge, information, request for reviews, provide feedback, support, encouragement and many times, also help in Promotion & Marketing of your work. You can join one / many such Groups and Communities, based on your personal interest, the time you are willing to invest and the personal value you see from them. But if you join the right Groups and Communities, you can benefit enormously by learning and interacting from fellow writers and bloggers.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know…
2008 was the year I entered the blog-o-sphere; primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I created my first blogs in which I used to write occasionally – Of course, it was private. In 2010, I shared my blogs with my inner network of friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback. After this initial response, my blogs went public in 2010 and so started my blogging journey.
Its 2013 now – Almost 3 years since I embarked on my blogging journey. During this journey, I have published 1000+ posts [Average of 1 post / day] on my own blogs (public, restricted and private), and have published several guest posts in site of global repute on a diverse set of topics.
So after 3 years of blogging – Am I any wiser?
Well, I’m sharing some of the most important lessons of my blogging journey in this post.
(1) If you’re wondering why should blog. Here are the AEIOU reasons
- Blogging increase your AWARENESS
- Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
- Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
- Blogging makes you OBSERVE
- Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND
For full details, refer my post on AEIOU reasons for you to blog
(2) Writing on a blog helps you learn and discover more about yourself – Let me just say, you re-discover yourself and re-connect with yourself in ways which you could never have imagined
(3) Regularly writing on your blog is a great way to express yourself, your thoughts, your creativity, your views, your perspective, your ideas, your opinions, your experiences – if nothing else, it does wonders for your overall state of well-being (emotional and intellectual)
(4) Blogging is a “creative process”. Take the time to understand the process. It is worthwhile in the long run
(5) Blogging helps you to create new relationships and there is beauty in blogging relationships
(6) Guest Blogging is a great way to challenge yourself and extend the reach of your writings. The learning’s and connections you make in the process is invaluable. Here’s a summary of what Guest Blogging taught me
(7) Blogging has the potential to open new doors and possibilities – More than you can dream, think or imagine. Here’s a post I wrote on “OK You Write a Blog – So what Next?”
(8) Regular Blogging helps build and enhance your own self-discipline. And self-discipline is a great virtue to build in today’s day and age.
(9) Starting a blog is easy, but continuing to blog for years is a challenge for many. One of the key reasons is because every blogger runs out of ideas to blog. And for this, it is important to read continuously, and to wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog and to Focus on Diversity on your blog ; constantly challenge yourself to do new things on your blog. Be creative and sky is the limit to how long you can blog! For e.g.: Do reviews, interviews, curate great content, share interesting quotes, etc.
(9) Blogging can help you share your thoughts and views through interviews and alternate mediums for a larger reach. Check one of my first interviews focused around Blogging
(10) Every blog has a Hype Cycle. Be aware of it and spend time in understand this hype cycle
(11) There are only 3 Types of Blogs which a reader will really remember. If you want to make a mark in the blogging world, ask yourself if you’re doing any of these?
- Blogs from which YOU LEARN
- Blogs which make YOU THINK
- Blogs which TOUCH YOUR HEART
(12) Practice the 65:20:15 Mantra for every blog post.
- 65% of your time should go towards Blog Content
- 20% of your time should go towards Blog Marketing
- 15% of your time should go towards Blog Reader Engagement (after the post is published)
(13) Having an Editorial Calendar helps any blogger to be regular and disciplined about blogging efforts
(14) Blogging is a journey; Not a destination. Enjoy the journey
(15) To Keep at Blogging, here’s what you need
- New Life experiences
- Passion for writing
And all the above are vital in the journey of life as well. So why not consciously invest in these by starting your blogging journey today?
On that note, Happy Blogging! Give Blogging a chance today..
Who knows how it will change your life!
It is 2013. The start of a new year. Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you. And Thank you for reading and following my blogs. I genuinely appreciate it and hope to create compelling content this year to keep you engaged as a reader.
In this post I will be listing what I will be blogging about in 2013 on this blog.
What will I be blogging about?
As the blog title states, I will be blogging about Social Media, Leadership and Marketing. In addition, I will also write about things close to my heart or which I am passionate about with the intent that you will learn something new, feel inspired or go back with something to think about…
How frequently will I be updating this blog?
Once a week on an average. In some occasions, I will be updating more frequently
When will I update new posts?
Every Thursday at 3 PM IST (Starting with this one)
The monthly schedule will typically be as below:
Week 1 – A post on Social Media
Week 2 – A post on Marketing
Week 3 – A post on Leadership
Week 4 – Nischala’s Blog-o-Review in which I will be posting a review of a book, blog or something worth sharing
Will I continue Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous Series which I started in 2012?
Well.. No.. Atleast not so actively as in 2012. If I do come across any specific individual that I’d like to feature for any specific reason, I will do a Rendezvous.
Will I accept Guest Posts for this blog?
I’ve received several requests from people across the globe to post on my blog. Unfortunately I am not accepting Guest Posts for this blog. Any Guest post published on this blog is by INVITATION only.
“What is a blog really like?” was the question asked.
And the answer which satisfied the audience was “A blog is really like a Movie…”
I was addressing a group of non-bloggers and I found it hard to explain what blogging really is. Suprisingly, the answer which satisfied them was one in which I explained how a blog is really like a movie… The reality is that there are several people in the world who don’t know what a blog is and why anyone in the world would spend their time and money in blogging
And to such an audience, the most effective and satisfactory response was this “Every blog that you publish is really like a Movie…”.. ..And in this blog post, I’ve tried to make my point on the co-relation between the Movie World and the Blogging World….
I am neither a Movie buff nor do I understand the nitty gritties of movie-making.. But I do have a high level understanding of movie making and of course, an in-depth understanding of creating a successful blog…
There are really 3 broad phases in making a movie / blog
Phase 1 – The Ideation Phase : In which you have an idea for your movie / blog
Phase 2 – The Creation Phase : In which you give form to your idea to create the end product (movie / blog)
Phase 3 – The Promotion Phase : In which you market your creation (movie / blog) to an audience
And then of course, is the Feedback phase in which the audience verdict is OUT – Good, Bad or Ugly!
Phase 1 – The Ideation Phase
This is probably the most critical phase in the journey of making a movie or a blog. Simply because you need to have an idea for your blog – In terms of the topics of focus for your blog and specifically in terms of the topic for every single blog post of yours! And if you get this RIGHT, your chances of success increase manifold!
Phase 2 – The Creation Phase
For easy of communication and comprehension, refer the comparison below:
|In the Movie World||In the Blogging World|
|Director||Blogger – In terms of making the idea come to life and ensuring that everything needed from the creative or technical side is taken care of|
|Producer||Blogger – In terms of the investments he / she does to create and maintain the blog (both the design elements and the content)|
|Story||This really translates to how the blogger is able to articulate his / her idea into words and the power of the message in the blog!|
|Actors (Hero / Heroine)||The words. Yes! The words you write on your blog are your final actors. You can make them perform the way you want based on your choice of words, your literary elegance and your presentation style|
|Editor||Again, the blogger itself if he /she does the editorial work or someone else you hire for your editorial efforts|
|Special Effects||This can be through pictures, music, podcasts, video blogs, infographics, etc. – You can choose your special effects based on your individual creativity, preference and context.The point to note is that there are several options available and you can decide based on the kind of investments you are willing to make (time and money), your target audience, your objective for the blog and the impact you want to create!|
|Guest Performances||Don’t we all like the appearance of a guest actor / star in a movie? Be it for a special song or just to make a point! Sure we do because it’s just so refreshing. So it is with guest blogs.As a blogger, you allow other guest bloggers to write for your blog to bring in diverse points-of-view to your audience. Also, not to mention the actual effort of creating the content (which becomes a challenge after a while) is the responsibility of the guest bloggerAlso, as a blogger you probably also write guest posts for other blogs because your able to enhance your brand and reach a wider audience with minimum time and efforts (as someone else is finally responsible and accountable) for the end product|
Phase 3 – The Promotion Phase
This is probably the most important phase as it determines the results that your efforts yield. Firstly, you need to be clear about who your target audience is. And then you need to define and execute a well-integrated marketing plan to promote your blogs. So for e.g: You need to send an e-mail about your blog or share it on FaceBook or ask some celebrity (online / offline) to share your blogs on Twitter, etc etc. While there are many channels, what’s impoartant is to decide on the key (say 3) channels you will leverage for your promotional activities…
And once you’re blog is released, all you can do is to hope that your readers will enjoy your blog.. you work of art.. or your BLOG-ART!
What do you think? Is there a similarity between the blogging and movie world? Leave a comment to let me know
Originally published @ http://arkarthick.com/2012/05/22/blogging-101-blog-is-like-movie/
I’ve been active in the blog-o-sphere for about 5 years now. During this time, I have read zillions of blogs of people from all over the world and from different cultures.. About 2 years back, I had a personal hypothesis which suggested that an individual’s blogging behavior is partly influenced by their culture.
Before getting into details, I’d like to share a broad definition of culture : ”Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.” [Src: http://www.livescience.com/21478-what-is-culture-definition-of-culture.html ]
So have you ever thought whether culture influences your blogging behavior? Well I did! And I am listing below the blogging behaviors which are influenced by culture:
- Awareness on what a blog is – Reflection on your inherent curiosity in learning and being aware of the world around you! (And trust me! There are lots of people who still do not know what a blog is)
- Whether you start a blog (it could be private or public) – A reflection of coming down to “doing things” – Do you want first hand experience? Do you like to try and test the waters? Same can be extended for anything in life!
- Whether your blog is public or private – A reflection of how much of yourself you like to share and also how confident you are about yourself, your views and your literary abilities!
- How long you continue a blog – A reflection of your interest, creativity, self motivation, priorities and discipline. All these are vital to sustain a blog in the long term
- Your habits in reading blogs – A reflection of your personal interest and priorities (which are definitely influenced by your culture)
- Do you read blogs? If yes, how frequently?
- What kind of blogs you read? (Topics / Focus. For e.g.: Cooking, Parenting, etc.)
- Do you comment on a Blog – A reflection of whether you have a view on a subject and whether you are comfortable expressing yourself in public. And even if you do, do you prefer to comment with your own name, a fictitious name or anonymously!
- Will you share a Blog – A reflection of your beliefs when it comes to sharing and the value you associate with sharing- Do you like to share valuable / invaluable information / content with others or do you keep it for yourself?
- With Whom?
- Through which channel? – Mail, Twitter, FaceBook, etc
NOTE: Above is purely based on my observations and analysis of blogs across the globe. I don’t have hard-data or scientific analysis to prove / disprove my hypothesis. And I definitely believe that this could be a great research topic for anyone to pursue in detail.
What’s your view? Do you think your culture influences your blogging behavior?
Leave a comment to let me know
During one of my initial marketing assignments, I came across the 30:3:30 Marketing Principle – One which I have effectively leveraged in several marketing communications.
So what is the 30:3:30 Principle?
The 30:3:30 Principle suggests that when any marketing material is presented to readers – They immediately became either a 30-second reader, a 3-minute reader, or a 30-minute reader. The principle also goes on to add that a 30-second reader can move on to become 3- or 30-minute readers if the information gleaned in the 30-seconds / 3-minutes motivates / compels them to do so, thanks to:
i) Interesting / relevant / contextual / crisp / catchy titles and headlines
ii) A well written introduction and opening and
iii) Easy-to-digest / appealing / novel / interesting content , articulation and representation (For e.g: Pictures, Tables, Bullet points, Crisp content).
Having been in the blog-o-sphere for several years now, I can’t help but wonder if the 30:3:30 Principle applies to blogs as well..
After looking at the performance of my own blogs, blog analytics, analysis and interpretation – I DO BELIEVE THAT the 30:3:30 Principle applies to blogs as well. In this post, I will explain how and the key take-away for any blogger
For starters, what I’ve realized is that it is critical for any blogger to introspect on the most important question – “WHY WILL ANYONE READ MY BLOG REGULARLY?” – And the most important word is “REGULARLY” – Not for today or one random post which a reader comes across during random online browsing activity – But really a loyal reader of your blogs for months or years or decades to come…[Provided you continue to blog that long J]
1) Is it because they like you?
2) Is it because they know you?
3) Is it because they want to know you?
4) Is it because what you are blogging is relevant in their context?
5) Is it because they value what you publish on your blogs? – It could be your own content or guest posts from others or it could be a content curation exercise!
Whatever be the reason, as long as they follow your blogs regularly – You are doing it RIGHT!
So coming back to 30:3:30 Principle and its relation to Blogging… Here’s the KEY TAKE-AWAY..
Lets just assume that a reader has some-how landed on a post on your blog..What a reader reads on your blog for the initial 30 seconds (30 second reader) translates into whether he / she will continue to read your blog for the next 3 minutes
Takeaway for a BLOGGER – The first 30 seconds is just enough time for any reader to read the title of your blog – So do make sure that the title is one / more of the following – Interesting / Novel / Inviting / Unique / Catchy / Appealing / Compelling…
Moving on, let’s say you did this right! And now the reader has been converted into a 3-minute reader and continues reading your blog..
Takeaway for a BLOGGER – The introduction and opening to your blog is critical. This will determine how long a reader will linger on your blog! Make sure that the introduction is one / more of the following – Engaging / Personal / Relevant / Interesting / Humorous / Surprising / Shocking – In my personal experience, these usually have the best readership
Moving further, let’s say you did this also right! And now the reader has been converted into a 30-minute reader and continues reading your blog..So what can you do?
Takeaway for a BLOGGER – Ensure that the overall experience for any reader on your blog is positive in more than one ways
And while every reader has different things for what they would classify as a “POSITIVE” reader experience, the following are important:
1) About YOU – A short and sweet note about you – Ensure that it is personal and reflective of what you really stand for. Ensure that you use your own name (unless you have a reason NOT TO) and also use a photograph so that people can associate a face to a name. Extra Tip – Do add some humor as if you make your reader smile, the chances are that they will continue to hang-out your blog!
2) Compelling content!
3) Search option
4) Contact Me option
5) Categorization of your content
- Into logical groups and
- Based on a timeline
6) Options to share through Social Media
7) One / More Ways to connect with the blogger
8) Place to comment and last but not least
9) About Your Blog – which should include the following:
- Why you started the blog?
- What you will blog about?
- Frequency of your blogging
- Most Popular content / posts on your blog – in terms of
- Comments OR / And
Moving further, let’s say you did this also right! Many Congrats to YOU.. You just managed to acquire a regular reader to your blog.. who probably will read your blog regularly – and hence can be upgraded to the 300-minute reader..
So are you a 30-second reader or a 3-minute reader or 30-minute reader or a 300-minute reader on my blog? Hoping that you are a 300-minute reader on my BLOG
Leave a comment to let me know…
Each picture speaks a zillion words
Touches your soul
And takes your breath away!
Dana Saviuc’s Photography
BY Dana Savuic
Digital Photography School
BY Darren Rowse
BY Kristie Heins
BY Thomas Bonin
BY Frank Boenigk
Here and Now
BY Cyril Bays
Daily Dose of Imagery
BY Sam Javanrouh
Moments like This
BY Uwe Eischens
These Fleeting Moments
BY Jason Ertel
BY Diane Varner
BY David and Libby Nightingale
Blogging is a creative medium for literary expressions…
The reason I say “CREATIVE” is simply because
* You need to be CREATIVE in the topics
* You need to be CREATIVE in the articulations
* You need to be CREATIVE in reader engagement
Else, you will not enjoy the blogging journey
In this blog, I have listed the AEIOU Reasons for YOU to Blog :
Blogging increase your AWARENESS
Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
Blogging makes you OBSERVE
Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND
All these are based on my own personal experiences and journey as a blogger over the past 2+ years!
Blogging increase your AWARENESS
Once you start blogging regularly, you become AWARE. Aware about what? – Yourself, Your environment, People, Events, Social Media, Tools, Technologies,… – The WORLD at LARGE! And AWARENESS is probably the single most important REASON why you should blog. Once your own awareness increases, the sky is the limit to what you can think, do or achieve!
Blogging enhances your own EXPRESSIONS
The one thing which REALLY MAKES a difference in today’s world is EFFECTIVE EXPRESSIONS – Be it as a part of personal or professional life. And blogging can make a transformational difference here! The more you blog, the more you are compelled to express yourself in a clear and concise fashion – So that anyone anywhere can comprehend your message. And over a period of time, you will be able to witness a transformational change in your expressions. This has a definite positive implication in all aspects of your life
Blogging compels you to INTROSPECT
To blog, you need to be able to introspect and “connect the dots” in your head – There’s lots of data, views, opinions, perspectives available today – It’s the age of Information Overload. Blogging compels you to leverage some / all of this information to your own life experiences and INTROSPECT so that you have a message to share. And that’s how your blog content emerges…
Blogging makes you OBSERVE
If you’ve been blogging for a while now, the one change you will see in yourself is that you are more OBSERVANT. And why? Because you will realize that after a point – what you can write about in your blogs is linked to your own observations – Can be observations of yourself, nature, friends, family, customers, organizations, people at work, children, schools, education, etc. And the more you observe, the more you actually learn.. And Learning is a key element in the journey of life..
Blogging enables you to UNDERSTAND
TRUE UNDERSTANDING of anything in the world comes only with AWARENESS, OBSERVATION and INTROSPECTION. And this can be understanding on any topic – Could be blogging, to social media, to people, to yourself. Blogging makes you understand several things – because in the long run, you cannot blog quality and quantity content if you don’t understand and appreciate things in you and around you…
On that note, HAPPY BLOGGING!
And hope this blog inspired you to leave a BLOG in the blogosphere.
What are the reasons you recommend for others to BLOG? Leave a comment to let me know…
ABOUT BRUCE SALLAN
Happy and Proud Dad who learns everyday | Writer of the book “A Dad’s Point of View” | Blogger | Radio Show Host | Former Award Winning Television Executive; Former Producer of 30 Television, Movies, Pilots and Series; Former Vice President at ABC. For a detailed bio on Bruce, check this link . You can also refer Bruce’s Media Kit
Nischala: Bruce.. Good Evening! Thank You so much for your time. It’s indeed a pleasure and honor to talk to you…
Bruce: Hi Nischala. Thank You for talking to me all the way from India.
Nischala: Firstly, congratulations on all your success in the Social media space and on being a speaker at the DatSummit2.0. That’s awesome! My first question to you really is about your career transition from the show business to an advocate of parenting. It’s quite a transformation. How did that happen?
Bruce: To be honest, I’ve had a wonderful first career in the show business and was blessed that I made a lot of money and that gave me significant financial freedom. I’ve worked with some of the best and most talented people in the industry; and have completely enjoyed this stint. And then I experienced first-hand the hardships of a divorce, the loss of my parents and the reality of being a single dad. And I learnt from these experiences and grew as a parent, individual and human being. After a point, I felt that I want to share this message to the world to make it a better place. And thus my second career evolved. I say evolved because I did not plan doing all that I am doing today. I was open to try, to learn and more importantly, to share. What I try to write and blog about is what I call the layman’s “Point of View” on parenting based on my own experiences. I write and share about my journey as a parent – Both the failures and successes. I write about what I did wrong with the intent that other parents across the globe can learn from it. And I do hope that my writing touches people as I write from my heart and it is the truth. What’s most important is to realize that every kid is unique and hence each parent needs to understand this and deal with their children accordingly.
Nischala: That’s wonderful Bruce. And such a noble thought. So what are your guiding principles that make you keep going..
Bruce: This career is not about money.
I have just 3 guiding principles:
1) To make a DIFFERENCE in the WORLD
2) To Have fun
3) To Demonstrate to my kids that it’s possible to be a successful working Dad – Essentially to do complete justice to your responsibilities as a parent and successful professional
Nischala: So can you elaborate a little bit about this? Specially about making a DIFFERENCE in the WORLD
Bruce: Looking back, I think I am blessed that I had an opportunity to meet and interact with diverse people and impact their lives. Even as a part of the show business, I only did work in which I believed I had something positive to say. So I believe if your primary intent is POSITIVE and aimed at DOING GOOD, you will find ways and means to do it! And I believe every individual can make a DIFFERENCE in the WORLD – It can be in your family, friends or a larger scale of impact. But what’s important is to understand that even one simple word, act or deed has the potential to create a transformational change.
And I do want to leave a legacy in the world that I’m proud of…Like I support a girl’s school which is impoverished in Ghana – I personally send books, toys, etc. and request people in my network to do the same. I also request the listeners of my radio shows to help and support in whatever way the can. Now guess what I get in return? A photo of these kids holding the books / other supplies that we shipped them. And the joy and satisfaction of that one image is priceless. I would not trade it for anything else in the world, and mind you – Money cannot buy this! I honestly believe that everyone should give back to others – those you know, those you don’t know, to the world at large
Nischala: That’s very kind of you Bruce. So wonderful that you are supporting such causes – Very noble! My next question is really on how did you this crystal clear clarity on your 3 point agenda for life? Like many of us have good intentions and want to do good, but somehow lack the precision in clarity. And hence somewhere the efforts are not so focused / get diluted in actions.
Bruce: To be honest, there have been a few strong influences in my life; which influenced my thinking and life.
First is Dennis Prager. He is a very WISE MAN. He runs a popular radio chat show. And he mostly writes and speaks about politics, but he also speaks about life. He wrote a book “Happiness is a Serious Problem”. And since I also personally know him and have interacted with him, he’s been a very STRONG influence in my life. So his book + listening to his radio show + my interactions with him have a definite impact on my life.
What he says is that Gratitude is the Number 1 ingredient for a happy life. During a vulnerable moment in life, I once questioned him about the belief in god. My heart wanted to believe, but there was a resistance from my mind. And Dennis is Jewish. So am I. Here’s what he said – “If you observe Shabbat for 52 weeks in a row, you will believe it and it will become a part of your life” – And that’s a very powerful message that I learnt.
So my point is this –
If you are happy, then great – Do show it
If you are not happy, then act as if you are – Fake it until you make it
If nothing else, your show of happiness will probably make others happy – And you’ll end up happy as well
Second, be open to experiment and to new life experiences. I retired from my first career in the show business at the age of 45. For the next 8 – 10 years, I explored and considered several alternative careers – from being an elementary school teacher, to several franchisees like restaurants, etc. before I settled down to being an advocate of parenting
Nischala: Hmmm… So it takes time…
Bruce: Absolutely. It takes time. But make an effort.. And the best way to start is to write it down. You may start with 20 things on that list. And over a period of time, the list will get refined based on your own experiences and growth. Like, over years of trial and error – I’ve come so far. I was open to try, open to learn. When I started, I never thought of doing a radio show, or a tweet chat (#dadchat), or my own comic strip, or being a conference speaker (Like I’m just back from Texas where I was a speaker at the first Dad2.0 Summit. To give you a very specific example – Before, I had no clue what FaceBook was? And more importantly, I had No interest in learning it either. But once I realized the power of Social Media and how it can help in my work – I made the effort to learn. For a year, I had a Social Media tutor. I’d go to her house 2 days a week for an hour & she taught me all about Social Media and how to use it. Learning is important in life. It activates your brain and that’s sometimes even more important as a parent.
Nischala: That’s really commendable Bruce. So what are the most powerful Social media tools that you have found to be most effective?
Bruce: There are 4 really and each serves a different function. In no particular order,
1) Twitter & Tweetchats – I host the #DadChat (6 and 7 PM PST) every Thu. It is a live chat and is open to people all over the world. I usually bring in a special guest and the topic is usually what I have written about on my blog for that week. It’s been an amazing experience and personally, I have been introduced to so many wonderful people across the globe. I’ve also had charity auctions as a part of these chats.
2) My own website / blog
3) Facebook – And this has 2 elements
a. My own Personal profile
b. My FB page of Dad’s Point of View .To be honest, I spend more time on this FB page than to the one dedicated to my work
4) Triberr – Which is really a social advocate site in which you form tribes. Each tribe is owned by a chief and is focused on specific topics of common interest. And this exposes you to the work of other people on that topic and you also get to share each other posts. I’m a member of 7 tribes with a total of 175 tribe members and a reach of 3 million people. So if all 175 were to tweet 1 of my blogs, it has the potential to reach 3 million people. And being a part of these tribes has personally been very rewarding because it has connected me to some awesome writers and thinkers. And most importantly, this is the most critical element of social media – The potential REACH. I spend a significant portion of my time on social media by commenting on other’s posts – Every day, I comment on 15 – 20 posts that I read – And that has been a definitely positive channel to enhance my social media connections, relationships and networks. A lot of artists or bloggers or creative people want to focus only on the creative aspect of their work, and want others to take care of the Marketing, PR, etc. In my view, that is nonsense. Part of your job if you really want to have an impact is to promote yourself (and this needs learning too) and to learn how to reach, connect and engage with your audience / readers. Only then can you make a difference. If that means, you got to dedicate some time for this as a part of your schedule, then so be it. Like for e.g.: Certain portion of my time is devoted to the marketing and promotional activities of my work. I’ve learnt how to use social media and utilize several channels to broaden the audience reach. The more people you reach, the greater you’re potential to create an impact
Nischala: So can you elaborate a little on Tweetchats in terms of how they are moderated and the audience reach?
Bruce: So, the first Tweet chat that I attended was the #blogchat – which was started by Mark Colliers – He’s again an amazing guy and very gracious. Tweet chats were his idea. And the kind of audience reach and engagement is amazing. So for #blogchat, there are usually around 5000 tweets for every chat. In the case of #Dadchat, which is today globally the most popular parenting Tweet chat, there are usually between 1000 to 1500 tweets. I myself post about 200 tweets during each chat. I use Tweetgrid which allows you to filter for the specific hash tags and you can also adjust the settings of the refresh rates. So you can get the tweets in almost real-time, but more importantly you can simultaneously read and respond. I personally think and write really fast. But at end of the chat, I am tired. It’s like I’ve run a marathon
Nischala: Wow! That’s a phenomenal reach.. Amazing to hear this. So moving on…Bruce you touched a little bit about a legacy… Any thoughts on what you believe are important elements of your legacy?
Bruce: To be honest, what I really want to leave as my personal legacy would be
1) Leave behind 2 good men (my kids) in the world. So that’s really that I want to be – A GOOD DAD! And this is what I value the MOST
2) To teach people the value they get from doing good – So that’s really, to do good myself and be a living example for it through my work, words and actions
3) To give back to others – And to make other’s realize how important it is to give back to make the world a better place. And you don’t need to give back in a “financial” sense – But really, to give your time, your thoughts, your ear,… No matter how much / how little you have, you can always give…
And most importantly, to be known as someone who cared about others… As people age, I’ve rarely seen any one wish that they had earned more or had more corporate success (Of course! If you’ve had a very tough life where basic needs like food, etc have been a struggle – Then the case is different)… But otherwise…almost everyone I know really wished that they spent more time with those they loved. And these are the things that matter – The small joys of life – Sharing, Loving, Caring and Giving. The truth is that happiness / ultimate joy comes from what you give to others.
Nischala: That’s a beautiful thought Bruce and I can see that all your work and efforts are directed towards this. My best wishes for continued success. So lastly, what would be your advice to parents.. Rather, what’s the wisdom you’d like to share with parents?
1) There’s no such thing as QUALITY time ; there’s only QUANTITY time
2) If you can afford it, your children will always be better off if ONE parent can be at home during the teenage years of your kid’s life – That should be your first job. If you can’t afford it, then do the best possible in your circumstance. If that means you cut down a few material pleasures, so be it. Like I’ve cut back on my life significantly. I drive a truck which has been with me for the past 7 years. Looking back, when I was in the show business, I used to drive a Porsche, a Mercedes.. So I’ve personally done it and it’s possible. The point is that the teenage years are the potentially most dangerous years of a child’s life – And 1 mistake can change your / your child’s life forever – I always say to parents of teens – “Don’t expect them to listen, Don’t expect respect”. The only job of a parent of a teenager is to “Keep them alive.” And all that you instilled in your children before their teenage years will make a difference now..
Nischala: So, What are the lessons / values that parents should instill in their children?
1) Persistence is important – My observation with the current generation of kids is that they give up way too easily. They take everything too personally and want things to be handed down to them on a platter. As parents, you need to teach them the importance of being PERSISTENT in life. To try and attempt and keep trying till you achieve what you want! When I started writing, I sent 5000 e-mails to publishers / editors. There were 25 acceptances and 4975 rejections. So you have to persist to get a break /opportunity.
2) Be dedicated and sincere in all that you do – There’s no substitute for hard work and no short cuts to long term success and happiness. Dedication, hard-work and sincerity are values your should develop
3) Use every failure as an opportunity to learn and grow - Every failure is really an opportunity to learn. My first book was a commercial failure. I published it 1 year back. It did not sell as much as I expected. After I got over the shock and hurt, I realized the creative mistakes I made in the content. So that has left me wiser and I’ve learnt my lessons. The next book will be better. And this message is not important just for children, but for anyone in life
4) Own your actions – Take responsibility for them and have the courage to say “I messed up” and now what I can do to “change this”. You can’t blame others for your actions.
Nischala: So profound and yet so relevant! Thanks Bruce for sharing your thoughts. This rendezvous has been an absolute pleasure. Any final message you want to share as a part of this Rendezvous?
Bruce: I would invite all parents to #Dadchat… It’s globally the biggest Tweet chats on Parenting. Thank You Nischala.. It’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to you…
How did you like this Rendezvous? Leave a comment to let us know….
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