The Priority Show

EP108: The Priority Show

Today I am going to share what I have been doing to achieve focus and clarity in my online business and life.

Lyrics Trivia

“Take what you need and leave the rest”

Questions:
What is song these lyrics are in?
Who wrote the song?
What band played the original version?

Answers:
The name of the song was The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
The songwriter was Robbie Robertson.
The band called The Band
It was written in 1969.

It has been covered by many different artists including Joan Baez, Johnny Cash & my favorite version, The Jerry Garcia Band.

Dixie was the nickname for the Confederate States in case you didn’t know.

Episode 108: The Priority Show

Clarity is the state of being clear.

Today’s podcast is about having clarity on your goals and priorities.

One method to achieve clarity is by simplifying and removing distractions and external factors that cause overwhelm and stress for most.

I will share the initial steps I have taken to simplify my business and life by doing a self-audit and and cleaning up my home and work environment.

Goal for today:
To inspire and motivate you to take a step back and look at the big picture of everything you are doing (your job, business, podcast, social media channels, branding, etc) and determine whether or not you are clear on what your priorities are and if you are dedicating the appropriate amount of time to what is most important.

Story:
Hurricane Irma (content generation machine):

When I evacuated, I packed 4 bags of essentials and valuables and accepted that everything I left behind may be destroyed; including my place of residence.

Packing List:
Good podcasting and audio gear
Camera equipment (DSLR, Lenses,GoPros) Chargers and batteries,
Laptop, iPad
Some clothes

My old-faithfuls:
My Shure SM58
My Martin acoustic D16 guitar.

All My Gear is On Kit

*I took what I needed and left the rest. *

Post-Irma:

My self-audit of my business and personal goals and well-being:

Are my priorities in order?
Do I know what they are?
Am I working on the most important things as I build my personal brand and online business?

The truth:
My wheels have been spinning for months.
I needed to pause and make several adjustments and recalibrate my bearings or I would be working in circles instead of moving forward.

What Did I Do? What Can You Do?

Clean House: (literally and figuratively)

I started with my evacuation bags and made two piles:
1) Keep
2) Sell

Then, I went room by room.
Keep (I use it regularly and need it)
Toss (not thrift store worthy and who would buy)
Sell (I can make money off things I no longer use or need)

I use Facebook Marketplace to sell things locally. I have had good luck. Plenty of spam and annoying inquiries just wasting time, but I have sold several items with minimal effort.

Simple Is Good

I like simple. I feel good with no clutter.
The less I have and the cleaner my space is around me, the more productive and motivated I am and I welcome that feeling anytime.

Purging Technique

(for those that have trouble letting go of things) which fyi, I do not get emotionally attached to things.

Take entire drawers or shelves of clothes and dump them all out and only put back what you just can’t part with.

Be ruthless I say. You will forget about things you get rid of almost immediately.

Get rid of little things, too.
Cleaning supplies, hotel toiletries, kitchen gadgets, tupperware, plastic grocery bags, tote bags, old magazines, paperwork, orphaned cables and cords Reduce silverware if you have too much, and dishes. Spices, tea boxes, coffee mugs, doozies, pantry items, trinkets, doodads, artwork, etc….

Start with the easy stuff:
Dump out desk and junk drawers. If you have 1,000 paperclips toss 975 and you will be good for years.

Don’t save things just in case.

You will never wear that old suit your mother bought you in college.

Thrift stores are tax deductible and love your old stuff!

Clean

It also helps and fuels the positive energy to actually clean.

Open the windows for fresh air and let the natural light in, dust off your equipment and clean the surface of your desk, sweep and mop the floors, wipe down the countertops, clean the coffee pot and microwave and get rid of that yellow mustard and everything else that has been in your fridge forever!

Mindset.

The secret and key to prioritizing and simplifying your business and life and the things around you is not getting rid of junk or having a cleaner house.

It’s about developing the habit of being keen and aware of the things that really matter and having no room for things that do not.

This process of de-cluttering and simplifying is fun and highly addicting and you will save and make money. You realize you don’t need anything else, so you get out of a buying mindset. Much healthier and you save money. You make money because now you want to sell off everything you’ve been hanging onto for that rainy day.

Snowball Effect

Making your bed is a good habit when you wake up because it makes you feel good at the start of the day and your room looks clean. You pick up the clothes and then the towel and then you notice everything out of place because you are on a roll.

This chain reaction of positive habits is what happens when you prioritize and keep things simple and clear. You notice everything that is out of balance and who wants that.

I am not a minimalist or clean freak. I do not like clutter and feel better when my environment and mind is free and clean. The process of getting rid of things is more of a metaphor than the actual physical thing, but it all works the same way. The less you have, the less you need and the more cognizant and aware of your priorities and the things that mean the most to you become.

It’s a bit of a life and mind hack, but simple is as simple does.

Try taking small steps of cleaning your space and let me know how it feels. It feels awesome to me, so I wanted to share it with you.

Priority

Priority is a thing that is regarded as more important than another.

Are you spending more time on the things that are most important or are you spending more time on the other (responding to emails and direct messages, browsing Facebook and Instagram).

Having less stuff to manage or clean just makes it all that much easier to maintain the habit and this applies to all parts of your business and life. This is a good start and next week I’ll take it another step and share some ways to reduce your digital clutter and simplify business processes and workflow.

Cheers,
Mike

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The Second Anniversary Show

EP107: The 2nd Anniversary Show

Today is the second birthday and/or second anniversary of Mike Murphy Unplugged, so cheers to me and to you for listening week after week and for all the support.

Welcome to this special anniversary edition Episode 107:

Today is going to be a story-time episode about the origin of this podcast and a reflection of my first two years as a podcaster and how it has affected my business and life.

https://youtu.be/iBBZQSMNAcY

Definitions:

Birthday: The anniversary of a birth
Anniversary: The yearly recurrence and celebration of a past event.

The Origin Story of Mike Murphy Unplugged

Launch Date:
Friday September 25, 2015.

New episodes:
Every Friday morning (12:15 am)
Subscribe on iTunes here

Podcast Newsletter:
Every Friday morning (6:00 am)
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Why did I start this podcast?

Today’s Answer:
To help build my personal brand which is based on teaching people things that would make their lives or business better.

Yesterday’s Answer:
The answer to that question on September 25, 2015 is I had too much information in my head that I wanted to share with people and a podcast was the perfect platform for me to give it a shot:

Self-Education:
I am a student of everything.
I spend a lot of time learning new things and practicing getting better at old things.
Lots of reading and online classes and tutorials.

My job managing and designing for the photography studio was 8+ years of learning:
Accounting, business, sales, marketing, IT networking, data backups, servers, photography, lighting, video, graphic design, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and all of the Adobe Suite.

I knew a lot about a little but always searching for that magic ‘thing’ I was supposed to do.

Flashback Time:

I started a Blogger website in the early 2000’s called The Acoustic Blog

I taught myself HTML and CSS, design, web colors, typograhy, SEO, Google Adsense, etc.

I wrote articles on all that interested me: tech news (aka Apple vs Microsoft), travel, culture, arts & design and music.

I was writing and thinking and sharing things that I thought was cool and that I found helpful or valuable to me.

2004/2005…The iPod came out and I immediately fell in love with podcasts because all of the cool silicon valley tech bloggers were doing them.

I was listening to podcasts or watched tech shows that taught me useful information that I could apply to my own blog or help me create stuff on the computer (John C Dvorak, Merlin Mann, Kevin Rose, Leo LaPorte and all of the CNET shows)…Not much has changed.

I stopped blogging, but I never stopped listening and watching podcasts. Podcasts about photography, Photoshop, design, tech..you know. I spent along time consuming and learning too much.

Fast Forward

What does my failed blogging career have to do with this podcast? Well, everything it turns out.

The titles:
The Acoustic Blog and Mike Murphy Unplugged. Music and audio has always been a staple in my life.
Acoustic and unplugged removes all of the complexities and makes it really easy to understand both artistically and visually. That is how I want to teach.

I try to take complicated software and tools and resources that I use and love and make them really easy to use and understand for others.

Next
I was writing and learning about the same things that still excite me today. And everything I learned I wanted to share with people who I thought would also be interested or if I thought it would help them with whatever they were trying to achieve in life or business. I loved learning and creating and teaching but never put it all together.

Moral of the story: do not overthink things if you feel stuck or not sure what to do. What I am trying to do today is exactly what I was trying to do 20 years ago and I never realized the similarities. I like to share interesting technologies or tips and tricks that I think are helpful or provide some value even if to make someone smile.

The Launch

In 2015, I launched MikeMurphy.co .
I didn’t know what I was good at or what my thing was.

I thought of many different ideas that I thought were good business ideas to try and fit in the specialty box. Video production, video editing, branding and design for businesses, Photoshop work and retouching.

I owned several domain names and made logos for each idea, but my gut resisted all of them.

I am a one man band and I was not about to do things just because the online gurus said so. I would figure out how to do my thing, my way.

In the summer of 2015, I realized podcasting would be the perfect medium for an introvert with a headful of tech and creative knowledge. The thought of learning how to record and edit audio that I could do from anywhere was very appealing for me.

In less than 30 days I started Mike Murphy Unplugged to teach and inspire people to create the life and business they want.

Conclusion:

This podcast helped me understand that learning new skills, creating content and moving forward in business and life is why I started my original blog and why I started my personal brand and podcast. I am picking up where I left off many years ago.

I started this podcast to start something bigger and push me. But I also started it for the same reason I started The Acoustic Blog.

To do what I love and share it with others to educate them or simply inspire or motivate someone to take a chance on themselves.

Conclusion
My first two years of podcasting has made a big impact on me.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and have also improved my tech and creative skills exponentially which is really important to me.

I create daily content to get better at everything. Video production, editing, audio, teaching.

My thing is creating content that teaches and inspires people and that is why I started Mike Murphy Unplugged and Mike Murphy LLC two years ago and I will continue making new episodes and daily content for as long as it takes.

I may change things up from time to time, but I will always create content with good intentions.

Thank you!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to both of us and thanks for taking the ride with me and here’s to many more.

Cheers,
Mike

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The Irma Show

EP106: The Irma Show

Today’s Episode is the story of Hurricane Irma and an official thank you to all the notes of concern and good vibes sent our way. They all helped.

 

Hurricane Irma:

Hurricane Irma originated off the coast of Africa The most intense hurricanes to hit the US since Katrina in 2005
The first major hurricane to hit Florida since Wilma in 2005.
Irma maintained the highest Category 5 rating with wind speeds topping 185 mph
It hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4
It was a Category 3 when it touched down on Marco & Naples with sustained winds around 140mph.

Hurricanes build their strength over warm water.
Land and mountains break hurricanes apart.

Pre-Storm:

Hurricane season is from June 1 – November 1.

They get named each season in alphabetical order starting with A, so Irma was the 9th Hurricane of the season that had potential to make it our way.

Hurricanes do not sneak up and there is plenty of time to prepare for them, but evacuating or driving north is not always the best answer because nobody really knows where it is going to hit until the hurricane center confirms its path 2 or 3 days beforehand.

By then it may be too late to leave because flights sell out, roads get jammed and as in the case of Irma, gas runs out or low and that is just to name a few obstacles in trying to leave remote areas like Southern Florida.

Hurricane Irma was the size of Texas and covered both coasts of Florida.

Evacuating has so many variables to consider and it’s not an option for many and it’s not always the best decision.

Leaving town takes a lot of time away from work and costs a lot of money to travel and stay in hotels or fly.

There are often pets and kids and it’s not always the best decision as you may end up in a worse situation than what you could have prepared for.

Homes in the tropics and sub-tropics which is what Naples is, are built for hurricanes and newer homes are nearly indestructible.

Scared:

There are two models that predict the path of a hurricane…the US model and European model. Europe they say is historically more accurate. The US model had Irma making a destructive blow on Miami and Europe had Irma head to the Southwest tip of Florida, aka Naples. Europe was more accurate, unfortunately.

Post Storm:

90% of Collier County had no power or drinkable water
Gas for automobiles was scarce and only a couple of stations had fuel and cars waited in line for hours to fill up and many were turned away.
Cars were the only way to charge phones, but with limited gas, people did not want to run out of fuel.
No power=no Air Conditioning which can be very dangerous in Florida, especially for babies and elderly
No wifi
AT&T only worked in pockets with very bad service.
Many inconveniences and some homes were very badly damaged, but…

We are safe and will get back to normal soon enough.

Thanks for the story, Irma, but you will not be missed.

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The Brand Clarity Show

EP105: The Brand Clarity Show

To succeed in business, it must be clear what you do and why people should do business with you. This is easier said than done for many including myself.

Today’s Episode will cover:
What is Brand Clarity for personal brands and online businesses?
Why is clarity so important?
Why do I and so many others struggle with it?
What action steps can you take to gain clarity?

What is Brand Clarity?

Brand is your mark or style or image that identifies you and differentiates you from competitors. This is a combination of your logo and colors and fonts and style, etc all rolled into one.

Clarity is simply the quality of being clear.

Brand + Clarity then:
When people glance at your work or online content is it immediately clear or recognizable that it was created by you and does it stand apart from others? Do people recognize and understand who you are and what you do?

The message of your brand is your story.
Your potential clients or customers need to understand what makes you you and why you do what you do so they can relate and connect with you and your brand.

What are some reasons people struggle with clarity in business?

Fear
Fear comes in many varieties:
Fear of Failure
Fear of Success
Fear of Picking the Wrong Niche or Specialty
Fear of the Unknown

Self-Awareness
When you start you may not fully understand your strengths and weaknesses.
What are you really good at?
What are your unique qualities that makes you different or better than others?

Self-Doubt
Self-doubt for me usually comes in the form of second guessing myself:

Do I really like what I’m doing?
Am I on the right track?
Do I have the business skills to pull it off?
I’m not great at business, can I do this like I need to?

Another type of fear:
Impostor Syndrome is when you compare yourself with others and you question whether you can compete on the same playing field as others.

–Are you really good enough to call yourself an expert in something?
–There are so many people who are better designers or writers or podcasters or tutorial and video makers?
–What if you get hired for a job that you cannot handle?

Why & Story
-In addition to fear and self-awareness and self-doubt and that is the lack of understanding your story and message.
-Why do you want to start your own business?
What series of events put you in this position to go into business or start a personal brand?
-What are your business and life goals? What makes you, you?
-Do you have or have you worked on practicing an elevator pitch that succinctly tells your story?

-Your brand and identity how is people describe you when you are not in the room and if you have no idea who you are as a business or brand, nobody else will either.

Action Steps to achieve clarity in your brand and business

Starting today and doing vs contemplating is the first step.
-The way you find clarity is by taking action and not by trying to figure it out by studying others or taking classes or reading books, so the sooner you start the sooner you discover it.

Do. Create. Make Things
Throw as much against the wall as you can.
It is a vital part of the process to understand what you like doing, what you are good at and just as importantly what you are not good at.
Don’t think about what you think will make you the most money, think about what you would do for the rest of your life for free and be happy about it.

Self-Awareness
-Ask others what you are good at
-Take online assessments like StrengthsFinder 2.0
-Learn to trust yourself and listen to your intuition and gut by focusing on your strengths and not trying to fix everything that you consider a weakness.
-Go all in on those areas or interests that make you smile and that you are pretty good at and over time you start to believe in your process

Self-Doubt and Establishing Your Authority.
This comes from practice and experience.
The better you become at your craft, the more people want to work with you.
There is no timeline to becoming clear on your brand message, but it will never happen if you do not work at it everyday and hit that share or upload button. ton of hard work.

Why & Story:
Write it down everywhere and read it
Say it out loud all the time.
Read your About Page bio…is it you?
Ask your inner circle to help you.
Auditing your platforms and making sure the message and story is consistent everywhere is an important exercise. Facebook, Insta, YouTube, your website, etc.
Is your story clear in all of your bios or is the branding and imagery consistent or is what you do or the value you deliver easily identifiable to someone visiting one of your channels or website for the first time?

Brand Story:
My name is Mike Murphy. I am a one man band who helps people figure things out. Not entirely clear what I do, but a part of my story and branding.

Services:
My name is Mike Murphy and I make tutorials and social media promo videos to help businesses and personal brands reach their target audience, stay relevant and stand out from the competition and promote their podcast, product or service.

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The Podcast Movement Show

EP104: The Podcast Movement Show

Today is Part 2 of 2 in which I will share the highlights and lessons learned from my first, but definitely not last, Podcast Movement which I attended in Anaheim, California August 22–26th, 2017.

Today’s Episode will cover:
The breakdown of Podcast Movement 2017
What were the highlights for me?
Were my goals and expectations that I shared in Episode 103 met?
What did I learn and takeaway from the event?
What are my plans to implement what I learned?

Summary/Verdict:
I had an incredible time, I hung out and met some amazing people and it was worth every penny and I will absolutely be back for Podcast Movement 2018.

The breakdown of Podcast Movement 2017

The 4th annual Podcast Movement, a conference for podcasters by podcasters.

When:
August 22–25th, 2017

Location:
Convention Center Marriott in Anaheim, California

What were the highlights for me?

People
Meeting new people and connecting with familiar faces or those I considered online friends that I got to meet in person for the first time. My priority was building and strengthening relationships with like minded creators and podcasters.

My struggle
Events and conferences are not easy for me.
The minute I walked into the Marriott, I got a pit in my stomach, but you have to push through and make the most of it. Fortunately, many podcasters share the same introvert tendencies, so it made it easier I suppose.

Other highlights:

New Attendee Orientation session on the first day was helpful as it was an ice-breaker and informative.

The keynote speeches from Dan Carlin of Hardcore History and Aaron Mahnke of Lore Podcast were really impactful and inspiring to me.

Their message was simple: The playing field is level and opportunities are plenty if you are willing to be consistent with creating quality content and put in the hard work.

The exhibition floor with Adobe, Shure, etc.

Were my goals and expectations met?

Yes.

In episode 103, the Conference Show I stated that I had 5 main goals and expectations for attending Podcast Movement 2017 and they were:

Networking
Clarity
Knowledge & Education
Inspiration & Creativity
Travel/Fun/Social Interaction

Networking
I have a stack of new business cards and I made some great new relationships and friends. I give myself a solid B to B+ for networking, which I knew would be my biggest challenge.

Clarity
I left this conference with the clarity to understand that I need to do a better job at bundling up what I do and make it clear to others what it is I can do for them. I already had the answers, but Podcast Movement gave me the added insights I needed.

Knowledge & Education
I did enjoy a 1:1 lesson on compression at the Adobe Audition booth and I probably could have stayed there all day.

Inspiration & Creativity
I left feeling inspired and my creative juices were re-fueled and I am more excited than ever to move my podcast and online business forward.

Travel/Fun/Social Interaction
I love being in California and who can turn down a day walking around Disney town.

What did I learn and takeaway from the event?

I need to fix my business model quickly and clearly communicate what I sell and start selling.

How will I implement what I learned from PM17?

Action one is to fix the Hire Mike page on my website and get rid of anything that is no longer relevant and add examples of videos and tutorials that I want to sell to businesses and brands.

Simplify My Message:
I make tutorial and how-to videos for businesses and content creators.
I make promo videos for use on social media channels
I offer 1:1 problem solving and advice sessions on Skype.

Action Two is to make at least one digital course for sale.

Will I be at Podcast Movement in Philadelphia in 2018?

Without a doubt.

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