Likes Given: 5
Likes Received: 15 in 15 posts
Joined: Nov 2011
Tim Wrote:Amen to all that.
I notice that I don't feel the same attachment and loyalty to this site that I felt with your site in the past, even if I agree with the direction and thinking more than ever.
I think you don't have to be a big part of the brand to succeed, but I think you can be. Strong personalities have created brands entirely around themselves, and that's something I believe you can do. The challenge for you is to not build up yourself in some mythical, unaccessible way, because that's exactly what your content is against; idolization of people and of a certain way of living. I know you don't want this for yourself, and you wouldn't aim to do it, and that's what is challenging. Big personalities (Trump, Steve Jobs, almost every sports/pop star ever, even the PUA crowd, etc) have been willing or aimed to achieve legendary status to build their company up. Not doing that is going to be a handicap, but it's also going to make what you're doing genuine and more effective. Bringing other writers though? That seems to me to be a bit of a must. Your company has to grow beyond you at some stage, even if you're it's CEO, because otherwise you'll be CEO of nobody.
I think the world is getting more and more ready for real dating and life advice, and for real people who deliver it. Sometimes I wonder about this, and think about whether people are always going to look for the shortcut in life; whether it's for getting a six pack, or getting girls, and whether it's not possible to become huge without giving people that shortcut. But then I also think of what Tyler Durden says in Fight Club: "We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."
I think as the digital ages advances, and more and more people are forced to confront the reality that they will never become famous, or rich, or incredible casanovas, they're going to become incredibly disillusioned by the inauthentic, and turn strongly against it. And they're going to listen to those who give them the real answers. If you look at how strongly ex-PUA guys distance themselves from the PUA community (including myself), you can see how people react when they realise they've been lied to. I think that's going to become more and more common over time.
What I'd do is get amongst the kind of guys you'd like to have as customers who have no affiliation with PUA or this site and just spend some time around them. Try and figure out what motivates them to make changes in their life, and how their thinking process works when seeking out advice. I think you can't put it into a clear and coherent package yet because something like that takes a hell of a lot of time. It was more obvious when you were on your big voyage of self-discovery and improvement, and you had an excellent start by working to disprove so much of what PUA said (not consciously at first, it just turned out like that). Now you're reaching closer to what you want to say, but it's how you say it that's eluding you. What's going to work is something that allows the more casual reader/user to become a part of this, and fulfill specific needs (which is why splitting the G3 up should ultimately prove to be a good option). Many of them will become involved beyond that, which is how you're going to get a big and active forum going, but most people aren't going to be interested beyond a certain point. It's figuring out how to include those people that I think you need to consider next.
I don't think you should be in any rush either; just take the time you need to work this stuff out. Maybe settling down somewhere and building a life for yourself in one place for a while might help, because you'll be able to watch people more closely, and get some real insight into the minds of people for whom life is a very different sort of journey than yours. Anyway, just my thoughts. For now.
Your response is a bit cynical but there's definetly truth to it. Steve Pavlina has a similar quote "99% of the people in personal development are simply never going to be able to achieve their goals". Frankly if you just look around, you'll see plenty of evidence for this. You could call it talent or whathever other quality it is that these people possess, but not everybody can achieve the same things. For me personally what I've noticed is that when I work hard at something I almost always get a great result and I see improvement. But then again, not everybody has this quality, or the optimism or the determination to make it happen.
Serge Gainsbourg said it famously "I don't believe in talent, for me talent is going after the dream". I love this quote, since when you chase after things, you'll discover new things about yourself. But then again, it requires people to have the quality of wanting to make something happen.
note: there are a lot of things in the world that are possible, but I don't think everybody can make them happen.
Mark Wrote:Money's actually not the issue right now. In fact, money is great. The problems I have are actually the opposite problems of going broke: 1) I'm not making as much money as I should be, based on my traffic; and 2) now that I have money, a loyal base of customers and fans, a site with a lot of potential, what do I do with all of it? It's a very good, yet highly stressful place to be right now.
Getting back to what Tim said about having a foundation... the past four years I spent mostly building up a pick up business. I did that pretty decently, something hundreds of people have tried and failed to do. So I'm happy about that. But I've turned that into a foundation to create something much larger and much different. But there are still some major question-marks that need to be addressed, mostly revolving around the brand and future direction of the site.
1. How much of the brand should still be attached to me personally... and how much of it should be attached to a philosophy and vision? Or both? The loyalty and activity from the PP days came because people resonated with my experience and my writing. Diluting that loyalty with other writers has had various effects, both positive and negative. On the one hand it's brought in more publicity, more readers, and more varied content. On the other hand, it seems loyalty and enthusiasm has dropped off. Sales and activity have flat-lined. As Tim said, there's no clear vision of the site for people to grapple on to right now and become emotionally invested in.
2. I *DON'T* want to just become an AskMen knock-off. In a perfect world, I'd like to be the Apple to AskMen's Microsoft. I'm convinced there's a very wide opening somewhere out there for a smart, sophisticated, somewhat counter-cultural men's website that isn't full of the same old crap about how to tie and tie and how to buy the right wine and oh yeah, here are 7 quick tips to get a six-pack. And it has something to do with emotional awareness and expression, transcending classical masculinity, becoming assertive, and living independently and fearlessly... but for some reason I can't seem to put it together coherently into a business-model or even a single website.
3. The two things that differentiated me in the pick up industry and led to my success were 1) the blunt honesty and 2) the quality of the written content. Both of which I think are missing in a lot more areas than just pick up -- but in self-development in general, in lifestyle design, etc. I like what The Good Men Project does in terms of sharing honest experiences and analysis, but I think they get too lost in the gender riff-raff and ultimately don't have a very unified goal other than "Hey, men don't (always) suck." AskMen is obviously gigantic, but their content for the most part blows. Even someone like Tim Ferriss is really tapping into something more than just internet business, but taking control of your life in a new and dynamic way.
This is all public brainstorming. Feel free to comment... agree with me or tell me I'm completely off base. We've got a start of something really good here, and you guys are part of it, so I'm all ears to hearing any ideas or visions you may have of where the site could go, what it could be, etc.
Reader survey going up tomorrow morning as well.
you'll do fine, dude. Seriously, In fact I'm very jalous of what you've already accomplished. For me I'm now in my graduate year, but we'll see were we're headed next.
Something that I've always liked about you is that you come across as very genuinine. I've been told to have this quality as well, cherish it, it's pretty damm valuable.
I'll comment to number 1,2 & 3 when I don't have to work on my thesis