15 Second Marketing in Less Than 3719 Words

When I wrote about the Site Build It Cult, I made a brief mention that Steve Pavlina had written 3719 words about 15 second marketing. What I had not done was read it. It turns out the whole thing is really just a crappy attempt at making affiliate sales for a book about 15 second marketing. What I also didn't realize was just how unintentionally funny it would be to read.

I did realize the irony of 3719 words on 15 second marketing, but I didn't yet know how much Steve would twist himself into knots trying to figure out how to make people interested in the answer to a question that they have no interest in the answer to before they even ask it. Let's not be too hard on Steve. He's "Smart People™" after all. Somehow, despite how vastly intelligent he claims to be, he just can't wrap his mind around the fact that someone he encounters just might not give a shit about his "fascinating" life.

Steve explains:
The basic idea is that when someone asks what you do for a living, you want to offer a response that stimulates the right kind of discussion. So if you’d like to grow your business, you need a marketing message that serves as a good lead-in to a discussion that will help you generate new leads and attract more clients. This is not as easy as it sounds.

That's because they don't give a shit what you do. There is no right answer here, Steve. You're not generating leads. You are making idle chatter with someone that simply does not care. Of course it isn't easy to turn that person into a business referral. Especially when you stubbornly refuse to pick a label for your business.

Steve goes on to talk about how readers are better at referring people to his website than he is. That's because his readers don't have a mental block against saying something like, "there's a self-help blog I like at stevepavlina.com. I think it would interest you too." Steve would never be so ordinary as to put it so simply.

Where it gets truly hilarious, and in epic proportion, is where he tries to actually come up with his own elevator pitch. His first try is this:
I teach people who are living below their potential how to feel energized and motivated, how to earn lots of money doing what they love, and how to make a real contribution to humanity, so they can finally enjoy the life that deep down they know they were meant to live.

I had to pause a grab a fresh breath of air after reading that. Now, Steve claims the problem with this is that it is too long. I was thinking about if I met someone and they told me this, what would my response be? Probably something like "Cuckoo. Cuckoo."

Then he tries again with shorter versions.

I help people grow.

What are they? Trees?

I help people live more consciously.

You work with coma patients?

I help people overcome their fears.

I'm beginning to fear that this elevator ride will not end.

I help people quit their jobs so they can fulfill their life’s purpose.

So, do people tend to thank you when the bank forecloses on their house?

I help people break bad habits and overcome addictions.

So you're an addiction counselor now?

I help people take more risks and live more courageously.

I get it. You're an Army drill sergeant.

Sadly, Steve realizes what the problem is in the third paragraph, but he refuses to acknowledge that there really isn't any more substance to a quick conversation. It's not going to be deep and meaningful, no matter how you answer a meaningless question. Steve says, "At best the other person may ask a few follow-up questions, but deep down they don’t really care about your answers.They’re just making polite conversation."

That's it. They don't care about your answers. By definition, they don't care even BEFORE asking the question. They're just making polite conversation, and there are no business leads to be had. There is no deep meaningful friendship to be made. If Steve was not so adamantly against labeling himself in a simplistic way, if he was not so hell bent on attempting to be too complex for the common person, he would see that most people just really don't give a shit.

As for me, My elevator pitch is to remain awkwardly silent, and hope that the other person doesn't feel compelled to even make polite conversation. I don't feel an urge to "connect" with everyone I meet. Actually, I don't even like most people that I meet. I don't want to be their friend. I don't care.

I can sum up Steve Pavlina in 15 seconds or less. Bullshit Artist.

I hope I never have to take an elevator ride with Steve Pavlina. It will probably be the most insufferable 15 seconds of my life.


Site Build It Vs. Steve Pavlina: Which Is the Scarier Cult?

Recently, there has been a big flap in the Internet marketing sphere about a product called Site Build It! No, I'm not excited about this, the exclamation mark is part of the name. The post in question is by Lis Sowerbutts, and is called Site Build It Scam Review. Now, you're thinking, why would this be on a site about personal development? Well, it seems our favorite Cult leader, Steve Pavlina is currently endorsing this product. In fact, here's what Steve had to say about it:
Building a good distribution network isn’t that hard these days. I think the best way to do it is by building a website because online solutions are very cheap compared to the alternatives. My speaker friends have to fly all around the world to distribute their value. I just click “Publish.”

The current solution I recommend for most people looking to build a website is Site Build-It. Follow that link if you wish to read my review of the service and why I recommend it. If you’re very technically savvy, you won’t need this service, but it’s great for those who don’t understand the ins and outs of Internet marketing and want someone to guide them through it step by step.

In the review, he states that the Creator of Site Build It! Dr. Ken Evoy, ran into a "problem" where no matter what he did to teach people how to create a website, they would still screw it up, so he created SBI to do it for them.

Just wait a second here. If you can't wrap your mind around how to get a website started, or hire (most likely for free) someone to help you. You have already failed in your Internet business. I can't emphasize this enough. I didn't know where to start either, but signing on to blogger.com was super easy. Later, when I took a website to the self hosted route, I ran into a few difficulties, but what was still super easy ( and remains so to this day) is finding people willing to do what you need done for free. They ought to charge $100 bucks an hour or more, but they do it totally free.

Do you know how hard it is to find a person like this? What exactly is required? A casual acquaintance with someone. Seriously. All you need to do is find someone that knows a little about coding, web design, or whatever, have a few casual interactions, and they'll be willing to help. Short of that, drop a comment asking for help at virtually any popular blog or forum, and help will swarm upon you.

You can ask to be taught what you need to do, or simply have it done for you. No charge. If you can't figure out how to get that far on the Internet, you will NOT have a successful web based business. Not now. Not ever.

This is Steve Pavlina, once again at his finest, making blogging for dollars sound easy. I can't help but wonder how many people have found themselves homeless after having the delusion that they should quit their job and start a website to collect passive income because Steve Pavlina said it was a good idea. Steve knows his stuff, but what he doesn't do is share HOW, or emphasize that it is NOT easy. It is not a good business model at all for most people, in fact.

As a side note, I find it amusing that he has a post about "15 Second Marketing" that is 3719 words long. Irony anyone?

So this is why Site Build it is the topic of discussion. I have listed many reasons why I see the followers of Steve Pavlina as being a cult. The thing that is scary about the response to Lis's critical evaluation of SBI is that the comments in support of Site Build It! are way over the top. I had not initially observed it as cultish, but once a few people decided to label it as such, I began to consider the idea.

I am starting to think there is something to this, based on certain comments. On SBI user named Anna states:
The only reason we sound cultish is because you’re driving us mad your false accusations about SBI.

My God Lis, wouldn’t you have defended something you truly believed in yourself? What if someone made false accusations about a person or something you really cared about?

Hit the brakes! "Truly believed in?" "Really Cared about?" She's talking about a fucking website platform. Holy crap. I really like Wordpress as a publishing platform, but I would not say that I "truly believe in" it, nor would I say I "really care about" it. It's a blogging platform. Do you understand this people?

SBI is a TOOL. Feeling strongly about it is a absurd as "truly believing in" a hammer or screwdriver. I like my cordless drill, but I don't "Really care about it." For fuck's sake. Get a grip on reality. I really like my reciprocating saw, but I feel no need to defend Ryobi against "False accusations" and certainly don't work myself into froth about it.

Another commenter said:
I’d bet if GoDaddy’s founder had a forum and actually participated and personally ASKED their customers what they’d like to see more of - you’d see a ton of people defending “GoDaddy”, too




I can't even respond to this. It's so utterly stupid, that I am literally dumbfounded. Perhaps there would be a few people that are a little to fiercly loyal, but for the most part there would be two sides to any given debate. If not 3 or 4 or 5 viewpoints on an issue. They would not be zombies marching in lockstep, reciting affiliate sales scripts like they have memorized them during their bible study every morning.

So, back to the original question. Which is the scarier cult, Site Build It! or Steve Pavlina?

Check out the Site Build It review video from Allyn Hayne where he states like I did that you have no business running a business you know nothing about. Great video, Allyn.


Getting Things Done Until You're Dead

One thing that has always perplexed me is the obsession some people seem to have with wanting to get things done. The GTD craze got it's start with David Allen Getting Things Done. Since that point the Internet is plagued with tips on how you can do more crap all day long everyday.

I was reading a humor blog I enjoy called The Deep Friar. Although it's a humor blog, there's probably more in there that offers good and sensible advice than you will see on the majority of supposed personal development sites. One example of how humor - He's Canadian, so I suppose it should be humour - combines with nuggets of good advice is his how not to avoid procrastination.

He opens with the hypothetical that something that needs to be done, and asks what the consequences are if it do4es not get done.
If there’s an unpleasant task ahead, ask yourself these questions: If I don’t do this, will anyone die or get hurt? Will it jeopardize someones job? Will it ruin a friendship? Will it bankrupt me? If the answer is “NO”, then chill out, have a beer, and don’t worry about it.

Think about this for a second. This is sage advice. So many people put emphasis on running their lives on a schedule. They are convinced that what they really need is to get more done, more efficiently. Then they'll be happy. Then everything will fall into place and the world will be the frutopia it was intended to be.

This is so completely wrong. Life is not about getting more done, faster. That's not what will make you happy. That will not solve all your dreary feelings that things are just not right somehow. The fact is that if you are having a great deal of difficulty "getting things done" you're probably doing the wrong things in the first place.

The biggest issue you are most likely to need to sort out for yourself is acceptance. Accept that there are things you suck at. Accept that there are tasks you don't merely dislike, but even resent doing. Accept that the rest of the world is not incompetent and may well do it just fine if you let your illusion of control slip from your fingers.

Outsourcing and Delegating

Most likely, if you can outsource the task, or delegate the responsibility to someone else, it will get done just fine. If you attempt to micromanage the process, you will probably find yourself frustrated, but if you simply put your trust in the person to be a competent individual, they will most likely reach the proper result just the same as you would.

For whatever reason, most people seem to have no issues at all with letting certain things be done by other people. This can vary from one person to the next, of course. Some people are just control freaks that think nothing will ever be done right if it's not done by them.

One thing that gets on my nerves is when people with school age children complaining that their house is a mess and they can't keep up with all the mess and clutter claim that it is the fault of the children that their home is bordering on being declared a toxic waste dump. They have the perfect little helpers to delegate responsibility of picking things up, vaccuming, doing dishes, laundry, and various other tasks. Yet, instead, they let their children have the run of the household, and teach them no responsibility. Teach your children to clean up. Give them chores. You'll be getting things done in no time, instead of claiming you don't have enough time to get things done.

My Dad owns a business. He suffers from micromanagement syndrome. In fact, I'm fairly certain that if he was more willing to trust people to do things correctly, he could conceivably have grown his business somewhere between 5 and 10 times the size it is. He doesn't trust people to do things. He's a micromanager.

One time he got into a bind and had no one to fill in for him on a scheduling mix up. The real reason this happened is because he never hired someone to do the work in the first place. What he needed done should not have been his job in the first place. He should have been business owner, and someone else should have been event coordinator, but that is not his way. He won't trust anyone to take over, so he's stuck with one event at a time, because he can't be in two, or three, or ten places at once.

So, I filled in for him. Believe me, this took a lot from both of us for this to be agreed to. He gave me the instructions on what needed to be done, and it was amazing just how little faith he had in my abilities. I am his own son. I am of slightly above average intelligence. I have worked for him in the past. Not as the big chief, but I am familiar with the events he runs.

So, the big day came, and I was the boss for the event. I had my 9 year old step-daughter do one of the easier jobs for the day. She loved it. I loved that it was one less thing to round up a volunteer to do. She did great. The event went off just fine. No problems at all. I totally did NOT do things the way my Dad would have, but the end result was indisputably the desired outcome.

Later, I told my Dad about how it went and he told me that there is no way in Hell, not now, not ever, he would have trusted a 9 year old with "such an important job." It may have been important, but it was also EASY. If you have a little faith, people will pull through. Things will be okay.


Chances are that if you're really truly having a hard time getting through some sort of task, you basically just suck at it. That's okay. See the previous tip. Get someone else to do it for you. If buying the help with money is not an option in your current financial situation, then perhaps you could barter or trade for someone's service. Whether it's a job at work, or something you need done at home, there must be something that you don't suck at. Find someone to trade jobs with. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Then you can spend your time doing things you are good at and let someone else do the drudge work for you. In the meantime, you are doing what they consider to be drudge work. Everyone wins.

Do something else entirely

If you are having a hard time keeping up with the things you need to get done at work, you are most likely in the wrong job. Face it. There are really only three reasons you aren't getting your work done.
* You suck at it.
* You hate your job
* You're good at your job, and don't hate it, but everyone else sucks, or you're company is understaffed. This is the syndrome of being the only competent worker in a sea of worthless coworkers.

The first two are strong indications that you need to start looking for a new career. The third may be solved with a confrontation with your supervisor. You can say, "look, I know everyone else sucks at their job, and I'm the only one you trust to do things. I may be the only competent employee, but I'm still only ONE competent employee, and it's just more on my plate than I can handle." Or maybe you need to look elsewhere for employment where the management knows how to hire worthwhile people.

There are plenty of occasions throughout my work history that I have said to my boss that something simply will not get done that day. There are plenty of times that I have even said "did you tell (whomever) to go fuck themselves?" The answer was usually "Yes."

So you see, the issue isn't so much that you need to be getting things done, as it is that you need to accept what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what other ways you could do things. Look for better ways to use your time. Look for employment that better uses your skills and ambitions. Look for ways to enjoy your life.

The title I chose was actually a tribute to one of Dave Barry's books, Stay fit and healthy until you're dead. I think it embodies the senselessness of "getting things done." If you don't enjoy your life, and enjoy the journey, then what exactly is the point? And to get back to Friar's questions, what really will be the consequences if you don't Get things done?