Downsize Redundancy

REDUNDANT

re·dun·dant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
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Do you know what I’m finding especially redundant these days? Social media marketing on every scale. The ones who are doing it right post unique, true-to-the platform content across each media outlet. The ones who are doing it wrong put out one piece of content and then replicate it across the board. The Snapchat picture saved and posted to Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. The Periscope video loses so much when not viewed on its native platform. The Instagram photo is lovely, but friends on Facebook or Tumblr are likely also your friends on Insta, so they’ve seen it.
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So, with so many social media options, how do you choose where to really focus? Marketing experts will tell you that you need to be putting out that social media content, specific to each family or theme that encompasses the platform. However, that means keeping in the middle of the constant stream that is Twitter; taking and editing lovely photos of joy and beauty for Instagram; writing great long-form content on Medium, as well as your personal or business site; streaming worthwhile and polished-but-not-too-polished videos on Periscope and Meerkat; and constantly disconnecting from real-world events in order to capture them (or yourself experiencing them) on Snapchat. Vine, Musical.ly, Tumblr, LinkedIn…the list goes on and, meanwhile, every single hour someone is attempting to build the next great social media platform that will take the world (and your time) by storm.
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When I find, as an example, a YouTuber I really enjoy watching, I then look them up and follow them on every platform I am currently into; pretty typical social behavior. The problem, then, is that I end up seeing the same image, the same funny quip, the same political rant, the same socially aware statement, the same everything across every single platform. So, really, I would have only had to have kept up with ONE of these platforms to have known what was going on.
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Personally, Facebook has become the “necessary evil” lately. I have so many friends on FB and am following so many people, businesses and organizations there that I check it pseudo-frequently. When I do, I usually click off more annoyed than fulfilled because instead of seeing real content, real news of how my friends are doing, real family pictures and goings and doings, I see that XYZ Friend went on a “sharing” binge and all I see are regurgitated posts with some strong social or political opinion for miles of newsfeed.
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Twitter is so packed with info, and is constantly moving (yes, even while I am scrolling and it resets and starts me right back at the beginning…), complete with the actual people I follow AND the people who pay Twitter to suggest that I follow, or the constant ads meant to look like normal Twitter feed items.
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Instagram, in my opinion and even with the latest update, has remained truest to its origin, and generally if I get an ad pop up on my feed, it legitimately applies to me, my interests, and the things I enjoy following on Instagram. In fact, it is so finely tuned, there are many times which those Insta-ads pay off as I follow the paid ad person or business or state or organization.
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Snapchat…snapchat, snapchat, snapchat. Listen, I know Snapchat is the biggest thing going right now, I know it’s fun and I love the filters (especially when Snap isn’t trying to make me pay for the filters, which I absolutely will not do). However, Snaps are meant to be 24-hour, snap-it and forget-it shares that aren’t meant for all social media sites. I understand that since Snapchat doesn’t have an explore option to find others you would like to follow (outside of your current address book), so there’s a certain level of HAVING to seek out and share your snaps or your code to get more followers and share with more people. But, every time you take the moments to snap a pic or a video, caption it, draw on it, apply the filters, or whatever…then, share that same picture or video across other outlets, it equals redundancy. Share your snap code…if others want to follow you, they will. If you share every snap you take across every media outlet, there’s no point in following you on Snapchat, also.
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All of this being said, what I would like to see in my utopian social media world are:
1) unique posts shared only on the social platform that best fits that particular post,
2) focusing on the platform you excel most at or that your style best fits into and own it, and then
3) don’t water down that great message by sharing everything everywhere.
Additionally, 4) that when we are introduced to someone we would enjoy following, take the moment to decide which platform we get the most out of, and follow that person, business, organization, etc. only on that platform.
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I am working on following my own set of suggestions, as well. {What good would it do to not practice what I preach, after all?} Until next time, my friends…
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Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Eliminating the Six Degrees of Separation

wpid-wp-1438663468454.jpegRemember back in the “old days” when the closest you could get to your favorite celebrity was to pay $15 to be a member of his or her official fan club, which may get you a signed poster and a whole lotta wishful thinking?

The days of having Six Degrees of Separation between you and virtually anyone are long gone! Social media sources like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have taken us waayyy beyond the National Enquirer level connectivity.

It’s really amazing how small social media has made this great big world!

Now, I will get the occasional response to a  tweet or comment I’ve made on some big-time person’s post or video or photo…and it will thrill me like it’s the 80’s and I’m in line to see a glimpse of Michael Jackson or Madonna!

This handy new rule-of-thumb applies to so much more than celebrities, too! Job hunting. Getting your news out about a new product. Sharing your thoughts on current events. Getting connected to the people you most need to hear you message is literally finger strikes away.

Networking at it’s most efficient.

So, my question for you is this: How are YOU going to close that gap between you and the people who can help take your ideas to the next level?

**Hustle makes it happen, so let’s dance!**

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

SUPER LAUNCH! #GettingYoungerEveryDay

Today is a GREAT day in my little corner of the universe as I launch #gettingyoungereveryday!!! 1,000 posts between today and my 40th birthday ALL focused on living life with more youthful enthusiasm, better health, and more overall spring in your step!!! I’m going to be sharing this fun mission across ALL of my social media platforms, so I hope you’ll come along for the ride and get younger right along with ME!

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Click to view on my MarilynHortonDotCom YouTube channel!

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

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How Much Income Would it Take for YOU to have “Arrived?”

Have you “arrived,” financially speaking? What would your life look like if you had? What are the similarities and differences to your current reality?

In his bestselling book The 4-Hour Work WeekTim Ferriss has his readers go through an exercise he calls “Dreamlining.” The purpose of this dreamline is to think of things you could foresee having, doing, or being, over the next 6 to 12 months that would give you the security of being free to live your life the way you want to live it. I’m a HUGE fan of Ferriss’ work, both in this book and across media outlets, and I appreciate the basic premise of his dreamlining exercise.

Ferriss’ dreamline is an eye-opening experience, the basic point being that you oftentimes don’t really have to be earning much more money than you’re currently making to get the sense of more freedom and higher-quality living. As many 4HWW dreamlines as I have completed for various spans of time, I wanted to take it a step further. I would like to expand on Ferriss’ dreamline for my own purposes, and share with you.

We dream of making $100,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, or more dollars. As children, we all wanted to be bazillionaires, but as adults doing the daily grind of balancing work and family, those numbers have become a little more realistic…but how realistic are they, really? I could say I would like to earn $500,000 a year, but that’s just a pie-in-the-sky number if there’s nothing to back it up. Until you have actually done some of the math, you don’t really know what your truest goal annual income would be. This is where my update on Ferriss’ dreamline comes in.

I’m calling my update the True Earnings Goal Assessment (“TEGA”) and here’s how it works:

HAVING: List three (3) things you would like to have within the next 12 months. Would you like to have a new car? Would you like to have a solid college fund set up for your child(ren)? Would you like to have a facelift? Would you like to have an RV and the freedom and budget to travel? Would you like to have an office space outside of your home so you feel like you can work and focus without interruptions?

Once you have your list of your top three “haves,” put a price tag on them. If you want that new Subaru Outback that’s calling your name from the showroom floor, factor how much your monthly payments will be plus insurance. If you want $12,000 worth of plastic surgery, factor in $1,000 a month for that. If your new office is going to cost you $1,700 a month to rent and operate, factor that in, too. Whatever it is you want to have in the next 12 months, estimate the monthly expense would be, if it’s of top three priority to you then it makes the list!

BEING: Similarly, list three (3) ways you would like to be within the next 12 months. Would you like to be a great pastry chef? Would that entail going to culinary school, and if so, how much would that cost you? Would you like to be a skilled photographer? How much would classes at your area camera shops cost you and add to your dream? Would you like to be a triathlete? Do you already have the gear you would need or would you need to purchase it? Would swim lessons or tri classes help you better prepare for your goal of triathlon success? Now, estimate your monthly expenses for being each of your top three priority items and add those to your list!

DOING: Again, list three (3) things you would like to do within the next 12 months. Why not choose now to begin (doing) an annual family tradition like trips to Disney World or visiting all 50 states? Would you feel so much better to be actively repaying (doing) an old debt that’s been looming for too long? Take this opportunity to make that happen and get that monkey off of your back! How would it sound to even keep it closer to home and plan (doing) a weekend get-away for just you and the love of your life to go off to a cabin in the woods and just enjoy the peace and quiet of some alone time? What would your monthly budget look like to be doing each of your top three priority items in this category?

Now, on to the math (AKA: the fun part).

  • Calculate your current monthly living expenses and multiply that amount by 1.3 to allow for a little wiggle room in case of emergencies or whatnot.
  • Add up your monthly HAVING dream total.
  • Add up your monthly BEING dream total.
  • Add up your monthly DOING dream total.
  • Calculate the total monthly expenses of these four items (current expenses x 1.3, having, being, and doing).
  • Multiply that monthly total by 12 to arrive at your annual earnings goal amount.

THAT, my friends, is your truest earnings goal amount. THAT is the income amount to strive towards, not some random number picked out of thin air. There’s a difference in setting the bar high and setting it too high to realistically reach. Your goals have to be attainable or you’ll quit just shy of success. For example, prior to doing this modified version of Ferriss’ dreamline, my random goal earning amount was $150k. Boy, was I surprised that even with all of the BIG ticket items I put on my TEGA, my true annual goal earning amount was just $82,200. That number is almost half what I previously thought I would have to have to live large and in charge in my own little world! This was a huge relief and pleasant surprise!!!

Depending on your current lifestyle, your numbers are likely significantly different than mine. But, I hope you find–as I did–that having a hard number to put on your dreams as you go through your life and business choices will make your work more productive, your choices more fact-based, and your dreams much more attainable. You don’t have to be a bazillionaire to feel like you have “arrived” at financial freedom. You have a number, it’s just up to you to find that number, then strive for it.

You’ve got this!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

#HashtagLove

wpid-IMG_20140227_144122.jpgThis morning, I awoke with a migraine, so I did what everyone with migraines wants to do…I went back to bed! When I finally got up and moving, I did one productive thing (yes, ONE), and all I could think through my sore brained fog was, “I think that’s all I have in me.” If the school buses weren’t already making their rounds now, and if my children weren’t one at a time about to start banging through the door, I’d likely go back to bed…again. I will, instead, make the most of a day that would have been productive and enjoy the forced opportunity to chill. But, I digress…

I posted this picture <<—————— on Instagram as I was having these thoughts of lost productivity, along with the hashtag #atleastihavecoffee. Then, as I often do, once my pic had uploaded, I hit that blue little hashtag link and opened up a world of other Instagrammers who have also used that hashtag.

As simple a thing as it is, when I use hashtags I enjoy seeing who else has used that same one. This is especially fun when it’s a really unique hashtag (or at least a hashtag that I think it really unique…of which I cannot think of a single example right now because, duh, my head hurts too much to think…in fact, looking at this screen right now doesn’t feel too great), then seeing who else thought the same. Hashtags are like another realm of social media that completely connects one to another, across the state or across the globe, who you do not know, but you have this shared thought. It’s pretty amazing, really, just how connected I am to each person in this world, from so many different angles. #smallworld

Make it a great (headache-free) day,

Mari!yn

Beauty Guru Makeup FUN!!!

In this multi-media, internet social world we live in, some of our addictions are bound to revolve around our “smart phones” that are, statistically speaking, making us dumber by the second! My favorite phone vice is watching YouTube! I have a whole slew of people I follow and channels I subscribe to there; heck, I even watch my news there!

One of my favorite genres of YouTube channels is the Beauty Guru group! LOVE Kandee Johnson, Wayne Goss, the Pixiwoo sisters, Jaclyn Hill, and so many others! I like some because they’re so quirky, others because they crack me up, and most because they’ve got mad skills with the makeup!

So, being the low-maintenance makeup gal that I am, I wanted to see just how different my normal 5 minute makeup routine was from the “beauty guru” way of doing makeup…and the answer is: about 30 minutes difference, but a much different “look”! I had so much fun filming this video, and trying some techniques and tricks that I have rarely (if ever) tried before.

Thanks for stopping by and going with me on my many random adventures 🙂

Make it a great day,
Marilyn

I don’t wanna “share”

Dad Mom MarilynWhen my dad comes across an article online or in a newspaper or magazine that he knows I would benefit from, he does this thing where he puts my initials at the top of the page in his ever-handy red pencil, and files it neatly away until he sees me next. Usually, by the time he hands me my article, it has been paired with other neatly filed articles into a nice, little stack of good reading.

When Dad does this, I appreciate it! The articles could be on any number of topics from health to business to family to organization or travel–the sky’s the limit. But one thing is always sure: the articles have always been well thought out selections that he has chosen specifically for me because he knew I would enjoy them and gain from them.

Now, imagine if every person you’ve ever known did this. Imagine if every time you bumped into someone you know at the grocery store, or spoke to someone at the office they handed you a little stack of three or four articles that they think are “must reads” for YOU! This is what social media outlets like Facebook have become and it’s kind of getting on my nerves.

When I open up my Facebook app on my phone or sign in on my computer, I am doing so to find out what my friends and family–the people I specifically know and love–are doing. Why oh why am I, instead, bombarded by political diatribes written by some talking head that none of my friends know, or some “share this 1,000 times and the hospital will give me a new lung for free,” or whatnot. I can appreciate that people enjoy online articles, charities, recipes, and inspirational quote–I’ve been there, I get it–but is it really “perfect” for every one of your nearest and dearest Facebook acquaintances?

When I log in, I want to see YOUR kids, YOUR words, and YOUR thoughts. Why do we now have to sift through all of the “shared” this and “liked” that to get to the meat of what’s going on in our friend’s lives? Now, if YOU wrote the article you’re sharing ( 🙂 ), that’s at least related to YOUR life, your true passions and what’s going on with you. I’ll welcome those any time!!!

I’m taking steps to declutter lots of things, but among them is this Facebook culprit! I am reporting random ads that show up in my news-feed as spam. I am adjusting my settings to only show my friend’s photos and status updates…and only the “important life events”.  I am not doing this because I don’t love you and want to know your thoughts…I’m doing this because I DO love you and don’t want to get irritated with you every time I log in 🙂

So, friends, keep “sharing” if you please, but I’m going to keep my article stack very small and carefully marked with my initials in red pencil. Those are especially for me.