The Effect of Motivation (or lack thereof)

Fair warning…  This may be be a depressing article, and for those not having fun in their lives or  not succeeding, it may not be for you….

In my 47 years on this planet, I have seen my share of successes, failures, unfulfilled goals, shattered dreams, mini victories, and just general accomplishments.  I’m  good at a lot of things, I’m pretty good at a few, but mostly I’m not great at anything.  I’m unremarkable, normal, and basically a nobody.  Now that’s a pretty mundane start to a blog post, and lord knows I have a pretty mundane life, but I cant help but think there is more to life than going through the motions, getting up, having my morning coffee (usually a pot or two) going through my usual websites, catching up on what I missed in the 6 hours since I went to bed, getting in the shower dressing myself, then going off to work for anywhere from 9 to 13 hours a day, coming home, and starting the process all over again. I’m sure there is in fact, more to this thing called life, but for the most part I have a severe case of “lack of motivation”.  I have always been an underachiever and have lost out on many an opportunity due to lack of being proactive, being scared, or just plain lazy.  I don’t know what it is that keeps me from grabbing the bull by the horns when opportunity arises, but that’s me, sitting in the shadows, not taking the chance and letting others succeed and allowing myself to sit here being comfortable being a failure.  I keep telling myself that I will get off the pot tomorrow, do this tomorrow, do a little more, but tomorrow comes and all I do is sit here.. 

I don’t know what’s more disconcerting, the fact that I don’t take action, or the fact that I KNOW I am not doing what I know I should do.  it all boils down to motivation.  I have none.  I don’t know if it is because I am afraid of failure, because of my layoff in 2008, because of my failed relationship with my son, or because of my last divorce, but whatever the reason, I need to get over it, get through it, and find the juice I need to move on to bigger and better things.  I know inside myself there lies a person that can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.  But there is also this little voice inside of me that is telling me that I will fail and right now that voice is overriding anything else that is happening in that pea size brain of mine.  I am not sure what it is going to take to move on from my problems, I have a long laundry list of things that are haunting me, things that I wish I could have done better or different, but although those are obstacles, they should not be taking away from the things I know I should be doing to better myself, to better my situation, or to be happy. 

Am I depressed?  Yes, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, but despite that, I know things could be worse.  I have a roof over my head, a job, a family that loves me, great circle of friends, and  I am relatively healthy, despite my weight issues and smoking.  Depression is a weird and cruel monster, just when you think you are coming out of it, it rears its ugly head and you fall back into that abyss and start the patterns all over again. 

So beginning with this revelation for all of you to see, I am taking this time to try and focus on getting better.  I am generally a happy person, but sometimes that isn’t enough.  I am going through the motions and not doing anything to better my situation, whether it is because I don’t have the time, don’t have the funds, or just simply don’t care any more.  Most of you that are my friends would never know from the outside that things have not been going well.  In fact I am sitting here while writing this contemplating if I should even post this to my blog.  Usually I am positive, and I certainly don’t want to LOSE readers because of this, but then again, the people that do read my blog are for the most part the people I trust and the ones that will look at this as a confession, not so much a “oh poor me” post.  I am not looking for sympathy, I am not looking for a handout, nor am I looking for a magic bullet to get me out of this.  I am simply looking for understanding that despite all of my outward appearances, I am dealing with a lot of shit, and if this post allows me to begin the transition to what I know I can accomplish then so be it. 

Thank you for reading this, and for those that did not stop at the first paragraph, I appreciate it.  Just know that despite all of my issues I am still going to try and get through them, whatever it takes, whatever I have to do.  Just understand that I am not going anywhere, I am not at the point of giving up, and to be honest it is the people that I have met while online that have allowed me to keep trying to move forward.  The friends I have on this wonderful creation called the internet are my rock, they are my focus, and I love everyone of you.  Just know that this will not be the last time I address these issues, and there will be times when I will sound like a poster child for giving up, but just know that I had to get this written for my own sanity, in order to put everything in perspective and to be able to write down on digital paper what it is that I need to look at and remember should I be able to look back and laugh at this post and tell myself what loser I was at this point in my life…lol 

For those that have me on Skype, feel free to ask if you need any further details or are curious to see how I am doing.  I wont bite, and I wont ignore you. 

Keep me in your thoughts, and thank you for reading. 

Scott

Focus on What’s Important

There was a big hubbub yesterday in the TE world….something about icons, cheaters, and the efforts being done to get rid of them.  Well,  I’m not a TE owner, but I surf 15-20 different TE’s per day, and in those TE’s I probably surf upwards of 5000 pages overall, so, I think I can speak for us affiliates out there that experience a lot of different TE’s daily and weekly and can form an opinion of what matters to us “little guys” in the industry, since we are the target audience for all the owners that want and need traffic to their sites. 

I find surfing in TE’s a fun and enjoyable experience, and if I didn’t I would be in the business.  What the owner does to dissuade cheaters, find them and get rid of them is important, but in the long run, these efforts don’t affect me much in the big picture of things.  Owners want us to promote their sites, drive traffic to their sites, and the bottom line is they want members to spend money with them.  This is how they become successful, this is the avenue they have chosen to eventually quit their offline jobs, and to eventually earn a full time income from home. 

As an affiliate of over 30 Traffic Exchanges I will promote the sites I enjoy surfing, sites where I recognize there is a lot of traffic, have a membership that is active, and most of all, ones that I am willing to upgrade in, because without that traffic my ads will not get seen, and thus I can’t move forward in this business myself, and eventually get to where I want to be.   I want to be one of those owners one day, I want to be a leader in the industry one day, but until that day comes, I will continue to surf, look for opportunities, and take advantage of them when I can.  When I surf a site that is making it difficult or tedious  to click from one page to the next, I lose interest, I get frustrated and I eventually will just quit surfing that site altogether. 

I may not know all the ins and out of TE ownership, in fact I know very little, but the fact is I DO know from talking a lot of owners there are so many different ways to find and weed out the bad eggs, that just changing the surf Icons isn’t going to do it.  I have seen them, I have surfed the sites that use them, and they require that you know and understand English.  What about those active members that may not understand or are able to read English?  you going to punish them and drive them away simply because you have a few cheaters in your program?  In my opinion you are losing money by doing that. 

I understand the need to weed out the cheaters, however the most important thing I have learned from owners  in running a traffic exchange is to take care of the non-cheating members, the active members, and the affiliates that like your site enough to promote it in other programs, not just in other exchanges, but other types of programs, PTC’s, List builders and the like.  That is what gets you traffic, that earns commissions and that will bring in members that want to buy from you.  Little tricks and quirks that are solely designed to deter cheaters will not garner you any favor with them, they will not enjoy surfing your site, and they will not promote your site.  So do yourself a favor, make it fun, make it simple, and make your site stand out from the rest.  Focus on those things and you will not only see the difference in traffic, but in your wallet as well. 

OH… 

As for the person that started all this discussion, your program doesn’t even USE the script where these icons are located, so what the hell are you doing focusing on a script you don’t even use?  Worry about what YOU are doing, and make yourself and your site better, don’t focus on a script that other owners are using…

Get in the game or sit on the bench…..It’s up to you…..

Pot Meet Kettle

As I have pointed out in previous posts, this is a sports blog, but every now and the I will delve into the world of Traffic Exchanges and the happenings in that world as well, this is one of those times.  I also mentioned in a previous post that the person that introduced me to the world of traffic exchanges, my mentor, my friend, my little sister, Rhonda Pizor has always been there for me, and that behavior has transferred into the traffic exchange industry.  Rhonda is the owner and designer of MakeMySplash dedicated to the design and implementation of advertising designs and websites for the traffic industry.  She has been doing this for nearly 2 years, has a graphic design certificate and is constantly improving her craft. 

In my honest opinion, she has no equal in this business, though there are others out there that try, no one compares to her quality of work.  She has designed splash pages, squeeze pages, banners, and other items for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Click Track Profit and Legacy Hits, along with other high profile owners and affiliates that go to her anytime they need a high quality design at a fair price.  She provides superior support for her designs and is always available by phone, Skype, or email to those that need her services or help.

Recently a Blog post was made by one of her “competitors” and I use that term loosely, cause this person is not a designer, nor are they an artist. Anyway this person criticized Rhonda’s work and her business  because they noticed a spelling error on one her splash pages that had been designed for one owner of an extremely popular traffic exchange, throwing her under the bus in the process, making “fun” of her website, and just being low, callous, and downright nasty about it. What she failed to understand is that this industry is built on mistakes, learning from them, and getting better.  Most of the owners and affiliates in the industry are nice, caring, helpful and encouraging individuals that look out for each other, that prop each other up and truly want everyone to have success.  The road this person decided to take when pointing out this “mistake” was not only detrimental, to a certain degree, to Rhonda and her business, but to herself as well.  Pointing out other peoples mistakes in a negative manner is just another form of bullying, and instead of getting the result they were looking for, specifically they wanted to take business from Rhonda, she instead disturbed a hornets nest, and made herself look shallow and petty. 

Word of advice…

Focus more on what YOU are doing, not so much what others are doing or not doing, and you will go a long way in earning respect, admiration, and customers.  You are what you make of it in this business, and your behavior, your work ethic, and your product will benefit if that is your focus and not what someone that has been doing it longer, better, and is successful.  What you do has no bearing on what I do, unless it inspires me to do better, unless it inspires me to achieve my goals, and unless it wakes me up and gets me off my ass to try harder.  I would normally not give you a second look, cause to this point NOTHING you have done has done anything to inspire me, but to come out and throw a baseless and hurtful attack at a close personal friend of mine, one I have known for over 13 years and know better than I know my own family, well that’s gonna get my attention.  Your actions have done nothing but backfired, cause I know for a fact, Rhonda has more class, more poise, and especially more TALENT than you do, and this will only grow her business and detract from yours. 

Get in the game or ride the bench….its up to you

The Entitlement of Sports Figures

Recent developments in the world of sports has caused me to reflect on the past, present, and future of sports in this country.  We all have our sports heroes, whether it was someone you idolized growing up as a kid or someone that you idolize now, they are there, larger than life, supernatural in your eyes, can do no wrong, are the cornerstone of your favorite team, the quarterback, the basketball star, baseball star, whatever they may do, they are the best at their specific sport and they are the reason you watch sports. 

However, with recent events over the course of the last few months we have to look at these idols for what they are.  Human beings with flaws, with questionable judgment, and with entitlement issues.  Major League Baseball has handed down 13 suspensions to players that were found to be linked to a Florida Anti-aging clinic that is suspected of distributing steroids to these players, including Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.  the suspensions range from 50 games to, in Rodriguez’ case, over 200 games.  A-Rod is appealing his suspension cause, in my mind, he is in denial and feels that because he is who he is and makes the money he does, that he is above the laws of MLB and is not subject to their rules regarding PED’s. 

Then we have Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback who has also bee in the spotlight lately.  The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, it appears, has allowed his fame to go to his head, getting himself caught up in scandal after scandal regarding his behavior off the field.  He has been in a few altercations off the field, usually involving alcohol, that has called into question not only his level of maturity, but his sanity.  Now there are allegations that he has received money from autographs that he has signed at memorabilia shows in the offseason, calling into question his eligibility for continuing his career at A&M.  As a collegiate football player he is not eligible to receive money for anything related to his playing for A&M, including salary, perks, or money in return for services or appearances, including autographs.  He has shown the attitude that he is beyond reproach and that he can do pretty much whatever he wants to, since he has that little trophy on his mantle that was presented to him by the Downtown Athletic Club. 

There is an old saying that says, with great power comes great responsibility, and that may be a corny line from a not-so-great movie, but it is in fact true for these individuals whether they believe it or want to follow it or not.  They have been provided or have developed an extraordinary talent in their respective sport, and to abuse that talent or view it as a birthright is not only irresponsible, but it is a detriment to the game they represent.  Maybe we should all take a fresh look at how we view these players and put this into perspective.  Heroes are not sports figures, they haven’t completed heroic things, they haven’t saved a life, put themselves in harms way, cured a disease or done anything that is even close to being considered for “hero status”.  You want to be my hero?  Pull a family out of burning building, discover a cure for cancer, save your buddies lives on the battlefield, or for better reference, go into a 110 story tower to put out a fire knowing damn well that you will probably not come out of that thing alive. 

Look, I love sports, I will continue to watch the games I love, and I will continue on rooting for the players on my favorite team to do well, to score touchdowns, make goals, and to score runs, but I will not place them up on a pedestal to give them “hero” stats in my life, they are not an inspiration to me, and they will not be beyond reproach with how they approach the game or how they act off the field.  they are human beings, making millions of dollars to play a game, and until they perform CPR on a dying fan, or do an act of courage that warrants my respect, they will continue to be overpaid athletes that I enjoy watching for entertainment purposes.  Sports is my release from the real world for a few hours each week, and that is all.  So for all you want to be heroes out there, show me something, show me how humble you are, and show me that you have respect for not only the game you play and its history, but for yourself as well.

And we’re off….

So, yesterday was the official start to the football season with the Hall of Fame game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins.  The result of the game matters little in the grand scheme of things, as come Sept 5, all the records will be reset to zero and the regular season begins.  I have my own opinions as to who will be good teams and who will be ad teams, sadly both of my favorite teams (Browns and Buccaneers) fall into the latter category, but it wont keep me from cheering for them any less, cause when you are a fan, you cheer and cry for them in good times and bad.  The important thing is that Football is back, I am excited, and for those that missed it, I have once again started “The Sports Nerd” weekly Spreecast,  The Sports Nerd Show starring myself and good friend Bob Pizor.  The show will be every Sunday night from 7:30pm until whenever Bob and I have run out of things to say.  It will include recaps of The Sunday games as well as discussion of anything sports related.  Please come join us and have a good time smack talking, laughing and carrying on like teenagers. 

I have some thoughts on the upcoming season that include predictions, comments, and overall observations.  First I feel that the team to beat this year will be the San Francisco 49ers.  They are heavy favorites to win it all this year.  the only team I see competing with them in the NFC are the Seattle Seahawks, which means that division race is going to be quite exciting all the way to week 16, including a week 14 matchup between the two in San Francisco.  That game could decide the division, even with 3 weeks to go.  In the AFC I have the Broncos wining the conference with only the Texans or Patriots being able to possibly sneak by them.  I’m really looking forward to the season and cant wait for it to officially start. 

On to other sports.  This week has seen a lot of drama in Baseball, specifically A-Rod and his issues, along with 12 other players that include Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, and Jhonny Peralta.  The fallout of this whole thing is that Baseball once again is getting a black eye because players cant seem to resist trying to get an edge by using banned or illegal substances.  this hardens back to the days of Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa.  All these players already have talent or they would not be in Major League Baseball,. why in the world do they think that by doing drugs they will be even better, or why do they feel that they have to be better than they already are without taking drugs.  They face the risk of exactly what has happened, major suspensions, certain snub if they should ever come up for HOF consideration, and not to mention the ultimate criticism of not just their peers, but the fans.  they make god awful amounts of money for playing a GAME, and yet they feel that to get an extra 10 hits, or maybe 3 more HR’s in a season they have to juice.  I don’t get it, call me a purist, but it is just sad.   Once again the sport I loved growing up has taken another slide to the rear of all the other sports that I follow, including, Golf and Tennis.  NFL will always be number one, but alas, there are cheaters there too I know, but not to this extent and the drug policy and testing in the NFL is far and above that of MLB and cheaters are discovered much easier. 

In closing, I am disappointed in the players, A-Rod can go to hell and he needs to drop the appeal and just fade away, just like McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds have done.  take your punishment, swallow it, and just go away.  As for me, I am ready for the NFL and will concern myself with Baseball only should the Rays make it to the playoffs.