What Failing with 28 Start-ups Has Taught Me

Yep, 0 and 28; that is my startup record. 100% of the time companies I work with fail. 100– that hurts a bit.

You might be asking, “Who the heck are you? And why do you suck so much at this entrepreneurship thing?”

Great questions, let’s start with who the heck I am.

I’m Miles. As a developer for the past 10 years, I have always worked for startups. But for the past four years, I have been able to watch startups bootstrap from a 100,000-foot ivory tower.

I work for a private company that specializes in computer programing training. For years, my employer and local school districts have been working together to revolutionize public education.

For the last four years, I have been assigned to work at a magnet high school where students learn entrepreneurship skills (financing, MVPS, SWOT, LEAN Model, etc.) with the goal of launching a business before they graduate. Not make-believe businesses but real businesses. At least that is the goal. 

During their junior year, students find a problem, create a solution, run M.V.P.s, and pitch their businesses to local investors. Any profits the students make they get to keep.

Senior year students run their companies.

First, A Word to the Critics

Some balking critics might say, “These are high schoolers not running ‘real’ businesses. Why should I care?” Two points.

One, tell that to the students — a student body that has received over $20,000 in angel investment funding by winning pitch/code competitions, competing against college graduates and entrepreneurs for funding.

Two, yes, these young entrepreneurs are just that: young, which is why we should pay attention. Soon they will become the workforce, and your clients. ALSO sometimes the wrath of adolescence bursts into the room, filling the space with a tornado of drama and emotion. A drama which leads to extreme conflict; thus allowing the opportunity for extreme conflict resolution.

For realzies, you should mentor a local entrepreneurship club or company; you will learn a lot.

Now to the lessons.

A wrong hire will kill or save you (no pressure)

You might read about the importance of hiring all the time on LinkedIn. Probably to the point where you want to throw up. All those cute little quotes you read like, “hire slow and fire fast” ain’t nonsense. Hiring is damn important.

For a growing organization, a SINGLE hire can tear down everything. Conversely, the right hire can elevate a team.

The wrong subtraction

Case in point, one year we had a team primed for success. The group produced a great product concept —  to place sensors in your lawn and only water the sectors that need watering. In California, where we have no water, this product naturally attracted lots of attention. The cherry on top? The team was extremely talented.

The exciting launch

This team of six had it all; prodigy-level technical chops, solid financial insights, and expert level presentation skills.

Out of the gate, they rolled over the competition in every pitch /code events; winning over $10k in their first year. 

Success will lead to turbulence

If you fly for long enough, you will hit turbulence. The question is, how well is everything bolted down?

Some laws of physics seemingly apply to business too, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

The Startup Genome Project, a group that studied 3200+ high growth technology startups, boldly stated in their report’s analysis:

More than 90% of startups fail, due primarily to self-destruction rather than competition. For the less than 10% of startups that do succeed, most encounter several near-death experiences along the way. Simply put, we just are not very good at creating startups yet.

I guess Diddy was right, “mo money, mo problems.”

Success, even small amounts, can be intoxicating.

This team hit some major turbulence because of success. Rather than focusing on their next steps, team members wanted to focus on who should receive the most praise and money.

The nugget of wisdom: with growth, you can expect conflict.

Rough winds are when real leaders emerge

Turbulence is when true leadership appears. For this team, a young, powerful woman emerged and was named CEO. She had her team solidify roles; she took care of the front-facing team while her CTO developed the product. But unfortunately, it didn’t last.

Losing the Captain

Sometimes even the best leaders can’t right the ship. After months of fighting her team, the leader threw in the towel.

Running out of Jet Fuel

Now that the captain was gone the talent began leaking jet fuel. A once productive team that was continuously coming up with updates turned into a group that missed investor deadlines. Dwindling to just a cool high school project.

Moral of the Story

  • Early on a single hire or fire can alter your company’s culture.
  • You must protect your culture and not let success destroy you.
  • Arrogance will kill you like Icarus flying too close to the sun.

Now we know it is vital to hire the “right” people, you might be asking how? Or more importantly, who? 

First, you need women on your team. Period.

I really wish I didn’t have to write this section. I mean it is 2019, but some of us tech-nerd men still don’t get it. You need women on your team.

Still not listening, dudes? YOU NEED WOMEN ON YOUR TEAM. 

Besides it being 2019 and you know being just the right thing to do, if you HAVE to have numbers know that having women on your team might make your company more successful when it comes to funding, running your company, surviving, all that. As Fishkin puts it, 

Teams with at least one woman founder performed 63 percent better than all male founding teams — Rand Fishkin, Lost and Founder, Page 157.

I have seen this truth play out over and over again.

The four most advanced teams I worked with all had at least one strong female team member.

Some of these young women took a bold and direct approach. Some took more subtle methods. But in all cases, they were by far the most talented technically and social-emotionally.

Time and time again, a struggling team that brought in a strong female team member increased production almost instantly. 

Strong teams that lost their vital team member would then crash and burn.

The all-male teams and male-dominated teams were significantly more likely to underperform when compared to mixed gender teams and all female teams.

Moral of the story, it is freaking 2019, hire and promote women.

When you know, you know.

When you find a superstar hire them even if you don’t have a job for them yet. Don’t let the employee of your dreams slip away because you don’t have a job title created.

From my non-scientific observations, I can tell you this truth:

You are WAY more likely to hire the WRONG person.

Regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, sexual preference, background if you find a superstar that fits hire them.

Design your hiring process to find these super-stars. Since companies are often trying to solve problems quickly, you might be tempted to focus too much on hiring for hard-skills. I promise you, after four years of teaching, it is much easier to teach a hard-skills than foster soft-skills. It is the lack of soft skills that will destroy your team. Hard work and communication will always outpace talent. 

So who do you hire? Per my observations, when given open-ended tasks or projects, individuals fall into five groups: the minimalists, the fabricators, the grinders, thought leaders, and the diamonds. Here are some thoughts about each of these categories.

The Minimalists

Minimalists are just that, minimalists. They do the bare minimum on open-ended tasks; if you are lucky.

Per my pseudo-scientific observations, 30-33% of the potential workforce is built up of minimalists, making them the most prominent population segment.

Being a minimalist has nothing to do with a lack of ability but everything to do with motivation. Minimalists need guidance because they lack internal motivation or confidence in a subject.

However, for whatever freakonomics reason, this group is by far the most creative and often have the best people skills.

Minimalists are not destined to stay in this group. Once the minimalist has a breakthrough, they morph into unicorns. But this takes a great effort from external sources; it can take years. Others have to believe in minimalists before they believe in themselves.

How to work with minimalists.

  • Invite them to be apart of the design process, but don’t rely on them for significant production.
  • Break-up tasks into small chunks, they need to see small wins.
  • Try giving them a people-oriented position (e.g., customer support or sales). Often the minimalist’s people skills are superior to other groups. Once you provide the “minimalist” the right task, they often morph into “grinders.” Just don’t expect them to find their kung-fu on their own.
  • When a minimalist gets excited leverage the excitement and build their confidence by setting a plan with lots of small wins. This continues to boost their confidence while also helping to hold them accountable.
  • Leverage growth mindset practices to teach grit.

The Fabricators

This group scares me the most.

Even scarier, fabricators come in at a whopping 26-29%.

Fabricators are extremely talented. However, they are even more talented at disguising themselves as highly effective workers.

Fabricators spend more time convincing you they did great work rather than doing the job. They settle well below their capabilities and try to convince you they did more.

Fabricators will get an open-ended project done, but they perform best with milestones.

Be ready for fabricators to cut corners and give excuses. Don’t allow excuses, stand firm. Anticipate their tendency by baking in extra time for revisions.

How to work with fabricators.

  • Set high standards.
  • Don’t pull punches on your critiques.
  • Review their work early; set the tone and direction.

The Grinders

You want grinders. Grinders are the workhorses that get stuff done.

Lucky for society grinders take up 25-28% of the potential workforce.

Not all grinders start off producing great work; they have various level of ability. However, I promise they outperform every other group over time.

Grinders are not the most creative; they are not flashy on their solutions. They get it done. Sort of set and forget team players.

When a grinder is frustrated, it is often too late. Because grinders don’t usually complain, you need to protect this group. A grinder can be easily overworked and taken advantage of by others.

How to work with grinders.

  • You need to protect grinders from burnout. Remind grinders to take breaks.
  • Be keenly aware of other group types over using the grinder; you don’t want this person to get burnt out.
  • Focus on teaching them new strategies and encourage them to try to reach for higher level skills.
  • DON’T micromanage.
  • DO encourage and recognize them; they sometimes take a back seat to the “thought leaders.”
  • On rare occasions, you will have to motivate them, but if this is happening, you need to take a step back and see if there are more significant issues are in play.

The Thought Leaders

Thought leaders have many great ideas and almost naturally take control of a team. But, this group isn’t as uncommon as you think, coming in at about 7-9%.

Thought leaders are a highly sought-after group. On paper, thought leaders appear great but BEWARE these individuals can be your biggest asset or greatest issue.

An unhealthy thought leader becomes a dictator and micromanager. They can quickly become the hardest person to work beside. They can single-handedly kill your team’s morale.

Teams are all about collaboration and balance. You need to teach this lesson to the thought leader. Their arrogance and ego can lead them down a dark path if gone unchecked.

Not all thought leaders are hard workers.

Being a thought leader does not automatically make them a grinder. Some burn through life purely off talent making them apt to start projects and never finish. Time after time again, I have seen thought leaders bail when situations get hard.

When a thought leader is frustrated, you need to be ready to spar. A frustrated thought leader will test your leadership. It doesn’t mean that they don’t respect you, but they do want to be heard. Let them have their moment but don’t be afraid to push back with your direction and reasons.

How to work with thought leaders

  • Foster their leadership skills.
  • Be aware of their duality, continuously grow them into the leader you for your organization.
  • Encourage them to share ideas and listen.
  • Be ready to spar when they are frustrated, overworked, or out of their comfort zone.

Diamonds are Forever

1–2% of the workforce are diamonds — individuals that eventually believe in themselves and turn into rockstars. They are the perfect balance of grinder and thought leader.

These people are hard to spot and come from all places. Sometimes they are minimalists turned grinder, sometimes they are grinder turned thought leader, etc.

Often these diamonds are buried in the rough. The team has to believe in them before they believe in themselves.

Given the perfect conditions, a diamond will emerge and change everything.

That’s it, well not all of it. But that is enough for one article.

I hope you consider my failures when you start. But wouldn’t blame you if you don’t… I’m 0–28 remember.

One last thing…


  • Hiring is very important (actually the most important). One team member can make or break your company.
  • The highest performing teams ALWAYS have at least one extremely effective female team member.
  • The most successful teams are not the smartest or most talented; hard work beats talent every time.
  • 30–33% of the workforce is minimalists. However, this group tends to be the most creative and friendly. They are wonderful for creative or sales roles if you can motivate them.
  • 26–29% of the workforce is frustratingly above average minimalists who spend more time and effort settling rather than producing.
  • 25–28% of the workforce is workhorses/grinders.
  • 7–9% of the workforce is made up of thought leaders/strategists, but these individuals have a duality of either being a significant asset or hindrance.
  • 1–2% of the workforce is diamonds in the rough.

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Through 7 Simple Steps

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Through 7 Simple Steps
Resolving Conflict in the Workspace
Resolving Conflict in the Workspace

There was a heaviness to the air as the team members reluctantly plopped down for their weekly. The kind of heaviness that percolates from missed deadlines; radiating out through slumped shoulders, closed arms, and distant gazes. A heaviness that takes over a room as the obviously defeated team stares quietly into the abyss of failure.

“Good morning”, I half-state, half-ask, as my partner and I greet the reluctant team joining the table. Receiving in return some of those fake half-smiles.

“What the f*** happened?” I thought to myself.

The once energetic all-star team was silent. They hadn’t produced anything in weeks.

Whatever the problem, the results weren’t good. It needed intervention yesterday.

Does this meeting scenario feel familiar to you?

For me, these meetings come with the territory. For the past three years, I have mentored high school entrepreneurs in launching businesses; yep, high schoolers. And spoiler, teenagers sometimes don’t handle conflict or change well… And with my job, we can’t fire anyone.

Because of this I have seen extreme business conflict and have been forced to practice extreme conflict management.

Through painful meetings, angry stares, and palpable discontent, I have discovered a solution that can help right the leaning team ship. I wish I could say these were intentionally discovered methods. Really, it was out of desperation at grasping for straws with one of my senior teams. This team was once so fun to watch, and now they were failing, I was failing them.

Out of desperation, I threw a Hail Mary. The team was falling apart, the meetings were falling apart. What did I have to lose? I had a hunch; why not wing it?

“I want to try something,” I said as I looked around the table. “I think you are all way too nice to tell me what is happening. So here is what we are going to do; we are going to go around the room and I want each one of you to answer these three questions.”

“The three questions are,” as I made a number one with my right-hand index finger, “What does success for this team look like to you?”

After a dramatic pause, I slowly raised a second finger on my hand, “Where are you failing? Meaning, what is stopping you from reaching success? I only want facts, no gossip or name-calling.”

“Finally, three,” as I changed my fingers again, “how can YOU personally improve to get this project back on track?”

I then turned and beheld the most aggravated looking teenager, “Looks like you have something to say, why don’t you start?” I stated with a smile.

The meeting blew me away.

Over the next hour, we were able to unravel all sorts of issues. The meeting revealed that one team member was, in fact, bored, and felt underutilized. They were frustrated in their ability to communicate with the team. The leadership recognized they were micromanaging and not allowing everyone’s voice to be heard. In the end, they all agreed they wanted to get back to making video games and having fun while doing it.

Then word got out.

This team started to bond, and get back to basics, and with that word got out. I did not know what I did at the time but teenagers reached out for help.

Teenagers are not dumb, they know when they need help. They will reach out only if they feel the person has the tools to help. I believe is the same for employees as well.

Through more meetings, I have experimented with a system that works pretty well. It won’t solve all of your problems but it can help the team to get back on the right path.

A Step by Step Guide for Resolving Workplace Conflict.

Step 1: Set Ground Rules. Let them know everyone will have their turn to speak. State these rules with weight and a solid sturdy tone. Tell the team that you only want facts, not opinions; no bullying will be allowed.

Step 2: Provide the Questions and Thier Purpose. Provide the three questions and give a reason why you are asking these questions.

Question 1: What does success for this team look like to you?

The Reason: Conflict can arise when individuals have different motives. What is important to one team member can be meaningless to another. This first question helps the team finds common ground.

Question 2: Why are you failing?

The Reason: This question is intended to cut to the core of the conflict but while still framing the discussion on the team’s collective success. Steer the conversation towards team success; not the individual.

Question 3: How can you improve to get this project back on track?

The Reason: The third question bakes into a bit of personal fault. Members can always improve and this is the chance for individuals to take ownership in the team’s performance without being singled out or taking all responsibility. The improvement should be actionable, observable, and measurable.

Step 3: Actively Listen and Reflect. While the team is answering the questions, make and maintain warm eye contact. Verbally mirror what they share. You should use phrases like, “It seems like that…” or “Do you feel like that…?”

Summarize their thoughts back to them. Don’t add your own commentary.

At this stage, you should be focusing on acknowledgment. Let them know they have been heard but don’t solve their problems. Remember acknowledgment isn't agreement, there is a huge difference.

If your mirror is wrong, it is okay, they will correct you and probably be grateful you are trying to listen.

Step 4: Highlight Answers. Write keywords on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, so you can point out potential conflict or agreements in ideology later.

Step 5: Summarize. Point out the conflict you noted earlier; summarize the situation. For example, sometimes the conflict comes down to the goal. Multiple team members might be looking at the project with completely different intentions, one might be extremely passionate while the other is dreading their role.

You will probably notice of these common causes of group conflict start to emerge: uneven expectations, mismatched goals, miscommunication, lack of support, and burn-out.

Step 6: Give Next Steps. At this point, after you have pointed out the conflicts, or communication breakdowns (which there will always be), you can provide the next steps. These next steps are where you make your big bucks, I can’t give you answers for the next steps. The goal of all of this is just to get everyone in a state that is semi-receptive of the next steps.

Step 7: Send off with Positivity. After the next steps, transition and focus back on the agreements. There will probably be agreements that came out in the discussion, and if there isn’t I am sure there is a positivity you can hang your hat on.

Conclusion About Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

I am not an expert in conflict management, I have just been kicked in the teeth a few times.

Yet by doing what I outlined above, I have seen numerous tears shed before hearing, “I am sorry”. I have heard teenagers admit wrongdoing. I have seen students hug and smile.

If teenagers can do all that, so can your team.

Don’t expect complete and eternal conflict resolution. Be more focused on identifying the behavior within each teammate that causes the conflict. The more they can see it for themselves the more they will do the work to solve the conflict on their own. Seeing your students work collaboratively is the most rewarding feeling. It should be the same for you and your employees.

SERP Stands For? What SERP & Organic Means in SEO

What does SERP Stands for? Watch the video below.

SERP Stands For? What SERP & Organic Means in SEO

SERP Stands For? Video Transcription

The first word I want to introduce you to is Google Adwords. Google Adwords, if you take a look at my screen, I have a search for cars for sale.

SERP Stands for Search Engine Results Page
SERP Stands For Search Engine Results Page

Now, Google Adwords are these ads up here. If you are searching on Google and you do not have an ad blocker like I don’t have on my Safari right now and you see ad or maybe it is highlighted if you are in Edge, these are Adwords.

These words up here are paid, meaning that this first position, this is the one position, two position and three position. This first position, CarMax paid for it, so every time someone clicks on this link up here, Google makes money. Now, this is one major way that Google makes money, is through their advertisements.

What does Organic Mean for SEO? And Where are they Shown on the SERP?

Down here, down below, everything below this ad is called ‘organic search’. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in to play. The people right here are not paying Google to be listed right here. And generally, a lot of people click on this first ones, I mean of course, people click on these advertisements but this first spot in ‘organic’ is really where you’re trying to be; the higher, the better.

With paid search, Google Adwords, the way it works is that the moment you stop paying, the moment they stop playing. Meaning, if CarMax stops paying right now for this search spot in Google Adwords, then True Car bumps up and another one comes down below.

Again, Adwords is pay-per-click, that means pay-per-click, PPC, that’s another acronym you might hear is PPC – pay per click. And there’s another way you can do it which is pay-per-impression. Now, most people when they’re talking about paid advertisements, it’s pay-per-click.

Now, pay per click doesn’t just mean on Google, it could also mean on Facebook. So, on Facebook, there’s advertisements, there are some schemes that you pay per click – meaning every time someone pays on a like or clicks a ‘like’ or clicks on the article, Facebook gets paid. So, pay-per-click is not just for Google Adwords. Again, ads up here, Ad Words; ads down below, where it doesn’t say ‘ad’ or isn’t highlighted, this is organic.

So, that’s really the first introduction, that’s the first thing I wanted to go over when it comes to vocabulary. Again, paid advertisement on Google is called Google Adwords.

What does SERP Stands for?

If it’s on this page, this page is actually another one that I’ll throw at you, which is SERP – Search Engine Results Page, so this is the SERP page. So, if you hear me say ‘SERP’, that means this page right here – Search Engine Results Page. And again, a Search Engine’s Result Page isn’t just for Google; if you’re using a Bing, anything that’s listed on Bing, that’s a Search Engine Results Page; or if you go to, let’s say, YouTube and you do a search, that’s also a SERP as well, that’s Search Engine Results Page.

What Does Volume, CPC, and Competition Mean in Keywords Everywhere?

Video Transcription

Adding on to the industry terminology that you’ve already learned, today, I’m going to be going over a few different definitions, particularly with Keywords Everywhere on, which you see right here, so you’ll notice I have keywords everywhere on. And the keywords I want to go over are associated with what you see; so, volume, CPC and competition.

How is Keywords Everywhere Gathering Information?

Keywords Everywhere CPC, Volume, Competition

Keywords Everywhere information is being pulled from Google Adwords, which we’ve talked about previously. Google Adwords are paid advertisements on Google. Now, I have an ad blocker on right now so you can’t see the ad words.

What Does Volume Mean in Keywords Everywhere?

With the Google Adwords information, what it allows you to do is it allows you to see how much volume, roughly how many people are searching for that keyword phrase that month. Google wants you to be able to see what’s your potential if you advertise with them for that keyword phrase. So, that is what volume is how many queries, how many times someone searches in this search bar per month or a ‘query’ in search engine terms.

What Does CPC Mean in Keywords Everywhere?

We talked about pay-per-click, which is a way that Adwords is run, one way that you can bid on Adwords is called CPC. CPC means cost per click. PPC means “pay per click”, CPC is how much does it cost every time you click. Now, you’ll see right here I have 82 cents. Meaning if there is an advertisement right here that was paid for, I clicked on it, they pay Google roughly 82 cents. This is the average that you would bid, this is a suggested bid. Sometimes people bid higher, sometimes people bid lower, but it’s a suggested bid to be on the number one position.

What Does Competition Mean in Keywords Everywhere?

The next one is competition. So, competition, there are a lot of tools that we’re going to be using that will have this “competition” metric. And competition is based upon the specific tool, sometimes it’s 0 to 100 scale, sometimes it’s a 0 to 1 scale but basically, it’s telling you in this case, how many people are bidding for that keyword on pay per click or CPC – cost per click. So, how competitive a keyword is depends on how many people are bidding on this keyword. One being the hardest in Keywords Everywhere and Zero being the least competitive.

How do we use this? What you’re trying to do is that you’re trying to, when you’re eyeballing it, a lot of times the competition is a good indicator of how hard it is going to be to rank organically.

Beware of using Adwords Competition Ranking in For Organic SEO.

Keywords Everywhere Local Competition

Bware Adwords competition is a good SEO indicator, it’s not always true; sometimes, you’ll find a highly competitive keyword from the paid standpoint but it’s actually very easy to optimize for but it’s a generally good indicator.

Cost per click is a decent indicator to indicate how competitive this space is. The main metrics you are looking for are, again, volume metrics, cost per click and competition. Generally, the lower cost per click and the lower competition and if it has a high volume, the better. But a lot of the times, you’ll notice that if it has a lower cost per click and a lower competition, the volume is also very low.

Now, in this case, you’ll notice that I have a generally low cost per click – 82 cents and a generally low competition. This is because when I’m searching for cars for sale, I’m getting a local search and the way I notice this is because it’s bringing out local- this is a search engine results page, the SERP, right, it’s bringing up local listings of where I currently reside. So, if you have a high search volume and you’re seeing that ‘hey, this is all local’ and I have this snippet right here, so this box right here is called a ‘snippet’ as well as this, these are provided by Google, then I know that, hey, this actually might be a local search and that this monthly volume isn’t actually relevant or correct.

So, it’ll be lower, like not everyone is seen Dan’s Discount, like if I’m in New York, I’m not seeing Dan’s Discount Auto Sales because that’s a local provider, so not all million searches are seeing Dan’s discount auto sales, it’s only the local one. But it’s still good to look at this because, again, if someone is looking at this and has a high search volume, then also you want to rank for it locally if you are a local company. There are different tactics you take for a local search engine optimization which we will go over later on.

Really, What are Keywords? Are They All The Same?

What are Keywords Anyway?


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Video Transcription for “What are Keywords anyway?”

Now, we’re going to talk about keywords and we’re going to start with the question is, ‘what are keywords’?

What are keywords?

What are Keywords?
What are Keywords?

Keywords are just basically the phrase that you type into a search bar; if it’s Google or if it’s Amazon, whatever site you go to, YouTube, the words that you type in that search bar to find content that you want to have, that is the keyword or keyword phrase. So, we’ll shorten it to ‘keywords’ but it also means ‘keyword phrase’, it could mean ‘forwards’, I mean we’ll still call that a keyword in the digital marketing world. It doesn’t matter what website you go to, so if you go to YouTube and you search up for funny cat videos, that is your keyword phrase or your keyword; if you go to Amazon and you search up Nike shoes, that is your keyword phrase. It doesn’t matter the website, if there is a search bar, whatever words you type in there to find information, those are your keywords. It’s giving an indicator of what it is that you are looking for, the user intent behind it.

So, are all keywords exactly the same? No, not really. There are different types of keywords and the first type of keyword we’re going to talk about is called ‘the fathead’ and you’ll also see this online is ‘fat head’ or ‘short tail’, I often call them short tail but fat head is another way to use it and it’s probably the better way to describe it.

What are keywords and what is a fat head keyword?

Fat Head Keyword Examples
Fat Head Keyword Examples

Well, a fat head keyword is a category keyword, the broad category keyword. In this example, we have Animation and Animation movies. Now, depending on who you talk to, the second one that’s animation movies, it’s debatable on whether or not the category is animation or animation movies and some people might say that this is actually a fathead keyword. But I just kind of want to tell you that fathead keywords, depending on the company you work for or what the language you want to use, it’s basically the broad category, right, there is only the big category is ‘animation movies’. For this example, we’re going to use, I would argue that this is actually probably the fathead.

That leads us to the next level, which is the Chunky Middle.

Deep dive into “What are keywords”. Specifically, what are chunky middle keywords? What are the differences between a chunky middle and a fat head keyword?

Chunky Middle Keyword Examples
Chunky Middle Keyword Examples

Chunky middle keywords, they start to add descriptors to it. So, if you hear someone or read someone say ‘chunky middle’ or ‘medium length’, ‘medium tail’, they’re talking about keywords that have descriptors to it, they start to alter the user’s intent and what it is they’re actually looking for. So, for example, we have Animation movies were one of our fatheads or short tail keywords and we modify it into a chunky middle by putting in 2016. So, 2016 Animation movies, now we’re starting to filter down what is it that we’re actually looking for.

When we’re looking for 2016 movies, 2017 and 2015 we don’t want, we only want 2016. The other one that we have below is Animation. We’re modifying this one into a chunky middle by saying ‘the best animation software’, we’re really modifying this one and adding descriptors because now, we’re not just looking for animation, we’re not looking for animation movies, we’re not looking for animated drawings, we are looking for software and not only that, you can argue that that might be a fathead but we’re not looking just for any software, we’re looking for the best software; not the newest, not the worst, not the cheapest but the best. So, the chunky middle adds descriptors to our original keyword.

The next one is the Long Tail Keyword.

Diving further into “What are keywords?” What are long tail keywords?

Long Tail Keyword Examples
Long-tail Keyword Examples

Long tail keywords add even more descriptors to it. So, in green on this first one, our fat head, we have Animation movies, our category, and then we modified it by putting 2016, so 2016 Animation Movies and we modify that even more by saying ‘2016 Animation Movies that made $50million at the box office’.

Now, that is a very particular phrase, we can even say 2016 Animation movies that are made in April or released in April. You can see that we’re adding more and more descriptors to what it is that we’re actually looking for. Bottom one – Best Animation Software – is our chunky middle keyword and we’re making that into a long tail keyword by ‘best animation software that run on Mac’.

Now, the search volume behind these, which we’re going to show you, is that these long tail keywords get less people searching for them but that’s OK because it allows us, as a small company, to be able to go after these keywords that maybe a large corporation might not spend the time to do.

The power of long tail keywords

Now a deep deep deep dive into “What are Keywords?”. Focusing on what keywords should you optimize for?

The Lower of long tail keywords
Importance of Long-Tail Keywords

To show kind of example of the power of long tail keywords, I created a Sheet and what I did is I went ahead and I went into this tool that we’re going to talk about later called Keyword Sheeter and I typed in the word ‘animation’ and I popped out all these keywords.

You’ll see I have search volume behind them, so I have the keyword and then the search volume. And so, I created this spreadsheet of keywords and I put in the keyword and then the length of the keyword, so that’s how many words are in it, so this is one, one two, one two three, so you can see that those correspond and then I have the volume for each of these keywords. And I went ahead and I just did it-for- and this is going to be a perfect representation, but I did it for 60 keywords and then I generated some graphs. So, you can kind of start to see some interesting things that are happening.

For the word, the category had the fathead – Animation – you’ll see that there’s a really high volume. We only have one word in here that has the length of one, which is Animation and there’s almost a million people that are searching for it, right? But then, you look and you’ll see all of these other ones, look at these twos, there’s a ‘two’ right here that’s 40,000, there are some ‘twos’ below, let’s see, almost half a million, throw down another 10,000.

So, there’s some twos in here and you’ll notice that, all of a sudden, that these twos they have less volume, even this really high two down below, Animation Movies, which we used in our examples as a fathead, even that one has a really high volume of half a million but that half a million is half of those keyboard with the length of one. And so, any time you do a keyword research and there’s only one keyword, like the length of one, a really really big fathead, that volume is going to be huge. And 99.9999% of the time, once you add a second word to it, it’s going to be cut drastically nearly in half. But you’ll see that through here, we have the length and we have the volume and just by me going through 60 different keywords and adding up the totals, you’ll see, all of a sudden, all of these twos, these keyword lengths twos, their volume – all of these 40s, 100s, 500,000, whatever it is – all of these volumes add up to be more than this keyword with the length of one, this fathead.

These chunky middles, there’s more volume, more people are searching for these each month and that’s what I mean by volume – is the number of people searching for it -there’s more searches on these ones. And you’ll see the threes and the fours and the fives, they’re really not showing up on the graph but the problem is that I only spent 15 minutes to do this and if I went in here, I can modify basically all of these chunky middles to put out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of long tail keywords.

Just to show you, so I’m going to come in here and I’m going to modify this to Animation software and look at all of these long tail keywords that I’m starting to collect. Some of them are medium, you know, they’re chunky middle but man, if I just let this run, I’m going to have tons of Long Tail keywords.

If I went through and I had all the time in the world to go through all of these and to add all of these 10s up and these 50s up and these 30s up, over and over and over again, what we’d actually find is we’d find that this three, this four and this five, their search volume is going to be a lot higher than the ones and even the twos, there’s just so many of those keywords. And this is also, just kind of a quick proof. So, again, I typed in the length and I created a different graph, so this is the number of keywords that have one. So, there’s only one keyword on this list out of the 50 that has the length of one and all of a sudden, it shoots up to 19 where I have two and then 19 where I have three, and if I kept going, this is going to be even higher and then we already have 14 at four.

Another graph to kind of show this, which is a better one, so I’m going to show you this from Moz.com, they’re are absolutely an amazing company, make great search engine optimization tools, have a wonderful conference for digital marketing called ‘Moz.com’ that I’ve been to. And you’ll see on this article, there’s kind of an example. Again, they have the fathead, the chunky middle, it’s kind of a slope, right, these are the number of monthly searches. Now, this kind of shows weird because here we have the number of keywords, look at, there’s 70% percent of all searches that happen are long tail keyword. And if I take this right here, this whole infinite chunk, and I kind of tilted it to the number of keywords that are searching for it, again, you can already start to see it right here, there’s more volume behind all of these; if I collected all of the chunky middles and I added all of their volume together, it’s going to be way more than the monthly searches for this fathead, if that makes sense.

So, all of these 40s, all of these 90’s, all of these everything’s that I add together, it’s going to pop up. So, I imagine if I did this for infinity, it would be like one down here, probably two up here and then three and then four is going to be way off the screen and it’d take tons and tons of data entry time for me to do that but it would show up that way. And same with the keyword length, like this three is going to be way up higher if I kept going and this four is going to be way up higher if I kept going. But just because of the amount of time, you can’t see it but I just wanted to show you this drastic jump between these two and really, the drastic jump between these two as well – the length – like it’s already starting to after 60 for the length of two, the volume to reach it.

Which is amazing news for us because that means there is so much content that can be written and there’s so many different niches in our content that we can find and we just have to find them. And really what’s great too is once we do keyword research and we start to come up with keywords that we want to optimize for based upon our content mission statement, that now all of a sudden, when we add all those volumes up and we create a really good page that cross-pollinates and has maybe three or four or five different keyword phrases involved into it and it satisfies people’s needs, all of a sudden, this one page that we have that is a long tail keyword or a chunky middle, man, we can optimize and get lots of traffic that way.

So, that’s the tail, that is all about short tail keywords or fathead keywords, chunky middle keywords and long tail keywords.

Now with that being said, when you’re doing a keyword research, really try to focus on those chunky middles – those two to three keyword phrases – and push yourself beyond that to even the fours. Don’t be afraid in the fives, don’t be afraid of this volume where it says that there’s only 170 or 110 or this 20 right here, that’s OK.

And again, I want to show you why some people might just stop off, I know this a long video, why some people might say, let’s go back here, that the Animation Movies are a fathead. So, here, you’re going to see Animation movies, this is almost a million views, right, people looking for it and then all of a sudden, if I bump up and I find Animation Movies 2018, there’s none because we’re not in 2018 yet or we just barely are. But here we go, 2017; so, it went from a half a million from the category head, add another word to it and there’s a third or a fourth of the volume. That’s why some might argue that this is a category head. But that just depends on the language that your organization uses.

That’s keywords and keyword volume and the importance of long tail keywords and chunky middle keywords. Now, go out there and start doing some keyword research in the next videos.

Get a Crap Ton of Free Keywords with Keywords Shitter

Using Keywords Shitter

Video Transcript for Keywords Shitter Tutorial

Ladies and gentlemen, now I’m going to show you one of my favorite keyword research tools that you can use for free Keywords Shitter. There are tons of other tools out there that we’ll be going over later but this is one of the best ones for free that I can think of. And if you have other ones and suggestions, let me know.

Using Keywords Shitter & Keywords Everywhere

Get the Most Out of Keywords Shitter with Keywords Everywhere!

So, you’re going to want to log in to your Google Chrome, the one where you have Keywords Everywhere enabled. If you don’t have Keywords Everywhere enabled like you can see on my top screen, you need to go back to one of the other videos that helps you enable this, because without Keywords Everywhere enabled, this site is, although powerful, it’s not as powerful as it could be.

So, in here, you’re going to see a couple boxes, you’re going to have a positive filter and a negative filter, we’ll talk about that in a second. But in here, this is where you’re going to put a keyword suggestion, so this is kind of your category, a short tail keyword, one to two words. And in this case, I’m going to just keep it vague and I’m going to say Animation.

As I type that out, you’ll notice below that Animation pops up with the search volume, cost per click and then this is also the competitiveness and so, that’s why it’s highlighted in green. And it’s starred because I’ve actually starred this before. So, now what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go ahead and click ‘Start job’. And so, ‘start job’ or if you’ve done this for the first time and you click on the website, it might say ‘shit keywords’ – and that’s literally what it does – pardon my French – but it goes in and it just starts to pump out all sorts of different keyword combinations that you might be looking up on Google, suggested keywords.

Stop Keywords Shitter

Then go ahead and stop it. You can let this thing run as long as you want but I’m going to stop it right now; it’s going to have all of these keywords, I mean in a matter of seconds, it generates over six hundred 600 keyword combinations. So, this time is the time where you can go through and you can start starring different keywords that you might want to try to create an article for or optimize for.

When using Keywords Shitter, you’re looking for high volume, low cost per click and low competitiveness.

Now, again, at this moment, you don’t need to necessarily filter so much down based upon the volume, I mean really you should be kind of not frugal with the ones that you’re starring. But you should be, as you are reading these keywords and thinking about them, ‘can I write content that is in line with my content mission statement?’ and if you haven’t started that content mission statement which was in another video, I really suggest that you do so because you’re trying to come up with content that’s great for user and the benefit is that it also is related to these keywords. So, everything, again, should be content-driven.

Be aware of vague topics

If, for example, I’m trying to do tips and tricks on animation movies, this one might be pretty vague. I feel like that this is probably a keyword that people are looking for to watch animated movies, not necessarily make animation movies but this animation throwdown, perhaps it has to do something with people, it’s a throw down that people do to create animation and that’s kind of for younger animators or junior level animators that I want to optimize for. I’m not too sure.

But at this point, I’m trying to come up with tips and tricks for animation, so I’m going to go in here and say, OK well, maybe this animation creator might be one, animation free software – so, maybe tips of animation free software that I want to do – again, this programming, animation programs, this is probably not a good one, the bid is kind of high, great volume but I’m also thinking that I’m probably going to be competing against animation programs out there and I don’t necessarily want to do that.

I don’t really care about Animation Studios, perhaps Animation Jobs, maybe even Animation Mentor – that’s a school – and I know that they provide tips and tricks, so maybe I want to write a review about them or research them a bit more. Animation Online, maybe I want to do something with online animation.

Use your Content Mission Statement

You can kind of see that I’m going through here and I’m choosing animation topics that have to do with my content mission statement.

So, for example, Animation Games, like that’s too vague maybe perhaps at this point and also, again, high competition, right, but you’re going through here and you’re saying what kind of keywords can I use to make content for and just go ahead and star all these, star the ones that you like. Now, once you’ve kind of found a couple of them, you can even go back in here and let’s say I really like animation software, I can go back in, delete this and type in ‘Animation software’, then I can start the job again and I can see what this program shits out now. And I go ahead and stop it after a while, I’ll probably want to keep it running for a longer period of time.

The more research you do, the better, you can’t overdo it at this point.

And I just go in here and I do the same process. So, Animation Software Free, Animation Software for Mac, Animation Software Online, Animation Software for Beginners, Animation Software for Chromebook, like these could all be good things, like Animation Software for Beginners Free, that’s a really good one, especially if I’m doing tips and tricks. So, you can see my thoughts behind it. So, go ahead and just continually go through that.

Now, the positive filter and the negative filter. A negative filter is, let’s say that you want to filter out the word ‘free’ and now, you’ll notice that my ‘free’, anything that had ‘free’ behind it removed. So, if you look at below the screen, it’s kind of hard to see, but I have this Animation Software Free, so I can type in ‘free’ and then all of a sudden, that goes away. So, that’s if there’s any negative keywords, so if you’re not wanting to go after the words ‘cheap’ or any sort of keyword that is kind of against your industry, this will help you filter out. Also, positive keywords, so let’s type in Mac, so there we go. It’s acts like the negative filters as well; it filters out everything else except for Mac, so it has to have the keyword Mac in it.

Keywords Shitter a Free SEO Tool

Keywords Everywhere Recap

I hope that you find this tool helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know.

Again, go ahead and just star as many as you can at this moment. Don’t be frugal.

Object Oriented Programming Explained Simply

Having a hard time understanding the concepts behind Object Oriented Programming? You are not the only one. Reading documentation feels like you are learning a foreign language. Programmers love using big words to confuse people. Then we use even bigger words to explain the big words; because screw it, you can’t tell geeks what to do aaaaaannnnd job security. A whole bunch of nerds coming up with nerdier definitions. Might as well just learn Klingon… ugh nerds. We are the worst.

Researching Object-Oriented Programming you probably have come across dry definitions for the words objects, properties, and methods/functions. I am guessing you are still confused and that is why you are here. My goal is to explain these concepts, visually, in a simple method. So simple, I even included a video, you are welcome.

Some nerds are going to complain, bla bla bla other ways. The point of this article isn’t to be language specific, OR even remotely complicated. I am limiting the coding examples, using simplified language, and simplified syntax. The point is to define objects, properties, and methods in a visual way. Simple language, simple definitions, and simpler examples.

Now let’s start.

In Object Oriented Programming, objects are like cars.

Yup, cars. Look at the image below. The image to the left and right are both cars yes? Can we agree on that fact? Yes? YAY.

How do we know they are both cars? Well for one, they both have four wheels. They have windows. They have doors. They both look like they drive. They both look like cars and do tasks that a car would do. They are both cars. What is their object? A car. They might look different, but they are still both cars.

Again, objects are like cars.

Think of an object in programming like an object in “real life”. Something you can touch, like a car.

Look at the cars. Get out a piece of paper or open a document. Jot down the differences between the two cars? What makes each car unique. Is it the brand, the color, the type, the make?

Which properties did you use to describe the cars? (keyword properties).

Properties describe the car.

What are the properties of the car on the left? Is it blueish? Is it a Fiat? Yup, those are properties of the car. You can see I listed a few of the properties in a boiled down javascript syntax.

Now time to break down the example:

car.make = "Fiat";

Another way to look at it is: Object.property = “descriptor”;

Or in English, The car make is a Fiat.

What are the properties of the car on the right? It is white. It is a sports car. Yup, those are a few of its properties.

Describing this object in javascript.

car.color = "white";

In plain English, the car color is white.

One more exercise, to seal the deal on properties. Look at the javascript code below. Open a new browser tab, and search for an image of this car. What would you type in Google?

var car = {
 make: "Ford",
 model: "Explorer",
 year: 2010,
 color: "red",

Would you Google: “2010 red Ford explorer”? Perhaps you find images like this?

Try to search for an image of this car.

var car = {
 type: "sports",
 year: 2016,
 color: "yellow",

What would you type in Google? Yellow sports? Probably not, you would get some strange results like this:

You would put in “2016 yellow sports car”.

The first example’s properties provide a more refined result. You need to remember this when describing your objects. I only describe the car as well as I specified its properties.

Now that we have described the cars. What do both of these cars do? Stepping into a car you probably first start it.  Starting is one thing the car does, at least we hope it starts. Pause and think about “what do cars do?”

A car starts. It can turn right, turn left, go backward, forward, etc… these are tasks a car does.

Methods are what the car does.

For example, written in javascript:


Breaking this down.


Think of methods as commands. You are commanding the object to do something. CAR I COMMAND YOU TO DRIVE!


In English, DRIVE THE CAR!

If you know javascript, you will see that the .drive(); looks a lot like the syntax you use to fire a function. For example:

// Defining the function
function helloWorld() {
 console.log(“hello world”);

// Firing the function

Look at line 7. Notice the syntax. helloWorld(); looks a lot like car.drive(); doesn’t it? The only item missing is the car. You can think of “methods” as functions for that object. Or what that object does. What do I mean by that?

food.drive(); doesn’t make sense. What food does is different than a car.

That is it:
Objects are cars.
Properties describe the cars.
Methods are what the cars do.

I hope you found this article about object-oriented programing helpful, now keep coding.

What is Growth Hacking?

So you want to be a growth hacker huh? Or are at least interested in finding out more about growth hacking. You might have heard of all the crazy internet buzzwords and keywords that describe growth hacking.

I am going to be frank. There is a lot of crap out there about “growth hacking”. Most of it is shady used care salesie. The amount of bad information about the topic is really annoying. Because of the amount of straight up lies and false information, I’ve written this detailed article about what is and isn’t growth hacking.

In this article, you will learn where the original definition of the term. What growth hacking means and more importantly what it doesn’t. Think of this text as a growth hacker growth hacking 101 class manual. Again, this growth hacking article is really long, so I broke it up into sections. Below is a table of contents to help you jump around this growth hacking 101 post.

Growth Hacking 101 Overview / Table of Contents

The Essence of Growth Hacking is G.T.L

What is G.T.L? An acronym I created standing for “guess,” “test,” “learn.”  In business, growth hackers are part scientist, part marketer, part designer; they are alchemists. They use “pseudo-science” to conduct mad experiments, which focus on growth.

Veteran growth hackers are disciplined creating a repeatable process that they use over and over and over again. Using their version of guess, test, learn.

G. Guess

First, you create a hypothesis. A giant guess. For example, “I guess if I remove the navigation on my landing page I will get more conversions.”

T. Test

After guessing, growth hackers implement their experiment through various techniques, customer reviews, A/B testing, etc.. Focusing on measurable data so they can chart results.

L. Learn

The stage in the growth hacking process is where individuals learn from their data. Reflecting on was the experiment. Asking questions like “Was this a success? What can we do better? What is another experiment I can do?” Questions, questions, questions.

What is a Growth Hacker?

Who are growth hackers? What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a term coined by Sean Ellis. Here is the original, not altered or polluted definition:

A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.

Growth Hackers are renaissance individuals of the digital era. They are part developer, marketer, designer, innovators, or anything else. They are a jack of all trades. They are the get it done sort of person. Thinking outside the box by combining seemingly unrelated skills to experiment with something new. They focus on measurable growth. If it isn’t quantifiable, it didn’t happen. They guess, test, and learn. Then do it over and over again. To put it simple growth hackers are unicorns that always focus on growth in business or personal life.

Growth hackers are unicorns? Jack of all Trades… eww

I know some people are probably already zoning out. If I say growth hackers are “jacks of all trades,” they whisper, “but masters of none.” Today it seems that there is a desire in technology to be a master of ONE thing. You are either a Javascript Developer or Python Developer. You are either an Onsite SEO Marketer or an Offsite SEO Marketer. You are a social media marketer… You get the point.

But, where did our desire to label people start? Was it the toys we played with as children? Our upbringing and moral compass? Our school systems? Personally, I believe all of these items contribute, but I theorize our current school systems heightened the divide. (I promise this all relates).

In America from kindergarten to sixth-grade students go to a school where they interact with different subjects within one classroom and with one group. Teachers blend lessons of the “arts” and STEM into one experience. Around 7th grade, we change everything. We move from a classroom where students play with subject two segregating into different subjects of math, English, History, foreign language, etc. Why did we do still do this? For efficiency.

Classrooms today are modeled upon a 150 old system. A system devised during the Industrial Revolution. Our students in high school move from classroom to classroom after the bell rings. Like factory workers moving from station to station. The basis of the term “Factory Model of Education.”

But our divide of subjects or jobs doesn’t stop in high school. You see this even more in higher education. Our universities have Schools of Arts and Schools of Science.  Graduates of each program either earn a degree and B.S. a Bachelors of Science or B.A. Bachelors of Art. This divide in academia still exists today. Scholars debate which is more important: art or science. But why the split? Edward O. Wilson who wrote in his book “Consilience” which tries to explain the importance of art and science:

Science needs the intuitive and metaphorical power of the arts, and the arts need the fresh blood of science

We see this divide continue past academia and into biology.

By now you are probably thinking okay, bla bla bla, how does this relate to Growth Hacking. I will tell you, but first, there is one more related tangent.

There is no left vs. right brain. We can strive to grow.

There is an old theory that people are either born left or right brain. The left brain describes people who aren’t intuitively creative because they use the left part of their brain for the majority of their cognitive tasks. The right brain represents analytical and the belief is these individuals use a majority of their brain power from the right side of their brain. There is a divide amongst us from a biological level of left brain versus right brain. But, where did this idea come from? Is it backed by scientific fact?

In the 1870s two scientists, Broca and Wernicke started poking around the left hemisphere of the human brain. They discovered areas in the brain which control speech. This is said to spark the public’s imagination and  supposedly inspired the creation of works of art like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The theory of right-left brain became even more popularized in the early 1980s by Nobel Prize winner Roger W. Sperry. While studying epilepsy Sperry discovered if he made an incision on an individual’s corpus callosum (the structure that connects the left and right side of the human brain) some patients experienced strange symptoms. Some couldn’t access parts of memory perceived in their left side of their brains and visa versa. Sperry attested this to the “fact” that certain individuals utilize one side more than the other. Left brain vs. right brain. This “fact” is still fiction.

Recent research has disproved the left vs right brain theory. The University of Utah, while researching Alzheimer’s inadvertently disproved the popular myth. After studying 1000 brands under MRI machines, while focusing on 7000 different areas, they uncovered that, while although certain regions of the left and right hemispheres control various aspects, humans don’t favor one side of their brain over another. We utilize both hemispheres equality. Don’t believe me, I understand, I am not a neuroscientist but read the results for yourself here. I am not saying that there aren’t specific regions of the brain that we utilize for specific functions. But your brain activity isn’t limited to one side.

Believing people are “naturally” analytical. Or making excuses for yourself, “I am just bad at (math, art, drawing, etc.),” is having a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is the direct opposite mental framework growth hackers must have to grow.

Growth Hackers have Growth Mindset

Whether they know it or not, growth hackers have a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that failure is a springboard to growth. Failure isn’t bad; challenges aren’t bad. There is growth through trials and tribulations.

True growth hackers don’t take the easy route. They’re the ones that wander the road that’s less traveled by which makes all the difference. It isn’t all peaches and cream. Growth hackers fail, a lot. To overcome failure growth hackers adopt a growth mindset mentality.

What is growth mindset ?

Growth mindset is when an individual believes in incremental or small growth. That failure doesn’t define the personal success. They think that their core that their success is due to hard work and determination. That they can do anything, they set their mind too. Do people with a fixed mindset believe everyone can be the next Einstein? No, but they do think they can always get better, even if it is ever so slightly.

Growth mindset is all the buzz in education. Growth mindset is a term coined by Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University. Dweck sought to discover if there are critical differences between students who are successful at learning and those who aren’t. She attributes more successes to those having growth mindset over fixed mindset.

What is fixed mindset?

Fixed mindset cripples growth by the fear of failure. Fixed-mindset individuals make excuses like, “I am just not good at math.” Letting failures, or fear of failure, define their efforts. To be a growth hacker, you have to embrace failure. You can’t say, well I am just not good at Math. With this mindset, you are limiting your ability to grow. Relying on “biological” reasons to not push yourself. Making excuses, “I can’t do X because I am right brained.” A complete and utter cop-out.

Why should I care about “Growth Mindset”?

If you are a parent, employer, or just breath, it is essential to know the existence of growth mindset. Think about your life, do you make excuses for something. Personally, I have thought in the past, “I am just terrible at writing.” Well look at me know, I am writing a semi-legible article about Growth Hacking.

But really, consider this study/article. Carol Dweck and her team surveyed elementary school children. The researchers had young students take an IQ test. Half of the subjects they gave praise on results, example “Wow, you are brilliant.” The other half of the subjects they provided praise for their effort, example “wow, you worked very hard.” Same tests but different praise. After giving the students praise the orchestrators provided the students with a harder challenge. The results were astounding.

Students that received praise for effort attempted the harder challenge. Students praised on “smarts,” or performance were less likely to try the more intensive task.

Next time you are going to give praise to an employee or student, think about what type of mindset you are setting.

Most importantly what are you telling yourself?

Again, why does this matter? Because, Growth Hackers fail a lot. This mindset, focusing on growth, and failure as fuel allows for Growth Hackers to continue.

For the billionth time Growth Hackers fail… a lot.

Failure must become a growth hacker’s best friend. Growth hackers can’t be afraid to fail. Think every business person was successful on their first try? Nope. Growth Hackers fail, fail, fail, fail and then fail again. Because although growth is the true north, growth isn’t linear.

Progress isn’t linear.

Progress doesn’t always shoot up. Just look at a Google Analytics account, or the stock market, there are dips and valleys.

Growth hackers repeatedly fail. There isn’t an overnight success. It is hard work, no shortcuts.  A quote that resonates with growth hacking:

Build, Destroy, Rebuild. I have mastered the art of bouncing back, now to master the art of not having to” – Dau Voire

The essence of growth hacking is trial and error. A constant battle of reworking, retesting, always growing. This is growth hacking. The continual push for growth. Individuals who have growth mindset.

Growth Hacking is a Lifestyle

Growth hacking is a lifestyle. If we go back to the original quote that coined the term. The non-twisted, non-labeled, non-get-rich-quick-scam version. A powerful message of personal growth ensues. Sean Ellis initially described growth hacking:

A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. ~ Sean Ellis

This quote should fuel a lifelong journey of improving, always growing, and always experiment. Because growth hackers know at their core, if they are not always changing, testing, adapting, the world will change around them. They will be dated, obsolete.

Growth hacking isn’t easy, fast, or overnight

There are tons of terrible blog posts about, how to get rich fast using growth hacking. How to gain a million billion followers using these few tips. This is all nonsense and bullshit. I am just going to say it, it is 100% bullshit.

Growth hacking isn’t easy; you fall on your face over and over and over again.

Growth hacking isn’t fast; people spend countless hours of failed ventures to become an overnight success. You continuously work on different frameworks, channels, and timing.

Any article or company that claims the opposite is full of complete shit.

I’m sold how do I start growth hacking?

Lucky for you, I created a framework on where I suggest starting. If you subscribe, I will give you a video on how to use this framework.

But if you don’t want my other free content, cool. I will still tell you anyway. You might not know this, but I gave away the answers already at the beginning. It is G.T.L, guess test learn.

First, you guess

Growth hacking is alchemy, a pseudoscience. First, you must generate a theory. I have lots of videos on how to do that as well. This theory can be for your personal life, business, digital marketing, social media marketing, pay per click, search engine optimization, etc.. etc.. anything you can have a measurable outcome and timeframe.

To create a good guess, I recommend writing down a theory in this format:

IF I do x THEN y will happen.


IF I post 30 comments Instagram each day for a month THEN I will get more followers and engagement.

Now I have theory I can test.

Next, you Test

With my theory created it is now time to test. How do you test? Come up with a system first. Think about all of the materials and assets that you need to have before you start the test. How are you going to collect the data? How often? When will you report? Again it is about a measurable outcome. If you don’t take measurements, you can’t see the results.

Questions to ask yourself before testing:

  1. What do I need to conduct this test?
  2. Do I have everything I need to implement this test? If not, what do I need?
  3. How and what data will I record?
  4. How often will I record it?

Perhaps you will write down every day in a journal. Or you have a fancy spreadsheet or software? I am not sure, but the point is to have a sound method first.

Once you have all questions answered, start testing right away!

Conduct your experiment! Why are you waiting? Test and get ready to learn.

Then, you Learn

Once the data has been collected, it is time to learn. After testing is where the growth really happens. Regardless of if you got more sales, Instagram followers, or learned a new language. With your data, you can see, did my experiment work or not? If it did, congratulations! If not,  congratulations! Either way, you are growing.

Sit down for some reflection. Ask yourself:

  1. Was this test a success?
  2. What did I learn from this test, and how can I use it going further?
  3. How can I improve this test, or what do you want to test next?

Now repeat!

Once you get in the habit of G.T.L, you will see that experiments start to lead into each other. You get excited asking questions, what if I did this or this! OR THIS!

Sometimes you will improve 10% other times, fall back 5%. But like a 401k investment, over time, the small gains create tremendous momentum. Then the world needs to watch out.

A Growth Hacking Framework

Now if you don’t want to go through all that work, I have created a growth hacking framework. Download your FREE growth hacking framework here! If you understand how to use the framework, great! Get going!

If the sheet looks complicated don’t worry. If you subscribe to my growth hacking resources newsletter, I will send you a usage video on how to use the framework. In the video, I will help you set-up your first experiment.

The framework will help set-up real growth hacking strategies. Where you focus on your own experiments for growth. Again don’t trust “growth hacking strategies” that promise overnight success. Those “growth hacking strategies focus” on vanity, not real growth.

A Real Growth Hacking Strategy: Sales Funnel Experiments

In the video, I will show you how to focus your efforts based on your sales funnel. You will discover which section in your funnel is the weakest. Identify the most significant pain point for your client. Then design an experiment to fix them and start growing in the right direction. If that isn’t enough, you will get all sorts of other recommended growth hacking resources.

Recommended Resources for Growth Hacking

Hopefully, you are interested in all things growth hacking by now! If you sign up for my newsletter, I will send you tons of information.

What sort of growth hacking resources will you get?

  1. Favorite Growth Hacking Books
  2. Favorite Growth Hacking Sites
  3. How to Growth Hack video on how to utilize my growth hacking framework
  4. Example Experiments

Now get growing.

Best Animation Sites

So you are looking for the best animation sites well look no more. This is a directory of animation related topics and sites for you to check out.  Honestly, your search term is pretty vague, so I am going to provide a few different scenarios and help point you in the right direction. I have hand currated a list to try to solve your query for the best animation sites.

Why am I doing this? I am a nerd and love animation things. I actually animate and am a web developer, so this search has items that go hand in hand. Let’s start with the scenarios.

Where you looking for the best animation news websites? Or the best animation industry websites?

Here is a quick list of websites about what is going on in the animation industry. All three update about latest productions, technology, and events going on in the animation industry.

Where you looking for best websites that have animation?

I am guessing you might be looking for websites that have some cool animation effects. Perhaps some parallax or things popping in and out as you scroll down the page. In this case, I have included some tutorial links and inspiration.

With these examples, I expect you know the basics of HTML, CSS, and Vanilla Javascript.

Where you looking for best sites for learning animation?

Perhaps you are looking for ways to learn how to animate. If that is the case you have definitely stumbled upon the right lists. First I would suggest to check out these books, I know it isn’t a site, but still. Also, I created a post “best resources for learning animation”. You can read it, or if not, this is a fast breakdown of the websites on that list.

Where you looking for best animation sites for inspiration?

Here are some of my favorite animation sites for inspiration. They have wonderful forms and communities. Check them out.

Best Free Animation Software

Best free animation software for download

So you are interested in studio animation but can’t afford the software? Yeah me too. Luckily we are in “the era of the nerd”. Fellow geeks have created studio quality free animation software we can download and use for our projects. Because dang, industry standard animation software suites are damn expensive. So I have hand curated a list of software solutions that I believe are currently the best free animation software. I mean really, how do they expect to train more professionals if we can’t afford the software? Buying spaghetti, a.k.a. “fancy top ramen” is a stretch for some college students let alone a five hundred dollar piece of software. I mean really, who can afford these animation programs? Rich people?
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