PR Tips for Startups » Inspiration Innovative Marketing Strategies From Today Mon, 12 Aug 2013 06:53:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Innovative Marketing Strategies From Today Chikodi Chima: Public Relations, Content Marketing , Sales and Business Development Strategist no Innovative Marketing Strategies From Today Public Relations, Content Marketing, Media Relations, Business Development, Lead Generation, Public Speaking, Storytelling, Entrepreneurship PR Tips for Startups » Inspiration San Francisco, CA If You Can Find A Path With No Obstacles It Probably Doesn’t Lead Anywhere Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:09:47 +0000 Chikodi Chima

20130726 070425 If You Can Find A Path With No Obstacles It Probably Doesnt Lead Anywhere

The more effort it takes to reach your destination, the sweeter the reward.

Keep striving. Reach for the stars.

Via Addicted2Success

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Kanye West And The Power Of Self-Hypnosis Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:33:23 +0000 Chikodi Chima Kanye West Self Hypnosis For Success CC NRK P3 300x195 Kanye West And The Power Of Self HypnosisKanye West is many things; humble is not one of them. Kanye West is an inspiration to me and entrepreneurs everywhere because he took the fast-track to success. Kanye West hypnotized himself to believe he was a success long before it happened.

Success is a matter of belief. There are wildly successful people who are deeply troubled because all they have isn’t close to being enough. Some of the most well-known and respected entrepreneurs and startup founders wake up every morning afraid they haven’t earned enough money, achieved enough recognition or made a big enough impact.

This deep, and nagging uncertainty is one of the driving forces behind creativity and innovation, but it can just as easily drive you crazy.

Kanye West is my favorite example of someone who wrestles with his demons, and turns it into amazing art. You don’t even have to like Kanye to appreciate him as a rare creative force.

How Kanye West Hypnotized Himself to Succeed

Long before Kanye West was Yeezus, Yeezy or even Ye, he believed he was going to be huge. He knew it so deeply he hypnotized himself to see success before the world did. This is why I find his music so powerful, because in it he sowed the seeds of his eventual success well in advance of reality.

Kanye West and Jay Z Watch The Throne Tour CC  300x200 Kanye West And The Power Of Self Hypnosis

In 2003 I first saw Kanye West perform in a derelict basement nightclub in Seattle. The space had no windows, and to get to it you had to walk down a flight of steps under the city streets. The only reason the venue–then called Shongo Village–could operate legally, was because its permits had been grandfathered in. The Kanye West who had a fan thrown out of the Tacoma Dome for tossing a business card on stage wouldn’t be caught dead in this fire trap.

In 2003, while Kanye had racked up some pretty major hits with Jay-Z, Talib Kweli and Common, amongst others, he was not a household name as a solo artist. In fact, the promoters of the show were only able to pack the house with radio and print ads claiming Jay Z, Beanie Siegel and other Rocafella Recordings artists as “invited guests,” which was technically true, but very misleading. “Who is this guy with the weird name?” I thought. Of course who am I to talk about unusual names?

Kanye took the stage wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and backpack. And this unknown, but ambitious musician had the crowd in his pocket within moments. I was still skeptical. And it was still years before Kanye became a bona fide superstar, but that evening, and on nights like it across the country, Kanye inched forward on the path to legendary status.

“Through The Wire,” was Kanye’s first song as solo artist to get radio play, and it while it was becoming popular at the time, it wasn’t lighting up the charts either. While the song is crammed with the same braggadocio and bombast typical of rap as a genre, it accurately predicted what would follow:

Trying to be a millionaire, how I used two lifelines
In the same hospital where Biggie Smalls died
The doctor said I had blood clots, but I ain’t Jamaican, man
Story on MTV and I ain’t trying to make a band
I swear this right here, history in the making, man

Kanye West CC Aktivioslo Kanye West And The Power Of Self HypnosisKanye’s car accident and near-death experience added a dramatic flourish (unintentionally) to a life he believed was bound for greatness. And he made it so. Kanye was so confident in his talents, and so convinced of his impending success he felt the world would be robbed of a great artist if he had died. And history has proven him right.

Today Kanye West is a genre-bending musician, fashion designer, film-maker and a new father. He made his own luck.


How You Can Hypnotize Yourself to Succeed Like Kanye West

What makes Kanye West great is that he struggles with his ego, lust, passion and self-doubt, and puts it on display for the world.

Entrepreneurial success is no different. If we didn’t believe we had something remarkable to do in this world–something destined to improve people’s lives–we would still be working for other people. Of course it’s not easy to get there. It’s a risk. You know this.

But the first and most important step is belief. You don’t need to be Kanye West, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer or Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi to make a difference. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to have their cash piles, though. Ultimately you still have to make something valuable to other people, otherwise all the self-hypnosis in the world won’t make you a success.

Material wealth is one of the ways success is rewarded, but it’s not the only one that matters. There are those who are penniless, self-assured and satisfied because they feel their contribution the world matters. It’s all a matter of belief.

What unites all successful people is the belief that what they do is important. Successful people believe this long before their actions bear fruit.

The most successful people never rest on their accomplishments, and they are tireless in their pursuit of excellence. At the end of the day it’s all a state of mind. Start now.

Kanye West Always Believed He Would Be Successful CC NRK P3  Kanye West And The Power Of Self Hypnosis

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Get Outside Yourself Tue, 09 Jul 2013 03:09:31 +0000 Chikodi Chima Get Outside Yourself CC CRASH candy 200x300 Get Outside YourselfThis morning I woke up and meditated. This afternoon I meditated again.

Mindfulness is a practice I am cultivating, and I’ve been off my stride for a while. I haven’t been to yoga for weeks, and my jogs have gone from almost daily to weekly.

As startup founders it’s easy to get caught in a rut. There are always fires to put out. Taking care of important matters often means neglecting the most important asset of all–our minds.

Because we’re so busy, or because we think we are, we get caught having the same thoughts over and over again, thinking that the same solution will solve a problem. But this isn’t the case.

The reason why exercise is so important to performing at our peak is because it forces us to get outside our minds, and to do something different.

And just as exercise helps us to flex our muscles, it’s vital to speak and interact with people who don’t do the same job as us.

I’ve been whipping out a ton of proposals for clients lately, and I’ve gotten non-tech, non-PR friends to look them over. This has been a huge help! Not only do I get a proofreader to spot any unintentional errors, but friends who work in the non-profit or education sector can add invaluable feedback before the finished product is sent away. “You can’t read the label when you’re inside the bottle,” says Bryan Eisenberg, author of ‘Waiting For Your Cat To Bark.” We’re so close to our problems, and spend so much time with them, that they become nearly impossible to see.

Whether you take a friend to lunch who does physical labor, or you just call your grandmother more often, it’s vital to get outside yourself to find meaningful answers to the issues that affect you and your business.

No one’s life is free of problems, but each industry and each trade has a unique way to get to a solution. The more broad you are, the more different types of people you spend time with, the more opportunities you have to learn problem-solving techniques that won’t come to you doing the same old thing.

Get outside yourself and find answers where you least expect them.

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The Only Time You Run Out Of Chances Is When You Stop Taking Them Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:12:07 +0000 Chikodi Chima 20130613 231052 The Only Time You Run Out Of Chances Is When You Stop Taking Them

H/T Addicted2Success

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Two Days In Palo Alto Fri, 07 Jun 2013 04:32:38 +0000 Chikodi Chima Stanford Dish CC Donjd2 300x200 Two Days In Palo AltoMy grandfather died one year ago today. He was my hero.

I was riding the Caltrain to my office job in Palo Alto when I got the news. And when I got to the office I was fired.  This was no surprise. I had seen the termination coming almost since the day I started. And I was glad. But the double-whammy seemed like the act of malevolent Universe.

At the funeral I was strong for my family. We were all stunned. It happened so fast, as if he planned it all along. My grandfather was quite the prankster,  and this was his final zinger–one that could never be outdone.

I prepared a eulogy and recalled the moments we shared that I will carry with me as my grandfather’s eternal legacy. And then I broke down during the mourner’s kaddish. I was living through the day I had always dreaded.

It took six more months before I hit rock bottom.

I always thought that my destiny would find me, and for 31 years I lived in denial. Somehow I was never in the right place at the right time to find the success that was just around the corner. Life is not like that.   I was digging myself into a deeper and deeper hole, expecting things to change by magic.

Putting aside my pride I reached out to my most respected peers, some of whom may be reading this now. There was nothing to hide. I needed help. I needed direction. And it came.

I was in Palo Alto today, but only by chance.  We were less than one mile from where I used to work, yet lightyears away from my past self. This time last year I was helping a bloated, hierarchical organization squeeze millions of dollars out of sick people. This morning I was in Palo Alto to help three world-changing women plan their next amazing act. And that was just breakfast time! I got to spend the balance of the morning talking about the need for focus with a frighteningly talented young designer. This afternoon I jogged six miles along the San Francisco Bay.

The life I have today I could have never imagined one year ago, and I feel as though I’m just getting started. And it was no accident. I work hard every day. I love it.

I’ve never been happier because I devote my time to people who are passionate about making a better world. I know my my grandfather were alive he would be so proud.  He was a great man who helped countless people, and left the world better than when he entered it.

And when I wear his old hat, as I did today, I can’t help but think how different life can be on two days in Palo Alto.


henry blauer Two Days In Palo Alto

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No One Is In Charge: Seth Godin’s Keys To Freedom Mon, 03 Jun 2013 23:53:09 +0000 Chikodi Chima Wide Open Road CC Wondering Grubb 204x300 No One Is In Charge: Seth Godins Keys To Freedom

I had my most powerful “Aha moment” when I realized there is no one in charge. While I might get arrested and fined If I left my house naked tomorrow, there is no divine force that can prevent me.

If I want to eat gummy bears for every meal I can. My teeth might fall out. But the choice is mine to make. As entrepreneurs the realization no one controls our fate is the closest we get to true freedom.

“It’s deep within us to let the boss tell us what to do,” Seth Godin says in the video from last month’s Creative Mornings talk. But every boss has a boss, Godin says. The people we think are in charge are just as clueless as we are. The only difference is that they have flashier job titles, and more responsibility. This isn’t authority.

My grandfather died last summer and then my mom’s cancer came back. There was no rhyme or reason to it. No one and nothing willed it to be. No one can bring back my grandfather, and nothing can explain cancer, even when it can treated. Life happens. All we can do is deal with circumstance to the best of our ability. That is life.

We think we live in a society governed by laws, rules, and social conventions. These invisible forces only work because we enforce restrictions on ourselves. We do the right thing because it is the path of least resistance. There is no objective right or wrong–only what is best in the moment. This almost always means that we do right by others, but not when it’s a matter of survival.

And the people who society deems authorities are people at the end of the day. Police officers are doing a job for which they’re paid a salary. Judges rule on the facts of a case. They don’t make the law even when they establish precedent. Our elected officials are voted into office because it is the will of the populace. And so on.

As an entrepreneur you have the freedom to breath life into a dream. No one makes it real but you. Through your inspiration, leadership and persistence you turn an idea into a force for change.

What stops us far too often is the worry that other people will judge us, or criticize us if we don’t succeed. Failing to fail is a far worse fate than flaming out.

The companies and organizations we think of as our biggest rivals are scrambling to please their shareholders. Apple is still just a business, which explains why its share price is getting pummeled by Wall Street. President Barack Obama may be “the most powerful man in the world,” but he can’t get an uncooperative Congress to do his bidding.

As entrepreneurs we may be wild-eyed dreamers who like to juggle knives, but there’s no one to stop us from changing the world. There’s no one in charge. We’re all judged by the value we create, and the lives we touch. That’s it.


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Inspiration: Always Play Nice But… Fri, 10 May 2013 16:18:02 +0000 Chikodi Chima 20130510 091109 Inspiration: Always Play Nice But...


H/T: Jason via Doodler’s Anonymous

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Inspiration: Always Play Nice But… Fri, 10 May 2013 16:18:02 +0000 Chikodi Chima 20130510 091109 Inspiration: Always Play Nice But...


H/T: Jason via Doodler’s Anonymous

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Inspiration: Three Simple Rules in Life Thu, 02 May 2013 00:52:23 +0000 Chikodi Chima 526427 10151376288793240 2037929811 n Inspiration: Three Simple Rules in Life

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